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Guide to Picking The Right Fragrance

Find your perfect scent with the best tips from our beauty buyer!

Picking the right fragrance for you (and even somebody else) can be an overwhelming experience. It’s not uncommon to walk into a department store and spritz yourself with every conceivable sample bottle in sight and exit smelling like a bouquet gone bad (let’s be honest, we’ve all been there). With an exhausting selection of fragrances on offer, how do you know which scent is best for you?

We sat down with Brands Exclusive’s beauty buyer, Jessica Travers to make scents of the situation (see what we did there?) and give us a few tips on picking the right fragrance.

Why is wearing a fragrance important?

Fragrances can be an emotive expression of self – wearing the right fragrance can be just as important for our confidence as say, wearing the right shoes and makeup. So put your best foot forward every day with a spritz before walking out the door!

Can you have more than just one signature scent?

Absolutely! Depending on your current mood, the occasion or even the season! Typically we are drawn to scents with deeper, richer base notes in winter, and lighter, more floral scents in the summer/spring.

What is the correct way to try a fragrance?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this one, but the way I prefer to try fragrance is directly on the skin. The best spots are the wrist or back of the hand. Let it settle on the skin before sampling and don’t try more than 3-4 or you’ll confuse yourself.

Do you have any tips on narrowing down the fragrance hunt?

It may sound really simple but follow your nose! If you are generally drawn to floral notes stick to the floral family. For a fresh change in season, try Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia. If you’re drawn more towards oriental notes, try Guerlain Shalimar Edt Spray.

What scents are trending this spring?

Rose is an ever-changing scent that never goes out of style! You can’t go wrong with the iconic Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Caramel and Vanilla typically lend themselves better to the colder months but this season you should change it up and the result – you’ll smell good enough to eat! Try another classic, Thierry Mugler Angel.

And for the blokes, go sophisticated this spring and opt for Citrus Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Men Edt Spray.

What fragrance are you wearing now?

Today, I’m wearing Daisy Dream. Its top notes of grapefruit, blackberry and pear are irresistible, and they linger all day. You can try it here.

CHECK OUT OUR BUYERS’ SPRING PERFUME PICKS HERE

5 Easy DIY Face Masks to Try This Spring

Get salon treatment in your own home with these easy DIY face masks.

Whether a special event is on the horizon or you just want your skin looking its finest every day, face masks are an easy and enjoyable way to treat your skin to all kinds of nourishing benefits. But don’t worry, no need to scour your local beauty store and spend your life savings on a bunch of high-end products to achieve a flawless complexion – these DIY face masks are the beauty loophole you’ve been searching for!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Mask

Your secret weapon for combatting breakouts and improving the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of cooled green tea
1 teaspoon of organic honey
5 teaspoons of organic sugar

Method:
1. Combine apple cider vinegar and cooled green tea into a bowl. Add sugar and honey, and with a little elbow grease, stir mixture well.
2. Generously spread the scrub over your face, massaging it in well. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse! For best results, use this mask twice a week.

2. Egg White Mask

Great for tightening and toning skin. It also minimises the appearance of pores and helps reduce acne.

Ingredients:
1 free range egg white
1 teaspoon of organic orange juice
1/3 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder

Method:
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk well until the consistency is thick.
2. Spread over your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Once the mask has dried, rinse your face well.

3. Honey Mask

A skin saviour for calming irritated and inflamed skin. It also works wonders in reducing the appearance of dark spots.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of warm organic honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 wedge of lemon

Method:

1. Combine honey and cinnamon in a bowl, and then squeeze in lemon. Stir mixture well.
2. Massage mask onto your face and leave for 20 minutes, then thoroughly rinse off.

4. Oatmeal Mask

A great natural exfoliating mask for stressed, tired and dry skin. It also has super power soothing properties for burnt or irritated skin.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of organic raw oats
1 teaspoon of organic honey
½ ripe banana

Method:
1. Combine oats and honey in a bowl and mash in banana to create a paste.
2. Massage mixture over face and leave for 10-15 minutes. Once mixture has dried, rinse off thoroughly.

