February 14th 2020
Expert Edit: What a neuroscientist keeps in her makeup bag
November 7th 2019 / 0 comment
Best-selling author of transformation bible The Source, Dr Tara Swart, 46, looks for beauty that's backed by doctors and scientists; here's what makes it into her makeup bag
If you haven't heard of Dr Tara Swart, where have you been?
Not only is she the author of best-selling life-changing book The Source: Open your mind, change your life, Tara, 46, is a neuroscientist and executive coach with a background in psychiatry.
She's a whizz when it comes to beauty, too, preferring to fill her makeup bag with products created by or backed by doctors and scientists - that's not to say all of her favoured beauty buys break the bank though, with some surprising high streets hits nestling in next to her high end purchases.
Tara favours natural and organic products, free of unnecessary chemicals, stating: “Our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it gets absorbed into our entire system.”
Here she tells us which beauty products make the cut, from nail polish to body cream to fragrance. We know what we'll be buying come payday.
“This is designed by a doctor as part of his three-step skincare method which also includes a cleanser with gently exfoliating rice proteins, and a nourishing cream. Beauty starts with fresh, clean skin and these products really deliver that. I love all three steps but the scrub is the one I can’t live without. I read about Victoria Beckham using this brand, and as she’s the same age as me I decided to check them out.”
“The was created by a biologist, a physiotherapist and a doctor. You do have to be super careful with sun exposure after this but if I’m going to one use one high concentration botanical, it has to be this. There is no artificial fragrance, it contains high quality active ingredients (lactic acid, gluconolactone, salicylic acid and sulphur) and cold formulations, meaning there are no heating processes that damage the ingredients (like with cold pressed juices or olive oil) so this maintains the integrity of the product. I notice the difference when I take a break from it because the texture of my skin is less even. I learned all about acid toning on the Caroline Hirons blog which I'm obsessed with.”
“The founder of this brand, Annee de Mamiel is trained in Chinese medicine and Reiki, and her products are created with modern scientific research, using the most potent, natural, and organic, clean ingredients. I use the mist after the acid toner to neutralise the pH and calm the skin. I met Annee and she has the most wonderful energy. I like to evoke that kind of mindful energy during my morning and evening rituals”.
“Created by a doctor to treat his own burns, full of marine nutrients, microscopic spheres for delivery of moisture, and free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates. I found the original too rich when I was younger so I didn’t return to it for years, but there are various formulations now so I use the soft cream as it is intensely moisturising but melts into the skin without clogging it up. I really advise going to the counter and learning how to use their products effectively.”
“This is a natural emollient that aims to nourish body, mind and spirit. It is relatively inexpensive but the original ultra rich cream is the best body moisturiser I’ve ever found, even transforming the shins, where skin is driest. Even if I’ve skipped the routine for ages, it transforms my skin in two days.”
6 D.S. & Durga Debaser Eau de Parfum, £220.20
“Made in small batches, these perfumes are a sensory experience for more than your olfactory nerve! They have quirky names like Concrete after Lightening, Radio Bombay and Coriander, but Debaser is my fix because it connects me to memories of my mis-spent youth!”
“I use this as a dry shampoo to maximise my blow dry, making it last an extra day or two. It is not only the best product I’ve found for this because it soaks up grease without adding heaviness or being itchy, but also one of the cleanest. I totally avoid any talc-based products because there are suspected links to increasing cancer risk.”
“I just love the way this glides on rather than the harder, waxier pencils. Over-plucked brows are such a sign of ageing because we all went too thin with our brows years ago, and often damaged the follicles so re-growth is a problem. I focus on nurturing the natural, bushy brows I hated when I was in my teens, and even now filling them out to make them look as big and youthful as possible. My make-up artist friend Natalie James recommended this for me.”
“This brand contains edible, food-grade products. This is important based on the premise that women eat up to 5kg of the lipstick that we wear over our lifetime! If you wouldn’t eat the toxins that are in your lipstick then try not to put them on your lips!”
“This is the cleanest, most breathable nail varnish product I have found: free from toluene, formaldehyde and more. I used to use the cleaner base coat, even if I used a regular nail polish over it, but it’s best to use breathable products on every layer of your manicure if possible, so I eventually committed to throwing out my old polishes and replacing them all with non-toxic ones.”