Wednesday 30 May 2012

Beauty Through The Ages

Have you ever wondered about the beauty secrets from times past?

I have. 

We are unquestionable spoilt in this day and age with the sheer number of products that are available to us, catering to our every beauty need, want and desire.

But what did women do thousands of years ago before M.A.C, Clarins or Max Factor were invented?

Did they simply embrace the face they were born with, or even then did they hanker for more defined eyes, rouged lips and a youthful complexion?

Well, read on and in my mini beauty history lesson, you can find out!

The Egyptians

We know from everything they left behind that the ancient Egyptians loved their cosmetics.
 Egyptian women wore foundation to lighten their skin and used kohl eyeliner to widen the appearances of their eyes, men applied a powdered pigment made from mixing fat and oil and other substances, to protect their eyes from the sun and Aristocrats applied minerals to their faces to provide colour and definition to their features.

The stunning colours seen often adorning the faces of Egyptian kings and queens were from pigments which were often made out of malachite, copper ore, or lead ore, though their favourite colours being the stunning peacock-green powdered malachite and black crushed kohl. 

An ancient Egyptian make up box containing the remnants of some cosmetics
 Oils were rubbed into the skin to protect it from the scorching hot air, much like a moisturiser.

Red ochre was ground and mixed with water then applied to the lips and cheeks, painted on with a brush and henna was used to dye the fingernails yellow and orange. 


The Ancient Greeks

Cosmetics were an important part of the life and culture of the Ancient Greeks. 

Their idea of beauty was very pale skin, fair, blonde hair and natural makeup, a little odd given that the hot, Mediterranean climate they resided in tended to result in tanned skin and dark haired individuals.

Possibly a blusher or rouge pot
 However, due to the costs, only rich women used to wear makeup in Ancient Greece.

  The Greeks considered pale skin to be a sign of prestige, beauty and wealth. To lighten their complexions, women would paint their face with white lead. 


Make up pot with molded disks of white make up
Their lipsticks were a paste made with red iron oxide and ochre clays or olive oil with beeswax while their eye shadows were made with olive oil mixed with ground charcoal. 

The Romans

The Roman philosopher, Plautus, also wrote, "A woman without paint is like food without salt."

In Roman times, people were fixated on appearing healthy and youthful, something that we continue to strive for today.

 They believed pink on the cheeks to a be a sign of gold health and would use red chalk or red ochre to perfect their look, but the application process was not done by themselves. 

The world's oldest cosmetic face cream, complete with the finger marks of its last user 2,000 years ago. Found by archaeologists excavating a Roman temple on the banks of London's River Thames

Roman women used slaves to apply their cosmetics for them, making them the modern day equivalent of beauty therapists! 

The Middle Ages

The European Middle Ages followed the Greek-Roman trend for pale faces.  

 (I’d have fitted in nicely!)

Being pale was a sign of wealth as It showed people that you  didn’t have to labour outdoors.

Some sixth-century women took this to the extreme and would achieve the look by bleeding themselves.
Another popular beauty treatment of the day was the taking of long, hot baths.

By the mid-1300s, only the wealthiest could afford firewood for hot water so for those who could not afford to take hot baths, perfumes which were made from the oils of flowers combined with spices became a quick fix.

Weirdly, medieval fashion also prompted young women to pluck and shave their hairline,in order to give them a higher forehead.   

* cough* spam!

Elizabethan England

In Elizabethan England, like the Roman's, Greek's and Egyptian's before them, the 'ideal Tudor woman' had fair hair, pale skin and rouged lips and cheeks.

(I guess the desire for a tan is recent beauty development then in the grand scheme of things!)

Cosmetics were used as an indication of status and rank. It was also used to cover up scarring from the various diseases prevalent at the time such as smallpox.

Pale & Interesting but poisonous

Women applied thick, white make up made of lead to their faces and finished the look by wearing a egg whites over their faces to create a glazed look.

Women also began bleaching their hair with a substance called lye which subsequently caused their hair to fall out, making wigs a big deal.

Queen Elizabeth I was a fan both the lead make up and wigs.

The Victorians

The Victorian era saw a number of advances in cosmetics and beauty products which was ironic as though the Victorian's valued a healthy, pale and delicate look, cosmetics were a bit of a taboo as it was associated with prostitutes and actresses.

A young, natural looking Queen Victoria

A woman's hair was seen as her crowning glory, and their locks were rarely cut and sometimes supplemented with false hair.

An advert for face cream from 1884
Believe it or not, Arsenic was an extremely commonly used chemical in the Victorian era, even appearing as ingredients in beauty products.  

(see below)

So there you have it, a brief history of beauty and make up through the ages!

How times change!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

bareMinerals READY

I’ve loved bareMinerals make up and skincare ever since my mum introduced it to me a few years ago.

I love that they have such a vast product range and that their products are so pure you can sleep in them.

The only slight niggle i had was the fact that their gorgeous eye shadows were in a powder form, making it tricky and if your me, sometimes messy to apply. 

(Especially when you’re on a train. Don’t ask.)

So imagine how thrilled i was when bareMinerals launched their READY collection, comprising of stunning blushers, exquisite eye colours, fab bronzers and a compact version of their Mineral Veil. 

The Top Shelf (L-R Mixologist & Cognac)

Their eye shadows are literally to die for.

They look like powders but apply like a crème, delivering smooth, vivid, highly pigmented and long wearing colours.

The Flashback (L-R Deja Vu & Amnesia)

Better still, they contain powerful antioxidants known to deliver anti-aging benefits and are free from parabens, fillers and contain no harsh chemicals.


