There are some secrets every woman should know. Here are 50 of the best beauty tips from our readers and beauty pros.
Fabulous feet and hands
- Wear nail polish or a big ring — research has found that adorning your hands makes them look younger!
- Apply a thick layer of Vaseline to your feet at night, then put on cotton socks. When you wake up the next day, those hard heels will be soft and smooth.
- Use a buffer to bring your nails to a high shine before painting them. Polish will go on more smoothly and last longer.
- When applying your face cream, always dab a little on the back of each hand and massage in to keep them soft and smooth. Jackie Burns, Pretoria
- Smooth over each nail with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover before painting them. This removes all trace of oil from the nail and prevents air bubbles.
- Apply two or three very thin coats of nail polish rather than one thick coat that won’t adhere to the nail as well.
- When your favourite tube of hand cream seems empty, cut off a corner at the bottom and squeeze it from there — plenty more! Jane Price, Nelspruit
- If you’ve waxed your bikini line, a nappy rash cream like Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Nappy Rash Cream, will calm any irritation.
- Want to reduce scars and stretch marks? Rosehip oil can reduce the colour and appearance of both.
- ‘Citrus scents give a feeling of youthfulness, so people think you’re younger than you are,’ says fragrance expert Roja Dove.
- Apply plain yoghurt to mild sunburn — it adds moisture and cools things down. Kathryn Croft, East London
- Keep candles and bath oils in the bathroom ready for that relaxing me-time.
For gorgeous make-up
- Colour will brighten the whites of your eyes.
- I put clear mascara on my lashes before I apply black. It helps keep my lashes separated and stops the mascara from smudging. Lucy Smith, Sandton
- Hide dark circles with a peach or yellow-toned concealer. These colours neutralise the purple smudges.
- I hate using eyelash curlers, so instead I apply my mascara, heat a small teaspoon in hot water, dry it and then use the back of the spoon to gently push my lashes. Hold for a few seconds for the best curl. Sheila Miller, Westgate
- Do the lines round your eyes look worse after you’ve applied your make-up? Finish off by dabbing a tiny amount of eye cream to your eye area to keep it looking dewy and fresh.
- Make white eyeliner your secret weapon. Try running it along the inside rim of your eyes to brighten tired-looking eyes and disguise redness.
- I’m quite fair-haired and used to get my eyebrows dyed at the salon. But it costs quite a lot each time and they need to be done every four to five weeks, so now I do it myself with an eyelash tint kit by Julienne. Penny Healy, Ferndale
- Grooming your eyebrows? The narrower your face, the slimmer the outer ends of your brows should be. If you have a wider face, don’t make your brows too thin or it will emphasise the width even more.
- Make your lips look bigger by using lighter colours of gloss. They reflect the light, making your lips appear fuller and sexier!
- When I’m making up my lips, I apply lipliner and, instead of adding a lipgloss, I use Blistex. It keeps my lips super-moisturised, stays on for ages and looks gorgeous and glossy. It saves me money too! Julia Jukes, Roodepoort
- When I’ve run out of make-up remover, a cotton wool pad dipped in cold milk does the job perfectly and it’s gentle on my skin, too. Lesley Urwin, Meredale
- Keep unruly eyebrows in place by spraying hairspray onto an old, clean, dry toothbrush, then brush gently through your brows — they’ll stay put all day. Or you could try applying the tiniest slick of Vaseline for a gleaming finish.
- Prep your lips for lipstick by applying an under eye concealer first. It evens out the colour of your lips and stops the lipstick from bleeding too.
- If you’ve got fine hair and want more body, wash it every day. It won’t damage it and will stop your hair’s natural oils from travelling down the length, making it lank. If you want lots of volume for a special occasion, try John Frieda Collection Luxurious Volume Lavish Lift Root Booster. It creates lift from the roots and helps volumise individual strands to make it look thicker — and it really works!
- Want loose, natural waves for a night out? Celebrity hairstylist Richard Ward has the answer. ‘Curls always drop a lot — it’s better to over curl your hair so that by the time you go out it should look just as you want it.’
- If your hair needs some TLC, heat your deep conditioner in the microwave for 30 seconds before you apply it. The warmth will help the conditioner penetrate your hair more easily, smoothing those dry ends a treat.
