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Friday, 29 October 2010

Try a Trend...Finger Wave

Call it the Mad Men effect. Call it the trend for all things retro. But the finger wave is most definitely the style du jour. Unlike last season's messy updos, this style does take some practice. Luckily for us, Darren Bain, Senior Stylist at HOB Salons and current London Hairdresser of the Year, has given us 5 easy-to-follow tips to get that Mad Men look.
Hob Salons
Super stylist, Darren Bain
"The finger wave has been a key style since the 1940’s," says Darren, "but as vintage continues to dominate our AW 10 trends, here are 5 steps to recreate your own forties 'do..."
1. "Begin with freshly washed hair. Be sure to remove any excess water and apply a small amount of Sebastian’s Gel Forte (£17.95 @ HOB Salons) from roots to ends for added hold and control.

2. Comb the hair through to ensure it is tangle free and place in your side parting.  Next, creating a ‘V’ with your index and middle finger, place your fingers horizontally on one side of the parting.  Bringing the two fingers slightly together you will see an arch form in the hair.  To maintain structure, insert small sectioning clips in place of the fingers and leave to set.
The 'V'
3. Continue this technique down each panel of hair until applied to the entire head.  Ensure the hair is always wet before styling so that it dries in position.

4. Leave the hair for thirty minutes to set.  If necessary, use a hairdryer to speed up the process but this must be on a low setting so the finger waves are not damaged and maintain their shape.
Sectioning clips, like these from Trevor Sorbie, £4.75 (Boots.com), are essential
5. To complete the look, gently remove the clips from the hair.  Use your hands to smooth out any unwanted strays and manipulate the hair into a desired shape.  Finally, finish with Sebastian’s Shaper Fierce (£14.95 @ HOB Salons) to secure your vintage look."

HOB Salons: 60 Baker Street, London, W1U 7DE. 020 7935 5883.



My new style crush...

Perfect milk chocolate hue...perfect mussed-up curls...perfect honey tan...how have I just clued on to Abigail Spencer's laidback beauty? I'm still not totally sure who she is ('Abigail's Eyes'...wtf?) but a quick Google search will no doubt prove enlightening (mostly for new lust-worthy californian hairstyles to gawp at)
What do you think ladies? http://www.handbag.com/hair/celebrity/hairstyle/celebrity-hairstyles-october-2010

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Beauty Q&A...

From Syeda: "Hello missy!
Burning question of this decade for me - HOW does one get old hollywood hair without taking ten years? See attached!!! Youtube is pants when it comes to this, everyone has a different method but none of their end results quite get it right. It's that synchronised kink in the whole head for each curl that bugs me."
 
S: Well Syeda, your question couldn't have come at a better time...if you can wait until Friday, I'll be posting a trend report and step-by-step guide from one of the UK's top stylists on how to get the finger wave. The pressure's on! Stay tuned! Sx

Want to know the secret of Kate Moss's bedhead tresses?

I do too. Turns out those bedraggled, rock-chick locks owe their icon status to Klorane Dry Shampoo, £6.95 (Boots). The original Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is a cult classic (other famous spritzers include Britney Spears, Kirsten Dunst and Mischa Barton) and adds volume and texture to flagging tresses. I used Klorane's dry shampoo for the first time about a year ago and was really impressed. Again, it left my hair clean and refreshed, without depositing a talc-like powder. My hair needs a wash so what better excuse to use Klorane and try a 'Kate.' Sx

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Beauty Q&A

Hey Best Tressers,
A good friend of mine (props to Claire) suggested I set up a Q&A section on the blog. So if you have a burning beauty dilemma on anything from skincare worries and makeup tips, to the best products and hair how-tos, then please email me at besttressed@hotmail.co.uk and I will do my best to post a reply on the blog.
Also, if you could show your support by 'following' besttressed.blogspot.com, I'd be everso grateful. Sx


Madonna's Must-Have Candle

I love a good diva demand. Mariah Carey allegedly insists upon a chauffeur for her dog, while ginger beer is the only request of Alesha Dixon's modest rider. And according to my sources, the Queen of Pop will only burn Votivo’s Red Currant Candle, £34 (votivo.co.uk) backstage.

