Monday, 20 December 2010

Calvin Klein Euphora

As I've mentioned many, many times before, I love me some Christmas and one of my favourite parts is buying presents for everyone. Love giving presents and thanks to Snowmageddon, my UK present shopping has been somewhat buggered (sidenote, do you think the UK high street actually prayed for the snow so everyone shopping online got shafted? The things that cross my mind...) so I'm stuck with my minimal US shopping. And you know, making sure I'm fully furnished with self-gifting. Important.

Anyway, lots of people ask me what makes a good beauty gift and a really popular choice is always fragrance BUT I think it's really, really hard to buy perfume or aftershave for someone what with it being so dependent on personal taste. However, if you're going to go with scent, there are good options. This season (in the US only I think, sozza) if you buy Euphoria by Calvin Klein, you get a free swanky tin of chocolate. Who wouldn't love that? And I really do like the fragrance, I forced the men's scent on the former Mr BeautyLover too and he was a huge fan.
I want to say it's a pretty scent that I liked to wear to go out but according to Calvin Klein, it's 'an addictive oriental fragrance that contrasts exotic fruits, seductive florals and a rich cream signature.' Probably more accurate than 'pretty'. Nice bottle too.

And if nothing else, this post gives me an excuse to publish pictures of these gorgeous ladies at the IFP's 20th Annual Gotham Film Awards at Cipriani on Wall Street, sponsored by Calvin Klein. Aren't they sickening? I think I might want to be Leighton Meester.

Natalie Portman is totes wearing Lanvin for H&M. Interesting...

Can't deal with Hathaway after Love & Other Drugs. Not because it was bad (she was great but it was a bad movie) but because man alive, all I can see when I look at her now is boobs. I'm such a child.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Winter Warmers

A couple of weeks ago I had a request for an update on my favourite winter products and yay, I've finally got off my arse to put it together for youuuu.

Body scrubs
Without question, my favourite body scrub in the world is The Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub. I love the way it warms up on contact with the skin, I love the signature scent and I love the way it leaves my skin soft and smooth. Whenever I'm back in the UK, I stock up and it's top of the list of things I ask friends to bring over. When, oh when will they bring it to the US? Selfish really.
Other than that, I do like the Clarins body scrubs but they're way more expensive and I think the results are the same.

Body Lotions
I'm sort of OCD when it comes to body lotions and try to moisturise my body as often I do my face. Yep, twice a day. Once after the morning shower and once before bed. I know it sounds like hard work but you just get used to it... unfortunately, it also means you get through a lot of body lotion. If I could only use one lotion for the rest of my life, it would be Bliss Lemon + Sage body butter but since that would mean I would be homeless, I have to look further afield. I like the Jergens body products for every day as well as Johnson & Johnson's Baby Bedtime cream. I realise that sounds wrong but I'm a lavender addict and this has a lovely consistency. Elemis and Clarins both do a lovely body lotion but the tube doesn't seem to last that long and as you might assume, it's pricey. I also picked up the Coco Mademoiselle body oil spray the last time I was in duty free and while it's not cheap, a little goes a really long way and it scents your skin at the same time as softening it. Double duty products are my favourites.

Lip Balms
Oh this is a tough one... now, I have a million lip balms on the go at all times. Nivea in my make up bag, Smith's Rosebud Balm tube in my handbag and the Dior Color Revive around somewhere but the one product I really, really rate and have repurchased more than once is the Creme de la Mer The Lip Balm. I know this isn't cheap and I hate recommending the pricey stuff all the time because often, it's not necessary. My general rule is - conditioner, moisturiser, foundation, eye cream and lip balm - you're going to get what you pay for. I don't think I've ever felt so strongly about a product as I do this lip balm, (aside from Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, obvs). It's soft, it absorbs right away but maintains a protective barrier and it tastes and smells amazing. I kow it's £36 for lip balm but honestly, splash out once and you'll never, ever go back.
Apologies in advance.

On a side note, if I was literally hemorrhaging money, I would write an entirely different post entitled - buy all of your body products at Bliss and never worry about dry skin again. But I'm not. So I won't. But yeah... not the face products but Bliss body scrubs, lotions and washes.
Ah. Mazing.

All I want for Christmas...

It's the most wonderful time of the year...
No really, it is. I love Christmas SO MUCH. I didn't get a tree until the THIRD this year and you can ask anyone, I was having palpitations by the second. Usually, I have it up on the 1st. At midnight but hands down, one of the best things about living in the US is that a lot of people put their trees up immediately after Thanksgiving. THAT'S AN EXTRA WEEK OF TREE!Amaze.

Anyway, in the midst of buying gifts for everyone else, I just wanted to point you (cough, my mother) in the direction of some of the beauty buys I'd love to find in my stocking:
Elemis Revealing Radiance
I have been very sad to miss Snowmageddon in the UK over the last few weeks (well, in theory. I'm sure in practice my shitty old Freeview box would have given out and I would be sobbing by now) but I have to say, I'm not sad about missing the effect snow has on my skin. As a delicate paley, my complexion hates the cold. Actually, it just hates weather but the cold is not its friend. This awesome kit from Elemis includes the Tri-Enzyme gel, resurfacing night cream, face wash and my super awesome favourite hero moisturiser of all time, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. And it comes in a purdy bag. Oh, and if you buy from this week there's 20% off Christmas gifts and full sized products! And if you enter the code CHRISTMAS at the checkout, you get free delivery ALL MONTH.

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Eye & Lip Palette

Tell me this isn't beautiful?
Ten gorgeous greys, bronzes and sultry plums create the most amazing eye looks, perfect for Christmas time. And because it's Bobbi, you know you can go from sheer washes for daytime, right through super smoky night looks. And there are four exclusive glitter lip glosses included to compliment your look. A little bit of glitter is legally required at Christmas and while it's subtle in Bobbi Brown glosses, it's totes there. Yay.

Benefit Bathina Touch Me Then Try to Leave Body Cream
This has such a long title, it nearly got bumped but alas, I really do love it and I really am all out.
Not OK. This is my favourite body cream, pretty much the only thing I keep reserved only for special occasions of um, well, you know. It's the Ronseal of body lotions. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

To wake up looking like Christina Hendricks

Mad Men is one of my all-time favourite shows and there hasn't been a single episode this season that hasn't made me want to wake up looking like Joan Holloway. I don't think I've ever been so happy in my life as when I interviewed the costume designer, Janie Bryant, for Grazia earlier this year and she promptly declared me a 'Joan' over a 'Betty'. Her awesome new book, The Fashion Files, is on my non-beauty product Christmas wishlist (ie, I'm going to Barnes & Noble to buy it tonight) and you can get it in the UK here. But, in my blind desire to get my Joan on, I have, against all my better judgement, booked in with my lovely colorist, Whitney to go Red. Oh yes, you heard it here first. Not that I don't love my brunette, I do, but given that I'm naturally blonde in the first place, can't hurt to give it a go, can it?
Can it? Oh well, I can always change it back and it feel festive...

So, you know, Dear Santa, I've been a very good girl this year, really. Well, I've been a girl and I didn't slaughter any puppies or anything so I should get something, right?

London Calling: Eyelash Extensions

I should prepare you before I even begin that this is a post related to nothing other than horrifying, shameful vanity - yay!

