Tag Archives: dehydrated skin

Ceramides in Skincare

If you read this blog or know I that I come from a scientific background, you’ll know I don’t buy into fads or marketing jargon when it comes to skincare. However sometimes just sometimes, companies get it right. Recently I discovered the Beauty Aid Cream by Korean brand Touch in Sol. I was intrigued by the molecule which appeared on the packaging and asked my chemistry PhD friend to tell me what it was. Turns out it’s ceramide-3 and it’s the good type of ceramide. Not sure what ceramides are or what makes this one so good (or frankly, how it’s relevant to life)?  Winter is coming, you’re going to want to know. Keep reading!


Where the idea for this post all started! Image courtesy of Priceline.

The science of ceramides in a lovely infographic I prepared earlier:


With winter approaching, most people suffer more with dehydrated skin and dry skin lacking moisture. A good time to invest in a moisturiser to address these needs and ceramides can help.

So how do we know if the ceramides found in our skincare are indeed mixed in the correct ratio in order to be effective in skincare?

Short answer- you can’t really.

Say What

Ceramides are good moisturisers but may not be any better than regular lotions (including the less expensive petrolatum!) unless correctly formulated and the way ceramides are listed in ingredient list still won’t tell you.

Loosely speaking, ceramides can appear in ingredient lists as:

Ceramide 1, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 4, Ceramide 5, Ceramide 6, Ceramide 7, Ceramide 8, Ceramide 9, Ceramide E

Or in much more complicated nomenclature ie- moCETYL-PG HYDROXYETHYL PALMITAMIDE (cuz we’d all know what that was!)

More helpful answer- trial and error!

Trialling is the only way you will know whether the ceramide-containing-moisturiser is making a difference to your skin or whether the product is unfortunately just a marketing con.

Here are my top three tried-and-tested picks.





Image courtesy of Priceline.

Why I like it:

  • Been using this one in my kit quite a lot lately. It’s been a big hit because of its texture, divine smell and for the immediate relief it provides for those with drier or dehydrated skin types.
  • Also a fabulous base for makeup no matter which complexion product you layer over the top.
  • Suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  • Oh and I like the packaging- gym bag, travel bag, kit bag and airplane friendly yeehaa!

Key Ingredients:

Ceramide 3 (skin enhancer) / Bifida ferment lysate (antioxidant) / Portulaca oleracea extract (skin calming) / Biosaccharide gum-1(moisturiser) / 5 types of vegetable extract / Shea butter (hydrating)


$49.99 from Priceline



Image courtesy of Avène.

Why I like it:

  • Because it’s rich in texture but not greasy and is able to be easily absorbed by the skin.
  • Beautiful subtle fragrance.
  • Great option for skiing, sitting in aircon/central heating, air travel.
  • Great for mature skin also.

Key Ingredients:

Biocymentine (ceramides+plant sterols+fatty acids = winning combo!) / Pre-tocopheryl (Vit E a powerful antioxidant) / Glycerin (hydrating)


$62.99 from Priceline

$46.39 from Chemist Warehouse



Image courtesy of Sephora.


Why I like it:

  • I probably prefer this one more for the body rather than for the face (although it can be used for the face also)
  • Soothing and calming for itchy skin or skin that suffers eczema
  • Not tested on animals

Key Ingredients:

Ceramide 3 (in this case teamed with the fatty acid stearic acid) / Glycerin (hydrating) / Glycerin (hydrating) / Colloidal Oatmeal (calming and soothing) / Shea Butter (hydrating) / Green Tea extract (antioxidant)


$58 from Sephora

Hope this article helped dispel some myths and you’ve now got your eye on a new winter moisturiser. If you want to know more about the use of ceramides in skincare or about the products mentioned in this post, please feel free to leave me any questions below.


© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Mira Mandic: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Elsa, our model when I profiled the Mira Mandic for The Bridal Series Sydney.


Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.


Originally I was going to do a relaxed braided upstyle for this shoot but when I saw Elsa’s gorgeous hair, it reminded me of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s effortless style and I decided to take this direction instead and incorporate a bit more wave. It was also a good pairing with the makeup, which was bold yet soft.


One of my favourite style icons Charlotte Gainsbourg- the British-French actress and musician who is the daughter of British actress Jane Birkin and French singer Serge Gainsbourg. She always looks polished but not “too done”.

And it translated to this…


To achieve this style, I started by saturing Elsa’s hair with the Protein Spray (to protect against heat and to regulate moisture levels) before working in a small amount of the Sea Salt Spray (for that “undone” texture) followed by the Volume Mousse at the roots (easy application spray mousse that also protects against colour fade without weighing hair down). I blowdried Elsa’s hair with plenty of root lift before tonging from the mid-lengths down.

To finish I backcombed the crown and sprayed it with the Texturising Volume Spray (for volume and long lasting root lift) before brushing out the curls. I used a small amount of the Miracle Fibre cream to provide elastic support and to control the direction of the waves created. I love the finish of this cream, it’s undone glamour at its best!

Throughout the shoot flyways were tamed with a very light misting of the Rejuvenating Oil Mist which I would either spray from at least an arms length away or by spraying it into the palms of my hands and lightly smoothing over.


My hair styling products from Label M.


Elsa had beautiful skin texture but slightly dehydrated skin (lacking moisture but not dry). To tackle this we used the Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator followed by the Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask for 15 minutes to allow all of the hyaluronic acid to penetrate the skin and work its magic. I used the exfoliator first to make sure there was no dead skin on the surface that would prevent the mask from working as effectively as possible. I then massaged the Hydraluron Moisture Booster (serum) into the skin and around the eye area and finished with the Fillume Volumising Moisturiser for a plump skin finish.


Skincare by Indeed Labs.


Elsa is a motorbike-riding leather-wearing rock chick through and through and so I wanted to design a look that complimented her features and attitude. I kept everything minimal and went straight for some dramatic lashes for the rock factor. This look would work on those brides who don’t normally wear much makeup and like a very understated look. You could substitute the full lashes for some more subtle individual ones to suit your taste and eye shape.


For Ela’s base, I used the Make Up Forever Radiant Primer in Cool Pink (for yellow fair skin) to colour correct and buffed in the Ultra HD Foundation. This provided a great level of coverage for Elsa’s skin and I only needed the Ultra HD Concealer for under the eyes.

For colour I used the HD Blush in “Rosy Plum and matched this tone on the lips for balance. The Lip Liner Pencil in “Cold Pink was used to contour the lips and a combination of the Rouge Artist Natural in “Iridescent Pink Gold with the Artist Plexi-Gloss in “Nude Coral” was layered over the top.

For the eyes I used the Aqua Cream in “Satin Brown” as an eyeshadow base and set with powder eyeshadows in similar tones. I drew the winged liner with the Graphic Liner Pen and finished with generous lashings of the Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara before fitting the false lashes.

For impact, I used the Ardell Glamour 101 Demi black lashes for Elsa’s lashes (very va-va-1940s!).

I set everything with the Mist & Fix spray to increase the staying power of the makeup while also delivering extra hydration to Elsa’s skin (and meant I didn’t need to powder as much while on set).


Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.


And there you have it.  You can be a rock chick and retain your style on your wedding day!



I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  You might like to see which other products and techniques I used for the other the models in The Bridal Series Sydney:

Jennifer Regan: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Moira Hughes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Be sure to keep an eye out for the last designer profiled in The Bridal Series Sydney on Instagram, Facebook and of course, here on the blog.  And as always, feel free to leave any comments or questions about the hair and makeup below.


© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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