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Monday, 23 December 2013

Skin's little miracle worker

I’m not too sure how I landed this sample, maybe as a cover mount on the front of a magazine or in a goodie bag, but however it came into my being,  I love it. So much so, I’m going to gift myself a full sized one. Up until now I haven’t really found a Flash Balm that rivals Clarins, but Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm from Elemis certainly gives it a run for its beauty money.

Classed as a ‘hybrid moisturiser’ its wizardry is in its vitamin complex that helps protect against moisture loss. Upon application it  somehow gives the skin a dash of youthfulness. It’s come to my rescue a couple of times when I’ve used it the morning after a (very) late night before. And by golly, it does switch on an inner light without leaving the skin looking overly dewy – read a shiny finish. If you want super fresh looking skin that belies its feeling tired, then make this your new staple.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm, £32.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Worthy of a handshake

Handcream. How hard can it be to find a really good one? Well, it can be tricky. I’m a right fusspot when it comes to what I put on my hands. It can’t be too slick, too sticky or too smelly. It has to have the right consistency as well as do the job in hand so to speak.

I collect handcreams as a squirrel collects nuts. They are in my handbag, desk drawer, glove compartment in the car and by the sink. They are all different brands and I mentally judge them out of 10. Rituals Miracle Balm rich, nourishing hand balm gets a nine. It looks funky in its on-trend pink metallic tube, it faintly smells of white lotus, it feels luxurious without rings sliding off the minute you apply it, sinks in quickly and any superficial crepey lines disappear the minute you rub it in. What’s that one missing point? It doesn’t include an SPF so I wouldn’t use it in the summer. I told you I was a fusspot!


Ritual Miracle Balm, £10.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

the ultimate skin boost

Talk about good timing. Indeed Labs responsible for such skin wonders as nanoblur and pepta-bright are launching their new hydraluron moisture boosting mask on New Years Eve. Do you know what this means to your pooped out Christmas skin? It means it will look plumped, pepped and ready-to-party that night. 

Cloth masks are having quite a renaissance, and little wonder as they can be short lived miracle workers. Although not flattering to wear - I advise to close the bathroom door and steer clear of small children, they do temporarily give the skin a rocket fuel boost. I wore this one on a Saturday afternoon after a skin draining week at work, and my complexion certainly looked rebooted and re-lit for a night out that evening.  All in the space of 15 minutes. The USP for hydraluron mask is that it has a 3D enzyme structure. This means rather than skin binging on all the goodness at once, it drip feeds a slow release of hyaluronic acid over time. This adds up to better hydrated skin for longer. As each mask is sachet packed, they’re also really handy for travel. My only grumble is the mask is quite big, so it doesn't sit tight on a smaller face. I had to really pat it down to make the most of the impregnated serum. But it certainly doesn’t skimp on goodness. The masks are literally soaked with product once removed from the sachet, and they’re good value too. A penny short of £20.00 for four facial making masks makes for a very smart beauty pick.

Hydraluron moisture & boosting mask, £19.99 for four. Launching December 31st at Boots.  

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Maybelline's lip love

A quick shout for Maybelline’s Baby Lips Lip Balm. I trolley grabbed this in my supermarket as the graffiti tube caught my wandering eye. I'm always slightly disappointed with tinted balms that you don’t get much of a punch when it comes to colour, but this Cherry one really gave my lips slick and shade in one non-fail swoop. Lips are left softened for 8 hours, although I kept swiping every hour or so as I just love the lip love it gives. I have a feeling the remaining five shades will all be falling into my shopping basket very soon. No one leaves Baby Lips in the corner - or in this case, on the shelf!

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm, £2.99  

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Estee Lauder's undercover agent

This may not look overly exciting, it’s just a concealer after all, but it’s an essential if you suffer breakouts or blemishes. Its coverage and the ability not to go AWOL half way through the day is commendable. Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF35 – yep, it’s a mouthful, is new to the Double Wear tribe and the mother of all concealers. Creamy in texture, yet lightweight upon application, it boasts a built-in setting powder and immediately covers any flaws minus the cakey-ness. And without endless layering. There's nothing worse than concealer grabbing more attention than the spot! Going beyond the odd breakout, it also helps with scars and diminishing the appearance of tattoos. Water, sweat and humidity resistant it’s available in nine shades. Blemishes be scared. Very scared.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF35 costs £21.