- You want to colour your hair at home, but can’t find the exact shade you want. ‘Try mixing two different shade packs together,’ says expert hair colourist Anita Cox McMillan. ‘It’s a great way to add red tones to brown without it being overpowering, or to tone down a dark shade. But always stay two or three shades within your natural hair colour to avoid mistakes. Anything more drastic, leave to the experts.’
- Everyone should own a set of Velcro rollers. They make your hair look like it’s had a professional blow-dry as they give natural-looking volume. Just pop them in and blast with a dryer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then spritz with spray before removing.
- I suffer from a dry, itchy scalp when I get stressed, but massaging olive oil onto my head at night relieves itchiness and soothes flaky areas. Anne Clarke, Edenvale
- ‘Avoid product overload in your hair,’ says Richard Ward. ‘Rub the product into both your hands like hand cream until it’s nearly absorbed, then apply it to your hair.’
- Your hair only looks shiny when the cuticle lies flat. So always smooth a drop of serum onto damp hair and blow-dry with your dryer pointing down the hair shaft.
- If your highlights are growing out, change your parting. It will give your colour a new lease of life until you have time to get to your hairdresser.
- ‘When you’re applying your eye cream, always work from the inner to the outer corner of the eye, gently lifting the skin upwards. Use your index finger and a small amount of product,’ says Geraldine Howard, co-founder of a therapeutic skincare brand. ‘It helps smooth out fine lines and will drain the area of puffiness.’
- ‘It’s absolutely essential to use an SPF moisturiser all year round,’ says Catherine de Groot, co-founder of a natural skincare company. ‘Avoiding the sun’s harmful rays has to be the best anti-ageing solution for your skin.’
- After you’ve applied a face mask, cover your skin with cling film (but leave your eyes and mouth free!). It will gently warm your skin, open the pores and help the mask penetrate more deeply.
- ‘For healthy, radiant skin, use facial massage techniques in your daily regime,’ says Geraldine Howard. ‘Apply a few drops of facial oil and massage out frown lines in an upwards and outwards motion, placing the middle fingers at the bridge of your eyebrows, bringing the fingers firmly up and out. This will really help make a difference to fine lines and wrinkles.’
- Get rid of puffy eyes by popping some used tea bags in the freezer for a few minutes. When they’re chilled, cover your eyes for 10 minutes.
- Soothe an inflamed spot by applying a drop of lemon juice to it. It will remove bacteria and dry the whole area out.
- Use your facial peel or exfoliator on your upper arms as well as your face. It’s a great way to remove those little hard bumps. Sarah Slight, Durban
- For a deep cleanse, hold a warm face cloth over your face for 10 to 15 seconds. The warmth relaxes and softens the pores, so oils and dirt are more easily removed. Plus, you’ll stimulate circulation, which in turn helps activate cell renewal so that your skin can repair itself faster.
- For a natural facial peel, mash up a papaya and apply to your face. The flesh contains natural enzymes.
- ‘Change your skincare with the seasons,’ says Catherine de Groot. ‘In winter, skin can dry out so you need more nourishing products. In summer, skin tends to be oily so use cleansers to balance it.’
Be a make-up pro — Top tips from make-up artist Melissa Evans:
- Want to look younger? Use cream foundations as they blend more easily and won’t sit in lines and wrinkles. If you need heavier coverage try building up a few light layers.
- To make your eyeshadow last, you should always use a primer but, to save a few rands, try using your foundation. Put a small amount over your lids and blend well. Then apply some powder, or your eyeshadow will cling to wet areas and look uneven!
- Cream blush is a must in your make-up bag. Skintone can fade as we age and cream blush adds a really gorgeous glow to your skin.
- Think you’re too old to try smoky eyes? Never! Opt for matte shadows and flattering shades such as khaki, navy blue and soft grey. When applying your shadow, lift your brow so you can see the crease line and, to give hooded eyes an instant lift, blend the colour slightly above that crease line so you can see it when you look straight ahead in the mirror.
- Never use those terrible sponge applicators you get with your eyeshadows, they won’t distribute the eyeshadow evenly. Invest in some good brushes instead — they’re worth their weight in gold and will save you product wastage too. For best results, use synthetic brushes for cream products and goat and squirrel or sable brushes for powder ones.
- Avoid eyeshadows with too much shimmer — they can highlight creases and wrinkles.