Total Pageviews

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Bobbi Brown Does Coffee and Cocktails

This month Bobbi Brown is launching their long-wearing make-up range. These cherry-picked products will take you from coffee to cocktails, computer screen to disco queen or boardroom to ballroom effortlessly. At the launch I met George Pelosi, senior beauty team member who not only does a fabulous hair-do as you can see from my snap of her, but is a walking beauty rolodex of make-up tips.

George explained during her make-up demo, that the essence of this beauty story is every woman wants to know how to do zippy make up, but without looking rushed. A look that’s long wearing that can take her from am to pm with very few touch-ups during the day. Here’s what she suggests…

The Coffee Dash Make-Up
Keep eyes gloriously simple. George used Bobbi’s Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow in Cool Lilac – a lovely creamy texture that resists creasing – even in a Spin class! “Dip fingertip in and sweep straight over the lid,” George explains. “The texture keeps skin looking fresh and smooth. Lilac is incredibly wearable too. It complements all eye colours and reflects light beautifully. It gives a subtle sparkle, minus the frost – almost like diamonds glittering on your eyelids”. For a non-budge lash line, Bobbi’s Long-Wear Eye Pencil is formulated with special polymers that melt at skin temperature. There’s no hard scratching and it literally glides on. George used Mahogany to draw a line close to the upper lash line, which is a softer colour to carry off for the day. It behaves for 12 hours too without moving around the eye or fading. The Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara in black is long-lasting, but for me it’s USP is in the brush. It’s small and therefore manageable, making it perfect for playing up the outer lashes along with the fiddly inner lashes. To make the most of lashes, tilt up the face and push up the brush from the base of the lashes. Give the brush a good wiggle.  For the complexion, pop the skin with an accent of pretty powder blush on the apples of the cheeks – “a radiant bright whips away darkness from the eyes too,” says George. Then balance out blush with the lips – for daytime just notch up in shade from your natural lip colour always works well.


After-Hours Cocktail Make-Up
Using your coffee dash look as a great foundation, you can now afford to step up your make-up game to make an impact. The secret is not to overload the face, just enhance what you’ve already applied.  For eyes, George worked a smoky looking eye with Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Velvet Plum. Again, because of the superior formula, you can afford to layer on top of the Cool Lilac for intensity. Switching to Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Jet, apply over mahogany line close to the upper lash line, then run inside the water line. “Hugging the eye pencil around the whole eye makes for stand-out eyes,” says George. “Don’t sell your eye shape short.”  For flirty lashes, apply a couple more coats of mascara. I talk from experience that lashes will not end up stiff and spidery. The Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara doesn’t dry hard, so layers up effortlessly. Next, for a chic cheek do some double blushing. “Use a cream blusher such as Pot Rouge to accelerate the colour,” explains George. “Doing this also feels like you’ve made an effort, taking you out of work mode.” Lastly, finish off with a shimmer gloss on the lips. And you’re ready to disco!

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow, £17
Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara in Black, £18
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil, £17.50
On counter April nationwide


Monday, 26 March 2012

The Sweet Smell of Summer. Love DKNY


Standing as tall and beautiful as a New York sky scraper, DKNY’S Summer Limited Edition Women is a juice to elevate your olfactory spirit. Capturing the long, hot days drenched full of sunshine alongside al fresco living, notes of Clementine and pomegranate dance on pulse points. This is a bubbly and sparkling fragrance, but far from being overly sweet, it’s a little more succulent with a touch of luscious green papaya and linden leaves. The dry-down of musk and white amber bring notes of warmth and sensuality.  Summertime in the city has never smelt so carefree.

DKNY Summer Limited Edition Women is available nationwide from 1st April priced at £38

Friday, 23 March 2012

L'Oreal's Fairy Light Kisses

Mwah! These new luxurious lip formulas are really something to pucker up for.

Rouge Caresse, do just as they say – gently caress the lips with colour. Far from sitting heavily on the lip after application, they literally feel weightless, but leave lips feeling wonderfully moisturised along with a hit of sheer, delicious colour. With their ‘Light Feel Complex’ I’m comparing them to lingerie for lips – a sexy foundation you can’t help but admire!

Orrea Light, L’Oreal’s Creative Colour Director sums them up succinctly by revealing they work like a little sexy black dress on your lips, creating instant glamour. Go try, go buy!

