Beauty Says: Too often bloggers get invited to events that will include a nail bar where a complimentary manicure will be offered. It's not that we don't like having our nails done, but what's the difference between one and another?
I was recently invited to a #cocktailcolorparty at MYZ Beauty Boutique in Notting Hill, and it suddenly dawned on me the difference was indeed in this boutique salon and they should be noted for their key points of difference.
For one, the salon is does not smell of nail enamel, and has a most cosy interior. The price point for a manicure is not overpriced but accessible at £14. Their manicure is like no other though, as it has some note-worthy touches. For one, they use hot towels for each customer with the massage step. Now I know what you're thinking- How does a hot towel make all the difference? Well, it definitely does as it warms up the hands and somehow has that melt your heart effect during the treatment.
The owner, Maryam suggests her favourite treatment for hands in the winter: a paraffin wax treatment. I had this treatment on the evening and I can tell you that it is not only luxurious, but instantly healed the hands to a state so soft it can only be desscribed as 'cashmere soft'.
Only top nail products are used at this salon-OPI, Essie are to name a few, and they do some incredible facials too with CACI technology & Yonka products. Tucked away on 20 Powis Terrace this is little relax haven almost too good to share! So it you're looking for a beauty salon with a twist of sophistication with the most accomodating and friendly staff....look no further than this fantastic boutique spa. It truly is not another nail bar!!!
To book go to: http://www.myznailsboutique.com/
There are certain items that you buy from season to season that you know you have made a worthy investment in. How do you know? Well, perhaps it's because you get endless compliements about them, or perhaps you wear them so much they have become daily staples. Here are a few of my best buys of the season....I'm absolutely addicted to wearing them-feeling rather like when Carry in SATC was wearing that studded belt over and over again...you never get sick of it, as it is such a super fashion rush...
This trusty studded belt from CARVEN has been over my over coats, and around all dresses. I feel that it was one of the best investments of the season as I have gotten more than my share of wear out of it. It also now comes in pink....which makes me think I should get the pink one for Spring....
140 euros at www.eu.carven.com
These little treasures were found at a recent sample sale for The Kooples. I've always wanted a pair of fingerless gloves as I find it too difficult to swipe the phone with all the glove on and off. In the end my case scenario would be that I would have lost the gloves. So when I spotted these, I knew I couldn't miss! And was I right...wherever I go....I get smiles and enquires to wear I got the gloves from....divine.
The Kooples do other excellent accessories this season too so check out their collection now here: www.thekooples.co.uk
Now you may think that it is a bit too early to think of SPRING, but this just not the case when it comes to shoes! I’m sharing with you a sneaky preview of CLARK’s SS’15 collection that is simply divine and take much inspiration from ‘simplicity’ at its best or a rather minimalist approach. There is also a rather sporty presence in parts of the collection which are great for those of you who are into looks inspired by designers such as Alexander Wang, & Proenza Schouler or the ‘Sensationalism’ movement.
I’m rather partial to these sandals with the straps and the tassles which have a festive vibe to them. There are also beautiful mute sorbet lemon tones, baby blues, which help to complete new fresh looks for the upcoming season.
For those who are fans of the Orla Kiely collection you will love this coming collection as there is plenty of pretty pastels, gold embellishments, and the famous eye catching prints! Go on…have an ogle…and be prepared to get them when they launch early February 2015, just in time for Fashion Week.
Get ready for the next collection coming your way at www.clarks.co.uk
Wish, Wish, Wish on some sparkle this Christmas. These gum drop gorgeous gems will make any girl giggle with delight. Here are some eye-spied on from Goldsmiths....www.goldsmiths.co.uk
These 9ct gold rings give a bit of candied sparkle, and are simply wicked....£250 each.
