A new year is here! To celebrate, we’re switching
up our makeup and skincare routine. We’re in dire need of a little TLC after an
over-indulgent festive period, and with January sales in full swing, there’s
never been a better time to inject a little newness into the daily toil.
There are plenty of ways to update your routine,
from makeup and beauty to your overall health and wellness, so focus on what’s
going to work for you. If you already have a flawless nighttime arrangement,
why change it?
For many of us, though, there are parts of the routine
that could be just that little bit better. If you’re stuck in a rut and want to
feel happier and more radiant throughout the day, try making one of these small
changes and see how it affects you.
A good diet is one of the most important elements
of any beauty routine, though it can be easy to ignore in favour of fancy
lotions and potions. If you’ve fallen off the health wagon this winter, now’s
the time to jump back on!
Make small changes to your diet that you’re
likely to stick to. Whether it’s drinking more water each day to switching out
caffeine for healthier herbal teas, there are plenty of options that’ll have
you feeling great.
Even the most perfect skincare routines can use
an update from time to time. Refreshing your regular products helps them work
to their full potential and allows you to really understand what’s best for
Try changing your daily moisturiser
for a different formula, adding an exfoliator
into your weekly routine, or applying facial oil before bed. Only you can know
what your routine is lacking, so it’s up to you to identify any problems and
fix them. Of course, if you have your routine down and your skin is flawless as
a result, you might be better sticking with what you know.
Another way that we’re updating our skincare
routine for 2020 is by leaning more towards sustainable and organic
products. There are so many eco-friendly beauty products on the market,
with many of them making use of brilliant new natural ingredients. See what you
can find and feel good about looking good this year.
This is the place to have fun. There are so many
changes you can make to your makeup that will have a huge influence on your
look, whether it’s day-to-day or for a special occasion.
Why not test a new eyeshadow colour?
Experiment with winged
eyeliner or switch your regular black mascara for a shade
of brown. You can go natural or experiment with a bolder look. The
possibilities are endless!
Searching for more new year new me
inspiration? Keep exploring the Fragrance Direct blog for plenty of tips and
tricks that’ll have you feeling like your best self in 2020.
New year, new you? If like us you’ve overdone
it a little this Christmas, you might be jumping firmly onto the Dry January
wagon. Dry Jan is the UK’s monthlong no-alcohol challenge, which helps millions
of people get back in control of their health after the heavy festive period.
Taking a break from alcohol, partying, and
unhealthy eating is a great way to get your physical and mental health back to
its best for the new year ahead. If you’re joining in with Dry Jan this month,
good for you!
What does Dry January involve?
For most people, Dry January means giving up
alcohol for 31 days, from New Years Day until the end of the month. However,
there aren’t any strict rules when it comes to taking on the challenge.
You might choose to quit alcohol, smoking,
unhealthy eating or other bad habits to kick start the year. Anything is better
than nothing, and whether you’ll be saying no to a drink or skipping parties altogether,
Dry January can be a great way to get in control of your habits for the new
How can Dry January help?
The results can vary from person to person,
depending on how much alcohol you usually consume and how healthy you are. Many
people enjoy benefits like better sleep quality, weight loss, and even better
skin when they cut out the alcohol and focus on healthy habits.
- Improved health overall
Excessive or binge drinking can cause serious
health problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol. When you cut out
alcohol, you do plenty of good for your body, including improving your overall
health and reducing the likelihood of complications in the future.
Though alcohol can make falling asleep easier,
having a drink can harm the quality of your sleep. Whether you’ve had a little
or a lot, alcohol can interfere with your sleep regulation and reduce the
amount of REM sleep you get. This means you’re more likely to wake up feeling
groggy and unrested even after a full night’s sleep.
As well as improving the quality of your sleep,
removing alcohol from your routine can mean more cosy nights relaxing on the
sofa. When you skip the nights out and go to bed on time, you’re more likely to
get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling energised in the morning.
- Strengthened immune system
Giving up alcohol for January can give your
immune system a much-needed boost, helping you fight off any new year colds
that might be going around.
If you’re in good shape and usually lead a
healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t expect to lose any more weight throughout your
Dry Jan, though you’ll be healthier inside.
However, if you’ve been drinking excessively for
some time and you have a little weight to lose, cutting out alcohol for a month
can be a great way to shake off a few pounds.
While spirits are mostly low in calories, sugary
mixers, wine, and beer are packed with them. If these are your drinks of
choice, cutting them out will also mean cutting down calories. Alcohol can
cause bloating, too, which means you might find yourself feeling a little
slimmer after just a couple of weeks sober.
