Category Archives: The Mother Plucker

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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Under Eye Concealer Application – How Not to Reveal What You Are Trying to Conceal

Concealer was designed to provide additional coverage to problem areas of skin by veiling dark marks/ disguising blemishes. Bad MUA ensures concealer does the opposite. This is especially evident with under eye concealer.

We’ve all met someone who appears to have inverted Panda Eyes, looking as if they have been tanning with their shades on.

Miley Cyrus sporting a tan line fashion that never caught on. So why apply under eye concealer in this way?

Miley Cyrus sporting a tan line fashion that never caught on. So why apply under eye concealer in this way?

The tendency to overuse product under the eyes has been fueled by the trend to sculpt facial features via contouring MU techniques. The use of shading (to define and hollow) and highlighting (to draw out receding areas) to create the illusion of balanced features.

An example of the contouring guides that being taken too literally

An example of the highlighting and contouring guides that are being taken too literally

Contouring techniques were originally used to provide definition to faces in black and white films and to counteract when intense lighting flattens features. If not used in a studio environment it works best at night. This is not an everyday look. If you must persist then use subtle shades and blend, blend, blend!!! Or risk making the same errors as the beauties below.

When Concealer is abused it cannot be ignored. Which is missing the point!

Tennis Player Serena Williams example of extreme evident contouring - Not a good look

Tennis Player Serena Williams example of extremely evident contouring – Not a good look

Singer Alexandra Burke example of evident contouring

Singer Alexandra Burke example of evident contouring – From a great distance this may work however in the plain light of day…

Singer/Songwriter Emeli Sande example of evident contouring

Singer/Songwriter Emeli Sande another example of over contouring specifically around the mid section of her face.

Some MotherPlucker tips and tricks to ensure you conceal not reveal

1. Start at the very beginning – Invest in a silky makeup primer with a high level of silicone to help lock in moisture and smooth out under eye fine lines. Natural beauties should try Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer £29.50 based on waxes and plant oils.

2 Step by step – Apply under eye concealer over foundation to prevent the concealer being thinned out. Lightly dab to blend.

Actress Kate Winslet - An example of flawless MU applicatiomn.

Actress Kate Winslet – Example of flawless MU and under eye concealer application.

Halle Berry another example of seamless MUA application. Her Base is invisible.

Halle Berry another example of seamless MUA application. Her Base is invisible. Attention drawn to the eyes for the right reasons.

3. Too Much of a Good Thing – Over zealous application of under eye concealer will cause the product to sit in fine lines and appear unnatural. The thicker the product the grainier it will appear and the harder it will be to distribute evenly. Try a liquid-based product such as M.A.C Select Moisturecover concealer £15.50.  Creamy textured and  easy to blend into delicate areas.

Tip: Thin your standard concealer by adding a few drops of M.A.C Strobe Cream/ Travel Size £10 or a generic moisturiser.

Singer and Presenter Melanie Brown - Drying and unflattering Concealer in the wrong shade

Singer and Presenter Melanie Brown – Drying and unflattering Concealer in the wrong shade

Melanie Brown's under eye concealer fails

One of  Melanie Brown’s many under eye concealer fails

Melanie Brown's under eye concealer fails

Another of Melanie Brown’s many under eye concealer fails

4. One Product does not fit all! – You are forgiven for assuming that concealers for spots can also be used on the eye area. Two separate shades and consistencies are required. Blemish cover up should be exactly the same shade as your foundation/ skin tone to blend flawlessly. Under eye concealer should be ideally liquid based and NO MORE than 2 shades lighter than skin tone.

Tip: If under eye concealer is too light apply a small amount of foundation on top. Blend with your ring finger (which has the lightest touch)

Television Personality Amy Childs. -Under eye concealer wrong shade and unflattering

Television Personality Amy Childs. – Under eye concealer wrong shade, excessive powdering and unflattering

Actress AnnaLynne Mccord - Concealer several shades too light.

Actress AnnaLynne Mccord – Concealer several shades too light.

