January, 2013

Jan 13

My Three Days on Plenish Cleanse

I’m not new to juice cleanses; I did one last summer before my summer holidays (2 weeks in a bikini in St Lucia) and found having a goal in mind made the whole thing a lot easier.

This time, I didn’t have a particular goal other than to give my digestive system a rest. As I suffer from IBS I’m very careful what I eat (no sugar, gluten or dairy) but still felt like I’d overindulged during the festive season.

To ease myself into a period of no chewing, I opted for the Plenish Cleanse Level 1: Harmony. The website describes it as being “designed for those who know their diet and lifestyle are in major need of an overhaul. This cleanse is a gentle detox for those who have little experience with cleansing as it’s the easiest to stick to.” Their words not mine!

Every day you consume the following:

1 x Sweet Sexy Green
1 x Pineapple²
1 x Mind Body Green
1 x Spicy Limonade
1 x Beet Box
1 x Cashew Milk

You might think you’ll be hungry but to be honest, I found it really hard to get through all six 500ml bottles in one day. You’re allowed as much herbal tea and water as you like so prepare to do a lot of visiting to the loo! The green juices are the hardest to swallow; the others taste more like regular juice/squash.

A three day cleanse costs £240 which you might think is a lot of money but when you consider that a good juicer costs at least £150 and all the organic fruit and veg is at least another £50, the time and effort saved and the fact there’s no washing of the juicer, it’s worthwhile. Besides, how often are you going to use that juicer really? After my cleanse last year, mine is gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. The Plenish Cleanse system is really easy; just reach for a juice, consume and recycle the bottle.

Before the juice arrives you are sent an email with instructions on how best to ease yourself into it, details of support available during your cleanse and advice on how to break the cleanse on the last day.

The first day of any diet/new eating regime is always the hardest but once you know you can do it for one day, you know you can do it for the other two. I had a couple of mild headaches on day 1 but I’m putting that down to the toxins leaving my body.

Although weight loss wasn’t my primary reason for doing the cleanse, it was a pleasant side effect! Over the three days I lost 4 pounds. I felt lighter, cleaner and my skin, hair and tongue (surprisingly) felt and looked much better too.

If you’ve got a big event coming up (wedding/summer holiday) or you just want to give your system an overhaul, I would recommend doing the Plenish Cleanse for the 5 days to get the maximum benefits.

For more info and to look at the other levels of cleanse available, visit www.plenishcleanse.com.

Jan 13

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation

Velvet skin is in, with the S/S 2013 catwalks of Alexander McQueen, Valentino and Alexander Wang all eschewing the youthful dewy look for a powdery matte finish.

Of all the foundations I’ve tried recently, I think Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation is best to achieve that result. I wear Double Wear Light Foundation in Intensity 06 (the darkest shade) and it has great staying power, is very matte and gives natural looking and non-masky medium to full coverage.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation

If you find Double Wear Light Foundation in Intensity 06 too light, try another product from the Double Wear range; the Double Wear liquid foundation comes in 30 shades so most skin tones should be able to find the right colour.

When applying (with my fabulous Estee Lauder foundation brush) Double Wear Light Foundation dries rather quickly so don’t take forever putting it on or you might end up using more than you actually need. It has great staying power and unless you’re having a very bad skin day, I don’t think you need concealer too as it covers blemishes very well.

The foundation is SPF10, oil-free, non- acnegenic and fragrance-free.

Double Wear Light Foundation with SPF-10 – £27.50/30ml

Jan 13

Get the Look: Scarlett Johansson

I love everything about this look from Scarlett Johansson; the subtle smoky eye, the vibrant red lip, the flawless skin – everything is working!

"Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" Broadway Opening Night - After Party

As the face of Dolce&Gabbana makeup and fragrance, lucky Scarlett has access, not only to their amazing clothes, but also their gorgeous make up.

At the premiere of her new Broadway show, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ in New York earlier this month, Scarlett was in full on Dolce&Gabbana mode wearing the brand top to toe. Her makeup artist Gianpaolo Ceciliato said he used Dolce&Gabbana Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation as a base to even out her skin tone followed by the mix of blush in Sole, Apricot and Mocha. He then focused on the eyes using the kohl pencil in True Black, the eye shadow quad in Bouquet and the Intenseyes Black Intensity Mascara mascara to lengthen and define lashes. On the lips she wore Passion duo lipstick in Tropical and Sheer Shine Gloss in Aqua. Nail wise she had on a bright red nail lacquer called Fire.

Eye Colour Quad in Bouquet

Eye Colour Quad in Bouquet

I was lucky enough to get my mitts on the Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Bouquet, the Intense Nail Lacquer in Fire and the Black Intensity Mascara.

I am a sucker for good mascara; I think it’s the most important make up purchase. If the rest of my face is working against me, I feel all is right in the world if my eyes look good. They are my favourite feature and even on my barest of makeup days, I always wear mascara. The Dolce&Gabbana Black Intensity Mascara is perfect for creating long, spidery, separated non clumpy lashes.


