Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Beauty Spot: Sadie Hewlett

It's always a pleasure and a complete eye-opener to talk to make-up artists... They always have great visual ideas for catwalk looks and for styles and trends that can be easily recreated by women on the street.

Here I speak to one of my favourite artists, Sadie Hewlett, who gives us an insight into life as a working make-up artist, her key S/S 09 trends and colours and who she admires in the industry.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sadie Hewlett and i am a freelance make-up artist.

How did you become a make-up artist?
I used to work for Prescriptives as a cosmetic consultant but I always wanted to be a make-up artist. I trained at Greasepaint 7 years ago. I chose Greasepaint as they have such a good reputation and as an agency and they still get me the occasional job. My first job was assisting one of my tutors whilst I was still at training at Greasepaint and it went from there.

Name some of the celebrities you've worked with...
Lily Cole, Duncan James, Peaches Geldof and Myleene Klass

Describe a day in your life as a make-up artist?
One of the reasons why I love my job is that every day is different. Normally I arrive at the shoot and have a chat with the stylist and have a look at the clothes to get a idea of the look for the shoot. If I'm working with a celeb I always like to have a chat with them so I can get a idea of how they like their make-up done before we start. When you'ra a make-up artist you tend to be very busy at the beginning of the shoot then you might just do touch u'ps throughout the rest of day.

What are your tips to achieve a flawless make-up look that doesn't look too 'done', just in time for the Spring?
I've never been a fan of heavy make-up (unless it's for a specfic look) I always start with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm before foundation as it gives such a flawless skin. As for foundation, Ilove Lancome Photogenic Lumessence, as it gives the skin a lovely glow and has great staying power! I'm also loving cream blushers at the mo. As for powder, MAC's blot powder is great as it isn't too heavy and does just blot away the shine.

What are the worst things you can for your skin?
I know you will have heard this before but sleeping in your make up! It really blocks up your skin, please take it off. Smoking is also really is terrible and I can tell who smokes just by looking at them!

What do you think are the best colours for Spring/Summer 2009?
I'm loving all the soft peaches that are around at the mo. They generally suit any skin and really lift your complection.

Which celebrity do you think has a great look and why?
Nicole Richie has a real effortless style and always looks amazing. I love Kylie and she looks great either fresh-faced or with full make-up, and I have to say Madonna - she is my ultimate style icon.

Who else do you admire in the beauty industry?
Kevyn Aucoin was an amazing make-up artist. His books are really worth looking at, such a talent.

What is your advice for aspiring make-up artists?
Keep on at it, it does take time! It's very tough but it's always very rewarding. I love my job

What's next for you?
More of the same! I have lots in the pipeline for this year.
Find out more about Sadie and her work by calling Minx Agency on 0207 733 8333

Monday, 30 March 2009

Cindy Crawford: Allure Cover Girl

I don't know how I managed to forget to tell you about this...

Cindy Crawford on the cover of the April edition of Allure magazine. Baddabing, she looks absolutely amazing. She's 43, I'm 27... I'm seriously worried...


Elemis Gift With Purchase

Woo hoo - don't you just love a Gift With Purchase?!

From now until the 29th of March, get a free Elemis Pro-Collagen Radiantly Smooth Body Cream (50ml) when you buy Elemis Pro-Collagen Hand and Nail Cream (£29).

Simply enter the code BODYCREAM.

Buy it

Go on, you know you deserve it.

Gucci Westman's A/W 2009 Luella Make-Up Look

Luella A/W 09
Make-up: Gucci Westman, Revlon's Global Artistic Director
The Look: Girly Punk... Make Your Own Look

For A/W 2009, Luella felt the time was right to break the mould and get rid of the usual homogenous catwalk look and instead focus on each girl's personality, creating a different character for each person (which was v time-consuming, I imagine) As Gucci says: "Everyone is different... it's super realism. Gucci echoed Luella's sense of fun, "it's optimistic, fun and playful - there are no rules."

I couldn't agree more.

However, there were definite make-up trends that ran through the show, intertwined with an underlying sense of London and rock & roll punkiness.

A fresh and glowing complexion with Revlon's Colorstay concealer and Beyond Natural Foundation applied where needed, allowing natural skin tone to shine through.

Layers upon layers of black eyeliner and lashings of Revlon's 3D Extreme Mascara.

A myriad of vivid lipstick from bright pink pouts to deep and dense shades of violet.

Can't wait until Autumn to try all these fab new looks!


Happy 100th B'Day Selfridges

Ah, the haven that is Selfridges. You can't deny the empowering feeling that you get from pushing back those big heavy glass doors and rushing to the Beauty Hall. It's Mecca, for beauty lovers.

To celebrate the store's 100 B'Day, it's collaborating with some of the biggest names in the world of beauty to create limited edition beauty products in Selfridges’ iconic 109 pantone.

Like this world exclusive La Prairie Art of Bath Set Selfridges Centenary Special Edition (£280). Inside a delicious handcrafted white-lacquered wood box are all the makings of a totally pampering evening when you tell your husband/boyfriend to clear off and you turn off your mobile phone. Think aromatherapy, relaxation and utter indulgence.

In addition to cleansing, energising Cellular Bath Foam and smoothing, moisturising Cellular Bath and Body Oil, a selection of four natural oil blends and four fragrance oil blends are designed to add a relaxing or energising dimension to your bath water. Added by droplets to the Bath Foam or Bath and Body Oil in a special ceramic dish with its silvery mixing spoon, these oils enhance your 'me time' experience. And four fragrant votive candles with the same notes as the fragrance oils will help heighten your bathtime bliss.

Available exclusively from Selfridges beauty halls from May 2009. Selfridges' celebrations will start on 1st May and continue throughout the summer.

