What To Expect: When You Get A Spray Tan

What To Expect: When You Get A Spray Tan

Many of us don’t venture to the salon for a spray tan until a big occasion is looming. But what if it goes wrong just when you need to look your best? That’s one of the worries around salon spray tans, and there certainly are some things to bear in mind to get the best results. Not all the work is down to the beautician. In fact, you’ll need to do some prep yourself to get ready for action. But with a few top spray tan tips you’ll be well on your way to looking glowingly gorgeous. Here’s how:

Pre-tan hair removal

Always be sure to shave or wax at least 24 hours before your tan. If you can do it 48 hours before, even better. This will give you pores time to close fully. If they don’t you can end up with dark spots in your pores, which won’t feel especially glam.

Follow best practices for shaving and waxing too, including shaving in the direction of the hair growth, and using a soothing, moisturising shaving cream or gel. Or if waxing, apply a good post-wax treatment like Strictly Professional’s After Wax Lotion with Tea Tree.

Why you should exfoliate

Exfoliating will remove dead skin, giving you a more even tan. Expert advice is always to pay more attention to drier areas, like your knees and elbows, where the mixture can clog and look darker.

Again, to give your skin time to recover, exfoliate the night before your spray time, rather than on the day. Choosing a luxe exfoliator like Soothing Showers’ Booster Body Scrub.

When you get there

First thing to note for first-timers – you will have to completely undress. For shy types, that can feel a little uncomfortable, but rest assured, it’s normal practice. Plus, your beautician will be firmly concentrating on creating a gorgeous, even tan, not critiquing your physique.

You’ll be given paper thongs to use during the treatment, giving you a degree of modesty. But the most important thing is that the beautician can get to all of your body, to give you an all-over glow.

What happens in the pod?

Most beauticians will work their way down your body with the spray, and they’ll instruct you on how to stand, and what to do. So, despite potentially feeling a little awkward and exposed, you won’t have to worry too much about what you’re doing.

They’ll direct you on things such as lifting an arm up, or turning your back to them for instance, so they can work around your body. Before they get started, they should also ask you how dark you want to go. The darker the look, the more layers they’ll apply.


It’s best not to make big plans for the afternoon after your tan. You’ll be advised to leave it on without washing – and that includes washing your hands! – for around 6-8 hours. If you can leave it on overnight, even better.

You’ll notice that typical biscuit smell before washing it off, and the general advice is to wear dark, loose-fitting clothing and flipflops if possible. This allows your tan to activate without being rubbed off.

To keep your tan looking gorgeous for as long as possible, remember to exfoliate regularly and moisturise daily. A summery lotion like Derma V10’s Body Butter in Almond is just the thing to boost your hydration levels and give you a feel-good vibe.

Autumn Nail Colours

Autumn Nail Colours

For months we’ve been getting excited about this autumn’s nail colours. The AW18 Fashion Week catwalks were awash with exciting new nail trends and spins on some of our favourite classics. Although some were a bit more “out there” there are some gorgeous tones to for us mere mortals to wear day-to-day, along with great party nails to try out just in time for the festive season. So, to find out what we’ll be wearing in the FD offices this autumn, read on!

Natural nudes

Nude nails are one of our all-time favourites. Done right, they look sophisticated and give your nails a slick, well-nourished sheen. They can also be teamed up with almost any look and won’t look out of place around the office or on a night out.

To amp this colour up, make sure your nails are well manicured before applying. And protect them with a good base, like Sally Hansen’ Double Duty Base & Top Coat. When it comes to applying a colour, we love the glossy appeal of L’Oreal’s Color Riche Nail Polish 101.

Mystic earthy tones

Dark, earthy tones were another feature on the catwalks this season. Easier to wear than the more gothic black and deep metallics, this is one trend worth checking out. Sophisticated and vampish, it’s simple to pull off and pair with different looks.

Our favourites include Essie’s Nail Polish colour Partner in Crime, and Rimmel’s Super Gel Nail Polish in Hottie Choccie. Remember, the same rules apply for that classy finish, always use a base and top coat, and manicure those nails pre-application.

