Pregnancy Beauty Essentials

Pregnancy Beauty Essentials

If you’re expecting a baby, it can be an exciting time! As the mum-to-be, it can also throw things you’ve previously taken for granted into question. From the food you eat to the beauty products you use, pregnancy can feel like a walk in unchartered territory.

In actual fact, your beauty regime is one area of your life that’s worth revisiting when you’re expecting. For one, your skin often changes during pregnancy. You may find new areas of sensitivity, or you may decide to avoid certain ingredients. One example is parabens. Many pregnant women choose natural beauty products for their own peace of mind during this special time. Regardless of your choice, here are a few little tweaks that will pay off as your pregnancy progresses.

Taking care of your bump

Your growing bump will require some TLC if you want to avoid stretch marks. Moisturising daily post-bath or shower is the best way to keep your skin supple as it slowly stretches to accommodate your lovely baby.

Favourite tried and tested products include Bio Oil‘s Treatment with Purcellin Oil, made to soothe sensitive skin and nourish. Alternatively, a rich body butter can be a brilliant way of adding essential moisture around your bump area. We especially like Pacifica‘s deep nourishing Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter.

Bath Oils

Health professionals are keen to note that hot baths are a big no-no in pregnancy. But as long as you keep the water temperature comfortably warm, at around blood heat, you can get a lot of relief from soaking your limbs before you get ready for bed.

Adding your favourite bath oil can add to the relaxation experience, but just be extra careful with slippery surfaces as you get in and out of the tub. Try indulgent products like E45‘s Emollient Bath Oil. Finishing with a natural body scrub like Elemis’s Frangipani Salt Glow Body Scrub will leave you feeling utterly revived.

Refreshing leg gels

One thing’s for sure, as you get bigger, your legs and hips will feel achy and tired. It’s a natural side effect of that added weight you’re carrying around, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence.

To give you a bit of relief, smother on products like Yves Rocher‘s Light Legs Fresh Gel at the end of the day. Or, Guinot’s Gel Jambes Legeres Soothing Gel For Legs. Gels like this are designed to re-energise and cool your skin, which is just what you need before you climb into bed.

Refreshed skincare

Although everyone’s heard of the ‘pregnancy glow’, not many people are aware of the skin complaints that can come hand-in-hand with pregnancy. These can include increased sensitivity, dryness, redness and acne.

As scary as this might sound, there are some gorgeous products designed to soothe issues like these. If you want to go down the natural route, you can select vegan and healthy-living products too. Some of our favourite products from brands like this include Yves Rocher’s Purifying Cleansing Gel for its non-greasy, non-drying formula, and Natio’s Daily Protection Face Moisturiser with SPF15.

The Ultimate Makeup Inspiration

The Ultimate Makeup Inspiration

Fragrance Direct are bringing you the ultimate in makeup inspiration. Discover timeless looks for eyes, skin and lips that you’ll love. Perfect these techniques and you’ll never need to worry about your makeup again.

We love scouring Instagram for all the best makeup inspiration posts, there’s so many different looks, tips and tricks to see! We thought we’d put together a little post on some of our favourite makeup inspo, from eye looks, to the best dewy bases and perfect pouts! So, you can keep checking back when you’re feeling stuck in a rut or need some makeup ideas for a special night out.

We’re going to start at the beginning with the base’

We’re going to start at the beginning with the base’

There’s a few different products that contribute to your base makeup to make it look sculpted, defined and flawless.

First up you’ve got primer, do not skip this step ever! A good primer will help give you the perfect canvas to work off. Whether you’ve got oily, dry or combination skin, finding the right primer will help keep your makeup looking perfect throughout the day.

Next up is foundation. A crucial step for most people but there are so many variations, formulas and brands out there for you to choose from. Pick a base that gives you the finish you prefer choosing from matte, dewy, satin and mineral.

Bronzer, contour products, blush and highlighter are all base additions to enhance your features. Choose a bronzer to give you that sun-kissed glow, a pop of blush to give you that fresh awake look, contour to define and sculpt the features and adding a touch of highlighter will give you a gorgeous glowing from within look.

Base Makeup Inspo

Not sure what direction to take for your base, then check out some of these gorgeous flawless skin base ideas.

1. Full Coverage ‘ if you want to go for a full coverage base then there’s a few different products you need to include to give you that flawless finish. Full coverage is great for a night out as it helps you look super glam but is also more likely to stand up throughout the dancing, sweating in a club scenario.
Start with a long-wear primer to give you a good base to work from, something like the Max Factor Face Finity All Day Primer will do the trick.
Next up you need a full coverage liquid foundation. We love the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation.
Apply your base products with a dry sponge, this way you’ll get a full coverage finish as the sponge won’t soak up any of your product but also distribute it evenly over the skin. The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is the perfect tool for the job.

