Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Long Lasting Lashes

To give false eyelashes maximum staying power, put extra glue on both ends of the eyelash strip because these areas are more likely to come loose. I would also recommend using a great adhesive like the Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive (£3.56 Tesco / $3.93 Walmart) or the Eylure Lashfix Adhesive (£2.75 Boots / $5.69 asos.com).
Eylure Lashfix Adhesive

Monday, 29 September 2014

Faithful Four: Hydrating Facial Serums

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum
Promise: “This serum collects and continuously and deeply spreads water to restore skin's water balance, making skin supple and fresh”
Price: £29.00 / $49.00 30ml
Purchase: John Lewis / Sephora

This really is a beauty product that stays true to its word. Caudalie’s S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is very lightweight and fine in texture, yet is still able to provide a whole load of hydration to the skin. One of its greatest strengths is that it does not irritate skin, a side effect that is common in highly concentrated serums. The hero ingredient in this skin saviour is organic grape water, an antioxidant rich water that helps to strengthen collagen and firm the skin. Typical of all Caudalie products, the S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is non-comedogenic, paraben-free and is not tested on animals.

Darphin Hydraskin Serum
Promise: “Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum is formulated with the Extreme Hydration Complex and extracts of pomegranate and elm root to smooth, soften and restore suppleness to dry and dehydrated skin"
Price: £43.00 / $76.00 30ml
Purchase: House of Fraser / Space NK

Darphin’s water-based serum is a great hydrating serum for all skin types. Although on the pricey side, the Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum feels weightless on the skin and leaves it looking healthy and plumped. It includes pomegranate extract, a powerful antioxidant that plays a positive role in the repair of skin damage caused by UV exposure and aging. The downside? It doesn't last long, especially if you take Darphin’s advice for maximum effectiveness and use five drops per application.

Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum
Promise: “A water-charged and oil-free bioactive serum that immediately quenches thirsty skin and helps intensively improve skin appearance over time”
Price: £28.00 / $48.98 30ml
Purchase: Selfridges / feelunique.com

Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive is one of the best water-based serums available. This certified organic serum deeply hydrates the skin, leaving it plumped and free of those pesky fine lines. What's more, Hosanna replaces standard 'aqua' with Waiwera water, a water low in sodium and rich in naturally occurring minerals. It has been scientifically proven to stimulate type 1 collagen production by up to 72% and did I mention it smells amazing?

Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum
Promise: “This universal moisturising beautifying serum has the power to protect your beauty and restore all your radiance. Exquisitely comforted with vital moisture, skin is radiant, beautiful, fresh and plumped”
Price: £78.00 / $135.00 50ml
Purchase: Selfridges / Nordstrom

This ultra-hydrating serum absorbs into the skin almost instantly. In addition to treating dry skin, the Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum also helps to repair flaky skin and its non-greasy, smooth texture makes it a great foundation primer. The one thing that pushes this serum to the pedestal is that, after a week of using it, my concealer finally stopped creasing....halle-freakin-lujah! Unsurprisingly, the only downside is the cost.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Beauty Myth: Brushing Your Hair 100 Times A Day Will Make It Shiny

The Verdict: False

There is only one thing this amount of brushing can lead to, and that gals is damage. Brushing too much or too roughly can cause breakage and fall out. Now don’t get me wrong, gentle brushing will distribute the hair’s natural oils throughout the hair shafts making them shiny, whilst also preventing them from becoming dry and brittle. However try not to get too carried away - I would only advise brushing hair for styling and detangling.

To achieve a damage-free shine, I would recommend using the TIGI Bed Head Headrush Shine Spray 200ml (£14.35 feelunique.com / $20.99 ULTA).


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Forehead Fix

Got a big forehead and want it to look smaller? Then reach for the bronzer my friends!

Bronzer is great for creating shadows, so blending a small amount of it into the hairline, from temple to temple, will give the appearance of a smaller forehead. I would recommend using the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (£28.00 House of Fraser / $40.00 Sephora)


Friday, 19 September 2014

Interview: Tania Grier

Tania Grier is a British makeup artist who has worked with everyone. In addition to beautifying the likes of Laura Bailey, Daisy Lowe and Yasmin Le Bon, Tania's editorial work includes Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Tatler and Grazia.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I got the opportunity to grill Tania about all things beauty...

What inspired you to become a makeup artist? And how did your career journey begin?

The photographer Nick Haddow inspired me to become a makeup artist. I had been living in New York for a few years, studying and working as an actress in theatre and independent films. When I came back to London, Nick suggested that I learn another craft so I would have something to fall back on. He knew I enjoyed painting (I had considered art school at one point) so he thought I might enjoy makeup - another form of art. So I started assisting Sarah Reygate and followed her everywhere for two years until I gradually got my own work. 

What is your career highlight?

It's hard to choose just one. Working with the legendary Julie Christie for Chanel was memorable, she is still as beautiful today as she was in Doctor Zhivago. 