Votivo Candle in Icy Blue Pine, £34
So Christmas has (literally) come early for me this week as the Votivo Winter Solstice Candle from the Holiday Collection landed on my doorstep. I love candles (a trait I've inherited from my mum), and I'm lucky enough to be sent more than I know what to do with. What elevates Votivo in a saturated aromatic candle market though is their amazingly potent scents.

Launched in 1994, American brand, Votivo, specialise in hand-crafted, hand-blown, hand-wrapped (so beautiful it doesn't deserve to be opened) candles. Winter Solstice's royal blue and silver box, with its official-looking pewter seal, is the first glimpse into the sleek aesthetics of the candle, which itself is encased in a mirror-like silver glass. I must confess this was not a fragrance I would normally choose. For Christmas, I usually opt for warming, cinnamon scents - this was definitely more of an outdoorsy festive fragrance, with an almost soapy, fresh pine aroma. I let the candle burn for 5 hours last night - the scent didn't waver at all, in fact it seemed to spread into every nook and cranny of the room. And amazingly, once extinguished, those 5 hours had barely made a dent in the wax, so I can well believe the 50 hour burn time.
Votivo Travel Tin Stocking Filler Candle in the best-selling Red Currant
I can't deny £34 is a lot to spend on a candle, but you could easily pay that amount replacing lesser quality candles to match those 50 hours. And what cheaper candles will never compete with is the potent fragrance. At £12, Votivo's Travel Tin Stocking Fillers, £12, are a great compromise. They burn for 25 hours and the replaceable lid means they're super-portable. Sx

Try a Trend...Bright Eyes


The A/W 10 catwalks were awash with fluoro eyes. From monotone neons to clashing brights, eyes are taking centre stage this season. And the great thing about this trend is it doesn't have to look pin-neat. It's all about achieving that heavy-handed, finger-painted look.

The Mac shadows are actually this bright
It's important to keep the rest of your face neutral - a dewy foundation, groomed brows and natural lips are just the ticket.  I applied Mac FluidLine in Blue Peep, £12.50 (this is actually a gel liner but the texture works really well for this look) along the crease of the eye using my index finger, out towards the hairline. Next using my middle finger, I swept Mac Eyeshadow in Atlantic Blue, £11 along the lower lashline, running parallel to the cyan streak. Finish with a slick of black mascara.

I just used the brightest eyeshadows I had lying around but any shadows with a decent level of pigment will work. At £4.50, Barry M Dazzle Dusts (Superdrug) are a great high street alternative and come in an array of rainbow shades.

BEAUTY TIP...To make any shadow brighter, simply dip your brush in water before applying the colour. Sx  

Saturday, 23 October 2010

X Factor Girls Go on the Lash

I like to think that the girls of X Factor are firm followers of this beauty blog...how else would they know about the trend for fantasy lashes? Katie debuted a larger-than-life feather set at the judges' houses, while Cher Lloyd's trademark urban look calls for a wide-eyed, flirty lash look. In fact, Superdrug have seen a 33% increase in lash sales, compared with this time last year. And now, luckily for you Best Tressers, we can spill their lash secrets, courtesy of X Factor lead makeup artist, Liz Martins.

'Little Miss Cher is 'lady greedy lash' and loves to wear three, yes three, pairs of lashes at a time! I am trying to wean her on to just two at the moment and failing miserably!! This girl is a 'lashaholic' and who am I not to indulge?!' says Liz.

Eyelure Naturalites Intense, £5.15 (Boots and Superdrug)

'Belle Amie love that fluttery wide-eyed look,' admits Liz, 'so I have been tending to use the more glamorous styles in the Eylure Naturalites and new Naturallites Intense.'