Black Intensity Mascara

The Eye Colour Quad in Bouquet isn’t too loud so the colours could be worn to the office or applied with a heavier hand for a night out. The shadow feels rich, luxurious and creamy; these are some beautiful products!

The Intense Nail Lacquer in Fire has been aptly described; this is not a red for the shy among us! It’s a bright, shocking red and I love it. The packaging of all the Dolce&Gabbana products is beautiful; almost too nice to hide away in your cosmetics bag.

Intense Nail Lacquer in Fire

Intense Nail Lacquer in Fire

While I’m talking about Dolce&Gabbana, I had a smell of their latest fragrance Desire. With top notes of mandarin, lychee and bergamot, a heart of Madonna lily, Indian tuberose and plum nectar and base notes of vanilla infused caramel, sandalwood and Cistus Labdanum, this fragrance smells amazing. I got loads of ‘what’s that you’re wearing?’ when I wore it out and about this week and a spritz on both wrists in the morning still smelled great at the end of the day.


As I always say, while I can’t afford the brand’s clothes (yet!) I can satisfy my designer cravings by indulging in their gorgeous beauty products.

Desire by Dolce&Gabbana Eau de Parfum – £45/30ml – launched exclusively in Harrods on 22nd January and will be available nationwide from 27th February. Find make up stockists at www.dolcegabbanamakeup.com.

Jan 13

Braun Silk Epil Pro 7681 Wet & Dry Epilator

I’ll start by saying that the first time I used this on dry legs, it hurt. Like the sting of a bee it hurt! But, after use, it hurts a lot less and now the Braun Silk Epil epilator is my hair removal appliance of choice.

The Silk Epil epilator contains over 40 tweezers so it plucks the hair (even if they’re only 0.5mm long) right from the root (hence the pain). This version of the epilator can be used wet or dry and I definitely recommend using it in the shower or bath as it is much less painful.

Using it in warm water improves your circulation and makes your skin less sensitive so unless you are particularly hardy, save it for the shower or bath. The epilator comes with Olay cooling wipes to prime your legs before you get epilating.

The epilator comes with various heads so it can be used anywhere on the face or body, including bikini area. It has a 2 pin plug so can only be used in a shaver socket unless you’re willing to buy an adapter.


Braun Silk Epil Epilator

It’s been 7 days and the prickles on my legs are just starting to come through. When you think that waxing your legs costs at least £10, and that you can use an epilator anywhere on your body, I think an epilator is a money saving product in the long term.

Braun Silk Epil Pro 7681 Wet & Dry Epilator – RRP £139.99

Jan 13

The Big Green Smile

One of my (many) new year’s resolutions is to take a more holistic approach to my skincare and in particular products I can also use on my children. I have quite dry yet sensitive skin (which I seem to have passed on to them) so I try and use natural and organic products where possible.

I recently came across www.biggreensmile.com; stockists of the UK’s largest range of natural products. They sell pretty much everything you could think of and a few things you couldn’t/haven’t!

I tried Burt’s Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Body Butter (£12.99); a 99.0% natural product. Pomegranate is rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants so it helps repair, moisturise and nourish the skin. The body butter is extremely rich; a little goes a long way. It smells like sweets and leaves the skin looking and feeling great. As you can imagine, the kids love it!

Less for the kids and more for the adults, Neal’s Yard Remedies Aromatic Foaming Bath (£13.90) is perfect for when the day has got you beat. Simply pour under running water and let the lavender relax you, the arnica ease your muscles and the organic essentials oils ease the day away. The oils are quite strong so the whole of the house (or at least the upstairs) will smell lovely.

Other things I’ve seen at www.biggreensmile.com include a moon cup (Google it), the entire Ecover cleaning range and anything from Dr Hauschka. If you’re looking for on online natural beauty supermarket, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere that stocks as much as www.biggreensmile.com.

Jan 13

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation

Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation comes in 23 shades and four harmonies – beige, beige rose, beige ambre and beige ochre – so there should be a shade to suit all skin colours.

As you can imagine from Chanel, the finish is gives to your skin is amazing; moisturising with a semi matte finish. I wore the Chanel Perfection Lumiere on a ladies night out (from 7pm to 3am) and at the end of the night I still looked as fresh as a daisy. This foundation has great staying power.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere works to hide the bits we want hidden and highlight the parts we like; it works on:

  • loss of radiance
  • redness
  • dark spots
  • uneven skin tone

It also smells great.

I consider myself a deep chocolate brown (a la Tika Sumpter) and 104 Ambre is a perfect match for me. If you’re a darker brown, Chanel Perfection Lumiere comes in three even darker shades so you should be able to find the right colour for you.

