Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Beauty Scoop: Trish McEvoy

Today, I speak to one of the most influential make-up artists and brand founders in the beauty industry today, Trish McEvoy.

Trish revolutionised make-up application in the 1970s with the advent of make-up brushes shaped to simplify and enhance application. With her husband, renowned dermatologist Dr. Ronald Sherman, she opened the doors of the Dr. Ronald Sherman/Trish McEvoy Skin Care Center in New York in 1978 and pioneered the partnership of beauty and science that is now an industry standard.

Trish is committed to the creation of the highest quality products while putting professional make-up application skills in every woman's hands through her unique teaching programme. The invention of her iconic Makeup Planner in the early 1990s established her place as the founder of make-up organisation and functionality.

Trish has a one-woman-at-a-time approach to teaching make-up applications that work and stripping away the inessential clutter from our make-up bags, beauty routines and lives. She has absolutely enhanced women's lives with her work and her guiding philosophy is that women should be able to maintain a standard of beauty to live their best lives each day and not be obligated to sacrifice their beauty because of the constraints of time, space and the natural changes that occur with age.

Let's meet her.

Can’t live without beauty item(s)?
I can't live without my serum, base essential shadow primer and eye brightener, eye liner, my curling mascara, even skin foundation, correct and brighten for my underdarkness, bronzer and instant pick me up gloss.

Describe a day in your life.
A day in my life is up at 5, coffee, walk the dogs, calls with team members from 6.45am to 8.30am, go to my skincare center and stores, lunch, work at the lab, go out with friends, go home and prepare for next day.

What are your thoughts on the beauty industry at the moment (trends, financial climate, organic, natural products, Dr brands etc)?
The beauty market is going through a time of change... in these difficult financial times women are looking for products they know will make a difference... results oriented skincare products, long wear colour and fragrance that lift one's spirits is what women want today. Education is key - women want to know how to use a product and why.

What are your brand’s philosophies, and how do you put them into practice on a daily basis?
Our philosophy is to make the best product with the finest ingredients and educate our clients to understand the power of make-up, skincare and fragrance.

Name some hero products in the range.
Our fragrances, base essential, foundations, luminizer, correct and brighten, mascara, liquid face colour, instant pick me up lips.

Greatest achievement to date?
A great marriage, good friends and a brilliant team.

Name some celebrities you have worked with or who use your range.
I have worked with Dame Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Angelina jolie, to name but a few.

What more do you want to achieve?
I want to continue to empower women.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


It's almost time to say farewell to 2009 - it's been a super year for beauty in terms of strength, vision and innovation - but it's now time to say hello to what 2010 might bring us in terms of trends.

Nica Lewis, director of Mintel Beauty Innovation says: "While 2009 brought its challenges for the industry, beauty brands and suppliers have continued to seek creative new ways to merge science, nature and sustainability for better results and more eco-friendly formulas and packaging. In 2010, we will see more consolidation in the beauty industry and the evolution of old trends, as well as new ones, as consumer confidence returns."

According to Mintel research, the trends below are just some of the things we'll be seeing in the coming 12 months:

Make-up has always been about making the wearer feel better (and look better, I suppose), but in 2010 you will be able to enhance your mood through make-up and skincare in a way you never thought possible. By creating products that offer psychological benefits and "act on people's neurotransmitters", manufacturers will use texture, temperature and sound to affect your mood, as well as make-up that literally switches on and off.

The process and benefit of sleep (previously written about in Vogue) will also be the focus of night creams - will this mean we will sleep better? Who knows.

Slightly moving away from the certification side and concentrating more on "results, efficiency and safety". Apparently we will move forward from organic and instead take a closer look at things like authenticity and local production.

"Mintel Beauty Innovation expects claims like "free from" and "sustainable" to appear in products that simultaneously contain synthetic actives like peptides, hyaluronic acid, ceramides or collagen."

I'll be very interested to see how this works - it's a really exciting development.

This is building on the 'protection' foundation that is already in place for hair, skincare and colour cosmetics. Moving forward from UV and environmental protectants, wording will be more extreme - think "firewall" and the like. Packaging-wise, we'll also see things like concrete used alongside traditional glass and plastic.

Furthermore, Mintel expects "immume-boosting and skin-defending claims" to be highlighted, as well as new ingredients from extreme environments like Artic, Desert and Alpine.

A stronger advancement towards higher-tech beauty products (I imagine due to such high consumer demand) - think "mix-it-yourself" solutions and at-home kits and cures as alternatives to surgical procedures (at a higher level than at-home microdermabrasion kits possibly?)

Clinical testing to "substantiate claims and results" as we've previously seen in the luxury market will move to the "mastige" section of the market (about time too), meaning that it's affordable for everybody, but positioned as a luxury item.

I don't know about you, but if all this comes to pass then 2010 is going to be a very exciting year in the beauty world.