Eylure Sex and the City Lashes in Samantha, £6.45 (exclusive to Boots)

'Rebecca is my modern day Sade and loves wearing the Sex and The City Lashes,' says Liz. 'We especially love the sexy Samantha ones as they look natural but have a lot of depth.' Sx

Friday, 22 October 2010

Colour By Numbers

About every couple of months, I decide I've had enough of my current hairstyle and grab one of two things...my Boots hairdressing scissors to re-cut a fringe (my life is either spent with a fringe or growing one out) or an at-home hair colourant. As my hair is annoyingly dark, when it comes to the DIY dye market, I'm limited to chocolates, mahoganys and blacks, and more often than not end up with monotone, lifeless colour. Needless to say, I was really excited to be invited to an at-home colouring masterclass with Schwarzkopf Professional Colour Ambassador, Anita Cox-McMillan. Here is the twice-crowned British Colourist of the Year, introducing Schwarzkopf's new colourant launch, Palette.
video
As Anita took me and my fellow bloggers through the new range, she began with a few simple at-home colouring rules...
1. Don't always believe the bottle. It might say semi-permanent but according to Anita, 'if you have to mix two things together, it's not going to wash out.'
2. 'Artificial colour will not lighten artificial colour already in the hair. Instead it will simply add tone. Artificial colour will only lighten virgin, uncoloured hair.'
3. 'If you're darkening your hair, you need to put warmth into that colour, otherwise it will look flat. When blonde hair is darkened, it eats up the warmth.'

The lovely thing about Palette is the use of hair-loving Macadamia Nut Oil. I can tell you, first-hand, that my hair feels in better condition now than before I coloured it. Currently, there are 12 shades in the range but there are plans to add 3 more gothic-inspired colours early next year. But what shade will suit you? Here Anita talks about getting the right shade for your skintone.
video
Using a model, Anita showed us how to prep for the colour. Follow her tips for fuss-free colouring -

*Instead of muckying a towel (my mum has about three dye-stained towels at the bottom of the airing cupboard), Anita suggests tying a bin bag around your shoulders. The great thing about this is you can just throw it away once you're done.

*Give your hair a really good brush through before you colour - this will make it easier to section and coat each strand.

*Protect your hairline, neck and ears with a bit of moisturiser. Vaseline will work as well but be sure not to take it on to the hair, as it acts as a barrier to the colour.

*Section the hair 4-ways, parting down the centre, and then from ear-to-ear. Work on one section at a time, using bulldog clips to hold the other sections.

*When mixing your colour and developing lotion in the applicator bottle don't shake straightaway, as this can cause the colour to become trapped in the nozzle. Instead begin by swirling the bottle, then shake.

*If you want your colour to be more intense, there's no harm in leaving it on for longer. For grey hair, which is naturally resistant to colour, you should definitely leave your colour on for at least 30 minutes.
video
On the model, Anita showed us how you could actually mix two at home colourants together to achieve a unique shade. If, for example, you wanted to go slightly darker but wanted to add a warm tone, you could mix a dark brown with a mahogany shade. Simply pour all your ingredients into a mixing bowl, stir together, then pour back into your applicator bottle using a funnel or measuring jug. It's like having your very own custom-made colour.

For my own colour experience, Anita suggested I use Palette Colour in 800 Dark Brown on my roots to colour over the virgin hair, then apply the 872 Dark Bordeaux, £3.49 each, to the lengths, before blending over the roots. I left my colour on for 20 minutes (I didn't want a Cheryl Cole radioactive red) and rinsed. The result was a super-glossy plummy shade. I'm still amazed you can be this creative with at-home colourant. I would never have dared to mix 2 colours together or have thought to apply a brighter colour on the top section, a darker one underneath. I'll definitely be experimenting in my bathroom! Thanks Palette! Sx

Try a Trend...The Big Smoke


Just like skinny jeans, I can't imagine smoky eyes ever going out of fashion. Yes, we might dabble with the plums and navys of the eyeshadow world, but the lure of that deep charcoal smoulder will never wane. The great thing about the smoky eye is it's a suits-all trend. It looks just as good on blue eyes (see pics) as it does on brown eyes, and is just as flattering on pale complexions as it is on darker skin tones.
Step 1. Apply your regular liquid foundation with a makeup sponge or brush and sweep over the eye area. This will act as a primer and give your eyeshadow extra staying power.

