February, 2013

Feb 13

Ted Baker Beauty Accessories

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got either an old metal emery board (which any nail technician will tell you is so bad for the nails) or 10 copper coloured ones for £1 that don’t last much beyond one use!

Although beauty accessories are something I use all the time, I’ve always gone for function over form and not given much thought to what it looks like. Now I can have function as well as form. Ted Baker’s latest range of beauty accessories look good and do exactly what they say on the tin.

ted baker accessories (1)

They come in lovely packaging (always a nice plus) and have a gold finish so look that extra bit luxe. My favourite product is the eyelash curlers; the pads are nice and thick (although a replacement set would have been nice) and they do a great job in brightening the appearance of the eye before you apply your mascara.

ted baker accessories (2)

The range starts from only £6 and with the lovely packaging; they’d make great gifts for friends or even for yourself.

ted baker accessories (3)

Ted Baker beauty accessories – from £6, boots.com

Feb 13

Get the Look: Dolce & Gabbana at Milan Fashion Week

It’s no secret that we are huge fans of the work of make up artist Pat McGrath; her work for a variety of beauty brands is nothing short of inspiring.

Pat has been running around New York, London and now Milan to work at what I like to call Fashion Month. She was at Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday night and we got the low down on the beauty tools and products she used at their very Catholic-esque show.


A good face always starts with a flawless base and to accomplish that, Pat applied a mix of Perfect Luminous and Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation (review here) using the Foundation Brush . Start with a small amount of both foundations applied to the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin and blend it from the central point of the face outward until the product flows seamlessly to the hairline and jaw.

Dolce&Gabbana Make Up Look 1

Use Perfect Matte Concealer to add extra coverage and achieve an illuminated natural look. Finally, Pat applied Powder Foundation focusing on the forehead to perfect the look.

For eyes, Pat applied the eye shadow quad in Desert in layers followed by the eyeliner in Black to create a deep and mysterious look. The glam liner in Black Intense was then added on top of the lash line to add further definition. Lastly, two layers of intenseyes mascara were applied to really elongate the lashes.

Dolce&Gabana Make Up Look 3

On the lips, Pat used the lip liner in Ruby followed by lipsticks in both Ultra and Amethyst. The colour was applied with greater intensity at the Cupid’s bow for better definition and to really emphasize the mouth.

To complement the look Pat chose the nail lacquer in Nude for a final touch of luxury.

I love this look; it’s sexy and glamorous without being too in your face, and thanks to the steps above, something that can be easily recreated at home.

Dolce&Gabbana Make Up Look 2

Feb 13

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate

I am a huge fan of Clarins’ skincare; every product I have tried not only feels beautiful against the skin it also does a great job moisturising/protecting/hydrating etc.

The new Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate has had beauty editors and bloggers all in a frenzy with one magazine listing it as one of the years’ 10 products that will redefine our idea of what beauty is capable of!

Clarins Double Serum

What is all the fuss about? It’s well known that water and oil don’t mix but Clarins have somehow fused the two together – along with 20 of the most powerful known plant extracts – into a wonder serum that is instantly absorbed by the skin. The skin on our face is up to 70% water and 30% oil so using a product that closely mimics our skins natural make up means wrinkles are minimised, skin is firmer, more elastic and even-toned and pores are less visible.

Although brown skins tend not to wrinkle as fast as Caucasian skin, we are all affected by environmental factors and stress linked to lifestyle which can lead to loss of firmness, fine lines, diminished radiance and luminosity and more visible pores.

In consumer tests, after just one use, the results were amazing:

  • 88% smoother skin
  • 82% more radiant skin
  • 73% more toned skin

Four weeks later, these same women said:

  • 88% less visible pores
  • 88% more even complexion
  • 86% firmer, more elastic skin
  • 79% reduced wrinkles

This serum hydrates, nourishes, protects, oxygenates and regenerates the skin. Is there anything it doesn’t do?

I don’t have any wrinkles (yet!) but as I’m the wrong side of 25, I have noticed my pores are larger and my complexion not as smooth as it used to be. After just one use, I could feel and see a difference. My skin felt dewy fresh, very moisturised (even in this harsh weather) and like all Clarins products, it smells gorgeous and is a pleasure to apply and wear.

A little goes a long way as two pumps in the morning and two again in the evening (before your usual moisturiser) is enough to do your whole face and neck.

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate – £55/30ml

Feb 13

NeoSTEM Anti-Accelerated Ageing Serum

Here’s a sign of ageing I hadn’t thought about – lipoatrophy. Lovely!

Lipoatrophy is the loss of subcutaneous fat that leads to skin weakness, loss of support and withering and eventually it can leave the cheeks looking hollow. I always say that when I get older I want to have a nice fat face as I think they look younger.

