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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bourjois's Black and White Drama

My art teacher often used to talk about shade and light, how the precise control of it is essential to make the painting or etching sing by adding atmosphere. The theory of light and shade also carries through to make-up, and as in art, all shadows are not created equal. A colour washed eye of a solo shade works well, but a contrast of shadows can really add drama.

Bourjois are encouraging the inner artist in all of us with their Black & Light contrasting collection. The stars are their two eye shadows:  Light 01 and 10 Noir Fusain. Here their creative make-up artist, Cassie Lomas explains how to pull of the look without looking like a panda caught in the headlights!

  • Draw a graphic line along the base of the lashes and in the socket using
    the black end of the Kohl & Contour Shadow and Light Pencil. Smudge in using a contour blending brush.
  •  Apply a light coat of 10 Noir Fusain over the kohl to set for ultimate hold.
  • For a subtle finish, pat into lids with ring finger to soften all
     the edges into a blur.
  • Apply Light 01 all over the lower lid where there is no black. For a light wash, use a soft brush, or for a heavier layer use a stiff brush. Feather the colours together by blending over the eyes with a clean blending brush.
  • The light eyeshadow will soften the black when blended over. If you want
    to increase the intensity of the black, apply a second coat once you have
    merged the lines of the two colours.
  • For a wide eyed look,  use the light end of the kohl pencil and  layer into the
    inner rim. This creamy tone is softer and more wearable than white
  • Finish the eyes off with a slick of very black volumising masara.

Light 01, Noir Fusain are £6.99 each. Kohl & Contour Shadow & Light Pencil, £5.49 are all available in February 2012.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Scented Little Star

Just had to share this angelic tree decoration from Aromatherapy Associates. Hang next to the mirrorballs, and once the fizz has gone from the champagne, the mistletoe has been taken down and 2012 has been rung in, you can look forward to the luxurious soak the mini Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil will bring. Well worth the wait, I’d say!

Aromatherapy Associates Little Star, £10

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tin-sel Temptations

I love pretty tins and I’ve noticed there are quite a few around in time for Christmas. So, I’ve selected two brands which I think would make great stocking stuffers!

First up is Yardley. With vintage in vogue, everything your granny loved is back on the scene, with Yardley being one of them. And their adorable Soap in a Tin makes for great stocking thrillers. You can literally smell them coming – be warned, the scent is quite strong, but you certainly have an ‘aaah’ moment when you unwrap them. I love the fact the fragrances are very traditional too: English Lavender, Lily Of The Valley, English Rose and April Violets all sit nicely in colour complemented tins. Great for sofa surfing, the tins have a waterproof liner, making them perfect for packing when staying round friends and family. And once the suds are gone, the tin makes for a nice trinket holder.

Yardley London Soap in a Tin cost £4.99 each.
Available from Boots, Lloyds and independent chemists.
Stockists: 01753 753 420

Yes, you’ve no doubt heard about STEAMCREAM, I’ve blogged about it before, but I just had to showcase one of their limited Christmas tin designs as it’s gorgeous. This one is designed by Japanese poet and textile designer. Mako Kikkawa’s featuring her character Mathilde. With an ice blue sky dusted with soft snowflakes, it’s enough to make you feel as fuzzy and festive just looking at it.


Monday, 5 December 2011

Treats get Naked!

I don’t know about you, but when I’m shop snooping for sparkly girlfriend treats, I’m always put off by gift sets. Packaging can really work a product when it’s all boxed up, beribboned and fancy, but when product is surrounded by plastic, it makes them look, ahem, cheap! But this year I’ve decided to look beyond the packaging and take note of the actual products.

I’ve taken a selection of goodies available in Boots this Christmas, which not only makes for easy shopping, but competitive pricing too. And as you can see from my snaps, the products look infinitely more tempting away from the packaging. So, my small Santa suggestion would be to discard the plastic altogether if you don’t like, and wrap products up individually in tissue paper and ribbon to spread a little luxury.

