Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Recently, Jo once again had the privilege of judging the Clarins/YOU Dynamisante Woman of the Year competition: a £30,000 prize for a woman who runs a charity that helps children (and the project can be anywhere in the world). This year's wonderfully worthy winner is Anne Davies, who runs Jigsaw4U, a charity that helps thousands of children and young people who've lost a parent, a friend, or a significant figure in their lives. (Pictured here with Olivier Courtin-Clarins, from the French family-owned beauty empire.) For anyone who missed it, the links to the feature - which appeared on the YOU website - is below. And from us, congratulations, Anne (and big pat on the back to Clarins for running this fabulous award...)
Read more about the 2010 Clarins/YOU Dynamisante Woman of the Year here.
Because REN want to know. Today, Beauty Bible popped into their pop-up shop at the St. Martin's Lane Hotel in London (near Trafalgar Square) - a very handy place to pick up a Guerande Salt Scrub or a Frankincense A/C/E Body Cream - and we were rather taken with an idea they've come up with to mark the store's opening. Whatever your idea of natural beauty, e-mail it to them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop it into the store. They're covering the wall with magazine tearsheets - actually, it reminds us of our own offices, where we do the same with inspirational images! The winner gets a year's supply of REN, and all entries get an awfully useful 10% off any purchase at the Ren Pop Up Shop. How gorgeous is that...?
Thursday, 17 June 2010
There's probably only one thing that could have persuaded Liz Earle to cut short her maternity leave (after giving birth to a gorgeous son a couple of months ago): the launch of her haircare, which has been a work-in-progress for six (yes, six!) years. Casually, Liz sent out an e-mail back then asking what her customers would like the brand to create next. 20,000 responses later, haircare was on the Naturally Active project list - and it's taken this long. Beauty Bible says: it's so worth the wait. The four-product range is packed with botanicals (no surprises there) and the one suits-all-hairtypes shampoo ('think of it as the hair equivalent to Cleanse & Polish - we know it works for everyone', says Liz) features a new ultra-gentle but gorgeously-foaming natural ingredient road-tested by Liz herself, who's famously sensitive to SLS and SLES. There are three Botanical Shine Conditioners - for Oily, Normal and Dry/Damaged hair - which is where you can customise the right regime for your hairtype. A key ingredient is Kenyan yangu oil (you can see Cape chestnuts which the oil's derived from being harvested here), used by the women of Kenya to tame and gloss their notoriously challenging hair. Used alongside shea butter, it means the formulation could be created without silicones (which build up on the hair, gradually diminishing shine). We just ADORE (please note big, shouty capitals) the fragrance: light, citrussy, fresh - just darned perfect, actually: at one point, Liz and her business partner Kim locked themselves away in a hotel and washed and conditioned their hair over 20 times in quick succession, in order to pin-point the perfect fragrance. (It worked!) We - and our hair - are very happy to be in possession of the range right now; the rest of you will have to wait till 6th September, when it launches at www.lizearle.com. So: when you've hung around for six years to try this, we rather hope you can hold off for another 10 weeks without breaking into our bathrooms...!
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Straying off the beaten track frequently pays dividends in Paris. Beauty Bible knew that lurking somewhere in the 1st arrondissement was perfumery Francis Kurkdjian's store, but we couldn't have been happier to turn into the Rue Mont-Thabor, et voilà! If you're in Paris, do stop by - not least for the amazing window display (photographed here - though it doesn't do it justice): the blades of the Moulin Rouge turn, the Eiffel Tower lights up, the merry-go-round goes round merrily - and it's pure, childlike joy to watch. Inside, you'll find some truly fabulous fragrance confections, from a 'nose' whose majr creations include Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, Lanvin Rumeur, Kouros Cologne Sport and many, many more - and who's now struck out on his own. For an in-depth review of Jo's favourite creation - Lumière Noir - you can visit www.thescentcritic.com, but meanwhile, we do also point you in the direction of the scented bubbles, with fragrances like Herbe Coupée (cut grass), Menthe Froide (cold mint) and more. (Something else to delight your inner child.) Can't get to Paris? Happily there's now a Francis Kurkdjian section in Liberty of London, where you can sniff (and blow bubbles) to your heart's fragrant content. (A little Parisian tip: our favourite Japanese restaurant, Kinugawa, can also be found on the Rue Mont-Thabor. Clean, light, flavoursome food for when all those croques monsieurs and boeuf bourguignons get to you.)
Francis Kurkdjian, 9 Rue Mont-Thabor, Paris, 75001
Monday, 7 June 2010
We have a bit of a girl crush on Natalia Vodianova, who you can get a glimpse of in this pretty boudoir set-up at Guerlain's autumn colour launch at Somerset House. But rather more seriously, we have a major, probably-need-to-get-help-for-it beauty ed crush on Guerlain's new Ecrin 6 Couleurs eyshadow palettes, with their 'chased' metal cases, the work of international designer India Mahdavi. (They're reminiscent of an Indian or Moroccan screen - you can see one open, on the dressing table, alongside Guerlain's soon-to-be-launched foundation, Lingerie de Peau.) The word from the beauty front is: autumn is shaping up to be seriously sexy, make-up wise.
