Saturday, 31 May 2014

Faithful Four: Eye Heroes

Best eye creams

Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream

Promise: “Natural ingredients in their active state encourage the skin to self heal, ultimately firming and rehydrating the delicate area around the eyes. Promotes collagen production while brightening skin, eliminating dark circles and reducing under-eye puffiness”
Price: £90.00 / $120 15ml
Purchase: Space NK / Barneys

The Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream is the perfect all-rounder as it hydrates, soothes, de-puffs, primes and reduces the appearance of fine lines. So, although it may come with a massive price tag, it does come with massive benefits.

This nourishing eye cream contains Environment Protective Complex, Aescin and Ascorbyl Glucoside, which work together to lighten dark circles, improve microcirculation, reduce puffiness and defend against environmental damage. The cream has a thin, milky texture that seems to moisturise and hydrate the eye area the second it's applied. It absorbs quickly, leaving skin with a firm, silicone-feeling surface that primes the eye area for makeup application. This luxury eye cream hydrates and primes the eye area so well that, since using it, my concealer has been applying more smoothly and has a crease-free finish - a big bonus in my beauty book!

The Nourish Eye Cream also provides a cooling effect when applied, which not only feels incredibly soothing but is great for de-puffing those pesky puffy eyes!

Colbert MD Nourish Eye Cream Review

Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum

Promise: “Keeping your eyes looking youthful requires intensive, proven care. This luxurious, corrective and potent anti-aging eye serum uses targeted eye care technology to help counteract the appearance of visible aging signs all around the delicate eye area in just one use”
Price: £95.00 / $130.00 15ml
Purchase: House of Fraser /

This eye serum is a real anti-ageing hero. It combines idebenone - the most powerful anti-ageing antioxidant, with a blend of arazine and thiotaine. Idebenone shields skin from environmental damage, helps to support the skin’s natural repair process and restores a more youthful appearance. Arazine soothes skin and helps to reduce signs of ageing caused by inflammation, while thiotaine protects skin from environmental damage. All of these ingredients work together to create some pretty impressive results. 30 minutes after first applying the Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum, I noticed a few of my fine lines were less obvious. However, it was only after using this product for over a month that I realised just how good it was. Now, it didn't permanently delete all of the lines around my eyes - I mean that would be impossible - however many fine lines disappeared and deeper creases were less apparent. The serum also contains tiny, light reflecting shimmer particles that helped to conceal my dark circles - an added bonus!

In case you're wondering, the PREVAGE® Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum has a lightweight, lotion-like texture that is packaged in a long, narrow tube. It also has a handy pump that dispenses the perfect amount of product in just one press!

Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Eye Serum Review

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On

Promise: “Fortifying and soothing serum for dehydrated & sensitive skin. With mineral-rich Vichy Thermal Water, Hyaluronic Acid and Aquabioryl™. 24Hr hydration, skin feels more comfortable and protected”
Price: £14.00 / $29.00 15ml
Purchase: Boots / ULTA

The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On is best for gals on a budget and, although it is the cheapest on the list, it is my favourite to apply. It has a fine gel texture that feels weightless on the skin - almost like a water-based serum for the eyes. It comes equipped with a roll-on ball applicator which makes application super easy and mess-free. The ball is metal and feels cold every time it touches the skin. This not only feels amazing but helps to reduce any puffiness around the eyes!

The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On does an amazing job at deeply hydrating the eye area - thanks to it's hero ingredient, sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid and it can deeply penetrate the skin and hold onto water - 1,000 times its weight in water to be exact! So you won't be surprised to hear that this is my go-to product when my eyes feel really dry and dehydrated.

Like all Vichy products, this hydrating hero is paraben free and it safe for use on sensitive skin.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Eye Roll-On Review

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream

Promise: “This double-action gel-cream reduces dark circles and smoothes the area around the eyes and lips. Its "Polyphenol + Vitamin C" anti-oxidant, anti-wrinkle formula is enriched with Matrixyl 3000 and fern, horse chestnut, liquorice and witch hazel extracts. Instant tightening, smoothing and moisturizing”
Price: £26.00 / $49.00 15ml
Purchase: / Sephora

The Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream is part of Caudalie’s Polyphenol Range, an antioxidant-packed collection that provides 100% protection against free-radicals. This level of protection is essential for the eye area, as this part of the face is often the first to show signs of damage and premature ageing.