This is my second time trying a Chanel product (their mattifying fluid is great for combination to oily skin) and I have to say, I am big fan of their beauty range. While I save up for the 2.55 flap bag, their make-up and beauty products are satisfying my Chanel cravings.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation – £36/30ml

Jan 13

Brasher Kitale Boots

Hopefully this is the end of the snow; the slip sliding on the pavements and the civil unrest at London Bridge Station needs to stop.

Like most of London, I’ve been wearing wellington boots in the snow and although they keep my feet dry, they aren’t so great and providing traction in the snow or keeping my feet warm.

Sometimes function must triumph over form; these aren’t the cutest boots in the world but they were made for this weather.


They are shearling lined so keep your feet warm, have a rugged rubber sole to ensure you stay upright and are made from premium water resistant nubuck leather so will keep your feet dry.

They look like they’ll last forever (in fact they look like you couldn’t destroy them if you tried!) so it’s £135 well spent.


Brasher Kitale Boots – £135

Jan 13

Real Techniques Core Collection

I have a confession to make; I’ve only just started to use make up brushes. Up until now, I’ve pretty much just used my fingers to apply my foundation and/or eye shadow but now I’ve come across this core collection from Samantha Chapman, I’ve found the perfect set of beginner brushes.

The set, which costs just over £20, contains:

  • Detailer brush: good for concealer or lipstick
  • Pointed foundation brush: I use it to apply liquid foundation; the difference is amazing!
  • Buffing brush: ideal for full coverage application of powder and/or mineral foundation
  • Contour brush: great for highlighter, bronzer and blush

They were designed by Samantha Chapman, she of Pixiwoo fame (professional makeup artist and blogger/vlogger extraordinaire) so you know they are more than capable of doing the job.

If you are just getting used to brushes, this Real Techniques Core Collection is all you need to professionally apply your make up.

Real Techniques Core Collection – £21.99

Jan 13

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation

Dr Perricone is dermatologist to some of the world’s most famous faces and after being constantly asked for a lightweight foundation that would allow the skin to breathe and display its natural radiance; he created his No Foundation Foundation.

The foundation comes in one shade (a light tan) that suits all skin tones and types. I was dubious at first but it practically disappears once it’s on the skin and leaves behind a light dewy finish. You only need a tiny amount so the bottle should last for ages.


No Foundation Foundation includes DMAE, Dr Perricone’s wonder product: a patented ingredient that firms, tones and tightens the appearance of the skin. It also contains SPF 30, patented anti-oxidants and specially treated pigments to help correct skin undertones and boost the skins natural moisture levels throughout the day. It doesn’t sit heavily on the face so won’t highlight any unsightly lumps or bumps on the skin.

For the days when you don’t want to wear a lot of makeup but you still want light coverage for a barely there kiss of colour, this is your product. Eva Mendes said of the No Foundation Foundation: ‘It seriously makes your skin look awesome.’

It won’t make you look like her (unfortunately) but it will leave you with really good looking skin.

No Foundation Foundation – £47/30ml

Jan 13

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

If you’ve ever breastfed a baby, you will be familiar with the searing pain of sore and cracked nipples and you’ll also appreciate the magic feeling of relief a good nipple balm can give.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips contains medical grade lanolin which has historically been used by breastfeeding mothers. It is 100% organic and natural and so safe for babies that it doesn’t need to be washed off before breastfeeding. It makes perfect sense to transfer this knowledge to sore and chapped lips.


As harsh as the environment can be to our lips, it’s nothing compared to breastfeeding (trust me!) so a little dab of this wonder balm can work miracles on even the driest and cracked lips. It soothes, protects and repairs the skin’s natural barriers so you are left with soft and luscious lips.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips isn’t just for the lips (or the nipples) it can also be used on:

  • Dry cuticles
  • Feet and elbows
  • Dry knees
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Split ends
  • Diaper rash
  • Wound healing
  • Sunburn
  • Burns and abrasions
  • As an intensive moisturizing night mask

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips is something a cult product as is used by all the top stylists. Just look at these recommendations:

Mary Greenwell, world renowned make-up artist who has worked on Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett, and Uma Thurman, said: “Travel friendly in a tube, and goes on so beautifully like the most luxurious lip balm ever!”

Florrie White (clients include Diane Kruger, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Alexa Chung) says: “In one small tube I have a gloss, a fixer and a treatment – and I am sure Dr Lipp will continue to impress me with further guises.”

Lady Gaga’s make-up artist Ayami Nishimura said: “It’s magical for my dry lips! But because it has nice shiny texture, you can also use on the eye lid to make eyes sexy.”

And last but by no means least, Caroline Barnes (clients include Kylie Minogue, Anna Friel, Cheryl Cole, Alesha Dixon, David Beckham and Naomi Campbell) calls Dr Lipp “…an absolute necessity in my kit. As well as being my lip balm of choice, it immediately soothes and moisturizes those dodgy areas that need some extra help. My celebrity clients love it too! An all-round must have product.”

A myriad of uses, 100% natural and celebrity stylist endorsed, I am a huge fan of Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips – £11.50/15ml

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer