Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tigi's Back On Top

I've always been a fan of TIGI, (ever since my cooler old sister brought it home and I started to steal it when I was supposed to be using the 'family' shampoo and conditioner) but it kind of fell off the radar and I haven't really used the line since.

Shame on me, really, because I've just started using their gorgeous new Love, Peace & Planet range which makes me actually look forward to dragging my sorry self out of bed at 6am and jumping in the shower where the minty freshness awaits.

Aside from it making my hair smell and look good, it also takes the environment into consideration and steers clear of unnecessary parabens, is biodegradeable and its packaging can be recycled.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Intolerant, Moi?

His Lordship says I have a stomach made of steel - not on the outside, mind - simply because I can eat anything and I never seem to get cramps or waste time on the white throne... I think it must be family genes, because he's right, I am pretty much unsinkable on the stomach front - even when in deepest, darkest India.

The only thing that makes me question my stomach is when I eat jacket potatoes - I know, it sounds daft, but I look nine months pregnant after having one and it happens every time I opt for the carbalicious treat. It's very annoying as I love them.

Help may be hand though, thanks to Margo Marrone and her team at The Organic Pharmacy.

They're launching a Food Intolerance Awareness education campaign in all stores during Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Week from the 25th- 30th January. During this week you have the opportunity to learn about your food intolerances and sensitivities, learn how to diagnose symptoms and be offered tailored solutions to help overcome the problem. Genius.

Margo, co-Founder of The Organic Pharmacy says: "Food intolerances can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable and it’s only by understanding the cause of the symptoms that we can manage the problem and treat it. We hope our campaign will help customers work towards overcoming any problems they may have."

So do I.

The Intolerance Test involves a trained homeopath using a BioEnergetic device to test for the most common allergens and offer treatments accordingly. For the whole week The Organic Pharmacy will be offering customers the opportunity to have the test for a special price of £49 instead of £70.

Why suffer when there could be a solution within reach.


Monday, 11 January 2010

The Beauty Spot: Sue Devitt

Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle Macpherson, Jennifer Lopez... these are just some of the famous faces that Australian-born make-up artist Sue Devitt has worked her magic on.

Aside from making-up on the faces of the beautiful people, Sue also found time to create a covetable brand of exquisite, nutrient-rich cosmetics - every time I wear one of her products people immediately want to know what it is and where they can buy it.

Come find out a bit more about the lady in question. Her drive, determination and time-management skills put mine to shame.

Who are you and what do you do?
I am the founder and creator of Sue Devitt Beauty. After years of working as a celebrity make-up artist and extensive product development experience, I was inspired to develop a line of nutrient-rich cosmetics for the global marketplace focusing on a treatment infused colour palette for women worldwide.

I continue to work as a make-up artist for my key clients while I work on developing new products and travel to exotic destinations for inspiration.

How did you get started in the industry?
I began my career as a make-up artist working on location shoots all around the world for major fashion magazines. I travelled from one exotic destination to another for 10 years and realised that I was always inspired and creating while out on the road, experiencing all of nature’s beauty through colour, texture and light.

Explain the inspiration and philosophy of your brand? How do you continue to think of new collections?
When make-up artist beauty lines began to enter the market place and create a buzz I realised there was a very exciting opportunity to layer sophisticated technology, exquisite formulations, and delivery systems into what we were seeing as quite ordinary formulations that were pretty but not groundbreaking.

My formulations are all inspired by exotic destinations that I visit. Sometimes I'm inspired by the colours of a gorgeous landscape, like the Serengeti Plain or Mt. Kilimanjaro, and other times I'm in awe of big beautiful tropical flowers, or delicate water lilies, which I'll research to see if they contain a skincare benefit that I can blend into a formulation.

What celebrities have you worked with?
I have worked with some really beautiful women, including Rachel Weisz, Eva Longoria Parker, Keira Knightley, Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Connolly and Jennifer Lopez.

Describe a day in your life...
Every day is different and every day is an adventure. When I travel, nature is my office as I am constantly inspired by the beauty all around me – taking notes, photographs and working up ideas for the next collection.

I also make sure to carve out time to adhere to a regular fitness regimen. Believe me, I realise there is always a good reason for skipping a workout but we should not allow that to happen unless it’s completely 100% unavoidable. For me, routine is important so I have a standing pilates appointment with my instructor every Tuesday morning and I go to a semi-private pilates class every Thursday morning before work. Weekends I get in my cardio and yoga. My favorite type of yoga is Kundalini and then Astanga.

