Friday, 30 November 2007

Beauty-Full Christmas: Get Your Gift On

I love Christmas shopping. Seriously, it's one of my absolute favourite things.
Guilt free purchasing, picking out each individual thing that will put a smile on someone's face, the overplaying of 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year'...

And my favourite, favourite things are Christmas shopping events. Who's genius idea was it to combine shopping with drinking, freebies and makeovers!?

Head out to these fab shopping events and make the most of Crimblemass - it'll be over before you know it!

Bliss Spa Event
Wednesday 5th December 9.30am - 8.00pm
Bliss London
Sloane Avenue

Fab exclusive discounts to be had on Bliss and Laboratoire Remede products plus a bliss-full goody bag with all purchases! Plus the first twenty shoppers of the day score a voucher for a mini Santa Paws manicure!
Plus, there is the obligatory but welcome mulled wine and Christmas pud. Yum!

For a broader range of beauty goodness, get your bum down to:
2 new Burlington Street
5.00pm - 8.00pm
Thursday 6th
HQ Hair (my FAVOURITE online beauty store) Christmas shopping event.
Call 020 7292 8760 for more details

There's 20% off EVERYTHING in store and Stila's make-up artists will be offering mini makeovers absolutely free! Throw in free wine and a goodie bag and this could be better than Christmas day.

See you there x

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Saint: Delicious and Calorie Free!

Now, like most ladies (and gents), I like chocolate and at the moment, it's mint Aeros, mmmm.
However, mint Aeros do not facilitate my slinky satin Christmas party dress so they have been sidelined for the Christmas period. Sob.

In happier news, they have been replaced by something equally yummy, equally bargainous and equally accessible - Delicious Beauty's Peppermint&Cocoa foot scrub and moisturiser are Ah-Maz-Ing. The scrub is great for tackling party heel hardened feet and the moisturiser is so buttery, it prevents hardening from happening again. And they smell just like Aeros, but without the calorie content...

If you're not so much of a chocolate fiend, I recommend the coconut lip balm, perfect for under the mistletoe kisses AND the kissing burns off calories. Score.

For savoury palettes there's Olive&Pistachio, Honey&Almond for the sweet tooth and Papaya and Mango for fruity misses.

Delicious Beauty is available from Tesco and Superdrug - perfect to drop in the trolley when Mr Beauty Lover isn't looking - and it's 100% calorie free!

Please try not to eat it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sinner: lipgloss love cheat

I've been pretty faithful to my lip glosses for the last few years. Sure, I'll fool around with a few brands at any one time and yes, I've had the odd fling with a MAC special edition sheer lip colour but I haven't had a full blown relationship with a proper lipstick for a looong time.

Until now. Maybe I'm growing up. Maybe I'm making more long term, commitment minded choices, I don't know, but recently I've been getting deep and meaningful with Estee Lauder's Signature Hydra Lustre lipsticks.

Oooh, it won a Grazia award!

I heart them. There are dozens of colours with gorgeous finishes and genuinely moisturising textures. I love applying it in a morning - it just makes me feel finished and ladylike (as opposed to scruffy and tramplike with damp hair sticking to my lip gloss. Mmm, sexy).

My personal favourites are Perfect Pink and Vintage Mauve - both really wearable colours - but I'm definitely going to be looking into Rich Red and Soft Amethyst for Christmas parties.

The packaging is pretty sexy too. The iconic gold bullet has been refined to make it even more desirable and reassuringly heavy in the hand. I like a lipstick that could kill a mugger if swung violently in a clutch bag. Preferably one with a little handle to hang on your wrist.

There's something you can't do with a lip gloss.
And possibly a little too much information about what I think about before a night out: a two timer and potentially violent.
What a catch I am...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sinner: Forgive me father, for I have coveted...

So, now that we have truly descended into winter, my skin has decided to completely give up and play the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past until ooooh, April?

But, praise be, there is a saviour. And saviour, thy name is Bobbi Brown.
Anyone else completely obsessed with Bobbi at the moment?

