Quick beauty fixes
Nobody has time (or money) to waste on ineffective products. My Beauty Emporium has trawled the beauty counters and combed the shelves for the quick fix beauty products that, frankly, should be attached to a rope and made available on every corner for emergencies.
Best all-over body cream
Imagine a product you could use anywhere to treat everything and anything from chapped lips to nappy rash, minor burns to dry cuticles, rough heels to super-dry hands.
Make way for Shizen Salve All Over Balm, £13.00, an organic, multitasking, do-it-all balm with heaps of restorative, healing ingredients including Shea butter, sweet almond oil and camomile. This beauty first-aider is a must-have for handbags and rucksacks, and you can even mix it with make-up to create sheer tints or to add a sheen to cheeks and lips. It deserves to be top of every beauty quick-fix list.
Add volume to fine hair
While baby-fine hair has a certain ring to it, in truth, most people with this type of hair would more likely describe it as limp, flat or lifeless.
Cue a My Beauty Emporium favourite that won't break the budget and really does deliver some oomph to hair not naturally blessed with body. Galvin & Galvin Volume Lift Root Spray, £4.99, works wonders when sprayed on damp hair pre-drying. The secret to creating fullness is to spritz it on the roots, section by section, then concentrate the nozzle of your hair dryer on the roots as you blow-dry.
Another tip is to go easy on conditioner. Just use a small amount on the ends where you need it. And if you find your hair wilting during the day, tip your head upside down and use your fingertips to massage volume back into your roots.
Get glowing skin instantly
You've been rushing around all day and end up with only 30 minutes to get ready. Sound familiar? Before you overdose on foundation and blusher to hide the fatigue, reach for Inedit Flash Radiance Ice Cubes (£8 for three). There are countless so-called miracle products around, but these are a real wonder product for anyone who needs a speedy beauty boost. Keep them in the freezer and pop one out pre-party (or if you have an early-morning start), massaging over your face and neck for a noticeable lift. Soothing Lotus extract relaxes tired skin, while the coolness of the cube brings back radiance, increases blood micro-circulation and tightens skin.
Banish dry skin problems
If your shins bear more than a passing resemblance to crazy paving and your elbows and knees are following suit, it's time to invest in best-selling staple, This Works Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil, £38. Best described as a hero product, this award-winning oil, a combination of nine naturally derived plant oils including rose, tuberose, sandalwood and evening primrose, offers comfort and intensive care to dehydrated skin.
For the best results, use a gentle body scrub to exfoliate any areas prone to flakiness, rinse and pat skin dry, then apply Dry Leg Oil to damp skin. You can also add a few drops to your bath or apply in the shower and on the ends of dry, damaged hair as an overnight treatment.
Even your skin tone
Whether it's the result of sun exposure or hormonal changes (pregnancy and the Pill), uneven pigmentation and brown spots can appear no matter how careful you are with sun protection. Caused by an increase in melanin, the brown pigment in skin, there are plenty of products that claim to reduce pigmentation but the downside is that many contain bleaching agents such as hydroquinone and kojiic acid, some of which can sensitise skin to the sun or be harmful in the long term. If you are prone to uneven skin tone, Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting, £45, contains Viniferine, a radiance booster which also helps to reduce and prevent uneven skin tone. The serum contains stable natural ingredients and super-strength antioxidants which combat pigmentation without any risk.
Thicken your eyelashes
If you're not blessed with naturally luscious lashes, fear not. The right lash-building mascara teamed with a few tricks of the trade will plump up even the most spindly lashes in seconds. For a double-whammy, try Louise Rednapp and Kim Jacob's brand new Wild About Beauty Nutrilash Nourishing Mascara in Jack-Black, £18.
Marine algae helps to encourage lash length and thickness, while cotton bloom and grapeseed extract strengthen and quackgrass (yes, seriously) keeps lashes looking glossy. Two coats applied by working the brush from the roots to the ends with a wiggle back and forth will take lashes from skimpy to sumptuous.
Control frizzy hair
The invention of hair serum has transformed hair styling (and hair) beyond recognition. There's no need or good reason for frizziness of any kind when you can reach for miracles like Giovanni 2 Chic Leave-In Conditioner & Styling Elixir, £7.99, a blend of Moroccan Argan and Brazilian Keratin oils which help to polish hair by smoothing the shaft.
This two-in-one serum can be applied to damp hair after washing and before blow-drying and straightening to ensure that hair stays frizz-free, shiny and smooth. You can also use the tiniest amount on dry hair to combat rogue flyaways and tame curls. Genius.
Choosing a BB Cream
Believe it or not, BB Creams have been around since the 1950s when the first blemish or beauty balm was formulated by German physician Dr Christine Schrannek to treat her patients' uneven and blemished skin.
These hybrid creams - part tinted moisturiser, part treatment cream - made their debut in the West in 2011 and since their launch, they've taken the beauty world by storm. If your skin is in need of some TLC with coverage included, look no further than Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream, SPF20, £26. The Green Tea is packed with antioxidants to help repair and prevent sun damage, and the suit-all tint evens out skin, adding radiance with a dewy finish. Not the cheapest BB Cream on the market, but definitely one of the best.
Whether you have normal, dry or oily skin, most skin experts recommend twice daily cleansing for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. No matter what your skin type or how much make-up you wear, one of the most effective ways to cleanse your skin is to use an oil. Based on the principle of emulsification (combining oil and water), skincare expert Antonia Burrell's Natural Glow Cleansing Oil, £59.50, is the world's first 100% pure plant natural emulsifying cleansing oil. It contains a blend of pore-refining Tuscan Cypress Oil, antibacterial bitter orange oil, teatree, lavender and castor seed anti-inflammatory.
Brighten dull skin
Pale, pasty skin vanishes in a flash with This Works Perfect Look Skin Miracle, £38. This holiday-in-a-tube will make you look like you've had a tropical weekend away with a winning combination of brightening vitamin C, anti-inflammatory vitamin E, super-moisturising hyaluronic acid and colour-boosting caramel and mica, which give a healthy tinted glow to pallid or weary skin.
Smooth it over skin on its own or mix with BB Cream, moisturiser or foundation to create a lightly bronzed look. Brilliant when you're under-the-weather or after a late or sleepless night.
Karena Callen is creative and beauty director of www.mybeautyemporium.com.
Last updated: over 1 year ago