Aromatherapy Associates will REVIVE you and give your star status back this Christmas from weary days at work-preparing you for party mode. May I introduce this double drawer of indulgence: The Ultimate Bath Jewels Set (£55) which has 10 of the multi-award winning bath oils in 7.5 ml bottles. Whether you want to mix it up to get a cocktail for a good nights rest, or get some energy to continue through for the night ahead, this may be just the secret weapon needed to brave the cold outside, and the perfect warmer for the inside. There are also more fantastic gifts in their Christmas Collection for mini roller ball vials to other bath sets and oils....simply divine! www.aromatherapyassociates.com/
As we approach the year end, we often think about how much time has gone by- but don't lose track of it again in 2015 with these trusty tiger watches from Kenzo. They come in a wide variety of colors that are unisex and gives just the right amount of style to your everyday. I would definitely like one (hint hint) how about you? £80 at www.monnierfreres.co.uk
If you've got little ones to buy for and you genuinely don't know what kids like then stop thinking and get a set of these chalk board t-shirts by Little Mashers. These give hours of creative fun, and something cool to wear all year round. Each box contains a specific size of t-shirt with a cut out of a picture to draw on + 1 pack of chalks.
You'll be a true hero to give one and everyone will be gushing about these. £19 at
After all the turkey and then some, what do you do after Christmas dinner/lunch? Well, certainly this calls for a session of sticky fingers! Models Own It won't allow you to get bored on the day with a full set of mini polishes and embellishments to decorate.....do your own nails, and then do the other family members! £14.99 at www.argos.co.uk
Plaid is rather festive as it does indeed make you think of pines and the woods....a log cabin and open fire, hot chocolate, and a Merry Christmas. If that are the feelings you want to give this Christmas, check out the goodies that are now at Jack Wills. I'm rather partial to lounging around on Christmas day in a pair of thier plaid leggins and matching tank top to match (top £16.50, legging £29.50) at www.jackwills.com
You Better Not Pout....or maybe you can with this fabulous set by Pur Minerals that not only give lips pretty colour but also super oomph and plump! Go on.....pout on the day as it's not so much you'll be grumpy but super kissable under the mistletoe! £22 at www.feelunique.com
Don't know what to wear yet for the Christmas parties ahead? Don't worry there is plenty of STAR status and inspiration coming your way. Look up hudreds of stars and dresses worn by them...just make sure your best friend doesn't wear the same! www.spottedonceleb.com
It doesn't look like that this year will bring a snowy white Christmas, and perhaps without the snow it sometimes doesn't quite feel right, does it? Well, for many years Slava's Snow Show has delighted people in over 80 cities in the world with snow and clown magic. There is a guaruntee of blizzards and a snow storm of a show! Critics agree that the show is rather thrilling, and children and adults alike have throughly enjoyed this show .
I'm not partial to clowns but if you're looking an activity other than the regular ice skating, hyde park or south bank christmas markets, or cup of egg nog latte from Starbucks, then perhpas this may give you a seasonal thrill.
There are fabulous deals at the moment on the tickets too at last minute.com click here
Oh there's no need to wrap up for this by the way.....
For more info see: http://www.slavasnowshow.co.uk/
Beauty Says: What is the most important part of your make-up regime? Do you spend more time perfecting your mascara? Or perhaps it's in the foundation base. Maybe it's the sculpting techniques to create a more narrow face? With the holidays now fast ahead, sometimes there simply is no time to waste. So if you find yourself rushing in a cab to a Christmas party and need to do the fastest make-over in the world, might I suggest red lips + highly defined brows?
Your eyebrow at this moment might be raised at me, as you maybe wondering, why brows can make such a difference. Think about it rationally: Brows frame the entire face! Luckily, I've had a speedy tutorial with Craig Ryan French, MUA & director of Paul & Joe and here's how to make the ultimate statement without the drama....
First of all, no one's eyebrows are symmetrical. You can think of them as sisters, but they are not 'twin' sisters. However, the matching should be in the use of an eyebrow pencil or powder should be an exact match to you own eyebrow colour. I personally, like to use the eyebrow powders from Paul & Joe, but there are also double-sided eyebrow pencils, and eyebrow liners available. What's great about the eyebrow powder is that it gives definition. It does this as the powder looks like real show underneath the hair of the eyebrows! Craig tells me that his formula also contains minimal red pigment, so it's incredibly natural-looking. (SUPER!)
