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Jane Cunningham aka BritishBeautyBlogger Q&A

(108 Posts)
GigiGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 24-Apr-14 15:18:12

Beauty writer, Jane Cunningham has blogged as British Beauty Blogger for six years as well as writing regularly for print. Her reputation for straight talking, no nonsense reviews and first beauty news has made one of the most respected and popular beauty blogs in the UK.

I wanted to say if a product was rubbish and not just discretely ‘not mention it’.. I just felt consumers had a right to know if they were throwing their money away.

Jane's main interest is make-up - she is an avid collector of limited editions - but her knowledge sits across the board on hair care, skin care, fragrance and treatments, including non-surgical treatments such as fillers or botox.

Post your skincare, beauty and hair care questions for Jane below by midday on May 8th

Coll4918 Wed 19-Jul-17 12:32:19

Hi, my question is : I'm suffering badly with sweating through the menopause and having to take steroids regularly which means I get that horrible look of a sweaty red face, it literally looks like I have just stepped out of a shower some days!
I use a primer on my eyes and face before I apply my makeup but it literally last about five minutes before it's just slides off. Any suggestions?

MiceElf Tue 22-Jul-14 06:43:36


Yveset Tue 22-Jul-14 06:31:03

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Lolasgran Mon 23-Jun-14 12:34:12

A smear of Vaseline on eyebrows should keep them in place at night, or use a cleaned old mascara brush for a groomed look

cyberjack Sun 18-May-14 08:24:24

Before my daughter's wedding I had never been one for 'treatments'. I walked through Fenwicks one day and was lured into having a free skin analysis by the Trueskin company. I knew the result of putting my face in one of those light boxes would be ghastly but the assistant was great and we discussed some laser treatment on my thread veins and various facials I could try. This resulted in a few months of treatment at half price (they often do deals) and a really private and understanding discussion of my 'needs'. The company has moved to Bluewater now and have an even better salon. It's incredibly private and I found non-pushy. I was so pleased that I went on to pay for laser treatment of the sun damage on my chest and back and am really impressed that the many, many huge dark freckles and age spots are gone.
I am nowadays so careful in the sun and still very pleased that I ventured into the first dept store freebie skin analysis. Trueskin is called Medispa at Bluewater it's the position Brown Salon. Very discreet and lovely staff.

annodomini Fri 16-May-14 10:18:46

What a thorough series of replies from Jane. Very helpful and encouraging. Many thanks to Jane.

NanSue Thu 15-May-14 21:32:38

I have some really bad raised pigmentation patches on my face, (I think it maybe called "hyper pigmentation??) mainly at the tops of cheeks. Any suggestions of how to get rid, or at the very least disguise them please? Here's hoping. Many thanks

indigo Thu 15-May-14 16:15:57

What is the most effective treatment for brown patches on my upper lip. I do have some more pronounced sun spots that are clearly defined. The upper lip areas are more shadow-like and I try to deal with them with concealer. If there is no treatment, what concealer would you recommend for a 70+ year old who probably had too much sun in her late 20s and early 30s (lived on a yacht in the Caribbean). Thanks!

Jen67 Thu 15-May-14 08:37:08

I would like to recommend Cliniques CC cream in the pink tube....really lovely and dewy skin.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:50:44


I have started to react to lipstick, even Clinique which is supposed to by 'safe'. My lips tingle, become sore and then peel a couple of days later. (Not a good look !)
I have a friend who has a similar reaction, diagnosed as a reaction to the colour in lipsticks. I can only use a lipscreen (again Clinique) which does add a sort of gloss. At my age I do need to moisturise my lips..... any ideas?
I also react to products containing citric acid (most shampoos).

Mine too! The only product I can use on a daily basis is Lanolips Ointment (luckily they do tints and you can find them at Boots – on-line is best). It uses medical grade Lanolin (something I thought I’d never use regularly, but keeps my lips supple and hydrated) and very little else.. certainly no parabens or fragrance. Basically, it looks like a tinted lipgloss when it’s on, but is actually just a very efficient balm. I would be extremely surprised if you reacted to this. What I’ve found is that with regular use my lips are calm, and it means that I can use a lipstick every now and again without a reaction.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:50:04


I know this sounds weird but on one of my eyebrows the hairs at the outer edge curl up - like a Dennis Healey reminder! I usually sleep on this side so perhaps they get squashed that way.
My brows are not that bushy and luckily I have a fringe but have DS wedding in July and don't want guests to glimpse my Hobbit brow if this can be avoided! Any tips?
I don't want to shave them off! (joke!).

