This is the top of the page.
This is the top of the page.
April 2020 – Superdrug
Share Article

My Skin Story

Beauty Blogger Kadeeja Sel Khan with acne

With more of us experiencing acne well into adulthood, beauty blogger Kadeeja Sel Khan (@emeraldxbeauty), 23, opens up about her own skin struggles

Beauty Blogger Kadeeja Sel Khan with acne

With more of us experiencing acne well into adulthood, beauty blogger Kadeeja Sel Khan (@emeraldxbeauty), 23, opens up about her own skin struggles.

I’ve never had clear skin; for as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with acne. It started when I hit puberty, probably around the age of 11, and my skin became oily, blemished and eventually, scarred. On top of having spot-prone skin, I also have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a condition that can leave sufferers with irregular periods, weight gain and thinning hair, thought to be caused by abnormal hormone levels. For me, it means that my skin becomes really oily around my period and I get breakouts of angry red spots and pustules along my jaw and the bottom half of my face.

 

It’s not just spots that affect my skin. Because I’m Afghan and have an olive skin tone, I’m also prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – those pesky post-spot dark marks that take months to fade – as well as redness around my cheeks and scarring. I feel that if I’d been more patient with my skin as a teenager, it wouldn’t be as scarred as it is now – but back then, if I saw a spot, I was so desperate for it to go, I’d squeeze and pick at it.

 

I have spent, and I’m not even exaggerating here, thousands of pounds on skincare. I’ve felt so desperate to fix my complexion and get rid of the scars in the past that I bought every product and tried every remedy – and nothing would work. I’ve improved my diet – I think with anything, when you start eating better, you start to feel better, too – and I’ve cut out dairy, but it’s not made that much of a difference to my skin, to be honest. I’ve just learned to accept it and myself a little bit more – it’s so important to stay positive.

 

I’ve been on medication for my skin in the past. I tried taking the contraceptive pill, which some people find helps with skin conditions, but I found it made me gain weight. As that’s already a symptom of PCOS, I just didn’t want to exacerbate it. A few years ago, I took Roaccutane – an anti-inflammatory that comes from vitamin A and is used to treat severe cases of acne – but I had to stop after a couple of months. I found the entire process really tough. My skin became very dry and itchy no matter how much moisturiser I applied; it just felt constantly irritated and sore. I also suffered from really bad mood swings and felt super sensitive all of the time. I realised I was taking my mood out on people and I just didn’t want to do that. I know Roaccutane works really well for some people with acne, but the side-effects just weren’t worth it for me. That was the last medication I had for my skin.

 

A lot of people come to me and ask how I cope when my skin is super clear one day and then breaks out the next, and I say, ‘You know what, I’m so used to it, it’s normal for me.’ When my skin is clear, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is great, my skin looks amazing,’ but I know it’ll break out soon after. So, in my head, I’m just prepared for it. I’m also at that age where it’s like, why should I torture myself? Why would I make myself feel bad for something I’ve already spent years feeling down about?

 

If I can’t change my skin, I’m not going to make myself feel low and I’m not going to let it take over my life. That’s why I decided to turn it into something positive and start showing my skin without makeup, filters or Photoshop. I used to always edit my pictures before uploading them but then, one day, I just realised it wasn’t honest and I felt bad about doing it. So, I posted a video of my skin, with absolutely nothing on.

 

Some people reacted badly, but most of the responses were really positive. Girls were saying, ‘Thank you so much! You’ve made me feel so much better about my own skin. I thought I was the only one!’ I used to be like that. I was the girl who was growing up and thought, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I want people to understand that there’s nothing wrong with them. I want to help people realise that they’re not the only ones with acne or scarring.I think it’s so important that we show that all kinds of skin are ‘normal’, especially in the age of social media where everything can be edited or perfected. OK, so a little part of me is like ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Why do I have to have this?’ But then I’m just like, ‘It’s cool, I still love my face regardless, so whatever – it’s going to go away again soon.’

 

I do make an effort to really look after my skin, though – I drink loads of water and I always double cleanse – even if you think it’s clean from one cleanse, it’s really not, especially if you wear makeup. Wipes are not the one! I also use a toner, an antioxidant serum and an SPF every day; sun protection is so important to help with scars and pigmentation if you have acne-prone skin. I also love a bit of self-care, too, the Garnier Fresh-Mix Face Sheet Shot Mask with Hyaluronic Acid, £3.99, is a dream!

As told to: Natalie Ticehurst. Photos: Thea Baddiley. Hair and makeup: Dina @ Frank Agency. Visit skndoctor.co.uk for more info.

