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10 ways to bring on the glitz

This party season you can achieve a fabulous and dramatic make-up look using only natural ingredients. Rude Health consults the experts

1 Love your skin

“It is important to look after your skin in the winter weather and prevent it from drying out,” says Rowan Green of beauty company Pravera. “Regular exfoliation and moisturising will do your skin the world of good, leaving it party ready. Using a natural moisturiser that is packed with organic ingredients such as jojoba and aloe vera will give your skin intensive moisturising care and protect sensitive and dry skin.”

“Our skin usually requires extra moisture during the cold months, so treat yourself to a good quality, rich moisturiser and use it every day to keep your skin bright and supple,” says Niamh Larkin, beauty specialist at health store Evergreen in Mainguard St, Galway. “An eye cream is invaluable all year round, but during winter I like to go all out with an illuminating one, which naturally sparkles and gives your skin a dewy shimmer. It’s also great at combating dark circles that can sometimes go hand in hand with party season!”

2 Natural body scrub

“Use Epsom salts to make your own detoxifying body scrub,” says Niamh Larkin. “Just add almond or coconut oil, and your choice of essential oil, and scrub away! This home-made body scrub will leave your skin looking bright and fresh and feeling super soft.”

3 The greener choice

“Heavy make-up – be it foundation, mascara, highlighter, you name it – is generally made up of a combination of chemicals and artificial colours and compounds which often include mineral oil/liquid paraffin, which not only blocks pores but also never decomposes (so once you wash it down the drain it’s in the ocean forever),” says Niamh Larkin. “Most cosmetic and craft glitter is made up of tiny plastic particles so certainly not good for your pores, and even worse for the environment, but it can be ethically sourced. Whether you’re in the market for a mineral powder, an organic eyeliner or a natural, lead-free lippy, these can be sourced naturally, and cruelty-free.”

4 A brilliant base

“When getting your party prep under way, start with your base and choose a natural foundation that is packed with moisturising ingredients,” says Rowan Green. “Organic ingredients such as avocado oil, sunflower oil and argan will nourish your skin whilst creating an even complexion.”

“Where summer gives your skin a warm, natural glow, the drabness of winter can leave your skin looking dull and flat,” according to Ian Taylor, Green People cosmetic scientist. “Use an illuminating highlighter to inject some glow into your complexion. Apply highlighter to areas where the sun would naturally reflect, such as along the cheekbones, down the centre of your nose and along the brow bone. This makes these areas more prominent, creating flattering angles on the face.”

5 How to get smoky eyes

By Green People’s in-house professional make-up artist, Amy Saunders:

  • A gold smoky eye is perfect to get you in the mood for a Christmas party.
  • Use a gold tone all over the lid, layering the colour to create your desired intensity.
  • Apply grey eyeliner around the rim of your eye, tapered at the outer corners and blend to soften the line.
  • Next apply a dark brown shade to the outer corner of your eyelid.
  • Use an illuminating powder on the inner corner of your eyes to brighten and enhance.
  • For extra sparkle, dab a little sparkly bronzer onto the middle of your lid.
  • Finish with lashings of mascara for super smokiness!

6 Bold lip colours

“While summer is the time for nude lips and barely-there balms, Christmas is the time to go bolder with your choice of lip colour,” says Amy Saunders. “Burnished reds and delicious browns are the colours to reach for this Christmas. These flattering shades look great on most skin types and are more subtle, natural and ethical than classic pillar-box reds which often use carmine, a pigment extracted from the cochineal beetle. To really party-proof your lipstick use a lip primer. Containing a blend of natural water resistant waxes, it effectively anchors any lip colour, prevents colour bleeding and enhances the natural hues.”

7 Safe spraying

“Finish your hair off with an organic and volume-boosting hair spray which will give a perfect hold without drying it out,” says Rowan Green. “Ingredients such as goji berries, jojoba and pomegranate will protect and strengthen hair while providing maximum gloss and volume. Also try and source a natural hair spray that is not in a flammable aerosol can, there are spray pump alternatives.”

“Hair products associated with party season usually include hairsprays and mousses, which generally come in aerosol cans and are so full of chemicals they even smell toxic,” says Niamh Larkin. “Look for natural alternatives made of organic and beneficial ingredients which nurture the hair instead of drying it out. Natural hair mousses, sprays, gels, creams and oils are all available from good health stores.”

8 All that glitters is not gold

“During party season everyone loves a bit of sparkle, says Rowan Green. “But be careful when choosing a glitter eyeshadow. These can contain harmful ingredients that may cause irritation and sensitivity – not what you want with a busy social calendar over Christmas. By using a eyeshadow from a natural and organic brand you can create a stunning glam look with a natural shimmer without any unwanted blotches.”

9 Fabulous hair

“When preparing for a party it can be tempting to use heat styling tools such as hairdryers, curlers and straighteners,” says Ian Taylor. “Whilst these can help you achieve the style you desire, exposing it to excessive heat can damage your hair. To minimise heat damage consider air drying or towel drying your hair before using the coolest setting of your hairdryer or hold the dryer at least 30cm away from your hair. If over styling has damaged your hair, an intensive repair shampoo can help. Look for one with green tea extract, yucca extract, quinoa protein, pineapple and rosemary extract. Using too many products can also damage the hair as regular exposure to alkaline chemicals and silicones causes hair to become vulnerable to dryness, split ends and scalp irritation. To revive hair weighed down by product build-up, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. I recommend one made with aloe vera, avocado, mandarin and bergamot.”

10 Knockout nails

Soak your fingernails in a bowl of warm coconut or olive oil for 20 minutes three times a week to strengthen them. Go for nail colours without formaldehyde, camphor, toluene and phthalates. Most health stores sell a decent selection of hair, skin and nail supplements if you feel your nails need some internal conditioning.”

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