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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hair to the Rehab


This post is about me stepping in and becoming a fairy (beauty) godmother with my favourite hair salon FOUR London waving their magic colour wand. A friend of mine had suffered a hair malfunction after a well known, on-trend salon had coloured her hair with, it seems little technical skill. I thought this might be a useful blog post for all of those walking around with a hair shade they hate as they - or even (worryingly) their salon don't have the know-how to correct. Worse, in typical salon style, most of us don't say we're unhappy with it as we tip them and wave them goodbye! Colour correction is big business at FOUR and something they are adept at doing. Bad colour is like walking around wearing the wrong foundation - it robs your skin of natural radiance and upturns your look not in a good way. Here's the hair history from my friend Amy.


For about a year and half, I've had a scalp bleach. The condition of my hair really deteriorated so I went back to my hairdresser and said I wanted to dull down the blonde to try and get the condition back, so perhaps give bleach a miss for a while. This is where it went wrong. At this point I'm not too sure what my hairdresser did as it was all done at the backwash so I couldn't see. But when I came out I was left with an extreme brassy/orange band around my root area and the rest of my hair went a grey/khaki/dark blonde colour. You can see the pics above of the band of shame!

I went in to see Danielle, colour technician at FOUR and she could see exactly what was wrong with my hair. Although she said it wasn't the worse she had seen, it did need five hours work! We both looked over some images and it was nice that we were totally on the same page of hair shades that we liked. I felt a big relief that Danielle knew exactly how to correct my colour back to normal. Carly, the stylist came over to take a look at my cut and said she was quite surprised, that except for around the hair line where a 'chemical fringe' had been created, my hair was in pretty good condition and breakage was minimal. Bad colour normally results in bad hair. She said she would give me an 'invisible' trim as I wanted to keep the length, and to make the broken fringe better she would cut me in a parted fringe.


Step 1
When doing my hair Danielle said the first step was to get rid of the brassy orange band that I had around the root area. She wanted to leave my actual roots and try to bring some of those back into my finalised colour. This would most certainly help with the condition of my hair. A permanent dark dye was applied over the brassy band and my very natural root was left out. This totally eliminated the orange band - phew! Danielle thinks when I told my previous hairdresser that I wanted to dull down my colour, rather than bleaching my hair she put a high lift tint onto it followed by a toner over the top. This caused the colour to go ginger. A toner was then put over the rest of my blonde colour to take the brassy edge out of that. 


Step 2 
My hair was then washed and dried and the final colouring process began. She put a mix of two colours of highlights in. One which was closer to my natural hair colour and one blonde. More of the darker colour was applied to the underneath of my hair to make it look more natural and give my hair some depth. The blonder bits went around the parting. We washed it off and I was taken to Carly. 

Step 3 
I definitely wanted to keep the length of my hair, and unlike other stylists who take up to three inches off knowing you want to keep you hair long, Carly said she could take off just the very tips and it would still remove all of the split ends. I was happy for the first time whereby I wasn't about to walk out of the salon thinking where has all my hair gone? Carly cut my chemical fringe and kept the rest of the hair around the face long as I wanted to grow out the graduation. She blow-dried it off quite naturally with just a bit of movement and I couldn't have been happier with the final result. I had no orange at all left in my hair, just a lovely ashy blonde colour and the cut of my hair was amazing. I literally couldn't stop swishing it when I left the salon!

Yes, it's pricey - my colour was in excess of £300, but now I own the colour I actually want and I'm not spending on expensive mistakes - my colour disaster was over £200 and I've crucially found a colourist I can trust. I've learned that expensive colour can look cheap unless you go to a super skilled colourist!



For further details go to
Telephone: 020 7297 9600 or email:

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Beauty besties

I can hear you oooh-ing from here! Yes, these delicious eyes palettes are fresh from Bourjois. Coaxing out your inner make-up artist, all the hard work has been taken out with pre-coordinated shades and cream-to-powder textures to create a sizzlin' and smokin' hot look. To walk you through application, apply the lighter shade under the arch, the medium shade on eyelids and the dark shade at the roots of the lashes. The ultra light shade in the middle use as a light touch top coat for a glittery effect. Perfect for a big night out. Loving the 70's retro packaging, the Smoky Stories Palettes come in 8 quartets making them an absolute eye-light for everyone!

