Monday, 28 February 2011

Fairtrade goes fabulous

Maybe you buy Fairtrade bananas.  And chocolate.  Coffee, too.  (Which reminds us:  it's that time of the morning.)  But beauty products...?
     Well, now it's an option - and with Fairtrade Fortnight starting today (running until 13th March), you can make a difference to farming communities in the developing world when you cleanse, tone, moisturise.  For instance, Evolve are using Fairtrade argan oil, Inca inchi oil and Kalahari melon seed oil, in their skincare.  Green People now have the Fairtrade label on two of their bestselling Organic Babies products.  Even chaps can now have a fairer shave:  Bulldog just unveiled their first Fairtrade grooming must-haves, with Eco-System Shave Gel and Moisturiser (featuring Faitrade sesame oil from Nicaragua and Brazl nut oil from Peru).
     Even more ground-breakingly, Absolute Skincare have created a Fairtrade Spa range - so spa-goers can basically make a difference while lying horizontal.  (We like that.)
     We admit that in some cases, the Fairtrade ingredients are a small percentage of the formulation.  (Unlike coffee, where it's 100%.)  But we believe:  every little helps, and that there's no reason why every ingredient sourced from the developing world shouldn't ultimately offer a fairer deal for farmers and growers.
     The bottom line:  you get lovely skin.  And farmers and their families get a better lifestyle.  Can't say fairer than that.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Audrey's words of wisdom

What can we add...?  Except to wish you a wonderful, Audrey-esque weekend from all of us at Beauty Bible...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Down (fragrant) memory lane...

As we all know, the fastest way to be Tardis-ed into the past is via fragrance.  A mere unstoppering of a favourite scent and whooooosh!  The decades peel away.  So we want to let you in on the secret of Scratch+Sniff's events, which are the scent equivalent of wine tasting.  (As they put it, 'without the spitoons...')
     Held in Central London (at The Book Club), these regular events are a must for scentophiles - and their next event is on Tuesday 22nd March 2011, from 7.30 - 10 p.m.  Smells Like Teen Spirit 'promises to be a rollercoaster of nostalgia, cringeworthiness and delight, as we revisit the phenomenon of teendom through the perfumes we wore then.'  (With a little help from sociologist Sarah Sternberg, as well as Scratch+Sniff's founder Lizzie Ostrom.)
     Fragrances to be explored include Charlie (a real ground-breaker), and Dewberry (remember that Body Shop blockbuster?), among many others.  'Come with brave nostrils,' observes, Lizzie (who also masquerades as @odettetoilette on Twitter).  'After all, these fragrances weren't exactly designed to be subtle.'  (Is it too much to ask they could get their hands on a bottle of Aqua Manda...?)
    Love 'em or hate 'em, you'll be in for an fascinating evening.  And if you really, really hope you never have to get within 20 paces of Dewberry again in your life...?  There are upcoming events on Scent in the 1940s, Art and Olfaction, and a Moroccan special, and Scratch+Sniff tickets are £12.
     All you need to do is follow your nose.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Calling all you porcelain princesses...

We're always being asked to flag up beauty events outside London - so here's some beautiful news for Bournemouth belles. Dainty Doll is the make-up line created by Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts specifically for paler complexions (who, like our very own Executive Assistant Amy, have real trouble finding bases and shades to suit).
     Foundations, not surprisingly, are the main focus of the Dainty Doll range - but there's a capsule collection of colour cosmetics, too.  And - this is what you really, really need to know - there's a special promo running till next Monday (28th February) at Beales of Bournemouth, with a professional make-up artist on hand for free makeovers, a 10% discount on offer - and the chance to win a bumper beauty prize worth £500.  And if you can't bunk off to Bournemouth between now and then?  Find Dainty Doll on-line, see below.
     Pale just got a little more interesting.  

