Archive – September 2010

We fondly (and honestly) believe that the women who harvest the Shea nuts and process the Shea butter from the co-operative in the North of Ghana have the softest and most beautiful skin in the world!
Shea butter is one of nature’s miracle beauty ingredients, boasting a whole host of fantastic properties. It pretty much ticks all the boxes – an excellent moisturiser packed with vitamin A for healthy skin and vitamin E to prevent premature ageing. Vitamin E also means that the product has a naturally longer-lasting shelf life. Added to this are antioxidants, which fight the damaging free radicals to keep the skin healthy, avoid premature ageing and provide a natural defence against cancer.
Shea butter also offers a UV protection, and is a natural anti-inflammatory and an anti-irritant. Our recent visitors from Green People (who use our Shea butter in a number of their organic beauty products) were so impressed, that simply by rubbing the raw Shea butter onto mosquito bites, the bites did not irritate and tended to heal very quickly indeed.
So it’s no wonder that our ladies have the type of skin that would make us green with envy! Particularly as one of the essential aspects of producing excellent quality Shea butter, is kneading it by hand for up to two hours. But this arduous task is broken up by singing, chatting and taking turns. The result is the best quality organic Shea butter possible, and gorgeous women with the best toned, and smoothest arms, you can imagine!
The process of creating this miracle ingredient is actually quite simple, and reinforces how nature is able to meet all of our beauty needs. And the organic aspect of this is quite beautiful. Firstly, the Shea trees are naturally occurring. These have not been planted in rows, but have been growing in this region of north Ghana for hundreds of years. The nuts are collected by hand from around the base of the trees. In order to meet organic standards, a minimum 30% of the nuts have to be left on the ground so that their nutrients can be absorbed back into the soil and to allow the germination of new seedlings.
The nuts are then taken to the production hut. This is a simple building which contains a small machine for grinding the nuts. The ground nuts are then roasted outside over an open fire in a large clay pot before going back to the milling machine where the oil is squeezed from the roasted, ground nuts to become a creamy texture, very similar in consistency and colour to melted chocolate! In fact, the indication of a good quality Shea butter is that it smells like chocolate.
It is at this stage that the ‘all important’ kneading takes place to turn this chocolate-style mixture into a more solid, creamy Shea butter. And now it’s ready to be packed and exported. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away. This really is nature at its best!
The organic Shea Butter produced by the co-operative in the North of Ghana is used in a large number of products, sold by the organic beauty experts, Green People.

Tried & Tested: LONG LASTING NAIL VARNISHES (24.09.10)
This week, we’ve tested nail varnishes that promise to keep nails glossy and chip-free for longer…

YSL MANICURE COUTURE DUO, £24 (www.ysl.com)
What they say: For this season only, Yves Saint Laurent dresses nails in Couture long lasting colours. The flexible panoramic brush adapts to the shape of the nail, gliding smoothly over its surface for a flawless finish from base to tip.
The Results: I was thrilled to be handed this product – the packaging is typically stylish and the precision brushes made applying the polish incredibly easy. Despite the steep price tag, it includes two polishes, which makes it an affordable treat from a luxury brand. I was very pleased with the results too… The colour was vivid and glossy – and it lasted four full days without chipping, which was very impressive. I would definitely buy this again. It also think it’d make a great birthday or Christmas gift.
Best for: Luxury treat

LE METIER DE BEAUTE NAIL LACQUER, £10 (www.liberty.co.uk)
What they say: Specially formulated with formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, Le Metier de Beaute Lacquers provide long-lasting, chip resistant, protective colour and shine. Fortified with strengthening proteins and hydrators this varnish delivers rich, glossy, long-wearing colour.
The Results: Put simply, this is the best nail varnish I’ve ever used. I literally have nothing bad to say about it! I’m obsessed with my nails and ensure I have a different colour on each week – but I usually have to repaint them two to three times due to chips. This long-lasting varnish was chip-free for six whole days – and even then the damage was tiny. The colour looked bright and vibrant for the whole week. I really, really recommend it!
Best for: Chip resistant

BOOTS 17 FAST FINISH, £2.99 (Boots Nationwide)
What they say: The new 17 Fast Finish collection delivers one-coat colour in 60 seconds and will stay chip-resistant for a whole week.
The Range: Although I’m a big fan of the Boots 17 range, I’m a little disappointed with this varnish. I had to apply two coats to get a strong colour and later that night I noticed I already had chips on a couple of my nails. I love the huge range of colours that the brand offer though, so I’d still happily buy from them. Plus you can’t really complain when the product only costs £3, which is a total bargain. The second time I applied it, I finished with a clear gloss coat, which made a big difference to the results – so I would recommend investing in a long-lasting top-coat alongside this product.
Best for: The bargain buy

What they say: A fortifying ingredient, pro-vitamin B5, revitalizes and strengthens the nails, and prevents the formation of ridges. It makes weak nails or those that tend to split more supple and resistant thanks to a cellulose derivative made from cotton flowers, which makes the polish easy to apply and long wearing.
The Results: Initially when I used this nail varnish, it seemed the same as any other – fantastic colour and smooth finish, but it still chipped after just a couple of days. However after I’d used it for a week (removing it off fully each time before reapplying) the varnish started lasting longer – and on reading the ingredients I think it might actually be the fact that it has vitamins in it, because I didn’t change anything I did. My nails feel strong and well conditioned – and the colour lasts much longer. I’d recommend it.
Best for: Stronger nails

NAILS INC NAIL POLISH, £10.50 (www.nailsinc.com)
What they say: Never one to let a fashionista down, nails inc. have got this trend covered (and glossed!) with their new range of darker, muted shades to compliment the luscious hues spotted on this season’s catwalks. These super shiny, long-lasting muted colours that will see you through the whole season.
The Results: Nails Inc is regarded as one of the best nail varnish companies around – and this varnish doesn’t disappoint. I loved the way it gave my nails a glossy, mirror-shine finish when they dried – a friend even asked me where I’d had a manicure! I’m not a huge fan of the colours – although they’re ‘on trend’, I prefer brighter colours. However, I really can’t fault how long the colour lasted, as it stayed chip resistant for days. If I can find a colour I love, it’ll become a new beauty staple.
Best for: Glossy finish

MAC COSMETICS NAIL LACQUER, £8 (www.maccosmetics.co.uk)

What they say: Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three longwearing finishes – Cream, Sheer and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer!
The Results: I’m a fan of MAC makeup, but I didn’t realise they made nail varnish. I love the sleek packaging of the product – and the brush was really easy to control. The colour I was given to test was a deep red, which was perfect for the changing seasons. It wasn’t streaky, but I needed to apply two coats to get a deeper colour. After four days, my nails still looked glamorous and chip free. I’m very impressed and also think it’s great value for money.
Best for: long lasting

What convinces you to buy a beauty product? Is it the price tag, the convincing results of clinical studies, or the glowing recommendations from friends and family? We’ll soon be finding out, as Olay wants to find out what it is that gets the beauty pulses of women in the UK racing…
To find out, the brand has launched The Big British Beauty Poll – and we’d love readers of The-Beauty-Pages.com to be amongst the first to get involved!
The poll was inspired when Olay asked a panel of British women the question: “Do you think beauty companies listen to your views?” On hearing that a staggering 92% of those questioned said ‘NO’, the brand decided to conduct The Big British Beauty Poll to find out more.
The extensive ‘beauty census’ covers everything from clinically proven beauty products, to top skincare concerns, to beauty buying habits, to discovering the nation’s most iconic beauty of all time. The poll is available to all women in the UK aged between 18 and 65.
In addition, Olay is offering 50,000 women in the UK the chance to be among the first to trial, rate and review Olay’s latest and most effective ‘luxury’ super-serum; Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum.
The first step is to sign up online for your free serum sample. After you’ve received it in the post and had a chance to test it, you can return to the site to take part in The Big British Beauty Poll, which will be open until 20th October 2010. As an added incentive, the brand will be giving away a whopping £1000 prize to ten of the lucky poll participants!
What more incentive do you need? Click here to sign up for your free serum sample – www.olay.co.uk

Spa Review: Macdonald Elmers Court, Hotel & Spa, The New Forrest (24.09.10)
Location: South Baddesley Road, Lymington SO41 5ZB 0844 879 9060 http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/elmerscourt/
Facilities: Sitting majestically on the Solent Coast, just a stone’s throw from the charming town of Lymington, Macdonalds Elmers Court Hotel & Resort is the ideal destination for a relaxing break. Surrounded by over 20 acres of private grounds, the hotel resides inside a beautiful early 19th Century manor house. You couldn’t ask for anything more within the grounds… Fancy a relaxing stroll? You can meander through the pristine gardens down to the edge of the water that overlooks the harbour. Fancy something a bit more active? Take a bracing dip in the large outdoor pool or play a spot of tennis on the outdoor court. If none of that takes your fancy, then you’re still left with an intimate spa, a small outdoor golf putting/chipping area, cool giant checkers board, squash court, or state of the art gym. And once you’ve worked up a hunger, it will be time to treat yourselves to a meal in the elegant Waterford Restaurant. An evening in the ornate carved wood panelled surroundings of the Tudor bar and Waterford dining area, with a glass of your favourite tipple, is the perfect way to round off the day. Especially as you get to overlook the wonderful gardens, all the way down to the edge of the Solent…
Ambience: The exterior of the hotel may be a little imposingly, but you never feel anything other than than welcome and totally relaxed – in no small part due to the genuinely happy and friendly staff.
Treatments Reviewed: Decleor Aroma ‘Back Relief’ Massage, £45 for 45 minutes.
I was a bit frightened that I had a low pain threshold and this treatment might cause me some issues. However, I was completely wrong and instead found myself falling into another deep slumber after being ‘bad mood meltingly’ kneaded into relaxation. Highly recommended!
Decleor Aroma Time Precious Facial, £35 for 30 minutes.
Whilst my girlfriend went into another treatment area for her manicure I took one for the team, and ‘endured’ this scented, pampering facial. Exfoliation, luxurious oils and skilled massage all over your relaxed face coupled with the meditative qualities of the spa and the peaceful music with bird noises meant I was fast asleep by the end – but looking like a million dollars! (depending on the exchange rate).

