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Thursday, 27 December 2012

A lipstick worth talking about

Mwah! It’s beauty rumoured that women who wear lipstick kiss their partners more often than women who don’t. It's also said they're ready to kick off their heels and enjoy life more than those who prefer to leave their lips slick bare. Doesn’t that say something about the increased confidence women get from wearing lipstick?

Hot on the lip-licious factor is Clarins new Rouge Eclat Satin Finish Age-Defying Lipstick which is launching in January. With lips at their pout best around the age of 16 – after the first flush of youth, lips gradually lose their pillow fullness with age unless you resort to fillers; Clarins have created a long-lasting colour along with an injection of their Nutri-Youth Complex. Protecting lips against dehydration and helping to boosts collagen, the formulation feels super nourishing and cushioning thanks to the inclusion of vitamin E and plant waxes. Remember, a dry lip adds up to a thinner looking lip. Plus, they’re lip-smacking tasty too with a blackberry and liquorice flavour. Beautifully encased in gold, cherry pick from 15 gorgeous shades catalogued under subtle nudes, rich and warm and vibrant brights. An Angelina Jolie mouth is not guaranteed, but surely this has to be a lipstick lust for the start of the new year.

Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick, £18.50 available from January.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Pretty naughty, pretty nice!


I know we haven’t celebrated Christmas yet, but after being saturated with copious amounts of glitter, gold and sparkle leading up to the festive week, it was a breath of fresh beauty air when something caught my eye that looked light and sweet, reminding me of warmer and fun times ahead.

Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Pretty Naughty collection, is not hitting the stores until February, but I thought I’d shout about it now to build up a little bit of excitement for what really is a dullsville month. Usually a month of dull skies and no celebration - except if it's your birthday, so a little bit of pretty certainly wouldn't go a miss!

Tom Pecheux, creative make-up director for Lauder has really tapped into the sunny side of his nature for his uplifting trend collection for spring. Yes, these watercolour pastels could be classed as pretty naughty, or in my eyes just plain pretty – without being insipid. Shades take inspiration from an English garden, but far from twee, they're given an urban twist and described as youthful and rebellious. Find your inner rebel by playing up the fanciful soft hues in the eye palette, and then slightly taming with the dark pigments for emphasis. The double ended Kajal EyeLiner in black and sky blue can be used to give a youthful flicker or bold definition at the corner of the eye. Nail the look with Insatiable, the light weight lilac nail polish that’s a tad off-beat. The whole collection may have grown from the creative seeds of an English garden, but to me the colours just sum up the joy of travel – blue skies and happy minds.

Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Pretty Naughty, £35
Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner Duo in black/blue, £18
Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Insatiable, £14.50

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Hollywood's skin secret

I recently read that you should hide away heavy duty wrinkle creams in your bathroom when inviting friends around – along with any other embarrassing lotions and potions. Now, I can understand hemorrhoid cream, but wrinkle cream?  To me this comes under the same category as a Botox user putting their line free complexion down to drinking water and having early nights. If you have good looking skin why not spread the word on what you’re using?

One cream I wouldn’t mind my friends seeing is Erno Laszlo’s new Transphuse Line Refining Cream. One because it costs £235 and therefore they must think I’m doing okay for myself! And two, it looks luxurious on the bathroom shelf. A skincare line with true Hollywood heritage, it was founded by a young and forward thinking dermatologist called Dr Erno Laszlo in the late 1920’s. Seen as a skincare revolutionary, his advice was sought after by Hollywood’s elite including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  

Today, Dr Laszlo’s philosophy still holds true with the creation of tailor made products specifically formulated to confront the signs of premature aging. Transphuse boasts ‘fusion technology’ that is said to stimulate new collagen growth and modulates micro-dermal contractions that cause fine lines. A key ingredient is the plant based Gatuline Expression that is said to relax facial muscles. I’ve been using the cream for a little over a week, and although I can’t say lines are melting away – a month is needed for visible results, I do like the feel of it. Light in texture and sinking readily into the skin, it leaves my skin feeling firmer. Only time will tell if it's a keeper in terms of anti-aging benefits, but  it’s a cream I’m going to continue with. I’m having friends around tonight, and I’m going to ignore the bathroom etiquette  rules and leave this tube of gorgeousness on my bathroom shelf!