PS Check out the Beauty 100
Throughout the month of May Selfridges celebrate the best in beauty during its centenary month with the Beauty 100. The event will run every Thursday evening from 6pm – 9pm in association with Kiss FM and each week will include an exclusive personal appearance. Selfridges Oxford Street beauty hall will be the destination for beauty every Thursday evening for a night of fun-filled beauty extravaganza.

Beauty 100 highlights include:
Beauty and fragrance brands offer exclusive treatments and product
Johnny Woo Vogueing Workshops
Male Trolley Dollies
Storm agency scouts for a new model


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Creme De La Mer - Aaaaaahhhhh!

There are some words in the beauty dictionary that make me come over all mushy. 'Facial', 'full body massage', 'nail polish', 'eye cream'... are just some examples of things that make me coo with delight. The words 'Creme De La Mer' have similar effects. Not only does it work blinkin' well, the packaging looks oh-so-fabulous on my bathroom shelf (as does the Lip Balm when I whip it out of my handbag) and I can pretend to myself and friends that I earn enough money to afford such luxuries, ehem, I mean necessities!

So, when I heard that they were launching The Body Refiner, "a NEW multi-faceted treatment which includes precious ingredients, including 1.75 carats of pure diamond dust", I almost swallowed my own tongue in excitement!

Using the product once or twice a week in combination with Creme de la Mer The Body Creme, it promises to leave my skin (and yours) looking smoother and brighter, revealing a radiant, fresh new me.

Plush, creamy, and calming, The Body Refiner incorporates "fermented acidic sea muds harvested from a natural marine source to detoxify and purify skin for a bright healthy appearance. Their low pH level makes these muds extremely gentle and especially suitable for sensitive skin. This essential purification process clarifies the skin and helps to restore its smoothness. Pure diamond powder and polished sea quartz act as physical exfoliants, as this precious treatment instantly lifts away dull cells, gently retexturizing skin to reveal a smooth and supple new surface. The Body Refiner’s cream base serves to cushion the skin and protect its moisture barrier. "

To Use
For best results massage into your skin using circular motions until the large particles completely dissolve. Rinse well. Use once or twice a week followed by The Body Creme (why, of course!)

Hello, people, why are you still reading this? Get down to your local Creme de la Mer counter pronto. See you at the front of the queue.

Creme de la Mer The Body Refiner 200ml £73.40 (well worth the pennies!)

Say Yes, And Feel Good (in a whole manner of ways)


Cue the serious nature of this blog post.

Every day over 3,000 young people are newly infected with HIV.The Body Shop are launching a new Tantalising Lip Butter (£5.00) and money raised from sales* goes directly to the Staying Alive Foundation - a charity on a mission to save lives through empowering young people around the world to protect themselves and their communities against HIV and AIDS. As nearly half of all new HIV/ AIDS cases are among 15 – 24 year olds, there’s never been a better time to get behind a safe sex campaign - as HIV and AIDS doesn’t discriminate against anyone, regardless of age, sex, background or race.

Come on people, it's for such a good cause! It's reasonably priced, it tastes delish on your lips and it's helping people less fortunate that us - what more can you possibly ask for?

*£3.98 from the sale of each Tantalising Lip Butter will go to the Staying Alive Foundation.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Beauty Spot: Liz Earle

People often ask me what my favourite skincare brand is, or what brand I would recommend for this problem or that problem. Without fail, I always recommend Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare.

Why? Because their products really do work. They look fantastic, they smell delicious and they feel great on the skin. It also helps that they have a female duo at the helm that have a wealth of experience in the beauty industry and are extremely passionate about the service that they strive to deliver to over 80 countries around the globe. They don't just care about the bottom line, they care about their customers, their ingredients and their staff - and it shows.

If, like me, you'd like to one day run your own business and become a very successful entrepreneur, Liz Earle is one person you could definitely learn a thing or two from.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Liz on several occasions and when I tell people this they are fascinated to know more about her - 'what's she like?', 'Is her skin really that gorgeous?' (yes!) etc...

I thought it was best to let her do the talking. Read on to find out more about Liz Earle and her award-winning brand.

Who are you and what do you do?
I am the co-founder of Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare which I set up with my friend and business partner Kim Buckland in 1995. The range is based on the power of plants and natural ingredients and is a gentle, affordable, effective skincare range which delivers great results on all skin types. All of our products harness the finest quality naturally active ingredients to make a genuine difference to your skin. I’ve always had a life-long fascination for botanicals and natural remedies which led me to my early career as a magazine health and beauty editor. I later went on to write over 30 books on the benefits of plants and botanicals for your skin and for your health and was inspired by Kim to set up a skincare range based on my research. My latest book, Skin Secrets, now brings together much of my research and beauty knowledge gathered over more than 25 years in the business.

How did you start in the beauty industry and how did do you get to where you are today?
Both Kim my business partner, and I started our beauty careers 25 years ago, which gives us a total of 50 or so years in the industry! We met when we were both working for Molton Brown, which at that time was a tiny, high-fashion hair salon in a trendy part of London. I loved the research I was involved with for new products and so quickly moved on into writing and broadcasting for my health and beauty book and television shows... Kim and I set up Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare as we saw that there was a gap in the market for a range of simple, pampering but affordable skin treats which really do what they say they will. Kim believed that my expertise in the beauty world, from my botanical research, my many health and beauty books, to product knowledge built up from years of presenting beauty features on TV would be the perfect starting point. We launched in 1995 on QVC with 4 products which sold out in the first half an hour– the rest as they say is history.

Can’t live without beauty item(s)?
My two all-time beautifiers are Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and Superskin Moisturiser. Our customers tell us they see a real improvement to the look and feel of their skin after using these two super products, whatever their age or skintype. My all-time handbag must-have is Superbalm, the ultimate pure-plant emergency skin salve I never leave home without. I use a dab of Superbalm to keep lips soft and glossy, cuticles well-conditioned and even rub it through the ends of my hair to prevent flyaway static frizz. We christened it Superbalm because it comes to your skin’s emergency rescue - just like Superman.

