Monday, 25 May 2009

ebay for beauty?

It's not the obvious place you think of when you fancy picking up a new beauty product, but, the adored auction e-tailer, has just announced that they now house a fab array of independent stores online. Consumers will now be able to shop for all sorts of items, including fashion and beauty.

The other good news - there's no need to bid, as the stores have multiple items in an assortment of sizes available for several months, just as you would find at other online retailers.

I love this kitsch little lipgloss purse (Purse Those Lips). How very vintage, and a snip at just £2.63 plus postage.

Check it out at

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I'm in love with Harajuku

Yum, how much to a want one of these Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers I Love Ice Cream cosmetic accessories (that was a mouthful!)?

Sadly, living in London I can't get my mitts on them because they're, and I quote, "A sweet, Sephora-exclusive ensemble of makeup bags for anyone with a "fatal attraction to cuteness."

Darn it!

Now where's my diary - I need to schedule in a visit to NYC...

Prices start at $20 for a clutch.

The Ritual Rooms: Wax Review

I'm a bit timid when it comes to wax, but I venture to the same salon every month because needs simply must. However, lately I've been thinking that there must be a place out there that not only caters to my hair removal needs, but also makes me feel pampered and special in the same way that a facial or a massage would do.

And, I think I've found it. Nestled behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street is a quaint street by the name of New Quebec Street... and situated at the end of the road is the heavenly oasis that is The Ritual Rooms.

I was warmly welcomed into the tranquil waiting area where I filled out a health form before it was time for my Brazilian Wax in preparation for my holiday the next day (the waiting area also allowed me to sink some water and a cake... or two. That is what I call service)

Laura, my therapist, then led me downstairs to the spacious and really comfortable treatment room. I felt completely and utterly relaxed, unlike my normal 'I'm stressed and I really don't want to be here' demeanour that only rears its ugly head come waxing day.

Laura gave me some time to slip into the glamorous paper pants and before I knew it she had started the hot wax process. Unlike waxing with strips of material, which can be terribly painful, hot wax is administered to the area, left for a 30 seconds or so and pulled off quickly. Laura and I chatted as she went about removing the required amount of hair and within 15-20 minutes I was able to stand in front of the mirror and (shyly but happily) admire her handiwork.

Aside from the the interiors and the friendly staff, it was the efficiency and expertise of Laura that made me feel so at ease. I felt very well looked after and was super impressed with the results. As I strutted along the beach the next day, I felt confident that my bikini line wasn't going to let me down and I can say, hand on heart, that I shall return to The Ritual Rooms, in, er, about 3 days time!

Try it for yourself, I know you'll be impressed.

Braxilian Wax £40

The Ritual Rooms
13 New Quebec St
Portman Village
London, W1
T: 0207 724 3884

A is for absolute must!

If you haven't heard of this little beauty of an eye serum, you're missing out.

One of my fave brands, Alpha-H, has just launched Absolute Eye Complex (£32) which is a beautifully hydrating serum, formulated to use over your entire eye area to help combat all your enemies; dark circles, puffiness, hooded eyelids and fine lines.

The mild flower acids, derived from Hibiscus Petals, help to resurface and repair the delicate eye tissue, while the skin-lifting Peptides firm and reduce swelling. Hyaluronic Acid replaces lost moisture and the addition of light-reflecting particles add luminosity to give you that 'just add a pash with my current man friend' type glow.

Top tip - it works as a great eye make-up primer and can be applied under make-up to revitalise and refresh the skin during the day.

Your eyes are one of your most important features - make sure you make the most of them.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Bring The Hampton Sun To You

I still pine for the days when I worked in NYC, think Working Girl without the bad sneakers.

Every day you'd find me whipping up Madison Avenue in a mad dash to get to my desk by 8.30am... stopping in at my favourite deli on the way, of course (you can take the girl out of Glasgow...)

