Beauty says: Your skin may be fussy this time of year. Reasons behind this may be due to a growing work load which means stress; a constant change in weather and temperature which may mean breakouts or more oiliness with lack of balance. Simply put, it may be all over the place, and where is the time for you? Well unfortunately the answer is: none. Simple solutions are most welcome, and rather like taking a vitamin to bring back some balance to the body, why not feed the skin in the same way?
Famous for their make-up prep sprays, Urban Decay has once again gone into exclusive partnership with SKINDINAVIA to bring us the Vitamin B6 Infused Complexion Prep Spray, but you may ask, why the B6? Vitamin B6 helps to normalize cell-signalling proteins called cytokines. It is in fact, cytokines that produce sebum or oils; hence, this means there is oil control. Most important to note, is that the vitamin B6 in this formula is the first to be stabilized in order for it to minimize pores, reduce redness, and absorb oils. But don’t mistaken this spray to be fit only for oily skin, as it also contains vitamin E, rich in anti-oxidant, for protection and anti-aging benefits, and it goes deep to hydrate and nourish the skin without messing up make-up throughout the day.
I highly recommend this product for those who like to use mineral powder forms of make-up which sometimes can be drying on the skin. It goes to balance the use of mineral make-up because it provides the hydration needed. Sometimes when I’m using such make-up I feel oiler in some areas of the skin that I wouldn’t have if I were using creamier formulas.
The best place to keep this product? Well at hand of course, on your desk, in the car….feed your skin’s needs now! £21 at www.debenhams.com
Oooo this month saw the EXCLUSIVE launch of JAPONESQUE John Lewis on Oxford Street. This is not an unknown brand, but an exceptional brand coveted by make-up experts, professionals. Creating runway beauty, and renowned for their make-up brushes-all make-up ethusiast agree it's top notch! No box which holds any of thier pieces are the same, as each is unique-made by random drops of colour. The pigments are so BOLD, the lipgloss so juicy they POP, and the foundation....flawless. I recommend this to those looking make-up that looks good in photos (wedding, headshots etc) as it can really asorb and diffuse light! It's my newest obsession.....check it out EXCLUSIVELY & ONLY at www.johnlewis.com
Beauty Says: For the ever devoted Elemis fan, there’s a fantastic offer and exclusive now online only at Debenhams. You’ve got to hurry though, as you can save more than 50% (only £39.50) on a radiance collection full of winter skin essentials. The set includes: a 200ml Soothing Apricot Toner, a 30ml Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, a 15ml Gentle Rose Exfoliator, a 15ml Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, a tub of 14 capsules of Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, all encased in a beautiful travel bag. This set either makes a great gift to be tucked away for someone special or for yourself when you need some TLC for the stresses of winter! What are you waiting for? Hurry, this offer won’t last so you’ll have to be quick as it will flash by fast!!! Get it here at Debenhams:http://bit.ly/HhpvqY
Beauty has teamed up with Eye Spy to build this year's gift guide. She's got eye spy on her side as Snob is determined to take her lime light as the gifting expert this season. Well, we'll see about that...look at their 1st installment of gifts on the rise....There's only 54 days left till Dec 25th...let's get cracking!
