Ultimate Christmas Beauty Gift Guide For Her

If you’re stuck trying to think of the perfect beauty buy for a loved one, friend or family member this Christmas then do not despair as I’ve found the perfect range of gift sets that will suit all ages and skin types.

First up is an assortment of beautiful scents from one of my favourite perfumeries; Penhaligon’s. This iconic brand has managed to cram together five luxury fragrances in an adorable box culminating in the Ladies Miniature Collection, below, for a mere £35 and includes a mixture of signature scents; Lily of the Valley, Malabah, Ellenisia, Artemisia and Gardenia.

If perfume is your penchant then you should also consider Clinique’s ‘A Little Happiness’ box set (£30). The bright box set contains five miniature notes: Happy Perfume Spray, Happy Heart Perfume Spray, Happy in Bloom Perfume Spray, Wealth of Flowers Perfume Spray and Hint of Citrus Perfume Spray (all 7ml).  Clinique also host an assortment of amazing make up and skin care sets online too and as an added extra when you spend over £60 online you will also receive a free cracker gift set stuffed with goodies… what’s not to love?!

When we can find some time for well deserved rest and relaxation during this busy period I always tend to return to my all-time favourite bath/skin/shower sets from Elemis. I’m a huge fan and it seems that millions of you also agree. So for Xmas I am thrilled to see that they have created a combination of classic products in a variety of sets which cover every price point from stocking filler duos (£9) to anti-aging sets (£199). My particular fave has to be the Frangipani Secrets Collection, £37.50 (below left), which allows you to recreate the comfort of a spa at home. You could also veg out with Cowshed’s ‘Knackered Cow Bathing Set’ (comes complete with a bath and body oil and relaxing room candle, £28.50).

If purchasing for those who are obsessed with beautiful hair and recreating the latest catwalk styles, then you should head direct to ghd for their new ghd V Wonderland limited edition styler. Priced at the usual £135 the multi-talented styler showcases a spectrum of cool blue, lilac and teal shades creating a beautiful and festive iridescent finish. The hair straighteners also provide flexible styling for all hair types and carry an automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes. The pack comes complete with sectioning clips and a heat-resistant bag; perfect for those on the move.

If you are looking to impress the ultimate make up junkie then take note, as Bobbi Brown’s Old Hollywood collection will dazzle come Christmas morning. The limited edition eye palette (£59, below left) works as both a day and night capsule featuring nine sparkling and matte shades which can work as well on their own as they can built up into a smokey eye effect; ideal for New Year’s Eve.

However, if you want to achieve the look for less or purchase make-up for experimental teenagers then why not opt for Studio London’s Smokey Eye gift set, £6 (available at Superdrug stores nationwide) which provides a step by step guide for beauty novices.

When it comes to nails we all want the latest on-trend talons so picking out a suitable gift can sometimes be hard. Having said that below are a selection of some of the nicest sets I’ve seen around in a while (from Revlon, Clinique and Bobbi Brown). Any of these will put a smile on a beauty obsessives’ face but it seems that Nails Inc. have nailed it (excuse the pun) with their fun range of avant-garde sets. Choose from ‘Monochrome Manicures’ to ‘Bling It On…‘ packs, all from as little as £18.

For stocking fillers, secret Santa or general smaller gifts for a work colleague etc then these adorable – yet affordable – pieces will do just the trick. I particularly love Jo Malone’s limited edition Christmas Cracker which is full of scented surprises (Tart-juicy Blackberry & Bay Cologne, Reviving Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash and Enlivening Grapefruit Body Crème), £30. This fab Ginger Sparkle, Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection from The Body Shop (below middle) is also a must-buy for just £17. The special edition spicy gift set offers a Ginger Sparkle Shower Gel, Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, Ginger Sparkle Body Polish and Ginger Sparkle Mini Heart Soap all cased in a fun gingerbread man tin. Topshop have also come up with an adorable miniature gift (Mini Nail in Dark Knight) for just £5! A range of mini nail varnishes that come already pre-packed in a hanging acetate carton: stick them on the tree and watch them go!

Lastly try QVC… Yes really. It may sound old-fashioned but they now sell all their amazing beauty deals online from a wide variety of reputable brands with huge discounts, PLUS they offer an easy pay system on most items which allows you to spread the cost over a few months should you still want to purchase something special when funds are seriously low.

Happy Christmas Shopping!


New York Fashion Week: Spring Summer 2014 Beauty Trends

Aside from all the fabulous fashion collections that have adorned the catwalk’s this week at New York Fashion Week, editors were also taking note of the exciting emerging beauty trends for Spring/Summer 2014.

