Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hot But Not Bothered


I found Jaily's Intimate Beauty Wipes, £16.50, at a trade show in Paris last year. In her own very discrete French way, creator Valerie Myevs refers to anywhere below the naval and above the thighs as her 'intimacy'. While in the UK we are not particularly open to discussing personal pongs, these wipes for the intimate area sell a bomb in the far and middle east, where temperatures make freshness virtually impossible. I love these 'shower in a tube' wipes - they can be used anywhere on the body; armpits, feet and, of course, our intimacy! They're perfect for work-to-party turn arounds, long haul refreshers or as holiday handbag essentials - and are pro-biotic, supporting rather than destroying, natural flora. Find them at www.beautyexpert.co.uk or www.jailys.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dotty Mixtures


RMK's Spring 08 collection, 'Shiny Mix Dots' is innovative, quirky and extraordinarily clever. Using a scramble of three dots of colour for each Shiny Mix Eye Shade, £18 and Shiny Mix Cheeks, £16, the result on skin is a sheer, irridescent wash that's bang on trend for going into spring. There's some blurb in the press release about being inspired by art movement, Pointillism, but for those of us whose art knowledge runs no further than an Athena poster, there's really no need to have an understanding of Seurat to appreciate these texturally individual pieces. Less keen on the marbled lipsticks - Shiny Mix Lips, £16, formulated by melting a shimmering pigment and smooth lipcolour into one stick, but loving the Nail Colours, £12, with a splash of latest ingredient - holographic pearl - for an outstanding reflective appearance. At Selfridges. http://www.rmkrmk.com/

Monday, February 25, 2008

Stylish Upstart


At 22, Edward Bess has already dabbled in the world of modelling in London, before designing his uber-sleek Lipstick Wardrobe, $350, exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. I know its a British Beauty Blog, but come on, it's gorgeous, so let's overlook the fact that it's not here yet. Bess's Deep Shine Lip Glosses, $26, are fig fragranced, which makes a lovely change from horrible, saccharine vanilla, strawberry and worst of all, mint. www.edwardbess.com

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Designer Wet Wipes


Loving the in-your-face luxury take on an everyday, utilitarian item. Prada Infusion D'iris Refreshing Mono Use Towels - could only find the $ price, so maybe they haven't reached our shores yet ($60) - are a great example of crazy-beauty. But I still want them....


What next, though. Chanel No5 scented doggie-do bags? Hey.....let me make a call.....

Deluxe Delovely Dior


This delicious Dior Spring Blossom Palette, £32, is exactly the kind of make up that keys into our shopping gene. You don't quite know what it does, but you want it anyway because it's gorgeous. If you're baffled by how to use it, I suggest swirling a big fat blush brush over it to highlight the cheeks or pick out individual, pearly colours to use as eyeshadow. Failing that, bring it out of your handbag everytime you lunch to 'check your lipstick' in the integral mirror just for the pleasure of having your friends swooning with envy. I just wish in trying to source the price for this palette, that I hadn't come across www.diorcouture.com. Luxury e-tailing at it's most tempting.

But What Does It Do????


Pet peeve coming up. Ren, fabulous skincare brand, known for it's 'clean' ethics - no petrochemicals, sulphates, parabens etc, etc, have gone bonkers. Their latest anti-ageing cream is called Sirtuin Phytohormone Replenishing Cream, containing Sirtuin Activators, Perlecan Activators, and Phytosteroids. Gosh, and here's me without a chemistry degree. It just doesn't make any sense at all to give your ravishingly lovely face cream a name that's just frankly off-putting, meaningless to anyone without a sound working knowledge of skin science and doesn't even mention on the label how it might help you to be even more beautiful. Any more contenders for the baffling label competition? I'd love to know......

Friday, February 22, 2008

Is it, or isn't it?

Can't get to the bottom of the Sephora own brand coming to Marks & Spencer. The general view is that it probably isn't - M&S talk to other brands all the time, and it's rare to see anything other than own label actually on the shelves. However, watch this space until I get the definitive answer......