Describe a day in your life
Every day is different –and in the course of a week I can find that I have presented on QVC, attended a loyal customer event, held meetings about new products in development, had several interviews and spent time researching the latest botanicals. I schedule most overseas field trips for botanical research during term-time and take a break when the children are back from school, as having a balance between work and family is very important to me. No two days are the same for me which is just one of the reasons why I love my job so much.

What are your thoughts on the beauty industry at the moment (trends, financial climate, organic, natural products, Dr brands etc)?
With the current financial climate people are bound to cut back on some of life’s luxuries but I believe caring for your skin is a necessity not a nice-to-have. So this year, where we might be thriftier with our wardrobe for example, the last thing women will give up is skincare. One of the founding principles of Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare was to create affordable premium quality skincare so everyone could afford to have great skin, every day. For me, the beauty trend for this year is very much about treating yourself in small and special ways. By spending more time on your beauty regime you can feel pampered and look great without having to break the bank. Making a little ‘me’ time at the end of each day to massage in your favourite facial oil doesn’t cost the earth and can make all the difference to both your skin and your psyche.

You write a blog on your brand’s website. Why did you decide to do this?
As a writer and researcher I’ve always communicated via the written word and I think that education is really key when it comes to caring for your skin. Customers are increasingly aware of what products they are using and have more questions about them than ever before. Writing a blog has been a great way for me to share my expertise and research with our customers, from the preservatives debate to divulging the details of my latest ingredients sourcing trips. I think that blogs are a great way to connect with our customers and to share information. They have a chance to engage with us and post their own questions and opinions. Different members of our team here also write blogs, our Environmental Officer, our Botanical Research Manager and Ethnobotanist (to name but a few) all contribute regularly to keep everyone up to date with the latest news so our customers can better understand us as a company.

What are your brand’s philosophies and how do you put them into practice on a daily basis?
At Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare we are passionate about all that we do and always keep in mind our ‘precious recipe’ a combination of carefully ‘ingredients’ that make us who we are These founding principals were to provide our customers with products that really work on every skintype by harnessing the potent powers of the finest quality ingredients, delivering our customers with a simple no fuss and dependable routine which is also a pampering daily treat, and offering an affordable choice with everything beautifully packaged. We are also committed to first class service, and it is our friendly caring team who make it all possible. Because of this commitment to quality and service, we have been rewarded with loyal customers, who tell all their friends and keep coming back for more. A copy of our ‘Precious Recipe’ hangs in every office and is so vital to our success that every new employee joining us has an induction where they learn about our ‘Precious Recipe’ and understand how important these ‘ingredients’ are in everything we do.

You do lots of travelling to discover new ingredients and to talk to your customers – how do you find the time to do this?
I often ask myself the same question but somehow I manage to fit it all in! It does help to have a fantastic team of people around me, especially when my diary gets filled up so quickly with appointments. Researching botanicals and building lasting relationships with our farming suppliers are ongoing projects which are never going to end, they are so important for the company. With botanicals, there is always more to learn about nature, new ingredients, suppliers and community support schemes. And with customers there is always more to discover about what they think of you and the range and what makes them tick - hearing their feedback is vital for the company and often very motivational and inspiring which makes it much easier to find time for!

Greatest achievement to date?
It still astonishes me to know that we now have customers in over 80 countries around the world and that one Cleanse & Polish is sold every minute. We have grown through the power of word of mouth as we do not advertise, and have relied on the dynamic network of women who tell other women about our products which really work. I still find it so inspiring that we have such a loyal following, it is very humbling to know that our customers are happy to recommend us to their friends and family. Receiving our MBEs from The Queen at Buckingham Palace for our ‘services to the beauty industry’ was also an incredible moment for Kim and me.

Who else do you admire in the beauty industry?
I really admire the work that Robin Coe Hutshing has done with fragrance – when I visited her niche beauty boutique, STUDIO at Fred Segal in LA, she introduced me to Memoire Liquide where you can have any scent custom made to your taste. The quality of the essential oils and the expert, friendly staff made the whole experience a very memorable one, and now I have a gorgeously fresh fragrance just for me which is unlike any other. I am also a big fan of Aromatherapy Associates who, like us, never compromise of the quality of the efficacy of their lovely aromatherapy treats.

Hopes for the future of the brand?
We have lots of exciting plans and hopes for the future of the brand and we are already putting these into action Last year we launched the Liz Earle Signature Facial at our new Treatment Rooms in Chelsea’s Duke of York Square. We are launching additional body treatments in the coming months. We’re also working on a fabulous new summer footcare range, and a heavenly new fragrance – and more! So many plans in fact, so watch this space! Our challenge will be to continue to grow while maintaning our commitment to excellent customer service and high
quality products which really work; two principles at the heart of everything we do.


Sunday, 22 March 2009

Aveda Hair Trends S/S 2009


BUN WITH SHINE - ‘a movable feast’


As seen on the catwalks of:
RODARTE (styled by Aveda Team at NYFW)
3.1 PHILLIP LIM (styled by Aveda Team at NYFW)


1. Apply Aveda Volumizing Tonic from roots to ends to give body to the hair. Roughly blow dry smooth.

2. Apply Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid, work product through the hair to get a high gloss sheen, continue drying.

3. Working from a side parting and using a bristle brush sweep hair up into a side ponytail. Insert ponytail through centre of a ‘doughnut’. Wind hair round ‘doughnut’ and secure with grips.

4. Mist with Aveda Brilliant Spray-on Shine for added gloss.

5. Finally, smooth any fly-away hairs using Aveda Air Control.



As seen on the catwalks of:


1. Apply Aveda Volumizing Tonic from roots to ends and then apply a little Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother from mid-lengths to ends.

