Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The ultimate pampering tool

I'm very tired today - I think it's a combination of the sun, too much work to do and too many late nights out on the tiles due to aforementioned glorious weather.

Therefore, I am only blogging one thing today... and that is, I hear you ask?

This... The ultimate in refreshing and decadent pampering, the Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Luxury candle. Yes, it's expensive (£255) but heck, it's worth it. Guaranteed to give you over 100 burning hours, this exquisite candle will give you years of pleasure.

I intend to slip into something more comfortable, pour myself a glass of crisp, chilled vino and light my LBM candle as I sit out in the back garden reading my book and enjoying the beautiful summer evening,

Goodnight x

PS Is does come in a smaller version which is priced at £37.50.

Lime Basil & Mandarin Luxury Candle £255

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Goodbye, Michael

After hearing the news late Thursday night, crying myself silly and working in an office that was responsible for some of the earliest (and, in my own humble opinion, some of the best) MJ content, I can now bring myself to write about my personal feelings on the passing of a musical icon, and a man who has a very special place in my heart.

I fell in love with Michael Jackson at about the age of 5 and bored everyone that I came into contact with by singing his songs, putting on MJ-style dance routines in my living room to my patient family and plastering every section of wall space in my bedroom with posters of my hero. Luckily, I saw Michael twice in concert, first at the age of 12 and then at the age of 15. I can remember both gigs like they were yesterday and I can honestly say that they were the best examples of pop entertainment that I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.

There was something magical and other-worldly about Michael - he was untouchable in terms of musical and dancing ability and despite his vast, all encompassing fame, his controversial lifestyle, I continued to love his music and the man who never really grew up.

After reading so much press on him in the last few days, there have been many points when I have felt truly pained, particularly when reading interviews with Jackson just before Thriller came out. He was confused by the deaths of legends and why they all ended up being recluses and being hooked on the bad things that fame could provide, It's so sad that he too followed in their footsteps and was eventually killed by his own fame. All he wanted was to provide people with music that he was proud of and strive to be the best artist he could be.

His music, his dancing, his genius and his lovely face (circa 1985) will stay with me always. x

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Ormonde Jayne Stylishly Does A Deal

I love Ormonde Jayne, who doesn't? The beautifully chic packaging, the divine scents that await within, the supreme service... what's not to love?

So, I was delighted to hear that if you spend £58 or more either online or in store you will receive a complimentary Bath & Shower Creme (RRP £28)... while stocks last.

It's the best news I've heard all day (aside from His Lordship offering to take me out to dinner).

Get clicking at www.ormondejayne.com.

Of note...

DuWop, the brand behind some recent beauty classics like Lash Venom, Lip Venom, Eye Catchers and not forgetting their miracle multi-tasking products, is now available to buy on fashion and lifestyle site www.asos.com. The brand will sit comfortably amongst other big hitters like St Tropez, Elemis and GHD... Nice work guys.

I know where I'll be surfing tomorrow lunchtime...

The Passing Of Time

I love PRs, not just because I used to be one, but because they very helpfully remind you of brands and products that you once held dearly close to your heart but through no fault of the brand or you, it's simply worked its way further back in your bathroom cabinet.

Tiempe Passate, the distinctive and simply glorious fragrance by a wonderful lady called Antonia Bellanca (aka Antonia's Flowers) is one such product that I am so glad I've rediscovered - thanks to a simple press release dropping into my e-mail inbox.

I first sniffed from the gloriously feminine bottle on my return from a year's stay in NYC. I was still pining (as I am now) for the heady, effortlessly cool atmosphere of the Big Apple and I had just landed my first PR job in the sprawling metropolis of London. One brand that I was assigned to help with was, you got it, Antonia's Flowers. I remember thinking what a classy and sophisticated brand, and oh what grown-up fragrances. The story of Antonia, her flower shop and her life in East Hampton fuelled the glamorous image yet further and I knew then that I was hooked on Antonia's Flowers, and in particular, Tiempe Passate.

It's very difficult to describe the fragrance itself because it's unlike anything I've ever smelt before, but everytime I wear it people always ask me what perfume I'm wearing... they often wish they'd never asked because I then go into the whole story behind the brand. Named after a love song Antonia’s grandfather wrote in the 1920s and inspired by old world perfumery notes, this perfume has vintage chic written all over it.