Deep reds

Bright reds are still in this season, and we can’t deny our love for a classic red nail. But, we’re also donning our burgundy and chocolatey red tones. These colours are chic and mysterious, but they still give you that power-dressing vibe a bright red would.

Maybelline’s Color Show Nail Polish in Burgundy Kiss is just one colour we’re stocking up on. Along with Naj Oleari’s Colour Emotion Classic Effect Nail Polish in Rosso Nero.

Magic metallic

There’s something ultra-glam about a metallic nail. Perfect for nights out and special occasions, a few coats of your favourite metallic shade will add a glitzy finishing touch to anything you throw together.

Metallic nails earlier this year were pale and chic. For autumn, select a colour that’s darker and fit for the cosy, cold months. Bourjois’s 1 Seconde Gel Nail Polish in Kakidylilic is just one to check out, as well as OPI’s Nail Lacquer in Pineapples Have Peelings.

Nail art

Dressing up your nails has never been more fun. Every year more inventive products come on the market, and it can be a great way to elongate the wear of your current nail colour, or simply add a bit of pizzazz to a nude or a darker shade.

If you have a steady hand and love to create something unique, try your hand with Maybelline’s Color Show Nail Art Pen. Or, for an easier route, try something like L’Oreal’s Le Jewel Shaker to jazz up your nails.

What To Expect: When You Go For A Wax

What To Expect: When You Go For A Wax

Waxing is one of the most popular forms of hair removal. Effective, easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive, it can give you weeks of hairless skin. This is perfect if you’d rather ditch other more frequent hair removal techniques for a trip away. Or, it might be that your skin doesn’t react well to shaving and epilating.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to wax, there may be a few questions hovering in your mind before that first salon visit. It is a method with big plus points, but it’s worth knowing what to expect first-time round. So, here’s the truth about waxing in a nutshell.

Preparing for your first wax

You will need to do a bit of prep before you have your first wax. Don’t worry, that doesn’t involve anything too strenuous or technical. It’s more about getting the most from your treatment by approaching it the right way.

Firstly, don’t take a bath or shower immediately before your wax. This can soften your hairs which makes them harder to pull out. Instead, leave a few hours between your shower and wax appointment. Secondly, make sure you’ve given your hair time to grow to a good length. Experts tend to agree that around ½ an inch of hair will give the best results.

What happens in the room

This will depend on the area of the body being waxed. If it’s your bikini line, you’ll be asked to strip your bottom layers, and paper knickers will be provided. For your legs, you’ll just need to take your dress, skirt or trousers off. Underarms will mean stripping your top layer, usually down to your bra.

Once you’re ready, you’ll be asked to lie on the beautician’s table and get comfy. The more relaxed you are, the easier the process will be. It will be painful the first time, but any waxing pro will tell you that this does decrease over time. If you’d like to be fully prepared, try taking a paracetamol before you go for your appointment.

The warm wax will then be applied to your skin, and usually a waxing strip will be placed over the area being worked on and removed quickly. After waxing the entire area, your beautician will sweep on a post-wax balm to soothe your skin.

Ingrowing hairs

Ingrowing hairs are a possibility with waxing. On future visits, your beautician may gently remove these with tweezers during the treatment. There are ways to keep ingrowing hairs in check between visits though, which should be every 4-5 weeks.

Products like Skin Doctors’ Ingrow Go are designed to purify pores and gently exfoliate the skin. It’s also important to wear loose-fitting clothing to allow your skin to breathe post-wax and try to avoid activities that will make you perspire heavily.

Taking care of your skin post-wax

Exfoliating and moisturising the skin will cleanse and soothe your skin between treatments. But give your time some time to recover, especially before exfoliating.

Generally, leaving it a couple of days after your appointment before exfoliating is the best advice. And opt for gentle scrubs, like Inecto Natural’s Coconut Body Scrub which are designed to buff away dead skin and impurities without causing irritation. For moisturisers, try soothing post-wax products like DECLÉOR’s Aroma Epil Expert Post Wax Cream.

