Your mum’s bought you your first ever set of pots and pans, you’ve finally sorted your student loan and you’ve had your last night out with your schoolmates – you’re officially on your way to university.
Your first week in university – or Freshers Week – will be filled with meeting new people, playing every single drinking game ever created and witnessing some of the most impressive feats of fancy dress you’ll see all year.
And while the most important thing is to have fun and make new friends, you should also remember to look after yourself (trust us, Freshers Flu is a real thing).
We’ve put together some of the best health and beauty tips and tricks, so that your skin can survive freshers week – from simple skincare to affordable beauty products that will have you looking gorgeous in no time at all, we’ll help you look and feel your best all week.
1. Design your party look
First things first – you’ll be going on a lot of nights out and will probably be attending lots of parties. This means cultivating a makeup look that’s as individual and exciting as you are. The Marco By Design Complete Palette contains gorgeous eyeshadows, several different highlighters and brow definer to take your look to the next level.
Add a playful colour pop to your look with this set of three pigment-rich, Matte lipsticks from NYX, made to make you stand out.
2. Sort your Hangover Makeup
9 am lectures and freshers week parties mix about as well as vodka and orange cordial (which you may have consumed the night before). If you have to be up bright and early but you’re not exactly feeling your best, the right kind of makeup is going to be your best friend.
This Sunkissed Beautiful Bronze Beauty On The Go! kit is perfect for those early mornings. The very affordable kit includes an award-winning Perfect Primer, Intense Colour lip crayon in Hot Coral and Big Lash mascara, along with 4 beautiful eye shades and a Kohl liner. You’ll look like you’ve had your full eight hours of sleep (even if you’ve only had 8 minutes).
3. Take your makeup off
Now that you have your makeup sorted, you need to remember to take it off each night (no matter how drunk you get), or you’ll be prone to breakouts and blemishes – never a good look.
Before you go out, leave a pack of Nuage Make-Up Removal Wipes With Aloe Vera on the side of your bed – they’re great for removing even the stubbornest of makeup if you’re not feeling 100%. If you have a little more time, use a gentle exfoliating wash like Witch Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash every morning and evening when you wash your face.
4. Brush Your Teeth!
If you want to lead with a smile then dental care is of the utmost importance. To make sure your smile is always looking tip-top, add a mouthwash to your routine such as the iWHITE Instant Teeth Whitening Mouthwash. The triple-action whitening technology will strengthen and remineralise your teeth, and leave them with a pearly shine. If you want to splash out then why not invest in the Cougar Ultimate Teeth Whitening Trio Set? The 30ml Post Treatment Rinse, 50ml Peppermint Extreme Whitening Gel & Bamboo Toothbrush will help to absorb plaque, reduce stains and leave your teeth with that thoroughly clean feeling.
5. Stay Hydrated
Your mum might not be around to tell you any more, but try to get your eight glasses of water every day. Bring a reusable bottle in your bag with you daily, and try and break up each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.
You should also remember to keep your skin hydrated, and some of the best moisturisers out there are the most affordable. Use Derma V10 Q10 Innovations Day Cream every morning to moisturise, tone and protect the skin against the damaging effects of everyday life. Each night, apply Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream to help restore and replenish skin throughout the night (no matter what you’ve been up to!).
6. Eat right
Try to avoid the cliché freshers’ diet of pizzas, burgers and kebabs during your first week. Now that you’re cooking for yourself, stock up on cheap vegetables from supermarkets and try to avoid heavily processed food.
If you feel like you might be missing out on some key vitamins and minerals, incorporate Nature’s Answer Calcium & Magnesium Liquid Supplement and Source Naturals Wellness Formula 45 Tablets which have been designed to aid a balanced diet to keep you looking and feeling great.
7. Smell good!
Freshers is all about making your mark and one of the best ways to do this is with the perfect perfume. During the daytime, choose a fresh and flirty scent like Nino Cerruti 1881 or Marc Jacobs Daisy Twinkle Eau de Toilette to brighten anyone’s day.