The Honeymoon Phase (L-R Giddy & Don't Disturb)

You can see from the photos just how incredible the eye shadows look and for £19 i think you are getting a lot of high quality product for your money. 

The two colour eye palette’s are available in 22 different combination's, cost £19 and are available from the bareMinerals website now.

Monday 28 May 2012

3 ½ Weeks Post Surgery

3 ½ Weeks Post Surgery

The most noticeable change now is the gradual retreat of the swelling. 

Every day I can feel and see a change in my body.

From Left- Right. Day Before surgery. 2 weeks after. 3 1/2 weeks after.

 Areas that had felt hard with swelling begin to feel softer and I’m no longer in any kind of pain.

From Left- Right. Day Before surgery. 2 weeks after. 3 1/2 weeks after.
I’ve still got a long way to go- they say it can take up to 6 months before your body has fully recovered and reached its final shape, so I’m in it for the long haul.

From Left- Right. Day Before surgery. 2 weeks after. 3 1/2 weeks after.

For my next post i think I’ll wait a few more weeks to see a really noticeable change.

So far so good!

Monday 21 May 2012

Beauty On The Beach

The weather men say this week looks to be the beginning of summer as we look to face warmer temperate than Greece and Turkey.

With that in mind, now seems like a good time to post my Summer Holiday Beauty Tips.

Whether you have a holiday abroad to look forward to or not, check out what’s hot this summer and how to stay glam in the sun.

My first summer post is all about beach-worthy beauty trends for summer 2012.

  •  This summer think feminine, fun and flirtatious when it comes to beauty. Luminous, fresh skin is in and matte is out. Ditch the cakey powder and opt for a tinted moisturiser or BB cream for a touch of coverage without the heavy look. 

Estee Lauder's Daywear Anti-oxidant BB Creme (£32) is perfect and offers an SPF of 35 to protect your skin from the suns harsh rays.

  •   Eyes find themselves framed by well defined brows (put your tweezers away now!) If you aren’t blessed with naturally bushy brows try using  RapidBrow (£37) for 2 months before you head off. 
 Its fortifying proteins help to stimulate peptides and its unique ingredients help to restore, condition and repair the appearance of eyebrows.

  • Pastels are big this S/S and The Body Shop have just the eye palette for you. 

Their new shimmer cube palette (£16) comes with 4 stunning lilac and pink shades guaranteed to get you noticed for all the right reasons.
  •  Bronzer is a big deal any time of the year but it’s in summer that it really comes into its own. 
 A little bronzer can work wonders to help create the illusion of sun-kissed skin but it can also help highlight and contour your own tan.  Use a matte bronzer like Benefit’s Hoola (£23.50) for a more natural, day 
look or Urban Decay’s Baked Bronzer in Gilded (£20) for a sexy night time shimmer.

  •    Make sure you are seen rocking the one shade that will reign supreme this summer. 


From fingers and toes to cheeks and lips, it is the colour of the summer yet again. 

Try Rimmel London Pro Nail Polish (£4.59) in Coral Romance for your talons or Benefit’s chachatint  (£24.50) for your cheeks.

  • Beachy hair will always be a winning summer look. Think loose, beachy waves, relaxed tresses and pretty plaits. 
 Inject some volume into your locks with a bit of backcombing and add texture with salt water spray  like  Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray (£19.50) which holds your waves all day long.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Monday 9th April- 2 Weeks On Before & After

Monday 9th April- 2 Weeks On Before & After

So, here it is, my first of many D-Day’s where i compare my body of today with my body of two weeks ago.

Only last night did i sleep without my compression garment on for the first time since my surgery, and I’m surprised to say, i actually rather missed it.

I’m to wear it for a further 2 weeks (but only for 12 hours a day now) and then i can go on to shape wear.
Anyway, i digress!

SO..... I gingerly made my way to the spare room and got back into the underwear i wore for the first set of photos 2 weeks ago.

I feel a little dismayed as they didn't feel any different on. 

Anyway, I stood there and posed in the same positions as before as my hubby snapped away.

Given how much i was repulsed by the first set of photos two weeks ago, i was nervous about looking at these new ones. What if i looked just as awful? Does the camera ever lie??


I brought up the images of me two weeks ago and me today.

I poured over them, scrutinising every detail.

And then i cried.


I looked amazing! 

From the front, my muffin top had gone down substantially, i had a more defined waist and killer curves!

From the side, i had a gorgeous curve to my back now and my tummy was far smaller!

From the back, gone was my lumpy back fat and muffin top and facing me was a smooth, curvaceous silhouette.

I was completely and utterly thrilled! 

This is only week 2! Imagine how it will look next week, and the next, when the swelling continues to subside!

(You don’t need to wonder as next week i will post before and after pics, 3 weeks on!)

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Monday 2nd April- 1 Week Post Op

Monday 2nd April- 1 Week Post Op

SO! It’s been a whole week since i underwent my vaser lipo and my current state is best described in one word.


For this reason i decided not to take a set of photos as they would not be a true reflection of the procedure or me. 

My body has undergone a traumatic operation and it needs time to heal and settle, so in one week from now i will begin to photograph the changes.

I’m back to work tomorrow after my 6 days off but other than some moderate discomfort, I’m feeling pretty O.K.

Not much has changed since a day ago, the pain continues to subside and in a week i will be taking my first proper set of before and after photos which I’m extremely excited about!

For now, I’m continuing with my daily massage after my showers to aid healing, I’m seeing Julie once a week and I’m using my Beauty Works Ultrasound massage whenever i can.
Roll on next week!

(Please note: Due to the fact that I’m aware you are all chomping at the bit to see the first set of before and after photos i will be posting these for you tomorrow so make sure you come back for the first big reveal!)
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