November, 2012

Nov 12

Umberto Giannini Frizzi Range

The Umberto Giannini Frizzi range is a collection of eight products all meant to help in the battle against the dreaded frizz.

Umberto Giannini Frizzi range

Paul Gooch is the Senior Artistic Director at Umberto Giannini and has previously won a BAFTA for Best Hair and Make Up for his work on Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland. He has styled the tresses of celebrities like Reece Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Emily Blunt and Liv Tyler and done hair and make up on films like Disney’s Maleficent, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Kings Speech and The Other Boleyn Girl.

He is something of an expert when it comes to hair so we were happy to be able to ask him the following questions:

Why does my hair frizz?
In a word, humidity. When hair is styled the internal hydrogen bonds are rearranged into a uniform structure. Moisture however, will break the temporary bonds and return hair to its natural frizzy state. The higher the humidity and the moisture there is in the air, the more susceptible the hair is to frizz.

Is my type of hair more prone to frizz caused by damp than other hair types?
Thicker hair is the most susceptible because it contains more protein than finer hair which makes it stronger and also absorbs more moisture from the atmosphere.

Does frizz mean my hair is damaged hair or can healthy hair be frizzy too?
Nearly all hair is not totally smooth in its natural state so your hair doesn’t have to be damaged to be frizzy. However damaged hair is more frizz-prone as water can penetrate the damaged areas of the hair.

Armed with that knowledge, I tried two products from the new Frizzi range:


Intense Recovery Mask with Argan Oil – £5.99/200 ml
Miracle Worker with Argan Oil – £6.99/125 ml

The Intense Recovery Mask with Argan Oil is best used instead of your usual conditioner to boost moisture, strengthen and replenish the hair. It left my hair soft, shiny and manageable.

To add shine and extra heat protection before going over blow dried hair with straighteners, I use a few drops of Miracle Worker with Argan Oil. I also add a small amount in between washes to give some extra shine.

I think the Umberto Giannini Frizzi range is affordable, effective and perfect for straightening and smoothing any kind of curly hair.

Nov 12

Party Season Beauty Essentials

With the party season in full swing, here’s a list of my beauty essentials for the next few weeks. With after work drinks, office parties and family gatherings all before the New Year, look your best with these lovelies:

Orly Flash Glam Collection – £7.50

Orly-nail-polish-glam-collection 1

In my opinion, parties call for glittery nail polish and Orly have one of the best collections around. With colours spanning the whole spectrum of the rainbow, you’re sure to find the colour you want. My current favourite is Ultraviolet.

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover – £4.99


The tub says it removes nail polish in 1 second but I didn’t find it quite that fast, perhaps due to the fact I was wearing base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat. Still, it removed all of that in about 4 seconds and didn’t dry out my nails. It’s such a ‘handy’ way to remove polish and it contains almond oils so nourishes the nails in the process.

Liz Earle Signature Foundation – £21


Liz Earle have recently expanded their range to suit Asian, black and mixed raced skin tones (hurrah). This natural looking foundation gave me medium to full coverage and contains Vitamin E to help protect skin against free radical damage caused by pollution and the sun’s radiation.

YSL Touche Éclat – £25


Believe the hype about YSL Touche Éclat, it lifts and brightens the face exactly the way you hope it will. It’s also a greay way to hide under eye bags and dark circles.

Bakel Pure Peel Exfoliating Face Mask – £55


With all this festivity and all these late nights, early mornings, your skin needs a little TLC. This mask contains 100% active ingredients to exfoliate, renew, hydrate and moisturise your skin. Leave it on for five minutes (it tingles!) and rinse off for tightened and brightened skin. Bakel is the brand of the Borgo Egnazia Resort, Italy – the  spot of the Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake wedding.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick – £25


I once read in Just Seventeen (remember that?) that every woman should own a Chanel red lipstick and now I’ve finally tried one, I can see why. This is the nicest lipstick I have ever had; the perfect, creamy red. The packaging is super luxe too.

What’s in your beauty arsenal?

