Friday, August 29, 2008

Chewy Beauty

I love Japanese sweets although I'm never quite sure exactly what I'm eating. This gum, Fuwarinka, claims to prevent premature skin ageing by including hyularonic acid and vitamin c. Strangely, it also claims to scent your sweat with a rose/citrus aroma. I'm almost intrigued enough to try it although it would mean having to go for a run to do the flavoured sweat test so maybe I'll pass. Anyone brave enough though can buy it at in the Green Tea section.

Oh My God

The Looking Good For Jesus cosmetic range was pulled from stores in Singapore earlier this year following complaints that it trivialised religion. On the one hand, I think this range is just a bit of fun although the ingredients are really cheap and cheerful - can't see you getting one ounce of lip salvation from it, but on the other hand, I can see why people are offended. Instead of just calling it Looking Good For Jesus and leaving it at that, the creatives behind the brand decided to add in minor sexual inuendo on the packaging (get virgin lips etc) and Get Tight With Christ body cream crosses a line really. What are your views?

Sip It Up: Sip Drink

Look out for the new monthly newsletter from skin loving drink, Sip. Created by influential beauty journalist Kate Shapland, the newsletter promises guru tips, giveaways and beauty previews. With access to industry big shots, the tips and previews should be spot on; they're already promising energising tips from Jo Wood, sneaky previews from Kathy Phillip's newest range Good Works and lush gloss from Bourjois to giveaway. Defintely worth a read. Head to to sign up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prescriptives Midnight Sparks

I love that feeling when you see a piece of make up and you just know it's going to look fabulous! Before you know it, you've scribbled it all over your hand - exactly what I did when I got hold of Prescriptives Limited Edition Sparkle Eye Pencil in Midnight Sparks. A bold navy shot with a smidge of shimmer makes eyes look sultry, sexy and bang on trend. The formula is dreamy-creamy and literally glides across the eyelids - none of that wrinkle-inducing dragging that happens when eye pencils don't have enough wax in their composition. Given that it's limited edition, I'd suggest stocking up because this is a shade that's going to look good well into next year. 13 pounds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh Man: Billy Jealousy

Billy Jealousy is a new to the UK range for men and it's ultra-cool. None of that David Beckham iconology here - it's got great product names such as Hydroplane Shave Cream and Shaved Ice After Shave Balm - and markets cosmeceuticals to men in a mix of shit-happens/funny stuff/really useful way. See, guys, investing in your appearance makes sense and it doesn't turn you into a girly cross dresser to slap on a bit of moisturiser every now and again. Stockist info at

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Despite reports that ButterLondon's polish chips like anything, I've never had a problem with it. And it's true to say that their colour range is second to none working edgy interior shades into catwalk sleek and chic tips. But even if it does chip more than competitors (not least probably because it's a chemical free as a nail polish can get), so what? Personally, I don't want the same colour nails for a week or longer - when my nails are in great condition I change the colour at least twice a week, and whether it's compatible chemically or not with a toluene free range, I find a top coat of minor miracle, Seche Vite, holds it firm for a few days. Anyway, colours aside, ButterLondon's treatments are fabulous, so I'm looking forward to trying their lastest hard skin remover (let's face it, nothing ruins your Jimmy Choo strappies more than yellow heels), Rock Off. So much prettier than a foot file. 25 pounds from

NYMag is one of my favourite places for snippets to share with y'all. Latest beauty gossip includes:

- Armani is being sued by the city of Granada for naming the latest fragrance Oranger Alhambra. Alhambra is apparantly copyrighted. Head-scratchingly strange.

- The rise of the Ass-Bra (as illustrated). Funny in many ways, not least because as NYMag points out, you could just as easily cut two circles in your old Spanx to work the look.

- USA Olympic bronze medalists are all being gifted a life-time's supply of Bronzer from drugstore range Physician's Formula, which is bound be a huge consolation for the gold they didn't get.

- There's already a wait list for Lancome's black gloss for it's November launch. I'm not on it.

- Anti-ageing fragrance, Ageless Fantasy, is developed to make women smell younger. Yeah, right.

And from my own sources; Kylie and Danni Minogue's make up artist is reportedly bringing out her own range.

Bobbigasmic: Bobbi Brown

I've just discovered that Neiman Marcus have nabbed the coolest exclusive from Bobbi Brown, one of my all time favourite brands. This 42 - yep, count 'em - shade lipstick palette has 21 shades in the original semi-matte Lip Color, 11 shades of moisturising Creamy Lip Color, and 10 of lightweight formula Lip Sheer. All for $200I'm booking my flight.....