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

Nikki’s Secret Talks Diversity, DIY Beauty & Box-Set Binges

Beauty blogger Nikki's Secret

Glow Up star and YouTube sensation @nikkisSecretx talks staying at home, social media success and makeup to suit all skin tones

Are social media stars born or (self) made? For some, the elusive little blue tick and ‘swipe up to shop’ are the prizes that come from time spent carefully curating content – each VSCO-ed image plucked from a quake of outtakes, every post hashtagged to engagement-optimised perfection. After all, Instagram is big business. But for others, like makeup artist @nikkissecretx, 29, their cult-like followings are the result of trying, testing, learning, perfecting and, ultimately, paying it forward.

Beauty blogger Nikki's Secret

As the social media star, like the rest of us, is currently hunkered down at home – and admittedly maximising this time by working out, stepping up her skincare and creating more content than ever to keep her followers’ spirits lifted – we couldn’t think of a better fit for our first DARE @ Home cover. ‘I’m trying to make the most of more time at home,’ she tells us when we catch up on the virtual meeting platform Zoom. ‘It’s helping me connect with and work on myself. Even though the world is a little crazy right now, I’m loving being with myself, my thoughts and my ideas.’

 

And while this anxiety-inducing time can be difficult to navigate as we attempt to establish a new normal, Nikki has a few secrets to self-soothing. ‘I’ve learned to take each day as it comes – you don’t know what is around the corner,’ she says. ‘Living with my partner really helps. It means I have human contact on a daily basis, and I can speak about my struggles and stresses with him. I’d really encourage people to keep speaking and checking in with friends. It helps so much.’

 

Nikki cites exercise as her go-to method for staying grounded. ‘To keep calm, I’m working out on a daily basis. It makes me feel good and sets me up for the day. I’m following at-home workouts on YouTube and my fiancé and I are also training together. We’ve just bought some gym equipment,’ she says. ‘I love sharing my workouts with my followers – to show them I’m “normal” and have insecurities just like everybody else, but that I’m working on them,’ she adds.

 

The social media star is finding a lot of comfort in the platform. ‘In fact, Instagram has been a real source of support for me,’ she says. ‘I absolutely love filming content and connecting with my audience. I feel this time has actually allowed us to grow closer – I treat them as my friends, and I love to keep them updated with what I’m doing. I have found the IG community is really coming together and bringing out content to help take people’s minds off everything that is going on. It can feel like all you hear about is bad news at the moment, so I’m trying my best to bring joy and relaxation through my channel. I want my page to be a safe place and not somewhere people feel anxious or stressed.’

 

‘I’ve started to focus more on filming skincare videos, as I am aware a lot of people are at home, too. Skincare is an amazing way to de-stress and pamper yourself. Not only does it work wonders for your complexion, but it also helps you feel good. My followers tell me they find my skincare videos relaxing – and I love being able to create that for them. It’s a little ritual I share daily,’ she says.

 

And while Nikki is known for her skincare videos and tips, it’s makeup that’s really at the heart of who she is. ‘My obsession with makeup came from growing up as someone with Indian heritage and having an insecurity with my dark circles,’ she says. ‘We suffer a lot with pigmentation underneath our eyes and around our mouths, and I felt I had to cover it up, but I didn’t know how to do it,’ she adds.

 

Formally known as Nikkita Patel, the star’s moniker, @nikkissecretx, is her brand. Not one to do a daily ‘full beat’ – beauty speak for perfectly applied, Insta-ready makeup (think cut-creasing, baking, overlining…) – Nikki’s secret lies in harnessing the power of makeup to teach girls, like her, who grew up with society-prescribed imperfections they’d prefer to conceal. Think learning how to buff, blend and contour your way to inner confidence.

 

‘I would also say that a lot of my audience is of a similar skin tone to me and they suffer with the same sort of things, like hyperpigmentation – just little things that someone with Caucasian skin might be less likely to suffer from,’ she adds. ‘I’m all about skin: helping your everyday person who wants to find a dupe for this or that, who wants to know how to colour-correct and feel confident in their own skin,’ she says.

 

Her unquestionable makeup wizardry (‘I am the queen of concealer,’ she quips) is what scored her a place on BBC’s Glow Up, a series fronted by Stacey Dooley and with industry legends Val Garland and Dominic Skinner acting as judges, to find the best new makeup talent in the UK. Challenges at London Fashion Week and on shoots proved to be a steep learning curve.

 

‘When you watch the show, everyone has a role or story. Mine was that I could never finish on time, and it stuck. I understand, though, as TV has to be entertaining,’ she laughs. ‘The show was amazing, and it taught me a lot, but it was the most stressful time of my life! I rang my partner every day, crying. Basically, what I learned is that I don’t work well under pressure,’ she says. ‘I don’t regret doing it, and I’m so happy I took part as I learned so much about myself and grew so much in confidence from it, and I realised that I could do the show and come second with my ability. The backlash was awful, though. Usually I don’t get a lot of hate; my followers are really positive and if I do get trolled, it’s like, “you’re ugly”, but that doesn’t really do anything to me. It’s when people start criticising your work that it really hurts, and I didn’t realise it would hurt me so badly.’