Hello Kitty Eye Smoky Eye Kit, £12
How cutesome is this for a teen sister or work friend? Two of London’s funky brands collide – Hello Kitty meet Liberty Art Fabrics, where the dinky, decorated cardboard pots include three classic shades to create a bewitching smoky eye, all of which can be professionally applied with the double ended applicator.

Compact Mirror, £8
This just goes to illustrate my point how much better this compact looks away from the packaging. It has a definite vintage feel and is just the retro handbag accessory to keep you looking touched-up and gorgeous on-the-go.

No7 The Nail Collection, £10
No7 have a couple of polish sets this season, this one is called Beneath the Evening Stars Mini Nail Set. I like No7’s polishes anyway, they cover well and dry quick, so to get four in a set is a real bonus. Plus, there’s not one duff colour! All the shades are completely on-message, and Glitterball (the silver sparkly one) looks great when applied over any of the other three colours. And at that penny pinching price, they only work out £2.50 each. What’s not to love?

Gifts available from Boots nationwide and

Friday, 2 December 2011

Jane Bradley's Beauty Rules


Make-up artist Jane Bradley has spent her career making women of all ages look beautiful. A hot favourite with beauty editors, top photographers and celebrities alike, she is not only one of the loveliest make-up artists I’ve worked with, but one of the most creative too. Here she reveals her secrets and favourite products.

DM: What are the top three classic make-up mistakes women make?
JB: Choosing the wrong shade and type of foundation, along with applying too much. Heavy application will only accentuate fine lines and wrinkles on mature skin. I see over-plucked eyebrows all the time. This is not only dated, but makes you look quite hard too. Drawn in eyebrows can look great on the catwalk, but not in real life! Blusher applied in the wrong place is also a make-up trip-up. It should be used to imitate a healthy, natural flush, but I often see it swept high up on cheekbones and creeping off into the hairline. You would never naturally blush here. Apply onto the apples of your cheeks and blend out, while highlighter should be used above and contouring powder below.   

DM: Which celebrity do you enjoying dusting with the powder brush and why?
JB: I love making up Leona Lewis. I’ve been doing her so long I could almost do her blindfolded! She’s very beautiful and has fabulous skin. We always have fun too. Patsy Kensit for the very same reasons, and recently I’ve been working with Naomie Harris – the new Bond girl who is just divine. I get to use all my deeper shades on her dark skin tone and adopt different techniques because of it. The rules change a little with darker skin tones which gives me a change to experiment more. Naomie is exciting to work with as she loves to mix up her look and is quite the chameleon so it never gets boring. We can go from soft and natural to super glam, and it all looks great on her.

DM: How can well applied make-up rock your look?
JB: It will make you look prettier, younger and fresher. It can give the illusion of clearer and brighter skin, along with changing the look of your eyes, lips and face shape. It will make you look like you’ve had a good night’s sleep, even if you’re shattered! It will build inner confidence and help you literally ‘face the world’. It will help people see you differently too.

DM: The million dollar make-up question: what key product wouldn’t you be without
JB: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint for a natural radiant glow, or for more coverage Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I have Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eye Shadow in almost every shade in my kit which I either use alone or as a base for powder shadows to help boost adhesion, colour intensity and ensure crease free wear. Bellini is an all round fantastic shade but for something slightly more shimmery and darker I adore the metallic Antique Gold which looks especially beautiful on darker skins. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eye Liner hard is hard to beat, so I always have one to hand. I think MAC do a brilliant range of lipsticks in every shade and texture but one of my absolute all time favourites is a vibrant matte red called Ruby Woo which suits just about everyone.

I've been working with the Puppini Sisters (a retro vocal trio) for years now and they always ask for a red lip….and it's always Ruby Woo. They love it so much they called their second album 'The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo' which I thought was pretty genius!  I must mention Daniel Sandler's Watercolour blushers now which are, quite simply, fantastic. Last but not least it has to be mascara; my desert island must have. I've tried many many different makes and types but always keep returning to the same few which are: Max Factor Masterpiece Max and also the Masterpiece Waterproof – neither flake, clump or smudge and both have a great brush ensuring even coverage while giving long seperated wonderful lashes.