Monday, 21 February 2011

A make-up pro we know, trust (and like)

Karen Mason (who did the wonderful natural-look make-up for the model, above) is someone we've admired for a long time:  a make-up pro with a portfolio of celeb clients who knows how to enhance every woman's best features - so that you look like you, only better...!  That's one reason Karen's also so in-demand for bridal make-up, too, when scare-the-horses looks are most definitely not the order of the (wedding) day. We've always been delighted with make-up she's done on us...
     Karen offers fantastic, informative one-on-one sessions, taking time to identify what suits you - and (important, this) teaching you how to apply that look yourself.  To quote Karen:  'I'm often amazed at how much money is spent on the wrong colours and products.  I can help you to make informed choices to suit your lifestyle and budget.'
     If you're getting married, check out her special weddings website, where the testiminonials tell you all you need to know:  for that Big Day, Karen charges £700 for hair and make-up, or £500 just for make-up.
     And if you're not about to drift down the aisle/up the register office steps?  Karen offers one-on-ones at her London studio (it's in West Hampstead), or will travel to you, for sessions lasting between one and four hours, by arrangement.  (Call or e-mail, see below, for prices.)  But you've got to believe us:  she's a great investment, not least because you'll never make a wrong shade choice again.  She will never, ever try to convince you that shocking pink eyeshadow's flattering.
     And for that alone, you've gotta love Ms. Mason...!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Tips for Q-Tips (and other bathroom essentials)

With spring (cleaning) in the air, your thoughts may be turning to prettifying your boudoir.  So for the weekend we thought we'd inspire you with this lovely 'tablescape' (as seen on a rather wonderful blog we follow, Everything Fabulous):  pristine folded towels, a silver vase with fading roses, even an appropriate-for-the-bathroom nude, and a carefully-chosen Q-Tip jar.  (So much nicer than the plastic pot they came in...)
     The point is:  beauty is, above all, a pleasurable ritual - and we believe in making it as much a treat for all the senses as possible.  So:  this weekend we'll be doing a bit of feng shui in our own bathrooms, stashing the less alluring packaging in cupboards, gussying up a newly-cleared space with some pretty accessories and giving the whole place a good, air-clearing spritz with a mister, infused with lavender essential oil.
     Might even show you a post-prettification photo, if you ask nicely.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wonder Woman flies into Selfridges

We all need a superhero or two in our make-up bags.  And while MAC are known for their funky special editions, this is our favourite yet:  a complete Wonder Woman-inspired collection, exclusively at Selfridges and from today (Thursday 17th).
     Pow!  That's the effect from the Penultimate Eye-Liner (in Rapid Black), the so-easy-to-use long-wear felt tip.  Bam!  Wonder Woman Lipglass gives a sheer pop of vibrant colour - a brilliant red flatteringly softened with a touch of pearl.  Splat!  Er, that's the damage, when the credit card bill hits.
   But still, true collectibles, every one - and guaranteed to put a smile on any make-up lover's face.  And if you manage to resist one of the Wonder Woman metallic make-up bags...?  Then you are truly blessed with a superpower.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Do pop in to the Clarins pop-up!

Date for the diary:  from tomorrow (until 26th February) if you'd like to get a sneak preview of the new Clarins Daily Energizers range, we suggest you hot-foot it to the Marylebone Road area where the so-famous French skincare company is unveiling the range with some rather special treats.  (A first for Clarins:  this capsule collection of five products is specifically targeted at 18 to late 20s skins.)
     As pop-ups go, they don't come much sexier than this:  free juices and cappuccinos;  six free first-come-first-served Energy Recharger Facials each day (book on 0207-307 6798) - with 12 more with a £10 redeemable booking fee;  a free zingy limited edition bag-for-life when you buy one of the new products, free skin advice.  (This is a real preview opportunity as the range doesn't launch in stores for another three months.)
     And as if that wasn't enough, there'll be guest appearances from The Tantaliser, James Read, from 1-6 p.m. on  Wednesday 23rd February, and X-Factor celebrity nail technician David Barton on Thursday 24th February, also from 1-6 p.m.
    Juicy, or what...?

Clarins Pop Up Shop, 10a Blandford Street, London W1U 4AZ

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

That time you raided your mum's make-up bag...