I have no problem with ageing; it happens to us all eventually and while I would never use Botox or go under the knife, I’m happy to apply things topically to keep my face looking as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

NeoStem Serum is a 28 day topical treatment that contains powerful patented active ingredients never before used in cosmetics or available in the UK. The two wonder ingredients are Omega Statine and Z-Dronate both of which are meant to help stimulate collagen production and boost stem cell renewal. Its USP is its ability to penetrate the epidermis and dermis so the product really gets to work deep down into your skin.

Neo Stem Serum

In tests, over 70% of users said their skin was firmer, less withered, hydrated, nourished and less wrinkly by the end of the 28 day cycle.

NeoSTEM Anti-Accelerated Ageing Serum is paraben, fragrance, silicone and phthalate free. I’ve only been using it a week (as part of my night time skin care routine) but my skin feels so much smoother and softer I wanted to tell you about it!

NeoSTEM Anti-Accelerated Ageing Serum – £59/30ml

Feb 13

NuBo Snow Queen Facial at Brown’s Hotel, London

NuBo is a British beauty brand with a difference. All their products are parabens, petrochemicals and SLS free.

Typical facials work on the outer layer of the skin, applying collagen or anti-oxidants to improve the appearance of the skin. NuBo products re-invigorate the skin by going inside skin cells to encourage self-rejuvenation.

The Spa at Brown's Hotel, London.

The Spa at Brown’s Hotel, London.

The NuBo Snow Queen facial takes an hour and begins with the application of NuBo’s ‘peel and reveal’ to cleanse and prepare the skin. This is followed by the NuBo Marine purifying mask, which purifies the pores, encourages cellular renewal and has an instant firming effect.

Hot towels were then applied to the face and neck to remove the Marine mask and heat the skin, before the application of the White Diamond Ice-Glow Mask. This mask rebalances the skin by kick-starting the detoxification process. The mask felt hot, cold, tight and loose all at the same time. It was quite an experience!


While all the products were working their magic, I received a hand and arm massage, a face massage and a head massage. I was in heaven!

To finish the treatment, my therapist applied eye cream, a rich and creamy moisturiser, NuBo voile primer and a slick of ‘Lip perfection’ lip gloss so I didn’t leave looking completely bare faced.

I’ve had a lot of facials in my time but my skin has never looked as good as it did after the NuBo Snow Queen Facial! My skin glowed, shimmered and shone! Four days later I met a friend for lunch who asked what I’d been using on my face as it looked so clear and healthy.

I loved every this about this facial; the massages, the venue and the after effects. Go and get this facial, you won’t regret it.

NuBo Snow Queen Facial at Brown’s Hotel – £100/60 mins
Tel: +44 020 7518 4009

Feb 13

Get the Look: Matthew Williamson at London Fashion Week

Matthew Williamson’s collection at London Fashion Week was rather different from his usual fare. Instead of diaphanous, billowing dresses with thigh high slits and lots of print, he presented a more grown up, sophisticated set of clothing.

The hair and make-up had to compliment his Autumn/Winter offering and I was particularly taken by everything happening on Cora Emmanuel.


Benefit Cosmetics did the make up for the show and I spoke to them to get to the low down on her look:

Make up maven Lisa Eldridge said: “Matthew’s inspiration for the collection was the Northern Lights, and overall there was quite a lot going on. With this in mind, my idea for the make-up was to have it almost as if, from the neck up, it was like looking at a sepia photograph – neutral, de-saturated tones and natural definition. Brows were key; I wanted big natural, bushy brows so I ‘backcombed’ the brows using brow gel, really working it into the roots of the brows to create bulk before brushing up to smooth. Cara Delevingne’s luscious brows really didn’t need much of this!”


Here’s how to recreate it at home:

Start with a fresh, clean, moisturised face.

Lightly apply hello flawless oxygen wow liquid foundation, using foundation brush, starting from the centre of the face and blending outwards. Really buff this into the skin using blush brush to get that air-brushed, ‘no make-up’ make-up look.

Apply boi-ing concealer around the eyes and nose and on any red or problem areas. Go over the same areas with fakeup hydrating concealer (launches April 2013). Finally buff the concealer into the skin. Your skin should look fresh, dewy and naturally flawless.

For the eyes, apply high brow under the bottom lash-line and onto the top lash-line and blend in. Apply the base shadow from peek a bright eyes over the top to accentuate the colour. Then apply high brow into the water line of the eye.

Take the powder from brow zings in light and apply it onto the eyelid up to the socket, and then blend. Next take the contour shadow from peek a bright eyes and mix it with the deep charcoal from the smokin’ eyes kit and blend it into the socket of the eye to create a sepia-shadowed effect.