This fragrance-free and paraben-free eye cream is very light in texture but feels beautifully rich when applied. What makes it so different from the other eye products featured, aside from the 100% protection against free radicals it provides, is that it has dual-purpose. This product is also designed for use on the lips, so it helps to treat those pesky fine lines that form around the mouth with age.

The Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream is also amazing because of the packaging it comes in. It features a very narrow nozzle which ensures that only a tiny amount of product is dispensed when the tube is squeezed. This is great as so many people apply too much eye cream and waste too much product.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream Review

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ingredients 101: Pineapple Fruit Extract

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: You won't be shocked to learn that pineapple fruit extract is sourced from a pineapple - a tropical fruit which is grown in Southeast Asia and South America.

Beauty Benefits: Pineapple is an interesting ingredient because it contains bromelain, amino acids, alpha-hydroxy acids and  high levels of vitamin C. Bromelain (an enzyme) softens skin and helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, while amino acids help to keep skin hydrated, healthy and firm. The alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) gently exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells to promote new cell regeneration and collagen formation. Vitamin C slows the rate of free-radical damage that causes dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. As well as slowing down the rate of damage that leads to premature ageing, vitamin C is a key component in the body's production of collagen - so it's the perfect component if you want to keep skin firm, strong and youthful!

Warnings: Pineapple Fruit Extract is considered safe to use topically.

Found in: One Love Organics Brand New Day 60ml (£34.00 / $39.00 - a powdered skin saviour transforms into a scrub or mask by just adding water! This multi-purpose must have gently exfoliates the skin to leave it cleansed, soft and bright.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Marian Anderson

“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might”


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Ice Ice Baby!

Ok, so this week's tip is a little unusual, however it works wonders on your skin...

It is called the Ice Cube Facial and - as you can probably guess - it involves massaging ice cubes into your face. This sounds a little crazy I know, however massaging ice cubes over your face helps to combat fat cells, fight wrinkles and acne and promote blood circulation.

The Ice Cube Facial is even more amazing because it costs nothing and is super simple to do. Just wrap two ice cubes in a paper towel or muslin cloth and then massage it all over your face until the ice cubes melt. Now, doing this may sound more torture than treat, however it will leave you with the most gorgeous, glowing skin. I promise!


Friday, 23 May 2014

News: Talk Beauty To Me!

For the past few weeks, Selfridges has been running an exciting beauty-focused project. It is called The Beauty Workshop - a six week programme designed to explore all areas of beauty, looking at everything from stereotypes and surgery to new products and the future of the industry. In addition to these hot topics, there will be a variety of beauty talks and masterclasses taking place - each of them hosted by beauty pioneers and industry leaders. It is looking to be the biggest British beauty event of the year and, by some miracle, I've managed to get myself involved!

On the June 11th, I will be joining Dermalogica to discuss whether or not the stereotypical notion of beauty really empowers women. Are women working in the beauty industry being exploited? Or actually just making money from an industry that makes women feel shitty about themselves? These are the types of questions we will be discussing and, as there are so many different views on the subject, it will be a very  interesting talk.

This Dermalogica discussion will take place on June 11th at The Salon. Click here for tickets if you want to get involved!!

Dermalogica The Beauty Workshop

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Mary Oliver

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift”


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Concealing Correctly

Do you ever feel that your dark circles are really visible, even after  applying concealer? Well, this may be a result of crappy concealer, or it could be down to how you are applying it...

Instead of applying concealer along the bottom of the eye (below left), try the Triangle Method (below right). The Triangle Method brightens the entire face and looks really natural - more importantly, this method guarantees maximum coverage with no mistakes!

Mastering this method couldn't be easier. Just apply concealer to the inner corner of the eye and bring it down to the nostril. Then take it across to the outer corner of the eye and back to the inner corner. The final step is to fill in the triangle you've just created and ensure that the concealer is completely blended!

My go-to concealer is the Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer (£23.00 John Lewis / $32.00 Sephora). This creamy, moisturising concealer applies effortlessly and hides dark circles and imperfections perfectly!


