"Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art" - Ralph Waldo Emerson (American poet)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Boots Traditional Skin Care Range

I love Boots Traditional Skin Care Range. Great retro packaging that looks so pretty sitting on my bathroom counter. Decent prices and most importantly the products work. I am completely addicted to the cold cream. Handy for makeup removal and moisturising in one step. The rosewater toner (approximately £3) is soothing with a great smell (good for sensitive skin, acne prone etc). I have bought all these things as gifts and they've gone down well. Excellent if you're on a budget but want to give something to pamper.

Using cold cream never fails to make me feel glamorous! It's so old school Hollywood or something.

http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Traditional-Skin-Care-Cold-Cream-200ml_1126661/ (£2.37)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Wrinkle Here - A Wrinkle There

Hi there. Sorry I haven't been updating new posts - I was busy drinking and eating and spending time with two of my favourite people in Barcelona over Christmas (Emma and Dawn - thanks again dears!).

Dawn and I were getting ready for Boxing Day traditional Catalan lunch and as we put on makeup she stated that she wanted Carlos (her partner) to buy her botox one day for her wrinkles. I think Dawn is beautiful - and I said that I didn't think she needed it. I believe that she's earned the right to some lines (neither of us are spring chickens) and she just needs to ensure she stays out of the sun, quits the smoking and she would slow it down!

I have struggled most of my adult life to like myself and how I look. I do panic when I see the effects of aging and sun damage. So far I have been pretty lucky but it's going to happen to us all!

You know - I used to live with a nurse that filled faces for a living - I always wondered why she never did it to herself?

What is it?

Botox is one of the many trade names for the neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large doses, the protein causes botulism, a rare paralytic illness often linked to food poisoning.

However, the protein is used in cosmetic medicine to treat moderate to severe brow furrow (glabellar lines), uncontrolled blinking,
lazy eye, wrinkles, and facial creases. These procedures use a small amount of diluted botulinum toxin that enables controlled weakening of muscles.

How does Botox work?

Botox works to relax the contraction of muscles by blocking nerve impulses. The result is muscles that can no longer contract, and so the wrinkles relax and soften. It usually takes two to four days to see cosmetic improvement and the effects tend to last from four to six months. Most patients require retreatment to remove wrinkles and lines as they begin to reappear, but after each injection the wrinkles return as less severe as the muscles are trained to relax.

What are the side effects of Botox?

The most common side effect of Botox injections is temporary bruising. Other possible side effects include:
  • Headache
  • Respiratory infection
  • Flu syndrome
  • Blepharoptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid)
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion (heartburn)
Doctors in the USA and the UK have reported that some patients "binge" on Botox to the point where their faces look frozen. They refer to the term "Wrinklerexia" - when some Botox-devotees become so obsessed with their wrinkle-free image that they start seeing lines where there are none and binge on Botox to obtain a freeze-frame face.

She's never made a secret of it - but why Joan? WHY!?

Monday, 20 December 2010

California Girl

Brrrr - baby it's cold out there! However for the last few days my smile has been bright enough to light up any dark and dismal day! I had a card in the post with this little number in it from Catherine. She knew exactly what I would like! I am totally sold - it really does brighten up your smile. Thank you Ma Cherie!

Benefit Californa kissin - smile brightening lip shine - £13.00

Long lasting. I think it does make my teeth look whiter. Minty taste... just need some mistletoe and a beardy man.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Scent Commercial Overkill

Geez louise I am kind of getting sick of every second commercial on telly being one for a perfume/cologne/Eau de Toilette/pour homme whatever you want to call it! Chill out already!! We know it's Christmas and everyone should have a new scent to wear!!

Oh and by the way - I really really despise this! Jennifer - you need to take a break from the sun and you look chilly sitting there like that!

Brrr - it's so cold and I am so alone on this rock!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Interview With Emma

A Natural Beauty
 Partner in crime Emma has the most beautiful skin (and a natural beauty mark to boot!). She lives in Spain and is diligent about sun care which I admire. I on the other hand would be tempted to bake myself any given chance. I thought she would be a good candidate for my first interview and true to form she hasn't let me down. Thank you Emsa!

a) What is the best beauty product you've ever used and why?

