Monday, June 30, 2008

If There's A God In Heaven....: Lancome



...it won't be true that Lancome are planning a black lip gloss for autumn.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Gong! : Crystal Clear


Sharon Hilditch, MD and co-founder of British born Crystal Clear skin care, has been awarded an MBE. This is fabulous news, proving that independent beauty companies can run with gang. With celeb followers such as Madonna and Kate Moss, her most celebrated treatment is Crystal Clear Oxygen Therapy that leaves skin looking utterly gorgeous. It's a pre-party must. More recently, the Crystal Clear Eye Pen arrived as part of the retail range of skin care. Eye Bags - bye-bye. You can buy the range in Selfridges, Fenwick and John Lewis.

Psst: Nicola Joss


Word has it that London's loveliest facialist, Nicola Joss, is starting her own masterclasses in DIY facials. Far from feeling that facials are a regular essential, Nicola thinks that facials are something you can easily do yourself at home as long as you have the right know-how. A facial a season is her motto for those not on the big screen on a regular basis.....I love the idea of A list skin for those of us on an E list budget! Book me in. She's also bringing out her own skin care range later in the year - if anyone how knows how skin ticks, it's Nicola, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Lipstick - The Economy Indicator


No, it's not a new brand. According to WWD (and earlier in the year the NY Times), sales of beauty products are dropping. In past recessions, little luxuries like a new lipstick didn't drop - in fact they probably increased. You know what its like - you need a bit of retail therapy but can't justify a new Marc Jacobs bag, so you splash on a cheer-me-up lipstick instead. This time around, however, sales of beauty products are actually dropping. By anyone's standards, this isn't good. Not only will it send the beauty companies into freefall panic, but it's a whole new take on the nude look.

Tanzilla, Goodbye! : ProFerm Afterglow


Having found the ultimate, idiot-proof self tan (the fabulous, wonderful, genius, brilliant Pro-Ferm Afterglow) for my olive coloured skin, I trialled another self tan on a fair skinned friend. The night before she was going to a party. Wearing a teeny-weeny strappy dress. Eek. Mistake. She virtually had tiger stripes. I won't name and shame but really, I should. You can be sure though, you'll never see it here. With panic (okay, hysteria) at all time high, I phoned my ex-beauty therapist friend who now owns her own beauty company and what she doesn't know about pre-party emergency fixers isn't worth knowing. She recommended milk. After a bag of cotton wool balls and a quarter of a pint of semi-skimmed, the tan was hugely reduced - in fact, it looked really rather nice.....toned right down to a honey shade that suited my friend so much better. Shame she smelled like yoghurt, but you can't have it all. Really though, this is such a good tip - because milk contains lactic acid it whisks away tan-cidents in double quick time. You heard it here. Who knew?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fresh Still Fab


I'd almost completely forgotten about this lovely brand, Fresh, that used to be one of my absolute favourites. Once they stopped using PR, it became hard to find out what was new, so I gave up. But, I always loved the Gloss Absolutes, not only for their pretty packaging but for being frontrunners in the tinted balm stakes. Pomegranate extracts, shea butter and jojoba oils leave lips lusciously soft. The best shade for summer is red/orange Desire. There is a Fresh store on Marylebone High Street; 0207 486 4100.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More From Anthropologie


Exquisite bubble baths, such as Lollia Foaming Bath, 26 pounds, are rare finds. The whole Lollia range is just delicious but there are only selected picks on www.anthropologie.co.uk. Shame they declined to ship when I tried to order six!

Oh Man: Juicy Couture Dirty English


Juicy Couture's new range for men looks promising. I love the name - Dirty English - just the right mix of sexy/edgy. Mandarin, pepper, blue cypress and leather notes sound delish, but better yet, the sound of the Shower Gel - Up With A Twist - packed with caffeine, sugar, lavender and grapefruit makes me want to jump right into the shower cubicle with that dirty English man!