Brow gel! Try Anastasia Brow Gel (£16, that should hold those strays in place. If you have one or two hairs that are particularly defiant, trim them down but don’t get the razor out!

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:49:30


I feel so frustrated at the beauty advertisments promoting all these anti-aging lotions and potions with 25 year old models, so I am would be interested to hear what you think about the beauty industry and especially about the anti-aging pressure, do you agree we should be worrying about 'not' looking our age? I don't know about anybody else but I'd hate to be 25 again, so why would I want to look that age?

I’m trying not to even use the term ‘anti-ageing’ any more, instead opting for Beauty+ that doesn’t imply we’re all upset about ageing, but does imply we are in another phase of our beauty life. So, the point you raise is a huge one that I can only cover lightly here. Bland, cookie-cutter models with photoshopped complexions and perfectly white eyes (a sure sign of digital enhancements) don’t represent the Beauty+ market. What they do instead is ‘talk to’ us in a way that offers an unrealistic hope, pressure and expectation of how we look. All I can say to you is that you don’t have to listen and you can walk your own path with your beauty. Without hope, the beauty industry would die a death – nobody wants that because there are so many jobs involved (it’s a huge, huge industry) – but it does need to take a more considered and considerate approach with its definition of what attainable and real beauty looks like. If you’re happy to look your age, that’s brilliant, but beauty seeps into the core of so many insecurities that can come with getting older and that’s why we live in hope that a cream can capture something our years cannot. Live well, live happy and smile a lot; that’s the best beauty tip I know.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:11:50


Over the years I have always had my hair worn long and at the moment it is waist length,whilst I do make sure it is always trimmed and in good condition
I feel sometimes I could do with change of style as I can only wear it plaited or up with a big bulldog clip any suggestions that would still give me a more age related style.

A high pony-tail is so stylish! If a few strands break out that’s fine – it looks casual-chic rather than formal. Tie it with a simple black band. You don’t say whether it’s straight or curly, but if it’s straight, then loose waves created with a styler. BaByliss Curl Secret (£120, is incredibly easy to use; you literally feed a strand of hair into it and it sweeps it into the heated barrel – two seconds later you have waves! If your hair is curly or already wavy, a looser style pony tail is lovely. Tie it low at the base of the neck with pretty scrunchies or metallic look ties and let the main body of hair flow. You don’t say your age, but you know what, wear your hair how you like it and not how society likes it! The only thing I’d say is that keeping it clean and in good condition is the single most important thing. Shiny, hydrated hair looks elegant at any age.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:11:21


Lucid I use Clinique CC cream and love it, lovely texture, doesn't look caked. I also use Smashbox Illuminating primer underneath as it gives a lovely 'glow' (but not greasy) to older skin, as recommended by Sali Hughes!

Illuminating primers not only keep your foundation or CC cream in place for longer, but also hydrate the skin and give a luminous base that can help your complexion look more dewy and glowy. I can’t argue with Sali Hughes!

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:10:57


What do you think of snail gel wrinkle-smoothing products? I understand that snail gel is hyaluronic acid which is also available as a gel. I have very old (55 years) acne scars which make me look even older than I am and have read that these products work wonders for such scarring. I live in hope.