Additionally, I meditate as many days a week as I can, usually at least four. I have a morning and an evening meditation practice. Sometimes it’s hard to focus so I use a guidance DVD (Rodney Yee AM and PM Meditation) Keeping myself fit is imperative in terms of feeling good about myself (I have always been very sporty and active – kind of typically Australian), It’s important to stay fit so I can keep up with myself! I have to stay on top of my schedule and I need it for my own self pride. If I can do that, then I can use any free time I have to connect to and channel my creativity and allow unique thoughts and visions to manifest.

What are your hero beauty products - products you couldn't live without?
The list is long and they all have a specific job – I put them through boot camp before they are released. My faves would have to be:

1. Microquatic™ Luminous Finishing Mist – It immediately hydrates and refreshes the skin while stimulating collagen production and promoting circulation. The combination of Ceramide 2, MDI Complex, and light reflective properties create luminous, glowing skin instantly.

2. Microquatic™ Oxygen Infusion Masque – Soothes, reduces any redness, and nourishes dehydrated skin. The hydrating and calming ingredients in the masque such as Blue Algae and Chamomile Extract will naturally moisturise your skin whilst repairing any damage caused by the elements.

3. 70% Triple Seaweed Foundation ­– The 70% water content leaves skin looking and feeling visibly more healthy and hydrated while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Who else do you admire in the beauty industry?
There are so many people that influence me in my professional and personal life, but I try to take a unique and fresh approach to my business and not have "role models" that might change how I'd look at something from a fresh perspective. I use many individuals from different career paths and walks of life as sounding boards, but I am really trying to blaze my own trail.

What do you like to do in your free time (if you have any)?
Inspiration trips keep me motivated and excited. I have always liked discovering beauty in the far and distant corners of the world and all beauty related procedures and practices. I am committed to a healthy lifestyle in terms of nutrition and a regular fitness regimen that includes yoga, pilates, meditation, and, of course, sleeping well. I make sure I have time for a personal life, beach walks, bike and horse riding, playing tennis, sailing and skiing with friends. For intellectual stimulation I surround myself with friends and colleagues that are creative, like minded and philanthropic.

If you hadn't become a make-up artist what would you have done?
Born in Australia, immersed in clear skies and clean crystal waters I was raised in a naturally healthy environment and quickly developed a deep appreciation and respect for nature and her lively splendour. It was no surprise that when the time came for me to decide upon a career path it would involve a dedication to nature, vivid colour, texture and light. It was part of my DNA and had influenced me deeply and inspired me upon my path. I was torn between a career in make-up artistry, interior design, and landscape architecture.

What's left for you to achieve?
I always manage to combine my interests when on the road for a total experience; work becomes personal, personal life folds back into my work.

On a professional level, I’m driven to create a successful global beauty business that offers beauty on a multi-dimensional level – more than we understand beauty as it is defined today. I always have a ton of creative projects rolling but I love to trail blaze trends and be ‘first to market’ with innovative formulations, ingredient combinations and delivery systems.

On a more personal level, I am passionate about working with Coral Reefs in the South Pacific (CRISP), a non-profit ocean-conservation organization based in the French territory of New Caledonia that protects the coral reefs, the South Pacific eco-systems, and the communities that depend on them. Its economic and environmental initiatives address and ensure biodiversity and the sustainable development of the oceans. Proceeds from our Destination Eye & Cheek Palette in Solomon Islands launching this Spring benefit non-profit organization Coral Reefs in the South Pacific (CRISP) to help protect the ecosystems.

American Apparel Nails It

Aside from making uber-cool strechy neon outfits that the tiniest of models would struggle to fit into, the LA clothing brand American Apparel has now entered the beauty arena with a line of cute and, of course, stylish nail colours.

I'm loving the fact that the colours are said to be inspired by everything under or surrounding AA - think the factory floor, hence the name Factory Grey and Downtown LA (a sexy crimson red).

Smart and sassy - I like it.

Available in store and online from www.americanapparel.co.uk.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Look Out NYC, Here I Come

I'm hoping to head to NYC next month - if I can persuade His Lordship to part with some of the BA airmiles he's been enthusiastically accumulating over the past year - LA, NY, Brazil, Australia - you name it, he's been there. And while he's been 'busy working' I've been slaving away at home making the place look and smell pretty, so I feel it's only fair that I get to spend some of those lovely little points on a trip to my favourite place in the world. (I won't mention the fact that I want to fly First to LA for our honeymoon in July - mum's the word...)

