Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Sleek eyes

(Lovely Laura modelling Sleek eyeshadow from the i-Divine palette)

Laura is the best person to speak to about finding a great bargain, her outfits and make up always look immaculate.

Last week Laura was wearing the most magnificent shade of electric blue eyeshadow which she bought in a palette from Sleek make up. I monitored the lasting power of the eyeshadow throughout the day and it hadn't creased. I was so impressed! The Sleek palettes cost just £5.99 for 12 shades!

In the picture above, Laura is wearing the purple from the same palette called i-Divine. The colours can be worn alone or mixed to create your own signature look, there is a gorgeous array of colours. I'm going to Superdrug tonight to pick me some palettes up. I love them! 

Check out the Sleek website here.

Dull lifeless hair?

Nope, this is NOT a L'Oreal advert but seriously, if you're hair is a bit on the dull side, prone to frizz breakouts and you just want silky smooth hair? You have got to get the Moroccanoil Hair Mask, it's enriched with Argan Oil and after just one use, my hair is silky and smooth.

I'll be using this as my once a week treat to maintain my frizz-free hair. I even got caught in the rain yesterday and my hair didn't frizz up. My friend is getting my the actual oil as well from her local wholesalers. I think it's available to buy from http://www.lookfantastic.com/. Please let me know if you guys have seen this brand anywhere else. It's truly amazing!

Brighten up your skin in 60 seconds with Liz Earle

I’ve been using the Brightening Treatment Mask by Liz Earle for a few weeks now. I believe in testing products out for at least a week or two to decide whether I love it or not and I’m happy to announce that this is another one of my star products.

I love how this face mask comes with a muslin cloth because that’s something that can annoy me about face masks when they’re very rich and creamy – trying to rinse it off and it just moves around my face, as well as making a mess with splashes of face mask-water everywhere.

During the week I have been mixing the mask with Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish to give my skin a little boost, I must say, I’m completely addicted to this new formula now!

The Brightening Treatment Mask has been designed for skin when it needs a quick fix, it’s packed with naturally active ingredients such as organic aloe vera, purifying white clay and toning witch hazel. The camphor oil stimulates skin and sweet almond oil softens and smoothes.

How to use;

Use in the morning or whenever a quick fix is needed. Apply one pump to clean, dry
skin. Leave for between 30 seconds and two minutes. Soak the soft, pure muslin cloth
provided in hand-hot water and gently wipe away.


50ml pump Starter Kit + muslin cloth £12.75

50ml pump £12.00

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fantasy Nails at the Nailympics 2010

So, I got an amazing interview with Sam Biddle. I also had a super quick catch up with Newcastle's finest - Vikki Taylor-Dodds who entered the 'Fantasy' category in the Nailympics at Olympia Beauty.

Here are some images of her fantastic creation which took over 90 hours to complete!

Be inspired..by Nail Guru Sam Biddle

I took a trip to one of the biggest International nail competitions in the world – the Nailympics 2010 at Olympia Beauty.

Some of the world’s top manicurists with years of training come here to compete against each other for the number 1 spot.

I managed to catch up with International Nail Guru ‘Sam Biddle’ and also snapped some pictures of UK entrant Vikki Taylor Dodds ‘fantasy’ nails.

So, Sam, how did you get into nails and how long have you been in the industry?

I started in the industry in 1999 some 11 years ago now, and it was quite by accident. I loved doing my own nail art, and used to buy the spangles kits from QVC. I ran out of friends and family with long nails, so I thought I would learn how to create talons to paint. I called up united beauty and they booked me on their beginner’s class. I stuck with united beauty for 2 years before moving over to EzFlow. I used to come to the shows and spend hours at the EzFlow stand.

I have been truly wowed by your designs, especially the stiletto nails. Would you say this is your signature design?

I enjoy doing and especially wearing stiletto nails, but I wouldn’t say they are my signature nails. I think my signature nail is the liquorice allsorts… I was inspired to create them by Antony on my Masters and have become known for them.

(FYI – Antony Buckley is a World Champion in nail art and also teaches nail design classes)

How long does it take you to complete a set of nails?

For clients, between 1.5 - 2 hours, if I am working on some ace design nails then 3 hours.

You must be a great artist. Do you think you can be taught this type of design work whether you’re creative or not?

I do think you can teach design nails, you can re-create pretty much any design as long as your shown the application technique, but what most people find difficult is coming up with something new, or be inspired by things around them. I wouldn’t say I am a great artist, just that I am able translate my inspiration onto a nail, and more importantly have the ability to help others do the same.