 

Yet, while Nikki has amassed a legion of followers – 736,000 on Instagram – she’s well aware that, although social media has provided her with a stage, like her experience on Glow Up, it’s not always plain sailing. ‘My self-image has been a roller-coaster. I’m definitely not the most confident of girls – I’m really self-conscious but I’m working at it,’ she explains. ‘There are little things I would change, and social media does affect you because you’re constantly looking at yourself and looking at other people, and naturally you compare yourself,’ she says.

 

‘I know people say don’t compare, but it’s difficult not to, when you’re like, “she’s beautiful, that’s a beautiful shoot”,’ Nikki says. ‘Yes, it can be inspirational but, at the same time, when you’re looking at someone else’s body, their skin, how creative they’re being, it’s difficult not to compare, so that aspect can be hard. But in the same breath, you are you and I try to remind myself of that.

 

‘I’m also very strong on natural beauty, I’ve never had anything done. I’m not against it – each to their own – but for one, my mum would kill me,’ she laughs. ‘It’s also difficult with Instagram as it ends up at your door. I get emails from people offering me plastic surgery and I’m like, “No, no thank you.” I was just brought up not to. I wouldn’t ever want my mum to think I was unhappy with the way I look. And I agree with her – you’re born with what you’re born with.’

 

Unafraid to go on camera without her beloved concealer, her mum’s mantra bleeds into everything Nikki posts on her platforms. ‘Makeup is makeup, and you can wear as little or as much as you want,’ she says. ‘But I do think some people are editing too much. They look perfect and I think that can make people feel more insecure and like, “Oh, I don’t look like that.” I think it’s our job and duty to make imperfections normal,’ she adds.

 

‘I go on camera a lot without makeup on. I show my dark circles and I show myself threading. I show my facial hair up close because I don’t want people to forget that, yes, while I do love to do a full face and remove my dark circles, fundamentally they’re still there. You might think it’s too much when you see me fully made up, but you can also see me bare-faced if you want to. I think it’s important to show both sides,’ she adds.

 

Staunchly proud of her British Gujarati heritage, Nikki is aware of the power of her voice in a space where influencers of colour are few and far between. ‘There are only two Indian girls I can think of – Anchal and Kaushal – other than that I can’t name anyone. Being someone of colour, I think it’s important for us to be on the gram and on social,’ she says.

 

Finding space in the media – hell, even finding makeup that works for different skin tones – has been a journey for Nikki and other women. And while the high street is snapping at the heels of luxury brands who have long catered for women of colour, Nikki found little that reflected her skin tone on the shelves when she was growing up.

 

‘I think brands are now starting to cater for diversity, but it wasn’t like this when I started out,’ she says. ‘I loved Collection concealer when I was a teenager, but there were two shades, so I used to use it as a highlighter. Now it has more shades and it’s really improved,’ she adds. ‘Revolution and NYX Professional do a great job of creating shades for all skin tones. You can definitely get makeup for people of colour on a budget, but we have to hunt for it a little more, which shouldn’t be the case.

 

‘Also, I think our undertones are difficult to find the right fit for – it’s not like there are four colours and you fit one of them, because you don’t. But social media gives me a massive platform to reach out to people and say, “Hey, I use three foundations, and it’s fine. And if you can’t afford it, this one is similar. It’s a dupe – mix three colours together and you’ll get the same colour as this.”’

 

What advice would she give beauty brands about catering for all? ‘I do think there’s been a change, but I’d like to see more. Don’t just bring out two deep shades and call them “cappuccino” or “latte” – honey, that’s beige. I don’t know how they test on people, but surely they know that people of colour exist – I’d like to see a real spectrum,’ she says.

 

With her invaluable insider’s view on the industry, is there advice for those keen to follow in her footsteps? ‘Work hard. If you want to do it, you’ll do it. Be consistent, show off your talent and reach out to loads of people. There are no shortcuts or magic formulas, like if you hashtag this and do this. But also, I think my followers are normal people – people like me and you – and they can tell when people are doing it for a quick win as opposed to someone who genuinely loves sharing things.’

 

Just one look at her channel, especially in the current climate of instability and uncertainty, and it’s clear what camp Nikki falls into.

 

Words: Natalie Ticehurst. Art Direction: Jade Cooper-Collins. Photographer: Sarah Brick. Assisted by: Caz Dyer. Makeup: Nikki Secret. Hair: Jay Birmingham. Styling: Carlotta Constant

 

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

Understanding Anxiety

Person walking underneath a rain cloud

It’s safe to say the world is a pretty overwhelming place right now, with many of us muddling through and trying to find our way in the ‘new normal’. Indeed, it’s natural to feel worried at a time of global unrest – but what happens when these worries start to develop into something more serious, like anxiety?