Step 2. I applied my favourite eyeshadow, Mac Eyeshadow in Carbon, £11 (Boots) with a shadow brush, taking the colour up to the brow. The pigment is amazing but, as with all black shadows, you will need to build up the colour to get a true smoky effect. Apply more shadow to the tip of your brush, and gently push the colour into the lower lashline.

Step 3. Line the inner rim of the eyes with a jet-black kohl and apply two coats of mascara. We used Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in Black, £8.99 (Boots).
Step 4. Finish with a slick of nude lipstick. Our favourite is Miners Fashion Matte Lipstick in Barely Buff, £3.99. Sx

Thursday, 21 October 2010

X Factor Exclusive

So we had a little chat about this year's X Factor with choreographer, Brian Friedman, at last night's Umberto Giannini catwalk...and when I say 'we' I actually mean 'my fame-hungry sister accosted him to talk about mutual buddy, Katie Waissel.' The conversation went something like this...
Andrea Maylor: Hi Brian, how are you?
Brian Friedman: Good thanks, how are you?
AM: Great
Me: Yeah, good
AM: Oh I know Katie Waissel
BF: Oh I love Katie, she's such a sweetheart
Me: Yeah
AM: Isn't she?
BF: How do you know her?
AM: Through Hob salons
BF: Oh right.
AM: I feel sorry for her with all this bad press
BF: She's a fighter, and this weekend she's going to be really different
AM & SM: Oooo really?
BF: Yeah
Me: Andrea, you said she was a good dancer
AM: Yeah she is
BF: Yeah she can move. It's going to be about smiling, dancing, lifts
AM: Good work Brian!
Me: Right, thanks Brian, bye
AM: Byeeeeee

I don't know about you, but we're really looking forward to her performance. You might not like her (I happen to enjoy her OTT, affected manner...every star should have one) but I predict we have a beauty icon in the making. She's not even a bonafied celeb yet and already she's rocking Shu Uemura lashes and hairstyle du jour, the root stretch. Katie, we salute you! Sx
Part-time model at Best Tressed, part-time stalker


Amber Le Bon Rocks a Bouffant at the Umberto Giannini Catwalk

Next stop on last night's launchathon was the Umberto Giannini catwalk. And the C-list glitterati were out in force. First spot was Calum Best. Here he is below in the background making a cheeky phonecall.
After a couple of glasses of champagne, we all filtered through to the catwalk, 'stars' on the front row, of course! The monochromatic room was lined with rows of perspex chairs (I need), while a suitably-coiffed DJ played brooding tunes. As the guests sat, I spotted super stylist, Errol Douglas, WAG Lizzie Cundy and model, Sophie Anderton (yes she really is that thin in real life). Surprise celeb spot of the night was X-Factor choreographer Brian Friedman (more on that later).
WAG Lizzie Cundy
Errol Douglas
Calum Best and Brian Friedman

Sophie Anderton
It seems back-combing was the technique of choice backstage as a procession of super-coiffed models strutted along the catwalk. If you want to achieve a similar look at home, start by applying Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Backcomb in a Bottle, £5.49 (Boots.com) to dry roots. Instead of backcombing with a wire brush or comb, try using a brush instead. A paddle brush will provide the same effect, without damaging the hair as much.
My show highlights included the va-va-voom tucked-under bob (above) and subtle crimp, both of which could be super-wearable. Less wearable (but artistically incredible), however, was the below. It reminded me of an extra-terrestrial Princess Leia.
I adored the knee-skimming extensions. Definitely a look that could be achieved with some extra-long, good quality clip-ins.
The gorgeous Amber Le-Bon (far left below) opened and closed the show with a super-charged bouffant-come-beehive.
If this show is anything to go by, then volume is set to be the big trend of the season. So dust off your diffuser, dig out your crimping irons and practice that back-brushing. Sx 

Lily Allen's new blow-dry bar...

