Teenage kicks

As the party season draws near, it’s a good time for parents to ensure that their teenagers are alcohol-savvy. The typical British teenager has their first drink at 13 and half of all 16-17 year olds drink at least once a week. Apart from risks to their health from drinking so young, getting drunk – as many teenagers do – gets them involved in fights, criminal behaviour and increases teen pregnancy risk, so it’s important to discuss drinking with your child. DoH advice is that under 15s shouldn’t drink at all and 16-17 year olds very little.

There’s plenty of tips that parents can give their teens before they go out partying to ensure they stay safe.

1. Having a meal before going out, or at least snacks between drinks.

2. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks .

3. Tell them not to mix their drinks, as it makes it harder to keep track of what they’ve had. Teach them about units of alcohol and how much is in a unit for different drinks.

4. Make sure they let you know where they are going, who with and how they are getting home.

Read my piece in Tesco Living magazine online http://www.tescoliving.com/family-and-kids/parenting/2013/october/talking-to-your-teen-about-drinking


Brush strokes

Kiko brushesA make-up artist once told me that with the right brushes, even cheap cosmetics can look really good. Obviously, you have to know how to apply them too, but a good set of brushes is a great investment.

I’ve been testing out a new set of make-up brushes by Italian company Kiko, who’ve recently opened up in the UK. There are 22 brushes in the range and they’re all hand-made and use a mixture of synthetic and natural hair. The brushes are carefully shaped to suit different types of cosmetic and areas of your face.

My favourites include the blusher/bronzer brush (Face 103, £13.90), which is specially shaped to define cheekbones; the flat foundation brush (Face 105, £14.90), which ensures even coverage; eyeshadow brush 201 (£10.90), with a slanted cut so you can blend shadows on lower and upper lid.


Build your own eye palette


Instead of having dozens of single eye shadows cluttering up my make-up drawer, I love the idea of keeping them all together in one streamlined palette. The new Eye Clics system from Kiko ticks all the boxes: sleek and professional looking, easy to get the shadows in and out and affordable too. If you’re ultra-minimalist you may only need the smallest 3-shadow palette (£3.90), but if you’re a make-up junkie like me, go for the jumbo 24-shadow palette (£15.90). It’s really easy to click the eye shadows in and out of the palette so you can change your shades with the seasons. Choose from 108 gorgeous shades (£4.90 – £6.90 each) in matte, satin, metallic or pearly finish. Available from Kiko stores or http://www.kikocosmetics.com

Lip crayon that lasts

Raspberry CoolI’m a big fan of the new lip colour crayons as they make it so easy to apply your lippy on the go – you can almost do it without a mirror they’re so fool-proof. Some I’ve tried are really more of a balm than a lipstick and the colour doesn’t last long. Models Own’s new Lip-Stix crayons give a really intense shot of colour and keep lips supple and moist all day too. My favourites are Beauty Blush and Raspberry Cool (above), perfect for summer. And at £5 each they’re a bargain too.

Available from Boots stores.

Get those legs out!

DrCeuticals_LegToneShimmer_Pair (1)If summer ever arrives, this is what I’ll be putting on my legs (as well as SPF, of course). Dr Ceuticals Leg Tone & Shimmer (£16.99) is a multi-purpose leg saviour. Not only does it moisturise your skin, but it contains marine extract which helps to firm up any wobbly bits and it contains tiny luminescent particles to give your legs a sexy glow. What it won’t do, of course, is get rid of those extra inches…

Available from Boots stores.

Moroccan miracle

got2b Oil-liciousArgan oil is popping up in lots of beauty products for hair, skin and body, and with good reason. Used for centuries by Moroccan women, the precious oil has skin-softening, hair-nourishing and anti-wrinkle benefits. The oil is extracted from kernels taken from the fruit of the Argan tree and its secret is an abundance of vitamin E and phytochemicals called saponins.

Use it on your hair and it will help restore its moisture balance, leaving it shinier and easier to manage. Apply to mid-lengths and ends of hair only to avoid greasiness. On your face, use a couple of drops alone and massage in as a facial oil, or you can mix with your usual moisturiser. On your body, massage in after a bath or shower for super-soft skin that stays hydrated all day long.

Read my feature published in the May 21 issue of Woman’s Weekly magazine – The Wonder Oil – to find out more.

No more pillow smudges

As a beauty journo I get to try a lot of eye make-up removers, and they seem to fall into two camps: either water-based, nice and gentle and non-greasy, but don’t always remove waterproof make-up perfectly, or they’re oil-based, take off your stubborn make-up but can leave your skin greasy. So you have to choose between imperfectly removed make-up or oily skin, and both can leave black smudges on your pillow.

So I tried out the new Nurture Bi-Phase eye make-up remover (£6.95, 50ml, http://www.nurtureskincare.co.uk ) without much expectation. It’s fragrance-free, which I like, and doesn’t sting your eyes. But the best thing about it is that it whisks away all your eye make-up, including waterproof eyeliner and mascara, without rubbing and it leaves not a trace of greasiness! I am impressed.