The Beauty Spot: Olivia & Alex Chantecaille

I am honoured to introduce today's Beauty Spot interviewees, Olivia and Alex Chantecaille, two of the driving forces behind one of the most luxurious and hard-working beauty ranges on the market today, Chantecaille.

The high-end range of skincare and make-up (and spa treatments) from the US, housed in exquisite lilac packaging, is created with women very much in mind. Combining modern technology and traditional knowledge of the healing properties of plants and herbs this range treats, balances and protects - the products also look fabulous in your bathroom cabinet or in your cosmetic case.

We're now firmly into the winter season here in the UK (dipping temperatures and central heating), what tips can you bring us from New York about how to keep your skin healthy and glowing during these cold months?
The winter months can be very harsh on skin, I recommend staying hydrated by using a richer moisturiser, such as Biodynamic Lifting cream which contains hydrating desert plants and anti-aging Hexapeptide to fight wrinkles. Then, I would spray the face regularly throughout the day with Chantecaille Rosewater which weightlessly adds moisture and vitamin C, perfect under or over makeup. Finally, adding a hydrating mask once or twice a week can be a real skin saver. I love our Jasmine and Lily Healing mask.

Describe the Chantecaille make-up look this season. What products do we need to achieve it?
Our look for the season is very chic and sophisticated with warm plum/brown eyes and a soft berry lip. The new Sylvie Palette is the ideal eye palette for this look and our new Lip Chic in heirloom gives the polish of a lipstick with the shine of a gloss.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections?
We get design inspiration from nature, especially the ocean and colour ideas from fashion trends.

What exciting plans does the brand have on the horizon?
What's next for us is a strong expansion globally and we are relaunching our fragrance category with a completely new look and additional scents. - for more details on the Chantecaille spa services

Friday, 4 December 2009

DKNY For Men

The flatiron building in NYC is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world - as well as being one of my favourite buildings in Manhattan (the Woolworth building comes a close second).

It is, therefore, pretty obvious that I completely fell for the DKNY For Men fragrance which is encased in a glass chamber that clearly draws influence from the Daniel Burnham designed triangular tower.

Inside the stunning packaging lies a liquid that, once dabbed onto your lover's skin, has you instantly hooked. Think spicy notes of white pepper and cardomom, a dash of lavender and topped off with an addictive blend of sandalwood and vetyver.


DKNY For Men £47.93
Stockist: 0870 034 2566

Ojon Hair Essentials for Christmas

I'm a huge Ojon fan, simply because it is without doubt one of the best haircare ranges on the market. I am still not convinced about the smell, but I can overlook it for the results it provides me with.

This Christmas they've come up with a cute little Essentials kit, containing all you need to ensure your hair is looking its best. What I also like about kits like these is that they are affordable (£24.50) and the mini sizes allow you to be introduced to the brand without having to commit to full-size products. You'll soon to be moving to the regular size bottles though, trust me.

The kit includes:
Ultra Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner
Restorative Hair Treatment (a must have)
Rub-Out Dry Cleanser (a must have)
Revitalizing Mist

Ojon Essentials 5 Piece Ritual Kit, £24.50
Available from: Selected John Lewis stores, Liberty, Regent St, London and on QVC

Forever blowing bubbles

This is like going back to my childhood - yet it's far more glamorous and luxurious.

As part of London's Very Important Pedestrian shopping event tomorrow (Saturday 5th December) around Regent Street and Oxford Street French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (and creator of Maison Francis Kurkdjian) has partnered with Liberty of London to bring one of his scented bubble installations to the city. The picture above showcases a similar installation he created at the former royal palace of Versaille. Pretty spectacular, I think you'll agree.

If you're unfamiliar with Kurkdjian, I can tell you that he is one of the world’s most famous perfumers and has created scents for Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Aqua di Parma and Narciso Rogriguez.

The bubble installation, which will be fragranced with Kurkdijan's Aqua Universalis (think fresh and clean ingredients including bergamot, lemon, lily of the valley and musky wood), will run ever hour from 1pm until 8pm on Great Marlborough Street.

It's certainly something different.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

It's all about MEMEME... again

Don't be alarmed by the eye shot above - it's kind of scary, but study it closely and you'll be impressed with the mascara that's coating those lashes (for the record - that's my eye).

I opened a parcel from a PR company when I got home tonight and decided to try the product there and then. Trust me, Estee Lauder's MagnaScopic is my 'never part from' mascara of choice so to even contemplate an alternative it's got to be pretty good from the outset.

MEMEME Drama Queen mascara (waterproof and non-waterproof) comes with a tiny wand - this normally puts me off because I like a bushy wand - somehow I have convinced myself that this will make my lashes longer and more luscious (false). However, I persevered, carefully applied the inky formula and to my delight it made my lashes look long, full and really rather elegant. There's no clumping, no spider's legs, just silky-looking, come-to-bed eyes.

Can you really ask for anything else?