5. Chocolate Mask

I know what you’re thinking – yum! But this mask not only looks delicious, it works wonders topically too. Boasting a plethora of anti-aging properties, this mask will greatly help the production of collagen.

Ingredients:
½ cup of organic cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of organic oats
4 tablespoons of organic cream
¼ cup of organic honey

Method:
combine cocoa powder, honey, oats and cream into a bowl and stir mixture well to form a thick consistency. Apply a thin layer to your face and leave it for 10 minutes. Bask in the delicious smell and then gently rinse off!

Why You Should Use Organic Skincare

The secret to naturally gorgeous, radiant skin is finally revealed…

Just like the old adage, “you are what you eat” – the same goes for your skincare regime, you are what you apply to your skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ; therefore taking good care of your skin is vital.

It seems easy enough though, right? Wrong. Every day, we are inundated with thousands of “effective” skincare products on the market, often being promoted by flawless models and false promises. More often than not, these mainstream products contain nasty toxins and chemicals that suffocate the skin – and quite frankly, your skin deserves better!

So what’s the secret to naturally gorgeous, radiant skin? Organic skincare products!

Go Organic

Going organic is not only more effective in helping you aid your skin issues; you’re also feeding your skin with fresh, pure and natural ingredients, which means that those with sensitive skin can rejoice! Think no more rashes, irritations or burning sensations (eek). Another great benefit is that you’ll be protecting the environment. Organic products are much more environmentally friendly than their non-organic opponents. Products with toxins and chemicals cause detrimental effects to the planet.

But before you scour your local health market, it’s important to be conscious of what you’re slathering on your face or body, as even organic skincare products can contain pesky preservatives and preparation aids. We advocate reading the product’s ingredients list first! This can be a challenge at first, as you may be faced with a multitude of foreign, four-syllable words that make zero sense to you. To help you separate the nasty from the nurturing, we have provided a list below featuring the harmful ingredients to steer clear of!

  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Methyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben
  • Imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea
  • Stearalkonium chloride
  • Triethanolamine

So have you gone green yet?

Your In-Flight Beauty Kit

Survive your next long haul flight with these must-have beauty essentials.

While long haul flights can be a delight for some (yes, Miranda Kerr we’re looking at you!); most of us find them more of a dread. Any mode of transport can wreak havoc on your skin, but flying tends to be the biggest culprit of them all.

Smooth, supple skin soon becomes dry, cracked and dehydrated skin an hour after take off – not a great look for your holiday snaps. Never fear, these in-flight beauty essentials will ensure that you arrive at your next destination looking positively radiant!

Cleansing Wipes

Whether you decide to brave the airport bare-faced or waltz in with a full mug of makeup; you need to cleanse your face no matter what. Cleansing wipes are perfect for flying – especially if you’re wedged in your seat slash can’t get up. Simply wipe away any makeup, dirt and impurities on your face, and wallah, hello you fresh-faced beauty!

Facial Spray

After you’ve removed your makeup and cleansed your face, apply a spritz of facial spray to your face. This will soothe your skin, ward off any irritants or itchiness and add an extra hint of hydration to dry skin.

Moisturiser

While you may board your flight feeling fabulous, more often than not, you depart feeling the total opposite. Not only are you squinty-eyed and tired, your skin feels tight and uncomfortable. This is due to low levels of humidity in the pressurised cabin. The solution? Hydration! Slather on a great moisturiser and follow up with your go-to under-eye cream.

Lip Balm

Protect your precious pout and keep chapped lips at bay with a good lip balm. You have to be liberal with the reapply, so opt for something that absorbs quickly, doesn’t smell like plastic and feels sensational on. A good lip balm will create a nice protective layer on your lips, and keep them nourished throughout your journey.

CHECK OFF YOUR IN-FLIGHT BEAUTY KIT HERE

5 Spring Makeup Bag Essentials

No makeup purse is complete without these spring beauty essentials.