Editor’s Letter (24.09.10)
Although I’ve not yet taken the plunge myself, I’m not against the odd nip and tuck… So when I heard about Zeltiq – a revolutionary new machine, which offers a painless alternative to liposuction – my ears instantly pricked up… The machine, which has just arrived on UK shores, uses ‘cool sculpting’ technology to reduce fat (in the area it is treating) by 20 per cent in an hour. The extreme cold – which causes numbness, rather than pain – causes fat cells to die, without harming skin and muscles. And just six weeks later, the body’s metabolism will have flushed away the dead skin cells. The machine is based at Beyond MediSpa – at Harvey Nichols in London – and costs a whopping £800 per session… But bearing in mind that liposuction will set you back a couple of thousand, it’s pretty good value for money (assuming it works…) If press appointments become available, you will find me at the front of the queue…

Dior. I could barely contain my excitement when Dior’s Bronze Libertine Vernis (£17) landed on my desk last week. The iridescent bronze nail lacquer is straight from the Dior Autumn/Winter catwalk, where it graced the talons of models wearing tweed, leather, and delicate pastel chiffons. For me, the beauty of the colour is that it works with so many different looks. It will make a pretty, ‘girly’ outfit appear a little tougher – whilst an edgier, leather-clad look will be softened by the lacquer’s metallic glint. Better still, it looks fabulous with every skin colour. 020 7216021

Rodial. There’s a lot of science behind each and every one of skincare brand Rodial’s products, so wasn’t surprised when I started noticing results after just a few nights of using their fantastic new night cream; Glamtox Night (£88). The product has a thick, balm-like texture, which feels nourishing and ultra-hydrating as it is applied. Active ingredients include Liposomal Soy Isoflavone to smooth skin, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 to reduce wrinkle depth, Retinol Microspheres to repair sun damage and Sodium Hyaluronate to instantly plump skin – and whilst a three-month period is required to see the full effect, my skin is already looking more radiant and even-toned. www.rodial.co.uk

Liz Earle. Liz Earle’s legion of fans will be thrilled to hear that the brand has added to its product range with a haircare collection. The Botanical Shine Shampoo (suitable for all hair types) contains West African Shea Butter and naturally derived cleansers, whilst the Botanical Shine Conditioner (both from £4) is available in three variations to suit different hair types – ‘Normal Hair’ (containing meadowfoam), ‘Dry or Damaged Hair’ (containing West African Shea Butter), and ‘Oily’ (containing Black Cohosh). I’ve been testing the products all week and my hair feels incredibly soft, whilst smells fresh and citrusy. Highly recommended. http://uk.lizearle.com.

Suzanne Neville. I didn’t know a huge amount about designer Suzanne Neville until I got engaged – but now I am fully aware that her creations are stylish, understated, and very feminine. In my books, that’s a winning combination – so it didn’t surprise me that new scent Suzanne Neville Pour Femme (£55) was equally elegant. It contains a combination of oriental and floral scents, including Gardenia, Freesia, Coriander, Jasmine, Rose, Vanilla, Javan Patchouli and Vetiver Bourbon. The fragrance is very easy to wear, working as well for a day in the office as it would for a big day in a white dress… If you like classic floral scents, this should definitely be sitting on your dressing table. www.suzanneneville.com

H&M. I couldn’t sign off without mentioning the fact that H&M online has now gone live – making fashionable, affordable shopping possible from the comfort of our own living rooms. I’ve had a quick browse online (not easy, as I could stay on that site all day, with only my credit card as company) and my highlights are – an on-trend mock-leather and sheepskin bomber jacket for only £24.99, a stunning mid-length camel coat for only £59.99, and a beautiful chiffon dress with frills in khaki green for just £14.99. http://www.hm.com/gb/

Feature: DOWN UNDER (24.09.10)
heading Down Under? This week, we are taking you there – after all, Australia is a beauty-lovers paradise, with a wealth of exciting skincare, haircare and makeup brands for us pommies to enjoy.

If you think Australian skincare is a stripe of zinc sunblock on each cheek, think again. A combination of concerns about the ageing effects of the sun – and access to a range of natural tropical ingredients – means that our cousins on the other side of the world really know what they’re doing when it comes to their complexions.
Take Skin Doctors, for example. This cutting-edge range from down under follows years of ground breaking skincare research and clinical studies. Their non-invasive, non-surgical treatments have been compared to salon treatments and offer genuine alternatives to Botox, collagen injections, ingrown hairs, long-term hair removal and facelifts. Try Instant Eyelift, £19.95 (www.skindoctors.co.uk), which dramatically smoothes away the appearance of wrinkles, bags and puffiness in just minutes – and delivers results that last up to 8 hours.
Cult Aussie brand MV Organic Skincare is loved by peachy-skinned celebs such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Emma Watson – which is a recommendation in itself. Founder Sharon McGlinchey is a pioneer in organic skincare and originally developed her products, which use high-quality essential oils, for those with skin sensitivities like eczema and rosacea. Try Rose Hydrating Mist, £22.00 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk) – the mist delivers extra hydration to your skin before you put on your moisturiser, soothing it and locking in moisture.
Shizen is an Aussie brand dedicated to keeping your lips luscious. Moisten, firm and smooth your smackers with Shizen Lip Hydrating Serum, £21.00 (www.qvcuk.com). The intensely moisturising organic serum contains jojoba oil and vitamins A and E and works really well is under lip balm or lipstick to moisturise and help relieve dry cracked lips.

Elle MacPherson, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts… Australian beauties know how to glam it up just as well as they know how to wear laid-back looks. So it’s not surprising that the makeup brands to come from down under are as fabulous as they are versatile.
Created in 2006, Inika is an Australian born, award-winning cosmetics brand. Unlike other mineral ranges, it doesn’t use ingredients like bismuth oxychloride, which is a skin irritant – and is completely free from harsh chemicals, fillers, talc, parabens, preservatives and fragrance. Try their hero product: Inika Mineral Foundation with SPF 20, £25 (www.inikacosmetics.co.uk), which acts as a concealer, foundation and powder in one and is perfect for people with skin conditions such as acne, scarring, rosacea or pigmentation.
Bloom is a cult Australian brand with a huge celebrity fan base – Michele Obama and Kylie love it and Tom Cruise has been spotted purchasing the range (hopefully for his wife Katie Holmes). Bloom began back in 1993 when Natalie Bloom started selling greeting cards from her parent’s home. Her love of natural ingredients and obsession with packaging soon turned a hobby into a business and then a brand. Seventeen years on, Bloom’s range has grown to feature over 300 products and is sold all over the world. Experiment with Lip Stain in Cinnamon, £12 (www.superdrug.com) – a suit-all shade with a delicious vanilla flavour that comes in the easiest marker-pen style applicator you could ever imagine.
Probably the best-known brand of Australian makeup, for industry insiders BECCA is synonymous with flawless complexions and a natural look. The soft colours are richly pigmented and the sheer textures don’t sit heavily on the skin. No wonder the range has won countless awards, and is loved by makeup artists & celebrities alike. Mineral Primer SPF30, £33 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk) not only moisturises and prepares the canvas of your face ready for your makeup, it protects with a broad spectrum, mineral SPF 30. A makeup bag essential.

When the beach is your back garden, you get to know a thing or two about being body conscious – so it’s little surprise that Australian bodycare ranges have a focus on firming or for refreshing paler complexions after a hard day in the office!
Australian Bodycare is a great value range inspired by ancient Aboriginal traditions of using tea tree oil to cleanse the skin. It’s effective for all skin types, but especially for oily skins that are prone to breakouts. The Body Wash, £7.99 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk) is made using the finest, steam-extracted Australian tea tree oil, which deeply cleanses skin and yet has a skin-friendly pH and is moisture balanced, so it leaves you feeling clean without that tight, dry sensation. A great shower gel to use as a morning ‘wake-up’.
Natio are the leading natural beauty brand in Australia and launched here in the UK last October. Natio is Latin for ‘creation’ or ‘birthplace’ and symbolises the pure and natural, plant-based origins of Natio’s products. The ‘Wellness’ range is a collection of cleansing and nourishing body solutions containing pure pomegranate to protect the skin from environmental damage. Try the Wellness Body Gloss, £14.00 (www.debenhams.com) – a light body moisturiser rich in pomegranate to regenerate skin, along with healing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. It smells divine.
You might have heard of the Flexitol brand in relation to footcare products. It’s part of Laderma, an Australian company who create natural wellbeing and organic products. Worth another look is their Flexitol Naturals range – especially the Skin Nourishing Oil, £7.99 (www.pureandgentleskincare.com), a non-greasy atomiser spray oil with herbal extracts and essential oils. It’s great for stretch marks but you can also use it for scars, dry skin, or just day-to-day nourishment.

