Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Become a Bardot Pro

I went to the launch of the Headmasters Party Pin-Up Masterclass this morning. I find doing my own up-dos very tricky, so jumped at the chance to have an expert teach me step by step how to do it. First, the hair stylist did it for me, talking me through each stage and explaining which techniques to use where. And then, just when it was looking beautifully finished, she took it all out so I could have a go! She then watched over and offered advice as I replicated the technique as best I could – this Bardot-esque up do is the result, not bad I feel, considering my usual total lack of skill! I love the lace as a headband too, a very thoughtful touch.

I think this is a genius concept and thoroughly recommend you try it out when it hits Headmasters salons nationwide from 1st November. It costs £45 for the 45 minute appointment, but once you’ve been taught the technique once, you’ll be able to re-create it yourself time and time again at home.

Party Pin-Up Masterclass, £45, available from Headmasters nationwide from 1st November 2010.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Mmmm... look what landed on my desk!

Best cupcake-y treats we've had in ages, they were quite literally gone in 60 seconds!

Designer Cake Pops, from the very clever ladies at Pop Bakery

Monday, 2 August 2010

Miracle-gro for lashes…Yes, really!

I love it when a beauty product delivers on its promises. Every day, products land on my desk with dubious claims about their efficacy plastered all over their packaging, and 90% of the time I find they’re simply not true. I’m a born cynic anyway (a trait that’s tested to the max working in the beauty industry!) so I refuse to believe any kind of claim until I, or someone I know and trust, has tested it.

So when Rapidlash, a serum that claims to make lashes 50% longer in 8 weeks, first arrived in the office, I was intrigued but skeptical. As I still have my amazing Flutter eyelash extensions on, I couldn’t try it personally, but my fastidious and totally trustworthy Beauty Director Lisa Durant decided to give it a go, and I have to say the results are incredible.

After a few weeks of use (you apply to the base of the lashes, once a day, before you go to bed) she was seeing no results, but decided to continue with the treatment for the full 8 weeks to give it a fair trial. A few weeks later it seems her determination has paid off, as her lashes now look absolutely amazing; much longer and darker. Lisa usually tints her lashes regularly, but hasn’t had to once since using Rapidlash due to their newfound luscious density.

So it’s top marks to Rapidlash for making a product that truly delivers, and for proving my inner cynic wrong!

Rapidlash, £39.99, available from now.

Monday, 7 June 2010

What to wear next season: A/W 2010 trend report

My PR days are behind me and I’m slowly getting back into the journalistic swing of things. After a very happy couple of hours spent reacquainting myself with the beauty cupboard and having a good root through the A/W make up box, I’m now feeling thoroughly excited for the coming season.

You see, the sun may be shining (well, most of the time), but us long-lead beauty journos are already thinking to Autumn and beyond. In fact, the first invitations have started trickling in for the annual ‘Christmas in July’ press events, meaning we’re already thinking rich winter moisturisers and heavy-duty lip balms.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Vogue A/W 2010 trends report download recently (a beautifully organised event with the cutest mini scones and brownies you’ve ever seen) and I wanted to pass on the exciting trends coming our way this winter.

As is often the way, it’s a case of beauty imitating fashion this coming season. The catwalks were awash with grown up camel coats and capes, understated but beautifully finished eveningwear, and 90s style minimalist tailoring.

This less frivolous, more practical influence was mirrored in beauty by a huge movement towards ‘back to basics’ make up. The focus was on products and colours you usually disregard or take for granted. Eye shadows in subtle earthy hues from camel and taupe to mink and mocha took centre stage, and the techniques used to create this ‘sepia photograph’ effect became the focus.

Contouring was big news with a move away from soft blush towards a more rigid structure - powders were used to boldly carve out strong cheekbones. Brows returned to their natural, un-plucked state (in contrast with this season’s bleached brows) and lips were lined perfectly, and finished with a thin layer of clear gloss.

Nicola Moulton, Vogue’s incredibly lovely Beauty Director, told us make up artist Val Garland used a toothbrush to gently scrub models’ lips to bring out the natural colour, before patting on lip balm for a barely-there sheen. A perfect example of the ‘less is more’ approach.

