My top ten beauty essentials...not counting make-up or products…..This list is made up of my must do treatments and routines… those that I can’t live without… those I do on a regular basis….those that make me feel and look better…. Beauty essentials…not skin deep…not always about the pretty and nothing to do with age…. My philosophy behind these essentials is simple. I believe that prevention is better than cure and I support the idea that if we look good then we will feel good. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’…… but more important than that… we must know beauty to see beauty…and to know beauty…we must be kind to ourselves.
Number 1…Exercise and Diet
Exercise and I haven’t always been the best of friends. We had a little falling out these last few years but fortunately for me we have kissed and made up. I realised that we can’t live without each other, and while it is a love/hate relationship, I have come to accept that we are better together than we are apart. Exercise is vital. In our 20’s and 30’s we can come and go, pick up where we left off, but once the 40’s and 50’s arrive it doesn’t work. Exercise makes us strong, supple and flexible and these are qualities we need to encourage as we approach our advancing years. Not to mention the circulatory, weight loss and weight maintenance benefits. There is nothing more ageing than poor posture, excess weight and sluggishness. The smoothest face in the world will still appear old if the shoulders are slouched and the movements laboured. I have made all the excuses not to exercise but the only person that suffered was me; negotiation and exercise are not a winning partnership, no pain no gain. My new exercise programme at the gym includes resistance work, cardio and stretching…. alternating with swimming or walking at home….Pilates and/or Yoga when I can….
Diets…. some work and some don’t. For me it is best to limit carbohydrates and processed sugars and focus on protein, fresh fruits and vegetables…For others they prefer a higher protein intake with little fruit and vegetable…..All diets have common ground… we must eat less and have patience…weight does not come off easily (unless you are very lucky or genetically pre-disposed) …Dieting requires dedication and sufferance…Successful and sensible dieting means rewards of self esteem and improved health. Diet and exercise work in tandem, they are meant to go together…start one and the other will take care of itself.
2 litres a day is my goal and that means not counting the coffees and teas that are dehydrating. In winter it is harder to consume as much water so herbal teas are a good alternative. Hydrating our bodies eliminates toxins, makes our skin look better, our body function more effectively and our energy levels increase. A glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon first thing in the morning is the way I start my day.
Sleep is so underrated as a beauty ‘essential’. Sleep, sufficient and refreshing, can transform our appearance. The quality of sleep is what makes the difference …. less hours of ‘deep’ sleep is so much better than more hours of ‘restless’ sleep… Those few hours before midnight and up until 6 o’clock in the morning are the most restorative of sleep times…not easy to manage….but the face and the eyes reap the rewards.
Both therapeutic and relaxing massage are important beauty ‘essentials’. Nothing ages us more than a strained face and tense body. Regular massage, especially when exercising, helps with toning, fluid retention, exfoliation and general well being. Acupuncture assists in the same way and works to promote positive ‘energies’ throughout the body but I do understand that the needles are not for everyone. Once a month I try and have an acupuncture/therapeutic massage treatment to compensate for too much flying and time spent on the computer.
A multi vitamin, the omega 3’s and a couple of cold pressed flaxseed oil are my daily dose. There are many other supplements I should and could take but any more than that and I forget.
Skincare is everything and I don’t mean expensive products and treatments…Care for the skin is paramount. Cleansing, moisturising, hydrating and protection are the key elements. Cleansing twice a day is a routine I can’t live without….protecting my face from the sun is another. I think cleansing and exfoliating are almost the most important skin care routines of all and wearing a hat in the sun is the other. Applying moisturiser day and night is essential as is a masque once a week if possible. Professional beauty treatments are a bonus but without an ‘essential’ home routine, healthy and glowing skin won’t happen.
The must have is good hair. All the wrinkles and sagging recede and lift just that little bit further if the hair is working. A regular cut and colour (if required) is the one thing I never want to live without. Experiment and find the style that suits, then maintain it vigilantly….Well groomed hair is anti-aging and confidence building.
Number 8…Eyebrows and Lashes
Well shaped eyebrows, like a great haircut, frame the face. Eyebrows provide the expression to our faces and emphasise our eyes. The threading technique used to shape brows creates a smooth finish to the brow and lasts longer than waxing or plucking. Regular eyebrow and eyelash tinting gives impact and definition around the eyes especially for those occasions when we are make-up free.
Number 9….Fingers and Toes
A manicure and pedicure are worth the effort. Just because we might not see our feet does not mean that they should be ugly and unkempt…A little like wearing attractive underwear….it is for us to know that we have fine feet at the ready…Polished toes make me feel like I am all set for the holidays…whether it’s holidays or not…groomed feet make me feel finished. Neat and elegant fingernails are more difficult to maintain …. coloured polish is so often time dependent and for special occasions..but shaping and cuticles most definitely.
Lucky last ……and this is where I need help. What is on your top ten beauty ‘essentials’ list? Is it eyelash extensions or tattooed eyeliner? Hair extensions or wigs? Dermabrasion or Laser? Botox or fillers? Tummy tuck or neck lift…eyes or face?….Do you surrender to seaweed wraps or mud baths? What can’t you live without when it comes to beauty? What am I missing? …..xv