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Monday, 28 March 2011

home sweet (scented) home

Scented candles are now classed as an interior must-have. Let’s face it: your home is nothing if you’re not burning this season’s wax sweetie! Just like your fragrance, scented candles can influence your mood, filling a room with ambience without shifting or adding a thing. Cherry pick scents that you naturally gravitate towards and leave you feeling happy. Factor in the seasons too. Close-to-nature fragrances such as orange, clove, cinnamon, pine and frankincense are perfect for winter, whereas lemon, vanilla, rose, cypress and lavender conjour up thoughts of summer, encouraging you to kick off your shoes. Experiment with different fragrances and you’ll soon become your own interior ‘nose’. Why not burn candles in different rooms so you associate the living room with lavender for instance or the bedroom with rose?

Jo Malone’s David Hicks Home Candles make for jet-set mantlepiece chic in your dwelling, as their delicious scents are wrapped up in three eye clashing, but classic geo-patterns from the late and the famed interior designer’s archives. To become a true candle aficionado, pop in the fridge - it makes the wax last longer and always snip the wick before burning. Otherwise you end up burning charcoal. If you don’t, be prepared to end up with black soot smudged around the glass holder. Truly a candle faux pas!

The three Collector’s Editions are available in Lime Basil & Mandarin in Rivera, Red Roses in Hicksonian and Pomegranate Noir in Hebert’s Carnation from April priced at £38 each.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

taylor made aromatherapy

Like yoga or reflexology, aromatherapy has become a beauty buzz word – sometimes with little meaning. One woman who really understands the age old practice away from the mainstream is aromatherapist, Eve Taylor. Now in her late seventies, and in my eyes a true beauty guru with years of experience and wisdom – her badge of honour is an OBE for her services to aromatherapy and to the beauty industry, she was one of the first aromatherapists to create her own skincare range boasting essential oils. Often referred to as the ‘founding mother of modern day aromatherapy’ Eve is a testament that age should never stop you from growing, or indeed rob you of good humour. “I’m still looking for a Sandalwood Man,” she jokes. “This type would be described as rich and lingering. But of course, I joke. If he is that rich, he will not linger long, a young beauty will get him!”

Spending much of her time travelling to teach and train, I caught up with a jet lagged Eve to talk about the power of aromatherapy and get the distinct feeling she’s not going to do retirement any time soon!

Dollymixture (DM): Eve, you are the ‘grande dame’ of aromatherapy, how have you seen it evolve over the years?
Eve Taylor (ET): The term aromatherapy no longer relates to the original word as I and others in the industry knew it. Now it is used with almost everything, so the public are confused.

DM: Does it annoy you that the word has become hijacked by mass marketing? You even find washing up liquid with ‘aromatherapy’ touches.
ET: In many ways, yes. Namely, because it’s misleading to the public. I remember a woman came to me with a gift voucher for an aromatherapy treatment, and when asked to remove her clothes became very distressed. Why would she want to remove her clothes when she had come to smell the aromas? Misunderstanding to say the least, but another story lies here. There should
have been communication with the client who buys the voucher and the therapist who sold it. Education is what I love and I go to the ends of the earth to get my message across.

DM: What should you look for when shopping for oils to ensure they are the best?
ET: Seek out suppliers and therapists who have qualifications in aromatherapy treatments and manufacturers with a record that stands up to queries. Look for pure natural essential oils. All essential oils are organic, they are not inorganic by nature, but many are now labelled ‘nature identical’ and are made by chemists. Pure natural oils are also more expensive than the synthetic ones.

DM: I’m fascinated by your Systems of Analysis whereby you look at the face, feet and ears to throw up clues about the person’s wellbeing. Can you reveal some of the indications you look for and what they point to?
ET: Common views are: nostrils tilting up could suggest upper respiratory stress; prominent bones on the feet could suggest shallow breathing and ears also throw out clues. They can indicate as to whether the person might have been unhappy during foetal growth. A consultation with clients will give the information which leads to more clues and more importantly, answers and treatments.