There were a lot of things I should have been doing in the precious couple of hours I had in London before I flew back to New York last month. Unfortunately, they were all buggered because instead of cleaning my friend's flat, going to see my friends or getting any of the many things I had not got done, done, I went and had eyelash extensions.
Yeah. I know. And they're amazing.

I tried to find a good picture but really, all photos of me are taken under the influence and usually telling someone how much I love them. I'm a very happy drunk. The best I could do was this one - random friend cropped out. Gangsta sign, left in. Apologies if it means something I'm not aware of in Kuala Lumpur or something. But really, check them OUT.

My favourite thing about eyelash extensions was best verbalised by a friend who also indulges. We were trying to defend the appalling waste of money when she got to the point 'When I have them in, I wake up and I'm pretty.' I can't argue with it. Seriously, it feels like you wake up with bluebirds singing instead of your alarm clock ringing and then you blink yourself awake like a Disney Princess. Tralalalalala.

I've had the extensions done three times in the last two years, with Natalie at LondonEyelashExtensions and I've never had a bad result. Plus Natalie is sort of wonderful and very wise. My lashes last a good three weeks before they start falling out, the only sad thing then being that I'm usually in New York and I haven't found anywhere particularly reasonable to get them filled here yet. Happily, one of my favourite friends (and fabulous make-up artist - she did the make up for my leaving London party, check out the pics here) has just qualified so I hope she's ready for me to take advantage of that fact horribly the next time I'm back home. You can contact her here on 07855 798 806 or at She's ever so lovely.

Sadly, I took out the last of my extensions at four am on Monday morning when I was sat trying to finish the second draft of my next book. Incredibly satisfying but not recommended as part of the aftercare. Anyway, if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket (and I realise very few people do at this time of year in particular) eyelash extensions are a great idea for all the Christmas parties you have coming up. Or in general. Or if you want to wake up feeling pretty. I especially enjoy the game where people stare at you and repeatedly ask 'What have you done? What have you done?'
But then I'm very easily amused.

Friday, 3 December 2010

MAC A Tartan Tale

I know I'm hardly busting your door down with hot news right now but I have to tell you about this for fear of you not having nabbed it already. I am In Love with the MAC A Tartan Tale collection. It's ridiculous. It's gorgeous. It's incredibly wearable. It's genuinely, as far as I'm concerned, one of their best ever collections and if anyone was looking for Christmas presents (for me, cough) there isn't a single piece here that wouldn't be received with absolute joy.

I'm pretty much obsessively rocking the Dashing Lassie eye palette which gives so many great options. Can't begin to tell you how happy I am that I feverishly handed over my cash in Duty Free the other week without really paying attention to what I was doing (how could I go wrong, it was MAC?). I like the pale colours for a sparkly day look and then you smoke the whole thing out with the Buckwheat shade, use the Showstopper to line your eyes and then add drama with Magical Mist.

Aside from the eye palettes, I l-o-v-e the lip, eye and brush bags. Mostly because I want the actual bags. I'm thinking Noble Knights with teal pigment will be my first pick.
In case you were wondering. Mum.

Monday, 22 November 2010

London Calling: Elemis Day Spa

Now, I hate to make you feel bad (no, really, I do) but your life is lacking something.
That something is the Elemis day spa. Now, if manicures are an indulgence, fannying around in a day spa is, I realise, an appalling waste of money. Except it really isn't. Especially if you can get someone else to pay for you and it is nearly Christmas.

Should a visit to a spa be on your Christmas list or if your credit card has a bit of extra room on it right now, I cannot recommend the new Elemis Winter Warmer experience strongly enough. A comb of their ginger and lime salt scrub, hot stone massage, anti-ageing facial and to finish off, a shape and polish. It's an amazing sampler of the Elemis treatments and honestly, my skin was beautiful afterwards. Because Elemis don't perform extractions as part of their facials, you don't have to worry about going out blotchy and since the salt scrub is followed up by a massage, lubricated with the amazing Frangipani Monoi Melt, your entire being smells and feels incredible.

My love for Elemis has been well documented, I know but really, I can't tell you how many people have commented on how amazing my skin looks since I started using Pro-Collagen Marine Cream again and the Eye and Lip Complex is just amazeballs.
That's right amazeballs. Look it up.
Well, you can't actually, it's really not a word.

I'm tired.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

London Calling: Nail Girls

I just got back to New York after a very, very loooong three weeks in London (there will be more about that on very soon, we're here to talk about actual important stuff) and I did my bit for you, dear reader. SO many amazing things to tell you about - so let's start at the beginning... the all-important manicure.

Since living in New York, I've become sort of obsessed with manicures. I've always been a nail fan, ever since I sat painting every finger a different colour with my mini Miss Selfridge paint pots in the early nineties. But manicures? They always seemed like such an indulgence and far, far too expensive. Happily, the US has nail bars on every single corner which is a) sort of amazing and b) means that manicures are substantially cheaper than they are in the UK. I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel with a good manicure. It looks pretty and makes me feel like a grown up lay-dee and so, it was with UBER-delight that I mosied on over to Islington last week to meet the Nail Girls

Not only was it a lovely salon in one of my favourite parts of Londinium but the girls behind the salon. Lynda and Jo, were awesome. Lynda explained that she had spent time in NYC working as a fashion ed so she understood my pain. Thankfully for all of us, she's done something about it. Nail Girls is so, so, so good. Not only did I come away feeling totally chilled out but I also had a fab manicure (I opted for the new jet black polish, shot through with really fine silver glitter, one of the Nail Girls' own range) and felt generally lovely. The mani lasted for ages and I cannot wait for their fab chem free colours to come over to the States. My heart called for the Jet Black but I also have a filthy great crush on the Navy Blue. And the super soft pale Gold.
Lucky you can order them in the UK right now. Sob. Check out their website for more info on all the treatments, special offers and nail colours. Loving the offer of an iPod silent disco... Sometimes I'm not up to chatting. Not often but still, it happens.

Anyway, I urge you to take a festive trip before you shove your hand up the end of a turkey.
Nail Girls rock.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tara Smith = Awesome

Slightly off topic but this includes lots of important things like nice people, one of my fave labels and charity so here goes.

Celeb hairstylist, Tara Smith ran the New York marathon this weekend to raise money for the Leukemia and LOROS, The Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice. Check her out here with friends Stacy Igel, founder of Boy Meets Girl and Rosario Dawson. I wish I looked that good after I'd run 26 miles/for a bus.

I had the pleasure of watching Tara work recently (on my Janie Bryant interview for Grazia) and she's incredible - what that woman can't do with a pair of tongs. She's got a great haircare range too. Multitaskers rock... (she says procrastinating wildly)

Monday, 8 November 2010

REN Gift Sets

Miss Keren has been at it again... Boo.

Every year REN package their gorgeous products in Christmas box sets, they have done all sorts of pretty boxes over the years. And this year they asked the very exclusive wallpaper company, de Gournay if they could use some of their exquisite, hand-painted chinoiserie designs.

Apparently, de Gournay produce their wallpaper with the aim of bringing colour and happiness to your home, I’d like to bring some of that to my home (which currently has no walls, bathroom or kitchen to put wallpaper on – but that’s not really relevant). And with the wallpaper being hand painted I don’t think I could even afford half of a roll. So these sets are much more achievable.
I’d like the yellow one please. Not just because it’s pretty but because I also need some zesty Grapefruit to wake me up on the cold winter mornings.

Or maybe the green one...

You can see the whole range of gift boxes at They are also available at Selfridges, Space NK and John Lewis.

