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

Monday, 21 November 2011

House of RUSH opening

A couple of weeks ago I attended the launch party of uber salon, House of RUSH on Piccadilly. This will be the flagship salon for the ever-growing RUSH chain and my what a salon it is.The aesthetic is super luxe, with gold ventian mirrors and crystal chandeliers. Plus, there's a separate section for beauty treatments, with rooms for Bliss (FYI, it's the first time Bliss have gone outside of their own spas), Rodial and Elemis. It's a real return to an era when getting your hair done was about indulging yourself in 'me' time, rather than a quick nip in and out into a salon that crams in as many clients as possible in one day.  The House of RUSH certainly puts the treat back into hair treatment! Sx

Keisha Buchanan and Liz McLarnon

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Emily Blunt is the new face of YSL Opium

I don't think I've met anyone who doesn't have a nice word to say about Emily Blunt. Not that any of them have met her but she seems to exude a 'let's be BFFs' friendliness that isn't compromised by the fact she's pretty darn beautiful. It is the latter that I'm sure has secured her one of the most coveted roles in beauty - the face and ambassadress for YSL Opium - but the former which makes me think it's quite a surprising union. Let's not forget just how provocative and racy that 90s Opium print campaign was, featuring a naked and then-curvaceous Sophie Dahl. I just can't imagine that same spark from Blunt but I'm ready to be surprised.

Speaking of her latest role, Emily commented, 'I am very honoured to have been chosen to be the face of OPIUM by Yves Saint Laurent. I have huge admiration for the House of Yves Saint Laurent and feel that this House has always truly understood the expression of elegance - its mystique and its indescribable power. It is a really exciting experience to embody this legendary fragrance, which has stood the test of time without its allure ever being diminished. Being a part of this new campaign and being able to tell the story of this very evocative fragrance is a real thrill.'

The campaign, which has been photographed by legend, Patrick Demarchelier, launches soon. What do you think Best Tressers, will she make a good Opium girl? Sx

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My new do - Autumnal Roots

On Friday, I saw the amazing Christy at HOB Salons, Camden, for a much-needed colour. I'd been wearing my caramel root stretch since February - how time flies when you love you hair colour - but it was time for a change. I really like the root stretch look (pre-stretch my hair definitely looked wig-like) but it was beginning to lighten up a bit too much on the lengths and ends.

Christy suggested we go for something a bit more autumnal and pulled out a Laura Ashley catalogue...yes, you read right. Apparently, HOB work with the same colour chart as Laura Ashley - you won't find a lime green accent pillow on a brown leather suite in their catalogue because it jars the eye, so you don't know what to look at. By picking tones from the same area on the colour wheel, it relaxes the eye, making it much more visually pleasing. I've been to many lovely salons before - perks of the job, eh - but I'm always amazed at the colour techniques at HOB...CASE IN POINT. With this in mind, Christy picked out a lovely deep wood sidetable and soft leather sofa to base my colour on.

Before - summery

After - autumnal
The root stretch has been taking down to the lengths of the hair, which enhances my layers, and the colour really works with my paler, winter complexion. I honestly cannot speak more highly of Christy, and the artistic team at HOB. She totally took on what I liked/didn't like about my 'before' hair and found something that was both on-trend and right for my eye colour and skintone. I wuv it! Sx

P.S Special shout out must go to stylist, Ryan, who gives THE best blow-dries! Book in with him or the colour squad now! 485 7272

Oh my GOSH Nail Glitters

I definitely consider myself a bit of a magpie when it comes to make-up. I might stick to boring smokey eyes or a statement lip for nights out but at the beauty shelves I'm immediately drawn to rainbow eyeshadow dusts and sparkly polishes.

Glitter polishes are big news this season. OPI are launching a Muppet collection this Christmas, with an array of glitter-flecked shades - FYI, Fresh Frog of Bel Air and Gettin' Piggy With It are on my Christmas wish list! And the best thing about these lust-worthy polishes? They're near indestructable. The shards of sparkle seem to build up resistance to chipping, which while fantastic, also means they're pretty arduous to remove. But for nails this good, a price must be paid.