Start, by remembering Craig's formula: BEAUTY=BALANCE & BALANCE=BEAUTY. Following through with this formula in mind, line up brow and eye. Here's how:
1. The inner edge of the brow should line up with the edge of your nostril. (If it doesn't and it comes up a bit short, this is where you will need to extend it with your brow pencil.)
2. The highest point of the arch of your brow should be at the edge of your iris of your eye.
3. Next is the arch that comes at the outer corner of your eye. If you use this as the highest point of your arch you will create more sophisticated brows.
4. Finally the brow should taper off past the outer nostil to the outer edge of the eye.
*** TIP: Remember if you draw in your brows you will close up your face, remember to lift and draw out- to create a more youthful look! Don't fill them in like colouring. Gently sketch the hairs in the direction of growth makes all the difference! Give it a try! All Paul & Joe brow products are available at www.harrods.com
Beauty Says: Nothing is more frustrating during the holiday season when you’re indunated with work and preparing for the holiday. It seems that the last thing on your mind is yourself, and before you know it you will find yourself having to go to some party or gathering and you’ve not had your hair done. What do you do? Relax, and be well-prepared with a few little tools I’ve found to trouble-shoot when this happens…
The Percy & Reed App: There is now simply NO excuse to have not booked for the salon, and no one makes it easier than the Percy & Reed app. On a recent visit to Lee at Percy & Reed East, he informed me that they now have an app whereby you can make your booking. There are also other little features and treats of course, such as offers & news, a direct link to their product shop and appointment slots with each stylist for both West & East salons! This is the most fabulous solution for girls on the go. Oh yes, you’ll thank me when you can flip your well-coifed hair at the party….download FREE in the apple app store under: Percy & Reed London.
Colour Wow’s Speed Dry Blow Dry Spray: Hands up ladies to those of you who dread washing your hair due to the great lengths you have to go through to do that blow dry; and not to mention who has the time when we have to wrap presents, cook a turkey, and find the time to get ourselves ready. This product WORKS, and does what it says on the label. The first time I used this product I was amazed as it usually takes me at least 20 min to blow dry my hair. With this product it took me 5 min flat. Its secret is a synthetic polymer that closes down and seals the cuticle-keeping much needed moisture and colour inside. (Yes, it is beneficial to those who colour their hair, and will help improve the overall condition too.) There is also keratin, proteins, and silk amino acids to add strength and gloss. There is no alcohol in it which means it won’t dry out the hair. Simply spray all over towel dried hair and start the engines on that blow dryer! Color Wow also do other nifty products such as root touch up kits you might also find useful and in case of emergencies. Now, if it could do all the other preparations for the holidays that would be what you want for Christmas, isn’t it? £16.50 at all SPACENK stores, andwww.colorwowhair.com
Nourish & Get Christmas In Your Hair with Batiste Dry Shampoo: Infused with mandarin oils Batiste’s Care & Vitality Dry Shampoo is the life saver you need-not to mention it also gives your hair that extra T-L-C. I love it for its smell which remind me of Christmas too….£3.99 www.boots.com
Beauty Says: Winter is finally here, and as you can feel the chill your skin will be sure be acting up. This is especially true for those who suffer with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. The worst about ‘winter skin’ is that it can be left flushed, red, and raw from the harsh cold out there. Did you know that it’s not only the wind, or rain out there can affect it, but also central heating, and soggy clothing can all contribute to irritation of the skin.
Luckily, I’ve looked into this in great depth and have some handy tips from consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Trustee, Dr. Bav Shergill, to keep skin in tip top shape!
Moisturising regularly is not the only key but finding and using an emollient that’s right for you. Be sure to keep the skin moist so that you avoid any cracking or infection
While lamb’s wool is warm in the winter it can be a material that can cause or contribute to irritation of the skin or cause flare-ups. Choose materials wisely when shopping!
Cover and care for all areas where your skin is exposed- a scarf, a hat and gloves are important whilst outside! If you catch the rain be sure dry yourself and do not stay in damp clothing which may cause further irritation or chaffing.
