Friday, 23 October 2009

Masters of the (organic) universe

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

Made in Australia (and made of Australia)

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

Ark sets sail…

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

Clarins goes organic…

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

Talking ‘bout an Evolution…

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

Brighter Lights, Big City

To Daniel Galvin’s ├╝bersalon, 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, 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

PS All about Eve...

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…