Friday, 4 June 2010
Take one former buyer from Barneys (the New York department store), from the era when it offered the hottest beauty shopping on the planet. (And who also worked at Kiehl’s and Prada Beauty). Add a Manhattan design dynamo. What you have is Malin + Goetz: a unisexy brand of skincare, haircare and home fragrance, which is already at Liberty and Bluebird, but whispers are that it’ll hit Space NK soon. (Oh, and Malin + Goetz are also a couple of eighteen years’ standing, so they live and work together: Andrew Goetz + Matthew Malin. Apparently they also give some of the best dinner parties in New York, to which we will be angling for an invite.) Yesterday the boys breezed through London (en route for fish and chips in Brighton this weekend) to talk us through the range at the Dean Street Townhouse. And we like-y. No-nonsense skincare. (Love the Lip Moisturiser.) Covetable bath stuff. (Do not use the Peppermint Body Scrub at night, or you won’t sleep. But in the morning…?) Plus some terrific fragrances – like Petitgrain, Rum Tonic, Synthesized Musk - which can be ‘layered’, to make them even more interesting. We’re also extremely keen on the Dark Rum candle – and we’re not alone: it scooped top honours in the Allure beauty mag ‘gongs’, all warm and soothing and like snuggling under a cashmere blankie. (There’s also a Cannabis candle, which smells green and grassy. ‘Be sure to get a stack of sweet and savoury snacks in when you burn it,’ the guys joke.) Of course, when big brands are snapped up – as Kiehl’s was by L’Oréal, while Matthew worked there – it creates a gap. (A bit like Jimmy Goldsmith’s quip: ‘When you marry your mistress, it creates a vacancy.’) So we’re always thrilled when brands like this come along with something different – created with passion and run with love (plus lots of blood, sweat and probably occasional tears, like any growing business). We think you’ll be hearing a lot more about Malin + Goetz. And we know that pooch-loving beauty fans will also want to log on to their website (see below) and click on ‘product hounds’: hundreds of snaps from M + G devotees of their own dogs. (Well-groomed, of course.)
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
And what's more, we are about to tantalise you - because you're not going to be able to get your hands on it till 25th September, when the Diaghilev exhibition opens at the V & A. Our friend and professeur de parfums Roja Dove, it turns out, has been commissioned to create a fragrance to mark the exhibition - but this is much, much more than a souvenir of a show. We think it could go on to become a global fragrance sensation. (Especially with Mitsouko-lovers like us.) Rich and as cocooning as a cashmere wrap, Diaghilev is a 'chypre' - the most sophisticated and grown-up of fragrance categories. It's warm. It's utterly, utterly delicious, with a ripe peachiness. (And it's so sexy that we'll confess: one of our glamorous beauty editor freinds almost made a pass, when getting within sniffing distance.) Love the Art Deco bottle, too, with its black silk poire (the spritzy bit), which taps into the deco mood of the show. After Diaghilev closes, the fragrance will continue to be on sale at Roja's Haute Parfumerie atop Harrods. Technically a limited edition, we will both be stockpiling it in case it ever disappears again. Fragrance of the year? For us, it could be fragrance of the decade.
For in-depth fragrance reviews by Jo, visit www.thescentcritic.com
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
So: to Keats House, in leafy green Hampstead - not exactly the roughest location Beauty Bible's ever experienced a fragrance unveiling. (There have been too many draughty warehouses to mention - and we'll never quite forget the Dior Farenheit three-act ballet in a frozen tent on the tundra that used to be London's docks, before Canary Wharf went up. The dry ice and chilled canapés didn't help, either.) But oh, we were excited this time: Jo Malone had Eurostarred in Christine Nagel, who is probably the single reason why suddenly we've gone from feeling that Jo Malone's fragrances are a bit ho-hum to - well, pretty darned glorious, actually. Already with the warm and sensual Cologne Intense fragrances under her slim belt, Christine has now confected English Pear & Freesia, which will launch in September. We're seriously excited about this new partnership between JM and Christine, who has a list of fragrant triumphs as long as your arm: Cartier Eau de Cartier (in 2001), Hypnose Senses (2009), Guerlain's Les Elixirs Charnels (2008), Dolce & Gabbana The One For Women - well, we could go on but we think you get the fragrant drift. This one's crisp and fresh and sparkling and pretty as a picture (a bit like Christine herself), and almost - almost - makes us long for Keats's season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, when we can truly wallow in its soft juiciness.