2. From a centre parting blow dry hair using a round brush building in a little movement as you dry the hair.

3. Set hair on Velcro rollers, for first roller drag hair downwards from parting and roll under. For second roller, which is positioned above ear, roll hair forwards. Repeat on opposite side in same manner. Now wind three rollers onto the crown area. Mist with Aveda Air Control. Diffuser dry and then leave until rollers are completely cool before removing.

4. Allow curls to tumble freely and release each using your fingers.

5. Hold the look with a final mist of Aveda Air Control.



As seen on the catwalks of: MAXMARA, YSL


1. Apply Aveda Volumizing Tonic to hair and rough dry to remove excess moisture.

2. Apply Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother to length of hair and a little Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion to roots to make hair easier to work with.

3. Backcomb hair using a tail comb. Mist with Aveda Air Control.

4. Use a bristle brush to smooth over hair to centre back, run a row of grips up centre back 2.5cm off centre to ensure pleat sits centrally, then fold hair over and pin in place.

5. Mist again with Aveda Air Control and add a hair accessory to front of pleat, flat to head as seen at YSL.



As seen on the catwalks of:
PREEN (styled by Aveda Team at NYFW)
ALEXANDER WANG (styled by Aveda Team at NYFW)


1. After shampooing and conditioning hair, apply Aveda Volumizing Tonic from roots to ends. Rough dry hair straight back.

2. Next apply Aveda Brilliant Retexturing Gel, using a wide tooth comb to ensure even distribution right from hairline to ends. The gel should be worked all the way through to achieve the ‘wet look’ finish.

3. Next use fingers to create that high summer ruffled quality.

4. If desired, diffuser-dry on low heat and speed to ‘set ‘the style.

The Beauty Spot: Ido Leffler


In the spotlight: Ido Leffler, Founder of Yes to Carrots.

What is Yes to Carrots and what is the philosophy behind the brand?
Yes To Carrots is a brand that was designed first and foremost to make people happy (and beautiful too). The Yes To Carrots, Yes To Tomatoes, and Yes To Cucumbers product lines of face, body and hair care products were born out of the desire to produce unique, high-quality products that make your hair and skin glow, naturally. Yes To Carrots is committed to creating paraben-free products by utilising nature’s best kept secrets: rejuvenating Dead Sea mud minerals, combined with the antioxidant and youth-enhancing properties of Beta-Carotene, a natural form of Vitamin A. All products in the range are derived from organic carrots and other fruits and vegetables, so they are 100% natural and packed with goodness.

Yes To Carrots is also about the experience - the ingredients are efficacious and easy to understand, the website and packaging are bright and cheery, whilst the products themselves are innovative. Our main philosophy at Yes To Carrots is that we do not take ourselves too seriously. For example, the directions on our Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo are: “Shampoo daily on wet hair while singing.” Who doesn’t love a product that makes them smile or sing?!

Another thing we pride ourselves on is our charity philosophy. When the brand began to take off we wanted it to not just be successful but to make a difference to peoples lives, so we set up the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund. A percentage of all sales go into it, and all proceeds from the Fund help to provide under-served communities to create self sustaining organic food sources. Some of our most recent projects have included creating a 24 plot vegetable garden at a housing network facility for mentally and physically disabled women in New York and also building a green house for a homeless shelter in Chicago. It’s a very satisfying feeling knowing that the success of Yes To Carrots has helped so many people.

Why did you decide to set up the brand?
We decided to set up the brand because store managers in Israel came to us asking for a line of products that contain Beta Carotene because of its amazing free radical fighting power. Our formulator, Uri, said no twice. He said “Yes” the third time and the brand was born.

Hero products in the range?
I know as the CEO I am a little biased but they are all great. Particularly the Shampoos and Conditioners, Body Butters, Eye Cream, Hand and Nail Spa, Lip Butters. A very popular choice for us across the board are the Body Butters.

Who else or what other brand do you admire in the beauty industry?
I admire all natural brands - especially the originator brands like Burt’s Bees. They have helped pave the way for the growth of the natural market in general. We view all of the natural brands as friends - not competitors.

A day in your life…
5:30am – 6:30am
: Wake up with my baby daughter, Zoe. Change her diaper and give her undivided attention until she is ready for her feeding.
6:30am – 7:30am: Dress in my orange outfit of the day, drink a protein fruit smoothie, do an interview or call with the European Team, head to Carrot Capital (office) by bike, car or bus- check emails on Blackberry if mode of transportation allows.
8am – 9am: In office...
catch up with Carrot Lovers on Yes To Carrots Facebook page.
9am – 12pm: Meet with each Yes To team leader. Brainstorm new funky ideas, review customer ideas and discuss new "Yes To Carrot Seed Fund" projects
12pm – 5pm:Head to the airport and catch a flight to NYC or wherever I am scheduled to be next. Call my wife as soon as I land. Head to hotel and check-in. Check emails on BB en route or have a conference call/interview/meeting (sometimes at the same time).
5pm-7pm: Meet with one of our retail partners (usually with a conference call enroute).
7pm: Dinner w/ colleagues.
10:30pm:Back to hotel, late night trip to the hotel gym (check BB while on treadmill), call wife and say goodnight, back on computer with West Wing episodes on in the background.
5am:Wake up and start again... Here we go - Back to airport as the next country awaits…

Greatest achievement to date?
My baby daughter, Zoe (it used to be that my wife said “Yes” when I proposed!)

Hopes for the future?
That Yes To is able to grow to the point where I can dedicate all of my time to the Yes To Carrots seed fund projects.

