March, 2013

Mar 13

Eucerin Skincare

While flipping through an old copy of Hype Hair magazine at Sen Style Salon, I read an interesting titbit about Angie Stone.

When discussing her beauty routine she said she is a huge fan of Eucerin beauty products. Aside from her amazing voice, Angie is known for having amazing skin and hair. If Eucerin is partly responsible for her smooth chocolate complexion it’s a brand I need to investigate.

Eucerin is a 100 year old German company that prides itself on combining dermatological research with innovative skin science. They are one of the few companies to hold the ‘dermo-cosmetic’ mark. Most of their products contain Urea and Lactate; natural moisturisers that improve the moisture binding capacity of the skin.

I tried the Eucerin Repair Foot Crème, Repair Hand Crème, Calming Scalp Treatment and their new Even Brighter Day and Night Cream.


The Hand and Foot Repair Crèmes are perfect for dry or very dry skin and the foot crème worked wonders on my feet that have been neglected since Summer. As I’m always washing up and never wearing gloves, my hands often appear quite dry but the Repair Crème makes them soft, supple and hydrated.

The Even Brighter range helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation for a brighter and more even complexion. Darker skins are more prone to hyperpigmentation and while this range won’t lighten your skin, it contains B-Resorcinol which decreases melanin production to visibly reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

My favourite product is their Calming Scalp Treatment (reviewed here) it’s a miracle worker.

It’s no secret that Angie Stone was the inspiration for D’Angelo’s classic hit Brown Sugar. While I can’t promise using Eucerin will bag you that fine specimen, I can say that it does a great job in looking after the health of your skin.

Mar 13

Top Four Beauty Products for March

Here are four of my favourite things this month:

GOSH Spring Makeup Collection
The GOSH Cosmetics Spring collection contains lots of goodies at really reasonable prices. My favourites are the nail polishes; pastels and textures are huge this season and these really hit the mark. The eyeliners are a steal from only £4.99; they’re very pigmented, soft and easy to apply. The Ultimate eyeliner costs a little more (£5.99) but they too give great coverage and come with a smudging implement on the end of the pencil to give that sexy mussed up look.


LCN Tinted Love Lip gloss
With the 90s back in vogue, anyone remember lip gloss that changed colour when you applied it? LCN are reviving the trend with a gloss that changes colour when it reacts with the heat on your lips. In the tube it’s orange; on my skin it’s pink.


Nails Inc. Spring/Summer Collection
Spring calls for pastels and Nails Inc. have one of the best collections. This set costs £22 and contains the must have colours of the season. Choose from Primrose Hill Gardens – neon pink, Royal Botanical Gardens – mint, Kensington Palace Gardens – salmon pink, Belgravia Gardens – coffee nude, Chelsea Physic Garden – pastel blue and Hampton Court Palace Gardens – pure orange or just buy the lot!


I feel like I’m a bit late to the Glossybox party but now I’ve actually got one, I can see what all the fuss is about. For only £10 (+p&p) a month you get to try high end deluxe samples delivered right to your door each month. This month’s box included a large bottle of Jason shampoo, a Jelly Pong Pong lip gloss, L’Occitane hand cream and a small tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. The box makes an excellent gift with a three month subscription starting from £27.


Mar 13

ESPA Face Treatment Oil

I had reservations about using the ESPA Replenishing Face Treatment Oil; I have combination skin and my T Zone can get very oily. It stands to reason that adding oil to an oily face will only make it oiler. Right?

Wrong! Facial oils are water-free and rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and penetrate deeply into the skin to repair, restore and revitalise. They are suitable for all skin types – yes, even oily ones!

I chose the ESPA Replenishing Face Treatment Oil which contains neroli and sandalwood to stimulate cell renewal. It also has vitamin E rich avocado extract and patchouli extract to really nourish the skin. And nourish is the word; I’ve been using a couple of drops of oil on my face and neck every morning and night and my skin really does feel nourished.


I haven’t broken out in any spots and my face isn’t any oiler; it just feels nourished, fed even. I had a few dry patches on my cheeks (damn central heating) and they are starting to clear up; the oil is that good.

The Replenishing formulation is suitable for all skin types but the range also includes Balancing (for oily, combination and congested skins) and Regenerating (for mature and/or stressed skin types).

My only gripe would be the bottle; it’s a large opening so you often end up with more oil than you need and it’s a bit of a faff (not to mention a waste) to get it back inside the bottle. That aside, I really like this oil. And my skin does too.

ESPA Replenishing Face Treatment Oil - £53/28ml

Mar 13

Gillette Venus Naked Skin Intense Pulsed Light Hair Reduction System

Unfortunately, my skin is too dark to use the Gillette Venus Naked Skin IPL System so I asked my good friend Maria Nigro of One Body Beauty to review it for me. Here’s what she thought:

“With pale, sensitive skin and dark hair I was nervous but excited about trying this system out. There is a colour spectrum shown in the booklet that comes with the device which shows exactly which skin tones can and cannot use this IPL system safely (it is unsafe on blonde hair and on dark skin).

