Get the inside scoop on the latest makeup, hair and skincare launches

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Cheryl Turns Blonde Blombshell

I never thought I'd see the day when Cheryl would once again turn her back on her naturally dark hair hue in favour of blonde...circa the early Ashley years, but that day has come around my friends. Cheryl was spotted this morning with a newly lightened, honey blonde 'do, which FYI has also been chopped into razored, just-above-the-shoulders cut. I can understand why she's done it. Many of my own hair cuts/colour changes have been down to break ups/new jobs.

A picture is yet to be posted online (apparently the picture agencies are charging extortionate rates for the new shots) but according to L'oreal sources, the shade is being referred to as 'smokey quartz'. Stay tuned Best Tressers. Sx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Breaking news! Kate Moss Make Up!

Since parting ways with Topshop this year, Kate Moss has clearly missed designing and collaborating with big brands as the model is now rumoured to be launching her own makeup collection with Rimmel later this year. It seems apt she should choose the cool London brand seeing as she remains their most iconic face. According to reports, the collection will launch in October and will feature 6 lip colours and a selection of eyeshadows. I cannot wait to see it! Sx

The Duchess and the High Street Moisturiser

My love affair with all things K-Mid continues. The hair. The long legs. And now her humble beauty buys. Ahead of last week's ARK Charity event (please refer to the to-die-for pink sequinned Jenny Packham dress), Kate popped into good old Boots on the Kings Road and bought a day and night cream. And as for the brand responsible for her glowing, radiant complexion...Nivea.

The Pure & Natural Daily Moisturiser was her day cream of choice, with skin-soothing, organic ingredients Argan Oil and Aloe Vera. For nocturnal nourishment, Kate chose Q10Plus Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream, which helps boost cell turnover for smoother, softer skin. In purchasing this anti-wrinkle cream, clearly Kate is a woman who knows at almost 30, she needs to rev up her skincare regime. At £5.10 and £11.08 respectively, K-Mid is certainly keeping it real! Sx

NEW! Mac Flighty

Mac's latest collection, Flighty, features a rainbow of feather-light whipped mousse cream shadows, £13.50. The 16 shades build from sheer to medium coverage and are complimented by these 4 limited edition shades of Zoom Lash Mascara, £13.50. The new range is available at now Sx

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Topshop New Season Makeup Drop...Mmmm Pretty!

Cheeks in Luminescence, £10

Cheeks in Prism, £10

Kohl in Slate, £4

Lips in Infrared, £8

Lips in Ooh La La, £8

Lips in On the Town, £8

Nails in Hocus Pocus, £5

Nails in Hunting, £5

Nails in Marine Biologist, £5

NEW! Bourjois So Laque Ultra Shine New Colours

From left: Magenta Show, Lime Catwalk, Violet Couture, Bleu Model, Rouge Fashionista, Jaune Trendy, Orange Creation
 I love these polishes from Bourjois. So Laque Ultra Shine Polishes, £5.99, have a wide-angled brush that makes DIY manis quick and easy, while the finish is intense and glossy. These shades are new for summer and go on sale at Boots and Superdrug today. I'll be wearing Lime Catwalk on my toes. Sx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Best Isle of Wight Makeup Goes to...Pixie Lott!

Pixie's hippy style was made for festivals so it's no wonder then that she scored the look of this weekend's Isle of Wight festival with her bohemian plait and floral facepaint. HOB Salon's Holly Rudge styled Pixie's tousled hair, complete with flower-adorned heidi plait. As for the makeup, well M.A.C artists were on hand throughout the festival for the VIP acts but it was M.A.C PRO Trainer, Dean Rudd, who created this gorgeous makeup look. I can only dream of a world in which it is acceptable to adorn our faces with pretty florals. I mean I'd love to wear this look for a summer picnic or a trip to Tesco but I don't think the world (Aylesbury) is ready for it. Until then, I'll let Pixie carry the floral-face torch. Sx

Kim Kardashian - The Fragrance, The Launch, The Meeting

Kim Kardashian (in fact, let's make that the whole of the Kardashian clan) has the rare gift of appealing to a whole host of people...women, men (I wonder why?), girls, mums, even grandmas. I tried explaining who Leighton Meester was to a few of my relatives with little success. The mere mention of Kim Kardashian, however, caused a round of, 'Oooo wow's and 'I love that show's that even shocked me. So I shouldn't have been surprised then, when at the launch of her perfume last week the room was overflowing with mums (oh hi Emma Forbes!), men, teenage fans and of course beauty journalists.

