Take Your Skin From Zero to 100 with These A.M. Beauty Tricks

Take your skin from zero to 100 with this routine.

Mornings are usually filled with anxiety as you tick off your daily checklist. Don’t sweat or stress; here are some morning beauty habits to add to your A.M. routine to help you look and feel great.

  • Drink Up: A tall glass of water will kick off your metabolism and help you feel wide-awake. Abundant water intake works wonders for healthy skin.

  • Work Out Time: Exercising in the morning helps you sleep better and stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Shift the evening routine to the morning for a boost of positive energy.

  • Mist Works Wonders: Keep rose water mist in your bag or grab one from your local pharmacy. La Roche Posay and Evian are great options. Spritz some on your face to bring down the morning puffiness.

  • Tea, anyone? Green tea is packed with antioxidants and it will wake you up with just the right amount of caffeine.

  • Increase Protein Intake: Replacing bread with eggs or Greek yogurt will be far better for your health. Protein keeps you feeling full for a longer time.

  • Pile on the Sunscreen: SPF protects your skin from harmful sunrays, aging and skin cancer risks. Apply it no matter the weather.

  • Serum Is the Way to Go: Serums contain a high concentration of active ingredients, antioxidants and peptides; applying before your moisturizer works wonders for the skin; retaining moisture and blocking pollutants.


Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: Remedial Benefits and Uses

Rid yourself of aches and pains using natural essential oils.

By Zareen Muzaffar

There are natural scents known as essential oils, which have plenty of health benefits. These oils can be used for massages or in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Some of the health benefits of aromatherapy include:

Certain oils are great for digestion. Vanilla essential oil has proven effective in relieving upset stomachs and reducing sweet cravings. Peppermint essential oil is good for pain relief, anti-inflammation, cramps and stomachaches.
Energy Booster
Some of the popular essential oils that can give you energy include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, jasmine, tea tree and sage.
Headaches/Pain Relief
Many people who suffer from headaches use oils such as eucalyptus or sandalwood to treat headaches. Applying a bit to the scalp, temples or neck can help with pain relief. Headaches are also cured by massaging the scalp with almond, coconut or sesame oil.
Relieve Stress
Soothing scents have the ability to relieve stress. Lavender and chamomile tea is a hot favorite among those who find it difficult to sleep at night. Pure lavender oil is said to ease you into sleep. You can either sprinkle on a tissue and place it under your pillow or use an aromatherapy diffuser.
Refine Your Skin
Essential oils can help promote a clear-looking complexion, soften the signs of aging and nurture healthy-looking hair. Tea tree oil is great for oily skin that’s prone to acne while lavender helps with minor skin irritations.

Did you know?

Essential oils are not the same thing as fragrance oils. Essential oils come from plants while fragrance oils are artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals. While they may smell good and are typically less expensive, they will not give you the therapeutic benefits of organic essential oils.

If you want to try fragrance oils, The Body Shop, Bath and Body Works and Lush offer products for relaxation and deep moisture.

Note: If you have sensitive skin or suffer from some skin ailment, it is strongly advised you visit a dermatologist. Similarly, if you suffer from strong allergies, please visit your doctor before trying aromatherapy.


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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: Remedial Benefits and Uses


Get Your Glow Back with these Oils

Face oils: look younger, feel younger.

Face oils are not restricted to those suffering from extremely dry skin. It’s one of the best ways to achieve supple skin and to attain the highly coveted dewy look.

Whether you go for for grapeseed, coconut, jojoba, argan or almond oil; keep in mind that they vary in texture and richness. Test and trial, and inspect results. Generally, the higher the saturated fat content; the heavier the oil will feel.

If you are a brand lover and want to try some of the best face oils in the market, here is a list.

Divine-Youth-Oil-L'Occitane L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil: Interestingly, the Divine collection is formulated with Corsican Immortelle; the everlasting flower that never fades, even after it has been picked. Initially, I thought it’s just a marketing angle, but this oil does leave your skin feeling soft and it’s said to have anti-aging properties as well.

Clarins Face Treatment Oil: Clarins offers three kinds of face oils; lotus (combination to oily skin), blue orchid (normal skin) and santal (very dry skin). Use according to your skin type, as these rebalancing oils are made from pure plant extracts.


Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil: With a very calming fragrance, it moisturizes and softens the skin. A blend of Vitamin E, sesame, sweet almond, olive and jojoba oil. Apply before your makeup application for a soft base or before bed. For normal to dry skin.


Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil: Dior hasn’t come out with an independent line of face oils yet, but this oil promises thorough makeup removal. A great option if you don’t want to use makeup removing pads or tissues that can leave the skin overly dry post-cleansing.


Jojoba Oil: Excellent for sensitive skin, jojoba oil acts as a natural barrier to environmental allergens. Due to its anti-microbial properties, it helps to slow the growth of bacterial and fungal microbes. Get your hands on a bottle from healthcare stores or apothecarist.