So my top tips to those who want to stay ahead of the game are:

1. Invest in a good quality set of make up brushes. Lancome are launching a new range this autumn, and Max Factor have just launched a decent range for those on a budget.

2. Stock up on those neutral shadows you usually overlook. Blend them to create subtly beautiful eyes. Revlon have once again got it spot on with their new range of copper, bronze and silver shadows. Look out for my favourite, Nude Slip, a taupe-y pink with a beautifully soft sheen.

3. Don’t bin your statement lippies just yet. A wide variety of shades featured on the catwalks, from deep plums to electric corals, just make sure you properly prepare and line your lips first. Pick up a good long-lasting clear gloss or balm to seal the deal. Crème De La Mer’s The Lip Balm is the best I’ve ever tried.

So there we have it ladies - happy shopping, and remember: Next season, less is most definitely more! 


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Philips Lumea: The Final Verdict

The 8 weeks are over (where have they gone?!), the 4 trial sessions completed and the Philips Spa at the Soho Hotel officially closed. And now comes the exciting bit: the results.

Am I totally fuzz-free? Well not quite, but very nearly. There are still a couple of patchy bits that I should think will disappear with one final zap. The hair growth has undoubtedly slowed enormously, and the hairs that have grown back are weedy shadows of their former selves, hurrah! So overall, it’s a huge thumbs up.

Compared to every other type of hair removal I’ve ever tried (and trust me, I’ve tried them all) there’s no question this wins hands down. It doesn’t hurt, it’s quick and easy, long lasting and very effective. What else could you ask for?

Of course, it does cost £400, which initially seems expensive (I for one don’t have £400 just hanging around in my bank account, waiting to be spent!), but if you work it out over 5 years (that’s the Lumea’s official shelf life) it’s actually far cheaper than any other form of hair removal.

Let’s take a professional bikini wax, for example. I’d say it costs £25 on average (although at inflated London prices, it can easily cost twice that!), that’s £25 every 2 months or so. So £150 per year. Over 5 years, that’s £750. Just for your bikini line. That’s got to hurt more than the waxing.

And when you consider you’re getting leg hair removal and bikini line and underarms for £350 less, and it doesn’t hurt, and you can do it yourself at home…it starts to make sense, right?

I know I’m starting to sound a bit like a Philips salesperson, and I do apologise, but price aside (even though I do think it’s worth the expense) I genuinely can’t think of a single negative thing to say about it. Basically ladies, you need the Lumea in your life!

Philips Lumea, £400, available from Boots now.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Dior furore

I’m so sorry, faithful followers, that I’ve not posted for a while. I’m actually working with the utterly fabulous girls at the Dior press office for the next few weeks, before returning to editorial at the beginning of June. So apart from feeling inadequate in the presence of so many beautiful and achingly-stylish French girls, I have also been feeling a bit out of the beauty blogging loop. Plus it feels wrong blogging about other brand’s products when I’m being paid to PR someone else’s.
The flip side of course is that I’ve been gorging myself on Dior products galore, which has been nothing but a pleasure, as I’m sure you can imagine! So I thought I’d stay faithful to Dior, and you, by giving you my totally objective, un-biased top 3 picks from Dior beauty cupboard:

1. Dior Addict Crystal Gloss – This pink jelly-textured confection is everything you could want from a gloss and more. It looks sexy as hell, sits beautifully on the lips and will set off a deep tan perfectly.

£19.50, available nationwide from 17th May

2. Diorskin Nude Glow Complexion Enhancer – I find that with a tan comes the confidence to go foundation-free. Of course, I’d never want to go TOTALLY naked, so this complexion enhancer is perfect for giving a radiance boost without weighing down the skin. It smells beautiful too.

£29, available nationwide from 17th May

3. Escale A Pondichery Eau de Toilette – When my boyfriend smelled this on me for the first time, he said: “Mmmmm, you smell like a stripper!” When I reacted with surprise (to put it mildly), he very hastily explained that he meant it smelled sexy, not trashy. He couldn’t however explain how he knew what strippers smelled of?! Hmmm. Anyway, don’t be put off by his reaction – this fragrance, inspired by a trip to Kerala in India, is an exotic blend of black tea, cardamom, jasmine and sandalwood. A delicate but dark and sensuous night-time beauty.

