Thursday, 30 April 2009

April Rules: The Body Shop

I have recently (and by recently, I mean for the last three monthsish. I've been busy okay?) become obsessed with moisturising all over with ridiculous quantities of body butter twice a day. I think maybe it's a pre-spring thing but honestly, I am so soft and smooth, you would slip if you tried to hang onto me on the tube. Well, you'd slip and then get the staring down of a lifetime for touching me in the first place.

There are so many great body lotions and potions out on the market at the moment but one of my absolute favourite products at the moment is The Body Shop's body butters. Behold the evidence:

Exhibit a) the packaging is bright, colourful, it's easy to see what it is and it's easy to get the product out.

Exhibit b) there are bloody hundreds of different scents and they're all delicious. I particularly love the shea butter, the papaya and the new wild cherry. Did you know, The Body Shop gets their cherry stones from jam factories to make the cherry oil? How awesome is that?

Exhibit c) Right now, they're two for £20. Bargain.

Exhibit d) while you're there stocking up on all this joy, you can also get the new cool Shimmer Cubes (awesome), the Camomile Gentle Eye Make Up Remover (double awesome) and the Monoi Miracle Oil which smells delicious and leaves your skin insanely soft on occasions when you're wanting something a little sexier than a body butter.

Oil is always sexier than butter, right? Uh, like Olive Oil versus Lurpak.
Case closed.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Avon True Colour Eye Quad

Now, my preference for eye colour over lip has been well documented here. It's mainly laziness - apply it properly and it lasts all day/night whereas lips need topping up allllllllllllllllllllllllll the time. Annoying.

So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that there are some ridiculously beautiful new eyeshadows on the market from those lovely people at Avon. No, really, they're really beautiful and not at all for your mum. Well, I wouldn't stop her from using them but I'd want first pick at the shades if I were you.

All the things you look for in a good eyeshadow are there - rich pigment, true colour, staying power and happily for the more shallow among us (i.e. me) the packaging is also super pretty. I love the Smokey Eyes and Denim Blues eyeshadow quads topped off with a shedload of the new Spectralash mascara - have you seen the adverts for that badboy? Three mascaras in one! With a cool gadgety little dial! It's clearly the iPod touch of beauty products.
And if I haven't been convincing enough, the quads are only £8.00.

Anyway, check out the Avon website or contact your local rep for a catalogue. And let's be honest, we both know that's what you want to do. The tiny book of beauty dreams...

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

BeautyMecca in Berlin!

No, really. I had a meeting. Which lasted an hour. And now i'in Berlin until I fly back to London at 8.00pm.
Seriously. And I had to get up at 4.45am. This is not good. I'm only interested in 4.45am from the other direction...

In other news, Berlin is warm, service is slow and I'm going to check out the Helmut Newton exhibit this afternoon. If I can find it.

Ich habe hunger.
Ich bin mude.
Behold the power of my German A level...

You may have noticed this is entirely unrelated to beauty news is any way. Erm, because I got up at 4.45am and took a plane, I look like shit and there isn't enough make up in the world? Will that do?

Friday, 24 April 2009

April Rules: BeautyLover's Beauty Bag

Since I've been nosing around other people's bags this week, I thought it might be a good time to let you have a sneak peek in mine.
Now, as you can imagine, I own an epic quantity of make up so this is literally the top line, every day, always by my side, must have prods...

I like to use a primer under my foundation to give is some grip, usually Smashbox Photofinish or Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier which is super amazing. My Prescriptives Custom Colour foundation then goes on with a sponge, followed by BeneFit It Stick and Touche Eclat to cover up any blemishes. I try and avoid too much powder but I like Prescriptives Magic Powder if I need the velvetty finish and staying power of a loose powder, or MAC pressed powder to dispel a shiny nose.
I flirt with id bareMinerals mineral foundation every couple of months and do love it but generally find myself back on the Prescriptives fluid eventually just because it's quicker, easier and more portable.
For cheeks, I'm all about BeneTint again at the moment, topped off with Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Copper Diamond. Pretty. But I do like the MAC Hello Kitty blush in Tippy too at the moment, it's a super cute bright blue pink.

