Friday, 29 October 2010

It's vintage, darlings!

We do love a little bit of vintage.  (Although possibly not as much as our Beauty Bible Executive Assistant Amy, who sashays into work each day in the most stunning twinsets, pencil skirts and flouncy 50s frocks, accessorised by very grown-up pre-loved handbags).  If you love vintage, too, you'll want to know about the 'Live A Little Vintage' teas coming up at Dukes Hotel:  indulgent, yes, extravagant, definitely - but you'll be much more of a vintage expert when you leave.  (And with the delicious champagne tea with all the trimmings that's laid on, your zip may be a little tighter, too.)  At the vintage fashion masterclass hosted by Ooh la La! Vintage's fashion expert, Tara Munro, and vintage tailor Alice Prier, you'll learn the secrets of vintage glamour, listen to a talk on fashion through the eras - and there'll be a bespoke try-on session in the private boutique, to finish.  The timing for tea is 2-6 p.m. next Saturday 6th November 2010, and the price is £95 per person.  
Taking it to the next level, there's a 'Live A Lot of Vintage' package at the hotel, priced £265 per person, to include accommodation in a Duchess room (with all girly touches:  women's glossies, dressing table accessories, fresh flowers and chocolate brownies on arrival).  You'll also enjoy a Grey Goose Disco Inferno Cocktail in the velvety surroundings of the famous Dukes Bar, and take home a keepsake 'secret' diary address book of London's vintage shopping gems.  Dates for this are 6th November and also Saturday 19th February 2010 (when the next Vintage tea is staged, too).

Just remember to dress to thrill.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The best advent calendar EVER...

Forget chocolate advent calendars.  Or those felt, home-made ones Martha Stewart's so keen on.  How we want to count down to Christmas is with this fabulous 24 Days of Luxury advent calendar - available exclusively from Selfridges, price £60 - which features a marvellous miniature make-up, skincare or fragrance item for every December day, from a range of L'Oréal luxury brands including Lancôme, Victor & Rolf, Kiehl's, Armani and more.  (The 'baby' Juicy Tube is too, too sweet for words.)  We know it's early (we haven't even heard the first playing of Do They Know It's Christmas? on the radio yet).  But indulge us, because we have a hunch this will sell out PDQ.  

So, all together now:  Dear Santa...

Monday, 25 October 2010

A beautiful show...

The stunning B&W photo above - of a Royal Ballet ballerina preparing for pirouetting across the Royal Opera House stage - is by Mary McCartney from her new exhibition From Where I Stand at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Chelsea.  Whether you love horses, still life photos, or a spot of celeb-watching (there are stunning shots of Kate Moss, Tracey Emin, Peter Blake and - of course - Mary's Dad Paul and sister Stella), there's something in this show to delight the eye.  Being long-time ballet-lovers at Beauty Bible, we especially enjoyed the backstage photos taken by Mary of the Royal Ballet:  a real insight into all the hard work and artifice it's so hard to imagine when you see a featherlight prima ballerina leaping like Tinkerbell into air...

Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TD/020-7352 3649
From Where I Stand is also available as a book, price £19.99 (find it here at
NB  There's also a Mary McCartney show at the National Portrait Gallery Bookshop Gallery, until 13th February 2011.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Lashings of advice from Sharon Dowsett

We may all have just retrieved our winter coats from the wardrobe but here in beautyworld there are green shoots already:  we're previewing spring/summer 2011 colours!  Yesterday Beauty Bible nipped along to Maybelline (one of 2010's 'Coolbrand' winners), where supertalented Sharon Dowsett was demo-ing their very new pretty shades.  (We're especially loving ultra-wearable Pink Brown, a sensational neutral introduction in the Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipstick collection, and the Eyestudio Mono in Silken Taupe.  Also note The Eraser - a roll-on sponge foundation - because you're going to see more sponge-applicator foundations appearing in the coming months.)
     We thought we'd ask Sharon which of Maybelline's products was her all-time fave rave, and got the answer:  'Great Lash!  I used to bring it back from the States before it was available in the UK;  it never crumbles or smudges and leaves lashes looking beautifully conditioned as well as volumised.'  When it comes to shade choice, Sharon says:  'Brown is the flat shoes of mascara, black is the high heels.  Blondes in particular tend to think they should wear brown, but black looks better every time.' (Though Sharon's not averse to a touch of navy or even plum, on occasion.)  Although she's created covers for just about every magazine you can name and has a long-standing relationship with Chanel make-up, too (where she's taught at their Academy), Sharon doesn't have a website (she's working on it).  For a swoon - and inspiration - you can check out her portfolio at agency CLM, here.