2. Dewy Skin ‘ if you want to create a gorgeous, fresh dewy skin look then you need to start out with good skincare.
Apply a super hydrating moisturiser before you start on your makeup to give your skin to plump and hydrate. Try the Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydragel Cream.
Next up if you have dry skin, apply a facial oil. If you get quite oily throughout the day anyway you can skip this step. We love the Oilixia Amazonian Cacay Facial Oil.
Don’t forget your primer! Choose a primer that is hydrating and illuminating. We recommend the W7 Prime Magic Anti Fatigue Brightening Face Primer.
Finally choose your foundation with care, you want to look for words like illuminating, glowing, dewy or healthy as they often mean they won’t look matte or flat on the skin. The best dewy finish foundation for us is the Bourjois Healthy Mix 16H Foundation.

Eye Makeup Inspo

Your eye makeup can really make a difference to your whole look, a super blended out shadow can give you gorgeous smouldering eyes in an instant. Check out our two favourite eye makeup looks if you need to ideas.

1. Bronze Smokey Eye ‘ you can’t go wrong with a classic bronze smokey eye, they look super sexy on everyone. Try to find an eyeshadow palette with lots of warm toned browns, golds, mahogany and cranberry colours. We love the Bellapierre Cosmetics 12 Colour Pro Natural Eye Palette.
Invest in some good eyeshadow brushes, there’s nothing worse than brushes that don’t apply the product well or allow to blend. When it comes to a smokey eye the magic work is blend blend blend! LaRoc do a great brush set that includes face brushes as well as plenty of good quality eyeshadow brushes too!
To finish off your smokey eye add lashings of mascara and a liner in the water line. Top tip is to use a brown eyeliner pencil instead of black, it will make the whole look less harsh and sexier! Try the Maybelline Volume Express Colossal Mascara and the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Brown 003.

2. Winged Liner ‘ the perfect winged liner can be difficult to perfect but once you’ve got it down it’s the most sophisticated eye makeup look. It just takes plenty of practise, you’re not going to get it right the first time but keep trying! Try to find an eyeliner with a super fine tip, the felt tip style liner as the easiest to use. We love the Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Liner.
Keep the rest of your eye makeup pretty simple with a bone coloured shadow on the lid and plenty of mascara on the upper lashes.

Lipstick Ideas

1. Bold lip ‘ if you want to make a statement with your makeup then a bold lip is the way to go! You can’t go wrong with a gorgeous bold red lip or a deep berry. There’s a couple of tips to help you apply a bold lip colour as it can be a disaster if it smudges.
First up, make sure you use a lip liner that is the same or similar colour to the lipstick you’re going to apply. This stops the lipstick from bleeding at the edges and keep it looking sharp. A lip liner will also help the lipstick last as long as possible. We love the W7 Lip Twister Lip Liner, they have plenty of colours available too!
If you really want some staying power, then choose a ‘matte’ finish lipstick. They don’t budge! The MAC Matte Lipsticks are amazing!

2. Gloss ‘ Glossy lips are super on trend at the moment and they make you makeup look fresh, flirty and youthful. We love a clear gloss on top of your normal lipstick to give it an on trend update or just pop it straight onto your lips for a no makeup makeup look. Our favourite lip gloss is Maybelline Baby Lips Lipgloss!

Thank you for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Come and take a look at the incredible fragrance and beauty brands we stock!

How To Make Your Makeup Last All Day

How To Make Your Makeup Last All Day

We’ve all been there. The heat turns up a few notches and you suffer from the dreaded makeup slide. Whether you have a long day ahead or a big night planned, it’s good to know there are some clever tricks to increase the staying power of your makeup. It all comes down to three simple rules: preparation, the right products, and a finishing touch. Here’s how:

Don’t skip the moisturiser

Jump ahead to the next couple of stages on our cheat sheet here, and you’ll see primer and foundation. Quick note ‘ applying either of these fab fixes doesn’t mean you should skip the moisturiser. Ever!

A good moisturiser will stop makeup collecting in fine lines, giving you a smooth surface to work from. It’s also good for your skin, and anything that’s good for your skin is good for you! The summer calls for a different kind of moisturiser to pep up your look. Go for something lightweight regardless of your skin type, like Olay’s Complete Lightweight Day Fluid for Normal/Oily Skin to reduce oil build-up.

Remember SPF

After moisturising, always add an SPF, especially if you’re outside during the day. Even if your face cream has SPF in it, beauty experts will recommend adding a layer of SPF sun cream to up the ante and reduce the harmful effects of the sun.