DM: What's your all time favourite make-up trick?
JB: It's hard to choose an 'all time favourite make-up trick' really because so many little things can have such a great effect. For instance, curling lashes before applying mascara makes a huge difference as does plucking the eyebrows into a great shape. Adding a little flesh tone pencil or illuminator along the upper lip line really does give the illusion of a fuller lip and a flesh tone pencil on the inner eye rim gives instant brightness to the eyes.

DM: Have you ever thought about turning yourself into a brand?
JB: I've often thought how great it'd be to have my own line. I could cherry pick my favourite pieces from all the different brands, reproduce them with my own tweaks into a perfect complete range where every single element was amazing. However, I have recently learned the complexities and cost of such a venture and have really had my eyes opened. I accepted the role of Brand Ambassador for Liz Earle Colour last year which I'm incredibly excited about; it's such an amazing opportunity for me to learn about creating a cosmetics line from the ground up with a brand who has such a strong heritage, a vast and ever growing loyal customer base, and who hold environmental and anti-animal testing values close to heart. As Brand Ambassador I'm not only there to present the brand to the public and teach them how to use it, but I'm also involved with product development enabling me to share my knowledge and expertise to help produce a range to equal the high quality and performance of their skin care.

DM: Whose make-up style do you think really pops?
JB: I think J-Lo's make up is always absolutely beautiful; she experiments with her looks constantly without ever departing from who she is. She's no Lady Gaga; she's more traditional but still looks modern, radiant and always drop dead gorgeous. I do however love more avant garde make-up too, and love to see women play with colour and textures – sticking lace or rhinestones on the face or using two or three sets of lashes at a time, etc. I really admire the work of Alex Box (founder of Illamasqua) who is more of a fine artist than a regular MUA. She's incredibly skilled at creating highly theatrical looks; she's taken make-up to another level. 

DM:  In your DVD you say you have a natural flair for make-up, do you think you can be taught it?
JB: I think having a natural flair for make is a must if you want to become a make-up artist. You need to be able to assess different face shapes and skin tones to work out what will suit each individual the best. However, I think you can easily learn how to become your own best make-up artist because you only have one face to learn! I always tell people to have a good old play with make-up and not to be afraid of making mistakes; it's not like you're getting a tattoo and get stuck with it forever – you can wash it off and start again.

Jane’s DVD Lips to Lashes is £19.99 and available from

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Just What The Pore Doctor Ordered


I’ve always been a bit of a flirt when it comes to skincare, never staying monogamous to one brand for too long. However, since discovering Alpha-H which I wrote about in this blog a few months ago, I’ve stayed true for at least 12 weeks, which for me, is a triumph. My resolve was only intensified when I saw a beauty journalist last week, who at 37 has a skin age of 25. Her secret when I asked? Alpha-H.


So, it was with a spring in my step I went to experience an Alpha-H facial at The Fern Skin Clinic. It takes a lot to get me out for facials surprisingly enough.  Over my beauty writing years, I’ve rubbed shoulders (or should that be noses?) with leading skin aficionados, so I’ve become quite an expert myself in terms of facial massage and product know-how. But, I have to say there’s no beating the pampering factor of a high-level professional one. Plus, I get to lie down for an hour. In the middle of the day!

I literally felt in safe hands when I met my skin therapist Jodie, who had healthy and radiant looking skin herself. Always my own personal barometer for a treatment. Unfortunately, she was camera shy for my blog so I can’t show and tell. But asking her about skin brands she was forthcoming – familiar with many, she said she loved Alpha-H as it gives results. Refined pores and plumped up collagen included. “A lot of self marketed ‘active’ brands don’t perform well and are just an excuse to push up the price,” she said. Placing her fingertips on my skin she pronounced it dry, so bearing in mind Alpha-H is glycolic acid driven, I may well be over doing it on the old exfoliating front. So, I’m going cold turkey at the weekends, as suggested by Jodie and using a nourishing facial oil – I’ve just discovered Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil which I will be talking about in another posting, but that’s a different skin story!