I like the Green. Super pretty.
Just in case anyone was wondering...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Benefit of Benefit

There was once a time when every third item in my make up bag was Benefit. Seriously, I was obsessed... from the Dear John moisturiser through Playsticks foundation, Get Even powder, Bad Gal liner and mascara, Georgia blush and everything in between (including Maybe Baby perfume and the entire Bathina body line) but somewhere along the way, I started using different products and Benefit sort of fell out of favour (aside from Bad Gal Waterproof which is amazing and on my daily must-have list), relegated to the back of a drawer.

That was until I happened by the Benefit counter in Bloomingdales last week... Oh My.
There are so many new products! They're all amazing! I'm now broke! Seriously, I thought I was going to have a little cry. It always begins with 'hey, why don't I refresh your make-up?' and ends in 'that will be $2oo' and I never, ever learn.

We started out using the Pore-Fect primer which is fantastic, so far, I have to say I even prefer it to Smashbox Photofinish. After that, the lovely, lovely make-up artist showed me how to use the Hello, Flawless mineral foundation which now comes in a variety of shades and even goes pale enough for my mug. Scary, right? Obviously, I handed my credit card over for both, as well as the Her Name Was Glowia kit because it had the RSVP lip gloss and Coralista powder in there. And because I am gullible and easily upsold. But there was so much more! The Girl Meets Pearl highlighter was beautiful, all the eyeshadows were soon-worthy and it reminded me just how much I love my Miss Priss gloss, Bad Gal liner and lash, my BeneTint and even my Maybe Baby.

So, I'm just saying... Christmas is on its way people/mother...
Lots of gift sets around. Looooots of gift sets.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness month - Boy Meets Girl

Not technically a beauty product this time but still something worth shouting about, Boy Meets Girl and Urban Outfitters have collaborated on this really rather purdy tote bag to raise funds for the Young Survival Coalition.

The bag is dedicated to Kristen Martinez, a member of the Urban Outfitters family who lost a five year battle to breast cancer at the age of 36. It's always scary to think about breast cancer affecting someone so young but please, please, please don't think you're immune just because you feel invincible. Always check yourself every month and never miss scheduled check ups with your nurse, same goes for cervical cancer while we're here, OK?

Learn more at or just suck it up and purchase the bag here.

Breast Cancer Awareness month - Elemis

As per, one of my favourite brands in the whole wide world, Elemis, has stepped up to raise awareness and cashola for Breast Cancer Care, pledging £10,000 to the charity. Amaze.

You can show your support by picking up the Sparkling Beauty Collection for just
£50 (and it's £143 - woah) and get your mitts on a gorgeous pink vanity case packed with Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss capsules, Visible Brilliance and the new Elemis eau de parfum. I believe I'm what's commonly referred to as a vocal supporter of Elemis (also known as a gobby cow) and when I'm out of Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, I know it. My skin just isn't the same. Sob.

So do your bit for Breast Cancer Care and bag some seriously cheapity cheap prods into the bargain.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness month - The Sanctuary

I have been unbelievably slack in promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year which is absolutely unforgivable, so basically prepare yourself for a barrage of wonderful things to get involved in for a very, very good cause...

Starting with something I'll definitely be booking when I get back to the UK at the end of the month, The Sanctuary is offering a Pink Pamper Day throughout October to help raise awareness. For every £99 booking, £5 will be donated directly to Breast Cancer Care.

The Pink Pamper Day will include:
Full use of the spa facilities with day admission
A rejuvenating 25 minute treatment
Pink Prosecco and cupcake
Complimentary Pink Jessica nail polish worth £8.95

And you can upgrade your treatment to 50 minutes for £20 - amaze.
So you can fight stress and cancer all in one go, what are you waiting for*?

*Don't say payday, this is what credit cards were made for. No buyer's remorse, it's CHARITY.

Monday, 11 October 2010

MAC Venomous Villains

I don't have word for how jealous I am of Ms Keren for this one so I'm not going to try.
Wah. I love Disney and I love MAC... I've been dying to get my mitts on this collection for the longest time. I'm off to MAC in Soho tomorrow to grab whatever I can.
So do your worse Keren, DO YOUR WORST.

Mwah ha ha! This evil cackle is brought to you courtesy of the MAC Venomous Villains range. Beautylover is turning green with envy, because I got my Evil Queen talons on the fiendishly fabulous collection last night at MACs first blogger’s preview.

Venomous Villains is a collaboration with Disney and is based on 3 of Disney’s most infamous femme fatales; Cruella de Vil, Snow White’s Evil Queen, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent, and also The Princess and the Frog’s Dr Facilier, those three ladies terrified me as a child, but also massively impressed me with their dark take on glamour. (I have to admit I haven’t seen The Princess and the Frog, yet.) I love the packaging, the illustrations really stand out against MAC's signature black. I am a children's book designer so I guess it's up my street, and I know Beautylover is a Disney lover too, but I can imagine it's a bit childish for some more grown-up 30 somethings (sorry Beautylover you are now part of the gang...)
Just so you all know, I hate her. SHE'S IN HER THIRTIES TOO - BL

At the preview there was a demo of the Cruella de Vil look... So I’ll start with that. (BTW I can't take credit for this photo, I only had my phone, so I asked MAC to send it!)

Cruella is known for her super arched eyebrows, chiselled cheekbones and red lipstick. I thought it was actually a completely wearable look, and there are plenty of products in the range that could be toned down for daytime. The make-up artist made it look super easy, I was amazed at how quickly she stuck on the eyelashes, there is no way a normal person could put them on that quickly, and also without sticking them to their finger instead of their eye!

One of the lovely MAC ladies from the High Street Kensingto
n store, Tabby, helped me choose some items because I was suffering from major indecision, and also did me some Maleficent eyes which I did contemplate sleeping in, but thought the better of!

And in the end I went home with...

CRUELLA’S Wicked Ways Lipglass, well you never have too many lipglosses and this one is a lovely nude colourEVIL QUEEN’S Beauty Powder in Oh So FairMALEFICENT’S Mineralize Eye Shadow duo in My Dark Magic, Tabby used this on me - you like? Sorry for the dodgy self-portrait.
DR.FACILIER’S M·A·C Magically Cool Liquid Powder in Truth & Light which I am the most curious to see how it looks. As I tried a bit on my hand and it was completely shimmery and smooth to touch.

I felt a bit of shoppers remorse for a few minutes, but when I got home and had another look I think these will be well loved and wished I'd bought more!

Available October 2010 at all M·A·C locations on 0870 034 2676
images courtesy of M.A.C cosmetics (except for my dodgy self-portrait)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Elemis Pro-Intense Eye and Lip Contour Cream

I am someone who is incredibly easily impressed.
Mostly by things and hardly ever by people.

Today's impressive thing is Elemis' new Pro-Intense Eye and Lip Contour Cream. I think I might have casually mentioned my forthcoming thirtieth birthday and while I'm perfectly happy with the state of my skin, I have become incredibly paranoid over the last couple of years. When I was seventeen, I got contact lenses. The optician fitting them said it might be tricky at first because my eyelids were really tight. 'They'll get looser as you get older,' he assured me. 'And you know, contact lenses tend to get lines around their eyes earlier because they're always messing with the skin.'

This scared me shitless.

