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

Thursday, 30 September 2010

If You Like Matte...

So this blog is helping me learn a lot - which is great. I feel a little silly that I have never heard of a product that you could apply over top varnish that would give it that "matte" effect. How brilliant right? Silly Sarah...

Anyhoo - dedicated to Slaminsky - as requested.

£4.50 Rimmel London Pro Matte Top Coat
Mid Range
£10.95 Essie Matte About You 
Pocket Burner (but probably awesome)
£18.25 O.P.I Matte Nail Envy Natural Nail Strength
All available from http://www.asos.com I heard the Number 7 from Boots version is good too but sold out online (that was my first choice - I decided to go with the Rimmel watch this space). 

I found this blog as well quite helpful, great for colour swatches and she's got great nails!

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant

It's getting a little chilly here in London and I thought I would share what is probably quite a well known beauty tip for the colder weather. I am sure many ladies have Lizzy Arden's 8 Hour Cream kicking around in a drawer or purse or bedside. We all know it lasts and only needs to be used sparingly. I faithfully use it when on a flight to keep skin hydrated and its great for chapped lips in winter. It does tend to be quite thick and hard to spread around but I now put a tiny bit in my palm and then use a small amount of light moisturiser like Simple's Hydrating Light Moisturiser (50ml £1.00 with Ocado!) and this will help break the 8 Hour creme down and you can smooth all over face and under eyes. Try not to touch your face after application -be patient and let it sink in. Will leave your skin feeling soft and protected against wind and rain and snow (boo)!

If you have a fringe pin it back or don't apply so much to forehead as it does tend to stick a bit.

I searched web and for the UK found a good deal for £23 at Look Fantastic website.

Keep an eye out on Superdrug as well as they usually beat the competition (i.e Boots) and sometimes will do deals on this particular product. For the North Americans any drug store sells and also Ebay is a brilliant place for deals. Remember it lasts ages so it's an investment.

A little trivia which I just learned is that Miss Arden also famously used it to soothe her thoroughbred horses' legs! I say!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Washing and Conditioning Your Locks

A lot of people don't know how to wash and condition properly. Did you know it's a complete myth that you need to get a large lather worked up in order to get your hair clean. If the shampoo isn't lathering much it just means the oils and dirt that is in your hair is "using up" the surfactants (foam) ability. You only use an apporopriate amount in accordance with how much hair you have. Less is more and too much on shorter hair will damage.

About a tablespoon will do on long hair. Make sure your hair is completely wet. Apply shampoo. As long as you're massaging the shampoo into your scalp you're doing it correctly. Don't worry about the ends - as the shampoo is rinsed out it will clean the rest. Massaging will remove dead skin cells and help control dandruff. Rinse well - ensure no shampoo is left in your hair.

Apply conditioner. Do not apply it on your roots, but apply on the ends. The ends are damaged most and require extra care. Leave the conditioner for at least a minute - if you can go longer do so. Rinse your hair if necessary. Check the conditioner you pick on. If the conditioner is a leave in one do not rinse, otherwise use less water to rinse your hair. Rinse your hair with hot water to remove dirt and rinse in cold water to make your hair shine and to close the cuticle

Squeeze out as much water as you can from your hair. Blot your hair with a towel to remove water. DO NOT rub the towel, as it may hold fibers damaging to your hair. When combing do not use a small comb - use a large toothed comb as small combs damage wet hair and create split ends.

I have naturally curly hair and find that when I am conditioning I use fingers to run through my hair and get out as many knots as you can in the shower. This will help the conditioner get to most of the hair and it's much easier to comb through afterwards.
Try not to wash your hair everyday - natural oil is healthy for hair!
If you find you're getting flaky scalp or dandruff this may be that you're eating richer foods or drinking too much wine. It can happen in the colder months.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Dreaded Wrinkles

Oh - we're all gonna get em! There is not a lot we can do to stop time unfortunately. I had a request from Dawny to find her the ultimate wrinkle cream. I have asked around and will list my findings of course but I do know the following after looking at numerous websites...
a) stay the hell out of the sun (doesn't bode well Dawn with your Med lifestyle) and always use sunscreen.
b) no smoking.
c) drink water - a lot! 7 pints a day if you can manage.