5. Bright Eyes  – The idea of a brightening pen concealer initially makes sense. Great for under-eyes as the texture is slight and brightening hides the darkness. But light reflecting particles actually draw attention to the dark circles not camouflage trouble areas

6. Colour correcting concealers – Blue/Black under eyes can be corrected by blending a small amount of colour to your concealer before application. Peach or yellow is complimentary for paler skins and orange shades work well for olive/ darker complexions. Try NYX CJ-Concealer Jar £6 in shade CJ10 Yellow or CJ13 Orange. The product is cream based but blend-able.

Tip: Use sparingly 

Nene Leakes - Example of  Yellow being used incorrectly.

Nene Leakes – Example of Yellow being used incorrectly under eye area. Nene’s complexion would appreciate an orange/red undertone

7. Powder Cover AdjustersBen Nye Luxury Loose Banana Powder £9.95  from Guru Makeup Emporium is a fine milled powder with a yellow undertone. Ideal for covering dark purple shadows under the eyes.

Tip: Powders can cake in lines so are more complimentary to younger skins.

8. A light dusting only – Setting concealer with several layers of powder, will result in product clinging to every crevice and smile line. Making the skin appear dry and prematurely aged.

Tip: To set concealer and create a soft focus to the skin try Corn Silk Loose Face Powder £8.16 available from most good chemists.

Reality star Kim Kardashian guilty of using far to much powder undereyes

Reality star Kim Kardashian guilty of using far to much powder undereyes

8. White out – HD (High Definition) white powders provide a smooth finish, does not settle in fine lines and is invisible to the naked eye. However creates another error that often comes to light (excuse the pun) in photographs. Because it contains a high silica content which reflects the lights of a flash showing up white.

Tip: Use sparingly and not as a touch up powder

Actress Eva Longoria - HD  Powder Fail

Actress Eva Longoria – HD Powder Fail

Actress Taraji P Henson - HD Powder Fail

Actress Taraji P Henson – HD Powder Fail

9. Hydrate & Rest – To help stave off dark under eye circles. Look after your general Wellbeing. Eat clean, Drink water, Exercise and make time to Rest not just Work and Play!

Now go disguise those tired eyes correctly. In time for party season.

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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Nails On Rails – Check Out The Nail Styles Trending On TFL

Spotted the well groomed talons of the Blogger Chanelle Sadie Paul - Literally blogging on her way to Professional Beauty London

Spotted the well groomed talons of the Blogger Chanelle Sadie Paul – Literally blogging on her way to Professional Beauty London

Another eye catching design spotted on my journey to Professional Beauty London

Another eye catching design spotted on my journey to Professional Beauty London

When I’m getting from A to B in London I cannot help noticing the unique fashion trends modeled daily by commuters. Nails are always on show on such journeys. Well groomed nails are especially noticeable clasping bags, being slipped in and out of gloves, when applying makeup or holding onto hand rails.

Natural nails, medium length square shaped. CND Shellac Power Polish in Lilac Longing.

Natural nails, medium length square shaped. CND Shellac Power Polish in Lilac Longing.

I’ve decided to capture and share some of the eye catching nail designs I see on TFL.  Providing the carriage or bus I’m on is not too busy and the trend setter is willing to have their nails papped.

Natural nails, medium length squared shaped. CND Shellac Power Polish in Dazzling Dance.

Natural nails, medium length square shaped. CND Shellac Power Polish in Dazzling Dance.

London is after all a  fashion capital of the world. I hope the results of this blog post will be interesting and enjoyable to view. Be a great way to showcase current polish colors, nail shapes and designs for clients. While also being a platform to show case the work of therapists and salons.

Matte blue nail enhancements with studded ring finger embellishment

Matte blue nail enhancements with studded ring finger embellishment.

Are your Nails on Track?