Cold Comfort: Anne Semonin


Gorgeous French brand, Anne Semonin, is back in the UK. Formerly the darling range of beauty editors, it disappeared for a while. Luckily, someone saw sense and decided that British complexions really can't do without it. I love these ice cubes made from wild indigo, marine spring water and evening primrose oil, amongst many other active ingredients that are the perfect hot weather treat for skin. Not sure I'm buying the whole 'cryotherapy' thing, but nonetheless, if its cooling and makes you more beautiful then it's a summer essential for me! At www.beautyexpert.co.uk.

National Toning Crisis


Oh my; it seems the world has run out of fancy Fitflops - the utterly addictive shoes that tone and hone your bum and legs. Suppliers are going into meltdown because their backorders are running into the thousands in some cases, because demand is outstripping supply by a long, long way. You can still get hold of the basic range, but sequins, gladiators and patents - good luck! I suggest that if you see some, snap 'em up - I predict it's going to get nasty.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Not Beauty, but

I couldn't help laughing about the fact that Ikea opened it's doors in Brooklyn today. God help those New Yorkers who are probably right now experiencing the Ikea home wrecker effect.....I've never known a couple to leave Ikea still on speaking terms. Being caught on the interminable loop of Ikea is the almost the closest I've ever been to shopping hell. The absolute closest is being in the warehouse downstairs discovering that none of the items I want to buy are in stock. And that's after I've put myself through a lunch of greasy meatballs covered in a milky sauce with a side of jam. Why. Just, why?

White Tea Time


As part of the existing 'A Perfect World' range, Origins are bringing out Deep Cleanser with White Tea. One of the absolute pleasures with Origins is that everything smells just lovely, so what better way to clean up your act with magnolia, orange, bergamot and spearmint essential oils. White tea is a powerful antioxidant, so its all to the good that there is a splash of that in the cleanser too. Available from 1 August, it will retail for 15 pounds.

Longing for a Summer Birthday


Because my birthday is right around Christmas time, there's no mid year chance to be gifted any goodies. But, if I was like the queen and gave myself an unofficial summer birthday, I'd definitely have the Claus Porto Classico Soap Set on my list. And a Chanel purse.

Bubbles Dahhling


I've loved my bottle of Figs & Rouge Rambling Rose Bath Soak; a proper old fashioned, mega-bubbly bath soak that smells lightly of roses, and doesn't leave skin dry as old newspaper. It's not often that I get to the end of the bottle of anything, but this has become a firm favourite. A word of warning however, undiluted it smells very strong - too strong in fact. It's only when it hits the water that the scent disperses into something very pleasant indeed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Freak-Out Face


Hmm. We all love a face mask, right? Indulgent bathing just isn't so unless your face is covered in some wickedly luxurious masque guaranteed to give you the most amazing plumped, smooth and hydrated skin. So, when the guys (or girls - i'm not assuming here!) decided that sheet masks, impregnated with lotion, would be a great idea, they didn't think about the fear factor. There is nothing more alarming to any partner or child who walks in on their loved one lying in a vat of warm bubbles wearing Hannibal Lecter's face. And, you never can quite get those wretched sheets to fit exactly to your face. Anyone whose nose is bigger than the mask-fit, whose eyes are 'in the wrong place' or whose lips veer to the thin side can expect chilly gaps and untreated areas. Sheet masks are just horrid.

Light Ideas


Having just been in the unenviable position of watching a friend at the airport throw away her beloved Clarins cleanser because it exceeded the current 100ml rule, I'm really looking into what's available for the traveller who wants to look as good in arrivals as she did in departures. Estee Lauder's latest venture, launching in July, looks promising. The Super Flight Cream set (just in case we were confused about where to use it!) contains Continous Hydration for the Face and ditto for the eyes all wrapped up in clear packaging. Just as a reminder though, at UK airports, anything deemed a liquid being taken on board has to fit into the teeniest, weeniest clear plastic bag - and that includes lipgloss, balms and any non-powder cosmetics. I can understand unlabelled dubious looking liquids, but how dangerous can anyone get with a creme blush?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Things They Do For Beauty....


