Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Rendez-Vous with Bourjois

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 - 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

Go ape for Trilogy

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 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

Green with envy...

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

Paint ‘em, cowgirl!

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

Lipstick limos!

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…?

The faceless facialist

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, 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

Happy feet (continued)

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 (, 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

Beauty Treatments to Try Before You Die No. 1: a Margaret Dabbs pedicure

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 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

Lovely Le Métier at Liberty

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.

Our favourite window display of 2009!

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

Sisters are doing it for themselves

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/

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Absolutely classic

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.)