If the Pink Quartz collection wasn't beautiful enough, the blusher from the palette system has literally brought me to life. I am currently applying subtle sweepings of both shades (the neutral first, followed by the pinker shade on the apples of my cheeks which actually looks very natural, even if it doesn't in the image below) every morning and then finishing off with a liberal dusting of the Pink Shimmer Brick and Pink Quartz glitter gloss. And hello? The palette system? To someone who lives in her handbag, this is officially A Very Good Thing.

Okay, so I don't look entirely like this but I'm committed to trying!

Get thyself down to a BB counter or onto as quick as you can. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say this is going to be a 'top morning after the night before' look too...

God bless you Bobbi Brown, God Bless you, every one.

Saint: St Boots of Make Up

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today in the sight of the internet to join my credit card, Mint, with this retailer, Boots the Chemist.

Seriously, you KNOW I'm a big fan of the Boots 17 designer collaborations - I loved the Antoni and Alison mini bag, I adored the Eley Kishimoto gift set and now, I'm completely obsessed with Joanthan Sanders collection.

If you haven't been lucky enough to grab one of his cool signature lipsticks (I love bright red Alwyn) head down to Boots now and grab one of his amazing palettes, free when you spend £5 on 17. With a selection of lip, eye and highlighter colours PLUS a mini kohl pencil and two applicators, this is perfect if you want to try out some new colours for a party look.
And even better since it's mere hours to pay day and we're all broke.


Friday, 23 November 2007

Beauty-Full Christmas: Saint or Sinner?

To celebrate Saint or Sinner month, today's Christmas booty looks at gift sets for the virtuous and... not so virtuous amongst you.

The Organic Pharmacy is an easy option if you're looking for something pretty, effective and oh so organic. Their website is easy to navigate and there's lots to choose from - from moisturisers and make up to body butters and baby products. If in doubt, opt for a gift voucher and supplement it with one of their gorgeous candles or the fab Double Rose Rejuvenating Face Cream. Delish.

If you're tastes are a little naughtier, try one of Agent Provocateur's gift sets. You can go as simple as perfume (I heart new Maitresse, especially the version with gold sparkly bits) or break the bank with the deluxe gift set containing all the wonderful body products and a few added 'extras'. The Maitresse gift set, at £39 is a really great gift and super, super pretty. Containing Eau de Parfum (30ml) and body milk, it's a surefire way to spice up Christmas - mulled wine and clothing optional...

Another saintly option (and one of the prettiest gifts we've seen) is Purely Natural's Special Edition Christmas Gift Set. Again, available online at, the gift set is just £25.50 and contains their gorgeous Morroccan Rose body cream - a super rich sensation, packed full coco and shea butter. Mmm. Alongside the body cream is a tangy, refreshing Pink Grapefruit hand cream (perfect for mum after she's washed the Christmas dishes - ahem) and a yummy lime lipbalm, made from coconut oil, shea and coco butters, vitamin E AND olive oil. How do you get some many delish things in one pot? I guess it is a big pot.

And, well, it's not exactly a crucifix but if you feel like celebrate the birth of Jebus with a neck ornament, sin away with Dior necklace. Inside the gorgeous silver bauble is a Pink Gem lipgloss. You might not get into heaven but you'll look so damn purdy...

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Sinner: Blissed Out

Okay, I'm sorry.
I would have LOVED to have blogged in the last week but unfortunately, I was rendered unbloggable by an amazing massage at Bliss in Noo Yoik.

Seriously, I was rendered pretty much unanythingable aside from sitting in a gooey pile, shovelling complimentary brownies into my mouth. Oh yes, there are free brownies, they don't call it Bliss for nothin'.

I'd heard alot of stuff about Bliss, good and bad. I knew for a fact that the products were amazing, being addicted to the Lemon+Sage range as I am, but I'd heard mixed reviews of the spa services. Some people think it's overpriced because of the name, others have said the staff can be rude and try and upsell products and services once you're all nekkid and gooey on the table.

