Friday, 23 December 2011

Have a beautiful Christmas, from us...

Just wanted to say:  Beauty Bible's signing off till the New Year - and sending you a (virtual) marshmallow wreath, to celebrate the holidays...
     We'd like to wish you a wonderful time, and we hope Santa delivers everything you've got your heart set on.  We'll be chilling with loved ones - and thinking of the 250 young women at Centrepoint, unpacking the beauty gifts we assembled for them last week.
     We're back on 3rd January.  Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed - and probably marshmallow-stuffed.
     But hey, what are New Year's Resolutions for...?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Our favourite MAC collaboration yet

Ninetysomethings, rejoice.
     Because this is surely a landmark in cosmetics history:  MAC has teamed up with our favourite nonagenarian to create a range of colour cosmetics launching exclusively on-line, from January 12th.
     Some years ago, Jo found herself standing next to the most incredibly stylish white-haired most-definitely-not-a-'little-old-lady', in a Paris cashmere store.  For years, she wondered who the drop-dead- stylish stranger was.
     But in recent times, Iris Apfel - who once worked for Women's Wear Daily, helped redecorate The White House for nine presidents, is the subject of a book called Rare Bird of Fashion (photographs by Eric Boman) and still lectures on style - has gone on to blaze a trail and prove that older women need not fade away.
     And there's definitely no chance of that, with those showstopping red lips and nails.
     Iris, we salute you.  (And MAC too...)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Oh Roja, how we love ya...

Not least because of the rather wonderful, waft-me-to-paradise-with-a-single-sniff visual for his new Roja iPhone App.
     Roja Dove, the renowned professeur de parfums, has distilled 30 years of fragrance knowledge into a perfume guide in which he describes and categorises a scent, and nudges you in the direction of others you might like to try.  (Having created our own Beauty Bible Beauty Steals App, we appreciate what a lot of hard work has gone into this project.)
     OK, so the descriptions aren't quite as evocative as Jo's, on her (other) blog, The Scent Critic - but it's a must-download for devoted scentophiles and Roja fans (who are legion).  So far, there are 1000 fragrances listed on there, with more to come.
     Roja Dove Scent Selector is available now from the iTunes Store, price £2.99 (and you can of course 'gift' Apps, too.)
     And round here, with our limited-edition NEOM Christmas Wish candles flickering spicily, it's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Shops We Love: Alastair Hendy Home Store

We're sharing this with you in the wake of Mary Portas's lament for the Great British High Street.
     Because a few still exist.  And Jo happens to live on one.  In Hastings, on the south coast.  A baker (Jo's own Judges Bakery), a butchery counter - and now, somewhere you can find a candlestick.
     Because on Saturday, one of the most intriguing new (for which read: old) shops that we've ever delightedly stumbled across opened on Hastings High Street:  Alastair Hendy's Home Store, from the self-taught cook/photographer/author.  
     It's unlike anywhere we've ever shopped.  Like stepping back in time - because inch-by-inch, Alastair has spent three years up a ladder restoring the shop to what seems like Victorian glory.  (The sales staff even wear long aprons and black weskits.)  Except there are discreet bar codes and an electronic till, hidden in the mahogany counter.  
     You'll find vintage fire buckets.  And pinking shears.  Cosy woolly bedsocks (see above).  Churchy beeswax candles.  And just about every type of brush (er, except for hair) to satisfy anyone's inner Howard Hughes.  There are shiny reclaimed desks, and Mason jars, and that wonderful green 40s china your auntie used to serve you a Rich Tea biscuit on.  And if you needed an ounce of nails, Alastair's probably got one somewhere.  
     We haven't had a glimpse of the bathroom section yet - he's opening it room by room - but at a guess, we'd imagine:  linen towels, old-fashioned bath salt cubes, backbrushes...  Maybe those wonderful bath-racks, with built-in candlesticks.  (Well, a beauty editor can dream...)
     So Ms. Portas, get yourself an Awayday to Hastings fast.  
     Because truly, there's life in the high street yet...

