Total Pageviews

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