Sunday, 13 December 2009
A sneak peek: shoes to lust over, polishes ditto. At a PR preview for 2010's beauty must-haves, we discovered these swoonworthy polishes, created to match Georgina Goodman's 'Love' shoes. (And we all do love shoes...) Think: sparkling indigo or a fabulous flesh-tone, which looks very sexy indeed on tanned feet. We predict both shades will be hot, hot, hot once the weather gets - well, hot...
Friday, 11 December 2009
A few weeks ago we hosted our very first Beauty Bible Awards - and many of the brands featured in our books are now helping beauty-hounds take a short-cut to the products our testers loved, by splashing pink Beauty Bible Awards stickers on the winning lotions and potions, powders and paints. We spotted this from Organic Surge, in Boots, flagging up their Beauty Steals... (If you click on the picture you'll see the stickers better!)
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Pretty, pretty, pretty. Previewed on gorgeous mood boards at Chanel’s spring-summer open day: all their sherbet-y, ultra-wearable shades for next year, from a collection called Les Impressions de Chanel. The soft, neutral palette really is like an Impressionist painting and Beauty Bible particularly swooned over a liquid illuminating highlighter (Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid) which gives a soft, sun-kissed glow, and the string-of-pearls temporary tattoos (alas, those were for the catwalk show only. But worth trying to recreate at home with an eyeliner!) On these dark, gloomy, windswept, sodden days, it’s good to feel like spring is around the corner. Can’t wait to get our hands on this collection, early in 2010. Counting the days, actually…
Alan Mackenzie is a man on a mission: not just to create reasonably-priced natural cosmetics, but also to do good while he’s doing business. Creator of Organic Surge (several products feature in Beauty Bible Beauty Steals), his new, slightly more upscale venture is Wild Organics: bath and body care using wild-harvested ingredients from Brazil, Egypt, Croatia – and his native Scotland. Over tea at Providores (keeping up our cake quota), Alan explained the extra feel-good factor from Wild Organics: you get prettily-scented, Ecocert-certified ‘smellies’ (you can see them demo-ed on QVC), and because a percentage of sales goes to his chosen charity Freedom From Fistula, women in Africa have access to a simple but life-changing operation (we won’t go into the slightly gory details in this fluffy pink zone, but you can log onto the website below to find out more…) Our favourite Wild Organics creation, meanwhile? Just loving the Marshmallow Butter Sugar Scrub…
Wild Organics at www.wildorganics or www.qvc.co.uk
Sunday, 29 November 2009
When two beauty editors need to be primped and camera-ready for Ireland’s RTE Afternoon Show and Xposé (the must-watch cable network for the wannabe-stylish) to promote Beauty Bible Beauty Steals, where would they turn? To Queen, in the heart of Dublin town. Leonard Daly is the name you want in your Little Black Beauty Address Book: this catwalk and session make-up artist has opened his own fab beautique and hair salon, showcasing the hard-to-find Kevyn Aucoin make-up range (Queen is the only location you can now find it, on this side of the storm-whipped Atlantic) and Planet skincare, among other ranges. We especially fell in love with Bog Standard: the hilariously-named all-Irish capsule collection of fresh-scented hand washes and lotions, with fragrances like Irish Mist, Irish Linen and Irish Moss. And BIG thanks to Leonard and his ace stylists for coming in to primp us on their day off…! (That explains why Leonard’s in his tracksuit!)
Queen Beauty Emporium, 66-67 Aungier Street, Dublin/+353-(0)1478-9633
Monday, 23 November 2009
Without a personal recommendation, finding a salon in a strange city can be like pinning a (pony)tail on a donkey. So Beauty Bible was grateful to a Dublin insider (the lovely Sophie Flynn-Rogers) for pointing us in the direction of this chic salon, in a bow-windowed townhouse just off Grafton Street. Stocking both Shu Uemura and (our favourite) Kérastase, the stylists are fast, the back-wash heavenly (we do love a vibrating reclining seat), and – like all hairstylists – they’re a fount of insider wisdom about where to go and what’s cool in their home town. (A great, shiny blow-dry, too, from Jacqui). And with Dublin suffering in the downtown, Kazumi some clever budget-friendly ideas, including an ‘In-Between Colour Check-Up’: a ‘colour boost’, hairline or parting touch-up, for 40-50 euros, to tide you over the next few weeks before a major colour splurge.
