Monday, 31 January 2011

The search is over!

Put the flaming flags out.  At last, has a fantastic search facility.  Why is this worth a blog posting all of its ownsome? Because it's been so darned hard to find a widget that can search effectively through the truly humongous amount of information that we have on our website, and deliver clear, un-gobbledegooky answers.  (Trust us:  Ben, our web genius, has been trying for aeons.)
     The challenge, you see, is that we literally have thousands and thousands of tips, answers to beauty problems, nuggets of advice on everything from acne to rosacea to choosing the best lipstick or blitzing cellulite on  (In fact, the entire contents of our original, long out-of-print book - The Beauty Bible - are up there, minus the Tried & Testeds which would now be somewhat out of date.  Find it under BEAUTY INFO or click here.)  So, when you need the answer to a beauty conundrum, you can now actually find it.
     We may just have to go and have a lie-down.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Do you have a winning wink?

Wink.  Go on.  Have a go.  And if you reckon the results are saucy/sexy/pretty enough potentially to win a bag of majorly fab beauty swag, we seriously suggest you get a friend to take your picture (or a video of that wink) and upload it to a special No 7 Best Wink page on Facebook (click here).  There are nine No 7 goodie bags to win each week (the competition closes on 15th Feb 2011).  But the prize above prizes is a No 7 Exquisite Pampering Weekend with a makeover by Lisa Eldridge, whose brilliant how-to videos we feature on our own BeautyBibleUK YouTube Channel.  (And you can find that here).
     Go on, you beautiful bunch of winkers.  Winkers, we said!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Make Up Not War!

As regular readers may know, Jo in particular has become very taken with the Ellis Faas make-up pens - concealers, blushers, lipglosses and mascaras, all packaged in these skinny metal canisters.  (There's a coloured 'blob' on the end, to avoid make-up bag bamboozlement.)  The big conundrum, as with all make-up packaging:  what to do with them, after they've swept their last...?
     Well, Ellis Faas have come up with the clever idea of retrieving as many of the pens as possible, giving them to visual artists (sculptors, fashion designers, photographers etc.), who'll then create one-off works of art using the pens - and those will be sold in aid of War Child.
     War Child's the charity (ardently supported by us for some years now) which helps thousands of children in war-torn areas, in particular through sports and arts programmes.  These a) ease the psychological damage done to children who live in war-torn zones, and b) can help unite groups of children driven apart by war, in the hope of a more peaceful future.  (And there's something in it for you, too:  in exchange for the pens, Ellis Fass will give you a 5% discount coupon off your next purchase at their webshop - for more info about all this, see website address below.)
     So:  if you've got Ellis Faas pens that are reaching the end of their lifespan, get cracking and use up that slap.  Then recycle them back to Ellis Faas, to prove the (make-up) pen is mightier than the sword.
     And the AK-47.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

What a beauty editor did next...

Gosh, some beauty editors go on to have clever ideas.  There's our friend Liz Earle, for instance, who graduated from writing about skincare to creating her own global brand.  And funnily enough, at a beauty editors' reunion organised by Liz the other day, we caught up with Christina Probert-Jones, who's started a rather splendid website called Stitch Designworks, showcasing fab make-up bags, brightly-coloured bedding and towels, ravishing robes - and this very, very clever duvet, which should help persuade any toddler-to-teenager that an early bed isn't a bad idea, occasionally.  
     It's called the Doodle Duvet, comes with eight brightly-coloured pens for drawing on the duvet - and can be washed clean out again, so your resident junior Picasso can start over, after laundry day.  (Check out the doodle tablecloth, too.)
     Ah.  And if you're wondering how a roomful of beauty editors looks, 20 years on from when we first started investigating liposomes, fruit acids and phosphosphingolipids together as part of our day jobs, the answer is:  as pretty darned well-preserved and radiant as a bunch of women who practise what they preach in print should look, actually.  

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Aesop's sage advice

Aesop isn't like other skincare brands. They avoid glitzy packaging. Their shops are deliberately understated: muted colours, salvaged shelves, cardboard walls or occasionally 'Spitalfields chic'. But because they avoid flashy advertising, too, we often find their products aren't on women's radar. They've been on ours for over 15 years, and Jo's probably the only UK journalist to have visited Aesop's Melbourne HQ not once, not twice but three times. Yesterday, Aesop, co-founder Suzanne Santos was on a flying visit to London to launch the brand's first SPF product, Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream, with its moderate sun protection 10. (Not enough for the burning midday Aussie sun, but quite enough for cloud-locked London right now, thanks.  And FYI, it launches March.)
     'I don't know how you British women cope with these extremes of temperature,' Suzanne observed. 'Cold outside, baking hot indoors. I see women slathering on extra moisture - but the most important thing for winter skin is exfoliation and regular face masks, to get rid of dead cell build-up.' That's something Beauty Bible has always preached, too - but always worth repeating. (While bearing in mind the watchword, when it comes to exfoliation: 'Gently does it...')  Since Suzanne's probably her own best advertisement for Aesop's skincare, any woman could do well to follow her advice.
    So:  if a glance in the mirror reveals skin that's dull and grey as the day out there, it's definitely time to become a scrubber.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

It's Tiara Tuesday!

