Friday, 30 July 2010

We're taking a break...

... and will emerge from under our parasols in around 10 days, to bring you all the latest from Beautyland. (Meanwhile we've just uploaded great new prize draws to the website, to keep you busy while we're away.)

For Gruau groupies

You may not know the name René Gruau, but we can bet you know his illustrations: this iconic artist created stunning images for Dior (among other non-beauty brands). But whether you're a Gruau groupie like us or new to his stunning artworks, you'll want to make a date for your diary: 10th November 2010 - 9th January 2011, when Somerset House hosts an exhibition of Gruau's illos for Christian Dior Parfums, alongside vintage perfume bottles and magazines, archival sketches, haute couture Dior dresses - and some specially commissioned illustrations from artists 'inspired' by the collaboration between Dior and Gruau (who lived from 1909-2004). We will be queuing on the doorstep when it opens. Panting.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

We fancy a Snog!

A frozen Snog. A completely delicious, tangy, rock-your-senses frozen yoghurt kind of Snog, which you can now buy from their pop-up shop just inside the back door of Liberty (the Carnaby Street entrance) - as we discovered yesterday taking a short-cut through our favourite department store. We are justifying featuring this on a beauty blog for two reasons: first, you can have your swirl of utterly unbelievably yummy frozen yoghurt covered in antioxidant-rich berries (and we all know how good those are for the complexion), and second: Snog's frozen yoghurt makes you just plain glow with the joy of being alive. (Rather like the other kind of snog, actually.)

For other locations and more info about Snog, visit

Don't bottle it, Bobble it

We practice what we preach. Eight glasses of water a day. Easier at our desks than on the road, though. So we're pleased that the Bobble bottle - from supercool Karim Rashid - has landed at Harvey Nichols (price £10): you simply fill it up from the tap, and the filter takes out chlorine and other chemicals as you glug. (Naturally we're going for the pink.)

Friday, 23 July 2010

We have bathroom envy

Now this is a true Chanel-o-phile... As spotted in Livingetc. (December 09). But what a great idea for storing your pampering treats...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Cire Trudon creates a stink(bomb)!

Now, there are scented candles - and then there is Cire Trudon, a Parisian firm which has been making candles since the reign of Louis XIV. (Personally, we quite like burning a candle knowing that Marie-Antoinette or the Empress Joséphine might have done the exact same thing...) Today, though, Cire Trudon belongs to Ramdane Touhami, who's turning it into one of the most exciting home fragrance brands in the world. (With a little help from his wife Victoire de Taillac, whose serious claim to fame is having opened what used to be one of our favourite Parisian beautiques, Parfumerie Générale.) In their distinctive deep green glass containers, the candles themselves are richer in fragrance than anything you'll find out there, with a seriously l-o-n-g burn time (justifying the higher-than-most price, we give you our word). Beauty Bible loves boudoir-esque La Marquise, the fabulously incense-sensual Spritus Sancti, and mint-tea-infused Abd El Kader. (Actually, we adore all of them, but those are currently top of our candle pops.) The innovations we saw yesterday, though, nudge Cire Trudon to another level: stink bombs - yes, stink bombs! - which create a fragrant explosion when you throw on the ground. Think of it as guerilla perfumery! (Perfect for parties.) But we're also enraptured by the 'scented fairy tales': spritz the delicately-scented spray, while reading the accompanying fairytale to your child - green-bean-y Jack and the Beanstalk, mossy/foresty Little Red Riding Hood, or spicily oceanic Sinbad the Sailor. A brilliant idea for encouraging a child to use his or her sense of smell (and turbo-charging the pleasure of a bedtime story). What's next for Cire Trudon (which you can find at Selfridges, Petersham Nurseries and the gorgeous Atelier, in Battersea)? A store in New York - a 'hall of mirrors', no less. (Though slightly closer to home, we can also recommend a visit to their Parisian flagship shop at 78 Rue de Seine). Honestly, you can't hold a candle to them.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Lipsmackingly gorgeous