Do you like carrots?
Are you CRAZY? I love carrots. My mom recently revealed to me that as a baby I would actually crave carrots and couldn’t get enough of them. Today I love all things carrots - carrot juice, carrot cake, carrots in sushi…


Thursday, 19 March 2009

One Is Not Amused

I really like applying nail polish. Until last night. I showered after the gym, applied my lovely Elemis body serum and arranged myself in order to apply a polish that I'd been really looking forward to using - Butter London's Prince's Plums (£12). That's where the excitement ended.

The first coat was weak and very watery. I was almost tempted to wipe it off there and then but I thought 'No, persevere' and so I painted and I painted until I was on coat four. I must say that by then I quite liked the colour but what a blinkin' pain to apply. I want a one - two coat product that will look really fab from the moment it touches my nails. Sadly, Butter London's product simply didn't live up to the hype.

I'll stick to nails inc.

The Shop at Bluebird

I could spend hours in The Shop at Bluebird, a quirky shopping haven just off the King's Road. I went in there for a facial recently and almost missed my appointment because I was so busy perusing the gems that are dotted all around this wonderful boutique.

Above, are 2 things that I'm coveting from there at present.

Firstly - this pair of retro Cutler and Gross sunnies (£270). The sun is out so it's the perfect excuse to purchase a new pair of eye protectors. Yum

Secondly - I'm actually loathed to start talking about this brand because I love it so much that I want to keep it as my little secret but I have a duty to my readers, right?! Ok, here's the skinny - Mon Soin du Visage is a French/Japanese endeavour based around macrobiotic principles. Check out the delicate, vintage bottles and oh so fine lettering. I'm in love. My friend Olivia tells me that her favourite product is ‘Les Trois Roses’ oil - in her words it's "d.i.v.i.n.e."

I'm sold.

PS They also stock professional skincare lines like MLab and Luzern... worth going just for that.

The Shop At Bluebird
350 King's Road
Tel: 020 7351 3873

Korres Do Make-Up...Aaaaahh!

Oh lord, I'm a happy bunny today. Not only is my diet going well (ok, I sneaked in a chocolate flakes/banana crunch corner at lunch but apart from that) but I'm going out for dinner tonight to a fab steak place in Marylebone (hold the fries!) with some old friends and I can;t wait!

To add to my happiness, I've just found out that Korres are branching into make-up - yippee! I love Korres so much and was very fortunate to meet the wonderful Lena Korres at a breakfast meeting last year - what a woman!

So anyway, Korres has launched a line of make-up that continues on their anti-ageing path. Using natural ingredients and oil extracts of wild rose, the new Wild Rose foundation will not only make you look flawless and gorgeous, it'll also help moisturise and soften thanks to the Vitamin C and good-for-you acids locked within - and we all know that youthful skin has these properties in abundance.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Me... But Even Better

I just got home from the gym (yes, the Portugal diet/bridesmaid diet has now commenced) and a lovely little package from Clinique was waiting in my mail box.

It was almost as if they've been sitting on my shoulder as I do my make-up in the morning and realised that I needed something with a bit more coverage. Eh voila, Clinique's Even Better Make-up SPF 15.

Every morning as I apply my 'base layer' I always think that I need better coverage for some areas of my face - my nose, areas of my chin, under my eyes and occassionally my cheeks. And it seems like I'm not alone. According to research, one in four women are concerned with hyperpigmentation (an increase in the skin's normal colour in a particular area). In fact, skin tone concerns seem to be overtaking wrinkles, and I for one am one of the worriers. His Lordship thinks I've developed some strange fascination with my skin tone, probably because I continually pepper him with questions like 'do my eye bags look really dark today?', 'do they make me look older?' and other annoying whisperings.

I've just tried some of the Even Better Make-up with SPF 15 and I really like the consistency of it - it's not oily, it's really lightweight and it provides great coverage in those key areas. The dispenser is also good because it's quite a small nozzle which means you can squeeze out as little or as much as you need.

I'll start using it properly tomorrow but, as Lily Allen says, "Yeah, I'm onto a winner."

£19.99 Available from Clinique counters from 1st April.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, on the table, in my purse...

I'm not vain -ok, I sometimes look in, like, every mirror I pass but not in an overtly vain way - I'm just checking I've not got spinach in my teeth or tucked my pants into my tights! But yes, I do like mirrors, particularly ones that are furnished with interesting details or unusual finishes.

The Celia Birtwell make-up accessories range for Boots is one collection that's got me reaching for my Advantage Card and thinking how cool and vintage-loving I'll look as I pull the compact out of my bag, or peer at my myself in the dressing table version.

They remind me very much of a black compact mirror I picked at Anna Sui in NYC some years back... sadly I lost that so these will be the perfect replacements... Good things do indeed come to those who wait.

Check out the other items in the range - you'll want every one.

Celia Birtwell Dressing Table Mirror £14.68
Celia Birtwell Compact Mirror £5.87

Available at Boots nationwide.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Skin Shield

I am so fond of philosophy (not just because I once worked on their UK PR team) but I truly believe in the brand, its philosophies and the power of its ingredients. Not to mention, the sheer joy I get from their product names and labels - they always make me smile, even in a sleepy stupor.

One bit of news I'm please to report is that they've reformulated their world-famous Hope in a Jar product to include SPF 20. It really is paramount to include a facial SPF in your daily skincare routine, you don't want to end up with skin like leather, nor do you want to jeopardise your good health.

I see it as one more reason why I'll keep buying the brand.

Hope in a Jar SPF 20 £36
Available from Selfridges

Monday, 16 March 2009

Sad But True: Max Factor Natural Minerals Foundation

I hate writing about a product that I'm disappointed with, but now is one of those times. Not wholly disappointed, just a little bit.

For the last two weeks I've been trying (or more like, wrestling) with Max Factor's Natural Minerals Foundations. It promises a buildable, natural-looking coverage and claims to 'apply evenly'.

