Why sugar hates your skin (and how to quit it without going crazy!)

If it wasn’t bad enough that sugar wreaks horrors on our health (diabetes, Alzheimer’s, mood swings, candida, hormonal balances, cholesterol… anyone?) research now shows that it’s terrible for our skin as well. An excessive intake of processed sugars can fast track the aging process, leading to dark circles, wrinkles, fine lines and loss of radiance.

Don’t believe me? Read on.

sugar-and-skinFirst, let’s look at the way sugar wrongs our skin

  • Sugar leads to premature ageing: When sugar enters your blood stream, it binds to proteins in a process called glycation. Glycation destroys the flexibility and density of collagen and elastin (skin’s protein-based building blocks), thereby leading to wrinkles and sagging.
  • Sugar breaks down antioxidants: This breakdown in proteins and collagen also weakens the body’s natural antioxidants, leaving it vulnerable to all kinds of environmental damage.
  • Sugar increases dark circles: The process of glycation produces toxic compounds called Advanced Glycation End Products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs) that are directly responsible for dark under-eye circles, yellowing of skin and dullness.
  • Sugar suppresses the Human Growth Hormone (HGH): HGH helps regulate body composition, muscle and bone growth, fat metabolism and even the heart function; low levels make you look and feel older.
  • Sugar leads to chronic inflammation: A diet high in sugars is associated with inflammation, which leads to all sorts of skin and health issues (like loss of skin elasticity, broken capillaries and breakdown of cells). The result? Fast track ageing.
  • Sugar decreases the lifespan of skin cells: The sudden spikes in energy intensify the activities of cells and tissues, making them divide more rapidly and thereby decreasing their lifespan.
  • Sugar causes acne: Finally, sugar can also contribute to acne flare-ups, since they rev up all the body’s functions, including oil production.

How much is too much?

Ideally we should eat no processed sugars at all. Instead, sugar should come from  a wholefood diet such as grains, fruit and natural food. The American Heart Association recommends most women get no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day. That’s about 6 teaspoons (or 100 calories) – a little less than the amount in one can of soda. However, the average American woman eats more than 18 teaspoons of sugar every single day.

And exercise? Sorry to break the news but current medical opinion stresses that unless the exercise is extreme and the food is eaten directly afterwards, it is has little effect on blood sugar.

Fresh vegetables salad with croutons and chickenHorrified about the thought of giving up the sweet stuff? There is good news on this front. Forsaking sugar doesn’t have to be a miserable and tasteless existence. Neither should it give you the shakes, destroy all hopes of comfort food or take away the promise of chocolate. Rather, kicking the sugar habit should kick your mood and energy through the roof. So here are my tips to kick sugar without hating your life!

  • Drink water: Sometimes those sweet cravings are actually a sign of dehydration. So, instead of the sugar-laden beverages, opt for filtered water, coconut water or green tea.
  • Read the ingredient labels: Sugar is hidden in unlikely foods, from salad dressing to deli meats. Do a quick scan of the the ingredients and don’t just look for sugar –  it’s often disguised as glucose, evaporated cane juice, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fruit juice concentrate, agave nectar, fructose, dextrose, caramel or syrup.
  • Switch to low GI foods: Low GI (Glycemic Index) foods like whole grains and nuts, release glucose more slowly and steadily. This avoids the drastic spike and crash normally associated with sugary ingredients. The crash makes you crave even more sugar, thereby creating a vicious cycle.
  • Have a pre-meal: Eat a protein-based snack like hard boiled eggs, or an apple with a dash of almond butter, before hitting a party. This will keep you from making bad choices later in the night.
  • Experiment with spices: Not all spices are hot. Many – like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – will add natural sweetness to your food. Certain spices, such as cinnamon, will also help to lower the blood sugar.
  • Eat every 4 hours: Fill up on healthy foods at periodic intervals so you are able to maintain stable blood glucose levels and don’t get have sugar-rich cravings. The more you eat sugar, the more you’ll crave sweet stuff.
  • Go easy on the booze: Alcohol is metabolized as pure sugar. Plus it makes you hungry, likely to overeat and prone to making poor choices. So, try to cap it at 2 drinks and drink water between refills.
  • Rid your kitchen of sugar: Throw out or give away any foods in your kitchen that contain added sugar. Out of sight, out of mind!
  • Relax: Because when you’re exhausted or sleep deprived, the body craves sugar-laden carbohydrates.
  • Slow down: For many of us, sugar has become an emotional crutch, a comfort zone, a reward or a way to relax. Instead of falling upon this sweet poison, slow down and decode your cravings. Identifying the real need behind the sugar is the key to kicking your sugar habit for good.
  • Go gourmet: If you simply have to indulge, stick to dark chocolate or truffles over high sugar candies. When baking, use unrefined sweeteners such as natural honey, molasses or maple syrup.

