I have three very important announcements to make:
1. I am very very hungover and therefore the quality of this post may not be what you are used to
2. I have to go out again tonight and tomorrow night and I am concerned for my liver
3. This post marks both the end of January and our New Year theme and the beginning of February and The Great Kiss Off 2009
Yes, The Great Kiss Off 2009.
Myself and a self-sacrificing team of testers are combining our dedication to investigative journalism, our passion for cosmetics and our unbridled love of kissing boys to bring you the lowdown on the very best lipsticks on the market for luring boys in for kissing, keeping your lips in good condition for kissing and staying put during kissing. Clearly, all very important, need to know things.
And so, to get myself into the best possible pouting position (not physical position, that would be inappropriate right now, wouldn't it?), I'm limbering up with liberal applications of The Best Lip Balm Ever, Creme de la Mer The Lip Balm. As a connoisseur of lip balms (I can see three on my desk right now) it really does take something to impress me and this really is the best. I know it's not cheap but a) it's pay day, b) it tastes delicious and c) keeps your lips looking and feeling poutalicious, even in the most awful hot or cold conditions or after kissing a man with lots of unpleasant but strangely hot stubble. I never ever fly without it because one slick every couple of hours on a long haul flight will sort you right out.
And quite frankly, I have a lot of important kissing, I mean, research to do for you and I need the very best equipment to make sure I'm getting accurate readings.
Bwah ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa.
For more info, check out Creme counters or www.cremedelamer.co.uk
Friday, 30 January 2009
I have three very important announcements to make:
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
At last! We're almost at the end of January, my lovelies! How are you feeling?
I've have a completely crappy month and can't wait to say Hello February, what surprises do you have for me? Well, I might not actually say that because it would be weird and people tend to look down on/avoid weird, don't they? And I'm being avoided quite enough at the moment.
Anyway, I have some exciting new skincare news for those of you look for a bit of brightening up. Clinique have introduced a new member to the Turnaround family - the Turnaround Instant Facial. Sounds good, right? What's even better is that in just five minutes, you can enjoy physical and chemical (ooh-err) exfoliation that improves your skintone and leaves you with a brighter, fresher complexion. Hurrah!
Now here's the science bit... The Turnaround Instant Facial includes:
Chestnut extract to enhance cell turnover activity, my good friend salicylic acid, acetyl glucosamine, an amino sugar (sounds important), salvia sclarea extract ferment (sounds v.v. important), adenosine phosphate and creatine (deffo vital), diatomaceous earth, my favourite skincare ingredient that sounds a bit like a dinosaur, rice bran extract to fight free radical damage and caffeine so you don't have to drink so much coffee.
I also feel I should mention my love for the Turnaround Body Smoothing Cream. I am softer than a baby's bottom. Bag a fresh new you at Clinique.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
I have to say, my hair is getting spoiled rotten at the moment.
I'm not saying it is solely because I've coloured my hair that the entire hair care market is coming out with fabulous new moisturising shampoos, conditioners and treatments but, well, I'm saying nothing.
Anyhoo, one of my favourite skincare brands, Trilogy, have launched a full range of delicious hair prods, including a moisturising shampoo, conditioner and really rather fabulous moisture mask. As with all the Trilogy prods, the mask is formulated with certified organic rosehip oil to deeply moisturise your mop and also includes panthenol, wheat amino acids and shea butter. And more importantly, it smells delish and it makes your hair all pretty and shiny.
And what more could you want, for goodness sake?
Take a peepo and snag your rosehip goodness at HQ Hair
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Thank Jebus that my skin seems to be calming down a little bit at the moment. Honestly, it's so temperamental the at moment, it gets irritated if I'm not home in time for Celebrity Big Brother.
So aside from watching the products I'm using to cleanse, tone and moisturise, I'm having to be really careful with what I'm putting on my face.
To stay on the safe side, I've been using mostly Bare Minerals foundation. It's easy to build up the coverage, it's not going to irritate anything (unless you spill it on the carpet and then you might get a bit annoyed) and there are a billion shades so you'll definitely be able to find one for your skin tone. And if that wasn't good enough, you can now get your Bare Minerals online at Pretty Minerals
If it's your first time, grab the starter kit. It's amazing value, pretty much everything you could need is in there along with a few other bits and pieces you might learn to love, like the Skin Rev-er Upper. And at the moment, there's 15% off your order!
It's practically free...
