Friday, 31 January 2014

Faithful Four: Hydrating Face Masks

Origins Drink Up Intensive

Promise: “This intense moisture replacement mask with Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil deeply and instantly quenches compromised moisture reserves and builds a reservoir for tomorrow”
Price: £22.00/$24.00 100ml
Purchase: Debenhams / Macy's

The Origins Drink Up Intensive is an amazing hydrating mask that - as name suggests - acts like a drink for the skin. The mask is designed for overnight use, which is great as skin goes into repair mode whilst you sleep. The only downside to this is that you need to avoid sleeping on your side until the mask is fully absorbed or has dried - I mean the mask is designed for your face, not your pillow!

Drink Up Intensive has a thick, creamy consistency that applies effortlessly and it smells absolutely amazing. It is incredibly hydrating and moisturising and is great at ridding your skin of dry patches. The best thing about this product is the way you look the morning after - you wake up with plump, buttery soft skin!

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Masque

Promise: “Formulated with drought-resistant Fountain Plant, this new addition to Kiehl’s iconic Ultra Facial range replenishes skin’s water reserves for long-lasting hydration and healthy looking skin”
Price: £28.00 / $35.00 125ml
Purchase: / Nordstrom

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Masque doesn't just hydrate, it boosts skin’s ability to retain water! It is formulated with drought-resistant Fountain Plant, which replenishes skin’s water reserves - resulting in long-lasting hydration.

The mask has a gel-like consistency and it is very lightweight so, unlike some masks, it doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin. Not much product is needed to cover the entire face and, although the product feels quite tacky when applied, it absorbs in smoothly after 20 minutes.

Like all hydrating face masks, the Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Masque is designed for dry and dehydrated skin - however it also works well on oily and normal skin types. This mask does everything it promises - it has you waking up with soft and ultra-hydrated skin that lasts. It also contains 125ml worth of product, so you'll be in hydration heaven for a very long time!

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

Promise: “This facial mask delivers an intensely moisturising, cleansing and antioxidising treatment. It is the ultimate solution for spots and blemishes”
Price: £21.99/$39.00 60ml 

Using 100% natural ingredients, the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask not only hydrates the skin, it heals it. It contains a base of Manuka Honey, an ingredient native to New Zealand. Manuka honey is famous for its powerful healing properties - so much so that Māori people have been using it in this way for centuries!

The mask has a very thin, creamy consistency that glides onto the skin easily! It smells sooo good, however if you don't like the smell of honey, you sure as hell won't feel the same! It makes skin super-soft, plump and very hydrated. And, thanks to the healing properties in manuka honey, this mask helps to treat acne and skin damage. In fact, many people recommend using this mask as an emergency sport treatment, as it reduces redness and pimple size!

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Mask

Promise: “The infusing texture of Hydraphase Intense Mask envelopes the skin in a thermal bath and releases high-performance hydrating ingredients [Hyaluronic Acid Fragments] to immediately infuse and retain water in the skin for optimal hydration”
Price: £15.50/$30.00 50ml 
Purchase: /

The Hydraphase Intense Mask is perfect for those with sensitive skin - which is no surprise considering it comes from sensitive skin saviours, La Roche-Posay. It has a lotion consistency and is very lightweight - which is great for getting in and around the eyebrows (an area prone to dryness). Unlike the other masks featured, this one isn't supposed to be washed off. After 10 minutes, you just have to remove the excess product with a tissue or cotton pad.

It hydrates a little less then the other contenders here, however it is the ultimate treatment for dry and flaky skin. So much so that I would say it smooths more than it soaks! Regular use of this winter wonder will keep your flaky skin and dry patches at bay...I promise!


Monday, 27 January 2014

The Beauty Myth: Expensive Skincare Products Are Better Than Cheap Ones

Verdict: False
Expensive Skincare Products Are Better Than Cheap Ones
There are expensive skincare products that are highly effective and there are those that are, quite frankly, s**t. The truth is, the effectiveness of a product depends on the ingredients and formulations used and, both expensive and affordable products can be well formulated and contain beneficial ingredients. Furthermore, certain products can work well for some people but not for others. So a product's effectiveness is also dependent on individual skin types and skincare desires.