This next tip I agree with 100% as I’ve seen all the difference by changing a body or face cleanser- be sure to avoid harsh, alcohol-based cleansers and soaps, and go easy on the exfoliation as too much will cause the skin to be dry and rob it of hydration
While it’s lovely to heat up after the turmoil of being in the cold outside be sure that you do not crank up the heat too high inside- it can dry you out. This is not only true of the thermostat and central heating but also in the bath! Try to resist taking long hot baths and it can strip too much needed natural oil from the skin!
Finally, as we dry ourselves from shower and bath do not rub, but pat dry. Rubbing vigorously damages skin….be gentle!
Beauty Says: Of course, no matter how hard we try to take the greatest care we always need some extra T-L-C-. Sometimes our skin needs a ‘boost’ (a Berroca, if you will), to give it a lift, and much needed hydration or nutrients to feed it. I think it’s not just the face, hands or body that needs it but also the hair and nails. Here are some of my favourite products that will not fail you when nothing else seems to work. Give them a try they will give skin, hair & nails an optimum best.
Paul & Joe’s Brightening Lotion: I am a renowned fan of Paul & Joe products- I was especially fond of their moisture mask, but unfortunately since last year this has been discontinued. Since the discontinuation of this fabulous product that always gave my skin that extra boost and surge of moisture needed to make my face look its optimum, I started to search for other options within the range. I came across the Brightening Lotion. My first impression was that it would not do what the mask would do as it looked much like a gel-like toner. No-no-not at all! This liquid-gel is incredibly soothing and healing. The secret weapon is that this is enriched with a herbal essence called ‘Sacifrage Extract’- a rare flowering plant found in shady swamps of Japan. The sacifrage extract has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. There is also arnica extract and Vitamin C that goes to promote circulation and bring brightness back to tired dull winter skin. I rub this on before night moisturiser or after any face mask. I can say that it is one out of the many reasons I am always complimented on my fresh, glowing, and ageless face! It’s a va-va-vroom beauty secret! £24,www.harrods.com
Eve Lom’s Moisture Mask: If you feel that your skin has lost bounce and seems a bit dull then your skin is dehydrated. While it is important to find something to quench the thirst you also have to have something that will prevent future moisture loss. This is exactly where Eve Lom’s Moisture Mask triumphs. I like to apply a generous amount and just drench the skin (in a moisture mask if you will) for a good 20 min twice a week. If you’re travelling over the holidays this is a must as it has an advanced moisture complex to help restore moisture levels-improving the skin’s barrier. This really helps prevent future dehydration and increases cellular renewal which means a most radiant complexion! There is also a combination of an aqua complex, sodium hyaluronate, and Vitamin E- all go to promote long-lasting hydration, soothing the skin, and protecting the skin from any environmental damage. I am 100% that everyone would benefit from this product. If you love it while not pass it on to a love one this Christmas too? £65/100ml www.evelom.com
Omorovicza Blue Diamond Super Cream: This is one of the greatest decadences of the season! Omorovicza’s Blue Diamond Super Cream has diamond peptides in it to give skin a flawless radiance like no other. It has a youth boosting copper amino-acid compound to increase collagen and elasticity. To keep skin looking healthy this cream gives it an extra dose of oxygen through arabinogalactans-derived from watercress polysaccharides/sugars. I highly recommend this product as the skin not only feels plump and illuminated but you can see the difference from within! If you’re looking for something to turn around your skin instantly 360 degrees give this a try. What I especially like about it too, is that like the rest of Omorovicza’s range, it uses: delivery system Hydro Mineral Transference- meaning it not only delivers the potent ingredients deep into the skin but also has a strength like no other to reverse the signs of aging. This Christmas don’t ask for traditional diamonds…ask for a (pot) of blue diamond…£275, http://www.omorovicza.co.uk/blue-diamond-collection.html
