Friday, 5 December 2008

Gifts galore

by Sarah-Jane

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a gift set. One of my earliest memories is receiving my first Body Shop pink grapefruit gift basket. I can remember lining up the bubble bath, shower gel and grapefruit shaped soap in pride of place in the bathroom and being on the verge of tears when my brothers would use the pearl bath bombs as catapult ammunition. Not surprisingly, my tastes have developed as I’ve got older and although my love for the Body Shop gift sets stay strong and true this year I will be asking Santa for the following.

First on my list is DKNY’s Delicious night women gift set, £35 (available nationwide), it contains the fragrance and the body lotion. Not only does this look gorgeous in its seductive dark purple tin, but it smells gorgeous too. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your LBD this party season.

Next is Origins Ginger Days gift set ( I’ve always been a huge fan of Origins, their products are divine and the ginger range smells good enough to eat. The gift set contains the body cream, body wash and the essence and it’s all encased in a recyclable gift box. Plus £1 from every set bought goes to Shelter so I will feel cleansed and pure from the inside out.

Finally I will be hoping that Santa leaves me one of the many fab Soap & Glory sets that are adorning the shelves of Boots this Christmas, my favourite being the Make It Big set, £30. It comes in a gorgeous retro vanity bag, which is filled with some of their amazing skincare products and will hopefully last me until next Christmas.

Until next week, stay beautiful.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Here come the boys

by Sarah-Jane

My friends are always asking me beauty questions such as ‘How often should I be exfoliating?’, ‘What’s the best moisturiser?’. ‘Did I mention that these are my male friends!

Over the last few years the popularity of male grooming products has sky rocketed. A few years ago us journalists could dedicate one page to the few solitary moisturisers and shaving products that were available. Now we are dedicating whole issues to the plethora of products out there. The attitude to grooming has changed immensely, it’s no longer just gay guys that are taking pride in their appearance, even the butchest of blokes can tell you exactly what his skincare regime consists of. In the past it was the girls and the wives buying their better halves products but now the boys are spending some serious time at the beauty counter too.

So here are my top Christmas buys for your boy, whether you end up buying them for him or he pops down to the shops and gets them for himself. One of the top selling male fragrances in Selfridges is Sean John’s Unforgivable so look out for the gift set, £35 (available nationwide), which includes the fragrance and a deodorant stick all housed in a mock champagne box in true P Diddy style.

For the man who is seriously into his skincare then you can’t get much better than the Lab Series skincare set, £35 (available nationwide). It contains face wash, moisturiser and a shaving product and all comes in an ultra stylish wash bag. Plus when you buy the set, or any products over £35 then you will get the Lab Series grooming style bible free with purchase.

Finally, this year saw the launch of YSL’s Touche Eclat for men, it does exactly what their best-selling female version does i.e lightens and brightens your skin whilst hiding a multitude of sins, but I leave it to you to decide whether you want your boyfriend wearing make-up or not! YSL Touche Eclat for Men, £22.50 (available from Selfridges.)

Monday, 10 November 2008

Candle, candle burning bright

by Sarah-Jane

I never quite know where candles sit best – on interiors pages or beauty ones? This week I have been bombarded with press releases about the newest candles that are hitting the shelves just in time for Christmas, so I have decided that they sit firmly on my beauty blog.

There’s nothing better than a gorgeous candle. Whether you have it burning subtly in the background when you’re getting ready for your Christmas party, or to create a romantic setting when you come back in, a candle adds a certain something to a room. They also make the perfect present, so if you’re looking for something to give or something you’d love to receive then here is my pick of the best.

When it comes to candles there is only one place to start, and that is Jo Malone. In my mind, she is the queen of the scented candle. This year she has released a limited edition Pine & Eucalyptus candle, £80 (, it’s like bringing the snow-covered alps to your living room.
If you’re looking for something that smells like Christmas in wick form then try True Grace’s candle, aptly called, Christmas, £18 ( It’s a divine mixture of cinnamon and cloves, or to put it another way just imagine hot spicy mulled wine sitting next to a huge bowl of oranges, and that’s what it smells like.

Finally, Elemis always bring out an amazing array of candles that make perfect presents. My pick from this year’s selection is their home-spa candle in purity, £25 ( Not only does it smell divine, a gorgeous mixture of eucalyptus and rosemary, but it comes with a handy wooden stand to burn it on.