Although I wasn't earning, shall we say, a vast fortune, I managed to pretend to live the high life thanks to the services of Visa and could often be found sipping expensive cocktails 50 floors up. When the summer season rolled in, I could be found on the Jitney... for those of you not in the know, this is the cheap way to get to the glory of the Hamptons, the place where everybody who is anybody flees to when the temperatures hit boiling point in Manhattan.

Now that I'm fully re-installed in London, it's not quite as easy to get my dose of Hampton's sun... My alternative? Bottle it.

Space NK introduces Hampton Sun - a complete line of luxury sun-tanning products inspired by the beautiful beaches of eastern Long Island, New York. Created especially for the Hamptons Set, "quality-minded individuals who enjoy the sun but not the burn", Hampton Sun products provide superior skin treatment for every category of sunbather. Allowing you to make the most of your time in the sun, whether at the beach, by the pool, or just strolling through town. It's as it if was made for me!

Hampton Sun offers unique formulations that combine the most effective moisturisers, anti-oxidants and vitamins with highly effective sun screens to help protect from signs of premature skin ageing. The simple yet sophisticated packaging and signature fragrance, embody the magnetic allure of the Hamptons... damn right it does.

Don't delay, act like a New Yorker today.

PS The fragrance, Privet Bloom, is fabulous!

Hampton Sun Smart Serious Sunbathing Collection - from £26.
Available exclusively at Space NK, by mail order (0208 740 2085) and online at this summer.

In search of a new fragrance?

I am such a creature of habit when it comes to fragrance - I simply get so used to the scent that I begin to feel naked and uncomfortable if I can't detect it (Stella McCartney, for the record).

However, I feel that it is my mission to branch out and try new things - broaden my fragrance horizons. One fragrance, launching on 6th of June, has already got me thinking that it might be Stella's replacement.

Presenting GUERLAIN AQUA ALLEGORIAS Cherry Blossom. With notes of Bergamot, Green Tea and Cherrytree Flower, this scent will transport you to a world of subtle, powdery, feminine loveliness. And, of course, it will look divine on my dressing table.

Is it the 4th of June yet?

Stockists: 01932 233 887

Eye Wonder

Constantly wondering how to get thicker and more delicious-looking lashes without resorting to falsies (think Penelope Cruz in the mascara ad)? Before you do anything drastic, I would suggest investing in a bottle of this sweet nectar.

Mavala's Double-Lash is a nutritive overnight treatment that targets weak and short eyelashes by strengthening and protecting each individual hair resulting in fuller, longer and healthier lashes. Whilst they set about restoring the overall condition of your lashes, Double-Lash also helps to ensure that you'll look bright eyed and youthful.

You can argue with that?


Lip-Smackingly Good

Yes indeed, get me one of these. I'm a huge fan of the Yes To Carrots brand and my new favourite is their C Me Smile Lip Butter (in Berry flavour).

Containing 100% natural ingredients and certified organic, it comes in a delicious selection of flavours: Berry, Mint, Citrus, Melon and, of course, Carrot! At just £2.99 and with a percentage of all sales going to the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund, (a foundation that provides sustainable food sources for disadvantaged communities) they are a cheap pick-me-up in more ways than one.

Just say yes!

Exclusively available from Debenhams.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hot Off The Beauty Press

Since Amanda George and Neil Weisberg joined forces to open Neil George Salon in Beverly Hills they've established a loyal clientele and fast become an A-list destination - i.e. they have more celebrity clients than you can shake a hairbrush at! My LA-based friends rave about the salon and even more so about their hair products. And thank goodness for Nicky Kinnaird who's ensured that us British ladies can get our hands on their magic hair remedies in her Space NK stores - hurrah!

The range of eight signature products (think shampoo, conditioner, treatment oil, volumising spray...) include the most innovative and highest quality antioxidants and botanical ingredients - can't wait to try them!

