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Monday, 30 April 2012

Feel Good Naked with Emma Hardie!


I’m a huge fan of Emma Hardie and her brand Amazing Face, and why she hasn’t called her two new body focused products Amazing Body I have no idea. However, naming issues asides, I’m a little bit excited over these two wondrous pots of lovely-ness. 


Moving her face line down below the jaw line, and with thoughts of sunshine and a bikini bared body for summer, her Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Treatment and Body Butter will shape up bumpy and dry goose pimpled flesh in a jiffy. Emma’s known for her highly concentrated, aromatic and enriched botanical ingredients and these body beauties don’t disappoint.


The Body Treatment is a luxurious mud-based scrub that throws together fine rose and china clays with detoxifying Himalayan salt, exfoliating granules of organic red corn, along with moisturising sweet almond oil leaves. The whole alchemy is body-blowing. I can only describe it as the best in-house spa treatment you'll experience in your own bathroom. As you can see from the texture, it means business, but the skin suffers no cheap scratchiness and is left feeling super smooth along with a healthy radiant glow. Emma reveals it’s also the perfect back treatment mask to help purify and detox congested and blemished skin.


Post scrub, the Body Butter has the look and texture of Greek yoghurt. Skin literally wallows in the luxuriousness of this nourishing and hydrating moisturiser with shea butter and exotic Inca Inchi oils from Peru. Let me tell you, this Body Butter demands to be massaged in – no quick slap and tickle application here. As thick as it looks, it absorbs surprisingly quickly, but leaves the skin not feeling veiled, but opaqued in moisture. You can literally feel the skin’s elasticity pinging back! Emma explains that using feel-good aromatic products encourages the self-practice of massage which helps to promote the remove of excess toxins for a toned appearance.

 Some might say these two body products are quite costly when you can pick up a generic scrub and moisturiser for under a fiver each, but quality pays in terms of application – pots are generously sized and the top drawer ingredients ensures you don’t need handfuls for instant body benefits. Love, love, love! 

 Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Treatment, £46
Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Butter, £49

Available from John Lewis, Urban Retreat in Harrods, QVC UK and

Friday, 27 April 2012

Lips Do Ballroom


When a girl wants to grab a little bit of attention for herself, the smart ones wriggle into sequins. Why, who can ignore these sparkling, geometrical shapes that captivate and hypnotise?

Estee Lauder is certainly cosmetically clued up about the allure of the sequin effect, capturing all the shine and polish in their limited edition Pure Color Gloss Sequins Finish. Describing it as a ‘new dimension’ of lip colour with a high-intensity lacquered sequins-shine finish, these glosses do for lips that sequins do for fashion. Just as sequins create fabric fluidity, reflect shine and inject magic for twirling ballroom dancers in Strictly, along with lending the show-stopping edge to performers such as Beyonce and J-Lo, so the high percentage of glass-like pearls get busy doing the dazzle factor for lips.

Smooth and ultra creamy in texture, it’s a case of gloss meets cream to deliver a lacquered, full-coverage base with a put-on-your-shades shine. Non sticky, non-tacky, they apply beautifully, leaving lips plumped, pretty and primed for new found stardom.

Available in six shades from nudes to plums and everything in-between they cost £16 each and are available exclusively at Harrods from May.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

L'Oreal's New Make-up Shock


The Cannes Film Festival screens high voltage glamour with a slew of stars, starlets and old school legends gracing the red carpet. To celebrate their 15 years as the official make-up sponsor for this show stopping, movie loving occasion, L’Oreal Paris introduce the L’Or Electric Collection.

With all the pop and fizz of a limited edition collection, it’s a line up of heightened, stimulating and wild-child colour. Inspired by the extravagance and excitement of the 80s, post-modernism, Studio 54, Fluorescent colours, New Wave and the beginning of electronic music, it's make-up that literally reboots your look with a flow of cosmetic electric energy. 

First up are three new statement Color Riche lipstick shades in Metallic Coral, Electric Fuchsia and Prismatic Pink . All created to kiss lips with a two tone effect. Harbouring cosmic pearls technology,  a blue undertone is slicked to the lip for a thrilling jolt of cool colour.

For eyes, intensity is given with two new Colour Infallible Eyeshadows – Magnetic Coral and Metallic Lilac. Giving lids a shot of punk type attitude, two contrasting chromatic shades fuse together for a two-tone effect. The overall effect is pretty special – electro flecks with a cream application, but with the staying power of a powder.

Finally, nails are polished with one of three new Color Riche Le Vernis Shades in Electric Blue, Chromatic Violet and Oceanic Blue – just loving those names! Nails are glossed like rare metallic jewels with a touch of iridescent gold.

The whole collection is enough to make you fizzle and sizzle from eyelids to fingertips.