So all that leaves me to say is if you do get any candles this Christmas, enjoy the tranquillity and peace they bring, and remember to blow them out!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Travelling light

by Sarah-Jane

I’m going away over Christmas and I’m already starting to panic about how I’m going to squeeze the 12 pairs of shoes that I most definitely need in with the rest of all my essential items – 7 bikinis is probably just the right amount for a 4 day trip, don’t you think?!

One area where I don’t have to worry about packing too much are my toiletries as all my favourites come in handy travel sizes. The first thing that will be going into my suitcase is Eve Lom’s travel kit, £50 (, it contains everything that I need including her iconic cleanser, which if you have never tried I urge you to put on your Christmas wish list. It comes with a muslin cloth that gently exfoliates your skin as you wipe away the cleanser. It’s used by all the celebs and it really is a star product. It also includes a moisturiser, face mask and a few other bits and everything is encased in a gorgeous leather holdall.

The other thing I will be throwing into my carry-on is bumble and bumble’s ball of hair-bands, £16 ( I don’t know if you’re like me, but every time I need a hair-band I can never find one, so this clever little bauble of bands will mean that when I need to scrape my hair back mid-flight I’ll have a never-ending supply.

And finally I don’t go anywhere without my Caudalie beauty elixir spray, £9.90 for 30ml ( Spritz it all over your face and it will instantly make your skin feeling refreshed which is what you need to counter-balance the nasty drying effect of the recycled air on planes. It’s also fantastic to use to set your make-up or when you just feel like an uplift as the smell alone will bring a smile to your face, whether you are on holiday or not.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Beat the winter blues

by Laia

A great way to feel good in the bleaker winter months and ensure your immune system is in tip-top condition is to have a detox massage at the start of the season. If you're into aromatherapy, Decleor’s Aroma Mosaic Body is a range of treatments that include an aroma envelopment detox designed to do just that. Paris-based brand Decleor uses 100 per cent natural aromatherapy products that are designed to work with your body and stimulate your senses.

The treatment starts with a therapist exfoliating your entire body, followed by the application of an algae mask. You will then be wrapped up in a heated plastic blanket – which will help you detox as the mask warms up – and you'll be left lying in this ‘cocoon’ for about half an hour, while your scalp is being massaged. After a well-deserved shower, a contour refining cream with a heavenly smell will be applied to your body. The treatment will not only make you feel relaxed and full of life but it will also tone your skin, drain away toxins, as well as aid water retention. Remember that it is recommended that you drink plenty of water throughout the day of the treatment to encourage the detox process. And don’t forget that it’s a mind, body and soul experience.

The Perfect Contour goes from £45.00 UK wide, for one hour. Benefits are visible after five sessions.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Shine like a star

by Sarah-Jane

There is nothing better than discovering a truly amazing hair product, so can you imagine my delight when I found a whole range of products that are fantastic?!
The brand I am talking about is Alfaparf and the range that I have fallen in love with is called Semi di Lino Diamante, that’s Diamond Shine to those of you whose Italian isn’t quite up to scratch! You’ll be forgiven for not having heard of Alfaparf – I hadn’t either. It has come over from Italy where it is the best selling professional hair-line and has launched in the UK this year. Try the products for yourself as there are lots of ranges that are great for every hair type, but for me Semi di Lino is the way forward.

I have hair extensions so my hair needs a lot of moisture and conditioning to make it look silky and shiny, and Semi Di Lino delivers. I am particularly fond of the illuminating shampoo and conditioner, £8.95 and £10.95, which smell amazing and the liquid crystal hair serum, £9.95, which I apply on my soaking wet hair and then a little more once it is dried and styled. Look out for Alfaparf, you won’t be disappointed I promise. Alfaparf is available from 01942-886000

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Nailing the issue

by Sarah-Jane

Every season we’re told that there’s the new ‘it’ colour for our fingers and toes, and to be honest even I find it hard to keep up. We’ve had grey, white, peach, coral and plum, which is not to be confused with amethyst, berry or plain old purple.

This season we should all be coating our talons raspberry or metallic black. But if you’ve had enough of sticking with the on-trend nail crowd then why not just settle for some classic nail colours. Essie’s ballet slippers, £8.50 from, is a great place to start and perfect for those of you that favour a French manicured look. It is just the right shade of pink – pink enough to make your nails look healthy but pale enough to still look subtle.

If colour is more your thing then classic red will always be in style. Chanel do amazing reds but the one that really stands out for me is Revlon’s Red, it manages to look classy and at £6.29 is a bargain.