Making a huge impact at NYFW for next season was Revlon’s Global Artistic Director Gucci Westman who covered runways with fresh, vibrant and exciting new styles. For her latest venture at Oscar de la Renta, Gucci opted to focus “on a soft, super­‐glossy peach lip complimented by a subtle plum eye” (below left).

“The clothes in Oscar’s collection this season have a 50’s vibe that made me think of that kind of polished beauty that’s iconic and cool,” Gucci commented. “It’s not a precise, retro look but rather overall peach and coral tones paired with really luminous skin and a soft and subtle, purple and brown eye. I’m using a small powder brush to blend all three shades to be freer with the application.”

“Oscar always likes the models to have color on their cheeks and lips,” she added. “On the lips, I mixed several peach shades and topped it with a gloss, which is easy for everyone to wear. I’ve been wanting to do a glossy lip look since New York Fashion Week started; it’s been so long since we’ve done one.”

However, before hand this maestro of make-up had also created a series of enigmatic looks as well as creating a contrasting style for fashion house Assembly (above right). The look started with a minimalistic, beach inspired base that was given an edgy twist and pop of color for Assembly’s Spring/Summer ’14 collection, adding a playful bright summer vibe and style.

World-renowned cosmetic brand MAC were also on hand at a string of shows including Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Edun, Nicole Miller and Peter Som amongst others. For DVF’s latest summertime venture the look was simple yet solid with make-up artist James Kaliardos commenting that “It’s all about the little details… The girl is fresh from vacation in the Hamptons, so she doesn’t need make-up” as he created a mineralized matte look with hydrated skin tone and a hint of eye detail and lipglass.

Aaron de May also produced a strong make-up free look at Edun for MAC noting a “no make-up look… [It was] more about perfected skin. Flawless. Not to shiny, perfectly matte but natural.”

But as you can see this is only a faction of beauty trends from New York. I personally can’t wait to see what London produces for the next instalment of fashion month…



Father’s Day Gift Guide 2013

This year Father’s Day falls on Sunday 16 June, so that means you only have a few days left to quickly purchase something for Dad if you haven’t already.

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Dependant on what type of Dad you have (sporty, intellectual, carefree, keen gardener etc) dictates the type of gift you will purchase and with so many options out there I’ve whittled down a few of my favs for you to see and hopefully spark some inspiration should you be stuck.

For metrosexuals think smart preening with Ted Baker’s Grooming Room Kit, £15 (available at Boots.com); River Island also sell a fab style holdall for the Dad who like to hit the gym or spends weekends away with work. If Dad is sick of handing out the cash (post pocket-money) then why not brighten up his day and yours with a stylish wallet from luxury heritage brand Mulberry, while sports enthusiasts will love the selection of novelty cufflinks and more from notonthehighstreet.com.

Coca Cola have also swapped their usual ‘Share A Coke With…’ bespoke bottles instead opting to add ‘Dad’ on limited edition labels which can be found in most stores nationwide. Just remember it’s the thought that counts and of course spending time with your Dad…

Happy Father’s Day!

New SS13 Beauty Scents

It may be wetter than average this season but that still doesn’t mean your style, or summery scent, has to suffer…

This spring designers and perfumers were in their element creating a clash of citrus, fruity, floral and woody fragrances for all and dependant on your personal style there is something to suit everyone out there. So here’s just a few of the amazing new scents on the beauty scene.

Jo Malone  (one of my personal fav’s) have brought out two new scents that clash a mix of fresh and fruity or citrus based notes. Their English Pear & Freesia and Nectarine Blossom & Honey are the perfect pick me ups for a full day out (as their longevity is divine) 100ml is £78 and 30ml is £39; www.jomalone.co.uk 

The Perfume Shop is also another fab high street and online alternative and this season they are offering Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine EDT scent for £44.50 (50ml) with free standard delivery online or free gift wrap in store (what’s not to love there) – perfect for birthday treats and with Father’s Day nearly upon us it’s worth browsing online just for inspiration on other brands and scents.

For a mere £8.50 you can also pick up one of The Body Shop’s latest light, wearable scents; choose from 8 addictive notes that include Mango, Strawberry, Coconut, Grapefruit et al; a great way to start your 5 a day!

Catwalk creators Carven have also launched their brand new scent Le Parfum, £72 for 100ml, offering a gorgeous floral bouquet of White Hyacinth which is light and fresh and perfect for hot summer days; £38 for 30ml available from Harrods and Harrods.com.

Estée Lauder  have also released their biggest fragrance for summer Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche (£45 for 100ml) which sprays a Caribbean inspired scent onto your body injecting notes of Coconut milk, Sandalwood and Vanilla reminiscent of  high summer on tropical beaches and warm heat.

