Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Jean Harlow

“When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”

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Monday, 24 February 2014

News: Urban Retreat Launch Skincare Collection

After twelve years of pampering and preening women and providing them with some of the world's finest beauty products, Urban Retreat has finally created its own skincare collection.

The range has been driven by Reena Hammer, Urban Retreat's Creative & Brand Director. Reena helped develop the range when she noticed the Urban Retreat Facial was missing a core range of products that could be used by Urban Retreats clients as part of their prescribed after care by a therapist.

The Urban Retreat collection features seven essential skincare products that can be used as daily home care solutions for all skin types. This includes a face oil, eye gel, lip treatment, moisturiser, cleanser, mask and exfoliator. Products are formulated with natural, bio-active ingredients which include lavender, rose geranium and ylang ylang.

The range will launch in March 2014 and will be available at Urban Retreat at Harrods, Urban Retreat Smithfield and online at The Urban Retreat Beautique.
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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ingredients 101: Glycolic Acid



Caudalie Glycolic Peel review

Natural or Synthetic: Both

The Science: Glycolic acid is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). It can be derived from natural sources, such as sugar cane, pineapple and unripe grapes, however it is often made synthetically through a catalysed reaction of formaldehyde with synthesis gas.

Beauty Benefits: Glycolic acid is a great exfoliant due to its excellent capability to penetrate skin. It makes skin softer and smoother and long-term use of skincare products that contain glycolic acid has been found to help treat acne and remove wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. In addition to treating pigmentation, glycolic acid has also been shown to reduce the appearance of scars.

Warnings: Glycolic acid, like all AHAs, can cause temporary redness - long lasting redness if a high concentration of glycolic acid is used. This acid can also cause irritation, dry patches, flaking and peeling. For these reasons it is always strongly advised that skin treated with glycolic acid is moisturised - and protected with an SPF - following treatment.

Found in: The Caudalie Glycolic Peel 75ml (£22.00 feelunique.com / $39.00 Sephora). This glycolic acid-based mask has a creamy, thick consistency and smooth texture that applies very easily. It rinses off quickly and leaves skin radiant and soft. Unlike most acid-based masks or exfoliators, the Caudalie Glycolic Peel doesn't leave skin feeling dry or tight once removed. I'm obsessed with this mask and use it once a week to keep my skin perky and problem-free!

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Friday, 21 February 2014

Weekly Worship: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On


Price: £14.00 / $29.00 15ml

Stockist: Boots / ULTA

I have a slight obsession with hydrating skincare products, particularly those designed for the eye area. I suffer from dehydration around my eyes and it effects the way concealer applies and lasts. So, I am always on the hunt for the perfect hydrating eye product...and I think I may have found it.

The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On is a highly effective eye serum. It has a very fine gel texture that feels weightless on the skin. It comes equipped with a roll-on ball applicator which makes application really easy. The ball is metal and feels cold each time it touches the skin - this, along with the cooling sensation of the serum itself, feels amazing and  helps to reduce puffiness.


Its not just the de-puffing that earns the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On worship this week, this eye serum also does an amazing job at deeply hydrating the eye area - helping to correctly prep it for subsequent makeup application and reduce dehydration lines. What's more, it is paraben free and it safe for use on sensitive skins.

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ask TBI: Mastering The Messy Fishtail Braid

faux fishtail braid

Question: I am obsessed with the messy fishtail braid but I am not that great at styling my hair. Is there a simple way of doing it? - Georgie, Minneapolis.

Answer: Like you, I am obsessed with the messy fishtail braid. The sad truth is there is no easy way of doing it - it is simply a case of practice makes perfect. If you really want to master the messy fishtail, the gorgeous Lauren Conrad gives a simple and very  helpful tutorial here.

Alternatively you could start rocking the faux fishtail braid instead. It looks very similar to the messy fishtail braid, however it can be achieved in about 5 minutes! You just need to know how to do a standard braid (if you don't how, find out here).

To get yourself a faux fishtail braid, simply follow these easy steps:
  1. Bring all of your hair round to one side and split it into three equal parts
  2. Braid the hair as you normally would, however before crossing over each section of hair, twist the hair tightly all the way to the very bottom. Twisting each section tightly is key to creating the faux fishtail look
  3. Continue twisting each section of hair as you go until the braid is complete
  4. Tie the braid with a small clear band and then mess it up any way you know how (your aim is to create a 'I slept in this braid' look!)
You may find the faux fishtail braid more effective if you have blonde (typically highlighted) hair, as this colouring adds even more texture to the braid.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Ali MacGraw

“It's not so much what do I want to be doing in 15 years, it's how I want to be in 15 years”


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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

News: Fashionable Fingernails

Britain's favourite nail brand, Nails Inc., has collaborated with three of the best emerging British designers to create a limited edition capsule collection.