Many of the anti-wrinkle creams and lotions you find at your drugstore or even at your high-end department store aren't likely to do much to reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. That's because they don't contain the kinds and/or the amounts of active ingredients that can truly have an effect on sagging skin.
Some of these products can, however, help remove dead cells from your skin cells that can "trap" make-up, making your skin look more wrinkled than it actually is. (Many women notice that when they wear make-up, their wrinkles appear magnified.) So by removing those cells, the creams and lotions may help your skin look slightly smoother. But that's not the same as reducing the wrinkles. I guess Botox or fillers would be temporary solutions but I don't think that method is right for me personally.
My friend Christie swears by Bio Oil (around £12-£16 depending on size). Most health food shops will sell. Also Waitrose ,Boots and Superdrug for those in the UK. I believe in Canada most drug stores. I would not use this if you suffer from oily skin however.
I have tried this myself and didn't like for me because of the strong scent but many many women swear by Boots Number 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum. Around £19 for 30ml. They're always running out of stock so all those women can't be wrong right?
Defiantly splurge on a good moisturizer that has SPF protection. A favorite brand of friends is tried and trusted Kiehl's. They have numerous products with sun protection and also a new range for existing skin damage treatment. Various prices.
Not cheap but darling - you're worth it!

* I have researched wrinkles a bit more and they are genetic as well so if your mum and gramma have/had them you most likely will too.

Butter Nail Varnish

Butter Nail Varnish. A company that stresses that they don't use any "bad stuff" in their products.

Great website, great shades for £12. Like seriously amazing shades. However I think I must have spent 1/2 hour convincing my friend Linsey to NOT purchase the coveted Fash Pack shade (photo attached). I can't help but wonder if all the "bad things" in polish are there for a reason? I don't want to get technical about each chemical component - that's not what I care about but I will tell you that after about three months it's really gloopy. It takes AGES to dry even with a top coat speeder upper and it doesn't last which is the main thing. As my other good friend Tammy said to me when you invest all that time applying, perfecting etc you expect it to bloody last!
Sorry Butter - I am just not going to purchase again even though I am very much in love with your British Racing Green.

Behold! A Great Paint!

Yes - get excited! I want you to! Please let me introduce you to Illamasque nail polish in Velocity. Two words people - purple and pleasure. It goes on matte and it's not thick or goopy. The purple is a very cool shade and I can't stop staring to look at my nails and admire them. I know it might seem that bright purple is a summer color but I can assure you that this looks very good with black or gray. I did have the ladies asking about it at a party a couple weeks ago. At £12.50 it's not for the faint hearted and I swore I wouldn't spend that much on a nail varnish ever again but I can't help it!!! The colours are so pretty!


Artist tip from the site which is quite handy -


Start polishing from the little finger to the thumb and always leave a clear line around the cuticle wall to avoid nail colour bleeding.
Now my dear friend Anne asked if there was a product you could buy that would turn your nail polish matte if it was not a matte shade. Well Anne - I can't seem to find anything but I could be completely wrong. I think you need to purchase a true matte shade such as the one mentioned above. I really like their site as they list the finish next to the colour description. I could see you wearing


Dark plum brown, glossy finish

However you'll have to wait - there's a waiting list! Kind of nail varnish mania I guess.

My first post - it's truly exciting stuff. I have been thinking about this for ages and although I am not a seasoned writer I am very intersted in beauty and all the magic that it contains so I hope I can be of some use to someone or learn something here too!

My first post is on my favourite brand who I have tried and tested through and through and still amazes me - M.A.C cosmetics. Did you know that M.A.C was first created by two beautiful men in Toronto Canada (Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo) in 1984. However, the first store was opened in 1991 in the Big Apple (Greenwich Village). Makeup giant Estee Lauder acquired controlling interest of M.A.C in 1994 and since the 1998 completion of the aquisition have been running it ever since.

That's a little Canadian trivia for you:)

So they do a lot of amazing product but my first blog is on the new Cremesheen glass. An amazing nude shade called Fashion Whim. Brand new girls - it's great over and under darker colours and not sticky. You will have to reapply a few times over the course of the day but it's so much fun to put on - really creamy and no clumping!