You slipped up… now what?

However, if you are like me and are reduced to tears with the mere thought of a life lived without chocolates and cupcakes, there is still some hope. What we need is moderation in our diet along with products that can neutralize sugar’s damaging effects on the skin. And the beauty industry is fast coming up with solutions.

How much sugar are you consuming on a daily basis?

16 hacks to make your sheet masks infinitely more effective!

Sheet masks. The breakthrough genre that has made #masking a verb comes with its own set of challenges.

When to use a sheet mask? Which one to use? How to make it stay on the face? Do I rinse afterwards or not? What about moisturising afterwards – yes or now? Should I really #sheetmask everyday? Is pricier always better? Can I skip all other skincare if I use sheet masks regularly? Are all sheet masks good? Are they for everybody?

So. Many. Questions.

Let’s start looking at the answers.

Start with a clean canvas

It sounds like the most common of logic but I know at least two friends who regularly slap on sheet masks without washing their face first, unless they are wearing makeup. But makeup or not, you need to start with a squeaky clean canvas so that skin can best absorb all the active ingredients. Plus, without a good wash you also run the risk of trapping in impurities and forcing them deeper into the skin. So, at the very least wash with a gentle cleanser right before masking. And if you want to go the extra mile, use a toner to really mop up the grease and soften the skin to make it more receptive to the mask’s benefits.

One mask does not fit all

Like traditional masks, different varieties solve different skin issues. So take a look at the ingredients and pick out exactly what you need:

  • Dryness: The most hydrating masks are those that contain hyaluronic acid, which makes skin retain more moisture. And skip anything with alcohol or irritating fragrances, which will further dry out your skin.
  • Dullness: To bring back the glow, look for brightening ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide and pearl powder or extracts.
  • Sensitive or irritated skin: Anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera and other soothing botanicals will help calm down your skin.
  • Anti-aging: Opt for nutrient-rich masks, especially those which list collagen or vitamin B12 as a prime ingredient.

Look at the ingredients…

While sheet masks are a super-potent way of getting maximum skin benefits in minimum time, they are not perfect. Many of the generic versions contain chemicals that are damaging both for the skin and our overall health. Some to avoid: alcohol, parabens, synthetic dyes, mineral oil and preservatives such as ethylhexylglycerin and phenoxyethanol.

… and the sheet itself

Sheet masks come in all forms, from paper and fiber to tin foil and bio-cellulose. Those made from “clingy” ingredients like hydrogel, coconut, sea kelp and bio-cellulose adhere to the skin most tightly, forming a tight seal and delivering the ingredients most effectively. They are also the easiest to apply, as they don’t keep slipping off the skin like the fiber and foil versions. Even if you’re going for fiber, try and make sure it’s unbleached and 100% cotton, to minimise toxic materials from touching your skin and leading to toxic issues.

Super-charge your sheets

How and where you store and apply your sheet mask may double or triple its benefits. If your skin is irritated, inflamed, over-heated or simply needs a hefty pick-me-up, try to chill your mask in the refrigerator before applying. Or if you want to make it more hydrating, pop it on while you’re in the shower (or sauna). The water-charged steam particles will intensify the moisture plumping molecules.

Tweak your technique

To make the mask adhere most effectively and sans air pockets, start applying the sheet from the forehead, then line up with the eyes and work downwards towards the chin. But don’t stop there: for dull skin and anti-ageing benefits, lightly massage the sheet upwards to boost blood flow; for inflamed or irritated skin, go downwards and outwards to encourage lymphatic drainage.

A photo posted by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

Customise your sheet

How many times have you struggled with a sheet mask that simply refuses to conform to the contours of your face? Know that it’s perfectly fine to snip or tear off tiny bits to make it sit flush against your face. I usually end up enlarging the mouth area as sheet masks tend to irritate my lips, which have some of the most fragile skin anywhere on the body.

