Posts Tagged: Beauty

Jun 13

On Your Way to Body Beautiful

As Summer has been cancelled in the UK, if you’re after a bit of sun I suggest you head abroad. Exercise is essential to being bikini ready but there are lotions and potions that can help get you there that bit faster.

I’m currently using Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion from this works and Get Waisted Body Shaper from Mama Mio.


Perfect cleavage firming lotion is an award-winning, nourishing blend of essential oils and plant extracts that helps rid your bust of fine lines and wrinkles and leave skin feeling firmer and more radiant.

It contains larch extract to firm and tighten; vitamin-rich algae, tonka bean and frankincense to reduce fine lines, as well as nourishing rose and pomegranate oils to plump and enhance the delicate skin on your neck and chest.

Get Waisted body shaping cream contains seven extracts from algae, rock samphire and guarana for detoxifying, stimulating and sculpting benefits in the areas most of us need it most; the tummy. Love handles, mummy tummy, muffin top; it’s something both men and women battle with.

Rub one pump of this award winning gel/cream hybrid into the area from below your boobs to as far down as you like for at least 30 seconds every day to not only aid digestion but to help, as the tube says ‘bust your gut’ and ‘rehab for abs’. It’s important to use it every day and for at least 30 seconds and while you won’t turn into a svelte supermodel overnight (I wish); you will have a softer, smoother, tighter tum. I am all over this product right now!

Get Waisted – £35
Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion – £37

Jun 13

Nude Beauty from Estee Lauder

I’ve made no secret of my girl crush on Joan Smalls so this Estee Lauder campaign shot of her is nothing short of wonderful.


Photo courtesy of Estée Lauder

She reminds me of one of my best friends who was always told she should model so maybe that’s where my admiration comes from.

It’s not often that a company features a solo woman of colour in their marketing materials so bravo Estee Lauder! To get Joan’s perfect ‘barely-made-up-make-up’ look, they recommend the following products which I’ve used and love:


Invisible Powder Makeup
They say: “Invisible Makeup marks a new evolution in the development of foundation. A true innovation, the Invisible Makeup line delivers a veil of visible invisibility to every skin tone by working with each person’s natural undertones. Undertones are what give our skin its unique colour and dimension and this makeup allows skin’s undertones to come through. It provides the appearance of natural skin, but in a way that is luminous, natural and uniquely perfected.” Anne Carullo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Product Innovation, Estee Lauder.

I say: I’ve never been a big fan of compact foundation but this is lightweight, easily blendable and natural looking. It gives great coverage, evens out the skin tone and has staying power. I hate that masked, caked, ashy look some foundations give but the Invisible Powder compact foundation makes my skin look amazing and it’s portable so I can touch up if necessary during the day. I rarely need to (it lasts well) but it’s good to know I easily could if I wanted to.

Pure Colour Nail Lacquer French Nudes Collection
They say: “I chose these shades to suit every type of woman – her skin tone, her personality, her point of view” – Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estee Lauder

I say: Look at the range in its entirety; who wouldn’t one of these suit? It’s so hard to find a good nude for brown skins but Estee Lauder have one to suit you whether you are Nicole Richie, Alek Wek or somewhere in between. I love So Vain and Diabolique.

Pure Colour Stay-On Shadow Paint
They say: I wanted to experiment with texture and create a new way of playing with makeup. Pure Colour Stay-on Shadow Paints are great for mixing and are an especially easy way to apply makeup – there are infinite possibilities.” Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estee Lauder

I say: The paints have an almost mousse-like finish and are very easy to apply, have great lasting power and at the end of the day the colour is still strong and true. Wear alone, mix and match – these are a makeup bag staple.

What do you think of Estee Lauder’s use of Joan in this image?

Jun 13

Courtside Beauty

Wimbledon is just over a week away now, so if you’re planning on heading south this year to watch the tournament live, it’s time to start thinking about beauty ideas for managing your courtside look. With the unpredictable British weather bringing both rain and sun in any 24-hour period, it’s wise to plan ahead and pack for all types of weather.

I’ll be joining ‘The Queue’ on Monday so thought I’d share a few tips of my own to help you out:

Whatever the weather (yes, even in the rain) you should ensure your day cream contains an SPF. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean it isn’t causing damage to your skin. Most good moisturisers contain an SPF, so if you’re particularly pale (or taking your children with you) look for a moisturiser with an SPF as high as 50. On the other hand, if your skin is naturally dark, opt for a cream with an SPF of 15. Remember, the skin around your eyes and on your lips is particularly sensitive, so it’s worth getting a product especially for these areas; two of my favourites are Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 (£57/15ml) and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm SPF 20 (£20/15ml).


