Lady Tips | The Perfect Nude Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Beauty, Makeup

I think most of us have been through the ordeal of trying to find the perfect shade of nude lipstick – choosing a shade that looks gorgeous on the tube, only to put it on and end up looking like you’re really unwell. It can be tricky to find a shade that matches the undertones of your skin, but the most appropriate choice should match your lip colour, not your skin tone – a colour that’s too light might wipe away the face’s natural pigments, making you look pale and sick. Here’s how to pick a flattering shade according to your skin tone:

Fair Skin With Cool Undertones

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If you have fair skin with cool undertones, like Emma Stone, rosy colours will suit you best. Either pale, powdery pinks; or peachy colours with caramel undertones will add some warmth to the complexion. Steer clear of light beige tones, which can make you look ghostly, and orange or coral tones, which can turn your complexion sallow. Matte finishes, especially on lighter shades, can end up giving a washed out effect – glossier formulas are more flattering.

Fair Skin With Warm Undertones

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Light skin with yellow undertones, like Lucy Liu’s, calls for more warmth and pigment than cool undertones. Pink, beige, caramel and peachy shades are all flattering options.

Medium Skin With Cool Undertones

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Lea Michele’s skin tone can get away with most shades, be them lighter or darker than the skin. Darker nudes work as well as soft, pale pinks, which won’t make the lips disappear.

Medium Skin With Warm Undertones

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For this skin tone (think Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez), rosy beige shades with warmer undertones, like caramel, will keep your complexion warm and avoid that washed out look which might come with cooler, grayish tones, or yellow undertones. Peachy and golden shades, no lighter than your skin tone, will enhance your complexion and won’t clash with the warmth of your skin.

Mocha

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The skin tone of Rihanna and Eva Mendes. Rosy, beige and caramel tones will add some definition and separation between skin and lip, while glossy finishes add some extra definition. Pink-toned shades slightly lighter than the skin tone look subtle without being dull.

Medium Dark Skin

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Deep colours rich in pigment will suit medium dark skin tones, such as Beyoncé’s and Ciara’s. Lighter browns and more plummy tones are very flattering.

Deep Dark Skin

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The deep, chocolaty skin tone which Lupita Nyong’o and Alex Wek have can benefit from playing with light and shadow to create definition – glossy formulas, or products with shimmer, add some brightness to the face and look more natural. Copper or bronze tones also work beautifully, as well as darker berry tones.

Lady Tips | Coconut Oil Beauty Benefits

Beauty, Hair, Makeup, Skincare

Coconut oil has made its way into the pantries of many people looking to have healthier lifestyles and diets, and though it’s a great cooking oil, it is used in my beauty routine way more often than in my kitchen. Here are some ways you can reap the benefits of this versatile oil.

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Hair

Deep Conditioning

Coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft very efficiently, moisturizing and nourishing it from the inside out. Homemade hair masks are my favourite way to use coconut oil – I usually apply them once a week, or whenever I feel that my hair needs a moisture boost. Here’s how:
Coat the hair lightly in coconut oil – you really don’t need to use much: half a tablespoon should be enough for long hair. Applying it on the scalp is also recommended, especially for people looking to treat dandruff.
Leave it on for at least an hour or two – though you can leave it on for only ten minutes, it’s best to do this when you’ve got more time on your hands. The longer it stays on, the better.
Wash it off with shampoo, then condition as usual – you might have to shampoo twice to get all the oil out. The mask does not substitute conditioner, as the latter seals the hair cuticles and moisturizes more superficially.
The most practical method I’ve found is to apply the oil before bed, then wash it as soon as I get up.

Flyaway Hair & Frizz Tamer

With dry or damp hair, apply a small amount of oil to the ends to detangle and style hair. This helps combat frizz and split ends, whilst making hair soft, smooth and shiny.

Pre Wash

Using an oil before washing your hair can help keep it from getting too dried out, as it adds strength and flexibility to it. Lightly coat the shafts with oil about ten minutes before washing.