I am happy to report that thanks to an AMAZING massage and a favourable exchange rate, my Bliss experience was nothing short of, well, Bliss!

Starting with the ladies lounge, both Bliss and I recommend you get there a good thirty minutes before your treatment so you can properly unwind. Strip off, stash your stuff in the superduper electronic lockers, robe up and then kick back with a cup of tea and some more brownies. There is fruit, cheese and biscuits too but did I mention they have cookies?

I went for the Jet Out, a full body massage that promised to realign jetlagged minds and bodies. Mmm. My masseuse totally had magic fingers although I wasn't sure Chris Issac's Wicked Game was appropriate massage music. I had a horrible feeling he might offer me extras at any moment. Plus this is not a massage for the faint hearted. By the end, Mr Masseuse was as familiar with me as my waxing peeps. Although at least it was a bit darker... Just slightly on a tangent, when a masseuse asks if you want a firm, deep massage, why do I always say yes? I don't want a deep massage! It hurts! I want to be gently stroked like a kitten for an hour and then patted on the head. But no, afraid to be labelled a massage pussy, I always smile and nod and say, ooh, yes, please pummel me to death and let me pay for the pleasure.
My mistake, no one else's.

Post massage, was the real treat.
Back to the Brownies until you come round and then hot the showers.
Bliss have THE most amazing steam showers with normal shower head, overhead rain shower head and a steamer all in the same cubicle. There was a worry I would never come out, especially since there's a seat in there and I am lazy.
It was fabulous.

Then throw in all the Bliss products hanging around for you to use and you're in a happy place.
And hey, still not happy? How about a bottle of Bliss water and a bag of samples to take away?

If you're jetting out anywhere or even just in London for some stressful Christmas Shopping, I can't think of a better present to yourself. Or get a gift certificate - the perfect gift for family and friends!

No, screw that, get your arse down there ASAP...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Sinner: Bad Girl in Terminal 3

I know I've got all the make up in the world.
I know I couldn't possibly need any more.
But we're talking duty free, limited editions and airport exclusives...

Yes, this edition of beautymecca is coming hot off the blackberry in heathrow terminal 3 and man alive there'r some nice stuff.

For a start, it seems this is where Bobbi Brown is hiding all her metallics palettes as well as her hot new palette system. I heart the blusher palette - two colours' a thousand looks, total blusher solution.

There's also HEAPS of Mac to be had, all of their limited editions. Yum.

I'm also going to be rocking the YSL counter for cheap touche eclat duos and Marc Jacobs for Daisy. Will pop by the creme de la mer counter too - slap it on pre-flight, land looking a million dollars.

See you in nyc!

Sinner: Bad Girl in Terminal 3

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Saint: Wedding Make Up

Since I'm ALL give, I wanted to give you a run down on the top slap we used in the bridal party on Sunday. There were a few standout products that all four of us (bride and bridesmaids) used and once we've had pics approved by La Bride, I'll pop a shot of us on the site.
We looked hawt.

We were mad for That Gal.
Everyone had a dab of Pritt Stick-like joy - seriously, I adore this stuff.

Everyone has their favourite.
I went Prescriptives Colourmatch, Bridesmaid Cheryl went for Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser and Bridesmaid Donna had upsettingly perfect skin. Bride Della opted for Youngblood's new loose mineral foundation which was fantastic - got to get me some - expertly applied by moi.

A whole lotta Benetint going on... I topped everyone up with the new Bobbi Brown Rose Quartz shimmer brick which is beautiful. A light dusting gave everyone a healthy, shimmery look and a dab of the lightest highlighting shade along the cheekbones made for aHollywood glow in the pics.

We stayed trad: Benefit It Stick and Boing for me and the bride, Hide the Blemish and Touche Eclat also made appearances. Wedding concealer is not the time to be trying new things...

Eyes: Here's where we broke out a little...
Me: Stila Cloud with Holly Golightly in the crease and Mac Prunella Pencil plus id Bare Minerals Everywear Mascara
Bride: Benefit creaseless cream in RSVP as a base with Busy Signal as a liner
Cheryl: Always a winner, Bobbi Brown browns palette and YSL mascara
Donna: Lovely soft brown shades from Bobbi Brown - lovely!