Color Riche Lipsticks, £8.16
Color Infallible Eyeshadows, £6.99
Color Riche Le Vernis, £4.99

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Clarins Takes the Make-up Trail

Clarins New Enchanted Summer Collection
was inspired by the heart of India

Can’t you just feel the dry heat and visualise the sights and senses of India just by looking at Clarins summer make-up collection? Inspired by the traditional patterns of India and their celebrations of the festival of colour – a spectrum of colour symbolises red for joy and love, orange for optimism, green for harmony and blue for vitality, Clarins have caught the wanderlust spirit  and embraced the land of temples, spirituality and traditional values for their collection, New Enchanted.

Jewel in the crown: Colour Quartet and Liner Palette

The jewel in the crown is their Colour Quartet & Liner Palette, £30. A collection of four mineral eye shades, they apply faster than a blink of the eye going on smooth and crease-free. Champagne beige, bronze, gold and violet, along with a golden brown eyeliner collided together to make one heck of a bewitching eye. A lovely touch is the traditional sari print motifs embossed on each shade.

I haven’t got a snap, but there’s also a Kohl Kajal Long-Lasting Eyeliner, £15 in collection which is a reworked formula of the traditional Indian kohl. The texture is creamy and for this reason lines the eyes perfectly with intense, long-lasting results. Available in two shades black and violet.

A wash of natural colour: Bronzing Duo

For those who crave a wash of colour, the Bronzing Duo SPF15 Mineral Power Compact, £26 is two complementary tones of bronze in one palette. Dubbed ‘made-to-measure’ radiance, simply blend together for a low-key, natural looking tan whatever the weather. The formula is super smart too: a combo of mineral and soft-focus pigments, along with pearls that optically minimise fine lines for a youth-inducing radiant glow. Sunshine in a compact.

Mwah! Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balms

Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balms, £16.50 are a make-up bag gotta-have. Looking like they wouldn’t leave a whisper of colour, they are surprisingly powerful in their intensity. They have the transparency of a gloss and the comfort of a lip balm all rolled into one, and as they’re so sheer they give the illusion of a fuller lip. Pick from a pretty pink, rosy red, teeth brightening coral (my favourite) or a sensual violet.

The collection is available from May.  

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

No7 Peaces Out with Hippy Chick Make-Up

Meeting up with Lisa Eldridge, No7’s Creative Consultant at the Boots summer show I was tempted to fling off my shoes (only it was winter) go barefoot and wave my hands in the air like I just didn’t care! Yes, that’s how carefree No7’s limited edition Summer of Dreams Collection makes you feel.
Lisa Eldridge
With an absolute passion for beauty, Lisa is frequently inspired by her personal back catalogue of magazines, fashion and make-up. For this festival fabulous collection of sunkissed bronzer, glitter top coat nail polishes in gold and silver, eye crayons including shades of cornflower blue and hazy green along with low-key lip shines in pretty pink and peach, Lisa told me, “I wanted to create playful products with a 60’s vintage feel. I was actually inspired by a retro Mary Quant eye pencil that told you to ‘just draw a flower anywhere’. I loved that directive of no make-up rules, you’re free to do anything you please, no polish, no precision, no mirror required!”

Just like in the hippy, flippy, chicky 60’s throw off your inhibitions and create your own beauty rules for your summer of make-up peace and love.

gold and coral shimmering bronzer

Apply on top of your chosen colour for extra nail power
Eye Pencil in Cornflower Blue

Nourishing Lip Shine in Peach

No7’s Summer of Dream Collection is available from May 16th to 10th July.

Bronzer, £13
Glitter Top Coats, £8
A set of 4 Eye Crayons, £13
Nourishing Lip Shine, £10.50

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Summer Lovin' From Clinique


I feel I should excuse myself for writing about Clinique yet again on this blog, but really they are one of the most proactive brands in terms of delivering new colours and formulations, and for that reason there seems to be a constant carousel of wantable goodies to highlight.


One of their get-yourself-ready-for-summer must-haves is their Superbalanced Powder bronzer. Clinique are known for their high make-up IQ, and you will understand why when I explain how it works. Inspired by ‘smart technology’ the bronzer starts life as a compressed powder. And like a chrysalis, it then goes through a transformation emerging as something beautiful. It’s released as a fresh loose powder by a compact ‘shaver’. You simply twist the pot and the perfect dose of bronzer appears, so there’s no danger of  OD-ing and being mistaken for looking like an extra in TOWIE! It doesn’t dust on matte either, making the complexion look grubby. It has a special 3-D contouring system that optically resurfaces the skin by reflecting light. Skin really does look sexily sun kissed.


