Your questions: brush cleaning and more



Hi Alison, I currently use Decleor products and have been for many years. I’m turning 50 this year and have recently noticed a few broken capillaries underneath my left eye (appeared after walking my dog in harsh weather, although I have been doing this for years and always wear creams etc.) Any help or advice on products would be greatly appreciated.


Firstly well done for using Decleor – it’s a great brand. Unfortunately broken capillaries, as you have already identified, can come up for many reasons, the most common of which is aggression from the weather and yes, wearing creams is essential before you dog walk.

Firstly, what you can do, when it is extreme weather as you describe, is layer up your products more so that you have more thickness, almost like clothing on your skin before the dog walk, even putting, for example, your facial night balm over the broken capillary area to help buffer it from the weather. The sun, in conjunction with the wind also causes this problem so it’s crucial to apply SPF, and if it’s the Decleor one then just before you go out on a dog walk and if you are on a long walk, it needs reapplying within an hour. I would also make sure that you have, in your skin regime, something from the Harmonie range which is designed for sensitivity and high colour. You could use the Aromessence Rose D’oriant Oil and/or switch to the Harmonie Moisturising Cream. One trick to do would be to use these after your dog walk to help your skin recover, and then either again in your night time regime or use your normal anti-aging Decleor night time regime.213980.v.001

Broken capillaries, if they are pink/red in colour are not technically broken, they are just stretched and the skin has thinned which is how you see them. They do respond well to the increased comfort, protection and calming techniques I have mentioned but also physical protection such as make-up over them can really help safeguard the aggression of the weather on your skin, so application of a foundation or concealer over the top every day is recommended.

Just a note: avoid any physical or grainy exfoliation, steam (i.e.: facial steaming, sauna’s or very hot baths) and avoid spicy foods and excessive alcohol as these all cause the skin to flush and go red, and the more the skin goes red the more they stretch. If they appear purple/blue then that means they have broken and seeped into the skin. Whilst no skincare product will remove them completely, there are a few other things I can share with you.

If you want to have them removed, because you don’t feel you can keep them at a calm level in your skin regime, you can have a procedure done in skin clinics and if you do your research, a reputable one will always offer you a free consultation.  One of your key questions is ‘how long has this practitioner or therapist been doing this treatment?’ – you don’t want a beginner!

It’s also worth mentioning that lavender is a fantastic ingredient for a high-coloured skin and this can be found in the Elemis Bliss Capsules and SOS Cream which can complement your existing skincare. 212601

Also, interestingly, Arnica – if you have any of the SBC Arnica Skincare Gel, you could mix it with the Rose and Argan Oil Skincare Gel for a really great combination. And when you have a key area of concern like this, the more products you apply, more often, the better the opportunity for results.

You do not need to buy all of these but as you are a regular shopper and you had some already, this is an idea on how to use them.


Hi Alison, I’ve recently been diagnosed with psoriasis. It’s only mild on my face, particularly round my eyes and hairline. However, it’s worse on my scalp. Please can you suggest suitable face products and shampoo?


As you have been recently diagnosed with psoriasis, you must follow the medical advice from your doctor, and if severe flare ups occur then they have prescription formulas that they can recommend to you. However, as you have asked me what is best to use in your beauty regime – although psoriasis is not curable it’s about finding the right daily products in your beauty routine that help keep the skin calm, prevent it from being aggravated or flared up from the outside.

I do find that minimal-ingredient products – ideally with a ‘free from’ product listing suit best and you should avoid strong, scientific peeling and exfoliating, and electrical products.

Your best friend is going to be an oil. Massage all over the face and before a hair wash, massage it into the scalp on the flaky areas as this will soften the dry skin areas and leave it on for a few minutes. I would recommend the Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil (we have it in a home and away size). Then use, if you wish to have a face wash, the Elemis Sensitive Cleansing Wash which can be used for face and body. you can also use Liz Earle Shampoo and Conditioner, which is SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate)-free.208726.s.SNK

Another key product would be either the Josie Maran Argan Oil or the new Elemis Superfood Facial Oil – a few drops of these massaged onto your face and scalp as a moisturiser when your skin is inflamed or underneath your moisturiser when you feel your skin is calmer.Superfood_visual_v4

I did write two previous blog posts, of which some elements may also be relevant. One was on skin eczema and sensitive skin, and another on skincare through serious illnesses, and these ingredients and this approach would also be beneficial to you.

Going forward, you will be able to enjoy grooming, beauty and fashion beauty ranges but you should choose the ‘free from’ formulas such as Josie Maran, Tarte Cosmetics, and the original Bareminerals foundation so that you are always being kind to your skin with your ingredients.

Many thanks for your question and enjoy your routine.


