Monday, March 31, 2008

A Shot In The Dark

Yes, we do envy our American sisters who can get all the latest beauty and cosmetic enhancers before we do usually, but I'm afraid I won't be hot-footing for the latest across the pond treatment - The G-Shot. Yep, a nice shot of collagen into the G-spot that sets you back £800 is the latest non-surgical procedure to hit our shores. Apparantly, the injection increases the size of the G-spot to roughly the diameter of a 10p piece and enhances your pleasure by making it completely unmissable to any, uh, visitors. Sorry not to illustrate my point, but when searching for a good visual in the same file as The Easter Bunny, Santa and the Loch Ness Monster, I turned up nothing that would do.

Call me Spoilt...

But I cannot take a bath these days in just plain water. It's wrong bacon without the eggs or cappuchino without caffeine. One of my absolute favourite bath-enhancers is Darphin Aromatic Bath & Body Oil, £35. Yes, I know you can get a bottle of Radox for about £2 but the sumputousness of this treat is worth every penny. Jojoba oil, pepper, lemon, rosemary and Vitamin E leave your mind soothed and your body outrageously soft and silky, making it the perfect end of day bathing experience.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

How Did I Miss This?

Somehow the whole pomegranate-Rodial thing passed me by - and yet having been using Rodial Glam Balm for two weeks now (after having to radically alter everything since my skin reactions) it's one of the few products that I'm happy to call miraculous! I've had a tube sitting on my beauty shelves for about a year and never been tempted to try it; only desperation to find something my sore and spotty skin wouldn't react to forced me to give it a go. It's not entirely natural despite it's pomegranate extract credentials - but with results like this - who cares?! My skin is plumper, softer and definitely smoother. It's not a new product but has cult status for it's excellent results. At £62 it doesn't come cheap....but then miracles never do. Watch out for the newest trick from Rodial available (at Harvey Nicks) from 9th April - Boob Job £125 - a firmed, plumped and (promised to be) inflated rack is this summer's must have!

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's Just Not My Philosophy

Millions of beauty lovers adore the range Philosophy - but it just doesn't do it for me. My most recent sample was a huge bottle of green 'gelee', scented with lime, for use in the bath or shower. It made me wonder when in my life I ever needed to wash with chemical green slime that smells of cheap lemon cola. Does anyone? I can see the line's attraction; great branding, simple, colourful and aromatic, but lurid gloop does not, in my view, make a luxury bathing experience.

Arty Beauty

You'd be forgiven for thinking that bronzer time will never appear. Despite having 17 weathers in one day at the moment, choosing a bronzer is going to be difficult this summer, purely because the choice is just so amazing. Lancome's offering is probably the most dramatic and definitely has the wow factor....roll on summer...and the new handbag show and tell.

Easily Pleased

Give me a palette and I'm happy. Honest, it's just that simple. I'm currently completely besotted with Bobbi Brown's Raspberry Palette that gives muted smokey eyes without even trying. Bobbi is famous for her 'pop' of blush - ultra bright shades that translate to skin as a healthy, understated flush. The collection of colours in this limited edition of colours is wearable on any skin tones - especially the deep grey, nearly-black-but-not-quite 'Fog' shade - a sweep under the eyes and a line across the upper lid close to the lash line just gives lusciously sexy peepers for virtually nil effort. Since every shade matches it's house mates, there is no danger of going horribly wrong. Bliss.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Base Desire

Now that daylight is changing from interminable winter gloom to something rather brighter, it can be a bit of shock to see your skin in this new, far more revealing vein. It's not summer yet, so no need to dive to the bottom of your make up bag for tinted moisturisers, but if you use foundation, this is a good time to switch to something less weighty and more flattering. I love Estee Lauder Doublewear Light; sheer, weightless and complexion perfecting, it's a good £22.50 spent. Doublewear Foundation used to get a bad press - known for it's hefty appearance on the skin, it was considered something that only the 'counter girls' would wear. Applied properly, i.e. with a sponge or foundation brush and a light hand, and not trowelled on, Doublewear saved the day for many imperfect faces. Doublewear Light is a foolproof version that doesn't fade away as the day or evening wears on, and gives a polished finish without a heavy-duty look.

Completely Nutty

Any fashionista worth their salt heads straight to the Rue Royale when in Paris to nibble on tiny Laduree macaroons. So, it's intriguing to find that Laduree have launched an entire beauty range based on their cult edible fancies. Based around almond oil, known for its high Vitamin A content, the range translates to skin as a fabulously rich moisturiser. It's heavy on the almond fragrancing though; you'd have to love cakey/almondy/vanilla notes to enjoy using this range. The best thing about the endeavour is the design of the bottle stops - perfect little white macaroons. Available from Harrods. My top tip for shopping in Laduree is to ignore the queue of tourists battling it out for a cake and head straight for the tea shelves, where an elegant green tub of rose tea is far less calorific, and lasts infinitely longer than a bite of sugar.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Eazy Tweezy

Ridiculously pretty tweezers by quirky design company, Pylones, now on my Must-Buy list. £9.50.

Is it Just Me???

Or does the girl in the Marc Jacobs's Daisy ad look like she's just been killed by a falling bottle of fragrance?

