The world of “vlogging” has gone a little mad in recent times. As a gal who’s worked in magazines, marketing, PR and all things media for many years now, it completely baffles me when I come across successful and popular vlogs, from those who have no qualifications, credentials, skills or experience in the fields they perceive to know and understand – with the beauty subject being the main culprit. (Unless, like me, you blog for a hobby or for some sort of life distraction and/or therapy – and therefore, not pretending to be something you’re not…)
The concept of vlogging is brilliant…but I just can’t seem to get on with many vloggers out there when it comes to beauty. As a 30 year old (alright…31), I find it very difficult to learn of new beauty tips and advice from a 20-something marketable lass, with no beauty qualifications or credentials – I just can’t relate to them or trust their content. (Especially when most of their posts are biased from being paid by brands or breaking the laws of the Bribery Act!). Good luck to them all, but I am just not their target viewer.
I may have originally qualified as beauty therapist before I moved in to the world of marketing, PR and lifestyle/celebrity/glossy magazines (when I was 17 wanted to be a makeup artist), so I do have an understanding of a basic skin care regime, and certain beauty dos and don’ts, but I like to still get my fix of up-to-date advice, trends, and learn of new products and tips – especially as I age (*sob*) which means implementing the occasional tweak to my beauty routines. I am NEVER one to ever look at myself and say “I’m pretty”, so for me, I want advice from someone who I can trust…
Cue Nadine Baggott! A friend of mine and a colleague at work, at HELLO! magazine, where she’s been the magazine’s Health & Beauty Editor for circa 15 years and has lived and breathed the beauty industry for 25 years. Nadine has interviewed every A list actress, singer and model for their beauty secrets and is one of the most established, trusted and genuine experts in her field – in demand by every beauty brand for reviews and endorsement, even making the odd TV appearance as a beauty expert.
Recently, Nadine has launched her very own vlog, called The Beauty Know It all. Aimed at the likes of myself, those of us in our 30s, 40s and upwards, who want beauty tips, recommendations and techniques from someone who actually is a Beauty Editor and knows their stuff!
I may be a little bit biased, knowing her personally, but for me it’s reassuring, as a 31-year old, to be able to access someone who knows what they are talking about.
Her experience doesn’t stop with beauty on the outside, but on the inside too. I only have to mention the word ‘thyroid’ to her, and she immediately knows of the beauty/health/appearance/lifestyle affects of my specific case and the effects of my current medication as well as previous treatments I’ve encountered. She can instantly offer me tips to help me with my thin hair, poor nails, minimal eyelashes, tendency for bad and skin etc…
To celebrate Nadine’s new website and vlog, “The Beauty Know It All” I asked her to answer a few beauty questions here for my blog which I hope the answers are helpful to you all, especially for those of you, who like me, care about your beauty regimes, maybe take medication that can cause beauty-related side effects or are in a transitional time of life where baby soft line-free skin is a thing of the past, and fine-lined-slightly-saggy-skin-baggy-eyes is what undoubtedly lies ahead… (*sob*).
Q1: Nadine, your skin is so flawless and bright! What’s your secret?
‘I don’t say I have great skin but great makeup. And my secret is Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder Makeup; it has a pearl extract in it so it isn’t flat and ashy like some mineral foundations. It is also the quickest and easiest way to fake great skin.’
Q2: I’m 31, but at times still get prone to teenage skin (occasional breakouts and oily t-zones) but I find many anti-aging products quite heavy. I need to find a balance. Any recommendations?
‘Well, for a start why the hell are you using anti ageing creams so young? Honestly don’t believe the hype about using heavy, high tech and often irritating active ingredients so young. At your age you should be, as I was, having fun, sleeping in your makeup and enjoying life. Ok try not to sleep in your makeup unless it’s mineral makeup, which won’t clog your pores, but do NOT worry about ageing. That won’t even start until you are mid forties. Right what you do need is a super lightweight serum packed with antioxidants to protect your skin from stress, pollution and even the earliest signs of ageing or tiredness. In my thirties I was a slave to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair but now there are lots of great virtually oil free serums on the market. I rate Olay Regenerist Serum, No7 Protect and Perfect Serum and my current favourite Epionce Intense Defense Serum. Avoid heavy creams, oils and anything that does not sink in to your skin in seconds. And then exfoliate twice a week to unclog pores and deep cleanse. For your skin type I recommend Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, a super fine rice powder that won’t irritate even sensitive skins.’