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Attack of The Self Tan

I've had my worst self tan experience to date recently. My body is now considerably more art intallation than holiday in St Barths, which will no doubt serve me right for trying to look like I had a luxurious winter break. Actually, my face was the only part of me that the tan settled evenly on - thank god. At least the rest can be covered until it fades. Sadly, the USP of this particular tan - and yes, I'll name and shame so nobody else has to go through this shocker (it's EcoTan Spray) - is that it lasts at least a week. Lessons learned from my freaky streaky stage? Get a spray tan done professionally or stick to lotion self tans or mousses that can be evenly rubbed in. I swear by Sisley Self Tan for a light and utterly realistic look with a topping of Clinique Quick Bronze Tinted Self Tanner Mousse for days when a bit more bronze is essential. Marks & Spencer Tanning Mitt is an absolute essential for avoiding the orange finger giveaway.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Criminally Confused

According to the US National Retail Federation, the beauty products most likely to be stolen from stores and sold on Ebay are Covergirl and Oil of Olay. Thieves, have you no shame? There are much better brands.........

Fairytale Beauty


If you don't have a good reason to throw on a faux fur and head to Moscow, here's one. A hot new make up brand making its debut in Russia... Soon to arrive in France, it's surely only a matter of time until we find it here. In fact, we will. I'll make sure of it! Part fairytale fantasty and part fabulous fixers, this beauty secret is decadent dirty fairy meets Alice in Wonderland. Grand slam-glam. All will be revealed.....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sephora UK?

Heard today that fabulous beauty store - first stop in Paris or New York for me - Sephora - is making a come back to the UK later in the year! While it's not as good as getting our own branch of the beauty mecca, Sephora are apparantly launching their own brand into Marks & Spencer. This is great news for beauty fiends - Sephora own brand make up is affordable and effective. Love their big, fat, chunky silver eye pencil. In a recce of the Sephora store on the Champs Elysees that I visited this morning I found the wonderful brand SAMPAR that can't find a way into the UK because there is no distributor currently. Mind you, it also stocked some bizarre range called Placenta cream which personally doesn't do it for me! It was in the sale bucket - otherwise known in Paris as the 'Sexy Price' basket! Let's hope this time that if Sephora is successful in its venture with M&S, it might pave the way for a huge flagship store in the middle of London instead of hoping that small stores in out of town shopping centres will work out. It didn't the first time Sephora came to the UK, and it still won't. At the height of tourist season and at Christmas in Paris, there are literally queues outside the Sephora flagship store. Let's hope it makes more of a splash than Cargo did in selected Sainsburys.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Laugh? Please Do...

More press releases heading my way on detox patches. People, they just don't work. The ones I have promise to give you a radiant complexion - and yet, you stick 'em on your feet. Even I can see there is something topsy turvy about that. Interestingly, the claims that the dark sticky marks that appear overnight on the patches that claim to be expelled toxins also appear if you wet the patch slightly and leave it on the radiator overnight. Tut, looks like I've got a toxic heating system. Really, if you want to detox for better skin, drink lots of water instead. Rather than costing £29.99 for a 20 day supply, it's free - from a tap near you.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

WonderWeb

There's one site that I absolutely love and its turning out to be a real research resource - www.thebeautybrains.com. A group of cosmetic scientists who understand the intricacies and components of beauty products give the low down on individual products or answer general questions. The tone is light, girlfriendy and funny, but the essence is very serious. For example, they point out that eyelash dye is not approved in the states for use by the FDA, because of possible side effects, including blindness...and yet, here in Europe, the powers that be don't consider it a risk. Anyway, it's something to ponder and you may, like me, want to take your home dye kits straight to the bin. If you want it straight from the hip - i.e. does it really work, the scientists are happy to set you right. Love them for their straight-talking, myth busting, beauty booting brains!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lights Always On

I'm weak for fragranced candles - my empty wallet is proof that I just can't resist them. Top faves are Rigaud, Natural Magic, Jo Malone and Marks & Spencer. Tell me yours....