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 - I use it everyday.  It soaks in well and doesn't look greasy and as a bonus it protects against the sun.  I like products that do more than one thing!  Another product that really surprised me was La Source Hand Recovery from Crabtree & Evelyn (http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/eng/products/hands-feet/hand-care/hand-treatments/hand_recovery?3144300) - it works instantly and my hands felt the softest they been in ages - a real treat!

b) What is your favourite makeup brand?

I don't wear much make up and don't have any brand loyalty, I must be saving myself a fortune!

c) What makeup do you put on diligently every day if any?

I rarely use any make up but I do have an obsession with lip balm!  On the odd occasion that I put on make up it's eye makeup - eye shadow and eye liner.  For a special treat, or if I can be bothered mascara!  I love lipstick on other people but never like the way it looks on me.

d) What skin care regime do you use?

I am terrible; I have no regime whatsoever!  I mainly stick to washing and moisturising and use toner and treatments only occasionally.  I have to have a heavy duty moisturiser because my skin is getting dryer especially my forehead.  The bonus of not wearing much or any make up is not having to remember to take it off!

e) In regards to anti aging do you do anything in particular? 

I always use SPF moisturiser or full suntan lotion in very sunny weather.  And I'm using more hand cream, my favorite is Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment cream.  When I remember I use eye cream - any brand and I try to drink enough water, but never quite manage the two liters or whatever it's meant to be!

f) What do you instantly feel better for using/wearing? 

A spray of perfume, and having a bath always cheers me up.  I love the Clarins hand cream because it smells so nice.  Yes, feeling warm and smelling nice are instant up-lifters!

g) What perfume do you like the most and why?

My favourite is Annick Goutal's Duel which I only realised after years of wearing it was a men's fragrance!  It's quite grown up and smells of tobacco flower and old roses, it has a sort of decadence to it, and also a bit of faded glamour - like a jazz club at the end of the evening just before the lights go up!  My other favourite smell is also a men's one; Obsession for Men - I love that!  I also like Thierry Muglar's Angel and anything that smells of roses, Stella McCartney does a nice one.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Tinted Moisturiser

I have been asking around quite a lot about foundations and what people use as a base and I have found that a lot of women only use a tinted moisturiser. Preferably one with an SPF.

Pros: Tinted moisturizers are extremely easy to choose and use. The shades are so sheer (some bordering on transparent) that getting the color exactly right is not essential. These are a great way to add a touch of color to pale or sallow skin, and the sheerness prevents a slightly dark or tan-toned shade from looking wrong. For those with normal to slightly dry skin, a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen can serve as their sole morning skin-care product once the cleansing step is done. 

Cons: The coverage can be too sheer for those whose flaws are more apparent, including skin discolorations, broken capillaries, dark circles, or birthmarks. Although some sheer foundations have a matte finish, most of them (and most tinted moisturizers) are not for those with oily or breakout-prone skin. If you have a tricky skin tone to match, a tinted moisturizer may still present problems, and there will be fewer shade options than with standard foundations.

Picking Your Color:

  - For a natural look, go a half shade darker

 - The colour in tinted moisturizers are not as intense as foundation
   but still try and keep color close to your natural skin tone

  - The way to gauge colour is in natural light. Go shopping for one with a friend. Try them on in the store and then go outside with friend and see which one suits you best.

Friends Favourites:
- Kiehl's Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 - £20.00 at SPACE.NK.
- Stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 - around £22.00 (can be found at http://www.lookfantastic.co.uk/)
- Clarins Hydra-Care Tinted Moisturiser - £17.60 Argos (or airport duty free)

Monday, 6 December 2010

To Cut or Not to Cut

A Hair Disaster

I was at the hairdressers this weekend to see my lovely hairdresser/friend Tiziana and have a fringe trim, highlights and blow dry. I have been going to Tiziana now for 7 years and am ever faithful even though I usually can't afford what her salon charges anymore. Ouch. However, your hairdresser can be your best friend. Tiziana is one of a few that always tells it to me straight about my appearance (hair and otherwise) and for that I am willing to pay her for her expertise and agony aunt qualities.