Friday, August 22, 2008

All You Need

I'm quite a fan of Prescriptives but am always disappointed by their dull packaging -completely at odds with the quirky and inspired product names. Good In Bed night cream is just genius. So I'm happy to hear along the grapevine that the packaging issue is being addressed in the not too distant future. One of their newest products is All You Need 24 Hour Moisturiser; available in 3 formulas so you get exactly what your skin requires. Targeting Normal, Dry or Oily skin, ingredients include grapeseed, mulberry root, smoothing glucosamine and a host of anti-oxidant superstars including the oh so now goji berry (no wonder I can't buy any for my breakfast cereal). Despite all these wonder workers, it's lightweight enough to be worn under make up. At 29 pounds, it's a great mid-price bet for glowing skin.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So Addicted To Sisley

During the course of trying and testing products that arrive through my letterbox daily it would be really easy to never have to use the same product twice. Inevitably though, you do end up having some favourites, and one of my most treasured products is Sisley Confort Extreme Body Cream. At 67 pounds, credit crunch or no, this is such a treat for skin that I really don't want to do without it. I'd give up my lattes first! The great thing about Sisley in general is that they are really beholden to nobody, being one of the few privately owned beauty companies left un-tempted by the big guns, such as Lauder or LVMH. This means they conduct their own research, throw in whatever ingredients they feel work properly and don't get weighted down by the small stuff such as cost. At 67 pounds for a body cream it might feel heavy on the wallet, but it's truly a genius moisturiser. I only need to apply this to (dry, post holiday) skin twice a week to keep it moisturised and flake free. It's just as good in winter, too, when dry skin is a seasonal minefield. It's just such a pleasure to find products that really do work to perfection, and that's why it finds its way back time and time again into my beauty routine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Laura Mercier Palettes

It's the time of year when I desperately want to start shoppping for A/W but none of the really good stuff is in the shops yet. However, as an interim retail fantasty (sadly not fix because it doesn't go on counter til October) I've got my eye on these gorgeous Sensual Metal palettes from Laura Mercier, 45 pounds a piece exclusively at Harvey Nichols. Which brings me on to the subject of exclusives. Prestige stores like Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols have big buying power, which means they immediately get these exclusives - great for the store, but not the consumer. How annoying that we have to traipse to HN to get hold of them - especially if we live in the Hebredes. How silly that swathes of the country are limited by distance from buying an eyeshadow. Mad, pretentious and excluding. The brand positioning is at the mercy of marketing/sales/who you know and some very nice lunches I am sure. What I'm not sure about is if I can really be bothered to go to Knightsbridge to get one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Serge Lutens Make Up

The very words 'capsule collection' epitomise the stylish minimalism that I'd probably need to de-clutter for a year to achieve. However, Serge Lutens make up embraces the bare essential concept in such a beautiful way that you just want to keep buying more of it - thereby completely throwing the waste the Necessaire du Beaute idea - ie: only what is necessary. Developed with beauty maestros Shiseido,the powders are superfine in formulation and lipsticks lush and creamy. Launching exclusively in Harvey Nichols on Friday, I've decided its not only necessary, but completely essential to have as much as I can stuff in my make up bag.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Monamor Salt Scrub

I'm absolutely loving this salt scrub from Welsh company, Monamor. Anglesea salt in nicely proportioned chunks are immersed in grape seed oil; not only is it probably one of the most effective scrubs I've ever used, but the oil gives skin the most delicious sheen. It's a must for seriously soft skin - but, those with sensitive skin might find the salt granules slightly too rough. It's fragranced lightly with peony, rose and Anglesea meadowsweet and taken first place by the bath over Fresh Sugar Scrub -a favourite with super-skinned Naomi Campbell.

I'm fed up with 'exfoliating beads' that don't remove a shred of dry skin despite the fancy wording on the packaging - I was totally disappointed with Aromatherapy Associates new range - the body exfoliator was just too ineffective with tiny granules in a thin mix of lotion that didn't do the job it was intended for.

Monamor Salt Scrub 19.95 pounds.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rodial Exclusive News

Rodial is all set to launch their newest product, Glamtox Peel Mask - a ten minute face lift. It's no secret that I break out into a sweat if I'm parted from Glam Balm for even one night, so I'm really looking forward to trying this out. The clay-based mask is a rub-off formula (a la French style gommage) so right from the get-go you can be sure that it's going to leave your skin ultra smooth and soft. Available from November, it will retail for 70 pounds. One for your Christmas list I think!