Sadly, this isn't the case. As much as I did like the colour when I finally managed to get it onto my face, it was just so darn impossible to use without powder flying over everything in a 2 metre radius. Every morning I would think, 'right, today's the day that I'm going to crack that little blighter' and carefully unscrew the built-in brush (which feels as soft as a towel that's been left out in the sun for too long) before trying to push it gently into the powder. Upon the brush exiting the powder is where the problems really begin. The brush is just too small and coarse to hold the powder and it's physically impossible to achieve even coverage with such a small brush head (unless you're Charlotte Tilbury).

I don't like to compare but Elizabeth Arden's new built-in grinder mineral foundation is far more user friendly and is designed for a bigger brush to pick up the powder. It's a joy to use.

4/10 for Max Factor I'm afraid though. It just shows how a good beauty product can be spoiled by the packaging.
Definitely back to the drawing board on the design functionality.

Get The Look - Spring/Summer '09

Spring/summer ’09 make-up is all about fresh, dewy skin, neutral eyes and flashes of bright, bold colour on the lips. You only have to look as far as the catwalk to see what I’m talking about… Think Stella McCartney, Donna Karen, Derek Lam and Hermes.

To help you create a catwalk cool look in real-girl reality, I’m handing you over to Lisa Eldridge, No7 make-up artist and creative director (and not forgetting mega successful and much-admired session make-up artist)who’ll show you how to recreate a luminous look, using the No7 Stay Perfect range (perfectly priced for the credit crunch), that will last until you’re walking around barefoot looking for a taxi and wondering…

A Dewy Complexion That Lasts
The key to glowing, dewy skin is a super-light foundation that lets skin breath, whilst giving a flawless, flattering finish. New No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Liquid (£14.50 - available 25th March) - has a silky, transfer resistant formula.With SPF15, provitamin B5 and Vitamin E, it minimises fine lines and blemishes and features a unique, beautifying complex of soft focus pigments to give the perfect balance between coverage and translucency.
Lisa advises: “Apply just enough moisturiser so that most sinks in and just a little dewy layer is left on top. Apply the foundation in thin, well-blended layers. Never dull or drying,the long-wear formulation will leave skin looking fresh, luminous and naturally beautiful.”

Touch-Ups On The Go
Try No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Compact (£13.70 - available from 25th March)features cream-to-powder technology. Lisa says: “The creamy texture is great for building up coverage where needed most.”

Hold The Blusher
Lisa says: “This look isn’t about the cheeks so hold the rosy blusher. Instead, gently blend a subtle shade of bronzer along the cheekbones to naturally sculpt and define.” The new No7 Starfish Bronzer (£12.30) contains two complementary tones of powder to help you get it right. With a silky,vitamin enriched formula, it also contains pearlescent ingredients to give a light diffusing, illuminating effect and will leave you wil a lovely, sun-kissed look.

Let Your Lips Do The Talking
Models at the Luella, Michael Kors and Rykiel spring/summer '09 shows all sported bright, bold, statement lips. For glistening lips that last, try No7 Stay Perfect Lip Lacquers (£10.25 - available 22nd April) These double-ended make up must-haves include a long-lasting lip stain that lasts for up to eight hours, coupled with a new high shine gloss in a complementing colour.

Lisa says: “Stains are the modern way of wearing strong lip colour. Simply brush the colour straight onto natural lips (not onto balm or moisturiser), to create an all day stain.Then apply the super shiny gloss on top for a 3D effect.”

For lips that really contrast with your flawless foundation base, choose the improved formulation No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick,(£10 in new shades of Tangerine Touch, Raspberry, Angel Kiss or Divine Pink. Available from 22nd April) they feature 10% more colour pigments to give long-lasting, intense colour in one coat.

Don’t say I’m not good to you. Happy experimenting x

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Mobilise... Your Face

You might think I'm bonkers but I speak no word of a lie. Facial exercises are a must if you want to retain youthful, glowing skin... forever. Just like you stretch your body every morning or after exercise, our face needs a daily workout. Think energised, re-awakened skin, oxygenated facial tissue, a healthly blood flow and toned, strengthened muscles - Gisele watch out!

Here Emma Hardie (facialist, skincare expert and she of amazing hands) gives us some tips on the best way to work those face muscles:

Lift your chin upwards so you can feel the stretch down the neck.

Now, holding your muscles in your face in a slight state of tension, open your mouth as wide as you can, feel the stretch in your lip and surrounding muscles and slowly move yout mouth around in all directions. Of course, when you move your mouth around you will be mobilising and releasing the tension from your jaw.

Hold the tension in your lower jaw and neck and continue to move the mouth around whilst keeping the chin pointing upwards, feel the stretch in your neck.

Focus on your cheek and forehead muscles and slowly and firmly move these around in all directions.

Come on, get stretching!

For more information on Emma Hardie or to book an appointment with her, call 0207 242 0386.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

It Was Acceptable In The 80s...

...it was acceptable at the time. And oh yes, it's back. Yep, get ready to embrace the mascara shade that your mother loved almost as much as you... the blue hue is back with a vengeance! But this time it's darker, more sophisticated, adding depth and dimension to your lashes (but should definitely not be worn with matching spangly leggings, mother!)

My fave blue hue? The Body Shop's Define and Lengthen Mascara. Their make up range is super impressive and every product I've tried recently is a stand out. Here's Chase Aston, The Body Shop's International Make-up Artist to offer his tips on how to embrace this beauty statement...

"As the 80s have exploded back in fashion, bold hues are all the rage for the eyes, but to avoid your look being to retro, tone down the multi-shade, bright eye-shadow, and dress up your lashes using blue mascara like The Body Shop Define & Lengthen Mascara 03 (£10.) This bold, bright, eighties colour, is the perfect mascara shade to enhance the eyes, giving them a pop-tastic wash of colour. Whilst the colourful make-up trend has exploded back in fashion, avoid at all costs any glitter around the eyes and cheeks, instead use shimmering or metallic hues, complemented with a pale, matte complexion.

