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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.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Origins puts back the bounce

According to experts, skin has become ever grubbier thanks to the environment becoming dirtier. For skin to able to function properly , and therefore to look its best, layers of pollution, long-lasting make-up and the skin’s own sebum needs to be removed in order for those expensive anti-ageing products you splash out on to work at their optimum.

I believe good skin hygiene is your secret youth inducer. Sloppy cleansing makes for a grey skin tone, blemishes and blackheads. My cleansing ‘wardrobe’ is bigger than my make-up collection. Why? Because the more dewy your skin looks, the more you can down-play your make-up if you so wish.

Two products I’ve added to my cleansing arsenal is Origins Plantscription Anti-ageing cleanser and treatment lotion. In true Origins style they use plant extracts as their modern day pharmacy, and both contain the tongue twister, angoeissus. A scared tree found in West Africa, they’ve discovered that the extract of the bark has an excellent ability to protect collagen and help boost skin’s natural production levels of a glycoprotein called fibrillin. Cutting through the science, all you need to know is it results in a firmer, more resilient, younger looking complexion.

I don’t normally use toner, but I find the treatment lotion used post cleanser gives my skin a nice clean sweep. When used together, they’ve been clinically proven to preserve skin’s moisture barrier – and it’s true, my skin does look and feel more hydrated, and therefore looks a little more bouncy and radiant. And who doesn’t want to bank a bit of bounce? Remember, it’s something your cleansing routine that needs to be addressed, not another layer of ‘miracle’ cream to make that small skin difference.

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging cleanser and treatment lotion, both £25.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Clarins Christmas Crackers

Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and desire

Twinkle. Sparkle. Special. Everything you would expect from Christmas cosmetic collections. Far from looking like you could be decorating the Christmas tree, Clarins have brought out  classy compacts that gives the Midas touch.

Odyssey Face Palette

Odyssey Eye Quartet Palette

Odyssey takes inspiration from the Greek Gods – mythical, strong and enchanting by showcasing a collection of two limited edition compacts which would be worthy of  Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and desire or Dionysus, the god of wine, parties and festivals! Either way, the collection truly does bathe your beauty in the best possible light – minus a Hollywood technician, as the coppery and warms golds alongside metallic tones and jewel-like powders flatter every complexion. Each palette is embossed with the Odyssey emblem of Ancient Greece.

Odyssey emblem of Ancient Greece

The Odyssey Face Palette is a silky-smooth powder with a light-optimizing+ complex with helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and imperfections. Skin is left looking deliciously bronzed with a slight golden-y shimmer, but not overly tanned – now that would look ridiculous in winter!  The Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette is a collection of four last-the-day-and-night eye colours which can either by worn solo or layered up for a more bewitching evening look. The gold leaf highlighter adds the gilt effect. Give a wink to your Santa and I’m sure they can be slipped into your stocking!

Odyssey Face Palette, £35 and Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette, £30 both available this month.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy scented birthday, Mr Mugler


It’s unbelievable it was 20 years ago that Thierry Mugler’s Angel first burst onto the fragrance scene. Working as a beauty editor on a teen magazine, I remember it was such an exciting story. It represented a whole new olfactory trend with its notes of praline sweetness mixed with patchouli. It was bravely labelled a gourmand perfume and came in the unthinkable – a blue juice. It was a case of Marmite. You either loved it, or hated it. 


Thierry Mugler hasn’t stopped surprising or seducing with his fragrant stories ever since, with many engraved and numbered limited editions created. To ring in 20 years of scented success, The Fragrances of Leather Collection including Angel, Alien and Womanity have become ever more original with touches of leather accents, along with unique bottles – a first for the brand. Palm sized friendly, they’re a weighty faceted glass bottle sitting on a silver claw. Each silver top is etched with the 20 years hallmark. To finish off, each bottle comes in a drawstring, soft leather pouch.  I wonder what this master of olfactory mystery and wonder will conjure up over the next few years?

