Your summer beauty countdown



It’s officially one month until summer. From fake tanning to skin prep, here’s how to organise your beauty diary before the sunshine hits…


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Summer Beauty



If you haven’t been blessed with a darker skin tone, you’re probably eyeing up which fake tan will give you the most natural, streak-free colour. Remember, prep is just as important as your product. Get into the habit of exfoliating your body, and always use a moisturiser on dry areas, such as your elbows, knees and feet, before applying fake tan.


Booking facials and experimenting with new skincare products should be reserved for several weeks before the big occassion. The better your complexion, the less makeup you’ll want to wear, which is ideal for when summer finally rolls around. Incorporate an exfoliator and serum into your routine for blemish-free radiance.


Start preparing your hair for warmer weather with a trim to get rid of any damaged ends, then use a weekly mask to nourish and strengthen. With holidays and festivals on their way, the ideal 'do is low maintence and needs minimal heat styling. Think beachy waves.


Summer makeup is often lighter and more natural, but well-defined eyebrows will always frame your face and pull your look together. Get your brows shaped professionally and experiment with filling them in. When then sun is finally out, make sure to use a waterproof formula or a clear gel.


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Best summer makeup palettes

6 best makeup palettes to buy this summer

Is there a purchase more exciting to a beauty lover than a brand new makeup palette? With so many shades in one place you can create endless looks, and they’re convenient too - the perfect addition to your travel beauty bag. Here are six of the best makeup palettes to add to your collection...




Benefit Blush Bar

Benefit Blush Bar


Benefit recently debuted this limited edition cheek palette, exclusively to House of Fraser. It contains five full-sized shades, from the iconic Hoola to the brand new Gold Rush. With blush, bronze and highlight all in one place, it's the ultimate in convinence and will take you from day to night wherever you are.

Benefit Blush Bar, £49.50


Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Look 

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Look Palette


If you need one palette for your summer holiday, make it this one. It doesn't get much prettier than Estee Lauder's latest release, with six shimmering eye shadows from aqua to bronze, a glowy highlight and a peachy blush.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Summer Look, £45


Urban Decay Naked Heat 

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette


Not one Urban Decay palette would feel out of place on this list, but Naked Heat taps into the warm-toned eye shadow trend, and it's easy to see why it's a sell-out. There are 12 shades in orange, red and bronze hues with matte, satin and metallic finishes.

Urban Decay Naked Heat, £39.50


NARS Wanted Cheek Palette

Narsissist Wanted Cheek Palette


This summer, forget contouring. Blush is back. From cool corals to radiant reds, this limited edition cheek palette from NARS contains a shade for every beauty look. Grab it before it's gone.

Narsissist Wanted Cheek Palette, £45


Dior 5 Couleurs Cool Wave 

Dior 5 Couleurs Cool Wave Eyeshadow Palette


If you thought blue eyeshadow was nothing but a '00s throwback, you're missing out. Blue hues are in and if you're feeling daring, this palette from Dior's Cool Wave collection is perfect to create an enviable eye look for your next summer party.

Dior 5 Couleurs Cool Wave Eyeshadow Palette, £48.50


MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette Flash + Awe

MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette Flash + Awe


Get the unrivaled glow of a MAC highlight on the go with the new Hyper Real palette. It includes three highly-pigmented shades in a creamy powder formula, for a flawless radiance that lasts all day.

MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette Flash + Awe, £35

10 mascaras to transform your lashes

10 mascaras that will transform your lashes

Looking for the perfect mascara? We've handpicked ten of the best eyelash products, which will do everything from lengthen, thicken and darken your lashes.


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Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara

Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara


Formulated with super-light aero-particles, derived from space technology, this brand new mascara is the go-to for intergalatic lashes.

Shop Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara, £21.50


Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara


Say hello to the lashes of your dreams thanks to this volumising mascara from Lancome, which promises not to smudge.

Shop Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara, £21


3. Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara


Volumising? Yes. Lengthening? Yes. Curling? Yes. What more do you need from a mascara?

Shop Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara, £19.50


4. YSL Luxurious Mascara 

YSL Luxurious Mascara for Instant False Lash Effect


This remastered formula promises a false lash effect in one single stroke. Yes, really.

Shop YSL Luxurious Mascara for Instant False Lash Effect, £26


5. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes

Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes


Quite possibly the perfect formula, this 5-in-1 mascara promises to curl, seperate, thicken, lengthen and add all the drama you need.

Shop Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes, £23


6. Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Mascara

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Lash Multi Effects Mascara


The hybrid brush on this mascara allows you to create different lash looks, depending on your mood. Extra points for the contained conditioning oil to keep lashes super soft.

Shop Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Lash Multi Effects Mascara, £25.50


7. Shiseido Full Lash Multi Dimension Mascara

Shiseido Full Lash Multi Dimension Mascara


We love the brush on this one, which is bendable so you can catch those hard to reach corner lashes for the best finish.