Marian Newman is the UK's leading authority on nails - with a celebrity list a mile long, this former forensic scientist introduces her genius new range, Inkredibles. Water based inks in a simple pen-brush format give the sheerest shades and come in a genius repertoire of colours. The current issue of Vogue have given her a whole page and deservedly so. With retailers snapping her arm off to get hold of the range, it will be interesting to see where they end up being stocked. Wherever it is, they are virtually guaranteed to be a sell-out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Forward Thinking Beauty

It's really difficult to remember that it's still only August since most of July was taken up with previewing A/W08 and Christmas Collections. I'm dying to try the new purples - especially for nails - OPI has a stunning collection based around Paris. The hottest colour is Louvre Me Louvre Me Not in shimmering, deep purple. There's also lots of grey around which can look stunning, especially a dark grey eyeliner, and it's perfect partner, perennial favourite, red lipstick. Stock up on greyish mauves, deepest purples, smouldering grey and a couple of red glosses to get on the season's style track.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Jo Malone Fragrance

First previews of the newest Jo Malone fragrance showed at last week's Lauder press day. Sweet Lime & Cedar has all the credentials to be yet another best-seller; jasmine, coconut and tonka (vanilla-like) merge with tamarind and cardamom to give hints of Thai spices over white flower. 30ml 30 pounds, from October. It's the second fragrance that hasn't been created by Jo Malone who sold to Lauder a couple of years ago. However, the creative team that worked with Jo are still there and have kept this scent true to the simple, elegant and unmistakable style of Malone.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Laura Mercier Nail Polish

I'm totally obsessed with this chameleon shade that starts off a beetle-back black and morphs into green with blue notes, pink notes and fusions of grey. It's probably not available till November as Winter comes late for Laura Mercier, but definitely worth keeping an eye out for. Yes, I know the pics upside down!

Like Him, But Better

Ok, well it took some time to find a willing volunteer but here's Tom working the Guyliner and false eyelashes! First pic is without - the other two are with.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Good Vibrations: Lancome, Estee Lauder

Lancome and Estee Lauder have both produced a vibrating mascara, with Lauder just pipping Lancome at the post to get it on counter. Estee Lauder's Turbo Lash All Effects Motion Mascara is available now from Harrods, while Lancome's Oscillation arrives later in the year. Beauty opinions are divided - Hannah Betts in the Guardian reports that it's a good thing, giving better and more efficient coverage, but our good friends at Cult-beauty blog don't see the point. I'm undecided but am hoping I don't muddle up either with my electric toothbrush.

Laura Mercier New Tinted Moisturiser

Being somewhat addicted myself to LM Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser (the only tinted moisturiser that actually gives a decent level of coverage rather than a thin wash of 'is it or isn't it there?' that I've found elsewhere). So its a pretty happy day to discover that Laura Mercier's latest venture is an Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser that gives skin a flawless, pearly finish. In three shades (when really it needs a 4th, more intense one for those with tanned or darker skin), the formula uses micronized pearls to achieve the dewy glow look. 32 pounds.

At the Laura Mercier press day to showcase autumn/winter make up looks, not only did I have the pleasure of chatting with Laura (a little bit scary, impossibly elegant and with a flawless complexion). She shared her frustration that the new moisturiser isn't available in more colours - but she's working on it!

The best item in the collection is the amazing nail lacquer, Caviar Dreams, in metallic grey that changes in tone depending upon the light. Hints of dark green, pink, dark grey and even blues all merge to create a chamelion colour. I'll post pics as soon as I get them.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hot New Make Up Line: Illamasqua

It's not often that a new make up line makes it's debut by opening a counter in Selfridges. Those counters are hot property, so already we know that if the brand has a dedicated counter space, the Selfridges beauty gurus think it's around for the the long term. So do I. Called Illamasqua (I embarrassed myself horribly on press day by calling it Illama (as in Llama) Skwa - it's actually pronounced I (as in Italy) La-Mask-A), the even better news is that it's a Brit brand. Using the notion of evening wear for faces, Illamasqua comprises edgy colours, forward ideas and concepts and the notion that the range can be worn by men and women alike (great for the current chap slap revolution). It's a no boundaries range aimed to push make up into a new phase. The packaging is sleek, the colours daring and vibrant and the price points aligned with other high end make up brands. Altogether, Illamasqua rocks and we're going to see it - deservedly - splashed on every beauty page from October onwards.