As brisk winds and frightful temperatures ease, we can’t help but welcome back the warmth with open arms! Say goodbye to dry, flaky skin, chapped lips and that IDGAF attitude we all adopt in winter, and hello to bright, fresh and highlighted skin! But first, make sure you check off the five most important makeup bag staples to compliment your beautiful springtime glow.

Lipstick

Is there any other product on the market that can instantly reshape your entire look other than lipstick? The power of the pout is often over-looked, but a good lippie is undoubtedly the number one beauty staple in everyone’s makeup pouch. While earthy reds, rich plums and deep purples dominated our winter beauty regime, this spring we’re perching our lips to pretty pinks, peaches, and neutral tones.

Bronzer

Sweeping on a touch of bronzer, whether over foundation or on bare skin, gives your tired winter complexion a youthful sun-kissed glow. But beware – a little does go a long way. Too often people abuse the bronzer brush and end up looking like an oompa loompa. To avoid the fake-baked look, opt for a bronzer that matches your skin shade and subtly dust it on the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit.

Highlighter

Now that spring is on the horizon, it’s time to bring back the highlighter. Perfect for that subtle glow, highlighters boast light-reflecting particles that aid in enhancing your favourite features. For best results, apply your highlighter along the bridge of your nose, on your cheekbones, above your top lip and just below your brows.

Blush

A good blush is your secret weapon to achieving a healthy, natural spring flush. However, like bronzer, making a blunder with your brush is a common mistake we’re all too familiar with. For a natural look, apply your blush lightly to the apples of your cheeks. If you’re going out for evening drinks, add a little drama by blending your blush up toward your temples.

Nail Polish

Nail your new spring look with some pretty polish! Turn over a new leaf with palettes of bright, rich shades that will not only boost your look, but boost your mood too. If your fingertips are more feminine than fierce, opt for pretty pastels and neutral palettes to compliment your look – not overpower it.

CHECK OFF YOUR SPRING BEAUTY ESSENTIALS HERE

A Beauty Instagrammer’s Skincare Secrets

Marta Michaels offers her top tips on looking after your skin this spring.

As we transition from winter to spring, we can finally shed the warm layers of clothing and winter boots. Our wardrobe gets an immediate exciting makeover, but we often neglect to remember to do the same for our skin.

Throughout the colder months, our skin suffers from low moisture levels from increased use of indoor heating, strong winds, heavier foundations and concealers and air pollution. This results in dull, flaky and congested skin.

With the shift into warmer weather, our beauty regimen needs to be adjusted accordingly to renew that glow we are all after. That includes an overhaul in both skincare and makeup.

We caught up with beauty Instagrammer, Marta Michaels, who offered us her top tips on looking after your skin as we bid farewell to the cold and say hello to spring!

Exfoliate your skin

The most important step to glowy summer skin and a flawless base for makeup application is exfoliation. Exfoliating works to help rid your skin of any dry, rough layers left over from the winter.

Avoid grainy and abrasive scrubs as they could irritate dry and sensitive skin. Instead, look for Glycolic and Salicylic Acid containing products.

Start incorporating glycolic acid (AHA) to naturally slough off dead skin and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to unblock and cleanse pores.

Keep your skin hydrated with serums and light moisturisers

Our skin holds more water in the warmer months so you won’t need heavy moisturisers, which could increase oiliness during the day.

A hot ingredient right now is Hyaluronic Acid. As it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, it will make your skin appear immediately more plump and hydrated.

Wear sunscreen

As we start to spend more time outdoors, increasing your SPF to 50+ is a must. The use of acid exfoliation also makes skin more sensitive to the sun. Always look for physical sunscreens with ingredients like titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as these do not react with skin the way chemical sunscreens do.

“If you’re not ready to let go of your full coverage foundations, try mixing in a bit of luminising primer to give a more radiant finish.”

Ditch the heavy foundation

It’s the perfect time to introduce a tinted moisturiser, BB cream or a water based foundation. These products will help blur imperfections while introducing more moisture back into your skin.