Available from Superdrug stores nationwide

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Beauty Spot: ELLE Magazine's Mademoiselle

The Beauty Scoop is very excited about today's interview victim, er, subject. Veering slightly off beauty but, I feel, ramping up the glam factor by a thousand notches, I have the pleasure of introducing British ELLE magazine's infamous blogger/columnist and fashion insider (who shall remain nameless), Mademoiselle.

Let's find out about her fashionable life... Jealous, moi?

The Beauty Spot: Mademoiselle - Confessions of an ELLE girl

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the alter ego of somebody who works at British ELLE!

How did you get to where you are now?
I would love to answer I slept my way to the top but given I’ve only ever worked for women in my career that would be a terrible lie. I live by the mantra be nice to people and honest with yourself and pretty much anything is achievable.

Describe a day in your life...
Wake up grumpy. Smile at one very scruffy out stretched dog lying beside me. Agonise over what to wear. Continue to agonise over what to wear. Arrive at work late. Spend 10 minutes Googling G-Wiz cars in an attempt to get to avoid public transport forever. Guzzle down two Starbucks. Poke around the fashion cupboard. Meet with Editor. Go for lunch with somebody really fabulous. Try not to drink the champagne at press appointments before 5pm. Type furiously on Blackberry all day long in the manner of a very busy fashion type person.

Must-have winter wardrobe item(s)?
My Preen parka is currently having it’s second winter outing and I don’t care whether it’s AW08; tis fabulously warm and cosy. I live in men’s cashmere jumpers from GAP and frost proof tights by Falke. I’ve ditched UGGS for Churches brogues this winter.

Who are your favourite designers (and why?)
I love Stella, Miu Miu and Lanvin, edgy yet feminine and totally wearable especially the commercial non-catwalk collections and especially wearable for moi when they hit the sale rack.

Who else do you admire in the industry?
Mrs B from Browns, Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada for their creative vision. Oh, also my Editor, naturally.

What's the most 'fashion' thing you've ever done?
There have been so many fashion moments. My favourite is dancing with Mick Jagger at a fashion party in Paris, or was it when I danced with Prince at Nobu, no it was when I called up Johnny Depp in his hotel room and asked him to come to a fashion show with me the following day, errr I was drunk, sorry Vanessa. Or the season when I asked for all carbs, snacks, sweets and alcohol to be removed from my hotel room in every fashion city because I was on a diet. Or the time I partied with Kevin Bacon and the backstreet boys in Donatella Versace’s apartment in Milan. I could dedicate an entire blog to my fashion moments, so let’s stop there.

What's your desert island beauty product?
Dior Backstage Mascara, with blonde eyelashes like these I even scare the tarantulas away.

Who or what could you not live without?
My dog, he’s always there for me and is a human trapped inside a dog’s body. He’s amazing! I also love my best friend Kim an enormous amount and am not sure if had to choose between them what I would do… please don’t make me choose.

What's your favourite Fashion Week city?
Paris, it’s romantic, there are more gaps between the shows and therefore the whole experience is way more relaxing* than Milan. *more shopping time for us Editors.

What more do you want to achieve?
I need to start staying in a bit more in order to write my book. Maybe I ought to be monitored by the police and have an ankle tag fitted. A writing curfew would help.

What tips do you have for any aspiring fashion journalists?
Be brave. Believe in yourself. Never give up.

Wise words indeed. Mademoiselle, you rock.
Follow Mademoiselle on Twitter

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

This time of year plays havoc with my normally well-behaved skin. Cold, whipping winds and blasting central heating do not seem to agree with me whatsoever.

I've tried loads of products over the years to combat this condition and found only a couple of things actually work. One new product I'm also really keen on is Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask.

Skin depends on water (moisture) to function properly and to help maintain the youthfulness of the skin. If that's not adhered to the skin starts to look terribly dehydrated and, without realising it, you're on your way to skin that should belong to someone much older than you. And who wants that? Not me, that's for sure.

To inject some much needed moisture into my skin I cover my face in the mask - avocado oil and apricot kernal oil slowly getting to work on my parched face - quenching my skin's thirst. The addition of japanese seaweed also repairs the damage to my skin's barrier to prevent future damage.

For best results use it twice a week (or as much as you need), masage it gently onto the skin and leave to do its magic. A true winter must-have.


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Trish McEvoy Christmas Presents Alert

I hope His Lordship is listening because these gorgeous gifts from make-up artist extraordinaire Trish McEvoy just shot straight into the no.1 spot on my Christmas gift list.

First up, the divine candles which are sensual, seductive and mouth-wateringly scented. They're the perfect waxy accoutrement to a romantic night in during the cold snap. My favourites are Orange Jasmine and Wild Blueberry Vanilla. (
Available at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.) Apparently Rihanna is also a huge fan.

Last, but by no means least, is The Perfect Collection (£68) which basically does what it says on the tin, so to speak. Think every item of make-up you'll need for the party season housed in a gorgeous python make-up planner. You can take it with you on an evening out (some of the items, like the foundation, are miniature so you won't be carting around a heavy load) or it's equally useful for travelling - I for one have many houses to visit this Christmas and I need to travel light. (Exclusive to Selfridges Stores Manchester and London.)