Nicky Kinnaird, Space NK Founder and Creative Director says: “A paraben free, botanical, results based hair care line from the hottest salon in Beverly Hills."

Available exclusively at Space NK, by mail order (0208 740 2085) and online at from June.

Get Posh's 'Do

I don't know about you, but I was quite impressed with Victoria Beckham at her recent Armani underwear launch at Macy's in NYC. Not only did she look sleek and trim, her hair also looked rather cool - and cool is not something that I normally associate with the globetrotting starlet.

I have long hair, but for all you ladies who have a similar length of tresses to Posh, listen up as Shay Dempsey, Design Specialist at Sebastian Professional takes us through the tips required to re-create VB's glossy, bed-head 'do.

To start, apply Sebastian Professional Texturizer (£16.50) onto wet hair, and then blast dry with a hair dryer to give root lift. This will show off the layers within the haircut.

For the finish to this simple style, put some Sebastian Professional Matt Putty (£13.50) onto the tips of your fingers, and pull the layers away to give definition, paying particular attention to the tips

Simple, no?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


It's all about doing what's right for you - what you eat, when you sleep, who you date, who you avoid, who you contact, where you live... the list is endless... and it shouldn't stop at your make-up decisions.

As always, the brilliant Bobbi Brown has come up with another product to satisfy even the most insatiable beauty appetite - and lets you, the consumer, choose what you want to buy in what format and in what colour... superb!

Remember these 3 words -

Customise. Simplify. Organise.

Bobbi’s come up with a fantastic make-up concept where you can create a bespoke palette to suit your personal make-up wardrobe, including:
Lip Gloss, Foundation, Eye Shadow (Base, Lid and Liner) in matt, shimmer and metallic, Blush (Base and Pop) in matt and shimmer.

Bobbi says: “The Customise. Simplify. Organise system is designed for women to customise their makeup and be their own make-up artists. It’s an easy way to take less but have more.”

The concept is all about going back to basics, creating a palette that is perfect for your make-up needs and easy on-the-go travel size make-up that is plane friendly (perfect for your summer holidays).

Check out this amazing online application where you can build your own palette on the Bobbi Brown website

On counter: This month
Stockists details: 0870 034 2566/

The Beauty Spot: Susan Posnick

When a brand claims to be "the simple solution for busy women who want to put their best face forward in the least amount of time," I simply can't resist. I want to dive in and find out more, and experiment with all the fabulous products, of course.

First things first though, let's get to know the founder of Susan Posnick Cosmetics, the Susan Posnick. Get ready to be impressed...

Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Susan Posnick, the founder of Susan Posnick Cosmetics whose philosophy is to make beauty simple for women of all ages and all lifestyles by offering a line of make-up that combines unique formulations with innovative, portable packaging.

How did you start in the beauty industry and how did do you get to where you are today?
I was a make-up artist, travelling internationally working in film fashion and beauty having the time of my life painting the faces of models, celebrities and rock stars when out of the blue in 1998, I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I decided to step back for a while and focus on developing a product with substantial sun protection that wouldn't feel heavy or cakey or melt off in the heat - and that was how my very first product ColorFlo mineral foundation was born. As time went on, I saw a need for beauty necessities - products that were portable, practical yet stylish, multi-purpose, but also products that were natural and kind to the skin.

Can’t live without beauty item(s)?
The great thing about my products is that they can all easily fit into the smallest of make-up bags as they are all pretty much dual ended and multi-purpose so I can carry all of my must have items! If I had to choose my can't live withouts, I'd say ColorFlo as its fool proof - you have your mineral powder, brush and SPF26 all in one swirl of a brush and you don't need to worry about it for the rest of the day! Oh and my new ColorEssential lipcolors - they are enriched with paracress which is a sustainable South African plant with antioxidant properties and also pomegranate which is super soothing and protects the delicate lip areas from free radicals.