Australians tend to live more of an outdoor lifestyle than us Brits. And no wonder – they’ve got the weather for it. But we all know that sun, sea and sand take their toll on tresses. Fortunately, the Aussies have learnt a thing or two about haircare from all that time playing in the surf…
Kevin Murphy is an acclaimed Australian hairstylist who has just finished working on Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as Hair Director for the seventh consecutive year. HYDRATE-ME Wash and Rinse, both £14.95 (www.kevinmurphystore.com) are the latest additions to his fabulous haircare range. Kevin says, “I wanted to make a maintenance product that gives the same results as a treatment without the time taken to achieve it. I designed the new HYDRATE.ME Wash and Rinse to provide deep and lasting hydration for dry, damaged hair.” The packaging is gorgeous too.
Who hasn’t heard of Fudge? It’s got such a great Aussie vibe to it: fun, cool, laid-back. But the brand’s success story is based on serious research – and the choice of natural ingredients such as aloe vera leaf extract, cherry bark extract, marjoram and witch hazel. Sort your over-treated hair with Torture Tonic Conditioner, £6.95 (www.fudgehair.co.uk). It repairs hair that’s been damaged by chemical processing, enhances gloss, smoothness and shine – and all while provides protection against thermal styling, UV and environmental damage. This is hardworking stuff.
And for the smaller members of the family – eco.kid. It’s a new, everyday range of eco-responsible haircare products from Australia specifically designed to help prevent the hair and scalp problems that affect children, including cradle cap, dry scalp, split ends and tangles – and even head lice. Children produce six times less oil on their scalps than adults and can be sensitive to synthetic perfumes so need to use specially formulated products. The Spray Leave-In Conditioner, £12.99 (www.forever-natural.co.uk) attacks tangles and wards off lice – perfect.

We all know hands need special attention. And thanks to the outdoorsy lifestyle of our Antipodean friends, there are some cracking handcare products available in some of the Australian body ranges out there. Check these out…

Another Australian brand to cause a stir amongst natural cosmetics lovers over here is A’Kin. And they’ve won awards for their simple, chemical-free skin and hair solutions that should definitely cost a lot more for the results they deliver. The range is also perfect for sensitive skins, sufferers of multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue or allergies. Try their Unscented Intensive Hand, Nail & Cuticle Treatment, £7.99 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk). It’s rapidly absorbed and totally unperfumed, so it’s ideal if you have eczema and won’t clash with your perfume, either!
It doesn’t take much to work out where Australian Organics hail from. They offer pure, natural and luxurious products to cleanse, nourish and protect your skin and hair – and unsurprisingly are made in Australia with the finest quality botanical ingredients and certified organic plant extracts. Check out their Sweet Almond Oil Hand Treatment Cream, £4.49 (www.biggreensmile.com), which is not only at a bargain price but contains a combination of natural plant ingredients to moisturise, tone and protect the skin on your hands and help restore their natural moisture balance.
There’s no point in having soft hands if they’re not clean. So invest in another invention from Oz – Frais Hand Sanitizer, £6.50 (www.cultbeauty.co.uk). A chic hand sanitiser, produced with the least possible impact on the environment, Frais is an effective weapon to help protect from the threat of flu, the common cold, MRSA and other bugs transferred by touching dirty surfaces. It also has a beautifully zingy, citrus scent (unusual for a sanitiser) thanks to the eight essential oils in every bottle. No wonder the Australians always look so healthy…

Hot weather, busy lives, sporty hobbies… it makes sense that the Australians are going to be fans of easy, effective products that do more than one job at a time. So look out for these Aussie all-rounders, products with a built-in SPF and moisturisers that you can use anywhere on your body.
Golden Silk Oil, £10.99 (www.gentlebodycare.co.uk) is a great example of a ‘desert island’ product. It’s 100% Camellia Oil extracted from wild golden Camellia flowers and can be used as an anti-ageing moisturiser for face and body, as a base for makeup (especially mineral foundations), as a lip balm, as a baby oil, on sores and burns… the list is practically endless.
No surprises that Jurlique has a similarly hardworking product. In 1985, it began as a niche Australian brand, a pioneer in natural skin care science – long before the “green-washing” trends prevalent in the beauty industry today. Today, Jurlique combines this expertise with the most up-to-date natural technologies to develop high performance, naturally potent skincare for its customers. Love Balm, £10 (www.jurlique.co.uk) is a natural skin-loving salve used to moisturise, soften and protect dry or chapped skin. Naturally scented with tangerine oil, you can apply it to lips, elbows, hands – or anywhere that needs a little extra loving care.
Hissyfit was originally created in Australia by two women who were struggling to find good quality makeup that included the level of sun protection they wanted. Now available worldwide, the Hissyfit range includes multi-tasking beauty products made with the finest ingredients (including botanical extracts) for women who want to protect their skin as well as look good. Try Saving Face, £22 (www.beautybay.com), an intelligent, natural 3-in-1 foundation that delivers flawless makeup coverage, advanced sun protection and anti-ageing benefits to protect, renew and perfect your skin.

What it promises: With the temperature starting to dip, now is the perfect time to repair the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays over the summer months. Right on cue, chic hair and beauty salon Eleven Beauty has launched The Sundowner Facial. The treatment combines the use of Environ Intensive products with the new Indiba Deep Beauty Proionic System, which uses the latest radio frequency technology to rejuvenate, lift, firm and smooth skin. By mobilizing the ions, the Proionic System promises to improve the signs of ageing and leave skin visibly fresher and firmer.
What happens: This is the second time I’ve visited Eleven Beauty, located just off London’s Bond Street – and I was equally impressed by the friendly welcome, stylish interior, and ultra-luxurious treatment room. The last time I visited, I enjoyed a relaxing, sleep-inducing facial – so when I spotted a square metal plate lying on the treatment bed and scary-looking machine sat alongside it, I felt a little daunted. My therapist, however, instantly put me at ease, explaining the process and benefits of the treatment. Although the metal plate was cold to lie on initially, the sensation had disappeared within seconds, and I felt cosy wrapped underneath a giant fluffy towel. After a quick removal of makeup and cleanse, a silky gel was smoothed over my skin and the machine was switched on. The therapist began to move the metal head of the appliance (which was like a flat metal disc) over specific points on my face and neck in a circular motion. It gently warmed up until the machine beeped to signify it was time to move to a different area. The therapist explained that my own body was creating the heat (hence the metal plate under my body) and that the warmth was stimulating the production of collagen in my skin. Whilst it wasn’t the most relaxing process, it certainly wasn’t uncomfortable – and feeling chilly from the early autumnal weather outside, the element of heat was very welcome. After roughly 20 minutes, the second head was attached – this time creating a strange twitching sensation on my skin, but it wasn’t painful. After another 20 minutes, the treatment was concluded with an application of serum to help fade sun pigmentation and SPF to protect my skin from the sun (if we were so lucky for it to shine…)
The Results: If you are looking for a relaxing hour on a treatment bed, this isn’t the facial for you – but if you want visible improvements to the texture and tone of skin, you would be hard pushed to beat it. After the treatment, my skin was slightly red (through heat, rather than sensitivity) – but once the colour had gone down, my skin appeared plumped and lifted, whilst it felt beautifully smooth. I don’t suffer from a huge amount of sun pigmentation, but I did notice my skin appeared fresh and even-toned in the days that followed the treatment. The results would be even more impressive for those with mature, lined, or heavily pigmented skin (initially, the therapist recommends a course of six).
Price: £99 for 60 minutes.
Location: Eleven Hair, 11 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1LL. 0207 4912390. www.eleven-hair.com

Hold onto your summer glow with our pick of Tan Extenders…

LANCASTER AFTER SUN TAN MAXIMIZER, £21 (www.debenhams.com)
What they say: Use this product for a result that is a more intense, longer-lasting tan. Soft, supple, radiant skin, better prepared for subsequent sun exposure.
The Results: This bottle was handed to me before I headed away to Cyprus for a week and I religiously applied it to my whole body at the end of each day in the sun. It has the texture of a cream, rather than a gel, and feels lightweight and cooling. It has a luxurious scent, so I looked forward to applying it. Afterwards, my skin felt hydrated, but not at all wet or greasy – and I could get dressed straight away. I didn’t notice my skin tanning any quicker or more deeply during my holiday – but I certainly still have my tan two weeks on (with nightly applications since I got home) so I am convinced it has helped me maintain the colour. I don’t usually spend this much on beauty products, but I will definitely invest in a bottle for my next holiday.
Best for: Maintaining tan after holiday

CELEBRITY SECRETS TAN SAVING BODY MOISTURISER, £9.40 (www.celebritysecrets.co.uk)
What they say: Packed with active vitamins A, B and E to nourish the skin and protect from the rigors of daily life. The blend of Aloe Vera and Cocoa Butter, combined with natural oils gives your skin a lustrous feel whilst maximizing the life of your tan by reducing natural exfoliation rate to a minimum.
The Results: My favourite thing about this product was the fragrance. I didn’t start using the moisturiser until I was back in the UK, after a summer working in the South of France, and I was instantly transported back to the beautiful beaches when I smelt the exotic scent. It’s a great way to uplift spirits on a dark autumn morning – and you can smell traces on skin all day. The thin cream absorbed quickly, but the first application left my skin feeling a little sticky, so I was less liberal with the product from that point. However, my skin felt impressively soft. My tan has faded slightly over the last few weeks, but I can still see tan lines, so I think the moisturiser has helped to extend it.
Best for: Uplifting scent

What they say: An after-sun care that is both soothing and moisturizing and, featuring a light self-tanning effect to make your tan last longer.
The Results: I took this After-Sun on holiday to Ibiza with me. I went with three girl friends – and as I have the palest skin of the three, I was pleased to see that the product contained a low-level of self-tan to boost my holiday glow. It did make the evening routine more time consuming, as I had to make sure I had applied it evenly – but after a couple of days, the colour had built to a natural-looking golden glow. I’m prone to orange knees and elbows when I apply self-tan, but this thick, luxurious cream did such a great job of hydrating my skin that I avoided that completely. The price of the product is very steep and the bottle isn’t huge – but when it comes to self-tan, you definitely get what you pay for.
Best for: Luxury buy

What they say: Ambre Solaire Tan Maintainer helps prolong and intensify your tan whilst keeping your skin smooth and hydrated. It prolongs your tan by containing low levels of a self-tanning ingredient, it subtly deepens and enhances your tan, so that it lasts longer.
The Results: I went away early in the summer and by the time I was asked to test this product, my tan had faded to practically nothing. I liked the idea of low levels of self-tanning ingredients, but it wasn’t hugely practical as it meant I had to carefully wash my hands after every application. However, the colour it provided was very natural – a golden glow, rather than a deep mahogany – and the smell was pleasant enough as it developed. I would definitely invest for my next holiday as it felt cooling and refreshing as it was applied. It represents great value for money too.
Best for: Boosting an existing tan