Now, regardless of cost, you should ask the following questions when considering purchasing any skincare product:
  • Does it suit your skin type?
  • Will it address your skin concern?
  • Is it making any claims? If so, are there any trails to support those claims?
  • Does it contain any harmful ingredients?
  • Is is packed full of beneficial ingredients?
  • Has it received good reviews?

And it is the answers to these questions that will indicate whether or not a product will work for you - not the price tag!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Weekly Worship: Anti-Puff Pads À La Puffy!

DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips

Price: £6.95 / $9.00


Pre-party preparation is an important factor in the lead up to a big event. Judging by the photo below, no one understands this more than P.Diddy.

In the run-up to the Golden Globes, the hip hop superstar was spotted rocking some hydrating eye strips - puffy was clearly de-puffing.

I was intrigued to find out what the fuss was all about, so I got my hands on the DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips. These little strips of joy are amazing and I can completely understand why P.Diddy includes something similar in his beauty routine!

DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips review

The DHC strips are the perfect pick-me-ups for your peepers! They moisturise, hydrate and  reduce the appearance of fine lines. These gel based strips also apply easily, fit comfortably on the eye area and, most importantly, don't slide off the face! DHC recommend leaving the strips on for 15-20 minutes, however you will see even better results if you leave them on overnight.

What really makes these strips worthy of worship is the amazing cooling sensation they provide. It de-puffs the eyes and reduce redness - it feels amazing too!


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Review: Bioderma Photoderm Ski SPF 50+

Bioderma Photoderm Ski SPF 50+

The Promise: "Maximum high altitude photoprotection for face and lips, for intolerant skin types"

The Price: £10.00 / $25.00 20ml

The Stockist: /

The Application: The Photoderm Ski is a 2-in-1 face and lip protector, made up of a cream and a stick. It is designed for life on the ski slopes, helping to protect skin from the affects of high altitudes and cold weather conditions. If you don't already know, high altitudes, intense sunlight and freezing temperatures on the slopes can leave skin dry, sun damaged, cracked and sore. So it is important to keep your skin as protected as possible.

The cream has a SPF50+, as well as a lightweight consistency and nourishing texture that creates a strong protective barrier on the skin. As well as preventing the skin from harsh UV rays, this strong protective barrier prevents skin from becoming dried out and/or dehydrated. It applies effortlessly and is absorbed into the skin very quickly. It also has a lovely, sweet (but subtle) scent.

The stick is my favourite part of the Photoderm Ski. It has an unbelievably creamy consistency, which makes for a smooth and gentle application - a must when applying products to sore lips. It also has a unique texture, which has been specially designed to prevent chapping. The stick is flavourless, however, like the cream, it has a sweet but subtle scent.

The Results: The cream does a great job at keeping skin protected for a prolonged amount of time. More importantly, unlike other sun creams, skin remains hydrated and smooth during application and  a long time after!

The stick is great for keeping lips soft, hydrated, and protected from cold weather conditions. It also helps to heal cracked lips and improve lip texture. In addition, the protection lasts a really long time - which is rare for a lip balm.

What is really interesting about the Photoderm Ski is that both the cream and stick have been specially formulated to withstand the cold (up to -10°), wind, snow, and high altitude. You often find SPF creams that protect against extremely hot conditions, however you rarely find those that protect against extremely cold ones!

Bioderma Photoderm Ski Review

The Pro: What makes Photoderm Ski SPF 50+ really special is the stick. It keeps lips well protected and ultra-nourished for a prolonged amount of time.

The Con: There is only 20ml of cream - which isn't much considering that you would need to apply the product more than once a day. However it would last at least a week and, considering the average skiing trip is only a week long, £10.00 for an entire week of great sun protection isn't that bad!

Are you a fan of Bioderma? Have you tried any other products from the brand that you would recommend?


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Striking Shadow

Even the the most striking, highly pigmented eyeshadow can appear dull or different in colour when applied to the skin. However there is a foolproof way of ensuring that an eyeshadow stands out and remains vibrant at all times. Now one trick is to wet the brush before applying the eyeshadow, however creating a white base on the eyelid is even more effective.

Using a white eye pencil, simply cover the entire eyelid - blending the colour out into the other areas you may want to apply eyeshadow. Once this is done, just apply your eyeshadow as normal.