The official line below helps describe the perfume's compilation better than I can:

Cedarwood, amber, bergamot, montauk rose (named for its "saltiness") and clementine (for sparkle) combine to create a modern classic Eau de Parfum.

Anyway, I suggest you log onto www.antoniasflowers.com to read all about the fabulous Antonia and her fragrances... and once you've done that, why not go sniff out a bottle for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

£98 for 60ml Eau de Parfum
Available from Fenwick, Liberty and Space NK

Monday, 22 June 2009


I've temporarily put down my Liz Earle Facial Spritzer to give another brand a shot at giving me a fresh, bright and calm complexion, and, I must say, I'm tres impressed (and very refreshed!)

The [A’kin] Hydro Essential Lavender Cellular Brightening Facial Mist is really rather delicious. It smells gorgeous, makes me feel happy and content (I think that might be down to the Lavender) and makes me skin look lovely and revitalised. It also contains ingredients like Vitamin C Anti-Oxidant, Vitamin B5 & Aloe which are very important for a healthy-looking complexion.

Three things to bear in mind with this product:
1. Brightens and evens your skin tone
2. Smoothes and re-hydrates your skin.
3. Calms and relaxes your mind body and spirit.

It's a daily must for the summer months.



More Fancy Tea...

Hurrah, just as I was getting to the end of my Miller Harris fragranced tea, I've just discovered that Laura Mercier has collaborated on a new perfumed afternoon tea with London department store Harvey Nichols. The Vanille Gourmande Afternoon Tea is inspired by the ingredients of her fragrance of the same name - think vanilla, musk, sandalwood, amber etc. Sip the blend slowly and relish the flavour before getting stuck into the macaroons...

£19.95 per person, call 020 7235 5250.
Available from Harvey Nichols 5th Floor restaurant.

Save Your Pennies...

Here's a beauty product I definitely won't be buying... Paris Hilton's latest scent, Siren (inspired by her "hot" image, natch?!)

Celebrity fragrances really don't float my boat - not only does the packaging make me want to reach for a bucket but the fragrances themselves tend to be seriously below par on the nice smell front. No excuses really as most of these fragrances are pumped out my large beauty houses who should really know better. However, they do bring in the moola for said companies so it's really a no-brainer for them...

If you're interested, the fragrance is comprised as follows; Top notes are frangipani and apricot; middle notes are honeysuckle, orchid and lotus; base notes incorporate sandalwood, vanilla and musk.

I might even like it but I refuse to buy it because I think perfumes should be about raw natural blends rather than a myriad of synthetic nasties that tend to make my skin crawl.

Rant over. x

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Buy this...

You won't regret it. It's the perfect thing for cracked heels... and who wants those in sandal season?


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Exercise... and Revlon

Sorry for the delay in blogging, peeps. I've been totally stacked up with work, hen parties, organising holidays and the impending nuptials of my older sister, Laura... oh yeah, and trying to get trim!

Sadly, I don't quite look this cartoon in real life, but boy I am trying hard. Of course beauty isn't all about what's on the outside but on some occasions - i.e. when you're chief bridesmaid - it definitely is.

However, to achieve outer beauty, I'm really focusing on my insides. Think green veggies, grilled chicken, bland fish, strengthening my core muscles... god, I'm becoming a fitness bore, but I think it's all a pretty worthy cause, right?! It's only once that your sister gets married... and one day (hopefully) it'll be me walking down the aisle in my Jenny Packham dress, so I may as well lay the foundations of a beaut bod now.

Before I run out the door to meet my trainer, I also wanted to let you know that I'm currently trialling Revlon's gorge new lip product, Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick. I must say that I'm not a huge fan of lipstick in general, but, as my mother says, it's far more grown-up and ladylike than gloss, and seeing as I'm almost 28 years old, I figured it was time to give it a whirl.

My samples droppped through the post the other day and I must say that I'm quite taken with the shade 010 Premium Pink. The packaging makes you believe you might be in for a gloss but as soon as you apply it to your lips, it sinks into a lipstick-like sheen and dries to a matt finish. I admit that it can feel tacky for a minute or so after application but give the product a chance to dry properly and absorb and you'll be really pleased you made the effort.