We have a dear friend - let's just call her Princess Fornasetti - who regularly hosts spectacularly enjoyable teas for select beauty editors at which the dress code is 'bejewelled headgear.' (Yes, even at The Connaught. It gets some weird looks, but after the first glass of champagne, who really gives a toss...?) So when we spotted this beautiful tiara in Côte Paris magazine, with its sparkling skyline, it became Beauty Bible's newest lust objet.
      Actually, as one of our tips to help you 'Love Your Life' in our soon-to-be-published The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, Sarah suggests:  'Make things fun.  Wear a tiara when you're hoovering (try accessories or toy stores for gorgeous bargains);  brighten tedious chores with your favourite music;  trade help with a friend.  Reward yourself with flowers, a movie, a good cup of coffee or tea with a friend.'
     And don't give a damn when people stare at your tiaras.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Detox your make-up kit

It's a detox time of year.  And that goes for make-up.  (Jo actually spent last Saturday divvying up her beauty swag into kits for each floor of her house, plus the car, plus a friend's house where she sometimes spends a night in London.  Very satisfying it was, too, and it sure beat eating nothing but grapefruit all day.)  If the idea of getting 'sorted' appeals, you'll want to know about the Bobbi Brown Makeup Detox, at her counters until 29th January.  You can take your bag along for a 30-minute 'detox' - the consultants will advise you on what to ditch, what to keep - or you can simply learn to use a palette that you got as a Christmas gift.  At no charge.   (See below for stockist details.)
     There is just one catch.  We sort of defy you not to indulge yourself with one of Bobbi's own new seasonal offerings of goof-proof ultra-wearable shades (seen here:  Powerful Face, and there's a Pretty Face option, too).  But then, it's pretty much a make-up detox, in one sexy little palette.
     Swoon. or call 0870-034 2566 for locations.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

While we are not exactly Howard Hugheses...

... when it comes to germ paranoia, we don't exactly wish to come down with the dreaded swine 'flu, either.  Regular hand-washing, the experts say, is the best way to keep the bugs at bay - but on public transport that's not always possible.  And we don't like those chemical ones.  We just don't.  So you might want to know about two excellent natural-but-effective on-the-go bug-blitzers that we've discovered:  Bentley Organic Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer (it's at Victoria Health), and Quash's lime-green slimline Misturising Hand Sanitiser.  We say:  don't leave home without them.  

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Shower(cap) power

OK, so you've foresworn sweeties for the New Year.  But can you resist this so-sweet yet zero-calorie shower cap from Dilly Day Cream...? Thought not.  Promising shower caps which are both stylish and comfortable, Dilly Day Cream offers as wide a selection as any bathing belle could - well, daydream of.  (And they'll also make custom hats for corporate customers.)  For us, it's a tough call between Dilly Day Cream's polka dot brights and the Licorice Allsorts hat - but we think this is probably our absolute favourite. 
     Just add running water...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Oprah for the iPad!

Forget the TV show;  we've long been devoted readers of O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine.  However, it's hard to find on British newsstands, so you may have missed out on its mix of features and beautiful photography, which also invariably features plenty of sound wellbeing advice, inspirational thoughts (the sort which fuelled Oprah to the top of her industry), and interviews with women of achievement from all backgrounds.
     So:  the good news for iPad-owners:  O is now available as an App for the iPad, which is how we'll be reading it in future.  (Cheaper than the real magazine, too - at £2.39 per copy, and you can pick up the December as well as the January edition.)
     We also love this hilarious clip - click here - of Oprah worshipping her celestial iPad, with her list of reasons she can't live without it.
     A sentiment we rather share.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Spa-watch: Sousse, Tunisia

Beauty Bible wishes you a Happy New Year - with news of a new spa.  So:  Jo escaped the snow, ice and the need for Uniqlo HeatTech underwear by heading for Tunisia for Christmas - and stumbled upon a real 'find'.  Opened just a couple of months ago, we think the spa at the Mövenpick Hotel in Sousse will soon start to feature in all the 'Best of...' guides.  With a thriving hamman culture in Tunisia, therapists take their work seriously.  And with the Mövenpick (don't be put off just because it's also the name of an ice cream/coffee brand) being probably the glitziest hotel on the map in Tunisia, it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise to experience truly world-class treatments.  The Thalgo spa features - of course - a hot hammam room, plus a really bath-temperature-esque salt-water pool (both indoors and out, see above), several other swimming pools, a fully-equipped gym with sea views and a stupendous menu of treatments.
     Jo went for the basics, generally - facial massage, Swedish massage, and some impeccable O.P.I. pampering for her extremities.  (One particular therapist - Omsa - deserves a mention in dispatches.)  The hotel itself has fantastic beds (= fantasic sleep), is right on a white sand beach - and a 5-minute taxi ride from Sousse's colourful medina, with perfume and soap shops for the beauty-hound to explore.  Oh, and there's a Japanese restaurant and massive salad bar, so you could make it a low-cal spa escape if you felt so inclined (and managed to blinker yourself from the dessert buffet).  Jo loved every indulgent moment.  And to paraphrase The Terminator, she'll be back.

Preferably next week.