Kazumi, 36 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2/00-353-1678 5004
Monday, 16 November 2009
Ever fancied getting your face ‘ironed’? Emma Hardie’s your woman. Now, this isn’t a facial if you like layers of masks and wafty aromatherapy oils: this is the real, re-sculpting deal (and as such, pretty flipping brilliant for this time of year, as the mistletoe season looms). Here’s Emma – a darned good advertisement for her own skills – at The Hale Clinic, in London (where she regularly practices when in London), and where she recently demo-ed her ‘Sculpting Face Lift’ massage technique to us. It’s not sensual. It’s not even pleasurable, at times, as she works her magic on the underlying muscles, but the results are next-best-thing-to-Botox that Beauty Bible’s tried. (And actually, we don’t do Botox. List of reasons too long to feature here.) If you can’t book in for a one-on-face-firming-one with Emma, might like to know she’s offering Face Facts Workshops at Space NK Apothecary (for a £20 fee redeemable against purchase from the Emma Hardie Amazing Face skincare range, now on sale there). Be there. Or be – well, droopy.
Emma Hardie at The Hale Clinic, 7 Park Crescent, London W1B 1PF/020-7497 7377
Emma Hardie Face Facts Workshops at Space NK/01923-839505
Saturday, 14 November 2009
We’ve had ‘fast food’. Get ready for ‘fast beauty’. Beauty Bible was in New York recently, where any I-want-it-now beauty-hound can have her heart’s Clinique desires filled – in a New York minute. For instance: give your order to one of the assistants wearing a Madonna-style microphone, and your products will be in your hands within 60 seconds. (It’s a promise.) Use one of these ‘browsing baskets’, meanwhile (seen here with lovely Lynne Green, who heads Clinique worldwide), and the consultants will just plain leave you alone. (And don’t we all wish for that sometime…?) Clinique’s old-style ‘abacus’ is still around – but the technology’s been eclipsed with this real computer, which gives you a skincare prescription print-out. But most of all, we like the ‘Foundation bar’: foolproof display of shades, textures, coverage – all there, for simple at-a-glance selection. (Find something similar at Selfridges’ gleamingly gorgeous new Clinique counter, on this side of the pond. No walkie-talkies, though. Guess we’re still just too l-a-i-d b-a-c-k, compared to the average Manhattanite…
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Last night was a bit of a landmark for Beauty Bible. We hosted our first-ever Beauty Bible Awards, at One Alfred Place in London, recognising the brands who’ve put on stellar performances in our books The Green Beauty Bible (paperback) and Beauty Bible Beauty Steals, which is just hitting the bookstores now. There was no Rocky-style music, no flashing light show, no stage – and we didn’t allow the recipients of their award to make Gwyneth Paltrow-style thank-you speeches (or even open their mouths except to smile for the cameras, actually!) From now on, look out for Beauty Bible Award stickers on products, banners in-store and symbols appearing on websites for products that have put on stellar performances in our books, as judged by our diligent testers. (Congratulations to A’kin, who are first off the mark with Beauty Bible Awards stickers, which you can look for on their Unscented Hand, Nail & Cuticle Treatment.) And here we are with John Frieda, whose haircare brand won more awards than any other, in Beauty Steals… Congratulations to John, and all the other worthy award-winners. When our testers love your products, we know it really is something to shout about…
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Sabon is a New York beauty emporium with several ‘shabby chic’ branches (this one’s on Prince, in SoHo), where as a prelude to a mooch around you’re encouraged to wash your hands with a salty scrub in a beautiful multi-spigoted ‘font’. (Nice touch, in a grubby city like Manhattan.) A good place to shop for beauty presents that aren’t available in the UK, and we’re pleased (as wannabe-natural beauty babes ourselves) to discover their newest range is Ecocert-certified organic; the ultra-rich $15 foot cream is almost a must-have in a city where you can notch up miles and miles on your feet just getting from A to interesting B.
Sabon, 123 Prince St. @ corner of Wooster St., NY, 10012/212-982-0968
Friday, 23 October 2009
In New York, where would the authors of The Green Beauty Bible go for a ‘do’? To John Masters, of course: the Sullivan Street salon of the pioneering natural hair ‘guru’ whose signature line (now organically-certified) has always done well with our testers. The salon itself is beautiful: old Indian and Moroccan doors, transformed into mirrors; shelves hewn from chunks of wood; a little garden out back to take refuge from the Manhattan madness. Jo had a shiatsu hair treatment: an ultra-rich mask, with an a-m-a-z-i-n-g 15-minute pressure-point scalp massage with a hair treatment (enriched with jasmine and cedarwood oils), leaving her hair sensationally strong, shiny, swingy. And John (pictured here with his somewhat camera-shy dog Maya) let us in on a little secret: he’s working on an all-natural haircolouring line which will, yes, cover grey – and should launch late next year. Stay tuned.
Beauty Bible blogtip – from John Masters: ‘You can custom-blend a deep hair treatment for use once a month or so by mixing together different intensive hair masks. You can even mash an avocado in there, then add a few drops of essential oil. Apply generously: when it comes to masks like this, more is more! Leave on for as long as you can before shampooing and conditioning.’
John Masters Salon, 77 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012/212-343 9590
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Mineral make-up dynamo Miranda Bond – creator of the Inika range (which our testers for The Green Beauty Bible really liked) - swept into London recently to show off some of her latest creations, whisking through town as speedily as a kabuki brush over a supermodel’s cheek. When she unveiled the new Inika launches (say it ‘In-eek-a’), our immediate thought was: baby, has natural make-up come a long way. Miranda always boasts that Inika’s ‘made OF Australia’ – because the pure pigments are mined in the brand’s home territory. But now Inika has expanded to include some truly sophisticated textures and finishes that rival ‘conventional’ make-up. (Oh, and the packaging’s been sexed-up, too – a sort of velvety-finish black, so that the whole range now feels very eco-luxe). Beauty Bible is especially loving the Certified Organic Pure Primer – the perfect canvas for mineral make-up, and looking forward to next year’s launch of a foundation which in our opinion is the best all-natural option we’ve seen. So if you ask us, Inika rocks. (In every way.)
Beauty Bible Blogtip from Miranda Bond: ‘Mineral make-up is fantastic for evening out skintone – but if you have broken veins or a spot, instead of continuing to layer on the make-up with a brush, take your finger, dip it in the mineral powder and press onto the imperfection. It works like concealer.’
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
We’re not quite sure why Ark (which already has three salons in West London) has failed to get on our beauty radar till now, but the new sleek white location in Kensington High Street has changed all that. The concept: three targeted ‘generations’ of skincare (whose ‘faces’ are actually the founder, Shula Starkey, plus her twentysomething younger sister and her Mum). Simple and no-nonsense (you can forget harsh scrubs or bamboozling hype), there are just four products in each capsule Ark collection – plus targeted SkinResponse serums (think: Antioxidant, Radiance, Anti-Redness, for additional problem-solving. The range has been created with input from naturopath and stress expert Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed alongside Reiki Master Shula herself – and their ‘holistic’ thinking shaped the Ark treatment philosophy, too, which is blown up on a mirror above the staircase leading to the two subterranean treatment rooms: ‘We believe in the wellbeing of our clients, encouraging them to develop their natural health and beauty. Our professional treatments and products take a holistic and hygienic approach ensuring service and excellence in all we do.’
Ark Age Aware Skincare, 26 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4EP/020-7938 1898.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Well, not exactly – but their new Ecocert-certified soap has got us in quite a lather of excitement, and you’ve got to start somewhere. It smells Clarins-ishly botanical, and (we are assured) the fragrance lasts till the very end of the hefty bar. We’ll have to take their word for this as it’ll probably take us until at least the official launch date – February next year – to finish ours! (Might have to create a Tried & Tested Soap category for Beauty Bible now, just so we can put it through its paces properly.) NB: it’s good for bodies, but also – those of you who can’t kick your soap-and-water habit - for faces. Here, the Clarins soap ‘stars’ in a new line-up of goodies unveiled to us by Clarins babes Jini Sanassy and Alexandrea Daniel – including a long-lasting foundation that we’re very impressed by indeed. And – zut alors! – you’ll see that Clarins’s make-up packaging has also been given a long-overdue makeover: sleek, silver and so much sexier.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Laura Rudoe has two babies. One is Oliver, 18 weeks (being flashed by Laura proudly here on her phone). The other is Evolve, which has had a year’s gestation: an Ecocert-certified, reasonably-priced organic beauty brand that is just being unveiled in John Lewis and on Ocado. (Nothing's over fifteen quid and most items are priced at £9.99.) Laura – who previously worked on the Nude brand – has come up with a capsule collection of botanical skincare essentials, and Beauty Bible is especially taken with the packaging (created from recycled milk bottles), which sets a new standard while not compromising on chic. Pretty smells and nice textures, too. (And as for performance, we’ll be sending some of Evolve’s ‘hero’ products to our Tried & Tested panellists. So stay tuned.)
Monday, 5 October 2009
To Daniel Galvin’s übersalon, where colouring ‘star’ Louise Galvin (from the hairdressing dynasty) gave us a sneak preview of her new highlight-reviver, Sacred Locks Vitox (coming soon to her website, www.louisegalvin.com). If you’ve got streaks or are all-over ‘bottle’ blonde, you’ll know how hard it is to maintain that brightness – but we’re pretty impressed by the answer Louise has come up with, after she demo-ed it on Jo. Almost pure vitamins, Vitox is a powder and a liquid which you mix together, then apply the frothing mixture to dry and leave for three minutes. Wash and condition as normal, and hey, presto! Hair really is super-duper-shiny, with lights as fresh and bright as when you first strolled out of the salon. It’s also genius, apparently, for getting rid of post-summer-holiday green ‘pool hair’. Think of it as the hair equivalent of Berocca or Emergen-C…
Louise Galvin at Daniel Galvin, 58-60 George Street, London W1U 7ET/020-7486 9661
Stepping outside Daniel Galvin’s salon with her bombshell blonde ‘do’ , Jo literally bumped into superfacialist and Marylebone local Eve Lom, sporting a hand bandage: 12 painful stitches, from a washing-up-related accident. Hope she’s got those precious healing hands insured for a fortune…! Beauty Bible says: get well soon, Eve…
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Bourjois’s little round pot blushers have been dotted prettily onto cheeks since 1863. Women still love them. (Not least testers for our next book, Beauty Steals, in which both the blusher pots and eyeshadow pots star.) But have they ever been quite this covetable before? Over cappuccino with Bourjois’s Lesley Chilvers (yes, in this job your liquid intake goes right off the caffeine-o-meter), she unveiled these limited edition versions daintily decorated with whimsical illustrations by Natalie Lété, a renowned Parisian illustrator. The Rendez-Vous a Paris collection will be at www.asos.com - and at Beauty Bible, where (we’re chuffed to announce), we’ll have 10 sets exclusively for ‘insiders’ like you to win. Watch this (pink) space.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
We’re all for beauty giving back. So: nice to hear (when catching up with Trilogy founder Sarah Gibbs over a coffee éclair) that the New Zealand-based beauty brand is getting firmly behind the campaign to save Borneo’s orangutans, many of which are being displaced by rampant palm oil development, and either killed or imprisoned in cages. (The palm oil is often used by the cosmetics industry.) It seems incredible that this extraordinary animal is truly at risk of extinction, but it’s really happening. So: special packs of Trilogy’s certified 100% rosehip oil will soon go on sale from which a chunky $1 donation will go to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Look out for the boxes, which feature the cutest baby orangutan ever to grace a cosmetic bottle. (Actually, he or she is very adorable indeed.) For more info, visit www.trilogyproducts.com. Oh, and by the way: three Trilogy products – Cream Cleanser, Eye Contour Cream and the utterly fab Botanical Body Wash – are Green Beauty Bible Award-winners, celebrated in the new paperback edition of our book, just hitting the bookshops now. (Would have been sooner but there was a strike at the printer - grrrrrr!) So: three cheers for Trilogy!
Friday, 25 September 2009
Beauty Bible has never quite experienced a phenomenon like Chanel's Jade nail polish. To wit: when Jo went along for a manicure yesterday with Sophy Robson (the nail 'superstar Jo actually 'discovered' at New York Nails nine years ago), who could have imagined the effect it would have on perfect strangers - who stopped her in the street to say, 'Omigod is that Chanel Jade?', with a sort-of-scratch-your-eyes-out expression...! With its just-like-a-piece-of-jade colour, the varnish has a waiting list as long as your arm (at Chanel boutiques and Selfridges' counter). Jo is modelling Jade here together with a 'hand ring' (er, obviously for Chanel devotees who don't have to stoop to typing for a living), from this season's gorgeous, white-ruffled Chanel fashion collection. (Lust doesn't begin to describe our feeling for the clothes - which will alas remain unrequited...) What especially thrills Jo, though, are the truly, exclusive, not-available-to-the-public tiny double-C gold logos which Sophy embedded in Jo's littlest fingernails - and which she is SO going to be carefully rescuing and reusing!
Beauty Bible Blogtip - from Sophy Robson (pictured here peeking through the mannequins): 'If you want to strengthen your nails, use a nail hardener for no more than a week, then stop, otherwise they just become brittle. But most importantly make a habit of massaging oil into your nails twice a day - not just while using the hardener, but always: keep a bottle somewhere handy - on your desk or on your bedside table - and massage it into your nail zone morning and night. It only takes a minute yet not only stops cuticles splitting and hangnails; it also penetrates the nails to stop them dehydrating, flaking and splitting.'
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
There is the minimalist spa trend. And there is the Oriental spa trend. So it’s a breath of fresh (farmyard?) air to see Cowshed Carnaby’s interior décor. Basically, if E. Annie Prouxl decorated a beauty salon we think it would look like this – but actually, the ‘Brokeback Spa Chic’ works: the barn-plank walls, distressed paintwork and ‘nail polish crates’ contrast with squishy towels, inviting massage couches and super-comfy manicure stations (as demo-ed by über-groomed Cowshed PR Jo Fox-Tutchener, here - who we doubt owns a pair of dungarees…) Cleverly, the seven-day-a-week treatment menu for the range (which follows in the footsteps of the original Cowshed Spa at Babington House) features lots of super-speedy options including what they promise is ‘painless waxing’ by Amie Jones, as well as the chance to have two therapists work on you multi-taskingly at once. Ideal for when a girl’s gotta get back to watchin’ them cows, real quick. (Or, rather more mundanely, her computer screen.)
Cowshed Carnaby, 31 Fouberts Place, London W1D 7QG/020-7534 0870
Beauty Bible Blogtip - picked up from Cowshed's nail pros: ‘Keep a manicure perfect by adding a topcoat every other day - but use the topcoat to “seal the tips”, don’t just paint the top of the nail. And for super-smooth results, always apply two coats of base to toenails…’
Monday, 21 September 2009
Well, taxis, actually. But London beauty-hounds can scan the capital’s streets for two white cabs emblazoned with luscious lipsticks, to coincide with the opening of Clinique’s snazzy new department in the revamped Selfridges Beauty Hall (for more news, watch this space). What are you supposed to give the driver when you disembark – a beauty tip…?
These hands are insured for a million quid. We wish we could show you the pretty face attached to them, but Tracey Malone is very, very camera-shy. Like it or not, though, Tracey Malone - daughter of the legendary Eileen (who it’s whispered used to do facials for the Queen) and sister of global fragrance-empire-builder Jo – is steppinginto the spotlight with Lubatti, the range she has created using formulas handed down by one of the most famous beauticians of all time, Madame Lubatti, to Eileen. (Who then handed them to Tracey.) Lubatti is at Space NK (more than 40 branches, and on-line at www.lubatti.co.uk, where there’s a fab gift-wrapping service.). We say: well worth checking out (we especially like the Day & Night Face Gel, as used by Tracey for her amazing, re-contouring facial massage – enjoyed by an ultra-elite clientele which for one blissful hour included a grateful Jo). Tracey’s own skin (which alas you can’t see here!) is a great advert for Lubatti – but she glugs gallons (well, litres) of water, too, she adds. ‘It really does boost skin health,’ maintains Tracey. However, she warns: ‘If you’re not a water-drinker, don’t go mad. Add in an extra half-a-glass each day, because going straight from zero to the regulation eight glasses stresses the kidneys.’ Another tip? Tracey dilutes pomegranate juice – one third juice to two-thirds water - for an extra antioxidant boost. ‘And it’s less boring to drink!’
Friday, 18 September 2009
Oh, lucky us. And lucky you, when you can get your hands (feet?) on the new FitFlop winter boots. We are feeling incredibly privileged that the genius Marcia Kilgore (of FitFlops and Soap & Glory glory) let us have the first two pairs to be released into captivity. (We are rather hoping they breed in the wardrobe. However, this is unlikely, as they are unlikely to be removed from our feet now till around next April.) You can find them on pre-order at Victoria Health now (www.victoriahealth.com), where you can be one very toasty step ahead of the the rest of the FitFlop pack. Cold? Wind? Snow? Our little piggies say: 'Bring it on!'
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Hard skin is the No. 1 enemy of a happy life, if you ask us. As devoted walkers who like to wear pretty heels (at least sometimes), keeping our feet blissful has always been a priority. (The world’s most expensive face cream is not going to help if you’re grimacing from uncomfy feet.) But there are pedicures – and there are Margaret Dabbs pedicures. (As in: when was the last time you reclined on a massage chair in an oxygen chamber as your polish died, enjoying a 15-minute guided meditation while staring at a Planetarium-like ceiling? See Jo, showing off her indigo toes in the aforementioned ‘egg’ chamber, left) First, though, comes the really important bit: one of five podiatrists (Margaret herself, if you’re willing to pay £120 a session not including varnish) buffs your feet to marble-smoothness, and expertly shapes the nails. (Because they’re medically qualified, the Margaret Dabbs team can also offer pedicures to diabetics, who we know find it hard to access glamorous foot services.) Feet are slathered with the emu-oil-rich, ultra-nourishing cream (the range is pictured right) – and then you’re ready for your expert varnish application. Too few places combine both the health aspect with glamour, in our experience – and once the hard work’s been done, it’s so easy to upkeep at home (Alida’s is our foot-file-of-choice, which you can get from www.victoriahealth.com). We now completely ‘get’ why our friend Nicola Moulton, Beauty Director of Vogue (who could enjoy gratis pedicures in any salon of her choosing) actually pays to go back once a month for this: ‘It’s the one thing I can’t live without,’ Nicola tells us. Jo has a feeling she knows exactly what Nicola means. Oh, happy, happy feet.
Margaret Dabbs Foot Clinic & Nail Spa, 7 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 8UU/020-7487 5510
Saturday, 12 September 2009
It isn’t every day that a luxury make-up line lands fully-formed on our shores. But Le Métier de Beauté is just that: a complete range (created in California) with sumptuous colours, clever ideas (we especially love the Kaleidoscope Lip Kit lip gloss stack – think of it as the multi-storey car park of glosses – and the nail polishes, in dinky sizes just right for anyone with Beauty Attention Deficit Disorder, who gets bored with shades fast. Er, like us.). Prices are sort of up there with the likes of Giorgio Armani – and actually, like that brand, there’s a focus on fabulous bases and powders. For now, it’s exclusively at Liberty – where the counter is presided over by the rather depressingly gorgeous Dunja (say it Doon-yah), pictured here, who whisked her brushes expertly across Jo’s face when she had to look glam for her friend Mary McCartney’s 40th birthday bash. Definitely worth a browse, if you’re in the area.
Like most luxuryophiles (or whatever the word is), we get ridiculously excited by an orange Hermès box (whether it’s enveloping a fragrance or a silk scarf – we merely fantasise about anything larger than that…) So if you do drop into Le Métier de Beauté at Liberty’s in the very near future, leave time for a swoon over their fabulous Hermès window – stacked high with orange boxes, a doll’s house-like cardboard recreation of the store’s faux Tudor façade. We officially have box envy.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Not so long ago, Lyndalouise Burrell (right) was a successful fashion stylist in New York, and her sister Jo was a high-flying recruitment consultant. Big life change: they decided to open a nail bar in Islington - but not just any nail bar. It’s one of the cleverest concepts we’ve seen in a long while, offering anything from a quick 15-minute repaint to a ‘build-your-own-manicure-or-pedicure’ option: in addition to the usual buff/scrub/polish, you can book callus removal, extra massage, a paraffin mask, etc., as an ‘add-on’, so you get exactly 100% the treatment you want. Tapping into Lynda’s fashion expertise, they’ve their own range of totally on-trend, less-toxic-than-most polishes (the blues and flesh tones are especially ‘now’), while the salon itself is super-stylish (think: silver pitchers for filling the pedicure basins, and a lipstick red rubber floor!) Our Jo had one of the best pedicures ever, leaving her feet softer than any baby’s derrière - and with shiny-new-car blue nails (see pic!). (She also learned a tip: clean any varnish smudges with the slimmest fine art paintbrush dipped in polish remover.) Truly, one of the best toe-jobs in town.
Find Nailgirls at 50 Cross Street, Islington, N1 2BA/020-7359 2772/www.nailgirls.co.uk
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
This is gearing up to be a very good season to be a make-up hound. Just as the shops are full of fabulous Little Black Dresses (and lots of navy - a rare winter sighting), nobody at a make-up counter is likely to be trying to persuade you that really, pink eyeshadow is The Last Word in Fabulousness. At least not for the foreseeable future. ‘The beauty houses are playing a little safer,’ Sylvie Chantecaille explained to us over tea at The Berkeley recently. ‘It’s a very good season for shades that are simply beautiful - rather than too fashion-forward.’ Now, Sylvie knows a thing or two about make-up (she launched Prescriptives for Estée Lauder, and has since created one of the best-loved luxury cosmetics brands in the world - which you can find at Harrods, Fenwick of Bond Street, Harvey Nix and Space NK). And as advocates of foolproof, classic shades, we couldn’t be happier to hear that this autumn is going to be all about fabulous neutrals, rich berry tones and can’t-go-wrong browns. What’s more, we are really awfully keen on the her Personal Collection Fall 2009, which includes the most gorgeous, deep claret collagen-enriched Lip Chic lipstick in Heirloom, and Sylvie’s Personal Palette (with three organza-sheer eyeshadow shades and a perfect blush) - just about as wearable and flattering as make-up gets, frankly. Every recession, it seems, has a silver lining. (Or in the case of this season, a softly shimmering taupe lining.)
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Fact: the Liz Earle shop on the Isle of Wight (a short stroll from Ryde Pier, up Union Street) attracts 20,000 visitors a year. Well, make that 20,001: yesterday, Jo dropped in for a visit, and to have lunch with Kim Buckland - Liz Earle’s lovely and very clever business partner, a bit of an unsung heroine in this fast-growing British beauty business. So: here’s Kim’s moment of well-deserved glory, smiling (as well she should) beside the completely fabulous new Superskin products. (Think: luscious body cream, bust and décolletage treatment, and a great new lip-and-eye product. Our skins are gratefully lapping these up…) Turns out there’s one customer who even stays opposite, so she can visit the store every day. Frankly, so would we - if we only lived nearer…! On Jo's beauty wishlist? After a delicious garlic-laced lunch with Kim at the IOW's famous Garlic Farm restaurant, Liz Earle Naturally Active should definitely consider a botanical breath-freshener, for a bit of clever co-branding!
Saturday, 15 August 2009
As beauty editors, we really do practice what we preach. We are diligent about cleansing. We moisturise with religious devotion. And we glug water constantly. So when Jo got the day’s highest score for skin hydration - 34.3% - at a demo of their new on-counter skin analysis system by Darphin, she was entitled to feel the teensiest bit smug, especially as she’s twice the age of most of the other beauty eds. who pitched up. (NB This photo is of Jo’s skin, blown up to many times its actual size, on their computer.) Darphin had some lovely things to show us. 31 new treatments, to be launched later this year at their salons. Delectable new facial oils (we are LOVING 8-Flower Nectar) and a ‘Stimulskin’ serum regime, for twice-a-year skin-firming blitz. But what really fascinated us was talking to Darphin’s Aurélie Doisneau, who works on this French brand (now owned by Lauder), about the beauty secrets of Frenchwomen. For instance: how long, Jo pondered, did Aurélie spend on her evening cleanse/tone/moisturise regime? The smooth-skinned Darphin ambassador smiled. ‘Half an hour.’ (Which means there probably isn’t even a French word for ‘cleansing wipe’.) Now that’s devotion…!
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
That’s what happens when you try to type with a vibrating mascara in one hand. Well, not really. But no sooner had we been musing about which budget beauty brand would be first to launch a vibrating mascara - territory claimed at the top end of the market by Lauder and Lancôme - than Maybelline were first past the post with Pulse Perfection, launching this month (August) at Boots for £14.99. (At the same Sanderson Hotel event, they also showed us Color Sensational: 26 shades of lip-quenching colour - and it was definitely the first time we’ve watched a burlesque striptease at a beauty launch!) Still, it’s Pulse Perfection that got us buzzing - and Maybelline New York make-up artist Fiona Jolly agrees: ‘I was cynical about vibrating mascaras. But I’m such a convert that honestly, I predict that within five years there won’t be a non-vibrating type, because they do all the work, wiggling the wand from root to tip!’
Monday, 10 August 2009
Don’t be deceived by the bird-of-paradise eyeshadow this model was wearing when Beauty Bible dropped by Bourjois’s autumn preview event at the Sanctum Hotel (Soho’s new ‘party’ hotel, where nobody minds if you stay up all night playing music in your room, because that’s the whole idea). We saw lots to love in the rooftop suite invaded by Bourjois for the day, including a flattering new shade of Ombre Stretch - Sarah’s favourite eyeshadow - in Taupe Froid. But what really got us excited was the launch of Bourjois’s cleansing range - including a dual-phase Express Eye Make-up Remover which is one of the very few on the planet that hasn’t irritated Jo’s so-sensitive eyes, and which removes every last atom - EVERY LAST ATOM! - of mascara, with no rubbing. All the cleansers are fabulous - and all under a fiver. Now that’s beautiful.
Friday, 31 July 2009
Fact: we are both in love with Marcia Kilgore’s so-clever Soap & Glory range. Names that make us grin like idiots. (Think: Arch de Triumph brow pencil.) Products that deliver. Really affordable prices. (Find them at Boots, as well as Harvey Nix Beyond Beauty.) However, when a beauty brand serves giant ice cream sundaes and knickerbocker glories at its Christmas preview - well, we walked out with an even bigger smile on our faces. But what did we find that really got us excited (apart from several scoops of dark chocolate ice cream)? Gift sets that we’ll be giving to all our goddaughters for Christmas. A really brilliantly-designed silver long-handled brush with just the right balance of firm-and-soft, for top-to-toe body-blitzing. Truly effective nylon body-buffing gloves, for the bath (Soap & Glory pink, of course). And a funny little pink exfoliating pad with rubber bristles (pictured here in close-up). Kinda weird. Kinda wonderful. And you know what? It’ll probably do for face-buffing what Marcia’s FitFlops have done for our feet, and we’ll wonder how we ever lived without one.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Forget facelifts. Or Botox. Emma Hardie is one of the most sought-after facialists in the business, and unlike women who insist that ‘freezing’ the face is the way to stay youthful, Emma believes just the opposite: for radiance and a younger-looking face, ‘facial mobilisation’ is the answer. Her ‘non-invasive natural lift and sculpting’ facials (at The Hale Clinic and in Oxford) are truly world-class (and she’s about to train the team at Space NK). But Emma’s now soon launching her own signature skincare line (you’ll also find it at Space NK as well as www.emmahardie.com). Over breakfast at Kettner’s in Soho we asked Emma: if a woman had just two minutes to wake up her face and turn back the clock, what’s her hottest tip? Emma yawned. Literally. ‘The key is to move the mouth around, starting with a small ‘O’ and opening really wide,’ she elaborated. ‘It removes facial tension and gets blood and oxygen flowing, so you look more glowing.’
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Innovations from Neal’s Yard Remedies always get our beauty editor juices flowing, so we went along as fast as our Manolos (well, Eccos, actually) would carry us to The Future Laboratory in Covent Garden on Thursday for the unveiling of their new Power Berry collection. We’re often asked to recommend products for younger skins and in future, won’t hesitate to point teens in the direction of this capsule range: Power Berry Facial Wash, Daily Moisture and Facial Mask (which has a completely unique jelly-like texture - and just because we’re the wrong side of - er - 40, don’t think that’s going to stop us using it). Lots of organic ingredients (from 76-93% - we like Neal’s Yard’s honesty), and packed with antioxidants from the power berries themselves: acai, goji, bilberry and rosehip. Exciting stuff (and we predict that berries like these are going to be Big Beauty News). But a sad day for Neal’s Yard, saying goodbye to their great ambassador Simon Ford - pictured here looking like a dashing tango dancer! (Watch this space, because he’ll be back on the beauty radar soon.)
Friday, 24 July 2009
You read it here first... Yesterday Beauty Bible was present at the - ta-dah! - unveiling of Liz Earle Botanical Essence Eau de Parfum No. 1, her debut fragrance. (And if this is anything to go by, we hope it's the first of many.) She was helped on this journey by our lovely friend Lorna McKay - former Fragrance Buyer for Harrods, who later set up the Liberty Beauty Department and has been resident beauty sleuth at QVC for over 15 years. The brief was simple - but very difficult: to come up with a fragrance that everyone would love. And we defy anyone not to! Upon first spritzing, the citrus freshness (bergamot, mandarin, lemon) is a little like Eau Sauvage, and then the floral notes start wafting around: rose absolute, lavender, geranium (which hint at Houbigant's legendary Quelques Fleurs) The longer it's on your skin, the more you sense the underlying warm woodiness of cedarwood, vetiver, tonka bean and patchouli. But despite those whispers of other fragrances we love, it's like nothing out there - a breath of fresh air, having been created not to a 'marketing brief' or to capitalise on Britney/Christina/Jennifer's celebrity, but quite simply to smell gorgeous. End of story. (And oh, we do love a press launch which involves a bit of D-I-Y fragrance creation - at the tables photographed here...!) It launches in October, and we can't wait to get our paws on a full-sized bottle, because our teensy sample vials aren't going to last much longer than the back end of next week!
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Every so often, Beauty Bible is present at the start of a true beauty revolution. So it was when we watched international hair superstar Ed Moelands demo Sebastian Professional’s Elastic Texturiser on a fine-haired blonde model. Now, we’ve seen plenty of hair volumising products. But this is absolutely bizarre – and unbelievably effective. The deal is this: Elastic Texturiser starts out a bit sticky and gummy. Then you work it into hair, clap your hands together (yes, you read that right), and the most extraordinary thing happens: tiny microweb fibres start puffing out of nowhere, fluffing up hair and boosting hair volume to a staggering degree – a bit like making candy floss, but in a silky, touchable way. As Ed (whose work has been showcased in all the Vogues, i-D, Gloss and Elle) observes: ‘In the past, when models with limp hair arrive on a shoot, we’d start reaching for extensions and get glueing, or use tons of mousse and a blow-dryer. I’m so excited because with this, you simply clap your hands, et voilà: three minutes later you have amazing volume.’ The downside: you’re going to have to wait till October-ish for Elastic Texturiser, when it’ll go on sale at Sebastian salons. We predict this won’t just be a hit with anyone wanting catwalk-style ‘bed hair’, but women with genuinely thin hair who want extra oomph. Be prepared for a stampede.