Sunday, 25 December 2011

Good Tidings We Bring...

... to you and your kin! Have a lovely, relaxing Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Time to Tousle

Style by Kling
Reading Style by Kling and absolutely sickened to see a post where Elin is doing a photoshoot and the hairstylist plaits a section of her hair underneath at the back because it's 'too thick'! What a nightmare! Anyway, totally loving the finished wavy style. Wondering if a Babyliss Waving Wand might create a similar affect. Anyone have one?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Eye Shadow for Blue Eyes


Most women know that brown and burnished colours are meant to make blue eyes stand out, but finding the right shade can be tricky. Some brown colours leave you looking tired or ill. This eye shadow from Lancome is perfect for adding subtle definition and is especially great on blue eyes. It's called 'Cuban Brown' and is from Lancome's Ombre Absolue Radiant Smoothing Eye Shadow range.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

What's in my Handbag?

I don't know about you but I love having a nose through other women's favourite products and what could be better than a peak in their handbag? That's the premise of new website What's in My Handbag? They have an advent calendar – the 25 handbags of Christmas – and I'm  today, the 18th. Click through to see some of my beauty essentials. I'm in great company so make sure you check the other days too!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas Gifts from Jo Malone

Who wouldn't want to open a beautiful gift-wrapped Jo Malone treat on Christmas day? This cracker with mini Grapefruit Cologne, Pomegranate Noir Body Creme and Lime, Basil and Mandarin Body and Hand Wash offers a little bit of luxury (and I do mean little – the cologne is 9ml) for £28. 

Unfortunately someone at Jo Malone missed a trick and it's sold out online. However, I think it's still available in store. I've had mine since the press event in July and haven't run out – the quality is so good that you only need a tiny bit. You can still smell the fragrance of the body products hours after application and they smell incredible! 

If this set is sold out, there are lots of other goodies on the Jo Malone website to choose from – last day for Christmas delivery is 12.00 pm Wednesday 20th December. I highly recommend the products as gifts.

Liberty Christmas Shop

Every year I decorate the (fake) Christmas tree at my mum's house and it's really not much fun at all. I miss my dad; Christmas feels pretend; the tree is always red and gold... Anyway, enough of my fractured family – this is about baubles.

Since I met someone in January, this Christmas promises to be different, and therefore, better. For reasons I won't go into involving his ex girlfriend, J doesn't have any Christmas decorations. This suits me fine as I get to buy all new ones!

It's been harder than I anticipated to get hold of some decent baubles. B&Q had the biggest selection but all had to be threaded. Sainsbury's and Tesco had a few as well. However, when in London for work I popped to the Liberty Christmas Shop and entered bauble heaven. So many beautiful glass decorations. I spent ages choosing the best ones. While some were quite expensive, most cost no more than the individual plastic baubles you see everywhere. Still, I only bought six!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Gorgeous Gifts for Girls: Clothes & Accessories

Clockwise from top left:
Hobbs NW3 Malton Sweater, £65. Navy jumper with a hint of sparkle. 

Michael Kors MK5076 chronograph watch, £179. If you can't afford a Rolex... Who can? Smart watch, more low-key than the gold versions.

Anya Hindmarch Girlie Stuff Wash Bag, £85. Maybe some lucky ducks can collect the whole range. I'd be happy with anything Anya!

Warehouse Jumper, £45. If you're a size 12 get an 8. It's loose. 

Archie Grand Notebook – Doctors I Met And Liked, £9.95. There's only one but I like him a lot! *smug face* These gorgeous notebooks come in multiple colours and phrases.

French Sole Harriet in Black Patent, £113. Toe cleavagey, patent, quilted pump perfection.  

Neom Christmas Wish Candle, £40. The best wintery candle, or so I'm told. For each candle sold £1 is donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Tissot Ladies PR100 Bracelet Watch, £134. For those with smaller wrists. I like this but prefer an oversized look so might opt for the men's version. (I haven't seen any of these watches in real life.)

See By Chloe Black Poya Flap Wallet, £135. Also comes in bright yellow! Classic shape but also fun.

Jigsaw Fair Isle Patterned Scarf, £59. She's a beauty! *

Jigsaw Large Leather Zip Wallet, £55. Reasonable price for a simple, stylish wallet. Also comes in black and gold. Love them all! 

Jigsaw Knitted Beanie Hat, £29. Slouchy without being grunge. * 

Hobbs Lafayette Necklace, £41. I've been on the hunt for the perfect jewelled necklace forever and ever. This comes pretty close. 