I swap and change eye colour almost every day but you can be sure you'll find Stila's Cloud eyeshadow and MAC's Prunella and Industry pencils in my bag daily. I live and die by these bad boys - aside from colour pop, there isn't a look they can't create between them. I'm a bit of a mascara whore, at the moment it's Revlon's Beyond Natural but I heart Maybelline Volum' Express and Clinique's Lash Power too.

Again, I'm a total brand whore on my lips. I usually just add a little MAC tinted lip conditioner by day, either Petting Pink or my new favourite, Plum Perfect. Otherwise it's Smashbox O-Plump which I'm in love with or maybe my Date Night MAC Dazzle Glass if I'm really after a bit of colour. Lipstick purely for nights out for me at the moment.

Wow, I feel like I wear a lot more than this... This is a good thing, right?
One day, I'll take a photo of all the slap in the BeautyMecca penthouse and you will be disgusted/amazed.

And yes, I know my hair looks bad in the picture but it was four in the morning in Paris.
I'm over it.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

April Rules: The Sassy Minx part two!

As if Miss Aimee wasn't beautiful and completely spoiled enough yesterday (in a make up sense, of course) here is the other Sassy Minx with her beauty booty laid bare...
Take it away, Lisa Clark.

I'm officially a make-up junkie. Especially if it comes in pretty, pretty packaging - Benefit, I heart you - so here, for your lust-after pleasure, are the contents of my make-up bag - FYI: it's Benefit's Fickle One retro-style make-up bag. And it's cute. Really cute.

Melli Cosmetics Velvet Mousse primer: total hero prod - makes open pores look less open and provides a picture-perfect canvas. LOVE it. Melli is an Australian company and Danni Minogue is a fan-girl. If it's good enough for Danni...
Clinique Even Better foundation 02: finally, a colour that matches my Irish/Italian complexion - hurrah!
Estee Lauder Ideal light - it's less cake-y than YSL Touch Eclat but does the same job - stuff of dreams.

I too am a sucker for Tweezerman tweezers in pink, natch, as my eyebrows need daily grooming - they're the best. Simple as that.
I shape them with Benefit Brow Zings - perfect-o.
Thanks to Miss BM*, I am now the proud owner of Kat Von D goodness. I LOVE Kat Von D. I LOVE her make up range. A LOT. I now use nothing but True Romance Beethoven eyeshadow palette, oh, the colours are pretty, really, really pretty and there are so many different colour combos, you can change it up every day from the same palette. And Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner in Black Metal Love is quite possibly the best eyeliner I've EVER used, it doesn't budge even through a rather sweaty dance-off with a pretty boy during 'Get Into the Groove' at Crimes Against Pop.

I am currently alternating between two - Bnevertoobusytobebeautiful lip colour in Boho - it's totes kiss proof, in fact it's totes life proof and comes in the prettiest of packaging - love, love, love and Kat Von D lipstick in Backstage Bambi - it's full-on matte pink 80's-tastic.

Benefit Posietint on my cheeks because it's pretty, 'k?
Benefit High Beam - to highlight brow and cheek bones - et voila!

*I am the gift that keeps on giving. If you want to get your mitts on some Kat Von D, I grabbed Miss Lisa's from Sephora in NYC. And while it doesn't sweat off at Crimes Against Pop, it is easily licked off at Crimes Against Pop.

BeautyMecca HEART Crimes Against Pop.
And The Sassy Minx go there now.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

April Rules: The Sassy Minx

Aside from fanny around playing with make up, another thing I like to do to pass (all of my) the time reading the awesome blogs of ladies of fabulousness.
One of these blogs is The Sassy Minx, run by ladies that make me laugh, make me cry and give me the worst lipstick/eyeliner envy known to man.

The first of the Sassy Minxes, Miss Aimee Richards has been so kind as to spill her make up bag for us all to see her essentials... please don't be too jealous, just inspired.

I don’t really wear base foundation so I usually mix Benefit Rebel tinted moisturizer with Lancomes Hydrazen Neurocarm Moisturiser for dry skin. I also use the Lancome Hydrazen Nuit and the Biofacils Make up remover, which keeps my complexion peachy. I have tried other brands, but they make my face rash and I adore the heavy pots Lancome use.

