Monthly Archives: November 2011

If I could Turn Back Time…

This afternoon was spent attending the Clinique launch of their new Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream in the ever-so modern Sanderson Hotel. As I walked through the doors, I took a few cheeky looks into the pumping bar (it was only 4:15pm… oh how I love London) to see If I could spot any celebs. No such luck, so I made my way up to the 5th floor.

After a refreshing drink and a dip into the catering (God I’m a pig!) we sat down with our full attention directed to the presentation. That word that no-one ever wants to hear was the first uttered. Ageing! Ugh. We all know very well that as the years progress, our collagen and elastin production decreases and gravity has it’s way with our faces. Lines and wrinkles are only the half of it, so we are now looking for something that will also lift and firm. !!!Thank you Repairwear!!!

Containing a team of ingredients that use signalling technology to help visibly rebuild and volumise the skin, Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream claims to provide essential energy to the cells in three layers. The base layer provides the foundation to which the matrix of collagen and elastin fibres attach. The middle layer offers structural support with a blend of botanical extracts, proteins and peptides to help develop, strengthen and maintain your skin’s natural collagen and elastin network and the top layer provides the all important bounce, helping the skin to remain hydrated. Phew!

After receiving my goodie bag, I went to the bathroom to try it on and wasn’t surprised to find it absolutely pleasant. I only had to use a small amount of product to cover my whole face and it felt thick in texture, absorbed quickly and after being whipped by London wind on my walk home, I can still feel it’s barrier 3 hours later. Oh and did I mention the illuminating factor? Seriously sparkling skin!

Although my skin did feel tighter as the product was absorbed, it’s obviously going to take a few weeks to see if the results work on my guinea pig… MUM???

Available exclusively at Selfridges and Brown Thomas from the 2nd March and nationwide at Clinique counters from 16th March 2012.

Time machine in a pot?

Take the plunge

Why does my left hand always reap the benefits?

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Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Launch

Amazing advertisement

Who doesn’t LOVE the W Hotel?… if just raised your hand, you’re lying! So what better setting to have a launch than the completely decadent E-Wow suite, where a gaggle of your finest Beauty editors, writers, assistants and bloggers gathered to hear about and try out Benefits new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow range.  It just goes to show, Benefit really know how to put it on.

A splash of elegance at the W Hotel

It hadn’t ever really come to my attention that Benefit had a gap in their current product portfolio. With such huge global success, I guess I just assumed that they had a foundation in the mix somewhere out there. Not so apparently! But that’s all about to change, come March 31st when Benefits new range will be hitting our counters at £24.50 a pop. Each name of the foundation coincides with Benefit’s popular Hello Flawless custom powder cover-up. So my champagne shade of  ‘me, vein?’ matches my ‘cheers to me’. Magnif!

"I'm so money" Honey

The foundation itself is lightweight, sheer and has a smooth velvety texture that sinks into the skin quickly. But, the beauty in it is that it’s not JUST a foundation…3 years in the making has made sure it’s packed with so much more. It has an SPF level of 25 PA+++, anti-ageing properties with vitamin C and E derivatives, helps boost cellular respiration, brighten your skin and is oil free, meaning you wont be clogging your pores. There are 9 shades, 3 light, 3 medium and 3 deep, with the deepest shade being quite dark without a chalky edge to it. All in all I would say this is going to be a very popular foundation.

Swab of Honey

Great amount of coverage for a small pump

You can definitely see the brightening properties

The goodie bags also included Benefits ‘the Pore fessional’ which is an amazing PRO balm designed to minimize the appearance of pores and every foundation pack comes with a small sample of it to try yourself. Too generous!

Included in the box!

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Marni for H&M (Squeal!)

I was excited when Jimmy Choo collaborated with H&M, I was thrilled when Lanvin added it’s name to their clothing labels, I joined in the Versace hype and almost died when I saw Donatella in THAT pink dress (yes, I was there with the crowd – hello! Around the corner from Vogue HQ – why not?!)…but I am over the moon (in fact, almost feeling sick) about Marni collaborating with the high street giant.