Anyway, with all this American stuff in mind I thought I'd hop on to the Sephora website to see what lovely beauty buys await my (His) Amex...

In no particular order, here's what I'm after:

1. Too Faced Fun in the Dark Light-Up Mirror Make-Up Palette $32.50
A cute, limited-edition collection of the brand's best sellers—plus, two exclusive eyeshadows. The light up mirror is an added bonus for getting your look right when you're on the go.

2. Bare Escentuals Expert Picks $98
Three members of the Sephora team picked the best, most-wearable shades and products for this eyes, lips and cheek trio - think moisturiser, face colour, primer, eye colour, mascara and gloss. Everything a girl could need.

3. Sephora By OPI Too Good For Him Nail Colour $9
A delicious, sparkly and vampy purple number which will work well against the cold, grey sidewalks of Manhattan (and my fab faux fur grey knee-length shaggy coat) - grrrr.

4. Strivectin Got Wrinkles? $99 (worth $150)
Er, not yet but if I keep going the way I am then I definitely will soon. This antiageing kit for eyes and hands (SJP I will not become) should keep the pesky skin folds at bay for a few more years' yet.

5. Philosophy's Flirty Girl Lip Shine Duo $20
I don't know what it is about NYC but I suddenly become invincible, cheeky and incredibly flirty almost as soon as I land back in Manhattan. Hid Lordship needn't worry, I'm a one-man kind of gal but there's nothing wrong with a wink and a smile here and there, right?! To help in my misbehaving mission I'll definitely be applying Flirty Girl lip shine (or Bubble Gum Blow Out, for that matter) to make my lips look and feel fabulous.

Now, where is that man so we can get booking?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Liz Earle Detox Kit

My bridal diet/detox has begun in earnest - it's only day three and I'm already dreaming of a large portion of chip shop chips with lashings of vinegar. However, just as I step over the threshold of the fat-laden, goody-filled shop in question, I fast forward to my wedding day and imagine what it would it would be like to put my beautiful dress on and not feel entirely satisfied with what I see staring back at me in the mirror. Therefore, I must continue - only six months to go!

Aside from making sure I take plenty of exercise and eat well, I'm also focusing on my beauty routine; lots of cleansing, toning, moisturising and exfoliating. Additionally, it's paramount that the skin from my neck down is also in tip-top condition - hence the procurement of this lovely little kit from Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare. The Detox Kit (£20) is designed to help slough off all of those dead skin cells, making your skin look and feel fabulous.

"For brighter, smoother skin on your body, I highly recommend body brushing. It’s an easy and inexpensive way of keeping the skin smooth, especially on lumpy, bumpy areas such as upper arms, hips and thighs. Use a long-handled, natural bristle brush to literally brush the skin from top to toe (working upwards from the soles of the feet), concentrating on hips and thighs to help shift cellulite. Given a daily boost of body brushing, our skin sheds waste and toxins more easily while our body benefits from a boost to the circulation and lymphatic system, improving skin tone, smoothness and even helping our immune system."

It's hard to argue with that.

The kit includes:

Natural Bristle Body Brush
With a long handle, this pure bristle body brush is the perfect tool for dry body brushing.

Energising Body Wash
Pure plant extracts and foaming agents clean and refresh your tired skin.

Energising Hip And Thigh Gel
Massage this product into your skin to help improve appearance of hips and thighs. It's also said to help to relieve puffy, swollen areas prone to fluid retention.

T: 01983 813 913

Monday, 4 January 2010

I'm Back... For Good

Apologises for the lack of posting - as His Lordship put it, my lack of posting is "similar to a shop closing temporarily without telling its customers when it was opening again". For this I can but apologise. Sorry!

So, it's fairly obvious that I've been pretty busy of late - and pretty lax when it comes to blogging. On reflection, I have really missed my daily tapping on the keyboard from my kitchen table, but towards the end of last year it was all becoming a tad too much and I was feeling under tremendous pressure at work, to pick a wedding venue (it's more stressful than I first thought) and basically not feel like my blog was becoming a bit of an albatross around my neck. Was it all really worth it?

Thankfully, I've now got renewed energy to kick-start 2010 and really strive for something with my blog this year - who knows what the future may bring but if you don't try, you simply don't get.

I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who has supported this blog thus far - especially right back at the beginning was I was in a wee bit of a state about the demise of my job at the time. Readers and PRs alike, you're the life-blood of my little out-pouring of reviews and emotions and I thank you.

Here's to a successful, healthy, happy and exciting 2010.
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