For a modern eighties eye look, line the eyes with black eyeliner, and apply blue mascara to both the top and bottom lashes for instant wow factor, or apply black mascara as usual, then add a wash of blue at the tips, to create depth and colourful, luscious lashes."

Top Tips:
Blue mascara suits all skin tones, especially those with hazel or brown eyes and darker skin tones, as blue hues will make your peepers pop.

Bold hues, need bold brows to balance the face, avoiding overplucking or pencil thin brows.

Mother's Day - more like Me Day

Wowsers - get me one of these. Or to put it more politely, get my mother one of these!

Mother's Day isn't that far off now and I really need to get my thinking cap on. Mother dearest is known to be choosy about her fragrances and with Miller Harris I definitely won't go wrong.

I'll be plumping for this gorgeous gift set - containing an exquisite tea caddy, complete with home candle. I'll be choosing the Thé Pétales and the L'Air de Rein candle - because that's what mother would want... Hmm, who am I kidding?

Gift set £46

Monday, 9 March 2009

The Beauty Spot: Neil Moodie

Ooo, this week we have a man in the Beauty Spot chair. Meet Neil Moodie, hairstylist extraordinaire. When he's not styling the hair of the rich and famous or creating the next 'it' cut, he's busy working on the WAM electrical styling range that he co-created... Read on to find out more.

Who are you and what do you do?
Neil Moodie - Freelance Session Hairstylist and co-creator of the WAM electrical range.

What is your background and what do you think was your big break into session styling?
Trained by ex-Sassoon and Raymond/Leonard hairdressers. My big break was meeting photographer Corinne Day and working on a 10 page shoot with her for The Face magazine.

Describe a day in your life?
If I'm working on a shoot I try to wake up early enough to take myself and my dog for a run (someone looks after him during the day when I work) My assistant usually comes and helps with my kit and we go off to the studio. On arriving at the studio I will talk with the photographer/stylist and make-up artist so we can establish the look we are going for, this may involve using reference pictures as a guide line or coming up with something of which I would have thought about before. The rest of the day would involve creating images with the collaboration of all of us that everyone will be happy with. Occasionally I will go for a glass of wine or dinner after the shoot depending on what time I finish work. On returning home I will take the dog out for 10 minutes or so before going to bed.

Tell me more about the WAM styling range?
WAM is a bespoke range of electrical hair tools designed by myself and salon owner Paul Windle with both the professional and consumer in mind. It consists of a hairdryer, 2 sizes of straightening irons, 5 sizes of curling irons and a diffuser. We plan to bring out a new product approximately every 6 months. We wanted to design a range of products that filled in the gaps in the electrical market that we felt were missing.

What do you think are the big hair trends for Spring/Summer 09?
Short hair, long bobs and natural hair colours.

Who else do you admire in the hair world?
Michael Gordon (founder of Bumble and Bumble), Paul Windle, Vidal Sassoon, Leonard, Raymond, Suga, Trevor Sorbie and a few freelance people.

Which celebrity do you think has great hair and style?
Beth Ditto.

Any tips for our readers on how to accomplish a great blowdry?
Use a WAM hairdryer for speed and comfort, make sure you have the correct styling tools and products to achieve the look you want and always use the nozzle on the dryer, it makes your drying more directional and accurate.

What are some of the worst things you can do to your hair?
Brush it when wet, and comb it when dry. You should use these tools the other way round- comb when wet, brush when dry.

Plans for the future?
To be happy and make WAM a roaring success! And to design more Iconic Head Hats with House of Flora.

Save My Skin

Ever since I'll arrived home from the Alps, my skin has been all over the shop. Literally. Every time I move my face another bit of it falls off... I'm beginning to resemble Michael Jackson (oh, don't get me started on him though - I've signed up for tickets for his comeback tour and can't stop pretending to do the Moonwalk across the office! Fingers and everything else crossed...)

Anyway, I needn't worry as I have found my saviour in the form of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Multi-Repair Cream. Trust me, it's a god send and I can't go anywhere without it. This morning, after I'd had my shower, I went about covering every inch of my skin in the stuff - it's divine, scent-free and oh-so soothing.

HIs Lordship is also suffering from a similar temporary skin complaint but he's only allowed to use my new-found dream cream sparingly... it's only a small tube after all. Maybe they'll bring out a larger tube just for the body soon..? Pretty please?

It's only £3.99 which is a bargain. Just as well really as I spent a pretty penny in Meribel.

Get it before I buy the lot.

Available natationwide

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Concealer Pour Homme

Those men are really catching up with us in the pampering stakes. Not only does their spending on grooming products and treatments rank in the colossal league, they also seem to be rather picky when it comes to brand choice.

Once reserved only for the discerning female consumer, YSL has launched Touche Eclat Radiant Touche... For Men. Yes, the world's most iconic and bestselling beauty product is now available for the male species. It launched in late 2008 but I've only just got my hands on one and had a little guinea pig test it for me.

Working just like the ladies version, TC Pour Homme helps hide signs of fatigue, dark circles and skin discolouration. And the verdict from my male tester? A very big thumbs up (although he won't reveal his identity... how vain).

No more sharing of expensive cosmetics also gets a very bug thumbs up from me.


Gift With Purchase Alert

GWP - Gift With Purchase. Three magical little words that bring joy to my ears (and relief to His Lordship's wallet).

As I hear of so many great GWP's, I've decided to try and report on as many as I can. It's the credit crunch after all and we ladies need all the help we can get.

Today's GWP that I have my eye on is the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist promo. Simply purchase a 50ml bottle of Cashmere Mist (£38.17) and receive a gorgeous ivory rouche bag (see above).

