There is nothing more stylish than looking well groomed but if your hair is thin, skin’s a little pasty and you bite your nails, it can be hard to feel glamorous.
And when you are are bombarded by images of goddesses such as Gisele Budgen, Elle Macpherson and Penelope Cruz looking effortlessly beautiful, it can feel hard to compete.
Faking it has come a long way in the last decade but when you see pictures of pop starlets and footballers wives you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was all about waist-length blonde extensions, tango tan and French polished talons.
However the Belle’s idea of faking it is to make you look like you are a natural born beauty and not for people to wonder if you have undergone a sex change!
We all want to look our best and there are a plethora of beauty treats that can help emphasis the Goddess within. The key to looking really groomed rather than really frightening is to stay as close to what nature gave you as possible. Here we show you the little tricks that can give nature a helping hand…
To fake a flawless complexion swap foundation for a tinted moisturiser that will give you a fresh-faced look without looking heavy. I am a big fan of You Rebel Tinted Moisuriser from Benefit (£21.50) which has great coverage and SPF 15, keeping you protected from the sun. Simply smooth a small blob over your face with your fingertips and all you will need is a light dusting of loose power to set.
Lash extensions are swiftly becoming a beauty favourite for celebrities and the fastest selling salon service. They offer a beauty boost whilst still looking natural and make clumpy looking mascara a thing of the past.
We like Nouveau Lashes which are applied professionally and individually so there is no need for lashings of eyeliner to disguise the strip that attaches normal false eyelashes, meaning you can have seductive eyes with no one knowing you are faking it. They last for two to three months and need to be applied by a professional who can create the look best suited to you.
If lash extensions seem a little high maintenance for you why not try RapidLash Enhancing Serum (£39.99, Boots.com). It has been clinically proven to give you 50 per cent longer looking lashed in just eight weeks. The high performance serum conditions your lashes so that they grow longer, stronger and thicker.
The art of fake tan is easily mastered and can give you a golden glow that will heighten your beauty confidence and have your friends wondering if you have just got back from the South of France.
There are many different fake tans that will give you a healthy glow without the tango. Lavera Self Tanning Shimmer Spray is 100% natural with plant and sugar based tanning ingredients together with natural shimmer particles that make for a beautiful sun kissed tan.
The most couture professional tan on the market is BeauBronz. They offer a range of personalised tans so that you go the right shade for your base colour tone and there is no horrible tell-tale smell so no-one will know that you are faking it. BeauBronz also have a full range of home products available from their website. Use a tan extending moisturiser daily to keep your tan looking luscious for longer without going patchy.
Thicker, longer hair
Hair extensions are a great way to add body to dull and lifeless hair but use them sparingly to avoid looking cheap. You need to think princess and not drag queen. When a professional puts them in listen to their advice for colour matching and have them cut them in so they blend with your hair. Only go a couple of inches longer than your natural hair with extensions or they will look fake.
I&K offers a range of human hair extensions that come in a twelve-piece set and a range of colours. As they are made with human hair you can straighten, curl them and style them just as you would your own hair.
Pre-bonded varieties of hair extension do last longer but overuse has been linked to traction alopecia where the hair is so badly damaged it falls out leaving bald patches. Luckily there are now a range of clip in varieties that look fantastic and can be put in quickly for a night out and removed once you get home.
The Jessica Simpson hairdo clip-in extensions are fabulous for adding thickness and a bit of length while looking natural and not damaging your own hair. The curled versions are easier to integrate with your hair they come in 16 colours so that they can be matched with your own natural shade. The only way I can tell my friend has hers in is that her hair is a couple of inches longer!
When you think of groomed nails think short and polished but sometimes it is hard to keep them like this when they break or the varnish chips. So a little secret is to have them silk wrapped, gel or acrylic coated. This coating protects your natural nail from splitting and knocks while ensuring the polish stays fresh. They last three weeks before you need to have them filled and then a further three weeks before they need to be removed. A word of warning though – always have them professionally removed or you will do damage to your own nails.
Ask your technician to file your nails to no longer than 5mm above your finger tops and ask for a squoval finish – squared off with slightly rounded edges. Unfortunately the classic French polish has become synonymous with WAGS so should be avoided as it is a clear giveaway to false nails and is very easy to get wrong.
Summer begs for soft neutral shades such as nude Nomad’s Dream by OPI or pale rosy pink Miss Matched by Essie or fresh summery shades like bright pink Knockout Pout (Essie) and orange Mod-ern Girl (OPI). Darker coloured nail varnishes look better on very short nails that are gently curved with brighter reds being great over summer and deeper shades like Got The Blues for Red (OPI) or Bordeaux (Essie) coming into their own for the winter months.
Over plucking your eyebrows is a sure fire way to turn your look from tasteful to trashy. The shape of your eyebrows can make such a huge difference to your look – they don’t say that your eyebrows frame your face for nothing! The best way to achieve the perfect shape for you is to turn to the ancient Indian art of threading.
Try to grow eyebrows out a bit before visiting a threading brow bar such as Blink where you can have them expertly shaped and defined. Threading uses cotton tread to pull the hair out at the root. Unlike waxing it doesn’t come into contact with the skin so is less painful and doesn’t stretch the skin, which can facilitate wrinkles. It is very precise for getting a great shape and doesn’t cause redness so you can have it done in your lunch break without returning to the office with a red forehead. Once you’ve had your brows threaded, you’ll never want to turn back!
You don’t have to go to the financial or physical extreme of going under the surgeon’s knife to boost your natural assets.
It may seem that Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has the perfect figure but even she admits to a little help. “I do believe in chicken fillets,” she said. “You do need a lift with a sexy dress, so do what you’ve got to do girls—shove them in there.”
However bra companies are making it easier for those of us less endowed and incorporating ‘chicken fillets’ into the bra – putting an end to the embarrassment of them popping out at an inconvenient moment. Ann Summers has just brought out the Instant Boob Job Bra (£22) which is filled with mini beanbag-like balls that mould to your shape for perfect fit and comfort. La Senza offers a Triple Gel Bra(£25) boosting you two-cup sizes with a mixture of foam and gel. Both bras aim to give you a natural shape, comfort and a soft believable cleavage.
You don’t need to turn to liposuction to smooth out a few lumps and bumps. Everyone from Jessica Alba and Amanda Holden to January Jones and Madonna are turning to shapewear to ensure that their curves are all in the right places.
The celebrities favourite for giving them a perfect figure is Spanx. Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow even admitted to wearing two pairs at once after the birth of her daughter Apple to regain her figure! Our favourite is the Spanx Slim Cognito, which smooths out everything from under the bust to mid thigh. It will give you the confidence to wear sleek bandage dresses without having to starve yourself for days before.
As someone once said, “pretty is something you’re born with but beautiful, that’s an equal opportunity adjective.” So become beautiful!!
by Rachel Gardner
[picture credits: Patricia Schlein/WENN.com; stock.xchng.hu; Nikki NelsonWENN; dana robinson]