This dynamic duo is due to make anyone who receives it tickled pink! It made an incredible 1st impact & impression on me when I 1st encountered it at #thesecretgarden (pop up shop in spitafields). Packed with argan oil, grapeseed oil....and the smell of pomegranate in the softest, & freshest way possible I think it represents true JOY to the world! 50ml body lotion + 50ml bath & shower gel £8 at www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
Don't colour outside the lines this Christmas...Give eyes the borders they deserve and give that twinkle to the eyes! STILA's tin adorable tin case contains 5 of the hottest coloured eye lines...the combinations are enless....smokey....bright...giving STILA's signature smudge stick is a touch of magic! £36 www.stila.co.uk
Honeybell Soap Company: Get a helping hand or give a helping hand, I should say to a loved one with any one of Honeybell’s Hand Creams or Hand lotions! Made with 89.95% organic ingredients and blend of essential oils this is perfect for anyone who gets sensitive this season! Choose from English Rose & Patchouli, Honey Suckle and Jasmine…Oriental Plum….but my seasonal suggestion has got to be the Blackberry & Basil….delicious! £12 at www.honeybellsoap.co.uk
while This Works has a variation of miniatures in crackers to get you to sleep. The Cosmic Cracker is filled with a mini cream that not only helps you drift off, but maintains fantastic hydration for Winter nights ahead. Fall asleep or Father Christmas surely won’t come! £9, This Works Cosmic Cracker at www.uk.spacenk.com and Weleda Crackers £5.95 at www.weleda.co.uk
Functionalab-Age Defense: These little beauty pills prepare skin for the worst conditions Winter has to offer! Packed full of Lycopene (from tomatoes) they give you a glowing natural tan-like appearance while also truly keeping you forever youngh with soya. All sicky bugs can also steer clear away as it is packedfull of vitamins from B3, B5, beta-carotene, zince, selenium, and vitamin C. Available now £30 at: www.functionlab.co.uk
Sai Sei Says: If Winter Blues have hit someone you know then get their spirits up with this amazing gift of Japanese Bath Oil that will perfectly into any stocking. The art of Japanese Bath has been an ancient ritual which is sure to pick up anyone’s mind & soul. With green tea for antioxidant benefits, argan oil and essential minerals it’s not just your usual bath oil. The aroma literally lifts you off the ground! £32 at www.uk.spacenk.com
Let HIM discover Christmas with Molton Brown: Molton Brown has some roaring Christmas gift this season. My hair stylist says there’s nothing like that bottle of Black Peppercorn Body wash he receives each year that gears him up with holiday cheer! Well then, for any fan of such a product, why not treat them to the Explorer Collection with 100ml bottles of Silver Birch + Water Mint + Black Peppercorn Body Washes + Indian Cres Purifying Shampoo + Bushukan Body Wash all for £40…only at www.moltonbrown.co.uk
Revolution Lipsticks by Urban Decay: Urban Decay urges you to make Lipstick Revolution for New Year’s Resolutions! If you’re tired of lipsticks that suck moisture out of lips then get ready for a formula that is rich and buttery….and not with the calories of the mince pies! It has a cushiony feel to them, and not slick nor slippery. If it’s holiday Red you’re looking for…Santa will recognize your red lip signal with colour: ‘69’, £15 at www.debenhams.com
Kiko’s Eye Clics: Eye click you click…nothing is better than filling a stocking with something that someone can build! Kiko has launched their eye clicks system of buildable palettes. Now it’s perfectly fine to give the box half empty because the person who receives wants to build it themselves…perfect gift for make-up junkies! Boxes start at ?1.90-?9.90 and shadows ?5.90 each at www.kikocosmetics.com
Those who know Beauty knows that this is her idea of the ULTIMATE LUXURY! A box of Caviar...and not the kind you can eat, but the kind her skin can. Nobody does it better than La Prairie Switzerland. Containing all the favourites: 50mlo caviar cream + 50ml liquid lift + 20ml caviar eye cream....It's pricey, but so worth it. Beauty best describes it back in her days as: 'Like puttingn Cashmere' to the face....mmm...Christmas, luxury.... perfection! £632 at www.harrods.com
Caviar a bit out of price range? No worries....La Prairie's Anti-Aging Heroes come to the rescue in this fantastic gift set: Anti-Aging Day Cream Spf30 50ml + Anti-aging Night Cream 7ml + Anti-Aging Eye Cream 3ml + Cellular Hand Cream 15ml...at £138 it's a steal don't you think? www.harrods.com
Chantecaille’s Les Dimantes Palettes: As Rhianna says, we girls have to shine like a Diamond! And what better time of the year to show off that sparkle! Chantecaille’s amazing eye shadows in their dimante palette deliver it with sparks off the most striking stones, while keeping pure colour and no creasing! It’s truly eye catching! Wink, wink! £40 at Space NK, Liberty, Harrods & Fenwicks! www.harrods.com
Dower & Hall Deck the season with Elegance: We often are geared towards buying jewellery for a loved one or perhaps our best friend, but jewels, or any precious metals could often break the bank. On the other hand, giving a piece of costume jewellery doesn’t seem half as nice and kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? Well it doesn’t have to be that way as this season might I remind you of Dower & Hall? Quintessentially British this brand does fine jewellery pieces that a) won’t break the bank and b) are not costume jewellery & c) are fit for everyone’s tastes.
