#Ask Us Anything: Graduation Outfits, Supportive Underwear & Starting A Business With A Friend

#AskUsAnything – quite literally, anything – and we’ll put your queries to the experts and then share their words of wisdom right here. This week, there’s lots of advice from our very own Fashion Ed on the graduation dress you can wear for the rest of the summer, the best in supportive underwear and whether skinny jeans are still in. Plus, Lauren Stevenson, co-founder of PR company Aisle8, tells us what you need to know about running a business with your bestie….

“I don’t have the cash to splash out on expensive eye creams - are there any budget-friendly eye products you would recommend?”

Answered by Tamara Corin, SL contributor

“The delicate area around our eyes often takes the biggest hit as we age. If your main concern is pigmentation, look to products with skin brighteners such as Vitamin C or liquorice root, such as Origins Eye-On-The-Go Hinzing Refreshing Eye Cream, £16.50 and CeraVe Eye Repair Cram, £8.25. If you’re trying to reduce the appearance of fine lines, try an eye cream with antioxidants, retinol and peptides, that will stimulate collagen. My faves are Garnier Ultralift Anti-Ageing Eye Cream, £4.99 and Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Eye Cream, £18.75. However, if it’s eye irritation and redness you suffer from, choose products that contain hyloronic acid that will quickly become your best friend. Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream, £9.50 and La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Eyes, £25.50 will boost hydration fast.” 

"What is your opinion on starting a business with a friend versus starting one on your own?"

Answered by Lauren Stevenson, co-founder of PR company Aisle8, which she started with her friend, Virginia Norris

You would think that going into business with a friend could go horribly wrong, but five years in Virginia and I are closer than ever as friends and business partners. Running a business together allows you to share all the highs and lows with someone, whilst learning everyday from the way they work and do things differently to you. You have someone who not only understands the nuances of the business and the often difficult decisions that have to be made, but who also understands you and the way you think and act.  Every day you work through exciting or challenging moments with someone you trust and respect and above all, really enjoy sitting next to for 8-10 hours a day.  Virginia and I have always joked our relationship as business partners is our most successful relationship to date.  I can’t imagine doing this without her.

“Which SPFs are good for putting under and over make-up? And how much are we meant to put on?”

Answered by Rebecca Hull, SheerLuxe’s Health & Beauty Editor

Half a teaspoon of sunscreen is the recommended dose for your face to reap the full benefits of SPF. Try rubbing in half, let it absorb, then apply a second layer, as all at once can often be difficult to rub in at first. If you feel you have a lot of excess, use the rest on your neck and hands, as both are areas that still see the sun daily. As for brands, Dermatologist, Justine Kluk swears by Garnier’s Ambre Solair Sensitive Advanced SPF50+, while facialist and skincare expert, Vaishaly Patel swears by Institut Esthederm’s Adaptsun Face Cream. SL’s go-to? REN’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF for its skin-loving ingredients and super-sheer texture which sits beautifully under your everyday base.

“Please can you give me some tips on how to get rid of ingrown hairs?”

Answered by Rebecca Hull, SheerLuxe’s Health & Beauty Editor

More often than not, ingrown hairs appear when the hair follicle is obstructed by dead skin cells, so look to body products containing glycolic acid. This key ingredient works to break down the mixture of sebum and dead skin cells so hairs can fight through much easier without causing mass inflammation. Try Pixi’s Glycolic Body Wash or Ameliorate’s Nourishing Body Wash. It’s also worth using an exfoliator with salicylic acid in as its an amazing anti-inflammatory treatment that instantly brings down redness and kills off bacterial properties, which is helpful in reducing risk of infection. We recommend Paula’s Choice Exfoliating Body Spray.


“Are skinny jeans officially out of style? No other jeans suits my figure as well!”​

Answered by Charlotte Collins, SheerLuxe’s Fashion Editor

Repeat after me: skinnies are not dead. It all depends how you style them. First things first, ditch white styles – they don’t do anyone any favours – and try to avoid any particularly pale washes too. Then, think carefully about what you’re layering the look with – oversized white shirting and double-breasted blazers = chic, slim fitting tops, simple t-shirts and cropped jackets = not so chic. Balance out your proportions and wear some key trend accessories, whether that’s a raffia bag or ugly sandals, to bring the look up to date.

“What are the best brands to shop for a graduation outfit, bearing in mind I'm a student and don't have a huge budget?”

Answered by Charlotte Collins, SheerLuxe’s Fashion Editor

If you’ve been searching high and low for this one, you should have tried a little closer to home, as Topshop always gets it right when it comes to affordable dresses. For your graduation you want something respectable – that means a knee-length cut and shoulders covered, plus it’s preferable not to wear monochrome; black is too severe, white a little too summery. Topshop have a great selection of floral and printed styles in everything from wrap designs to oversized, long-sleeve iterations – perfect for the big event and to continue wearing throughout the summer.

“Could you name a few brands that make really good, supportive underwear?”

Answered by Charlotte Collins, SheerLuxe’s Fashion Editor

Spanx and similar brands are obviously great when you need a bit of extra help, but if you’re just looking for comfortable but supportive knickers for everyday, I can’t recommend Triumph enough. The Magic Wire styles are my go-to, they keep your bum in place and cut below your waist so they’re really flattering, plus their lace finish prevents any kind of Bridget Jones-esque embarrassment. They’re relatively affordable and wash really well too – honestly, they’re the perfect pair.

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