L’Oreal Rouge Caresse are available in 10 shades and available nationwide from April priced at £7.99 each.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Skincare With The Family Touch

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will know skincare is one of my favourite topics to write about. I find everything about skin fascinating – the way it performs, how it psychologically affects us and, of course the thinking and technology behind new products. One brand that’s caught my eye recently has been Gazelli with its fancy name and exotic illustrations. And who wouldn’t be seduced by the name Triple Youth? Three times younger, you bet! Furthermore, it’s an independent brand with a family heritage. Dr Zarifa Hamzayeva has tapped into her scientific knowledge in the fields of genetics and prevention and developed a range from the natural resources of her home country, Azerbaijan. Working alongside her daughter Jamila, head of European development, it’s a range based on the White Healing Oil.

Here I get to the soul of Gazelli by catching up with Jamila to talk climatic zones, culture and feeling comfortable in your own skin.


Do you work closely alongside your mother? If so how do you get on?
I am very close to my mother, both personally and in work life. I think we work well together. In fact, I would say we complete each other with a mixture of her scientific knowledge and mind of a formulator and manufacturer, and my creative approach to branding and communication with customers.

 What’s the idea behind Gazelli?
 It was my mother’s vision almost 20 years ago. She wanted to connect all the facets of who we are as women and develop something that reflected us all. A creation which combines the healer, the nurturer, the lover of beauty and culture – all of the different elements that make this world so rich.

Many of us may not be familiar with Azerbaijan. How would you describe your country?
A land incredibly rich in natural resources. Nine out of 11 possible climatic zones are found on this land which means that driving through the country a desert like hilly land could lead you into a deep forest, then take you to the foot of a great snowy mountain. It’s also a place full of ancient traditions, culture and strong family values.

What qualities does it have that you’ve captured in your brand?
The products are formulated with unique ingredients from our Azerbaijan such as our White Healing Oil. This is from the Naftalan region found in our Triple Youth range, as well as caviar extract from the Caspian Sea, volcanic muds and other plants and fruit extracts that we source from different parts of the country.

The packaging is beautiful. What was the inspiration behind it?
It was inspired by graphic art of the region. The hand drawn artwork invites you to explore scenes of rural life and capture traditional pattern from local tapestries and metal works. The ladies on the packaging each tell a sort with their eyes and gesture.

What are women asking for or looking for today in a modern skincare brand?
Primarily, it’s important for the product to be effective and a pleasure to use, such as its texture and its scent – something you can form a bond to.

You mention Gazelli is inspired by ancient poetry in praise of Beauty, Youth and Love. Do you think we are a world that has become obsessed with looking younger?
I truly believe that many, like my mother feel extremely comfortable in their own skin at whatever age. But as well as that they do everything they can to look their best. Also, I think people are younger at heart nowadays which also drives them and makes them look younger. And of course great skincare and a health approach to life helps.
What’s your personal skin mantra?
Feed from you skin from outside and inside and smile. It lights up your whole face.

How does the beauty outlook of a UK woman and an Azerbaijani woman differ?
From a very young age, the knowledge of ‘taking care’ of yourself gets passed down from mother to daughter. Learning how to make the most out of what you are given naturally is a great skill. The main focus is to get an ability to dedicate time to yourself, even a minute in a busy day.

Why did you choose Harrods to showcase your brand?
I think that Urban Retreat in Harrods is a great location as it allows us to introduce and show both our expertise in spa treatments as well as retail. It’s also a place where you are given room to express yourself which is so important for the brand, and also being in such prime location is absolutely incredible.

One of my favourite products is their Triple Youth Ultimate Firming Serum, £62.
To explore the rest of the range go to and

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Daisy, Daisy Give Me Eau Answer Do!

What better day to write about Marc Jacobs  happy-go-lucky fragrance, Daisy when the sun is streaming through my window? Yes, it’s that feel good kind of scent. One that fills you up with joy and optimism. And that’s no exaggeration!

The cute bottle with retro chic petals is incredible light in the hand. Light enough to pop into your bag and spritz on-the-go. And the scent? Well, if world peace could be spray this would be it. It really does make you fall in love with life. It’s so fresh and playful without being too young. Top notes are mouth watering: wild strawberry, violet leaves and ruby red grapefruit. Middle notes of jasmine petals and gardenia join the party, upon drying down with musky and white woods. With such strong and sweet fruity sounding notes, it sits surprisingly sophisticated on the skin.  I have only tried this one, but also in the collection there’s Daisy Eau So Fresh with sparkling notes of raspberry, green leaves and wild rose. It seems everything is coming up roses and daisies in the Marc Jacobs garden this summer!

Daisy Eau De Toilette Flower and Daisy Eau So Fresh Eau De Toilette Flower are both priced at £25.