What they say: A non-greasy, refreshing lotion, with proven 12-hour intense hydration. Contains Allantoin and Shea Butter to help repair and rejuvenate dehydrated skin cells. Also contains Phytotan®, which encourages melanin production to accelerate the tanning process the next time skin is exposed to the sun.
The Results: I took this After-Sun with me on holiday and kept it in the fridge in our apartment. At the end of each day, I applied the thin, milky lotion to areas of skin that had seen the sun. It felt cooling and absorbed within minutes. It has a refreshing, fruity scent and left my skin feeling beautifully soft. My skin tanned quickly and although I have no conclusive proof that the product accelerated it, I am impressed enough to reinvest when I go on holiday again in October. I’m not surprised by the price, as I knew it was from Tesco, but I am very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the product.
Best for: Accelerating a tan

What they say: Well nourished, deeply moisturised skin is our top tip for a natural looking tan. This richly indulgent balm, bursting with cocoa butter and natural oils simply melts into your skin.
The Results: This body butter is very thick, so it takes a little longer to work into skin than thinner, more fluid moisturisers. However, I was surprised to discover that it absorbed within minutes and left my body feeling velvety smooth. It probably isn’t the best choice for taking on holiday, as it doesn’t feel refreshing to apply, but it is the perfect product for back in the UK when you want the tan to last as long as possible. The fragrance is sweet and indulgent and I enjoyed applying it every morning after showering. It kept my skin feeling soft and richly hydrated all day, so it makes sense that a summer tan will last longer. So far, so good!
Best for: Rich hydration

Feature: LIFT YOUR SPIRITS (17.09.10)
Summer might seem like a distant memory, but don’t let your spirits take a nose-dive… We’ve teamed up with a panel of beauty experts to select the perfect products for cheering ourselves up over the colder, darker days ahead.

There are few things more depressing than the fade of a holiday tan, so take steps to hold onto that sun-kissed glow for as long as possible.
Atoshi Ghosal, SkinCare expert at Unilever recommends: “Keeping skin hydrated is the best way to prolong your summer glow. Look for products with Glycerin, which actively hydrate your skin, and oils which help to smooth down your skin cells.” Atoshi recommends Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Lotion, £4.99 (Boots Nationwide), which contains Glycerin and increases moisture levels by filling tiny gaps in skin so that hydration is locked in.
If you feel healthier and happier with a tan, why not invest in regular spray tans throughout the colder months? Faye Fasan, founder of The Chelsea Day Spa, says: “Prolong that summer feeling with a Vita Liberata Spray Tan, £45 (www.thechelseadayspa.co.uk). This organic, odourless and paraben-free formula gives an immaculate streak-free finish and a gorgeous, healthy looking glow – and it’s a favourite of A-Listers including Sienna Miller, Kelly Brook and Yasmin Le Bon.”
And when you’ve invested in the tan, there are plenty of ways to show it off. Makeup Artist Cassie Lomas recommends Bourjois Illuminating Touche Highlighter Powder, £6.99 (Boots Nationwide). She explains: “Creating highlights and golden contouring helps keep summer skin glowing by leaving shimmering particles on your skin. It instantly lifts the skintone, leaving a healthy, flattering glow.”

Whilst celebrity Makeup Artist Jemma Kidd adds: “Body oils with added gold give a light glow to arms and legs. Try Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or, £22.50 (www.lookfantastic.com) for a beautiful golden shimmer.”


The nights may be closing in, but that gives us the perfect excuse to enjoy long wallows in the bath to keep warm, unwind, and de-stress.

Anna Doyle, founder of luxury spa and lifestyle range, occo is certainly a fan of the bath. She explains: “A bath at the end of the day is such a simple and beneficial full body treatment. Not only does it cleanse and freshen the skin, but it relaxes the body and mind allowing you to destress and rebalance. It can help induce deep sleep allowing you to restore vital energy, making you physically and mentally more productive. To make a bath even more therapeutic add a drop of soothing oil such a occo Markocija No.5 wild meadow Irish, Mimosa and Jasmine Bath & Body Oil, £25 (www.occo-online.com), which is full of calming and soothing oils such as Lavender, Almond, Grape seed, Sunflower seed and Chamomile to help moisturise and restore elasticity to the skin.”

Kathy Phillips, Creative Director of thisworks, agrees: “I am definitely a bath rather than a shower person. Showering is a practical function for washing, exfoliating, shampooing. Bathing is entirely different. For me, running the bath is a ritual that always involves a simple space, potent oils, time to soak, think, read, plan or meditate. I find the bath a real sanctuary. The shower is so unexciting whereas the bath can be a place where you can shut the door, read a book or put on a face pack and just find some time for yourself. The Romans knew what they were doing…”
If you love spending time in the bath, there are few better beauty addresses to visit than Lush. Co-Founder and Product Inventor Helen Ambrosen recommends: “Using bath melts is the ultimate in luxury, as they contain all sorts of lovely butters to nourish, soothe and moisturise the skin. The butters will also help to maintain a tan. Ceredwen’s Cauldron, £3.95 (www.lush.co.uk) is especially lovely for this time of year – the butters melt into the bath leaving behind the oats for you to exfoliate with.”


There’s no need to hide away in dreary shades of black and grey. A splash of colour can make a huge difference to our mood in autumn and winter – and what better excuse do we need to experiment with the new season’s colour collections?

The bright, wearable hues in Estee Lauder’s Blue Dahlia Fall Collection Pure Colour Eye Shadow Palettes, £34 (www.esteelauder.co.uk) are flattering to every complexion – and can create a range of looks, from soft to bold. The brand’s Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux explains: “The new palettes have been created to be playful. Women have many choices in the look they wish to create on any given day or night; from a neutral look to dark, smoky eyes. Adding even a hint of bright blue or violet can really add style to a makeup look. Bright color not only makes a fashion statement, but it also brings happiness and playfulness to the face.”

If you prefer to focus on lips, Bourjois Makeup Artist Cassie Lomas recommends: “Red lips are back again this season but the tones are varying from brick to plum red. Dark skin tones can experiment with plum, medium skintones try brick reds and fair can stick to vibrant poppy red.” Try the brand’s Sweet Kiss range, £7.99 each (Boots Nationwide), which are satin textured to lock in moisture and slide over the lips.

And when it comes to nails, London brand Nails Inc are leading the way for the season ahead. Brand expert Thea Green says: “The big trend colours for autumn winter are camel, soft nudes, minks, deep plums and charcoal greys. Lots of rich, luxurious shades that are super flattering. Plus our Lowndes Square polish which is a unique mix of grey and lilac – this is bang on trend for autumn winter.” Thea recommends Portobello Road, Lowndes Square, and Cadogan Square, all £10.50 (www.nailsinc.com).


Aromatherapy is one of the easiest and most indulgent ways to lift spirits when the thermometer plunges. To instantly transport yourself back to the balmy days of summer, look out for products with zingy citrus notes.

Jennie Harding, Tisserand Aromatherapy Expert explains: “All citrus oils have a strong connection with vitamin D, as they are grown in a hot climates with plenty of sunshine. This particular vitamin is one that we lack in the northern hemisphere in the winter months and causes some people to suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). So you uplift the spirits the use of any citrus oils is wonderful. Try Tisserand Vitamin Rich Body Lotion, £8.75 or Bergamot Essential Oil, £7.70 (both www.tisserand.com)”

Lush Co-Founder and Product Inventor Helen Ambrosen agrees: “Citrus and zesty fragrances can be incredibly uplifting during winter. As there’s no separation between smell and the brain, the sharp, citrus notes are inhaled and instantly hit the senses. It immediately uplifts the mind and body.” Helen recommends the Avobath Bath Ballistic, £2.90, which is infused with the invigorating scent of lemongrass, and Up You Gets Shower Emotibomb, £1.95 (both www.lush.co.uk), with lime, lemon and grapefruit to jolt you back to life on the days you can’t get moving.

Finally, if you are looking for a smile-inducing perfume, look no further than chic British perfume house Miller Harris. Founder Lyn Harris recommends: “Wear a summer fragrance in the winter for a burst of sunshine: Figue Amere, from £56 (www.millerharris.com) for example, evokes the heat of the island of Ibiza; the source of my inspiration for the fragrance.”


Got a few hours to spare? Head straight to your nearest hair salon.

Nothing raises the spirits like a trip to the hair salon,” explains celebrity Hair Stylist Maximiliano Centini. “A colour refresh with this seasons warm low lights can repair a lot of the damage done by sun, sea, and outdoor weathering. A rich moisturing mask can also give sun-stressed hair some much-needed hydration. Better still, a new ‘do’ is the perfect antedote for the ‘change on the season’ blues and you get the chance to match your new Autumn/Winter wardrobe.”

Looking for inspiration? Take a hint from the new season’s hair trends. Ben White from Eleven Hair says: “This season’s hair is a lesson in how to look expensive. It’s all about a glamorous blow dry, glossy curls and big hair. Take the original supermodels as your inspiration and make blow dry your beauty mantra for the season. The look is elegant not overblown; hair is bouncy and full with loose curled ends. You’ll need heated rollers and carefully cut layers to recreate the look.”

However, Leo Bancroft of Leo Bancroft Salon, Weybridge warns: ”Always remember to have a full consultation with your stylist before making an major changes to your colour or cut. Not every trend suits everybody but your stylist should be able to recommend a fashionable alternative.”


It might be time to say goodbye to bottles of SPF and After-Sun – but you can swap them for something far more luxurious. Winter gives us the perfect opportunity to indulge our weather-beaten skin with a range of thick, rich face and body products.