... Got a picture, as a record...?  Because Becca - the so-wearable Australian make-up line - is compiling a book about women's first forays into the world of powder and paint.  As they put it, 'Pretty much everyone remembers their first dalliance with the make-up box.  While you may have looked like a young Tammy Faye Baker in drag, there's something magical about that moment.'
     They're putting together a book about just that, and would like to hear from you with quotes and an image.  Just click here to contact them, and if they publish it in the book, they'll send 'a barrel of BECCA goodies for your efforts - and a little something for your inner child, as well'...
     We just know you've been meaning to sort that large box of photos at the back of the dresser.  (If you're anything like us, that is.)  And this could be just the prompt we all need...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Down and dirty beauty from Bare Escentuals

To celebrate Valentine's-esque we offer you a heart.  OK, it's a soil heart.  Maybe a beauty first.  But the BareMinerals launch where the new skincare from this celebrated mineral make-up line was unveiled was a first for us, too:  we got to DRINK the soil complex which is a key ingredient in the range!  
     This is the deal:  into the capsule collection of products goes a skin-boosting mineral-rich blend derived from virgin soil, to help boost skin radiance.  You don't normally drink it:  you smooth it into your skin.  (That was just a gimmick.  Honestly, the things we do, in the line of duty - though it was quite scrummy, as it happens...)
     But here's a promise:  it doesn't make you look like Stig of the Dump.  (Or The Stig, come to that.)  In fact, there's one innovative BareMinerals product which will make you look that bit more gorgeous at bedtime than usual:  the Pure Transformation Night Treatment, which buffs onto skin with a brush - yes, just like mineral make-up - helping to unify your complexion visibly, while working invisibly to reduce pore size and improve firmness and elasticity.
     So:  your mother was wrong.  You can now sleep in your make-up.  And who doesn't 'heart' that idea...? (launching April, like we say)

Friday, 11 February 2011

The most amazing makeovers

Just had to share with you what Beauty Bible has been doing over the past two evenings.  Some of you may know, our chosen charity is Centrepoint, the charity for homeless under-25s - and several times a year, we run a two-evening 'Make A Difference Makeover' programme.
     Step one:  transforming the girls into goddesses (see above) - with A-list help, this time round, from none other than the Lancôme BAFTA Red Carpet team of make-up pros - who'll be whisking their brushes over dozens of famous faces before this Sunday's Awards ceremony - and lovely Adam Reed and his team from Percy & Reed, the super-talented X-Factor hairstylists.
     Step two:  work on helping this amazing young women - many who've had very traumatic events in their lives - to tap into that I-look-fab-so-I-feel-fab confidence in their lives, moving forward.  (Our amazing friend Sharron Lowe - beauty industry 'success coach' - leads those sessions, and created the 'workbook' that the girls take home.)
     We are so happy to tap into our Little Pink Book of so-generous beauty contacts and help in a hands-on way to help boost these young women's self-esteem. And the feedback we've been getting for the past 10 years says:  it does, it really does. So:  huge thanks to everyone on the Make A Difference Makeover committee - Sharron, Michelle Boon, Kirsty Lewis and Sarah Duguid - for all their hard work.  If you'd like to do your bit to help these young women turn their lives around, just click below. (Centrepoint was the first charity Prince William chose to be patron of, and we can't speak highly enough of the work they do.)
     And don't worry:  next week, we'll be back to blogging the fluffy stuff. But today, we're feeling too humbled by being privileged enough to touch these young women's lives.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


If you're anything like us, you have a soap stash.  Maybe a serious soap stash.  (Don't you agree that buying soap, like shoes and lipstick, is an instant mood-lifter?)  So we wanted to share this idea from a blog that we like called The Decorista.  Don't hide them in bathroom cabinets: show them off them in beautiful apothecary-style jars.  (Alternatively, we like to use them to fragrance our lingerie, in our undie drawers.)
  A glass act, we think.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A very good Egg