Back to the treatment in hand, I like facials that are up-tempo. By that I mean ones that never leave you lying on a couch feeling bored wondering what the next move is going to be. And this one ticked the boxes with plenty of massage and hot towel action. There was never a moment when some part of me wasn’t being attended to, whether it was my face/arms/hands/shoulders/neck/scalp. There was a seaweed mask too – even with eyes closed there was no mistaking the smell, whereby it was slicked right over the eyes. I have to confess, I did have a mini panic as I thought Jodie had forgotten the eye gauze, but, she assured me it set quick. And it did, peeling off easily with my eyes intact and able to see! And although I’m not a fan, extraction was included. Many therapists don’t do it, but although painful was necessary, and I’m happy to report my skin post facial didn’t look like it had been squeezed to death. In fact, Jodie said this was always her favourite bit of the facial. A masochistic facialist? Well, it certainly left my skin looking good!
The Alpha-H Facial costs from £70. I went to The Fern Skin Clinic, 18 Englands Lane, London NW3 4TG. Tel:
020 722 2002.
The facial is also available at David Lloyd Leisure Groups

Friday, 25 November 2011

No7 Brightens Up

The thing is, when you meet No7’s Creative Consultant, Lisa Eldridge she always looks so darn pretty, and you instantly want what she’s wearing!

I’ve highlighted three products from her Floral Brights Limited Edition collaboration with No7 as I truly believe they can prettify in nanoseconds. When I met Lisa she told me this is a collection to perk up the January beauty blues – where our grey complexion and mood is possibly still in rehab from New Year!

My go-to item in my make-up bag is always, always blusher. I have about four on the go at any one time. Once applied they give a youthful injection to the skin, and can help whisk away any dark circles under the eye, purely with their radiance. I always loved how Carrie Bradshaw wore her blusher in SATC. Bright and bang on the apples of the cheeks. No7’s Vital Brights Cream Blush in Blooming Pink and Blossoming Pink, £10 each are a brilliant buy. This really is a premium formulation for such a thrifty price, feeling like a silky textured cream on fingertips you would normally associate with a high-end brand. In the compacts the colours pop. Really pop. But far from leaving you looking like Aunt Sally, they blend in effortlessly, giving a very becoming rosy glow. It’s the kind of glow you get when you’ve been up to something you shouldn’t have!

The complimentary Vital Bright Lipsticks, again £10 each, both carry the same name shades as the cream blushes, but don’t look as bright. However, they really give energy to the lips and feel very comfortable on thanks to their moisture rich formulation. There’s nothing worse than a squeaky lipstick, right?  I like to layer these two colours, slicking the brighter shade, Blooming Pink on first, then adding depth with Blossoming Pink. Now I’m ready to smile in the face winter.

The Floral Brights Limited Edition Collection is available from 25th January to 6th March 2012

Scenta Claus is Coming to Town!


Wouldn’t this shot from Jo Malone’s Christmas press brochure be just dreamy to land on your doorstep? I am always amazed by the queues (or maybe not) that I witness every year outside their Brook Street shop in London the week before Christmas. Panicked partners, darling daughters and gifting girlfriends all want a piece of Jo Malone for their loved ones. And every time I’ve given a Jo Malone pressie I just know I’ve done the right thing. Satisfaction guaranteed!



Two of my favourites from their festive festoon this year are the Christmas Cracker (so popular there were no press samples to be had, hence press pic) which has a diddy, but very cute Grapefruit Cologne, Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash and a Pomegranate Noir Body Crème at £28, or for something or someone a bit special I love the Cologne Collection at £62. With five 9ml bottles you can pick and mix with Grapefruit, Pomegranate Noir, Wild Bluebell, Red Roses and Vanilla & Anise. It’s a smorgasbord of scent all boxed up and ready to delight. Both gifts are great as an introduction to JM as well as doubling up as mini travel delights over the Christmas season.