Describe a day in your life...
Just recently it's been a whirlwind of travelling the world promoting my new ColorEssential lipcolor collection so it feels like I haven't had a typical day in so long! I've just returned to the States after launching it in the UK which was such fun but it's nice to be back home to spend some time with my daughter.

What are your thoughts on the beauty industry at the moment (trends, financial climate, organic, natural products, Dr brands etc)?
The bottom line is money -companies want you to replace everything, and often, because they make more money that way. In keeping with the idea of making beauty simple, it made more sense for me to make high quality, refillable products. The quality of the ColorFlo brush is so luxurious, I couldn’t fathom anyone throwing it away… economically and ecologically refillable products just made more sense.

With regards to trends for SS09, we are seeing a riot of red lips emerging but keeping things sheer - my ColorEssential in Milan suits this look perfectly. There is also a slow move into muted eye colors—taupe's, browns and grays, along with dusty corals, pinks, nudes on the lips. Another trend we’re seeing is really bright colors on the eyes, but in small doses (like a pop of color with ColorEyeDefine in Turquoise/Topaz).

What are your brand’s philosophies, and how do you put them into practice on a daily basis?
In a nutshell, Susan Posnick Cosmetics is the simple solution for busy women who want to put their best face forward in the least amount of time.

Name some hero products in the range...
My ColorFlo and also my ColorMe Mineral Blush as the formula is anti-bacterial and sweat proof and looks gorgeous and velvety on the skin. I love my ColorCorrect as it instantly brightens and corrects in seconds and or course my ColorEssentials. I'm really proud of these - we tested each shade on over 200 women to get their comments and to ensure that all five shades complement every skin tone and the feedback we had was just incredible.

Greatest achievement to date?
Overcoming several bouts of skin cancer and from that part of my life, going onto develop ColorFlo.

Hopes for the future?
On a personal note, I’m looking towards the next step of my life as I prepare my daughter for university and her life beyond…also, I want to continue to work smart, have fun and attempt to keep a balance in my life, at least most of the time!

For the brand, it's about continuing to develop innovative beauty products that people love and want to use - as simple as that!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Beauty Spot: Kristy Goodger

Meet Kristy Goodger, Founder of Elemental Herbology, a range dedicated to maintaining beautiful skin, helping to restore equilibrium when environmental, lifestyle and hormonal fluctuations dramatically alter the mechanisms of skin.

By combining advanced levels of cosmetic technology with potent levels of botanical, mineral and marine actives Elemental Herbology offers naturally active, results-driven products and spa treatments. Designed to cool, clear and calm in the summer, repair, infuse and hydrate in the winter and boost and nurture over-exposed skin all year round, Elemental Herbology works in harmony with your body’s changing needs.

Let's go and find out what it's all about...

How did you start in the beauty industry and how did do you get to where you are today?
I am a qualified practioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and have studied various modalities of body therapy (Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, Tuina, Reiki, Thai Massage etc). After I completed my studies in Australia I travelled to the UK and started working in the spa industry before undertaking a consultancy role in product and treatment development as the Spa Development Manager for Space NK in London.

Can’t live without beauty item(s)?
Cell Food – every morning and night, Wind and Cold therapy for my hands nails and lips and Facial Glow once or twice a week.

Describe a day in your life...
I travel a lot so when I am abroad it is quite hectic and involves back-to-back meetings with Distributor’s, buyers and press appointments. However, when I am in the UK, I always start the day with a cup of tea in bed before going for a run or yoga class (certainly not every morning but most weekdays!) which is great stress relief and doesn’t make me feel so guilty for sitting at a desk all day. I am normally in the office by 9.30am to return emails and make calls. As we work with the US, Asia and Australia there is always a lot going on outside of ‘normal’ office hours that needs to be dealt with first thing. Lunch is usually at my desk and the afternoon is frequently spent focusing on marketing initiatives, design elements for new packaging and concepts for product and treatment development. I always try to have a great evening meal and ‘down time’ with my husband, Raul before a long soak in the bath and bed!