Balmain Ambre Gris

For those not in the know, Pierre Balmain was a French fashion designer (1914-1982) who dressed the likes of Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot and whose designs were known for their elegance and sophistication.

He also liked to create fragrance, with Vent Vert being one of the best-selling scents of the 1940s. Fast forward to modern day and here in front of me lies the Balmain house's latest creation, Ambre Gris. As in the past, the blend is made from luxury ingredients, including tuberose, myrrh, bergamot and white musk, creating a fragrance that screams (subtly, of course) chic. Intense, spicy and totally charming.

The bottle's pretty dressing table worthy too.

Balmain Ambre Gris launches in December and is available only at Selfridges until June 2010

40ml £47, 75ml £69, 100ml £87 and 200ml body lotion £36

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Edit By Lyn Harris

In between concocting delicious lotions and potions Miller Harris founder and 'nose' Lyn Harris has managed to design The Edit, a fabulous new collection of lifestyle items which extend the brand's exisiting offering beyond the traditional boundaries of fragrance.

The Edit introduces
Fragrant Olive Oils, Flower Waters from Grasse, Canvas Cloth Bags, Linen Tea Towels and Printed Notebooks. Elegant and luxurious - with the iconic botanical print intact - these are items that you'll want to buy other people for Christmas and end up keeping for yourself.

I'm personally coveting the olive oil - good food and fragrance are two things that seriously enhance my life, so combining a good oil with handpicked herbs like rosemary, pepper or citrus strains are right up my street.

The Edit Collection from £6

Monday, 23 November 2009

Kyoku For Men - aka His Lordship

It's that time of the year again - when I spend weeks trying to find presents that I haven't bought His Lordship (HL) previously for his Christmas (nice jumper, business books, Oxfam goat etc...)

I'll no doubt buy him all of the above again this year, but I'll also be brandishing this fab skincare gift box which I know he'll love.

Made specifically for men's skin by Asim Akhtar, Kyoku for Men products combine cutting-edge skincare technology with natural ingredients - think ginseng, green tea leaf, bamboo, chamomile and avocado oil. Kyoku also incorporates ancient Japanese knowledge of the active properties in natural extracts with up-to-the minute scientific research. Think of it as the thinking man's skincare range.

The gift box includes full sized bottles (none of those fiddly tester sizes) of the following products:

Razor Repair Balm
Oil Control Lotion
Exfoliatiing Facial Scrub
Daily Facial Cleanser
Lip Fuel

HL will be in his element.

Jo Malone Candle Centrepiece

I'm obsessed with candles at the best of times, but when the cold dark nights draw in candles really are my favourite things to gently light my living room and fill it with happy scent. Yum

Next on my waxy hit list is the Jo Malone Limited Edition Centrepiece. Six little candles nestle on an elegant silver holder and feature best-selling scents Lime Blossom, Orange Blossom and Wild Fig & Cassis. I fear it will be hard to resist temptation on this one.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Cire Trudon - Cierge Impérial – Pillar Candle

Talk about a covetable candle for Christmas. I'm a sucker for cameos, so imagine my delight when I came across this gorgeous pillar candle from Cire Trudon embossed with its very own gold wax cameo.

If you're not familiar with the Cire Trudon (CT) brand here's a bit of background. Established in 1643 by Claude Trudon, CT is the most famous wax producing factory in France. It was the provider to Louis XIV’s French royal court, as well as to the most glorious cathedrals and churches throughout France. Quite a history, I think you'll agree.

Each candle is 100% paraffin-free and devoid of any secondary minerals derived from petrochemicals. Using a secret mix of palm oil, rice, soy and coprah with wicks of pure unbleached cotton, CT candles are free of harmful substances and are 100% biodegradable.

The ‘Cierge Impérial’ candle (above) is made using a blend of bees wax and paraffin. It's a limited edition created to commemorate a private commission for Napoleon’s son's christening where CT created pillar candles with gold coins embedded into the wax.

If it's good enough for royalty...

PS Check out the bust candles - they are brilliant!

Available in a variety of sizes and scent choices
Size: 10cms x 25cms
Burning time: 130 hours

Beauty Scoop... On a Mulberry Mission

I've just bought a fab gold dress from Monsoon (of all places), but I spied it on someone in the store and then, when I was in the hairdressers, I spotted it in Vogue - I knew then that it had to be mine.

To go with said dress I am now after this fab clutch from Mulberry. It's gold, it's metallic crocodile print and it's fabulous. The strap can be adjusted too - have it as a clutch purse, a wristlet or a shoulder bag.

Now, where's my Amex?

Mulberry Ava With Chain

Monday, 16 November 2009

This Just In - A Shopping Epiphany

Sometimes I neglect my other inbox (my beauty scoop one) and when I do remember to check it there is always a whole host of exciting beauty news awaiting me.