How to do wake-me-up skin

If you make any New Year resolutions for your skin next year let it be, ‘I will buy Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream Foundation.’ Honestly, it will wipe away the sins of 2013. Well, nearly! CC stands for colouring correcting and this little tube of wizardry contains three pigments that give an airbrush action. I’ve been mixing it with my moisturiser and it really does give a wake-me-up-before-you-go-go kind of radiance to the complexion. Colour pigments include apricot for anti-fatigue, green to combat anti-redness and white to help diminish dark spots. And by golly, it does seem to disguise all of these skin disrupting trio. It’s an oil-free formula so works for every skin type and has an inclusion of an SPF15. Available in four shades, it’s your new must-have and for a penny less than a tenner, it's a January bargain too!

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream Foundation, £9.99 available from 23rd January

Saturday, 30 November 2013

the cream-off to pollution

I don’t normally go cock-a-hoop over a cleanser, but as the cornerstone of all good skincare, I’d like to platform Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream. My skin gets it very fair share of pollutants. Commuting and working in the city I’m sure my pores are begging for their own oxygen masks. To be honest, I’ve always used a wash-off cleanser as I like that fresh feeling skin water can bring, plus psychologically it makes skin feel clean. But I’m doing a somersault on that thinking after trying this cream of cleansers.

The ritual is somewhat different. It’s suggested you take a small amount in the palms of your hands and bring it to skin temperature by rubbing briefly. Apply the cream to a dry face. Now, this is the fun bit. Lift hands briskly off the face, repeating this movement around 7 times from the middle of the face to the sides, then 5 times on each side of the neck. The cleanser thickens and creates a ‘suction’ effect to lift off make-up and pollution without irritating the skin. I then wipe off with a muslin cloth. I like it for two reasons. The formulation is very velvety and comforting with nourishing ingredients of jojoba oil and mango and shea butter. It feels lovely if skin is particularly parched. And secondly my skin has taken on a bloom. It may well be that slap and tickle suction action that revs up skin circulation, but then again it maybe Moringa Seed – the anti-pollution active ingredient. Then again, it may be a combination of both. Who cares – it works!

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream, £25

Friday, 22 November 2013

GHD straightens up


My name is Jacqui and I’m a straightening addict. I get panic attacks if the light on the power button doesn’t light up immediately for fear they have busted and I will have to suffer kinky and frizzy hair. All day. With this addiction, I have sampled and bought many a pair of straighteners. I am an expert – even down to the cable length. Too short doesn’t give enough arm leverage around the head which makes for limited styling. Each year straighteners get better. Manufacturers up their game and competition can be tough. But I have now discovered GHD’s Eclipse. I am no longer searching for The One. I have found true hair love.

Two industry influencers – one a leading beauty editor and the other a top session stylist told me about these straighteners, so of course I just had to try them. For the science bods amongst you, what cuts the mustard is their patented tri-zone technology. Six smart sensors – 3 in each plate ensure no heat loss during styling and unlike our summers, a constant temperature is maintained every time you stroke. Stylish and super-thin plates give ultimate heat control. Contrary to other straighteners I’ve tried, the plates don’t stick and the chore, not to mention the potential sizzle damage to the hair of ironing over it several times to get a pleasing result is no more. One stroke is enough per section. Crucially they don’t leave the hair looking poker straight, just-straight-enough. Incidentally, I’ve never had so many comments about how good my hair has looked since I’ve started using them. Yes, they’re expensive at £200, but totally worth it.




Thursday, 21 November 2013

Skin saviour

Skin comes in for a battering this time of year. Central heating. Cold winds. Dilated capillaries. So any skin cream with the word treatment in gets my attention. And if it's got Age Support too, then as far as I'm concerned it's a winner!

