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Skin deep

6th June 2006 |By

How to get that glow

Q. What can I do to give my eyebrow a more regular shape?

A. Start by plucking the hairs that appear above your nose, between your brows. The beginning of your brow should be even with the inside corner of your eye. Next, remove any stray hairs below your brow. Then tidy up the shape; the arch of your brow should ideally start three‐quarters of the way along. Your brow should extend beyond the outside corner of your eye and taper slightly down.

Give yourself plenty of time, don’t rush. It’s even worth waiting a day or two between each stage to ensure you get the look you want.

Q. My cuticles are constantly splitting. What can I do?

A. You need to stop them from drying out. Almond oil is a wonderful nail and cuticle conditioner. Simply work a little into the nail plate and leave for about ten minutes before rinsing off. It will leave your cuticles and nails looking and feeling wonderfully healthy.

Q. Help! I’m prone to cold sores…

A. There are a number of specialist products you can apply to your lips whenever you get that itchy, pre‐cold sore feeling. Some people also swear by rubbing a slice of lemon over your lips. But also keep an eye on your diet and lifestyle ‐‐ cold sores often flare up when your immune system is low.

Q. Should I depilate my top lip? And how do I go about it?

A. Hair on the upper lip is a fairly common problem, especially for dark‐haired women. If it is very pronounced, it may be worth your while removing it. There are a number of depilatory creams and bleaches designed for this purpose, but they contain strong chemicals that can irritate your skin. Alternatively, try waxing. In both cases it’s worth going to a salon to get the job done properly.

Q. I’d like to have a healthy glow, but don’t have the cash to go somewhere sunny. What can I do to get that golden look?

A. You’ve got three options available. Spend some time on a sun bed, invest in a self‐tanning formula or go subtle with bronzing powder.

Even though the UV rays in a sun bed are artificial, they can do just as much damage as the sun’s rays. You’ll want to be careful that you wear a SPF lotion on particularly sensitive areas.

Self tanners are a safe and reliable way to get that golden glow. There are a number of them available, so you might want to test out a few. Unless you’re an experienced user, you might want to leave the application to an expert. Most spas have a self‐tanning treatment where they’ll ensure you are suitably exfoliated, buffed and moisturised to avoid the streaky look.

If you want that lightly sun‐kissed look, a bronzing powder is the way to go. Apply it where you’d naturally be browned by the sun ‐‐ across your cheekbones, nose and brow. Avoid frosted bronzers, as they can look artificial. Stick to matte formulas and the golden girl look is yours.

Beautiful skin is a key ingredient in looking great. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked skin‐related beauty questions…

Q. I’m prone to spots, what can I do?

A. To keep spots at bay, it’s important to cleanse and moisturise your skin morning and night. Also pay attention to your diet. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, wholegrain foods such as brown rice and pasta and live natural yoghurt, and try to drink between eight to ten glasses of water per day. When you do get a break out avoid handling, squeezing or picking spots at all costs ‐‐ this will help to prevent any cross‐infection.

Q. I’ve got bags under my eyes. What can I do to reduce them?

A. Eye bags can be tricky to get rid of permanently, but this simple ‘tapping’ massage should help. With your middle finger, tap the under‐eye area lightly but swiftly, moving from the inner corner to the outer corner of your eye and back again. Start as soon as you can: just a minute a day can bring noticeable results.

Q. What can I do about my freckles?

A. You may have been railing against your freckles for years, but visible freckles project an image of youth and freshness. Instead of trying to cover them, why not make a feature of them and let them show through? Rather then wearing an orange blusher and lipstick to match your complexion, try pink tones. If you want to wear a foundation, choose one that is the same colour as your freckles.

Q. I have a tattoo on my arm and would like to wear a sleeveless dress. How can I cover it up?

A. Let concealer be your friend ‐‐ but not just any old concealer will do. You’re going to need a thick, medical concealer. Dermablend is the most popular option and is available from specialist chemists.

Ideally you’ll need three shades ‐‐ one matching your own skin tone, another one shade lighter and a third two tones lighter. Use a concealer brush to apply the matching tone on your tattoo. Be careful not to spread the makeup on surrounding skin ‐‐ and stay in the lines. Use the next lightest tone to layer and blend. Finish off with the lightest of the three and set with a powder puff.

Q. My skin is so pale I’m thinking of using a tanning cream. Are they a good idea?

A. Fake tans are a great way to give your skin a sun‐kissed glow and are often cheaper than a course of sunbed sessions. But they are not for everyone, particularly if you’re very pale (if your foundation shade is ivory), or if you have sensitive skin.

For best results, do a trial run a good couple of months before your wedding. Do a patch test the night before to check the colour. Exfoliate your skin first as you need to create a smooth surface. Spread on the thinnest layer possible so that any mistakes will not be glaring. If you want a darker colour, wait a day then do another application.

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