Erno Laszlo Transphuse skincare line is available from January from The White Hall at Harrods priced from £95.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Eyeing up some Egyptian attitude

There’s nothing quite like working a sexy Cleopatra eye whether it be a cinematic Liz Taylor or an Amanda Barrie Carry On effect. The tool of the trade for this mysterious and captivating look is kohl. This form of eyeliner had its breakout moment in Ancient Egypt where it was worn not only to enhance the eyes, but said to protect skin from the searing desert sun. It has also been speculated that kohl was worn to protect the wearer from the evil eye. Today, the only kind of eye Bourjois is interested in creating is one with modern attitude and mystery which comes courtesy of their new and aptly named Queen Attitude Kohl Kajal.

Twisting up like a lipstick bullet - the black satin ribbon at the end of the tube makes for a nice touch, this cone shaped kohl is inky black and incredibly soft thanks to its natural waxes. Although coal intense, it gives a powdery and graphic finish thereby creating a sensual, rather than a hard looking eye.  But if applied with a heavy hand, it can be easily smudged out due to its baby softness. Really, it's goof-proof to master. There’s no need for a pencil sharpener either as the tip will naturally contour to your make-up application without the need to sharpen. Apart from bathing in asses milk, I think this clever kohl captures the spirit of Egyptian beauty beautifully!

Bourjois Queen Attitude Kohl Kajal, £6.99

Friday, 30 November 2012

An instant rescue for party eyes?

It’s the start of the party season, and I don’t need to tell you that late nights, one too many martinis and just general party-ness can leave eyes literally peeping behind their sockets in the morning. Dark circles and fine lines caused by dehydration can all conspire to leave you with more baggage than the luxury handbag department at Selfridges.

I’m always careful with eye creams, as for me, too rich and intense can actually make my eyes puffier. But I was happy to lend my eyes to eysilix as the consistency is incredibly light. Made from the same Canadian laboratories that brought you nanoblur - the optical cream that caused a big beauty buzz about a year ago, eysilix professes to instantly lift, minimise the appearance of dark circles and puffiness as well as diminish the appearance of fine lines in one instant eye rescue. Derived from the latest peptides along with the finest botanicals, it does make a difference but probably not as much as you hoped for from its confident sell. Looking through the reviews on the Boots website it seemed many were disappointed. There were certainly instant sensory results as it leaves the area feeling smoother and slightly tighter, and I think there was a fraction of a difference in terms of erasing dark circles and lines, but it would take a very trained eye to see any change. It’s not surgery let’s put it that way, but as a pep up for over tired peepers it works.

Eysilix, £24.99 available from

Red Tea soaps up

We’ve had Earl Grey tea, builder tea, green tea and now the healthiest brew to hit your teapot is red tea. Oh yes, for the health junkies out there it should be just your cup of char. Cultivated in the mountains of South Africa, Rooibos or the Red Bush has been used for yonks as a therapeutic drink by South African tribes and Bushmen. Boasting 50 times the antioxidant properties of Green Tea, it’s also beneficial for natural skin therapy. Taking the goodness off the tea table, like green tea, it has been poured into beauty products.

I don’t normally use soap. I use a cleanser on my face usually wiped off with a muslin cloth and a shower or bath gel for my body, but I have really fallen for this Red Tea cleansing face & body bar. Derived from natural African red tea, it’s a natural vegetable soap with the protective antioxidant benefits as well as moisturising properties. Surprisingly it doesn’t leave my skin feeling high and dry – when I was soap user back in the day, my skin always used to feel tight after rinsing, and it smells gorgeous rather than highly fragranced. Pure essential oils of orange, lime, lavender and rose makes for a luxurious soap story.