One month I got so fed up with my hair but my bank balance wouldn't allow me to make an appointment and most of my friends and family will know that when I get something into my head I don't wait - I have to deal with that issue then and there and this usually backfires. I thought it might be a smart idea to trim myself so I braided two pigtails and scissors in hand proceeded to chop the ends off thinking logically this would be an even cut. Well - to my dismay this was not the case and a friend brought it to my attention because I couldn't see the back of my hair but I had indeed made an upside down V shape. A very large upside down V. After all the money I've spent on my hair I couldn't believe I made such a stupid mess of my locks. I did go to see Tiziana after payday to sort it out and I don't think I've ever seen her eyes widen like that. She just looked at me and said "we're going to have to cut it off short" and I said just trim as best you can and I will live with it till it grows out. I think she also said "what the f--- have you done to your hair". Indeed.

So the moral of the story is ladies - even though you might "think" you know what you're doing unless you're trained in some fashion I really think you're best to leave the cutting to the professionals and if you're short on cash just grin and bear it till you can afford it.

Any other hair disaster stories?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

£40 Well Spent

I bought a Christmas pressie yesterday - for ME! I went to House of Fraser in The City and straight to my favourite counter - M.A.C. I had a wonderful makeup artist from Iceland help me. Her makeup looked good so I knew she'd know what to do.

I wanted to try a primer and also buy a really good tinted moisturiser that suited my skin tone. Both of these products work really well. The primer goes on first - apply with a good brush - let it sink in for a bit and then apply the tinted moisturiser and then blusher or whatever you want afterwards. I actually didn't feel I needed anything else. My pores seem to like it - not heavy at all and face feels hydrated which is good in this freezing weather.

I highly recommend going and chatting to the artists at the counter - take the time to choose the right colour. Don't be scared to say how you feel about things (too much, too dark etc). It was fun for us to talk and I told her about my blog so if she's reading this thanks again!

Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15 Medium

Face Protect Protection Visage SPF50

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Quiz Results!

Firstly let me just thank those who took part. Some of your answers made me chuckle - good effort! 
Catherine (first), Anne (a close second), Leesa (third) and Dawn (last - but you're always a winner to me:) Catherine achieved 7 out of 10!!! Well done! Please choose from here.


1. Which of the following celebrities never endorsed Lancome?

a) Juliette Binoche
b) Isabella Rossellini
c) Julia Roberts
d) Ann Hathaway
e) Uma Thurma
f) All of the above
g) None of the above

2. What did Cleopatra crush to get the stain for her red lips?

a) berries
b) beetles (the Carmine Beetle) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochineal
c) rose petals
d) cherries

3. Which is the oldest Cosmetics Company in history?
a) Revlon
b) Estee Lauder
c) Bourjois
d) Shiseido http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiseido

4. Which of these famous singers said this?
"But when I went on the stage to do a show, I would put on makeup because I felt that it enhanced my act; it drew attention to what I was doing"

a) Little Richard
b) Elvis Presley
c) Jerry Lee Lewis
d) Cliff Richard

5. Who is this make-up loving character?

David Bowie as Jareth

6. What is the most popular selling fragrance for women? 

a) Obsession
b) Joy
c) Chanel No. 5
d) Eternity
e) Poison

7. This became highly popular in the eighteenth century and all of these celebs have one today. What is it?

-Sarah Jessica Parker
- Angelina Jolie
- Eva Mendes
- Mariah Carey

A Beauty Mark

8. Which of these brands does Estee Lauder NOT own?

a) Prescriptives
b) Bobbi Brown
c) Tommy Hilfiger
d) Coty

9. What is America's number one selling beauty product?

a) Great Lash Mascara by Maybelline
b) Cover Girl Foundation
c) Lancome Juicy Tubes
d) Dove soap
e) Oil of Olay

10. A beautiful model in an evening gown appeared on the cover of a Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1915. She wasn't wearing a corset, her skirt was above her ankles and the back of her dress was scandalously low. But the model lacked one thing in particular that would set off a new trend in fashion in North America. What was it?

She shaved her armpits.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Sarah's Stocking Wish List

Here is the beauty page from Vanity Fair December 2010 issue I ripped out for you. If anyone out there is wondering what to buy me for Christmas this year I love pretty much everything on this page (sorry it's hard to see - it's how my scanner is set up) except the L'Oreal mascara who tests on animals so therefore bypassing. I covet the Estee Lauder White Linen jeweled turtle compact - how cute!!  I also can confirm the L'Occitane Shea Butter Body Balm does work well and smells divine! For £10 a great stocking stuffer. It is a US magazine but Selfridges, House of Fraser, John Lewis etc would sell most of these.