What are your thoughts on the beauty industry at the moment (trends, financial climate, organic, natural products, Dr brands etc)?
I think given the current financial climate, consumers are looking for affordable quality. A product that delivers great results but not going to drain the bank account. There is definitely a trend towards the use of natural actives over synthetics. I recall when I first started working with Space NK we saw the first wave of Doctor brands that went on to dominate the market for the next five years. However, I believe today’s client is much more eco-conscious and wanting more out of their skincare that just visible results. We created Elemental Herbology to try and bridge this divide by creating a naturally active product that was both tactile and sensory but also capable of achieving serious results, with the added bonus that we also have a commitment to affordable quality.

What are your brand’s philosophies, and how do you put them into practice on a daily basis?
Elemental Herbology is really about restoring balance. So in this way, using the products you need on weekly or monthly basis that allows your skin to adapt to it changing needs. We really emphasis the importance of cleansing thoroughly every night and doing a home facial once per week, to include a thorough exfoliation, mask and reparative serum which when performed regularly will really improve the health and vitality of your skin.

Name some hero products in the range...
Wind and Cold Therapy – a multi-purpose balm that I slather over my hands and lips throughout the day. Cell Food which is literally food for the skin – an abundance of nutrients brighten and re-hydrates. It gives the skin such a nice glow you don’t have to use any foundation. Soothing Oil Free Hydrator – a super hydrator that it rammed packed with actives and leaves such a lovely velvety feeling on the skin. While our Sun Kiss that contains subtle levels of an eco-certified tanning agent derived from Sugar Beet launching this May I believe will be huge hit as we have already received phenomenal feedback.

Greatest achievement to date?
Definitely launching Elemental Herbology singlehandedly.

Who else do you admire in the beauty industry?

Nicky Kinnaird from Space NK is a true skincare guru with a inbuilt radar for what works and what doesn’t while building such a phenomenal and successful business. A true inspiration! While Susan Harmsworth for creating Espa, who have such a wonderful commitment to quality spa properties and training and development of their staff.

Hopes for the future?
To take Elemental Herbology global while maintaining our commitment to offering great customer service, affordable quality and beautiful, feel-good skincare.


Jessica Biel has been announced as Revlon's New Global Brand Ambassador. A fine choice I say. If she's good enough for JT...

Lippie Love

I'm not really a massive lipstick wearer - hope Mum (aka Krystal Carrington) isn't reading this - she'd be ashamed! However, I occasionally leave the lipgloss behind and plump instead for it's more difficult-to-wear peer, i.e. the lipstick.
One brand that I'm loving at the moment (and not just for their lippie) is bellápierre. They've re-formulated their mineral range of lipstick and added even more mineral pigments, iron oxides and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

The new smooth and silky formula delivers long-lasting, moisturising and nourishing colour and doesn't feel clogging on the lips. It also contains minerals such as Titanium Dioxide, which provides natural protection from the sun all year round.

The range includes five shades (pictured below from left to right), from nude to bright red. It also doesn't contain nasties like lanolin, bismuth oxychloride or parabens.

It's v nice indeed.

bellápierre lipstick costs £22.99 or call 0800 0234 190

New Miller Harris

I'm a bit of a sucker for a luxury fragrance, therefore Miller Harris is no exception. Their new scent, created by their genius founder and 'nose' Lyn Harris is Fleurs de Bois. The scent is inspired by the secret garden in London's Regents Park and captures the heady mix of lush greenery and woody notes.

They say 'Crisp top notes of galbanum and green grass, lemon Sicily, tangerine green and rosemary [that] give way to a traditional English bouquet of rose, jasmine and iris. A base of oakmoss, patchouli, santal, vetiver and accents of birch complete this green and woody bouquet.'

I say 'Buy it now. It's a classic, grown-up scent for those in the know.'

Available now
50ml £52.00
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