I did feel that when trying it on my friends with a slight bit of colour in their skin I wasn’t permitted to use it. This was a bit of a let down because I wanted to give my friends treatments too. Also it cannot be used on any area with moles or freckles which meant I couldn’t use it on my arms or legs. I found that a bit disappointing because most pale girls have moles and freckles. The only areas I could treat were my underarms and bikini area.

gilette venus ipl

There is a small cordless instrument which you need to use each time you treat a different part of your body. It detects your skin tone and this automatically adjusts the settings of the IPL ready for use. You then apply a thick layer of the gel to the area which is to be treated. Because it’s a fiddly process and the gel dries out, it’s best to apply it in small patches as you go along.

You must ensure that the IPL is applied flat against the skin or it simply will not operate which can be a bit challenging on the bikini line where the skin is not flush. A white light signifies that the machine is ready to use. You press the button ONCE and there will be a red flash. Do not look into the light – you can see it side on (protect your eyes!) There will be indentations in the gel on your skin where you have already treated, which helps you keep note of where you have and have not treated. You must not treat the same area more than once in one session or you risk burns.

Treatments should be carried out every two weeks for the first couple of months and, to maintain the hair reduction, it reduces to once a month. I have used it four times on my underarms and twice on the bikini area. I find the bikini line a slightly time consuming process requiring concentration, focus and it’s a little bit painful in this area. The results are definitely worth it especially under the arms. Even though I’ve only been using the system for two months I can already see an undeniable reduction in hair re growth in this area which is great!

Financially, it is a big outlay, and the replacement activation gel is another ongoing commitment, but I would recommend it. If this could be used on more skin tones then I would say everyone should have one but if you’re a really pale girl like myself with no moles, no freckles or dark hair then this is the machine for you.”

Gillette Venus Naked Skin Intense Pulsed Light Hair Reduction System – £449

Mar 13

Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Cream

The ends of my hair are the driest. As much as I love the way the colour has added a little interest to my hair, I can’t escape the fact that my hair isn’t as healthy as it used to be.

Regular trims are essential to prevent your coloured hair splitting and breaking and deep conditioning treatments are essential and I haven’t been visiting the salon as regularly as I should.

I asked celebrity stylist and Herbal Essences Ambassador Ben Cooke (clients include Leona Lewis, Minnie Driver, David and Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole) what ladies with ombré can do to keep their hair healthy.

He said: ‘Hair that has been coloured, especially dip dyed or ombré is going to have lost moisture and could be dry and brittle towards the ends. This is a great time to make sure you have your Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split Ends Serum in your handbag. Instead of fiddling and messing with your already dry ends apply the serum as often as needed to help tame any frizz and instantly add moisture.’

Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Protection Cream

This stuff is fantastic! After just one use the ends of my hair looked so much smoother, less frizzy and flyaway and generally in a much better condition. I used it all over the hair but applied extra on the ends and the difference was immediately visible.

I’ve used lots of lotions and potions on my hair over the years but this is hands down the best one I have tried so far. And it’s a bargain at less than a fiver! I’ve bought a bottle for my Mum, told my friends to get it; seriously, you need this product in your life.

Whether your hair is coloured or not, relaxed or natural, if you’re ever going to dry it using heat, get a bottle of Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Cream and keep it by your blow-dryer so you remember to use it each and every time you wash your hair and prepare to be amazed by the results.

Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Cream – £4.79

Mar 13

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation

Call me backward, but I had no idea that Dolce & Gabbana did make up for brown skins!

The new Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation leaves you with a velvety matte look that has great staying power. I wore it all day and only needed one mini touch up.


The Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation range comes in 15 shades, starting at Classique for the English Rose. I think their colours most suitable for brown skins are as follows:

Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 148 Amber
Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 150 Almond
Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 160 Soft Tan
Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 170 Golden Honey
Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 180 Soft Sable

They say Perfect Matte Concealer 6 Soft Sand will best compliment these colours but I didn’t try it so you’ll have to go to the counter and see if it’s the right shade for you.


I tried the darkest shade, Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation 180 Soft Sable and it matched my skin tone perfectly. I tested on the jaw line like you’re supposed to and it simply melted into my skin. It was a 100% colour match.

Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation gives medium to full coverage and even without concealer, does a great job at covering imperfections.

Make up maestro Pat McGrath is Creative Advisor at Dolce & Gabbana make up and she says: “The intelligent foundation formula achieves impeccable coverage for a classically perfect beauty look that lasts. Though the coverage is medium to high, the overall look is a more modern natural, soft matte that seamlessly adapts to and works with the skin.”

The packaging is beautiful (of course) and a little goes a long way so the bottle should last a while. When it comes to foundation, brands are starting to (finally) realise that providing for a large and diverse audience makes good commercial and ethical sense.

If you’re after a good quality medium to high coverage foundation, I recommend Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation.

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation – £38.00

Mar 13

Zatchels Brown Distressed Leather Satchel

Every girl knows a good bag is worth its weight in gold and this is even more so when you seem to carry everything bar the kitchen sink around with you. Having a bag big enough for a laptop, tablet, phone, keys and make up essentials is no mean feat.