DM: What is your favourite aromatherapy recipe?
ET: I always blend for results. The changes that occur in the blend over a period of days or weeks are also considerations. Always trial and test in very small amounts. One I really like is a blend I make containing Galbanum (green incense). I use on the skin in a face blend and on the body in a gel for those ‘Oh it aches’ moments. I t has a great effect on me.

DM: What has the art of aromatherapy taught you throughout your life?
ET: It has enabled me to travel the world and gain more knowledge that I ever dreamed possible for a woman with five children. I never stop learning, reading, listening and trying out products. I have taught people all over the world, and I recently met some in New York who had trained with me back in the 70’s when I had my business in South East London. Great memories!

For Eve’s aromatherapy skincare line go to: and for professional treatments call: 01733 260 161

Monday, 7 March 2011

the power of the poppy pout

Poppy King
Psychologists claim that we remember the most intimate details of our first kiss. From the words that were whispered just before lips locked along with the lipstick shade that was worn.  If not construed as the language of love, then lipstick can certainly be hailed as the cosmetic of lust.

For many women, lipstick is more than make-up, it’s a lifestyle and an attitude. And that’s certainly true for Australian lipstick entrepreneur Poppy King aka the Lipstick Queen. Poppy has built a beautiful career (she started her first brand at just 18) out of her passion for lipstick, and believes that giving good lip can help women take on the world.

Collaborating with No7, Poppy has brought a whole new meaning to hip lips by identifying the top seven reasons why we love wearing lip colour and created a shade to match each reason. There’s History (red), Power (rose), Glamour (pink), Seduction (blackberry), Intrigue (pink nude), Confidence (nude) and Allure (peach). Her mission? To encourage us to introduce wearable glamour into our lives.

Here Poppy gets loose lipped with Dolly Mixture and talks confidence, colour and a little bit of retro cheekiness.

Dolly Mixture (DM):  Do you believe a girl’s best friend is her lipstick?
Poppy King (PK): I believe a girl’s best friend is her self esteem and lipstick can help with that. So, indirectly, yes!

DM: Who are your favourite lipstick wearers?
PK: American actress Chloe Sevigny and the best lipstick wearer of all time… the late American showgirl and silent movie star, Louise Brooks.

DM: What advice would you give the lipstick shy?
PK: To start sheer first. Today, there are a lot of options in sheer colour, so you can almost have a hybrid of a lipstick and a lip gloss until you get used to the idea of lipstick. This can often be the aspect that women have to get past.

DM: Do you believe lipstick wearers come in tribes? Such as natural, gloss or colour?
PK: I do believe that we get in a rut. Even I do and wear the same thing over and over again. Some people do swap over, but most women know what they like and why. The most important factor is that you feel good.

DM: What are you golden rules of applying lipstick?
PK: I always believe the best way is straight from the tube. Then if you want, use some lip liner AFTER you have applied the lipstick. Use to fill any gaps or to define the Iip line.

DM: Do you think lipstick should only be applied in private? Or do you love the theatre of applying it in public?
PK: Whatever makes you more confident. Personally, I would rather see a woman applying her lipstick in public than constantly being on her BlackBerry!

DM: Any tips for lipstick shopping?
PK: Don’t make snap judgements. Try something on and walk around in it. It takes a while to really know if something different feels right on you.

Glamour range
DM: Can you tell me about your collaboration with No7?
PK: I’m really excited about working with such an iconic British brand. What I wanted to bring to this range was some flirty attitude! In my mind, I wanted our collaboration to encapsulate a feeling of ‘elegant flirtation’, taking inspiration from femme fatales such as Marilyn Monroe who always managed to be cheeky yet dignified.

Available from 23rd March, Poppy King lipsticks £12 and Lipglosses £11 are from 250 Boots stores nationwide and on