The photo is hard to read so I will list here for you. La, la, la On the first day of Christmas my true love (?) gave to me: 

Revive Limited Edition Artbox - £366 (neimanmarcus.com)
Lancome Tresor in Love eu de parfum - £46 (macys.com)
Creed Spice and Wood 250th anniversay edition £350 (creedboutique.com)
Molton Brown Media Candelas (Imp's Whisper and Night Tempest) - £31 (moltonbrown.com)
L'Occitane Shea Butter £10 (loccitane.com)
Chantecaille Petales perfume - £112 (neimanmarcus.com)
Gucci Guilty Pleasure spray - £49 (bloomingdales.com)
Doir Minaudiere palette - £51 (sephora.com)
Makeup For Ever (Rock for Ever Aqua Eyes) - £23 (sephora.com)
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, holiday edition - £67 (bloomindales.com)
Marc Jacobs Daisy solid perfume ring - £27 (sephora.com)
Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani - £19 (giorgioarmanibeauty.com)
Dolce & Gabbana The Lip Jewels - £38 (saks.com)
Cire Trudon Les Parfums d'Interieur - £90 (ciretrudon.com)
Nars Bento box set - £77 (narscosmetics.com)
Prada Infusion d'Iris de toilette - £54 (neimanmarcus.com)
Elizabth Arden Red Door anniversay edition - £38 (elizatharden.com) I remember having in the 90's!
Belle d'Opium eau de parfum spray - £56 (yslbeauty.com)
Estee Lauder White Linen jeweled sea turtle compact - £175 (neimanmarcus.com)


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Quiz Reminder

Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.
Zig Ziglar

Just a little reminder that the quiz is still open - there are 7 days left. You could win your very own Essie nail varnish (colour is up to you). I will be posting the answers on December the 1st. If you live outside of the UK it doesn't matter I will post to you no problem.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Search for the Bunny!

Look for the Bunny!

I really feel strongly about buying products that are not tested on animals or "cruelty free". I have in some instances not checked and ended up with something in my makeup bag which I have since found out about.
We need to think before we buy.


Gold Star Companies:

Marks & Spencer
Body Shop
Burt's Bees
Neal's Yard

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Little Brown Dress - Essie

Little Brown Dress. I love it - however in some light it looks black. That's the only negative thing I can say. In the right light it's a beautiful glossy brown. Perfect. Used with Topshop Under and Over.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Exhibition Post

I went to the Gauguin exhibition on Saturday night for a little culture. This post really has nothing to do with makeup but it does have to do with beautiful things. I was tempted to run off with this painting...


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Decolletage - Don't Ignore It!

Decolletage! I love that word don't you? It's rather fun to say. It is a wonderful word for a beautiful part of the body. Why do you need to care for your skin there? Because the skin on your decolletage is thinner than on your face, which makes it a tell-tale area for signs of aging.

Firstly - it needs gentle exfoliation as well as the face. Softly, softly and in a circular motion.

Pat dry - pick up your face moisturiser and put in palm. Stroke upwards starting at your neck up to your face. Always pulling up - never down. Make sure you're putting more cream on your chest and neck area than your face.

Golden rule - you MUST MUST MUST wear sunscreen on your decolletage! Do not go out of the house without applying in the sunny months when uncovered.

I believe just using a good face cream will do if you start early enough. If you're now a little worried and are seeing lines get something a bit stronger. This one from AVON had good reviews.

This one is for the ladies that have some cash to blow - I am going to try and convince my Mum to buy and test for us.

I have started using this on my decolletage and I like it because it's not greasy and it has collagen in it so must be good!
Sorry - couldn't resist. But Salma has a lovely decolletage!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

First Aid

I am ill. I was bragging the other day to my friend Nicola at work about how I hadn't been ill for over 6 months which is a record for me and then Monday started to feel funny and sure enough, after making a silly decision to indulge in a late night out, it hit me.

I know it's hard when you're under the weather to make any effort to look or feel good but I thought of a few things that seem to make me feel a bit more normal.