Jo came across this little magazine while judging the National Geographic Green Awards the other day - and wearing our Green Beauty Bible hats, we thought you should know about it.  You know how so many green/ethical publications are worthy and - oh, let's face it, boring as hell.  (I mean, we always buy The Big Issue, but read it...?  Hmmm.)
     Well, Egg Mag's different.  Almost pocket-sized and (yay!) free, it's targeted at London and Brighton (so far) and is full of culture and style and scrumptiousness.  Think:  recipes for Fairtrade White Russian cocktails and Hugh Fearnley-Wearnley's chocolate macaroons.  Perfectly pick-able up-able by anyone who isn't green-minded for a jolly good, bite-sized read, the current 'White issue' actually runs from January to April.
     So it won't mount up in that media pile that you keep meaning to get round to reading, by your bed - but Georgette Heyer or India Knight somehow always beckons instead... for back-numbers, extra content and eco-offers.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

You MUST watch this!

We begged.  We pleaded.  We grovelled.  (And it wasn't pretty.)  But Chanel has given the exclusive rights for a truly BRILLIANT animated film - 'Here Comes the Beauty Pack' - to a new luxury blog that we're actually rather loving called  Tant pis.
     But you absolutely totally and utterly have to take one minute out of your life right now and watch this robot-powered life-enhancer, which was made by their in-house make-up genius (and former graphic designer), Peter Phillips.  Our favourite bit?  The logo-smoking, vogueing brush-babe, striking a pose at the end.
    In 60 seconds, you'll know what we mean, if you just click here.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Viva Violetta!

Breaking news:  our very wonderful beauty editor colleague Karena Callen (ex-Red, ex-Elle) yesterday opened the kind of beautique that frankly you'd be happy to stumble upon in any corner of our fair isles. In fact, it's in Rye (East Sussex), a convenient hop-skip-and-a-jump from Jo's home town of Hastings - but definitely worth a pilgrimage from much, much further afield.
   What will you find?  Beautiful Miller Harris fragrances, the cutest discoveries from Sussex-based Juliette at Home (loving the teacup candles and the gorgeously gift-wrapped soaps), This Works skincare and bath oils (we swear by Deep Calm), Adrianne's vintage-inspired jewellery, Max Benjamin candles, Cartolina cards (our favourite), and lingerie from Tallulah Love, which comes in powder-style boxes.  Vintage items, too:  you could buy that table Karena's standing beside, if you fancied.  Coming soon?  Paul & Joe, Narciso Rodriguez fragrances, and - fingers crossed - the amazing perfumes of Serge Lutens, which will definitely be a fragrant Sussex first.
      If you're lucky, you'll find Karena there, too:  as lovely, clever and drily funny a beauty editor as you could hope to meet.  And if you're very lucky, she might answer your beauty conundrums.
     Which is a gift-with-purchase beyond price, if you ask us.

Violetta, 110 High Street, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7JY/07793-824166

Friday, 4 February 2011

A scent of L.A.

Should you find yourself on the West Coast of the US (as Jo did last week), there are several good reasons to head for Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in Venice, L.A.  The first is that it's become probably the hippest shopping street in the States.  (Shabby to chic in just a few years.)  The second reason, specifically, is one of the boutiques that's helped put Abbot Kinney on the map:  the gloriously (and aptly) named Strange Invisible Perfumes.
     If you think that botanically-based fragrances are all earthy, hippie-dippy and patchouli-heavy, SIP (for short) is the proof:  it just ain't so.  In this exquisitely minimalist boutique, you will find exquisite scents such as you have never smelled, created by super-talented botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis.  (The store itself slightly reminded us of being inside a Japanese birthday gift:  everything perfect, with little touches of colour and all done with the greatest delicacy and elegance.)
     As Aussie Vogue put it:  'A must-visit international destination for the true fragrance connoisseur' - and we couldn't agree more.  We suggest you set aside an hour - preferably more - to be talked and spritzed through the Strange Invisible Perfumes themselves, with their evocative names:  dewily lush Aquarian Roses, dangerously sexy Narcotic, or soothing, grounding Lyric Rain.  (Keep your fingers crossed that you're served by Shannon, the charming and patient SIP perfume pro.)
     It is, you will find, almost impossible to choose between them - though make sure you're in funds:  SIP doesn't come cheap, but you'll end up with a fabulous signature scent you're unlikely to smell on anyone this side of the Atlantic.  Jo's chosen SIP?  The airily rosy L'Invisible - and you can read her review at The Scent Critic by clicking here.  Which - until you've got that flight booked to California - is alas the closet you can get, for now.