With wind, rain and sun all forecast over the next seven days, it’s hard to predict what the weather will be on any given day at Wimbledon. But, it’s best to play it safe with a style that can work no matter what’s happening in the sky. There’s little point spending hours battling with a hairdryer and straighteners when one step outside could undo all of your hard work. Instead, work a key trend from the spring/summer 2013 London fashion shows – a chic up-do. Try a low looped chignon as seen at Chanel or a classic ponytail brought up to date with a headscarf, as seen at Dolce & Gabbana, or a sweeping fringe with a bow headband like the Louis Vuitton girls. With your hair off your face, make a statement with some chandelier earrings.


Make up
Spring usually brings to mind pastels and dewy finishes, but this season the catwalks were awash with beige, taupe and coffee. It’s that elusive ‘natural make up’ look we all want to master. Make the eyes the focal point of your face by lining them with thick, black kohl and using gold and copper eye shadow to create a natural looking smoky eye. This year, thick eyebrows have burst onto the beauty scene. If you want to work this into your natural look, I’ll let you in on a piece of advice I read on Super Savvy Me: focus on the natural shape of your eyebrows, not on the shape of your favourite celebrity’s eyebrows. As soon as you start to manipulate the whole shape of your eyebrows, you enter unnatural territory. Contour cheeks with a good sculpting cream before sweeping a light highlighter across the cheekbones. And here’s a good tip: to find the perfect nude, pull down your lower lip and look at the colour on the inner side – that colour is the perfect nude for you.


If that all sounds a little too plain for your taste, embrace the colour pop look from the Stella McCartney and Michael Kors catwalks. Make your look about eyes or lips – never both – and keep the rest of your face neutral. Make a statement with bright eyeliner or mascara (this season Chanel went with yellow, blue and magenta) or go for a bold matte lip in red, bright pink and even orange. This is not one for the colour shy!


My final tip is to take a statement bag large enough to fit a sunhat, an umbrella, some binoculars (in case you’re seated up in the rafters) and your obligatory sunglasses. If you see Nadal, send him my love!


3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli – £655.37
Bobbi Brown orange lipstick – £18
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ ‘Anime’ lip tar – £11.50
Alexander McQueen skull-print scarf – £165
Rayban aviators – £125
Burberry umbrella – £150
J crew earrings – £66
Oscar de la Renta ring – £145

*all catwalk pictures from*

Jun 13

Benefit All Star Kits

Benefit has brought out a new selection of makeup kits to complement their All Star Kits range (Complexion, Lip & Cheek and World Famous Neutrals).

The three new Benefit All-Star Kits for Summer 2013 are:

Do The Bright Thing
Primping With The Stars
The Bronze Champions






I tried Do The Bright Thing which contains lots of my favourite products:

Stay don’t stray (concealer for eye shadow and concealer)
Some kind a gorgeous (foundation)
Girl meets pearl (face illuminator)
The POREfessional (pore minimiser)
They’re real (bestselling mascara)
Benetint (cheek and lip stain)

My favourite thing about Benefit kits is the fact that contain ‘Tips & Tricks’ so even the most makeup challenged can figure out how to best apply their products.

If you’re new to Benefit, these All-Star kits are a great way to get to know the brand and decide if it’s right for you.

The three new All-Star Kits for Summer 2013 will be available from May 18 and will retail at £26.50.

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

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

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

May 13

Elizabeth Arden New York in Bloom Colour Collection

When I think of Elizabeth Arden the first thing that comes to mind is their famous Eight Hour Cream.

They aren’t a brand that we probably turn to when looking for a new nail polish or lippie but they are innovating with their Spring 2013 New York in Bloom Colour Collection.

My favourite product is the Limited Edition Nail Lacquer Duo in Teal Blossom. It’s a warm bluey-green that applies nicely and is dense enough for you to get away with just one coat. It comes in a dual ended bottle; polish in one and a gel like top coat in the other which gives great shine.

teal nail duo

I also tried the Limited Edition Radiant Bronzing Powder in Warm. I’ve got to confess that I never thought women of colour should/could wear bronzer but a light sweep across the apple of the cheeks adds a very slight shimmer to the face and helps to warm the complexion.

bronzing powder

Continuing with the teal theme, take a look at the Limited Edition Bold Eye Pencil in Iridescent Teal. Brown eyes can get away with bold colours so a swish of this above the lash line along with some mascara is enough to bring a little pop to the face.

teal eye pencil

Although not part of the NY in Bloom Collection I couldn’t talk about Elizabeth Arden without mentioning the amazing Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum. I have been using it on my lashes day and night for the past four weeks and it is amazing! I had serious doubts that it would work but I can absolutely see the difference in my lashes.


