1. The frizzies. This is going to sound PATHETIC but buying a professional hairdryer has changed my life! I have hair that manages to be both straight and frizzy at the same time and so porously dry that soaks up all the water and takes fooorrevvveer to dry. That was until I splashed out on a professional high-wattage Valera hairdryer. It saves me 15 minutes in the morning on hairwash days and makes my hair so much shinier and more manageable. On a recent work trip I had to take my old travel hairdryer and it was like a sparrow was blowing on my hair.. took forever and looked crap. I'm afraid next time the biggie is going to have to come with me - even if that means chucking out a pair of shoes. The only disadvantage is that I have to be more careful about drying my hair out - I always make sure I use a good serum and do a hair mask once a week.
2. Teenage breakouts in my 30s! Some people suit cream cleansers, I don't. Although they leave my skin lovely the first week in time they give me breakouts. On the other extreme I find gels and soaps can be a bit harsh and drying. My halfway house is what the beauty gurus seem to be calling 'hot cloth cleansing' - in other words using a flannel good old-fashiones style. I slather on a lightweight cream cleanser - I like Avene's Gentle Cleanser - then wipe it off with a hot damp cloth or flannel. The trick is to use a clean face-cloth every day to avoid breakouts and nasty bacterial transference. This may sound a bit extravagent, but what I have are 7 identical super-cheapy flannels from Tiger - I use the same one morning and night (turning it over) and chuck them in the wash with the 2 loads of washing we do per week at home. Skin feels lovely and clean and you get a daily exfoliation too. I'm told Liz Earle has a hot muslin cloth system that's very nice - also for more see Sali Hughes video in the Guardian - as she says, no wasteful cotton wool involved.
Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer covers the worst of them. I dab it into the shadows and also onto the upper eyelid to even out the colour. Finally I take a shimmery ivory coloured shadow and lightly dab it into the inner corners of my eyes and just a hint under the brows - really opens the eyes up. 3. Cheeks - a bit of Guerlain's Terracota bronzer follwed by a touch of pink blush - just a little to avoid ther Aunt Sally look - gives a look that's somewhere between sunkissed and rosy-cheeked healthyness. I also pop a bit of bronzer on my chin and the bridge of my nose. 4. Eyes, with a sharpened eye liner I draw a very very thin line next to my upper lashes from the outer corner to the centre of the eye and blend with a brush, depending on my mood I'll repeat for lower lids too. Mascara - 2 thin coats. 5. Lips - I line them with a pencil the same as my natural lip colour and blend in with my fingers - I then add a tinted lip balm by Korres or MAC or fill in with a pale baby pink Clarins Rouge Prodige lipstick + blot.
All this might sound a lot, but it takes only 5 ninutes and very little colour is used as less is more on a tired face - a spritz of something that smells lovely and I'm ready to face the day!