From £46 for 75ml, available now

And finally a date to put in your diary: Monday 2nd August 2010. Why? Because that’s when the stunningly beautiful limited edition Tailleur Bar Palette goes on sale in Selfridges, London, and there are only 150 to be had. Celebrating the first Dior Couture collection in 1947, it’s inspired by Christian Dior’s favourite shades of muted greys, mauve and pink, and comes with a pink Serum de Rouge, designed to compliment the shades of the palette. Beautiful, non?

£65, available at Selfridges, London from 2nd August

There are a couple of other big launches for Dior coming up in the Autumn, with one product in particular that’s truly special, but agonisingly, I’m not able to talk about them yet… I will of course let you know as soon as I can!

Gros bisous x

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Home hair colouring - finally chic?

Home hair colouring has long been snobbishly looked down on as the cheap and nasty DIY alternative to having hair professionally coloured. A reputation companies like Clairol and L’Oreal have been desperately trying to shake off with innovative new technologies and glossy ads. I’ve never actually coloured my hair, at home or in the salon (minus an ill-advised experiment with Sun-In aged 14, but let’s not get into that now...) so I’m afraid I can’t give a personal account of how good or bad they are, but I’m working at Cosmo at the moment and lovely Beauty Editor Kate Turner told me a very interesting story which I just had to share with you!

She’s recently been away in the Dominican Republic, shooting a model called Amy for the summer issues of Cosmo. Kate complimented her on her hair one day, and Amy told her it actually used to be really thin and limp, but has totally transformed since she started using Clairol’s Perfect 10. She first used it when she was cast to be the model on the front of the box and was so impressed with the results, she’s been using it ever since. She used to fork out over £150 on having her hair coloured in the salon, and says it's now in much better condition and a more natural colour, at less than a tenth of the price – just £6.99 every couple of months! Now if that’s not an endorsement for you, I don’t know what is.

I can’t post up a picture of her hair as they haven’t been published in the magazine yet, but I can tell you from what I’ve seen that it looks really thick, glossy and healthy, and is a really gorgeous shade of light ashy blonde.

Kate was so impressed with Amy’s hair that she’s now trying Clairol Perfect 10 herself – having never home-coloured her hair before! I think that proves how staggered she was.

If anyone has any experience of home hair colouring – successful or otherwise – let me know!

Clairol Perfect 10, £6.99, available nationwide now.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Philips Lumea - Session 1

Hair removal. One of the least glamorous but most necessary beauty rituals. The problem is, every single way of executing it has at least one big disadvantage. Shaving – only lasts only a couple of days; professional waxing - expensive and painful; home-waxing – messy and even more painful; epilation – really really painful!

This is why laser hair removal has been something I’ve wanted to try for a while – it’s pricey, but being permanently fuzz-free is worth the investment, right? So when Philips invited me to try their brand new at-home laser hair removal system, Lumea, I jumped at the chance. They’ve set up a pop-up spa at the gorgeous Soho Hotel in London and the deal is - I go in for four sessions, two weeks apart, and in eight weeks I should be able to kiss my razor goodbye forever...

I had my first session on Monday evening, and to be honest, I walked into the room a bit of a nervous wreck... In my extensive pre-treatment research (read: googled ‘laser hair removal risks’ in 5-minute lunch break) I discovered all manner of horrific laser-induced injuries. On top of that, I’d been sent a 5-page safety information document, and a disclaimer waiving all responsibility from Philips in case of ‘personal damage or injury’. Errmm... is this going to hurt? Am I going to be permanently scarred with third degree burns??! Help!

Luckily my therapist, Ella, who was over-seeing my session, immediately put me at ease. She talked me through the product and how to use it, gave me a demonstration on my arm and then supervised whilst I tentatively started zapping my bikini line. And I have to say – it was incredibly easy to use, and even more importantly, virtually pain free!! It looks like a high tech cordless hairdryer- you press it against the bit of skin you want to zap, wait for the green ‘ready’ light, and pull the trigger. There’s a bright flash of red, and you feel a slight heat sensation – but no pain!! And that’s it! You get the occasional slightly alarming whiff of burning hair, but Ella assured me that is totally normal.