Person walking underneath a rain cloud

Evidence shows that about one in four people will suffer with their mental health this year*, and it’s previously been reported that generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) affects nearly six out of every 100 people*. But what is it? Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman of the Private Therapy Clinic explains, ‘An anxiety disorder – which might manifest specifically as social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and more – has something in common with normal levels of anxiety around particular life events, insofar as it involves feeling nervous and worried. But, in terms of the impact on the person’s life, it’s really very different.’

 

She continues, ‘People with anxiety disorders can experience extreme disruption to their lives, with symptoms that can include feeling nervous, anxious and tense, feeling that something terrible could happen, having an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking, fatigue, difficulty thinking about anything other than their anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems.’

 

For 32-year-old Kate**, a producer from London, who suffers from GAD, it’s like always being in fight-or-flight mode. ‘I find that my brain is often working overtime to protect me from things it perceives as a threat, which can make it very difficult for me to concentrate on anything else,’ she explains. ‘I’ve found it particularly hard to control these thoughts during lockdown, when the focus of my anxiety has turned to my health and that of my friends and family. With my mind working overtime in that way, I’ve really struggled with sleeping and have found it hard to think about anything but the crisis.’

 

So, what can you do if you feel like your anxiety is beginning to take over? Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at the mental health charity Mind, says, ‘There are lots of self-care techniques you can try to help you manage your anxiety. Speak to someone you trust about how you feel or, if you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you, call a confidential helpline such as those run by the Samaritans, Anxiety UK or Mind’s Infoline.’ He continues, ‘Breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques can also help you manage anxiety. Keeping a record of what triggered the anxiety and what works in allowing it to pass (such as focusing on slowing your breathing or getting outside in the fresh air) can also help us understand and spot patterns early.’

Photos: iStock. * Mind. **Not her real name

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

Period Problems

Menstrual cup with flowers inside on a pink background

Not clued up on your cycle? It’s time to talk periods

We have around 500 periods in our lifetime, so why don’t we talk about them more? We’ve gathered little-known insights from experts to ‘pad’ out your knowledge.

Menstrual cup with flowers on a pink wall

Menstrual Cups, IRL

Haven’t managed to get a pack of your go-to tampons? Spending your days at home could be the perfect time to practise using a menstrual cup. Meg Wilson, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at London Gynaecology, notes the benefits: ‘There aren’t any hygiene risks associated with using a menstrual cup, if used correctly. They are reusable, more “green’’ and cheaper [than tampons or pads].’ Remember what it was like when you first used a tampon? Well, menstrual cups take practice, too. There is a knack to inserting one – fold it up (there are many ways to do this, we recommend looking it up online and trying out various methods), then insert it in the vaginal opening. Once it is fully inside, let it unfold or ‘pop’ open. You’ll know if it is inserted correctly if you feel resistance when you pull on the stem. If the stem sits outside your body, remove the cup and trim it. When it comes to emptying the cup, simply pour the contents away then rinse it with water before reinserting. If there’s no sink at hand, you can use bottled water.

Otherwise, OrganiCup sells OrganiWipes, £4.49. Want to stick with tampons and towels? Try organic cotton TOTM Applicator Tampons, from £3.20, or Superdrug LUNA Organic Normal Ultra Towels, £3.99. Crafted from renewable plant-based material, each towel is wrapped in a chemical-free, vegan-friendly bio-film.

Period Poop

During periods, pooping can be a pain. ‘Oestrogen and progesterone can impact your digestion, causing pain and constipation,’ says Dr Carles Catlla, assisted reproduction specialist from Institut Marquès. Constipated? ‘Focus on eating natural fibre sources, such as vegetables and wholegrains, to bulk up your stool and stimulate your intestines,’ says Dr Catlla. Got diarrhoea? ‘This is due to the increase in hormones that relax the intestines – drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Foods high in lactose, sugar or caffeine can make symptoms worse, so avoid if possible.’

Feed Your Flow

If you’re veggie or vegan, your diet could be affecting your period. Some find their periods are better on a plant-based diet, ‘others find it makes their periods worse or more irregular,’ says Dr Catlla. ‘This is likely to be because plant-based diets often replace meat with carbohydrates, which can have a negative impact on hormones, causing increased inflammation and bloating.’

Women who don’t eat meat ‘are at a greater risk of developing iron deficiency, as plant-based substitutes contain lower levels of iron than meat,’ says Dr Catlla. Couple that with a heavier period and you are ‘at greater risk of iron deficiency anaemia,’ he adds. A lack of iron can lead to a low immune system, while symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, insomnia, headaches, dizziness and shortness of breath. Catlla recommends taking an iron supplement, but notes it won’t correct the underlying cause of excess bleeding. See your GP if you’re concerned.

