June, 2013

Jun 13

The Beauty Edit: June

Interchangeable weather means I’ve got these in heavy rotation this month:


Nad’s Facial Wand Eyebrow Shaper – £10.20
I admit I was nervous to try this at-home eyebrow waxing kit as the last time I tried to do my eyebrows myself I looked constantly surprised. I recommend you get your brown expertly waxed/plucked/threaded first and then use the Nads’s Facial Wand Shaper for maintenance only. My brows weren’t too straggly so it was pretty easy to apply the wax with the gel and use the strips in the box to tidy them up. No one has said I look different so I know I can’t have done too bad a job.

Kiko Eyebrow Styling Kit – £13.90
Once your brows are the right shape, enhance them with this styling kit. It contains pigmented eyebrow wax to fix, and two complementary coloured powders to shape and fill brows. The kit also includes grooming tools to spruce and style: mini tweezers, slanted brush and a mini wand. It is available in two colour shades: one for chestnut browns and black haired ladies and one for reds and blondes.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash – £5
If you grew up in the 90s chances are you had something from The Body Shop Tea Tree range as your hormones played havoc with your skin. Personally, I had the concentrated tea tree oil. This new creamy wash contains fair trade marula and soya oil, skin-clearing and anti-bacterial tea tree oil and a hit of menthol to help give the wash its cool sensation and fresh fragrance. Perfect for good and bad skin days. To prevent the bad ones from ever happening again!

L’Oreal Confetti Nail Polish – £4.99
Plain nails seem to be a thing of the past and make up giant L’Oreal have taken their time to get on the textured bandwagon. Their confetti top coat is designed to be worn over your favourite nail colour to give that speckled look to your existing polish. At £4.99 it’s cheaper than a lot of the other brands out there and works just as well.

ESPA Lifestage Net8 Serum – £100
It’s not cheap but this serum has been rigorously tested under independent clinical trial conditions to ensure efficacy across a broad spectrum of the most visible signs of ageing. Especially formulated for those aged 45 and over, it contains Natural Encapsulation Technology – an innovative and intelligent delivery system that utilises a natural protective outer shell to hold a multitude of microspheres – each infused with a unique blend of individual actives in their purest most concentrated form. I’m not 45 yet but my frown lines that lead from nose to mouth aren’t going to disappear on their own!

Jun 13

Tangle Teezer for Children

If your children have curly, thick, afro or mixed race hair, you need a Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot in your life. It’s one of those ‘how did I survive before it’ type products.

I use my Tangle Teezer each and every time I wash my hair and it works amazingly at detangling my very curly hair. They’ve recently brought out a super cute Tangle Teezer for children; it’s brightly coloured and comes in a cute Magic Flowerpot case which doubles up as a storage pot for hair bands and clips.


For best results, wash your daughter’s hair, condition as usual and when wet, brush through with the Tangle Teezer to get rid of knots and tangles. I don’t know how the brush does it but there are no tears or tantrums when using this brush as it almost magically gets rid of the tangles to leave behind soft and smooth hair.


How’s this for a celebrity seal of approval: none other than Victoria Beckham tweeted a picture of the Tangle Teezer for children so now we know how and why little Harper’s hair looks so good!

Victoria Beckham Twitter

Victoria Beckham Twitter

Tangle Teezer Detangling Brush for Little Girls – £10.99

Jun 13

Exercise Beauty Favourites

I am currently two weeks in to a 60 day exercise programme called Insanity.

Created by ex-dancer Shaun T it is intense interval training and it’s the hardest workout I’ve ever done (yes, worse than spinning) but it drops the fat like nothing else.

All this exercise means I’ve had to switch up my beauty routine slightly so these are my current favourites:

exercise beauty

Bumble & Bumble Black Hair Powder – £16
This is like dry shampoo in black; perfect for those of us with darker tresses. If your hair gets greasy, use this to soak up some of the oils. The colour was especially formulated for inky brown, Asian, Hispanic and afro hair and I use it post exercise to add fullness to my otherwise ratty ponytail. You can also use it to give a matte finish to your hair, dry cleanse or add volume if your hair is falling flat. Spray carefully; this is like black coloured hairspray and you don’t want it all over your clothes/bed/walls.

Dr Ceuticals Leg Tone & Shimmer – £16.99
Although I am exercising my heart out, every little helps which is why I am using Dr Ceuticals Leg Tone & Shimmer. Not only does it give the legs a subtle shimmer, it contains marine extracts which are proven to target and refine stubborn fatty deposits. For best results use religiously every morning for three months. Massage into dry skin until the cream has fully absorbed. It’s only been two weeks but I’ll let you know if it makes a difference. Worst case scenario I’m left with moisturised and shimmery legs!

Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak – £34.50
Insanity is like nothing you’ve ever seen, high intensity isn’t the word so you can imagine the state I am in by the end of the workout. The first few days I could hardly move which is why I was so happy when the Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak arrived in the post. With extracts of extracts of Birch, Juniper, Clove, Alpine Lavender, Wild Thyme and Blue Chamomile, combined with Mineral-rich Sea Salt a 15 minute soak in the bath does a great job in lessening the strains and aches next morning.

Bioderma Sebium Corrective Concentrate for Enlarged Pores – £14.85
There’s a reason French women always look so fabulous and it’s probably because most of them use Bioderma products. The Micelle solution for sensitive skin is a favourite of beauty editors worldwide but I think the Sebium range has been overlooked. Formulated for combination and oily skins, it clears pores and smooths skin. Excess sebum, stress, smoking and pollution can cause pores to dilate and enlarge but this corrective concentrate improves the appearance of the skin and can be worn as primer. I use it on my forehead, nose and shin before applying makeup.

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser – £3.65
This is a genius product from Nivea; you use your shower gel as usual, rinse off, apply this in shower moisturiser (I used the blue bottle – it contains almond oil and is especially for dry skins) rinse off and you are ready to face the day. Yes, no moisturising your skin afterwards. While it definitely hydrates and moisturises the skin, I’m not ready to say goodbye to a separate body cream totally but it is perfect for the gym, the busy and/or the lazy.

Jun 13

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

To be sure these were apropos, I asked Mr 32 Boroughs to compile a list of things he likes. So if you’re buying for a 30 something man who likes fashion, food and grooming, these should be right up his street:

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Range – from £8
Who doesn’t want the gift of youthful looking skin? I really like Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub and No Shine Hydration Gel. For use daily this one-two combination will have even the most weathered of faces feeling fresh, fit and firm. The energizing scrub is packed with apricot kernels for a scrub that won’t dissolved after a few rubs making it an excellent pre shave treatment. It also contains natural menthol, vitamin E and lemon and orange peel extract to really wake up and revitalise tired skin in the morning. It lathers up well too so no real need for an additional cleanser.

The No Shine Hydrator really moisturises the skin without leaving a sticky clammy feel or a shiny forehead. You look and feel as if you’ve had a facial for the sake of 5 minutes wash-and-go time in the morning.

Johnnie Walker Double Black – £29.99
Johnnie Walker Double Black whisky is a richer, more intense and smokier expression of the classic Black Label. It was matured in deep charred old oak casks and specially selected whiskies from the West Coast of Scotland with a naturally smoky flavour. For those who fancy themselves as connoiseurs, Johnnie Walker Double Black has a more intense taste; apples, pears and orange zest add a freshness to the blend, whilst the creamy vanilla and spices bring a softness and sweetness to the tongue. It tastes perfect neat or in a whisky sour.


Chocolate – A Love Story’ by Max Brenner – £20 
Give your Dad chocolates and the likelihood is that he’ll scoff the lot in one sitting. Give him the recipe book to make his own chocolate masterpieces and he literally has he gift that keeps giving. That book is ‘Chocolate – A Love Story’ by Max Brenner. For those that do not know who Max Brenner is Google ‘Max Brenner’ or ‘The Bald Man’ and prefix either with ‘Chocolate Bar’.


The Chocolate Bar is the brainstorm of Oded Brenner and has been very successful in the Southern Hemisphere, Israel and NYC. He hasn’t graced us with a permanent UK store yet so Chocolate – A Love Story is the next best thing. Packed with 65 mouth-watering recipes that are surprisingly easy to make you’ll be on the receiving end of the best of Max Brenner’s eccentric creations. It includes the recipe for the ‘Bad boy chocolate pizza’ and the oh-so simple ‘Once-upon-a-time small almond cookies’ which were delicious. If only we had Oompa loompas to clean everything up afterwards!


Jun 13

Defuzzing with Gillette

I used to be a bit of a cheap skate when it came to women’s razors. I’d pick up a packet of whichever brand was cheapest, use some of my husband’s shaving foam and pray for no nicks and scrapes. Of course I had lots of nicks and scrapes so I left shaving and moved over to waxing. Waxing is expensive and time consuming so when I came across the Gillette Venus and Satin Care ranges I was happy to give them a try.


Well it’s like moving from sparking white to champagne! I applied the Gillette Venus Satin Care shave gel to my damp legs and rubbed in until all surfaces were covered. I then shaved with the Gillette Venus Pro Skin razor in a variety of directions and was left with baby smooth and moisturised legs. I also used the products on the underarm and they were left smooth and hairless. Underarms can be tricky as the surface isn’t smooth but the Gillette Venus Pro Skin razor adapts to the curves and contours of your body to make sure you aren’t nicked in the process.

