Friday, May 30, 2008

Poster Girl




Discovered these fabulous reproduction posters at http://www.art.co.uk/. With over 300 to choose from, covering everything from toothpaste to long lost fragrances, they are just delicious.

Wish I Was Here


According to Women's Wear Daily, the fabulously fragrant Acqua di Parma has opened it's first spa, Blu Mediterraneo, in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. There will be more Acqua di Parma spas opening over the coming months/years - please let's have one here pronto. (This from me, who loathes spas!)

Naughty, Naughty

Silver tongued Sharon Stone has been pulled from all Dior advertising in China. Her comments implied that the earthquake that devastated Sichaun may have been 'karma' for the unkind treatment of Tibetans by the Chinese. Oops. She's apologised now, but the wider picture implies just how important foreign markets are to the big beauty players.

Going Up


Elemis' Pro-collagen range has been a runaway success with women everywhere looking to firm and tone their complexions. From the end of July, they are adding the Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Mask, 45 pounds, to the line up. I've had a pre-release sample, tried it and definitely look slightly perkier. Facial masks are often used instead of proper skin care - as in, 'oh, I really can't be bothered, I'll just shove a mask on and hope for the best'! Unless you cleanse thoroughly and exfoliate first (except with an exfoliating mask), you won't get the best from your masks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Smoothie


I've always loved Jo Malone skincare and make up (finishers) that have recently taken much more of a back seat in favour of fragrances. In fact, its rumoured that the facial finishers (including the best blush stick I've ever had) are soon to disappear from stores altogether. Huh? These are gorgeous little make up items - a light foundation, mascara, clear gloss and pink hued blush stick - that never had a proper airing in the first place - are going? Created by Jo Malone for customers enjoying her facials, they ensured that nobody left looking denuded and barefaced - rather, naturally glowing and pretty. Facial Finishers should be compulsory for salons giving facials, rather than hurling pale, rabbit-eyed - though silky skinned - women out on the street post facial. Anyway, new to the Vitman E skincare range is something truly sumptuous for the body; Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub, 59 pounds, that leaves your bod buffed and soft, especially those who have dry skin.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something To Smile About


Loving this idea from USA brand, Tarte. It's a double ended pen - one end packed with tooth whitener, the other with lipgloss. Simple, but genius. Named Enbrightenment BriteSmile Whitener & Tarte Lipgloss. BriteSmile is one the of the USA's most popular tooth whiteners. It's not available in the UK so be sure to get any friends travelling to the States to stock up at Sephora stores.

Boosting Boasting


This is one of my all time favourite products - a revelation for those tan, like mine, only starts to appear towards the end of your holiday. Gatineau Melatongenine Anti-Ageing Tan Accelerator brings all the melanin to the surface of your skin so by day 2 of holiday you do actually look like you've already been sunning for a week. And, it's apparantly quite safe to do this. Apply every day for two weeks before you hit the beach - which has the added advantage of ensuring you have super smooth skin - and each day on holiday for a longer lasting, faster appearing and generally more even tan. The Accelerator will help your tan last longer if you use it post-holiday too. I'm extra happy that they've finally supersized and a mega bottle, 40 pounds (http://www.beautyexpert.co.uk/) should see you all through the summer.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Penta-whatever

Hot on the footsteps of the Olay Regenertist Daily 3 Point Treatment Cream, written about beautifully in the Sunday Times by Kathleen Baird-Murray (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/beauty/article3907974.ece), whose wait-list had a wait-list, is another line expansion about to debut in the States. As usual (grrr) we will have to wait a little longer. Olay Definity Night Anti-Spot Treatment Cream that will be a blessing to those who sunbathed themselves to creamy-skinned oblivion in their twenties and are now suffering the brown mark consequences. It claims to reduce pigmentation and age spots in 6 weeks - not bad going. There will also be a couple of foundations and a tinted moisturiser. Olay apparantly looked at a study (according to WWD) that showed pictures of 50 women to an audience of 200 and asked them to rate their age and health with the photos altered (ageing signs removed - such as wrinkles) and unaltered. The study found, um, that people with wrinkles and age spots looked older and less healthy. I am starting a new career in pointless studies. There is obviously a market.