Nails Inc Nail Kale: Nails are often ignored and not taken care of properly. Too often, we also try to hide the fact that we have bad nail health by hiding it under a couple coats of nail polish. Well, it’s good to know that Nail’s Inc. has the situation covered! The Nail Kale range is supercharged with kale extract-an ingredient known for its high vitamin A, C, & K content. These vitamins help with stimulating advanced keratin product-which means strong, bright healthy nails. It’s a win-win situation with this one as Nail Kale comes in a variety of luxurious colours this season to go with all your party outfits. My favourite and top suggestion is Bruton mews: a dark deep green that gives a lush festive approach to the season! £14, www.nailsinc.com
Dermalogica’s Limited Edition Body Therapy Essential Set: I’m super excited to introduce this season this Body Therapy set as it feels like a cuddle in a box. It’s absolutely all you will need when coming in from wet, mucky winter weather-not to mention also just what the skin needs to get a bounce back from a hard day out. The set contains conditioning bodywash, body hydrating cream and an exfoliating body scrub. The cleanser is exceptional as it contains no soap is acid balanced, and is infused natural oils to prevent over-drying- perfect if the skin has been exposed to central heating! The body cream has lactic and hydroxyl acids to soothe and soften while the exfoliating body scrub lightly foams and is ever so gentle and does not damage skin. If you’re looking for a quality product that indeed performs look no further than this set. Oh, and of course, I’m sure a someone special wouldn’t mind to receive it on Christmas day either….£17.50 (yes that is all it is!) at https://buy.dermalogica.co.uk/body-therapy-essentials-limited-edition-set.html
Beauty Says: We all like a bit of glamour over the holidays and wearing fur can give that affect, but wearing real fur can be tricky as it is politically incorrect. Thanks to technology in fashion there’s a lot of faux fur out there that looks like the real thing-but it’s not. I’m always inspecting garments people wear on the streets to see if I can recognise if it’s fur real or faux sure. From Halston to Maje you won’t be able to tell that it isn’t real….wear it guilt free! Check it out….
The technology in fashion today for making faux fur has gone to unreal heights! They can make fur from cashmere so that it is super soft while looking like fur. Take this jacket from Halston Heritage for instance- luxurious no? On my most-wanted list this season, $795, www.halston.com
There’s nothing like the look of envy when you go out and you are wearing a fur coat. This faux fur ‘king kong’ coat will definitely be grabbing you that HUGE attention. It feels super soft and has the sheen of real fur on the outset. £690 at www.uk.maje.com
If you like to only wear a bit of fur accent as you don’t like the heavy look of fur than give these next few pieces a whirl. BCBG has this quirky knitted hat with black veil and faux fur pom pom that’ll give winter fun with a demur lady-like attitude! £ 66. Their other piece, a faux fur bomber jacket is sure to give any outfit a run for it’s money at £232 www.bcbg.com
And finally I know how many of you go out there each winter and try to find the down jacket/coat, or a heavy duty utility coat that looks pretty with a fur trim. Often though, you’ll find fur trim, but it won’t be a calibre like the real thing. These two options (left from Bimba & Lola £241) and (right from Sandros £579) are rather chic versions that are well worth the investment. So next time someone asks you if that fur is real you can reply with: ‘Faux Sure!’
Beauty Says: Hair removal, in terms of personal hygiene, is no stranger to most of us. We, ladies, especially spend hours on end during the week, shaving, waxing, tweezing and other means to get rid of unsightly hair all over the face and body. Hair removal has now become a norm and there is simply no excuse not to do it as there are tons of products out there to get rid of hair. One though, has been on my mind in particular: laser hair removal- as this method guarantees no re-growth.
I personally, don’t like to mess with depilatory creams, razors, or waxes. Tweezing is painful enough in the brow not to mention any other areas of the body; and can be incredibly time consuming. The most frustrating thing is that even when I do any of these methods it of course, grows back! Laser hair removal attracted me from the moment I discovered it as it meant no further maintenance. (For those of you who are unaware of the process of laser hair removal: The hairs are damaged by a laser and after some time the dead hair is pushed out and never grows back.) So deciding to eradicate this long term problem once and for all I found myself down at the Pulse Light Clinic to investigate.