Of course, if you’re looking to lose serious
weight, you’ll need to ensure you’re eating a good diet as well as cutting out
Easy! Whether you’re staying home or opting for
soft drinks, Dry January is a great way to save a little money in the new year.
Non-alcoholic options are always cheaper than their boozy counterparts, while
drinks like lime or blackcurrant and soda are sometimes free.
Save the money you’d usually spend in bars or on
supermarket booze or find somewhere more productive to spend it. Why not count
the amount you’re saving? Putting aside just £50 each weekend throughout Dry
January means you’ll have £200 saved by the end of the month. That’s enough to
cover a gym membership with plenty to spare.
This is the benefit that’s really enticing to
us. Anything for more radiant skin, right? Cutting out alcohol can help improve
your skin’s hydration, tone, and elasticity.
What does alcohol do to the skin?
When you drink alcohol of any kind, the drug
metabolises into a compound which makes blood vessels relax. This is what
causes that tell-tale red flush and puffiness that often comes along after a
few drinks – no thank you.
As well as affecting your skin’s tone, alcohol
is super-dehydrating. When you drink, you’ll find yourself visiting the toilet
more often than usual, which means losing water quickly. When you’re dehydrated
your skin suffers, with fine lines and wrinkles appearing more visible too.
Need more? Alcohol also reduces your vitamin A
levels. Less of the collagen-producing antioxidant can be a nightmare when it
comes to your skin’s appearance. Collagen is one of our skin’s most important
proteins, and when it lacks, skin can appear weak and dull.
Finally, sugar. If your drinks of choice include
fruity cocktails and sweet white wine, you’re sure to be consuming an excess of
sugar every time you indulge. It’s no secret that sugar is bad for our health,
but did you know that the sweet stuff can also lead to breakouts?
Can Dry January make a difference to the skin?
Yes! Your skin takes around 28 days to renew
itself. That’s just less than the 31 days of Dry January, which means taking
the pledge will give your skin enough time to reap the benefits.
Taking a month off from alcohol allows you to
experience your skin at its best, which might encourage you to say no to a
drink a little more often in the future. After a month alcohol-free, your skin
should feel more hydrated, plumper, and more even in tone.
How to have fun in Dry January
Saying no to the alcohol doesn’t mean saying no
to the fun. Many people even find that their mood is improved after a break
from the booze. Whether you’re regularly stressing about money or you suffer
from the dreaded hangover anxiety, there are plenty of ways Dry January can
help improve your mood.
Save the money you might have spent on drinks
and plan a day out with some friends or family. You can still join in on
dinners and drinking events throughout your Dry Jan, just opt for a freshly
squeezed lime and soda or lemon water to replace your G&T perfectly.
Enhancing your skincare routine
If you’re diving into Dry Jan and expecting to
see results on your skin, why not give yourself a boost by switching up your
Introducing a new moisturiser
cream into your daily rotation can perk up your skin after the heavy
Christmas period. Combined with a Dry January, adding a new product to your
skincare routine is a great way to see results.
Our favourite post-festive tradition involves
taking a little of the money saved in Dry Jan and splashing out on a new luxury
skincare product. This year? We’re going for Elizabeth
Arden’s iconic Eight Hour Cream and Dermalogica’s
nourishing Special Cleansing Gel.
Searching for more inspiration? Keep
exploring the Fragrance Direct blog for plenty of tips and tricks that’ll have
you feeling like your best self in 2020.
Choosing the best skincare
products can be tough. With so many tried-and-tested options
available and brilliant brands emerging year after year, knowing which
ingredients and formulas will work for you can be tricky. If you have sensitive
skin or an allergy, the problem becomes even more difficult to avoid.
Well, we’re here for you, no matter what your
skincare needs. In this guide, we’ll run through some of the biggest sensitive
skin and skincare allergy questions, help you search for solutions, and
recommend some of our favourite products to keep allergy-prone skin healthy.
Identifying sensitive or allergy-prone skin
One of the most important elements of skincare
is being able to understand your unique needs. Every face is different, and
whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, you might suffer from
allergies and sensitivities to some ingredients.
If you break out in an itchy or red rash after
using a cosmetic, it’s a clear sign of an allergic reaction or irritation.
Unfortunately, symptoms aren’t always quite so
easy to spot. Some allergies can lead to dryness, flakiness, bumps, and an
uneven skin tone. Reactions like these are often dismissed because, for some
people, they seem like an unavoidable problem. Before you start searching for more
products to combat your skin issues, consider allergies. If you’re allergic
to some skincare, the key will be removing or replacing steps from your
The types of skin reaction
There are a few different ways to talk about skin
allergies and reactions. For example, dermatitis is the term used to
describe red, itchy, patchy rashes or skin irritations.