Overall I was really really impressed. It’s so quick and easy – it took me about 15 minutes to do my bikini line, including pauses where I was nattering away to Ella. And you can use it to zap hair virtually anywhere on your body, just not your face. And you don’t have to wait for hair to grow like you do when waxing – in fact, it works most effectively on clean shaven skin as the laser beam can travel down and damage the hair follicle more efficiently. The only drawback is that it doesn’t work on all skin tones – any darker than an olive skin tone and it’s a no go I’m afraid, and it will only work on black to dark blonde hairs, nothing lighter.

For everyone else though, this could be the best £400 you ever spend! If I’m hair free in 8 weeks – and I will of course let you know if I am – I would 110% recommend you buy this product. I’ll keep you posted!

Philips Lumea, £400, available from Boots now. Visit the Philips website for more details.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Is it a lipstick? Is it a gloss? No, it’s Clarins’ new Crystal Lip Balm!

You might think that after years of using and reviewing beauty products, I would have developed some kind of beauty-related compassion fatigue. But no, every now and then a product comes out that’s so clever / innovative / beautiful, it has me leaping around the office like a madman. Which is exactly what happened when I received Clarins’ gorgeous new Crystal Lip Balms. Part of the summer Instant Sun range, they’re translucent lip balms in the form of a bullet lipstick that have the sheer finish of a light gloss. I haven’t seen a product like it before and I think they’ll be a huge summer hit for Clarins.

Clarins Crystal Lip Balm, £15.50, available nationwide from May 2010

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Heaven scent

I love everything about Stella McCartney. Her clothes, her ethics and her daddy (I had a major crush on Macca when I was growing up, slightly wrong looking back on it now…) And now I’m falling in love with her latest offering – the new Sheer Stella fragrance. A delicate fresh floral with notes of rose, peony and amber, it’s the perfect light summer spritz. Oh and it’ll look beautiful on your dressing table too.

Sheer Stella EDT, £36.50 for 100ml, available nationwide from May 2010. 

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Join the pony club

Being a woman of lack-lustre shoulder length mousy brown hair, I regularly experience pangs of hair envy when a girl walks past with a gorgeous long swishy ponytail. Which is why I think the new Ponytail by Mail service by Neville Hair and Beauty is absolute GENIUS.

Just send a little snippet of your hair to Neville’s salon and his team of pros will create a pony that exactly matches your hair in colour and texture. A few days later and – voila! – you’ll have a bespoke, totally natural looking pony. Just clip on and start swishing!

The Neville Pony starts at £90 depending on length. Call Neville’s on 020 7235 3654 for more information, or pop into the salon: 5 Pont Street, London, SW1X 9EJ

Monday, 22 February 2010

Review: No Foundation Foundation

I’ve been wanting to try Dr Perricone’s No Foundation Foundation ever since it launched at the end of 2009, purely because I liked the name. Or the idea of the concept behind the name.

So first things first, I love the old school apothecary, Kiehls-like packaging, but the bottle itself is small – only 30 ml – so I’m wondering how long it’ll last…

Rather disappointingly, it comes out like any normal foundation – liquid and tinted. I was hoping it would wow me with its revolutionary texture, and a colour-less formula that would magically adapt to my skin tone before my very eyes! Perhaps my expectations were a little high.

So on to the next slightly upsetting aspect – the smell. It smells like a health food shop. That kind of herbal, almost medicinal smell that assaults your nostrils when you walk past Holland & Barratt. It definitely has a Marmite effect – my boyfriend loves it, I hate it. But thankfully it disappears very quickly.

So far, so bad. But that all changes the second I actually apply it. Although the formula feels quite thick and viscous on my fingers, it blends beautifully, and gives my skin a really gorgeous dewy glow. It gives quite a light coverage so don’t dump your concealer just yet, but it’s perfect for anyone with fairly clear skin who just wants a really good radiance boost. It also lasts all day, and feels nourishing and moisturising (although this could be the smell tricking my brain into thinking it MUST be good for my skin??!)