I’m in love with their feather’s collection for this season- that could so easily transgress into the spring summer. These pieces start just at £35, and are real silver! For more winter or festive tones, why not choose a piece for someone or yourself from the Chintz Collection? It reminds of Byzantine pasts and there’s some ice-like magic in the opulence of the pieces. Momento pieces with romantic scripture, or orchids…how about pearls or jewel stones….the combinations and choices are endless! There’s charms for the collectors too…one thing is for sure: you won’t go wrong if you let Dower & Hall Deck your season gift giving-it’s elegance at its very best! www.dowerandhall.com
When it comes to having my picture taken I am shy and reserved. Primarily, I am worried and concerned about what they will come out looking like. This of course, makes me think of a fantastic moment in homeroom when I was thirteen years old. It was the day we went to pick up our school photos. Upon settling down the class Mr. Morris advised the following: “Now your school photos are here for pick up. Please do not shriek, or moan, or blame the photographer when you see your photos. If you have to blame someone for the way you look in these photos-Blame your parents!”
While Mr. Morris’ cheeky advice may be partly true (yes, I don’t like the fact that I inherited my mother’s chipmunk cheeks, nor my father’s slitty slitty Chinese eyes, I would have asked God for more Bridget Bardot eyes) it seems that fault or credit should be given to the photographer at one point in time. “The EYE” for photography is one of the key components, as the make-up artists that shapes the features you do and don’t like, as the hairdresser or stylist that coifs your barnet in your favor. Is there a place on earth where you can get all of this done, and look like Kate Moss on the cover of Vanity Fair? Furthermore, speaking of fair, is there a place that offers you professional photos & a full service studio at a fair price point?
I’ve found the happiest place on earth, for professional photography, right in the heart of London situated on Oxford Circus. Vanity Studios was founded in 2009, and caters to commercial, corporate, and private clients. Compiled of a core team of the finest talent in the photography, & beauty industry they offer a wealth of expertise from studio, magazine, and TV work/projects. Not only is the quality exceptional, but the price point is competitive, and they’re not shy about sharing with you and be upfront or helping have you tailored to your every need!
From the first moment you enter the doors, Hannah Caton, Front of House, make you feel relaxed and calms any worries away with her professional advice, and runs you through the agenda of how it’s all going to happen. She tells me that most people are advised to bring at least 4-6 outfit changes from a weekend look (jeans & t-shirt) to more professional or sophisticated attire (suits & dresses). There is a full make-up and hair session first though with Amanda Oliver, Michael Phillips or Beth Swan. These three are the core at making it happen and creating the look you desire. I spent time in Beth’s chair and upon telling her that I didn’t want my chipmunk cheeks to appear in the photos, she advised to give my hair some height by backcombing it-hence giving the illusion of a more elongated face. While I don’t normally wear loads of make-up I was advised by the team that it is essential to wear more make-up than normal, as the lights in the studio absorb and reflect a lot of light. I have to admit that I was nervous about meeting the photographers, as I have never been much of poser. Photographers, Bernando Borghetti & Daniel Attwood greeted me with smiles, asked questions of my experience with my photo being taken, and told me that they give full direction while shooting. They also took time in explaining why certain backgrounds were being used and what effects they were trying to achieve from placing me in certain spaces.