**cough* These items go with my Zara coat, as do these cashmere gloves. My wallet is worn out and I don't even have a watch... *cough*

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Practical and Pretty Christmas Gift Guide: Beauty


Clockwise from top left:
Life NK Ultimate Unwind and Drift Away Bath & Shower Gels, £12.50 each. Big bottles, free from synthetic nasties and smell lovely.

Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm, £36. Caroline Hirons says this is the shit. Works to decongest and normalise skin whether dry or spot-prone.

Elemis Tranquil Touch Exotic Stars, £25. Patchouli, cedarwood and vetivert scents, plus a mini candle to make your bathroom a bit spa-ish.

Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick in Red Lizard, £17.50. Hoping for warm skintone-suiting, wear-anywhere, perfect red.*

Laura Mercier Cream Cheek Colour in Blaze, £18.50. I've had this in another shade, Oleander, for years and love it. Repurchased it and got this one as well. Good for a wintery flushed cheek look.*

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Supersize, £36.76. Finished my sample bottle ages ago and definitely want more of this glycolic, skin-clearing stuff. Not a luxury to use but a necessity if your skin is lazy like mine. This size is good value and will last an age.

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment, £21.50. If your hair's as knackered as mine you might need this. All Aveda products are glorious and this has stellar reviews.

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser, £12. Amanda McLennan recommended this to me. I was sold.*

Origins Ginger Treats, £29. Ginger treats! Perfect for my inner redhead. Love the smell of this stuff.

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Cologne, £72. Trying out a little tester of this at the moment and it's probably more of a spring fragrance but anything Jo Malone wins in my book.

Chanel Miroir Double facettes Miroir Duo, between £23-£32. This seems to be a bit tricky to get hold of and I can't find a definite price. One side is a regular mirror, the other is magnifying. And it's Chanel. 

Bobbi Brown Eye Definer Brush, £23. Supposedly makes eye-shadow-as-eyeliner and gel liner a synch to apply. Ideal to use with...*

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, £16.50. Everyone says it's a classic. Time I found out what all the fuss is about. Hoping it's amazing for winged liner looks.*

* Stuff I already bought myself when House of Fraser had a sale on but might give mum to give to me for Christmas, aka, I haven't used it yet!

What beauty products are on your Christmas list? Or what beauty gifts have you received in the past and loved? Spill the beans... 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sarah Jessica Parker's Time to Shine

I think SJP looked stunning in this Theyskens' Theory dress at last night’s Kennedy Center Honors event. Not many people could pull it off but Sarah Jessica Parker's doll-like proportions lend themselves to the babydoll shape. Unusual and magnificent! What do you think?

Friday, 2 December 2011

Cos it's Cold Outside

I popped into Cos while in London this week for work and couldn't resist this gorgeous navy striped scarf. It's made of 65 per cent wool and is super long, wide and snuggly. I also love the pretty Christmassy coloured bag with gift tag; it makes my present (to myself) even better!

The Cos scarf costs £35. It reminds me of this All Saints scarf that I was obsessed with last winter. Still love it.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Brush Cleaning Secrets

I don't have any. Do you? I could never be a makeup artist (aside from the total lack of skill) because I find brush cleaning one of the most boring activities in existence. My current method involves shampoo, my hand and a lot of swirling and rinsing. Any useful tips or shortcuts gratefully received. I get to a point where I just stop using brushes rather than wash them. Lazy little me. Ps I promise to blog more in December.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Review: A Scent by Issey Miyake

Sometimes you don't want to smell of spices or berries or dew collected from the backs of rare Himalayan mountaintop beetles; you just want to smell 'clean'. Enter... A Scent by Issey Miyake.

This fragrance is very green, very clean and borderline soapy. Those people who are obsessed with the smell of fresh linen and washing powder – this one's for you.

Here's the description: 'floral, feminine and warm: a bouquet of flowers made of hyacinth, jasmine and rose petals fused with the warmth of woody notes.' I smell hyacinth – delicate yet pervasive – but I don't smell jasmine or rose. This perfume doesn't strike me as warm or woody, either. It's as cool and crisp as a cologne but with enough white floral to stop it from being masculine. One you'll either love or hate.

It's too green for me, or maybe just too grown-up.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Magazine Fatigue

So far so chic
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I adore magazines. The shiny covers, the photos, the content... Even the ads have aesthetic appeal to me. Sitting down with an immaculate new glossy is a treat and an occasion that warrants peace and quiet and a freshly brewed cup of tea.