Max out the essence

It’s the fluid in a sheet mask that holds all the skin boosting goodness. So, don’t waste a drop of this precious essence! Scoop out any leftover essence in the packet (there’s always some!) and slather it all over your neck, chest, hands and feet to spread the love.

Longer is NOT better

Always, always check the instructions on the back of the pack. If it says you should apply the mask for 20 minutes, don’t assume that leaving it on for longer will increase the benefits. On the contrary, once the mask starts to dry, it will start sucking out moisture from your skin. And it will also increase skin temperature, which can increase the bacteria count, leading to acne and other skin issues. So, make sure you watch the clock!

Consider multi-masking

If one sheet mask is good, are two better? When paired prudently, most definitely. Experts advocate starting with a purifying clay or mud mask to open up the pores and cleanse them of debris; then rinse it off and follow with a sheet mask to flood the skin with beneficial ingredients. This will super-charge the efficacy of the sheet mask, while also purifying the skin, the latter being something that sheet masks rarely achieve (more on this in a bit).

Pair sheet masks with an eye mask

In a similar vein of multitasking, pop on an eye mask under your sheet mask. Not only will it cut your masking time by half, it will also super-charge your eye mask with some hefty hydration.

Don’t wash it off!

Unless you have super-acne prone skin or have to head out of the house (that’s why I usually apply a sheet mask right before bedtime), don’t wash off the residue after lifting away the sheet. It may seem a little sticky at first but the leftover fluid is potent with beneficial nutrients and is meant to be absorbed into the skin. And for maximum benefit, don’t just pat it into the skin. Instead, use this as an opportunity to give yourself a mini facial massage – the creaminess of the serum will help the massage, while the massage will help the serum sink deeper into the skin. Double whammy!

What comes after a sheet mask?

Remember that a sheet mask is serum based. So, follow it up with a moisturiser to seal in the treatment and multi-charge the benefits.

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

But… remember that sheet masks can’t replace traditional masks

While sheet masks are the current super-heroes of skincare, there’s one thing that they can’t do well: deep cleansing or purifying the skin. That’s because they are loaded with serums that sink into the skin rather than, say a clay-based mask, that draws impurities out of the skin.

But… they can’t replace your daily serum

Unless you’re using a sheet mask twice a day, every single day – and not only will that get seriously expensive, you’re at risk of overloading your skin and clogging your pores by doing this – you still need your daily serums. So, think of sheet masks as more of a booster rather than a replacement for your daily skincare rituals.

But… remember that sheet masks may not be great for acne-prone skin

Sheet masks are loaded with sticky fluids, they may not be the best idea for acne-prone skin. Plus, the occlusion raises skin temperature (on an average, from 89.6 to 98.6 degrees), which boosts the growth of acne-causing bacteria. So, if you’re prone to pimples, first do a patch test and wait a couple of days to see if it aggravates the condition before going full steam with a sheet mask. And whenever you do use a mask, try and opt for a gel-based one rather than a cloth-based formula as that’s less likely to cause breakouts.

Which is your favourite sheet mask?

What does your lipstick color say about you?

Gone are the days when we were compelled to play matchy-matchy with our clothes and lipstick. Choosing the latter is now far more intuitive and we are more likely to pick a lip colour based on who we are… or what we want to be.

Bold red? Demure pink? Femme fatale brown? Or maybe an ironical shade of blue? What secrets are your lips spilling?

Here’s the scoop from the colour psychology geniuses over at Pantone, who decode what your choice of lipstick says about you. And conversely, which lipstick to reach for when you want to make a certain impression.

lipstick shadesRed lipstick

Red is bold, sensual and look-at-me… a confident big city girl who doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet. But you’re not really quite as badass as you’d like to be… after all, it’s the signature colour of all those ultra-chic French women for a reason. Classic red would not look out of place in a country club or a silk-and-pearls restaurant. It’s a colour that you can wear from the ballrooms of the Ritz to the bohemian seediness of Paris’ Montmartre. In short, it’s the colour of a woman who is fun loving, passionate, energetic, independent and extremely adaptable. With a hefty side of lady-like chic thrown in for good measure.