I have to admit that by the end of the session, I was feeling rather elated, as I my head was in the clouds with super models like Mossy & Elle. There is no way to describe the experience except that it was easy and fun. I believe this is where VANITY STUDIOS truly champions and where you can truly ‘taste the difference’ in their approach to the whole experience of professional photography. Last but not least, the day ends with a private viewing session in a room full of screens for you to pick the images you would like to print, and be retouched. Whatever the occasion or just because you want to have a keepsake of all your milestones: 20s, 30s, 40s,….being vain has never felt so good!
Beauty Says: Some may say that skincare has now become a bubbling cauldron of confusion.
It seems that there now has been no element that hasn’t been used to sell or market a product. After all, we’ve had hypes before about ingredients like gold, and of course it leads to the buying into of a whole range of products to get you hooked. It also seems that those who actually have skin specified problems get left behind, as there are no special products that can make a real difference. Those with eczema or acne prone skin often tell me that they don’t bother anymore as claims are often false, complicated and costly-in the end it seems that a trusty tube of E45 from the chemist gives more security. Does this scary tale ring a bell for you?
Well, a new silver bullet has come to kill all the werewolves of skin conditions and problems in the form of a single bar of Silver Soap by COR. It is a one-step cleanser, toner & moisturiser, removes all make-up and targets skin issues such as aging, sun damage, acne, scarring, & eczema-prone skin. In fact, the proof is in the pudding, as users of this product prove that there is no back-biting with this incredible product.
“I have suffered with Dermatitis on my hands for more than 15 years when my son gave me the Cor soap as a gift. I have tried numerous creams in the past but none had worked. I had never heard of this product before but after using it for just 2 weeks I could see an improvement. My hands were always very sore and looked red but after using Cor I was amazed at the difference it has made to my hands and the discomfort has gone. The Dermatitis has completely cleared up and people who know me have commented on how good my hands look. It has made a big difference to my life as I am not self conscious any more and feel more confident about people seeing my hands, whereas I used to hide them away before. I asked my son to get me some more and was surprised at how great value for money Cor is and will continue to use it. I have also told family and friends about this fantastic little soap.”
Having said all that, let’s get to the nitty gritty of it all shall we? And see what this soap is made out of. The soap works on the basis of having silver in it a long established ingredient found to be effective to be anti microbial or that which blocks bacteria. It also transfer oxygen to skin’s walls and is used in hospitals to help speed up recovery of burn victims. Hence it can reduce inflammation of the skin and itching in eczema-prone skin and help acne, pigmentation, scarring and sun spots. Another active ingredient is sericin which helps to regulate moisture levels, tighten and erase wrinkles. It also can create a light scattering effect which means it can protect the skin from environmental aggressors. Finally chitosan, a natural fibre goes to even out skin tone, and goes to retain moisture when combined with avocado and jojoba oils to leave that silk smooth to the touch feeling.
Well, I’ve tried and tested this product, and I have to say it is unlike any other soap or bar-based cleanser I’ve used (and I’ve trialed plenty!). Upon opening the soap, I could pleasantly smell a fragrance that reminded me of similar sensations of opening up a box of candied jellies at Christmas as a child. The soap has this incredible soft cream-like texture when it lathers up with water which is rather similar to other cream based cleansers. When you apply it on there is a tingle (an indication of it being active/working). I was most impressed that even though I applied it all over my eye area, there was not the slightest sting. It was so gentle it removed all my eye make-up too. The sensation of while it’s cleansing the skin feels soft but when it is removed it has the same sensation of a foam cleanser (think squeaky clean) When I removed the suds with warm water, the skin felt lifted-rather similar to when toner is applied. I didn’t apply any moisturizer on overnight to see the effects of its claims of retaining moisture. The next morning, I woke to pleasantly balanced-feeling skin without any oil residues (very important, as this shows it is not drying). My verdict is that it is worth the investment, and for those who still can’t sleep at night due to skin nightmares & monsters you might have in your closet about it all-kill it and put it to a full stop with COR’s Silver Soap!