Another beauty bestie is their Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick. These have been a ginormous hit thanks to their matte and lightweight finish. They feel invisible on the lip whilst giving an on-trend punch of colour. Their Happy Nude Year shade 09 has just been introduced and the shade is sublime - it really does suits everybody. It's set to become one of my lip lusts for 2015 and I'm sure will be one of yours.

Bourjois Smoky Stories retail at £7.99
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet, £8.99

Saturday, 8 November 2014

desert storm skin sorted

Casually gliding my fingertips over the surface of my skin the other night I couldn't believe how dry it felt. Sahara dry. Sandpaper dry. Typical of seasonal switch skin, emergency measures had to be taken to restore the moisture robbed by central heating, overheated transport and snarly winds. Already addicted to serums, I needed to upgrade to something stronger. Something that would smooth and soothe. The word booster as in Dermalogica's skin hydrating booster caught my eye. If my skin needed anything it was a super saturated hydration boost. On the box blurb it highlighted is was for the driest skin conditions and with a concentrated blend of hyaluroinic acid and panthenol to help restore balance, I thought it was up to the job. And it was. Using 6 to 10 drops massage over the face, I could instantly feel my skin inwardly release a sigh of relief. Like magic, skin was plumped and boosted and fine lines exacerbated by lack of moisture seemed to disappear. It was like the desert conditions of my skin had finally found its oasis.

Dermalogica skin hydrating booster £52.50

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Boss and Bottled

Socks. Wallet. Underpants. When you're stuck gifting dad/uncle/brother these are the items you fall back on. I confess cologne isn't that much out of the ballpark, but Boss Bottled Collector's Edition does look rather special. Repackaged in celebration of more than 15 years of success, the blend of apple, cinnamon and woody notes are encased in a gunmetal grey flacon. As women step into a lifestyle fantasy when buying fragrance, bear in mind Gerard Butler is the ambassador for Boss - an actor that defines contemporary masculinity!

Boss Bottled Collector's Edition on counter from 1st October from £41.00

Double-Decker Dips

Wow! Talk about a palette that packs a punch. This Bobbi Brown bonanza has it all. A double decker of gorgeousness, many looks - from the subtle to the stunning can be conjured up with these personally picked creamy lip colours and eye shadows from the make-up maestro herself, Bobbi. Flattering to all skin tones, it makes for the perfect Christmas stocking thriller, or if you really want it to be all about you, it's the perfect self gifting treat. Bobbi's tag is #ReadySetGive which I feel could easily be switched to #ReadySetKeep!

Bobbi brown Deluxe Lip & Eye Palette on counter now for £59  

Monday, 25 August 2014

skin rescue

It's been quiet on the Dolly Mixture front of late, namely because I've been busy with the day job, and secondly I've been away. In the sun. Lucky me! This blog post addresses post holiday skin. A healthy dose of rays leaves your complexion looking sunkissed, but it can also leave it looking and feeling dry especially if a long haul flight is in the mix.

These two tubes over just a week have undoubtedly rebooted my skin after a 2 week road trip in Southern California - beautiful, but sizzling, constant air con and an 11 hour flight. Yes, my skin demands a staycation, but my mind and body demand something else! My skin was a little blemished touching down from my trip, so I looked to the deep cleansing qualities of Emma Hardie's new Amazing Face Instant Radiance Mask. It's a mask that doubles up as a great prep before going out, or a night treatment if you're staying in. Once removed skin looks tighter in pore size and hydrated and blemishes seem to clear up quickly. I've used it three times this week, as it's so rich and indulgent and feels like pay-back for neglecting my skin. Darphin's Vitalskin  Replumping Energic Emulsion is the perfect everyday moisturiser. Its light application belies its hydrating benefits. My skin's barrier looks strengthened and plumpness has been restored. Together they've rebooted my skin, and I need to thank them for that.

Emma Hardie Instant Radiance Mask, £36
Darphin Replumping Energic Emulsion, £39

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pencil power

A short, sharp but sweet post. These cute pencils from Bourjois are called Contour Clubbing Pencils, but even if you don't bust moves on the dance floor, they're great for giving high voltage to a classic smoky eye. Apply to upper and lower lash lines to make your look rock and pop. They're waterproof so have poolside written all over them.

