Category Archives: Beauty

Roll Up, Roll Up

Benefit Roller LashYou’ve got to love Benefit’s colourful way of getting over the message about their new mascara. They don’t appear to take the subject too seriously, yet  they have evidently spent a fair bit of time working out exactly what shape and texture of brush would be the best for tackling all eye shapes and all types of problem lashes (short, straight or short and straight). Taking inspiration from the way women have traditionally created curls in their hair, the San Francisco beauty brand has come up with Roller Lash (£19.50), the curved, roller-like brush of which is studded with tiny, strategically placed, hooks which grab, lift and curl the lashes to great effect.

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Mothering Sundaes

DKNY Fragrance Delicious DelightsOrdinarily, I am the first to say that I really do not want to smell like a piece of fruit or a pudding – however delicious – so I was not predisposed to like DKNY Fragrance Delicious Delights (£37 each), the new trio of limited edition, sorbet-inspired fragrances in the DKNY Be Delicious range. However, these three – brought out just in time for Mother’s Day, next Sunday – turned out to be considerably more appealing than their sorbet-coloured bottles, and ice cream-featuring boxes, suggested. They are really quite grown-up scents – unlike some of their predecessors in the collection, which have had almost exclusively teen appeal.

Of the three, I particularly like the Fruity Rooty one (pictured on the right), which, although it has  blackberry and mandarin in its top notes, seduced me with its elegant base notes of iris, musk and vanilla and floral heart. Silly name; sophisticated scent..

For stockists call 0870 034 2566.

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Oil Boom

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift oilMove over serums, the latest item to squeeze into fashionable skincare regimes is the good old facial oil – long a preserve of botanics-based beauty brands but now going more mainstream thanks to the launches this month of Estée Lauder‘s Resilience Lift Restorative Radiance Oil (£50 for 30ml) and No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil (£23 for 30ml).

Both oils help lock moisture into the skin, boost radiance and make the skin feel more comfortable. Rachel Parish, No7 advisor, says: “Throughout the colder months, more women turn to us to find out how they can keep their skin looking hydrated and radiant – a facial oil is the perfect way to do that!” Simply add two to three drops to cleansed skin and No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oilmassage in circular motions over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Use it before or mixed in with your usual day and night moisturisers.

A four-week consumer trial of 119 British women found that after two weeks, they all agreed that adding a few drops of No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil to their usual day cream gave their skin an added moisture boost. After two weeks, more than 80% agreed that skin looked more radiant and healthy, and after four weeks more than 80% agreed that skin looked and felt more youthful.

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An Aveda Kind of Sanctuary

A New Kind of Love - massageI was going to use a photo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to illustrate this piece but thought it might put readers off .. so you’ve got Joanne Woodward in the dated-but-divine looking fashion-themed film A New Kind of Love instead. But why was it Quasimodo with his misshapen face and hunched back that you nearly saw? Well, because I was feeling wretched a couple of weeks ago – a pain in my shoulder and some sort of skin irritation on my face which made my complexion flaky and red.

I may not have had Quasimodo’s problems but I felt miserable. Thank goodness I didn’t cancel my facial and massage at the Aveda spa in James Dun’s House in Glasgow. Instead, I sought Hunchback-style “sanctooooary” there! And, boy, did my therapist Lindsay sort me out. She tailored the facial and body Aveda Enbrightenment rangemassage so that she could tackle the areas that were particularly bothering me. Fusing the Elemental Nature massage with aspects of the deeply relaxing Stress Fix massage, Lindsay worked out the knots in my shoulders and back and made me feel more human than hunchback again.

Given my unusually irritated skin, I was rather nervous about the Elemental Nature facial part of the 90-minute process, and almost skipped it. Afterwards, however, I was relieved that I hadn’t – and that I had placed my dodgy skin in Lindsay’s safe, Aveda-administering hands. She prescribed the Intensive Massage Masque (£42) from the “enbrightenment” range and, I kid you not, it corrected whatever it was that had been causing problems with my skin. Admittedly, before she started, it wasn’t looking as bad as it had the day before, but after the treatment, all signs of irritation had vanished – so I believe it accelerated my skin’s recovery. Put it this way, I now have one at home and it has become a key part of my weekly skincare routine …

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Max Glamour, Min Fuss …

Max Factor smoky eye 3Backstage at the Diane von Furstenberg show last week, Pat McGrath, Max Factor Global Creative Design Director, produced a seductive smoky eye look. She said:  Diane’s theme of seduction sparked ideas of intense, diffused smoky eyes framed with dark, voluptuous lashes; bringing to life a real sense of feminine power, mystery and deep allure.”

Not only is this look super-sexy but it’s also an easy one to achieve. First, Pat created a true nude base by working a smooth, medium coverage foundation into the skin like moisturiser using her fingertips for a perfect, translucent finish. Next, she followed up with concealer to cover any small skin imperfections before adding warmth to models’ complexions with a sweep of gold toned shimmer shadow across the tops of the cheekbones, for a highlighting effect.

To kickstart the smoky eye look, Pat first created the shape using a kohl pencil in black and brown then blended it seamlessly with a charcoal eye shadow shade across the upper lids and along the lower lash line for a deep, diffused effect. She followed that with a layer of black shimmer gel-shadow on top for extra allure, before finishing the eyes with a slick of black mascara applied to the top and bottom lashes for dark, volumised lashes.

Finally, lips remained sheer to ensure eyes were the focus of the look.  Add a small amount of clear lip balm and a touch of concealer to pale out any redness in the lips.

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The Sweet Smell of Valentine’s Success

Marilyn with hearts

It’s that time of year again, when beauty halls are invaded by well-meaning males of the species congratulating themselves on coming up with the idea of buying their Valentine a bottle of fragrance as a token of their romantic feelings. It’s also that time of year when women receive beautiful bottles of fragrance that they can’t stand, and become quietly disgruntled because they might have to wear the damned perfume just to humour their Valentine. Men, here are my tips on how to avoid such a scenario arising:

1. Don’t buy a fragrance on the spur of the moment – unless your Valentine is with you.

2.  Do your homework. It’s easy: just check her dressing table and note whichever perfume bottle has the least in it. That’s one that she has liked enough to use till it’s almost run out – and she clearly needs a refill. Note the name and buy that one. She will thank you more for something she loves and will use than for something that might end up languishing on her dressing table!

3. Buy the perfume in a department store or fragrance boutique – this will ensure that it is wrapped prettily and shows extra care and attention.

4. Don’t listen to any sales assistant who tries to sell an alternative if they have run out of the perfume you were planning to buy. Go elsewhere.

5. If you haven’t a clue which fragrance she prefers, don’t bother buying one. There’s too much chance of the purchase misfiring. There are probably as many other lovely ways to treat your Valentine as there are shades of grey …


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It Might As Well Be Spring

No7 Mini Eye PaletteYes, it feels as if spring is still a long way off – but that’s all the more reason for treating yourself to some spring make-up goodies, especially ones which don’t tug too hard on the pursestrings. No7’s spring collection fits the bill perfectly.

I am totally hooked on its Mini Eye Palette (£11), which comprises the eight No7 Gel=Look Shine Nail Colour in Coral Crushmost popular shades of No7 eyeshadow, all neutrals, some matte and some shimmery, that can be used wet or dry depending on how dramatic or subtle you want your eye make-up to be.

And if you need something brighter than neutrals to pep your winter days up, the new No7 Gel Look Shine in Coral Crush (£7) is the shade to choose from the two spring colours (Sweet Lilac is the alternative) – especially if, like me, Coral is your favourite choice for summer nails.

Available now from Boots stores and

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