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Now, I loves me a bit of Elemis (I do) but I'm the first to say it's not really that bargainous as a brand. Effective, yes, beautifully packaged, mais oui, but friendly on the old pocket, it is not.
However, because they love us and presumably sensed (slash-read-my-email) that I was recommending skincare prods this month, they have put together a pack including some of their most fabu products to kickstart your anti-aging regime for 2009.
Until the 11th of February, you can pick up this kit, including Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Wash, Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, Papaya Enzyme Peel and my beloved Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Mask for just £58. That's a freaking 47% saving.
I love the masks in this kit and am really excited to try the Cellular Recovery capsules. Who doesn't want Skin Bliss? The kit is exclusively available at Elemis spas, salons and selected department stores while stocks last.
Did you hear me? I said while stocks last - run!
Monday, 19 January 2009
I'm not in Paris anymore. What's that all about?
It was heartbreakingly lovely although leg achingly cold also.
I only actually managed to pop into one Sephora, where I snapped this...
Not sure it will catch on in the UK.
And the pharmacies were just too much for my tiny (hungover) mind. Klorane, Caudalie, Nuxe and Vichy as far as the eye can see... They all smoke like chimneys though, so quite a lot of women looked like shit regardless.
Bwah ha ha ha ha...
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
We're not getting off to a very auspicious start to our third year...
This week has been very stressful and so I'm skiddaddling off to Gay Paris. Sorry.
I accept that BeautyMecca will be missed (for two days) and so I suggest you go and buy yourself something wonderful to put in the bath, maybe Origins Ginger Float or go old school with some Fenjal and just relax.
I would like to relax but for some reason I am having my Paris pals over for du vin, du pain et du Boursin.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Well bugger me backwards, we are two years old!
We shall now be addressing ourselves as 'we' for the remainder of the week as we now have two birthdays like the Queen. We also look good in purple.
Monday, 12 January 2009
Without going into a lot of detail, I am not having a good day today.
For reasons best kept to myself (mainly because they aren't very good reasons to be having a bad day compared to lots of other people I know right now) I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be in a perfect world.
I'm guessing it would be filled with kittens, Marc Jacobs handbags, hot and cold running Creme de la Mer and pretty, pretty boys. But that's just me.
Since that's not entirely possible right now, I'm just going to busy myself with lovely things. Starting with Origins A Perfect World collection. If you're detoxing (and quite frankly, after Friday night, I should be) this is a great anti-aging skincare option. Made with Silver Tip White Tea and crammed full of antioxidants, it's such a lovely range, perfect for fighting off all those nasty free radicals that are so determined to ruin all your good work. Start with the cleanser, the skin guardian, eye cream and moisturiser and see how pretty and fresh your skin looks by the end of the month.
And, you know, more importantly it smells pretty and has nice packaging.
Friday, 9 January 2009
People, I have some important news.
It's probably fair to say that BeautyMecca hasn't paid enough attention to the world of haircare as it could this is mainly because:
a) I love my stylist, haircut and colour more than anything else about me and because they are entirely stress free, I don't get as involved in hair stuff as I could.
b) I have been so very happy with my Paul Lebrecque/Fekkai shampoos and conditioners that there really was no point in looking elsewhere.
c) Lee Stafford styling products are awesome, inexpensive and pretty, so why get involved in anything else?
This was all well and good until I was sent a new range to try.
And it was awesome.
Ladies and (gay) gentlemen, prepare yourself for Ojon...
Some of you might have heard of this miracle stuff before, it's been knocking around on QVC for ages and you can pick it up in Sephora in the US, but now it's available on the high street here and MAN ALIVE you need to get involved with it.
For the last month or so, I've been using the Ultra Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, along with weekly applications of the Restorative Hair Treatment combined with the Styling Cream and Daily Intensive Shine Treatment. And I swear down, my hair has never looked shinier, felt softer or been thicker, more manageable or quite frankly, so damn pretty. My colour looks better, it doesn't need washing so often and the style just stays, entirely frizz free, even in this ridiculous weather. Doesn't that sound good?
All the products contain Ojon palm nut oil, which is farmed by the people of the Tawira Indian Tribe (better known to me and that man that flogs it on QVC as 'the people of beautiful hair') and then turned into these amazing products using, I don't know, science probably. And some magic. Possibly someone sold their soul to the devil, I DON'T CARE.
Honestly, if you only get involved in one thing from BeautyMecca this month, no, this YEAR* please, please, please invest in Ojon. Hand on heart, you will not regret it.