For those of you who are a fan of their Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms, you’ll be cock-a-hoop to hear that they are introducing eight new shades to the collection. For those not in the know about these, they're chunky colouring sticks that are dreamy to apply - a couple of swipes and you’re ready to lip rock, shades range from peony to violet. They work well layered too. Chubby for summer? You bet!

Superbalanced Powder Bronzer, £25 available from 4th May
Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, £16 each available from June

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Ojon Goes Straight


A slave to the straighteners? A fighter of frizz? Wayward with waves? For those who don’t want kinks or curls messing up their hair, then Ojon’s new Super Sleek line is something to get excited about. Along with their new wet line of super sleek Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner, there’s their new hair super star: super sleek Hair Straightening Treatment. It comes in two variants – for loose to wavy curls and for medium to tight curls. Now, for any curlfriends reading this, you know how much effort and time it takes to straighten. A friend of mine has a weekly Friday blow-out just so she can go straight all weekend. Take it one step further and there’s salon based treatments such as KeraStraight, a protein based straightening treatment which costs upwards of around £150. Cutting the over heads (sorry for the pun!) this treatment costs a fraction of that, and is a gentle way to achieve smooth, more manageable hair for 30 shampoos. How liberating does that sound?

Renowned for their smart science and wizardry with ingredients, what’s the Ojon lowdown on this new hero? Described as a long-lasting straightening formulation it has the infamous pure Ojon oil powered with Rouge Oleifera extract. Together they help repair and strengthen hair against breakage. Other key players include plant keratin (wheat, soy and corn proteins), but fundamentally it’s formulated without formaldehyde or other hair bashing chemicals, so there’s significantly less damage then treatments such as relaxers.

The application is easy peasy too. Just shampoo hair, towel dry and shake treatment well. Apply to hair, distributing evenly through the hair. For long hair use the whole bottle. Comb it through from roots to ends. Take note, hair must be completely straight. No tucking behind the ears or clipping it up. In anyway! Leave for half an hour, and rinse for up to 10 minutes. Apply the conditioner, rinse and towel dry. Blow dry and flat iron hair in sections. After 14 hours, you can wash and condition hair using the shampoo and conditioner. A hairdresser friend of mine said if you want to use this treatment and your hair is only slightly kinky, then perhaps section of the top and just do the underneath. Too straight can cause styling problems as much as too curly. In studies 91% of women said it left their hair looking sleek after just one application. I know my friend has ditched her weekly blow-outs thanks to this little hair sleek sensation!

Super Sleek Treatment, £36
Super Sleek Smoothing Shampoo, £20.00
Super Sleek Smoothing Conditioner, £21.50

Ojon Super Sleek line is available on QVC now
And from July in John Lewis and Fenwick stores nationwide.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Catwalk Hip Lip


There’s nothing more arresting than a lip that shouts fabulous, punchy colour. It can really rock your look. Chief make-up artist Cassie Lomas had this in mind when she orchestrated the look at Clements Ribeiro A/W 2012 show earlier this year at London Fashion Week.


“It was all about boyish beauty,” says Cassie, “based on the theme of electric folk.” Working with a Bourjois palette, her sights were firmly focused on the lips. But don’t fooled: it’s not simply a case of swipe colour on and you’re ready to roll, there’s make-up skills to be had! I caught up with Cassie who gave me a lash-to-lip lowdown:

“The skin was all about gleam,” says Cassie. “I used a night cream to create that youthful dewiness. I then used Bourjois Health Mix Serum and feathered it across the face in light, long layers with a foundation brush. It provides the perfect base to showcase perfect, matte lips.”

With lips so princess pretty, cheeks have to be played down otherwise you can end up looking overly dolly. “I defined cheeks with a base power in a slightly darker shade than the models own natural tone,” explains Cassie. “This was applied in a simple sweep just under the cheekbone.”

“Eyes stayed clean, but were given a modern twist with an application of sheen,” says Cassie. Drum roll please for a topsy turvy tip that really works. “I created this by using a clear lip gloss over the lids. Pat over the eyelids and over the brows too - it works like glue to keep them in place.” And bearing witness to the look, I can tell you it really works! Next, Cassie painted on mascara with a fanned brush. “Brush mascara onto the back of your hand and little-by-little pick it up with the brush,” reveals Cassie. “This way you can really work mascara into the base of the lashes.”

The pout was the star coated with full-on pop art glamour. Striking matte colour that really brought the whole face into sharp focus. “To create a shocking pink, along with that all important matte finish, Cassie applied is straight from palette. “For the perfect texture, blot in between applications and then run an eyeshadow sponge over the lips to give a lovely smooth finish,” says Cassie.

Colorissimo Lip Palette, £7.99 available in June.
Health Mix Serum Foundation, £10.99
Effet 3D Clear Lipgloss, £6.99