I've been wearing my new lip love to work and lots of my desk buddies have been saying how great my new-found lips look. I'm close to chucking out the glosses and pledging my allegiance to the beauty of the liquid lipstick.

Big thumbs-up Revlon.

PS Fancy getting your hands on a full-sized liquid lipstick? Revlon are giving away full-sized versions to review on http://www.revlonultimate.co.uk/ Simply apply on or after the 19th June (while stocks last) await the product then upload your written review to http://www.revlonultimate.co.uk/ or post a video review on http://www.youtube.com.revlonuk/. If you're the lucky winner you'll receive £500 worth of Revlon goodies and become the Official Online Beauty Reviewer for Revlon Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in the UK.

Good luck.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Ok, it ain't beauty but this is important.

Why oh why oh why is Twitter constantly over capacity! Sort it out Biz Stone!

Ok rant over, back to nice Beauty Scoop now.

See you tomorrow beauty lovers. x

New Brand Alert: Green And Spring

And isn't it real pretty... Founders Jessica and Peter Frankopan launched Green & Spring this month in Liberty dept store in London. It's a 23-unit bath-and-body collection made up of three product lines, each decorated with birds native to the UK. Each line is also said to conjure up particular facets of the countryside like grassy fields or kitchen herbs... how refreshing.

The collection was originally devised to be used within Cowley Manor, and the C.Spa Hotel that the couple run in the Cotswolds... but thankfully they've rolled it out to the discerning masses.

I'm coveting the mini candles. Cute doesn't even begin to describe it.

Prices start at £7.50.

Ooo, A Party...

Don't you just love parties, particularly in the summer months when it's still light in the evenings and everyone is in a good mood.

And if you add beauty to that mix you've got yourself one heck of a shindig.

Space NK are throwing an after-hours summer shopping evening where you can peruse their amazing selection of prestige brands (think NARS, Eve Lom, By Terry Kiehl's...) and benefit from the demos and advice from top make-up artists, hair care consultants and skincare specialists who'll be on hand to give you tips on summer hair, perfect make-up looks for the beach and loads more. And who could forget the champagne, strawberries and that all important goodie bag (form an orderly line!)

The shopping evening takes place on Tuesday 23rd June.

Tickets are £15.00 per person with £10 redeemable against purchases on the night.

To locate your nearest store and reserve your place visit
http://www.spacenk.com/ or call customer services on 0208 740 2085.

Perfume For The Soul

Man alive, it sure is busy at work (I mean 'real' work, not this lovely blogging malarkey that I fit in around it). To soothe my little head after a hard day of subbing, I like to kick back and relax - usually by reading a leftover newspaper supplement from the weekend, chatting on the phone to my chums or lying in a warm bath until someone (i.e. His Lordship) drags me out.

Today though I only have a few spare mins before I go to meet my trainer so I'm frantically blogging, making dinner (a quick snack for energy!) and working out my schedule for the rest of the week (including the second leg of my sister's hen do on Saturday night). To make up for my lack of relaxation time, I spritz on one of my favourite fragrances, L'Occitane's Verbena, as an instant pick-me-up (and an instant calmer). I'm not sure why it has that affect on me, but as soon as I've sprayed it and let the potion settle into my skin, I'm one step closer to becoming a human being again.

Think notes of Mediterranean verbena mingled with a rosy base of geranium and lemon tree - it's without a doubt one of my favourite summer scents.

Verbena Eau de Toilette, 100ml, £34 (reasonably priced too!)
T:020 7907 0301

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

In The Pink

Soon I'll be back in Portugal for my friend's wedding - think beautiful floaty dresses, acres of sand, blue water as far as the eye can see and... fabulously bright beauty products!

One product that will definitely be getting an airing around the pool, and the bar, and the wedding itself will be No 7's new Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Fuschia Pink (£6).

Its slick and shiny colour gives your nails a chic spray-on look and will look just darling with a tan.

Here comes the sun...

In Boots stores 20th May - 14th July.

Monday, 8 June 2009

I Spy Blue Hues

It's summer (apparently) and I always think it's a nice time to shake up my make-up bag. With a small sprinkling of a tan I can pull off some beauty looks that I wouldn't even dream about trying in the winter months.