It's available at John Lewis and Liberty online, go, go now!
*it is only January, I totally reserve the right to amend and update this BUT bugger me, this Ojon stuff is bloody amazing.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Okay, so hopefully now you've at least thought about getting rid of all the crap that sullies the good name of beauty and are ready to start afresh.
Well, are you ready to buy some more stuff anyway?
Before we can start on anything crazy like make up or styling products, we have to get the foundations right. No, I don't even mean foundation, I mean your actual skin. Very few people have such flawless complexions that they don't need any help, honest. Everyone's either a wee bit dry, a bit oily or you know, dog rough. So, starting with the biggest pain in the jacksy first, let's tackle adult acne. Yeah, sorry, there's no way to make it funny.
From a straw poll of everyone I know, hands down, the best range to tackle this is in fact not Clearasil or Clean&Clear but Dermalogica Medi-Bac. Seriously kids, if you're still suffering when you're in full time employment (and you didn't skip out on school to take up a trainee managerial position at McDonalds) then you need to take care of this with some good quality, effective skin care. The Overnight Clearing Gel can be found at the back of many bathroom cabinets, mainly because it's seven different kinds of awesome. Honestly, if you EVER suffer from breakouts, you need this stuff. I'm going to quote our friends at Dermalogica directly because I don't have a hope in hell of explaining it to you myself...
Overnight Clearing Gel (£34.00) – for congested and breakout-prone skin – an overnight treatment gel which helps clear skin, calm inflammation and prevent future breakouts by reducing excess sebum, removing impaction plugs and eliminating bacteria. Salicylic acid sloughs off pore-clogging skin cells to inhibit development of further breakouts whilst niacinamide and biotin combine with zinc gluconate, yeast extract, caffeine and nordihydroguaiaretic acid to inhibit overactive sebaceous gland activity, purify to promote skin clarity and help calm irritation brought on by breakouts. Also includes green tea to soothe and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
Doesn't that sound really really effective?
I like the use of the word 'slough'.
So, if you've got bad acne, get the whole range here. If it's a just a few spots because you're hormonal/been burning the candle from every possible angle, get the Overnight Clearing Gel. Or even better, go get a Dermalogica facial and have the therapist tell you what you need. They're good people.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Not an original sentiment but hey if it ain't broke?
Unfortunately, I am and just before I'm due to head off to Paris. Sigh.
Sorry, I got distracted there (me = kitten + tennis ball, I know) back to matters at hand. Aside from the fact that it's bitterly cold and I'm typing to you in mittens, I think January is a great month. No, really. Not every month can be full of wild partying and reckless spending which if you're anything like me, your December credit card bill will attest. But January can be a great month to kick start some exciting new stuff and more importantly, clear out loads of old crap. Life crap as well as beauty crap but I'm certainly in no position to advise people on life crap so let's just go with beauty products for now, shall we?
It's not often I use this blog to advocate getting rid of product but after a thorough audit on The Penthouse's beauty prods this weekend, honestly, I recommend it in every way. Do you have any idea how many cleansers I had on the go? Seven. And do you know how many I'm using? One. For shame.
So, my basic rules are:
1. Check if it has gone out of date/off - almost all products have a shelf life guideline on them now but really, if you've had something in your bathroom longer than six months and you haven't finished it GET RID OF IT. This includes sunscreen! After a certain amount of time, the SPF protection goes off just like any other product so it won't be as effective if you try and trot it out this summer.
2. Same applies with your make up except I'm adding the 'if you haven't used it in three months, bin it' rule. I really, really wasn't ever going to use any of the millions of lip glosses that met a sticky (literally in some cases, ew) end on Sunday. It's time to let them go with love.
3. Take a look at everything you're throwing away - are there lessons to be learned? Are you buying a lot of hot pink just because you love it but then never use it? Maybe 2009 is the year you stop buying things because they look pretty in the tube...
4. Now look at everything you're left with. If it's a brown eyeshadow, a mascara, bronzer and neutral lipstick, get thee to a make up counter. You're in a rut and could be having so much more fun. Head to B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful if you can get to one and are feeling brave. If not, try Prescriptives, Mac or Bobbi Brown. You don't have to buy everything they suggest but it might not kill you to put down the clear lip gloss for a change...
5. Ignore everything I've said, keep all your limited edition Mac products that you will never ever wear but are beautiful, buy another fifteen lip glosses in varying shades of neon orange and stock up on cleanser. You're down to one bottle!