Treat yourself to a little pampering and your skin will thank you for it. Sally Penfold, Education Manager at International Dermal Institute explains: “I love Winter; a time of indulgence, curling up in front of a blazing fire, eating hearty bowls of soup and watching a good drama. But winter is not such a good time for your skin. Harsh extremes of climate and temperate play havoc with the health of our skin and cause a range of unwelcome skin concerns from dehydration, dryness, sensitization through to extreme chapping and flaky patches.” Sally recommends Dermalogica Super Rich Repair, £53.40 (0800 591818).
Dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams adds: “If you aren’t keen on switching to a richer hydrator, you can always stick to your regular moisturiser and add a serum underneath, such as Skinceuticals Hydrating B5, £56 (www.eudeloboutique.com).”

In fact, it is well worth re-thinking your whole skincare routine when temperatures start to plunge. Sharon Hilditch, Managing Director of Crystal Clear advises: “Consider switching to a milky cleanser during the winter/cold season to help prevent further dehydration. Crystal Clear Wipe Away the Years Cleansing Milk, £27 (www.crystalclear.co.uk) intensely moisturizes with extract of olive oil, whilst Norgel helps to lock in moisture.”

Not forgetting your body… Susan Harmsworth, CEO of ESPA explains: “Hydration is the key ingredient to help maintain radiant skin. Moisturise the body using circular movements, starting from the feet towards the heart. This emulates the direction of blood circulation and you will be working in harmony with your body. The action of massaging the product into the skin also helps circulation.” Susan recommends massaging and moisturising with ESPA Restorative Body Oil, £28 (www.espaonline.com), which contains Palmarosa, Wheatgerm and Borage to help improve circulation and rebalance the skin’s natural tonicity, as well as improving the overall condition of the skin to leave it silky smooth.

I am currently in sunny Australia soaking up the warmth of spring – warm, balmy days and slightly chilly nights. There is simply nothing better than sitting on the balcony, basking in the morning sunshine with a cup of tea surrounded by jasmine in full bloom. Totally delicious! It will be hard to leave.
So, with some trepidation I will be heading back to London in early October. I hear from all the email banter that London is a bit rainy and gloomy and the impending winter has struck rather early… but doesn’t it always! It is just so damn hard to say goodbye to a London summer.
If all this talk of winter is making your feel a little blue, I would recommend some autumn TLC. At the end of summer our skin is always a little dry and needs a good boost before winter really depletes your reserves. First and foremost, shed those dead skin cells that tend to accumulate when you have had too much sun and leave your skin feeling a little gruff and tight. At Elemental Herbology we do a fabulous product called Facial Glow that will get rid of the dead skin and stimulate new cell renewal in a jiffy, leaving your skin fresh, rosy and glowing. Alternatively, if you would like to do this totally ala natural you could also smoother your face in Papaya.
After the dead skin has been removed, infuse the skin with some essential nutrients using a serum such as Cell Food (our best seller at Elemental Herbology) which is rich in Vitamin A, C, E, Co-Enzyme Q-10, Green Tea, Olive Squalane and lots more! This will restore a soft, supple texture and also help to reduce pigmentation.
For the grand finale always use a good hydrator. Autumn is the perfect time to switch to a more nourishing, reparative hydrator. My all time favourite is our Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator which is packed with all the actives you need to see you through winter.
On that note, I am off to the park with my 8 month old baby girl Bianca who is also soaking up the rest of her time in Australia!
Have a wonderful autumn.
For more information about the brand, visit www.elementalherbology.com. Shop online at www.spacenk.co.uk.

Editor’s Letter (17.09.10)
It might still seem early for Autumn/Winter trends – but the fashion world has skipped ahead to Spring/Summer 2011… Today marks the start of London Fashion Week, with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Richard Nicoll, Christopher Kane, and Marios Schwab getting ready to show off their new season collections. I used to be a fashion journalist and London Fashion Weeks were amongst the busiest of my whole year. By the end of the schedule, I suffered from sore feet (too many high heels), exhaustion (too many shows, too many parties), and sheer envy (too many other attendees with nicer clothes, shoes, and bags). Spare a thought for the fashion pack this morning – it’s a tough life…

Jo Malone. If you struggling to hold onto summer, see our feature today by clicking here. But if you still can’t lift your spirits, I highly recommend treating yourself to Jo Malone’s fabulous new cologne: English Pear & Freesia (from £34). The brand selected award-winning Master Perfumer Christine Nagel to be its ‘nose’ on the fragrance. Her challenge was to capture the scent of a pear at the moment of perfect ripeness – and she succeeds completely. You need to sniff it to believe it – but be warned, you will be hooked in seconds. www.jomalone.co.uk

Bobbi Brown. Regular readers of this letter will know that I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown – and the latest colour collection hasn’t disappointed. The jewel in the Denim & Rose collection is the Palette (£45), which features four eye shadows, two lip-glosses, two lip colours and a blush. However, the product I’ve fallen head over heels for is the new Sparkle Eye Shadow in Denim (£14.50). It’s grown-up, trend-driven, and striking – and thanks to its creamy base, you don’t have to worry about glitter falling onto cheeks. www.bobbibrown.co.uk

VIE. I was recently sent VIE at Home’s Bedazzled Lip Gloss Pencils (£12.50) and can highly recommend them. The chunky nib makes application quick and precise, whilst the creamy formula leaves lips supple and hydrated. The level of shine and glitter is spot on – just enough to give your smile a bit of sparkle – and the colours (Crimson Sparkle and Wild Bronze) are even more flattering than I was expecting. Better still, drawing on my pout with a crayon-style lip-gloss brings out my inner child. www.vieathome.com

Benito Brow Bar. Want to embrace the season’s trend for natural, full brows, but not got the patience to grow them back? Benito Brow Bar has just launched the treatment ‘Back to the Wow’ (£60), which includes tinting the hair a shade darker than normal (so that any re growth is lighter and therefore less noticeable) and six weekly visits where the brows will be checked, any stray hairs removed, re-tinted when the colour fades, and shaped. It’s a fantastic price, as it includes two tints and six visits – and all you need at home is a slick of brow gloss to keep them groomed! www.benitobrowbar.com

Topshop. I’m a big fan of the sheepskin trend for Autumn/Winter – and have fallen head over heels for these beautiful boots from Topshop (£95). They have everything – beautiful black leather, shearling fur lining, and nose-bleed high 4.5 inch heels. Sadly I don’t think my feet would last long before they were crying out for the comfort of UGG boots – but my god, they’d look fabulous for the short amount of time that I could grit my teeth and bear it. If you are hardened heel wearer, I am insanely envious. www.topshop.com

Stay ahead of the fashion pack by updating your look for the season ahead. Here’s our round-up of the key trends for Autumn/Winter.

Image: John Frieda for Givenchy
Rejecting over stylised, high-octane glamour, the Anti-Do featured on the catwalks of Marc Jacobs, D&G, Givenchy and Versace and is easily recreated at home.
Celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward (www.richardward.com) explains the key to achieving the look, “There is a return to healthy, opulent and free hair – hair is back to beautiful. Worn long, flowing, free-moving and with un-done perfection, hair looks organic and confident. Condition and vitality is key – weekly hair spa rituals to encourage shine leaves hair looking and feeling lustrous and regenerated.”
Ironically, you will need to use product to achieve this look. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Lightweight Creme, £5.59 (www.boots.com) works to effectively tame wavy hair, whilst fighting the dreaded frizz which can be a side effect of the weather at this time of year.
However, the best thing you can do is ensure a healthy base, as Errol Douglas (www.erroldouglas.com) reiterates by highlighting the importance of regular conditioning treatments, “Autumn is all about replacing the heat and aridity of summer with some moisture and gloss- think shiny chestnuts, crisp mornings and the lovely glow of your new winter boots! Long hair styles around this Autumn need healthy looking hair with a real shine so this season’s must-have ingredient is Moroccan Oil, £29.95 (www.lookfantastic.com) which is a fabulous treatment for boosting shine in summer stressed hair.” The focus here is upon the health of the hair, whatever its natural type, not whether it is straight, curly or wavy.

Image: Revlon for Hussein Chalayan
As the nineties grunge trend makes a comeback so facial contouring returns, as seen at Nina Ricci, Hussein Chalayan, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano.
The good news is that no specialist makeup skills are required to achieve facial contouring. To recreate the look, simply apply colour low on the cheekbones to imitate a razor sharp bone structure which would make Johnny Depp envious. Avoid glittery and orange-based bronzers and instead, seek out natural earthy tones from cafe au lait to chocolate for a soft, feminine and modern style.
Myface R&B rouge in Sul “tan” of Swing, £9.99 (www.boots.com) is a matte bronzer which works well and proves that you don’t need to break the bank to update your look, as does the beautiful The Body Shop Cheek & Face Powder in Chestnut, £16 (www.thebodyshop.co.uk) but be quick, it’s limited edition and with such a desirable leaf pattern, is sure to sell out quickly.
Whilst the look is matte, it should still have a velvety texture so use light-reflecting highlights for a luxe finish.

Image: Chanel
Admit it… there have been times when you’ve committed the number one beauty crime and been too tired to remove your makeup before bed, only to wake up and secretly think your eyes look better and infinitely cooler with the products slightly smudged around the edges. This look has been embraced by the industry for Autumn Winter 2010, with Zac Posen, Chanel and Bottega Veneta both showcasing the style and adding an instant edginess.
The simple eyeliner comes into its own this season, offering an affordable way to try out one of the biggest trends. From graphic lines and feline flicks to smudged post-rock concert looks, the look is anything but subtle. Don’t worry about being too precise and instead, be experimental when it comes to colour – whilst classic black looks great, there’s no need to be restrictive. Why not consider using fingers rather than brushes as a key tool for an authenticity?
For instant smoulder, look to Gucci for inspiration and take your eyeliner around the entire eye, including the tear ducts for rock chic appeal. Clinique’s brand new Quickliner for Eyes Intense, £13 (www.clinique.co.uk) has already sold out once which is no surprise given that it comes in a variety of shades and features a sponge to smudge the line, or for long-lasting colour, try Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof, £17 (stockist number: 0207 493 3836).
Conversely, mascara takes a back seat after seasons of lashes being a key feature and is either omitted entirely or applied minimally and in natural shades.