Shop Shiseido Full Lash Multi Dimension Mascara, £24


8. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Lengthening Mascara


Get the precision of a makeup artist with this brush; long bristles on one side and short bristles on the other to cover from root to tip.

Shop Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Lengthening Mascara, £30


9. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire


The benefits of this mascara are endless. The specially developed brush and formula work together to thicken and separate lashes.

Shop Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Mascara, £22.50


10. Benefit They're Real Mascara

Benefit They're Real Mascara


Your mascara prayers have been answered. If you're looking for luxurious, silky lashes that won't smudge or clump, this is the one for you.

Shop Benefit They're Real Mascara, £20.50

Valentine's Day makeup ideas


Still searching for the perfect Valentine's Day makeup look? Whether you're marking the occassion with a candlelit dinner or a girls' night out, these are our top four Valentine's Day makeup looks to try your hand at this year.


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The perfect red lip

All hail the red lip. Classic, bold and elegant, it's still our go-to for a timelessly romantic look. The best thing about this look? You can keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum. 

To prep your lips, gently buff them with a clean toothbrush to remove any dead skin and apply a nourishing balm. While waiting for the balm to absorb, apply your foundation and concealer. Top tip: a matte, full-coverage foundation such as Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation, £31, will give a flawless finish to make your lips really pop. 

Taking a bright, pure red, apply the colour directly from the bullet steering clear of the edges of your lips. Then, using a lip liner in a matching shade, fill in the areas around the edge of the lip to create definition. Once you are satisfied with the shape, finish off with one last coating of lipstick.

 If you're slightly short on time, a lip pencil could be the answer. With a more precise form of application, you can ditch the liner all together. Simply apply to the centre of the lips with the flat edge and define with the tip. 

Finish off with a single coat of mascara on your upper and lower lashes and you're good to go.

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Naturally-flushed blush

Ah blusher, the beating heart of any romantic makeup look. It's time to forget everything you thought you knew about contouring and instead create cheekbones that pop using pastel-hued blushes.

The key to this look is to ensure that all other shades used on the face - be it your eyes or your lips - are muted and natural. You want your delicately flushed cheeks to be the star of the show.

Apply some blush onto a brush and tap off any excess. Hold the brush loosely and towards the bottom to free up control - this way the brush does the work for you and saves you from overthinking. Focusing on the apples of your cheeks, trace your cheekbones upwards with the brush, stopping before you reach the hairline.

For a higher-impact finish, try a powder with highlighting pigment, such as Guerlain Météorites Heart Shape, £42, to 'strobe' the cheekbones.

If you prefer a dewier finish, try a liquid or cushion blush instead. Apply with a damp sponge to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards and outwards with a dabbing motion.

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Razor-sharp eyeliner

After years of trying to master the smoky eye, a new day is on the horizon and we couldn't be happier. Say goodbye to failed attempts at creating even liner flicks and blending several shades of black and hello to the new liner approach.

Using a rounded eye brush, such as M·A·C 213 Fluff Brush, £20, apply a natural, light brown shade all over the lid and up into the crease.

Then, taking a black kohl liner like Charlotte Tilbury Rock `N` Kohl, £19, lightly work the pencil into the upper lash line to create the illusion of thicker lashes from the root. Don't fuss over neatness, we'll come to that later. Continue across the length of the eye lid, slightly building the density of the colour as you work along.

Now, using a liquid liner, sweep the nib over the guide that you have just created with the kohl, keeping it neat and clean. Start lightly in the inner corners and build the liner up by applying slightly more pressure as you move along. And remember, don't be tempted to carry the liner past the lash line. If needed, neaten with a cotton bud. For a bolder, more dramatic look, take inspiration from the Versace catwalk and extend the liner up and out with a dark shadow.

Finally, apply several coats of thickening mascara to your upper lashes, leaving lower lashes bare for show-stopping volume.

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Pretty in pink eyeshadow

If there's one day of the year that you choose to embrace pink, make it Valentine's Day. And we're not talking pastel pink pouts. It's time to ditch the shimmer and paint our eyes in powdery pink hues.

Start by applying an eye shadow primer to your eyelids to correct any imperfections and ensure your look stays in place all night. Then, using a large, rounded brush, such as Shiseido Eyeshadow Brush, £28, apply a pastel-hued pink shadow over your whole eye lid and into the crease, being careful not to take the colour too high.

Then, with a smaller, flat brush (we love Urban Decay UD Pro Flat Eyeshadow Brush, £16.50), dab the colour onto the lower lash line, catching any fall out with a tissue as you go. To finish, apply a lighter, slightly shimmery shade to the inner corners. This will widen eyes and add another layer of depth to the look.

If you're the kind of person that doesn't like to faff with brushes, an eye shadow stick is the perfect time-saving alternative. With clean hands, colour the lid and lower lash line with the pencil/stick and blend out with your pinky finger.

To keep the look delicate and feminine, keep lashes as natural as possible by choosing a brown mascara instead of the usual black and only applying one or two coats.