Monday, 5 January 2009
Okay, after today, 2008 is dead to me and we shall only look onwards and upwards - deal?
So here are the other products that quite frankly rocked my world in 2008.
For the face:
I'd have been buggered without my Dr Bragi serum, seriously, it's amazing and even when my skin is acting up in the WORST way, it calms it down and leaves it super soft. Invest, invest invest.
Estee Lauder's miracle brown bottle, Advanced Night Repair. This has genuinely, actually, honestly got rid of the fine dryness lines on my forehead. Fact. I am now slavishly devoted to this every evening (Dr Bragi I wear in the day) and am already more than a little hooked on the eye cream and concentrate.
Creme de la Mer. I don't want to be addicted to it, really I don't but I just can't seem to kick the habit... My skin gets awfully upset and refuses to play nicely when I don't use it. Curse you magical marine extracts!! (shakes fist at sky).
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and Exfoliator. The first cleansing regime I've been faithful to for more than three repeat purchases. Read into that what you will...
For the body:
As mad as it sounds, given the ridiculous amounts of cashola I've splashed on the above, my absolute favourite body product of the year has been Spa Paradisa's Renew body butter which I have picked up in bulk from Superdrug.com. It basically smells absolutely edible and everyone from my mother, my colleagues, my friends, many potential kissing partners (well, two) and my cat have been keen.
Other than that, the Dr Bragi face and body salvation mist is amazing at intensive skin softening when you don't have heaps of time or don't want to smell like a walking coconut shy (weirdo).
I can't begin to choose a favourite shower product, so obsessed am I with scrubs, gels and the like although special props to Elemis for the Monoi Oil shower gel and Origins for their Jump Start scrub. Yummy.
For the hair:
It's been a big hair year since I went brunette (clearly the most important thing that ever happened in 2008 to anyone) and I've been delicately protecting my new colour with the amazing Paul Lebrecque Repair shampoo and conditioners. I LOVE these. For styling products, I'm staying true to my beloved Lee Stafford but have been mixing it up a bit, moving on from spray wax and shine spray to the dehumidifier and wonder web. All for making hair shiny and well behaved or messy and sexy. Love it.
Sigh. It's all about the new Harajuku lovers scents for me. They aren't available here until February but they're incredible. I don't know if I'll be gutted or delighted when I sniff one flounce by me in the street. Probably sad, I'm very vain.
Phew. I could honestly go on for another six years about all the amazing products I trialled last year (Zoya nail polishes, Elemis masques, Trilogy Everything Balm, Origins Out of Trouble masque) but these are the ones that have made it into my daily routine and have, in many cases, made me reach into my dusty, empty pocket to turn out every last penny.
I am so excited about 2009, it's such a big, exciting year for BeautyMecca and for me. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I've got a book out in July (cough, more info to come, cough) and the publishers are really pimping BeautyMecca so the odds are it'll turn out well for you as I'll have to pull my finger out and really put in some decent posts.
Why oh why do I do these things to myself?
Friday, 2 January 2009
Hey party people,
Hope you all had a suitably sparkly Hogmanay? I celebrated my first NYE in Glasgow and while it was all sorts of awesomeness, the last five hours on the train haven't been my finest...
Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to reminisce about some of my fave products of 2008, mainly because I'm bored to tears but also because I would hate for you to miss out on any of them.
Starting with slap, it's been a great year. One of the reasons BeautyMecca exists is due to my previously fruitless quest for a good mascara and this year has been full of them.Clinique's Lash Power is still my top pick for long-lasting, natural lashes but Maybelline and Rimmel both came out with big hitters at the end of the year. I ended up going for the Maybelline Colossal Volum Express for my Christmas parties and it did me proud.
As for entire ranges, it's going to be a big fight between Charlotte Tilbury's high street extravaganza MyFace and my department store saviour, Prescriptives. I branched out from my Custom Colour foundation to try Prescriptives' colour products this year and fell in love with all of their mascaras, powders and lipshines but it's been pretty hard to tear me away from the MyFace eyeshadows. And it's entirely down to my life changing MyFace makeover that I'm now a brunette. Sexy, everything about you's so sexy... It's hot. I'm so over blonde.
Honorable mentions to Mac and Bobbi Brown who also made me very happy this year - especially in the blush, dazzleglass, Prunella pencil and longwear gel eyeliner palette sense.
Okay, I can't type anymore on the BlackBerry. Sorry kids, I'm getting RSI.
Back for non-make up beauty wonder later...