10g £15 (lasts about 1 month) 30g £35 about (lasts 3-4 months) and 120g £100 (lasts about 9 months) at Harrods, Harvey Nichols or directly at www.corsilver.co.uk
If you’re tired of the usual suspects for English Perfumeries, get your nose geared up for a new boutique fragrance experience of Shay & Blue London. Developed, by Dom De Vetta & Julie Mass? in 2012, Shay & Blue upholds the age-old tradition of crafting fine perfumery. You simply can’t argue with their passion of: Hand harvesting, Hand weighing, & Hand Distilling. Formally the global general manager of Jo Malone & Senior Vice President of Chanel, Dom De Vetta found nose Julie Mass? to be the perfect partner as she exhumed passion and personal warmth literally in the essence. Together they give us boutique fragrances that have no imitations, exceptional quality and craftsmanship. What I admire about Shay & Blue is that their fragrances are not massed produced, and therefore, the heart of fragrance, which is that they are intended to be precious or special, is intact in each and every bottle.
At the moment I’m rather taken in by Shay & Blue’s ‘Atropa Belladonna’ fragrance. The smell is simply intoxicating, as it contains poisonous deadly nightshade. Apparently in the 17th century, venetians used to ingest this plant for cosmetic effect-of dilated pupils giving a hallucinogenic look of beauty. ‘Atropa Belladonna’ literally means: Beautiful Lady in Italian. This fragrance reminds me of my first whiffs of Poison by Dior from my mother’s perfume collection. That heady sensation rushes to the top of your head and takes you to a place that simply cannot be earth bound. Still, it has this mystery and uniqueness that cannot be found with perfumes that are massed produced. It is sure to get conversation going…and the golden question of what is it you’re wearing?
Beauty Says: Upon going shopping with a girlfriend recently, she drew my attention to a pair of wedge heeled booties. Then that afternoon, it seemed wherever I turned, there was yet another wedge boot whispering for me to come closer to it. It then dawned on me that it seemed this trend was screaming for coverage, and so started my research and conversation with various brands on the newest development to wedges.
The most important question here in waiting is: Are wedges edgy for the Winter Wardrobe? Well considering that the wedge heeled shoe has made yet another come back this season it seems that they indeed could take your Winter Wardrobe by storm! There is no doubt among women that wedge heels are easier to walk in than any other heeled shoe around. The reason being, that unlike other heels, wedges are both elevated at the heel and the toe-making them most natural to walking. Take note that the entire bottom surface of a wedge is also supported, so you don’t feel like you’re tippy toeing or about to fall or lose balance. Made popular in the 50s by icons like Marilyn Monroe, and then again in the 70s, the wedge shoe have made a full come back this season. In new styles that are sure to please both the casual weekenders and the fanciful twinkle toes out there the new wedge surely has the edge! Check it out….
The Wedge Chelsea Booties:
Chelsea boots just got a make-over with the wedge style. The wedge seems to add a touch of elegance to these short boots whether you wear them with jeans or with more feminine touches of skirts and dresses. Match with jackets for a cooler edge too. My favourite this season for a sophisticated pair has to be Sandro’s laser cut out leather, at £325. www.sandro-paris.com
For those who are watching their pennies and want to be more sensible, Marks & Spencer has some good options at around £69 for you to steal this super trend and style! www.marksandspencer.com
The Wedge High-Top Sneakers:
I think the first time I noticed this unusual style of the wedge of it marrying with a sneaker was when Sergio Rossi did their version in collaboration with Puma. At first, it was odd, and off to me, but then it kind of grew on me. It certainly has become quite the staple to achieving the comeback of a 80s bad girl look (think Madonna in Material Girl). Clarks has them in suede leather, in their Originals designs that give them a softer look at £99: http://www.clarks.co.uk/c/originals-womens/wedges
Still, for those looking for uber ‘urban edge’ and a more relaxed look M&S have the real sneaker that well simply you cannot justify of not having at £35 a pair: www.marksandspencer.com
The LONG Wedge:
This style certainly is a good option for those who don’t wear long high heel boots because they think it’s a bit too feminine. The benefit to the long wedge is that they look sturdier and are easier by far to walk in. Don’t worry about calf sizes as Duo’s COMPTON leather wedge boots are made to measure! With this combination, don’t say no….say yes! £180 www.duo-boots.com
Love the long wedge, but want it for under £100? You’re in luck with two options at M&S at £69 & £45….simply divine! www.marksandspencer.com
Beauty’s Tips on wearing Wedges this Winter: Do’s/Don’ts:
DO wear wedges in a boot-style this season, as it updates the wardrobe
Do dare to wear wedges in the city all day as they’ll be super comfortable and you won’t struggle or limp by the end of the day
Do try to match them with any outfit, as they’re versatile for day, night, or weekend looks…anything goes-you’ll be amazed
DON’T try to cheat and wear a pair of wedges that are not booties. Other options you have in the closet will look out of place, and will not be suited to the winter season!