Bourjois Contour Clubbing Pencils, £4.99

Friday, 25 July 2014

Serum smart

As some flip over a new lipstick or mascara, I do the same when a new serum comes into my eye line. I adore serums. Their lightweight, drink it all in attitude suits skin something wonderful and I believe are the saviour of many a pooped out complexion. If I dropped one from my skin regime it would feel like going out without any underwear.

You may have heard about Clinique's Smart Custom-Repair Serum as it was launched back in June, but I've only just gotten around to trying it. It's an SOS kind of serum that uses repair technology to help patch up the damage you see and even the damage you don't on your skin. In R&D for 5 years it boasts the power of 37 patents to deliver custom repair. I could rattle through them, but all anyone wants to know is, does it make the skin look better? Well, I've only been trying it for a couple of days and as nice as it is to use, I can't say whether it does or doesn't yet, but what I can tell you is, that after a 12 week study, results showed visible improvement in treating uneven skin tone, dark spots, dullness, lines, wrinkles and firming. Now, that sounds seriously smart.

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum, from £48.00.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


One of the factors that keeps a brand fresh is newness. But the balance can be tricky. Too much newism can feel overwhelming and not enough makes the brand look stale. DKNY hits the right note with fragrances being introduced just when you fancy a spritz of a different kind of NYC spirit.

The newest edition from brand is DKNY MYNY - the tag message being, be part of New York. And really who wouldn't want to be? A non-stop city buzzing with life, personality and a can-do attitude, the juice sums this up with their newly chosen fragrance face Rita Ora. As for the scent - it's playful and sexy. Raspberries, Egyptian Jasmine, Freesia with a dry down of Vanilla Absolute and Musk makes it modern and urban. Although it has to be said, it's more chic than street! As for the bottle, I personally find it a tad clunky, but you can't ignore the homage to one of the most exciting skylines in the world. Spritz and enjoy.

DKNY MYNY retails from £37 and is available exclusively at from the 5th August and nationwide from 20th August. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Insta-fabulous skin

Who doesn't want better looking skin in a instant? It's available on Instagram with the right filters - heck, does anyone leave their skin untouched when uploaded? But what about in real life. You know, when you meet people face-to-face? Alpha-H Instant Facial comes pretty close to giving your skin a clean sweep and a bright hello. Based on the benefits of a salon inspired peel - minus the redness, since I've been using this I've had quite a few compliments about how good my skin looks. It's a breeze to use too. Simply spritz on a cotton pad and wipe over your face. I only use in the evenings, as I don't want to over-do it and risk dry skin by using twice a day as recommended, then follow up with my usual serum or moisturiser. It's just the tonic for refining pore size, reducing dead cell build-up and mattifying the T-zone. In your face Instagram filter!

Alpha-H Instant Facial, £35.50.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Tinting talent

When it comes to summer hair, we all want to channel that cool beach-surf girl look. Free 'n' easy, salt-sprayed and don't-care wavy style - it's the only time you can officially ditch your dryer and straightening irons. And the colour should be just as free falling. But the combo of bleach and sun can leave dread(ed) locks - all fried and barmaid brassy. At my favourite salon, FOUR, their talented tinting team have worked on creating a new Duo Tint technique which adds up to masterminding an on-trend high lift platinum blonde. Minus the bleach. Genius. This technique doesn't hold the hair to ransom and there's absolutely no Bet Lynch tones to be seen. As for those who want to hair surf brunette style, their new Brown on Brown Lights give just the right amount of lift without a sunset red tone in sight, giving brunettes a hint of sun beach (not bleached) colour. And for those who want to off piste, check out their Bubblegum Pastels Collection. Shades are created using a mix of Crazy Colour in sundae shades of soft lemons, mint greens and soft peaches.Pretty girl hair is literally just a tinting brush away.

Although I wouldn't go all out for DIY colour, there is a trend to home dabble to keep root growth at bay and stretch out those salon sessions a little longer. The FOUR London Smudge Kit is an insider secret with beauty editors. The reason? A personal formula is made up to complement your hair shade and designed to maintain hair-line and parting once the roots start to creep back in. Perfect for those who travel a lot or just want to tap into their inner colourist.

FOUR London, 62 Conduit Street, London W1S 2GB  

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Surf eyes are up

There are palettes and then there are Bobbi Brown palettes. The Limited Edition Surf & Sand Eye Palette is a summer wonder and has poolside chic written all over it. Perfect if you fancy experimenting with pastel tones that aren't too out there, these metallic, sea washed and beach bound pretty hues can be worn alone or layered on the lid. My personal favourites are the new Bikini Bronze, Surf Sparkle and Sea Foam Sparkle eye shadows. With 8 go-to colours, they're a breeze to apply and easy peasy to pack in the magnetic closing, sand linen wrapped fabric palette. No other eye shadows are required. It's as beach babe as make-up gets.

Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Palette, £48. On counter July.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Cute and Chubby


Chubby. Not a word anyone likes to embrace willingly, accept when we're talking about Clinique's phenomenally successful Chubby sticks. 'Inspired' to the hilt by other brands, these easy-to-use make-up colouring crayons have fast become a gotta-have in every make-up bag since they launched.

New to the Chubby family this summer is their Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm - a sheer, creamy cheek colour that I dab and blend in minutes to create a soft rosy cheek. The effect is glowy rather than cakey or dry, colour lasts and they beat the heat too. For pouty, soft lips there's Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm. These babies are super sheer and act as your personal make-up artist. Each balm works with your lip's natural chemistry whereby the same shades will appear different on every pair of lips. Now, who doesn't want to be seen as a little Chubby?

Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm comes in 4 shades and retail for £19.
Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm comes in 4 shaes and retail for £17.
Both on counter from 1st August.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The all round luxury oil

I'm just back from Florida from a work assignment...I know, I know some girls get all the luck, and I made more room in my baggage for Stateside buys - have you seen the good exchange rate? by packing a beauty multi-tasker in the name of Carita's Fluide De Beaute 14.

This oil is the mother of all oils with an effective vitamin complex and platforms as the brand's hero product. I adore oils especially when in a hot climate. They rescue dehydrated anything in a heartbeat. But the good thing about this ultra-nourishing spray dry oil is that it takes care of face, body and hair. Zingy in fragrance, it helps tame the frizz on a humid head - it's ultra fine so there's no worry about lankiness, and I like to mix into a face mask or body lotion when applying to the skin. Alternatively, you just spritz solo. All this goodness in just one bottle adds up to more cool purchases in your case.

Carita Fluide De Beaute 14 costs £40.50 and available from

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

smells divine

This fragrance from Caudalie I just can't get enough of. Like its name, Parfum Divin, it just smells well, divine. I only wish this blog was scratch and sniff so you could share it with me. Right now. And we could all go mmmmm together! It invites to give yourself up to abandonment, and I have.

A heady mix of two types of rose - Bulgarian and Moroccan mingled with vanilla, musk, grapefruit and spicy pink peppercorn, the overall effect is incredibly sensual and very feminine. The bottle is just as beautiful, wrapped in gold along with an ash wood stopper - sustainable of course. Make it your summer scent.

Caudalie Divin costs £39.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

How to get a job...or least an interview.

Not my usual type of post, but nevertheless I thought it may be useful as I know many graduates and those wanting to get into the beauty industry follow my blog. Recently I advertised for a PR Assistant and was flooded with CVs. The job market is tough and ever more competitive in creative industries, so your application needs to find itself being read. To the end. Many times I never got past the first line of an applicant's email before I took an irritated sigh and pressed delete. It's funny, you can have all the qualifications and degrees that a university can throw at you, but good basic skills such as spelling and having a dose of self awareness can go far. And your covering letter says far more about you as a wannabe employee than your CV. So, with this in mind and the next batch of hungry and ambitious students being released this summer, I thought I would highlight a few crucial do-not-ever bullet points I personally experienced on CVs for those of you navigating the bear pit of a job market. Read the book above in the picture too. It has helped me in my career and it will help you.

  • Do not talk about yourself in the third person. I couldn’t quite believe it when the first paragraph started, ‘Rachel is a hard working, capable person….’ I thought it was a statement from a former employer. But no, Rachel (not her real name) was inflating herself up as her alter ego.
  • There’s no need to kick-start your CV off with your National Insurance number.  You’re not being paid by the salaries department yet.
  • If given a name to send your CV to, use it. Do not put on your covering letter To Whom It May Concern. If it’s a woman’s name – for example Jacqui, do not put Dear Mr Jacqui.
  • Misspelling is not cool for skool. It looks sloppy and illiterate. You have spell-check. Use it.
  • Remember to attach your CV to your email. I lost count how many didn’t. With inboxes flooded with CVs for just one position, you won’t be emailed back to ask for it.
  • Make your covering letter a letter, not a dissertation. There is such a thing as too much information.
  • Grammar and punctuation counts.
  • Spell the brand correctly. In fact, spelling EVERYTHING correctly. I cannot emphasise this enough.
  • Do not cut and paste from blogs talking about the brand’s product and not even bother to change the font to fit into your own application. Seriously!
  • Do not start your covering letter with ‘hey’.
  • If including interests on your CV there's no need to detail your whole gym workout. Yes, somebody did. 
  • Detail what you can offer the company, not the other way around. I had one CV telling me this would be the perfect position for her until she discovered what she really wanted to do. Obviously her application was deleted!
  • Put the right company name in your covering letter. Yes, you are applying for lots of positions and maybe using the same covering letter, but at least try and personalise it with the correct brand.
  • There is no need to scan in a picture of yourself at your graduation day wearing your mortar board. Yes, you have a degree. I get it.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A dose of skin radiance

Whenever there’s a new skincare launch from Clarins, I’m all ears. Although a floating voter with skincare – too many products, too little time, if my skin finds itself confused in the myriad of lotions, I always find myself going back to this French brand that delivers high performing results. Something you want, but don't always get from all skincare.

Their newest star is their Hydraquench Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 and their manifesto promises to deliver a lightweight coverage that restores a plump, fresh look to give the radiance factor. For most skins, except the very oily, the more moisture it has the happier it becomes, and this one benefits from double the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid – the wonder ingredient for putting moisture in lock-down. There’s also katafray bark extract – nope, I hadn’t heard of it either, but it boosts the skin’s own hydrating mechanisms by stimulating the production of filaggrain. Before you ask, it’s a protein of cells in the epidermis which helps to reinforce the skin’s barrier function.  So there you have the science lesson. But all you really to know is,  it gives skin a gorgeous insta-finish. It gets my vote.

Clarins Hydraquench Tinted Moisturizer comes in 7 shades and will be available from June priced at £28.

Monday, 5 May 2014

SOS for split personality hair

If your hair has a split personality then SOS is on lather with Lee Stafford's new Oily Roots Dry Ends Shampoo and Conditioner at £8.99 each. Used together, this SOS duo work to detox and mop up excess sebum on the roots whilst soothing flayed out ends. Moringa Seed extract is the shampoo's secret weapon - an ingredient native to India known for its ability in haircare to mop up oils, whilst the conditioner relies on shea butter extracts to give dry ends plenty of TLC. The perfect coupling.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Swipe and go

Swiping is second nature... iPad, iPhone, iPod, it's also nothing new in beauty, except they're called wipes or pads. One swipe and everything disappears - nail polish, stale make-up, germ ridden hands and the latest from Origins dead skin cells. Modern friction Instant brightening pads by-pass the laborious physical scrubbing step of exfoliation. These textured one-swipe-super-easy-to-use pads are specifically formulated to significantly improve skin's texture tone and clarity. Non jarring to the skin, they loosen cling on surface cells, helping to restore fresh and breezy vibrancy. Just gently swipe the infused pad of Rice Exfoliating Complex comprised of fruit acids across the skin twice a week. I like to use on the back of my hands too. Simply swipe, throw and go!

Origins Modern Friction Instant brightening pads costs £31 for 40 pads are available from May at selected department stores and

Friday, 25 April 2014

Bronzer on a plate

I just had to snap Lancôme's Star Bronzer on a side plate to show you how big it actually is. Certainly not a little something you can slip into your make-up bag, but nevertheless ample enough to use at home to sweep over face, decollete, collarbones and any other bodily bits you'd like to see bronzed up. In fact, it probably could last a good year until next summer! With this kind of portion distortion welcome, the other reason to buy is for the gradient of colour. Not called Golden Riviera for nothing, the effect is far from a block colour, this Mediterranean inspired powder dusts on dark and light hues as well as a highlighting gold. Skin looks like it's basking rather than cooking in sunlight. There's nothing worse than looking too browned off.

Lancôme Star bronzer in Golden Riviera costs £35 and launches May 17th exclusively at John Lewis. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Spritz the spirit of NYC

If you’re looking for a fragrance full of fizz and energy then DKNY’s Women Limited Edition is as fresh and exhilarating as the city itself.  Sparkling notes of grapefruit and juicy pear delivers a fruity burst along with the elegant bouquet of white magnolia and water lily. Young and flirtatious, spritz with summer abandonment and reach for, if not the stars, then the skyscrapers.