We gathered at The Dorchester for some lovely pre-Kim canapes (the mini Shepherd's Pies were a particular high point for me) and waited. Kim had been to a signing at Debenhams just before and her team had obviously underestimated the fan-pulling power of the Dash doll. After 45 minutes (and too many olives), she arrived amid a storm of flashbulbs and a surge of people. Her speech on stage was brief and she focused mainly on the collaboration with UK distributor SAS&Company. After that, she swiftly disappeared.

We waited again for another 5 minutes for her to reappear then gathered for photos. Kim is very softly spoken but also struggled to hear me - I guess I must be more of a mumbler than I realised. She was polite and professional, despite the overwhelming crowds. She is also as curvy in real life as she appears in magazines and on television. I've met some stars who appear 'normal' on screen but meet them in real life and you'll walk away with a serious size complex. Her skin is flawless, her hair is impossibly glossy and her new ring is the size of my face...almost.

So what about the fragrance? Well it launched last year in the US and has sold phenomenally well. The packaging and fragrance itself is as slick and on-the-money as you would expect from the Kardashian brand - they sure are some savvy businesswomen! The deep purple bottle, accented with pink aluminium, is classic, understated and chic. It also feels and looks a lot more expensive than the reasonable pricetag would suggest. The fragrance itself was apparently inspired by Kim’s fondest memories, like her mum's favourite flower tuberose, her father’s gardenia, and Kim's love of Jasmine. The perfume opens with mandarin, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Pink Jasmine, tuberose and  gardenia make up the floral heart before the base of jacaranda wood, vanilla orchid, musk and sandalwood kicks in. As for my take, well I actually really like it. Like really. Surprising I know, but this isn't a celebrity fragrance that smacks of a rush job. It's modern, very pretty and classy. I can see (of should that be smell) many of my friends wearing this scent and not feeling embrassed to answer truthfully when the inevitable 'what are you wearing?' question crops up. It really reminds me of another perfume - I think it's Michael Kors - but that's certainly not a bad thing when a perfume smells as good as this.

Kim Kardashian EDP starts from £22.95 30ml and is available exclusively at Debenhams now and nationwide from July. Sx

Monday, 13 June 2011

Playboy is Back!

The drinks
Last Wednesday, I went to the newly-opened Playboy Club in Mayfair to celebrate the launch of the the bunny-brand's new fragrances for men and women. The club itself is Austin Powers-tastic - think plush sofas and red-strip lighting. Apparently an annual membership will set you back around £1500 and after spending an evening soaking up the atmosphere (and bunny-themed drinks), I'm kind of tempted, well if I had a spare £1500, which I don't.

After sampling the new fragrances (more below), enjoying a delicious meal (fish and chips), we were treated to a catwalk of bunny outfits throughout history. Check out the pictures below...

Me and bunny

The Fragrances
Seeing as there are two scents, one for her and one for him, I decided this would be a good review for E and I to share. Read our reviews below...

Play it Rock for Women EDT, £12.95 50ml: The press release calls this fragrance 'capitvatingly sexy yet ultra-feminine'. I guess this means it's the personification of the Playboy Bunny but sadly it doesn't translate that way for me. Yes, it is an unequiovacally feminine fragrance - think top notes of blood orange and apple candy, a floral heart of frangipani, orange flower and passion flower, and finally a vanilla and patchouli base. But sexy? Not so much. When it comes to alluring, sensual fragrances I think of deep, woody notes and musks. This is the polar opposite, all sweetness (dare I say a tad sickly? To me at least) and light. I have to admit that this is a fragrance that improves the longer you wear it - the vanilla base is the most enduring scent for me and does last a while on the skin. On top of that, the bottle is understated and actually kind of cute. It certainly wouldn't look gaudy or tasteless on a woman's dressing table. The truth of the matter is, at under £15 this  is a perfume bargain. And while I always like to reiterate the fact that fragrance is totally subjective, I can easily see this sweet scent appealing to young girls, aged between 13 and 16. I don't think we need to worry that a teenage girl buying this fragrance will in turn be buying into the bunny mantra (if indeed you are concerned) - the red and silver packaging is innocent enough, and the bottle, with its subtle bunny-ear cap is simple and generic. As always though, if your perfume preference lies with light, sweet scents then I would implore you to pop into Boots and test this out for yourself. For me though, this is a fragrance that is definitely less Rock, more Pop. Sx