A World of Gloss

Brit boy designer Christopher Kane's collaboration with Lancome Juicy Tubes prove what beauty editors have always known and fashion editors would like to deny - that make up and fashion go hand in hand. That's because the fashion editors want to be the girls with all the complimentary Chanel handbags. Enough though of our stylish sisters.......Plenty of designers turn their hand to make up (as well as the obligatory cash cow - fragrance) - Sophie Albou with the stunning Paul & Joe Sparkles range, Sonja Rykiel (only available in Asia, though), Anna Sui (USA only, sigh...). Christopher Kane's stamp on Juicy is representative of his travels around the world with each of eight glosses featuring a sixties-meets-noughties sketch. However, have to take slight exception to the flowery wording on the press release.....Red Hot New York for example comes with the blurb: It can be worn day or night to complement the busy lifestyleof the city's career women. Huh? Surely there's something - anything - more to be said about New York gals, other than that they are a bit busy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

From Blue To Grey

Way before Chanel's famously fabulous blue nail varnish, and way before the neon vibe hit the make up counters, Versace had the look sewn up. Neon orange, yellow and metallic blue were in their line up several seasons ago. Three years at least. However, all's gone quiet on this stylish brand, but why? A major repackaging and revamping is secretly going ahead - due out next year. However, a quick check on the internet reveals that Versace is one of the biggest brands in the so called 'grey' market - i.e. discounted. Once a product goes outside a 'normal' distribution channel, the manufacturers have little or no control over the price at which it is sold. But, there is no guarantee that when buying discounted grey market cosmetics you are getting the real thing. They may well be counterfeits. There is an exceptionally good article on that lifts the lid on how counterfeiting and the grey market really impact on the beauty industry and, of course, consumers.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We've Waited An Eternity

The end of the month sees the launch of the hyped new ck Calvin Klein make up range - and, having just got my first samples through, I can say that it's gorgeous! Chunky perspex packaging, with integral mirrors for blush, powder and eyeshadows, flavour free lip glosses (yes, oh, yes!), silky textures and creamy lipsticks....all deliciously wearable.

This is CK's second attempt at launching a make up line - the last (still available on some grey market sites - so don't buy it; it must be years old) was in the same minimalisitic vein but lacked the sophistication of this newer, better version.

In selected House of Fraser stores from end March.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Feelin' Fruity?

Ever wonder who decides what the next big thing in skincare is? This month, Allure thinks it's anti-oxidant packed Coffee month, who knows? But trend predictions for the organic market are pointing in the direction of fruit. Organic apricot, ginger, lime, cranberry and grapefruit hibiscus are all heading to a face cream near you. Apparantly, the UK market is more amenable to identifiable ingredients, rather than, say, vine leaf extracts. Which will be why organic brine extracts from the Brittany coast is expected to also be a hit, then. However, on the scientific side, new ingredients are less tasty - yes, than the brine! Skincare line Le Mystere has harnessed all the 'goodness' from cow After Birth Milk for you to slap on your face. Colustrum apparantly has many moisturising properties. So, while Alpine cows are doing their bit for global beauty, I say leave it for the calves.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It Balm

At last - a fabulously nourishing lip balm that doesn't taste of mint!! My lifelong search for an affordable balm sans methol has finally been accomplished. In April, Ren launches Biomimetic Perfect Lip Honey, and while their Senior Vice President of Naming Products is still in his/her 'confused? you will be...' phase, the balm is nothing short of genius. Reassuringly gloopy, with a discrete, low sheen, its packed with peptides and omegas that leave lips softer and smoother. And, it tastes of grapefruit. Mwah!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nothing Fishy...

Loving the latest creation from Chantecaille, whose butterfly embossed eye shades last year were on every beauty page for their sheer prettiness. These fabulously intricate eye and face colours are spot on for spring lights n brights and for each sale, 10% goes to marine charities. They haven't hit the UK yet, but when they do, I'll be first in the queue.

All In The Line of Duty

I've spotted this brand in the states several times, but never felt I wanted to try it because it looks like a 'cheap n cheerful' cream with a not so cheering price tag. However, this is one that really does work. Formulated to get rid of 'chicken skin' bumps that can appear on arms and legs (otherwise known as Keratosis Pilaris), it absolutely delivers on the promise. The ingredients list is less appealing however, with glycolic acid and urea, but if you can get over the fact that urea is a protein metabolism excreted from human urine (synthetically manufactured) used as a preservative and a penetration enhancer, chances are you'll be thrilled with the smooth skinned results. £25 at Selfridges in the UK.

A Rash Move

One of the downsides of being a beauty ed (yes, there are one or two!) is that sometimes skin has a bad reaction to a product. I try to test the majority of what's sent to me so its not suprising really that my complexion has just gone into total melt-down. Very un-beautiful! The latest culprit is NV Perricone Eye Area Therapy that I applied on Friday night. By Saturday morning I looked like a puffer fish. It's the most extreme reaction I've ever had to any product. It's Monday now and although I've lost the fishface, my eyes still look like they've taken a hefty punch. By chance I had a dermatologist appointment for another matter - a bumpy rash down the side of my face - again, probably (although not definitely) caused by a skin product - with the glamorous name of perioral dermatitis. It's going to take 6-12 weeks of antibiotics to clear it up. However, back to Perricone. There is probably no known celebrity who hasn't tried this brand - it claims some very A list fans, and it's hideously - really hideously - expensive. For those who aren't allergic to it, however, it is can produce some truly amazing results. Although, a couple of years on Perricone and you could have paid for a facelift....Even though I'm livid that I've had this reaction and wonder how an eyecream could be so potent it can produce such an extreme allergy, it's kind of my own fault. Reading the label after the event (spot my first mistake!), it recommends a 3-day patch test for reactions and that initially application should be once every other day. So whacking it on willy-nilly twice in one day really didn't help. So although I didn't follow the instructions properly, it is still very troubling that such active ingredients can cause truly disasterous reactions. And, I'm guessing the Perricone peeps know this - why else would they bring out a 'sensitive' range? The culprit for the Perioral Dermatitis? I will probably never know, but I am going to have patch testing at a hospital so i can avoid testing ingredients that will give me the worst breakout since I was 16.