Remember, whatever colour you choose then always start and finish with a good clear coat – my particular favourite is Seche Vite, £8.95 from, wish is also great if you want to go au natural on your nails. As for me, I’m off to get a quick mani/ pedi, and what colour will I be choosing – raspberry of course, I’m a sucker for an on-trend colour!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Christmas Party Looks from Ruby & Millie

by Laia

With the party season approaching and the numerous diary engagements that entails, you’ll want to make sure you are looking your best. International make-up artist Ruby Hammer and beauty expert Millie Kendall have provided us with their top looks for the festive period, guaranteed to make you stand out at any bash.

Dramatic, sultry eyes with a muted, toned-down lip is a sensual, glamorous look that works on most skin tones. This is Ruby’s signature look and she suggests:

“Using a kohl eye liner, line the inner rims of both the upper and lower lashes - the colour of this should correspond to the colour shadow you have chosen, so go for brown to suit a bronze or gold-based shadow. Apply a line with the same pencil as close to the lash line as possible and smudge to blend and soften. If you have small eyes, then only apply pencil on the outer two-thirds of the eye. If your eyes are large, you can trace the whole rim.

“Traditionally, grey and black are the colours associated with smoky eyes. If you want to soften this and make it more wearable, a chocolate brown with a metallic finish looks fantastic. (The Ruby & Millie Smoky Eye Color in Bronze is great for this). Finish by curling your lashes and carefully applying two or three coats of black mascara to upper lashes and one coat to lower. For added drama, apply a few false eyelashes on the upper, outer eye to widen the eye and add sexiness.”

Classic, strong lips with a subtle eye are sure to make a statement.
Being Millie’s signature look, she suggests:

“The key to a vibrant lip is to start with smooth lips. Use a soft kids toothbrush and some lip balm (try Ruby & Millie lip base). Massage the balm onto the lips using the toothbrush in circular movements. This removes dead skin and plumps up the lips ready for the artful application. You can do this as part of your skin-care regime when your lips are dry.

Apply your lipstick with a square-headed lip brush in a uniformed veil. Use long strokes and you will get a more even cover. Once you have applied your first layer, take a tissue and separate the ‘plys’. Use one thin ply and blot the lip colour. This takes off the excess colour, leaving a solid, firmly placed base. You can dust loose powder over the tissue to further set the lip colour. Next, remove the tissue and re-apply. Finally, use your lipliner to frame the lip colour and stop it bleeding.”

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Mascara Innovations

by Sarah-Jane

Hello ladies,
It’s not often that I get to write exciting things about mascaras. I mean how much can you write, apart from the fact that they come in various colours and the brushes look slightly different even though they pretty much all do the same thing? But that was then, and this is now.

Now, thanks to Lancôme and Givenchy I have new and exciting things to say about mascara, so here I go. Givenchy’s new mascara, Phenomen’Eyes may resemble a cactus but it does wonderful things to your lashes. Instead of applying it in the conventional way, with the wand coming across your face horizontally, hold the brush towards your eye – as if you’re going to poke your eye. It allows the brush to get to the very root of your lashes and automatically lifts them up. And as for Lancôme, they have created the first vibrating mascara, Oscillation. Why does your mascara need to vibrate I hear you ask? Well according to Lancôme, Oscillation coats every individual lash 360 degrees round, all I can tell you is that it works and your lashes will look amazing.

Monday, 25 August 2008


by Sarah-Jane

Hi girls,
I’ve had a very busy beauty week, I’ve been road-testing the best of the best serums that are out there. So as you can imagine, I’m exhausted. I know that lots of people find serums a little baffling. I often get asked what they do, how to put them on, when they should be used and whether they should be used alone or in conjunction with other products. So here are my answers to those questions plus a few serum suggestions of my own.
Serums contain active ingredients that will help with specific skin issues such as dehydration, wrinkles or dullness. The best way to think of serums is as an added bit of va va voom in your regular skincare regime. It’s best to apply serums directly on to clean dry skin so that the active ingredients can get to work immediately. Then apply your moisturiser on top, which acts almost like a sealant.
As for the application, I rub the serum between my palms to warm it up slightly and then I lightly press my palms all over my face so that the product is applied softly and evenly.
I use a serum in the morning and evening, my morning serum of choice at the moment is Caudalie’s Vino radiance serum, £38 from Space NK. It makes my skin look visibly brighter immediately and is a great base for make-up. In the evening I am loving Estee Lauder’s new Perfectionist wrinkle lifting serum, £42. It makes your skin feel like velvet when you apply it and reduces wrinkles by 36%. When my skin is looking a bit grey, spotty and generally a bit worse for wear I use Jurlique’s herbal recovery gel, £45 from Jurlique it smells fantastic and does wonders for my skin. That is all me serum knowledge imparted so see you next week. Stay beautiful.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Introducing Sarah-Jane