I’ll never go back to the pound shop again!

Jun 13

Johnson & Johnson Contact Lenses @ Specs of Kensington

I frown and squint a lot, I always have apparently. I’ve been wearing glasses for two decades now with varying degrees of failure. I’ve had numerous pairs that my children, my luggage and various chairs (not me!) have bent, squeezed and knocked out of shape. I had tried contact lenses in the past but gave up as I found they left my eyes dry and sore so the opportunity to try the Johnson & Johnson’s range of daily disposable contact lenses was met with trepidation.

I knew my eyesight was getting worse so I went along to Specs in High Street Kensington for a fitting. My appointment was with Specs owner Daska Barnett; a charming lady who made me feel right at home with a cup of tea.

I had my prescription with me but she checked my eyes again anyway for her own piece of mind. After lots of “is it better or worse with this one, this one or about the same” and distinguishing the brighter circles on the red or green background, Daska recommended the Johnson & Johnson daily 1-Day Acuvue Moist. These were carefully chosen to fit my astigmatism (rugby ball shaped eyes!) Applying them was rather like riding a bike and after several attempts I was comfortable. The whole experience was excellent.


How did they fare? These are probably the most comfortable things I have ever had sit on my eyeball – they feel like they are not even there. Applying them straight away is actually refreshing, first thing in the morning; cooling and snug. Would this last though? My main concern was dryness, especially when I’m working in an office environment.

Comfort cooled air, unnatural ventilation, heat and glare from various electronic devices, all of which take their toll. I’m happy to say though that the lenses performed well. They did start to dry towards the end of the day but that was after more than 8 hours wear and they felt better as soon as I left the office. An added bonus is non-prescription sunglasses can now be worn too. All I need now is some sun!

36 Earls Court Road
W8 6EJ


Jun 13

Bb Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

I didn’t think anything could come between me and Moroccanoil but the bumble and bumble (Bb) Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil has made me rethink my blow dry routine.

I’ve waxed lyrical about the wonders of Moroccanoil and rightly so, it’s good stuff. I have noticed though that the scent left behind isn’t always pleasant but it did such a good job I wasn’t bothered. I am ready now to leave my Morrocanoil on the shelf and replace it with Bb Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil.

Bb Hairdresser's Invisible Oil

The stuff is amazing! It almost as if you can’t use too much, I have very thick hair so I applied it pretty liberally especially on the ends and at no point was my hair weighed down or greasy. It also smells really, really good. The oil is a blend of a blend of six essential oils and extracts. It reads like a list of hair heroes; argan oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and tahitian monoi extract, all working to soften, detangle, help strengthen against breakage, reduce frizz, tame flyaways and add shine. It is the stuff of hair dreams and where has it been all my life?

Bb Hairdresser’s Oil also provides a UVA/UVB filters, and works on all hair types; fine, coarse, curly and everything in between. Since it’s colourless, it won’t add an amber tint that can dull or alter the colour of lighter hair.

You can use it at any stage of hair styling; on damp hair before heat-styling to soften; on dry hair throughout the day to tame flyaways and add subtle shine. I used it before blow drying and was so impressed with how soft and sleek my hair was. I used a considerable amount and my hands felt hydrated and nourished just from applying it so you have an idea of how good it made my hair look, feel and smell.

I am saying goodbye to Moroccanoil and only using Bb Hairdresser’s Oil from now on. They cost the same but in my opinion; the BB product is much, much better.

Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil – £30\100 ml

Jun 13

Lavera Coconut Range

I’m a big fan of Lavera; all their products are not tested on animals and are free from synthetic aromas and colours, parabens, silicone oils, paraffin, mineral oils and petrochemicals which means I can happily use them on my and my children’s skin.


Coconut oil is great for dry skin (which all in my family has unfortunately) so we were all pleased to try out the Organic Coconut Dream Shower Gel, Organic Coconut Dream Body Lotion Organic Coconut & Vanilla Body Oil.

Let me start with the smell; the fragrances, although 100% natural are just wonderful! They smell like chocolate, vanilla, coconut and cake. 100% good enough to eat. In fact I felt a craving for something sweet after using them! (Is that weird?) All the products are rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids and moisturise even the driest of skins to leave behind a soft, smooth and delicately scented body.

The shower gel leaves your skin clean but not stripped and the body lotion finishes you off nicely. For a real treat (or if you’re lucky ask your other half), massage the body oil into tired and achy limbs for a warm and luxurious end to the day.

Organic Coconut Dream Shower Gel – £8.95
Organic Coconut Dream Body Lotion – £8.45
Organic Coconut & Vanilla Body Oil – £7.95

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