This, however, is particularly juicy - especially for a person who was 'supposed' to have been born American.

US-unlocked is the answer to ‘shopping in America’. Instead of having to fly across the globe to get your fix of Sephora, Bloomingdales and the like, you can now get it delivered direct to your door in the UK (I will not be letting His Lordship in on this nugget of information because he'll prevent me from indulging my New York fix).

I kid you not - it applies to all US websites - just think of all the beauty products etc you'll have before anyone else. I cannot wait!

Get your order in now and you'll get your items before Christmas.


Sue Devitt Beauty

As I type these words I am flitting between the keyword, another website and some lovely cosmetic goodies. The site and goodies in question originated in the mind of Australian celebrity make-up artist Sue Devitt.

Sue's products are works of wonder. Her personal mantra is: "Beauty is an adventure …with endless destinations. The world is my muse." And the products really reflect this philosophy, particularly items like the Hydrating Marine Minerals Eye Palette which was inspired by the colour, texture and light at Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.

I love products like this because it gives you the opportunity to be creative and mix it up. Literally. Choose to either use each shade individually or swirl them together to give a smoky, intense look - perfect for the upcoming party season.

Watch this space for my interview with Sue.

New Spa Launch - O SPA

Exciting news - a new spa is about to open in London.

O SPA, who will be opening a flagship store and spa on Bond Street on the 23rd November, is a British brand that are focused on creating treatments and products that are luxurious, organic and ethically sourced.

The treatments and the products focus on well-being and are designed to soothe, revive and restore - in turn making you feel more fabulous and helping you claw back a bit of 'me time'. I'll be visiting the spa shortly so I'll let you know what I think of the products and the experience.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

NARS Turns 15

Fifteen years ago, François Nars shook up the cosmetics world when he launched a collection of 12 lipsticks at Barneys, New York with names as evocative as the shades: Honolulu Honey, Blonde Venus, Funny Face, Heatwave, Scarlet Empress, Trans Siberian, Morocco, Casablanca, Red Lizard, Shanghai Express, Jungle Red, and Transeurope Express. The first NARS collection launched "a tradition of indelibly branding each product with a personality and reference based on a person, place, event, film, or simply, an emotion."

Fifteen years on and it's time to celebrate! Founder and Creative Director François commemorate his 15 years in the beauty industry with the launch of ‘15X15’ – a celebrity portrait book which examines the use of make-up and icons. Oh, the glamour.

The limited edition book features 15 famous faces from the worlds of fashion and film including Marc Jacobs, Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amber Valetta, and Daphne Guinness.

The book, along with the individual portraits and a series of photographic interpretations taken by each celebrity, will be displayed via a worldwide online gallery launching on the 12th November 2009 for only 30 days.

All of the images and the 1500 limited edition books will be available to buy from the website Profits from the project will be distributed among the 15 charities chosen by the participating celebrities including amFAR, White Ribbon Alliance and Greenpeace.

I love it.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Beauty Scoop Becomes Bridezilla

Apologises Scoopers, BS is taking a day (or two) out to get hold of my newly-formed Bridezilla tendencies. Who'd have thought?! Must run in the family...

Anyway, once I've sorted out a ring and a venue (and my family!) I will return to my calm, normal self.

Until then, stay happy, healthy and beautiful. xxx

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Get Ready For Party Season - Boot Camp Style

Ladies, the party season is officially less than four weeks away and that means drastic action has to be taken (in my case, at least).

And I think I have found the answer...

Le Metier de Beaute, Wole training and NOSH detox are joining forces at Liberty from Monday 9th November to help you get ready for next month's festivities - i.e. make you look your flippin' best.

So whether it's a complimentary session with Le Metier de Beaute's make-up director, a quick fix for December, or you just want to try a new shade of foundation or lipstick and you're not sure what works, this is the place for you.

Beauty Boot Camp will provide you with insider tips and hints from the professionals on how to make the best of yourself both inside and out.

If you spend over £85 on Le Metier de Beaute products you'll get a little gift bag worth approx £50 (Christmas present for sister perhaps?).

For more info and to pre-book appointments, head to

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Top Dior Christmas Products

Prepare to want to part with some money...

I've just seen these beautiful Christmas products from Christian Dior, and I'm worried for His Lordship. Not only does he have to buy me an engagement ring, he might also have to come with me to the nearest Dior counter and hand over his Amex. Naughty me.

First up in my top picks of the new line is the elegant centrepiece, the Cristal Boréal locket (£55.00) from which the rest of the collection is formed. An oval pendant, reminiscent of the backs of the armchairs in Christian Dior’s studio at 30 Avenue Montaigne, the locket is covered with crystals and inlaid with Swarovski stones (including 4 Aurora Borealis crystals - hence the name, I imagine). Inside lies a sumptuous lip gloss... imagine pulling this out at your Christmas party?! Available in Purple Crystal or Pink Crystal hues.