Image: NARS for Marc Jacobs
Pared-down chic was huge on the catwalks for Autumn Winter, featuring at Fendi, Alberta Ferretti and Richard Nicoll, where a peaches and cream complexion allowed the clothes to speak for themselves.
Pat McGrath, Global Creative Director of P&G Beauty explains, “It’s all about a new level of perfection- the art of no makeup”. Once you master the basics of this look, you’ll be able to reuse for seasons to come so take the time to reassess your foundation needs- after all, perfect base never goes out of fashion! “It’s skin that glows from within… there’s an ethereal quality to it, it’s luminous, pearlescent but not shiny… a no-no for HD filming which has given us a new technical focus for perfection.”
First touched upon in Spring Summer, mannequin inspired styles continue to prove popular for Autumn Winter. Look out for Leighton Denny’s Prim & Proper nail colour, £11 (www.leightondenny.com) from his new Opulence collection, which boasts rich pigmentation and a high quality formula.
Chalky lips in muted pastel colours provide a finishing touch. Look out for Pixi Lip & Line in Nectar Nude, £12 (www.pixibeauty.com) or Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Smoked Peach, £7.29 (stockist number: 0800 085 2716) and if you can’t bear to be without gloss, Pixi Rose Lip Treat in Nude, £10 (as before) provides a good option with a nourishing formula.
One fashionista who knows all about the power of clothes is couture queen, Daphne Guinness who has inspired the NARS (www.narscosmetics.co.uk) Autumn Winter collection, a wearable range of translucent and sheer shades which enhance natural beauty without detracting from your overall look for a timeless elegance.

Image: Illamasqua
From Cruella de Ville to the Queen of Hearts, the fairytale villain has always been a more interesting character than her one dimensional, princess counterpart, something which has been recognised in this season’s makeup. From bold brows to rich, berry lips, this trend, as seen at Dior, is enchantingly mysterious.
As in previous seasons, Chanel lead the way with their new nail colour, Paradoxal, £16.50 (0207 493 3836), a shimmery mauve shot through with grey which no self-respecting villain would be without. It’s already set to be the beauty must-have of the season so if you struggle to get your hands on a bottle, check out Nails Inc Lowndes Square, £10.50 (www.nailsinc.com) which offers a viable alternative.
For lips, any shade from cassis to raspberry is on trend. Bare Escentuals have an impressive offering of creamy colours and their Blackcurrant and Berry Cordial, £13 (www.bareescentuals.co.uk ) shades are sure to be permanent fixtures in your Mulberry Neely. Alternatively, fall head over heels for Illamasqua’s Growl Lipstick, £15 (www.illamasqua.com)- the theatrical brand would no doubt be the range of choice for Fairytale Villains if they were shopping today. The focus of the trend is upon texture, be it matte stain or high-shine so be sure to invest in a good lipbalm to keep the surface smooth and nourished. A confident attitude is essential.
Bold brows are also a feature of this look but remember to keep just one point of focus on the face so if you’re highlighting eyes, keep lips neutral. Bold doesn’t equal laziness however, so ensure you maintain your regular grooming appointments.

Image: Jamilla Paul
This look was heavily referenced at leading designers including Prada, Erdem and Louis Vuitton.
To recreate the look, you’ll need to invest in a good mousse such as Schwarzkopf OSiS Grip, £7.95 (01296 314000) or volumiser; Lee Stafford Fat Cashmere Cushion, £9.99 (www.boots.com) – a blow-dry jelly that pads out and puffs hair, leaving a matte finish.
Marc Trinder, Master Stylist at Charles Worthington (www.charlesworthington.com) explains, “It’s all about height around the crown… The easiest way of achieving this look yourself is to back brush the roots throughout, then divide your hair straight down the middle from the crown to the nape of the neck and taking one entire side section at a time, use your hand and fingers to roll the section into the middle parting… Secure with long pins all the way up, then repeat on the other side so you butt the two edges together.”
This look is all about channelling a feminine innocence – think Naomi Campbell in her recent court appearance. For a quick fix, add a preppy headband and if you need to use hairgrips to hold it in place, spritz with hairspray first for improved staying power. It looks fashion-forward with or without a fringe.

Instantly update your look with our pick of six new season palettes.

PIXI EYE BEAUTY KIT, £18 (www.pixibeauty.com)
What they say: A compact of eight perfectly toning shades with a mini double-ended brush, perfect for the “Make Up to Wake Up” look. Eyes look brighter and revitalised, with shadows containing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.
The Results: I’m not familiar with Pixi makeup so I was pleased to have the opportunity to try it out. The lightweight, plastic packaging doesn’t necessarily reflect the price point, but I really liked that the case was slimline and convenient to slip into a small bag. I don’t tend to bother with the applicators included with products, preferring to invest in brushes separately, but it’s a nice touch that there’s a mini double-ended brush included. I was given set No.5 – Miracle to test, which contains pastel, shimmery shades, which is ideal for evening and the forthcoming party season. I found this a refreshing change from my usual smoky colours and was surprised at how effectively the light colours opened up my eyes and doubled up as effective highlighters. I think the colours would look great on those with darker skins – and although the shadows were a little difficult to blend, I was impressed with the lasting formula as well as the fact that they can be used wet for greater intensity.
Best for: Evening wear

What they say: The Naked Palette features a shade range that runs from the nudest Champagne to the grittiest gunmetal. Office-appropriate and smouldering all at once, our long and lean Naked palette houses 12 eyeshadows, including seven of our bestsellers and five new saucy shades. Matte, shimmer, satin or sparkle, we’ve upped the ante with these essential shadows.
The Results: I’m already a huge fan of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion – it’s one of my desert island essentials, so I had high expectations for this palette. It didn’t disappoint. The plush, velvet coloured palette is slimline with a handy mirror, which makes it easily portable and looks impressive when using in a crowded bathroom as my friends’ envious comments proved! Personally, I’d have preferred a brush to be included rather than the eye pencils, but that’s my only criticism. It contains a wearable range of shades, from neutrals to dark shades. The sparkly shades are grown-up, rather than glittery, and the shadows are soft, super easy to blend, and long lasting. I would really recommend it.
Best for: Versatility

What they say: New CID Cosmetics introduces four new shades of their bestselling quad palettes containing ultra-soft pigments helping to achieve intense colour and stunning eyes. Each palette contains four complementary shades, shot with shimmer for an ultra flattering effect allowing you to create a variety of looks.
The Results: This palette is lightweight, so great for carrying around in my handbag. I also liked the fact that it has a good-sized mirror. There’s a variety of brushes included, which allows for the colours to be used in different ways, from highlighting the brow bone to lining the eye – although controlling the brushes took some getting used to, as they are very small and a bit fiddly. The colours seem to be high quality with pigments providing good coverage, which was ideal for me as I suffer from pigmentation around my eyes and the shadows worked well to disguise this. Although there are only four colours included, they are a wearable combination of matte shades in neutral and dark tones, alongside shimmery hues. The palette works well for taking a look from day to evening.
Best for: Wearability

What they say: A powerful mix of cool, mysterious shades that mimic the fiercely theatrical world at the edge of night. Housed in a sophisticated, golden-mirrored compact with an oversized Estee Lauder cartouche, each palette holds five mesmerising shadow and texture combinations to create endless looks that are both enticing and alluring.
The Results: I work in an office, so usually wear very neutral shades. This has carried over into my makeup for evenings out, as I naturally gravitate towards earthy tones. I do, however, love Estee Lauder cosmetics – so if any brand was going to make me experiment, this was it! The weighty gold compact contains five shades – three colourful hues and two complementary neutrals. The kit also includes two double-ended applicators, which is handy for girls on the go like me! The shadows are a joy to apply – blendable, but not so soft that they crumble and cause a mess. I liked experimenting with the combination of colours and overall, I was really impressed with the palette. Whilst I’m not going to be wearing the colours every day, I’m pleased to have discovered something different to update my look on nights out. And the best thing? I’ve found out that purple tones really work with my hazel eyes!
Best for: Discovering colour

CHANTECAILLE TIGER IN THE WILD, £73 (www.spacenk.co.uk)
What they say: To celebrate and raise awareness for the wild tiger, Chantecaille has created a limited edition palette with a selection of easy to wear cheek and eyeshadows with an elegant tiger embossing that is attractive on everyone.
The Results: When I heard that I’d be testing a palette which costs £73, I have to admit to being a little taken aback – my GHDs aside, it’s far more than I’d ever spend on a beauty product. Having said that, I was suitably impressed when the palette arrived – it’s so beautiful that I was reluctant to actually use it. I really like the charitable element, which lends a justification to the high price. The palette contains three eye shadow colours, with an additional shade that can be used on either cheeks or eyes. The shadows are really soft which made them easy to blend – although they quickly became messy and blurred the mirror as I carried the palette around with me. They are grown-up shades that can be used for a subtle effect to highlight features or built up for the colour intensity you require. I’m now converted to the world of luxury beauty and can’t wait to discover more from this brand.
Best for: Charitable purchase

What they say: Step out from the shadows and into the limelight with a little help from VIE at home. Introducing the new colour collection- Bedazzled. Feel magical this season with bewitching shades, sparkles and illuminating tones.
The Results: This clever palette comprises three domes of intense colour and an applicator, in spite of the mini size. Admittedly, the purple plastic packaging feels a little cheap, but the domes make swirling the colour onto the brush really easy and mess-free. My favourite shade was the silver, as it was much more subtle than I expected and therefore, probably the one which I could use most regularly. It worked really well as a highlighter along my brow bone and I might even be tempted to buy the palette for this shade alone! I loved the other shades – an iridescent purple and a blue, although I suspect that they might not be suited to those unaccustomed to colour. I was impressed at how well the colours lasted, especially given the price.
Best for: Value for money