Lips: Each to their own!
Me: Barbie loves MAC Sweet and Single
Della: Benefit Streakin' gloss
Cheryl: I didn't see... but it was a pretty soft pink!
Donna: Benetint Pocket Pal - stain and clear gloss

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Saint: Eye Eye Captain

For what seems like forever, I've been trying to interest Mr BeautyLover in beauty product.
Let's face it, he's thirty this month and prevention is better than the cure... He's been routinely refusing sunscreen forever and as we all know now, real men not only eat quiche but they also moisturise.

Mr BeautyLover's main issue is his eyes. He doesn't sleep that much (I need a good eight hours a night and, well, a good three extra hours to supplement the core eight... and about fourteen on weekends) and he works on a computer all day, so he can get a bit puffy, a bit baggy and well, a touch grey.

So we've implemented an experiment.
I've been REALLY worried about my eyes recently (I was all kinds of 'hmm, my lower eyelids have gone a funny texture' and when I looked closer, I realised that texture was 'wrinkly'...) so we've agreed to each try out a new eye cream and let you know our thoughts next month.

I'm trying Darphin's Stimulskin Coffret (£65 Darphin counters and stockists) that includes eye cream and two mini serums - one for dark circles and puffiness, one for tightening and firming.

My BeautyLover is sampling Anthony Logistics Continuous Moisture Eye Cream (£32 - Space NK). To ensure a fair trial, I'll be using the Anthony on one eye and the Darphin on the other. unless one is shitloads better than the other and then I'll be switching altogether...

Monday, 12 November 2007

Sinner: The Value of Beauty

I accept that a lot of people don't necessarily understand the value of beauty.

And by beauty, I mean the unhealthy amount of time I spend looking at make up, playing with make up, buying make up, reading about make up... You get the picture.

Well, someone gets it.
The someone that STOLE our make up from the bridal dressing room at my best friend's wedding yesterday.

Can you believe it? While we were getting our America's Next Top Model on with the photographer, some skank was getting their klepto on with our stuff.

Clearly it was a skank with taste. They totally bypassed the Rimmel and went straight for the Bobbi Brown, YSL and Benefit.

To clarify - they left the cash, the cards the ipods, the clothes and the shoes but they took the make up.

Should you see anyone wearing a Bobbi Brown eye palette, touche eclat, YSL mascara, benefit eyeliner and Georgia powder and either a Laura Mercier or Benefit lipgloss, let me know.
If I ever find out who ripped us off, they're getting their pretty, tasteful ass kicked.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Beauty-Full Christmas: Splash that Cash

Just in case you've come into some cash recently and want to buy me something super special, here are a few of the super pricey, super luxe, super presents out there this Christmas.

I'm guessing that all of us will get a crappy toiletry bag from some maiden aunt, filled with products we'll never, ever use - right?

Well, lovely Darphin have attempted to halt this trend and brought us - Le Vanity. a GORGEOUS gold Longchamp vanity case, full to the brim with 12 Darphin products. This includes my favourite, the Instantly Radiant eye stick. The fab touch-up stick gives a sheer but radiant finish to the under eye area any time of day, under or over make up. Perfect for that meeting, the morning after the office Christmas party...
So, if you've got a spare £500, high tail it down to Harrods before they sell out.

For Creme de la Mer obsessives (and God knows, they got me too), the lovely dealers, I mean retailers, that sell you this magical potion have thoughtfully put together a 500ml pot. Coming in at £930, you're actually saving a lot of money if you buy it regularly - the 30ml pot is £90 (price per ml £300 for the 30ml, £186 for the 500ml fact fans) so if you can get a loan from your bank manager, you are saving money...

If you're feeling a little frugal, go for the Connoisseur Collection. A bargain at just £265, it contains the classic Creme, the new eye concentrate and the serum. Perfect for committing to your New Year New Beauty Regime.