For Jo Malone Express Mail order tel: 0870 034 2411 or shop online at:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rituals Irresistible Infusion

I don’t do lattes. I don’t do cappuccinos. I don’t do coffee. I do tea. But not any old tea, and never served in a mug, always a cup! As you can see I take my tea very seriously, so I was beyond delighted to discover Rituals Rose Wisdom. Creating a storm in a tea cup, they have spent 10 years perfecting their blends and have relaunched their eight most popular flavours.
Firstly, let me just say I was seduced by the packaging which is gorgeous, and the minute you open the box you’re hit with pure and delicate aromas of the tea. The tightly packed pyramid bags literally perform like room fragrance. Now for the all important slurp test. Surprisingly comforting, my rose and ginger infusion offered a nice balance between the two, neither too sweet, nor too sharp. The taste of the rose came through first, then the ginger kicked in. But the final act deserved an encore with its lovely perfumery after taste. A tea most definitely to be drunk if you have kissing in mind! 

Rituals teas are either available in a decorative tin of 50 tea bags, £11.90 or luxury boxes of 20, £4.50
Available at all Rituals stores or online

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Passion for Clarins

Ding, dong merrily on high, make-up is getting Christmassy!
Beauty halls are literally sparkling, dazzling and shimmering with festive make-up gems designed to tempt and tease. Casting an eye over seasonal limited editions, I would like to showcase Clarins who have certainly come up with some stand-out products.

Clarins just keeps surprising with their keen beauty eye and creativity, and their latest collection is inspired from lavish motifs of the art deco period. Passion Face Palette is a solid feeling compact that instantly gives it the luxe factor. It has a beautifully embossed graphic design that makes it, and you look very classy when powdering ones nose! Open it up, and it reveals an intricately designed silky light compact powder that mirrors the image on the lid. At first glance it looks a little too glittery to pull off, but the gold sparkle is very, very subtle once dusted on, blessing the complexion with a slight illumination – very much like it’s been lit by dozens of fairy lights. Very flattering, especially after daytime hours.

The second star performer is their Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion. Usually with a quartet there is always one shadow that remains untouched, but all four of these shades complement each other so well, there’s little chance of one being a wallflower. A dark grey, silver grey, copper pink and silver gel highlighter or mingle sophisticatedly together and can be blended or layered as-you-please. Although Clarins do give a little direction by suggesting a wash of copper pink over the inner half of the eyelid, then blending outwards using silver. Add eye drama by sweeping the dark grey along the base of the top and bottom lashes, then blend out. Catch the light with a touch of silver highlighter on the inner corner of the eye. Here’s to everyone looking at you this party season!

Passion Face Palette, £35 and Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion, £30

For stockist enquires call: 0800 036 3558 or online at

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho, it's L'Occitane's Santa Sleigh

Stepping into L’Occitane I always feel like a wide eyed kid in a sweet shop. What to look at first? All my senses are seemingly hit at once: colour, sight, smell, touch. And as for hearing, cries of, ‘oooh, I love this’ radiate around the shop floor. To stress my point, whilst I was being shown their latest gems from their delightful PR across a café table scoffing carrot cake  (yes, it’s a hard job all this research!) the waiter’s eyes actually popped out of his head, and asked if that was L’Occitane? It was obviously a brand his girlfriend had been dropping huge hints about, so let’s pray she gets a little sweet smelling deliciousness in her stocking this Christmas.

And talking about candy and Christmas, L’Occitane has been inspired by a traditional sweets factory from Provence for its two new Christmas collections. Namely, Delice des Fleurs (rose and violet) and Delice des Fruits (lemon and Clementine). This post is a bit of a L’Occitane bonanza, but I’m making no apologies. I feel all of the products mentioned here would solve many a festive frown. No my fretting what to get friends, mum, aunt, sister, mum-in-law, as I’m sure they would all love a little sprinkling of L’Occitane love.

For a drum roll gift box, their Limited Editions do not disappoint. Firstly, how amazing is this embossed print top left featured on the lid box? The detail on it is fabulous and had me happily looking at it for a good few minutes. I’ve photographed a small taster of boxed candy goodies above, but for the whole range, feast your eyes in store or online, prices start from £18.

