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
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