If scent is more your thing, mosey on over to Jo Malone. twelve of the delicious signature scents are captured in this fabulous 'scent wardrobe', including my favourite Amber&Lavender. Sigh, for just £590 and you can have a different amazing scent for each month of the year!

If you're after a hostess gift, stay at Jo Malone and shell out on one of the luxury candles - lavish but worth it at £260. You'll be welcome round for dinner any time if you deliver the Lime, Basil and Mandarin instead of another bottle of Chardonnay.

If you're absolutely stumped on what to buy, how about a spa day?
I'm biased, as you know, but I can't imagine anything nicer than opening up a Bliss Merry Citrus gift set, with a voucher for a Blissage Massage and Triple Oxygen Facial tucked away inside. Yum.

Just so you know, Mr BeautyLover, Ma BeautyLover, Pa BeautyLover - I'll take any of the above.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sinner: And a Scrubber.

In preparation for my turn down the aisle (as a bridesmaid, remember!) on Sunday, I've been attempting to scrub off a stray couple of pounds that I've accidentally larped on.

My new (incredibly unhealthy, no doubt) routine goes a little bit like this:

Monday morning
Scrub all skin off body with Bliss Eucalyptus and Rosemary Scrub
Scrub all skin off face with MD Formulations facial scrub
Moisturise body with Origins Shedonism body cream
Moisturise face with Creme de la Mer
Burn crap off teeth with Crest White Strips

Tuesday morning
Scrub some of skin off body with Dermalogica Body Scrub
Dissolve some of skin off face with Estee Lauder Idealist
Moisturise body with Bliss Lemon+Sage Body butter
Moisturise face with Creme de la Mer
Burn crap off teeth with Crest White Strips

Wednesday morning
Scrub allot of skin off body with Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Scrub
Wash some of skin off face with Ren face wash
Moisturise body with Bliss Lemon+Sage Body butter
Moisturise face with Creme de la Mer
Burn crap off teeth with Crest White Strips

And then I'm pretty much repeating the cycle.
At night, it's all about washing/repairing my face with Origins Clean Energy oil and then slapping on a layer of Dr Bragi marine enzyme gel before my Creme top up.
And L'Occitane lavendar handcream.
And Darphin eye cream.
And Trilogy lipbalm.
And more Shedonism body cream.

Just so you know, I'm soft as a baby's arse but it is taking me bloody AGES to get ready in a morning...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Saint: National Stress Awareness Day

Apparently, no one alerted the London Underground, Starbucks or the tit who kept treading on my beautiful new shoes this morning, that today is in fact National Stress Awareness Day.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that we, as a people, are stressed and I think it's got to be worse for us ladies.

We've got to get our arses to work, we have to keep our flats/houses (more or less) tidy, we have to watch what (or how many Wispa bars) we're eating and we have to look pretty at the end of it gosh darn it.

To help ease this pain, the wonderful people at Origins offer a complimentary de-stressing service known as 'Vitality at Work' for when there's no time to get away from the computer.
Origins Guides come to your desk to deliver everything mini-massages to energizing pick-me-ups and exercises.

Is it me, or does that sound a little bit amazing?

If you don't even have time for a mini massage (weirdo, I love massage more than ANYTHING. Maybe even Peter from Heroes.), then you could just go for a quick dab of Origins' Peace on Mind On the Spot relief. Just a couple of dabs on your pulse points and you too can be calm as Britney after she's been tanning.

I'm currently feeling more than freaking frazzled, so will be down at my local Origins store quicker than, well, let's keep with the theme, Britney on her way to Starbucks.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Oh, I told fibs too...

Remember the time I took a pic of my desk to show you how many lipbalms I had within my reach?

I just found a Carmex and Blistex tinted lipbalm in my drawer.

It's truly an addiction.

Sinner: I'm a Fekkai-n Faker

Shh, don't tell anyone but I'm faking it tonight.
No, you dirty-minded gutter-dweller, not that, my highlights!