The Pulse Light Clinic offers a wide range of treatments besides hair removal. They also offer photo rejuvenation (where skin can be rejuvenated with a laser), sun damage & photo aging correction, tri acne treatment, tattoo removal, and loads of other treatments to help with rosacea, red veins, hyper-pigmentation and skin tightening. I chose this clinic as differs from any other- their team consists only of registered doctors and nurses who are highly skilled in photo rejuvenation and IPL techniques. Further to this fact, the clinic has been established for almost 15 years and has 5 different lasers that are specifically designed for laser hair removal to treat all skin types and most hair types. (Of course, this excludes blond and white hair as these have no melanin and the lasers simply do not work on these.) Most clinics you will find only has one machine for every skin type. So you might ask why is having more than one machine important. Well for a start, once hair becomes finer throughout treatments, a different type of laser might be more beneficial to give more long term and effective results. For those who have sensitive skin, it is great to note, that the Pulse Light Clinic has a Soprano XL laser that is virtually pain free!
On the day I got there for my treatment I had a full consultation with my consultant Lucy. Lucy informed me exactly what she was going to do and how (little pain) to expect from the few minute treatment. She told me that cold air would come out of a side pipe to the laser to help cool the process. When she finished going over the areas with the laser under my arms she told me to expect mild raised or bumpy skin up to 48 hours of my treatment-although I had none whatsoever. The area did feel a bit tingly after treatment but only for about 30 min. It generally takes the dead hair to shed through the skin within a 1-3 week period. They seem to grow but actually will fall out if you tug at them.
I suspect that due to the almost non-existent amount of hair under my arms I have not seen any re-growth or missed hairs with my treatment. Simply put, it worked for me first time, and I only had to and have to do it once. To say I was impressed was an under (arm) statement! For the first time in my life, I felt that the force of laser hair removal was indeed with me.
Although I had this one wonder result this is not common for most people. It actually takes up to several treatments to completely get rid of all hair in an area. The reason for this is because hair grows at different stages and hair maybe missed if it was not at the anagen stage. The anagen stage is where there is an active blood supply to the hair follicle. The laser targets the follicle by the degree or darkness of melanin. This is why, people who have darker hair on lighter skin benefit most from laser hair removal. This is another reason why I had such great results (my hair is black and my skin is incredibly fair). The main reason I would suggest others to go for laser hair removal is that it is virtually pain free and you can target quite a bit of hair all at the same time unlike other processes such as electrolysis. There is also less risk with laser versus similar methods like IPL. IPL can cause side effects where with laser there is none- the laser targets and kills the root of the hair but not the surrounding areas of the skin!
Of course, the final question is how much? Surprisingly, laser hair removal at the Pulse Light Clinic is incredibly reasonable. You can buy a 6x package, say for under the arms at about £250. Other packages for the face (let’s say upper lip) is at £192, while other body areas such as arms (full) can go up to £540. It is worthy to note, that buying a 6x or course package is cheaper than going for single treatments, and you will want the extra courses for any top ups you might need should hairs be not in the anagen stage and were missed in previous treatments.
So if like me you have always been wondering about laser hair removal…..wonder no more. Let go as the force of hair removal is with you with laser hair removal & The Pulse Light Clinic. Live long, and hair free! For more information, and pricing go to www.pulselightclinic.co.uk
You won't be able to resist nibbles this Christmas Season. My most recent decadent discovery has been these tiny cheese filled biscuits from the East India Company. They come in all sort of flavours from Roquefort, sundried tomato flavoured La Provencale, or traditional cheddar cheese and more. They are incredibly moorish, so be aware as you ould finish a whole tin all by yourself. Cheese biscuits? Yes, please! Buy 3 for £15 or £5.95 each at: http://www.eicfinefoods.com/product/biscuits/savoury-biscuits/
Sweet tooth? I absolutely adore these mini spiced fudge bites by Crabtree & Evelyn. Normally, you wouldn't think of Crabtree & Evelyn would you for tasty treats as they're famous for their hand creams or soaps. It's a great go-to point for food baskets and gifts. They've got loads of treats to temp and please anyone from preserves to tea to candies. These delicious speiced fudge bites come in a musical tin too for Christmas to and plays a song from the Nutcracker. I especially like the cherries in them as they give a special edge like no other. I warn you: They're highly addictive!
£12 at www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk
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