Avon Calling


Avon is coming up with collaborations left, right and centre. Looking forward to the Maremeko collection; until then though, there is the first ever Bond Girl 007 signature fragrance, launching to co-incide with the next film; Quantam of Solace in October 2008. I'm reliably informed it's a combination of velvety florals; white peach, orange blossom, jasmine and freesia. 16 pounds.

Givenchy Pictures







Thursday, May 22, 2008

Givenchy Autumn/Winter 2008

In a nutshell, it's stunning! Having seen the products that will be landing on counters from August onwards from Givenchy, I can be certain they will be in every magazine/paper/beauty blog in the land. With a theme of 19th century Dandies; wealthy men who represented the art of handsomeness, refinement and luxury (Givenchy's words, not mine), the look is very Agyness meets Chrissie Hynde with lashings of blue/black kohl and dark, dark eyes in the Prisme Again range. But, it's the packaging that stands out - black and white polka dot lids adorn mascaras and lip glosses, and the must have of the season, a limited edition gold pocket watch casing filled with a multi tasking pink hued cream that can double as lipstick or cheek tint. A new style mascara brush - the likes of which we really have never seen before - is the icing on the cake. This is the type of ingenuity and creativity that we'd expect from Givenchy Artistic Director, Nicolas Degennes, but he has truly surpassed himself on this amazingly beautiful collection. NB: Bumping into him outsite the launch venue while he was having a sneaky puff on a cigarette was my perfect opportunity to get some great tips and quotes for BBB. Instead, my knees went a bit weak and I just stood there shaking his hand and grinning like a love sick puppy. Oops. Pics will be up tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Barely There


I'm not a fan of mineral make up - I find it drying and deadening on the complexion. I've recently tried Nvey, snapped up by beauty giants Sephora, and still can't raise a jot of enthusiasm for pots of dust that you can't even breathe near unless you want it splattered all over your clothes. However, a recent stop at the bareMinerals counter in Selfridges did make me realise that I am the exception to the rule. After chatting to the counter staff, I came away thinking that the key to succesful mineral make up is to apply it properly; have a make over (or make under, as they do at bareMinerals), and actually learn how to get the most from it and how best to apply. The make up artist told me a lovely story about a teenage boy with terribly red and angry skin braving Selfridges on a Saturday for a make under, so desperate was he to conceal his skin problems. Absolutely delighted with the natural looking concealing effect, and the fact that the minerals didn't irritate his skin even more, he felt confident enough to go out that night - something he hadn't done for months. And, the counter has a testemonial book full of glowing endorsements from happy punters. So, it really is just me that doesn't get it, I think.

In The Pink




New York designer, Cynthia Rowley, famed for dressing celebrities such as Scarlett Johnasson, can turn her hand to anything, it seems. One of her recent 'designs' was to wave a wash of bright pink over a garden hose and sell it at USA supermarket giant, Target, for $10. Odd. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that marketing meeting...'ok, so it's a hose...and your design touch is to make it pink....yay, we LOVE that...high five...we think....' However, She's been much more inventive and forward with her collaboration with Avon. The gorgeous All-Over Face Colour, 8 pounds, is a make up addict's must have, embossed with tiny flowers, and pretty in pink hues. Americans are mad for Avon, while we Brits tend to treat it as a beauty poor relation, but if it keeps on with these wonderful collaborations, it deserves more respect. Worldwide, Avon coins in over $10 billion in annual revenues. However, its worth noting that Avon UK has raised 14 million pounds for breast cancer charities since 1992. That truly is amazing. NB: Lisa Snowden has just signed to be the face of Avon lingerie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

....Stop Press

Just had the heads up on brand new straighteners that promises to keep hair straight for at least 12 hours! It's from Babyliss - the straighteners won't launch here till September or so - but they are available in France. When I've tried them out I'll let you know - if they can straighten my frizzball do then they can straighten anyone's. These could be the answer to straightening addictions everywhere...........

