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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

how to do...first class fabulous

Even if you’re flying economy – after all it’s only those who are cash rich that can afford to turn left when boarding a plane, a few good beauty tricks will have you touching down looking like you've just stepped out of first class.  
The slick and sexy Virgin Atlantic ad banishes the trolley dolly image once and for all and replaces it with a Bond-esque like vision of a very polished air hostess. All vertiginous heels, martini glasses and kissable red lips. Although this may be stretching the truth a little – surely for health and safety purposes those heels would be way too high; it’s the insider tips that make their cabin crew look radiant. The secret? They’re sent on a grooming course, so even on a long haul flight they still look fresh as a daisy.
For some up-in-the-air beauty expertise here Rebecca Creer, Virgin Atlantic’s Senior Spas and Grooming Manager shares her 10 high flying tips. Just remember to pack the custom friendly 100ml sizes.

1. Drink at least one litre of water before, during and after your flight. Electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade and Sportade are also great options to keep your body hydrated.
2.  Invest in some Moroccan Oil and use on your hair before you travel. It nourishes and protect your hair and stops it drying out onboard. Use on holiday too as it’s great for the hair in the sun.
3. Exfoliate your skin the night before you fly. The fine abrasive cream will remove dead skin cells allowing for better penetration of hydrating skincare products. Apply a generous layer of moisturiser and get a good night sleep.
4. Visit a reputable salon and have your eyelashes tinted. This will give your lashes colour, length and volume and can last for up to 12 weeks.
5. Use a hydrating facial spray throughout the flight and make sure the spray contains essential oils or other hydrating properties as a standalone water spray will dry your skin.
6. To keep your hair effortlessly glamorous I like Elnett hairspray.  It will keep any style in place but without that stiff feeling.
7. Bare if you dare! Board the flight with clean moisturised skin or remove make up with facial wipes during the flight. Reapply moisturiser all over your face, neck and d├ęcolletage each time you get a fresh glass of water. A great product to carry is Bio Oil as it can be used on the face and body.
8. If like our crew you need to be fully made up then we recommend bare Minerals concealer and foundation. This make up gives great coverage yet allows your skin to breath. It also contains zinc oxide which calms the skin.
10. Use a really good lip balm and apply it regularly. Vaseline lip therapy sun protection is great and can be used on its own and under lipstick. Try applying Lip balm to your cuticles to keep your nails hydrated.


Monday, 20 June 2011

a moment with dior's makeup ambassador

Makeup supremo:
Andrew Gallimore
It’s always a thrill when cosmetic companies present their seasonal collections with a little more soul than just showcasing their products on a table – however much they encourage you to engage with colours!

Dior plays the make-up game well and introduced British beauty pro, Andrew Gallimore their UK Makeup Ambassador to press for some lipstick and gossip at the launch of their autumn collection. A favourite with such revered photographers as Rankin as well as pop’s poster girls, Jessie J and Beth Ditto, Andrew lends both a swag and a youthfulness to Dior by tapping into his art and fashion background, threading both beauty and theatre into bewitching looks.

Largely credited with introducing a new generation to make up – he confesses he’s now a dab hand at the tweezers when putting Swarovski crystals on Jessie’s lips, he also understands where theatre ends and beauty starts when living life off the stage. After all, most women just want to look naturally gorgeous. Inspired by paintings, photographs, movies and music, Andrew excels by character building through his creativeness by using make-up as art. When asked for a muse he says, ‘Marilyn Monroe to Marilyn Manson and everyone inbetween.” One of his favourite looks is a classic porcelain skin with a bright red lip. “The lipstick works as an exclamation mark,” he explains.

Believing there is now a trend for make-up with ‘extras’ Andrew hails Capture Total Foundation as one of his top 5 Dior products – “great for boosting the skin, puts you in soft focus, serum enriched…could go on all day about its benefits,” Style Liner in Black to give an edgy but ultimately beautiful eye, Diorskin Sculpt Concealer which swooshes away imperfections, Diorshow Blackout Waterproof Mascara, “It looks wet and inky and builds up dramatic eyelashes,” and Rouge Dior Haute Couleur in Mystic Mauve. “It’s the berry side of purple and electrifies the lips.”