Contact dermatitis is the type of dermatitis caused by something that touches the
skin. If you’re allergic to your haircare, deodorant, skincare, or makeup, you
might break out in contact dermatitis of some kind.
Most cases of contact dermatitis are irritant contact dermatitis, which
means that they’re caused by something you’ve touched but don’t involve the
immune system. These reactions are only present on the skin.
Finally, allergic contact dermatitis is a
true allergy to something. If you have allergic contact dermatitis and your
skin comes into contact with a trigger, your reaction will usually be more
severe and last for up to a couple of days.
What does a skincare allergy look like?
If you’re suffering from contact dermatitis,
your symptoms might include:
- Raised bumps
- Itchy skin
- Small blisters
None of these symptoms sound like things you
want to deal with on your face, or anywhere else on your body for that matter.
That’s why recognising the signs of a skincare allergy or intolerance can be so
helpful. The sooner you spot the symptoms, the sooner you can get to the bottom
of what’s causing them.
Why am I allergic to skincare and beauty products?
Contact dermatitis is more likely to affect your
face than on another part of your body because the skin there, particularly
around your eyes, is thinner and more sensitive.
If you’re allergic or intolerant to some
skincare, there isn’t a lot you can do. Thankfully, there are plenty more fish in
the sea (in our case, products on the shelves), which means switching up your
routine shouldn’t be too tricky.
Can I become allergic to products I’ve always used?
Yes. Irritant contact dermatitis, the type that
doesn’t affect the immune system, can develop over time. This is because, if
you’re using a skincare or makeup product every day, your skin can become
overexposed to it. Applying a substance to your skin every day can wear down
its ideal state and cause a reaction over time.
That’s why it can be a good idea to change your
skincare and makeup routine occasionally. If you use harsh products on your
face, like a cleanser or exfoliator that leaves your skin feeling clean and
tight, it can be a good idea to switch these products for gentler alternatives
for a while. You can always go back to them, but giving your skin a break might
just help you avoid a reaction.
Which beauty products might I be allergic to?
Everyone’s skin is different, which means it’s
impossible for us to tell you which ingredients and products you’re allergic
to. However, some ingredients are more likely to cause a reaction than others.
A lot of people are allergic to fragrances,
which can be found in skincare and haircare products. There are plenty of
fragrance-free options available to combat this problem, so give them a go if
you think you have an intolerance. Fragrance-free products are usually best for
sensitive skin, whether an allergy is present or not.
Some preservatives can also cause contact
dermatitis, though unfortunately they’re needed in most skincare and beauty
Finally, colourants. People who are allergic to
colourants in food are also likely to be allergic to them in cosmetics.
Can I be allergic to natural beauty products?
Yes. Natural ingredients can cause contact
dermatitis just like artificial ones. Just like we can be allergic to natural
things like pollen, nuts, and fruits, we can be allergic to natural ingredients
in skincare and cosmetics.
Essential oils are frequent offenders, with many
people experiencing skin reactions to products which contain them, especially
in high concentrations.
So, if you’re having a reaction to a cosmetic
product, don’t dismiss your natural or organic products straight away!
Figuring out which products you’re allergic to
This can be tricky. If you’ve noticed an
immediate reaction to a new product, you’ll be able to remove it from your
routine without any difficulty. However, if you’ve started experiencing mild
symptoms and you aren’t using any new products, you’ll need to put in some work
to figure out what’s causing dermatitis.
Try removing products one at a time to see if
symptoms improve. It can take a couple of weeks to see a difference, so you’ll
need to be patient to get to the bottom of it.
If your symptoms are severe or won’t go away, it
can be a good idea to visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist can perform a
patch test to tell you which ingredients you’re allergic to.
Caring for skin after a reaction
If you do have a reaction, you’ll need to care
for your skin properly to help it heal as quickly as possible. Most contact
dermatitis will go away on its own, as long as you stop using the product
that’s caused it, but there are some things you can do to help the process
- Treat the affected area gently
- Don’t scrub or scratch
- No perfumed soaps or lotions
- Apply a thin layer of Vaseline
or soothing ointment
With the right treatment and time to recover,
your skin should go back to its normal healthy state in no time.
The best hypoallergenic makeup and skincare
If you’re looking for new products to avoid
contact dermatitis, these gentle and hypoallergenic options are a good place to
Gentle soaps and cleansers
for more skincare and beauty tips? Keep exploring our blog for all the latest
in skincare, makeup, beauty, and fragrance.