Q3: I feel there are too many serums to choose from! Why is using a serum so important, and what kind of ingredients/benefits should I be looking for in a serum product at my age? Can it also replace moisturiser on days my t-zone is outta control?
‘Yes you should – we all should – be using serums because they are like a green juice for your skin. In other words they have all of the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. And they are often oil free so won’t clog pores. Choose one rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, C,E, green tea, pomegranate extract etc, just look for one that has antioxidants written large on them. If your skin is oily do not put on a moisturising cream, instead use a super lightweight lotion with hyaluronic acid in it. This is not a traditional acid but instead a molecule found naturally in skin that attracts 1,000 times its weight in water and then locks it in place. Oily skin needs water not oil. I am 53 and still often only use serum twice a day. And look for ones that come in airtight containers too; this means that the active ingredients will last for longer.’
Q4: I’m scared of getting old (generally speaking!) but the effects it may have on my skin. Is there anything I should be doing now, to help maintain my skin over the coming years and to prevent fine lines appearing?
‘Do not be scared of getting older – trust me I am 53. Think really hard about what the alternative is – you get what that is right? So you have NO CHOICE, so do it brilliantly. Grab every second of life and live it to the maximum. If you want your skin to look good then there are some very simple anti ageing rules.
‘Do not lie for hours in the sun. I don’t mind a bit of sunbathing; we all need to top up our vitamin D levels. But don’t think that by slathering an SPF15 haphazardly and then lying out all day you are not damaging your skin, you are. I know I did it for years. Now I sit out without an SPF for half an hour, turn a little caramel – yes I’m lucky I have super dark brown eyes so I do tan quickly – then get in the shade.’
Do not put heavily perfumed products on your face and never ever use an alcohol based product. I don’t care what skin type you have – always treat your skin as if it is sensitive and then hopefully it will never become sensitized. Research shows that inflammation is the main cause of skin ageing.
Do not gain and then lose a vast amount of weight. YoYo dieting is the worse thing for skin. In the end it cannot cope and your skin will go lax on your body – even on your face. So whatever weight you are comfortable with try to stick to it. I don’t care what size you are (in fact women who carry what is commonly called a bit of excess weight often have the most beautiful skin) but try to maintain that weight if you want great skin.
Try not to eat too much sugar – it is a killer for skin. Instead try to eat lots of great fats like vegetable oils, avocadoes, oily fish, nuts of all kinds in their raw, non-salted fried state – you know the drill. It really feeds skin from within.
Eat loads of fresh fruit and vegetables, they are loaded with the antioxidants that protect your skin and they contain intercellular water, in other words water trapped within food. That is the water that counts for your skin. Because drinking lots of bottled water will only make you go to the toilet it WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT hydrate your skin.’
Q5: As you know, I take a lot of medication, which I know has negative beauty effects. My hair feels thin no matter how many trims I get; my skin sometimes suffers from hormonal breakouts and bumpy cheeks. Clumps of hair and eyelashes often fall out. I generally feel my face is missing a glow, my hair has no va va voom, and that I generally have no kind of “natural” beauty – what can I do to help improve my appearance?
‘Don’t stop taking any medication – your doctor knows best. I have to say that I have known you a while and think you have beautiful skin and hair and face – stop being so down on your self. Remember you will never be as young as you are in this very minute (I wish I had heard that when I was 31). Instead simply do all of things I have said above. That is honestly the best anti ageing advice you will ever hear. For a great glow you can also add in an exfoliating lotion or overnight serum. I like Murad Retinol Reform but it is for my age otherwise I really like Clinique Clarifying Toner for Sensitive Skin (it is the only alcohol free one, so it is the only one I recommend). It is a salicylic acid based lotion that exfoliates, clogs pores and boost skin cell turnover. And no I am not super smart, I am just old and know what works.’