Though coconut oil works great for some people, others report adverse effects such as hair loss or brittleness. In general, it seems that coarse and dry hair types do not work well with it – fine to medium hair will generally be able to achieve the strength, volume and shine expected.

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Body

Moisturizer

Apply all over the body after showering.

Body Scrub

Add half a cup of coconut oil to a half cup of sugar (white or brown, though I’d not recommend coarser sugars such as demerara) and combine. Optionally, add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil (oils and benefits listed here) or half a cup of ground coffee, which is packed with antioxidants and is said to help fight cellulite.

Foot Bath

A great way to treat dry or smelly feet. Melt two teaspoons of coconut oil in warm water and soak your feet for a few minutes, then pat dry.

Massage Oil

An excellent choice for a massage oil, it’s not excessively greasy whilst retaining its glide.

Natural Deodorant

Mix ⅓ cup of coconut oil, ¼ cup of arrowroot powder (or baby powder) and ¼ cup of baking soda for the basic recipe. Amp it up with a teaspoon of grape seed oil to increase shelf life from 2 to 8 months, and/or 5-10 drops of essential oil for added benefits and scent.
Though this recipe works well for most, it should be noted that some women with more sensitive skin develop adverse effects from the baking soda, such as redness and irritation.

Shaving Cream

This oil’s antimicrobial, emollient and soothing qualities make it ideal for this task – apply it to the legs right before shaving.

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Face

Facial Scrub

Mix one tablespoon coconut oil with one tablespoon fine sea salt and, as an optional step, a couple of drops of essential oil for added benefits (my favourites are Lavender and Tea Tree).

Lip Balm

Apply directly over the lips for a quick and natural moisture boost.

Makeup Remover

Massage a small amount of oil onto your face to remove makeup, then clean it up with a clean cloth or cotton round.

For all the purposes and benefits listed, a cold-pressed, extra virgin, non-hydrogenated coconut oil is recommended for its better quality.

Lady Tips | Vegan Cosmetics

Beauty, Hair, Makeup, Skincare

What are vegan cosmetics?

According to vegan ideology, a vegan product should be free of animal products and animal testing, but since there is neither widespread knowledge of it, nor regulation, the term can be misused or misunderstood.

Vegan Action’s Certification, much like Vegan Society’s, is a trademark which is issued to some (but not yet all) products which are free of both animal products and testing. This helps in not having to examine ingredient lists for certified products, but keep in mind that not every vegan trademark will be certified cruelty free.
I have labelled cruelty free brands below and written a post about them, which you can find here.

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Skincare

skyn ICELAND (vegan, cruelty free)

Iceland is rich in natural resources, such as mineral rich waters, antioxidant berries and soothing algaes – many of them are used in skyn ICELAND’s products to soothe, stabilize and nourish skin. One of their main concerns is how stress affects our skins, and how to counteract these negative effects.

Nature’s Gate (vegan, cruelty free)

Skin, hair, oral and sun care – Nature’s Gate has it all. They have the largest selection of natural toothpaste flavours I have ever seen, including Anise and Cinnamon. The company is focused on Holistic Beauty and achieving beauty from the inside out, with a clean and healthy lifestyle.

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Makeup

Cover FX (vegan, cruelty free)

Specialized in foundation, Cover FX products are free of what they call “inflamatory 5” – parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil and talc. Their wide range of over 40 shades is meant to provide a precise match for all ethnicities and undertones, and all products are formulated to be safe for very sensitive skin.

Kat Von D (vegan in transition, cruelty free)

Kat Von D makeup is famous for its even pigmentation and for being budge-proof – it is a high-end, all-rounder and cruelty free brand which carries many vegan products. Kat has stated that she and her brand are working to reformulate the entire line to be vegan.