Available from 4th April nationwide.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Colour Made in Hair Heaven


Since I divorced my hair colourist last year and found a new partner in Brooke at FOUR London, I’ve never been happier. I feel and look like a new woman! I think my former colourist had fallen out of love with me. I just felt I was being taken for granted and wasn't being looked at with a fresh eye. It was the same colour plopped on time after time with no direction. It was time for a split. Shopping around for a new colourist is always a little scary. It’s a relationship built on trust – and to be honest I see my colourist more frequently than I see some of my friends - every six to eight weeks, so a connection is vital. As luck would have it, like any good relationship I was introduced to Brooke through a mutual friend, and hair love blossomed. I’ve found myself in creative hands too – Brooke also lightens and brightens Claudia Winkleman, Georgie Thompson and Nigella Lawson.



Like any directional colourist, the colour queens (Brooke is joined by co-directors Charlie, Maleeka and Denise above) at FOUR London are buzzing with new ideas and techniques to take your hair that one step prettier, glossier and trendier. I thought you may like to read their trend tips on how you should be wearing your colour this summer.

The on-trend technique: Silhouette Shading.  If you were snapped a few months ago by a pap chances are you had a dip dye. Katy Perry, Amber Le Bon and Fearne Cotton all let colour go to the ends of their hair. Alternatively there was the look Caroline Flack was working, dark roots and lighter ends.  But like any good trend, it moves on and hair is no longer two timing. Taking over from this hippy chick vibe, FOUR have developed a clever technique called Silhouette Shading. It addresses the growing need for dip dye rehab!  FOUR reveals clients were asking to get rid of the bleached ends of the dip dye, but wanting to keep the element of lightness within the hair. The solution? Remove the harsh regrowth and lighten the hairline and perimeter. This way natural tones can be applied to the root area, keeping it darker whilst edging the hair outlines with lighter, more flattering shades. Genius! This technique works brilliantly well on dark and blonde hair, and as an added bonus the client doesn’t experience the unforgiving tell-tale signs of re-growth. Colour also lasts longer in-between appointments. So, more colour for your buck! Keeping the hair lighter at the hairline is also very anti-ageing so this technique is suitable across all decades and can be pretty dramatic or very subtle. The newest recruit to their Silhouette Shading is Sky sports presenter Georgie Thompson whose hair had become far too blonde and wanted a gentle move back to the dark side! Silhouette Shading allowed them scope to do that whilst still keeping her look individual and far from boring.

When it comes to the main players in the colour palette here are their directions for Colours that pop ‘n’ rock:

Red but no warning sign: Think Christina Hendricks and Florence Welch, reds have never been so in demand and sexy. But this season they have less of a harsh warning light, and instead have been given a dressing-down! The word at FOUR is to dial down by one shade – overall, it makes this sensual shade more flattering and unforgiving. Oh-so-pretty strawberry blondes are back and the light tones of titian are being mixed with slices of true ginger to create a vibrant look. Take note, orange is on-message for fashion, but not for your hair shade! 

Brown but not too dark: Think brown equals mousey? You must be colour blind! Hollywood browns  - witness Jessica Alba, are created using a blend of a natural deep neutral tinted base, mingled with a smattering of low lights to enhance long, layered hair. As a hair encore, colour is finished with a light chestnut gold vegetable colour. This ensures that the cuticle reflects the light, up-swinging the shine factor. The wrong brown can look too purple, so think soft woods, not fruits! Dark oaks and rich chestnuts deliver an almost grain effect to the hair, but leave it far from wooden looking!

Blonde but not too bombshell: A bold blonde for cropped hair is still strong - Michelle Williams snapshots the look. But depth is created at the root to ensure texture to the colour. The use of bleach is side stepped, as the shine is always dimmed and the hair shaft is left looking exposed and raw. It’s uncompromising on the skin tone too. FOUR have mastered a very colour friendly technique  – they always double their high lift base tint to rid cheap looking, brassy tones.  This mimics the lift of bleach, but gives a much kinder finish. Hue can argue with that?
62 Conduit Street, London W1S 2GB
Tel: 020 7297 9600

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Nail Struck


When it comes to pointing a finger at the world’s top manicurists that give good nail, Glenis Baptiste is one of the best. Over 20 years in the industry she’s a mover and a shaker when it comes to working a bottle of polish, and frequently called upon by celebrities and glossy magazines to work her fingertip magic.