The Italian label’s founder Consuelo Castiglioni has designed a spring collection for the high street brand which will land in 260 stores worldwide – as well as online – on March 8.

“I wanted to create a true Marni wardrobe by revisiting all our favourite pieces in signature fabrics and prints. As always, I love juxtaposing prints and colours, mixing modern tribal with Bauhaus graphic, adding sporty utilitarian elements,” says Castiglioni of her first high-street collection.

Male Marni fans should be getting excited too, with “a relaxed take on masculine classics” to hit the rails alongside full pleated skirts, dresses, cropped trousers and jacquard knits, in fabrics range from silk to crisp cotton for the ladies.

Personally I couldn’t think of a better move than adding a few more clashing prints to the rails of H&M… just don’t expect them to be there for too long!

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Date Night at the Movies

From Vogue Beauty Desk to a date night with hubby.

Vintage1 Motorcycle Jeans £220 asos.com

River Island Brogue Ankle Boots £65

Men's Merino Wool Jumper £40 GAP / Vintage Gilet from Portobello Markets

Owl Necklace £3 voguehouse.co.uk

Prada leather belt £110 Saks Fifth Avenue

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It’s In Your Eyes…

I’m just about to hit the town with my hubby, so I thought I might try out a new trend. Kohl, liquid or gel, I love a dark eye. Flick, smudge, paint, my oh my. You could say that eyeliner is the little black dress when it comes to makeup. I love adding a smudge of brown eyeliner on my bottom eyelids to create a bit of depth, or a flick of liquid liner channeling that seductive kitten look and unleashing my inner femme fatale. If I’m feeling a tad more smouldering, a smoky eye never goes astray, but the one I’m currently falling for is the graphic trend seen on the Autumn/Winter 2011 catwalks.

I’m the type who gets bored with a look easily. So it didn’t take me long to embrace a trend that literally draws outside the line! Signal Louis Vuitton and Costume National where lines were elevated above the socket creases. I’ll be wearing the trend a little more subdued but still looking edgy.

I call mine ‘The Flying Kitten’ because it uses the cat-eye approach and the wings are left open. Using my favourite eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s gel, teamed with my trusty Revlon eyeliner brush I started at the centre of my top eyelid and flicked outwards as I normally would when doing a ‘cat-eye’. By starting in the middle, this ensured that my thickest point was from there on and not in the corner of the eye, where it should be especially thin. Topping up a tiny bit of BB gel, I then went from the centre again and came down to the inside of my eye, going a little further and continuing with the angle of my eye to create a more sultry look.

Now… if you’re like me, you will find doing the bottom lash line with gel eyeliner a pain the … (I’ll let you finish that sentence). I like to ‘dot’ my bottom lash line with the tip of my eyeliner brush, sort of like a tattoo gun, all the way to the corner and then smooth a line out and up. Make sure you angle upwards, it will open your eyes. The key to creating a dashing graphic look is to make sure your two lines are significantly long and parallel. I like to make the bottom line a tad longer than the top to create a exaggerate the feline look. Have a cotton tip soak in warm water on hand for any accidents.

And Voila! Team it with some fur or leather and you’ll knock ’em dead.

If you don’t fancy giving your hand the steady test, you can purchase Dior’s Velvet Eyes Backstage Eyeliners-To-Wear Adhesive Eyeliner Patches (wow… long enough name?)

£47 from Selfridges

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It Doesn’t Have to be the Pits

Helena Christensen

Now here is a topic of conversation that no-one ever wants to delve into. Personally I can’t bring myself to say the word ‘armpits’. Ugh. I always have to refer to them as ‘underarms’. But why is it such a taboo topic? Why am I so grossed out by the word pits?

Sweating. Although it’s a natural process and happens to us all, it’s something that great concern for the majority of us. It doesn’t help when the media portrays it as something to be ashamed of. They had a field day when Halle Berry went onto the Ellen DeGeneres show and revealed her sweaty patches to the audience. The Daily Mail captioned each image with the words, ‘unsightly’, ‘clean-up’ and ’embarrassing’. Ouch!