Location: Knock Castle Hotel & Spa, Drummond Terrace, Crieff, PH7 4AN. www.knockcastle.com. 01764 650088
Facilities: The rugged beauty of the Scottish countryside is known throughout the world, but few would guess at the hidden gems that can be found if you explore just off the beaten track. Knock Castle is one such place – only an hour away from Glasgow and Edinburgh and tucked away in the stunning Strathearn Valley hills, this is the perfect place to enjoy some rest, relaxation and of course, some traditional Scottish hospitality. The building itself is stunning – formally the home of shipping magnate, Lady MacBrayne, many of the beautiful original features have been retained (like the grand stairway), while one or two welcome modern additions have been made such as the Stag’s View rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy food or drinks while soaking up the views looking out over mile upon mile of incredible countryside. A massive conservatory in the castle grounds houses a large heated swimming pool as well a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and even a gym (if you feel so inclined!). Inside the castle, there is a choice of two beautiful restaurants – one offering a fine dining experience in a fabulous downstairs dining room featuring carved wood panelling and beautiful stained glass windows – and an extensive wellness centre where you can indulge in some fabulous treatments to really help you unwind. Downstairs, you’ll even find a small twelve-seater cinema so you can watch a good movie. And when it’s time to hit the sack, there’s something for everyone… The Glenalmond Suite is one of the highlights – a huge room, which is just as well really, considering it needs to house a 7ft square antique American sleigh bed!
Ambience: While Knock Castle may be upmarket in its approach, you don’t feel uncomfortable in the slightest – this is a place made for relaxation. While everything is luxurious and of the very highest standards, the staff’s approach is down-to-earth and friendly and every guest is made to feel welcome. The hotel is big, but not too big and while there are plenty of corners (not to mention amazingly comfortable recliner chairs) dotted around the castle to curl up in and read a good book, they’ve managed to capture an intimate, homely atmosphere that really puts guests at ease.
Spa Treatments
The Egg, £15 for 15 minutes.
If you visit Knock Castle, make sure to try ‘the Egg’ – the very latest in beauty massage technology. Fully clothed, you lie in the egg (a relaxation capsule), the lights go out (except for a few twinkly stars), the relaxing music starts, and the bed delivers a full body massage – kind of like a massage chair, only 100 times better! Fuss free, private and inexpensive.
Full Body Massage, £55 for 60 minutes.
If you prefer treatments a little more traditional, book in for the divine Full Body Massage. Already relaxed from a day spent lazing by the pool and an evening of food, wine and good company, this tipped me over into total relaxation bliss as my therapist worked on undoing the knots in my muscles.
Knock Castle offer a package of bed and breakfast (including one night’s accommodation in an executive room), a three course dinner plus full use of the spa facilities for only £139 per couple (Sunday to Thursday).
Tel: 01764 650088 or email reservations@knockcastle.com for more information on price and booking information.

Editor’s Letter (10.09.10)
Brrrrrrrr! When did the weather gods decide to deny us an Indian summer? Instead of SPF and sunglasses, I have spent the last few days digging out my UGG boots and cashmere knits. However, there is one plus side to the early arrival of autumn – it has reminded me about the benefits of a long wallow in the bath. I tend to stick to showers during the summer months – they’re quicker and more refreshing, but I do miss the routine of climbing into the bath every night. Not only does it feel incredibly relaxing and help me drop off to sleep the second my head hits my pure-silk pillow case, but it has also helped with the aching back I’ve been suffering with all summer. Look out for a feature about the benefits of bathing (excuse that word, it seems so old fashioned) coming to The-Beauty-Pages.com soon – I can’t wait to get testing…

Philosophy. Whilst I’m enjoying long wallows in the bath, it does seem a little early to be cracking open the warm, spicy-scented products. Philosophy’s latest launch – Blackberry Blossom Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath (£13) – has arrived at the perfect time. The scent of the silky gel is both sweet and tart, making it the ideal product for early mornings. It works equally well after a gym session or when you want to relax in the bath at the end of a long day. And in typical Philosophy style, the packaging is enough to convince me to invest alone. 0870 9908452.

Keratin Complex. Another product that I’ve tried and loved this week is Keratin Complex Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner (£19.95). If you like the scent of vanilla, you will fall head over heels for this stuff. The intensive conditioning treatment is packed with aromatherapy beads of vanilla bean, which burst when applied to hair. After 10-20 minutes (preferably with a plastic cap over head, although I achieved amazing results without one), hair is left looking impressively glossy (think mirror shine). Better still, the stunning scent clings to hair for days (it lasted through two further shampoo’s). www.keratincomplexhairproducts.co.uk

Mavala. I’m currently wearing Mavala ELLE (£3.95) on my fingers and toes. The polish has been created to celebrate 25 years of ELLE Magazine – and it’s already making waves in the beauty industry, with journalists and bloggers raving about it. The grey hue, with subtle purple undertones, works well for these overcast September days. According to the brand, the hue perfectly embodies the spirit of the ELLE woman; ‘fearless, sexy, elegant, sophisticated, and stylish’. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Exclusively at John Lewis.

Aveda. If you’re looking to recreate some of the up-do’s in our Autumn/Winter Trend Report (click here to read the feature), it is well worth investing in Aveda’s new Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray (£17). When I heard that the product was used backstage at Rodarte, Jason Wu and Christian Siriano, I knew it would be good – and I wasn’t wrong. The formula contains corn derivative Propanediol to provide flexibility, whilst natural UV filter and antioxidant Oryzanol helps to protect hair. Better still, it contains essential oils Bulgarian Lavender and Bulgarian Rose, which gives it a delicious fragrance. 0870 0342380

Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve just returned home from a week lazing on a lilo in Cypriot sunshine – and as holidays are the only chance I ever have to read, I have a recommendation for you; Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (£7.99). It’s about to hit the big screen (with Julia Roberts as the lead) – and when I heard rumours that it was much better as a book, I was keen to read it before I headed to the cinema. The story is about a year of one woman’s life, travelling to Rome, India and Bali. It is told beautifully – I could taste the pizza she described in Rome, hear the chanting in India, and smell the exotic flowers in Bali. I really, really recommend that you discover it for yourself. Bookshops Nationwide.

I’ve always been passionate about beauty and particularly loved going to beauty salons in my native France, so I decided to bring French beauty to the UK with my Cannelle salons!
I believe salons need to deliver a fusion of beauty with the finest quality products and a premium level of service. It also vital to work in synergy with our skin, senses and with the environment. Being eco-friendly wherever possible is a vital part of Cannelle’s philosophy on beauty and running a business.
Cannelle is famous for its unique French hot waxing which offers clients trusted, long-lasting and superior waxing results and is less painful than other waxing treatments widely available in the UK. In particular hot wax is excellent at reducing in-growing hair especially around the bikini line; strips are not used and hot wax doesn’t stick to the skin. Hot waxing is quite simply the only way to do it!
We are understanding more and more the importance of taking care of our skin, whatever our age, sex or skin type. My top 5 tips for having lasting beauty are:-
1) Drink as much water as you can! When we are hydrated, our skin’s tone and texture are improved, leaving the skin with a wonderful glow and a firmer, more supple appearance.
2) Using a mask infused with powerful hydrating properties (collagen, vitamins E and C etc.) immediately quenches and plumps de-hydrated and sun-damaged skin. Decléor Aroma Mosaic Facial Treatments use 100% pure essential oils with natural plant extracts.
3) Having a massage with vibration improves blood flow, circulation and stimulates lymphatic drainage. Try CACI Ultimate treatments.
4) It is really true that your hands can reveal how old you are. Keep them moisturised, use sun-block and treat them to a monthly manicure.
5) Try Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, which rejuvenates skin and improves the appearance of rosacea, flushing, broken capillaries, sun damaged skin, age spots and skin texture.
For more information about Cannelle, visit www.cannellebeaute.co.uk

I feel immensely privileged to work with the women in the North of Ghana who collect Shea nuts in the wild and process organic Shea butter ready to be exported to the UK. Seven years ago, this group of around 200 women operated as individual families and collectively managed to produce around 500kg of conventional Shea butter per year. Now established as an official co-operative, they are able to pool resources, and produce up to 20 tonnes of organic certified Shea butter every six weeks!
In day-to-day terms this means that rather than collecting Shea nuts and walking them 5 to 6 miles to the market to sell, the women are able to collect and process the Shea nuts into butter, using organic farming methods. This is then weighed and boxed and a large container lorry collects the boxes from the main operation area in the village ready to embark on the long journey to the port for shipping. Collectively the women have much more power, financial independence, and opportunity by producing and selling this miracle raw ingredient as a group, as opposed to operating on an individual basis – the true essence of a working co-operative.
We ensure that all the business is conducted on a fair trade basis – and the organic farming process also guarantees that the women are not affected by harmful chemicals. The women are paid a fair price for the work that they undertake and we closely monitor their working conditions. Additional profits from the sale of the organic Shea butter are reinvested back into the community. There is now a crèche for the younger children, which means the women don’t need to carry the little ones on their backs while they work. There is also a school for the older children and we are currently looking at how we can provide more play and recreation equipment for the children.
On practical terms, the women in this rural area create their own income, are able to provide for their families, send their children to school and in some cases, even build their own houses. However, on a personal and more spiritual level the women now have a sense of pride, dignity, independence and hope for the future. This is a real example of girl power and how women working together can achieve greater rewards for themselves and for the next generation.
The Shea Butter produced by the co-operative in the North of Ghana is used in a large number of products, sold by the organic beauty experts, Green People.