London Playboy for Men, £9.95 100ml: It is hard to find a great deal to say about Playboy's new fragrance for men. I certainly don't dislike it, but then there doesn't seem to be a great deal going on here to rave about either. It is a pleasant enough scent but everything about it strikes me as being underwhelming, even down to the design of the bottle. London Playboy brings to mind every bottle of aftershave I have received as a present from an auntie who has no idea what I like, knowing only that I am a male aged 18 to 25 and that is it. The fragrance is fine, a bit talcy,  but it just seems like it has been engineered to be a safe bet on a budget and suitable for men in the most generic sense. Unfortunately, when you can pick up a half-decent fragrance without paying too much more than this, why would you bother? I can't help but feel a real sense of irony that London Playboy is so unremarkable, given that mentioning the name Playboy when somebody asks what you're wearing would be such an interesting conversation starter (for guys anyway). So aunties of the UK worry not, when your nephew's birthday rolls around again this year, you can rest assured that your demographic is well catered for. E

Play it Rock is available now from Boots, London Playboy is available exclusively at Tesco from 5th July Sx

NEW! Bourjois Intense Eyeshadows

Bourjois' single eyeshadows are one of the most iconic products in beauty. I don't know a makeup bag that hasn't at one time been graced with the presence of these cult pots. Their latest eyeshadow installment features revved-up pigment and long-lasting colour in the form of the brand's new Intense Eyeshadows, £6.99. The formula is as silky as you would expect from a Bourjois eyeshadow but the shades are, as the name would suggest, far more intense. I tested a few shades on my arm below - the dark shades are long-wearing and highly-pigmented. The paler colours, however, are lacking on intensity but are pretty and shimmery. The new Intense Eyeshadows go on sale this Wednesday Sx

From top: 01 Golden Beige (just visible), 08 Sienna Brown, 09 Mocha Brown, 06 Petrol Blue, 10 Charcoal Black 

Friday, 10 June 2011

Nail Polish of the Week!

There are those nail polishes that attract compliment after compliment. Revlon's Nail Enamel in Sunshine Sparkle, £6.29 (Boots) is one of those shades. Since painting my nails on Tuesday, I've had at least 5 people comment on the colour, which by the way is more of a high gloss finish rather than a shimmer, as the name would suggest. I've always rated Revlon's polishes but I felt I had to big up the longstanding brand again this week because of this nail enamel's hard-wearing, chip-proof formula. I am now on Day 4 of my DIY mani and I have just one slight chip on my right index finger. The rest? Chip-free and glossy. I've had salon manicures that have scuffed quicker so thank you Revlon for making my week less about chips and re-painting, and more about enjoying this summer-in-a-bottle shade. Sx

Day 1

Day 4

Get Kristen Stewart's Nail Look

Photo credit: Rex
Kristen Stewart has gone up in my estimations. Not only has she tapped into a major movie franchise and is dating the most dreamy guy in Hollywood (yes ladies, vampire-pale skin and a slightly rough, grubby attire is a winning combination with me) but she also wears Ciate polish, which if you haven't tried, you need to. The colours are highly pigmented, hard-wearing and crucially formaldehyde and toluene-free.
Fashionista Sister
At this week's Glamour Women of the Year Awards, Kristen paired her Balmain dress with Fashionista Sister ('a deep blue purple') on her hands, and Cutie Pie ('a pale and pretty pink') on her toes, courtesy of manicurist Mike Pocock. Ciaté Paint Pots, £9, are available from Sx