Girl’s Night In Pamper Kit

Girl’s Night In Pamper Kit

If all those nights out are taking their toll, it’s time to plan a night in to remember. Getting the girls over for a pamper evening is one of the best ways to unwind, catch up and destress. The real beauty of a girl’s night in is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. A few well-chosen pamper products and you’ll be in seventh heaven.

Sound like your cup of tea? Well, let’s see exactly how you can create the ultimate girl’s night pamper party from the comfort of your sofa. Netflix boxsets and ice cream, optional.

Set the tone

Want to create a spa-like feeling in your living room? Then scent the room with a luxe candle or two before you get the party started. Just make sure to have them well out of the way if you have a gaggle of guests coming to slather on creams and create cosy chaos. There’s nothing worse than trying to peel hot candlewax off your furniture!

We love the zingy vibe of Plum & Ashby’s Lime And Ginger Travel Candle, and the indulgent Shearer’s Glowing Embers Candle.

Mini facials

With the right products, you can create your own salon experience at home. A facial is something that’s fun and easy to do, especially with the help of a friend or two. Just remember to take a step-by-step approach, and if you have any specific skin issues, check out the products before you use them.

For ease, try gifts sets that give you all products in one package, like the Kaeso Calming Kit, which is also suitable for sensitive skin. Or, stock up on face masks for every skin type, like Derma V10’s Anti Ageing Woven Face Mask Collagen. Just make sure everyone cleanses and tones before the treatment and moisturises afterwards.

Body buff

If you want to go all out, why not introduce some luscious body scrubs to the party? It’ll mean undressing and jumping in the shower, but it’ll leave you all feeling refreshed head to toe by the end of the evening.

We can’t get enough of Elemis’s ultra-gorgeous Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow. A scrub followed by hydrating lotions like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Body Treatment Cream is sure to leave you feeling like a goddess. And while you’re showering, why not wash those locks and add a nourishing hair masque like Macadamia’s Deep Repair Masque to lick those locks back into shape.

Feet first

Never forget those feet when it comes to scrubbing up head to toe. It’s easy to neglect your feet, but that will only lead to dry skin and rough patches. To combat this, spend some time buffing and moisturising. If your friends are happy to exchange foot massages in with the bargain, then even better!

Start with a good pumice or foot file, such as Finesse Footcare’s Pumice Stone. Follow with a moisturising foot pack, just like BeautyPro’s Foot & Callus Peel Bootie, and round off with a good foot cream. We especially like Yves Rocher’s Foot Repair Balm.

Nails that rock

Toenails and fingernails shouldn’t be excluded from a proper pamper party. If you have little stations set up around your room, people can even pick and choose what treatments they’d like to indulge in.

Nails are sure to be a big hit, and your mates can get involved, painting each other’s fingers and toes. Get hold of some caring manicure products like Nutra Nail’s Strengthener With A Touch Of Colour, along with your essential tools like nail files. And add some of this season’s trending colours, like L’Oreal’s Color Riche Nail Polish in Lame Crimson.

Makeup Brushes And Their Uses

Makeup Brushes And Their Uses

Fragrance Direct are here with all you need to know about your most essential beauty tool! Read about what makes a great make up brush, which brushes to use for what and how to clean them properly! The way that you apply your make up can have a huge impact on the final look, so don’t hesitate!

Foundation brushes

So, let’s start with the base… a foundation brush is so important. You need to get the basics right before you even begin to attempt the rest of your makeup. There are several different types of foundation brushes you can use depending on the finish you prefer and the type of foundation you use.

– Flat top foundation brush. A flat top foundation brush is usually quite small, and the bristles are flat (obvious right?!) and usually come to a pointed tip. These types of brushes are perfect for applying liquid foundation as they create a smooth and flawless base. They also offer good coverage as they don’t tend to buff the product into the skin, they layer it more. Our favourite flat top brushes are the Body Collection Foundation Brush and the So Eco Foundation Brush.

– Stippling brush. A stippling brush has more bristles, usually rounder and puffier, and has a flat top. A stippling brush is perfect for liquid or powder foundations as it buffs the product into the skin creating a more natural effect. Some of the best quality stippling brushes are the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and the Guerlain The Foundation Brush if you’re looking for something super luxe.