But no fear... for the last two months, I've been using the latest Elemis eye cream and I have to say, it's not just preventing lines, it seems to be improving the texture of the lines that are already there. Apparently the cream has new 'chaperone technology' with 'scientifically proven plant stem cells to help redensify aging skin' and defends against lifestyle influences.

I believe this means I can continue to wear a ridiculous amount of eyeliner, stay up late and get drunk far too often and this wonder cream will continue to reverse the effects of my thirty years.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Calvin Klein X Underwear: Elements

This has nothing to do with BeautyMecca whatsoever but a PR just sent it to me and I'm working really hard at the moment so the distraction was more than welcome.

The PR says:

Be sure to head to to check out Calvin Klein X Underwear: Elements now.
If you like what you’ve seen so far, be sure to check out how men around the world are using their webcams to show off their X at

I feel like me and Kellan Lutz would get along at a really deep, psychological level. We'd totally talk all day long about politics and religion and, I don't know, books? He's in films based on books.

Friday, 17 September 2010

MAC Cream Colour Base

As my thirtieth rolls ever closer I am becoming increasingly obsessed with make up that looks fresh and fun (e.g. young). Clear skin, colour pop lips, healthy cheeks and sparkling eyes. SO far, my greatest ally in this quest has been MAC's Colour Cream Base in Pearl.

It's a gorgeous, gorgeous product. Originally presented to me as a highlighter, I've also found it makes a wonderful cream shadow on its own a a great base. For a super fresh look, swipe it on alone, to make it last a little longer, add MAC shadow in Retrospeck to set it and for a beautiful shimmer smokey eye, add Satin Taupe over the Retrospeck, line your eyes with a dark chocolate brown pencil (I like Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Bourbon) and smudge a black pencil into the inner and outer lashline (Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof is my fave). To really add drama, I whack some Club into the mix and smoke the shit out of it all. Amaze. The pearl base adds depth and shimmer to the whole shebang and also helps hold it all night long.

Just don't get it in your crows feet. Not that I have any crows feet.
*throws self across the sofa sobbing 'I don't want to be thirty' over and over and over*

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Fashion's Night Out

So tomorrow is one of the most exciting days in the calendar for anyone into fashion and beauty - it's Fashion's Night Out time ladies! And gents, of course. I can't believe it's come around again so quickly. It only seems like two minutes since I was choking on a Diet Pepsi in a cab, watching Anna Wintour hanging out in Queens. Looking like she might die.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to hitting a billion different thinks in New York, Susan Miller from AstrologyZone will be at Bendels giving readings for a 25 dollar donation to , Asos is holding a block party with Vogue, awesome band, Bearhands is playing at Rockefeller Center, Vinny from the Jersey Shore is DJing at CO Bigelows (which is a pharmacy weirdly) and pretty much everyone else is having a party. Wella has teamed up with Cynthia Rowley, Molton Brown with Hanky Panky and Stila with Betsey Johnson (that might be my favourite pairing).

Back in London, there is just as much stuff going on - check out the Fashion's Night Out website for more info. Super sad to be missing any of it anywhere but you should definitely get involved. So. Much. Fun.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Crushing on QVC

There are few things in life I like more than hanging out on the sofa, semi-comatose for the entire weekend, especially if I happen to have spent Saturday night dressed as Disco Superman and been drinking red kryptonite punch until four am (don't ask).

Happily, this weekend presented me with a multitude of options i.e. when My Fair Wedding with David Tutera wasn't on, I could indulge in my other hangover favourite, QVC. Seriously, you can learn a lot! The main thing I learned this weekend was a) that red kryptonite punch is very dangerous b) that David Tutera is a GOD and c) that I want a Clarisonic cleansing system.

QVC showcased the Clarisonic Mia this weekend, a compact version of the hero product (and a favourite of my traveller friends). I know $120 seems like a lot but really, I hear nothing but amazing things about Clarisonic. Everyone I know who uses it has beautiful clear skin and they tell me you get used to dropping it into your routine super quickly.
Possibly a thirtieth birthday present to myself?

Monday, 30 August 2010

Elemis Modern Skin Facial

Inspired by the suck up/my new best friend who just told me I look twenty-six on Facebook, I wanted to tell you all about this awesome facial I got the last time I was in London.

I've told you a million times how much I love Elemis, right? Seriously,I know it's not cheap but my skin loves their products so much, I can't even begin to tell you, and I have such a crush on their salon in London, if I could propose to a place, then I would. I'd always be faithful and I'd love it so much... OK, I've crossed a line. But you get the picture. Anyway, my skincare routine has been incredibly heavy on Elemis products for the last couple of years and I have nothing but good things to say. I'm obsessed with the Ginseng toner, I'm using the new Pro-Intense Eye and Lip Contour Cream every night and since I visited the lovely and amazing Tibor at the London spa in July, I've also been adding Visible Brilliance Serum every day and it's really perking up my skin. Oh, and when I ran out of Pro-Collagen Marine Cream last week, I actually let out a little sob. My flatmate will vouch for this, she thought I'd just heard that my cat had died. My cat hasn't died, she's fine.

Sorry, I was telling you about the new Modern Facial, wasn't I? Basically, it's just bloody great. The idea behind the treatment is to help skin overcome all the stresses and damage brought about by modern life - we're exposed to so many toxins and general bad things, that our skin needs rebalancing, remineralising and generally looking after. The Modern Facial does just this. For one blissful hour, your facialist will identify your mail skin issues then treat with a appropriate masks, light facial massage and fabulous cleansing that leaves your skin soft and squeaky clean - except not squeaky. Just really clean. Purified, let's go with purified.

I felt so incredibly relaxed when I left the spa that a) I did not put on ANY foundation and b) I left a bottle of champagne and my J Brand denim jacket in the cloak room. I was that blissed out.
That and I'm an idiot.

Oh Elemis, how I love thee...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

I Heart Marc Jacobs

Now it won't come as a surprise to anyone who has read one of my books or, I don't know, glanced at this blog for more than three seconds, to find out that I am a huge Marc Jacobs fan.
It all started winter 2007. I was in New York for the weekend under the guise of visiting friends and buying a cheapo iPod for the former Mr BeautyLover's thirtieth birthday (we talked yesterday, he sends you all his love, FYI) when lo and behold, I just so happened to be popping by Bloomingdales when my life changed forever.

There, in the Marc by Marc Jacobs display case was a silver leather bowling bag, its beauty only enhanced by star pattern quilting. It was then that I realised I'd never truly been in love* before. There was a tense moment when my credit card didn't want to go through but it didn't matter. It was love at first sight. Nothing was going to keep us apart.

Ever since that day, I've never looked back, although if my bank manager asks, that was my first and last MJ bag purchase. An altogether more affordable way to fall in love with my favourite designer, is to indulge in his fragrance line. Which I do. Regularly. It takes a hell of a perfume to tear me away from Coco Mademoiselle but Lola seduced me last autumn and as summer starts to fade away, I've been spritzing it more and more often of late. I gave Mummy BeautyLover Daisy, my GBF James and my brother both wear Marc Jacobs for Men and I recently gave my BF, Erin the Pomegranate splash for her birthday. My name is Lindsey and I am a Marc Jacobs-a-holic. Worse. I'm a Marc Jacobs enabler.

