Category Archives: Grooming

How To Blitz Chapped Winter Lips!

More moisture is lost through the lips than any other part of the face or body. When lips become dry the symptoms become apparent and can include redness, cracking, visible flaking, sensitivity and soreness. Not attractive or comfortable! This can happen to the best of us, even models with strict beauty routines such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  lips looking particularly thirsty

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lips looking particularly thirsty

The main causes for chapped lips being vitamin deficiency, allergic reaction, dehydration, smoking and excessive licking of lips. A huge factor is also harsh weather and extreme temperature changes. A direct result of leaving a warm artificially heated building and stepping out into a gusty cold climate.

This winter I’ve had dehydrated lips too! Fortunately I’m blessed with wonderful clients. One in particular picked me up some Lucas’ Papaw ointment on her travels to Australia.

Lucas' Papaw Ointment

Lucas’ Papaw Ointment

The product contains papaya, has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which help to relieve and cleanse the skin not just the lips.

After applying the ointment to my lips I felt results and relief in a matter of hours. Until you can get hold of some Lucas’ Papaw Ointment 25g £4.95 which is available in the uk from www.pawpawessentials.co.uk. Here are some of my top tips to help you mimic the functions of the skin to help prevent chapped lips this winter…

Beautiful Lip Tricks – What Not To Do!

Stop licking your lips!
Stop licking your lips!
  • Resist the temptation to lick dry or cracked lips. Your saliva will remove the Sebum (the skin’s natural grease) from your skin drying your lips more.
  • Avoid using hot water to wash your face as the effect is too harsh and drying. Think Heat Regulation
  • Never share a chap stick or balm with anyone else to prevent cross contamination.
  • Avoid matte lip colours which can be drying.
Kate Moss

Kate Moss looking worse for wear at the British Fashion awards in London. Her chapped lips are accentuated by matte lipstick stains .

  • Cut back on spicy or salty foods especially if your lips are cracked – The sensory nerve endings in the body are most numerous in the finger tips and lips and will react to unpleasant stimuli to protect the skin from injury and will sting, burn and cause further irritation.

Beautiful Tricks – How to Combat Dry Winter Lips

  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body and lips hydrated.
  • After washing your face with lukewarm water, apply all moisturizers or lip ointments directly on to damp skin. This will literally seal all moisture into the top layers of your lips.
  • Regularly exfoliate dry flaky lips by brushing with a soft clean toothbrush, to accelerate the process of shedding dead skin cells. Note: Avoid if your lips are sore or the skin is broken as this will aggravate the condition more.
  • Regularly exfoliate lips with a clean soft bristle tooth brush

    Regularly exfoliate lips with a clean soft bristle tooth brush

  • Frequently apply a lip balm to dry or sore lips. A good moisturizer will serve as a barrier between your skin and the elements. Invest in a good lip balm. It will trap in moisture and seal cracks against infection. See below for my (The Mother Plucker’s) top lip products.
  • Choose a product with additional sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to help protect your lips in the sun.
  • Wash hands before applying lip balms from a pot, as repeatedly dipping your finger into the balm can introduce germs/bacteria.
Wash hand thoroughly before & after applying products to lips manually

Wash hand thoroughly before & after applying products to lips manually

  • If you have sensitive skin or would like to use a natural method try pure Coconut or Olive Oil. Both are natural moisturizers that can help heal chapped lips caused by cold or dry weather. Apply in the same way as lip ointments
  • During cold winter days protect your lips with a scarf when you are out and about.
  • Opt for moisturising lipsticks which contain conditioners like vitamin E, macadamia oil, and or shea butter
  • Lock Moisture into excessive dry lips, by smothering with Vaseline Lip Therapy at night. You will wake up with moist kissable lips.
  • If you have tried all of the above and do not see a result within a week seek advice from your GP

The Mother Plucker’s Top Lip Fixes 

Note: The items below are my favourite miracle lip healing staples, with a price that’s right.  You may need to try a few products (not necessarily listed below) before you find one that works for you.

  1. Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment 25g £4.95 from pawpawessentials.co.uk – The ointment has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be used as a local topical application on a variety of skin conditions.
  2. Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream SPF10 5g £2.63 – Contains Shea Butter, Camphor and Allantoin to provide deep down protection.
  3. CND Solar Oil – Can only be purchased from a CND Nail service provider – An almond based nail and cuticle conditioner also perfect for dry lips. Packed with free radical-fighters vitamins A E, and D. This delicious smelling none greasy oil helps to keep skin lubricated.
  4. Vaseline Lip Therapy with Rose and Almond Oil 20g £1.99 – The Vaseline Lip Therapy Range is ideal to apply to dry lips overnight to lock in moisture. The product is rose tinted so is a good alternative to lip colour while your lips are healing.

Enhance to Enchant!

Nx

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Anti-Ageing Versus Pro-Ageing

The actress Julie Walter’s recently shared her pro-ageing thoughts on the celebrity obsession with face lifts ‘As people get older, they do this half-facelift stuff so they can pretend they haven’t had them! I think: don’t do it – be beautiful anyway.’

Julie Walters, Good House Keeping Interview, January 2015 Edition, written by Amy Lewis.

Actress Julie Walters - Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Actress Julie Walters a prime example of pro-ageing

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.

I couldn’t agree with Julie more, although I work in the beauty industry I strongly believe in aging gracefully. Rather than trying to STOP time to appear younger. Buying into products and treatments marketed with fictitious promises of reducing, masking or preventing signs of skin aging. We should be embracing pro-aging to illuminate our natural radiance by applying the following to our daily lives:

  • Educating ourselves on health and wellbeing
  • Regular exercise
  • A good diet
  • Protecting our skin from over exposure to the Sun
  • Healing and sustaining our bodies.
  • Practicing none permanent or intrusive grooming techniques
  • Last but not least learning to love ourselves.