Anyway, my reaction was - PHEW! I wanted to love it, and in the end, I did. There may be aspects that aren’t ideal, but once you see the results, I’m pretty sure you’ll love it too.

Dr Perricone No Foundation Foundation, £41, available now from

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A little summer lift

I’m trying to organise a holiday to Ibiza with four girlfriends. We’ve been talking about it for the past three years, and I thought 2010 would be the year all those imagined nights of drunken fun and fabulous outfits would finally come to fruition. I brought it up at our Christmas drinks party and it was all: ‘Oooooh how exciting!’, ‘Let’s book it tomorrow!!’. But predictably, when push comes to shove and flights need to be booked, all the classic excuses start rolling out: ‘I can’t get the time off work!’, ‘I can’t afford it!’

Girls – you know who you are – sort it out!!

So thank God for Givenchy. My pre-holiday blues immediately lifted when I clapped eyes on the summer collection. It’s totally beautiful. Inspired by the tropical sights and smells of Mauritius, it’s like a bit of summer has come to me. The real stand out piece is the Fleur de Frangipanier Compact Powder in Natural Tan, £32.50 (pictured). So gorgeous, I could hardly bring myself to ruin it with my blusher brush. But I did, and I didn’t regret it – this powder is the perfect mix of bronzer and blush with just a hint of gold shimmer. A real summer stunner!

Givenchy Le Makeup Collection Summer 2010, from £12.50, available nationwide from 1st May 2010.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Revlon S/S collection

Since the highly talented and very lovely make up artist Gucci Westman took over as Global Creative Director at Revlon in 2008, she’s introduced forward thinking, on trend products, breathing new life into the once struggling brand.

I LOVED last year’s matte collection, and the S/S 2010 collection is just as exciting. The lilac and mint green nail polishes are sure to fly off the shelves, but I think the real stars are the lip glosses (pictured). They’re the most gorgeous, highly pigmented bright shades, and will compliment a tan beautifully.

Revlon S/S Collection, from £6.29, 0800 085 2716

Sunday, 7 February 2010

THE beauty guide (I’m not biased, honest)

Now the March issue of InStyle has hit the shops, I can finally start extolling the virtues of the beauty awards to end all beauty awards, the InStyle Best Beauty Buys. It comes as a supplement to the March issue and is the must-have guide for any girl serious about beauty.

How do I know how good it is? Because I’ve been working on it for the last 6 months! And I promise you I’m not biased. I can honestly say these awards are 100% impartial and totally uninfluenced by advertisers - very rare for a monthly glossy magazine.

This year 181 top industry experts (make up artists, hair stylists, nail technicians and skin experts) all contributed by voting for the products they turn to again and again to achieve results – and they should know. All that info was then processed by yours truly, and quite simply, the products that totted up the most votes in each category, won.

I have to say every single product truly deserves to be there, and they’re not all as ridiculously expensive as you might expect. Some bargain winners include: Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara (Best Inexpensive Mascara) and Barry M (Best Inexpensive Nail Polish Range).

Oh, and I wrote the Hands, Nails & Feet section, so look out for my name! :)

March issue of InStyle, £3.60, out now

Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara, £8.99, available nationwide
Barry M Nail Polishes, £2.95, available nationwide

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Products to retox...

Hello everyone, I’m sorry I’ve not posted anything for a while, I was involved in a car accident just over a week ago so have been busy doing nothing but relaxing and recuperating ever since. I’m just starting to get to that point where you feel bored rather than grateful to be sitting on your bum at home all day, so thought I’d get back into the beauty swing of things by posting up the products that have been helping me along the road to recovery:

1. Bio Oil - I had to have stitches on my face and hand following the accident, and had them out yesterday. I’ve never used Bio Oil before but have been slathering it on the resulting scars as various friends and colleagues have recommended it as the product to beat scarring. My friend Anna, who recently gave birth to her beautiful daughter (and my Goddaughter no. 2!), used it throughout her pregnancy and hasn’t a stretch mark to be seen.

£14.99, available now from

2. Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath - This has been around for years, and is still one of my favourite bath time treats. I always turn to it at times of stress, and like a comfort blanket for my skin it soothes and melts stress away. It smells clean and milky and doesn’t dry out my skin.