Emma Hardie's Amazing Face Age Support Treatment Cream is a super duper anti-ageing cream that really does cocoon the skin in plenty of loveliness. It looks gloopy, but blends and sinks in like the lightest of soufflés that actually belies its hydrating qualities. My skin has been feeling the effects of colder weather and warm rooms lately. It's left its mark with tiny crazy paving type lines running across my skin. I hasten to add this is when expected under a magnifying mirror - but nevertheless, my skin needed ER - or more appropriately EH. I swear my skin let out a very long 'aahhh' when I first applied it. A youthful looking glow was imparted, my skin felt hydrated immediately. Oh what bliss! Furthermore, skin looked visibly stronger - like it had been lifting dumbbells. Reddening reduced and skin looked healthier and plumper. I'm evangelical about it, pray to its skin alter twice a day and atonement has come.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Age Support Treatment Cream, £42.00

Friday, 15 November 2013

A little gifting from Jo Malone

It’s traditionally Christmas in July when it comes to entertaining the beauty press as monthly magazines work so far ahead. This picture proves it as I’m wearing sandals! I remember Jo Malone’s very nontraditional Santa dressed in blue was absolutely sweltering – poor guy, but he put on his best ho ho’s and festive summer fun was had by all!

When it comes to gifting from Jo Malone, it’s hard not to self gift too as everything is just so fragrantly wantable. Presents go from big to small. For somebody extra special there’s their Pine & Eucalyptus Luxury Candle at ahem, £260. I’ve been gifted one of these myself in the past, and I have to say it was the Christmas conversation with family and friends. For one it looked and smelled amazing, and secondly it raised the question, 'would you pay that for a candle?' The consensus seemed to be yes, if they could afford it. There’s also middling prices of £62 for the Travel Candle Collection all lovingly boxed with bold black and cream stripes, and sky high prices of £560 for the Trousseau which is very fancy pants. But on the flip side, there’s the gorgeous Christmas Ornament of a mini English Pear & Freesia Body Crème and Pomegranate Noir cologne at £20. It comes in a fanned out mini box the minute you take the lid off, and which you can hang from the tree. So, whatever your purse can reach to there’s something you can give – or receive for yourself and it always looks super exciting. Happy shopping!

Monday, 11 November 2013

How to do Bond girl skin

If you’re looking to flaunt some impressive looking skin this Christmas, then look no further than the Michael Kors Body Collection. He certainly knows how to keep a girl very happy! There’s no hiding of limbs and decollete when it comes to party dressing, so a well dressed skin is essential for that all important reveal!

For an indulgent soak, fill the bath and sprinkle in a handful of Shimmer Bath Beads. Warm water releases the fragrant notes, scenting your mood to feel good. These super luxe popcorn like beads dissolve to leave a decadent veil of gold on top of the water. Bath time just got special. The Indulgent Body Crème, is just that – indulgent. Looking like a pot of  dive-in-now Greek yoghurt, this lightly scented crème moisturises and nurtures the skin without cloying,  giving a lovely dewy effect. For the body encore, my favourite is the Liquid Shimmer Dry Oil Spray. For a sexy and luminous sheen, shake the bottle cocktail style to blend the tiny golden particles into the oil, and smooth onto the front of the legs,  arms and collarbone.  Skin is Instantly up-swung into one that glimmers and shimmers. I can’t  help but feel Kors’s mission is to turn everybody in a Bond girl. Those in her presence are left shaken and stirred!   

The Michael Kors Body Collection if available at selected House of Fraser stores
Indulgent Body Creme, £39
Shimmer Bath Beads, £31
Liquid Shimmer Dry Oil Spray, £39

Saturday, 9 November 2013

HER hair to go

HER is probably not a brand you’re familiar with when in comes to talking  haircare – but I’ve got a feeling word will spread. Beauty press are already making appreciative noises about it. But for those of you who watch QVC you will be in the know – although randomly the brand’s ambassador, co-creator and co-owner is John Barrowman. I don’t know what to think about this as a) he isn’t a woman and b) he’s not known for his hair, but undoubtedly he seems a very nice man and he’s charming, which always helps when you’re fronting a brand.  Moving on from the singing and acting haircare man, the two standout products for me from this Italian bred brand is their 300 Trecento Revitalising Hair Treatment and their Volumising Powder.