If you’re not vegetarian or vegan but still suffer from painful or heavy periods, Laura Southern, nutritional therapist at London Gynaecology, suggests, ‘looking to anti-inflammatory foods in the run-up and during your period, such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado and olives.’

The M Word

It might seem far off, but it’s worth finding out your family history of menopause. ‘Studies have shown that the timing of menopause is almost entirely governed by genetic factors,’ says Dr Shirin Lakhani, health expert at Elite Aesthetics, ‘so by looking at the other females in your family, you can get an idea of when your periods might start to become erratic or stop.’

Before this is the perimenopause. ‘Your ovaries start to produce fewer hormones and egg supplies start to dwindle,’ says Dr Larisa Corda, gynaecologist and fertility expert. ‘It can last from a few months to 10 years and usually starts around the late 40s.’ Symptoms range from hot flushes and fatigue to mood swings and a low sex drive.

 

Words: Amy Lawrenson. Photos: Stocksy

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

Easy At-Home Tanning With B.

B, Bronzing by Superdrug range on a pink backgroud

Calling all sun-worshippers! Do you want a beach-worthy tan any time of the year? We’ve got just what you need: introducing the vegan and cruelty-free B. Bronzing range!

The easy to apply, purse friendly, long-lasting, streak-free collection (that’s a lot of pros!) is available at Superdrug and we’re here to show you how to apply it seamlessly in the comfort of your own home!

B. Bronzing model

You Will Need:

Step 1: Remove Any Old Tan

The perfect tan is all in the prep. A patchy, streaky tan will not go with that bikini you’re planning to wear when the sun comes out! The B. Bronzing Tan Eraser Mousse leaves you with a fresh base, and totally removes any stubborn traces of older fake tan - leaving you ready to apply our other B. Bronzing products. Simply apply with a tanning mitt, leave on for 5-10 minutes and rinse off with a little body scrub in the shower.

B.Bronzing B. Bronzing Tan Eraser Mousse 150ml £6.65 Buy Now
Vitamin E Superdrug Vitamin E Sugar Oil Body Scrub 300ml £4.99 Buy Now

Step 2: Ensure Skin is Smooth & Clean

To get an even, streak-free tan, preparation is nine tenths of success. Exfoliate thoroughly with a loofah to slough away any dead skin. Next, shave away any stubble so you have the perfect canvas, skipping on body moisturiser as this can create a barrier to your tanning lotion absorbing and developing. One exception to the rule is dry areas like elbows and knees where tan can over-absorb and look too dark compared to the rest of your body, so make sure to add a little moisturiser to these areas.

Step 3: Select & Apply Your B. Bronzing Mousse

Get set for a summer of endless compliments about your tan with our B. Bronzing Mousses. Available in both ‘Bronze’ and ‘Sunkissed’ colours, it’s beyond simple to use and the results are stunning!

The lightweight formulation provides a long-lasting, streak-free, transfer-resistant glow and it boasts a fresh, coconut scent. (No biscuity fake-tan smell here!)

Dispense two to three pumps of mousse onto your B. Bronzing Luxury Velvet Tanning Mitt; fold the mitt so the mouse covers it evenly and apply it in gentle sweeping motions, focusing on one section of your body at a time, up to the neck. Add more mousse to the mitt if necessary, except when it comes to your hands and feet (leave these until last). These will soak up tan more than other areas, so just use whatever residue is left on the mitt and go sparingly, taking care to smooth it well around your ankles and wrists.

Leave on for 4-6 hours depending on how deep you want your tan to develop, and rinse off in the shower.

B.Bronzing B. Bronzing Mousse Bronze Fake Tan150ml £6.65 Buy Now
B.Bronzing B. Bronzing Luxury Velvet Tanning Mitt £3.32 Buy Now

Step 4: Add Your Finishing Touches

Now you’re beautifully bronzed, what better way to enhance your tan than with some sparkling shimmer mist? The super-hydrating B. Bronzing Golden Mist is the perfect finishing touch to layer over the top of our B. Bronzing lotions and mousses. After you’ve tanned, waited and showered – simply mist this over your body and get set to sparkle!

Step 5: Don’t Forget Your Face!

When it comes to tanning your face, you need to go easy so you don’t look like you’ve been tangoed! Simply put a few drops of the B. Bronzing Golden Facial Drops into your moisturiser for a tailor-made tan for just your face and neck. A lovely, subtle glow from day one!

B.Bronzing B. Bronzing Golden Body Shimmer Mist 125ml £6.65 Buy Now
B.Bronzing B. Bronzing Face Tanning Drops Golden 30ml £6.65 Buy Now

There we have it! The B. Bronzing range by Superdrug! Go and get that glow!