Estee Lauder Nutritious Radiant Vitality Essence Oil: This oil can’t be used by itself, especially if you have dry skin. Use a few drops along with your moisturizer for an added skin boost. It is heavily fragranced, but if you don’t mind the scent, go for it.


Clinique Revitalizing Treatment Oil: For all skin types and a good moisturizer; it refines your skins texture too. Reasonably priced and moderately sized, you will have no regrets.

Where to find them?

  • Sephora
    Andalus Mall, Mall of Arabia, Haifa Mall and Red Sea Mall.
    Web: sephora-me.com
  • Wojooh
    Red Sea Mall, Andalus Mall and Mall of Arabia
    Web: wojooh.com
  • Va Va Voom
    Red Sea Mall, Andalus Mall and Roshan Mall
  • Debenhams
    Red Sea Mall and Mall of Arabia


Amateur to Professional: Using the Right Makeup Tools

“Makeup is meant to magnify existing beauty.”

There are skeptics who don’t believe in using makeup tools. After all, two fingers can help you apply foundation just as effectively as any brush can. Then came the Beauty Blender and scores of other brushes that we eventually started giving a chance. After a recent meeting with a highly talented and popular makeup artist in Toronto, I have reaffirmed that these makeup application tools are must-haves.


MAC’s Masterclass Oval 6 Brush: This brush is all you need for flawless foundation application. To all makeup users, it is ideal for cream foundations; this brush can also be used for liquid foundations. Tap the head of the brush onto the cream foundation and glide it on the face in a downward motion to create the perfect base.


Eyeshadow Brush: MAC and Sigma’s E55 is your best option when it comes to finding effective and easy-to-use eye shading brushes. Blending doesn’t seem like a chore if the brush is good and easy to use.


Eyelash Curler: Taking just a few seconds, such a simple step can accentuate your eyes. This works wonders on light eyelashes, and mascara application will further bring out your eye color.


Angled Brow Brush: Sigma Beauty’s angled brow brush in E75 is one of the most popular brow brushes out there. It fills up any gaps and helps create the perfect arch. It can be used with powder or gel products.


Beauty Blender: This small, hugely popular sponge helps you apply foundation for sheer coverage or buildable full coverage. Sephora came out with their own version, which is actually cheaper.


Fan Brush: Fan brushes are excellent for a sheer touch of blush or bronzer. They help create a softer look instead of the chiseled one. This brush is also good for applying powder foundations or shimmers.


Cotton Swabs: Essential for last minute cleaning around the eyes or lips when your makeup runs or smudges. Use to perfect your makeup or simply to clean any excess.

Sigma brushes and Real Technique brushes are available at Whites Pharmacy.

Instagram: whites_pharmacy


Tips for Younger Looking Hair

What can you do for your hair?

  • Go Easy on the Shampoo
    Shampooing daily or too frequently should be avoided; shampoos contain chemicals which cause severe dryness. Those who exercise frequently or live in humid places should let it breathe regularly and shampoo sparingly.
  • Lower the Heat
    The overuse of heat robs your scalp of essential oils and weakens the hair follicles too. When possible, towel-dry your hair and let it dry naturally. If in a hurry, focus on drying the ends and use the cool option.
  • Leave it Open
    Tight hairstyles pull the hair from the scalp. We may want to attain a sophisticated look, but end up paying the price of weaker hair.
  • Watch Your Diet
    Since your hair is made of 90 percent protein, a well-balanced diet full of fruits, veggies and proteins is essential to aid healthy hair growth.
  • Avoid Hot Showers
    Hot water over dries the scalp, leaving hair brittle and dry. Make sure to wash with lukewarm water.


  • Don’t Forget Your Vitamins
    Vitamin C helps boost collagen, while vitamin E stimulates circulation and hydrates hair follicles.
  • Massage the Scalp
    Applying oil to hair is essential for healthy growth. More importantly, a massage invigorates the scalp and increases blood circulation. Aim to do this at least twice a week.
  • Skipping Daily Washes
    Since water has a higher pH balance than your hair, it lifts the cuticle and removes the natural oils that make it healthy. People with oily hair should opt for dry shampoo instead. They are available in Boots Pharmacy, Al Nahdi and Whites Pharmacy.
  • Wear a Mask
    Hair masks help retain moisture and deeply condition the outer cuticles, achieving stronger hair growth and shine. You can easily make homemade hair masks or find selections at Sephora and most pharmacies.


  • Try Biotin
    Biotin supplements improve the keratin infrastructure (a basic protein that makes up hair), but not necessarily for every hair type. So before start taking Biotin, consult a doctor.


Beware the Dreaded Dry Skin

While winter is a great respite from the grueling summer heat, our skin tends to feel dry, parched and tight. Some of us use moisturizers but to no avail. So here are a few tips to keep in mind.

What can we do to avoid skin issues during winter?