One such look - coloured mascara.

Le 2 De Guerlain is a brill two-brush creation (big brush for curling and volume, small brush to define) that helps you achieve catwalk worthy lashes in real girl reality, whilst injecting a splash of vibrant blue that will have heads turning everywhere you go.

It's also waterproof so you'll be able to stay up all night long sipping cocktails on roof-top bars without having to worry what you'll do if the weather turns nasty.

£21.53, available from Guerlain counters nationwide.

Lisa Shepherd's Summer Hair Survival Guide

The long awaited summer sun is great news for our skin and spirits but not so good for our hair. Don’t worry though, colourist to the stars Lisa Shepherd (www.lisashepherd.co.uk) has put together the answers you need to keep your hair in tip-top condition all summer long - yippee!

Come find out Lisa's hair secrets:

Pre Beach- Preparation Tips

· As you would apply sunscreen to your skin before heading out into the sun you must protect your hair as well. My usual motto is less is more when it comes to hair products, but the opposite is true when you are on holiday. Repeated applications of a hair SPF like L'Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Solar Sublime Advanced Conditioning Spray, will prevent your hair being damaged by the sun and will also minimise the moisture sapping effects of chlorine and sea salt exposure.

· Make sure you don’t dry out your hair with excessive heat styling when on holiday, it will just add to the damage done by the sun. Instead allow your hair to dry naturally and opt for the perfectly on-trend tousled wave look, as seen on supermodel, Gisele. Loose, sexy up dos are a feminine and very natural alternative to poker straight locks.

· Like your skin, the best way to protect your hair from the sun is to keep it out of it. This doesn’t mean being a shade dweller but simply covering your hair from the mid day sun in a chic Pucci-esque head scarf. Not only will it prevent your tresses being frazzled, but it will also add a hint of glamour to your look.

Post- Beach Holiday Survival Tip
Unfortunately no matter how hard you try to protect your hair during the summer, the combination of sun exposure, swimming and general styling will leave your hair dry, washed out and slightly damaged. This can be easily remedied with a trip to your nearest salon for an intensive post summer treatment, such as a Shu Uemura Ceremonies Treatment, which will restore your hair to its optimum health and will replenish vitality and shine.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Smokin' Hot

The smokey eye look continues to be a really popular look... but yet, people (including moi) simply can't get to grips with how to achieve the look without the help of a professional... and they often end up looking like they've gone a few rounds in the boxing ring. Never a sexy look.

Think of Benefit's Smokin' Eyes Sexy Eye & Brow Makeover Kit as your professional make-up artist in a box.

The kit includes:
- 3 smokin' eyeshadows - pink highlighter, pewter base shadow, deep charcoal shadow
- Smokin' liner - dark black pencil
- Brow zings shaping wax
- Eye bright - cream eye brightener
- Fluff shadow/hard angle brush
- Baby-sized tweezers for discreet touch-ups
- A little manual to talk you through each step

Who needs a professional, the amateurs will soon be taking over the world.

Smokin' hot, Girls Aloud-esque eyes here I come.

From June 09

Kiss My Face

On a recent trip to NYC, I had the pleasure of coming across the Kiss My Face brand. In fact, they were the toiletries of choice at my hotel, The Standard.

The brainchild of two long-time vegetarians searching for healthy body care products, Kiss My Face was founded on a 200-acre organic farm in New York's Hudson River Valley in the mid-80s. Fast-forward to the noughties, and the brand is a hugely respected vehicle for natural, effective and good-for-you products.

My fave - the Rough Thyme Shower Gel. Not only does it smell divine and lathers up a treat, it's also good for you;

Jojoba beads: cleanse and exfoliate without harming tender epidermal tissue
Bergamot: aromatic, stress reducer with anti-inflammatory properties
Thyme: stimulates circulation

The other good news - it's only £7.04 and is available to buy from their web store.

Rough 'thyme' - not on my watch.

New From MLab

MLab had a breakfast launch recently which sadly I couldn't attend but I've now had the chance to peruse their new wares and I must say, I'm very impressed.

One product that particularly interests me is the Blemish Control Spot Treatment which is available to buy now.

Here's the skinny "A concentrated blend of skin soothing extracts and regenerating exfoliators help to accelerate the reduction of redness and treatment of blemishes, while pore purifiers dissolve and prevent future breakouts.