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Weekly Worship: Real Techniques Mini Brush Trio

Real Techniques Mini Brush Trio Review

Price: £9.99 / $10.00

Boots /

This week's worship is going to the new, unbelievably cute, Real Techniques Mini Brush Trio.

This gorgeous and ultra-handy new brush set includes:

  • Mini Foundation Brush - to apply and touch up liquid foundation or concealer
  • Mini Shading Brush - to apply eye shadow
  • Mini Face Brush - to apply powder bronzer and blush

These brushes make perfect handbag accessories, as they are small and lightweight and make great touch-up tools!

Although these mini brushes take a little while to get used to, they work just as well as their full-size sisters. Each of the brushes features a hand-cut head which allows for precise application, as well as plush, cruelty-free bristles that help create flawless, high-definition results.

What I love most about this trio is that they are each very adaptable. The face bush works really well with foundation, the foundation brush is great to applying highlighters and the shading brush is perfect for covering lips and blemishes.

Not bad for £9.99...


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Ingredients 101: Witch Hazel

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Witch hazel is an astringent that is produced from the leaves and bark of a Witch-hazel shrub

North America, China and Japan

Beauty Benefits: Witch hazel is commonly used in skincare products for its ability to treat acne. It does this by reducing inflammation and redness and decreasing excess oil production. As witch hazel is a mild and gentle astringent, it is works well for those with sensitive skin.

Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, enabling it to disinfect minor cuts and irritation, as well as treat puffy eyes, varicose veins, bruises, razor burns and sunburn. It is also commonly used to ease symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. If that is not enough, witch hazel is packed with antioxidants and makes a great moisturiser.

Warnings: Witch hazel is considered safe to use topically, however if you are pregnant or breast feeding, consult your doctor before using it.

Found in: Thayers Alcohol-Free Original Witch Hazel Toner 355ml (£7.00 / $9.95

Friday, 16 May 2014

News: John Gets A Job

John Galliano pissed off a lot of people in 2011 and, thankfully, he disappeared from the fashion world. The disgraced fashion designer was filmed shouting racist and anti-semitic comments in a Parisian café and, apparently, this wasn't the first time his racist mouth had run wild. This outburst lead to both Dior and his own label sacking his ass. French courts also sentencing him to pay a total of €6,000 in fines.

John Galliano Racist Rant

Sadly he is back.

It was reported yesterday that Galliano is entering the world of beauty. The rumours kicked off when Russian company, L’Etoile, featured an image of a newspaper on their website that featured the headline 'John is Back!'. Although full details aren't yet to be known, it is assumed that Galliano will be joining the company as Creative Director of its private-label cosmetics line.

Now, some people are happy for John Galliano's return and others are, understandably, pissed. What are your thoughts, does this fool deserve a second chance?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Behind The Brand: Gelish

Gelish logo

Date of Birth: 2009

Founder: Danny Haile

History: Gelish was founded in 2009 when Danny Haile, a veteran nail technician, decided to bridge the cap between gel polish and bottled nail polish. Haile's desire to redesign salon gel systems resulted in Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish - a gel polish that is packaged in a bottle with a brush, for an easy and efficient gel application.

Since its creation, Gelish has produced over 100 colours and is now available in over 80 salons worldwide. When it comes to creating top quality gel manicures and pedicures, Gelish really is the best brand for the job.

Gelish Once Upon A Dream

USP: Gelish was one of the first (and remains one of the few) brands to offer paint on/soak-off gel polish

Motto: "Performs like Gel, Applies like Polish"

Availability: Gelish is a salon only brand, however Gelish treatments are available in salons across the USA and the UK. To find your nearest Gelish salon, click here if you're stateside and here if you are based in Britain.


Price Points

Gelish Manicure: From £25.00 / $45.00

Gelish Pedicure: From £25.00 / $45.00

Gelish Brand Review

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Mae West

“I speak two languages, Body and English”


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Tuesday Tip: DIY Lymphatic Drainage Facial

If you don't know about lymphatic drainage facials, you need to. They reduce wrinkles and dark circles and  improve skin health. A lymphatic drainage facial works by increasing movement through the lymph node, filtering out waste products, dead cells, excess proteins and toxins from the tissues in our body.