A specially formulated cream for your face like Nivea’s Sun Protect & Bronze Face Cream SPF 50 will boost moisture levels and keep you safe in the sun.

Prime for a polished look

There are many good reasons to add a primer to your skincare regime. It powers up your moisturiser to even out fine lines, and it increases the wear-time of your foundation. Water resistant products can be especially handy when the heat is on, and things get a little sweatier than usual.

We love W7’s Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer for its anti-redness properties

Play for the long-run

Your choice of foundation is a big deciding factor in whether your makeup will stay put or not. Longwear products are made to stay in place all day long, thanks to their lighter weight, less oily formulas.

Check out products like Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. And remember to layer it up to lock it in place. A good pressed powder like NYX’s Hydra Touch Powder Foundation will tick all the boxes.

Set to perfect

There’s one last piece of the puzzle if you really want to finish your look like a pro. Don’t forget the setting spray! Designed to be lightweight and powerful enough to fix your look in place, makeup setting sprays are the saviour of any beauty queen’s repertoire. Must-have products include Technic’s Makeup Setting Spray for its supreme hardworking properties and comfortable, light feel.

The History of Calvin Klein

The History of Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein is one of the most popular brands here at Fragrance Direct and it’s easy to see why. With iconic fragrances and brand new launches Calvin Klein offers some of the best scents around. But how much do we know about the legend that is Calvin Klein and the history of the brand that we all know and love’

The Man

Calvin Klein graduated from the High School of Industrial Arts in 1960 and started his fashion training at the Fashion Institute of Technology. His first job in Fashion was at WWD in the art department in 1961. He graduated in January 1963 from FIT with a Fine Arts degree and went on to get a job at a company specialising in making dresses. After 3 months, Klein asked for a $100 raise, when this was declined he quit.

After this he took on a role at a coat manufacturer Dan Millstein, working as a sketcher. Klein said, ‘I learned a lot, because it threw me into the snake pit.’ Millstein took Klein to the Paris haute couture shows, using Klein to copy the clothes they saw at the shows. Despite attending the Paris shows, Millstein was a volatile and difficult boss and Klein soon left.

Along with another of his colleagues from Millstein, Abe Morenstein, they decided to set up their own business. Morenstein worked out that they needed $25,000 to set up the business properly. They both tried and failed to raise the capital and after many attempts one of Klein’s childhood friends Barry Schwartz gave them $2,000, enough to make samples.

After creating a collection with Klein, Morenstein wanted to incorporate a company and become official partners. But Klein, then 25, had already incorporated a company, Calvin Klein Ltd, using Barry Schwartz as partner. Morenstein and Klein didn’t speak again for 24 years.

The Brand
Klein’s first stockist was by complete luck. Donald O’Brien, then vice president of Bonwit Tellerm was on his way to a different appointment when he saw one of Klein’s coats handing on his studio door and made an impromptu visit. O’Brien then invited Mildred Custin, who Klein called the ‘grand dame of the retail world’.

Custin made a sizeable order and doors continued to open after this. Soon Bergdorf Goodman and Saks placed orders, leaving Calvin Klein Ltd to gross a million dollars in its first year.

This success led Klein to hold his first fashion show in April 1970. It was deemed a huge success with WWD saying ‘In just 50 pieces, Calvin Klein joins Seventh Avenue’s biggest names as a designer to watch’.

In 1973, Calvin Klein won his first Coty American Fashion Critics award. And then won it again the year after. By 1975, revenues were at $17 million and Klein had been voted into the Coty Hall of Fame. At 33, he was the youngest designer to achieve this.

After designing clothing, Klein decided to branch out into fragrance. Klein decided to do something unheard of at the time and put up his own money to fund the fragrance.

The Fragrance

Although Klein’s first fragrance was a success, it wasn’t until he launched Obsession in 1985 that he became known for his fragrances. Klein said in a WWD feature in 1985 that Obsession was ‘the most important thing we’ve ever done’. He said that ‘The name Obsession is big, like a movie poster for this era, I think of everything I’ve ever done, how obsessed I was. Everyone is obsessed in the ’80s. and of course the name suggests an obsession with someone. A man obsessed with a woman.’ Spending $13 million on advertising, the largest amount they’d ever spent, meant the fragrance was an immediate success. And the rest is history…

Beard Hygiene

Beard Hygiene

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. Maintain that moustache
The Men’s Society Moustache Grooming Kit is perfect for those who love their ‘tash! With a pair of sharp scissors to trim any unruly hairs, a comb to keep it neat and finally moustache wax to give a bit of finesse!

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.