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.


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