For flawless evenings I use Chanel’s Hydrabase foundation as it is so matte and usually polish off with some MAC mineral bronzer in Medium Dark applied with Lancome’s blusher brush. A little bit of YSL’s Touche Eclat is always good for those post-party dark under eye circles and I am slave to liquid eyeliner by Mac applied with their eyeliner brush and Diorshow Blackout mascara in Blackout.

My eyebrows are a bit dodgy, so I have a pair of Tweezerman tweezers on hand, as well as the eyebrow palette and eyebrow brush by Mac to shade in the edges.

I have about four colour’s of MAC eyeshadow’s in my makeup bag too-I like greens, blues and a dark grey for a smoky eye applied with my Ruby and Millie’s eye shadow brush.

I stick to lipsticks pretty much - MAC’s Vegas Volt coral and Miss Sporty’s signature red (it’s the cheapest thing I’ve used but it suits me more than expensive sticks). I always have a Juicy Tube by Lancome in my bag and Mac’s Dolly blusher for a day when I want a little lightness.
And to be honest, I have a makeup bag, but it’s all spilt in my handbag so I snatch and grab!

Given that I'm desperately nosey, I'd love to know what's in your make up bag if you want to share?

Monday, 20 April 2009

April Rules: Revlon Matte Eyeshadows

Grumpy about boys.

Go buy this, it's awesome and quite frankly has SUMMER written all over it.

Or summer summer summer summer summer summer chanted like the start the start of High School Musical Two.
Note to self - go and see 17 Again regardless of inappropriateness.

Friday, 17 April 2009

April Rules: Stafford Salons

My GOD it's been a busy week.
Seriously, you know the kind, when you're busy every second and everything that can go wrong, does go wrong? Not fun.

Luckily, the one thing I never need to worry about is my hair. Thanks to the World's Best Cut from my bestest ever ever ever in the whole wide world stylist, my do is never a don't. Since I've dedicated this month to getting back to basics, there aren't enough ways for me to reinforce how important I think a good haircut and a good stylist is to your life.

Think about it, how much would you spend on a coat? Or a well-fitting pair of jeans? Or awesome shoes? Exactly. And how often do you wear those things, a couple of times a week? A month? And now tell me, how often exactly do you wear your hair? And how much do you spend on that? Do you ever really want to put yourself in the position of having crap hair? No. no you do not. A long-term, good relationship with a good stylist is invaluable. They get to know you , they get to know your lifestyle, what you want to do with your hair, how much time you have to spend on it... tell me you get that sort of relationship at Supercuts and I will book my appointment. Oh, except you can't.

Luckily, Johnny, (aka my second favourite person in the world after Milo Ventimiglia) is available to you all at the lovely Lee Staffords really rather fabulous new salon on Regent's Place in London. Recently rebranded as Stafford's Salons, the new place is amazing. It's massive for a start and I'm pretty sure, unless you want to play chess against Gary Kasparov, there's nothing they can't sort out for you there. It's so ridiculously glamorous, I find myself actually begging my fringe to grow up so I can pop back in for a trim. And my hair grows FAST.

So until a Stafford's Salon opens near you, I say get yourself booked in to one of these beauties:
Staffords salons, London
0207 292 0300

Staffords salons, Essex
01702 471 954

Staffords salons, Sidcup
020 8302 2059

Good hair = a good mood = a happier you = a better world for everyone else.
booking yourself a haircut at Staffords is practically the nicest thing you can do for your fellow man.

And in case you don't believe me, here is Boris Johnson at the opening of the Sidcup salon.
Look how happy he looks. And he's eating an orange* - I bet they gave him that.

*UPDATE: That might actually be an orange

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

April Rules: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

It's not very often that I am given to declare something a miracle. Okay, well, it's quite often but it's not often that I decide something is a miracle and then re-buy that something because as I'm sure you know, free things are almost always better than paid for things and I get a relatively good number of free things sent to me (I don't enjoy it though, it's all done for you. Self-sacrifice is what I'm all about).