Inflamed skin? Visit the doctor: During extremely cold temperatures, especially when we turn on the heating indoors, the skin tends to get extremely dry and inflamed. If your favorite moisturizer is not working, Cetaphil soap and moisturizer is usually available at drugstores and can prove helpful. If dryness persists and skin turns red, make sure to visit your dermatologist for targeted solutions.

Turn on the humidifier: When we turn on indoor heating and head out to cold temperatures, it can create havoc on our skin’s balance. The best solution for indoor skin protection is to turn on a humidifier. They get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out..

Stay hydrated: You may be surprised to find that water intake is just as important during winter as it is during summer. Drinking enough water every day will help the skin stay supple and decrease the dryness that cold weather causes.

Eat healthy: Fill up your fridge with monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, olive oil, flax and avocados. Avocados are the healthiest form of fat and great for your skin. Load up on vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. They boost the body’s production of collagen which in turn maintains the skin and other connective tissues.

Dry itchy scalp: Cold weather often contributes to dry itchy scalp because many of us choose to shower with warm or hot water. Different hair oils nourish and replenish the scalp and moisturize hair. Before stepping into the shower, apply olive oil or coconut oil for a healthier scalp. Gentle massaging invigorates the scalp so make oil application mandatory during the winter days.

Choose rich moisturizers: One of the best ways to keep your entire body hydrated is to apply a rich moisturizer all over before stepping into the shower. Places such as Bath and Body Works and Body Shop have great body oils you can use pre- and post-shower..

Wear socks and gloves: Hands and feet often get neglected because we pay too much attention to only the face. To avoid their premature aging, apply a rich cream and wear gloves and socks to retain moisture.

What to buy?

3Eucerin Soothing Skin Balm: This is really good for cracked and dry skin. The gentle formula protects the skin’s barrier in cold weather and is free from colorants, fragrances and preservatives. Available at Boots Pharmacy.

4La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream: Massage this popular cream in the palm of your hands before application. This helps in plumping up stressed and dry skin. Available at Paris Gallery.

6Sisley All Day All Year: Great for dry interiors of a heated home or the cold weather outdoors. This anti-aging formula comes with a reliable eight-hour long UV shield. Available at Paris Gallery.

2Clinique Superdefense SPF 20: Clinique’s moisturizer is very popular among those with extremely dry skin or that have normal skin which turns dry and chapped during winter. Invest in this for a whipped cream texture. Available at Paris Gallery, Debenhams, Sephora.

5Clarins: Clarins separate day and night moisturizers suit many with sensitive skin. The fragrance is mild and the texture is not too thick. Available at Debenhams, Paris Gallery, Sephora.


10 Beauty Myths We All Should Know About

Time to set some hand-me-down beauty tips straight.

  1. Only Dry Skin Needs Moisturizer
    There are respective moisturizers for different skin types and all require protection. Dry skin types should opt for richer creams, while those with oily to combination skin can try lighter lotions. Oil free moisturizers are best for acne-prone skin.
  1. You Will Outgrow Your Acne
    Most teenagers experience an acne phase that may voluntarily fade, but there are many adults, both men and women, who continue experiencing severe breakouts. Dermatologists can provide an appropriate solution; if left unattended, it can scar.
  1. Expensive Products are Better
    There are many drugstore brands that offer the same quality as any popular high end brand. It’s the ingredients that matter; so research before purchasing anything.
  1. Makeup Causes Acne
    Formulations can be harsh for the skin, especially sensitive skin. Try to use less makeup, particularly heavy coverage foundations, when you have skin breakouts, and it’s best to use a mild cleanser.
  1. Trimming Your Hair Makes it Grow Faster
    Cutting the end of your hair does not affect the hair follicles in your scalp, which determine how fast and how much your hair grows.
  1. Dark Circles? Don’t Blame Lack of Sleep
    Dark circles are mostly genetic; a result of vein concentration beneath the very thin skin layer in that area. Fluid retention can lead to puffiness, which can make the dark circles more obvious.
  1. Toothpaste Treats Pimples
    Toothpaste dries up pimples, but also leaves the skin too dry, inflamed and flaky. It can lead to redness and peeling too; it’s better to consult a dermatologist instead.
  1. Eating Chocolates Causes Acne
    In most cases, hormones, overactive oil glands, heredity and dead skin cells that lodge in skin pores are what cause acne. A poor diet, dairy and high in sugar food can aggravate skin conditions, leading to more breakouts.
  1. You Can Get Rid of Cellulite
    Cellulite is a result of the connective fibers between the skin and muscle that create the lumpy dimpling effect, and 80 to 90 percent of women have it. Working out and building muscle is a great way to tone up and decrease the level of cellulite visibility.
  1. Drinking Water Helps Dry Skin
    Drinking water regulates the digestive system and hydrates. To prevent dry skin, it’s essential to avoid and reduce anything that damages the outer barrier, including sun exposure, irritating ingredients, drying cleansers, and smoking.