However, my ultimate highlight would have to be shooting Vanessa Redgrave for Harper's Bazaar with the amazing photographer Trent McGinn. She takes your breath away with her beauty and presence and she is one of the smartest, humble and most talented women I have ever met. I love working with the more mature celebrities - they have the best stories and, because they don't have to prove anything, they have a confidence that is electric. Any decent make up artist can make an eighteen year old model look good, it's harder to make older skin radiate. But I enjoy the challenge and it's always more interesting to be in the presence of someone who has lived a little and Vanessa has lived a lot!!! 

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

For me, it's my Mum. She was a model when she was younger, however she never wore much make up as she was a natural beauty. She studied at Glasgow Art School and one day Sean Connery turned up as a nude model (before he was cast as James Bond of course!). He fancied my Mum and used to chase her around the building asking for a date but she said no every time. Life could have been very different if she'd said yes!!! 

She is my ultimate beauty icon because she has never had a stitch of surgery but looks 15 years younger than she should because she takes care of her skin and enjoys life. I do hope she has passed those genes on to me! 

What are your beauty kit essentials?

There are four products that I can't work without. The first is Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm, a natural beauty balm that can be used on cuticles, knees, sunburn...anywhere on the face or body - everyone I use it on is obsessed! The second product is the MAC Blacktrack Fluid Eyeliner; I use it daily for anything from a thin lash line to a very graphic eye. The third product I can't live without is Optrex Eye Drops - I have one for bloodshot eyes, one for itchy eyes and one for tired eyes. These eye drops are perfect for jet lagged models, as well as a million other daily dramas! The final product is the MAC Face and Body Foundation. It makes the legs look flawless and it's waterproof so you can wear it out and not worry about it rubbing off on your clothes.

Dermalogica skincare is always in my kit as it is great for sensitive skin. Dior Nude Skin foundations are my favourite for a luminous glow, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer is my go-to for hiding spots and Chanel mascaras are my favourite as they have great brushes and are the blackest of blacks. 

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Wearing too much! My motto is less is more. There is nothing worse than seeing a young girl with good skin caked in layers of foundation and clumpy mascara.

What is your top beauty tip?

Moisturise moisturise moisturise, preferably with an SPF, and don't forget the neck, décolletage and body. Your skin will thank you for it when you get older. Also love the skin you are in, as beauty really does start from within. I have worked on some truly stunning girls but if they are too vain or have low self esteem, you don't appreciate their beauty. You look your best when you are happy and confident.

You can follow Tania on Twitter - @TaniaGrier and Instagram - taniagrier.


Thursday, 18 September 2014


Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and is considered to be one of the key ingredients in the fight against ageing.

Retinol is actually a weaker form of tretinoin (aka retinoic acid); the acid form of vitamin A. Tretinoin is highly effective at treating acne and acute promyelocytic leukaemia. It has also been used as a powerful treatment for skin aging. Tretinoin is so powerful that it is only available on prescription. However, its excellent skin benefits lead scientist to create retinol, a lighter, less aggressive form of tretinoin that can be used in over-the-counter beauty products.

Retinol has since become a highly sought-after beauty ingredient as it has been proven to stimulate cell renewal and cell turnover in the stratum corneum (top layer of skin), boost collagen production, unclog pores and help to reduce pigmentation.

Retinol, and of course tretinoin, works well because skin cells contain retinoid receptors that help regulate how the cells functions. Ageing causes these skin cells to behave more erratically and it is the continual use of retinol or tretinoin that helps to normalise them.

However, as fabulous as retinol is, it can cause side effects which include:

  • Dry skin
  • Redness
  • Flaky skin
  • Irritation
  • Skin peeling

It is important to note that these side effects, if they do occur, are often only temporary. However if you would rather not risk it, try using products that contain synthetic retinoids like the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate. Synthetic retinoids, although do not derive from vitamin A, are able to mimic the same benefits as retionol without causing irritation.

  1. Murad Age-Balancing Night Cream 50ml (£75.00 murad.co.uk / $75.00 murad.com)
  2. dr. brandt Glow Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream 15ml (£47.00 lookfantastic.com / $55.00 drbrandtskincare.com)
  3. La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] 30ml (£21.00 Boots / $56.99 laroche-posay.us)
  4. REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate 30ml (£42.00 John Lewis / $60.00 Sephora)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Marilyn Monroe

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Longer Lasting Lipstick

Want to make lipstick colour last? After applying a layer of lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue, dab on a small amount of translucent face powder and then apply another layer of lipstick. Voilà! Longer lasting lipstick!

For added staying power, I would recommend using a highly pigmented matt lipstick, such as YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Le Rouge (£25.00 yslbeauty.co.uk / $35.00 Sephora).


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Weekly Worship: NEOM's New Look

I have been a fan of NEOM candles for a while now. They last like no other, smell like no other and burn perfectly.

NEOM Moroccan Blush Rose, Lime & Black Pepper Candle review

I've become even more obsessed with NEOM since it re-branded a few month's ago. Products were great before, however they now look even cuter in the home. I recently got my hands on the Moroccan Blush Rose, Lime & Black Pepper Candle and can't stop lighting it. Like the other candles in the NEOM range, this beauty gives off a powerful, long lasting scent that smells absolutely divine.