Nails Inc Emerging British Designer Collaboration

The new collection, that launched in time for London Fashion Week, features thee nail polishes created by up-and-coming British designers Teatum JonesEmma Shipley and David Longshaw. The first polish is Sloane Street, an almost-neon hot pink designed by Teatum Jones. The second is Colville Mews, the perfect nude deigned by Emma Shipley and the third is Hallam Street, a dusky purple designed by David Longshaw. And, if the polishes weren't pretty enough, check out the beautiful packaging - those boxes are for keeps, am I right??

The collection is available at nailsinc.com, with each polish costing £12.00 / $11.00. As this is a limited edition collection, the polishes will only be available for six weeks or while stocks last.

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Ingredients 101: Green Tea

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Green tea is extracted from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis (a species of plant used to produce some of the world's most popular teas).

Location: The tea making plant, Camellia Sinensis, is native to East, South and Southeast Asia, however it is now cultivated across the world in various tropical and subtropical regions.

Beauty Benefits: Green tea is rich in antioxidants that protect and repair the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals (click here to find out what antioxidants are). Green tea also contains methylxanthines that stimulates skin microcirculation - positively influencing the tone and health of the skin. Green tea also helps to promote collagen production, which in turn firms the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. If that is not enough, green tea is also a great anti-inflammatory agent.

Warnings: Green tea is safe to use topically.

Found in: Odacité Mint & Green Tea Purifying Toner 120ml ($37.00 odacite.com) - a certified organic toner effectively reduces the appearance of acne breakouts!

Odacité Mint & Green Tea Purifying Toner
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Friday, 14 February 2014

News: Rita & Rimmel


Rimmel London has finally unveiled its new Colour Rush Lip & Nail Collections, created by none other than Brit beauty Rita Ora. The 60 Seconds Nail Polish collection (£3.69 / $6.16 each) includes 12 bright and neutral shades which have all been created and named by the singer. In an OPI type fashion, nail polish names include Let’s Get Nude, Blindfold Me Blue, Pillow Talk, Breakfast in Bed, Rita Rouge and Oragasm.
The Lasting Finish Colour Rush Balm collection (£5.99 / $10.48 each) features five beautiful pink shades, including Make Me Blush and I Want Candy, Boom Chic A Boom, All You Need is Pink and Viva Violet.

The Rita Ora Colour Rush Lip & Nail Collection will be available nationwide from the 19th of March, so the wait is almost over...

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Raquel Welch

“I couldn't stand that my husband was being unfaithful. I am Raquel Welch - understand?”


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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Weekly Worship: Organix Biotin and Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner

Organix Biotin and Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner

Price: £6.99 / $5.74 385ml

Stockist: Boots Walmart

This week's worship is going to two recently discovered hair heroes, Organix Biotin and Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner. They promise to provide thicker, fuller and healthier looking hair and, for the most part, I would agree.

I have disgustingly fine hair and find that using this shampoo and conditioner together makes my hair soft, bouncy and full of volume. Unlike other volumizing hair products, these two don't dry out my hair, which is a big bonus.

The Biotin and Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner don't seem to make my hair that much thicker, however the volume they provide is pretty amazing - especially considering the affordable price tag!

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Ingredients 101: Chia Seeds

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Chia seeds come from a species of flowing plant in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.

Location: Chia seeds are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Beauty Benefits: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the skin cell membrane of the epidermis and improve the texture and quality of the skin. Chia seeds are also anti-inflammatory and ultra-moisturising - they also help to reduce redness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Warnings: Using chia seed oil topically is completely safe.

Found in: One Love Organics Supercritical Chia 15ml (£39.00 oneloveorganics.eu / $49.00 oneloveorganics.com). This face oil absorbs quickly, moisturising and smoothing skin instantly!

One Love Organics Supercritical Chia Oil
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Friday, 7 February 2014

The Beauty Myth: You Should Cut Your Cuticles

Verdict: False

Your cuticles are there for a reason - and a good one at that. They protect the developing nail and surrounding skin from bacteria, so cutting your cuticles is definitely not  a good idea. Cutting your cuticles will heavily increase the chance of infection and infections in and around the nail bed are not only unsightly, they are very painful.

If you are a true cuticle hater, try pushing them back with a cuticle pusher - I find steel cuticle pushers the easiest and most effective type to use. If your cuticles are too dry, hard or tricky to push back, try using a cuticle cream or cuticle oil to soften them. I recommend the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil 15ml (£11.50 Liberty / $8.50 ULTA). It is hydrating, nourishing and it smells amazing too!

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review: Environ® Active Vitamin Treatment Facial

Skin3 London

The Promise: "The freshest, most active forms of Vitamin A, C and antioxidants are driven deep into the lower layers of the skin using state-of-the-art technology. This scientific approach stimulates collagen, softens lines and improves elasticity while increasing hydration and boosting radiance".