Red Tea Cleansing Face & Body Bar, £9.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The skin changer mask

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I’m a huge fan of Alpha-H. I interviewed the founder, Michelle Doherty at the beginning of the year who hailed glycolic acid as reinventing and saving her skin – she suffered from terrible acne from the ages of 14 to 28. She asked herself if she was ‘ballsy’ enough to put acid on her skin. The answer was yes and she’s never looked back.

However, what really struck me about our complexion chat was her belief that you have to take skin out of its comfort zone to reap the results. “For skin to start producing its own collagen, it needs to drop down to a warm and tingling level,” she explained. Before discovering Alpha-H I was a bit namby pamby when it came to hard core skincare. I would shy away from words like acid for fear of looking like that scene in Sex and the City when Samantha Jones had a peel. Red, blotchy and raw. The stuff of skinmares. But with complexion confidence growing, I’ve been using Alpha-H Liquid Gold for nearly a year now and it’s really made a difference in terms of clarity.
Their Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask is my newest skin arsenal. Almost masquerading as a peel, glycolic acid is the fifth ingredient on the list, so it kicks pores! 15% is the concentration and in this measure will help resurface, build collagen and improve the plumpness of the skin. It’s not a mask you use more than once a week, and be warned your skin will fizz throughout the 10 minutes it’s left on. Although not suitable for delicate skin, I would say mine can be sensitive and it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions. But if you do experience any stinging or burning stop using. The term pick-me-up can be overused for under-performing products, but it certainly doesn’t apply to this one. Skin feels incredible soft after and looks so much fresher with fine lines and wrinkles taking a back seat. I would even go as far to say skin looks positively loved up. And who wouldn’t like cupid struck skin?

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask, £43 available from and

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Beauty's shelf helper

How do you feel without any make-up on? Not even a smidgen or a smudge? I’m guessing most of us would feel naked, self conscious and just a touch under confident. Now, that’s the power of make-up. It helps not only define our features, bringing them into focus, but in turn helps boost our self esteem, literally making us face our day with a little bit more sass.

Make-up artist Bobbi Brown understands the psychology behind the wearing of make-up only too well. In her new book Pretty Powerful it’s more than just gorgeous pictures – which there are many, but has women, some well known, others not, photographed sans make-up  and minus photo shopping, so you can see blemishes, lines, pores and shine, then photographed expertly make up. The difference is incredible. It proves with a little bit of know-how you can apply beauty and confidence. The book has a life coaching feel to it without being too worthy. Women in the book tell inspiring stories such as how make-up helped them when going through a tough time with chemotherapy or how they realised their look didn’t have to fit into a certain stereotype. And talking of stereotypes, Bobbi doesn't believe in them which is why there are all types of women to relate to in this book: black, Asian, Latino, Caucasian along with start-to-finish tips on getting your base right and colours that suit.   I don’t know how old Bobbi is, but she has life experience worth hearing as a successful business woman, wife and mother, and she gives some of her insights on feeling good and inspiring you to be your best, most authentic self. It just goes to remind us that make-up isn’t just powder and paint, it can be a personal transformer.

Pretty Powerful by Bobbi Brown costs £19.99 and published by Chronicle Books.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Darphin's skin feast

If you could eat this it would be dangerous. A veritable health hazard. But for everything you don’t want in your diet, it’s everything you do in a body cream. Buttery thick and deliciously indulgent, Darphin’s Nourishing and Firming Velvet Cream is a luxury, rich body cream leaving skin feeling like, ahem, velvet, and designed to cocoon the skin whilst delivering a firming action. But don’t just take my word for it, this calorific looking pot, has been proven to plump and firm the skin by 34%. Its texture is dreamy too. Sinking in quickly without the aid of too much sweat inducing massage, skin is left lightly scented with a delicate floral scent. Now, this is the kind of diet I can take to!   