And MJ is determined to make it easier for me. This autumn, Daisy is getting a limited edition makeover and becomes an eau de parfum, Daisy Pop Art. Look at the cool bottle! LOOK AT THE COOL BOTTLE! At the same time, my fave Marc scent, Lola, celebrates her first anniversary by reinventing herself as Lola Velvet. Another fab, longer lasting eau de parfum in a gorgeous violet frosted glass bottle. Divoon.

I was super, super lucky and was sent samples from Attention USA but you'll be able to find these gorgeous additions to the Marc Jacobs fragrance collection at Bloomingdales and other speciality perfume retailers e.g. we're not just hoarding them all in Noo Yoik, although if you needed a reason to come over, this is a pretty good one, non? If you don't fancy popping over, you can connect with both scents on Facebook. I'm going to do it. I want to read their status updates.

*to clarify, first time I fell in love never been in love with a bag. We'll get to my crushing inability to form healthy romantic attachments another time. Or not. Bags are better than boys anyway.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Laura Mercier: What is Flawless?

Lots of beauty brands are looking at new ways to win fans at the moment, the key seems to be offering more than just a great product but also a way to feel good about yourself as a person*. I loved Bobbi Brown's Pretty Powerful campaign earlier this year and Laura Mercier's 'What is Flawless?' looks just as great.

The idea behind the campaign is that we all submit our ideas what we consider to be a personal definition of flawless, and for each answer submitted to Laura Mercier website, the company will make a donation to the Gulf Relief Foundation. So not only do you get to challenge the conventional ideals of beauty, you help clean up the wetland preservation in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana (that's a good thing).

There's no wrong or right answer, so please take a minute to click on the site and suggest something. For me, flawless would be a good night's sleep, I've had insomnia for days now. A quick canvas of my coworkers suggests a sunny Sunday afternoon, the perfect red lipstick and (hmm) kittens. See? It really can be anything...

*I'm more interested in looking pretty but hey, I'm shallow. Good on these beauty peeps for trying to make me a better individual.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

BeautyMecca on Facebook

So one of you love people suggested creating a BeautyMecca page on Facebook and you know what, that was a REALLY good idea. As much as I love writing about products and all that gubbins, I never really get to hear about the stuff that you love so as of right now, you can click here and go to the new BeautyMecca page on Facebook.

There's sod all there right now so pleeeeeeeeease take a minute to tell me about your favourite products. I really want to know what other people are using and loving.

OK, back to the grind...

Friday, 13 August 2010


The lovely Keren has been out and about, slaving away as our roving reporter in London town. She is SUCH a giver, isn't she?

When Fiona Brackenbury (Head of Training at Decleor and QVC presenter) was asked by QVC to create an exclusive product with the DECLÉOR laboratories team she made it her two year mission to create a miracle cleanser.
Why a cleanser? Because, apparently this is where most women make beauty crimes. We all spend fortunes on moisturiser but when it comes to cleanser we’re using either the wrong product or using them incorrectly. Some need to be used with a toner to be effective, some are too harsh - containing too much alcohol that can be damaging to the skin. I use whichever face wash is on offer in Boots that week! They tend to be either of the anti-shine variety or black-head removing... So exfoliating. You should have seen the look of horror on Fiona’s face, this is a major crime, I am causing my skin to produce more oil and then more prone to black-heads. Yes, I am a novice. And yes, at 33 some lessons need to be learned.

Fiona wanted a product that would gently remove daily grime and make-up but also contain skin-caring ingredients and be quick and easy too.

So what makes it so special...

HYDRA-RADIANCE SMOOTHING CLEANSING MOUSSE provides three key actions in one to leave the skin rejuvenated and deeply cleansed:

Deep cleansing

When it comes into contact with water the rich, concentrated cream quickly lathers to a gorgeous mousse-like texture, creating tiny bubbles to swiftly deep cleanse and soften the skin leaving it clean and velvety soft. The inclusion of two cotton cloths with each pump dispenser also provides a further delicate exfoliating action and helps to ensure skin is left free of residue post-cleanse.

Skin Polishing and Perfecting

Grapefruit, Papaya extract and Japanese White Mulberry exfoliate and gently slough away dull dead skin cells to leave the skin crystal clear with visible clarity and luminosity after just one use.

Moisturising and Plumping

With nourishing Neroli essential oil – also known for it’s decongesting and calming properties – and Hyaluronic acid, a potent protein that occurs naturally in the skin and can hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight in moisture, immediate results on the skin are outstanding. The skin has renewed plumpness due to the injection and retention of moisture, which gives it an extreme feeling of firmness, while wrinkles appear reduced and skin feels intensely soft and balanced too.

Right, I am going to use this twice daily for the next few weeks to see what results I get. So I won’t be using a toner whilst I’m testing it and I am quite addicted to the fresh, squeaky clean feeling of toner. And it has very gentle exfoliating properties so I can give my skin a rest from my criminal face washes and try to just to do a ‘proper’ exfoliation once a week.

Why am I keen to try this out, and so determined to follow Fiona’s advice? Well, it’s difficult not to believe in Fiona because her skin is perfectly smooth and glowing... Either she practices what she preaches or she's made a pact with the devil.

I’ll let you know how it works for me...

and is already available on the website. It goes worldwide from May 2011.

Given that the standard joke between me and my friends is that Keren has a Dorian Gray-esque pact with the devil herself, I am intrigued to see what the results of this cleaner will be. If it makes her even prettier, a) Decleor will have won a lifelong fan and b) I will not be able to spend any time with her ever again.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Over and over and over and over

Inspired by one of my awesome Twitter buddies, I just got to thinking about the items in my make-up bag that I've bought more than once. Without wanting to sound fickle, wasteful or hateful, it's SO rare that I buy anything more than once, often because I'm distracted by something new and pretty before it's all done or I trade it in for something more effective or I lose it. Me + make up = kitten with a ping pong ball.

Anyway, the following have all stood to a repeat purchase which pretty much makes them INCREDS as far as I am concerned. I'll have a nosy around the bathroom tomorrow and let you know I've been investing in there.

OK, so obvious things out of the way first, Touch Eclat. You have it, right? You must have it. And then you must learn to apply it correctly, which I totally wasn't doing until a make up artist taught me better. Dot it under your eyes, smudge the dots together and then LEAVE IT TO REST FOR A MINUTE. Seriously, just leaving it to settle for a second before you pat it into your skin with your ring finger will make all the different. If you swipe it on and then rub, rub, rub at it, you just lift the product off and it's pointless. Try it, you might like it.

There has been a Benefit It Stick in my bag for years now. Not the same one, ew, but I find it a really convenient product. Love the pencil stylee delivery and it's the perfect shade for my fair skin. And the pencil is shiny. Nice.

Dior Lip Glow is a relatively new addition to my bag but in the last four months, I've bought two of these and I know for a fact I'll buy more. Sadly, they do get used up pretty quickly but I love the texture of the balm and it just seems to set off every look. I've gone through two tubes of Smashbox O-Plump gloss for the same reason. These colour adjusting lip products really work on me. I think it's because ultimately, they all turn a sort of blue-ish bright pink and that's a great shade for my pale skin/dark hair combo. And I'm a complete sucker for anything even faintly gadgety. Yes, yes I did own many yellow lipsticks that turned purple as a small child.

Clarins Everlasting Foundation is actually freaking me out it's so good. Seriously, foundation is my biggest problem product since I'm so bloody pale and my skin type changes daily but this is great. The 103 Ivory shade is perfect on me and the finish stays velvetty and matte all day with just a tiny touch up needed at night. I like to apply with a sponge but you can get just as good a job done with your fingers. I'm on my second bottle and I already bought my third in preparation for it running out. This is a new record, taking over from Bobbi Brown's oil free foundation in Porcelain. Good work, Clarins!