But first, do ditch that brown mascara.  NOW...!

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Nibble.  Dribble.  Slurp.   Mmmmm.  Those are the sound effects as the Beauty Bible belles work our way through the new Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Recipes cookbook (published by Kyle Cathie, price £16.99).  Some of you may know:  Jo (with her husband Craig) founded Green & Black's, back in 1991. For this beautifully-photographed book, Jo tapped friends and Green & Black's fans - from Sharon Osbourne to Delia Smith via Lulu and Mary McCartney (whose chocolate rice pud has to be tasted to be believed) - for scrumptious contributions.  And absolutely nobody said no - except Twiggy, who said:  'I'm not a great dessert cook, and the only thing I can think of to do with the wonderful Green & Black's is to eat it!'

You can find it on Amazon here.

PS  If you love chocolate (duh!), you'll also want to know that Green & Black's is currently talent-scouting for a Taste Assistant, who'll work with Head of Taste Micah Carr-Hill.  It's a tough job, but someone has to come up with new flavours, travel the world sourcing ingredients, test the recipes etc.  (Oh, and be paid £35,000 to do it...)  The final five applicants will take part in a 'Taste Challenge' next year (applications close on 14th December 2010).

Interested in applying?  Just click here.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Meet 'The Beauties'

Last night, Beauty Bible watched Harrods turn pink (for Pink Ribbon month), and then defrosted at a little soirée with Elizabeth Hurley.  (Who told us we should be feeling sorry for her, pressing the 'on' switch wearing no tights and a skimpy, one-shouldered pink dress. Well, Elizabeth, we actually did...!)  Just outside the Georgian Restaurant, though, we spotted a wonderful photographic exhibition by our friend Evelyn Lauder.  It's called 'The Beauties' and should you be feeling a) philanthropic and b) in need of something gorgeous for your bedroom wall, get down to Harrods Fourth Floor pronto (the exhibition is in place until 24th October).  'The Beauties' are Evelyn's collection of vintage ceramic lady head vases, in which she's popped a few pretty blooms.  (In 'Haughty Hetty', above, we spotted one of the heaven-scented Double Delight roses that Evelyn grows on her roof terrace overlooking Central Park - which just happens to be Jo's favourite rose, too.)  The prices are from £410-550 framed - but all proceeds go to Evelyn's nominated cancer research charities, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (founded by Evelyn) for their UK research programmes, including those at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the Royal Marsden Institute of Cancer Research.  As Evelyn explains, 'At once elegant and playful, head vases join two of my loves:  the beauty found in nature as seen in the flowers, and the beauty that we create through style, attitude, and - of course - make-up.'  We think they are a simply gorgeous way to support Pink Ribbon.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Om, sweet om...

As regular readers know, Jo recently skipped off to Italy for a Yoga break - which was just what il dottore ordered, after a particularly frenzied few months hurtling towards our deadline for The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.  And we thought you should know about her destination: The Shanti Centre, in the beautiful hills of Abruzzo (two hours from Stansted to Pescara).  The centre's been opened by lovely Yoga teacher Stephanie Bosanko, with her gifted foodie partner Rupert Fox generally responsible for the scrumptious food.  But the week Jo was there, Roo shared meal-prepping with Hayley North, a Brighton-based Scaravelli yoga teacher who came up with a sublime menu based on foods for this transitional time between summer and autumn:  nourishing stews and soups, delicious smoothies (many based on nut milks or green veg - much more delicious than that sounds!), and even a raw chocolate brownie on the last night.  The 'autumn cleanse' included five-and-a-half hours of classes a day with Hayley (including 7 a.m. Qigong), a mountain hike and a day at the beach, and Jo returned home feeling positively Tigger-bouncy.  In between, Jo experienced some of the best massages she's ever had, from Stephanie (Thai and Swedish styles) - and that's saying something;  there are beautiful walks nearby, too, as well as a sauna on-site.  The Shanticentre just published its timetable for 2011 - see link below - with extremely reasonable prices, making it the perfect yoga destination in particular for anyone on a budget (a week is from just £395 including meals with the current 'early bird' booking discount, but not including Ryanair flights).  Yoga bunnies, get clicking.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Hurrah for Victoria Health!