It contains 100% natural ingredients and is formulated 16 essential oils that work together to de-stress and uplift. I'm obsessed beyond measure.


Friday, 12 September 2014

The Beauty Myth: Rinsing Hair With Beer Will Make It Thicker

The Verdict: True 

Rinsing hair with beer after washing it will leave a gal with more voluminous strands. Liquid evaporates from beer-rinsed hair as it dries and, when it does, a residue of hops and barley is left. This residue gives the hair strands more body and weight. However, as amazing as thick hair is, no self-respecting woman could handle smelling like a brewery in order to achieve it. So I would advise using a hair thickening product that contains hops, for example the Bumble and bumble Thickening Serum 50ml (£22.50 Boots / $27.00 Sephora)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Sophia Loren

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical”


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Fuller Lashes

Applying black eyeliner to the upper inside rim of your eye will make your lashes appear fuller.

I would recommend using a highly pigmented eye liner such as the M.A.C Eye Kohl in Smolder (£14.00 maccosmetics.co.uk / $15.00 maccosmetics.com).

Monday, 8 September 2014

Interview: Millie Kendall MBE

The beauty industry has not been short of inspiring, successful women - Estée Lauder, Helena Rubinstein and Bobbi Brown to name but a few. However there is one woman with such beauty balls that her contribution to the cosmetics industry was recognised with an MBE. This woman, my dear readers, is none other than Millie Kendall.

Many of you will know Millie as the co-founder of the much-loved British beauty brand, Ruby & Millie. However, in addition to launching her own brands, Millie has been a strong force behind the success of many other global beauty brands, such as Shu Uemura and Aveda. 

Millie is now the co-founder of BeautyMART and the creative director of haircare brand Concoctions. So, as one of Millie's biggest fans, I was extremely grateful (and ridiculously excited) when she agreed to let me grill her on everything from her career highlight to her top beauty tip...

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

It's a very long story, I have worked for everyone and done everything in my industry pretty much. My Dad is a hairdresser and he just told me to "get a job" so I did. Starting with Toni & Guy to Bumble & Bumble, I moved onto make up with Shu Uemura and then lifestyle with Aveda, Tweezerman and L'Occitane. I then launched Ruby & Millie, a brand I co-founded with make up artist Ruby Hammer.

What is your career highlight? 

Getting my MBE definitely.

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

You have to love beauty, products or services.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon? 

Anna-Marie Solowij, she knows everything about beauty and is the most well groomed woman I know.

Anna-Marie Solowij
What are your makeup bag essentials? 

Eyelash curler, Shiseido RD203 Lip Gloss and Bourjois Cream Blush 03.

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit? 

Doing your make up on the tube!

What is your top beauty tip? 

Make the highest point of your eyebrow arch directly above the outer line of your iris - towards the ear obviously, not the nose!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Understanding...Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid that has keratolytic properties. Its structure enables it to gently penetrate the skin, breaking down and exfoliating the dead skin cells that block pores and cause acne. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help remove redness and reduce the amount of damaging bacteria on the skin. It treats other skin problems by softening and loosening dry, scaly, or thickened skin so that it can be removed.

Salicylic acid has also been proven to firm the skin, stimulate collagen production and improve skin thickness and barrier functions. If things couldn't get any better, low concentrations of salicylic acid can be used on sensitive skin.

As it is such a great multi-tasking ingredient, salicylic acid is used in many skincare products. You will find this miracle ingredient in everything from serums and creams to toners and treatment pads.

  1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar K (£13.00 Boots / $29.95 www.laroche-posay.us)
  2. SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense (£41.10 www.hqhair.com / $80.00 www.skinceuticals.com)
  3. EVE LOM Dynaspot (£22.00 www.evelom.com / $34.00 www.barneys.com
  4. Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 (£16.00 www.clinique.co.uk / $13.00 www.clinique.com)


Friday, 5 September 2014

The Beauty Myth: Cucumbers Reduce Eye Puffiness

The Verdict: False

Although...cold cucumbers can.

Cold substances reduce puffiness as they cause blood vessels around our eyes to contract, reducing swelling. The reason that the humble cucumber has been associated with reducing eye puffiness is because, unlike most substances, a cucumber is able to remain cold for a long period of time. Basically it is the cold that reduces puffiness, not the cucumber itself!

So the choice is up to you. If you want to keep putting cold cucumbers under your eyes then go ahead, just remember that you’d be able to achieve the same result with cold fish.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Dorothy Parker

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone”


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Tuesday Tip: Face Framers

As far as I'm concerned, well structured eyebrows are key to achieving a flawless look. They not only hold strong and dramatic eye makeup, but they help to frame the face. For example, bringing the eyebrows closer together will help balance wider set eyes, while taking eyebrows further apart will help even out closer set eyes.

When wanting to create a strong and well defined brow, I would always recommend always using a quality eyebrow pencil. My go-to pencil is the Paul & Joe Beauté Eyebrow Pencil Duo (£14.50 ASOS / $24.00 dermstore.com). It features a lighter shade that delicately shapes and defines and a darker shade that fills in gaps and accentuates arches. It is a must for any makeup bag!
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