Cutie Pie

Vera Wang Lovestruck with Leighton Meester

Yesterday might have been the greatest day of my life. No, I didn't win the lottery. No, my boyfriend didn't propose. Ladies, I met Leighton Meester and Vera Wang. Let me set the scene for you. As a major (and I mean MAJOR) Gossip Girl fan, I was overjoyed when an invite arrived about a month ago from the lovely Coty Press Office requesting my attendance at the latest Vera Wang fragrance with new face, Leighton Meester (ARGGGHHHH). So finally the day arrived and we gathered in a lobby at the recently opened Corinthia Hotel - so new is the hotel, that the smell of wet paint lingered in the air - where we were treated to champagne and a glimpse at the actual Vera Wang creation Leighton wore in the fragrance advertisement.

The dress


Leighton and Vera
Leighton's outfit

At around 3pm, we were taken through to the Victorian Ballroom and seated at peony-covered tables. The afternoon tea was gorgeous - think crustless, perfectly-rectangular sandwiches and too-pretty-to-eat cakes. Leighton and Vera then arrived in the room. Vera is as chic as you'd imagine (seriously, how does she keep her hair so shiny?) and her passion for the fragrance is palpable. The fragrance has been a year and a half in the making and it seems it's been a rather autobiographical process for the designer. 'A lot of my fragrances have been based on what goes on in my life,' she admitted. The two women seemed to get along really well and definitely had a mutual respect and appreciation for one another's work. Vera said herself, 'I got lucky with Leighton' and revealed that the commercial was shot in freezing 10 degree temperatures without a whinge or diva-ish moan from Leighton (I'm pressuming she means Fahrenheit because if that's celsius, Leighton needs to spend some more time in the UK...10 degrees celsius is positively balmy!). As for Leighton, well apparently the perfume is a lot like herself, 'fun and flirty, quirky and feminine at the same time' she said. 'At first I was telling family and friends, "It's my fragrance" but now everyone in my family has it.'

The table
After the official talk on stage, Vera and Leighton walked around the room stopping at each table to chat for a little while. It's a testament to Coty, and of course, Vera Wang fragrances, that this was handled so flawlessly. Finally the two women arrived at our table and I have to say Vera is delightful. At the time, I felt more relaxed talking to Vera briefly than I did standing next to Leighton but now I'm feeling totally starstruck (or should that be Lovestruck) by the designer. This is the woman who revolutionised the wedding dress design industry - I'm not embrassed to confess that I spend an awful lot of time perusing her gowns online. She shook hands with us all and told us she'd been shopping for Britain, literally - she's doing all she can to boost our economy obviously! Leighton is slim, but naturally so, and her hair was pulled over to one side in loose curls. Makeup-wise she chose a chocolate colour on the eyes, a hint of rosy blush and a pink gloss on the lip. As for her attire, she was wearing black leather trousers and a loose-fitting chiffon tank top. Highlight of the day was when she said she loved my nameplate necklace!

As for the fragrance, well, as you might expect from Vera Wang, the bottle in itself is a piece of art. I'm happy to go on record saying that it is, without a doubt, the most beautiful perfume bottle I've ever seen. The cap - all knots of burgundy ribbon - is incredible and apparently caused the designers at Coty a few sleepless nights. The fragrance eases you in with delicately fruity top note of pink guava, before luring you deeper with a tuberose heart and finally a deep, woody base. It's feminine, without being sickly-sweet, and although it's unlike any perfume I've ever worn, it has a classic element to it that will make you think you've had it forever. This is more grown-up than Princess (Vera calls it 'Princess's older sister') but to me it seems to transcend age. But I guess that's what Vera was going for - because everyone has felt that first heart-thumping flush of love, haven't they? So why shouldn't everyone be able to wear Lovestruck? 

Vera Wang Lovestruck EDP Spray, from £35 30ml, is available exclusively at Harrods now, and nationwide from 26th June (stockists 0800 083 6313). As a final treat, here's a sneak peek at the new Lovestruck advertisement. Enjoy Sx