The wonderfully printed Limited Edition Ultra Rich Body Cream, I kid you not looks like a pot of double cream and is exceptionally concentrated in shea butter. It smells absolutely delicious the minute you unscrew the lid, but once applied sinks in wonderfully. Perfect stocking fillers, £16.

I’m making my own Christmas crackers this year and will be popping these Limited Editions mini tube Shea Hand Cream, £7.50 and Organic Shea Lip Balms, £8 into tin foil wrapped cardboard rolls. I’ve no doubt there will be squeals around the table, and they will certainly beat a plastic puzzle or yo-yo!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The not-so-perfect Plait

Plaits have to be created in such a way they don’t look straight off the set of The Sound of Music. At a recent L’Oreal trends afternoon, they showcased James Pecis, a seasoned session stylist to talk through SS2012 hair trends. One of them being plaits. Now, I only ever wear a plait at the gym, more for practicality than style, feeling it’s too milkmaid to debut in the real world. But after James’s take on the braid I’ve changed my mind. Deftly done plaits can look youthful without looking too school yard, and if you like to wear your hair off your face it’s a cool alternative to the ponytail. Also note, there’s more than one way to wait a plait other than straight down the back as James spotlighted.

James reveals the key is to create a soft braid, and far from traditional three way plaiting, he takes two pieces of hair and ties a series of knots – for this style it was around the head. Catching the model afterwards and asking her if her hair was tangled up into knots, she said they actually came out really easily. “There’s a simplicity to next seasons plait,” explains James, “it’s almost as if they’re an after thought to control your hair, and soft pieces should be pulled out around the face to give a coolness and prettiness to the look.”

Perfect for day-old hair which has more grip, otherwise use Studio Line Silk & Gloss Volume Mousse, £3.56 to give hair guts, knot the hair and finish off with a spritz of Elnett Satin Very Volume Supreme Hold Hairspray, £3.56. Gives hold without look overly polished and lacquered.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Batiste's Wild Side

Just had to do a very quick posting on this fab can from Batiste. Their dry shampoo is an absolute hair saver for anyone that’s woken up late, and needs to reboot their style sans shampoo. Keeping up with fashion, they’ve just gotten Wild with their pussy galore animal print. I just can’t help thinking it will bring out the sex kitten in your hair with a little bit of back teasing. Miaow!

Batiste Dry Shampoo, £2.99 exclusive to Boots and at

Monday, 7 November 2011

Bobbi Brown's Party Dazzlers

As a working make-up artist, Bobbi Brown has created a  brand that understands how women want to look everyday – whether that’s a work day, a relaxing day or a celebration day. Subtle in her approach, but high end in her delivery, her collections never fail to impress with their sophisticated shades and textures. However, that doesn’t mean Bobbi doesn’t have a cheeky side.

Her Limited Editions for Christmas are, excuse the pun, real cosmetic crackers! The Pastel Sugar Sparkle Quad is described as the make-up equivalent of sparkling earrings with pale turquoise, silver and orchid sparkling eye shadows in the mix, but my favourite has to be her iconic Party Shimmer Brick. All gift wrapped in silver and gold, it gives a delectable disco glow when dusted lightly onto the tops of the cheekbones post blusher, and magically opens up the eye area when applied as a highlighter under the brow bone. For that Bond girl finish it’s embossed with a martini glass and shaker. Oh Bobbi, you do leave us feeling shaken and stirred!

Her rather lovely Party Fragrance makes for the ultimate accessory. It’s a scent most gorgeous with notes of violet leaves, rose petals and a dry-down of sandalwood. Spritzed to be seduced.

Party Shimmer Brick, £32.50 and Bobbi’s Party Fragrance, £46.50 are both available this month.
Stockists number: 0870 034 2566

Friday, 4 November 2011

Eucerin's Comfort Blanket for Skin


I’ve been a fan of this dermatological skincare brand for yonks. Their Hyaluron Filler Concentrate is a product I use religiously. Based on honest skin advice, it’s a brand that’s quietly confident without having to use tongue twisting, scientific sounding ingredients to impress or package itself in gold boxes. The deal breaker for such modesty is: it works.