I would say the same as I’ve said to Goose1964 (Personally, Snail products aren’t for me when there are many other products without the yuk factor. I love hyaluronic acid on my skin – it genuinely makes a difference, and would always recommend choosing skincare that contains hyaluronic. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the body but depletes as we age.. applying topically is not the same as producing it naturally, but you’ll certainly see a difference using products that contain it in terms of moisturising and skin softness. ThisWorks No Wrinkles Wonder Essence is a great choice (£30, ) but it won’t make inroads particularly on acne scarring. That’s a job for Retinol (a vitamin A derivative) which is now in much more skin friendly forms – La Roche Posay Redermic R (£29.50, uses 0.3% Retinol and will exfoliate your skin more deeply than other facial creams can do. Retinol used to be very hard for skin to tolerate but clever formulations have made it far gentler to use. Don’t expect to see a result for a few months though.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:00:24


I am shocked to find that I have top lip wrinkles which seem to have developed almost overnight. I am not a smoker but did smoke in my teens. Please can you recommend safe fillers or alternative treatments or a successful cover-up.

Once again, I can only recommend personally Courthouse Clinics (I’m not on commission, promise!) because that’s where I go. It’s always down to the practitioner to decide which filler is best but those tiny lines do respond really well to a tiny touch of filler, so it would be a very good option for you. As far as using products, you can soften the lines, but nothing will get rid of them entirely, although laser would make inroads. I’d recommend never using powder in that area because it only exacerbates the look of the lines. I’ve always been impressed with Clarins Double Serum for line softening – and I don’t think you need to use a specific lip-line product either.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 13:00:02


i have really sensitive skin - allergic to lots of things I can avoid and just as many i cant. i see so many products claiming to get rid of wrinkles but after a bad experience with one i am loathe to try again. is there any other way? What about laser treatments?

Before you opt for laser, have a look at the Tru range – it’s formulated for very sensitive skin with no fragrance or known irritants ( Lasers can work really well but if you already have sensitive skin, you can expect a sensitive result, if you see what I mean. Peels also irritate because they take off layers of skin and you’d need to speak to the practitioner first. I’m not sure they’d go ahead with ultra-sensitive skin. Certainly be wary of any peels with salycilic acid and instead look at lactic peels which are likely to be less irritating. I think you’d need to really discuss the option of laser because while the laser itself might not upset your skin (other than the usual redness that occurs afterwards), the gels they need to use to do the treatment might. Have a look as well at The Laser 360 IQ – that might be more suitable for you.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:58:45


Any tips for improving the texture of a 'crepey' neck please?

Oh, I wish I could invent the product that deals with crepey neck! To be completely realistic, there aren’t any products that would make severe inroads into loose skin on the neck. However, if you’re open to fi treatments, I had one recently that was more of a filler ‘lift’ for my face but had a very good effect on my neck in terms of minimizing creases. The whole lot looks hoiked up a bit (not an official beauty term!). But, I’ve been pleased with Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum in terms of firming (to the point that I use it every day) and hear things about Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Neck Creme (£40, I’m always hesitant to recommend non-surgicals because they’re a very personal choice, but I’ve been to Courthouse Clinics ( for years and see Dr Richard Brighton-Knight. My personal choice is to use fillers (and a little bit of Botox) as part of facial maintenance but I keep it minimal and as discreet as possible. However, if you’re considering that, please get as many personal referrals as possible.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:58:21


Does anyone know of a 'mature' and expert beautician as I would love a facial and eyelash tint but feel uncomfortable in the usual glitzy places that provide these services for women. (It would be great if there were dedicated services for older women!) I live in Cambridgeshire near Norfolk border but happy to travel!

I was hoping someone else would step in and answer this! I actually don’t know anyone that I could personally recommend. My apologies.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:57:52


What are your views on the much advertised Venus Freeze product? I have (much hated) cheek wrinkles sad and wondered if this type of 'tightening' effect would help? Also what moisturizing cream would you suggest for a 60 something year old?
Many thanks,

So far, I’ve only heard good things about the Venus Freeze, but you would need to have a series of treatments – it’s not a one-off cure-all. Venus Freeze uses radio frequency and a magnetic pulse to stimulate collagen making cells. It’s not painful (and can be used on sensitive skin) and if you’re prepared to build it into your regular beauty treatment routine then it will certainly help with softening the lines, although nothing gets rid of wrinkles completely. Depending upon where the cheek wrinkles are, fillers also sound like an option for you. As far as moisturisers go, I’d recommend Clarins Double Serum and the Clarins Super Restorative range. Have a look as well at The Laser 360 IQ – that might be more suitable for you.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:57:29


for mother's day my DS gave me some Dr Organics snail gel ,it sounds weird but it has had amazing effects on my wrinkles (not that i had many to start with) my crows feet have disappeared & the marionette lines (my worst) are a lot softer. Highly recommended & it smells like lemonade