£39 for 400ml, available from

3. The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil - This last week my poor boyfriend has been suffering too, as I’ve been bombarding him with daily requests for massages! Foot, back, leg, you name it, I’ve pestered him for it! But he’s been most obliging, which means I’ve been testing out all the lovely body oils I have at home. This one is my favourite so far as it smells gorgeous, and the intense lavender scent lulls me into a deep sleep before the massage has even finished.

£8, available now from

4. Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Balm (pictured) - This ticks all the boxes – it smells amazingly delicious (cocoa butter-y), its rich formula feels luxurious and intensely moisturising, and its Vitamin E content is helping to nurse my bruised skin back to health.

£50, available now from

Friday, 22 January 2010

Where to go for summer nails? The supermarket!

Back in the noughties, supermarkets cottoned on to the growing consumer appetite for instantly available catwalk-inspired fashion at bargain basement prices, and they got pretty good at producing it. But somehow they’ve never been quite as hot on the beauty side of things.

Tesco caused quite a stir back in 1999 when they signed legendary make up artist Barbara Daly, and she has created some memorable products (her Face Lift Cream developed quite a cult following) but generally, I’ve found the supermarket’s efforts at beauty collections boring, predictable and not of the best quality.

That is until now… I was surprised and delighted to see some beautiful pastel nail polishes arrive on my desk a couple of weeks ago from M&S. Bang on trend for this Spring, they’re pretty, wearable and last well. And this morning, I discovered these gorgeous nail colours from Barbara Daly for Tesco. Every shade is a vibrant bright that stays true on application, and all will compliment a summer tan beautifully. Seems the supermarkets are finally realising there’s a demand for on-trend beauty too…

M&S Essential Colours Nail Colour, £2.50, available now from Marks & Spencer stores nationwide.

Barbara Daly Mini Fashion Nails, £2.70, available 24th February in larger Tesco stores nationwide.

Friday, 15 January 2010

A juicy treat

When it comes to fashion, I’m definitely a believer in the adage ‘if you’re old enough to remember it the first time round, you shouldn’t be wearing it the second time round’. But with beauty, it seems a different set of rules apply...

I remember the hype when Lancome Juicy Tubes first hit the shelves 10 years ago. As a 15-year-old girl, it was the make-up bag must-have. Well now it seems it will be the gloss du jour once again, as Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has designed 6 motifs to adorn the packaging of the original 6 shades to celebrate the tenth anniversary. With a revamped 100% natural formula enriched with shea butter and honey, they’re more hydrating than ever, without loosing any of that legendary shine. My favourite is Dot Apricot (third in from the right), a gorgeous everyday nude with a subtle pink tint. 

Lancome Juicy Tubes, £10, available exclusively from Debenhams from April 2010. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Creme de la creme

I love how certain smells can evoke vivid memories. The smell of the original Nivea Creme - the one in the big blue tub - really reminds me of my childhood as my mum used it as a cure for absolutely everything from dry skin to full on cuts and grazes! I haven't smelled it in a while so when I opened these cute new tins this morning, I got a real blast from the past! Good on Nivea for updating the packaging, but staying faithful to the original formulation of the cream. Its preservative-free formula has remained unchanged since its conception in 1911, and the fact that it's still a best-seller nearly 100 years on proves it's a real beauty classic.

Limited Edition Nivea Creme tins (available in four designs), £1.35, available nationwide from 9th February 2010

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

LUST ALERT! The body art you won't regret!

The mere sight of those interlocking C’s is enough to make me go weak at the at the knees, so when I discovered I could have them on my knees, I got a little bit excited!! Depicting pearls, flowers, birds and of course, that all important Chanel logo, these temporary tattoos are truly a beauty product with a difference. I’m expecting them to sell out within minutes, so get yourself down to Selfridges early on 1st March to grab a pack! See you in the queue…

Les Trompe L’oeil de Chanel, £49 for 55 individual temporary tattoos, available exclusively at Selfridges and Chanel boutiques from 1st March 2010. 