Dior Blue-Tie
Moving away from his classics and onto autumn’s new collection the star of the show is Dior Blue-Tie in either Smoking Blue or Smoking White – both limited editions at £52 each. A palette of four eye shadows and a lip gloss, they’re presented in a silver metal compact that’s mirrored on a man’s cigarette case, where both colourways give a seamless blend to create a smoky eye. When talking brows, Andrew’s insider tip is to use brown mascara, wipe off the excess and groom. Diorblush in either Vintage Pink or Pink in Love, £28 is to be applied high on the cheeks, rather than the apples for a high flush. For nails Tuxedo, a deliciously deep navy blue, again a limited edition at £17.50 will tempt fingertips all winter long.

The collection is available exclusively at Selfridges from 25th July and nationwide from 16th August.  

Monday, 13 June 2011

welcome back Stila!

I distinctly remember the buzz when Stila was launched in 1994. It was fun and innovative whereby its creator, celebrity make-up artist Janine Lobell brought a personality to the brand. In fact, it was one of the few brands at that time that didn’t have a corporate identity and this made it exciting. The packaging was girly and cute, but the products were very directional which made it an eclectic mix.

But for one reason or another Stila disappeared from the UK but now this feisty brand is back in stores from July. And not a minute too soon. Meeting Stila’s Pro Artist Dominic Birguglio at the launch for beauty press last week, I can report that although the company has new backers, none of the creative enthusiasm and edge has been lost. It’s a brand that has stayed true to its original identity.

To refresh our memories, Dominic explained the Stila girl is fresh, playful, modern and everyone wants to talk to her at parties! It's make-up that encourages you to create your own signature style. I love the fact the Stila girl is represented with no nose – yes, it’s takes a while to figure out what’s missing! This is considered the most defining characteristic of the face and without it gives you the freedom and permission to create your own look.

So, what’s new on their menu? Well, as Dominic revealed it’s smart make-up with lots of wizardry and One Step Bronze, £24 sure pushes the boundaries. A pick-me-up for the skin, it’s a triple swirled helix serum which performs as a bronzer, primer, illuminator and moisturiser. There’s also the new, revolutionary Forever Your Curl Mascara, £15 which is said to give the effect of a permed eye lash. An intense carbon black it really turbocharges the lashes. And for the ‘vintage’ Stila fans there’s still the all time favourites including Lip Glaze and Convertible Color – dual lip and cheek cream.

Stila, it’s been a while, but absence has made my beauty heart grow fonder, and I’m glad you’re back!

Stila will be available at Boots Beauty Stores and Also at and From September onwards, it will be available at select Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser stores.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

how to play a winning hand

Mistress of the nail:
Kimmie Kyees
Nail polish is up there with lipstick and hair colour when it comes to trending your style. I’ve just been sent this fab Q&A with Kimmie Kyees, brand ambassador for Elegant Touch and celebrity manicurist that I know every cool beauty hunter will love.
What celebrities have you worked with?  How do they wear their nails?I work with Katy Perry who prefers her nails to be short so she can play the guitar. At the moment she loves a beige or pink opaque colour, but when it comes to going on stage we use press-on tips in a variety of colours and designs. She loves glitter and heart shapes in particular and I will often match her nail design to her outfit.

I also work with Rihanna who almost always wears her nails long and for special occasions loves a full nail of glitter. Her favourite everyday polish shades are bright red, orange or a simple beige.
What are the hottest nails looks for 2011?
Pastel colours are always big in summer and have a huge wearability, with mint green, lavender and beige shades all being on-trend. Pastels also suit all skin-tones; you just need to pick a warmer or cooler version of the shade depending on your tone. It’s always a good idea to test a colour out on one nail first to see if the shade suits you if you aren’t too sure.

Matte nails are still really popular, and I think a great new way to wear them is with a glossy tip. Matte polishes aren’t actually that long wearing and they chip easily, so you need to take care of a matte polish. Matte press-on nails are a good way to keep a longer looking manicure.