Liven things up a bit in the nighttime with exciting and daring scents. Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum Purse Spray is an exotic blend of Saffron, Coriander, Moroccan Rose, Jasmine, French Magnolia, Amber and Musk – and the perfect size to pop into your bag on a night out.
So, whether you spend your Freshers week dressed in a dragon onesie or your hottest outfit, make sure you follow our top tips to look and feel amazing all week.
When it comes to packing for a weekend break, no matter how many times you write a list, start packing 3 days before and make many mental notes, you always end up forgetting something important. Whether you are heading off for a weekend in the country or jetting away for a city break trying to remember the contents of your beauty collection can be a nightmare. So, we’re here to help! We’ve worked out a failsafe packing list that will make sure you not neglecting your beauty regime for those days away.
Now I’m not going to bang on about how important SPF is because you already know, right?! If not, we have written many articles about it here and here. When you’re travelling and walking round all day you need to make sure you have a great long-lasting SPF that will see you through. The Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion is perfect as it gives you up to 6 hours of protection, it’s also 100ml so you can take it in your hand luggage! It’s also handy to have a SPF for your face that you can just keep in your hand bag for top ups, the Ambre Solaire Dry Mist works over makeup too, so you can mist away throughout the day!
Moisturiser is essential for your skincare regime so don’t neglect it just because you’re away from home. Particularly if you’re flying, the air con on flights literally sucks any hydration out of your skin. Apply a thick layer of a super hydrating moisturiser or a night cream (they tend to be thicker in consistency) for throughout your flight. We love the Elemis Hydra-Nourish Night Cream.
3. Face Wash and Deodorant
You may be tempted to just stick to face wipes when you go away for the weekend, but they won’t do your skin any favours. Make sure you pack a good cleanser as well to keep your skin clear, clean and fresh. The REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water is perfect for travelling as it acts as a toner and micellar water too! And deodorant just goes without saying…
4. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is a must for refreshing dirty or greasy hair during your break. You can pick up lots of travel sized bottles that won’t take up too much room in your hand luggage. The Charles Worthington Style Setter Dry Shampoo adds plenty of volume and texture too!
5. Travel Size Perfume
You don’t want to be lugging around your big bottle of perfume on a trip (or be in danger of losing or breaking an expensive bottle!). So, pack a small hand bag sized version of your favourite scent. 30ml bottles are perfect for hand luggage or why not try a Pacifica Solid Perfume for layering on, our favourite is the Tahitian Gardenia.
If you like to have a bit of colour when you’re away then fake tan is a must. We all know how a genuine tan is damaging to the skin, so you’ll need a bit of something extra to give you that glow. A gradual tanner is a great option as it can double up as your body lotion too! The St Tropez Gradual Tan Body Lotion gives a gorgeous bronze colour.
7. On The Go Palettes
Trying to streamline your makeup collection can be no mean feat. When you’re heading away for a couple of nights having a couple of handy palettes will help you keep everything in one place. The Marco By Design Complete Palette contains eyeshadows, highlighters, face powder and eyebrow products so you just need to remember your brushes!
8. Hand Sanitiser
Having a hand gel or sanitiser in your handbag is always handy but when you head away on a city break they are an essential. Particularly when spending a lot of time in public places/ eating gelato by the bucket load! They’re usually super small so don’t take up hardly any precious space. Try the Anatomicals Hand Sanitiser, it’s a germ killing machine!
If you need some inspiration for amazing city breaks then check out our blog from last week… Top 8 Must See City Breaks!
For a long time the biggest concerns about make up were how long it stayed on, how much it cost, and whether your sister would try to steal it. This soon changed when people became more aware of the animal cruelty that goes into making some products, and in response, called for more products that were cruelty-free (not tested on animals) and even vegan (cruelty-free plus no animal-derived ingredients).
If you want to reduce your impact on the environment without having to give up your makeup, Fragrance Direct have a range of cruelty-free and vegan products that are easy on the eye and your conscience.
REN Clean Skincare Clarimatte Invisible Pore Detox Mask 50ml
REN is listed on PETA’s cruelty-free list so you can be safe in the knowledge that all their products are created without any animal testing.