Baby pink lipstick

You are feminine and girly, love dressing up, are impeccably groomed and much prefer the candy floss world of dreams and cotton clouds more than the harsh realities of modern-day living.

Hot pink lipstick

More adventurous than classic red, hot pink lips are the domain of a woman who’s fun, flirt, bold and outgoing. You enjoy spending time with your girl gang and are not easily cowed down. And you keep an eye out for trends, transitioning from vintage chic to bohemian funkiness with equal élan.

Rosy lipstick

In between the baby soft pinks and the hot fuchsia versions, lies a rosy pout, which is primarily owned by she who loves nature and the outdoors. It’s the rosiness of glowing good health and fits the personality of a woman who is cool, calm, down to earth and confident in her own skin.

Orange lipstick

Even though orange looks fun and bouncy, it’s not really an easy colour to pull off for everyone. If you gravitate towards this palette, you’re likely to be carefree, wild, vivacious, whimsical, energetic and adventurous. You don’t mind standing out in a crowd and easily throw caution to the winds.

lipstick shades3Berry or wine-stained lipstick

You shy away from being pastel pretty and revel in the power of your sensuality. You also like drama and are an all-or-nothing kind of person… doing things halfway has never appealed to you.

Nude lipstick

Nude is simply not a look-at-me colour and hence it’s perfect for women who marry comfort with discreet chic. Yet, they are also very très fashion and keep an eye out for the latest trends while playing it safe with investment pieces, rather than one season wonders. This one is unlikely to rock the boat or loudly demand to be the centre of attention!

Burgundy or purple lipstick

It’s edgy with a hefty dose of badass, making purple perfect for women who women who are edgy and appreciate a good challenge. You don’t suffer fools too gladly and like to temper trends with your own individual flourish.

Purple lipstick

More layered than red, more mysterious than a bright pink, a purple lip is usually worn by a woman who revels in her power and femininity. She’s strong, confident, sexy, individualistic and a bit unapproachable… not someone who suffers fools gladly.

Brown or plum lipstick

Forget the image of racy reds and striking fuchsias, the true femme fatale wears brown. Or plum. Women who love these deep and moody shades are most likely to have a seriously adventurous streak. They’d rather play risky than safe, love challenges, are ambitious, driven and independent.

Blue or black lipstick

While many of us may push the envelope and experiment with black nail polish once in a while, black or blue lipstick is for the seriously daring. You don’t give a hoot about society and will, in fact, go out of your way to flout traditional norms. You are powerful, like to remain mysterious and unapproachable, and run as far away from “pretty” as possible. Your fashion statement is more ironic than trendy, and remain young at heart always.

No lipstick (or maybe just a clear lip gloss)!

You look like you don’t care… because you really don’t. You are fuss free, low maintenance and are cool without caring to be cool. You are a leader rather than a follower, and just want to get on with life!

Which is your favourite go-to lipstick shade?

Also read: What does your nail polish say about you?

October 2016: The 17 new beauty products I am obsessing over this month

The next time you pick up a magazine, do a little exercise: Just compare the editorial coverage given to that “hottest innovation in the history of the world” or the awards given to the year’s beauty winners and the number of advertising pages those brands have picked up in that or subsequent issues.

I am not saying anything. Just do the maths. And tell me what you think.

Blogs (most of us, anyway) are fortunately not so bound up with corporate balance sheets and marketing budgets. Which allows us to actually sift through the gazillion products that launch on a monthly basis (soon we’re going to be literally buried under a product avalanche) and pick out only the best, no-bullshit ones for your dressing table.

Here’s my list. It’s a larger one than usual because… you know… we have a brand new season on hand.

Hopefully, these new beauty launches will catch your fancy for all the right reasons – as they did mine!

besame-cake-mascaraBésame Cosmetics Cake Mascara, $25

#Major #Throwback

Why, you may ask, would one go cuckoo over a product that harks back to its very own infancy? Hasn’t the might of the makeup industry been dedicated to finding newer, cooler, easier, longer, curlier mascara formulations these past 101 years? So, why are we salivating over a mascara that’s no different from the very basic “cake” that a 19-year-old named Tom Lyle Williams mixed for his sister Maybel in 1915? I don’t know about you but for me it’s all about experiencing a formulation that changed the world. It’s about the lure of vintage, the power of a softer, slower, less tech-heavy world, where you pause to wet the cake and take your time spreading it through your lashes. And eyebrows. And the lash line. Because Bésame’s new/old cake mascara is not just super-cool, it’s also super-multipurpose.