I used the new GOSH Nail Glitter in Green, £3.99, Superdrug, to get this look. I painted the tops of my nails with clear basecoat in a haphazard fashion and gently dipped my nail into the glitter pots and wiped off excess with a concealer brush. It is a tad messy and it's definitely a case of practice makes perfect. I've still got a long way to go. Sx

Christmas Gift Guide 2011 1


I don't know about you, but I'm well into my Christmas shopping. So, it seems, are my friends and family. And if I am, and they are, then you must be, too. So it's about bloomin' time I gave you some lovely gift ideas for Christmas, starting with this Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Swarovski Limited Edition Lip Protection, £19.99. This blinged-up version (above) is available at Harrods, But Boots has their very own, marginally less glitzy Limited Jewel Edition, £19 (below).

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Tried and Tresseded...Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash

Natalie Maylor, 19, from Bletchley, reviews Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash, £4.49, Boots, in the quest for smooth, clear skin.  

'I'm not usually a fan of sweet, fruit scents but the grapefruit scent was suprisingly pleasant and very refreshing first thing in the morning. The texture, too, is quite luxurious - it comes out of the bottle like a thick creamy foam and feels very smooth over the skin.

I applied the cleanser every day and massaged in for a couple of minutes before rinsing. I did experience a bit of stinging after massaging it in but I always think if you can feel it doing something then it's probably a good thing! The texture didn't alter much during the cleansing process - it didn't foam up or soak in at all.

In terms of an improvement in my acne, well it's very hard to tell. After a week, I noticed my skin was smoother and certainly less spotty, especially inflamed, painful blemishes.  However after three weeks, I broke out again with very painful, very red spots, on which the face wash didn't seem to have any affect. 

I would definitely say that this is a wash for people that suffer from the occasional spot - it is a lovely-feeling cleanser. But for those like me, with relatively bad acne, not so much. Overally I'd give it a 7/10.'

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

NEW! Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Since the launch of Nail Rock, the beauty world has gone mad for patterned nail wraps. I'd heard that Sally Hansen had been selling these strips for a little while in the US and now they've finally arrived on our shores. Like Nailease and Rimmel, this is real nail polish on a sticky base so there's no faffing around with a hairdryer. At the moment they come in two patterns - a gold glitter and lacey foral - but both are perfect for the party season. I was lucky enough to have mine applied by celebrity manicurist, Jessica Hoffman, but I can honestly say these have seemed the most simple to apply yet. For a start, most of the nail wraps I've used have been way too big for my nail - who IS the hand model these companies are basing their sizes on?
After finding a strip to fit your nail, peel off the plastic backing and place at the base of the nail (don't go over the cuticle). Gently press down across the nail - the more you do this the more it helps to bind the sticky back to the nail - then file off any excess at the tip of the nail and pull off. The great thing about these strips is they're so malleable so even when the strip was slightly too wide for my nail, rather than trimming it, Jessica simply placed her file parallel to the side of my nail and gently filed to remove the excess.
Nails after 2 days
The only cristicism I have of these strips is they didn't last quite long enough for me. The box says they'll last up to 10 days - I was expecting 7 - but after 3 days I noticed a little chip and by day 5 they looked so worn that I had to remove them. That's still longer than I typically get out of a painted manicure but next time I'll be adding a top coat over the strips. They're also not the easiest things to remove. They come off with nail polish remover but it took me about half an hour to get it all off. Definitely a party season must-have though. I'll be trying the gold glitter next with a top coat! Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, £5.99, go on sale at Asda this month. Sx

Day 4

gelSPA Luxury Gel Bath

I first saw this product at Kilpatrick's Christmas open day, where a small mixing bowl had been filled with a satifyingly goopy pink gel. I tried it for myself a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the spa-like treatment. Run your bath then add the first sachet to the water and mix around with your fingers. It will gradually turn into a soft, creamy gel, while the water turns a fuchsia pink. Don't stand there mixing all day though - it's not gel in the viscous, rubbery sense, more of a thick water, with gel beads. And do watch when you're stepping in - it makes the bath VERY slippery.