If you’re looking for soft, clear skin, add REN’s Pore Detox Mask to your weekly skin care routine. Designed to make blackheads less visible and to minimise pore size, it’s perfect for those with oily to combination type skin.
Urban Veda Purifying Daily Facial Wash 150ml
Urban Veda has received the internationally recognised Leaping Bunny certification for their commitment to cruelty-free products. As they use all natural ingredients such as Ayurvedic cold-pressed neem oil, they’re a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Their Purifying Daily Facial Wash contains all the natural ingredients you need to cleanse and purify acne-prone skin and is an excellent way to treat blackheads and help oily skin that produces excess sebum.
Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Gift Set
YES TO is another brand that has been certified as cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. Their Ultra Hydrating Gift Set is perfect for those who suffer from dry, flaky skin. Containing ultra-hydrating wipes, a creme cleanser and an intense moisturiser, it’s been perfectly formulated to feed the skin and keep it looking soft and smooth.
A perfect gift for any skincare fanatic who also wants to keep their routine cruelty-free!
Pacifica Dreamy Cover Foundation 30ml
Pacifica is committed to sourcing their products from natural ingredients, whilst never compromising on quality.
They have a range of different makeup products available, with our particular favourite being their Dreamy Cover Foundation.
The shade-matching minerals that make their foundation so good are made without animal testing and contain ingredients that are great for your skin. With SPF 20 and a feather-light, weightless cover, you’ll quickly find this a makeup bag must have!
Lily Lolo Finishing Powder Flawless Silk 4.5g
After you’ve applied your foundation, you’ll need the right cruelty-free power to set it perfectly. Lily Lolo is certified as cruelty-free by PETA, so you can feel guilt-free when ensuring your makeup sits right. Gentle on your skin and formulated to reduce the signs of lines and wrinkles, you’ll love the natural formulation of this powder.
Natio Cosmetics Pure Mineral Redness Corrector
Natio support, and have been accredited by, Choose Cruelty-Free (a non-profit organisation that advocates for the rights of animals). Their Pure Mineral Redness Corrector is perfect for those with blemish or rosacea-prone skin and will help cover imperfections and deflect light to even out skin tone.
Pacifica Natural Lipstick 20g
Choosing vegan lipstick doesn’t mean you have to skimp on colour intensity or pigmentation. The Pacifica Natural Lipstick is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and comes in five gorgeous colours including the intense red “Firebird” and the soft pink “Tenderness”. Take a look now for a lipstick that’s as soft on your lips as it is on nature.
Prima Makeup Prima Pressed Glitter
This highly-pigmented glitter will take your makeup look to new heights of glam. Best applied over an eyeshadow primer, this glitter comes in a wide variety of different colours and can even be used over lipstick if you’re feeling brave! And, of course, it’s cruelty-free.
The above products are just a small sample of the cruelty-free and vegan makeup and skincare that we have to offer. What’s more, Fragrance Direct are always looking to expand our range. So please check back for even more great products and offers on our site.
We all know the importance of a good skincare routine – what we put on our skin to help it stay soft, blemish free and moisturised is very important. But, some of us underestimate the importance of skincare from the inside out – vitamins and supplements for the skin.
You can have the best skincare routine with the most expensive products, but if you are lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, you could be just as prone to skin breakouts as those who don’t wash their face at night. The right kinds of vitamins and supplements can help with dry skin, healthy collagen development, managing breakouts and more.
There are a variety of different skin vitamins and supplements on the market, so we’ve taken a look at five vitamins and minerals that can make a real difference to your skin.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a vital vitamin all healthy bodies need. It protects your cells, helps with wound healing and helps to maintain healthy skin.
Vitamin C is an essential part of the skins defence system, where it acts as an antioxidant to strengthen the skin’s barriers. It also helps with sun-damage and can have anti-ageing benefits.