There is a lot of interest in glitter nails at the moment and a lot of celebrities like Rihanna love this look, particularly a full coloured glitter nail in red or orange. Glitter looks really pretty and feminine on the nail but it’s also still very cool and modern which makes it a popular choice.

What is the most fashionable nail shape?
Having a slightly rounded and pointy tip to the nails is a really nice shape. It’s a natural curve which makes the fingers look more slender. A good, basic rule for shaping the nail is to mimic the base shape of your cuticle.

Why has the French Manicure lasted the test of time? Is there a more modern way to wear it?
The French Manicure is just a clean and beautiful nail look which goes with anything! An off-white tip is probably a more natural take on this, where a bright-white tip is easily toned down by painting a pink or nude polish over the top.

The half-moon manicure is a great modern alternative to the French Manicure. Paint the moon onto the nail at the cuticle over the top of a different shade which is on the entire nail. A slim French Manicure brush is the best tool to use to achieve a neat looking moon. Try the manicure with brighter colours, and if you’re feeling really adventurous neon looks really cool!

What would be the best way to wear your nails to a wedding?
The traditional French Manicure is a classic look and doesn’t distract too much from the rest of your ensemble. If you have pearls in your dress, a simple pearlescent top coat over the nail will also give a classic and simple finish. It really does depend on what you’re wearing though; if your dress doesn’t look traditional then neither should your nails!

What are your top tips for applying false nails at home?It is important to prepare your nails correctly. Start by cleaning the nail bed using nail polish remover. Make sure the nail is clean and dry before applying the false nails, or the glue won’t adhere properly. Once the nail is prepped, apply the glue over the entire surface of the nail making sure there are no gaps. Place the nail onto your natural nail. When there are air bubbles under the nail, it can easily pop off, so press the false nail onto your nail at the centre, and ensure all the air is pushed out, hold for 5 seconds so it sticks, and then just repeat for all the other nails.
What are your top tips for taking care of your nails and cuticles?
To maintain your cuticles, the easiest way for you to push them back is after you have come out of the shower; your cuticles will be nice and soft, especially if you have used hair conditioner. If you don’t have the appropriate tool, you can always push them back using the thumb nail from your other hand.

Cuticle oil is an essential to keep nails healthy, hydrated and to help prevent them from splitting. Your nails are quite porous and will be able to absorb the oil quickly. Try pushing hand cream into your nails when applying it to the hand as it will also help hydrate the nail beds.

Filing your nails is also key to make sure they don’t split or crack. When filing, a lighter grit nail file is best, the really coarse side of a file is really only used to reduce length; using a coarse file on the nail will damage it and cause the nail to split. A glass nail file is also good, but because it isn’t disposable, make sure you rinse it clean frequently.

What are the best colours for damaged or short nails?
You don’t have to wear the really dark colours to hide short nails, you can also wear more opaque shades, I would just avoid anything that is too sheer. I love gel manicures at the moment, as they make all different lengths and state of nails look fantastic, plus they won’t damage the nail if you make sure the gel is removed properly.    

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

summer's cool beauty dips

June is one of those months that can’t help but put a smile on your face. It’s a word that spells out the beginning of summer which means flip flops, al fresco dining, BBQ’s and the chance to ditch pasty skin and liven up your senses. Here are a handful of my early summer picks – all beauty tested, which leave you good to glow.

The bespoke bronzer: Bourjois Delice de Soleil mineral bronzing foundation, £9.99.
I love mineral foundation both for its skin philosophy and its natural coverage – since switching to a mineral foundation I’ve never had so many compliments about my skin, so Bourjois’s new offering of a mineral bronzing foundation that gives a beach easy tan makes sense. Putting itself forward as a ‘customised’ tan, it’s a pot with two shades of powder (fair/medium and olive/tanned) that allows you to dial up or down in colour depending on your skin tone. As an added beauty bonus it’s got an SPF15 too.

The getaway fragrance: Juicy Couture & Viva La Juicy 30ml Travellers, £39.50 each.
We all love to float on a cloud of delicious scent, but lugging chunky bottles around with us in handbags fast tracks to a chiropractor. These Eau de Parfum travellers bring out the jet set in me, super light and super adorable – complete with cupcake charms, you can choose from two classic Juicy scents. Spritz and go!