Apparently it’s all down to an exclusive triple peptide complex that supports lashes own natural life cycle so lashes and brows appear lush, healthy and revitalized; protects and revitalizes eye lashes for a healthy appearance; conditions lashes and promotes lash flexibility and durability and helps minimize breakage as lash conditioners fortify to help protect, revitalize and recover from environmental, chemical and physical damage.

The end result is longer stronger lashes. It’s not cheap at £85 but if your lashes/brows have been damaged though old age/medical treatment etc; you should give Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum a try.

Limited Edition Nail Lacquer Duo in Teal Blossom – £14
Limited Edition Radiant Bronzing Powder in Warm - £26
Limited Edition Bold Eye Pencil in Iridescent Teal – £16
Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum – £85

May 13

Argan Oil Bodycare

We all know the benefits to using argan oil on our hair but have you ever thought of using it on your skin too?

Argan oil is so much more than hair oil; it offers valuable healing and protecting qualities due to its active substances triterpenoids (I had to Google it!) which work to heal the skin tissue, cool and soothe inflammation whilst nourishing and protecting the skin.

With twice as much vitamin E as olive oil and containing essential fatty acids, argan oil hydrates, helps in the healing of skin ailments and protects against premature aging caused by oxidation.

I tried the Argan Oil Bodycare Replenishing Body Butter and Emulsifying Body Dry Oil from Sally Express. The range is 100% natural, organic and chemical free so gentle enough to use on even the youngest skins. Both have a slight fruity fragrance so don’t worry, you won’t go around smelling like hair!

argan oil (1)

The Body Butter is thick and creamy but completely non greasy so it absorbs into the skin well and leaves your skin looking and feeling hydrated. The Emulsifying Body Dry Oil contains Moroccan Argan Oil, jojoba oil and rosemary extracts to help restore skin’s moisture and improve elasticity. It too is non-greasy and quickly absorbed into the skin. After bathing simply spray onto damp skin and rub in.

That said, I couldn’t talk about argan oil without talking about hair. I’ve started using Argan Secret Oil from Marrakesh in between washes if my hair is looking a bit dull.


The benefits for hair are well known but I’ll list them again:

  • Adds shine
  • Prepares hair for heat-straightening
  • Protects hair from heat styling tools
  • Speeds up drying and styling time
  • Helps to soften the hair and reduce frizz
  • Helps to protect from sun and wind damage

As these are natural and organic I’ll be using them on my children too but they are perfect for anyone who likes soft, smooth, hydrating products.

The Argan Oil Bodycare collection is available from Sally stores nationwide and

Argan Oil Bodycare Replenishing Body Butter – £12.98/226g
Argan Oil Bodycare Emulsifying Body Dry Oil – £14.99/177ml
Argan Secret Oil from Marrakesh – £14.99/60ml


May 13

Aveda Makeup @ New York Fashion Week

Aveda was the makeup brand used at the William Okpo NYFW Fall/Winter 2013 show earlier this year and I spoke to Janell Geason, Global Artistic Director, Aveda Makeup, on the beauty looks featured.

She said: “The look at William Okpo is heavily influenced by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo – think bohemian and nomadic. She is the girl who is not afraid to be her natural self. The brow is super strong, yet imperfect. It’s forward-thinking and a bit ‘out there.’ This is distinctive, refined beauty, not at all about being too polished or pristine.”


Here’s how you can get the look at home:

1. To create a smooth and even complexion, apply Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 15. Add Aveda Inner Light Concealer where needed. To set, apply a light dusting of Inner Light™ Mineral Loose Powder with the Aveda Uruku Bronzing Brush.

2. Fill in the brows with Petal Essence Eye Definer in Cacao or Black Orchid to create a Frida-inspired look.

3. Use Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Colour in Antique Gold from the lash line to brow, creating a beautiful wash of colour. For darker complexions, choose Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Colour in Ginger Root.

4. Finish eyes with a coat of Aveda Mosscara in Black Forest.

5. Swirl Aveda Uruku Bronzing Brush in Petal Essence Face Accent in Peach Lights and blush cheeks to add contour.

6. Prep lips with Aveda Nourish-Mint Renewing Lip Treatment. Then colour the lips with a blend of Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Colour in Cana and Melochia Bloom.


The colours are earthy but vibrant and will work beautifully with most skin tones.

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