Q6: On top of my daily routine of a morning and evening face wash and moisturise, a weekly exfoliate, and a weekly face mask (normally deep cleansing) is there anything else I could be doing at my age to make my skin the best it can be, and preparing it well for the future?
‘OK so you should cleanse twice a day with a non-foaming face wash. I like Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser (it actually doesn’t really foam), Clarins Purifying Melt Gel (turns to milk with water), and Dr Frances Prenna Jones Prep, but whichever you choose you need to apply it to damp skin and work in then rinse off in warm water with a linen cloth (they dry quickly won’t fester wet on your bathroom shelf like a flannel and are easy to hot wash). A good cleanser should take off all makeup in one wash and all eye makeup without stinging or foaming.’
‘Next exfoliate twice a week, as mentioned above.
Swap your heavy moisturizer for a serum and if needed top up with a hyaluronic acid based oil free moisture lotion. Oily skin does not need a heavy cream.’
Q7: On to the body…I am learning that it’s not only the face that sags (and no I’m not referring to my boobies here…). I know for a “good” figure one has to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Are there any beauty treatments, or at home techniques, that can aid to a better body?
‘This is a tough one. I think that Velashape works for cellulite. Nothing and I repeat nothing will zap or melt away fat that is done at a beauty salon. But Fat Freezing works on pockets of stubborn fat, however it is costly and results vary. I would also only get this done at a clinic with a Dr present. Lasers can tighten skin a little but they are mainly designed for the face and are super costly. Use a great hydrating body lotion or oil, and invest in a great fake tan. As someone once said very politically incorrectly to me, fat always looks better fried. Ha Ha Ha, what they mean is that most imperfections look better with a tan. I know that my wobbly thighs do. So fake it ’til you make it. And never ever waste your money on boob creams, or cellulite creams. My favourite body lotion is Ameliorate, a lactic acid super hydrating cream that doesn’t smell great but is brilliant at getting rid of dry, rough, red bumpy skin, sleep in it overnight, it works. By using active ingredients on your body like lactic or salicylic acid vitamins like A and retinols you can help slow skin ageing, but I have never really used a body product that visibly firms saggy skin. Sorry.’
Q8: In terms of makeup, I try and make myself feel and look better with a few superficial touches… I tint and pencil (with brow powder) my thinning eyebrows, I often have semi permanent eyelashes put on to last weeks at a time, I never leave the house without a little blusher – is there anything else I should be doing? What brands/products do you recommend that aren’t too heavy, but do the job?
‘Watch my five minute face VT here. This is honestly what I do every day and it only takes me five minutes maximum. I love makeup by Laura Mercier, MAC and Bobbi Brown and my favourite mascaras are by Max Factor. A deep dark brown eyeliner is always prettier and more flattering that black (unless you are going for that cool, vintage cat eye look), choose a warmer, brownie pink based blusher over candy colour ones, and get your foundation colour matched on counter. Oh and yes brows are super important and I agree powder is much easier to use that pencil.’
Q9: When I go out I do a full face of makeup but I sometimes look “overdone” (slightly drag queen like) – however wearing minimal makeup doesn’t do the trick when I look back on the evening’s photos. Please help me find a balance that flatters my face and flatters my age?
‘See above, honestly a neutral, flattering easy to achieve makeup is really simple. Every day I want people to notice my face and me NOT my makeup up. And the link above is how I do it. This look works on everybody all women all ages, all skin colours. Forgive the lighting and blusher flaring under the lights, but I am a beginner at this vlogging lark.’
Q10: Lastly, I’d like a pound for every time a friend points out I have lipstick on my teeth – what am I doing wrong and how can I wear lipstick and smile and talk confidently knowing I haven’t painted my teeth pink or red?
‘Never leave the house without looking in a times x30 mirror. I know they are scary but I would rather see my imperfections before anyone else (knowledge is power) and besides remember no one ever sees you that close up. Also after you have applied lipstick, especially dark colours, stick a clean finger in your mouth, purse your lips around it and then pull it out. The extra colour on the inner sides of your lips will transfer to your finger not your teeth.’
A huge thank you to Nadine for officially being my first guest blogger/interviewee here at Flamingo Monroe.