Old school is the new new school and with every celebrity worth their weight in column inches carrying a satchel, I decided it was time I tried one out.

Zatchels has an extensive range across three main categories; saddle bags, barrel bags and of course satchels. All come in a range of prints and finishes like the much sought after elephant print, flouros and metallics.


I opted for versatility with the brown distressed leather Zatchel. It gives a timeless, vintage look and can be worn dressed up or down, for work or play. The bag comes complete with optional extras such as personalised engravings, additional top stitched handle and cross body strap slider for added comfort. We opted for a 14.5” width to fit in all our wares without being too big.

And the bag is big. You don’t realise how much so until you get it. That being said, it met all our needs comfortably without looking overly full. It comes in an environmentally friendly dust bag and is beautiful if a little whiffy at first. It is extremely sturdy and rigid but this will give over time. It has just two compartments, a large main one and a smaller front loaded one and is secured with two buckles.

These can be a little fiddly to keep going in and out of but offer good security. It’s not overly heavy, even when full and sits comfortably on the shoulder with minimal slippage which impressed me.

All in all it’s an excellent bag. It’s practical which is what I want and need yet it doesn’t compromise on looks.


Mar 13

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Chocolate Lip Balm

I am something of a lip balm obsessive; every handbag I have must contain at least one. I’ve got balms from almost every brand imaginable and in most formats; tubs, tubes, pots – you name it.

My latest discovery is the new chocolate (ding! ding!) lip balms from Palmer’s. Containing 100% pure Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E and with a SPF of 15 they’re perfect for the harsh winter sun and the (hopefully) hot weather soon to come.


The new formulations are Chocolate & Cherry flavour and Dark Chocolate & Mint fragrance. Both do a great job at hydrating chapped, cracked or dry lips and neither sits too heavily on the lips. I like lip balm that feels like a balm and not a lipstick; I don‘t want the interference.

My favourite of the two is definitely the Chocolate & Cherry flavour balm. Not just because it gives you a hint of chocolate when you lick your lips but also because it leaves behind a nice cherry tint on your lips. It’s got quite good staying power too; after a cup of coffee the balm was still there as was the cherry colour.


Plus they are a bargain at only £1.99!

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Chocolate Lip Balm – £1.99/4g

Mar 13

Three of the Best: Day Creams for Dry Skin

As the weather continues to conspire against me, I’m having to really up my skin and hair care routine. The cold, wind and recent snow sometimes literally hurt my face so I’ve had to switch my usual moisturiser for something slightly richer.

I’m rotating between these three:

day cream for dry skin (2)

L’Oréal Paris Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Active Day Cream
L’Oréal Paris Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Active Day Cream is enriched with calcium, magnesium and vitamins C, E and B5 and it hydrates the skin without weight it down. Of the three creams listed, this one feels the lightest on the skin. It goes on like a cream/gel hybrid and has a very pleasant fresh scent. It moisturises the skin very well and, although it’s meant for normal to combination skin, I found it rich enough to use in this harsher weather as it moisturises very well.

L’Oréal Paris Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Active Day Cream – £6.99/50ml

REN Ultra Moisture Day Cream
The Ultra Moisture Day Cream from natural skincare pioneers REN. With bio extracts of Phytostimuline peptide, Hyaluronic acid, and Omega 6 ceramide, it’s thick and creamy without being greasy and it stops that dry, taut feeling you get when it’s cold.
My face feels moisturised and soft and as the cream also protects against free radicals, I know my face is protected from environmental pollutants and the harsh winter sun. REN Ultra Moisture Day Cream is meant for dry skins but in this weather I think it is perfect for normal to combination skin too.

REN Ultra Moisture Day Cream – £27/50 ml

The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Ultra Face Cream
This face cream is for the seriously dry and dehydrated. With Evening Primrose, Rose Hip and Rose oils, this cream bring instant relief to the driest of skins. If you have normal or oily skin the Double Rose Ultra Face cream might be too much, but in winter, even my combination skin has been in need of extra moisture and this seriously luxurious cream more than delivers. I find it rich enough to use as a night cream too and a little goes a long way so the pot should last for a fair amount of time.

The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Ultra Face Cream- £46.95/50ml

Mar 13

Benefit Fine One One

Despite the fact that it looks like a roll on deodorant, this new two in one product from Benefit is actually rather nice.


Benefit Fine One One is a sheer cheek and lip tint that comes in three colours: pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral. Personally, I like that it is just a dash of colour, I’m not much of a blush person so I like that it just gives a hint of something. It isn’t something I would use on my lips though, I’d rather stick to lipstick or lip gloss for that.

One of the many things I love about Benefit (other than their gorgeous retro packaging) are the tips and tricks that come with most of their make up so even the most make up challenged can learn how to apply the products properly.

You can use benefit Fine One One to lift your look (apply from cheek to temple); to fake cheekbones (blend with fingertips in a circular motion around cheeks) or to add a dash of colour to naturally pink lips (not suitable for those with darker lips).

For those that aren’t overly keen on blusher, Benefit Fine One One is a nice introduction to colour on the face.

Benefit Fine One One – £23.50/8.0g


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