DKNY Women Limited Edition, £38 is available exclusively at Superdrug and online from this month.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cheek glow for cloudy days

Who doesn’t want to be a Bronze Goddess? Estee Lauder are brilliant marketeers and know only too well the allure of a name. Their Bronze Goddess Collection is updated every summer with product picks and colourways that are inspired by blue skies, long sandy beaches and end-of-the-day sunsets. It’s a long awaited holiday captured in a product!

My go-to in the collection this season has to be their Limited Edition Bronze Goddess Cheek Glow. Flip open the chic tortoiseshell mini compact and you have the transformer shade to give Vitamin D starved cheeks a natural, healthy and sun-kissed touch. Suiting all skin tones, this luxury blush has a skin-loving moisturizing formula that is gorgeously creamy and sits on the cheeks without having to over blend. A real beautifier, it effortlessly lifts the complexion and adds a radiant glow to help sidestep one of our good old British cloudy days!

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Cheek Glow, £25.
Available at counters from this month and online at from May.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Lash love

Just as some people change their boyfriends/hair/jobs on a whim I change my mascaras! I’m never faithful to one for too long, always having my eye out for one that promises longer, thicker and prettier looking lashes without having to resort to fakes. I can’t be bothered with the theatre of putting on fake lashes and would rather the mascara did all the hard work.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara is who I’m currently stepping out with. As any beauty geek will know the success of a good mascara is all in the brush. This brush takes its inspiration from professional round hairbrushes. It has wraparound spherical bristles that work to coat and capture every single lash. The brush even works great on those tricky outer lashes which can all too often look clumpy. The overall effect is one of fanned out, evenly coated and pretty lashes that don't go near witchy or spidery in appearance. I may have just found The One.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara is available in Intense Black and Intense Black Waterproof.
Retails at £9.99 available from mid May.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Paws for thought

I admit this blog post is a little out of the ordinary for me, but in a funny way links to beauty. Just shy of three weeks ago, my cat Louie disappeared. Just like that. I’ve had him for 15 years and my life is missing something without him. When I was freelance churning out feature after feature he stopped me from going bonkers. Always nestled up in my office, jumping on my lap as the steam was coming off my keyboard, we made a good team. Wherever I was he was nearby. A real homebody. Which makes his sudden disappearance even more baffling as he hardly ventured out.

But apart from anything, I never realised how much I depended on him for daily happiness and wellbeing. A well known stress buster, cats are known to lower blood pressure in over boiling humans, and after a challenging day, I would come home and stroke and tickle him for all his worth. Now gone. My teenage son isn’t so interested! Just watching him sleep with his paws outstretched would bring a smile to my face and a warmth in my heart. In short, I feel flat and sad which obviously shows in my face. I know it’s only a cat, and there’s much worse that happens at sea, but for the time being I’m grieving and no amount of beauty lotions can bring back that intrinsic glowy happiness that a beloved pet can. Paws for thought.    

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The F1 of cleansing

Having a nosey around a girlfriend’s bathroom the other week I came across her Clarisonic Cleansing Brush. Now, of course, I’ve heard of it, but casually put it down to another three figure expensive gizmo that promised the Holy Grail that is skin radiance. But being a cleansing freak, believing it’s the cornerstone of great skin, I asked if I could buy a new brush head and borrow it for a week whilst she was on holiday. And by golly, I’m glad I did. The difference it makes to the appearance of your skin is super visible. In my opinion faster and longer lasting than any radiance boosting serum.  In fact, it’s so essential I now regard it as my facial toothbrush. The thought of not cleansing with it is too horrifying to contemplate!

Up swinging to the recently launched Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush, it’s fun and easy to use. I simply apply normal cleanser to my skin – although in the box was a Lancome Gel Eclat Clarifying Cleanser which was a nice bonus, and let the brush oscillate and vibrate gently to its sonic technology. With three speeds from sensitive through to supercharged for an extra boost, it gives a cute little warning noise when you should move the brush to another area of your face. It automatically switches off after one or two minutes depending on your cleaning cycle. Truly the F1 of cleansing – it produces over 300 movements per second, my skin is in pole position for reduced pores and improved skin tone. Celebration indeed. 