A Little Brit Organic




New organic brand Sophyto is due to hit the Uk in the next couple of weeks. Created by Brit Karen Sinclair-Drake, Sophyto is a new eco phenomenon. Or is it phenomena? Using active botanicals - and be warned - some can be very, very active, so choose as wisely as you would a mainstream brand, a generous sprinkling of ancient techniques and some brilliantly boffin-based high tech methods, it's really very delicious. Already armed with the Soil Association Stamp of Approval - as hard to get as the latest Chloe bags - it's reassuringly earthy to the olfactory senses. The ads are anything but earthy - baroque meets Brit rock - And, its water based - a refreshing change from oil based beauty regimes. I've already tried the cleanser, the moisturiser and an exfoliating mask - all very fluid - and loved them, once I got used to the consistencies. Anyway, launch date is scheduled for mid Feb at http://www.sophyto.co.uk/and www.beautyexpert.co.uk. QVC, Fred Segal and Nordstom already champing at the bit to stock the eco-luxe lovelies, I think it's going to fly off the shelves. Start with the Try Me pack - small phials of hero products to give a proper taste of the range.

TLC from DLC


First thought on the olive oil based range from Japan, DHC? What's the point? Surely everyone keeps a bottle of extra virgin in the house - let's all cleanse and moisturise with that instead. So, I gave it a go. Apart from smelling like a tapas bar, the kitchen olive oil took an age to disappear off my skin - there was still a greasy sheen the following day though I swiped and wiped. So, now I know why, despite celebrities swearing by a splash of olive oil to keep their skin aglow, in real life, it isn't a credible option. However, you can't doubt that olive oil is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So I tried olive oil laced DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, £16, the first part of their USP 4 Step Basic routine, that's actually very smooth and comfortable on the skin. This needs to be followed by the Mild Soap, £10, whose lather whisks off any last oily residue. Step 3 is the DHC Mild Lotion to tone - although I'm never sure whether any toner does really work - and finally Olive Virgin Oil, £25.50. And the last 'moisturising step' really is just olive oil. However, its been worked to be completely clear and ultra-light, and possibly most importantly, scent free - meaning there's no confusion with a salad dressing. Is it worth £25.50, though? Not sure. If I was hard-up, I'd possibly turn to the kitchen cupboards instead. Where the range does stand out though is in it's 4 Step approach - and I'd recommend it for teens where putting a great skin care routine in place will reap rewards for the rest of their lives. Just ask Clinique, whose 3 Step system is a multi million pound seller all on its own. www.dhcuk.co.uk

Blue Nails...Freaky or Funky?


I am loving my bottle of Chanel Nail Colour in Blue Satin, £13.
It's the inkiest combination of blue/black that is just sheer chic. If you think you can't work it on your hands - nail nibblers listen up - wear it on toes instead with black patent peep toe stillettos for undiluted glam. A top coat of the brilliant Seche Vite gives it an unbeatable gloss - mine stayed chip free for three days. Remember though, always, always use an undercoat when applying dark colours otherwise when it comes to removing the polish your nails will look like you spent the weekend changing the oil in your motorbike. One thing I didn't know about Chanel nail polish is that it's toluene free. However, I am absolutely not loving Chanel's Inimitable Mascara in Noir-Indigo; a clever, on trend, blue/black fusion. While the colour is irristibly pretty, the formula is utterly disappointing; it's dry, flakey and had all but disappeared after only a couple of hours. Come on couture people, sort that out.

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things



I'm horribly promiscuous when it comes to beauty buys; one minute I'm loving a gloss, the next, it's in the bin. But a few old faithfuls I cannot give up - no matter how much - in the interests of research - I should! And, I buy, not blag them. No.1 slot goes to the ouchy-expensive Sisley Nutrative Lip Balm, £29.50 - eek! But, its the only balm that truly, truly sorts out dry lips. One of my pet hates is mint flavoured balms....yuk, yuk, yuk! And thankfully, this luxurious balm has little in the way of scent or flavour. It's just multi-purpose miracle worker, and at the last count I had five pots hidden in various drawers, bags and pockets.

Spending valuable microseconds in front of the mirror applying the latest, greatest eyeshades is all for nothing if your masterpiece disappears half way through the day. Metallic creamy shades, that seem to have quite a high oil or silicone content are almost impossible to keep in place leaving you working a nude look when you began with nu-metal. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eyeshadow Base, £12, works like a charm, soaking up skin oils from your lids where they naturally pool (hence the 'where did it go?' effect).

More favourites later...