The arrival of spring is great news for most of us, but not if you have allergies.
There are ways to deal with dust, weeds, food, drink, and mold, but it can be difficult to know what the problem is.
I look at various tests that can help you find out, while our beauty editor tests mascara in a tube.
HEALTH: with Jane Atkinson
CLEVER TECH – Klarify Home Allergy Test checks 294 allergens.
It detects specific IgE to allergens – an indication of an allergy to pets and their pee – as well as to grasses, molds, yeasts, dust 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 show.
But they were full.
I found out that I am allergic to male dog urine!
Every test I reviewed gave me different results, but this one indicated I was allergic to melon – and that’s the only thing I’ve ever had a problem with.
Impressive. £149, en.klarify.me.
SINGLE TEST – The Advanced Food Intolerance Blood Test measures reactions to everything from grains and fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans to herbs, spices, vanilla essence and balsamic vinegar.
Easiest test to do – a little finger prick – and I received a full report by email within five working days of the sample arriving at the lab.
He reported a few minor allergies – yeast, mushrooms and lobster. I probably eat too much bread and drink too much wine, so maybe that’s true.
QUICK RESULT – The Premium Food Intolerance Test checks over 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 remove from my diet to improve my skin.
When the results came in five days later, they showed that I had a very high reaction to yeast and flax, and a moderate reaction to cranberry and pumpkin.
I cut problematic foods from my diet for four weeks. The yeast was tricky because it’s in everything, but it was worth it because I had a lot less flare-ups.
BEAUTY: with Tara Ledden
BUDGET – Essence Goodbye panda eyes! Anti-Spot Volumizing & Defining Mascara, £3.49
Rather than coating your lashes with pigmented wax, tube mascaras use polymers, which generally means they don’t smudge.
They can also be removed with just lukewarm water. Essence has some of the best budget mascaras out there, but it’s not my favorite.
It separated my lashes well, but it chipped badly and left blackheads on my face.
It also smudged at the end of the day. Not terrible for the price, but there are better options.
Dry patches would benefit from an extra layer of moisturizer underneath, though.
WAY – Glossier Lash Slick, £14: There’s no mascara more beloved by beauty editors than Glossier’s hero offering.
The tapered brush makes it easy to reach those little lashes in the inner corner without coloring the side of your nose.
And the formula layers well, so it works just as well on makeup-free days as when you want big, dramatic lashes.
This is the mascara I come back to again and again.
I just wish it didn’t dry out so quickly but, given the price, it doesn’t hurt to replace it every three months, which will be music to any eye doctor’s ears. My favorite.
LUXURY – – Victoria Beckham Future Lash Mascara, £28: At first glance, I didn’t think I was going to like VB’s latest mascara launch.
The formula is quite wet and feels lumpy on the brush.
But when it touches your eyelashes, it completely transforms.
No mascara has ever given me lashes as long as this one, and the tube formula is truly smudge-proof.
My only complaint is that it’s not very buildable so I need something else for the evenings.
But it’s my everyday mascara.