Happily, my favourite pressed powder is L'Oreal True Match. It's cheap as chips, super fine and again, they make a perfect shade for me. I've gone through dozens (mostly because I lose them on nights out ALL THE TIME).

Umm, that's all I can think of so far. Well, that and my perfume which I've probably mentioned before but I'm SO keeping that to myself because I need all the secret weapons in my man capturing arsenal I can get and apparently, it's one of the more powerful ones.
My appalling, appalling sense of humour and refusal to be impressed by anything - not so much. To illustrate, please behold this exchange from a recent date:

Date: Do you like puppies?
Me: Not especially. They're always getting in your face.
Date: Rainbows? Kittens? Flowers? Sunsets?
Me: Are you getting at something?
Date: No one is as cynical as you. It's not possible.
Me: Hmm.
Date: You know a cynic is just a wounded romantic?
Date: OK, maybe you're just fucked up.
Me: Sigh...
(intro to 'Another One Bites the Dust' plays in my head)

Off topic, but still, thought I'd share.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Clarins Rouge Prodige

Hey hey USA!

Clarins have a fabu new long-lasting lipstick out this summer and to celebrate, they're giving away 5000 samples from their Facebook page. Click here to register and get your hands on it.

I'm definitely going to be trying more lipstick this autumn/winter, all part of my 'I'm turning 30 and therefore MUST do something grown up because all I eat is Lucky Charms and I'm constantly drunk*' plan.

*Hey mum, I'm not really drunk all the time. Just sometimes. And occasionally, I'm tipsy. Or hungover. So it's really only half the time at most. Love you!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

What I'm Wearing Now

For the want of ploughing through press releases and samples and everything else that I should be doing, I figured I'd just whack out a post about the products I'm using right now because quite frankly, it's been aaaaaaaaages.

This is a pic from a couple of Saturday nights ago and for some reason, despite being applied inside ten minutes flat, my make up looked exactly right i.e. I was wearing a shit ton of slap but it really didn't look like I was.

So, starting with a base of Beauty Flash Balm (I'd been traveling and looked a wee bit sallow) and Origins GinZing eye cream, I started with my beloved Clarins Everlasting Foundation in Ivory, Touche Eclat in 1 under the eyes and BeneFit It Stick wherever it was needed. On top of that went a light brushing of Nars Orgasm all over my cheeks to perk up my complexion (normal people might use bronzer, I'm not normal. I'm paler than death) followed by a pop of MAC's (discontinued, sob) Hello Kitty blue-pink blush on the apples of the cheeks. To blend it altogether, I used MAC Strobe Cream on my cheekbones and set my T-zone with L'Oreal True Match pressed powder which I LOVE.

On to the eyes, I lined with Urban Decay 24/7 pencils in Bourbon and Underground then defined the inside lids with Bad Gal Waterproof. Blend the whole lot down with MAC Retrospeck and then tease out the smokiness with Club. Love MAC eyeshadows. LOVE. Several thousand coats of L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara and a slick of Dior Lip Glow and I was good to go.

Sadly, I don't know what Emma was rocking but I'd go out on a limb and say those well-lined eyes are courtesy of MAC.

Seriously, ten minutes.
I'm too well practiced, aren't I?

Friday, 30 July 2010

Operation: Glam

So, I'm trying to get caught up with sharing everything I'm using right now because I'm so hopelessly in love with so many products and you need to have them in your life.

As you know, I'm super slutty when it comes to haircare products. There are few things I love and always have around, Lee Stafford Spray Wax, tigi Bedhead After Party and Ojon are the first three that come to mind but just lately, I've gone all out insane for Operation: Glam Thickening Elixir.

My hair, if you were to look at it right now, is thick, dark brown and very shiny. My hair, if you were to look at it when I was sixteen was fine, blonde and flat as a pancake (but still pretty shiny). Ever since I forked over my pocket money for Wella's Liquid Hair in the mid-nineties, I've been looking for something that will thicken up my locks. Obviously, the best solution is a great cut, which, thanks to Simon at Bloww in London, I currently have. However, products are a must and I CANNOT emphasise enough how much I love this thickening lotion*.

It's a clear serum type formula, non-sticky and it pumps up every single strand without leaving a tangled mess. It leaves your hair perfectly soft and touchable while still boosting the volume and it's still good the next day if, like me, you're way too lazy to wash it.

Hat's off to Lulu on this one, (no really, that Lulu) because it's amazing.
My mum loves the Time Bomb range as well which is nice. I'm glad Lulu is keeping busy although if I were her, I'd pretty much just be wandering around a park, barefoot in a binbag singing 'Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, you know you make me wanna shout' for shits and giggles.

*Have to confess, my friends did laugh at the packaging when I brought this on a weekend away. Pink and black zebra print? Really? But as we all know, it's what's inside that counts.**

**It's not at all. I'm totally shallow.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Dior Addict Lip Glow

Oh my, there seems to have been some sort of epic oversight in my posting.
For the last three months, I have been completely obsessed with one product - it is never out of my handbag and I find myself applying it at least once a day and yes, I haven't even told you about it.

This wonder prod is the Dior Addict Lip Glow. It's a gorgeous silky, pale pink balm (which comes in awesome packaging btw) that leaves lips soft, silky and subtly pinkened. Is pinkened a word? Well, it is now. Take THAT, Victoria Coren. Everyone I've shown it to has had a go and hands down loved it, it's that good. Worryingly, I'm actually getting near the bottom of the tube (which NEVER happens to me given that I go through so many different products ALL FOR YOU) and I'm totally going to have to stock up.

That is all.
Mistake rectified.
Off to pay $50 for someone to abuse me*

*this common form of toture is known in some circles as a bikini wax

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Bare Escentuals

I'm going to stop Keren from doing stuff. A) she's too pretty and B) she's too good.
What? Selfish and spiteful? Me? Noooooo.
Well, yeah.
Anyway, read on, dear, um, readers...

My second assignment for Miss BeautyLover and I’m already asking forgiveness, but I’m new at this blogging malarkey, so I confess I had the most amazing make-under on the 30th June ... Sorry I know that is aaages ago in the blogging world.

Well apologies over, and onto business, Bare Escentuals have been around a fair while, but they launched a new product exclusively on QVC last Saturday. So, if you are a QVC addict you probably already know by now. But anyway they were launching a Matte version of their mineral foundation...

I had a behind-the-scenes tour of QVC, before the actual make-up preview, in which we went into two live studios and I had a moment where I thought I might sneeze. It would have been most embarrassing to be turfed out of the building before I even got to see any make-up.
Anyway onto the actual make-under... The very knowledgeable SJ worked her magic on me, she used ‘Light’ for my skin tone, which I was quite surprised by, but apparently it is for yellowy skin tones. I prefer to think of myself as olive-skinned, I’m obviously deluded.