I had to walk up and down King Street a few times last night, trying to detect a hub of fellow journos at the launch of Lily Allen's new Blow Dry bar. I eventually found the location (the vintage clothing emporium, Lucy in disguise, that Lily and her sister Sarah have just opened) and tentatively stepped in. There were a few people flicking through the rails of lust-worthy items but nothing that screamed 'this is a Lily Allen party.' The usual questions ran through my head..."Is this the right place?" "Have I got the wrong day?" "Has Lily gone soft since being with child?" Turns out, I needn't have worried - the party lay beneath the shop, in the soon-to-be blow-dry bar, which, by the way, is gorgeous.

Me at the launch, enjoying an exclusive Grey Goose vodka cocktail
Retro leather salon chairs were poised in front of glamorous, dressing-room-style mirrors, while the so-hip-I-could-die stylists got to work on the guests. One girl walked away with a complicated-looking punky pony, another a 40s-esque finger wave. Minature fragrance heroes lay out on the counter (Tom Ford 'Black Orchid' and Chanel 'No 5' were two of the scents calling to be spritzed), while the achingly cool shop girls handed out mini cupcakes and canapes. The soundtrack to the night was provided by 'Jazz to Go', a cute-as-a-button trio who dazzled on the cello, keyboard and mic. I spotted Jamie Winstone having her nails done. She was rocking a bleached-blonde updo, and really is like a lifesize Polly Pocket.

Now for the treatments...just like the antique clothing, the stores' blow-dry menu specialises in vintage styles. All the styling is done using Bumble&Bumble products (mmm), on dry tresses, so don't turn up with 5 day old hair expecting it to be washed. Whether you're after a retro post-box red, or a mirror-like metallic, the WAHL nail bar is your go-to destination for a fast mani. My particular highlight was the built-in Grey Goose vodka bar, which means you can enjoy delicious cocktails while being preened amd pampered. You can chance walking in to the salon, or make an appointment to be on the safe side. This is definitely the sort of beauty emporium you want to visit before a big London night out.
This is a sure-fire hit. You only have to look at the success of the Daniel Hersheson Blow Dry bar in Topshop's flagship store to know there's a definite market for a post-shop beauty treatment. For a first-hand look at the new Blow-Dry bar, check out this interview with co-owner (and sister to Lily), Sarah Owen. Enjoy Sx

Eww. Scarlett Johansson's new bob

I'm not angry. I'm just disappointed in you Scarlett. I mean your long, golden hair was your trademark, and now it looks like the sort of 'do an attention-seeking child, who has gone to the kitchen drawer, grabbed the scissors and hacked into their hair, would create.

Rant over. I never thought of Scarlett as someone who had thin tresses, but this style, with its feathered, cut-into ends makes her hair look flat and lacklustre.

What do you make of it? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1322401/Scarlett-Johansson-unveils-new-bob-cutting-flowing-blonde-hair.html

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Get this palette free when you spend £20 on Revlon cosmetics

This palette arrived at my door today. Created by the doyenne of makeup, Gucci Westman, it's been at her side through this year's Paris, London and New York fashion weeks. 'My inspiration came from women in fashion in the 1920's Art Deco period and fashion illustrations, all of the saturated pigments and the unexpected pops of colour but still wearable and work for everyone,' she says.
The cream-textured highlighter, blush, two eyeshadows, lip colour and brush are all housed within a palette of Thumbelina proportions (good things, small packages an' all that). A cleverly concealed draw pulls out for on-the-go pout touch-ups.

The highlighter is brilliant, perfect for contouring cheek and brow bones, while the shadows are gorgeously Autumnal. The lip colour is as eye-popping on the lips as it looks in the palette, hoorah! And the blush may look a tad orange, but on the skin it turns the perfect shade of peach. This is the only downside with the palette's size - you'll need to apply a few times to get enough colour to spread across your cheeks.