Second up is the Cristal Boréal Eyeshadow (£19.50). In keeping with the star product, the collector's edition eye shadows are embossed with a raised crystal motif. Available in Silver Gem or Purple Gem.

Gulp. They're too nice to resist. And they're limited edition so you've got to buy them, right?

Available nationwide now.

'How To' Time - Big Party Hair

OK, I've succumed and am now thinking about the festive season... a lot. Aside from picking out a couple of nice outfits for the various parties I'll be going to, I also need to get a party hair look that will sit well, will look natural and will make me feel brilliant.

Check out this video from Schwarzkopf featuring the lovely Lisa Snowdon. In it, the stylist Peter shows you how to get brilliant volume and shine, just in time for the party season. it's full of lots of handy tips and hints so I'm going to be following it step-by-step.

'How To' Time - Victoria Beckham's New Hair

I promise this is the last post about VB for the next little while, but we can't move forward without first discussing the new hair style that she debuted at an LA Lakers game this week. Gone was the razor sharp pixie cut and in its place a more forgiving, fabulously feminine waved bob.

Fancy getting the look? I've recruited Mahogany Hairdressing's* international creative director, Richard Thompson, to give us some comprehensive tips.

"To achieve Victoria’s rich and multi-tonal colour, ask your colourist to apply T-section tan coloured slices through the top, fringe and temple area, putting a glossy dark chocolate colour in-between.

To create her style, I suggest a mid-length, long layered cut with a long and slightly asymmetric fringe. To add volume use S4U T’xT before drying, then use straightening irons to straighten some sections and curl others so that the hair is beautifully textured. Finally dress the hair with S4U D’finR to add shine and finish off the look."

Trust me, I am sorely tempted to try it!

*Mahogany Hairdressing
17 St. George Street
T: 020 7629 3121
S4U products are sold online and in-store

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Beauty Spot: Jackie Tyson

Today in The Beauty Spot I speak to Jackie Tyson, celebrity make-up artist. Jackie has been in the industry for over twenty years, working with celebrities like Katy Perry, Lily Allen, Yasmin Le Bon, Daniel Craig, Brandon Flowers (swoon) and she's also the Chief Make-Up Artist on The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent. As we speak she's currently working with Bon Jovi... it's a tough job.

Let's find out a little bit more about her.

How did you get into the industry?
I always wanted to be a make-up artist, but growing up in Yorkshire I did not know anyone in the business. I moved to London after my A-levels and studied beauty therapy and hair. Whenever I met a photographer or anyone in the film industry I asked if I could work with them to get experience and I taught myself! I still work with some of the same photographers more than 20 years later.

What are your hero beauty products?
Hero products are Sisley moisturiser, concealers by Laura Mercier, mascara, Avon spectralash, gel liners by Bobbi Brown. Eight hour cream by
Elizabeth Arden.

How did you get involved in The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent?
When the first series of The X Factor started Simon Cowell was not happy with how the make-up looked so his creative director got in touch with me. At that time I worked with bands and did lots of TV work as a personal make-up artist. I took over the make-up and have been there ever since as the chief designer for all the contestants.

What advice would you give aspiring make-up artists?
I would like to advise aspiring make-up artists to do a make-up course. It would have saved me a lot of time if I had done a specific course.

What are your thoughts on organic/mineral make-up products?
Organic and mineral make-up is great for people with ultra-sensitive skin.

What are your favourite looks for the winter season?
I am loving the big make-up look. Large, dark, eyes, cheek contour, and bright lips.

Where's your favourite beauty hall/shop?
I am happy in any beauty hall but I love going to pharmacies and make-up shops abroad looking for new and unusual products.

What's next for you?
Next for me will be a Xmas break to catch up with my wonderful family and then I will be concentrating on my new make-up school and website so I can impart the many years of knowledge that I have gathered.

BareMinerals Hits London

US hit cosmetics brand bareMinerals, home of the infamous taglines, "Swirl, tap and buff" and "Make-up so pure you can sleep in it", has a new counter design at their concession home in Selfridges.

Get ready for more fabulous formulations, creamy colours for the face and eyes and to-die-for make-up results.

I've just had word that the first 1000 customers to turn up for a bareMinerals Make-under at their counter in Selfridges, Oxford Street on Monday 9th November will receive a Limited Edition Buxom Babe Big & Healthy Lip Polish.

Block out your diary!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Laura Mercier Soufflé Sampler

I promised myself that I wouldn't write about Christmas beauty sets yet - simply because I find it very irritating as a reader to hear about products that are absolutely fabulous but aren't available for months - it's just too tempting.

However, like my Clinique party make-up post, I am now happy to make the odd nod to products that you can now buy in-store.

Laura Mercier is one of my favourite cosmetics brands. Not only are the products out of this world in terms of workability, innovation, luxury and colour spectrum, the lady herself is something of a doyenne of the beauty industry. I've mentioned this before, but I had the pleasure of meeting her last year and she blew me away with her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm (not to mention her immaculate dress sense and amazing jewellery.)