Snob’s Christmas gift guide is all about eating & drinking, and over the next week leading up to Christmas you’ll see his little guide grow about where to get all the best tasty bits to enlighten your holiday season! He’s given his BIG nose the NO to beauty’s products…rolling his eyes on what makes your skin oh so soft…no! He’s into all the naughty things for Christmas. Check it out….
Every Christmas party starts with fizz. Fizz is also closely associated with ringing in the new year. This year bring something magical to the table: the best premier cru and champagne cru from France: Finest Fizz. Finest Fizz is an independent company of husband & wife team, Howard & Randi Abemethy. Howard grew up in the village in England (twinned with Hautvillers, France)- known as the cradle of Champagne. Therefore, champagne is not just another drink to him but truly in his blood! The craftsmanship to their champagne comes from artisan techniques, and smaller vinyards, meaning their stock piles are not mass produced. I think this fizz is so fine it’s worth hiding another bottle away for Valentine’s day too, which would be just around the corner from all the winter festivities! Get fizzy with it now… www.finestfizz.biz
Snob Says: Tired of the same old liquors? Coffee liquors making you more sleepy and less happy over the holiday season? Well, many have tried making a more interesting liquor, even by putting mint in it to jazz things up, but it seems there’s a gap that exist when it comes to exciting + liquors as of late. Luckily, I’ve just snuffed out Ruby Blue, a range with Wild Blueberry, Blackcurrant and Cranberry. There’s even a Chilli Pepper one to literally SPICE things up! Made by the family-run Hughes Craft Distillery, in Northern Ireland, the old Irish recipe is based on ancient methods of preserving berries. These liquors are distilled five times, and charcoal filtered and every bottle contains the garnish of real fruit which has been aged for at least three months. The result? A sweet clean flavor which can make taste buds dance! Let’s put it this way, if you wanted anything more natural on the market, and any closer tasting than the real berries you’d have to do it yourself. (Highly not recommended as it’s rather a complicated matter of making something of this nature, and why? When the Hughes do it so beautifully in Northern Ireland?
Top Tips on how to make Ruby Blue sing:
- For the lady who likes it Cosmopolitan: Pour the Wild Cranberry liquor over ice, add a twist of lime
- For girls who like a bit of Fancy Flair: Pour Zesty Blackcurrent Liquor into Champagne and create a FABULOUS FRUITY KIT ROYALE
- It’s not a Wild Goose Chase you need but The Wild Blueberry Liquor which can be combined to make creative Blueberry Margaritas
- Finally for those have FIRE in their belly and stand up to the challenge, why not make Bloody Mary with Chilli Pepper Liquor for a nutcracker kick?
If you liked these ideas why not try these cocktail recipes too?
RED HOT SANTA
10mls RUBY RED CHLLI Liqueur
25ml Vanilla Vodka
10ml Cocoa White
17.5ml fresh lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
Add everything except the RUBY RED CHILLI Liqueur to a cocktail shaker and mix. Drizzle the chilli liqueur over the drink and garnish with a slice of chilli....to get an extra kick!
Get some now to get the holidays singing….£14.99 at Gerry’s Vintage House and The Drink Shop www.rubyblueliqueur.com
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Snob says: Be warned! Nasty people with nasty comments will not get a reply....you will be snubbed!