Anyway, I've been bleating on about my terrible skin for what, the last four months now? And bless Mr Doctor because he did give me some antibiotic cream to use which seemed to clear things up, the only downside being it practically burned my skin. Seriously, I've never had sensitive skin but this bad boy left me red, blotchy and bad and it did nothing to heal the awful red scars that I was left with since I'm so ridiculously pale. And because I'd had to stop using my Creme de la Mer (lovely and wonderful as it is, it wasn't helping my breakouts at all) I was starting to freak out about what moisturiser I could actually use.

Which is when the miracle happened.

Now, I am someone that has watched many (many, many) hours of Elemis on QVC.
I've enjoyed some of their products, the rose quartz mask, the frangipani and monoi oil shower cream are regualrs in my bathroom for example, but I'd never ventured into the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream territory before. It wasn't cheap for one thing and for another, it seemed to have a similar consistency to Hope in a Jar which makes me break out at the best of times, let alone when I'm actually suffering from acne but Jebus be praised, after one last hour of QVC (Alison Young could sell me anything) I had to give it a go.

And I can't believe I didn't try it sooner. My skin is soft, radiant and even my fine dryness lines are significantly less noticeable. I am one hundred percent addicted to this stuff. Honest. No, really, I thought I was going to run out over the Easter weekend and I had to email the PR to find out if I could buy it in Westfield* for fear of my skin going a single day without this magic elixir. (Apparently, it's not magic but Padina Pavonica, a fan-shaped algae but I don't care. Whatever it is, I am a fan and will not be swayed from the pot of wonder.)

So, to cut a long blog post slightly shorter, if you're looking for a new moisturiser or if you just fancy looking a billion times better than you do right now, invest in a pot at Time to Spa or pick it up from your local Elemis salon or counter. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

*and of course I could buy it at Westfield, because you can buy anything in Westfield, including eternal youth and happiness. Fact, fact fans.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Oh, and...

Seriously, Easter eggs are like FREE everywhere so you have my full permission to go CRAZY but my top picks are:

Creme Eggs - you CANNOT go wrong. I intend to make myself sick on them pronto.
Godiva's gift box of mini chocolate eggs - the praline egg in here is amazing. Super pretty gift if you're going anywhere for Easter dinner.

Cadbury's Mini Eggs - they're mini, no calories, right?
Malteaser Bunnies - have you TRIED one of these? They are incredible. Go. Now. Buy.

April Rules: Smashbox O-Plump Gloss

Hands up if you still have a slightly childlike obsession with anything that changes colour - ideally based on your mood or how in love you are. It can't possibly just be me.

Anyway, my wild immaturity aside, since we're getting back to basics, what could be more simple than a really rather fabulous lipgloss that changes colour based on your own skintone!!!??? Oh yes, it's that amazing, a very high level of punctuation is needed. It's not just a gloss - it's an 'intuitive lip plumper' with Goji Berry-C complex and gingermint to stimulate and plump the lips. And it's just lovely.

The first time I used it, the tingle was a little intense but now I'm obsessed. My only concern is just how incredibly quickly I'm going to get through the tube given that I'm wearing it every single day. It's much milder than Lip Venom and the fact that it goes on clear and then transforms into a pretty light pink colour (on me at least) actually makes me happier than a Mood Ring from Alton Towers.

Bag yours from QVC for £16.00

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Chocolate Egg Day - Missoni Fragrance

I am literally beside myself with joy at the prospect of Chocolate Egg Day on Sunday. It's the first year in forever I won't be with my or someone else's parents so I'm literally going to stuff myself stupid.
If you are inadvisably dieting and can't make yourself ill on Creme Eggs, can I suggest you bathe yourself in this delicious Missoni fragrance instead?
Check out the pretty...

One of it's top notes is Gianduia chocolate - what's not to love? - blended with lovely wearable florals and 'sparkling' (I'm quoting now) fruits. all I can say is YUM.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April Rules: Clairol Perfect 10

Okay, I have a confession to make...
You know I HEART my stylist, right? I have been faithful to Johnny at Lee Stafford longer than more or less anyone else in my life and quite frankly, he deserves it more than anyone else in my life.

