Over the years I have read about, and more than often tried, most of the so-called beauty secrets ever to appear in print over the last couple of decades. Either I am incapable of following simple instructions, or most of these secrets are utter nonsense.

But, over those years I've discovered what I prefer to call Beauty Truths. Because they work. Unequivocally. So here they are: not secrets, not gimmicks, but truths.


TRUTH 1: You Must Cleanse and Exfoliate Both Face and Body

It's boring and a bit of a bind but, both for body and face gently, but thoroughly, ridding your skin of the build-up of dead skin cells will always improve it. Salt and sugar exfoliations, enzymic peels, a sonic cleansing brush, a shammy, microfibre or muslin cloth will all help improve the texture of your skin, when used regularly. Some, of course, are cheaper options than others but all will be of benefit. And, if you get rid of the excess cells, all your other products get straight to your skin. You need less product and you save money. What's not to love? 



TRUTH 2: You Will Always Regret Leaving Your Makeup On Overnight

Don't moan. You know it's true. Not only will you feel grubby, find it twice as hard to remove in the morning and feel rightly guilty, you'll get melted mascara and foundation all over your (or your bed-mate's) pillow. 


TRUTH 3: There Is A Minimum Of Two Steps To Healthy, Beautiful Skin

These are to drink plenty of water and to always use a high SPF (of at least 30)

Dehydration is your enemy. If you do not drink enough water your skin will look tired and lack plumpness. This is ever more true with each passing year. And we all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. You may not see it now, or even in five years' time but, mark my words, the damage is being done and you do not want to look like a prune.


TRUTH 4: A New Regime Will Take Its Toll

Whenever you begin cleansing more deeply, your skin will complain a bit. Spots will occur, blemishes pop up. If you begin this too close to a big event, you will live to regret it. Better to start the process at least four weeks before that event and allow your skin time to moan, groan and look fabulous again. 



TRUTH 5: Lash Conditioners Work

They may seem like a clear gel, or just water but regular use of a lash conditioner will always make your lashes seem darker, curl better and appear thicker. Many people, me included, are convinced they also help them grow. At the very least you get the very best out of what can, for many of us, be a disappointing and challenging facial feature.


TRUTH 6: You Already Have Regular Access To A Beauty Professional

Your hairdresser is highly-trained. She knows stuff. She knows how to make your hair do things you never can. This is not because she is a miracle worker, or because she possesses magical powers. It is because she has been trained. Pose questions, ask advice, listen, learn. Have your stylist show you how she styles your hair. Don't just sit there nattering about your holiday, take notice of what's happening in the mirror.



Oils are fantastic. For body, for face, for hair.

Argan oil, for example, is the simplest and most versatile oil of all, can be used as a facial oil both day and night. It can be used on dry elbows, on scaly shins and all over the body. It will tame and condition hair too. Argan oil, if there is such a thing in beauty, a miracle product.

But there are other oils available. Rosehip oil is wonderful for calming skin, for deeply moisturising and for bringing back the bloom and glow to your skin. 

I prefer to use organic cold-pressed oils for their purity and potency. Josie Maran for argan and A'Kin for rosehip.



TRUTH 8: Good Hands and Nails Take Effort.

You will never have good hands and nails if you do not use hand cream and cuticle oil on a regular basis. How regularly this will be depends on your genes, lifestyle and pure luck. For me this is at least four times a day. You can work it out. Just look at your cuticles. If they are still dry, you need to do it more often. But remember, it is worth it - a simple, well-maintained manicure looks more expensive than any designer bag.


TRUTH 9:  Proper Brows Make All The Difference

Get your brows done professionally. At least just once. I go regularly because I have naturally misbehaving and wavy brow hairs. But you may not choose, or need, to. But I think it's worth every woman (and probably a few men) going to get professional help at least once. They can advise you. And the difference they can make to your face is immeasurable. To be honest, there's not a woman I know who doesn't look better with properly groomed and maintained brows.


TRUTH 10: Concealer Is Queen

Forget lippy. Or mascara. The most valuable makeup item you can buy is a really effective concealer. Find one that suits your skin type and skintone perfectly and master its application and you will instantly feel better about the face looking back at you from the bathroom mirror. I have almost the palest skin on the planet and if I can find one that suits me and looks natural, then anyone can! My favourites come from US-based Tarte (officially available in the UK only from QVC) because their cosmetics are environmentally-friendly and contain fabulous skin-loving ingredients. Most importantly, they are perfectly blendable, entirely natural and virtually undetectable even to the touch.