The Revitalising Hair Treatment is a tour de force when it comes to hair that’s lacked TLC. Stuffed with all manner of healers and smoothers including extracts of olive, ginseng and amino acid, simply apply to damp hair and after 300 seconds – that’s 5 minutes for those clock watching and hence the product name, rinse with warm water and hair will feel incredibly nurtured, nourished and soft as a duck feather pillow. Honestly, it really does calm stressed out tresses. The Volumising Powder is adorably kitsch in its packaging, and has fast become my new handbag essential. Rescuing hat hair or greasy flattened roots in a nanosecond, simple sprinkle sparingly on the crown, muss in with fingertips and watch your hair spring back to life.  It’s literally the St John’s Ambulance of hair – or should that be St John Barrowman? Whatever, it brings CPR to fatigued follicles. Fabulous!

HER 300 Trecento costs £26 and the Volumising Powder £14.
Available from and

Monday, 4 November 2013

Crystal amaze

Apart from the shade, what else sells a lipstick to you? It has to be the case. As much thought goes into the casing of the lipstick bullet as the formulation. Lipstick is make-up theatre, and when you pull it out of your make-up bag for a quick lip touch-up, you want a piece of Hollywood.

A-list appeal is what you get with L’Absolu Rouge Swarvoski from Lancôme.  A limited edition for the holiday season, the case has a sprinkling of the sparkliest, prettiest hand-applied crystals.  As for the lipstick, it's movie star fabulous – a seductive creamy red that instantly puts your look in the spotlight.  Just adorable darling!

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Swarvoski is available nationwide and priced at £25.   

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bobbi's stocking thrillers

‘Tis the season of the make-up palette. Leading up to Christmas every colour imaginable is pored into a palette. Some not so good, others okay and some brilliant with tonal colours and textures thought out to the nth degree. Bobbi Brown’s Gift Giving Collection are palettes of perfection.

Expertly edited, Bobbi has ensured there’s no colour that goes unused in her palettes. The star player is her Twilight Pink Lip & Eye Palette, £59. A double decker compact that keeps lips and eyes looking glam and gorgeous all season long. Pick ‘n’ mix with 10 eye shades and four super pretty lip shades. Or, you could ditch the lips and chose the £37 Eye Shadow Palettes with an assortment of nude to rich shades in cool and warm tones.  For eyes that literally want to sparkle, check out the Sequin Shimmer Brick Eye Palette, £34.50. Flip it open to reveal 10 perfect non-crepey shimmery sjhades from silver to golden tones. Just beautiful. And, talking of shimmery, her seasonal limited edition Nude Glow Shimmer Brick, £35 gives skin a sheer dusting of luxury gold and bronze shades. Whether you gift or self-gift, there’s little doubt anyone will be left standing alone under the mistletoe! 

Bobbi Brown's Holiday Gift Giving Collection is in stores now or available from

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Candle love

Candles, cushions and chocolates makes ones home feel loved and special. If you’re anything like me, you indulge and surround yourself with all three at once!  My candle pick at the moment is Aromatherapy Associates Revive Candle with Grapefruit & Petitgrain. The scent is wonderfully uplifting – especially good at the end of a dead-on-your-feet kind of day, or if you’re burning the candles at both ends. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one! The combo of these sharp and zesty oils smells fresh and pure, giving you over 40 hours burn time. Made from the highest quality soy wax they don’t leave light walls smudged and smoky, and it goes without saying the aroma hasn’t got a whiff of the synthetic about it. The packaging is gorgeous too, so makes for a nice thinking about you gift.

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Candle costs £34

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Skincare goes urban

If you read my blog regularly, you will know I’m a bit of a skin-centric. I’m just a sucker for any formulations that professes to plump, perk and pamper. All of those three things can usually be found in a mask. And I collect skin masks like a squirrel hoards nuts. To me they are an instant rejuvenator, and unlike a moisturiser, you actually take time to apply it, which makes it feel more like a pampering treatment rather than a quick slap and tickle.

Sampar is probably a brand that doesn’t sound too familiar, and that’s because it’s just been launched in the UK via Paris. Known for its trouble shooting approach to urban skin, the pretty packaging belies its arsenal.  Take their So Much To Dew Midnight Mask at £34. In a ballerina pink tube complete with integral brush (nice touch) it has the power to dermoregulate the skin’s hydration levels thanks to its Smart Hydrating Complex and Hyaluronic Acid Capsules. Apply just before bed and keep on.  If skin is dehydrated, then it will sink in quickly – it’s actually very light and more like a moisturiser in texture than a mask, so there’s no risk of staining the pillow. It smells delicious too.  Sleep and rinse upon waking. Skin looks fresh and boosted. This mask is brilliant for transitional skin, just as it’s adjusting from autumn to winter and in need of some extra TLC.  C’est maqnifique!