by Sarah-Jane
I am your new contributing Beauty Editor, Sarah-Jane, but my friends call me SJ. I have been working as a beauty journalist for over 7 years now so I feel fairly qualified to tell you all about the latest products that are going to be coming onto the site as well as talking about other products that I highly recommend.
So, as this is the beginning of my blog I thought I would talk about the beginning of any beauty regime – cleansing, toning and moisturising. My favourite cleanser of all time is Clarins one-step gentle exfoliating cleanser. It has tiny exfoliating beads in it, which I need as I have oily skin and it helps keep it under control. Now as for toning, I have a big confession to make – I don’t actually tone. Like so many other women, I have limited time in the morning and would rather lie-in for an extra 5 minutes then extend my time standing in front of the mirror and in the evening, quite frankly I just want to get to bed. So I normally skip this step and go straight on to the moisturising part – but if you guys have tried any good toners recently then let me know, you might be able to convert me. Finally for the moisturising, by day I use Good Skin oil-free lotion, £12 and by night I swear by Origins night-a-mins lotion, £26. My skin can’t take heavy creams so these lighter versions are perfect for me.
When necessary a spot treatment and the odd face mask is thrown in for good measure, but that’s a whole other blog. Until next time, stay beautiful.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Beauty Trends: Sneak Preview

by Laia
This autumn/winter it’s all about the eyes. Go for strong, smoky and versatile looks that can work for both day or evening, depending on the intensity you choose to create.
Here are three great trends we bring to you straight from the catwalk:

1. Abstract Black (as seen at Balenciaga, Lanvin and Gucci). This strong eye builds from the black winged-eye we saw in spring/summer 2008, and is thick and smoky with touches of colour and white inside the lower lid for reflective depth -think Amy Winehouse meets smoky eye.
2. Structured color (as seen at Christian Dior, Miu Miu (pic. otdff)and John Galliano). Block colours are used in a bold way, painting around the entire eye. Combining purples, greens, orange and turquoise shades it touches on a psychedelic look. Just ensure you tone it down for the office!
3. Metallic finish (as seen at Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Pringle). This look is modern, futuristic and a little sci-fi. It combines contrasting warm and cold tones to create texture and contrast. Gold is big this season and perfect for day or night.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Night Shift

by Laia
Our skin does most of its regenerating and detoxing while we sleep, so just before going to bed is perhaps the optimum time to apply creams and oils that contain active ingredients.

The choice of products on the market is vast, but if you want to go organic, you may enjoy Bio Etic's Night Cream – the hero product in its skin-care range. Rich in Omega 3 oils – derived from Inca Inchi oil from Peru – it also contains shea butter, sesame oil and is lightly fragranced with rose essential oil. It is soft, nourishing and kind to the skin and guaranteed to give you environmental peace of mind, which in itself may reduce wrinkles, as the company is squeaky clean when it comes to fair-trading and respecting the environment.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Neon Classics

by Laia
Neon colours have certainly made a comeback this summer. An 80s throwback guaranteed to brighten up the dullest of days. But they need to be used sparingly, so nail varnishes offer just the right amount exposure. And there's no need to rule them out if you love natural products and are into the 'greener' side of beauty.

Nubar, from LA, is a range of strong nail varnishes brand-new to the UK. They are available in vivid neon colours for summer and classic deep cherry shades for autumn/winter, and the great thing about them is that not only do they look great and go the distance but they are also free from toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene.

We love their hot pink, it really is hot.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Femme Fatale

As ever more fragrances hit the shelf and department arena it becomes ever more difficult for smaller brands to take some share of voice. So we are quite happy to spread the word for Romano Ricci's niche brand 'Juliette has a Gun'. Just having launched his third fragrance, Citizen Queen, what better way to spread the word than to hook up the camera and talk to his current and future fans about his brand and his latest composition. Listen (and watch) here to Romano explain to ModetteTV how his fragrances are linked to Shakespeare. Oh, and if you were wondering, Romano is Nina Ricci's grandson.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Orlane to find its way to the UK

One of the gems we have found on our travels is Orlane which you cannot miss in most of Paris' upscale department stores with its beautiful displays. Apparently, 'before our time' Orlane was selectively available in the UK, but these days we had to cross the Channel for our purchases. However it would appear that Orlane is no longer an excuse for a trip to the 1st arrondissement, as among some press releases about the latest new launches, we were told that Selfridges are to serve as the launch platform for Orlane's reintroduction to the UK in the next 12 months. Although Orlane is not for the credit-crunch faint-hearted, looks like Orlane is focussing on quality, rather than quantity and will only be available through a selective and limited number of exclusive retailers.