  • Use a nice cream on your face - this one is recommended by the girls at Vogue which they say helps to get your skin back to it's normal glory. Darphin Intral Soothing Cream, £36.
  • Many people think, "I'm sick, I'm not going anywhere, so no need to bathe." However, taking a bath is like washing the sick germs off your body. Use your favorite soaps.  Biotherm Lait De Gommage Milky Body Scrub, £21
  • Even though you're not going anywhere, and you'll be snuggled up in bed, a fresh pair of jammies will make you feel a lot better. When you're feeling clean and attractive, you can identify less as a sick person, and more as a person resting, or relaxing. This also helps lift the blue moods.
  • Drink water. Not only will it keep you hydrated, it will flush away the toxins and keep your body cells in fighting shape. Drinking water will also help your brain counteract negativity. Proper hydration will help your mood as it is physically essential and emotionally nurturing.  
  • Remind yourself that you are not required to feel sad just because you're sick. Divide the physical aches and pains with the emotional ones. Try not to let yourself fall into the "pity myself" mode. With a positive mindset, you can get over the sickness faster. (This is quite hard for me but I am trying). 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Puff Factor

If you get puffy eyes like me in the morning there are a few natural remedies you can try.
  • Place cucumbers over your eyes while lying down in a quiet room. You can also use a slice of a raw potato. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes.
  • Witch hazel. Just dampen a cotton terry cloth with witch hazel and place over your eyes while lying down. Rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the amount of sodium you consume for the next day. This will naturally pull the water out of the eye area.
  • A tea bag is also a puffy eye remedy. Apply a tea bag that has been used over the eye while resting. It contains a natural element called tannin in it which will work to relieve the swelling quickly. Relax for at least 5 minutes like this.
  • Cold compress. Use a small plastic bag and fill with ice, wrap it in a washcloth and place it on the eyes. Repeat as necessary. 
  • Cucumber/Potato Eye Press - Use either sliced raw potatoes or cucumbers and place slices on closed eyes for 15-30 minutes. 
If you want to look as cool as you can whilst relaxing with a compress may I suggest this little number from Anatomicals. Revitalizing Eye Mask - £3.00. 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Beauty Quiz!

What you've all been waiting for! The winner will receive an excellent Essie nail varnish - colour to be chosen by you! Competition closes December 1st. I will pull a name out of a make-up bag if more than one person answers all correctly.

Please list your answers in an email to me at perfectdragon@gmail.com along with your name and address.

1. Which of the following celebrities never endorsed Lancome?
a) Juliette Binoche
b) Isabella Rossellini
c) Julia Roberts
d) Ann Hathaway
e) Uma Thurman
e) All of the above
f) None of the above

2. What did Cleopatra crush to get the stain for her red lips?
a) berries
b) beetles
c) rose petals
d) cherries

3. Which is the oldest Cosmetics Company in history?
a) Revlon
b) Estee Lauder
c) Bourjois
d) Shiseido

4. Which of these famous singers said this?
"But when I went on the stage to do a show, I would put on makeup because I felt that it enhanced my act; it drew attention to what I was doing"
a) Little Richard
b) Elvis Presley
c) Jerry Lee Lewis
d) Cliff Richard

5. Who is this make-up loving character?

6. What is the most popular selling fragrance for women? 
a) Obsession
b) Joy
c) Chanel No. 5
d) Eternity
e) Poison

7. This became highly popular in the eighteenth century and all of these celebs have one today. What is it?
-Sarah Jessica Parker
- Angelina Jolie
- Eva Mendes
- Mariah Carey

8. Which of these brands does Estee Lauder NOT own?
a) Prescriptives
b) Bobbi Brown
c) Tommy Hilfiger
d) Coty

9. What is America's number one selling beauty product?
a) Great Lash Mascara by Maybelline
b) Cover Girl Foundation
c) Lancome Juicy Tubes
d) Dove soap
e) Oil of Olay

10. A beautiful model in an evening gown appeared on the cover of a Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1915. She wasn't wearing a corset, her skirt was above her ankles and the back of her dress was scandalously low. But the model lacked one thing in particular that would set off a new trend in fashion in North America. What was it?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mascara - What's In Your Bag?

Mascara - I can't even think of how many I've tested. When I talk to women about what's in their makeup bag it's always something new and exciting that I haven't tried yet and everyone has a favourite they tend to go back to. I personally like to change each time I buy one. The technology is vast with all the brush choices, long lasting wear, waterproofing, moisturising qualities, different colours... the list goes on and on.

Here is my recent purchase by DuWop - Lash Venom. I really, really like it. As I should for £20 but what the heck - I'm worth it! Adds great length to my very short lashes. Easy to apply and dries quickly. A few coats really makes my eyes pop.