The Sampur skincare line is available from and

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Box clever skin

Alpha-H is what I term an insider’s skincare brand. It’s not mass market, but if your skin IQ is sky scraper high, you will know that it’s a cosmeceutical skincare line that kicks some ass when needed. A QVC sellout and expert favourite, their Skin Loving Vitamins is a catch-all box created for middle-youth skin. Such a better phrase than mature don’t you think?!

Anyway, it’s not stop the press new in terms of containing the antioxidants vitamin of A C and E, but they come in a different guise - super surged serums. It’s also a top scoring introduction to topical vitamins which have the power to recharge, revive and replenish your complexion. Use everyday, or as and when your skin needs them. Here’s the alphabetical lowdown for ACE looking skin:

Vitamin A: A go-to-bed night time regenerating serum for skin that feels high and dry. Vitamin A is released to gradually increase cell renewal and up hydration levels. A smoother and firmer complexion can be yours upon waking.

Vitamin C: Powerful and intensive that also boasts the moisture magnet hyaluronic acid, and grape seed for pigmented skin. Regular use can improve the plight of age spots.

Vitamin E: The ‘ER’ of the serums which helps reduce inflammation as well as speeding up the healing process of post-acne scarring. Great for any skin trauma – excellent for the aftermath redness caused by the criminal act of squeezing a spot!


Alpha-H Skin Loving Vitamins costs £49.50

Tria on trial

I don’t do Botox. I don’t do fillers. But I have thought of laser. Quite a bit!  Why? Because my skin has banked quite a few summer holidays over the decades, and a few Jackson Pollock splodges have made an unwelcome appearance. And as for my collagen, everybody knows it starts losing its youthful bounce after the age of 25, and even more painfully a decade or two later. Why laser appeals is because it’s a non-invasive treatment. It uses a broad spectrum of pulsed light that penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate the cells beneath the surface. There’s no jabbing with syringes or penetration of toxins, plus  you don’t run the risk of pillow cheeks.  I’ve seen people that have had laser treatments and I’ve envied their seemingly fresh looking complexion.

So, when I was offered the opportunity to try Tria’s Skin Rejuvenating Laser at home, I said yes faster than the speed of light. This is how far technology has come. You can now be your own DIY dermatologist. At a price. It’s £450, so it’s not cheap, but to look at it another way, it works out at around the cost of four high-end facials, or a couple of Botox or filler treatments. And let’s face it, if results are reaped, great looking skin is priceless.

Easy to use, you simple charge, cleanse and dry your face in the evening and run the hand held appliance with the laser light flat onto the skin over your cheeks, chin and forehead. It’s foolproof. You receive an instructional DVD for those that can be bothered to read through the booklet and there’s an advice line to call if you need any reassurance. I called it; there was a lovely lady at the other end who had knew everything about the device. Oh, and you have to register it online or by phone so you can activate it.

This story is to be continued. I’ve been using for just a few days, on the lowest setting. Next week I will increase the level, but it’s advised you use it for 8 weeks nightly with the best results occurring a few weeks after the full course. You then give your skin a 4 week break to allow maximum cellular and collagen regeneration, and then you start again. Watch this space!

Visit online for more details

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A pot of dreams

A cream that you apply at night and wake up looking younger maybe wishful thinking, but formulations are becoming ever smarter. Take Darphin’s Ideal Resource Overnight Cream. It’s said to give a re-birth to skin during the twilight hours. Formulated with 80% natural ingredients, it gets to work by enhancing the skin’s own night time mechanisms to revive lost radiance and perfect skin texture.

As you prepare for bed mentally, so does your skin.  Darphin recognizes that day time skin works hard to protect itself from the daily attacks, but once the clock strikes mid-night – or thereabouts! It switches into recovery mode. In fact, night time skin’s regeneration process is three times faster than during the day. It’s more porous and therefore more receptive to the benefits of essentials oils and other powerful ingredients. So to skip a night cream would be foolhardy.

I’ve worn night creams in the past that have kept me awake. I kid you not. One was so strong in fragrance it kept me tossing and turning all night and my husband deemed it a passion killer it stunk that much! I can happily report this one has no such effect. It’s lightly scented with neroli essential oil, one of the creams key ingredients which is known for its calming benefits. For its radiance boosting appeal, salicylic acid and acetyglucosamine are used to help improve cell renewal by sloughing away dead cells. I’m not saying you way up looking 10 years younger – that would be a dream too far, but skin certainly looks fresher and ready to face the day.

Darphin Ideal Resource Overnight Cream is suitable for all skin and costs £52.
Available from November

Friday, 4 October 2013

The twist and shout about it mascara

If there is one thing outside Breaking Bad I’m obsessed with, it’s mascara.  I’m always searching for The Holy Grail.  I’m very, very fussy. The application has to be incredibly black and just the right side of normal. I don’t like clumpy, false looking lashes that appear to be creeping half-way down your cheekbone. Neither do I have patience with a mascara that does very little except tickle the lashes, giving no eye appeal.

A couple of years ago mascaras got a little OTT. They whizzed, they whirled, they vibrated and did the can-can (okay, I made that one up!) but you can see where I’m coming from, so when I was introduced to Bourjois Twist up the Volume, I thought, ‘just another gimmick.’ I was wrong – it’s fabulous. A 2-in-1 brush you twist up from the top of the lid into two positions. The first position gives lash-by-lash length. Mascara is evenly applied to lashes over their entire length and the separate bristles give eye popping definition. The second position is for volume. Twist and the brush becomes bigger. It coats the smallest of lashes and super sizes them without looking ridiculous. Intense and black, once wearing lashes look bewitching. I suggest you set your sights on one!

Bourjois Twist up the Volume Mascara available in classic and a 24 hour waterproof version.
Costs £10.99 and available from this month.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The skin changer

From the people that gave us Nanoblur and Pepta-bright, Indeed Laboratories are back with another big blockbuster: retinol reface. The great thing about this breakthrough high-tech lab,  is their formulas are scientifically innovative backed with heavyweight R&D, yet totally affordable. A penny short of £20  for a skin changer, who isn’t up for that?  A friend of mine has been using it for the last few weeks, and her words were, ‘Magic’.

Retinol for those not in the skin-know, is a derivative of vitamin A. Its pedigree being, it's one of the most kick-ass ingredients in helping to swipe away the visible signs of aging. Taking this clinically proven ingredient, Indeed have used it with a twist: using a combination of three different types of retinol to deliver a more effective, faster and kinder formulation.  I could list the hat-trick of retinols along with their benefits, but I don’t think you’d care. I think all you care about is the results – and judging from my friend’s complexion, I’ve never seen it look so good. I’m sold!

Retinol reface costs £19.99 and available exclusively at Boots.

Michael Kors Beauty Collection

Having posted last week about the new fragrances from Michael Kors, I thought I’d do a sequel and follow it up with his new Beauty Collection. And beautiful it is. A go-to list of key products created to achieve fresh bronzed skin, bold nails and kissable lips, it’s a collection that screams effortless style. This is a small edit in comparison to other colour lines, but what you don’t get in quantity, it certainly makes up for in quality. Here’s the lowdown:  

Lips: Colour saturated and beyond luxurious, the three Lip Luster lipstick bullets are twisted up seductively from a gold case. For lips wanting a lighter slick, the three Lip Lacquer glosses in matching shades are great for swiping on-the-go. With names such as Sexy Bombshell and Glam Dame, lips are anything but boring.

Nails: Fingertips instantly look high-end with a brush of classy colour. The six must-wear shades span from pale nudes to deep ebony. Pick one to match your mood.

Bronzers: Resort radiant skin is what every complexion craves and now it’s achievable out of season! Fabulously over sized in chunky gold compacts, the shimmering pigment is milled ultra-fine so it leaves skin looking lightly sun-kissed and sexy. Pick from three shades including Sporty Glow, Sexy Flush and Glam Beam.