A hot seller, apparantly, in Japan is this unsual cleanser all prettily packaged. Made from treated Nightingale droppings, the special enzymes found in the poop are exactly what's needed to keep Geishas gorgeous. Who knew? Check into http://chidoriyaworld.stores.yahoo.net/tradnatbeaut.html to see other oddities that keep the Japanese flawless.

Bronzilla


Getting the old bronzing right is tricky - too much and its all horrible - too little and there's no point, right? I like this one from Lancaster that diffuses different shades of pigment so there is some medium ground. Remember no sweeping up the cheekbones unless you are heading to a retro '80's party, and always, always, less is more!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We're Kiddin'



How much is America loving Jemma Kidd? I've just spotted her gorgeous range on sale at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. It can't get much better than that, surely. She's also due to bring out a more affordable range for stateside supermarket giant, Target. The new line is to be called JK Jemma Kidd. Also going into Target is Pixi, founded in London by make up artist Petra Strand and her 3 sisters. Their gorgeous shop is in Foubert's Place, just off Carnaby Street.

Man Magnet


N V Perricone is bringing out a pheromone based anti-ageing spray, (it's already out in the States at a whopping $250), that purports to boost mental clarity and make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Am I right to be cynical? It's not just that I'm wildly allergic to Perricone products (eyes like golfballs, face falling off allergic) but I can't help thinking the marketing team sat round the table with a 'what do women want' agenda. Yes, we all want to be fabulously attractive man magnets and look years younger than we really are, with endlessly witty repartee and amusing mental agility. But can you seriously bottle that? Hmmmm.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New-Hoo


All the USA beauty bloggers are raving about the new Lauder fragrance; Sensuous, out later in the summer. My favourite Lauder scent is Private Collection, I've had a bottle (not the same one!!) in my bathroom since I was 16. Lauder fragrances tend to be heavy on the white flowers - you need to love blooms in your scents to enjoy them - but Sensuous is a complete departure, this time it's heavy on amber and wood notes. There are still strands of floral such as lily, but overall the effect is said to be smokey and, well, sensuous.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kohl Me


The Mac Starflash collection is due out in August - 12 limited edition, highly pigmented eyeshadows in bright and bold shades, such as LotusLand (frosty pinky lavender with gold pearl), Talent Pool (frosty blue green with gold pearl) and Top Hat (a muddy indigo). But best of all is the limited edition Kohl pencils - Kohl power - that merge the usual smokey black with red pearl (Raven), gold pearl (Orpheus), and green/teal pearl (Mystery). These can only mean one thing; very daring, ultra sexy eyes. In Mac terms, limited edition means there is only enough stock of these to last 2-3 months.

Suds Buddies


If you love your soap highly scented, then JellyPongPong's latest offering, Summer Soap Popsicle, will have you washing more than ever. Made to smell - and look - like a gorgeously sweet ice lolly, it's everything summer and probably too pretty to use. www.jellypongpong.com

Daddy Dearest


Hmm. It's always a dilemma if you've got a dad that loves smellies. He may have once been a Brut man but it's unlikely, with the huge range of aftershaves on offer, that he hasn't upped the game by now. Which leaves me with something of a conundrum. Having had the unsettling experience of a boyfriend who loved Paco Rabanne, only to discover that my dad was also wearing that same legendary cologne, I can honestly say that you don't want your dad smelling the same as your man! I can't say who it put me off the most. So, do you gift your dad a favourite fragrance, or one that you know you will never have that double olfactory freak out with? This year I've opted for Jo Malone 154, named for her first London boutique. Combining sandalwood and vetiver with basil and lavender, it's blokey without being sexy. Unlike the sensational Amber & Lavender which is about as hot as a cologne gets. Sorry Dad, in your head you are probably still a love god, but I've sidelined you to something a bit safer at your age!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Confused? You Won't Be...