Personally, Snail products aren’t for me when there are many other products without the yuk factor. I love hyaluronic acid on my skin – it genuinely makes a difference, and would always recommend choosing skincare that contains hyaluronic. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in the body but depletes as we age.. applying topically is not the same as producing it naturally, but you’ll certainly see a difference using products that contain it in terms of moisturising and skin softness. ThisWorks No Wrinkles Wonder Essence is a great choice (£30,

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:57:05


Lipstick - and I have tried many different brands - just disappear from my lips within just a couple of hours. This has been the case all my adult life, so perhaps there's not much I can do about it. What do you think?

The only reason that lipstick can disappear is if your lips are dry (or you are unwittingly licking it off). As in previous replies, I’d recommend trying Lanolips Lemonaide and Lanolips 101 Balm. They aren’t the cheapest lip balms in the world, but actually I find cheaper balms create the problem they purport to solve. The more you use them, the more you need them, so it’s a false economy in my book. Don’t ever use flavoured balms because you will end up licking it off. I also think we’re fed a lot of hype about ‘long-lasting’ lipsticks – any lipstick that stays on your lips more than a couple of hours is doing quite well in my view; the formula of lipstick relies heavily on oils and waxes and by their nature they’re slippy. See if better lip conditioning helps.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:56:35


What an exciting job! Do you have any advice about lipstick and whether there are better kinds of lipstick for older skin? There's so many types and brands to choose from now and I always go for a nice old fashioned twisty one but keep wondering if I should be being more adventurous. Also, do you have any tips on thinning hair sad

These days, lipstick is an adventure! There are lipsticks with so called anti-ageing ingredients in them but in truth, I don’t think that’s really necessary. Keeping your lips hydrated and smooth is key to wearing any lipstick, so you’ve already done the skin-care bit. In my answer to Bohemian, I recommend Lanolips Lemonaide at night for smooth lips. Twisty lipsticks are ideal, nothing wrong with them at all, but you might like to try some of the newer ‘liquid lipsticks’ to ring the changes, such as Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Lipsticks (£23.50, that over time helps to smooth and condition the lips. Thinning hair is a tricky one, but one of the most effective ranges is Swell ( that puts body back into the hair that you do have. Thinning hair products usually are all about the illusion of more hair, but check with your doctor as well because there are several causes of thinning hair. I think a hair supplement never does any harm, either.

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:56:10


Can you tell me the difference between BB and CC creams please, and which would be the best brand to buy? I don't like wearing make-up but I've got some broken veins in my cheeks and I want to be able to cover them, ordinary foundation doesn't do the job. Thank you

BB Creams are multi-functional products that include skin-care ingredients, colour and usually SPF. They’re like tinted moisturisers really, whereas a CC Cream focusses more on camouflage with all of the BB elements as well, so sound more suitable for covering your broken veins. They even out the skin-tone so your colouring looks more uniform. However, while I find BB’s quite dewy, I have found most CC’s quite dry in formula and it’s a difficult balance between good coverage, SPF and hydration. Personally, I’d use a concealer such as Clinique Redness Solutions Corrector (£18 at Boots) on your broken veins, hydrate well before using a CC cream if you decide to go for it and my recommendation for a good CC would be Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF30 (£28 at Boots).

BritishBeautyBlogger Wed 14-May-14 12:55:49


Do you recommend mineral cosmetics over the other types available nowadays? Also which concealers would be better for older skin types?

Personally, I don’t particularly like Mineral Cosmetics. They tend to come in powder formulas that are difficult to apply and powder on older skin is one of the most ageing looks I know, no matter how glowy and youthful they promise to make you look. I like Dior concealers because they tend not to cake as much as others and don’t seep into lines. I strongly advise that you don’t powder over concealer because it will end up caking. Dior Diorskin Nude Skin-Perfecting Hydrating Concealer (£22) is fairly liquid – apply with a flat brush or finger tips in a patting motion.