So if you’re looking for soft, blemish free, healthy skin, you may benefit from using Vitamin C infused skincare products, such as Avalon Organics Intense Vitamin C Oil-Free Moisturiser for a day to day moisturiser, or Skin Republic Brightening Vitamin C Face Mask for a more intensive treatment.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E, which is usually applied as an oil, is an amazing penetrative treatment that soothes and softens your skin. It can help to shield it against harsh environments, and is a natural and gentle moisturiser for those suffering from very dry or damaged skin.
Check out Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Body Oil with Vitamin E or Nature’s Answer Vitamin E Liquid Supplement to help your skin improve and protect it from harsh environmental issues.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is amazing for skin cells growth and repair. It can help to destroy free radicals which are known to speed up ageing and can give your skin a ‘summer glow’ as it’s usually absorbed via sunlight. Vitamin D supplements are a great alternative for those who burn easily and choose to avoid direct sunlight but still want their skin to glow.
If the sun doesn’t agree with you but you still want to reap the benefits Vitamin D can offer, try Nature’s Answer Vitamin D3 Drops.
4. Zinc Supplements
Zinc is found in cells throughout your body and is used to fight off bacteria and viruses, so can help those who suffer from acne. It speeds up recovery, reduces inflammation, and can help with the production of new cells.
If you know you’re prone to breakouts or suffer from acne, try zinc supplements to help reduce your blemishes and help clear your skin.
5. Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements have a variety of different health benefits as collagen has many important functions in your body, such as providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. It’s basically an all-round miracle worker when it comes to skin, helping with reducing the signs of wrinkles by increasing elasticity and hydrating dry skin.
If you want to fight the signs of time, you should add collagen products to your beauty routine. Products like L’Ocean Caviar Collagen Boosting Facial Serum and will help you achieve softer, smoother, younger-looking skin.
6. Omega-3 Supplements
Omega-3 supplements don’t just help with brain function and prevent heart disease – they also regulate oil production, boost hydration, help prevent acne and even delay the signs of ageing! They are an amazing all-round supplement and can work wonders for your skin.
Check out Barlean’s Fish Omega Swirl Strawberry Banana to help improve the look and feel of your skin while looking after your brain and heart as well.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve the look and feel of your skin, you first need to understand what type of skin you have. Then, you can plan your skincare routine accordingly and pick the right vitamins and minerals for your needs.
If we’re lucky, the summer is all about spending lazy days in the sunshine. Most of us look forward to the al fresco lifestyle the warm weather brings, but just like the cold winter months, the more extreme the weather, the more pressure it puts on your skin.
Looking after your body head to toe throughout the season will make you feel and look your best. It’s all about knowing which areas to target, and what products to pick. So, here’s what we’re crushing on this year.
All over SPF protection
We can’t say it enough. SPF isn’t just for the sun, it should be a year-round fixture in your beauty cabinet to fight against damaging rays and premature aging. Extra sun exposure and bared flesh in the summer ramps up the need to slather on the SPF.
There are some gorgeous sun creams out there, with summery scents and all the UVA and UVB protection you need. Australian Gold Spray Gel SPF30+ is just one of our favourites. But don’t forget those other sensitive areas, like your lips and scalp. A dry mist like Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Dry Mist SPF 50 will help you protect your scalp. And a lush lip balm like Malibu’s Lip Care Balm MMT SPF 30 will give you a kissable pout in all weathers.
Exfoliate like a pro
Oil build-up is a common issue in the summer. Environmental factors along with added SPF applications and sweaty conditions all up the oil levels across your skin. That means only one thing – you need to up your game when it comes to exfoliation.
Pay particular attention to drier areas like elbows and knees, and make sure to exfoliate a couple of times a week. The exfoliator you choose will depend on your skin type. Go for something gentle if you have sensitive skin. An in-shower body scrub like the delicious Elemis Frangipani Salt Glow Body Scrub is our preferred way of buffing to perfection.
Hair removal that doesn’t smart
More skin on show results in extra hair removal for many. That can add another dimension of wear and tear on delicate skin unless you use the right stuff in the best way.