I was short on change one month so opted for a cheapy and went for the new Falsies by Maybelline. £7.99 at Boots. I was really impressed. I thought it would be clumpy but it worked really well and easy application. It doesn't last as long as the more expensive mascaras but would buy again.

I am a huge fan of Lancome mascaras. I think Christie (from Exfoliating Cleanser fame) originally told me they were the best and they are. I have tried loads (each time I go to Duty Free I will be tempted to buy one). For a full body mascara try Hypnose Drama. I found this really does plump and separate. Great brush - easy to use. Pocket burner but lasts a long time. 

My friend Tanya likes this one by Kiehl's and I think I will try next on her recommendation.

Lash tip if you don't want to spend loads and just want an everyday solution:

Buy a mascara applicator or save an old one and clean it. You can clean an old mascara applicator by soaking it in baby oil then wash it with hot soapy water. You will now only use this applicator to apply Vaseline on your eyelashes. Put a bit of Vaseline on your clean mascara applicator. Then apply to your eyelashes just as you would apply mascara. The gloss of the Vaseline will give you the appearance of a longer lash.

Application Tip:
- Wiggle the wand left to right at the base of lashes. It's the mascara placed near the roots not the tips that gives the illusion of length.

- Pull the wand up and through lashes, wiggling as you go. The wiggling part is key because it separates lashes.

Ladies - what's in your bag right now?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Winter Feet

Over the weekend I looked down at my feet and realised that I haven't been paying them any attention lately. Considering they carry the weight of me I think it's time to give them some well deserved TLC.
During the winter we tend to forget about our feet. Take care of them in the colder months too! Here are some tips on how you can do that:

  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes everyday and don't wear shoes that don't fit properly. Only put on dry footwear - Athletes Foot and Fungal Nail infections are common conditions exacerbated by damp conditions.

  • When at home, never walk bare footed on the floor. Bare feet that are exposed to the cold will become cracked - marble floors inparticular. Try to wear slippers all the time.

  • Pedicures should be done on a regular basis. It will keep your feet properly cleaned and stylish. Your nails will be in shape and also free from all the dust/dirt in the corners. If you can pay someone to do this GREAT but if you want a cheaper option - do it yourself which is simple.

  • Ensure your nails are cut. Straight across and not too short but mid-length and file them afterwards.

  • Keep a foot file or pumice in your bath or shower. I have a great foot file called a Ped Egg. Concentrate on the heels. Also use a foot exfoliant such as Scholl Rough Skin Remover.

  • After bath or shower, use some lotion.  Moisturiser keeps them smooth and doesn’t let them become dry and rough. Massage especially on the heels where the skin cracks the most. Try and also do this before you go to sleep - keep next to your bed so you don't forget. To boost the effect wear socks - your feet will really love you for it in the morning.

Some favourites are:

Burts Bees

Boots Intensive Softening Foot Creme

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Thank you Bijou Living for giving me the 'I Love Your Blog Award'. I am not worthy but thank you!

The rules of the prize are:
- Do an entry with the prize.
- Answer the questions.
- Give the prize to 10 blogs.

1. Why did you create the blog?

I have a reputation for spending silly money on hair and beauty products and I keep up to date with what's new. I want nice things to pamper myself with. I can't afford designer clothes, bags or shoes and this is my way of treating myself. A few friends gave me a nudge to start a blog. I didn't think anyone would be interested and I am not a writer by any means but this is a little project that's outside of work and it gives me something to think about that's fun. I like the feeling of being a member of some sort of community - you're making friends and the swapping of ideas is great.

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?

All kinds. I am in blogger awe at the cleverness and caliber of writing that people have. It's a great platform.  

3. Favorite makeup brand?


4. Favorite clothing brand?

I am a fan of the high street, ASOS and of course eBay for real bargains (just got a fabulous black leather skirt from the 80's for £10). Vintage finds are great. Bijou found me a black velvet blazer £20 that I love.

5. Your indispensable makeup product:

6. Your favorite color:

I have two - purple & red. 

7. Your perfume:

for her - Narciso Rodriguez
essence - Narciso Rodriguez
Agent Provocateur

8. Your favorite film:

Star Wars

9. What country would you like to visit and why?

Cuba. Just always wanted to go, see the cars, have a cigar, drink rum with the locals. Maybe dance with a few Cubans.

