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Friday, 29 July 2011

making eyes with revlon

Eyelashes tend to look their thickest and most luxurious between the ages of five and 15 – hence why mascara was invented! High tech formulas and perfectly engineered bristles can do so much for lashes, and one brush can totally change the look of the eye.

I’m always searching for the perfect mascara and there’s no shortage of competition. A new ‘wonder’ mascara tends to land on my desk most regularly. Some disappoint, others are average, while a handful impress. Revlon’s Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara is one of the latter. The blurb says it plumps lashes up to 200% - how that stat stacks up, I don’t know, my lashes were certainly volumised, but by that amount, it’s hard to tell. But, as with many thickening formula mascaras, they’re notorious for locking lashes together and drying them out as stiff as board. This formula is different. My lashes felt soft, conditioned and looked far from spidery. And you don’t need to coat it on for a great effect either. A flutter at £9.99.

Look out for the very sexy black and white ad starring poster girl Jessica Biel and Pharrell Williams airing next month. I just love the lyric ‘You got me girl. You look at me, you blink those eyes, you plump it up and hypnotise.” Feast your eyes….

Monday, 25 July 2011

turning routines into rituals

Founder: Raymond Cloosterman

The problem with being a consumer is the choice. Too much and you find shops just literally pass you by. This happened to me with Rituals. Seeing it nestling in shopping malls and high streets it wasn’t a brand that particularly caught my eye, and therefore I never bothered with it too much – sidelining it as just another shop that sold fancy soaps. However, it wasn’t until I was recently fully introduced to the brand that I began to open up to its mindful and clever philosophy. Founded in the Netherlands in 2000, but launched five years ago in the UK, it’s no new kid on the block, but if like me Rituals didn’t feature on your beauty radar here’s a quick run through.

cheek & eye glow
I love brands with personality, a passion and a story, and this one ticks the boxes. The concept for Rituals was created by one Raymond Cloosterman – a young fortysomething entrepreneur and business economist who found himself with a couple of months off between jobs. Instead of hitting the golf course, he put his insights and expertise (he previously worked for Unilever) to good use by globe hopping and exploring the latest trends in personal and domestic care products. This was when he had his light bulb moment. It made him recognise there was scope for a new brand that married both personal and homecare – two divisions that had never been allowed to mingle at Unilever. The notion that small daily cultural routines can be turned into meaningful rituals through the use of luxury products instantly turns chores or routines into something altogether more creative and enjoyable. So, in the world that is Rituals, even the washing up doesn’t end up as a must-do, but that of a scented experience with their Bamboo Treasure Washing Up Liquid!

Bamboo Treasure Washing up Liquid
Following a ‘slow shopping’ philosophy, this means that when you visit one of their shops, you will be offered a complimentary hand massage or a delicious cup of tea. This encourages you to kick back and take your time, you can then decide what Rituals – from Energising, through to Skincare and Gemstone make-up, you would like introduced into your life. For the consumer that’s been brought up on fast fashion, fast food and speed dating, in other words fast living, it’s turns the stressed out shopper from a hare into a tortoise. And we know the moral of that Aesop fable don’t we? ‘Slowly does it every time,’ said the winning tortoise.

Friday, 8 July 2011

beautiful make-up made simple

Make-up maestro
Daniel Sandler
I’ve known make-up artist, Daniel Sandler for, ahem, many years and he’s always a pleasure to interview as he’s just so darn passionate about making women look and feel good through make-up. Visiting him at his concession in Urban Retreat, Harrods was a treat, and although Daniel is on make-up call for plenty of personalities including Davina McCall, Claudia Winkleman and Lisa Snowdon, it’s ‘real’ women he pitches his make-up brand to. However, saying that he cringes at the word real, as to him it says ordinary, rather than fabulous. I know what he means, but even so, it’s a brand for non celebrities that want to look amazing!

At the core of his brand, Daniel Sandler Cosmetics is his Timeless Beauty Collection, a foolproof capsule ‘wardrobe’ that is based on his best sellers in Harrods and on QVC. It cuts out big decision making – apart from colours of course, and gives you products that work quickly, are super easy to apply and long lasting. In essence, it simplifies the art of make-up.

“One product that many women have a lot of confusion over is foundation,” says Daniel. “The biggest mistake is over application and a misjudged shade. Too dark or too light and it will sit on the skin rather than enhance it.” Invisible Veil Foundation & Concealer, £28 is one of Daniel’s new stars. The dewy-fresh fluid foundation feels light on the skin and a flawless looking complexion is improved even further with a complementing shade of concealer nestling in the lid.

Another new edition to his range and right on the coat tails of the award winning success of Watercolour Fluid Blusher, comes Watercolour Crème Rouge, £15.50. Boasting skin perfecting polymer – “I always get my scientist to ‘up the polymer’ if I want sheen in a product,” explains Daniel - makes this dreamy cream-to-power formula ultra smooth to glide on and leaves skin innocently flushed. “I was inspired by women in the 1920’s and 1930’s whereby they had a sweet bloom on their cheeks which was very youthifying,” says Daniel.

Watercolour Creme Bronzer
And for those who want to tango with the tan there’s Watercolour Crème Bronzer, £15.50. “Blend a small amount onto cheekbones, bridge of nose and eye lids with fingertips and you’ll instantly glow,” says Daniel. But like foundation, good bronzer can go bad if applied unevenly or you opt for one that’s too shimmery. Aptly called Riviera, this gives a sophisticated jet set tan.

One thing that makes every woman look amazing is well mascara-ed lashes. Just as you would mingle two lipstick shades to create the perfect lip, so Daniel believes in working two mascaras to giving show stopping lashes. And it’s all in the brush. “A nice big brush gives sexy volume, whereas a thinner brush can be used to define the outer lashes and the bottom lashes,” reveals Daniel. Although not mad on gimmicky make-up – vibrating and twirling brushes aren’t his thing; he does believe that treatment mascaras are the future. “Imagine a mascara that not only gives great application, but repairs and strengthens too,” says Daniel. Perhaps he’s just given me the wink to his next big must-have. Watch this space!

For Daniel Sandler Colour Cosmetics stockists visit: