Total Pageviews

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dior's nail encore

These Dior new spring varnishes are the equivalent to the first heads of daffodils making their appearance in the garden. Although not yellow, their ballerina like colours signal lighter and brighter days, a spring in your step and the promise of sunshine to come.

Like a line up at The Royal Ballet, Tutu, Gris Trianon and Rosy Bow are names to evoke the most delicate of shades. But far from looking pale and uneventful, each shade is punctuated with a level of pop to leave nails looking glossy and seductive. Worthy of a  fingertip encore!

Dior Vernis, £18 each 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Your new luxury essentials


I’ve been aware of the Aerin Essentials Collection since it launched last year, but haven’t experienced it up close and personal until recently. Let’s just say, there’s something to be said about delayed gratification! The granddaughter of make-up royalty, Estee Lauder, Aerin has been working in the family ‘firm’ since 1992 and has used her knowledge and experience of luxury cosmetics to create her very own self penned brand, Aerin.


Aerin’s Essentials Collection maybe a capsule range, but looks and performs anything but limited. Designed to be the products we just can’t do without, the skillfully edited range includes a Pretty bronze Illuminating Powder, £34 that whips up an Aerin like just-been-weekending-at-the Hamptons beach blush look, Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks in Natural £30 that breezily washes both with radiant colour, Fresh Skin Compact Makeup £37, that masquerades not only as a buildable foundation, but a concealer too, and the delightful Rose Hand and Body Cream £36. For the make-up pros amongst you, there’s the five Brush Essentials for spot-on application too.


Aerin definitely has the ‘ooh’ factor. Compacts come in soft pink suede, drawstring pouches, the compacts themselves are dressing table desirable, and the hand cream is now a permanent fixture on my desk. No tucking away in the drawer for this tube as the pink floral design deserves to be admired.  These Essentials are to stay in the range, but look out for her additional seasonal launches for more cosmetic collectables this spring. 

Aerin Essentials Collection available from selected John Lewis, Harrods and Selfridges

Friday, 25 January 2013

Scent with love

To be honest, I don’t go big on Valentine’s Day. I dislike being told when I can be romantic and the drive towards vast commercialism is a little off-putting. But rather than ignore it completely as a marketers dream, my spin is to treat yourself to a little something nice on the day. Call it a slice of self love!

The shops are brimming with scratchy red underwear, fluffy teddy bears and such like to tempt your partner in the hope of wooing you, but one of my nicest and intimate finds is Lyn Harris’s La Rose fragrance from M&S. For those of you who don’t know, Lyn Harris is the founder of Miller Harris, a fancy pants bespoke perfumers in London. She’s the ‘it’ girl of fragrance and has flourished into one of Britain’s foremost classically trained independent perfumers. Both modern in her approach and respectful of tradition in her techniques she’s the ultimate in personal expression. Excitingly, she collaborated with M&S last year on six fragrances for men and women which makes her fragrances far more affordable.

La Rose delivers the sentiment behind Valentine’s Day without being loud and splashy. Simple in its approach I adore the raspberry coloured box and the classic lines of the bottle. As for the juice it’s far from slushy. Rose petals with sparkling green notes, red berry and patchouli give it a thoroughly modern twist. I’m officially loved up.

Lynn Harris La Rose, £25 from Marks & Spencer

Thursday, 24 January 2013

And the winner is...Lancome

To celebrate their glamorous and starry pairing with BAFTA, Lancôme  is launching their best selling, long-lasting suits-all-cheeks blusher in Rose Sable as a Limited Edition. Flushing cheeks with prettiness - think the glow of happiness, I just love the lid designed as a presentation envelope. Every time you open it you feel like you've arrived!

Available from the 1st February priced at £27 (BAFTAS hit our screens on the 7th) exclusively in Selfridges

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dior's new beautifier

In an ideal beauty world, skin would look fresh as a daisy, pretty as a pink gerbera and radiant as a rose. In otherwords the Kew Garden of complexions! Diorskin Nude BB Crème comes pretty close to all three blooms.

Described as a dream match between skincare and make-up, I’ve been using this BB Crème for the best part of two weeks now, and for me it’s a notch above other BB contenders. There’s a couple of reasons for this. Number one, the texture is incredibly light, leaving skin feeling comfortably plump and cushioned, and number two, its go-to rosy glow tint with sheer, soft focus pigments. Once applied, its gives the effect of an inner dimmer switch being turned up. Skin literally looks like it’s basked in soft light thanks to the perfect ratio between transparency and glow. Both lightly concealing and revealing – which is a pretty hard juggling act, it’s a BB with beauty brains, living up to the hype as the new generation beautifier. Go try!

Diorskin Nude BB Crème available in light, fair and medium. Retails at £30.00

Friday, 18 January 2013

Destination Givenchy


Generally, clothes are divided up into daywear and evening wear, and I think that’s true for make-up collections too. The newest SS13 collection from Givenchy called Hotel Prive falls into the daywear wardrobe. But if drawing comparisons with clothing would be more a silk  shirt than a well worn t-shirt, whilst in the world of work, more Symthson’s than Rymans!  Yes, we’re talking low-key luxury rather than functional and plain.


Nicolas Degennes, International Artistic Director for the up-swish beauty brand describes this collection as colours that express pleasure and cosy intimacy. Ones that give a subtle and natural elegance. Shades are not in-the-buff, but under-played, which somehow adds to their allure.  Their star player is the paletted matt and sequined quartet of shadows in taupe, grey and natural beige. All three cleverly attract the light and open up the eye. The fourth is a ballerina pretty, pearlescent rose milk pink which works as an iridescent highlighter. Sweep across the upper lid to accentuate its curve during the day. My other favourites from the collection are Rouge Interdit satin lipstick in Private Peach. A pinkish beige shade, it super vamps a nude lip, making it look naturally full and Vernis Please! Nail lacquer in Private Taupe. A step up from a 'polite' muted shade, it gives fingertips a modern and sleek edge. Hotel Prive is most definitely a destination for the cool and the chic. 

Limited Edition Eye Palette, £46
Limited Edition Rouge Interdit lipstick, £21
Limited Edition Vernis Please! Nail lacquer, £13

Collection available from the 21st January.
Stockists: 01932 233 824

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Benefit's make-up hat-trick


Benefit adds some bling to their collection – in terms of packaging at least, and scores a make-up hat-trick with their newest isn’t-that-clever lip and cheek trio called Fine One One.  The thing with Benefit is you know you’re buying into something quirky, but always something that adds to your beauty arsenal too. This fashion forward, sheer brightening stick was used at the Matthew Williamson SS13 show, and has the habit of putting a little bit of pretty on every girl's face.


So, how to use? Simply twirl up and you’ll spy three complementing shades: soft coral, sheer watermelon and pink champagne. Swipe from the apples of your cheek up towards your temples and Viola! Instant cheekbones with highlight (pink champagne, the lighter shade) and a sweet flush all in one hit.  Because of the slight variation of colours, that slightly sculptured look is achieved that Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham pull off so well. For lips, I would say application is slightly awkward as the bullet isn’t ergonomically lip shaped, but nevertheless it gives lips a just-bitten cute pop. Benefit sure makes it another fine day for making us feel beautiful.

Benefit Fine One One, £23.50 available February

Monday, 14 January 2013

home scented home

Feel free to have a rummage through my knicker drawer! And with good reason. Just had to show you Jo Malone’s Scent Surround Sachet Set infused with English Pear & Freesia. And boy, do they make your smalls smell divine. In fact, I have renamed it my fancy pants drawer!

The black and cream edged pillow like sachets can be slipped in between undies, jumpers and t-shirts. Not only caressing your clothes with fragrance, they also fill the bedroom with a whift of lovely-ness whenever you open the drawers. JM’s Home Collection also features a hanger set, drawer liner set, candle, diffuser and room spray. What a sweet and gorgeous homecoming!

Jo Malone Scent Surround Sachet set of 2, £40.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Eye spy Chubby Stick Shadows

Eye candy all wrapped up

We’ve had Clinique Chubby Sticks for lips,  we now have the sequel: Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes. But unlike some sequels which are never as good as the original, you can be sure these will be a make-up blockbuster. Like the lips, their crayon like appeal makes them easy peasy to use in terms of fuss free application. Simply glide and swipe your way to loveliness!

Pencil Power!

Their freshness not only lies in their formula – Jenna Menard, Clinique’s Global Colour Arist reveals you can use the stick to apply shadow directly on the lid in just one sweep, but their layer-ability too. With 12 hyper-wearable, creamy dreamy shades from nudes to pink to violets and blues, the key is to scribble and play with complementing shades. For a wide eyed look, Jenna suggests applying Lavish Lilac as an all over wash on top and along the bottom lash line, and then use Fuller Fudge as a wide eyeliner close to the top lash line. The possibilities are endless. “The key is to blend the edges of the colours with a shadow brush before the make-up sets,” says Jenna. Keep your eye out for them when they hit stores from the 15th February.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes, £16

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A day living by Rituals


When Rituals approached me with the idea of living their brand for 24 hours, I didn’t have to think too long. The thought of being ‘ritualised’ for a day didn’t seem much of a chore. I first blogged about Rituals as a concept around 18 months ago. Before then, I have to admit it was one of those stores that passed me by in the shopping mall. But digging deeper, I fell in love with their philosophy that small, daily cultural routines can be turned into meaningful rituals through the use of gorgeous smells and sensations. Routines can be quickly turned into something more creative and enjoyable from drinking your tea to driving in your car.

Before I do my Bridget Jones thing, can I just say I’m never faithful to a brand as a whole. I don’t go in for signature lines, I like to dip in and out of different brands, so if there was a challenge, this was it. Setting up my working week, I began the Rituals routine Monday morning.

6.30am Wake up to the dulcet tones of the radio gleefully telling me about dull weather and tube delays. Husband brings me breakfast in bed (I know I’m lucky!) and I rally round with a bowl of porridge and head for the shower. Usually I’m in and out in 5 minutes, but this morning I have a lingering affair with Fujiyama Mandarin & Mint foaming shower gel sensation, £7.  As soon as the water hits the gel, it turns into refreshing foam which cocoons the body, turning the whole shower into some soft of aromatic pleasure dome! A Touch of Heaven Body Cream laced with Organic Sweet Orange and Cedar, £15 was next. In the pot it looks a little bit too creamy for the morning, but it’s deceivingly light and easy to apply. It’s a warm fragrance too, just the touch for still dark mornings.

7.15am It’s now time to face perking up a sleepy looking complexion. As mentioned on a previous post, I always sleep on a silk pillow which helps rid pillow creases enormously and takes out any heavy duty rubbing with a cleanser in the hope they will quickly fade! Using the Sensationally Soft Cleanser, £11.50 there’s no rubbing to be had. The gel effortlessly melts into oil on the skin and then switches into a cleansing lotion. My skin felt soothed and well hydrated. A lover of serums, I use Intense Moisture Serum, £25.50 with Hyaluronic Acid which helps retain water to keep skin looking bouncy. Line Defence Eye Cream, £22.50 was next with a helpful anti-ageing complex and finally Essential Anti-Ageing Day Cream, £25.50. It was slightly too fragranced for my liking, but nevertheless left my skin sufficiently hydrated.


7.45am I leave the house for the crushed commute. I usually walk to the station, but seeing as I’ve been sent a car perfume, £7.50 I thought I would road test it by driving to the station car park. Apart from an out-of-date pine tree hanging on the mirror cab style, I’m not one for car fragrance, but this is a revelation! The Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk Life is a Journey car perfume, £7.50 floods the car with a delicious scent that makes me feel happy. I even let another car whip in and steal my parking space without a hint of road rage!

8am Sandwiched onto the central line, I rummage through my bag for QI Stress Relief Serum whereby I pump out the Chinese Mint serum and apply, as suggested to my temples and the back of my neck. I tempt a few side glances, but the smell is really uplifting which goes someway in ignoring a rucksack jammed into my back. Switching onto the even more crowded Northern Line, I go for the handbag rescue again and pull out my White Patchouli & Cedar Wood Eau de Parfum Travel, £15. Its slide inside the luxury perfume holder, £13 and looks very sleek and metropolitan. A few quick spritzs makes me feel human again.