How many of you can recall looking down to see two nice big round patches adorning your beautiful satin blouse and feeling like you never want to reach up high for anything ever again?! For some, this will occur on hot days, or maybe the occasional moment throughout the year, but for others this will occur on a day to day basis, known as excessive sweating, or Hyperhidrosis.

Did you know that more than 1.93 million people in the UK are affected by Hyperhidrosis? Even in their calmest, coolest moments sweating will persist and although it doesn’t pose a serious threat, it can be embarrassing and distressing. The inconvenience of it can also have a negative impact on your quality of life. So it can be reassuring to know that there are solutions available from the mild to the extreme and everything in between.

Anti-perspirants

If regular antiperspirants do not control your excessive sweating, an antiperspirant containing Aluminium Chloride is usually the first line of treatment.

AHC20 £13.80 sweatrelief.info

AHC20, manufactured in Switzerland, is great for sensitive skin. It’s applied to the surface of the skin and plugs the sweat glands thereby reducing the volume of sweat that reaches the skin’s surface. Simply put 1 drop of AHC20 fluid onto your fingertip and apply it quickly to the deepest part of your underarm. Your sweat glands are concentrated right there, in an area not bigger than a 10-Pence coin, so usually 3 drops will do the trick.

Driclor Roll On Solution £6.19 boots.com

For something a little bit stronger, try Driclor Roll On Solution. Apply it before going to bed at night and allow it to dry naturally in order to block the sweat glands while they are least active. It should be washed off in the morning with soap and water. The sweat glands will then remain blocked during the day. Make sure you don’t re-apply in the morning or use other antiperspirants as well. To begin with, you should apply Driclor every night until your sweating is controlled in the day. You can then reduce how often you apply it – you may need to only apply it twice a week or less to keep your sweating under control. Bear in mind that if your skin is getting irritated you are probably using the product too often. Oh, and a final tip, don’t use this directly after shaving. If your skin is broken when applied, the area will become severely irritated.

 

 Botox

It may the drug of choice for numerous Hollywood faces,but did you know that it can stop you from sweating for 3-6 months per dose?! Botox is a preparation of protein which, when small doses are injected into the skin, blocks the nerves that supply the eccrine glands; this prevents the glands from producing sweat. The down sides? It usually takes about a week to kick in and in some circumstances you may notice sweating in a different area, such as hands or feet. It’s also quite an uncomfortable procedure as you’re injected a numbered of times each session.

CosMedocs £400 for both underarms cosmedocs.co.uk

 

Surgery

If nothing else works and you are quite desperate for a solution, the final choice is surgery. But be warned, many patients have complained of compensatory sweating from other glands within the body, especially with Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathectomy (interruption of transmission of nerve signals from the spinal column) which I wont even be writing about, let alone recommending.

Retrodermal Curretage can be performed under local anaesthetic as an out-patient procedure and patients can return home immediately after the surgery. A small incision is made in the axillae (armpits) and the sweat glands are literally scraped away, with antibiotic ointment introduced into the puncture wound. Sweating ceases at once and as early as 4-6 weeks when the puncture incisions are almost invisible. By 4-6 months postoperatively, physiological sweating returns (exercise/heat), but in most cases the hyperhidrosis does not return. There are currently only 3 practitioners of this surgery in the UK and it will cost you around £1000 for private treatment.

But the one I would recommend is a relatively new treatment to hit the UK shores, thanks to Mr Mark Whiteley at the Whiteley Clinic, called Laser Sweat Ablation. The procedure starts with an iodine test to show the exact areas of sweating in the armpit, which are then marked. A local anaesthetic is injected into each side and a 3mm incision is made through which the operation is performed. After loosening the skin of the armpit, a laser is put inside the skin and fired, destroying the sweat glands. Once destroyed, the sweat glands are removed by suction. Due to the size of the incisions, all wounds should be healed in 3 – 5 days, with a return to exercise or heavy physical activity within 2 weeks.