The body flattering oil: Jo Malone Dry Body Oil, £38
When skin is hot a cream can feel heavy and dry tacky, and traditional oil can leave the skin too greasy. Jo Malone solves the dilemma with their dry body oils. But be warned: they are addictive! Available in Lime Basil & Mandarin and English Pear & Freesia…decisions, decisions, they dry turbo quick and leave the skin with a shimmery glow. I love using on limbs just before heading out.

The face saving oil: Eve Taylor’s Pre-blended Facial Oil No 1, £11.29
This isn’t my first mention of Eve Taylor’s products in my blog, and forgive me if I mention again, but I’m a huge believer in the wellness they can add to your skin. I love using this oil post sun in the evening. Lovely to apply, it feels nourishing on the skin, doesn’t leave a film and is the perfect antidote for dry air conditions or skin that feels a little tight. And for such high quality oil, the price is surprising. It’s perfect to travel with too as it’s only 30ml.

The swimming pool lash volumiser: Maybelline’s One by One Waterproof Mascara, £8.99
Dubbed the ‘lash catcher’ this mascara really does catch every single lash and bumps them up big time without clumping. My mascara tends to smudge when the going gets hot, but not this one. It’s lash definition with no panda eye consequences.

The hair glosser: Lee Stafford’s Nourishing Miracle Oil, £11.99
Mmmm, there seems to be a bit of an oil theme going on in this post, but they really do seem to give more for your beauty buck. I always have a good barnet day when using this. Using a Pro-Argan complex, I apply on damp hair and once dried the condition feels amazing. Hair is left with a silky finish and any frizz is banished with an additional smoothing of the oil between the palms and run over from the mid lengths to ends. However, do apply sparingly, too much and lankness awaits.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

the fix-it facialist

Super facialist: Marie Reynolds
For anyone that’s a regular reader of my blog, you will gather I’m a bit of a skincare fanatic. If looked after properly with the right products, knowledge and fingertips, skin thrives and quickly becomes one of your greatest assets. After all, who doesn’t admire a radiant complexion? I put skin on par with your hair – if it’s not performing right, you feel pants!
Recently I had a facial that really gave the wow factor – where foot ‘reading’ was included! Marie Reynolds, lead therapist and international educator for Eve Taylor is fast becoming the beauty editor’s super facialist, proving to be intuitive and initiated, so much so I wanted to find out more about her philosophy. Never believing you are ever fully qualified, Marie is always researching, writing and inventing new techniques. That’s true passion in my skincare book.

The interview is a little lengthy: but bear with! For wanna be therapists or for someone looking for a great hands-on facial experience, it’s an invaluable read.

Dolly Mixture: What makes a great skin therapist?
Marie Reynolds: A good skin care therapist takes the time to evaluate as soon as they set eyes on their client. The way they walk, sit, what habits they may or may not have and the way they lie down. This is even before they start the consultation. I perform a Systems of Analysis where I can really see beyond the facade and work with what the individual needs. Moreover, clients are now are very ingredient savvy, what with the internet at hand, so therapists have to be one step ahead and research the latest trends on ingredients.

DM: What sets you apart from other skin therapists?
MR: When I became a beauty therapist I didn’t feel as though my thirst for knowledge had been quenched. I would write and re-write notes and create my own treatments. When I did Eve Taylor’s Oriental Diagnosis I felt as though I had found my niche, but still hungered for more knowledge.  I went onto understanding the living cell by doing a course in genetics, homeopathy and Chinese cupping therapy, learning about meridians and Tsubo points. It all came together like a jigsaw puzzle. I have been practicing for 25 years and I even stop people in the street to take pictures for my students if they have interesting ears or feet! I’m often asked if I fly in on a 747 broomstick. There is no mystery you just have to know how to read the body.

DM: How much of the skin’s problems are emotionally related?
MR: Emotions link into everything we do. Eating is linked with emotions, especially with disorders and depression.  How we eat, what we eat and when we eat has an effect on the skin. Eating after 7pm will put a strain on digestion, which can cause congestion within the skin. Eating fast is very common, but by chewing food slowly, it increases digestive enzymes, that gives easier transit for food and benefits the skin. Moreover, we are what we are by what we inherit – we are all on a genetic journey, and once we tap into what ancestral line we come from this can give us more clues. We are also what we are by what we experience – now this has a huge impact on the body and skin as a whole. Occupational hazards, lifestyle and emotional stress and trauma can cause breakouts, dehydration hypersensitivity. You have to understand the cause not just treat the symptom.