10. Make the last question and answer yourself:

Who is my celebrity crush?

Zac Efron. He's old enough now that it's not too weird.

I'm supposed to pass it on to 10 others. I don't have 10 but I will pass it on to these lovely ladies who I faithfully follow. 


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Keratin (Brazilian Blowdry) - Article by Guest Corresponent

Keratin Hair Treatment. Don't believe the hype.

Article by friend Janine that needed a platform to tell her story. Thanks for sharing! There continues to be a lot of debate on this treatment - read on.
Living in NYC for 10 years my hair has had to deal with a lot of humidity. After many a frizzy bad hair day, I decided to get a Keratin Hair Straightening Treatment that I had seen advertised all over the city. At the end of July this year, I found a salon in my neighborhood that offered the treatment at a reasonable price and made and appointment.
I was really excited about the prospect of having silky smooth hair that I didn't have to spend time styling straight anymore. I got the treatment about 3 weeks before a family trip to London thinking that i could show off my smooth locks to friends and family. I had heard that some straightening treatments had formaldehyde in them and being cautious, I checked with my stylist who assured me that the treatment was formaldehyde free, with no other toxic or harmful chemicals and actually very good for your hair. While the treatment was applied, he explained that he was not putting it on the scalp to protect it and that he was setting in the treatment at 425 degrees, the temperature recommended for previously untreated hair.  I trusted him.

After keeping the treatment on my hair for 3 days, I washed it and it looked great. It looked great the next day and day after that too. In England my hair got the compliments I had hoped for and I was thrilled. When we returned home after 2 weeks, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my scalp was showing and that the part in my hair was wider than before.  In that moment, I realized that I had lost a noticeable amount of hair. It felt much thinner and it looked lank.
In the week that followed, I scheduled blood tests and a visit to my dermatologist, who had never heard of the treatment. After my blood work came back normal, I realised that it might be to do with the treatment I had just had. I went on line looking for answers and I found this site:

Story after story of women who had a Keratin Treatment and are suffering mild to severe hair loss. We were all told the same lie that these products do not contain formaldehyde. Little did we know that formaldehyde has different names or that there are chemicals when heated together which create toxins that are basically the same as formaldehyde. Shortly after I joined this site, I found these articles that support the fact that Keratin Hair Treatments are dangerous and extremely toxic:

and then this:

Not only are customers suffering these traumatic side effects, but it turns out that stylists are suffering health problems too.

Need I say more? Well yes, I do! Ladies, please don't make the same mistake I did, do some research before you put anything onto your scalp or skin. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Take note that this treatment is NOT offered by by Aveda, or L'oreal or any of the other reputable beauty companies. That alone should be a warning. Don't buy it because its the latest fad. Its mass marketed because companies are trying to make money from you not because they have your best interest at heart. I am lucky that I found out my hair loss was due to this treatment early enough that I could wash it out and start taking vitamins and detoxing myself before the fallout got too horrendous. 
If I can pass along my story and help prevent another person from going through the same experience that I have gone through then in a way it was worth it. 

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Update on Matte Effect

I wasn't sure about how I felt in regards to the matte. I tried it with a few colours and it just didn't look right until I did my nails last night with a standard cherry red (Gwen in Ciate ASOS Nail Paints - which is now out of stock sorry!).

This was the matte effect product I purchased from Rimmel and I am pleased with how it holds up - not as good as a glossy topcoat but for the price (£4.50) you can't go wrong. I would definitely add to your collection because sometimes a girl needs a change.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Eye Liner Tips

I love Joan don't you?

There are many ways to wear eyeliner. It totally depends on the look you're going for. I think practise makes perfect so keep at it and you'll find what works best for you.

- Pick a shade that suits your eye colour. Browns, bronzes and plums are great for lighter eyes and dark eyes can pull off drastic black. Forest green can make brown eyes pop. Silver and charcoals look best on green and blue eyes. Rich browns for green eyes and golds for blue eyes.

- Pencil eyeliner gives your eyes a softer definition while liquids offer precision and drama. I also use a creme eyeshadow as a liner such as this one from Benefit.

- If you're using a pencil sharpen it. Warm and soften the very tip of the pencil by heating with a hot quick blast from your hair dryer. This will help it write smoother. If your liquid liner is clumpy chuck it and buy another!