Not much more is known about launch timings or products, but it would not come as a surprise if they try and establish themselves as a "luxury and effective" skincare brand on the back of their latest Facial Kit launch. Self dubbed 'the Cinderella Effect', the kit is aimed at very active women with big wallets. The three step kit, which contains a serum, facial mask and finishing cream, is priced at a cool €135 for six applications. Ouch. Then again, Orlane promises 'enhanced complexion' in seven minutes. We are awaiting the jury's verdict.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Back to Black

To frequent readers it shouldn't come as a surprise when we say that we have a soft spot for Marc Jacob's Daisy. So we thought it was worthy to mention that the Alberto Morillas designed fragrance is marking its first anniversary by the launch of a luxury special edition. Rumour has it that the composition will remain largely unchanged albeit a little more concentrated, however the big eye-catcher is its smartly designed bottle in black, decorated with the trademark daisies which will now be in gold. Very sophisticated! Due to hit specialist outlets in August.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Power to the Cosmo reader!

Cosmopolitan announced their 2008 Beauty award winners Tuesday morning. Exciting part we found, alongside the two extra awards to "recognise long-term continued success and cutting edge-excellence", were the 'Reader's kiss of Approval' awards which were decided by public vote via the Cosmo website. At we can only applaud that as consumers are given ever more voice to share their opinions thanks to the internet, prestigious events like the Cosmo Beauty awards are embracing this development, rather than try and slow it down! Rather than simply listening to the experts, what can be better than take active part in the discussion with the experts through voicing your own opinion?

The judge panel itself was made up of a variety of beauty experts such as make-up artist Daniel Sandler, skincare guru Anastasia Achilleos, and Cosmopolitan Beauty director Ingeborg van Lotringen. Among others they awarded the Cosmo Classic Award to YSL Touche and the Beauty Breakthrough Award to L’Oréal Paris Derma Genesis Cellular-Youth Nurturing Skincare SPF15 Day Cream. Furthermore 1.8 million (!) Cosmo readers gave, via magazine and on-line votes, the 'Kiss of Approval' to the following 16 products:

Lips: Ultimate lipgloss – Lancôme Juicy Tubes
Eyes:: Ultimate mascara – Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara
Cleansing: Ultimate cleansing wipes – Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
Face: Ultimate foundation – Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation and Ultimate blusher – No7 Natural Blush Cheek Colour
Skincare: Ultimate moisturiser – Olay Total Effects Day Moisturiser
Anti-ageing: Ultimate anti-ageing product – No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum
Bodycare: Ultimate hair-removal product – Gillette Venus and Ultimate body lotion – The Body Shop Body Butters
Hair: Ultimate hair colourant - L’Oréal Paris Casting Crème Gloss and Ultimate shampoo & conditioner – Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner
Toolkit: Ultimate hairstyling gadget - GHD IV Styler
Suncare: Ultimate suntan lotion – Boots Soltan Moisturising Suncare Lotion With Advanced Triple Protection SPF 15
Scent: Ultimate scent – Chanel Chance Eau De Parfum
Men: Ultimate aftershave – Boss By Hugo Boss Eau De Toilette
Hands & feet: Ultimate nail polish – OPI Nail Lacquer posted the full list of Awards, so have a look on their blog.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

A new dimension to skin care

by Laia
It’s July, I’m in London and it’s raining. As I arrive to the Darphin press office (soaking wet!) I feel like I have entered an oasis of calm and tranquility. I am greeted, offered a glass of mineral water and shown downstairs to their office to find out all about their latest range…

If your skin feels dull, flat and two dimensional, you’re not alone. Pollution, humidity, poor nutrition and stress are all contributing factors to our skin feeling slightly dry and lifeless, which translates into a lack of luster and shine -otherwise known as a healthy glow! Which is why Darphin, has created 3D couture skin care: an individualised programme that includes three complementary daily formulas: a serum, an oil and a cream selected to address your skin’s needs.