The Price: £144 (which includes a £65 Skin Analysis Consultation)

The Place: Skin3, 41 Fairfax Road, Swiss Cottage, London NW6 4EL

Key Products Used: Environ AVST Pre-Cleansing Oil, Environ AVST Moisturising Toner, Environ Serum C-Quel and Alginate Masque.

Environ Skincare

The Treatment: The Environ® Active Vitamin Treatment began with a skin analysis consultation, in which I discussed my lifestyle, beauty habits and skin care concerns and desires with a skincare consultant. I then had to pop my face inside a high-tech camera. One side of my face was photographed and the image was then sent to a connected computer for analysis. The computer analysed every inch of my skin, examining everything from sun damage and pigmentation to ageing and texture. The consultant then went through the results thoroughly, advising me on how best to treat the parts of my skin that are not in great condition. The result of this analysis was also important in determining which Environ products were going to be used throughout my facial.

The facial began with a deep cleanse and exfoliation. A treatment gel was then applied using a ceramic-headed probe. This handheld machine provides a special combination of sound waves and electrical pulses to areas of the face or neck where intensive treatment is needed. The machine increases the absorption of the active ingredients there to help reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, scars or pigment blemishes. It provided a tingling sensation but was not at all painful or uncomfortable.

What followed was a face mask like no other; a thick, heavy mask that transformed into rubber as it began to dry. The mask covered my entire face, including my eyes and mouth. The only area of my face that was exposed was my nostrils - I mean, I had  to breathe! Then, to make things a little more unique, a pulsed electrical current was sent through my body to maximise the benefits of the mask. The current is designed to facilitate greater penetration of the vitamins within the mask, helping to restore and/or maintain healthy, more youthful looking skin. This may sound dangerous but it was completely painless - the only sensation I felt was a light tingling across my skin. After 20 minutes the machine was turned off and the mask was easily removed. The treatment was finished with the application of an Environ day cream and antioxidant suncream.

The Results: My skin looked bright and fresh the minute I left Skin3, however the results really kicked in a couple of days after the facial. My skin had a lovely texture and I noticed that it was more radiant and plump. Pigmentation had also been reduced! In the weeks that followed the treatment, skincare products were applying more easily and I received many complements on the condition of my skin.

I was also able to take the information gathered during the skin analysis and apply it to my everyday life. I could finally ensure that I was eating the right foods and applying the correct products to help treat my visible and non-visible skin damage.

Environ® Active Vitamin Treatment Review

The Pro: The facial wasn't just relaxing and skin enhancing, it was also educational! I left Skin3 feeling more clued-up about the true state of my skin and the most effective ways to treat it.

The Con: The mask application was a little unnerving. Although the procedure was perfectly safe and supervised, I felt a tiny bit uncomfortable having my eyes and mouth covered.
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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Lauren Bacall

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that”


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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Weekly Worship: Neova DNA Total Repair

Neova DNA Total Repair

Price: £79.00 / $99.00 50ml

Stockist: Selfridges / skinstore.com

It is hard to walk through a department store or drug store without seeing products claiming to repair damaged skin. Many of them promise to clear up visible signs of damage (e.g. reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness and pigmentation), however the effects are often short lived or non-existent. This is where Neova DNA Total Repair comes in...

This lightweight serum claims to use a cutting-edge formula that "effectively helps to 'clean up' the damaging visible effects of photo exposure before it becomes permanent". The formula contains powerful ingredients, including photolysomes and mitosomes (both DNA repair enzymes), that help to repair damaged DNA in skin cells. This repair leads to significant improvement in the visible signs of skin damage, including fine lines, wrinkles and discolouration (in particular brown spots).

DNA Total Repair

These impressive claims couldn't be more accurate. The DNA Total Repair works incredibly well and I have seen improvements in others' skin, as well as my own. It keeps to its promise of reducing signs of damage as, after only a few weeks of using this product, I have noticed a reduction in the appearance of fine lines. However that is not the best benefit - this serum's greatest strength is the positive effect it has on pigmentation. It helps to even skin tone and brighten brown spots - some people have actually found that this serum removes brown spots completely!

Neova DNA Total Repair Review

The serum has a lightweight, gel-like consistency which applies effortlessly. It absorbs very quickly and doesn't feel at all tacky on the face. It provides the most refreshing, cooling sensation when applied and it seems to hydrate skin instantly. Another benefit is the packaging - the airtight container and pump ensure that oxygen only reaches the product when it leaves the bottle. This helps to prevent the serum oxidising - stripping it of all its benefits.

Now, the DNA Total Repair is a little on the expensive side, however it just has to be worshipped. It couldn't be more worth the money!

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