Clarisonic Aria is priced at £155.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Origins puts the zing in your skin

By golly, just looking at this GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser from Origins sets my skin all a tingle. In a get-up-and-go-go bright orange tube, this gentle daily exfoliating cleanser buffs and preens skin to silky smoothness. The natural exfoliating scrubbing beads whisks away dead skin cells in a jiffy –  without mimicking the actions of sandpaper, whilst an essential oil blend of grapefruit, lemon and spearmint acts as a fragrant alarm call in your shower. You can't help but feel top of the morning after this beauty treat! Put it on your daily essentials list.

Origins GinZing costs £18.50 and launches at Selfridges in May. Nationwide in June.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

D&G's new fragrant star

If ever there was a fragrance to welcome in the lighter, warmer days of spring, then this is surely the spritz. Dolce by Dolce&Gabbana whisks up the designer duo’s olfactory romance and nostalgia of Sicily. Feminine and refreshingly simple, it’s a mix of white flowers blended with the spirit of Neroli leaves and defined by a South African flower by the name of White Amaryllis – the first time used ever in fragrance.  It was created using ‘headspace technology’ which captures the exact scent of the flower when it’s in full bloom without having to cut it and grind the petals to extract the essential oil. The overall effect is floral and elegant with a slight sexy edge.

The thick, clear and heavy glass bottle has a vintage feel and the flower stopper is a nod to Sicilian customs. And for D&G devotees you will notice that the slim black grosgrain ribbon is reminiscent of the white shirts and bow-ties that were a signature of early D&G fashion. This is classic chic bottled.

Dolce&Gabbana Dolce retails from £62.00 for 50ml.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Aerin's perfect palette

Taking a nosey at Aerin Lauder’s Instagram account I can’t help but notice the founder and creative director of her own make-up line has an unrivaled attention to detail. From the way a table is laid, to the position of a chair through to the vases she chooses to display her flowers, it’s well thought out and aspirational. This finely tuned eye is carried through into her cosmetic collection which, although modest in terms of range is very desirable.

My favourite this season has to be Aerin’s Kaleidolight Palette, £40. An over sized palette of five scrummy skin-loving and light enhancing shades, it’s got the mix just right. You can either swirl over a soft brush and let the colours dance over the whole face, or you can individually pick out and apply. Use the lavender for instance to highlight the eye, or the bronze or pink shades to bring a sea breeze glow to the cheeks. It delivers joined up thinking too. The more wearable colours take up more space, whereas lavender is downsized knowing less is more.  However you play it, it’s a perfect palette.

Aerin Kaleidolight Palette available from Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Designer lips

Like their clothes, Dolce&Gabbana's Classic Cream Lipsticks are desirable, sexy and achingly fashionable. Inspired by the Italian woman of the 50's - all heels, wiggles and flirtation, their new range of 28 spring colours leaves no woman's lips looking bland, boring and ignored. Creamy and velvety, half of the formula is composed of emollients which makes the lipstick super comfortable to slick as well as hydrating the lips. The colours split into shade stories of reds, oranges, purples, corals, pinks and nudes, capturing the beauty of Sicilian roses along with the velvety touch of their petals. Which colour will you freshly pick?

Dolce&Gabbana Classic Creams Lipsticks retail at £24 each.
Available from Harrods and

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Skin science

Let’s face it once you tip over the age of 35 or 40, you’re always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing in anti-ageing whether it’s laser, injectables or an uber moisturiser. I fall into the skin school of thought that nothing will make you look younger, but procedures and product can make your skin look the best it can. I knew nothing about Dr Bragi until I looked on their website. It told me the success of their products was all down to the ‘marine enzyme science’ with graphs recording enzyme activity temperature comparison. I’m not interested in graphs, I’m just interested whether it makes a difference to my skin. And it does. I’ve been using the Age Management Moisturiser at a costly £120 and it has left my skin looking, how can I say, if not younger than more relaxed. No lines have disappeared, but it just looks rebooted. As well as boasting super active marine enzymes that are said to never let up the task of smoothing, exfoliating and cleansing from deep within, it also has the skin wonder ingredient, hyaluronic acid for trapping moisture. Oil-free, it almost feels like a serum to apply and makes a great base for make-up. I will leave it up to you if you want to pay three figures for a moisturiser, but my skin is telling me it likes it. Very much.