It couldn’t be simpler, and once you try these products on your skin, they smell and feel so amazing that you will never want to be without them…

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Christina smells sexiest!

Of course fans of have known this for weeks, but the official results are now in and apparently British men preferred women to smell like Christina Aguilera on a date. Well, smell like her perfume. In a quick response, new Mum Christina said: "I always said British men had great taste - or in this case, sense of smell!" You charmer, you.

Interestingly enough, when women were asked in a blind test on celebrity fragrances what they would wear to attract a man on a date, J-Lo's Glow came out on top. Just to prove that men really do come Mars and women from Venus. The study, conducted for Lloyds Pharmacy, also found that the preferred fragrances in testing bears no relation to sales. The discrepancy in scent vs. sales points to the image of the celebrity in deciding the winner in the paparazzi perfume wars.

But then, step away from the paparazzi influence and try for yourself on!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Beauty with Hed Kandi

We like quirky link-ups, particularly when they make sense and are not too far 'out of the box'. So Hed Kandi's Body fragrance grabbed our attention immediately. Started out as a compilation brand in 1999, Hed Kandi is now a global clubbing phenomenon spanning a record label, radio shows, clubs, over sixty albums and much more. And now they have got into the habit to launch a body fragrance alongside their new Album releases. Clever really when you think about it, especially when after a three hour House session you still try to feel confident. We tried the 68. Serve Chilled fragrance, which comes in a stylish, small container and is easy to carry in a small purse. This one was a little bit too flowery for our liking (but then jasmine is the Marmite among flowers we are told), but with a whole range of album and fragrance launches there is something to suit every taste.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Try John Frieda Weather Works on

We have just added a large number of John Frieda Weather Works™ Weather-Proofing™ Style Sealant Creme samples to for you to try.

John Frieda openend his first salon over three decades ago in New Cavendish street and has since grown into a worldwide brand that has become the favourite of countless beauty experts, celebrities and consumers worldwide. After years spent working with chemists to develop the perfect prescriptive solutions, it was his Frizz-Ease® Hair Serum that would not only revolutionize hair care, but eventually land in Allure magazine's "Hall of Fame" and singled out by InStyle as "Product of the Decade".

Continuing his quest to drive innovation in haircare John Frieda is now introducing Weather Works™. Weather Works™ is a haircare regimen consisting of shampoo, conditioner and styling creme designed to a range of three products designed to shield your hairstyle against humidity, static, UV rays - even wind! But decide for yourself, go and snap up a Weather-Proofing™ Style Sealant Creme and determine for yourself if you like it!

Or if you already love it, go to the John Frieda website and apply for a membership at the John Frieda Elite club.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Festival Fabulous

Nothing better than combining a little bit of work with a lot of pleasure! Off to the Isle of Wight festival I went, armed with some Batiste Dry Shampoo. To me dry shampoo is something I must have heard off way back when I was still a child, probably around the same time when people predicted that all cars would be made out of plastic. (Are they now?) But to the point, dry shampoo never made the bathroom shelf in our home and had long since forgotten by me. So great to be sent some product to try out, promising it is a great alternative 'when the showers are minging and you're too busy singing' - hmmm, work on that slogan, guys. But in fairness, although it is definitely not an alternative to a proper wash and shampoo in my book, it did add volume to my hair, did not leave a greasy film, and I did feel that my hair was, well, dare I say it, refreshed. It probably takes some getting used to, and not sure I am daring enough to use it at work 'to mask a heavy night out', but given it worked on the Isle of Wight, I am probably brave enough to give it a go to revive beach hair, or just to freshen up mid day. Come to think of it, my work is pleasure!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

It's a Wrap

by Laia

This is the season to get your bikini body into shape. With a bit of luck, you will be planning a holiday or mini break that will include wearing a bikini. So we have taken the traditional tried and tested route and sampled the Guam Fanghi D'alga range. Yes, it's a bit messy, but it really does deliver - ask any Italian woman in-the-know (there must be a reason why more than a million women use it over there!).

Guam is an anti-cellulite range that detoxes using seaweed, vitamins A, B, C and D3, plus lots of minerals to feed and nourish your skin. Mixed with clay, it draws toxins out through the skin, giving you a tighter, smoother finish.