Nov 12

Beauty Inspiration: Burberry Prorsum Autumn/Winter 2012

While I respectfully worship at the altar of Christopher Bailey, Creative Director at Burberry, my pennies don’t yet stretch as far as his designs for Burberry Prorsum.

I can however live the dream through the Burberry Beauty make up range. As Jourdan Dunn is one of the faces of the brand, I rub my hands with glee knowing that the make up colours will be complimentary to brown skins.


Jourdan Dunn

You need a great base for a look as fresh and radiant as this so opt for a good, velvety foundation. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 (£30) for medium to full coverage. It gives a natural finish and is particularly suited to those with oily skins. I use ‘walnut’ and I like that, even though I’m on the darker end of the spectrum, the foundation comes in three even darker shades.

To get Jourdan and Jasmine’s look, follow these application tips from Wendy Rowe, Burberry Beauty’s Artistic Consultant:


Jasmine Tookes


• Apply black mascara to upper and lower lashes. I’ve been using Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara (£20) for long, spidery lashes.
• Add Burberry Beauty Eye Definer in Midnight Brown No. 02 to the upper and lower lash line, using Eye Brush Definition Liner No. 10 to blend and intensify
• Sweep Burberry Beauty Sheer Eyeshadow in Dark Sable No. 23 along the socket line. Blend Mulberry No. 24 underneath the eye for a smoky finish


• Blend Burberry Beauty Lip Cover in Sepia Pink No. 32 and Mocha Glow No. 31 and apply to the lips for a satin finish. It’s hard to find a good nude if you have slightly dark lips, but these two shades mixed together work perfectly.

As you can imagine, the products are beautiful; the packaging, the brushes and the finish all live up to the extremely high standard you expect from Burberry. You can get them all here.

Now to get my hands on this little outfit from the S/S 2013 pre collection…


Nov 12

Beauty Gift Guide 2012: Part 1

December is upon us and the beauty world comes alive at this time of year more than any other. With a myriad of gift sets and limited edition products it can feel like you’re drowning in eye shadow and lipstick.

Here’s a rundown of my current beauty favourites that the younger female in your life might like:

Benefit Let There Be Bright – £39
I’m a huge fan of beauty sets and this one from Benefit contains their best selling eye cream, facial emulsion and primer. It also has their hero product the POREfessional. Rihanna’s make up artist used it on the star at this years BRITS and says it minimises the appearance of pores, is oil-free so won’t irritate the skin and suits all skin tones.


A tweet from Rihanna’s make up artist

As ever, Benefit’s packaging has that kitsch retro feel I just love. All the products come in a cute case which I’ve used as the home for all the other gifts:


Bourjois Faux & Fabulous Lashes – from £5.99
These lashes border on theatrical but if you can’t wear them during the festive season, when can you?! Certainly not for a day in the office, they’d make great stocking fillers for the young lady who likes to stand out.

Pop Beaming Baked Eye in Bliss Beam – £14
A sweet palette with colours that suit everyone.

Shimmer Balm from this works – £10
100% natural pot of gold shimmer that can be used on the face, décolletage or body.

Griffin iPhone 5 cases – from £16
She probably wants the animal print t-shirt from Burberry but she’ll get a cute animal iPhone cover instead.

Rimmel London make up – from £5.99
The Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss lipsticks are rich and creamy and suit a wide array of skin tones and the Rimmel gel pot eyeliners are great for creating the cat eye look with ease.

LCN nail polish – £5.50
Jewel tones were all over the A/W catwalks and this purple had a rather Gucci vibe to it.

And there we have it. Close the case, wrap it up in some fancy paper from Selfridges and watch her face light up as she opens it.

Nov 12

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Lip Stain

If you have trouble choosing between lipstick, lip gloss and lip stains, this is the product for you.

For reasons unbeknownst to even myself, I’ve always shied away from lipstick, instead opting for lip gloss. I now think that a barely there glossy lip is more of a young woman’s game and/or is best suited to a more casual look.

As I ease myself into the colourful world of lipstick, YSL glossy lip stains are the perfect product. I have the shimmer of a gloss with the medium coverage of a lipstick and the staying power of a lip stain.