Fat Chance


It's that time again, when all the fashion and beauty magazines are showing just how bad a celebrity can look in a bikini. All a bit unfair really, when we never get to see the fashion and beauty editors looking no doubt utterly gorgeous in theirs. But you can't escape the fact that at the same time the bikinis come out, so does the cellulite. Cellulite creams can cost a (dimpled) arm and leg; a quick ingredient check of those that have recently landed on my desk show that they contain roughly the same basic ingredients; antioxidants, AHAs, caffeine (to stimulate blood flow) and Retinoids (that makes skin plumper by stimulating collagen, hiding the bumps). While cellulite is a naturally occuring storage pattern of fat, its thought to be down to genetics as to how much or little you will have. It's apparantly unrelated to weight loss. And, its important to note that most anti-cellulite products claim not to banish cellulite, but to 'improve the appearance of cellulite'. Which is as good as its going to get until someone discovers the holy grail of altering fat distribution. So you may as well save your pennies for something more interesting, like a sarong, and opt for a less pricy version. I like Nivea My Silhouette, 11.99 pounds, which contains all the usual suspects, and if nothing else, gives you super smooth skin.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shop Around


I'd love to know why Bliss 4 Star Sleeping Peel starter set is in the sale section on http://www.harrods.com/ at 50 pounds. It's on the BlissLondon web site for 30.

Tut.

Bright & Beautiful


I shouldn't want one of these La Prairie Jewelled Skin Caviar, but I do. SHOULDN'T because its a totally over the top, crazily-priced, bling-in-a-bad-way pot full of cream that doesn't particularly do anything for my skin. But DO because it's ridiculously pretty and maybe this time around the cream will deliver lifting and firming in a way never before seen. Or maybe its just grabby shallowness.

At 1,400 pounds, I'm unlikely to find out.

Portable Protection


In the recent pre-summer sunshine, I watched a lovely PR turn pink in front of my very eyes while we met up at a cafe with seating outside. It made me remember all those times I've forgotten to bring sunblock out and come home red nosed and burned on my shoulders. So, now I've discovered this extremely handy clip-on SPF30 sunscreen that's small enough to live on my keychain or inside my handbag, I'll hopefully avoid that particular glow. Better yet, it's by ZO1; advanced anti-ageing sunscreen that goes onto skin completely clear (not that giveaway white) and has the great advantage of not going anywhere near your hands.

ZO1 Invisible Protection Stick, 10.95, www.beautyexpert.co.uk

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bags of Money....


....is what you'll need to snap up this sublime Tanner Krolle Make Up Bag, packed with skin-loving Decleor goodies. Exclusively at Harrods, it's a mere 480 pounds.

Oops

Having bemoaned the fact that we can't get those coloured droplets from La Prairie Silver Rain fragrance in the UK, we can. www.harrods.co.uk.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can't Keep A Secret




First-stop-in-New-York shop, Anthropologie have amazing beauty treats; the gorgeous Australian Urban Rituelle soaps, Mistral Nectar de Fruits Body Lotion, rose and citrus infused Lollia Believe Bubblebath and beautiful Satu eye palettes, to name but a few previously unattainable goodies. Now, they have their own UK website so we can click and receive. I should keep that to myself, but can't. The biggest surprise though is a range of Frederic Fekkai haircare at crazy-low prices...Full Volume Shampoo at SpaceNK is 18 pounds plus - at Anthropologie it is 11.73p. Who knew?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lash Out




A collaboration between daring designers Viktor & Rolf and make up magicians, Shu Uemura has resulted in the most amazing false eyelashes ever! These fantasty lids are destined to be featured in every fashion/beauty mag in the land for their sheer inventive designs....and are the ultimate black dress accessory. If you are anxious to grab a set, they'll be exclusive to Harvey Nichols from June.