This Christmas, instead of forking out for one large tub of her body creme, why not treat yourself to this cute limited edition sampler selection featuring Almond Coconut Milk, Crème Brûleé and Crème de Pistache flavours. Trust me, these little plastic pots are perfect for travelling and the whipped formula is almost good enough to eat.

There's also moisturing benefits, of course. The addition of shea butter and macadamia oil help condition the skin, while vitamins A, E & F leave your skin with a lovely sheen with not a hint of greasiness. Just the tonic for parched winter skin.

Laura Mercier Soufflé Sampler £40
Stockists: John Lewis or SpaceNK

Clinique Black Tie Violets

This winter indulge your glamorous side and give these gorgeous new shades from Clinique a whirl.

I love this model image - it's a really refreshing evening look and a departure (for me, at least) from the usual browns, creams and various muted tones. I have similar colourings to the model (sadly, not the fabulous bone structure and the Hollywood smile) so I am confident I'll be able to pull off the Black Tie Violet look with lovely gold earrings, a fabulous LBD and, I'm thinking, a dash of black velvet. Sumptuous fabrics to go with luxurious, sultry yet feminine shades.

Think juicy tones of pomegranate, violet, plum and lilac to brighten up your party season - roll on December!

Products available in this line include blusher, eyeshadow, cream liner, lipgloss, lipstick and mascara.

Available now from

Friday, 30 October 2009

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand And Cuticle Cream

Apologises for my grim photo-taking abilities but I want to review this product for you before I leave to meet my bridesmaids for drinks!

I'm a complete sucker for hand creams - particularly at this time of year. I've tried them all - particular favourites include Jo Malone's Vitamin E, philosophy's lemon custard and Jurlique's rose - and now I've got another one to add to my collection.

Clinique's Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream is a treat to use and I have now installed one at my desk to help me through my day. It's not my favourite scented cream, but it's smooth and fluffy and sinks in quickly. Aside from Vitamin E and C, other ingredients include Barley Extract, Wheat Extract and Murumuru Butter which comes from Brazil and is said to help rebuild the skin's protective barrier. My hands feel and look moisturised and I don't suffer from that horrible tight feeling you can get from a combination of cold weather and central heating.

Quite delightful.

If I could I would shake your hand I would, just to prove my point.

Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact

Everything good in this life must come to an end and like every other fabulous beauty product out there my new favourite lipstick compact also falls into the 'limited edition' category. Aw, the pain!

Introducing Rouge G de Guerlain Jewel Lipstick Compact (£26.50) - isn't it scrumptious?

With packaging designed by acclaimed jeweller Lorenz Baumer, this little beauty of a product glides onto your lips with ease and leaves them sparkling (subtly) with gold flecks under which lies nude, rosewood tones - very understated but with a nod to the classier role models on the showbiz circuit, a la Charlize Theron and Diane Kruger.

Victoria Beckham On Harper's Bazaar

Here's my favourite Spice Girl-come-designer Victoria Beckham on the cover of December's Harper's Bazaar. As always, she looks immaculate and groomed to within an inch of her life. As regular readers of this blog know, I am a big VB fan - she's a legend in my eyes and has achieved her goal in life - "to be as big as Daz". Nice work, VB.

What did make me raise my eyebrow a touch was reading that she says she doesn't want to "rely on airbrushing" when posing for photo shoots and has instead taken to working out seven days a week. That is all well and good and makes me think I need to get my soon-to-walk-down-the-aisle bottom into the gym, but come on - EVERYONE is airbrushed and always will be. Publications simply wouldn't sell if they featured untouched stars on their covers (think glossy magazines like HB, Vogue, Tatler, Cosmo etc...) people buy magazines (OK, I do) for inspiration and aspiration and that is now simply a way of life in our perfection-rules society.

Sad but oh-so true.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Collaboration Gone Good

I don't really go in for the whole 'TV presenter collaborates with high street chain' kind of beauty, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The darling of Saturday night TV, former model and wife to Vernon Kay, Tess Daly has teamed up with Marks & Spencer to produce a small line of cosmetics and bodycare items. She is quite a woman to admire - she has a busy schedule, two kids and a, by all accounts, full-time job (albeit quite a glamorous one) and she looks pretty damn perfect so I'll quite happily take tips from her beauty bag.

Although this collaboration is fairly old news in the beauty world I wanted to highlight the fact that less high-profile celebrity beauty collaborations can work if pitched correctly. OK, it's not in the league of Scarlett Johansson and D&G or Dame Edna and MAC (pah!) but it is one to be applauded and one to try. The products work, the packaging entices me and Tess is a good role model, so why not.

The product I'm loving at the moment is the Tess Daly Beauty Dewy-Glow Highlighter. Not only is the packaging pretty slick - one that you could definitely pull out of your cosmetics purse with pride - it's also a really nice product to use and gives you a lovely sheen without looking thick and overdone.