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Eyebrows

Brunette girl with fluffy eyebrows holding a flower to her face

Eyebrows are like picture frames (bear with us here!), you only notice them if they’re mismatched or slightly off-kilter. But get them right and it makes all the difference; perfectly groomed brows add structure and character to the face (and the fuller the brow, the more youthful your face will look!). Here’s everything you need to know about getting perfect arches...

Eyebrow threading

Threading

This is a popular method if you want a super-sharp arch. (However, if you have a low-pain threshold, you might want to steer clear!) This technique uses a piece of thread and removes hairs in lines, including all the super-fine ones that tend to be missed when waxing or plucking. The results are slightly more precise than waxing, creating a more natural finish because your therapist will be working closely with individual hairs.

Waxing

This is both a quick way to achieve neat brows and with way less ‘ouch’ factor than threading. It can be done at home using wax or eyebrow shapers, but it’s best done professionally. Waxed brows look super-defined, with sharp, clean lines. Ideal if you have thick, coarse hair, it’s not recommended for sensitive skin types as it tugs at the skin and leaves a temporary red ring around the brows.

Superdrug Superdrug Eyebrow Wax Shapers x56 £1.99 Buy Now

Plucking

When it comes to creating a brow shape, professional waxing or threading are good options to start with, so you have a rough guide when it comes to maintaining them with tweezers. But if you’re allergic to wax or if you find threading too painful, plucking is your next best option.

To keep your brows looking groomed but natural, follow the natural arch of your brow, only plucking stray hairs that fall above or below it. If you’re plucking a monobrow, take a pencil and rest it vertically against the bridge of your nose – this is where your brow should naturally start, so don’t pluck behind the pencil! Another good tip is to alternate between each brow whilst plucking, so both brows stay even (and one isn’t thinner than the other).

Superdrug Superdrug Professional Tweezer £1.99 Buy Now

There are two different types of tweezers…

These are the most popular option. They have an angled edge, so they can easily grab any tiny stubborn hairs.

These are good for removing extra-fine or ingrown hairs. Steer clear of them if you’re a beginner though, as the sharp points can easily cut the skin if you’re not used to using them.

Defining Your Brows

Brow hairs are fragile so-and-sos and can fall out easily, so make sure you’re gentle when you come to defining them. A tip? Start half a centimetre in from where your brow begins, so you have a natural looking fade and the brow doesn’t look blocky and drawn on.

With pencil Choose a shade lighter than your natural colour and draw fine, hair-like strokes in the gaps rather than block-colouring them.

With pen This is an ideal option for thinner brows, as the light brush nib softly adds colour without tugging on those delicate brow hairs.

With gel An eyebrow gel is a quick, easy option for taming unruly or curly brows. Gels are tinted or clear and come with a little brush, which you comb through brows for instant definition.

With powder Like with a brow pen, powder is super soft and less likely to snag. Gently dust this through your brows for natural-looking definition.

NYX Professional Makeup NYX Professional Makeup Precision Brow Pencil - Blonde £9.00 Buy Now
B. Cosmetics B. Eyebrow Gel Brown £3.99 Buy Now
Revolution Pro Revolution Pro Duo Eyebrow Powder Medium Brown £4.00 Buy Now

Choosing Your Perfect Brow Shade

If you’ve got dark hair, the key to keeping your eyebrows looking natural is to go one or two shades lighter, whether it’s dyed or natural. For light hair, you do the opposite, going one or two shades darker.

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

How to Get Radiant Skin While in Lockdown

Pretty female with glowing skin, holding a flower with a yellow background

If your skin has been feeling a little bit ‘meh’ of late while we have all been staying indoors, you might be on the hunt for a new skincare routine to give your complexion a more radiant appearance.

Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant and B. ranges both feature results-driven formulas that are perfect for achieving a post-facial glow – especially seeing as beauty salon facials are definitely not an option right now! Follow the below steps to get your best complexion ever!

Pretty female with glowing skin, holding a flower with a yellow background

Cleanse Properly at Night

If you don’t get rid of all the accumulated dirt and gunk on your face before bed, it can leave skin dull and congested – and all those moisturisers and serums you put on top of it won’t absorb properly. Double cleansing with a hot cloth is the best way to get rid of every last scrap of grime. The heat from the hot cloth opens up the skin’s pores so you can thoroughly cleanse and detox your face. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser also gently exfoliates and brightens with kiwi and mulberry fruit extracts, while the nourishing cocoa butter base leaves skin feeling clean – but not dry and uncomfortable at the same time.

Naturally Radiant Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Face Cleanser 150ml £3.48 Buy Now

Give Your Skin a Dose of Vitamin D

If the grey skies and enforced time indoors mean our regular Vitamin D fix from the sun is nigh on impossible, there are ways to compensate. Vitamin D is essential where our skin is concerned, as it helps it to repair itself from the daily onslaught of stress and pollution. Top up your skin’s Vitamin D levels with B. Energised Sunshine Vitamin Shot, which strengthens and firms for an extra radiance boost.