DM: What makes a facial bespoke?
MR: It’s created from a collection of information from the consultation card and observation of the client. Once I have established their needs, I can then create a treatment that enables me to tap into those needs. Every treatment I give is bespoke. Some clients may come into a treatment room and even after doing a thorough consultation I may find she is defensive – what I call “a blocker”. I may also find that during the treatment she is not shutting off, she will have an “analytical mind” the eyes are fluttering but when I go to treat her feet she will give in and crash out. This can tell me many things – emotional grief and trauma for example. It could also be an indication that they could have been “yanked into the world”; these are individuals that have been born by forceps or caesarean.
I may also have another client that has skin breakouts, so rather than just treating the symptom I “negotiate with the liver” by working the liver meridians and reflex points, advising on the times they eat and what foods are beneficial to them.  I do not leave my clients at the mask phase of a facial; every minute is used in treatment.

DM: What do you believe is skin’s un-dewing?
MR: Smoking, long term medication, physical illness, emotional stress, and lifestyle as well as an inappropriate skin care regime. It all comes back to the cause not the symptom. Increasing blood circulation by cleansing brushes, exfoliating and introducing serums with oxygen and co enzyme Q10 as well as brightening moisturisers will illuminate and breathe life into the skin.
Light therapy, micro-dermabrasion and vacuum suction are also great treatments to boost the skin.

DM: What are the most common mistake women make with their skin?
MR: Their lack of knowledge of skincare ingredients. A lot of clients will come in with a skin complaint that is directly related to the ingredients in the skin care products they have been using. Many conditions can be avoided by using the appropriate skin care. Educating clients about a few skin care ingredients and how some of them can be photo sensitive, comodegenic, and destroy the acid mantle can open their eyes as to why these conditions may occur. Another is too much or not enough exfoliation.  People with congested skin for example think the more they ‘scrub’ the cleaner their skin will be, but it actually will increase sensitivity and oil production. 

DM: What is your stance on Botox and fillers?
MR: I am a great believer in having things done to make you feel better about yourself mentally, emotional and physically. Personally I am not a lover of fillers and Botox. I have seen so many poor results from these quick fixes, however saying that, I have also seen some great results. We age environmentally and biologically so a lot of how we age is about what we experience. A great lifestyle and diet will obviously show in the skin. Increasing blood flow, non-surgical face lifts with Q10 or serums containing Purslane and Ginseng are great firming treatments. Another thing to be aware of as a therapist is ingredients. Certain ingredients can stimulate cell activity, which may have an effect of sensitivity or an allergic reaction if someone has fillers or Botox.

DM: What ingredients would you recommend to make a difference to you skin?
MR: Working in product development with the Eve Taylor range, I have tried and experimented with many products over the years, my top five to look out for would be:
  • Cleansers containing Camellia and Avena Sativa. These provide a great hydrating treatment for a parched skin and are also anti-inflammatory so ideal for the eczema or sensitive skins.
  • Toners made from a combination of first distillation hydrolats (water that is collected from the distillation of essential oils) of Neroli and Rose Otto. These are not only a beautiful toner to balance pH but great to use through out the day to hydrate the skin. 
  • The Eve Taylor Facial Treatment Oils are really special. There are five facial oils in the range and are designed to treat the skin and specific skin conditions.  You only need one pump of the synergistic blend and because they are lipo solvent they absorb into the skin immediately.
  • A great all-round moisturiser with a full avobenzone screening. SPF 25 and filters UVA, UVB and infrared which can also be mixed with any other moisturiser or foundation to give added UV protection.  Eve Taylor Solar Shield SPF 25 is a particular favourite of mine.
  • Eve Taylor C+Bright – another gem in the range with illumisphere technology.  This product reflects light, hydrates, protects from UV exposure and brightens the skin.