penhaligons-portraitsPenhaligon’s Portraits

For someone who’s always been head over heels for Penhaligon’s (hello Juniper Sling!), the all-new bottle designs are icing on the cake. And what scrumptious icing, with each perfume having been inspired by animal characters in a Downton Abbey-esque take on the English spirit, “between establishment, humor and provocation”. My favorite is the Tragedy of Lord George, whose regal antlers top a blend of brandy and tonka beans. Not sure which one to pick? Take the Penhaligon’s Portrait quiz to find your perfume alter ego.

aerin-night-table-creamAerin Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask, $80

Who doesn’t dream of a gorgeous bedside table, which holds everything that’s pretty and perfect for a good night’s sleep? Aerin’s Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask might sound like a mouthful but that’s because it’s so many things wrapped into one gorgeous package: Moisturiser + sleeping mask + hand cream + aromatherapeutic stress relief. And it’s perfect for transforming even the blandest tables into a sexy, seductive, boudoir-esqe fantasy!

estee-lauder-ampoulesEstée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $110

I love all kinds of ampoules and pods that take the guesswork out of how much product I need to squeeze out for perfect efficacy. Which is why I’m kind of obsessed with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules (wow… is that a mouthful!), which are filled with “a treatment oil [that] includes ChronoluxAI technology to help reduce visible irritation and synchronize the look of skin”. What this means in English is that these mega-doses of skin strengthening serum help negate the effects of internal and external stress on your complexion and boost the skin barrier, making it healthy and more supple. And they slip in effortlessly into your travel case, sans fear of breakage or spillage. What is there not to love?

Detail of garden lavender flowersRodin Olio Lusso Lavender Face Oil, $170

My absolute favorite facial oil in a new avatar! The perfect blend of 11 essential oils, what distinguishes Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender one from the original is the addition of a lavender fragrance that is all about relaxation and beauty sleep vs the perfect pick-me-up of sultry jasmine. Otherwise, it’s just as smooth and luxurious, reiterating its reputation as the cult product that started the whole facial oils revolution 10 years back. My top tip? Mix a couple of drops in your foundation to make it go on seamlessly, with a beautiful sheen.

lancome-le-teintLancôme Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Makeup, $80

Remember a little brand called Prescriptives, which had these lovely, lab-like counters where you could get your makeup custom mixed? While Prescriptives has since then moved to only-online, taking away the whole personal connect that was a key part of its appeal, Lancôme is stepping in to fill the gap. Go up to one of the Lancôme counters (currently only at Nordstrom) and a machine will scan your face, then spit out the perfect recipe for your skin tone and needs. Lighter, darker, a tad more yellow, neutralize the redness, opacity, extra moisturizer for hydration… everything is covered with medical precision. The custom blend is then squirted into a bottle directly from the machine and labelled with an ID for easy refills. Though I would suggest doing a fresh custom match every time you go, since our skin tone and hydration levels change with the seasons. And when we finally have the technology, why not make full use of it?

smashbox-insta-matteSmashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, $24

We’ve been talking much about matte lipsticks being the trend du jour and Smashbox’s Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer means you don’t need to dig deep into your wallet to be on fleek. This clear gel creates a filter of silicone polymers over your lipstick, mutating it from glossy to matte in a second. Added bonus: It makes lipstick wear longer.

cargo-essential-eyeshadow-paletteCargo Essential Eyeshadow Palette, $34

Another product that takes the guesswork out of your beauty routine, these sets of four graduated eye shadows come clearly embossed with their own function to make application a breeze. Now, all you need to do is work on your blending skills!

dior-5-couleurs-glowing-gardens-eyeshadow-paletteDior 5 Couleurs Glowing Gardens Eyeshadow Palette, $63

File this one under pure, utter gorgeousness. I would tell you how the colors are perfect for the coming season but then who can bring themselves to touch and smear this treasure trove of flowers inspired by Christian Dior’s own gardens at Granville, France? Not me, for sure… the 5 Couleurs Glowing Garden Eyeshadow Palette is going into the collection to be preserved for posterity in its blooming beauteousness. Because, remember, it’s a limited edition… so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

estee-lauder-double-wear-nude-cushion-stick-radiant-makeupEstée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50