So how can you get your mitts on this pro palette? From today, if you spend £20 on Revlon cosmetics at http://www.boots.com/, you will get this Limited Edition palette free. That's right. Free. Now I would have no trouble spending this amount on Revlon (their Nail Enamel in Minted is my current obsession) but it's such a great palette, it's almost a shame it's not available to buy separately as well. Sx

Kate Moss's Drop a Decade Fringe

At 36 she might be on the mature side for a model, but Kate's new bangs have instantly revived her trademark bedhead tresses. A wispy, eye-skimming fringe is an instant anti-ager, concealing frown lines and drawing attention to the eyes. After spending months growing out my own fringe, Kate's hair reinvention has lobotomised all those bang cons (fortnightly trims, sticking to my head on nights out, don't even talk to me about sink washes!)...should I get the scissors?
What do you think ladies? Is she looking bang tidy? Or bang out of order? Sx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cotton On

Celebrity beauty collaborations are somewhat hit and miss in my experience. Recent 'hits' have included Elle Macpherson The Body and perfume heavyweights, SJP and Kate Moss. My 'miss' list includes The Cheeky Girls makeup range (did you miss that one too?) and Kerry Katona's subtle little EDT 'Outrageous'. But it's not just about the calibre of celebrity or the quality of the product, however important. Get your audience right and you're halfway there. Take Tess Daly's recent collaboration with M&S - she must have the 'Strictly'-watching, Mum market eating out of the palm of her well-moisturised (using her own brand, of course) hand. So bubbly blondette Fearne Cotton + Boots = sure-fire winner.
Beauty & The Bag Cosmetic Case, £20
The 17-product range (available exclusively at Boots) has just hit the shelves, right on cue for Christmas, and contains vampy lip sets, on-trend nail colours and keepsake carry-cases. According to the press release, Fearne was 'heavily involved in all aspects of the design process,' and her quirky, eclectic style is certainly evident in the brave colour palette and vintage-esque packaging.
Gloss Over It, £10
I've sampled a few key pieces from the range. The mascara is the perfect portable size for on-the-go application, but I wasn't overly impressed with the formula. The plastic wand couldn't seem to brush through my lashes so the mascara has clumped slightly. The lip glosses, though, are great. The built-in brush makes application precise and non-gloopy, so you end up with an even dose of colour. I tried the sixties-esque shimmering pink and scarlet shades, both of which felt less sticky than some premium lip glosses I've tried.
It's All About Lips, £10
As for Fearne herself, the range has been a dream come true. 'Creating this range has completed a childhood dream. Make-up has played a big part in my life; from glamming up to gothing up, covering tears and getting ready for a big TV show - I couldn't live without it.'
This cute-as-a-button compact, £8, is on my Xmas list
What do you think of Fearne's first venture into makeup? I think the range will do well for Boots - the packaging is striking and the price point is about right for a nice Christmas gift. Would you buy into any celebrity makeup range? Sx

Noise from the Boys...

Okay, if you are a boy, send her out of the room for this is the gentlemanly section of this here girl-blog. If you are a girl, read on nonetheless, it's all good. So, a good shave is, in many ways (mostly for the purposes of this article) like a good glass of wine. You want clarity, refreshment and of course a smooth finish. Nivea's Arctic Freeze Wash & Shave Gel, £4.25 (Boots) delivers all of these key requirements in spades. Unlike a foam, it goes on clear so you can see exactly what you're doing when sculpting an impressive 'tasche, getting that all important sharp edge on your manly sideburns or any other delicate stubble-topiary you need to get done. Minty freshness wasn't something I'd previously associated with shaving but Arctic Freeze turns out to be genuinely refreshing without any XXX strong-mint burn. From application to the final rinse, it's a nice, gentle way to wake up your face. Finally, and I feel, most impressively, even using my tired old Mach 3, which currently needs a birthday by way of a new blade, this gel yielded the closest shave I've had in ages without spending ages chasing after the bits I missed on the first pass. So there you go, give it a try, but maybe wait until you put the razor down to have that glass of wine. Bye. E 