Remember to follow best practices for hair removal whether you choose to wax, shave or epilate. Exfoliate well between each session, but not just before you get ready to whip hair out. And moisturise well post-treatment. It’s also worth paying particular attention to calming razor bumps and ingrowing hairs. Nad’s Ingrown Hairs Treatment Ingrow Solution is one we love, with its green tea extract that soothes razor bumps and reduces the blocked pores that lead to ingrowing hairs.
Cool down and cleanse
The hotter it is outside, the more likely you’re going to fancy a cold shower. But actually, turning the temperature down in the bath or shower will actually benefit your skin in a few ways. As well and cooling you down, it will keep moisture levels up, and it can reduce body acne breakouts, another common side effect for the sweatier months. While you’re bathing, use a cleansing body wash like Cyclax’s Natural Pure Vitamin E Refreshing Bath & Shower Gel to help minimise the signs of unsightly body ache.
Get set glow
If you really want to look luminous head to toe, stock up on rich moisturisers and glow-giving body creams. This can give you a healthy, radiant look, and helps battle against the fatigue sun, shaving and heat can have on your skin.
Pay particular attention to your legs to look supermodel chic. A body butter like Derma V10’s Body Butter Coconut is a good place to start, before adding a dose of sparkle with something like Squeeky Clean’s Saint or Shimmer Lotion.
Love your hands and feet
It’s easy to forget your hands and feet with all the extra attention on hair removal, exfoliating and moisturising, but bared feet and sun exposure will affect those areas too.
Use an SPF on your hands while smoothing it across the rest of your body, and a good hand cream like Possibility’s Raspberry Pavlova Hand & Nail Cream at night. For your feet, regularly remove dead skin using a product like Finesse’s Footcare Pumice Stone and moisturise each evening with a targeted product like the magic CCS Foot Care Cream.
Faecal hair ‘ FD investigates what lies beneath the beards of the UK’s men
-Spoiler alert- it’s gross.
Take a walk down any UK street, or spend any time in any one of the many artisan coffee shops around the country and you’re sure to spot plenty of guys with beards. But what’s lurking underneath all that hair? And could any of the bacteria found there be bad for your health?
We wanted to know more so enlisted the help of the Microbiology Department at Manchester Metropolitan University to conduct a study, to reveal what kinds of bacteria the average beard contains. Research involved controlled swabbing of the beards of participants, and analysing the samples to reveal what germs beards frequently harbour ‘ spoiler alert ‘ it’s gross.
A shocking 47% of the facial hair sampled contained the microorganism ‘Enterococcus spp’, which is commonly found in the human bowel and in faecal matter. The beards that contained these bacteria were of varied lengths and styles, meaning no facial hair is safe!
The majority of participants claimed they had washed their beards with soap on the same day as the test, but results suggest these men need a little guidance in the beard hygiene department. We have compiled some top tips to keep nasty bacteria at bay:
1. Wash your hands in the bathroom!
This one seems like stating the obvious, but recent surveys have claimed around 60% of men don’t actually wash their hands after using the toilet. A quick squirt of soap, massage, and a rinse post-toilet should be top of everyone’s hygienic habits.
2. Make sure you shampoo
Everyone knows to shampoo their head hair, but beards need some attention too. Try this Ted Baker Grooming Room Beard & Hair Shampoo to thoroughly clean and cleanse your beard in the shower.
3. Condition Too
Caring for your beard is essential for its health, helping it stay fresh to keep the bacteria at bay. Try Beardsley Ultra Conditioner for Beards, for its antibiotic and astringent properties to keep your beard germ-free.
4. Brush that beard
For the lengthier beard bearers, the Proraso Moustache Comb and Beard Brush Set is perfect for ridding your beard of pesky bits of food that manage to bury themselves in your budding facial bush.
5. Care for your beard in between showers
To groom and tame that beard between washes, try this American Crew Beard Serum. It contains beneficial oils that instantly condition and keep hair soft and well-groomed, so your beard is not a habitat for unwanted germs.
Find more beard grooming essentials in the Fragrance Direct Men’s Haircare section.