First Screening


L'Occitane's newest venture is a sun range - L'Occitane Do Brasil - formulated without the use of chemical filters, zinc oxide or alcohol. Ecocertified Brazilian fruits instead do the work of reducing your risk of burning, and subsequently ending up with crinkled, prune-like skin. My favourite product is the Cupuaca After-Sun Balm, using the extraordinary Capuacu; a giant cocoa bean that is capable of absorbing more than 4 times it's volume of water. Ideal for putting back some oomph into sunbaked, moisture starved skin. After Sun tends to be runny in consistency which is why the balm is such a novelty - this is more like a rich body cream, but doesn't feel heavy on the skin at all. In stores from 29th May.

Good Skin


Coming from Estee Lauder's brand development arm in the States, Good Skin will be available in Superdrug stores from 11th June. The moderately priced range includes Basic Care, Just Cleanse, Exfoliate and Hydrate, or the more problem specific Specialized Care. The concept is an advanced premium range at affordable prices. I have tried the Microcrystal Skin Refinisher, £20, containing aloe vera, caffeine, vitamin E and green tea extracts and absolutely love it. My skin felt completely smooth afterwards. However, I would beg to differ that £20 for an exfoliating product is a moderate price.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mystery Drops


These fabulous little limited edition rain drops are the newest fragrance from La Prairie's Silver Rain collection. Apparantly, it's kind of apply-flowery - very fresh for summer, and you can choose the colour of droplet you'd like. However, when I check the La Prairie website, these aren't listed on the UK site. Only on the USA one. Damn it...not again! We want coloured droplets, too! $85.

Friday, May 9, 2008

SOS Skin Saver


The beauty industry often forgets, in it's almost indecent rush to produce next generation peptide-ceutical-dna based anti-aging miracles, that there is a whole section of the world who can't touch these chemical based beauty enhancers. Those with ultra sensitive skin really struggle to find anything that brings relief to the dry and uncomfortable feelings that irritated skin can have, or even to simply find a range that won't exacerbate the condition. So, it's hugely encouraging to discover a brand that combines luxury and high spec moisturising with natural healing herbal principles. Barefoot Botanicals SOS Rescue Me Face & Body Cream does exactly that. Infused with essential oils, such as French lavender, chamomile and neroli, to calm and soothe the senses, its ability to relieve serious skin conditions such as excema, psoriasis and ultra-dry patches is nothing short of phenomenal. Calendula, burdock and comfrey combine with borage oil, evening primrose oil and shea butter to offer healing and hydration. Better yet, it's affordable at 9.95 per tube. The range includes a face wash, moisturising bath oil, foot balm and dry scalp shampoo. Those already in the know report enormous improvements to their skin. http://www.barefoot-botanicals.com/.

Prepare Yourselves


Paris Hilton hair extensions, men's fragrance from booty beauty Jennifer Lopez and a law suit between Uma Thurman and Lancome are all coming at ya. Don't say you weren't warned.

Glow Girl


For it's sheer beauty and wow factor, this gem from Guerlain is first on my 'I-Want-It-Now' shopping list. Illuminating Perfecting Pressed Powder - or as they put it - Meteorites Poudre de Perles is designed by Olivier Echaudemaison (when are the amazing make up designers going to get their moment of glory, by the way?) and is all about colour alchemy. Combining gold, pink, blue and green shades in a light diffusing format, the new generation pearls are reported to give skin a fresh, natural glow. Use your fattest blush brush to swirl over your complexion. It's exclusively at beauty mecca Harvey Nichols from 31st May, and then on general release to the world on 5th July for 37 pounds.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Love A Liner