9am Upon getting into work, I put the kettle on for a brew. But not any old brew, Jasmine Delight – a mash-up of green tea and jasmine, £5. I do like a high quality tea, and usually go for Teapigs, but these pyramid shaped tea bags really cut the mustard and are cheaper! They’re on my shopping list from today. Monday mornings are always busy, what with meetings, emails and phone calls to make, so I set up the mini home fragrance sticks Under a Fig Tree, £11 on my desk. Soon everyone is commenting on the ‘exotic’ smell and the frantic smell of Monday mornings seemingly disappears.


7pm Once  home, I hit the gym – yes, I’m one for punishment, and comfort myself with the thought that tonight I will be having a Wu Wei Organic White Lotus & Green Tea calming cream bath, £11.50 – candyfloss froth and soft skin guaranteed along with an Intensive Moisturising Mask, £13.50 for supple, yoga like skin. After dinner, I light Under a Fig Tree Candle, £16.50 which gives a relaxing sweet and earthy scent to the room.

11pm Upon flopping into bed I moisturise with Deep Recovery Night Cream, £24.50 – FYI my skin felt wonderful supple next morning, and spritzed the Organic White Lotus calming bed and body mist onto myself. Unfortunately it’s no aphrodisiac for my husband who shies away from the smell. But, hey you can’t win them all, and the thought of waking up again and going through the same ritual isn’t a bad thought at all.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A juice that rocks

Juicy Couture’s new fragrance, Couture La La pretty much sums up the founders: a little punk rock, a lot of free spirit, daring and always couture.  Pam Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor started a modest clothing company running up colour gorgeous, funky tracksuits with the J zipper over a decade ago. It has since masqueraded into a global empire called Juicy Couture whereby the two fun-loving girlfriends have since grown their brand to include luxury clothing lines. Rock is how they roll – Gela is married to John Taylor from Duran Duran and they are very much part of the too cool for skool LA scene.  

Beyond high-end fashion, bags and sunglasses any brand knows perfume is the finishing accessory, and the latest juice from JC is their Couture La La. It’s a bottle that certainly looks like it’s been created in La La land – one of fantasy and dreams. It has oodles of dressing table appeal with its old fashioned stopper, neon pink cutsey bow and punk rock inspired charms hanging sexily around the neck of the bottle. Green apple, red currant, lily of the valley and liquid musk is all in the mix which sums up the essence of the Juicy girl – multi-layered, confident, fearless but flirty and feminine. Now, who wouldn't like to smell like her?

Couture La La from £35 for 30ml available nationwide.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Emma gets cheeky with Lancome

A post New Year mood won’t stay grey for long when casting a trained beauty eye on Lancome’s extremely pretty in pink SS13 collection. Aptly called In Love – one glance at the tres jolie packaging and you will be, the pop art colours are drawn from street art murals to give a dull pallor a fresh and flirty look.

Emma Watson couldn’t look more adorable or In Love with her flushed cheeks and sweet cupid mouth for this collection. One of her favourite make-up picks is a hint of Baume in Love in Rose Macaron which is a brand new comforting lipstick formula with Shea Butter. Making lips feel extra special, one of my favourites is Sugar Rose (pictured above) which looks very Barbie pink, however, once applied gives the lips a pretty sheen. But the whole look for me is summed up in Emma’s cheeks. When you’re in love it always shows in your cheeks, and in this shot they look gorgeously rosy with a dusting of Pommettes d’amour. Not too delicate and fey, the palette is a mix of fuchsia and orange for a you’ve-been-up-to-something-naughty-but-nice glow! Apply the coral shade to the apple of the cheek followed by the pink shade just above for that on-message ‘doll cheeks’ effect. A sweep of Ombre in Love in Sugar Rose gives softness to the eye along with a graphic line of Kohl In Love in Jade Crush to add intensity. To nail off the look, paint fingertips with the peachy pop hue in Peach Melodie. Simply sweetheart!

Lancome Blush in Love, £34
Lancome Vernis in Love, £12
Lancome Ombre in Love, £19
Lancome Baume in Love, £20
Lancome Kohl in Love, £16

The collection is now available from Lancome counters nationwide