Their latest edition to their burgeoning range is the US cult favourite, Aquaphor. I mention this now as skin takes a battering in winter months, whereby extremely dry, chapped, chafed and cracked skin not only looks unattractive, but is uncomfortable too. This is an all dancing balm that can be applied anywhere. It squeezes out like petroleum jelly and looks gloopy, but is surprisingly light in application, helping create a protective barrier that is semi permeable, meaning it doesn’t suffocate the skin. Far from being occlusive, it allows skin to breathe whilst keeping it lovely and moist. As well as a daily rescue for dry areas, it’s also clinically proven to support the skins regeneration process, so making it ideal for soothing on after treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser resurfacing. Go try!

Eucerin Soothing Skin Balm, £8.50 available from
For any skin problems www.eucerin,com gives good advice

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Clinique ask, 'Are you Being Served?'


When you’re clock watching and all you want to do is nip in and out of a department store and buy mascara, it can be a tad annoying to have a beauty consultant try and condition you to the whole of their range. Shopping for cosmetics can be a joy, but other times it can feel like a chore/minefield/rushed. Clinique understand this, hence their new service aptly called As You Like It.

Researching into women’s shopping habits, their new counter services adjust to your means and moods. There’s the Foundation and Colour Bar for example, and dedicated make-up and skincare browsing areas which encourage you to test and play at your leisure. Furthermore, for the time strapped there’s the Best Selling Tower which offers a well edited assortment of Clinique’s most popular products. A complete no-brainer in my beauty book.

But one of their most innovative shopping tricks up their sleeve, and one that slips onto your wrist is their complementary rubber wrist brands. These can be picked up on counter and signify how much time you have. Green stands for, ‘I have time, let’s talk.’ White, ‘Time is of the essence’ and pink, ‘Browsing and happy.’ I can’t help thinking they would be good for date nights too!

Available on counter now in Selfridges, London, House of Fraser Meadowhall and Glasgow, Debenhams Leeds and Fenwick, Newcastle

Dior does Gold Dust

When it comes to making an entrance, Dior never fails to put on a stunning make-up show. Their Christmas collection, Les Rouges Or celebrates the seduction of gold – and it’s truly red carpet perfection. As the story goes, gold was a gift brought to the baby Jesus from the Wise Men, and signified that Jesus would be fit for a king. This collection says you will be fit to party!

Gold has always befitted the house of Dior, both in beauty and couture with its dazzling and sophisticated allure, but it’s a colour that can be tricky to pull off, both in make-up and dress. Too much and it leaves you looking over decorated and tacky.  This collection is clever in its execution, not too muted, but with just enough sparkle to make you stand out from the crowd. It won’t leave you looking gold plated, more gently gilded. Each lip and nail shade is shot with golden powder and radiance to deliver a sexy and warm glow. A great tip is to slick the pure gold shade Rouge Dior in Or Etoile on top of any of the lip shades for full on Brigitte Bardot sexiness. We guarantee you won’t be looking for kisses under the mistletoe.  

Rouge Dior Les Rouges Or, £22.50 and Dior Vernis, £17.50 available nationwide.

Monday, 31 October 2011

ORTIGIA's Roll-on Fragrance Oils


I gave a little ‘ooh’ when I saw how these ORTIGIA’s roll-on perfume oils were presented and wrapped. So desirable! Highly concentrated, they smell delicious without being too overwhelming on the nose. Non-drying on the skin, the oil is a mix of moisturising palm and coconut oil. Pop into your purse or handbag and roll onto pulse points during the day to lighten your mood and enliven the senses. Choose from seven of their most popular scents created from the plants and flowers of Sicily. My favourites are Sicilian Lime and Orange Blossom. I like the palm motif on the bottle too – I don’t why, it just makes me feel happy! And happiness in a bottle is what fragrance should transport. Perfect for Christmas stocking fillers, a thank you gift, or just a treat for yourself.

ORTIGIA perfume oils are £10. Shops are at 55 Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AX and 23 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4PF. Or buy online at