Every January marks the occasion of a new year and new
goals. What resolutions have you already set for yourself? No matter how big or
small, progress is progress and if you pair determination with passion you’re
bound to achieve them in no time. So, you’ve had a little think about it but have
you given any attention to the beauty department? Today, we’re pledging (with
you) to stand by the following New Year’s Beauty Resolutions to start the decade
living our best glamourous lives.
I will… learn more about ethical brands
A new year calls for a fresh focus on something new. When it comes to ethics in fashion and beauty, many of sustainable brands are often overlooked because not many people know much about the topic. Which, to be honest, is a little bit scary when you think about all the products you could potentially be using that have been tested on animals or may even contain animal products and you don’t even know it. It’s always a challenge to steer away from some of your favourite beauty products, but 2020 is not only a new year, it marks the start of a new decade. Make a change today!
January’s Brand Of The Month who kick-started 2020 is Love Beauty & Planet who are an incredible sustainability-led hair and skincare brand who create products with amazing cruelty-free and vegan formulas. In addition to this, their products are packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles and jars, helping you to give a little bit of love back to the planet. They believe in the power of small acts of love to make both you and the planet more beautiful every day with phenomenal,ethically sourced ingredients. You can shop the range here at Fragrance Direct where you’ll also be able to take advantage of unbelievable discounts.
I will… invest in a skincare routine
We’ve all said it before but how many times last year did you get back in from an evening out and “accidentally” sleep in your makeup? If not to that extreme, there have most likely been a few occasions where you’ve gone to apply your mascara in the morning and noticed the brush doesn’t glide through as effortlessly because you’ve still got traces of yesterday’s on. Completely removing all traces of makeup isn’t difficult when you have an array of cleansing and hydrating skincare products to choose from.
I will… regularly clean my makeup brushes
Speaking of wanting to improve and take better care of our skin, the brushes and sponges we use to apply our makeup every day are just as important to look after. This is not only to keep them in good condition for optimal makeup results, it’s to keep them clean. All you need is a brush cleaner and a surface to lightly scrub them against (we’ve got trays too) and you’ll be good to go. A useful tip for whenever you run out or are waiting to stock up on supplies, a pea-sized amount of washing up liquid will do just the trick.
I will… be kinder to myself because I deserve it
Self-care is a topic we, as a society, are becoming more
and more open to talking about especially regarding mental health and its surrounding
topics. Implementing self-care practices is easy enough to do, it’s just about setting
aside some time to relax and take a break. One of the best ways to inject feel-good
vibes into your weekly routine is to indulge in a pamper session. Bath &
Body goodness is just waiting around the corner!
I will… aim to get more sleep each night
Beauty sleep is a thing. It’s actually defined as a night’s sleep filled with extra resting time aka the hours gained by catching z’s before midnight hits. So many of us are guilty of endlessly scrolling through our phones while in bed and it’s not that good for us. Instead, this year, why not light a candle and start that book you’ve been waiting to read or simply keep technology time downstairs before taking yourself up to bed. You should find that it makes a big difference. To take things up a notch, why not try out a sleeping spray too?
Which of these resolutions will you be making for yourself? Be sure to tag us your progress @fragrancedirect on social!
Into luxury makeup and skincare without the
luxury price tag? We understand. It’s not always easy staying up to date with
the latest products, particularly when some of those cult favourites seem to
cost the earth. Luckily for beauty fanatics
everywhere, there are loads of brands out there producing products that match
up to their high-end counterparts, without the hefty price.
While we’d love to use the very best makeup and
most beautifully packaged skincare, that kind of spending isn’t always
realistic. We loveour luxury products and wouldn’t trade those special
treats for anything, but when it comes to stocking up on everyday essentials,
there are plenty of alternatives that do the trick just as well.
Here are some of our favourite luxury makeup and
skincare dupes. Spread the word!
Best Beauty blender dupes
We know you’ve heard of the Beautyblender, the
little sponge that blends makeup to a soft, dreamy finish. Once you switch your
traditional makeup brushes for one of these little beauties, you won’t be able
to go back.
The original Beautyblender is a fantastic tool, but
if you don’t want to pay £17 for the original brand sponge, we get it.
Enter Real Techniques! Our forever-favourite
makeup tools brand has made a dupe of the original Beautyblender for a fraction
of the price, so you can enjoy all the glory with plenty of cash left over to
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge costs less than a fiver. How can
Other Beautyblender alternatives include our Fragrance
Direct Beauty Blending Sponge, Technic
Foundation Sponge, and W7
Power Puff Egg Shape Face Blender Sponge.