There is a salon treatment and an at-home version. We were brave and tried it at home (check for your local stockist on 0870 0589661). All you need to do is apply the mud around the desired areas and wrap yourself up with cling film. Then wait for 45 minutes before showering it off. The mix will feel hot, tingly and strangely satisfying. Just make sure you are alone when you do it as it's a messy business, and that you don't run out of cling film…

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lovely Lolita Lempicka

One of our favourite designers is bringing out a new fragrance shortly. Although the original was a little too fruity for our liking and despite our sources telling us that its new flanker 'Fleur Defendue' ie forbidden flower, is even more so, albeit paler, we love Lolita Lempicka's designs enough to give her new fragrance a mention. Not sure when it will be available in the UK, but we will let you know, and until then her website is definitely worth a visit.

Fascinated with dressing up (weren't we all?!) from a young age, she started making her own clothes from when she was 12. So you can see where she comes from when she describes her life as a fairy tale: after studying at the Studio Berçot and working for Cacharel, she created her own brand, Lolita Lempicka. Her first catwalk show was laced with a masculine-femine style, showing how she was influenced by Yves St. Laurent's couture, and earned her the name 'queen of the tailored suit.' Have a look at her designs, they are mysterious, assertive and beautiful. We will let you know when and where Fleur Defendue will be available.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Raising a Few Eyebrows

by Laia
Your eyebrow shape is crucial to your image and can even become your trademark – think Brook or Kylie. It can simply make or break a look. But which is the best shaping method?

Personally, I like threading. Not only do the therapists have total control over the shape they are creating, but also - because they follow the hair in rows - the results look natural and clean.

We spoke to threading guru Shavata, who runs her own eyebrow bar in Harrods’ Urban Retreat. Read on to find out who her favourite celeb eyebrows belong to and whether less is more… How important do you think eyebrows are to a person's image? Eyebrows that are unruly can give you a very ungroomed look. We take a lot into account when shaping someone’s eyebrows, such as lifestyle and age, as this will affect the chosen shape. How often would you recommend eyebrow shaping? Definitely every six weeks, but I would recommend to have them shaped every month. When did you learn the technique of threading? I picked up the threading technique over the years, as it’s a traditional method of hair removal in India. My friends and family were the first to teach me, and I naturally became involved. How does the threading technique differ from other methods such as waxing? We offer both methods at my Shavata Brow Studios, as it’s really a personal choice. I personally prefer threading, and the results are very similar to waxing. It is simply an alternative method. Which celeb’s eyebrow shape is your favourite?
Many celebrities have great eyebrows; Natalie Imbruglia looks great - very groomed! - as does Elle MacPherson. I always ask my clients to bring with them images of celebrities they like when choosing their eyebrow shape, so that we can get an idea of what shape they like and, as important, whether it suits them. We have seen eyebrows looking fuller recently. Is this trend here to stay? Yes, always. Fuller eyebrows have certainly been a prevalent theme for several seasons. On the catwalk this spring we saw defined and maximised eyebrows, with bold, dark pencilling or shading on or around the eyebrow for dramatic effect. Fuller eyebrows don’t have to be bushy and ungroomed, they are just an enhancement of what you already have.

Monday, 9 June 2008

All things bright and beautiful

It's not quite Beauty per say, however as we love beautiful things we thought it is worth mentioning that London Jewellery week is upon us! Even if you are like us a member of the club for cash strapped admirers, there is still plenty on offer. The whole idea behind the week is to showcase one of London oldest trades, promote latest designs and give new designers an opportunity to showcase their ideas. And some are absolutely brilliant. Have a look on the website to plan your itinerary, you can do a variety of things, such as look behind the scenes at some of London's oldest Jewellery workshops, to celebrity spotting at some of the catwalk shows. And while you're at it, if the promotional offers do not sway your decision, just see if you can attend some of the fabulous shows.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

E45 Summer Range

E45 is one of those brands that we quietly have been enjoying and admiring for years. As the "Ronseal for dry skin" (It does exactly what it says on the tube!") a small survey among our friends revealed that it had 100% coverage on their beauty shelves. Not bad for a relatively quiet brand, just goes to show what a little product effectiveness does. But low and behold, following the huge increase in TV marketing spend on fragrances (try and recall some fragrance ads from the early 90s - you'll be struggling), E45 is bowing to the trend. So, soon the #1 dry-skin brand 'as recommended by Healthcare Professionals' and discovered by friends, will feature on the small screen with its endless Moisture range. Just in time for summer, its Body milk and Care Replenishment Cream promise to keep dry skin moisturised in the sun for up to 24 hours. I guess that as long as E45 continues doing what it is meant to do without all the fuss, we will still admire E45 as the unpretentious genius that it is.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Bat an eyelid

Just came out of a hefty discussion about the importance of the use of eyes in Beauty visuals. Should they always be featured prominently, albeit open and looking straight at you or subtly closed from the side, Chanel Kidman style, or could you get the same sensual beauty feel without any? Jury is still out on this one (we don't expect them back at all), but we did agree that eyes are the most important part of the face in terms of expressing mood and feel. So no surprise that a whole host of articles about eyes have passed our desks recently, ranging from some great products (check Blinc mascara on, it is proving to be one of our most popular) to left-field articles about eye-brow transplants (it does have some merit).

