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Beauty confessions

’Fess up! Do you use shower gel to wash your face? Spritz hairspray to set your make-up? We asked the experts to reveal which beauty cheats we can get away with – and the ones we should step away from


‘I use hairspray to fix my make-up in place’

‘Don’t even consider spritzing your face with hairspray,’ warns celebrity make-up artist Aimee Adams. ‘It’s potentially harmful and contains alcohol, which can sap your skin of moisture. Instead, why not set your make-up with a translucent powder, or use a long-lasting foundation and skip the setting stage altogether?’


NYX Professional Makeup Studio Finishing Powder, £9/900 points; and Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup Liquid Foundation SPF10*, £32.50/3,250 points (30ml).

‘When I run out of cotton wool, I remove my eye make-up with loo paper’

‘There are a few issues with this,’ says make-up artist Lisa Valencia. ‘It isn’t the most hygienic thing to be using around the eye area, and tends to break down when combined with make-up remover. You’d be better off with kitchen towel, as it’s thicker and holds product better. Ultimately, however, I prefer a micellar water-based wipe for a quick and easy way to remove eye make-up.’


Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes*, £4.19/419 points (25-pack).


‘If I forget my eyebrow kit, I’ll brush brown mascara on my brows’

‘OK, people – if you’re doing this, stop,’ says Lisa Potter-Dixon, head make-up artist for Benefit. ‘Mascara is too heavy for brows, plus the brush is usually quite big, so you’re likely to make a mess. What’s more, brows collect dirt, so using mascara as a brow product is almost as toxic as sharing it with your friends. If you’ve got limited space in your make-up bag, choose a brow gel that both tints and tames.’


Benefit 3D Brown Tones in Light/Medium or Medium/Deep, £20/2,000.

‘On some mornings, I don’t even bother to wash my face’

‘The impact of this depends on how well you cleaned your skin the night before,’ says consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall. ‘If you’ve spent the day in a city, you’ll have a build-up of pollution that, in the long-term, causes collagen breakdown and pigmentation issues, so you must wash your skin when you get home. In the morning, it’s important to remove any trace of shampoo or shower gel that might dry out or irritate skin. And if you haven’t cleansed the night before, a thorough morning skincare routine is essential.’


Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, £14.50/1,450 points (100ml).

‘When I’m having a shower, I clean my face with body wash’

This is another no-no, according to Dr Hextall. ‘Most shower gels aren’t gentle enough for the delicate skin on our face,’ she says. ‘This is because the pH of our skin is naturally acidic, and most soaps are alkaline. As soon as you disrupt the skin’s barrier, it’s less effective and will start to lose moisture. I recommend washing your face after a shower to remove any traces of shampoo or shower gel, which can dry out sensitive skin. A facial cleanser should always leave skin feeling hydrated, and shower gel won’t do this.’ You’ve been warned!


Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion, £10.50/1,050 points (200ml).


‘I use lipstick on my cheeks as blusher’

‘This isn’t too bad; in fact, using the same colour on lips and cheeks can look beautiful,’ says Lisa Potter-Dixon. ‘It’s better to use lipstick on cheeks rather than blusher on lips, as lipsticks tend to be conditioning. But I wouldn’t multi-use lipsticks if you’re prone to cold sores – these can spread, and no one wants one on their cheeks.’


Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Crème in Posy Pink, £17.50/1,750 points.

‘I rely on dry shampoo for up to a week, rather than washing my hair’

‘There’s nothing wrong with using dry shampoo to refresh your hair when you don’t have the time or energy to wash it,’ says celebrity hair stylist Dean Banowetz. ‘But to get the most out of it, you need to do two things. First, brush it out after spraying. Dry shampoo absorbs excess oil and dirt, so if you leave it on, your hair will get dirtier. Then, when you do wash, shampoo twice with a purifying formula. The first will get rid of product build-up, while the second will clean your hair.’


Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk*, £8/800 points (150ml); and New Hask Charcoal Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner, £6.99/699 points (355ml) each.


‘If I’ve used up all the shaving gel, I reach for hair conditioner instead’

‘From a skincare point of view, there’s nothing wrong with this,’ says Lisa Valencia. ‘Conditioners contain skin-softening ingredients – although they have a slightly heavy consistency, so can hinder the efficiency of your shaving. If you want to save time and effort in the shower, try a multi-tasking shaving foam or shower gel.’


Imperial Leather Foamburst in Sweet Vanilla & Cherry Blossom, £3.15/315 points (200ml).

*Available in selected stores.

Words: Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith  Illustration: Eve Lloyd Knight


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