We couldn't agree more with Harpers Bazaar, who've voted 'Best Health & Beauty website' in their Bazaar Beauty Hot 100.  As many of you know, VH (as those-in-the-know call it) offers a staggering selection of products - many of them exclusives which are sleuthed out by VH's super-stylish founder Gill Sinclair, and all dispatched faster than a speeding bullet in those signature black boxes...  We have only a handful of 'Beauty Bible-approved' websites that we recommend, and VH - with its tip-top customer service - is definitely top of the list.  Huge congratulations to Gill, and to co-founder Shabir Daya, pharmacist extraordinaire.  (What Shabir doesn't know about health/supplements/wellbeing could be inscribed on one of those teensy Sun Chlorella tablets that we can't live without.)  We sincerely hope that at VH Towers they're knocking back something fizzy - and we're not talking about effervescent vitamin C, here - to celebrate...

PS  Don't forget that as a Beauty Bible 'insider' you're entitled to a 5% discount on almost everything on the VH site, when you visit from our own website.  So:  click here for the VH page - and happy, healthy shopping...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Sue Devitt: make-up guru and luxury vagabond

Indagare is one of our favourite travel websites:  an insight into the hippest places to stay, the up-and-coming holiday destinations - and lots of reviews of restaurants/hotels etc. closer to home which don't require hopping on an aeroplane.  We look forward to their bulletins pinging into our in-box (welcome diversion therapy - oh, OK, work avoidance tactic...)  So we thought you'd like to know that the latest update features a Q & A with Sue Devitt, globe-trotting make-up artist (creator of fave products such as the Eye Intensifier Pencil and Microquatic Blue Anti-Aging SPF30 Primer), whose collections are inspired by her often very intrepid travels, which have taken her from the Solomon islands to Asian rainforests.  The very readable bi-monthly newsletter is free - sign up now! - or click here to read Sue's Q & A, which focusses on her tips for travel in her native Australia.  But you can also upgrade your membership to Indagare to take advantage of custom trip-planning and special offers for members.  

PS  At the foot of Sue's Q & A, there's a link to interviews with Becca founder Rebecca Williams-Morrice and Katharine L'Heureux, founder of Kahina-Giving Beauty.  Gives us wanderlust...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Beauty's new peacnik

There's a new name on the natural cosmetics block:  Davina Peace.  If you ask us, repeating her name as a mantra is pretty sense-calming in itself.  ('Peace, peace, peace...')  But this ex-Saatchi dynamo - who's so passionate about organic living - has just launched a super-stylish signature range of candles and Soil Association-certified bodycare, which combines luxe with heavenly aromatherapeutic scents and eco-ethics.  Many hoops have been jumped through by Davina - a self-confessed perfectionist - to create sustainable packaging, too, right down to the organic cotton ribbon round the boxes.  We're re-using the fab, graphic gift box to stash clutter in the Beauty Bible office, and once our porcelain Ecosoya candles have snuffed their last - currently, we're into White Flowers No. 1 - they'll be perfect for spring posies.  The range - which lands in Harrods on 1st November and is already on her website, see below - spans Hand Cream, Body Oil and Body Cream at present, plus those candles:  all deeply luxurious, with a serious pleasure factor.  And next year there'll be skincare.  (Cue panting sounds from Beauty Bible office.  Well, we always were a couple of greenies.)

The world needs eco-heroines like Davina Peace.  So:  more power to her beautifully-moisturised, exquisitely fragrant elbow.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Kate Spade is about to pop up in London...

At Beauty Bible we're big fans of Kate Spade.  (In fact, we still feel wistful that her beautiful honeysuckle-based signature fragrance didn't have a longer life.)  Lovely luggage, sensational sunspecs, elegant stationery (and marvellous make-up bags, within the handbag range - the black patent ones are seriously covetable.  Oh, and don't get us started on Kate Spade shoes...)  So:  we couldn't be happier that Kate Spade will be popping up in Covent Garden tomorrow (a little corner of London that's seriously hip again now Apple's taken a bite out of the Piazza).  We'll be popping in ourselves from tomorrow.  In fact, looking at this beautiful artist's rendering we might just move right in.  (Though we'll have to move right out again when it closes on 10th November.)

Kate Spade, 7 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8PW

Monday, 4 October 2010

Beauty Bible is taking a little holiday-ette...

Inspired by Eat, Pray, Love - and in recovery from having just input 24,000 scores for The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible - blogmeisteress Jo is headed for the Abruzzo hills, from which she will return in a week refreshed, revived and raring to get behind the beauty scenes to blog again.