Hardly a chore, right?

While stocks last.
T: 0870 034 2566

Friday, 6 March 2009

When in France...

Bonjour Beauty Scoopers,

As I'm in France for the week, I thought it would be rude not to indulge in all things French. Think croissants, vin chaud, baguettes, jambon, fromage and, er, staring at Meribel's finest ski instructors... the list is endless, and exhausting.

However, it's not just food and drink, or French men for that matter, that I'm focusing on... oh no, dear readers, I'm going the whole hog and trying out some French beauty products. One brand I've been using this week is Lierac. If you haven't heard of them before, shame on you. Working closely with nature and plants to deliver specific solutions for every skin requirement (at affordable prices) Lierac really does tick every box with regards to financials and our fascination with good-for-you ingredients.

The latest addition to their divine collection is their eye care range - Diopti. Using paraben-free formulas, botanical ingredients and 100% environmentally-friendly packaging, this range has something for everyone. There are several different eye creams on offer, each one formulated for a particular purpose. My favourite? Diopti Gel, which is ultra-fresh on application, helping to reduce swelling and puffiness, with the inclusion of chamomile extract to soften and refresh. It's done wonders for my puffy ski eyes and has left me confident enough to peer at those lovely French instructors without the help of my dark shades. His Lordship isn't too happy...

It's available in the UK (phew) www.lierac.com

À bientôt, BS x

The Beauty Spot: Olga Allon

As I'm 'focused' on exercise this week, I thought it pertinent to interview someone who has truly dedicated their life to a form of exercise they love and who has created a hugely successful and admirable business from it.

Meet Olga Allon, Founder of Hot Bikram Yoga.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Olga Allon. I was born in Glasgow and moved to London in 1998. I was working as an architect until 2003. During this time I felt increasingly stressed in all parts of my life and started to feel aches and pains in my body from spending much time in front of a computer. I had tried other types of yoga and always had a keen interest in sports. When I first tried a Bikram class I was immediately drawn to the yoga because of the challenge that every class gave me. I also enjoyed the fact that every class I went to there were people of all different ages, sizes, body types. I very quickly started to feel better about my body and I felt more relaxed. I continued a regular Bikram practice for 4 years before embarking on my life changing decision to give up my regular job and train to become a teacher.

What is your background and why did you decide to open Hot Bikram Yoga?
With my background in architecture my dream was to combine my love of yoga with her love of architecture and design a space where people could come and enjoy this fantastic yoga. I feel that in Fulham and Balham I have created a beautiful retreat for people to get away from the hectic world around them and do something incredibly good for their body and mind.

What is Bikram Yoga and what are the benefits?
· Provides total body workout
· Helps sport (and other) injuries
· Improves posture
· Eases back pain
· Increases flexibility and strength
· Reduces stiffening of joints
· Boosts energy levels
· Detoxes and cleanses
· Relieves tension
· Relaxes the body and mind

Whatever your fitness level you will find Bikram Yoga challenging (that’s why so many people come back for more). The postures (asanas) combine strength, flexibility and balance to give you a total body workout. As with other forms of cardiovascular exercise, regular practice will also aid weight loss.

How often do you practice, and how often would you recommend others practice?
I practice 3 – 4 times a week. I recommend twice a week to see quick improvements in your body but even once a week will help to see the changes. The key to it is sticking to a regular consistent practice.

Describe a day in your life…
Wake up before 7am by my gorgeous daughters Yasmin and Skye. Have some cuddles in bed before getting Yasmin ready for nursery. Heading to the studio to teach or practice or both. Having a busy day of meetings, phone calls and things to do to keep the studio running. Home for bath time and bedtime with the girls. Try and keep up regular Transcendental Meditation followed by dinner with my husband Justin and an evening of work and some relaxation.

What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to become an entrepreneur like you?
It has been a very difficult but rewarding experience. It is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year commitment and sometimes I have to stop myself from getting overwhelmed and to remember to just enjoy the yoga. But If you want something enough, it doesn’t have to be a dream.

Who else do you admire in the world of Bikram?
I admire all my teachers at the studio who devote so much love and energy into teaching and helping others.

For very experienced students who wish to become a teacher of Bikram Yoga, what is the procedure?
You have to have kept up a regular (4-5 times a week) regular practice for 12 months minimum before I will consider sending you on the teacher training course. Then you need to get to my classes as much as possible so I can work with you and your yoga practice.

Is Bikram yoga enough weekly exercise or should you combine it with other forms of exercise?
It can absolutely be done on its own as a main form of exercise. It is a serious cardiovascular workout. However, it does also compliment other sports.

What are your hopes for the future of Hot Bikram Yoga?
I hope that the studios continue to be as friendly and inviting as they already are. I hope that many more people will come through the doors and change their lives for the better through practicing this wonderful yoga with me.

How do readers join Hot Bikram Yoga?
Check out our website
www.hotbikramyoga.co.uk and come along to the studio to sign up for our introductory offer of 10 consecutive days unlimited use of the studio for only £10!!

Yet another inspirational woman - thanks Olga.

As soon as I get off this mountain I'm heading straight to the Balham studio for a well-deserved Hot Bikram Yoga session...

Snowboarding update

After six days of having my feet strapped to a board and trying in vain to look stylish, I have decided to stay in the chalet today and blog. Thank heavens! Now that I've had my baguette with lashings of jam and butter, washed down with an orange juice and a cup of English Breakfast tea, I am now sitting at my bedroom window typing this and thinking what a gorgeous view the mountains make.

Should you wish to try your hand at snowboarding in the glorious place that is Meribel, check out http://www.rtmsnowboarding.com/ We had a wicked guide called Rob who teaches in both Meribel and Courcheval - he's a bit of a legend. A must for any beginners.
I shall endeavour to continue my snowboarding next year...
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