If you’re not ready to let go of your full coverage foundations, try mixing in a bit of luminising primer to give a more radiant finish.

Switch powders to creams

In general, cream products give a more natural appearance. Add some extra glow with cream or liquid highlighters, blushes and bronzers.

If you like to set your foundation with a powder, do so only in your T-zone. And don’t fear, you don’t have to give up contouring just yet. There are a lot of cream contouring kits popping up now, right in time for summer.

Put away darker colours

And finally, have some fun with colour. Put away your vampy matte lipsticks and switch to soft nudes, corals and pinks in sheer or creamy formulas. For something different, try the new trend of coloured eye liners and mascaras to add a bit of fun.

It’s all about a natural glow and less about the matte mask we hide behind during winter.

SHOP BEAUTY FOR MORE INSPIRATION

Your Spring Skin Survival Kit

Check out our top tips to reclaim your beautiful, radiant skin.

As we endure the various changes in weather throughout the year, it’s inevitable that our skin will take a beating (or two). If we’re not battling dull, dry and cracked skin during winter, we’re fighting off unwanted allergies and eczema during the warmer months. The good news is that you can fix these pesky issues with the right regimes and products. Spring is creeping up, and now is the best time to start prepping your skin for the warmer months ahead. Check out our top tips below to reclaim your beautiful, radiant skin.

Cleanse

The first rule of thumb when preparing your skin for spring is to cleanse – and cleanse well. Oils build up overnight, and those same oils and pollutants will make an unwelcome return during the day, so it’s vital for the survival of your precious skin to cleanse morning and night. FYI – if you’re wearing makeup during the day, your evening regime will require a double cleanse session. The first cleanse will remove the makeup, and the second cleanse will thoroughly remove any impurities still lurking.

Exfoliate

Brisk winds, freezing temperatures and over usage of the heater during winter can cause our skin to become dehydrated, dull, rough and sensitive. The solution? Exfoliation. Bring back your youthful, radiant glow by regularly exfoliating off dead, dry surface cells. The benefits of exfoliating are manifold; think smoother, suppler skin, a more even complexion, increased circulation and fewer ingrown hairs and blemishes.

If you have normal and combination skin, you should be exfoliating two to three times a week, and only once a week for sensitive skin.

Moisturise

No matter your skin type – oily or dry, a good moisturiser is an essential ingredient to any skincare regime. Like a protective layer for your skin, your moisturiser aids in forming a barrier between your skin and other pesky environmental issues. But like any beauty product on the shelves, you need to pick the right one to reap the benefits. As temperatures rise, you’ll need to switch your heavy winter moisturiser to something lighter.

CHECK OFF YOUR SPRING SURVIVAL KIT LIST HERE

Top 3 YouTube Beauty Vloggers

Check out our favourite beauty vloggers trending on YouTube…

YouTube has become more than just a place to watch cat videos. For all of the budding beauty enthusiasts out there, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s a whole community of makeup artists and YouTube beauty gurus taking the platform by storm, and their sole mission is to post amazing tutorials that feature the best and latest tips, reviews, product advice, and looks for you to try.

From learning how to apply eye shadow like a pro to enhancing your natural beauty, or replicating that must-have red carpet look, they have your every occasion, query, and future makeup hack covered.

Check out our favourites below:

Lisa Eldridge

Mum, mentor and professional makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has worked with the world’s top A-list celebs, models, magazines and brands. So it comes as no surprise that her YouTube channel is just as impressive as her CV. With over one million subscribers and 245 videos ready to binge, Lisa’s tutorials cater to every age, skin type, and event. With an average video length of around fifteen minutes, each clip is informative, nurturing and easy to follow.

Charlotte Tilbury

With over twenty years experience to her name, Charlotte has worked her magic on some of the best faces in the biz; think Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Sienna Miller. A God-send to us beauty buffs, Charlotte’s YouTube channel offers unique videos on mastering the feline flick, banishing blemishes, and replicating the most iconic looks of all time.