A.G. Hendy & Co. Home Store, 36 High Street, Hastings Old Town, TN34 3ER (no doubt there'll be a proper website, in due course)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday fabulousness

Normally, of a Friday, we encourage you to enjoy a little pampering over the weekend, featuring a gorgeous bathroom.
     But today's a bit special - because we spent yesterday organising some pampering for 250 young homeless women at Centrepoint's London hostels.
     Thanks to the generosity of the beauty industry - brands like John Frieda, Decléor, Ojon, Elemis, Mandara Spa, Nelson's, nurture, Revlon, Parfums Kenzo and many, many more - the Make A Difference Makeover team (which we're proud to have co-founded) gathered together at Centrepoint's London HQ were able to put together hundreds of a-m-a-z-i-n-g bags.
     If you'd like to turbo-charge to our efforts, do visit the Centrepoint website to make a little donation (And big thanks so much to Percy + Reed, the hairdressers, for doing just that - pledging £500 instead of sending out Christmas cards, this year).
     10 of us fell into bed tired but happy last night - but not quite as happy, we suspect, as the young women who'll be opening these on Christmas morning.
     To everyone who was involved yesterday, big thanks from Beauty Bible.  It's truly a beautiful thing.
Find the Make A Difference Makeovers on Facebook to find out more

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

If you go down to Borough Market today...

...  You'll discover Aesop's new 'punnet-sized' (as they put it) store.
     We've always bought into Aesop's philosophy.  As they put it, 'We advocate the use of our formulas as part of a balanced ife that includes exercise, stimulating literature and good food and wine.'  (And so say all of us.)
     This Australian aromatherapy-powered skincare range (which we've been fans of since they very first launched, oh, aeons ago) also has a reputation for creating funky spaces.  And this is entirely in keeping, with its haberdasher's counter, reclaimed wood floor - and basins, so you can try the products before you buy.
     Afterwards, as Aesop points out, you can revive yourself with a short black from Monmouth Coffee across the road, and/or nibble on a wedge of aged Cheddar from Neal's Yard Dairy.
     Appropriate setting for their latest store, then, for a range that's almost good enough to eat.

Aesop Borough Market, 5 Park Street, London SE1 9AB

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Something rather divine has happened...

Look closely.
     Look v-e-r-y closely.  And then, if you're us, do rather unladylike cartwheels around the office.
     Because what's at the very centre of this 'greenhouse' in L'Occitane's just-opened flagship boutique in New York's Flatiron District?
     Answer:  a giant blow-up of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.  The reason?  To celebrate the fact that L'Occitane's Immortelle Divine Cream scored the highest mark of any 'miracle' product we've ever trialled - over 16 years of research - in our book, beating literally hundreds and hundreds of others.
     So the whole greenhouse is Immortelle-themed (immortelle being a Corsican 'wonder plant' you're going to be hearing much, much more about in 2012).
     We can't wait to see the store ourself on our next New York pitstop. It's very gorgeous generally.  And there were lines around the block on day of opening of customers.
     Who - like us - clearly think it's divine, divine, divine...

L'Occitane -, or click here for the award-winning cream


Monday, 12 December 2011

High(50)brow stuff from Mary Greenwell

A few days ago we told you about the first of a series of videos Jo's put together with make-up genius Mary Greenwell - which have already picked up some rave reviews.
     So we thought we'd alert you to the fact that the second segment of this five-part beauty masterclass has been posted on the High50 site (for those who believe that actually, age has its benefits) - and it's all about brows, which can become a real challenge as we grow older.
     If you've ever wondered how to shape a brow (or even 'snip' at strays with scissors), how you can lift a face with the right brow shape, dithered about brow-tattoing - and if you'd like to know why a green brow product may be best for you (yes, truly!) - it's all here.
     When the series is done, we'll have them all on our Beauty Bible website, too, joining our own line-up of what we consider virtually the only beauty VIDEOS worth watching on the whole darned internet. And if we sound biased, we suggest you waste a few hours on the main YouTube site looking at every teenager on the planet who owns a webcam and a lipstick.
     Mary Greenwell, they most definitely are not...