Darphin Nourishing and Firming Velvet Cream, £39

Monday, 19 November 2012

Cowshed rolls with it

I know roll-on perfume oils aren’t new, but I really like these ones from Cowshed. Namely because of the names! Who can resist Knackered Cow, Moody Cow or Horny Cow? But a-moo-sing (sorry!) names aside, they really do smell rather gorgeous and pure - they’re paraben, petrochemical and sulphate free.   I have Lazy Cow with essential oils of jasmine and geranium – quality is high so a little roll gives a lot of fragrance, to warm and aid contemplation, and it has the desired effect. I can’t stop sniffing my wrist once applied for good scented karma. Pop in your handbag for instant mood enhancing, or buy for stocking fillers. I'm actually going to use a couple for cracker gifts as they're the right size to fit into a toilet roll!

Cowshed Perfume Oils Roll-Ons come in seven fragrances at £18 each.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Bobbi Brown's show of hands

Just a mega quick post to show you Bobbi Brown’s new limited edition Shimmer Nail Polish in Black Pearl. Yes, Halloween may be over, but this tough luxe of a nail lacquer – mid way between black and a dark grey, still looks fashionably edgy.  

Look out for the new Extra Hand Cream too. It 's an anti-ageing treatment for hands addressing loss of collagen and dehydration. Spooky nail colours good. Spooky crepey hands, not! 

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Nail Polish, £11
Bobbi Brown Extra Hand Cream,  £21.00 both available from this month.

Clinique's lullaby skin


To improve the way your skin looks in the morning, action needs to be taken at bedtime. I rise at 7am, and looking in the mirror is not always a pretty sight. Skin can face the world looking sad, creased and dehydrated. Three good things that have helped improved my AM skin is: a good book. For too long now I’ve been reading emails, tweets and news stories on my iPad before sleep. The upshot? I toss and turn with thoughts running through my head. Now, give me a good book and I’m out like a light. My second skin saver is a silk pillowcase bought from John Lewis for £35. Pillow creases now never happen. That’s all I need to say. And thirdly, my beauty bonus is Clinique’s new Moisture Surge Overnight Mask.


I can always tell my skin needs a slug of something serious if I put the palms of my hands on my cheeks and push up. I can see a myriad of fine lines caused by dehydration. With central heating pumping out, winter is a time skin needs PM SOS. To be honest, I don’t really know what the difference is between this and a night cream as you don’t need to rinse it off. I suspect the mask just makes it sound more hard working, but whatever it gives the results. It certainly goes on like a night cream; it sinks in readily and doesn’t leave any mask like tightness or residue on the skin. It feels luxurious, giving intense hydration with moisturise trapping hyaluronic acid along with sodium hyaluronate which delivers an instant burst of moisture. This VIP (very important polymer) is able to hold large amounts of water within the skin so it’s left feeling plumped. It’s not an exaggeration to say, my morning skin is now getting a much better (looking) wake up call!

Clinique Moisture Intense Overnight Mask is available nationwide from 1st January priced at £28.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Elemis box clever for Christmas


As a general beauty rule, I’ve never been a great lover of coffrets or beauty sets. They always seemed a little bit tasteless in their presenting – everything moulded into plastic, and had a whiff of, dare I say it, can’t-be-botheredness. After all, it’s easy to pick up a box that’s been put together by somebody else, plus the product size was usually so small as to be of no great use.  But that was a few years ago, and coffrets have, in X Factor language, raised their game! No longer are they crammed with mini samples or products that haven’t really sold well during the past year. Today, they’re serious gift givers.



The Elemis Royal Collection of beauty box sets has no plastic or naffness in sight. They are literally box clever in terms of classy and indulgent looking packaging, carefully selected products and above all the price tag really works in your favour.  For instance, my two favourites include Duchess of Spa Exotic Bodycare with four full size products. Bought separately, it rings in at £88, bought as a box set, £49.50. Or there’s the Supreme Glow Skincare Essentials with three full size products and a 100ml bath elixir which should rightly be £80. To you madam? £46.50.  So whether you’re on the beauty hunt for mum, sister, aunt, friend or mum-in-law there’s no need to give them the receipt, as this is one present that will be for keeps!