100% Pure (mostly vegan, cruelty free)

No synthetic chemicals, preservatives, artificial coloring or fragrances are added to 100% Pure products – they are coloured with fruit and vegetable pigments, and preserved by vitamins and antioxidants. Some products contain beeswax or honey, but all of their vegan products are labelled clearly on their website. The brand carries skin, body and hair care; but their makeup really caught my eye – especially the Gemmed Luminizers (in shades Rose Gold and Moonstone Glow), coloured with fruit pigments and light reflecting gemstones.

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Makeup Accessories

Beauty Blender (vegan, cruelty free)

The Beauty Blender’s popularity is entirely justified. It promises and delivers perfect application of base products, though some beauty gurus use it to apply powder as well.

EcoTools (vegan, cruelty free)

EcoTools has a wide range of eco-friendly brushes (hair and makeup) made with renewable bamboo and recycled materials. They also carry facial sponges, both for makeup and skincare; maintaining affordability and quality throughout.

Real Techniques (vegan, cruelty free)

Brushes and sponges by Real Techniques are not only vegan and affordable, they’re also very high quality – a recommended first splurge for people who are just getting into makeup.

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Nails

KL Polish (vegan, cruelty free)

KL Polish is the beauty YouTuber KathleenLights’s nail polish brand. I can’t get over how gorgeous and chic the shades are, and on top of that, they’re all vegan and 5-free (free of potentially allergenic chemical ingredients commonly used in nail polish).

Hair

Arctic Fox (vegan, cruelty free)

Get bright and colorful tresses without any animal products, drying alcohols, and harsh or allergenic chemicals. Some people have even used Arctic Fox dyes on their pets, though the company recommends consulting with your vet before doing so. They also donate 15% of profit to animal welfare organizations.

Avalon Organics (vegan, cruelty free)

The company’s concern with using pure, organic plant-based ingredients walks hand in hand with their sustainability – their products are biodegradable, free of harsh chemicals, and synthetic fragrances or colours.

Morrocco Method (vegan, cruelty free)

With shampoos, conditioners, hair brushes, henna hair dye and even pet care available, Morrocco Method is not only a great option for people looking for vegan hair care, but their products are also soy-free, chemical-free, gluten-free and raw.

I’m not vegan myself, but I think it’s never a bad idea to choose a product you know was crafted free of animal suffering. Putting this list together surprised my pleasantly, as I found the niche expanding, and hope for it to continue to do so.

Lady Tips | Cruelty Free Cosmetics

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

In order for a product to be considered cruelty free, no animal testing should occur during production – that includes even using ingredients that have been tested by a third-party.

In some places of the world, animal testing is required by law, either requiring that the final product (such as in China); or that certain ingredients (such as in the US) are to be tested to comply with legislation. These products are not considered cruelty free.

Cruelty free products are not necessarily vegan – they can be exempt of animal testing and still contain animal products; such as carmine, beeswax, honey, gelatin, lanolin, etc.

I have labelled vegan brands below and written a post about them, which you can find here.

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Skincare

Aesop (cruelty free, vegan)

This has to be one of my favourite skincare brands of all time. The quirky and utilitarian packaging adds to the sense of understated elegance of their products, which I have come to really enjoy. I’ve been using their Amazing Face Cleanser along with the B & Tea Balancing Toner – both are refreshing, balancing and gentle. I tend to neglect exfoliation, so I don’t use their Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste as often as I should – it gets the job done, softening and deep cleansing my skin, whilst remaining gentle. The Facial Hydrating Serum is also a marvellous face moisturizer, with a very lightweight and mattifying effect.

Alaska Glacial Mud Co. (cruelty free, not vegan)

I love clay masks for their detoxifying, pore-minimizing and firming properties. Alaska Glacial Mud Co.’s masks are produced with hand-harvested glacial mud, with biodegradable, natural and certified organic ingredients. Their products are also free of synthetic fragrances, color fillers, and other chemicals (such as parabens and phthalates). All of their products are cruelty free and allergy tested, but some of them do contain animal products, and therefore are not vegan.

The Body Shop (cruelty free, not vegan, parent company not cruelty free)

The Body Shop is concerned with ethical trading: enriching, not exploring, products, ecosystems and local communities; as well as restoring rainforests and protect endangered animals. As for their products, the tea tree oil line is lovely, especially the mattifying toner. Their vegan products are listed here.