Now a lymphatic drainage facial doesn't come cheap but, lucky for us, Urban Retreat's Head of Beauty, Victoria Battersby, has given the lowdown on doing it yourself! As Victoria explains, "Cleansing your own lymph nodes takes just a few minutes at the end of the day and will leave you feeling relaxed and detoxified".

Before you start your lymphatic drainage facial, ensure you are in a quiet space with no disturbances. It is important to remember to only stretch the skin very lightly, as the lymphatic vessels are sensitive elastic fibres just underneath the skin. Each movement should be repeated a total of 10 times and be sure to lift your hands off the skin after each so you are not simply moving the lymph node back and forth.
  1. Start by massaging the area around your collarbone, massaging horizontally across the bone outwards from the centre of your neck to your shoulders.
  2. Then work your way up to the contour of your face moving your fingers along the jaw line from the chin to the ears.
  3. After here, press one finger underneath the inner corners of both eyes and move along the bottom of the eye socket until you reach your ear, repeat this again moving along the top of the eye socket.
  4. Finally, from the side of your face below your ears massage the lymph nodes of your neck down towards your shoulders.
So get massaging and let me know what you think!

DIY Lymphatic Drainage Facial

If you don't want to get your hands dirty but are in need of a little pampering, book yourself a facial at a reputable salon or spa. If you're based in London, check out the Delarom Limited Edition Suite at Urban Retreat, which launched today. The Delarom Suit is only open for one week and, if the treatments are anything like Delarom products, you have  to book an appointment!


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Weekly Worship: Odin 11 | Semma

Odin 11 Semma Review

Price: £115.00 / $165.00 100ml

Liberty /

This week I was lucky enough to meet Kelly Kovack, the co-founder of Odin, New York's favourite menswear boutique and unisex fragrance brand.

Kelly was visiting London to talk all things Odin and launch the brand's newest fragrance, Semma. Hours of research and development go into creating each Odin fragrance and Semma was clearly no exception. The 11th fragrance in the much-loved collection is unique, gentle and sexy and totally  deserving of this week's worship.

Available in eau de parfum, Semma features top notes of warm myrrh and chilli pepper, middle notes of cinnamon bark and herbaceous clove, and base notes of sandalwood, tonka bean and sweet tobacco.

As with all Odin fragrances, Semma is a unisex scent that - unlike most on the market - really does smell amazing on both men and women. Personally I associate this fragrance more with girls due to its warm and semi-sweet scent, however some women and men feel differently. But that is the beauty of a great fragrance - its scent is so subjective!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Ingredients 101: Bee Venom

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

The Facts: Bee venom is extracted by placing a small metal plate alongside the gate of a beehive. The plate then generates a very small electrical charge that causes the bee to sting its surface. As the bee can't penetrate the plate's surface, its abdomen stays intact which prevents it from dying.

Beauty Benefits: Bee venom is often referred to as 'natural botox' as it is said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Bee venom works by tricking the skin into believing it's been lightly stung with melittin, resulting in blood rushing to the 'affected' area - stimulating the production of natural collagen and elastin. Collagen strengthens body tissue, while elastin helps the skin to remain taut and bouncy.

Now, although some women swear that bee venom provides amazing skincare benefits, there is no scientific evidence to prove this.

Warnings: Bee venom has been approved for use in skincare products, however using it does come with risks. Those with sensitive skin may suffer with redness and irritation and the ingredient is obviously a big no-no for those allergic to insect stings.

Found in: Heaven Bee Venom Mask 50ml (£73.00 / $182.00 This gorgeous, natural face mask softens and calms the skin, whilst also lifting, tightening and firming. It is also loved  by the royals!

Heaven Bee Venom Mask

Thursday, 8 May 2014

News: Givenchy's New Face

It has just been announced that Alicia Keys is the new face of Givenchy perfumes.

This is the award-winning singer's first step into the world of beauty - joining the likes of Justin Timberlake, Liv Tyler, Uma Thurman and Amanda Seyfried, who have fronted Givenchy campaigns throughout recent years.

“Givenchy has long been one of the world’s most iconic luxury fashion houses, and a personal favourite of mine” said Alicia Keys, “To be a part of their prestige and elegance is a thrilling moment. I’m honoured to introduce the world to the newest scent by Givenchy”.