Get HD Ready with these Futuristic Foundations

I've heard all sorts of rumours of A-listers running to their dermatologist's office for fillers, peels and lifts to prepare themselves for the launch of HD TV, where every line, imperfection and pore is exposed. Luckily for us, cosmetic companies have quickly caught on to the idea that women need more from their makeup in the wake of high definition broadcasting. This new wave of 'skin-dations' (so flattering on your skin, it's a cross between skincare and foundation) address a multitude of concerns such as uneven skin tone, smoothing imperfections and even filling out wrinkles.
Let's begin with Revlon's Photo Ready Makeup, £12.99 (Boots). I'm a massive fan of this foundation (I'm on my second bottle already). It's been tested with an HD camera-lens, under the most unflattering, harshest lighting, so we can all rest assured that our skin will look flawless in natural daylight or fluorescent lighting. So how does it work? Well photochromatic pigments within the foundation reflect and difuse the light to give the illusion of smooth, even skin. I love the fact it offers full coverage (pores and imperfections are barely visible) without dulling the skin. In fact, my skin looks so glowy and luminous, it's like having my own personal airbrusher on standby!
I like to think I've got a few years before I have to start worrying about wrinkles, but I'm a definite convert of Avon Anew Beauty Age-Transforming Foundation, £15 (avonshop.co.uk). This foundation contains collagen and elastin to replenish decreasing supplies (after the age of 25, our body's natural supply of collagen starts to deplete...eek!), and smooth wrinkles. I can't comment on its wrinkle-busting abilities personally, but my skin looks healthy, without being overly luminous (the Revlon foundation may be too sheeny for some). This is definitely a winner for anyone over 35.

Max Factor Xperience Weightless Foundation, £12.99 (Boots) has just launched this month and promises to be a big seller for the brand. I'm sure there are many women out there like me who need to wear foundation to cover imperfections, but don't necessarily enjoy wearing it. Max Factor tries to answer this problem with a super lightweight, whipped formula. This, coupled with the addition of moisturising jojoba extract, means it feels more like a tinted moisturiser than a foundation (i.e silky-smooth and light as a feather). I would recommend oilier skins prepping the skin with a mattifying primer first, as it has a tendency to slip off grease-prone areas. It's USP though, is the shade palette. After global skin tone research, MF has based the shade range on yellow tones, rather than pink, which according to them, is better suited to British women's skin tones. As Max Factor makeup artist Caroline Barnes says, 'As a makeup artist, using yellow toned foundation neutralises redness and flatters most skin tones.' I defy you not to find your perfect shade! Sx

Monday, 18 October 2010

Try a Trend...Curl Power

My other gorgeous sister modelling this season's curl
Poker straight locks have undoubtedly been the style of the decade. In fact, in a recent Superdrug survey, straighteners were named the best beauty buy of the last 10 years. Certainly for most of my teens, I could not have been surgically-removed from my Babyliss Straight & Shine Steam Straighteners. But perhaps this season's curl trend could be just the thing to loosen that (straightening) iron grip...

Step 1. Lank hair loaded with product will not curl easily. Wash hair with a cleansing, lightweight formula, like Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, £3.99 500ml (Boots).

Step 2. I applied Tresemme Naturals Weightless Volumising Mousse, £5.39 (Boots) to Andrea's damp hair, then rough-dried. (FYI, the mousse was great. None of that awful crispiness, just fab bounce and hold.)

Step 3. I then curled 2 inch sections of hair, using a large barreled tong. We used the Philips Salon Curl, but any 25mm+ tong will work.

Step 4. Flip upside down and spritz with a light-hold hairspray. For long-lasting, brush-out hold, you can't beat L'oreal Paris Elnett Hairspray, from £2.19 (nationwide).

What do you think ladies? Would you try a curl? Or rather curl up and die? Sx



Friday, 15 October 2010

Una's Peeper Secret

It's no secret that I love The Saturdays. In fact, I hope to be one someday. But until that day comes, at least I can steal their beauty secrets. Una Healy has just revealed her weapon against puffy, tired eyes...Clinique's All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage, £20 (Boots).

“I absolutely love Clinique’s All About Eyes. We work such long hours and travel with really early starts so it’s great to prevent dark circles and puffiness," admits the Irish beauty.


I've used this rollerball and it really does brighten and energise tired peepers. The stainless steel rollerball works by instantly cooling and soothing puffiness, while the massaging action helps boost circulation and drain fluid around the eye. Great for a quick peeper pick-me-up Sx