KORRES (cruelty free, not vegan)

A greek skincare and cosmetics brand which focuses on natural, organic ingredients. The brand’s packaging successfully captures the clean, gentle and natural vibe I get when using their products, especially the Wild Rose line.

LUSH (cruelty free, not vegan)

Lush is a 100% vegetarian (though they have plenty of vegan products, the brand itself is not 100% vegan) brand focused on fighting animal testing and hand making their products with as little preservatives as possible. Their Tea Tree Water is one of my favourite facial mists: soothing, refreshing and mattifying; and its gorgeous scent lifts my spirits as much as the product revitalizes my skin.

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Makeup

Anastasia Beverly Hills (cruelty free, not vegan)

Especially famous for their brow products, the makeup brand best known as Anastasia is not vegan, though it does have some vegan products, listed here.

Charlotte Tilbury (cruelty free, not vegan)

Charlotte Tilbury, a highly respected makeup artist, is as dazzling as her luxurious makeup products. It came as a very welcome surprise to learn that not only is her brand cruelty free, many of her products are also vegan.

Bite Beauty (cruelty free, not vegan, parent company not cruelty free)

As a brand specialized in lipstick made with all natural food-grade ingredients only, Bite Beauty’s name makes perfect sense. Some of their products contain Carmine, which is not vegan.

NARS (cruelty free, not vegan, parent company not cruelty free)

I don’t need to do a lot of thinking to name a few makeup staples by NARS: the Radiant Creamy Concealer, their ever famous Blush in Orgasm, and their Audacious Lipstick, especially its bolder shades – which makes it so surprising that one of its most popular shades is Anita, a beautiful and light pinky nude.

Tarte (cruelty free, not vegan)

I have to confess to never having worn any Tarte makeup, but I believe the Tartelette and Shape Tape Concealer’s popularity speak for their own. Though they’re not 100% vegan, their vegan friendly product range is abundant.

Urban Decay (cruelty free, not vegan, parent company not cruelty free)

Urban Decay is probably most famous for their Naked palettes – but truth be told, whenever I think of Urban Decay and eye makeup, I think of the gorgeous Solstice. Both their All Nighter Setting Spray and Eyeshadow Primer Potion are also amazingly well received products. Their vegan range can be found here.

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Makeup Accessories

Real Techniques (cruelty free, vegan)

Samantha Chapman and Nicola Haste are the sisters behind Real Techniques and Pixiwoo (a YouTube channel I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys makeup tutorials). Their brushes and sponges are not only vegan and affordable, they’re also very high quality.

Beauty Blender (cruelty free, vegan)

The Beauty Blender is incredibly popular and well known – and for good reason. It promises and delivers perfect application of primer, foundation and concealer; giving a natural, dewy finish to base products (some beauty gurus even use it to apply powder!).

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Fragrance

Diptyque (cruelty free, not vegan)

I really enjoy lighting candles, especially scented ones – and though Diptyque candles are the ultimate in luxury and decadence, that’s not all they have to offer. With both personal and home fragrances, and face and body care available; their products never fail to entrance with their elegance (plus, the packaging is just so lush).

Le Labo (cruelty free, vegan, parent company not cruelty free)

Their fragrances are cruelty free, 100% vegan, and free of parabens and preservatives. I really love the utilitarian packaging, it just makes me feel like I’m tinkering with something really special – and when it comes to Le Labo’s fragrances, you can be sure that you are.

Fortunately, the full cruelty free cosmetics and skincare brands list is much more extensive, covering even hair dye and nail polish – that list, which is updated frequently, can be found here.

Whether you’re an animal lover, or just concerned with doing what’s best for them and the environment; whether you’re a makeup artist or just looking for good everyday makeup – finding high-quality cruelty free cosmetics has become a wonderfully easy task.

I hope this list was helpful. Happy shopping!