If you haven’t spotted your nails or salon handiwork on this MotherPlucker blog, what are you waiting for? Take a photo of your beautiful nail creations, on your daily commute (clearly taken on TFL). If you are a nail professional ask your clients to do the same. Forward your #nailonrails selfie to me (see how below) Here’s an example image captured by me (themotherplucker):

Short squared generic gel enhanced nails in white.

Short squared generic gel enhanced nails in white.

Ways to get your nail selfie added to this ongoing blog

Forward images of your nails or nail creations on a client,  using any of the social media methods below.

Include the following information (if possible):

  1. Your first name
  2. Name and Location of Salon where nails were done
  3. Products used if known (i.e CND Shellac)
  4. Tube/Train Line or Bus No

I shall look forward to updating this blog with your fabulous nails. In the mean time I will be using my #naileyes (one of my favourite fingernail fixer phrases) to spot more fashionable #nailsonrails.

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Enhance to Enchant x

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When It Comes To Filling In Eyebrows, Unlike Clothes Less Is More!

I’d like to clarify that not all dark intense brows are no no’s. Naturally thick brows that have been groomed and shaped well will compliment the face.

Eyebrows are an important facial feature, they define, frame and open the eye area and help to emphasis a number of facial expressions. Ideally brows should be well maintained, balanced and not too thin.

Examples of natural full brows that have been maintained  to perfection

Examples of natural full brows that have been groomed to perfection.

A person with naturally sparse or fair brows that attempts to create the same full brow effect (as the fortunate beauties above) will struggle to replicate an authentic shape and texture. The results usually end up looking like the brows and mustache of the late great comedian Groucho Marx.

Take Groucho's advice and don't join this club!

Take Groucho’s advice and don’t join this club!

Brows Making A Statement For All The Wrong Reasons

I’m all for creativity however when filling in brows, be a little restrained and avoid drawing outside the natural lines! A heavy handed, over styled  dark brow is usually the result of an innocent novice over exaggerating their natural brow shape and shade. Applying too much product, creating sharp angular or harsh rounded brows. A look often sported by teenagers and the entrepreneur Katie Price.

Brows that have been over jealously filled in.  NOT following the natural shape, creating two completely unrelated shape.

Brows that have been over zealously filled in NOT following the natural shape, creating dark mismatched brows

The shade used by Katie above is too dark for her colouring (even with an intense tan). Each brow is also a completely different shape. Remember Brows Are Sisters Not Twins So Please STOP Shaping Them As If They Were Distant Relatives!

If you are guilty of creating black Lego brick shaped brows, stop using the items pictured below. They all have perfectly good uses but do not include brow enhancement. Plus they are seriously blackening your brow reputation!

Products that should NOT be used to enhance Eyebrows

Black listed items that should NOT be used to enhance Eyebrows

Getting the Right Intensity of Brow for You

  1. Make an appointment to see a Brow Professional. Let them know you are opting for a thicker brow. They will remove hairs from the correct areas only. The remaining hairs will be your natural stencil.
  2. If you have fair or fine brow hairs consider a Tint (a semi permanent dye specifically for brows and lashes) one or two shades darker than your natural colour to create a fuller looking brow.
  3. Use a Real Techniques Lash and Brow Groomer (a soft toothbrush will do) to brush brows. Regular use will train and shape brows.
  4. Select the type of product you plan to fill your brow in with. (seem my other post for suggestions) Select a shade either the same or a couple of shades darker than your brows.
  5. When using powder or wax products us an Tweezerman slanted Brow Brush to apply. Follow the direction of your natural hair growth. The shorter bristles of the brush should slant in the direction of your hair growth. A small amount of product will go a long way.
  6. When using an eyebrow pencil or wax pen make sure your tool is sharpened for precise application. Draw in fine hair strokes in any gaps, following the direction of natural hair growth. Enhance the groomed shape you have and resist the temptation to excessively alter your brow shape
  7. When both brows have been filled, stand back from the mirror and check that you are happy with their placement (Remember Sisters not Twins) and that each looks roughly the same colour and shape.
  8. Once you are happy use either your ring finger or eyebrow brush comb to slightly soften the edges of your brows and blend the product in seamlessly.  Your aim is to replicate real brows which are naturally slightly softer and lighter towards the bridge of the nose and tapered at the outer edges.
  9. Use a cotton bud to clean up any errors.

