March, 2013

Mar 13

Mother’s Day Beauty Gift Ideas

Buying for good old Mum isn’t always easy; she’s priceless (obviously) but you want to get her something that shows what she means to you.

Speaking to a few of my friends; I’ve decided to group my beauty gift suggestions into the following categories. I hope your mum fits into one of these:

Mum to be

More for the partners among us; Mother’s Day is going to take on new meaning for the mama-to-be. While she’s pregnant, everyone is interested in her every midwife appointment and due date but that all changes once the sprog has popped. These gifts let her know you still care and you want her final days of not-quite-a-fully-fledged-Mum-yet to be as enjoyable as possible.


Mama Mio Candle – £18.50
I love this candle; the pink glass container looks great (and can be used to store make up when the candle has burned out) and it smells so uplifting and fresh. Mum-to-be should spend as much time as possible relaxing and an evening with a bath and this candle will be divine.

StriVectin SD Sensitive Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles – £115 
Some mums call them marks of pregnancy and wear them with pride but most of us aren’t happy when those little slithers first start so appear. This cream works on even sensitive skin and has been clinically proven to visibly fade discolorations, intensify natural cell turnover and visibly diminish stretch marks. Fragrance, oil, paraben, allergen and artificial dye-free, it also contains Nia-114, active peptides, rose & cucumber extracts, and oat kernel extract to gently soothe the skin.

Green & Blacks Tasting Collection – £11.99 
It’s 24 mini bars of organic dark and milk chocolate (plus recipe cards on what she can do with it all). Need I say more? Don’t be tempted to eat any; let Mum to be enjoy them all on her own.

Ethical Mum

Some of our mothers like the complimentary/holistic lifestyle and buying for them requires a little more forethought. Thankfully, a lot of brands are more ‘green’ so there’s more t available for those who like their beauty to be kind to the planet.

Burts Bees Intense Hydration Range – from £7.99
I was first introduced to Burt’s Bees via their excellent baby range (Baby Bees) but their range of beauty products for adults is just as good. Their new range, Intense Hydration, contains clary sage which is known for its ability to retain moisture. I tried the cream cleanser which left my skin wonderfully soft while the day night cream can help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Wild About Beauty Safari Nights Collection – from £14
Wild about Beauty was founded by Louise Redknapp and international make-up artist Kim Jacob. The new Safari Nights collection has very earthy colours (think coral hues, pistachio greens and shimmering bronzes) and most of the products contain friendly ingredients like vitamin E and shea butter and are paraben and petrochemical free.


Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil – £58 
Rich in Omega oils 3, 6, 7 & 9, this oil provides deep moisturising and hydration, aids in the renewal and repairing of skin cells and provides skin protection, hydration and nourishment.

Dielle Nail Polish – from £9 
There’s a lot to love about this brand; the colours are lovely (they’ve been featured in fashion bible Vogue) and a portion of the proceeds go to humanitarian causes in Haiti. Dielle means Goddess and the brand is called that because they aim to restore the dignity of women and bring value to the lives of those women in the most deprived areas of the world.


Glamorous Mum

Chanel Spring 2013 Collection – from £18
We all love to receive something with the magic interlocking C on so anything from Chanel will go down a storm. Their Spring 2013 is perfection personified; my favourite product is the Poudre Signée De Chanel, a gorgeous warm beige/peach highlighter. Everything looks as good in the box as they do on your face. Form meets function.


Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin – £11.51 
An oldie but a goodie; I love this book. It explains the basics of makeup; contouring, how to exaggerate and minimise certain features and features gorgeous photographs of celebrities as varied as Sharon Stone, Mary J Blige, Madonna and Diana Ross with detailed step by step instructions on how to perfect their look.

Murad Skin Perfecting Primer – £58.50
This dual-functioning cosmetic treatment minimises the appearance of pores and eliminates shine, leaving the skin with a smooth, matte finish. It contains a probiotic complex which promotes resistance to harmful bacteria and salicylic acid to reduce blemishes and dissolve dull, dry skin. It also has adaptive shade technology which creates a perfect skin tone match for virtually any skin shade and colour.