"A combination of gentle exfoliants shed surface skin cells leaving it smooth, soft and clear. Soothing and healing properties allows blemishes to quickly vanish - Unique rollerball packaging allows the precise application to individual blemishes Formulated with 82% clinically active ingredients."

I like this product because it reminds me of the Liz Earle product Spot On. It deals with the problem directly with the rollerball being a great way to dispense the potent spot-zapping formula.

In fact, I have one or two little blighters that need to be zapped pronto. I'll be back with a verdict asap.

M LAB is available exclusively at
http://www.mlabonline.com/ and Harrods 020 7730 1234 / http://www.harrods.com/

Britney: The Verdict

Well, it was some night at the o2 arena - never have I seen so many fashion disasters/large amounts of flesh in one place (am I getting old?) All that aside, I have to admit that old Brit-Brit was a tad disappointing.

As much as the dance routines were fab and she kept my attention for the 1 hour 15 minutes that she strutted her stuff, but 3 things let her down.

1. The lack of big screens - this was so frustating becuase unless you were in the front rows, it could have been anyone shaking their tush and whipping their blonde hair to the beat of Womanizer, Baby One More Time... etc.

2. I've read this comment already this week, but I agree that it appears that Britney has slightly lost her spark. Rarely did she engage with the audience nor did she appear to be doing much smiling. Is it too much too soon for the pop princess?

3. SHE DIDN'T BLOODY SING! Dancing and lip-synching is not my idea of a concert...

So, that's it. I'll continue to dance around to her tracks in the comfort of my own living room and on the dance floor after one too many vino blanchos but maybe I won't be shelling out £50 next time she's in town.


PS What the frig was Perez Hilton doing as the ringmaster in the opening video segment?!

Friday, 5 June 2009

It's Britney, Bitch!

Aye carumba - very excited about tomorrow. Aside from going to have my bridesmaid dress fitted (Whose wedding - sister's. Location -Edinbugh. Date - July 4th. Weight to lose - a stone. Thoughts - arghhhh!!!) I shall also be travelling to the o2 arena (at 4pm! We decided we'd go early to sup some vino and get whipped up into a frenzy) to see Britney Spears...

I'd had various reactions when I've delivered the news that I've parted with my hard-earned cash to see the world's favourite meltdown queen live (er, sort of) in concert. However, I stand by my word (and my £50) as I do actually love Ms Spears. I've been an avid follower of her rollercoaster career from the days when butter won't melt, to the times when she was overweight, lacked hair and could barely string a sentence together. But hey, I'm an optimist and I'm loving the fact that she's managed (so far) so pull her sh*t together for the sake of herself, her cute kids and for the large amount of Britney lovers out there.

Aside from that she has some proper-bo pop tunes! Who can fail to shake their thing to hits such as Oops! I Did It Again, Womanizer, Slave 4 U and Crazy. Dance floor classics, people.

I'll report back with my findings on Sunday.

Aveda Eye Colour

I can't wait to get my iPhone because then I'll be able to show you my mug actually testing the products out, but until then you'll just have to take my word for it that what I'm telling you is the truth.

So, at the moment my favourite eye colours are from Aveda. I was there a few weeks back having a cut and blow out - which, by the way, was terrific. The salon feels just like the one I used to go to in New York and it's awash with funky people and products. Anyway, as I was leaving I noticed their make-up counter and started to peruse the many shades.

Needless to say, I'm now addicted to the eye colour duos that they do. Now, it's rather embarrassing because I'm sitting here typing this review on a Friday night so the PRs have gone home and I can't seem to get the image from their site but if you search in www.aveda.co.uk under 'make-up' and then under 'eyes', you'll discover the beauty of Petal Essence Eye Duos. My favourite colour combo is Gobi/Sand Haze (£14.68).

It really does glide on and the colours complement each other perfectly. Sometimes I'll even just wear the light beige colour on its own (leaving the darker brown for a night time look). I get up v early in the morning and by the time I get back at 4.30pm, the colour is still in place. Delicious.

My last positive comment is that it comes in 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) clamshell and paper sleeve which fits in very well with my 'trying to be green' credentials.

Go check out the full colour spectrum, I fully intend to stock up on them all.