I recently met Glenis at Lancome’s new Vernis in Love launch where she was on hand (excuse the pun!) to talk to journalists about their exciting new polishes. They really are something. Gorgeous and cutting edge colours – take your pick from 20 shades, a patented brush with a grooved stem to allow the nail polish to flow directly to the centre of the brush – “the brush can make or break your manicure,” says Glenis, along with a streak free and long lasting finish with plenty of gloss. Here I talk to Glenis about colour, celebrity and cocktail sticks!


How have you seen nails evolve over the 20 years you’ve been a manicurist?
Nails have played a non-existent role for many years, but over the last five years they’ve exploded into the world of fashion. Previously a manicurist was not needed   on shoots or fashion shows, the make-up artist would have to paint the nails, but now we have gained a respected role within the beauty industry. It is an acquired skill and the last few years nail brands have invested a lot of time and money in promoting nail products. And it has paid off. Polish is now as important as wearing lipstick. It’s fantastic!

What’s currently hot for nails right now?
Nail art has once again become very fashionable and trendy. We certainly have celebrities to thank for that especially Beyonce, Rhianna, Katie Perry and Lady Gaga. On-trend at the moment is wearing nail art such as marbling. This involves mixing two colours together by placing drops of nail colour on the nail from each colour. Then, using a cocktail stick mixing them both together until you get a marbling effect. This is done on one finger nail probably the little finger nail, then painting the rest of the nails with a striking nail colour. Trend led colours this summer are aqua marine blue, orange, white, pink and reds.

Do you think nails are the new lipsticks?
Nails are fast becoming the new lipstick. If you’re like me I always have the colour that I am wearing in my bag, just in case it chips, or I always have a back-up colour in case I feel like a change. The new trend is having many different nail colours and the bottles are a lot smaller and cost less than a new lipstick, so it’s affordable and it will eventually take over lipstick sales. It won’t take long for us nail polish queens to work out how many nail polishes we can buy for the price of one lipstick!

Whose famous nails have you polished and buffed?
Most recently I have polished the nails of Angelina Jolie, Thandie Newton, Christine Bleakley, Anna Friel, Davina McCall and Cheryl Cole.

What are the cardinal good nail rules for making polishes zing?
Investing in a brilliant top coat such as Seche Vite works wonders. It leaves the nails looking like glass every time. One tip is to apply topcoat over your polish every three days to keep it looking like new.

Any tips for nail biters?
Yes, one tip is to wear bright nail polish. People will notice and give you compliments, it always works wonders.

What’s the best photographic session you’ve ever done as a manicurist?
One of the best sessions (there have been a few) was doing a shoot at 10 Downing Street with Cherie Blair. It was a special time and so historic. I got a letter from her thanking me for doing her manicure and for the special day she had The  pictures where amazing!

What are your nail must-haves?
Top coat – Seche Vite
Hand Cream – Lancome
Solar Oil – CND
Nail Polish Remover- Chanel
Cuticle cream- Dior

Whose nails do you admire and why?
Beyonce and Rhianna, always have perfectly manicured nails and they are always pushing the bar up as far as nail art is concerned. Together they are always first to wear on trend nail colours - they are truly inspirational when it comes to nails.

What are the classic mistakes people make when painting their nails?
They always forget to wear a base coat, and they don’t put enough polish on the brush, so the polish leaves streaks on the nail.

You’re made nails a fabulous career, any advice for would-be manicurists for nailing it?
Yes, always be prepared to work long hours, and to assist wherever you can. Keep up to date with nail colour and trends. Do as many nail courses as you can, practise will make you perfect!

Lancome Vernis In Love are available nationwide from 1st April at £12 each

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Beauty's Spring Spirit


I don’t know about you, but come spring I start feeling frisky for new beauty buys. There’s a bounce in my step and I want buys that add glow, glamour and gloss. Here are a round-up of my current three must-try products.

Tangle Teezer Compact Styler, Feline Groovy

Now, if you can’t brag about your own product on your blog I don’t know when you can! As you will read from my bio I’m Creative Director of Tangle Teezer – the much talked about detangling hairbrush invented by former super hair colourist, Shaun P. We’ve had our heads (quite literally) together for the last few months brainstorming new designs and colours, and this one I’m especially excited about – leopard print, or in Teezer world we like to call it Feline Groovy! It’s a great on-the-go brush that you can pop into your bag to keep your style looking fabulous from computer screen to disco queen. I’m biased, but it really is the best hairbrush I’ve ever used, leaving hair tangle free and shiny. Try it and see what I mean.

 Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Cream-Gel

With sunshine still playing peek-a-boo behind clouds a little self tanner is called for to whip a winter pallor away. I’m usually quite wary of self tanners, as I’ve seen too many TOWIE like faces, but really this is foolproof to use and very hard to over do it. Hailed as a skincare first, it works as a double action treatment – a moisturiser and a self tanner in one. White in colour, which takes away the stress of picking a shade, it’s an ultra light lotion that gives skin a jump start in terms of blessing with an energetic, holiday type glow. It smells sunshine-y too! What’s not to love?

Nivea Q10 Plus Firming Body Oil

Half of all women in the UK claim to suffer from dry skin and stretch marks, so when it comes to improving the skin’s elasticity, I would recommend plumping for an oil. I’m a huge lover of oils, whether for the body, face or hair as they penetrate deeper, therefore you get more bang from the ingredients. I don’t expect an oil to work miracles, stretch marks won’t disappear, but aesthetically this body oil sits wonderfully on the skin – it sinks in double quick, and leaves a slight sheen on the skin. For that reason it’s nice to use on bare arms and legs to up-swing skin fitness. The roll call of ingredients includes potassium, known as the youth mineral, avocado oil, and of course Coenzyme Q10 for the production of energy in all cells.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Liz Earle Puts Your Hair in the Spotlight


I spend a lot of time on my hair, probably like many of you trying to make it look healthier, shinier, more expensive looking. After colour and cut, the rest relies on products to revive and recharge. When it comes to shine I’ve tried many a treatment that professes to leave my mane with more dazzle than Strictly’s costume department, only to be disappointed once washed off. Now, I don’t expect miracles, but a little gloss would be nice. When Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Treatment landed on my desk, I shoved it to once side. Jaded. I nearly gave it to a friend to hair test, but I’m so glad my beauty senses took hold and I eventually tired it for myself.

My hair is highlighted, dried and straightened daily, so sometimes its dazzle factor can be dimmed. Hair was looking a little lack lustre, so I took this plainly decorated tube into the bathroom with me, without much enthusiasm. I applied on towel tried hair as instructed and left it on for 30 minutes. When rinsing off, my hair felt very sleek, but it was whilst drying it the shine factor took hold. My roots looked visibly lighter, almost detoxed and before long I was swishing my hair around like a hair model in a commercial. It felt very silky too without being lifeless. I literally couldn’t stop touching it and flicking it. Very irritating to look at, I’m sure, but Wow!

So, what’s the secret? Jennifer Hirsch, Liz Earle’s in-house Botanist, says they’ve worked hard to find natural ingredients to deliver high performance results. “Decades of seaweed research sit behind our red algae extract, and there is science that confirms its ability to help build an effective barrier against dryness, flattening the cuticles so each hair is sleeker and softer*, she explains. You you can use daily too, rather than once a week like most intensive treatments. So, good hair days are just that, not just every time I visit the hairdressers.

Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Treatment, £14

Friday, 2 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Love Gucci

I wrote a book some time ago called Thank You for Being My Mother. It was a sweet, little gift-able book full of childhood memories created by mums that have stayed with their daughters today. Some are my memories and others are friends and friends of friends. They are simple things such as summer ice-cream picnics, or reminding us we always have choices.  Sometimes it’s hard to put all the love and gratitude you feel for your mum into words, but my book let her know how much she is loved and appreciated through the written word. What it taught me is that it’s the simple, but heart felt actions and advice that really matter in life.

An early handmade offering from my son!

With this in mind, I can’t but help but notice all the big splashy gifts being suggested for Mothering Sunday on the 18th March. I don’t expect my son to show his love for me by asking his dad to buy me a Kindle at over £100 a pop, or send me on a weekend spa trip. I don’t think my mum expects gifts from me on that scale either. I think most mums would be happy with a bunch of daffs, a cup of tea in bed and a card! But if I may suggest a luxury, perhaps the mum massive would like to drop a few hints about Gucci’s Flora Garden Collection, which absolutely sums up the spirit of Mother’s Day: pretty, scented and thoughtful.

The collection is inspired by the floral print scarf worn by Princess Caroline of Monaco in the 1960’s and consists of three new fragrances: Gracious Tuberose, Gorgeous Gardenia and Glamorous Magnolia. Each reflects the spirit of the flowers of the iconic Gucci Floral Pattern. The bottles are dressing table desirables tinged either in pink, blue or green. It seems not only are they fragrances fit for a princess, but a much-loved mum too!

 The Gucci Flora Garden Collection is available nationwide from March 7th at £49 each