If only more brands would think before they team up with any showbiz Tom, Dick or Harry riding high on their fifteen minutes of fame and produce a product that is low quality, cheap and, quite frankly, unpalatable. Consumers aren't daft, you know - we may like value for money but we also want hard-working products that look nice and glossy too.
Rant over.

M&S Tess Daly Beauty Dewy-Glow Highlighter £9.50

Monday, 26 October 2009

LED Lashes - Whatever Next?

My friend, the Grumpy Innovator, alerted me to this amazing technological advancement in the eyelash department. Not content with regular stick-on falsies? Why not attach little lights to your peepers and glow in the dark?

The fascinating and slightly strange product was designed by Soomi Park who claims the extensions "satisfy Asian women's desire for bigger eyes". Seems a tad drastic but you've got to love a bit of innovation.

Not convinced? Check out the amazing video below. I kinda want a pair.

Beauty Scoop Gets Engaged

Yes, it is true! The Beauty Scoop is engaged and soon to be married to His Lordship - I am over la moon and already planning my hair and make-up, venue, guest list, invitations, food & drink and, most importantly, the dress. Current thinking is Jenny Packham or Amanda Wakeley (will have to start saving my pennies - or speaking very nicely to my parents!).

Weirdly, said engagement took place overlooking the Taj Mahal which was the last picture I posted before I went on my travels - I think it must be fate. As for the engagement ring I intend to have Katie Holmes' rock copied, but instead of the diamond I would like an aquamarine with little diamonds around it and down the band. Delicious.

Now, back to beauty blogging! x

Friday, 9 October 2009

Beauty Scoop Goes To India

Hello Scoopers,

Apologises for my lack of postings this week - it's been manic.

I'm heading off to India tomorrow for two weeks so the last seven days have consisted of me trying to sort out my visa, buying beauty essentials at Boots, helping His Lordship pack and general mayhem involving work and trying to catch up with friends - phew.

Anyway, I'll be back on Sat 24th October so I'll look forward to posting daily from then on.

Until then, stay beautiful.

The Beauty Scoop x
PS I'll try to Tweet daily from India but don't be mad if it just ain't possible.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Alberta Ferretti - The Fragrance

Today, the 1st of October, saw the launch of fashion designer Alberta Ferretti's signature scent (is anyone else seeing a designer/perfumer trend going on at the moment? Everywhere I turn...).

The scent is said to reflect and represent the woman who embodies the spirit of the brand - feminine, elegant and sensual.

The fragrance is made up of floral notes - freesia, sweet pea, ylang ylang and amber - think sophisticated and modern.

Claudia Schiffer is the face of the scent and said at the time: "It's an honour to be chosen as the face of the Alberta Ferretti fragrance. Alberta and I have worked together for many years and it’s wonderful to be able to collaborate on this exciting project together. Alberta’s designs always embody femininity and elegance which are reflected in this fragrance."

Alberta returned the compliment by saying: "Claudia is a beauty icon and a woman whose sensuality comes from her unique and inimitable personality. Possessing awareness and strength, she expresses the qualities that every woman desires. Claudia represents the woman for whom my fashion and fragrance is designed."

Prices start at £35 and is available from Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Hello Cheryl

OK, I know the pics came out earlier this week but I just wanted to document the moment in history when Cheryl Cole became a "Because I'm Worth It" L'Oreal cover girl.

My, hasn't she come a long way...

L'Oreal's Elvive Full Restore 5 hair range is out now - perfect for those who crave luscious locks... er, don't we all?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Dior Comes To Selfridges... In Spectacular Style

Tomorrow, Thursday 1st October, sees the launch of Dior's most ambitious store concession to date. Yes, when the doors to Selfridges beauty hall open tomorrow morning there'll be a new prestige brand counter to peruse and gawp at.

The state-of-the-art counter will house the UK's widest selection of make-up shades and exclusive products. The Colour Creator Atelier will allow you to shop by tonality as all products for the lips, eyes and nails will be displayed around five harmonies (red, pink, nude, coral and brown), allowing you to find your ideal colour palette. More than 250 shades will be available (wow). You can then move on to the Complexion Bar where you'll find a huge spectrum of foundation shades.

Once you've dealt with your make-up needs, head to the Skincare Bar where you can peruse or be guided by one of their experts to discover what products will work for your skin issues - be it anti-ageing, targeted solutions or just something to make you feel fabulous.

To end, head to the Fragrance Consultation Area where you can find about and try all of the brand's world-famous fragrances.

The only problem is - where am I going to find the time and the money to do all of this?

PS The compact above is just one of the new exciting products that will be seen on-counter. Tyen’s Love Dior palette, created to celebrate the creative director of make-up's 30th anniversary with the brand, is a limited-edition eye palette (and accompanying nail varnish) inspired by one of Tyen’s most iconic photographs which will be showcased at his anniversary celebrations at the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in Paris. Each Love Dior palette is numbered and will be available at the new Dior counter from 22nd October 2009, exclusive to Selfridges until December 2009.)
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