A big thumbs up.

The Beauty Spot: Debbie Beaumont-Howell

In the Beauty Spot hot seat this week is Debbie Beaumont-Howell, Head of Buying for Beauty and Women’s Accessories at House of Fraser.

Come discover what it's like to have the world of cosmetics and accessories at your fingertips on a daily basis. It's every woman's dream job, right?

How did you start in the beauty industry and how did do you get to where you are today?
My love of beauty stems from my mother who used to sell Leichner, a brand of stage make-up as I was growing up. This passion continued throughout my life and it was during my time at Harrods that I had the opportunity to manage their beauty hall. I joined House of Fraser in October 2006 which allowed me to use my years of retail and buying experience in an area that I loved.

Can’t live without beauty item(s)?
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, Shiseido Lipgloss, Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Eye Cream & Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion.

Describe a day in your life...
My working day starts at 6.15am when I turn my Blackberry on. After reading my e-mails I get into the car and make calls on my way to work. If I have a breakfast business meeting with a key brand these start at 8am otherwise I reach the office at 8.30am and grab a coffee as the day begins.

My days are split between internal meetings; discussing the past weeks trading, future trading initiatives, marketing and retail issues, and external strategy meetings. These meetings are a fantastic chance to look at new products and innovation, to discuss trading and marketing and are a very important part of a beauty buyer’s life. I also try to visit at least one store every week.

I leave the office at around 7.00pm/7.30pm but my Blackberry is on until I go to sleep!

What are your thoughts on the beauty industry at the moment (trends, financial climate, organic, natural products, Dr brands etc)?
In 2009 we have seen brands going back to basics and doing what they do best. They are still continuing to introduce new products but are building on the key essence of the brand. Customers are returning to what they love and the products that they know work for them.

To be organic the product needs to be certified by the Soil Association. I believe achieving an organic product that can survive in this competitive market is very difficult.

Regarding the Dr brands I believe that primarily their success depends on awareness and whether they are sold in the right environment. When they first emerged they were a huge success offering newness and innovation however now very few survive in the UK and ever fewer have remained successful unless they made the transition into the mass market.

How do you decide which brands to buy in for HOF customers? How do you know which ones will prove popular?
I myself am an avid beauty consumer and House of Fraser’s target customer. I believe that you can never completely predict who will succeed but you rely on gut feeling and past industry experience. It is a huge market and often people spend a significant amount or money in advertising and marketing a brand however we have seen that no amount of spend will influence our customer if the product itself doesn’t deliver. I have huge respect for our customers who are extremely savvy. If a product doesn’t smell amazing or deliver on their promises it will not sell.

You must have to do a lot of research on new and niche brands – how do you keep up?
I have a network of sources and it is important to keep communicating. I get a lot of information from the internet and magazines and beauty blogs are also very important. I also have a fantastic team who dedicate a lot of time researching the newest trends.

Greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement would be that the beauty team achieved the highest sales and profit growth within House of Fraser in 2008.

Who else do you admire in the beauty industry?
Four people immediately spring to mind- Per Neuman from Estee Lauder, Kenneth Green, Robin Vincent from Clarins and Liz Garrett, Managing Director of Coty. They have given every woman a taste of affordable luxury and continue to retain the premium status of their brands in the UK without alienating their customers.

What are you hopes for the future of the HOF Beauty Department?
We hope to be the UK No 1 Premium destination for beauty, maintaining our integrity being true to our customers. We want to deliver the best with newness and great customer service in a welcoming environment.

I don't know about you, but I'm adding Debbie to my 'people to aspire to' list as we speak.

Check out House of Fraser at

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bat For Lashes

I love a good mascara, so here's another one to add to my favourites list. My Biggest Lashes from Prestige cosmetics is a really fun-looking product. Pink and girly, it's the kind of product for a night out on the tiles when you want your lashes to be super lush and bouncy. From my personal experience it also works very well as a daytime mascara, although I would limit it to one coat otherwise people might think you're doing the walk of shame from the night before (if you get what I mean).

I'm actually trialling the black/brown version - I'm normally a black only girl but this shade has a lovely softening effect which I'm growing to love by the day.

£5.99, cheap and very cheerful.
Available from Boots nationwide.
To locate your nearest stockist call 0845 070 8090.