Mother Plucker Tips:

  • Brows must be tinted before any form of hair removal to avoid tinting products getting into open follicles. This will look unsightly and can cause irritation.
  • Dark brows can work with blond hair, however this does not work for all. Brows can also be lightened.
  • Black is very harsh tone for brows, when I’m working with dark haired clients I opt for dark Brown/grey products firsts before trying black.
  • Wax products will make brows appear much darker than the natural shade so use sparingly.

That’s all for now folks, if you have any questions on this post please post a comment.

More Eye Grooming, Beauty, Nail and & Wellbeing posts to come!

Enhance to Enchant x

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Brows Are Sisters Not Twins So Please STOP Shaping Them As If They Were Distant Relatives!

Brows are Sisters not twins stop treating them like distant relatives!

Jemima Khan  – Guilty of dividing and not ruling her brows

Wide brows were hip many moons ago reaching a pinnacle in the late  80’s early 90’s. This style of brow placement suited the fashions of the times. Think of TV shows like  ‘Dynasty’. The female cast were beautifully made up, with flamboyant glittery outfits, big hair, large shoulder pads and equally large spaces between their brows.

As an experienced Eyebrow Grooming Specialist I frequently get new clients that have been mislead by outdated beauty tips which advise for brows to start from the outer corner of each nostril. This ancient and incorrect technique creates brows that are harsh, aging and dated.

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies please stop trying to keep up with the the Joans…

photo (3)

The famously talented Joans (above) are examples of great beauties who all over plucked the space separating their brows. Ideally this gap should be no wider than the bridge of your nose. Unless you are intentionally aiming for a retro look avoid mimicking the Joans method as over time brows becoming more divided and displaced.

Incorrect Brow Placement

Over plucking in this way is not only unattractive and unflattering. It can eventually damage hair follicles. Ultimately changing the natural growth pattern.

However all is not lost, as I tell my clients. The first step is to get your brows back on track by making an appointment to see a trained brow professional. Who will remove hairs from the correct areas only (see Correct Brow Placement diagram below). The front of your brow should begin at the inner edge of your nostrils. On either side of the tip of your nose.

Correct Brow Placement

Once your shape has been redefined you will be able to recognize where hairs need to be allowed to grow back and where you should be removing them, while you are maintaining your brows between appointments.

During this period of regrowth, be patient and resist the temptation to give up. Don’t assume that your brows will never recover or at least be improved. It can taken between a month to a year (realistically) for brows to return. During this time you can literally fill in the gaps with the many wonderful brow beauty products currently on the market.

Here are a few recommendations from me The Mother Plucker  (Natalie Marshall).

Remember it’s all related, our brows are not arched enemies, forced to be 10 paces apart before a duel.

If you are still stuck for eyebrow inspiration. Love them or hate them, when it comes to brows you NEED to be keeping up with the Kardashians!

Sisters not Twins.

Keeping Up With The Kardashian' s Brows

Enhance to Enchant x

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What’s your Birthday wish?

I count my Birthday as the beginning of my new year, I’m fortunate to have a 3 month head start on most people’s resolutions.

IMG_2858

Below is a list of what I vowed to achieve as I blew out the candles on my cake:

  1. Join an Adult Gymnastics Club. I didn’t have the opportunity in my childhood and it’s never too late.
  2. Make Yoga part of my life.  Running my own grooming business (The Mother Plucker) is liberating but means my mind and body are rarely at rest. I want to learn how to be truly present.
  3. Become a Blogger. My social media skills are lacking to say the least. I challenged myself to interact and improve the quality and quantity of my online coverage.

I plan to share the outcome of my goals in my blog, along with Wellbeing and Beauty posts.

Watch this space and bear with me I’m a novice!

The Mother Plucker.

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