B. Skincare B. Energised Sunshine Vitamin Shot 30ml £6.48 Buy Now
B. by Superdrug Vitamin D sunshine shot

Start Using Skin Acids

Skin acids have boomed in popularity in the last few years, due to their exceptional ability to resurface and smooth the skin at a microscopic level (think of them as working like a face scrub, but chemically). The key is to start off slowly and work your way up to using them more frequently – this is so important especially if you have sensitive skin. One of the most popular and effective acids is glycolic acid – which stars in Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic. Start of using it in the evening after cleansing, twice a week and build up to every other day. (FYI: using acids can make the skin more prone to sun damage, so make sure you apply SPF the following morning!)

Naturally Radiant Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Tonic 5% 100ml £3.48 Buy Now

Use a Proper Night Cream

When it comes to rejuvenating your skin while you sleep, it’s time to call in the big guns. Skin is more prone to dryness during the night, so your regular day moisturiser just won’t cut it. Choose something richer such as B. Radiant Night Cream, which is brimming with hyaluronic acid and shea butter to leave skin looking plumped and peachy come the morning.

B. Skincare B. Radiant Night Cream Phase 2 50ml £5.98 Buy Now
Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

How Do I Deal with Stress & Anxiety at Home?

When we are overcome with feelings of stress and anxiety, it can be all too tempting to jump back into bed and pull the duvet over our heads or to turn to something unhealthy to ease the feelings. If you have been feeling overwhelmed, super-stressed or just not yourself lately - try some of our mood boosting, stress-busting ideas to help you take back control of your day.

A purple journal with 'you got this' written on the front
Candle and cup of tea

1. Practise Self-Care

The best person to make you feel better is you. Sometimes, when it feels like your stress levels are going through the roof or anxiety is taking over, even simple tasks such as getting dressed for the day can be tricky. Following a basic self-care routine such as cleaning your face and teeth in the morning, putting on clean clothes and eating a healthy diet can help towards you adopting a more positive outlook.

2. Write it Down

Keeping a journal may sound totally 90s but jotting down your thoughts and feelings can help you identify what is causing your stress and anxiety. If you are all about the old school vibes, try putting pen to paper. Although, writing a journal on your phone or computer works just as well. Write down your thoughts from the day, any goals that you would like to achieve and start to build your own story. At a later date, you may be able to read them back and notice any patterns which were causing you to feel overwhelmed so you can avoid or eliminate these from your day-to-day.

3. Be Active

Yes, we know you’ve probably heard it 100 times already, but gentle, regular exercise is a huge mood booster - whether you enjoy it not! Exercise releases endorphins (the happy hormone) into your body and can work wonders in improving your mood. It may not make the feelings you are experiencing completely disappear, but it could drastically reduce the emotional stress you are carrying around with you.

4. Create a Comforting Space

Feeling comfortable is one of life’s little pleasures, so create a space within your home that brings you comfort and joy. This may be a cosy spot in your living room which features pictures of your loved ones, a clutter-free workspace with fresh flowers or even a bubble-filled bath with a burning scented candle in the room. Living with anxiety and stress day-to-day is not easy but identifying ways to relax can help each day feel slightly better than the last.

5. Laugh

There may be some days when the last thing you feel like doing is laughing, however laughter can really help reduce feelings of stress and flood your body with mood-boosting endorphins. If you can, listen to a funny podcast, watch a comedy, or even give a friend a call and ask them to tell you a joke!

Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

How To Cut Your Own Fringe

woman combing her own fringe before cutting it

It takes some serious confidence to cut your own hair, let alone a fringe, right? It can be even more daunting if it’s your first time doing it. But just to be clear, you have nothing to fear. With our step-by-step guide, you’ll be cutting your hairdresser out of the picture. So, whether you’re going for Parisian chic, a choppy or brow-skimming look, we’re here to help you achieve a set of bangs to rival Zooey Deschanel’s.

woman blowing her own hair

Steps to trim my fringe

Using the right tools are an absolute must to cutting banging bangs. Here’s what you’ll want:

  • A pair of hairdresser’s scissors (NEVER use kitchen scissors, unless you prefer the lawnmower look!)
  • A comb
  • Hair styling spray or oil
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • A hair straightener: to texturise your fringe after the cut. You can also use them to keep those pesky stray hairs in check
Superdrug Superdrug Hairdressers Scissors £4.99 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug Cutting Comb £0.99 Buy Now
L'Oreal Paris Elnett L'Oreal Elnett Styling Spray Heat Protect Hair Shine 170ml £5.99 Buy Now
Babyliss BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance Hair Straightener £60.00 Buy Now
woman combing her own fringe

Step 1: Part Hair

Using a comb on one half of the fringe, pull your hair downwards towards your eyebrows, diagonally. Repeat this on the other side. Et voila, your bangs are now sectioned off from the rest of your hair.