I have never seen anything like your designs. Where does your inspiration come from?

Oh my goodness, everywhere and anywhere, from packaging, advertisements, clothing and shoes. Generally I think of a theme ‘ tropical or valentines’ and then I research every think that is synonymous with it. I collect images and fabrics and come up with a design. Other times I just want to try a new technique and just play until all of a sudden I have a nail. To be completely honest most of time I have no clue what the nail will end up looking like.

What brands do you use to do your design work? And which are the best brands to use for aspiring nailista’s?

I love using EzFlow for my acrylic design work, and some of the glitter powders from NF. For gel I enjoy IBD and the colour range it has, but the range from Astonishing is great, especially the cover pinks. I also use the 3D gels from LCN, to be honest I am a bit of a collector…I have the most gorgeous green from CND, and a beautiful yellow from IBD, EzFlow has Cocktail time….you can see where this is going.

Out of all your creations, which are you most proud of?

Oh my goodness that is a hard one, I absolutely love my poppy nails, which are relatively recent, but I am not sure they are my proudest nails, I think this is a hard questions, because I fall in love with whatever I am working on at the moment…it’s like asking me to choose a favourite child. Every set has a little ‘back story’ it’s hard to decide. Right now I’m loving creating images.

So, when can you do my nails? Haha. Do you even do ‘regular’ nails anymore?

I do still do clients, I have girls come from all over the country, generally for special occasions, weddings or holidays, someone travelled 3 hours to have me do their nails, now that is a hard core tech. I have a small selection of clients I still do, they have stayed with me from the early days and actually won’t let me go. I do them every other week on a Wednesday. They now come to my house, although they used to enjoy the benefits of a salon, they have become friends now.

Thank you so much Sam, it was great catching up with you. I still can’t believe some mad fan stole your design board with all your bespoke designs.

To learn more about Sam or to attend one of her design classes, visit http://www.sambiddle.co.uk/ or read her blog here.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Meet the woman responsible for my new lashes - Trish McEvoy

So many of you have asked me on my facebook fan page if Trish McEvoy's Lash Enhancer is really responsible for my new-found eyelashes. The answer is YES and now you can meet the creator and founder herself to ask her more about this wonder product and also for a make up Master Class.

Trish will teach you the ins-and-outs of her new Autumn 2010 Collection, featuring instant beauty solutions. You can also learn all about Trish's timeless beauty principles and innovative new technqiues to enhance your natural beauty.

Date: September 21 and 22

Time: 6pm

Venue: Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge

Fee for workshop £25 redeemable in product purchased on the day


Date: September 23

Master Class Times: 10.30, 1.00, 3.30, 6.00

Venue: Selfridges Oxford St

Fee for Master Class £75 redeemable in product purchased on the day

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Instant Boost Skin Tonic - shaken not stirred

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

When I was a child I always used to love using my ma's Anne French cleanser and cucumber toner. I didn't know what the purpose of the toner was then but I loved that fresh and clean feeling after using toner. I don't think there is much focus around toner these days because there are so many great products which cleanse and tone in one.

However, I thoroughly enjoy using Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic. This heavenly scented floral tonic revatilises my skin when I need instant radiance. It's alcohol-free so non-drying like toners I've used in the past and it adds a fine layer of moisture. 

I like to use this at night after cleansing and in the morning before I put  my make up on. 

Key ingredients

Naturally sourced Vitamin E
Organic Aloe Vera
Rose-scented Geranium

This fabulous tonic also comes in a spritzer, perfect for travelling and holidays.

200ml bottle (in picture) costs £11.50

Korres Nourishing Body Butters

I'm sure by now, you all know I am a major Korres groupie! I love everything about this brand and the rich, indulgent body butters deserve my Make Up IT Girl Star Product Award for the 'Best Body Moisturiser'.

What is so amazing about these body butters compared to other brands?

First of all, each body butter contains its own active ingredient, so they aren't just perfumed/flavoured according to one's preference. Although, I have had every body butter and each one smells divine and the scent lingers all day (especially Vanilla Plum and Guava - my two favourites).

Also, the quality of these butters are the best I have ever tried (and I have tried them all), this is in comparison to High Street brands as well as luxury spa brands. I refuse to use anything else on my skin (even my husband has starting using them, he loves Fig) and he always said there isn't anything more moisturising than Cocoa Butter (he's eating those words now).

