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.

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