Fragrances of Leather Limited Editions cost £40.00 for 30ml

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The very talented candle

Cushions. Chocolate. Candles. Surely the three C’s every girl must have in her life. Constantly! Now, the first two I’m fairly stocked up on, but apart from a gigantic Jo Malone candle which I bring out on special occasions, a few more candles around my home would be welcome.

Meeting beauty therapist Marie Reynolds the other week – I’ve previously blogged about Marie and her wonderful facials – in fact, it’s one of my posts that’s had the most hits, I’m delighted to reveal she has turned her multi-skilled hands to creating a range of candles. However, it’s a candle not as you know it, but one designed to be used at home and on your body.

Living up to their name, Marie’s Aromawax Luxury Massage Candles do not smell cheap when lit – a pet hate of mine, secondly they do not leave smut marks on the wall. Her candles are made from ethically source organic soya wax that creates a clean, safe-burning candle. Moreover, the soya wax liquefies from a low melting point which can be scooped from the candle and massaged into the skin using a spatula. I’ve experienced a hand massage with the wax and it feels skin delicious. Pre-burn you can even the use the wax as a lip and face balm.

For the upcoming festive season I’d thought I’d highlight her Hot Toddy candle. It’s a scrumptious mix of cocoa and shea butter fragranced with mandarin, satsuma, apple, peach, cinnamon and nutmeg. But what brings the party effect is the special addition of a gold shimmer ingredient. Once massaged onto the skin, subtle gold particles glisten and twinkle. Great to use on your cheekbones, decolletage and shins. Who knew a candle could be so talented?

The Marie Reynolds collection of Aromawax Luxury Body Massage Candle cost from  £4.50 for 30g for 6 hours burning time, £8.50 for 50g with 10 hours burning time and £30.00 for 135g for 25 hours burning time.
For more information log onto:

Friday, 5 October 2012

DKNY's scents of purpose

DKNY are putting the TLC into their new fragrance collection. Simply called pureDKNY they aim to raise awareness of global poverty through its partnership with CARE’s Access Africa programme.

Their very essence is feel-good and do-good. Pure and simple in their delivery, a drop of Vanilla celebrates that moment of peace once you have escaped from everyday worries – your growing to-do list is spritzed away! A drop of Verbena, although a herb, fizzes with a lemon like quality, helping to strengthen your inner resolve, ready to face the world. The bottle is inspired by a raindrop and all packaging is 100 percent recyclable. This is one beautiful fragrance buy.

The pureDKNY collection is available nationwide from £37 for 30ml

A sweet charity hair buy

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a cause that has to be close to all women’s hearts.
Whether you’re wear a AA or a DD cup, we all love making the most of our breasts. Breast cancer doesn’t make for easy breezy conversation, but with one out of every eight women being diagnosed, it makes sense to be upfront about our boobs.

I’m privileged to say that I went along to The Grosvenor House Hotel this week for the Breast Cancer Care fashion show and afternoon tea. And what an afternoon it was. Hosted by Denise Lewis, who lost her grandmother through breast cancer, the fashion show stars weren’t supermodels, but super women in their own right. They were women (and two men) who had all suffered from breast cancer. One of the women, Andrea told us her diagnoses story after the show with humour and courage, moving the whole ballroom to tears in the process. However, the afternoon wasn’t all about shedding tears, it was about enjoying and celebrating life


I think it’s wonderful that during Breast Cancer Awareness Month so many beauty companies including Bobbi Brown, Elemis, Estee Lauder...the list goes on, turn sales into pink pounds by creating special editions and giving donations. My ‘proper’ job is Creative Director of Tangle Teezer, the detangling hairbrush brand, and both Shaun Pulfrey – the inventor and CEO of the brand and myself wanted to give back too. Shaun’s mum has suffered from cancer so he knows how much support women need during this time. We’re tickled pink to have designed Penelope Pink our Doris Day inspired Compact Styler which is all candy pink bows and hearts. We’re donating 20% of the sales all year round (not just for the month of October) to Breast Cancer Care that give invaluable support to women during and after their diagnosis. What could be a better hair buy?

Penelope Pink, £12.25 available exclusively from
Further information about the charity can be found at