Elemis is available from and selected John Lewis, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Fashion kisses from Bourjois

Fashion meets lips for Bourjois new lipstick wardrobe. The runway pout packs a punch with colour and attitude, and their 18 Rouge Edition ready-to-wear formula really sets the beauty trend. A true model lip pleaser if ever there was one!

Smart in it’s wrapping - their new lipstick case mirrors the sexiest and sleekest LBD, and the transparent bottom showcases the lip shade perfectly. Saturating the mouth with unadulterated colour, the 18 shades are divided up into a trio of gorgeousness. Lip pick from Preppy for style addicts, Color Block for bright, eye-catching colours and Night Out for shades of divine glamour.

As for the formula, boy are we talking lip smacking good! For starters they slick on smooth. Very smooth thanks to being enriched with orchid blossom extract. They’re comfortable to wear and a quarter of the pigments are lacquered. This adds up to shine. And the more your lipstick shines, the more mwah your lips look. From the collection hunt out Cristal Minimal along with the shades that pop too. It's a transparent concentrate of pearl hues, and it's great to slick over as topcoat to make colour shimmer. It's been in my make-up bag ever since I've discovered it.  You may not be a diva, but your lips can sure play up like one with this fashionable collection!

Bourjois Rouge Edition, £7.99 each launches nationwide in February 2013 but is exclusive to Selfridges London from December 2012.

For the love of rose

What girl doesn’t like roses whether they’re in a vase, named after a box of chocolates or bottled in a juice? Roger & Gallet’s new Rose Imaginaire smells as delicious as a bunch of lightly scented roses and delivers all the pleasure of chocolates without the guilt factor!

The fragrance stands pretty in pink and is a fresh fragrant water that never over-powers, but instead delicately plays the three acts of this poetic and historic flower  – the sweetness of a rose petal, the delicate scent of a fruity rosebud and the romantic smell of a rose in full bloom. Whether you’re gifting yourself or someone else it has all the hallmarks of love.

Rose Imaginaire is exclusively available in Marks & Spencer Nationwide at £32.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Lancôme spreads a little sparkle

Like hangers full of sequined dresses, sparkle and glitter in make-up can be a touch overwhelming leading up to Christmas. There’s only so much a girl can handle without looking like she should be switched on!

For their under-play on the sparkle, I love Lancôme’s Happy Holidays Collection. Inspired by Paris – the city of illuminations that enchants and shimmers, each beauty pick is bold and modern, giving your party look just enough of a seasonal edge.

The Ombre Hynose Mono, £18 is all wrapped up in a gold glitter case and once opened reveals a golden eyeshadow. Woven like a mesh fabric, the formula is exceptional to handle. The pure golden pigments literally sweep like magic across the eye. Think of Tinkerbell with her wand dusting down magic glitter. The effect lasts for 16 hours – that’s a heck of a lot of partying, whereby the formula can be used wet or dry to increase the density.

For nails their Vernis in Love in Ginger Swing , £12– just feeling that name! gives nails the cocktail vibe, and for lips L’Absolu Rouge in Rubix Exquis, £21 adds high octane to your look ready for any mistletoe action. A radiant red, it’s adorned with radiant metallic shimmer for a luminous and very modern lip. Santa will definitely be coming to your town if looking so seductive!

Lancôme’s Happy Holiday’s Collection is available nationwide from this month while limited edition stocks last.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Man, I smell like a woman!

I don’t know about you, but I love smelling the unexpected in terms of fragrance. Generally, you wouldn’t expect to smell a cologne on a woman, but the more I’ve asked around, the more women are liking the masculine and earthy smell of a men’s cologne. “It makes me feel powerful, less girly” says one such scent sleuth. Amongst some of my friends, Vetiver by Guerlian has been a favourite, but I’m now going to introduce them to Atelier Cologne.