For the video, click here
For Beauty Bible's videos section, click here

Friday, 9 December 2011

We're peachy-keen on this

There's something super-warm and seasonally welcoming about this bathroom - our Friday 'pampering inspiration' for you.
     We dig the etched glass doors.  And terracotta tub, and the plaster bas relief on the walls.
     All off-set beautifully with grey towels (so it's not totally, boringly matchy-matchy.  Plus:  when did you ever meet a man happy to dry himself on a peach-toned towel...?)  Oh, and is that a vase of straight-from-the-Folies-Bergère pale blue ostrich feathers, in a vase...? Decadent touch, that.  (So:  thanks to A Slice of Beauty's blog, for sharing this with us.)
     We'll be lighting a few candles of our own and sinking beneath waters aromatherapeutically-scented with our new bathtime fave rave, Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind Shower & Bath Oil, this weekend.
     You might like to be the same.  Not least because behind a locked door, in a bathroon, is one of the few true escapes from Christmas madness, right now.
     And isn't that a peach of a thought?

To read A Slice of Beauty, click here

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Salaam Bombay (Chanel-style)

Normally when our new site update's uploaded (as it is today - click here for all the excitement), we cut ourselves some slack, and don't blog.  We file our nails a bit.  Flip through magazines.  While away the hours checking out Facebook.  (That's the theory, if not the reality...)
     But here's the thing...  For 48 hours we've been swooning over the photos from the Chanel 'Paris-Bombay' show in Paris (for which our friend Sam McKnight did the hair, Peter Phillips the make-up).
     So when an e-mail pinged into our inbox from Chanel about 10 minutes ago, we decided to share this beautiful image - and the inside info on products used to create this smouldering look, from Peter Phillips, Creative Director of Chanel Makeup.
   Think:  lashings of Le Crayon Khôl in Black, and (Jo's favourite) Inimitable Intense mascara in Black, on lashes.
    Think:  Perfection Lumière, to create the flawless base (launching early next year), with a whisk of Joues Contraste in Brume d'Or on cheeks.  Think:  Rouge Coco Shine in Empreinte, for those soft rose-pink lips.
     What we also love, though, is the use of jewellery in the hair.  Why not use a necklace, for an up-do?  For slightly more accessibly-priced hair accessories, meanwhile, click here for the for the speedy Party Hair Know-How feature on our website.
     Because (alas) we can't all have a live-in Sam McKnight.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It's a win-win situation

Gotta share this with you.
     Not least because of the glorious drawing illustrating Latest in Beauty's 12 Days of Christmas competition.
     Latest in Beauty, if you don't already know, is a way of trying products before you take out a second mortgage to buy them.  The brands featured in their stylish mail order beauty boxes (at various times) are really special - think Decléor, Estée Lauder, This Works, Olay, John Frieda, L'Occitane, Elemis and more.  We applaud brands which have the faith to allow customers to trial products, because it fits with our philosophy of not wasting money on stuff that just plain doesn't work.
     And following the successful Fragrance Discovery Box created by Latest in Beauty to mark Jo's recent scent article in YOU, we're working on something rather special with them ourselves.
     But meanwhile...?  On their site right now, there's that rather wonderful 12 Days of Christmas competition we mentioned, with prizes worth over £1,500.  And anyone who enters will automatically be entered into a draw for a bumper beauty hamper worth £500.
     Sadly, we are not allowed to enter.
     Gutted doesn't cover it.
     So have a go, on our behalf.  And we hope Santa's smiling on you.

