THE coming of spring is great news for most of us – but not if you have allergies.
There are ways to deal with dust, grasses, foods, drinks and molds but it can be hard to know what the problem is.
I look at various tests that can help you find out, while our Beauty Editor puts tubing mascara to the test.
HEALTH: with Jane Atkinson
CLEVER TECH – Klarify Home Allergy Test checks for 294 allergens.
It detects allergen-specific IgE – an indication of an allergy to pets and their wee – as well as to grasses, molds, yeasts, mites and foods.
And it was the trickiest of the tests to use. I had to prick my finger three times and it took three weeks for the results to come.
But they were comprehensive.
I discovered I am allergic to male dog urine!
Each test I reviewed gave me different results, but this one said I was allergic to melon – and it is the only thing I’ve ever had a problem with.
Impressive. £149, uk.klarify.me.
SIMPLE TEST – The Advanced Food Intolerance Blood Test measures reactions to everything from grain and fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans to herbs, spices, vanilla essence and balsamic vinegar.
The easiest test to do – a little finger prick – and I got a full report emailed within five working days of the sample arriving at the lab.
It flagged a few minor allergies – yeast, mushrooms and lobster. I probably eat too much bread and drink too much wine, so this could be right.
QUICK RESULT – The Premium Food Intolerance Test checks for more than 200 food and drink ingredients and is very easy to do, with just a finger prick.
As an eczema sufferer, I wanted to see if there was anything I could cut out of my diet to improve my skin.
When the results arrived five days later, they showed I had a very high reaction to yeast and flax, and a moderate reaction to cranberry and pumpkin.
I cut the problem foods from my diet for four weeks. The yeast was tricky as it’s in everything, but it was worth it, as I’ve had far fewer flare-ups.
BEAUTY: with Tara Ledden
BUDGET – Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! smudge-proof volumizing & defining mascara, £3.49
Rather than covering your lashes in pigmented wax, tubing mascaras use polymers, which generally means no smudging.
They can also be removed with just warm water. Essence offers some of the best budget mascaras, but this isn’t my favourite.
It separated my lashes nicely, but it flaked badly and left black dots over my face.
It smudged by the end of the day, too. Not horrendous for the price, but there are better options.
Dry areas would benefit from an extra layer of moisturiser underneath, though.
MID – Glossier Lash Slick, £14: There isn’t a mascara more widely loved by beauty editors than Glossier’s hero offering.
The tapered brush makes it easy to reach those tiny lashes in the inner corner without colouring the side of your nose.
And the formula layers nicely so it works just as well for no-make-up days as when you want big, dramatic lashes.
It’s the mascara I go back to time and again.
I just wish it didn’t dry out so fast but, given the price, it doesn’t hurt to replace it every three months, which will be music to any ophthalmologist’s ears. My favourite.
LUXURY – – Victoria Beckham Future Lash mascara, £28: On first impressions, I didn’t think I was going to like VB’s latest mascara launch.
The formula is quite wet and looks clumpy on the brush.
But when it hits your lashes, it completely transforms.
No mascara has ever given me eyelashes as long as this one, and the tubing formula is truly smudge-free.
My only gripe is that it’s not very buildable, so I need something else for nights out.
But it’s my go-to everyday mascara.