It’s probably not a perfume house you’ve heard of – I hadn’t, so it’s even more exciting to discover it. Their master perfumers pride themselves on blending unpredictable and rare extracts with more-of-the-known fresh citruses to create Colognes Absolues. Made in France, the bottles are robust and masculine in the hand, and the concentrates are high, the lowest out of the nine colognes being 12 per cent. I’ve been wearing the addictive Orange  Sanguine – top notes of blood and bitter orange mingle with jasmine and geranium drying down to sandalwood and tonka beans, for the past week, and the general consensus is something along the lines of, ‘Oooh, you smell nice, what is it?’ How much nicer is that than someone saying, ‘are you wearing such-and-such?’ After all, a woman does like to retain a bit of mystery, and never more than with the trail of her fragrance.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, £95
Available in Selfridges, London.
To read their back story and check out their collection go to

Pout pickers


 Pucker. Pout. Pose. Who doesn’t love the effect of a good lipstick? Lip smackers that have landed on my radar this week are 17’s Mirror Shine Lipstick and Fresh’s Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment SPF15. 17’s demographic is young and experimental, but outside of being a teen there’s plenty of make-up value in the range too. The formulations are grown-up – this lipstick feels wonderfully soft and hydrating, leaving a subtle sheen on the lips, and they’re fashion focused. Hard wired to bring catwalk colour to the high street, it’s a range perfect for dipping into trends without paying a fortune. The new Mirror Shine Lipsticks come in 13 on-trend shades – their insiders report that salmon and mauve (not as scary as it sounds, and actually makes your teeth look whiter) are two of the season’s top colours for lips, which you can find in the collect. And surprise! When pulling off the top, there’s a handy mini mirror that slides out from the lid. Genius for perfecting quick touch-ups.


My second pout pick from Fresh puts sugar on our lips, but thankfully not on our hips! Sugar is a natural humectant that ensures long lasting moisture. Apart from the sweet stuff, there are natural waxes, fatty acids and antioxidants, all of which conspire to make this berry lip tint a hydrating anti-ageing slick. SPF15 is in the mix too – remember, lips are vulnerable to UV damage due to their lack of melanin. It smells berry nice, and the colour can be as sheer as or dense as you please. Simply layer up for a deeper hue. Oh, and one last thing. Don’t try pulling off the lid, it’s a screw top!

17 Mirror Shine Lipstick, £4,79
Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment, £16.50 available from Fresh, 92 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4RD

Saturday, 27 October 2012

La Prairie's super serum

Please allow me to share this anti-ageing story. I recently met a woman I used to go to school with via a business contact, and post greet duly looked her up on Facebook – as you do.  Now, if my memory serves me right she was always a year above me at school, but on her Facebook profile she was now miraculously seven years younger than myself! Without trying to sound too catty, the seven years she had shaved off her birth date hadn’t done her any justice. She looked good for age. Her true age, and to delete seven of them was foolhardy in my opinion.

My stance on ageing is simple. Look good for your age category. Obviously teens and 20’s don’t have too much to worry about as Mother Nature is on their side, but once you hit your 30’s tougher action needs to be taken other than manipulating your birth year. Some go for non-invasive procedures such as Botox and fillers, myself I prefer to rely on ingredient led skincare. Anything with lifting and tightening gets my full attention.

My newest discovery is La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift. If you’re looking for the Bentley of serums, this is it. It’s an experience opening its grand silver cylinder, whereby the hallowed cobalt blue bottled serum is proudly mounted on grey felt. As its name suggests, it offers the highest concentration of pure Caviar Extract of any of their skincare treatments with the added va-va-voom of being combined with a unique Recovery Complex that alters the skin’s basic structure for long-term firmness.

Before I continue let me tell you the price tag. £304. Yes, that’s right, you’ve read it right. £304! I’m mentioning this early in the copy, rather than at the end so you get over the shock. But in its defence – it’s bloody marvellous! The minute you pump and apply, the skin looks smoother – almost de-stressed. There’s no tightening sensation on the skin, so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling unnatural. Skin feels nourished thanks to its combination of vitamins, nucleic acids, phospholipids, proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids. Without getting too technical there’s also an exciting new pentapeptide and an exclusive Cellular Complex all of which add up to making it a deluxe five star skin experience. My husband has noticed a difference. Now that’s a miracle! I wouldn’t say I look younger, but most definitely fresher in  tone and somehow my skin looks like it’s had a daily yoga workout. As for the price? It does work out less than a £1 a day for the whole year!