A matt lip gloss? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? It is, but it hasn't stopped Autograph from bringing out a clever liquid lipstick that has the lightness of gloss but none of the stickiness. It's feather light on the lips, but give an opaque colour that you tend not to get with gloss. The two shades are really, really pretty - don't be fooled by the name Antique Rose; this is a pinky coral colour that looks blinding with a tan. The other shade, Blossom, is infinitely flattering, too. I've given it a test run, and it really does look matt - not flat matt; there's a tiny bit of sheer in there, too - and can testify it doesn't taste nasty or dry out the lips. And, wonder of wonders, your hair won't stick in it either! Bliss. 7.50 from Marks & Spencer Autograph from mid-June.
PS Obviously it isn't blue -a blip on blogger has turned it this colour!! Will post a proper pic when problem is resolved.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Let Battle Begin

Organic company, Dr Bronner, is taking no prisoners in their lawsuit against so-called 'organic cheaters'. In the firing line are Estee Lauder, Ecocert, OASIS, Stella McCartney's CARE, Jasön, Avalon Organics, Nature's Gate, Kiss My Face and Ikove. Read more here: http://www.naturalnews.com/023185.html.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Read All About It

A new USA beauty website claiming to be the first on-line beauty magazine looks very promising. Beauty Blitz (www.beautyblitz.com) has celeb tips, day in the life diaries, ingredient finders and all the latest, greatest beauty news. It's really so new that not everything is up and running yet but it's defintely one to keep an eye on. Especially love their 'glossary', that includes all new beauty terms such as 'Viagra Brows' - eyebrows artificially arched with botox! The site will feature full content by mid-summer.

Not Such A Bitter Pill




Pills....part of modern day living - if its not Prozac or fat binders, its vitamins or hang over cures. Whatever pill you're popping, it will be far more palatable if it comes out of one of these little beauties.....14 pounds at Victoria Health.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Locks Down


Having always sidelined hair oil into a category marked 'for other people', I've recently tried Saaf Organic Enriching Hair Oil, 24.99 pounds. Largely because I am a huge Saaf fan, I've been persuaded to try new things from the range which is a blessing because I've discovered that hair oil doesn't leave my locks limp and oily - I thought it would. Leave it in for a couple of hours before washing (no hardship because it smells deliciously exotic and floral), and then just wash as normal. Far from leaving my hair heavy and horrid, it's given it a lush gloss and left it feeling softer than soft. I'm inclined to say that it has helped cut down on frizz, but it really needs the California test - that state left me with the worst holiday hair of my life (all pics torn up and burned) - because if it can combat that humidity, it is truly a miracle.

More Shopping!

Really glad to see that at last on-line beauty store, http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/, has opened it's virtual doors. If you want to know what your favourite celebrity uses, there's a scroll down list to let you know who loves what, as well as trend reporting, beauty features and of course, shopping! It's affiliated to the fabulous cult-beauty blog, (cult-beauty.blogspot.com), given a deserving big-up recently by one of the best beauty editors in the business, The Telegraph Magazine's Kate Shapland.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pure Alchemy


Michelle Roques-O’Neill’s beautiful range of aromatherapy skin care, Pure Alchemy, shot to fame in the beauty world when it got one of the most sought after celebrity fans – Madonna. Celebrity endorsements are gold dust to small, independent companies, but sadly, it wasn’t enough to stop this gem of a range failing to reach its potential, and ultimately ceasing to trade altogether. It’s so rare to find a range that hasn’t sold out to the power players, and therefore keeps its integrity and uniqueness, making it an absolute tragedy that British brand Pure Alchemy is no longer trading. Speaking of British Brands being undone, I heard along the grapevine that one of the reasons that Pout came unstuck was thanks to unscrupulous ordering by a US high street store. Traders often come unstuck on the ‘sale or return’ policies; whereby they agree to take back (and refund) any unsold stock. Our unfriendly store ordered Pout in huge quantities and just as the products approached their sell-by dates, sent the whole lot back. It came as no surprise that the store then launched their own bath, body and make up range, having effectively put the competition out of business. I will say that this is purely rumour, but if there is any truth in it, it just goes to show that sharp practice isn’t confined to city trading and fluffy bubbles and pink gloss can’t disguise disgraceful behaviour.

Blog Archive