- If you want to use an eyeshadow as a liner apply a small amount of water to your brush (a drop will do). Move the wet brush gently through your shadow holding as you would a pen and apply.

- I find it easier to draw on a relaxed eye but this is up to you. Stretching the eye may encourage wrinkling. Try both ways and see what suits you best. Focus gently but intently on your eyes in the mirror.

- Draw a line across the upper lid on the lash line (as close to your lashes as possible while still on the lid). This creates the illusion of having thicker lashes.

- If you're using a liquid liner, allow it to dry before opening your eyes or the colour may transfer to the crease of your eye.

- To soften the look use your finger and gently smudge the line with your brush, cotton swab or finger. If you want a straight line, as is the case with liquid liner, do not alter unless it's messy. Any cleaning touch ups should be done with a cotton swab dipped in eye makeup remover.

- Line the lower lids - trace the outside of your eye (close to the lower lashes). Move from the outside edge inward, draw a line lightly but don't worry about perfection you can go back over the faint line and darken after the stroke. Your line should be slightly thicker at the outside corner becoming thinner - follow the natural shape of your eye.

Natural look - apply brown or black to one third of your top lash line and two thirds of your bottom lash line. Blend with cotton swab.

Dramatic look - try double coating. Or try a thicker line.

One final note for girls that like to apply makeup on the bus, underground or car. Unless you want to end up looking like a cyclops try to wait until the vehicle stops before appying! I have seen first hand someone who almost took their eye out.  

A couple of favourites:

M.A.C. Pencils

Rimmel London liquid eyeliner

Lily's Retro Look

Monday, 1 November 2010

Lipstick Queen - Black Tie Optional

My darling friend Catherine asked me which product I used when we were on a girls weekend in Spain which gives your lipstick a retro matte effect like screen sirens from the 50's. I happen to have found a wonderful product sold at SpaceNK (check here for other retailers around the globe). I can't find the link that shows this particular product there but they definitely do sell it. It's called Black Tie Optional by Lipstick Queen who are based in New York. It's £18.00 for the stick but it lasts forever.

You apply on clean, dry (preferably exfoliated) lips, one coat will do and then apply your chosen colour. It takes the shine out and gives that retro effect like it's been powdered. It makes reds look like a true blue toned red.

I also use with my Chanel Rouge Noir to make it darker.
Pucker Up!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Beautiful Songs

Everyday I ride the bus and to drown out the noise of many different languages being spoken and shouting over mobile phones I plug myself into the ipod. As I was scrolling through my song choices the other day my first thought was to find something loud - I was looking for something by AC/DC when I had a rare brainwave. Write a post on songs about beautiful women. It's quite amazing how many songs have been inspired and written about beautiful ladies.

The first one that came to mind was INXS - Beautiful Girl. But have you ever listened to the words of that song? I guess I had forgotten but it's really quite sad and it's all about this lost girl so scrapped that idea. I can't bear You're Beautiful by posh toss James Blah and Pretty Woman (except the Van Halen version) makes me feel physically ill.

My favorite is this one by Frankie Sinatra - swoon! Any others?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Red Lips For Everyone!

Throughout history women have painted their lips red. Pastels were popular in recent decades sure, but red is the shade that has stood the test of time and demands attention!

Red lipstick has been used as far back as Ancient Egypt. Egyptian women took a mixture of red lipstick on a palette into the after life to look their best. Similarly the Japanese Geisha’s apply it to perfection on their porcelain painted faces, the Victorians powder their faces to enhance the contrast to their crimson mouth, stained with poisonous mercuric sulfide. The 21st century women, including the 1940’s woman, equally maintain the right of a woman to look good under all circumstances. The 1940's woman dawned the red lipstick, even as they worked long hours in weapons factories to bring their men back home.

During a recession, the red lipstick is the instant booster at an affordable price. Estee Lauder’s chairman even coined the term lipstick index in 2001, when he noticed that lipstick sales increased after the 9/11 economic downturns. A lipstick is also a cheap way of owning a brand (i.e., Chanel, Dior).

Red lipstick has been linked to women with confidence and so many shy away from it saying it doesn't suit their personality or only certain girls can pull it off but I assure you ladies there is a shade out there for everyone and it will help you from becoming a wallflower to someone that you want to get to know - come out of your comfort zone! 

The Gorgeous Red Lips of Sophia
Top Reds