Best MAC makeup dupes
When it comes to makeup, MAC tops our list time
and time again. Their concealers and foundations have staying power like no
other, and their range of matt and sheer lipsticks come in all the colours
under the sun. Throw in super-sleek packaging and a price tag to match, and
you’ve got yourself a luxury makeup brand.
If you’re tired of spending your hard-earned
cash on MAC’s inarguably fab products, try one of these dupes for the same
results at a fraction of the cost.
Swap MAC Studio Fix Fluid for Revlon
Colorstay 24H Skin Pump
Swap MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer for NYX
Swap MAC Matte Lipstick for NYX
Velvet Matte Lipstick
Luxury skincare dupes
Skincare is where this gets tricky. You aren’t
just looking for a colour and texture that matches the high-end stuff, but
you’re after a product that treats your skin well and leaves you feeling great.
Luckily, there are products available that can do it all without breaking the
Swap Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel for AA
Skincare Lavender & Tea Tree Cleansing Face Gel
Swap Clarins Super Restorative Day Cream for
Organics Vitamin C Renewal Facial Cream
Swap Avant Skincare Advanced Bio Radiance
Concentrate Serum for Balance
Vitamin C Power Serum
These products really are the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to makeup and skincare dupes. There’s no shame in accepting your
budget, and swapping your Chanel, and Charlotte Tilbury for brands like Rimmel, W7, and Maybelline can leave
you with money left over to spend on other things. What’s not to love?
for more skincare and beauty tips? Keep exploring our blog for all the latest
in skincare, makeup, beauty, and fragrance.
Will you be ending this year with a bang? Whether you’ve
got a party to go to with friends or a cosy family gathering, this New Year’s
Eve Makeup Checklist will have you covered in the beauty department to create a
stunning look no matter how bold you’re aiming to go. What’s better is you’ll
find every product on our site for some of the best prices around! Take a look…
by SJ Endless Summer Illuminating Bronzing Powder
If you’re all about getting that glow for NYE, this bronzing
powder is perfect for layering underneath a highlighter. Simply dust and glow.
It’s a tanning must-have if you’re going for that sun-kissed look all year round.
If you’ve never tried a shimmery bronzer before, prepare to be amazed.
Dual Intensity Blush
Formulated with Translucent Prismatic Technology, this dual
intensity blush has a silky texture with a wet-dry formula that is made to be
applied to a dampened brush for optimal glow. If you couldn’t tell already, the
general theme for NYE makeup here at Fragrance Direct is radiance in every
PRO Pyjama Party Eyeshadow Palette
Presenting a mixture of plush pink hues, dreamy
chocolates and pigmented packed pressed metallics. This palette is sure to
impress and make you the life of the party. This stunning palette is filled
with luscious colours to recreate stunning warm-toned looks with an extra touch
by SJ Hot Fire Eyeshadow Palette
If you’re into your burnt oranges and shimmery golds, this
hot fire eyeshadow palette is definitely one to try. The palette features 16
newly formulated matte and shimmer shades with intense pigmentation that are all
super easy to apply and below.
by SJ Eye Voltage Brow Kit
Not forgetting the brows, this amazing kit is perfect for
achieving the real golden arches. This trio features a brow pomade and powder
compact to fill and define brows along with a dual-ended brow brush to apply product
and a clear brow gel to shape and set the hairs. The great thing about kits like
these with multiple products is you can try out new things and use as much or
as little as you want.
Beauty Lip Contour Set Vixen
If you’re into your liquid lipsticks, the likelihood is,
is that you’re already well aware of all things Huda Beauty. Featuring a full-size
version of Huda’s multi-tasking-liner-meets-lipstick plus two of the brand’s liquid
lacquers, this lip contour set is perfect for creating a gorgeous long-lasting
If you’re a bigger fan of a traditional formula lipstick,
NARS is a great brand to try. Their audacious lipstick is available in multiple
colourways at Fragrance Direct with powerful, single-stroke coverage that glides
on like satin.
Made To Last Lip Duo
Power up your pout with the PUPA Made To Last Waterproof
Lip Duo, a double-ended lip colour with serious shine-enhancing properties.
This is a great product if you’re off out and have minimal space in your clutch
when it comes to makeup touch-ups.
What products will you be trying out to create your New
Year’s Look of 2019 to send the year out with a bang? Be sure to tag us
@fragrancedirect on Instagram to show off any of your purchases!