Finding eyeliners that don't smudge into dirty little pockets in the creases under your eyes is virtually impossible. Liners tend to be either too soft and smudgy, or too hard and hopelessly difficult to drag across the most delicate skin on your face. However, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics have found the fine line (ahem) of giving good colour without smudges. The three shades are universally flattering; Chestnut, Black or (my favourite) Slate, a steely grey with tones of navy. While I am still unsure about mineral foundations - which personally I find both drying and deadening on the complexion, this new-to- the-UK brand's best seller is Natural Mineral Foundation, which has had rave reviews in the states, where it has gained a celebrity following. I'll let you know if this is 'the one'!

Seaweed Locks


Had a very funny converstation with a PR from GHD. I love GHD as a brand; they just 'get' hair. However, the chat started with her trying the "You know how fabulously tousled your hair looks when you've just come out of the sea?" one. It's not just me, surely, that looks like a sicked up sea monster after a dip in the Med? Have I ever come out of the sea - or a pool - looking 'fabulously tousled' as opposed to wet and dripping? No. Has anyone? Bo Derek maybe, or Ursula Andress, but general people without a film crew and accompanying hairdresser? If your hair looks divine after a dip do let me know....I'd love to meet someone for whom 'surf hair' is a natural occurence. Anyway, if you do want to look like you have a head full of salty water, I'm assured that GHD Sea Spray for Matte Waves, 12.95 pounds, will do it.

Stick To It


Prescriptives Anywear Multi Purpose Make Up Sticks are a revelation to me. Having steered well clear of stick foundations in the past, for fear, I suppose of looking overdone - they just look like they are going to be thick - I've recently tried the luscious mini sticks from ace of base brand, Prescriptives. Pint size and multi purpose (use as concealer for dark circles and spots), the sticks are long wearing and carry an SPF15. In fact, the make up is intended to give medium to full coverage but actually can be tempered, depending on how much you use, to a sheer finish. It left my skin feeling velvety and looking naturally creamy. 25 pounds.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Self Tan Seeking


If you've noticed that everyone looks a bit yellow in this unexpected sunshine, its probably the fake tan effect. The first ray of sunshine means out with last year's everyday tanners, meaning a slow build from pale yellow to an unconvincing dark yellow. Either that sallow effect or the hideous orange. I found myself at a beauty show in the company of a couple of PRs who had so overdone it on the St Tropez or whatever, that I now always call them the Tangerine Twins. Even the palms of their hands were teracotta. Finding a self tan that actually looks like you had a Nice mini-break is difficult. My failsafe self tan that always miraculously turns a shade that is utterly realistic is Sisley Self Tan Spray. It's horribly expensive at around 48 pounds, but really it's the only one that looks completely natural and never streaks. I'm a self-tan dummy in that I can almost never get a streak free look for some reason, so if it works for me, its a sure sign that it will work for everyone else.

Small Things


I really like moderately priced brand, Bourjois. It's a common misconception that Chanel own Bourjois, when in fact, it's the other way around! However, while the two brands are part of the same beauty stable, snapping up Bourjois doesn't mean you get cut price Chanel. Chanel make up uses ingredients that Bourjois wouldn't use simply because of their cost. However, it's obvious that some of the Chanel style has rubbed off. These nude look mini lipglosses are perfect for summer and handily attach to your mobile phone or key ring. I've got one on each - I could just about bear losing my phone OR my keys, but if I lost my lipgloss.......

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Diorlicious


This kind of glamorous innovation is my favourite kind of make up. Disguised in an amber cabochon pendant with a brown satin ribbon, is an illuminator for cheekbones, lips, eyelids or decolette. Available in Pink Lame (for the fair skinned) and Gold Lame (for darker tones or tanned), it's limited edition and available from 5th May for 39 pounds. Not sure if its cool to wear it round your neck or whether you should just tie it on your handbag so it looks like a charm. Your views?