To read Jo's Eau So You! fragrance special, click here

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Guildford gets a little more gorgeous

Lucky little Guildford.  They just got their very own Liz Earle Naturally Active store, in this lovely Grade II listed building in the town centre.    
     There'll be treatments on the menu, next year, but for now it's a chance for the wannabe-smooth-skinned beauties of Surrey to dib, dab and spritz their way through this award-winning range.  (A staggering 220 awards, at the last count, according to Liz - and quite a few of them from Beauty Bible, of course, including for legendary Cleanse & Polish. Which several of our testers, over the years, have attempted to give a mark of 11/10...!)
     So if you live within striking distance - well, Christmas just came early.  And it may just be the most exciting thing to happen in this market town since they filmed The Omen, at the cathedral...

Liz Earle, 72-74 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3HE

Monday, 5 December 2011

The gift of great hair

Forget expensive jackets.  Or good coats.  Or even haute couture,
to be honest.
     At Beauty Bible we've long believed that the secret of looking really fab is great hair.  End of.  (You buy a designer jacket, and how often do you wear it?  But your hair?  You wear that every day...)
     So:  maybe your best friend/mum/goddaughter is a haystack head. Or maybe she has an arsenal of styling products and a relationship with her straightening irons that really ought to be announced in the engagement column of The Times.  
     But one thing we know:  if she's within a kirby grip's throw of Hershesons salon, she's bound to love one of these gift vouchers for Hershesons Blow Dry Bars (located at Westfield, Topshop Oxford Circus and One New Change, St. Paul's).
     Available for one, three, or six free blow-drys (prices:  £24-£144).
     Sure beats novelty slippers, in our book.  (Because who ever looked groomed in those...?)

Click here to buy the vouchers on-line

Friday, 2 December 2011

Ten-four, rubber ducky...

Decorating, we've observed, can sometimes get a little serious for its own good.
     So we were very happy to stumble across this stylish bathroom in on-line Rue Magazine, which is worth a cyberflick if you're a decor junkie, like us.  (There's an iPad verison, too.)
    We love the splashes of yellow, to brighten the monochrome colour scheme.  And the tufted bath mat:  imagine burying your toes in that, on a chilly morning.  But we especially like the duck:  a witty touch that transforms the decor from 'safe' to 'witty', in one webbed-footed bound.
     Happy Friday, from Beauty Bible.  And wherever you're soaking this weekend, have a relaxing one.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A plum of a make-up masterclass, with Mary Greenwell

Great make-up videos are rarer than hen's teeth.  (Trust us:  we've spent hours in a darkened room narrowing down a useful selection for our own website VIDEOS section, and almost lost the will to live in the process.)
     As for great make-up artists, they don't come much more mega than Mary Greenwell.  Not only would most supermodels not get out of bed for less than $10,000, but they darned well wouldn't get out of bed if Mary wasn't going to be doing their make-up, either.  And Mary's list of stellar clients is still as long as your arm.
    So:  it is time to discover the first Mary Greenwell Makeup Masterclass, on  (Say it 'High Five-Oh'.)  And yes, it's our very own Jo presenting this series (there will be five, in all, uploaded weekly).
     Mary's just brilliant at explaining what she does, sharing her pro's secrets and demo-ing in a way that's not only incredibly easy to follow, but inspiring, too.  Though essentially targeted at fifty-plus women (it's so easy to lose the plot, make-up wise, after un certain age), it's just as fascinating to watch a true pro at work whether you're 17 or 70.
     Mary's other great 'make-up' tip, FYI, is fragrance.  Fragrance...?  It's what she's always sprayed on models before sending them in front of the camera.  'I make them look beautiful, but fragrance makes them feel beautiful,' she says.  Few fragrances are destined to make a woman feel more beautiful than Mary's own debut signature fragrance, Plum - so can we suggest you check this out, too...?  (And to read Jo's blog about Plum on The Scent Critic, click here.)
     Meanwhile, as soon as we get a whiff that the next Mary Greenwell Masterclass is live, we'll let you know... - click here for the Masterclass