Thursday, 7 January 2010

On the lash

Lash extensions are a relatively new beauty treatment, and one that I have been keen to try as my natural lashes are teeny weeny and barely visible when not coated in several layers of mascara! So when I booked in with Kathryn of Flutter Lashes at the Urban Retreat spa in Harrods, I was extremely excited to say the least...

Here are my thoughts on the results:

Upsides: They look really really good. Amazing actually. Really full and thick but totally natural - the above picture is not exaggerated at all. I’ve had loads of compliments on them, but the hugest benefit in my mind is that it cuts down my morning beauty routine as there’s absolutely no need for mascara - you just wake up in the morning with totally perfect-looking wide awake eyes! You feel like you don’t need to wear as much make up, just because you wake up looking that much more healthy.

They’ve also lasted really well. I’ve had this set for four weeks now and they’re only just starting to look slightly ragged around the edges. You do notice one or two lashes falling out, but they fall out so gradually - with your natural lash cycle - that you hardly notice. 

Downsides: The price. I had mine done with the owner of Flutter, Kathryn, who is an absolute pro, and who made my experience really enjoyable, but quality comes at a price - £250 to be exact. I can almost hear you wincing. The price drops to £180 if you opt for a member of Kathryn’s team instead, which is more reasonable. The way I see it, some people think nothing of spending £100 on an hour’s facial that lasts just that – an hour. For two of those, you get a good 6 weeks wear from these lashes.

They also take a bit of getting used to, you can’t rub your eyes which is rather like having an itch you can’t scratch at times, and you have to be careful not to use oil-based make up removers. Other than that you can pretty much continue your routine as usual.

So my verdict? If you can justify the expense to yourself (or your bank manager!), definitely go for it, you’ll never look back. But it’s an expensive habit, and once you've had them, going au naturel again just doesn’t seem an option!

Lashes from £180 and infills from £60 at Urban Retreat in Harrods.

For more details, visit:

Monday, 4 January 2010

Hello everyone, and a slightly belated Happy New Year to you all!

So it’s officially the FIRST DAY BACK AT WORK (boooo). The turkey is finished, the copious amounts of alcohol consumed and Now That’s What I Call Christmas Volume 35 returned to the back of the cupboard. Time to look forward to the coming year, and what better way to lift the January blues than preview the forthcoming beauty joys of 2010! Here are my top 5 products to look out for in the next few months:

1. Lancome Kohl Gloss in Pop Petrol – This new eye pencil was met with shrieks of delight when it landed in the office. It’s a gorgeous petrol green shade (the colour the entire Lancome S/S 2010 collection is based on) and it has an amazing wet-look glossy finish which really draws attention to the eyes. Smudge it around for a modern take on the classic smoky eye.
£18, available nationwide from 15th January.

2. Chloe Eau de Fleurs: Capucine – Fragrance is a totally subjective product which makes it difficult to write about and difficult to recommend. However, this new offering from Chloe seems to have universal appeal. I’ve only be trialling it for a couple of weeks but already 4 people have asked me what I’m wearing, including a checkout lady at M&S! It smells modern and fresh with soft floral undertones, and is very wearable.
£75 for 100ml, available from 7th April 2010 (0800 083 6312).

3. Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Particuliere (pictured) – The nail polish Beauty Eds everywhere are desperate to get their mitts on, this soft taupey-brown is the shade to don this spring. I predict a riot at the Chanel counter come January 29th…
£16, available nationwide.

4. YSL Palette Y-Mail in Blush Harmony (pictured) – It was a case of love at first sight when I first clapped my eyes on this seriously lust-worthy blush. Just look at it! It’s the beauty junkie’s answer to the YSL Y-Mail clutch, is equally desirable and about a twentieth of the price! You’ll get admiring looks a-plenty if you whip this out on the tube.
£35, available nationwide from 23rd January.

5. Ojon Restorative Leave-In Treatment – I attended the launch of this product about a month ago, and was really impressed with the instant smoothing and glossing effect it had on the live models’ hair. A pound-sized blob and a few seconds are all you need to transform the most dry and damaged of hair. It’s amazing.
£29.50, available from January in Harrods, Liberty and selected John Lewis stores.