Parfums Givenchy Global President Thierry Maman commented, “Alicia is a remarkable woman whose charismatic personality and magnetic beauty are perfectly in line with what Givenchy has always been: noble, distinctive and unexpected. We very much look forward to working with her on an exciting new perfume project”.

Alicia's first campaign for the luxury French brand is due to launch in September this year. There is no information on the fragrance itself, however, knowing Alicia, I'm sure it will be on fire!

Alicia Keys Givenchy perfumes

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Emily Dickinson

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all”


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Weekly Worship: Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation SPF 15

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation Review

Price: £28.00 / $38.50 30ml

Stockist: Boots /

When it comes to liquid foundations, I have been loyal to the YSL Touche Éclat Foundation for some time. It covers beautifully, colour matches perfectly and provides the most gorgeous illuminating finish. I recently finished up another bottle so thought it was about time I tried something new, cue Elizabeth Arden's new Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Foundation...

This liquid foundation has a light, creamy texture that provides a smooth and easy application. It is so highly pigmented that only one full pump of product is needed to cover the face. It also provides a buildable, light to medium coverage that is available in 20 shades and, to find my perfect shade, I underwent the brand's colour matching service. The service involved a handheld machine being pressed against three different points of my face to determine both my skin colour and tone. The machine selected two foundation shades that would best suit my colouring and it was then up to me to decide which shade I preferred. Cool, huh?

Now what really makes Elizabeth Arden's new foundation worship worthy is its finish. It is glowing, illuminating and - in the words of Queen Bey - flawless. What I love the most about the finish is that, no maker how much you build the foundation, it still looks natural. And, in addition to all of that, this flawless foundation keeps skin moisturised throughout the day, reduces the appearance of pores and is packed full of antioxidants!


Saturday, 3 May 2014

News: Are Gel Nails Causing Cancer?

A new study has found that as little as eight manicures under a UV lamp can cause DNA damage to the skin, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Gel Nails Cancer

For y'all who don't know, salon UV lamps are used to speed up the nail drying process and - in most cases - used to cure gel nails. These lamps contain a UVA light that is similar to the ultraviolet lights used in tanning beds.

This new study, conducted by researchers from Georgia Regents University, tested 17 different salon UV lamps to see how much ultraviolet radiation they emit whilst a person's nails are under the light. The study found a wide variation in the amount of UVA light emitted during eight minutes of nail drying or curing. The amount is measured in joules per centimetre squared and the UV lamps emitted between one to eight joules per centimetre squared. Now, this amount isn't bad considering DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer is known to occur around 60 joules per centimetre squared. However, although the researchers found that none of the UV lamps came close to that figure, they did estimate that having 8 -14 salson manicures over 24 to 42 months, would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin.

So, frequent salon manicures can cause DNA damage to the skin, which can subsequently increase your risk on skin cancer. However, it's important to note that most doctors agree the risk is very low.

If you are concerned about these risks but don't want to say goodbye to a good salon manicures, coat your hands with a good SPF right before getting your nails done.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Ingredients 101: Acetone

Natural or Synthetic: Synthetic

The Facts: Acetone is an organic solvent used in many household products. Acetone dissolves many substances, including paint, varnish, wax, resin, glue and plastic. It is also used to make plastics, rayon, fibres and drugs.

Acetone can be found naturally in plants, trees, volcanic gases, and forest fires. It can even be found in your body - acetone is produced when the body breaks down fat! However, although it can be found naturally, the acetone used today is synthetically produced.

Beauty Benefits: Due to its dissolving powers, acetone is used as the base ingredient in many nail polish removers. In most cases, acetone nail polish removers strip polish quicker and more efficiently than acetone-free ones. Also, an acetone nail polish remover is the only beauty product capable of easily removing gel or acrylic nails.

Warnings: Acetone has been approved for use in nail polish removers, however there are side effects to using this ingredient. Acetone can cause redness and cracking of the skin and, if the ingredient is inhaled, it can cause dizziness, dullness, and headaches. These side effects are rare, however acetone is  very drying, so avoid using removers with this ingredient if you are suffering from cracked, dry, brittle or splitting nails.

Found in: OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover 480ml (£22.50 / $19.99 Walmart).
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