If you’re after something more zesty then why not try Superdry’s brand new range of neon perfumes; great for those who don’t like fanciful packaging and also enjoy something light, fresh and zingy (£35 for 40ml), plus the brand also sell a miniature pack for those who can’t decided or want to take all four scents on holiday (£29.50 for 4 x 25ml)!

Lastly Thierry Mugler has just launched two new limited edition fragrance aptly named Alien Aqua Chic and Angel Aqua Chic. Both derived from his original scents these new fragrances have been mixed in with fruity accords and aromatic water. Alien Aqua is energising and vibrant (with notes of Lemon Tree, Pink Grapefruit and Jasmine) whilst Angel Aqua is floral and juicy (with hints of Raspberry and Green Apple); both however are fabulous for an evening out on the town. Visit www.muglerstore.co.uk for more info…


Would You Like Some Spa With Your Wine…

Imagine jetting off far, far away from the grey streets of London and instead immersing yourself in the beautiful, tranquil setting of the Sani Resort, in Greece. Sounds fabulous, right? And what’s more this clever community of spas have listened to the masses and are now offering wine, YES wine, inspired treatments for all…

Sani Spa Resort, Greece

Sani Spa Resort, Greece

No, don’t worry you really haven’t mis-read as bespoke beauty brand Anne Semonin has created a brand new range of Oenotherapy treatments that combine red grapes, that are used in French red wine. These are famed for their anti-oxidant elements, to help heal the body with polyphenols (which are contained in the seeds, skin and leaves of the grapes themselves). These antioxidants also contain more than 20 times the rate of Vitamin C and up to 50 times more than Vitamin E treatments, helping to delay the decay of cells, while also energising and detoxifying the skin ensuring a luxurious pampering session all-round.

Sani Spa Resort, Greece

Sani Spa Resort, Greece

Chose from a selection of treatments such as the Revitalising & Anti-Oxidant Body Exfoliation, Anti-Ageing Body Cocooning and Pampering Pumices Massage Ritual amongst others; all ranging from a very reasonable £55-£235. The treatments are of course available at all of Sani Resort’s three spas, a little piece of Grecian paradise on the Halkidiki peninsula of the Aegean Coast.

Sani Resort (www.saniresort.gr; 0030 23740 99500) offers nightly rates in Sani Beach Hotel from €126 per room per night.

For further information and reservations please visit www.saniresort.gr

Legend of hair Vidal Sassoon dies aged 84

Vidal Sasson and Mary Quant

If you are really into styles and change your hair to follow every celebrity such as the ‘Pob’ al la Victoria Beckham or the Cheryl Cole long bob then remind yourself quickly where these inspirational looks came from: Vidal Sasson.

The master of hair died yesterday aged 84 of natural causes after a long battle with leukaemia at his LA home.

British born Sasson was known for his innovative styles in the 1960s bringing to the party his 5-point-cut which liberated women’s hairstyles after a decade or more of wash and dry beehives and bouffants. Sassoon soon became the darling hair stylist of Europe with his infamous “wash and wear hair” which enabled women to just wash and go; something that had never been possible before. Sassoon was also a huge fixture on the 1960s swinging Carnaby fashion scene, styling models for fashion designer Mary Quant. Aside from this he built up a beauty empire of under his name and released several autobiography’s on his life amongst a long list of other projects.

Born in Hammersmith, London on 17 January 1928 Sasson was soon evacuated during the war to an orphanage. He then returned to London aged 17  where it was noted that his ‘mother took him to a barber shop in Whitechapel and insisted he was given an apprenticeship,’; the rest they say is history.

However, he will always be remembered as a genius of hair and a revolutionary giant for his time.

RIP Vidal Sasson.

Kate Middleton dares to bare in Roland Mouret gown

Kate Middleton in Roland Mouret

Everybody loves Kate. And now this relatively average Annie turned global Princess has not disappointed us once again.

Known for her impeccable groomed look, flawless make up and chic style choices last night the Duchess of Cambridge proved yet again why she is a style icon. Stepping out for the Thirty Club dinner in a cream coloured floor length Roland Mouret gown Kate wowed crowds with a thigh high split which was just respectable enough and on the right side of acceptable for the Royal family. Teamed with glittering strappy Jimmy Choo Vamp sandals (another new statement try for the Duchess) she matched her outfit with a vintage inspired pair of ‘Eva’ earrings by Beaut (a London-based concession sold via Jenny Packham). Kate poised herself perfectly smiling to the media before entering Claridges hotel.

The Thirty Club which was founded in 1905 for the ‘betterment of advertising’, hosts monthly dinners so the elite of the industry can meet and discuss ‘issues of the day and sometimes even seal deals’.

Kate however was there to support her husband Prince William as he attended as a guest speaker for the event.