Cleaning tips: You need to clean your foundation brushes regularly as it’s so easy for product to build up. If you have excess product on your brush from previous uses it won’t give you the desired effect. The best way to clean your foundation brush is to use a cleaning mat that you can swirl your brush on to remove clogged up product. Try using the Derma V10 Makeup Brush Cleaner, this stuff really looks after your brushes.

Bronzer/Blusher Brushes

There’re a few different types of brushes you can use for bronzer, blusher and powder. It depends on what you feel more comfortable using. Once you have your foundation in place, it’s best to set it with a powder, then add your bronzer and blusher in layers.

– Kabuki brush. A Kabuki brush is a soft, fluffy, synthetic brush that can come in all different sizes. A kabuki brush can be used for both powder and bronzer. It will distribute the product evenly over your face to give a subtle dusting. For powder and bronzer, I would recommend a Kabuki that is quite large to make sure too much product doesn’t end up in one area. When applying bronzer, you want to it to look like you’ve been sun-kissed rather than any harsh lines. One of our favourite Kabuki brushes is the Sunkissed Bronzing Brush.

– Blush brush. Blusher brushers are also quite fluffy but tend to be a bit denser than a kabuki brush. They are also often angled, this makes it easier to sculpt out your cheeks and add a pop of colour onto the apples. But they’re still super easy to blend out the product too! Try the W7 Angled Professional Blusher Brush.

Cleaning tips: same as above!

Eyeshadow Brushes

Eyeshadow brushes can be a bit of a minefield because there’s literally so many different types. If you have a mild panic at the thought of doing your eyeshadow then you’re not alone! When it comes to eyeshadow brushes you just need a couple of basics in your collection.

– Fluffy brush. When it comes to nailing the perfect eyeshadow look it is all about blending! A perfectly defused shadow is what we all strive for and to create that you need a good fluffy brush. A fluffy brush will be rounded at the top and have quite a few bristles that aren’t densely packed. Use this to blend out your edges. We love the Artdeco Eyeshadow Blending Brush, it’s a gorgeous, soft brush made from goat hairs.

– Dense brush. To lay shadow down with more pigment you need a dense, flat brush. This will pick up more product and apply it more compactly to your eyelid. These are perfect for applying cream shadows, glitter or creating more dramatic eye looks. A handy tip: if you wet a damp brush and apply shadow you’ll get way more pigment. Try the Royal Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow Brush.

– Liner brush. Liner brushes are really handy to have for when you want to apply liquid liner. They have tiny bristles that are densely packed to you can achieve a super sleek wing or line. You can also use them to apply darker shadows to the base of you lashes or lower lash line to achieve a smokier look. The Daniel Sandler Liner Brush is great and can also double up as a small concealer brush.

One of our favourite eyeshadow brush sets is the Real Techniques Eye Shade & Blend set. It has the perfect brushes for applying colour and blending it out.

Cleaning tip: to clean eyeshadow brushes you can do it the same way as your other face brushes but just make sure you’re super gentle with the bristles and don’t end up pulling any of them out. To dry, lay them flat on a piece of kitchen towel and leave them to air dry, preferably overnight.


Makeup sponges can be used for lots of different areas of makeup but the main places tend to be for the base/concealer. Using a sponge has huge benefits when you’re applying foundation as the finish they give you is totally flawless. You can use them damp to achieve a more natural coverage or dry to get a full coverage base.

You can also get smaller spongers that are perfect for getting in the tiny areas like around the nose, under eyes and the chin.

Try the Real Techniques 6 Miracle Complexion Sponges, in the pack you get two large sponges for your base and then a selection of smaller sponges to choose from too!

Cleaning tips: Ok so sponges need cleaning all the time! They are a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt, definitely not something you want to be smearing all over your face! In an ideal world you need to be cleaning your sponge after every use, simple run under the tap and apply a brush cleaner or some antibacterial soap and rinse and repeat to keep them as hygienic as possible!