Estée Lalonde

Honest, knowledgeable and relatable – these are just a few words for which beauty vlogger, Estée Lalonde can be summed up. Her channel is everything a girl could want and more. With videos covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle, Estelle’s bubbly personality and insightful chitchat is the perfect antidote to your morning makeup session.

FOR MORE INSPO SHOP BEAUTY NOW

Nature’s Miracle: Rosehip Oil

Treat your skin, hair and nails with Mother Nature’s best-kept secret.

For those battling one, two, or a multitude of pesky beauty-related hiccups – from acne, acne scarring, ageing, pigmentation and uneven skin tone to lifeless locks or neglected nails – you’re not alone. We are human after all, and these are all common conditions turning our smiles upside down every day.

Before you go broke splurging on fancy products, or break the Internet in an attempt to Google your beauty woes away, meet your new best friend – organic rosehip oil. A genuine 100% natural multi-tasking saviour, rosehip oil has a long list of uses to achieve healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Rosehip Oil

Skin

The ultimate multivitamin for your skin, Rosehip oil contains a multitude of fatty acids, as well as antioxidants, beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamin. Rosehip oil can be used as a natural moisturiser for dry flaky skin (take that, winter!). It doesn’t stop there. It also improves the overall appearance of acne and psoriasis scars and aids in reducing rosacea marks. Furthermore, studies have revealed that it improves the quality of acne-prone skin, and reduces the appearance of premature ageing.

Hair

Move aside overpriced salon treatments and make room for the au natural hair care solution. If you suffer from dandruff, dry hair, or damaged hair (put down the heating tools), rosehip oil contains several nutrients to help regenerate your lifeless locks. If used regularly, you can look forward to nourished hair that’s always shiny, voluminous and silky soft.

Nails

Are you a nail biter? Or do you just suffer from brittle, damaged nails? By applying rosehip oil to your nails morning and night, it will work its magic to strengthen them, and give them that natural shine we all try to fake with glossy nail polish!

Now that’s what we like to call an “all-rounder.”

SHOP ROSEHIP PLUS NOW

Kim Kardashian’s Secret to Glowing Skin

The innovative Facial Cleansing Brush celebs are snapchatting…

Forget the ghoulish vampire facial, Kim Kardashian has a simpler approach to beautiful skin these days. She’s made the FOREO LUNA face brush a staple in her beauty kit, taking advantage of the cute and compact deep cleaning solution when it comes to being selfie-ready.

And it’s not just the Kardashian “kween” that’s keen on this revolutionary gadget. Beauty junkies, beauty bloggers, and famous glossies around the globe are obsessed with the handy face brush, too. So much so it’s not uncommon to see it sell out instantly when it hits retail stores. But fear not, there’s no need to stand in line for this savvy beauty essential here. Brands Exclusive is excited to share the FOREO LUNA Facial Cleansing Brush with its members for less!

Shop FOREO’s award-winning products now

Foreo LUNA Mini Face Cleaner

Why we love the LUNA Facial Cleansing Brush
The revolutionary anti-aging and facial-cleansing system is recommended by beauty professionals worldwide as a convenient way to get cleaner, firmer, more youthful looking skin. By combining smooth silicone with T-Sonic pulsations, the LUNA gently lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup residue leaving skin smoother and brighter.

Just two minutes in the morning is all it takes for your face to reap the beautiful benefits including improved absorption of skincare products (talk about smart investing!), radiant skin, reduced blemishes, unclogged pores, reduction of dead skin cells, and healthier looking skin. The waterproof design makes it easy to work into your daily routine – be it at the basin or in the shower – and its compact nature makes it an easy tool to toss in your toiletries bag when travelling.

Foreo Luna Face Cleaner

About FOREO
FOREO is all about self-confidence. It specialises in innovative beauty and well-being products that help you put your best self forward! The Swedish brand was founded in 2013 under the motto of: confidence makes life more vibrant, and it’s the recipient of numerous awards for revolutionary technology and design. It pairs world-class experts and engineers at the FOREO Institute to make your morning routine easier, faster, and brighter!

Foreo Face Cleanser