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

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!