La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift available from Urban Retreat at Harrods, Selfridges and selected House of Fraser stores.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Aveda's sole-ful massage



Things that make a good massage. A room bigger than a broom cupboard. A warm room. Soft and fluffy towels. Relaxing music that’s not Enya. Oils that don’t smell synthetic. I’m happy to say all of these were massively boxed ticked at the Aveda Institute Salon and Spa in Covent Garden where I had booked in for an Elemental Natural full body massage. But what really swung it for me was my spa therapists, Isar’s feet. Many times I have lain on my front with my head poking through the face hole only to be confronted with shabby feet. Isar’s were immaculate. Her flip flopped feet were buffed and polished whereupon I knew who ever looked after their feet this good, will look after me too!


Fittingly, the massage started off with a foot soak and scrub (along with a herbal tea) whereupon I was  blissfully massaged for an hour. Blissful to me is a firm deep tissue massage, and that’s exactly what I got. It’s customised too. Isar felt knots in my shoulders so duly spent more time trying to loosen them. It’s hard to say what makes a good massage, as a firm pressure for one can be too light for another, but the laying of confident hands is a good sign and I knew from the first touch, Isar’s skills came from within. There are some therapists that appear to go through the motions, but without sounding too plinky plonky, this was a massage that came from the soul – or should I say sole?

Elemental Nature Full Body Massage, £83 for 60 minutes.
Tel: 020 7759 7355

Monday, 22 October 2012

Very delicious. Very Estee.

Holey Moley! The scent-ometer is beginning to climb sky high leading up to Christmas. Fragrance barons are hoping to tempt our pulse points with their latest perfumed potions. Far from being over ambitious with their bottle and packaging, I very much like the olfactory message from Estee Lauder’s Very Estee. This all new, contemporary floral woody musk is both stylish, simple and confident in its approach. Lauder puts the wearer as a trendsetter, but definitely playing to her own rules.

Sometimes its hard to move a classic brand forward, both in mindset and spirit, but Very Estee has creatively managed it by still capturing the heritage of the brand – after all who would want to hide such a rich dynasty? whilst introducing a more modern take for the sophisticated perfume wearer. As for the fragrance, top notes of lotus and freesia along with the sparkle of juicy cassis meet middle notes of Bulgarian rose oil, jasmine petal, with a  sensual dry-down of sandalwood and cashmere wood accord.

As for the advertising hook, model Hilary Rhoda smoulders sexy and warm. Somehow, this fragrance smells like a brunette. Sophisticated and  sexy with a grown-up dark side!

Very Estee available from November from £40 for 30ml.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Giorgio Armani's amazing foundation

A few years back I wrote a book called The Grown-up Girl’s Guide to Life and I highlighted the benefit of adopting foundation intelligence. We’ve all seen girls whose look has been somewhat overshadowed by their misuse of foundation. Whether it’s the wrong colour, texture or application, the one piece of make-up that should be incognito is screaming to be looked at. Formulations are improving all the time with foundation, whereby they are now masquerading as skin treatments, rather like a face cream. So really there isn’t much of an excuse to be wearing anything that doesn’t double up as a second skin.

My absolute favourite at the moment is Giorgio Armani’s Maestro fusion make up. It really is the Derren Brown of foundation. It literally disappears once on the skin. Using Maestro fusion technology, it quickly adapts to skin tone and texture for a tailor made coverage. The texture is dreamy – transforming from a liquid essence to a whisper of a matte finish in a nanosecond. Giving the skin a uniform finish whilst allowing the skin’s natural luminosity to come through, it’s easy to apply and leaves your complexion with a no foundation feel. What else would you expect from a designer who is known for his clean and simple lines?

Giorgio Armani Maestro fusion make-up is £36 and available in nine from pale-to-warm shades.