The Matte foundation looks like a powder, but actually feels quite creamy. She showed me how to apply it with their swirl, tap, buff technique and also explained it’s made with pure, crushed minerals from the earth, is free of preservatives, talc, oil, waxes, fragrances, and other chemicals that can irritate skin and cause breakouts, making it ideal for all skin types and conditions. Plus, it provides natural SPF 15 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

I was quite keen to see if it really was Matte as I have an oily T-zone and struggle to not look shiny on a daily basis. I have to say it did give a pretty flawless look once she was done, without being old-lady powdery (as I hope you’ll agree by the pics!). She also used a few other gorgeous Bare Minerals products and now I want them all (I can add a list of those if anyone wants to try to achieve the same look). But I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to get it looking so perfect myself at home. And was quite keen to see how long it would last, especially after a very icky, sticky tube journey. When I got home even the boyfriend said my make-up looked nice and he hates the smell/look of mostly everything I put on my face and is always trying to rub it of with his stubble. I haven’t tried the original foundation but apparently the packaging used to a bit messy, so now they also have a lockable sifter, meaning you can take it in your handbag without covering everything you own in a fine film of powder.

I have since applied it myself (geekily) following all SJ’s advice, I wore it to a wedding on the hottest day of the year on Saturday and can confirm it lasted the majority of the night with just a few extra buffs. SJ give me a little tip that if you feel as if you need another application you can just re-buff your face and the minerals will ‘recharge’!

Bare Escentuals Matte SPF15 Foundation launched on 10th July exclusively on QVC priced at £19.50. As I said... SWIRL, TAP, BUFF!

And don’t forget it’s It’s Beauty Month on QVC all July!
PS A big thank you to Charlotte at for the amazing photos!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Origins Ginzing Eye Cream

For the last few months I've been getting increasingly tetchy about the teeny, tiny beginnings of fine lines around my eyes. I don't know if it's the traveling I've been doing, crying about stupid boys, late nights and early mornings or just the heinous fact that I turn, sob, thirty in October but they're there and I can't deny it any longer.

I've tried tons of different things but nothing really seemed to be attacking the problem, no matter how long I stuck with it until, as recommended by the lovely lady at Origins (and the rather wonderful author, Sarra Manning) I tried their new Ginzing eye cream.

It's amazing.

Sorry if that was a bit intense but seriously, I dotted it on after a flight last week and immediately my tired eyes looked better and the not-so-fine dehydrated lines softened a little. I've now been using it for a week and I cannot say enough good things about this product. I'm completely smitten. Now, I've read the press release and looked at the ingredients but really, all you want to know id that it works, right? Well it does. It's a lovely cream/gel texture that absorbs right away and the goldish peach tone perks up the look of your skin right away. If that wasn't enough, this wonder cream only costs twenty English squid.

I know that isn't exactly free but in the world of wonder creams, it's definitely a bargain. I've hovered around the Creme de la Mer counter with my credit card burning up my hand so many times in the last few months, seriously, this stuff is so great.
And I totally don't look thirty. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Radox Shower Smoothies

Now I know I'm usually waxing lyrical about a mascara or a lipgloss or some wonder cream or (please please please please let this happen again soon) some spa but today I have one of life's simpler pleasures for you. Radox Shower Smoothies.

We used to have the green Radox bubble bath when I was little and even now when I'm in a really shitty mood, there's no point in reaching for the pricey shiz (there is of course a time and a place for this), all I want is Radox. Given that my mind has been All Over The Place lately - traveling, boy nonsense, book joy, work stress, friend dramarama - I needed something to bring my back and combined with the general DISGUSTING weather London put on especially for my visit this weekend, deep, relaxing baths weren't really an option so PRAISE BE for the new Radox Shower Smoothies.

Jetlagged out of my mind, sweaty, sticky and generally gross, I reached for the Energy Therapy variant with ginseng and lemongrass and lathered up. Sweet jebus, it was lovely. I could have stood under that shower all day long (instead of for the twenty minutes I did stand there for while my best friend stood outside the door dying for a wee. Serves him right for being a boy). The consistency really is smoothie-like, not really a cream, not really a gel just. lovely and I made a special trip to Superdrug to go and sniff all the others - the coconut one is delish too.

I just hope I can get them back here in the states because man alive, it's 102 degrees already and I'm meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelting.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Sanctuary Day Spa

Sometimes, just sometimes, being in New York is shit.

No, really, let me explain. Sometimes, it's 101 degrees outside and by sitting here, sweltering in air conditioning, I'm missing events like The Sanctuary's first ever blogger event, held in their Covent Garden Day Spa last week. OK, you're with me now, right? Anyway, since I didn't want you to miss out, I sent along my BeautyBuddy, Ms Keren, to hear what The Sanctuary had to tell us and sob, to get a free bloody facial.

Live! From London! It's Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeren!

Well, what with BeautyLover being in New York these days (lucky thing) she needed a girl on the ground in London last week to keep her UK readers happy! I was extremely excited to step into her shoes, unfortunately not literally - as I don't think she would let me anywhere near her Louboutins (note from BL - I wouldn't).

So anyway, onto business, my very first assignment was to pop over to The Sanctuary for their very first ever bloggers event. And thankfully I work just around the corner, so didn't have to turn up all shiny/glowing from the tube. They had not two, but three gems to impart...

News Flash One!
After years of pampering lucky London ladies The Sanctuary is coming to the rescue of ladies in need of relaxation and luxury around the UK.They are opening in Bristol, Richmond and Cambridge, OK so they haven't quite moved up North yet, but it's a start.

News Flash Two!
You don't have to have big money to treat yourself to their facials anymore, you can now do a Sanctuary DIY facial for the bargainous price of £16! There are two different ‘facials in a box’ which match the facials at the spa...The Brightening Facial and The Youth Boosting Facial

And finally News Flash Three!
They now also have a skin spa which is accessed separately from the day spa, so you just walk-in. They do everything from Microdermabrasion to Chemical Peels and the usual eye-brow shapes and facials. They will be adding more to the list of treatments, some of the more extreme ones to be administered by a qualified doctor (why oh why am I foolishly imagining an early ER George Clooney?).

And if that wasn't enough I got to try their skin brightening facial... Alice the therapist carefully decided which of the facials would suit my skin type best and then I drifted off into bliss for the next 50 minutes while she applied all kinds of delicious smelling products and my fave part the cold stones. I really don’t know why having icy cold pebbles rolled on my face was so amazing, but it just was, take my word for it. My skin did look brighter the next day, but part of me wonders whether it was just because I was so relaxed when I got home, I fell into the deepest sleep ever!

Thank you BeautyLover!

We're not jealous of Keren, are we?
No. Not at all. Not one little teeny tiny bit.

Monday, 5 July 2010

The Importance of SPF

Hey party people. Sorry I've been an absentee blogger of late but I've been traveling so much, working super hard, sulking about boys (that took up loads of last week) and getting ready for the release of I Heart Paris which is out on THURSDAY! Mew. So soon.

But I had to stop for a moment to remind you that it's SUMMER and the sun is SHINING which means it's more important than EVER to make sure your products have a high SPF. It'll be a shock to no-one who's ever read this blog even once before that I'm a pale, pale lady and after several years of liberal applications of The Body Shop's Watermelon Self-Tanner, I gave in and embraced my lily-white skin. I'm fine with it. I look weird with a tan. So what if the waxing technician at Bliss routinely compares me to the vampires in Twilight? It's not like I actually sparkle (although if I don't get laid soon, I might).

So I don't leave the house without a minimum of SPF 30 all over, higher if I'm going to exposing any sort of skin or going near water - remember, the sun's rays bounce off the water which intensifies them big time. I Love Love Love Creme de la Mer The SPF Protecting Fluid and Elemis Liquid Layer for my face but a) they're super pricey (but worth it) and b) sometimes, I have to go higher and opt for an Aveeno SPF 100 that I picked up at a local Duane Reade. Given how high the SPF is, it doesn't clog my pores and make me break out.