Lip Luster lipsticks, £21
Lip Lacquer glosses, £23
Nail Lacquer, £15
Bronze Powder , £34

Michael Kors Beauty Collection is available at selected House of Fraser stores. For stockists call: 0870 034 2566  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Fragrance to upswing your mood

What’s your mood today? If you’re anything like the Michael Kors woman you would never feel grumpy. You would be Sporty, Sexy or Glam. That’s what I love about fragrance – the pure escapism of it! The new scent seducers from Michael Kors certainly don't do downbeat. The collection comprises of three upbeat and happy making fragrances that accentuate moods we would always like to find ourselves in!

So what’s the nuances that separate Sporty, Sexy and Glam? Well, sporty as you would guess is crisp and citrusy with orange and mandarin upfront whilst warm woods and white florals linger in the background. Sexy auditions amber as its main player seductively wrapped in sandalwood and musk, and Glam uses Kors’ beloved floral note jasmine to create a red carpet moment. Beautifully bottled with each one uniquely coloured, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three were purchased in one swoop just in case you changed your mood. Certainly a woman’s prerogative!

Michael Kors Sporty, Sexy and Glam retail from £38 for 50ml.

In stores at selected House of Fraser stores from September 18th and nationwide.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Eau for the love of Percy & Reed

Hear my confession. I’m such a fan of Paul Percival and Adam Reed that I found myself watching a very large dose of them on QVC the other week whilst visiting my mum! Not cult viewing I admit, but nevertheless I came away with lots of styling tips. These guys know their stuff having earned their hairdressing honours running their own salons and being on speed dial for the coolest catwalk shows and music awards.

Unsurprisingly, their haircare and styling range with its fashion forward packaging and great formulations has gone down well with the hair conscious crowd. Their newest launch is kinda special –  Eau My Goodness Shine & Fragrance Spray. Heavenly scented with an airy green fragrance – think of the fragrance of garden flowers first thing in the morning, a quick spritz leaves hair not nose pinching perfumed, but just gently caressed with the lightest and prettiest of scents. But apart from imparting the bloom of flowers, it actually does make the hair noticeably shinier. A great tip from the style savvy duo is to mist a blusher brush and sweep over the surface of the hair. Scent and shine…what more could hair want?

Percy&Reed Eau My Goodness Shine & Fragrance Spray costs £22 available from QVC, ASOS and

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Fragrance with spirit

New fragrance notes are beginning to take flight as the countdown to Christmas begins. Unsurprisingly, the build-up to the ding-dong-merrily-on-high season is when scent buying is at its peak. Perfume houses literally go all out to seduce with the juice, the bottle and the imagery.

Not one to follow the crowd, Thierry Mugler’s limited edition Les Liqueurs De Parfums  is quite different and quite intoxicating. Each iconic Thierry Mugler fragrance is laced with a spirit. No, not a Charles Dickens spirit of the past, an alcoholic one! You can always expect the unexpected from Mugler. Using the inspiration from vintage spirits, each fragrance – Angel with cognac, Alien with rum, Womanily with vodka and A*Men with whiskey is ‘aged’ in wooden casks of toasted wood for six weeks. This laying to rest so to speak, enhances his original creations with smooth and sweet notes. The process also ensures a hot toddy warmth is added to each scent too.

 All fragrances retail for £40 except A*Men which retails for £45.

Available from October. For stockists call: 020 7307 6700

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Peel and reveal

Having just discovered what an absolute skin saver Aromatherapy Associates Rose Face Mask is, I’m thrilled to add to my AA repertoire. Their newly launched Polishing Essential Enzyme Peel is a superlative exfoliator which left my skin with not a flush of redness or a tingle of irritation. I’m a big fan of enzyme peels for revealing a forgotten glow, they especially benefit the complexion in the seasonal shift from summer to autumn.

The glow factor lays in fruits acids of pineapple, passionflower and grape which party together to break down dead skin cells. Post holiday tan, my complexion was looking a little ‘murky’ and one 10 minute application brought about a new lightness of being. Skin looks more uniformed in tone, whereby serum and moisturiser readily sinks in after a treatment. Use once or twice a week depending on your skin. A great skin buy!

Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Essential Enzyme Peel, £39