But you know when I went brunette at the back end of last year? I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it endlessly but I just wanted to check. Well, at first, it was on a bit of a whim because at the MyFace launch, Charlotte Tilbury told me I should and well, if Charlotte Tilbury tells you to dye your hair pink, you do it. But I was too scared so I sort of kind of might have used a temporary colour out of a box.
Followed by a permanent colour out of a box.
While drunk.
On my birthday.
In New York.

Now this is all well and good because it turned out okay (the birthday luck fairies were on my side) but then I didn't know what to do when I got back to the UK having used a US exclusive brand out there.
Until I tried the really rather amazing and ridiculously easy to use Clairol Perfect 10. Honestly, I stopped using home hair colourants when I (allegedly) grew up but I'm totally turned around on this bad boy. I'm not saying if you're getting classy highlights or going white blonde you should get your head under the tap but if you're talking subtle changes, this is AMAZING. I'm no longer number bleurgh, mid-blonde but number 4, dark brown. And I'm glossy and shiny and deep and rich and I LOVE IT.

It really does work in ten minutes, it doesn't smell like a cat has peed on your head and it's simple to apply. And I also don't know if anyone's mentioned it but hello, recession? Salon colouring = not cheap. Home colours = cheap and fun and easy. Take a peep on the Clairol website and have a look for yourself...

Friday, 3 April 2009

April Rules: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

If we're going to get back to basics in April (the whole April Rules thing? Keep up...) we really need to start as we mean to go on. And that means clean skin.

As you might imagine, I get sent a few things to try out from time to time and since I'm a total product whore, there aren't many things I use more than once. So many products, so little time. But one thing I buy over and over is Liz Earle's Cleanse&Polish. Honestly, I've been addicted for almost a year now and really, really can't see that I would change to anything else any time soon. I even use the Skin Tonic (fancy toner) and I don't believe in toner. I just love everything about this cleansing routine.

In case you haven't heard about it, Cleanse&Polish is a delicious cream cleanser from beauty guru one of my own personal QVC faves, Liz Earle. Basically, you massage the cleanser onto dry skin and then buff off with a hand hot, damp muslin cloth. Which sounds 'meh' until you actually do it. The product smells delicious and leaves my skin soft, supple and refreshed. No trace of redness or sensitivity. Honestly, as soon as I get in at night, all I want to do is hit the Cleanse&Polish, so yummy is the way it leaves my skin feeling.

Buy now, be converted forever.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


There's nothing, and I mean NOTHING beautiful about food poisoning.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Rules

I am so over this whole getting up in the morning thing. What's that all about?
Really, I feel very strongly that if I am allowed to stay in bed until at least nine every day, the world would be a much happier place. For everyone.

Sigh. Well, since that's not going to happen any time soon, I just thought I'd let you know the outcome of a couple of my experiments so far this year.

The Great Kiss Off 2009
The Great Kiss Off was a huge success in getting everyone kissed but me. Well, there was some kissing but none of it really worth writing about. What's wrong with boys these days? Sorry, this is about the make up, right? Well, I'm still getting entries but clearly the uber winner was MAC in every single sense. Lickable, Saint Germain and the Dazzleglasses all came out well. Prescriptives and Estee Lauder also performed admirably. The only reviews that weren't absolutely glowing were for Ruby & Millie but everyone loved the colours and staying power, they just needed a little balm to keep their lips from drying out.

Eye Eye
I (more or less) successfully managed to wear a different eyeshadow every day for the last two weeks of March. I'm not sure what I was trying to prove, other than to make my Stila Cloud shadow/MAC Prune pencil last a little longer but it did give me an opportunity to fall in love with Estee Lauder's new Double Wear pencils, which I'm wearing today incidentally. In fact, I'm rocking green and blue very regularly (not together, ew) and will be testing out Avon's new Denim Blues eye palette this Saturday after the AWESOME presentation I saw the other day. Seriously, you're all going to be wearing Avon colours soon.

And erm, that's it? Apart from my still being obsesso girl over the Creme de la Mer The Body Refiner... how could I not be? I am covered in diamonds.
As I should be.

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