Any white eye pencil will do, however I would recommend the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk 5g (£9.00 / $4.49 ULTA). It is soft, easily blendable and is double the size of a standard eye pencil - enabling you to apply the product quickly, without pulling on the eye area too much.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Weekly Worship: Skin3

Skin3 London

Last week, I received the most amazing facial at Skin3. I will share all of the details in an upcoming review, however I was so impressed with the salon itself, that I thought it deserved a little bit of weekly worship.

Skin3 is the perfect destination for all things beauty. This top London salon offers a variety of treatments carried out by beauty experts. And not just any experts, experts that are very  passionate and knowledgeable about health, skin and beauty.

What I love most about this salon is the three-fold approach to results oriented skincare. Skin3 call this 'Feed, Fortify and Finish' - the idea that great skin isn't just achieved through the use of topical products, but through what you put into the body and how you enhance skin using colour cosmetics.

There are also many  treatments on offer, including:
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Hair removal
  • Spray tanning
  • Massages
  • Makeovers
  • Skincare consultations
  • Facials


Throughout my Skin3 visit I felt comfortable, pampered and really well looked after. I was given amazing skincare advice and great beauty tips that were targeted towards my skin type and beauty needs. I really enjoyed the whole experience and couldn't worship this beauty haven more!

If you are a London-based gal in need of a beauty fix, you can find Skin3 at 41 Fairfax Rd, London NW6 4EL.


Friday, 17 January 2014

News: Clarins Launch Opalescence Collection

Spring collections always get me going and Opalescence, the spring 2014 offering from Clarins, is no exception. Delicate, romantic makeup is here and this complexion-enhancing range couldn't be more gorgeous. The collection includes a wide range of products - everything from brightening bases and blushers to lipsticks and mascara. Corals, pinks, greys and plums make up the colour palette and these shades compliment each other beautifully.

The Opalescence collection will be available next month from counters nationwide, as well as and Prices will start at £17.00/$22.00.

Clarins Opalescence Collection

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Tuesday Tip: A Spoon Full Of Makeup

A plastic spoon is an essential picnic hamper accessory, however did you know it is a great makeup bag accessory too? Well it is! And, when you hear this tip, you won't throw one away again!

A plastic spoon provides the perfect protection against mascara mishaps. All you have to do is place the spoon underneath or above the eye (spoon side down) whilst applying mascara to the lashes. Keeping the spoon in place will stop mascara getting onto the skin around the eyes and will enable you to get a thicker coat on your lashes. You could even place the spoon underneath your eye (spoon side up) to catch any fallout!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Weekly Worship: Sepai Restart

Sepai Restart Serum
Price: £120.00 

Stockists: Selfridges

Over the past few months I have been hearing a lot about Sepai skincare. Last week I finally got my hands on some products and, let me just say, this brand may be the best thing to come out of Spain since Zara.

Of all the great Serpai products I've tried so far, my favourite has to be the Restart Serum. It is an oil free anti-ageing serum that promises to provide a more youthful and glowing appearance, immediately and  over time. It is packed with 27 active ingredients that synergistically target the deepest layers of the skin with five actions; cellular longevity, energy recharge, protein activation, tissue consolidation and environmental defence.

The Restart Serum has an incredibility thin gel texture that leaves a matte finish on the skin. It has a really subtle scent and absorbs into the skin quickly. After a week of using the serum daily, my skin feels absolutely amazing and I have a lovely subtle glow. I think I might be addicted...


Interview: Charlotte Vohtz

There is nothing I love more than a female entrepreneur who brings something special to the beauty world. So you can imagine why I love Charlotte Vohtz. She is the founder of Green People, an organic beauty brand that was born out of Charlotte's desire to help treat her daughter's eczema and severe allergies.

Charlotte is an inspirational business woman, a great mother and a fantastic advocate of natural and organic living. She took some time out of her packed beauty schedule to talk all things beauty. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

Charlotte Vohtz Green People Founder

What inspired you to work in the beauty industry? And how did your career journey begin?

My young daughter Sandra was my initial inspiration to start Green People. Sandra had very sensitive skin and was plagued with eczema. In 1994 I began searching for natural products that didn't contain harsh chemical. I found that, despite various marketing claims, there weren't any truly natural and organic beauty products on the market. This led me on an exciting journey of researching and formulating truly organic, natural products that would help Sandra and everyone else suffering with skin sensitivities.

What is your career highlight?

When, after several attempts to push for organic certification of beauty products both in Denmark and the UK, The Soil Association invited me to join the committee to help form the Organic Beauty Standards.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the beauty industry?

Spend time planning because with good planning you are halfway there. Treat the budgets for the business as a slightly larger household budget and never put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t take no for an answer and never ever give up!

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

Leslie Kenton who rurally was 'there' for natural before anyone else. She heavily promoted healthy eating and living many years ago.

What are your makeup bag essentials?

I travel light when it comes to makeup. The combination of serum and oil is ideal as a primer and I can’t live without Green People's Pressed Mineral Powder SPF15. Caramel Medium is my favourite colour as it creates a sun-kissed look. The ‘all day’ volumising and conditioning mascara is another makeup bag essential - it lengthens and loads lashes without smudging.

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Using chemicals on their child’s skin – up to 60% of what you apply on the skin is absorbed straight into the blood stream.

What is your top beauty tip?

Get your beauty sleep, go juicing and add quality supplements to your diet. I swear by Green People's Green Beauty with Astaxanthin and my favourite breakfast is a fresh juice of two carrots, one apple, ginger and a dash of lemon.

Green People Collection

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush

Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush

The Promise: "This brush is the key for creating a natural finish by expertly blending bronzer or finishing powder".

The Price: £12.99 / $13.00

The Stockist: Boots /

The Review: Retractable makeup brushes are a godsend, however many on the market are lacking in quality. However, this is not the case with the Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush.

The brush itself is a duo fibre stippling brush that is completely synthetic - no animal cruelty here! However, don't be put off by the synthetic hairs - this brush is really dense, soft to the touch and creates a really smooth application. It is designed for use with both bronzer and face powder.

This brush provides an even, natural-looking finish. You can apply an adequate amount of powder without looking at all cakey, and a good amount of bronzer without looking like an Oompa-Loompa.

The retractable function of the brush is quick and easy to use. When you are finished with the brush, you just pull up the inner part of the tube and pop on the lid. The lid stays in place securely, protecting the brush from germs and dirt that may be lurking in your handbag.

 Real Techniques Retractable Brush

The Pro: The perfectly designed case keeps the brush as clean as possible. This is a huge (and essential) benefit considering this brush is used to create a flawless base! 

The Con: I can't find fault with this brush, I absolutely love it! However, if I had  to choose a con, it would be the brush's thick handle. It is not as comfortable to use as other (non retractable) brushes.

PR sample

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Naturally Fake

Making false eyelashes look as natural as possible can be a difficult task, however there is one quick trick that will take them from fake to flawless. The trick is to gently apply mascara after applying the false lashes.

Many people advise applying mascara before the lashes, however I often find that this makes application more difficult. The mascara makes the natural lashes stiffer, causing them to be inflexible during application.

Applying mascara after fake lashes enables the lashes to blend in more seamlessly with your natural lashes. It can also help to disguise any accidental gaps between your natural lash line and the fake lash line.

I would also advise using false eyelashes with a thin and flexible lash line. This will enable you to get as close to your own lash line as possible and will help the false lashes blend in even more effortlessly. The easiest eyelashes to apply are the super affordable Ardell Natural lashes (£3.98 Sally / $3.99 Ulta).

Ardell Demi Wispies

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Weekly Worship: Helena Rubinstein Biography

Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty

Price: £8.99 / $12.80

Stockists: Waterstones /

Being a true lover of all things beauty, it wasn't at all surprising that I received many beauty related gifts during the holiday season. Of all the wonderful things I received, the biography of beauty legend Helena Rubinstein, has to be my favourite.

Helena Rubinstein was a pioneer, entrepreneur and rags-to-riches success story. She is regarded, by some, as the woman who invented modern beauty.

Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty, written by Michéle Fitoussi, documents Helena Rubinstein's amazing life; packed full of adventures, dramas and remarkable achievements. Fitoussi describes Helena's life and personality with great detail and obvious admiration, presenting some wonderful photographs along the way.