Trust me, you might want a tan now but health issues aside, do you want to look like a handbag in ten years? There's no point asking what anti-ageing creams are the best when the most effective thing you can do is avoid sun damage in the first place.

Wow, that wasn't a very fun post, was it?
Umm... take a look at this:

Back tomorrow, promise.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara

Ladies and the occasionally in the wrong place, gentelman...

I started this blog for a number of reasons. To spite my then boyfriend* who insisted I find a reason to litter the flat with my make up and beauty crap or get rid of it. Because a sick part of me missed my days working in beauty PR**. Because I could never find the right mascara...
Well, I'm so very, very excited to announce that my quest is over. I have found the World's Best Mascara Ever. And yes, I know I've been excited before but I have never, ever been so impressed with a mascara as I am with L'Oreal's Double Extend Lash Boosting mascara. You might remember that about this time last year, I got lash extensions (I miss you, Natalie) and it was pretty much life changing but unfortunately, lash extensions Stateside are considerably more expensive than Natalie's awesome, bargainous service and so I had to go back to au naturel. Now, I have pretty good lashes, they're relatively long but they're very fair - I'm a natural blonde masquerading as a brunette, remember.

But with the help of L'Oreal's wonder mascara, I have thick, full, fluttery lashes that don't go a day without a compliment. It's amazing. Honestly, I've never been a big fan of lash primers but this is just fantastic. And the rich black mascara goes on over it so perfectly, all that is left are big, fat lush lashes that don't flake and don't smudge even in NEW YORK IN SUMMER. I cannot begin to tell you what a test the humidity has been for every other mascara I've tried out here but this? Loves it.

I'm using it in conjunction with the Lash Serum at night and my lashes do seem stronger and they're hanging on in there for longer but I haven't really seen any amazing changes yet. I'm giving it a full course though, given that the mascara is so very miraculous.

Excellent work, L'Oreal, excellent work...

* remember the former Mr BeautyLover? Ahh, bless. We're still friends and now he has a new girlfriend who doesn't understand the meaning of the word mascara, lovely a girl though she is, so everyone's happy! Does that sound bitchy? Hmmm.

**as a side note, one of the brands I used to work for when I was in PR was owned by L'Oreal and sadly, the people there were so increidbly hateful and potentially possessed by demons, I swore I would never ever use their products again. So thank GOD, I was sent this by a lovely, less ruined-by-L'Oreal-than-I-PR to test or I would never have found it.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

In which I apologise for being crap again

Lord, I have so many awesome things to tell you about - L'Oreal's Go 360 Clean and their 24 hour Lash Boosting System (both awesome), an update on my Clarins foundation (also The Shit), how badly I need new shampoo and conditioner recommendations, the importance of smotherinf yourself in high SPF now the sun has sort of come out to play, all the fragrances I've been testing for 'Fragrance Week', my renewed love for Origins A Perfect World moisturizer...

And that's without me getting all overexcited about next week's Melissa Nathan Awards (I Heart New York is nominated!) all my boy nonsense, I Heart Paris' impending release date and my weekend away in The Hamptons, which is all I've been doing with the people I know in real life (possibly why they're not talking to me).
It's all a bit much.
I think I might go and have a bit of a sit down and update you tomorrow.
Sound fair? I promise to keep all my smug shit to myself. Or at least try to.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Clarins Skin Spa Take Two

Sod Fragrance week, I'll come back to it, honest. Between being manically busy and spending most of yesterday with a bucket on my head to block out the light (migraine) the past five days haven't felt especially beautiful or fragrant.

So instead of whining and bitching, let me take you back. Back to a time when the sun was shining, children romped gaily and I skipped happily through the streets of Manhattan. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's. I mean, that was last Friday when I went back to the Clarins Skin Spa for my Maximum Moisture treatment.

For some reason, I decided to walk from my 53rd street office up to Clarins' 81st street spa. In 90 degree heat. At midday. But as soon as I heaved my sweaty mess of a self inside, I felt better almost immediately, and by the time I was being led upstairs by serenity personified (aka Elaina) I was this close to having a little nap on the treatment table. As with the awesome radiance boosting facial I had a couple of weeks ago, Elaina explained exactly what she would be doing, what products she would be using and how the treatment would benefit my skin. Then she turned down the lights, turned up the music and somewhere inbetween, I zoned out for a straight hour.

By the time my treatment was done, my head was fuzzy, my skin was soft and I'd somehow lost the use of my legs. Honestly, it made me consider getting a prescription drug habit - I imagine I felt the same as all those fifties housewives we've all enjoyed so much on the teevs.

Anyway, to wrap this up - Everything Clarins = awesome. My skin was softer than a baby's. It was like you taken the softness from ten babies, half a dozen kittens and a very expensive cashmere sweater, squeezed it all out and smothered it all over my body. Of course, I went straight out with a bunch of girls and giggled at sailors (Fleet Week!) so no one got to enjoy the benefit of my said silky soft skin but me. But sometimes dear hearts, that's enough.
And sometimes it's not. WHERE ARE THE BOYS?
Cough. Sorry.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Fragrance Week! SJP NYC

Ok, so I know it's Wednesday so Fragrance Week is coming a little bit late in the day but that's just tough luck. I have a bunch of new perfumes I love and you're just going to have to sit there and listen. Ha. No! Don't go! Sorry. Thanks. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Fragrance (half) Week.

Now that I'm over my Sex and the City 2 shock (check out my review in this week's Grazia, no, really. Someone cares what I think, sniff) I feel that I can fairly judge SJP's newest venture into the world of fragrance, SJP NYC. According to Ms Parker, this scent was supposed to have 'a sense of fun and whimsy' and according to the press release that accompanied it, it was inspired by our beloved Carrie Bradshaw walking for her favourite New York streets. Happily, I am pleased to report that it is far more Sex and the City seasons one through six than SATC: The Movie Years. Against all the odds, I LOVE this.

I'm not sure what I was trying to achieve with this picture. It is a New York city skyline but yeah, the perfume is perched on a cardboard box. I never said I was a photographer.

Mummy BeautyMecca was given SJP's Lovely scent for Christmas a couple of years ago and we did not get along (not me and Mummy BeautyMecca, we get along famously. Ish. Most of the time. Now I live in another country.) too sweet and cloying for me, but this bad boy is something altogether different. It's a fruity floral, as is my preference, but it dries down into something altogether rounder and richer and almost hot. I'm not a perfume expert so I'm not going to pretend to understand the notes but it reminds me of summer holidays when I was wee and wandering around markets in Spain in the midsummer sun.

I can't say I'm totally bowled over by the packaging but given that my favourite is the Coco Mademoiselle Chanel eau de parfum bottle, you can probably tell I'm a little more low key in my design aesthetics. And I'm devastated that the solid scent is hidden this cuff as it's just something I wouldn't wear. I'm not big with the wrist adornment but I'm huge with solid scents. Mummy BeautyMecca maybe. And I think she'll love this scent too so I'll be picking up a bottle to go on her birthday present pile.

So I'll be happily stashing this away in my handbag for summer spritzes, while I waltz around New York City, pretending to be Carrie Bradshaw (seasons one through six).

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