Strange Invisible Perfumes, 1138 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291/310.314.1505

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Never Knowingly Underpampered

This is a sneak (artist's impression) of what the new John Lewis spas will look like.  Now, we're actually rather taken with good old John Lewis, at the moment.  No longer just a destination to pick up a yard of knicker elastic or some No. 11 knitting needles, but with fab skincare (they were savvy to become early adopters of Liz Earle's range), and stylish, wearable fashion.  (A far cry from the elasticated waist trews that Jo's mum used to head there for, but not as scarily edgy as some department stores we can name.)
     Apparently there'll be facials, manicures, pedicures, eyebrow/lash tinting, threading - and treatments by Clarins, Decléor, Elemis, Jessica, Blink (the brow bar) and the aforementioned Ms. Earle's range.  £250 million has been budgeted for the project (!), and the first sites are Reading and Cheadle (this summer), then Norwich - with Chester and Exeter in the autumn.  Which will please those blog-readers who frequently and justifiably complain that London's too often the focus for launches and general excitement in the gorgeousness department.
     As out-of-towners ourselves, we know that living away from the smoke needn't mean Hobbit toenails, dull complexions or Denis Healey brows.  Nice that John Lewis is making life easier for the wannabe-pampered provincial, though.
     See you in Cheadle...?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Cowshed at Gatwick rocks!

You're not seeing things:  the plate glass window of the Cowshed Spa in Virgin's Upper Class lounge at Gatwick has been carefully cut to showcase - yes! - a massive boulder.  Now, whether trading in Virgin Airmiles or travelling Swanky Class for business (at someone else's expense!), we've always found that Virgin's spas at their UK terminals are among the very best business travel bonuses.  Think:  free shoulder massages, manicures or pedicures, with longer treatments for a relatively modest sum - and all using Cowshed's excellent range, as developed at their original spa at Babington House.  (Best to book treatments in advance of travel, though, to avoid disappointment.)
     Wilma Flintstone would feel right at home.  (And so, actually, do we!)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Go on - Kiss It Better!

We're going to tell you a beautiful story.
     Once upon a time, long, long ago, our friend Carmel Allen's baby daughter Josephine was diagnosed with a childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.  Happily, Josephine recovered fully (after months of treatment bravely borne), and is the most lovely child.  (Inside and out).  But Carmel - who'd been Beauty Editor at Tatler - decided that some good should come from this traumatic experience, which many beauty editors friends of Carmel's felt we'd shared in just a little.  So, Kiss It Better was born:  a brilliant charity to raise money (via the beauty industry) for Great Ormond Street Hospital's research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers.
     The deal's simple.  You get lovely beauty products;  kids get the hope of better health.  And February's basically 'Kiss It Better Month' at Clinique, with two ways you can help raise money.  First, the new limited edition Smoothie Kisses Lip Gloss set (featuring four shades of one of our favourite, antioxidant-rich lip glosses), in a fab splashily printed bag.  £4 of the £22.50 price (£2 from Clinique, £2 from House of Fraser, where it's exclusively on sale) will go to Kiss It Better.  Actually, for every Clinique lipstick or gloss sold at HoF throughout February, £2 goes to KIB.
     Or if you're feeling a bit more generous, you'll want to know that funky illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve has produced this special limited edition print for Kiss It Better - and 100% of the £100 sale price of the triptych goes to GOSH.  It's on-line at the outlets below.
     Sometimes, stories really do have happy endings. (to buy Smoothie Kisses) (to buy print) (ditto)