A makeup cushion innovation that’s not Korean? That’s sit-up-and-take-notice in itself. Then there is the fact that Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Cushion Radiant Stick Makeup (what’s with Estée and crazy long names?) allows you to apply, blend and touch up your makeup without using your hands or needing to stock up on makeup brushes. It does this with a cushion compact style sponge tip that blends and buffs to perfection, and can be popped off to be washed when it starts looking too saturated or a bit grimy (all you need is a mild soap and water). The foundation itself is a buildable sheer-to-medium coverage and lasted me from morning till evening, without the need for touchups. That’s pretty impressive on oily skin in its own right.

mac-liptensityMAC Liptensity, $21

We will talk more about what’s billed as MAC’s most innovative launch in years. But till then, know that Liptensity is the brand’s most pigmented lipstick to date and it’s created with the help of tetrachromat Maureen Seaberg, whose unique genes allow her to see up to 100 million colors (most of us can see just over 1 million). What this brings to the table is colour fidelity, which means that the color you see in the tube is what you get on the lips. To enable this, MAC has also crafted a new lipstick formula that saturates the pigment in a clear (rather than opaque) base, which means the colors stay true without reacting to your body chemistry and reflexively tweaking themselves while on the lips. This has resulted in almost a 100-colour collection which runs the gamut from everyday wear colors like Toast and Butter (a warm cinnamon) to Stallion (night-sky black).

sara-happ-x-sprinkles-the-lip-scrub-red-velvetSara Happ x Sprinkles The Lip Scrub Red Velvet, $24

And this one’s to be filed under make-me-happy cheeriness. While salt and olive oil work just fine for smoothing our lips, my inner decadent diva simply can’t pass up on this deliciously chocolate and red-velvet-red-velvet-flavored scrub that Sarah Happ has crafted in collaboration with Sprinkles Cupcakes. Plus, 10% of all proceeds go to Baby2Baby, which provides essentials for needy children. Someone out there wants to buy me an early Christmas gift?

kendra-scott-gemstone-nail-lacquerKendra Scott Gemstone Nail Lacquer, $16

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a nail polish, despite there being a zillion launches a month. But jeweler Kendra Scott (yes, jeweler!) has really upped the bar with formulations inspired by her iconic use of natural stones and rough-hewn baubles. The 5-free collection comes with a base coat, rock-crystal top coat, and two transformative shades that give nails an iridescent, holographic sheen. My favorite? Iridescent Drusy, which makes your nails looks like they’ve dipped into a mine of rough dressy crystals.

bmc-manicure-and-pedicure-nail-polish-protection-clipsBMC Manicure and Pedicure Nail Polish Protection Clips, $3

WHY HASN’T ANYONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE? Clip these genius nail protectors on freshly painted nails and say goodbye to the accidental smudging that always happens the second you put down the bottle. (Doesn’t happen with you? Only me? Oh well, I hate you!)

glossier-the-supersGlossier The Supers, $28

Just when I pledge not to buy a single other “magic” serum that promises the world but does precisely nothing for my skin, here come Super Bounce, Super Glow and Super Pure. These “supplements for the face” counter the effects of dehydration, dullness and exhaustion, and toxic buildup respectively. Glossier recognizes that our skin’s needs change by the day (and by what we subject it to at any given time) and have helpfully created a box pack that gives us everything together. It currently sits on my bedside, right next to Aerin Lauder’s Rose Night Table Cream.

sonia-rykiel-x-lancomeSonia Rykiel X Lancôme, $29 upwards

It’s pretty. It’s practical. And it’s perfect for when you need a hefty dose of cheeriness to beat away the blues. Sonia Rykiel has put together a capsule collection for Lancôme that embodies Parisian chic in its most fun and fashionable iteration. How can you resist the playful stripes of the Parisian Lip Crayons?

ciate-london-mani-markerCiaté London Mani Marker, $12

These revolutionary (and I never use that word casually) markers allow you to apply nail polish precisely, within the lines and sans smudges in minutes. Shaped like those magic markers we all loved as kids (I still do!), these ingenious pens are filled with real, high coverage nail polish that goes on in a single stroke and dries super-quickly. Also perfect for changing up your nails while travelling!

What’s your favourite beauty find?