All of the Korres body butters contain Shea Butter. They melt into skin rather than on skin (for example, like Cocoa Butter) and you don't have to worry about waiting for your skin to absorb the product before putting on your clothes. If only I could transmit the scent right now through this blog, the smell of Vanilla Plum is pure indulgence, so warm and sensual. I love how I can smell this on me throughout the day.

My other favourite Guava (will always remind me of Miami, I used this religiously after sunbathing because it's so nourishing). Guava has a sweet tropical scent which makes me feel all fresh and gives me that holiday feeling.

Today I moisturised with the Jasmine Body Butter, I've always loved the sweet floral scent of Jasmine (I was also close to being named Jasmine by my dad but my ma was a massive fan of Charlie's Angels so called me Farrah). Aromatherapists believe that Jasmine essential oil boosts self confidence and helps one break free from the grip of mild depression. They also believe that due to the sensuality of Jasmine, it helps with 'sexual invigoration' (there you go single ladies, layer some Korres Jasmine Body Butter all over you on your next date) love it!

Get buttering...


RRP: £11.50

It's all in the eyes..thanks to the lashes

Get ready for image upload-overload...I am astonished at how this product actually works! You may remember in a previous post that I have been testing out the Trish McEvoy Lash Enhancer. Well, here I present to you the results after only 3 weeks of using Trish McEvoy's Lash Enhancer Nighttime Conditioning Treatment.

I went to work this week WITHOUT mascara and it felt so good, nobody even noticed, that's how good my eyelashes look, I am so impressed. This is definitly one of my Make Up IT Girl Star Products - AMAZING! I never imagined I would be able to have naturally thick, healthy looking long lashes and now I have, thanks to the wonderful Trish McEvoy!

I am going to have to add this product to my night time regime forever. These are the results after just three weeks, I noticed that my lashes looked thicker after just two weeks. I will continue using it for the recommended six weeks (so another three weeks to go) and I'll report back with the results.

Trish - you're a legend!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

YOTUEL: The first attractive Anti-ageing toothpaste

I LOVE nice, white teeth and I believe that perfect white teeth could be the new secret to looking young (does anyone even remember Cheryl before her perfect veneered smile?).

Yotuel protects and whitens teeth daily, the unique patented formula of the toothpaste (more like an indulgent tooth cream) remineralises tooth enamel. Developed by sisters (yay, more intelligent, inspirational women) and practicing dentists to the Spanish elite in the uber chic area of Barrio De Salamanca in the heart of Madrid, Yotuel all•in•one toothpaste whitens from the first application with the same whitening ingredient that is used in the dental practice, Carbamide Peroxide.

I love the idea of using a cream on my teeth, I use creams everywhere else on my body, so why should my teeth be any different. The toothpaste respects the health of the mouth due its low abrasivity. It is free from sodium lauryl sulphate (which has been linked to recurrent mouth ulcers) detergent, sugar and alcohol (perfect for me because I don't consume any alcohol), and is neutral pH.

Something else I love about this brand is the exquisite packaging, I normally hide the usually unattractive tubes of toothpaste in a drawer, however, the sleek black and white packaging sits attractively on my black marble window ledge.

I'm not usually a fan of whitening toothpaste, but I personally love Yotuel, I can use it daily, it combats sensitivity, whitens teeth and it's formulated with Xylitol so it freshens breath too. I'm also loving the Yotuel Alcohol-free mouthwash! I'll update you tomorrow.

Me encanta!

RRP: 8.99

Available from: John Bell & Croyden and http://www.cupidandgrace.com/

Sunday, 5 September 2010

MAC Pro longwear lipsticks

(L - R: Good to go, Overtime and Prolong)

Wow, I’ve recently become a Matte Lipstick junkie, I just can’t get enough of them, especially with how they’ve evolved from the drying-out-lips formula (which is why I kept away from them for so long, until now) to becoming so moisturising and smooth.

My bridal make up artist mate – Raj Dillon knows me oh so well, she chose three perfect colours for me from the new MAC pro longwear lipcreme collection. I must admit, I haven’t ever really been a fan of the quality of MAC lipsticks but I love the colours. However, the pro longwear lipcreme’s are the best quality MAC lipsticks I have ever tried. At long last, MAC lipsticks I love! Thanks Raj.

(Good to go - my fave/coral)

I also want to recommend the MAC Prep + Prime Lip scrub, it's amazing and especially good to prime lips for matte lipsticks, use with a silicon based primer on lips or Nuxe Honey Lip Balm.