Once you're in, it really does feel like a spa treatment. The beads that gently buff the body - great if you're feeling stiff or sore - and it left my somewhat weather-worn winter skin feeling much softer. On top of that, it's been proven to maintain the water temperature for up to 4 times longer. When you're ready to get out, you pour in the second sachet and mix to turn the bath back into water.

My bath
There are three variants - Revive, Relax and Soothe - each tailored with specific aromatherapy oils. The gelSPA Luxury Bath Soak, £9.99, launches into Boots store this month. Sx

How cute! Japonesque Artisan Slant Tip Tweezer

Tweezers are like jeans. Once you find a good pair, you never want to let them go. I was sent Japonesque's Cow Print Artisan Slant Tip Tweezer, £15.50,, a few months ago and while I'm not sure they're top of my brow plucker list yet (I do like a slanted tip but it seems to take a few gos to whip out the hair with these) the pattern is to die for. Sx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Saturdays + Fashionista

First there were crackle polishes. Then nail wraps. Now the latest nail effect to hit the masses is magnetic nail polish. Nails Inc and 17 are among the first brands to launch magnetic nail paints but it's Superdrug brand, Fashionista, that have been the most canny by launching 5 colours with The Saturdays. Each Saturday has her own shade - I'm wearing Una and Vanessa below.

To use, paint a single coat over each nail. Go over with a second coat, a nail at a time, and hold the magnet over each one for about 10 seconds. This was my first attempt - I think it will take a little more practice to get that real rippled effect. Fashionista Magnetism Nail Lacquer costs £6, while the Magnetized Nail Magnet, which slots onto the lid, will set you back £3. My one criticism is by having the magnet in the top of the lid it can prove a tad messy when turning upside down to hold over the polish. The polish on the brush then ran up to the lid - no actual spillages mind. I definitely think these will sell incredibly well for the brand, especially with The Saturdays on board. Sx

I Beliebe in a thing called love...

If you're a fellow Belieber, you should like totes head down to Westfield next Monday 7th November between 4 and 5pm to see the sought-after young man switch on the Christmas lights. Even I'm pretty impressed they managed to get the Bieber to turn up and turn on their lights!

On top of that, there's a rather exciting competition launching to win the chance to meet the man-boy himself! You'll also receive a pair of VIP tickets to see his performance in London, a bottle of Someday by Justin Bieber AND a copy of his new album Mistletoe - hey, am I allowed to go in for this?
For your chance to win, log on to (entry code is JBCOMP11) between now and midnight Thursday 3rd November (one entry per person only please). Winners will be selected and notified on Friday 4th November by phone and/or email. You will need to make your own travel arrangements and be able to arrive at Westfield Shopping Centre, White City, London at 3pm on Monday 7th November. Justin will be switching on the lights and performing between 4pm and 5pm. Sx

P.S If any of my friends enter this and win, I'm expecting an invite!

I'm back!

Hello Best Tressers,
Oh how I've missed you. Apologies for the severe lack of posting over the last few months. I've been covering at Woman's Own magazine, which has been fabulous, but not left much time for blogging about the latest launches.

After the sale
Let's begin with some good news. A couple of months ago, I ran another beauty sale and boy was it a big one! So much so, we managed to raise a staggering £300 for the East Africa Food Crisis Red Cross appeal - and with gift aid, that took it up to £370! Massive thanks must go to the lovely Hayley for providing her abode, cake-making skills and some rather fancy carrier bags (yes, we do beauty sales in style!). Thanks also to everyone who came - without you and your unwavering lust for mascara, tan and hairspray, we wouldn't have raised such an incredible amount for such a worthy cause. Final thanks go to all the fabulous PRs who are kind enough to send out samples - I'm so grateful for all your support. Sx