Curl the eyelashes and back-comb the brows upwards with speed brow gel for a feral finish.

Contour the cheekbones by using a playstick which is two shades darker than your skin tone and blend into in the hollows of your cheeks and on your temples.

Finally add sun beam highlighter to the cheeks to give the skin an extra glow.

Feb 13

Robert Piguet Parfum

The Robert Piguet story is an interesting one; a master couturier who trained the likes of Pierre Balmain, Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior; he is best known now for his range of fine fragrances. Dior said of him: “Robert Piguet taught me the virtues of simplicity through which true elegance must come.”


These virtues have been applied to the range of Robert Piguet Parfums; timeless, classic scents that never go out of vogue. The range has had a myriad of celebrity fans including Linda Evangelista who said: “I’ve worn Fracas by French couturier Robert Piguet for years. It’s all my favourite flowers like jasmine and tuberose in one little black bottle. It’s a rich sensual fragrance.” Kerry Washington, Vera Wang, Iman and Marc Jacobs are also fans of Fracas.

With top notes of tuberose, jasmine, jonquil and gardenia, middle notes of Bulgarian rose, orange flower and fragile white flowers and base notes of sandalwood, vetiver and musk, it’s easy to see why so many love this scent.

Robert Piguet Fracas EDP – from £75/100 ml

Feb 13

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick

Bourjois Rouge Edition lipsticks have been tested and approved by fashionistas (whatever that means!) and come in 18 different shades.

The Bourjois Rouge Edition collection is grouped into three ranges – Preppy (for style addicts) Colour Block (for bright eye catching colours) and Night Out (for divine glamour).

Bourjois-lipstick (2)

I tried the following colours (l-r):

Beige Trench (nude with a hint of pink)
Rose Coquette (very pearly pink)

Colour Block
Fuchsia Graffiti (bright pink)
Fraise Remix (strawberry pink)
Rose Neon (bubble gum pink)

Night Out
Rouge Jet Set (a classic red)
Brun Cosmopolitan (chocolate brown)
Violine Strass (deep plum)

I think Bourjois have done well here, this range is wide and varied so everyone will find a colour that suits them. My favourites are Rouge Jet Set and Violine Strass as I think they best suit my colouring.

The Bourjois Rouge Edition lipsticks are smooth, creamy, and almost feel like lip balm. They have a slight shine to them so if you’re more of a gloss person, the Bourjois Rouge Edition collection won’t scare you!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipsticks – £7.99

Feb 13

Nails Inc Leather Effect Polish

It has been well documented on practically every blog and inside every fashion magazine that textured nails are the way forward.

I love textured nails but I also need something that fits in with my lifestyle and doesn’t look too ‘out there’. I love short dark nails so couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Nails Inc ‘Bling it On’ Leather Effect polish in black.


it’s so easy and quick to apply; start with a good base coat to avoid staining your nails, apply one coat and allow it to dry for a couple of minutes. After the first coat it looks like you’ve painted your nails and slept on it but after the second coat the leather effect really starts to shine through.

It dries really quickly; after five to ten minutes it was dry to the touch. It looks great on too, really modern and after three days the polish has yet to chip.

Matte nails are a bit of a divisive topic in the beauty world, but I for one love them!

Nails Inc. Bling it On Leather & Skulls – £19

Feb 13

Get the Look: Diane von Furstenberg at New York Fashion Week

The theme of the DVF show last night was ‘Life is a party’ and the clothes presented certainly were party worthy.

We saw twisted chain link, sky-high metallic heels, dusty neutrals, dazzling prints, lots of leopard, her iconic wrap dresses and my two favourite looks; these two jumpsuits. I fear you need supermodel proportions to pull them off but that won’t stop me trying!


I also love what was going on beauty wise; bright pink lips – try YSL Rouge Volupte Shine 19 ‘Fuchsia in Rage’ (£24) for a gorgeous wet look shine – and flawless skin. Good skin starts with a good base and I’ve been using Medik8 poreCleanse Gel (£15.30) for a sulphate, soap and parabens free clean. It contains L-Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid and L-Lactice Acid to leave the skin looking and feeling clear and bright.


This cold and wet weather is leaving my skin parched and the DVF girl has perfect skin. I’ve called in the big guns and am using The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Ultra Face Cream (£46.95). With ingredients like Evening Primrose, Rose Hip and Rose, my skin felt hydrated after just one use.


The girls at DVF had thick, glossy, wavy hair. Get the look with BaByliss Thermo Ceramic heated rollers (£39.95). Start with straight hair, spray in some Ellnet Satin Heat Styling Spray (£4.99) and, using the largest rollers at the front, leave them in your hair for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove and finger comb through for seriously sexy waves.


Hair done, face done – you should now look like a DVF Park Avenue Princess!

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