Meet Kirsten Lanolips. Well, that's not her real name - actually it's Kirsten Carriol - but maybe she should think of changing her name, because it's what everyone's calling this balm-shell. Yes, balm-shell - because Kirsten's mission is to reintroduce the world to lanolin. Having holidayed as a child on her grandparents' farm surrounded by gazillions of sheep in South Australia, Kirsten was familiar with lanolin's powers (and her molecular biologist father insisted on using nothing else on his kids' skins). And indeed, medical-grade lanolin is even used in burns units, as the ultimate skin-soother and barrier, as well as in nipple products and for 'compromised' skins with eczema and psoriasis. But then - quite erroneously - lanolin got itself a bad name (as a potential irritant), based on some bad science. Ever since then, true skin experts - including Dr. Albert Kligman (creator of Retin-A) no less - have been trying to set the record straight. Because lanolin, actually, is amazingly moisturising and skin-nurturing, able to hold 200% of its own weight in water, which is why it's been used in skincare since at least 700BC. And - thanks to Lanolips™, Kirsten's capsule range - we're all poised to rediscover its marvels. Landing in the UK from Down Under in early September are the products: a fabulous Rose Balm for Very Dry Hands & Nails, Lanolips™ 101 Ointment (think of it as the natural alternative to Eight Hour Cream), and - our very favourites - the Lanolips™ Lip Ointment With Colour: gorgeous shades of glossy, vitamin-E enriched balms which (you've got to trust us on this) can be applied last thing at night and will still be there in the a.m. Only by then your lips will be much, MUCH softer. Best of all, the sheer, glossy balms are tinted - we like juicy red Apple and pretty deep pink Rhubarb - and feature a useful SPF15. So: read our (lovely soft) lips: you're going to be hearing a lot more about Kirsten Lanolips, and her balm-y army of beauty saviours.
Follow Kirsten on Twitter: @kirstenlanolips

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Simply the Bess

Just occasionally, there are times in a beauty editor's life when we want to go home, ditch our entire make-up kit and start over. It happened to Beauty Bible when Bobbi Brown appeared on the scene, and then Laura Mercier. Slightly more recently, we fell in love with Paul & Joe's 'boudoir chic' (though to be honest, that was more a packaging romance). But Edward Bess's fabulous make-up collection - just landing here at - right now has us coming over all unfaithful to our usual kit-bag 'loves'. Now, Edward himself may look like he had to take a couple of days off school to sweep into London to unveil his signature line ('don't tell my parents I'm here,' he jokes), but actually he's 24. What does a 24-year-old know about make-up...? Well, trust us: A LOT. The colours - all utterly perfect neutrals - are among the most wearable we've seen. The textures are to die for. (And if Jo doesn't get the compact foundation in Light soon, she may throw a tanty. Ditto the Ultra Slick Lipstick in Night Romance. Meanwhile the one must-have product that every woman needs to own is All Over Seduction, which - applied to the bridge of the nose, or the inner corner of the eye - makes you look lit from within. That is truly the only way to describe it...) Sure, the prices are somewhat luxe, too (starting at £20 for Definining Eye Liner) - but the quality really is stunning: not just the textures themselves, but the slick and weighty black packaging, with its Helvetica logo. 'I've just always had a very strong sense of how women should look,' explains Edward, whose glamorous grandma used to sleep in her red lipstick, and who refined his vision on countless fashion shoots during a successful career as a model between his time at Manhattan's School of Performing Arts, and launching his make-up line two years ago. (At Bergdorf Goodman, where this prodigy of prettification is regularly to be found behind his own counter.) Our prediction is that Edward Bess is going to become A Very Big Thing (and not just in OUR make-up bags). And we couldn't be happier for this refeshing, Charleston-born boy - with his characteristic Southern charm... So: go, Edward! And give Laura and Bobbi a run for their money...!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

An homage to Elizabeth Arden

Beauty Bible just celebrated the 100th birthday of Elizabeth Arden (along with catwalk babes Amber Le Bon and Erin O'Connor, among others). And we wanted to pay tribute to this pioneering beauty goddess, who notched up so many firsts. First to introduce a full line of skincare and colour cosmetics. First to launch travel sizes. The first - and probably the only - beauty dynamo to give lipstick to suffragettes. And then, of course, there's Eight Hour Cream: the ultimate beauty multi-tasker, originally created for massaging her beloved racehorses' legs, but later adopted as the perfect treatment for dry lips, rough heels, ragged cuticles and so much more, and still a global bestseller today. We look forward to the next 100 pioneering years, but meanwhile: Elizabeth Arden, we are not worthy...

Monday, 5 July 2010

Find your perfect scent - with iPerfumer

As you may know, we're pretty iPhone App-tastic at, after we launched our own very successful Beauty Steals App about six weeks ago. We're very happy with the rave reviews for that App - but to be honest there's a lot out there that's not worth the screen it's displayed on (if you get our drift). Still, a couple of days ago we went to the launch of iPerfumer - and this free App from Givaudon (being demo-ed here on a giant screen by Sid Shah, their resident internet whizz) is definitely worth downloading, if you're looking to make a scent-change. Fact: finding a new perfume is always a challenge - especially if you're shopping via the internet. (And in a store, you pretty soon run out of wrist-space.) So with a few swipes of a finger, by inputting the fragrances you already love, iPerfumer will tell you which of over 4,000 fragrances listed you may also enjoy the most. It works best, we think, as a short-cut - so that you can then try those fragrances out in person, and experience how they develop on your own skin. But we applaud the fact that Givaudon - a fragrance creation house - have included thousands of fragrances which they didn't create (as well as many they have), so that it is truly independent. As yet, you can't buy on-line via the App because it's international, and would need to be tailored to individual countries to make that feature work. (Which we have done with Beauty Steals for the UK.) You can, meanwhile, download it at the iTunes Store. Frankly, we can't remember life before our iPhones (how did we ever find out the time of a train, or what's on at the movies, or which restaurant within 100 yards is worth checking out...?) And iPerfumer is just one more reason why hand-helds are becoming so indispensable, helping us all to make smarter choices in a world overloaded with information - in beauty, perfume, just about everything.

Friday, 2 July 2010

OK, NOW we get Illamasqua...

Beauty Bible has never quite been able to get its head around Illamasqua - until this new Art of Darkness collection which was unveiled this week (in a very gothic-y Soho church, of all places). We'd seen Illamasqua's shades in Selfridges: all scare-the-horses colours, and oh, precisely how is anyone meant to apply canary yellow eyeshadow...? But this collection is sultry, smoky, wearable - though perhaps on balance we won't be going for the navy blue lipstick - and now we get the fact that Illamasqua is all about self-expression, drama, play. Founded by Julian Kynaston in 1993 and with make-up artist Alex Box as its Creative Director (she's created avant-garde looks for everyone from Stella McCartney to Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel, and is pictured left), this is a great brand for the young, the daring - and those of us who are happy to play with the rich, intense colours till we find the most flattering way to apply them: a light dusting of gorgeous gold Powdered Metal (a shimmering powder) on the décolletage, or a single coat of the amazingly covering Nail Varnish in deep metallic red (Scarab) or even peacock-esque Viridian, which we're rather loving. We're very taken with the Hermetic deep burgundy glimmer Intense Lipgloss, too. Now that Joe Corre - co-founder of Agent Provocateur - is on board, the brand's on a Saturn 5 rocket of a trajectory and word is there'll be a stand-alone Illamasqua store. And you might just find Beauty Bible in there, tapping into our own inner goth. (Meanwhile, we totally applaud Illamasqua's support for S.O.P.H.I.E., the charity named for teenager Sophie Lancaster who was beaten to death for 'looking different'. We don't think anyone should suffer for that, and wholeheartedly back S.O.P.H.I.E.'s drive to stamp out prejudice, hatred and intolerance.)