YSL Glossy Stain in 26

Even though my lips are naturally quite dark, the YSL glossy stain in 26 Violine Surrealiste (a plummy purple) gives good coverage so the colour is true, gives the shine of a gloss without stickiness or the dreaded liplash (strands of hair caught in your lip gloss) combined with the moisturising properties of a lipstick.


YSL Glossy Stain in 26

As with all YSL products, the packing is lovely; these stains are part of the YSL vintage collection so they have a slightly old school feel to them. They also smell wonderful.

The stains come in six colours:

21 Orange Fusion
22 Prune Minimale
23 Fuschia Cubiste
24 Fuschia Intemporel
25 Fuschia Neo-Classic
26 Violine Surrealiste

so you are sure to find a shade to suit you.

YSL Glossy Stains: £22.50

Nov 12

Butter Me Up Organic Shea Body Butter

I am a huge fan of body creams, the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. I love to exit the bath or shower and smother myself in a luxurious cream.

I can tell if it’s a good one by the state of my skin come the morning. If, upon waking, my skin still looks and feels hydrated, I know I have found a winner.

My latest discovery is Butter Me Up Organic Shea Body Butter from Laidbare. The cream contains cocoa butter, avocado oil and rose hip oil all of which combine to make a rich, luxurious and skin softening body butter.


The natural cream has scents of organic jasmine, bergamot, patchouli and vertiver all of which are said to aid relaxation as well as smell great.

I find it best applied to damp skin as it sinks in really well, leaves behind a nice scent to help drift you off to sleep and does a fabulous job at really moisturising the skin. And yes, my skin was still hydrated in the morning.

Butter Me Up Organic Shea Body Butter – £11.99/250 ml

Nov 12

Chanel Pureté Idéale Mattifying Fluid

As I come to terms with the fact that I am getting older (35 next birthday, yikes!) I am beginning to realise I need to pay closer attention to my skincare and the kinds of beauty products I use.

Instead of relying a £2.99 moisturiser from the corner shop (yes, I’ve done that) I now realise the sands of time are conspiring against me and that I need to think about my skin concerns and address them now.

With that in mind I was very excited to try out Chanel Pureté Idéale Mattifying Fluid. With combination skin that looks quite shiny by the end of day, I needed something that would moisturise my cheeks and forehead without turning my T-zone into an oil slick.


Chanel Mattifying Fluid – £42

Chanel’s Mattifying Fluid contains a marine bio extract which “stimulates the production of beta-defensins, the skin’s natural antibiotics, to help balance the cutaneous flora.” This should stop the skin over producing oil.

As you’d expect from Chanel, the packaging is beautiful, the cream smells wonderful and it feels feather soft on your skin. I applied the cream after cleansing and toning and went without make up that day (I stayed in!) to see if it really worked.

The light almost gel like cream sinks into the skin quickly and you are left with velvety, matte complexion. My skin felt moisturised and soft but my skin didn’t have shine all day. Not even once. And I was checking.

If you have oily or combination skin, you need this product in your life.

Chanel Pureté Idéale Mattifying Fluid – £42/50 ml

Nov 12

Ombre Hair at Daniel Mikhael Salon, Marble Arch

Although I had my hair ‘ombre-d’ back in June of this year, the colour was beginning to fade so I was very happy to be asked to review the new Daniel Mikhael salon in Marble Arch, London.

A little about Daniel Mikhael; he’s a Beirut born stylist who has worked at Paris Fashion Week on shows like Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent, so I was confident my hair would be very well taken care of. The salon is situated just down the road from Tony Blair’s London residence so don’t be alarmed by the armed guards that greet you as you walk past Connaught Square.


Salon interior

The team are very friendly and welcoming and serve one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had. They were completely unfazed at the prospect of dealing with my natural, curly hair which I always take as a sign of a good hairdresser. After discussing the colour I was looking for, I had a consultation with the colourist and the stylist who would be cutting my hair, Fadi Fawaz. Fadi has worked on the tresses of Emily Blunt, Naomi Campbell, Girls Aloud, Pussycat Dolls and Katherine Jenkins so I knew I was in for something special.