MD Lash Factor – £79.95 
Eyelash conditioner is a bit of a thing now and this one is probably the best out there. Developed by a physician, it improves the appearance, thickness and fullness of your natural lashes. In a one month study 95% of users reported an improvement in the overall appearance of lashes with an average increase of 53% increase in length. I’m all for mascara, but who doesn’t want naturally longer and thicker lashes? Plus 5% of all proceeds goes toward autism research.


Happy shopping!

Mar 13

S5 Vitality Mask

The S5 Vitality mask has been formulated for those who need active skincare but who might react badly to usual ingredients like Retinol or Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Over time, irritation can lead to premature ageing, and particularly in darker skins, hyper –pigmentation.

The Vitality mask contains (sustainably sourced) marine enzymes from salmon caviar hatching water which mimics the skin’s enzymes and gently detaches dead skin cells in the outer layer of the skin without affecting the cells beneath.

S5 Vitality Mask

It also contains bio actives from the Amazon rainforest which, like retinol, has a lightening effect on the skin. It works to reduce the amount of melanin, the pigment which gives skin its colour, reducing age spots and dark marks by up to 36%.

In tests, the S5 Vitality mask was clinically proven to give similar results to AHAs without causing skin irritation, and users claimed it reduced imperfections by 60% and pore size by 20%.

The mask itself is more like a thin cream and thankfully, doesn’t have any residual ‘salmon caviar hatching water’ scent. Simply apply a thick layer, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off for fresh and smooth skin. To see lasting results you’ll need to use the S5 Vitality Mask twice a week but with continued use, my skin looked fresh and radiant and certainly felt a lot smoother.

The S5 Vitality mask is EcoCert certified organic and uses only 100% natural active ingredients so is ideal for sensitive skin and is free from Parabens, SLS/SLES, PEGS, DEA, Mineral Oil, Silicon, Propylene Glycol, GMO and synthetic fragrance.

S5 Vitality Mask – £42/100ml

Mar 13

Givenchy Summer 2013 Croisiere Makeup Collection

Last week I trotted off to The Photographers’ Gallery on Ramillies Street to take a sneak peek at the Givenchy Summer 2013 Croisiere Makeup Collection. I can sum it all up in a word. Beautiful!

The collection is made up of the following:

  • Dahlia Noir L’Eau de Parfum
  • Limited edition Le Rouge lipstick in coral and fuchsia
  • Limited edition Le Vernis nail polish also in coral and fuchsia
  • Noir Couture waterproof mascara in Black Velvet and Purple Velvet;
  • Reflet Precieux Satiny Body Enhancer
  • Hydra Sparkling Nude BB Cream

I’ll start with Le Rouge lipstick in coral and fuchsia; the colours are perfect for practically every skin tone. We were comparing hand swatches while we were there and the darker among us found the colours took on a brighter, almost neon look against a very dark brown skin. If you’re very pale, you might find these colours a little bright, I think they’ll look better if the palest among us have at least a slight tan.



Although Le Vernis nail polishes are also called coral and fuchsia, they are slightly toned down versions of the lipsticks. The coral is matte and the fuchsia glossy, with one coat being enough to give long lasting colour.

You’re probably already quite familiar with Noir Couture mascara with its tri-spherical brush but this time it has been reformulated into a waterproof edition and put in a gleaming white leather case. I was a little sceptical about coloured mascara but the beauty experts at Givenchy assure me that one coat of black followed by one coat of purple really brings out brown eyes. I’ll try it and let you know!


Reflet Precieux Satiny Body Enhancer promises to be a ‘one shade suits all’ and as we all tried it at the event, it certainly seems to live up to that claim. Containing crushed pearls, it leaves behind a subtle iridescent sheen and its delicate orange blossom scent reminds me of summer holidays.


The Hydra Sparkling Nude BB Cream is Givenchy’s first foray into the BB market and it promises to unify, conceal, smooth and balance while providing UV protection. While the shade was way (way) too light for me, it felt amazing on the skin; hydrating and moisturising without weighing the skin down. Please bring it out in shades for darker skin tones!


Dahlia Noir L’Eau is a lighter, fresher, crisper version of the bestselling Givenchy Dahlia Noir. With base notes of patchouli, cedar and musk; a heart of rose petal and top notes of citron and neroli, it’s heady without being overpowering and has all the components to be a perfume classic.


Unfortunately you’re going to have to wait to get your hands on all this goodness; the makeup is out in May and Dahlia Noir L’Eau in April.

Can you wait that long?

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