Since I ravaged my hair with Debbie Harry-style platinum blonde all over colour a couple of year ago, I've had to steer clear of any sort of permanent tints, lest my barnet give up the ghost completely. However, I have dabbled in colour depositing shampoos and wash in/wash out madness. None of it really worked, all of it left me disappointed and my hair just looked, well, dull.

But at last, I might have found an answer.
Frederic Fekkai has brought out a range of beautiful hair mascaras, in gorgeous, face framing shades... what? Don't all shout at once!

Yes, you heard me. Super-premo brand, Frederic Fekkai has brought out a range of hair mascaras. And they're lovely. Choose from Gold or Cognac, these babies work just like hair mascaras of old, only better. I went Gold on my dark blonde hair - washed, blowdried, then brushed in a few subtle strands at the front, a couple of bolder chunks at the back and then let it dry. A minute or so later, I brushed the whole thing through and was left with lovely shimmering highlights.

Who would have thunk it?
Perfect for party season and far less stressful to your locks than permanent colour.

Now, of course they wash out as soon as you shampoo but hey, are you looking for Mr Right or Mr Right Now?

Monday, 5 November 2007

Saint: DDF Sulfur Therpaeutic Mask

All hail todays's saint, without which, I would be absolutely crapping it.

My best friend's wedding is coming up on Sunday and I am bridesmaiding in the most beautiful dress you will ever see, alongside two of the most beautiful girls I have ever met and behind the most GORGEOUS bride ever to grace the Earth.

Well, bitterness aside, I had just about got over the fact that I'll glow like Casper in all the pics when The World's Biggest Zit decided to set up home on my schnozz. Seriously, it looked like I was growing a spare nose for the ceremony. Not something on the wedding list, as far as I could tell.

However, three nights of DDF's Sulfur Therapeautic Mask, and it's gone. Literally, vamoosed.
I freaking love this stuff. It reminds me a little of Bliss' Sleeping Peel Mask but comes in a much larger tub and doesn't scare me so much with warnings about broad spectrum sunscreens... Plus the smell of the fast acting sulfur is masked by yummy eucalyptus. Delish.

Use the mask once a week to keep pores clear and apply a thin layer at night to any nasties that make a break for the surface. They'll be gone in no time. Plus, it doesn't end up on your pillow overnight. Once this baby is on your face, it's STAYING.

Phew, now I just have to worry about hobbling down the aisle in my four inch heels...

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Saint or Sinner?

In honour of All Saints Day, I'm declaring November, Winter Saint or Winter Sinner? month.

We'll look at products that are complete saints, from super skin savers, organic wonders through magical make up.
And then we'll look at the sinners... pricey but perfect purchases, fake its and morning after miracle workers.

What's not to love?

Since the weather seems to be in denial about the fact that is in fact November, I'm wearing an equally defiant fragrance.

Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight is so pretty, it almost makes me like Gwyneth Paltrow.
Please don't let Gwynnie frolicking with her puppies in the ads (not what it sounds like) put you off. I really didn't expect to like the scent, it seemed a little bit sugary and, dare I say it? Like something I might give my mum but I was wrong - not something I admit to often...

They say: This floral confection blends notes of juicy Pomegranate, whipped Strawberry Meringue and tempting Caramel with a sprinkling of Sugared Rose Petals, dewy Freesia, White Peony and Fresh Greens

I say: It's really lovely! Even though the ads make you think of spring, this makes a lovely daytime winter scent. The strawberry, caramel, marshmallow and vanilla balance out the florals and a trace of patchouli in the base note just mixes things up a little bit more.

If I ever went for winter walks in big boots and scarves, then came home all rosy cheeked for hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows, I'd say this reminded me of that.
As it is, I only have experience of the hot chocolate and many marshmallows, so I'm just going to settle on those very, very happy memories...

One of my best friends is getting married next week and it would make the most beautiful winter wedding fragrance, I'm strongly considering a purchase of the gift set for the bride and the 25ml bottle for my two fellow bridesmaids (provided I don't accidentally get stuck in the Topshop bit of Selfridges).

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