We talked about what I wanted from this hair cut and colour, how much time I have to style my hair in the morning and my general beauty routine before deciding how much colour to use and how much hair to cut off.

The team at the Daniel Mikhael Salon certainly know their stuff; I could hear the voice of experience as the colours were mixed, as the scissors came out and as my hair was dried and styled. The salon itself is small yet perfectly formed and the team seemed like friends which puts you at ease as you hand your hair over to them.

I felt like they not only wanted to give me a great cut and colour but that they also wanted to take care of my actual hair. This wasn’t a quick cut and run; decisions were made to ensure my hair could be as healthy as possible. Things took longer (i.e. no heat was used when colouring my hair as the heat is extra harsh on fragile afro hair) but I was happy to spend that bit longer in the chair if it meant my hair was being looked after from a holistic point of view.

Mid colouring

In the end I went for a hybrid of light brown, dark blond and copper ‘dip dye’ on the ends and a semi permanent dark brown to cover the old highlights. I even went for a fringe. I love the cut and I absolutely love, love, love the colour.

Now I’ve got the colour of my dreams, I’ll be maintaining it with Aveda’s Colour Conserve Strengthening Treatment (£19) which contains sunflower and macadamia nut oil to help protect colour-treated hair from UVA/UVB fading.

I also like that the salon serves a rather varied clientele; during my visit I saw an older lady come in for a traditional big blow out, a younger hipster type come in for a buzz cut on the sides and a big quiff on top and a lady with long gorgeous but dull hair come in for a glossy rich chestnut make over. The salon seems to cater for everyone. While they don’t get many afro haired clients, they deal with a lot of women from the Middle East who they say tend to have thick, coarse hair so afro hair isn’t anything unusual for them.


The finished product

If you’re after a great cut and an even greater colour, give the Daniel Mikhael Salon in Marble Arch a visit.

Daniel Mikhael – Haute Coiffure London
4 Porchester Place
W2 2BS

Tel: +44 (0)20 7262 5117
Email: info[at]

Nov 12

The Festive Season at

Purveyor of all things beautiful, launched their Christmas campaign today.

The Burberry homepage and flagship store windows are celebrating ‘Britishness’ and have been adorned with gold balloons delivering beautifully packaged gifts across a cloudy London skyline.

Burberry-London-Skyline homepage

From today, everything bought on or in the Burberry store will be wrapped in festive packaging in a trench and gold colour palette.


Wouldn’t you like to receive one of these?

The Orchard Bag – as seen on Emma Stone and Sarah Jessica Parker– will be available to purchase from next month and would make the perfect present, for yourself or the special lady in your life. The homepage has been conveniently optimised for present buying with gift ideas for men, women and children.


SJP with the Burberry Orchard bag

If anyone is interested, I’d like a trench style coat, as seen on Rihanna, and the animal print t-shirt, as seen on my favourite and best dressed supermodel Jourdan Dunn.


Rihanna & Jourdan Dunn in Burberry

What’s on your Burberry fashion wishlist?

Nov 12

Dr Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask

Although the packaging says this is a clay mask, it’s more a DIY beauty product you prepare in the sanctuary of your bathroom.

Dr Hauschka beauty products are 100% natural and this mask is no exception. To my surprise, I opened the pot to find what looked like dirt! It’s only after reading the instructions (must remember to do that first next time) that I realised you’re meant to mix the powder with water to create the mask.



I mixed a teaspoon of the clay powder with a few drops of water to create a paste to apply to my face. After leaving it on for ten minutes, it rinses off very easily which is something I usually struggle with when trying clay masks. Some brands are like adhesive on the skin!

As the mask contains small particles which gently exfoliate as you apply and remove the product, my skin was left looking brighter and feeling softer and my pores appeared reduced.

This product is 100% natural and it smells 100% natural but you can apply it knowing you are adding pure goodness to your face and that your skin will look and feel radiant and fresher after use.

Dr Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask – £25.45/90 g jar

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