So to add to the mix, not only were we interested to read that L'Oréal are starting to work across brands in their luxury division, we were more intrigued that the outcome is a set of three limited edition luxury fake eyelashes. "Chance to escape reality" is the result of designs by cult Dutch fashion designer duo Viktor & Rolf, who have their own fragrance under L'Oréal, Flowerbomb, and was inspired by pantomime inventor Marcel Marceau. The lashes however will be launched under L'Oréal's Japanese luxury brand Shu Uemura, so perhaps not such a big cross brand collaboration after all. Oh well, the lashes look gorgeous and will be available from next week (1/6) in Harvey Nichs and the Shu Uemura store. Usually not brave enough for fake eyelashes, but I have a feeling I may just find myself in the Neal street boutique on Monday.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Oh yes! It’s the No!No!

by Laia

Meet the latest kid on the block in the world of hair removal: oh yes,
it’s the No!No!

This handy and funky little device looks a bit like an iPod, and you use it jus
t as you would a razor but unlike a razor it removes hairs by burning them at the point of contact. By doing so, and interrupting the hair’s growth communication between bulge and root, over time it can reduce the hair growth by 35% if used consistently. To use the No!No! all you need to do is plug it in, and glide it over your legs or arms.

When I tried it, I was nervous at first (a green light keeps flashing, which made me jump a couple of times), wondering if it would hurt or feel a bit too warm for comfort. But to my surprise I felt nothing at all. No pain, but plenty of gain. It’s quick, clean and easy to use and the only give-away that it’s not a razor is the subtle smell of burnt hair. And if, like me, you don’t like wading
through lengthy instruction manuals it comes with a step-by-step DVD that tells you everything you need to know.

I say yes to the No!No!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Avon: Bond Girl 007

Okay, so this was one wasted washed out bank holiday And maybe we have been talking a little bit too much about telly and movies, instead of beauty. But really, this was one wet weekend! So in all honesty we just did confine ourselves to watching matinee movies all snuggled up in warm knitted jumpers on our sofa. And whilst we were watching Mr. Bond's tricks defeating Goldfinger, our chat turned to the new Bond fragrance due to launch, which was one of the few 'work' snippets that filtered into our abode from the wet outside world. Avon have announced that they are to launch a Bond fragrance to coincide with the première of Quantum of Solace and fronted by actress Gemma Arterton, who plays the customary 'Bond girl' in the upcoming movie. The fragrance follows an increasing number of collaboration and alliance incentives that Avon have engaged in over the last year. Looks like even the famous Avon Ladies are in need of celebrity support these days, we hope it remains a 'side-strategy' though.

According to the press release (we have not yet tested a sample), "the fragrance, created by Firmenich, evokes the glamour, confidence and sensuality of the famous femmes fatale of the Bond franchise. The scent is a sexy cocktail of velvety florals, cool freshness and warm woods. It features top notes of velvety white peach and orange blossom followed by mid-notes of jasmine, calypso orchid and freesia. The drydown consists of amber, cashmere wood and patchouli. Bond Girl 007 is housed in a sleek, seductive bottle reminiscent of a woman's body. The cap is a stealthy homage to a Bond spy gadget." Sounds promising, "we expect you to like.., Mr. Bond."

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Future is Orange

by Laia

What do orange, tangerine and peach have in common? You might be forgiven for thinking that they are the latest fruit salad favourites. They are, in fact, the hottest nail varnishes out right now. From M&S to Nails Inc. and RMK, they are widely available and look great if you are slightly tanned because they complement that sun-kissed, free-spirited look. If you like flat varnishes, go for a solid, classic shade, or experiment with shimmer for a less formal look.
Guaranteed to lift your mood and give your outfit that in-the-know edge. We loved Orange Coral from RMK. It’s a bright, sophisticated shade that stands out just enough…


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