July, 2013

Jul 13

Skin’s saviour for summer: Argan Daily Moisturiser (review)

While a bit of sunshine is good for you, summer weather can play havoc with your skin. In addition to the damaging effects of the sun, there’s the problem of constantly switching between warm weather and air conditioning, which can really dry your skin out.

That’s why Douvall’s Argan Daily Moisturiser is fast becoming my skin’s saviour this summer – I’m becoming addicted to it for a number of reasons. For starters, it has an SPF of 30, which protects my face from the sun and helps fend off premature ageing.

What’s really won me over, though, is the product’s organic ingredients, which smell zesty and delicious – I would genuinely eat this moisturiser if I could! And, as Douvall’s themselves say, why put something on your face that you wouldn’t put in your body?

The moisturiser boasts a light, soft, yet slightly oily texture which feels divine when massaged into the face (there’s no gloop, gunk or stickiness). It also cleanses the skin and has a fantastic moisturising effect – it banished any dry patches I had almost immediately, and within a few hours of applying my face felt smooth and looked luminous.

Douvall's Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 30

Douvall’s Argan Daily Moisturiser comes in two sizes, 60ml and 15ml

The product comes in two sizes: a sumptuous 60ml version (£28) and a handly little 15ml bottle (£14). I prefer the latter as it means I can easily pop it in my handbag and use it whenever I need. When skin feels dry, lacklustre or slightly overcooked in the summer heat, I find that Argan Daily Moisturiser helps to cool and rehydrate it.

The history of this product is interesting as well; Argan oil is produced from the nuts of the Argan tree in the semi-deserts of Morocco (very exotic) and has been used by Moroccan women for centuries. According to www.douvalls.com: ‘In 2002, the Moroccan government helped establish female cooperatives to manufacture Argan Oil. These programs provide women of rural Morocco with a steady income, a fair wage, good working conditions, as well as literacy and other education classes.’

‘Perhaps most importantly, the co-ops give women a keen sense of empowerment in this traditionally male-dominated society. These programs also help protect the Argan forests’ limited supply of trees.’ In addition to supporting women and the environment, Argan oil contains a rich source of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and it is commonly referred to as ‘liquid gold’ or ‘The Gold of Morocco’.

Well, it certainly gets a gold star from me!

Douvall's Argan Daily Moisturiser 60ml bottle

Douvall’s Argan Daily Moisturiser 60ml bottle

Jul 13

Summer rock chick – make up tutorial

As a beauty blogger, I’m usually the one trying out makeup on other people and snapping away with my DSLR, but recently it was my turn to be on the other side of the makeup brush – and the opposite end of the camera lens.

Summer makeup

Smokey eyes will compliment any festival outfit (makeup artist: Athena Demetriou, photographer: Dakku Singh)

Athena Demetriou, 30, a trained beauty therapist with a certificate in TV and Film Make-up from The London College of Fashion, asked if I would be a model for her upcoming photoshoot, Days of Summer, shot by photographer Dakku Singh. The theme, it transpired, would be summertime – but with a rocky edge. In other words, the perfect look for festivals!

summer makeup

Makeup artist Athena working her magic!

For the photoshoot, Athena firstly made sure that my face was cleansed and moisturised. ‘This helps set the make up,’ she says. ‘I mixed two foundations – Stargazer Pure White and MAC Face and Body in nc20.’ Athena’s top tip? Always test foundation on your jawline as this area gives a true reading of your skin tone. She also pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, you should never test foundation on your hand as it won’t match your face!

Athena then transformed my eyes from subtle to smokey by mixing several colours from her MUA palette and, using a blending brush, applied the eyeshadow to my brow bones for an open, winged effect. ‘Practise feeling the bones around your eye with your fingertips,’ she advises. ‘This allows you to discover where to apply the shadow for your desired effect.’

Summertime makeup

For a biker-chic look, compliment smokey eyes with an edgy leather jacket and gold bracelet like this one by Feather & Stone (photographer: Dakku Singh)

Athena added a highlighting colour to the inner corner of my tear duct and, using a kohl black eyeliner, lined the upper lash line and smudged it slightly for an edgy, rock-chick vibe. ‘I then applied the same eyeshadow mix under the lower lash line using a smaller eyeshadow brush, and the kohl eyeliner to the waterline of the eye,’ explains Athena.

‘Using an eyelash curler, I gently curled the lashes, keeping them in the curler for about 30 seconds to ensure a decent curl, and applied Max Factor: 2000 Calories mascara to the upper and lower lashes. Two coats is sufficient for the upper lashes.’

Summer makeup

Blending and smudging are the key to achieving smokey eyes

Finally, it was time to contour the cheeks! Athena used a Bare Minerals bronzer in between the cheekbone and jawline. ‘This step really helps to define cheekbones and gives the illusion that they’re more prominent,’ she says. ‘On the apples of the cheeks, I used a rose blusher from L’oreal and used a large blending brush in circular motions to help break up any harshness and bring the colours together.’

‘For the lips, I primed them using Vaseline to help banish any dryness. As the eyes were already strong, I wanted to keep the lips soft (you should only be adventurous with bold colours if you’re going for a striking ‘editorial’ look) so I applied a nude lip colour by Barry M using an angled lip brush. Another little tip: use a gold highlighter at the cupid’s bow – the heart shaped part of the upper lip – as this helps create the illusion of fuller lips.’

‘Lastly, I used translucent powder all over the face to help set the makeup and voilà – the finished look is complete!’ Thank you to make up artist Athena Demetriou, photographer Dakku Singh and fashion PR manager, Aoife McIvor.

Summertime makeup

The clothes I’m wearing in this photo are: Borne Alice Floral playsuit and Apair Amalfi Classic boots (photographer: Dakku Singh)



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