Now you see it…. Now you don’t

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Every Fairy Needs a Magical Wand

Every shower, I comb conditioner through my hair. Each night, I brush my hair. It’s a routine I continue everyday because when I was little my nana told me that I needed to do so if I wanted healthy hair. Now… my hair has been through the wars. I have dyed my hair black, red, brown, ash blonde, peroxide, honeycomb, you name it, I went there. It’s been long enough to feel a tickle on my lower back, shaved to a number one and everything in between. Some would say I’m not attached to it and I would have to agree, BUT if I plan on having it long, I look after it like a mother would a baby! So you can imagine how mortified I was when I decided to research, why should I brush my hair? and came across the lovely fact that brushing can actually cause a wealth of problems.

So the answer? Basically you should only brush your hair to style or detangle it (which should be done with your fingers anyway). Brushing can cause excess breakage to the hair shaft, meaning a few more split ends for you. Luckily, I use a boar bristle brush and so the damage I may have caused isn’t so bad after all. In fact, upon further research I found out that using a boar bristle brush once a day can be beneficial for your ‘do’.

It has to be noted that these brushes aren’t designed to detangle, so if you’re using your Mason Pearson to smooth out a few knots, please stop. If you have unruly hair that needs a big helping hand, use a paddle brush. Boar Bristle brushes are infact designed to clean, polish and condition hair. The bristles catch the natural oils, called sebum, from your scalp where it tends to build up (hence the greasy hair look). The sebum is then distributed from the root down the length of the hair shaft, allowing it to do its job of coating and protecting the hair.

Before you use your Boar Bristle brush, make sure you detangle your hair with your fingers and then gently brush from the roots to the tips of your hair. You will notice an instant shine. So here are a few of my favourites…

Bumble & Bumble – The Flat Classic Hairbrush £49 http://www.spacenk.co.uk

Bumble and bumble’s first-ever, limited-edition Flat Classic Hairbrush is essential for smoothness and shine. Made (with love) in Italy, it features boar bristles that calm static and a custom body made of sustainably harvested beechwood in a satin cocoa finish. The genius behind it is that it makes your hair smooth without taking away the volume and the resilient rubber bristle bed helps maintain a healthy scalp. I especially save this brush for when I want a ponytail with a  bit of volume.

Mason Pearson – Medium Size “Small Extra” B2 £79.99 http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk

The ‘cream of the crop’ is without a doubt, the Mason Pearson. I have a B2 which is what I would consider a ‘normal’ size brush. This particular style is perfect for fine to normal, short to medium length hair. The 7 rings of pure boar bristle are set in a pneumatic rubber cushion that regulates the penetration of each tuft to gently, but effectively, condition the hair and scalp. These babies have been around since 1885 and are individually handmade with the most amazing materials. A great investment, or in my case, gift for my little girl. It will last her years and years.

Hershesons – Mixed Bristle Oval Cushion Brush £24 http://www.hershesons.com

Taking a few pointers from the Mason Pearson (wouldn’t you?!), this brush is the more affordable alternative. Combining porcupine boar and ionic nylon pins to protect the scalp, this brush will reduce static and gently detangle all hair types. BUT remember to use very gently, as it is a little rougher than the others.

Denman – D83 Large Paddle Brush £9.45 http://www.boots.com

If you’re hair is prone to knots, or is on the thick and long side of things, you may want to consider a paddle brush. The ball-ended nylon pins of this Denman paddle brush are set into an air-cushioned natural rubber pad to penetrate, smooth and straighten the hair. I found that this brush gently massaged my scalp, which promotes nerve stimulation and increased blood flow to your hair follicles.

Shu Uemura – Art of Hair Paddle Brush £39.00 http://www.feelunique.com

This amazing hair tool uses a combination of nylon and boar bristles to detangle and smooth hair. Hand-crafted from Japanese Kotibe wood with a glamorous lacquered finish and set on an air cushioned bed, it glides through hair, thick or thin and the white base will ensure that you never let it become unkempt.

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