Haphazard Hair Help

As much as I love this amazing summer weather, it really does my hair no favours whatsoever.

As soon as I step out the shower it starts drying naturally and by the time I'm finished with the hairdryer, I am one sticky mess.

I always figured that there was little or nothing that I could do about it because of the fine nature of my tresses but, thank the lord, I've now discovered a little miracle product that helps smooth down those annoying flyaways but doesn't weigh down my hair or make it greasy.

Daniel Galvin Jnr's Crowning Glory Anti-Frizz Gloss Serum is a gem of a product. It smells so fresh and yummy - thanks to the organic cucumber and melon essential oils and extracts - and it actually works! After each shower I apply a 5p size amount of the serum to my hair - working from the mid sections to the frizzy ends. Then I blast (gently) with a hairdryer, followed by a minute or so on the cool setting... Eh voila, my hair is looking sleek and straight, just the way I like it... all without the use of the straighteners!

A must-have product for the summer months.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Scrubbing Up

I'm sloughing off my spring skin to reveal a new glow just in time for the summer weather.

My secret? REN's Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish. It has the same dreamy scent as the oil and the gentle cane sugar exfoliant leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, energised and lightly scented. The addition of olive and almond oils condition the skin while caffeine and theophylline revive and tone.

Add to that a quick coat of Beauty Flash Balm and I'm strappy-dress ready.


The Witchery

This weekend I spent my precious 48 hours of me time in the deliciousness of Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. Aside from lying around in the scorching sun drinking vino, I managed to drag myself back to my house to get smartened up to go for a feast at The Witchery restaurant.

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting this restaurant, you haven't lived. It is truly like stepping back in time to an era when electricity wasn't invented and soliders were still fighting off the approaching army at the foothills of the adjacent castle. With dark wooden interiors, candlelight, fresh traditional fare and handsome waiters it's the stuff that Scottish dreams are made of.

Not exactly the cheapest restaurant in town, main courses can stretch well over £29 but there is also a light lunch/pre-theatre menu for just £12.95 which is what I plumped for in the end. Red mackerel tempura, followed by fisherman's pie and washed down with a lovely Sauvignon Blanc, you simply can't go wrong.
If you're lucky enough to visit the city, The Witchery is a must.

The Witchery by the Castle
Castlehill, The Royal Mile
Tel: 0131 225 5613

Beauty - From Other Places

I've decided to diversify The Beauty Scoop slightly. As in I'll still write daily about beauty but I'll also write musings on life in general and try to include nice tips and hints on places to go, people to see and things to do. Kind of like beauty from the inside out and finding beauty in everything that I do, get it?

Now, not to start on a negative note but the first technically non beauty thing I am going to write about is related to a film I saw last week. It was perhaps the worst film I've ever had to sit through. In fact, it was so bad that I was actually moaning out loud as it clunked on for its 2 and a bit hours duration.

Synedoche, New York has been hyped to the hilt by the critics and boasts a killer cast - Phil Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton etc... etc... I was really looking forward to sitting through the surreal fantasy.

Five minutes in and I was itching to leave. Never have I seen such pompous drivel, in fact, I simply can't go on talking about it as it put me in a horrid mood and I was close to asking for my £10 back (heck, I'm Scottish - short arms, long pockets and all that.)

So, in conclusion... Don't waste your time.

Tom Ford To Appear At Selfridges

Ooo, I do love the genius that is Tom Ford, and now I (and you) will be able to get a glimpse of him in the flesh.

On Wednesday June 10th Tom will make a personal appearance at Selfridges, Oxford Street to launch his new private blend fragrance, Bois Marocain.

BM has the following fragrance notes "With the rich essence of the root from the mystical thuya tree, it releases a scent so intense and mysterious it seems to reveal the secrets of the earth. Offering some of the finest and rarest ingredients, this scent possesses nine superbly intensified orpur naturals and a selection of the highest grade raw materials chosen by a team of master perfumers."

I love the depth and diversity of the rest of his fragrance collection so I really can't wait to try it.

Available exclusively at Selfridges stores.

Tom Ford PA
Wednesday, June 10th at 5:30pm
Selfridges, oxford street tom ford beauty counter, ground floor
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