When cleaning make up brushes, what is the best cleaning product to use and how often should you clean your brushes? There is so much conflicting advice – please help?!


Obviously some brand and make-up brush suppliers do have a cleaning fluid specifically for brushes which can be great. However, I find the simplest and most economical, and the method you are least likely to have a reaction to, is if you wash your make-up brushes in the shampoo that you use – because you know you are not allergic to that and you never run out of it. In general, you only need to wash the brushes maybe once a week and a great tip is, each time you use a make-up brush, just rub it over on a towel or a tissue to finish so that it is fresher for your next day’s use.

Pro make-up artists spray the brush at this point, with their brush cleaner, mainly because they are then going on to another model/client – it’s a quick way of cleansing that they need for their hygiene procedures but is not essential when you don’t share you brushes at home. If you have a very spotty skin which is a sign of bacterial infection, I would advise cleaning your brushes in a natural antiseptic such as tea tree. You can either do this by using the Australian Bodycare Skinwash or by adding a few drops of the ABC Tea Tree Oil into your existing shampoo at home to clean the brushes. When you do have a spotty or breakout skin, brushes and sponges should be cleaned daily so that you are not spreading infection onto the skin day-by-day.

It is not often that everyone cleans their brushes on a weekly basis and if you run out of time or forget, your brush will always ‘tell you’ that it needs cleaning because 1. Your makeup will start to look muddy and colours won’t be going on as defined because there is too much pigment build up in the brush; 2. If the brush feels a bit spikey and sharp then it definitely needs a wash (with a little bit of conditioner if it’s a natural brush) to bring back its plume;  3. If the brush is bent or misshapen, then it needs throwing away as it is beyond repair.



  1. Clare Middleton July 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I hope you can recommend a good eye cream please, I am 42 and work outside on a farm I do my best to wear a hat, sunglasses and face ultra sun cream and ultra sun all over.
    Many Thanks Clare

  2. Emma July 23, 2016 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Please could you recommend a good neck cream. I am 65 and have been a strong elemis fan for the last 20 years. Only now am I seeing a neck problem and hooded gelid so. But I have no wrinkles. Thank you.
    Watch all the beauty shows.x.

  3. carol ann August 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm -  Reply

    please can you recommend a brand of shampoo, conditioner, mask, oil and hair dryer with styling tools for real hair wigs, I’ve tried the last Taya t.s.v, along with many others, but what ever I use, once washed etc. they are never the same, unfortunately I have to wear wigs as I’ve been losing my hair for 4 years. I’ve used the Hair max religiously, also the caffeine shampoo collections with no success whatsoever, I’ve tried Nourkrin tablets and the other brand, both taking them for at least 6 months with no result atall. Losing your hair is devastating, I have to now accept it never will grow back, so I need my wigs to be and look as lovely as my hair used to be, hope you can help and advise, thanks.

    • Pamela August 24, 2016 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

      Carol Ann I too have experienced hair loss. After exploring many treatments, including Hair max none of which worked, I sought medical help at a hair loss clinic run by a qualified doctor. there are specialists in this area too. I saw one for an initial visit on Harley street and I have been prescribed a number of drugs which I take every day. My hair has improved. it is not what I would like it to be but it is better. U may have a medical condition like me and if so no beauty type product will work for u. Seek medical advice. Hope this helps.

  4. Nicky Cartwright August 18, 2016 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. I have very very oily skin. After cleansing and moisturising on a morning my skin will be so oily after an hour or so, I have to use paper towels to blot my skin. Nothing I’ve tried seems to work. That goes for make up & skin care. I wear specs and it gets so bad they tend to slide down my nose! Can you please recommend products that may help. Thank you x

  5. Helen bradshaw August 25, 2016 at 9:18 am -  Reply

    Hi i need some advice please. I have a grandaughter who is nearly 12 she has hormonal spotty skin, but is starting to experiment with make up. What is the best make up for her to use please? Thanks in advance. God bless. x

  6. Debbie Lewis August 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I am wondering which to use first on my skin in the morning, Ultra Sun or the Liz Earle face serum. Both imply they should be used on bare skin. As I am in my 50’s and have dry skin I use the Liz Earle concentrate in the evening, otherwise I would use the face serum then.

    Would very much appreciate your advice.

    Thank you

  7. Patricia August 30, 2016 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    I am 51 black Caribbean, until the beginning of this year l had pretty good skin although had the odd breakout which went quickly. I have now started suffering a lot of breakouts (painful) mainly around my chin and cheek areas. As a smoker I started double cleansing with Decelor micellar oil (been using for about a year and was working a treat) alongside liz earle c/p (3weeks). I can only assume C/P is not reacting well to my skin or should I wait a bit longer for a result….Help

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