(MAC Prep + Prime for lips)

NARS: New Pure Matte Lipstick Collection

I own over 50 lipsticks (on the last count and that doesn’t include lipglosses) and a fifth of those are all NARS, none of them are matte. I actually didn’t own any matte lipsticks until now.

I took a trip over to the NARS pop up counter in Selfridges last week where I met some of the NARS make up artists. I got chatting to the lovely David who found it hilarious that my friend who came with me calls me Janice Dickinson! (Pre-surgery I hope and in her young days on the cover of Vogue).

The new NARS Matte Lipsticks are luxuriously rich, which glide on effortlessly, without drag, cakiness or resistance. They defy the traditional challenge of long-wearing lipsticks, they didn’t dry out my lips and stayed on after my meal at Busaba.

Rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin E and Acai Oil, Pure Matte nourishes and conditions lips. Wild Mango Butter’s advanced moisturising properties work to repair lips from dryness and scaling (that is so grosse when I see lips like that), leaving lips feeling supple and soft.

There are six amazingly deeply pigmented colours;

• Volga (Deep Aubergine)

• Bangok (Soft Rose) – I LOVE

• Tonkin (Cinnamon Plum)

• Terre De Feu (Black Cherry)

• Tashkent (Nude Beige) I LOVE

• Vesuvio (Full Bodied Red) I LOVE

(Wearing Tashkent)

Vesuvio is the colour I chose to take away, it is the best red I have ever come across, perfect for my skin tone, not a blue or a burgundy red, a true blood red.

(Wearing Vesuvio)

I am a now a Matte Lipstick fan. Thank you NARS.

RRP: £18

Available from Selfridges

Beauty and Brains: Lena Korres

(Me and Lena Korres)

(New products added to the Quercetin & Oak range)

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the KORRES press launch to meet the beautiful and intelligent co-founder of KORRES - Lena Korres, who introduced two new perfumes and four new products which have been added to the best selling collection – Quercetin & Oak anti ageing skincare range.

The new products are a light-textured cream, an eye cream, a face serum and the first wrinkle-filling make-up product (a silicon free primer) that incorporates the findings of the five-year primary study.

Quercetin, which is derived from Oak bark is a natural version of Retinol and a powerful antioxidant. Some may find this difficult to comprehend but this range has been scientifically proven to be better than retinol based products currently on the market.

So, in order for you to understand that natural products can defy ageing, here is the science.

The natural anti ageing Quercetin & Oak line is based on a NOBEL awarded discovery. KORRES have invested a lot of time and money into Research & Development and spent five years focusing their research on the function of the anti-ageing mechanisms at cellular level to find the antioxidant that stimulates proteasome activity. The proteasome is responsible for breaking down toxins and damaged proteins in the body. Therefore, it recycles, detoxifies and uses amino acids to produce good proteins for the body which results in reversing the signs of ageing.

As we age proteasome activity has been proven to decrease, leading to a lower-formation rate of new healthy proteins. When the proteasome activity is boosted, healthy proteins are formed, helping the skin regenerate.

As a result of this research, Quercetin proved to boost proteasome activity and cell regeneration in relation to the essential ageing bio markers:

• Regeneration and Reversibility

• Total Oxidative Stress (free radicals)

• Survival Ability of the cells under Oxidative Stress (Subjected to extreme oxidative stress conditions, cells treated with Quercetin exhibited 15% higher survival rates than control cells.)

At nearly 1/20 of the price of one of the season’s high-end creams, the KORRES Quercetin & Oak line cancels out the theory that only conventional age-defying creams work. Time can be held back naturally and at no ‘super-cream’ cost. Crash-tested against the market’s top-selling conventional anti-aging creams, the KORRES Quercetin & Oak line has scored higher on hydration, elasticity, appearance and depth of wrinkles, skin smoothness and radiance [all possible tests inc. assessment with laboratory equipment & observation by supervising dermatologists]. This is the first time globally that a natural anti-aging cream has achieved higher scores on all of the above.










I love the light, non-greasy texture of this range, especially the cooling eye cream and the silicon free primer. I will be testing out the primer, serum and light texture cream I was given during the next two weeks and I’ll feed back the results.

I must add one final note, I was given the Paeonia, Vanilla and Amber Pear perfume which smells exactly like my Creed Acqua Fiorentina and it only costs £24 in comparison to £140 for Creed!

There are over 400 Korres products which are all certified Organic, naturally grown, environmentally friendly and also support local farmers.

I love everything about KORRES - this is the future for beauty.

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