Step 2: Dampen Hair

Spritz some water directly onto your fringe from a distance. This makes sure your hair is all going in the same direction for an even cut.

woman spraying fringe with water before cutting
woman measuring length of her fringe before cutting

Step 3: Determine Hair Length

For this, you’ll want to grab your sectioned off fringe. Then, with a comb, pull your hair down using your index and middle fingers to see how much you want cut off. You can also come in at an angle if you’re feeling something less horizontal and a little more edgy.

Step 4: Cutting Your Bangs

Using your fingers, pull your hair out so that it’s level with the tip of your nose. Now use some of that fringy fortitude and begin to cut the hair beneath your fingers.

Top tip: Always take it nice and slow, cutting only a couple millimetres off at a time. You can always trim more as you go on, but there’s no way to magically recover cut hair!

woman trimming her fringe
woman trimming her fringe with scissors

Step 5: Soften Edges

Now you’ve cut your bangs to a length you’re happy with, we want to make them look a wee bit more natural. To do this, all you need to do is make a few small angled snips at the ends of your fringe. It doesn’t need to be precise because we’re going for the natural look after all.

Step 6: Styling Your New Bangs

This is where your hair straightener comes in handy. Our favourite method is to curl your bangs from their roots to the tip in an arching motion to build volume. And if you’re still not happy, use some hair styling oil to piece them out.

Young woman playing combing hair with fingers before cutting fringe
Liked this article? Share it!
Share Article

The Ultimate Guide to Nail Care

ultimate guide to nail care

If you love that fresh-out-the-salon-mani feeling, there's no reason you can't enjoy it every day. Simply arm yourself with soothing hand lotions, pretty nail polishes and some nifty filing techniques – and you can enjoy the ultimate manicure session without having to leave the house!

Female model with Orly nail polish

Get Your Nails In Good Condition

If your nails never grow past a certain length before splitting or breaking, there are ways you can turn this around. Look for a strengthening treatment that’s loaded with calcium and keratin – two ingredients that work to support the nail bed, as well as cuticle oil to protect against damage. Taking a supplement containing vitamins like biotin can also give nails the nutrient boost they need from the inside out.

How To Push Back Your Cuticles

Every time you paint your nails, take the time to push your cuticles back, too – this will keep them looking neat and can make your nails look longer.

To push them back, apply nail oil or specialist cuticle cream to the area and leave it for 5-10 minutes, to help soften them up. Using a cuticle stick, gently push the cuticles back to the base of the nail then use a cuticle clipper to get rid of any excess bits of skin.

Superdrug Superdrug Condition Cuticle Cream £2.99 Buy Now
Pushing back cuticles

The Best Way to File Your Nails

Before you file your nails, make sure any polish is removed, your hands are clean and you have a good quality nail file to hand.

Make sure your hands and nails are completely dry as they’re more prone to damage when they’re wet. Always file from the outside of the nail towards the centre, and only file in one direction otherwise you could end up tearing and break your nails. Try not to apply too much pressure as this may also cause damage.

Want the low-down on nail shapes? Read everything you need to know here: The ultimate guide to nail shapes.

Superdrug Superdrug Sapphire Nail File With Pouch Large £1.69 Buy Now
Filing your nails

How to Prep Your Nails for Polish

Once your nails are filed and you’ve chosen your colour, it’s time to prep them for polish. Find a flat surface to rest your hands on to ensure you make a steady job of it.

Start with a base coat, which is a clear polish that prevents colour stain and often includes additional ingredients to help strengthen and protect the nail. Apply the base coat in a thin layer and leave to dry fully before following with your chosen colour.

How to Apply Nail Polish

Remove any excess polish from the brush and paint a thin layer in three strokes to cover each nail: one stroke down the middle and then one on either side.

Work your way along all your nails, and don’t worry if you end up painting your skin or make a mess around your nails – this can be cleaned up afterwards. Apply a second coat of polish in the same order as for the first coat.

When your second coat is dry, finish with a top coat. This will add a high shine, prevent the colour from chipping and make sure the nail polish lasts longer.

Orly Orly Bonder Base Coat 18ml £9.59 Buy Now
Superdrug Superdrug 2in1 One Top Coat with Nail Strengthener £2.99 Buy Now

Caring for Your Hands

So you’re nails are now up to scratch, but what about your hands? Constant hand-washing will dry them out, so to help protect them, always use gloves when you’re washing up, and apply a scrub once or twice a week to exfoliate them and remove any dead skin.

You should also use moisturising hand cream regularly, especially at night so it can properly absorb while you sleep.

Liked this article? Share it!
Link to top of current page.
Link to display social media share links
Please wait...