Since finishing the first page, I have not been able to put this book down. Helena Rubinstein's story is inspirational and more interesting than I could have imagined. If you love beauty, you will love  this book.

Helena Rubinstein Biography


Friday, 3 January 2014

Interview: Nicky Clarke OBE

There is not a hair-obsessed girl around who hasn't heard of styling legend Nicky Clarke. Mr Clarke is regarded by journalists as 'the world’s most newsworthy hairdresser'. He is a personal stylist to the stars - royalty included - and runs his own, hugely successful, hair care brand.

Nicky also owns four fabulous salons across the UK and, even though his career spans over 35 years, he still researches new techniques and products. So it's kind of easy to understand why he's revered as the best in the business.

Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to interview Nicky on all things hair. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

Nicky Clarke OBE

What inspired you to work in the hairdressing industry? And how did your career journey begin?

From a very young age I was interested in hairdressing. I used to practice on my whole family every chance I could get.

My first job was as a junior with Leonard’s of Mayfair when I was 14 years old. I knew of Leonard as the man who gave Twiggy the look that made her famous and I was in awe of him. I was paid £12 a week and I worked for many stylists at the salon before I graduated to assisting Leonard himself. It was my first big break and I grabbed it with both hands. I worked long hours but I loved it; opportunities like this were rare then. I knew it was my vocation and, since that first day, I have never stopped.

What is your career highlight?

There have been so many wonderful moments in my career, however I would say receiving an OBE from the Queen, for services to the hairdressing industry was a truly honourable moment in my life. It is a moment I shall never forget.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?

To be successful within this industry you have to be passionate about what you do. Hairdressing is a real art form, so being creative and hardworking will get you far. The harder you try, the luckier you get!

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

From the sheer beauty side of things, the likes of Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz are difficult to beat!

What are your hair and beauty essentials?

My hero product is my Nicky Clarke Hair Raising Spray. I take it everywhere with me and I have used it at fashion shows, photo shoots and within my own salons. It is my favourite pre-styling product as it gives substantial lift before blow-drying and helps you to create your desired shape.
Nicky Clarke Hair Raising Spray
What is the biggest hair crime a person can commit?

Overusing products is the ultimate hair crime. Some people think that the more you use, the greater your hair will look. This is not the case; overusing a product can leave your hair more greasy and less manageable. It is key to remember that, when it comes to using products, you can build but you can’t take off.

I also tend to find that a lot of people do not wash their hair properly. You really need to rinse out all of the residue left from shampoos and conditioners. The cheaper varieties contain agents that make you believe your hair is smoother and silkier when washing. However, once the hair is dry, these agents will leave residue on the hair that can build up, causing dank, lack lustra locks. So always rinse until the water is clear and the hair is squeaky!

What is your top hair tip?

Having a regular trim is very important to maintaining healthy and glossy hair. The hair that grows out of your scalp is healthy. The further it moves away from the scalp, the more it is exposed to ‘the elements’. If you are washing and conditioning every day, you are stripping your hair of protein. Straightening and/or blow drying every day, as well as overusing products, can strip your hair - slowly (but surely!) causing damage. By having regular trims every 12 weeks, you are ensuring that the oldest, and most damaged parts are trimmed away. Regular trims also ensure that any split ends are immediately taken care of. If left alone, they can get worse and damage the hair ore by splitting further up the shaft. Each hair does not grow at exactly the same rate, so having regular trims will ensure your cut and style stays even.

Nicky Clarke Hair Care

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Beauty Myth: Crossing Your Legs Will Cause Varicose Veins

Verdict: False 

Varicose veins - those ugly twisted veins that seem to bulge out of your legs - are not, and have never been, caused by crossing your legs.

Varicose veins are a result of weakened valves in the veins of your legs. Healthy valves keep blood flowing around the body. When these valves stop working, blood collects in your legs and pressure builds up - resulting in weak, large, and twisted veins (aka varicose veins).

A variety of factors cause weakened valves, including age, pregnancy and obesity. Simple genetics also play a big role, so I would just sit back and relax...with you legs crossed!

Crossing Your Legs Will Cause Varicose Veins


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Oprah

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right”

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