However, I don't like them as much as I used to. My experiences in journalism and blogging have taught me how advertising- and money-motivated the content is – when the beauty editor says she loves something, she has to say she loves it because the advertisers pay her wages. Magazines give me ideas: blogs provide the reality behind beauty editors' suggestions.

I always loved ELLE but it's really lost its shine through ever more annoying attempts to be 'cool'. The fashion pages are unwearable and abstract and the modular, formulaic layout of the articles bores me before I've read a word. As a subscriber I felt increasingly disappointed and irritated with the crap 'subscriber covers'. Black and white close-ups where half of the person's face is obscured by hair? What an exclusive treat! As an editor of careers magazines I'd help to choose the cover images for my publications: a bad cover really bothers me. I want glamour, not Kirsten Dunst with one eye. Subscription not renewed.

Yawn. ELLE's subscriber covers. 
My favourite for the past few years has been Red. Apart from a few irrelevant articles about having kids, how kids make mess, how busy women are after they have kids... it's all good. Hugely readable, gorgeous fashions (thanks to SFSC girl crush Laura Fantacci at Wearing It Today) and aspirational home and cooking pages too. I loved this Cat Deeley cover from July 2011. Glam, fun and summery.

Which brings me to Vogue's delightful December 2011 cover. I saw this in the supermarket and wanted to buy it. I don't particularly relate to Vogue but I love this cover. Doesn't it make you happy? Who wouldn't want a Vogue Christmas? Maybe I am still a magazine girl after all... 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Noë Shoes? Welcome to the Candy Shop

Last Friday I attended the BINTM Live event for work. While checking out the stalls at the exhibition I stumbled across Noë shoes. Any arrangement of multiple different colours of one thing appeals to me; when that 'thing' is shoes, I get overexcited.

Noë is a Belgian company founded in 2008 by Luca Dereu. The brand offer 87 colours, 7 different heel heights, 7 different materials and 7 different styles. They also make a wide range of sizes. The chap on the stall told me they have a website but I can't find it. However, the shoes are currently available on Sarenza. Noë are due to open a store on London's King's Road soon as well. Who's tempted?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Recent Happenings + Charlie Becomes a Real Dog

So far so chic
Pretty new hair thanks to Marie at Impression Hair Design, Stroud.
Charlie got a ball he can actually fit in his mouth and is keen on it. 
J took me for a surprise spa weekend at Wyck Hill House Hotel!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Review: Elie Saab Le Parfum

Every bit as beautiful as one of Elie Saab's ethereal evening dresses, the Lebanese designer's first perfume is called simply 'Elie Saab Le Parfum'. The 90ml bottle is satisfyingly heavy, with faceted glass and clear plastic lid. A very pretty addition to your dressing table...

The perfume is described as having top notes of orange blossom and middle notes of jasmine absolute and patchouli heart. The base notes are cedar accord and honey rose. On application, you first smell jasmine (a little too strongly for my taste – as I've mentioned before, I'm not keen on jasmine). Mingling with orange blossom and the warmth of cedar, the jasmine absolute creates a leathery, peachy finish that's strong yet delicate. My favourite thing about the scent is the soft, powdery drydown: it mingles perfectly with skin. You can't smell it on yourself after a while unless you put your wrist to your nose.

After the slightly overpowering first waft, Elie Saab Le Parfum is really rather lovely. What do you think ladies? Tempted to have a sniff?

Elie Saab Le Parfum is available at

Monday, 10 October 2011

Smooth News: BIC Soleil 'Lady'

When it comes to razors I tend to go for no frills sensitive men's ones as they're cheap and have lots of blades to get the job done quickly. However, having tested the new BIC Soleil 'Lady' razors over the past month, I might have to rethink my hair removal options.

These razors have shaver grip technology to help prevent you from dropping them when your hands are wet from the shower or bath. They still have the multiple blades (three or four depending on which type you opt for) that you get from men's razors, but they come in bright, sunny colours and have a moisturising strip infused with aloe vera and vitamin e to help prevent irritation and razor burn. I took one 'Lady' razor on holiday with me and used it virtually every day for two weeks. I was beyond impressed that the lubricating strip didn't wear away or flake off in all that time. They usually only last about two days!

To celebrate the launch of the new range, BIC have created a Facebook page on which they'll be giving away a host of weekly prizes. They've already sent one lucky person on a trip to New York! To enter, simply 'Like' the BIC Facebook page and answer the weekly questions. The Facebook page is also the place to share beauty hints and tips. Visit to join the fun. You can even follow on Twitter:

Suddenly shaving your legs seems a little less dull!

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