Anti Aging Fails – Despite great demand for anti-aging products the majority of treatments have not been proven to give lasting or positive effects. Below are some examples of celebrities that appear to have tried to stop time with lotions, potions, harsh make up, fillers, surgery and who knows what else?

 Ghost Face Fillers 

The celebrities (above) may think their faces look ‘swell’ I do too! However not for the same reasons. It is more apt to describe their looks as bloated, puffy and shiny.  They all have slender physiques and contrasting large pillowy facial features. This does not produce the appearance of youthfulness or attractiveness.  Frankly they look like frightening ghoulish apparitions.

Pro-Aging Wins  – In contrast below are some examples of celebrities that appear to agree with Julie and indeed look radiant, healthy and their age, whatever that happens to be. There are no visible signs that they have tampered with their faces in an attempt to turn back time.

Being  Beautiful Anyway

I’m team Pro-aging all the way. I’m aware that I am not qualified to assess whether a person has definitely had facial surgery or fillers, therefore I can only speculate. You can decide for yourself. I also know that some cosmetic surgery tweaks are so good they cannot be detected. However this positive outcome is rare and does not sway my opinion. Please note: I am not grouping corrective surgery with cosmetic surgery.

Still not convinced? Study the contrasting Anti and Pro aging images (below) of celebrities born in the same year. These pictures cannot account for natural genetics but they do highlight the disappointing results of invasive anti-ageing treatments.

Line Free Skin Does Not Equal Younger Looking Skin 

Plastic is NOT Fantastic – Anti-aging products were once sold as cheaper alternatives to botox injections and plastic surgery, the latter only being available to celebrities and the wealthy. As the beauty industry grows invasive anti-aging treatments are becoming readily available to all, via convenient payment plans and competitively priced surgery holiday packages. However until the surgeons to the stars perfect their techniques, I (themotherplucker) would advise against intrusive anti aging treatments/ surgeries until results improve greatly.

Just as a couch potato will not gain a Crossfit student’s body. A face full of fillers will not miraculously over ride natural genetics or make time stand still.There are no successful long term quick fixes to stop signs of aging; we cannot anti-age. The term ‘anti-ageing’ is nonsensical. We CAN actively look after our bodies and minds to optimize on what we have, to look and feel our best..

Enhance to Enchant Nx

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Celebrity Doppelgangers – How To Duplicate Their Look

Facial Recognition and Seeing Double 

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by faces. When I meet someone for the first time I automatically scan their facial features and expressions.  I then visualize all the faces I have ever seen and place the new face into a category with others which are (to me) similar.

Below are two famous faces that automatically linked in my mind: 

 Juliette Binoche (left) and Julia Roberts (Right)

Juliette Binoche (left) and Julia Roberts (Right) Both women have similar bone structures. This is particularly evident in their facial proportions, noses and full lips. They also opt for natural makeup.

By using facial recognition in this way I recognize and remember names and faces. I create mental catalogues of people that look the same or have related characteristics regardless of race, gender or age.

Below are some more examples of how I view faces and partner people together:

Later in my life/career I found my skill to match faces to be an invaluable tool. I can look at a client and compare and contrast their face with others, automatically assessing what brow shape will be the most flattering, what shades of makeup/ tinting will be complimentary and of course in contrast what will not work so well.

Below is an example of how I compare and contrast faces and assess grooming techniques:

January Jones (left) and Danielle Harold (right) both have heart shaped faces & have used similar tones of makeup. However January's look is more flattering because her brows & groomed and she has  used less  Mascara

January Jones (left) and Danielle Harold (right) both have heart shaped faces & have used similar tones of makeup. However January’s look is more flattering because her brows are groomed, she has used less mascara and her hair colour is richer.

Optimum grooming is evident in most A list celebrities. On their journey to the top of their profession they have been provided with ultimate beauty regimes. Through trial, error, excellent stylists, hairdressers and makeup artistry. (And possibly some help from a surgeon) They are constantly groomed to look their best.

See example below: 

Kate Hudson (left) and Jennifer Lopez (right). Both look very similar and have been groomed to their optimum. Brows have been shaped and  match their hair shades. Neutral cosmetics have been used well.

Kate Hudson (left) and Jennifer Lopez (right). Both look very similar and have been groomed to their optimum. Brows have been shaped and match their hair shades. Neutral cosmetics have been used well.

I utilize this knowledge to enhance my client’s natural features by identifying who they resemble (this can be more than one person, famous or not). I refer to all the facial images I have stored in my mind and use my skills to provide bespoke beauty treatments, tailored for them and loosely influenced by their doppelgangers. Why try to reinvent the wheel? When we can benefit from a host of experts skills, tried and tested on a  similar canvas?

Now you can do this too! Rather than getting hung up on trying to follow every new fashion that is ‘supposed’ to fit all, explore timeless tried and tested beauty techniques used by well groomed role models that share your profile and features. I’m not advising you to steal people’s looks I’m suggesting that you get to know your face, recognize your facial traits in others and use what they have enhanced well to help you to celebrate your own beauty.

To help you get started on your facial journey of enlightenment, here’s some more of my celebrity Look-a-Likes selections, that I can’t get out of my head!

  • Take note how similar makeup, grooming and styling techniques are used.
  • Consider which contrasting images you prefer and why?
  • See if you can recognize yourself in any of the faces.
  • And then #Enhancetoenchant

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Enjoy! I’ll continue to add new pictures to this post

p.s let me know if you see what I see?

Enhance to Enchant Nx

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