Give your skin an overnight treat, with our selection of intensive night creams

BOBBI BROWN OVERNIGHT CREAM, £37.19 for 50ml (www.bobbibrown.co.uk)
What they say: This rich, restorative cream hydrates, de-stresses and helps repair skin’s appearance while you sleep. Ideal for anyone looking for a technologically advanced repair product for night time use.
The Results: I loved the thick, creamy texture of this product. It instantly soothed my dry, tight skin. There was no greasiness and it sunk in impressively quickly, leaving my skin feeling supple and looking instantly plumped. It has the light, subtle fragrance of lavender, which made it ideal for bedtime. I don’t usually bother using a night cream – I simply slather on my regular day cream before hitting the sack. Since using this cream, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my skin. The moisture levels have balanced out and it feels silky soft. It’s pricey, but really works.
Best for: Dry skin

NUXE NUXURIANCE NIGHT CREAM, £38.50 for 50ml (www.escentual.com)
What they say: For women from age 50 whose skin is weakened by hormonal variations. Apply in the evening over the face and throat. These truly exceptional products required an ultra-effective SPA treatment protocol.
The Results: My skin has become quite sensitive as I’ve got older, which makes it difficult to buy skincare products. I want something rich enough to tackle wrinkles, yet enough for my delicate skin. I felt this night cream balanced those concerns. I was worried at first, as it’s quite thick and I thought my skin might overheat, but it felt lightweight as it absorbed into my skin. My face felt soft and supple – and I definitely noticed a difference to the tone of my skin after a few weeks of nightly use. The wrinkles haven’t disappeared yet, but I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Best for: Improving skin tone

What they say: Garnier Nutritionist Regenerating Night Cream is a rich cream works when your skin is recuperating – while you’re asleep. It helps dull-looking skin appear more radiant, toned and supple.
The Results: I have combination skin, but it is dehydrated – so I need an intensive night cream that won’t cause my skin to break out in blemishes. At the same time, I am starting to notice a few lines appearing around my mouth and eyes. I was pleased to be handed this cream, as it is aimed at younger skin showing the first signs of ageing – ideal for my concerns. The cream itself is thick and pale green. It takes about five minutes to fully absorb, so not great for those in a hurry, but I found it soothing and refreshing. I have been using it now for three weeks on a nightly basis and my skin feels much better hydrated when I wake up in the morning. It looks youthful and plumped. I will definitely continue using it and will reinvest when the pot runs out.
Best for: Young skin

What they say: Velvety cream, luxuriously textured and delicately scented, intensely nourishes for a plumping and firming effect, specifically formulated for skin’s night function.
The Results: I spend a lot of money on my skincare, so I was relieved to be handed this stylish pot in classic monochrome packaging. The cream has a thick, velvety texture, but it sinks in quickly and feels surprisingly lightweight on skin. It has a rich, indulgent scent and leaves skin feeling very soft, so appliance is a real pleasure. I wasn’t expecting miracles and it hasn’t completely smoothed or lifted my complexion – but I have noticed a marked difference in the texture of my skin. It looks fresh and even-toned when I wake up in the morning. It’s pricey – but as far as I’m concerned, you get what you pay for.
Best for: Luxury buy

What they say: Olay Regenerist All Night Recovery Creams unique formula provides continuous, intensive moisturisation for 8 hours through the night and promotes nightly surface cell regeneration for the look of a mini-lift in the morning.
The Results: I’m in my late 50’s and I’m always searching for products to smooth and plump my skin. This product looked ideal, so I was looking forward to seeing the results. I loved the scent of the cream – it’s very relaxing, which is perfect for bedtime. It has a thick consistency, but I was impressed with how quickly it absorbed. After three weeks of applying it every night, my skin feels much, much softer. The difference in smoothness is not dramatic – although I didn’t expect miracles – but I do think the skin looks plumper and lines less defined.
Best for: Mature Skin

COWSHED ROSE REPLENISHING NIGHT CREAM, £35 for 50ml (www.cowshedonline.com)
What they say: This richly textured, time-resisting cream softens and smoothes the skin. Made with rose absolute to encourage skin cell regeneration. Enriched with rose geranium essential oil and carrot seed oil to tone and hydrate the skin while you sleep. The deep floral aroma creates a sense of vitality and relaxed well-being.
The Results: The luxurious rose scent and thick, balm-like texture of this cream made applying it a real pleasure. My skin is very dry and I use a rich night cream every evening to keep it feeling supple and hydrated. After massaging it into my skin, it felt instantly softer and plumped with moisture. The high concentration of essential oils might make it unsuitable for more sensitive skins, but my complexion lapped it up! I’m most impressed by how soft and smoothed by skin feels – I’d highly recommend it.
Best for: Softening skin

What it promises: The best, safest and most effective teeth whitening treatment combines the speed of in-spa ‘laser’ treatment (which lightens the teeth by an average of 8-12 shades) and the long-term maintenance of a customised tray homekit (fabricated from impressions of your teeth). The combination of treatments promises to give you the white, bright teeth you’ve always dreamt of – on a long-term basis.
What happens: I’m not a big fan of the dentist, so heading to a chic London spa for teeth whitening was the only way I was prepared to let somebody loose on my smile. As soon as I entered the stylish, whitewashed treatment room, my mind was put at ease – there’s little chance to feel scared when greeted by such a smiley, enthusiastic therapist! The procedure was explained clearly, so that nothing felt alien, before things were kicked off by impressions being taken of my teeth (used to make the bespoke trays for whitening at home). I was worried the gel would taste horrendous – but it was mess-free and tasted of strawberries. So far, so good! It was time to hop up onto the bed and have the cheek retractor put into my mouth to hold my lips and tongue away from teeth – this was the bit I was dreading as it looked like a torture instrument, but I’m pleased to report that it didn’t hurt at all. Whilst it wasn’t the most comfortable mouthwear, but I was able to forget about it after a few minutes. The therapist then applied a patented ‘desensitiser’ onto the top of my teeth to prevent heightened sensitivity, before applying a gel to protect my gums. Once this was hard (thanks to an ultra violet light), the first layer of whitening gel was applied. As I relaxed, a special light was shone onto my teeth for 8 minutes to activate the gel. After it was removed, the procedure was repeated twice more, first for 8 minutes and then for 12 minutes. Finally, the cheek retractor was removed and I was asked to swill my mouth out with water – and I was ready to go!
Results: I wasn’t expecting a big jump in tooth shades, as my teeth weren’t hugely discoloured to begin with, so I was elated to discover that they were now 12 shades lighter. To maintain the result, I was told to avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-coloured food (basically anything that would stain a white T-shirt) for 48-hours – and I can honestly say that was the hardest part of the whole procedure! Just over a week later, my bespoke trays and syringes of whitening gel arrived in the post – so I was able to top up the result whenever I felt the need (I will aim to brighten my teeth every couple of months). Despite some sensitivity in the days that followed, it is definitely a treatment I will be recommending to my friends.
Price: Starting at £395.
Location: Pearlys Teeth Whitening at Urban Retreat, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL. 0207 8938333. http://harrods.urbanretreat.co.uk. For more details about Pearlys, visit www.pearlys.co.uk/

Editor’s Letter (03.09.10)
How much do you spend on your beauty products? Like to splurge on premium products? Or prefer to find budget brands that offer more for your money? To be honest, I’m a bit of both – I’m quite happy to part with my cash for luxury items like fragrance, spa treatments, and anti-ageing face creams, but I would find it painful to hand over my credit card for bottles of shower gel, bubble bath, or shampoo that cost more than £10. I was at a press event recently with a group of beauty bloggers and asked them how much they spent every month on their beauty obsession – and when I heard that they spent well over £100 each and every month, I was genuinely surprised. I’m lucky that I rarely need to splurge on products, as they land on my desk in quick succession – but I can’t imagine I’d part with so much of my hard-earnt cash if I wasn’t in such a fortunate position (I certainly didn’t when I worked in fashion in a previous life). If you frequently splurge on beauty, I recommend reading our feature this week ‘Anti-Ageing on a Budget’ by clicking here – you may discover that efficiency comes at a much cheaper price…

Yves Saint Laurent. Whilst I adore fragrance, I’m quite fussy – and it’s rare that a bottle landing on my desk makes it way to my own dressing table. Last week, however, I discovered a gem – Yves Saint Laurent’s stylish new scent Parisienne (from £52). The first sniff transported me to Paris on a bright spring morning, with notes of dew-soaked roses, crisp green accords, and a sensual, chic woody base. It’s pretty, fashionable, and very wearable – I personally think it works better for daywear, so I will be spritzing it generously over my hair, scarf, and cashmere knits as autumn approaches for an instant pick-me-up. Department Stores Nationwide.

Imperial Leather. If you’re on a budget, but still like a bit of luxury in your life, I highly recommend treating yourself to Imperial Leather’s delicious new Limited Edition products. Available in Bath Cream and Shower Cream (both £1.48), ‘Precious’ is fragranced with notes of Blooming Jasmine and Cotton Milk, whilst Tempting boasts notes of Passion Flower and Rice Milk (my personal favourite). There are few better ways to pamper – and they make little dent in the weekly budget. Available in Asda Stores Nationwide now – and following at other major retailers from October/November onwards.

Elemis. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we will see more and more pink products hitting shelves over the coming weeks. The launch that has caught my eye is Elemis’ Sparkling Beauty Collection (£50), which contains five irresistible products – Pro Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust (15ml), Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (30ml), Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules (x14), Visible Brilliance (10ml) and Elemis Eau de Parfum (4ml). The combined worth is £143, which makes a saving of £93 – and the brand have pledged £10,000 to Breast Cancer Care. From 6th September at www.timetospa.co.uk

Boots. I rarely dare to apply fake tan – and on the occasions that I do, I’m terrified that I’ll end up orange and streaky… However, with a holiday to prepare for, I thought it was better to spare those on the Cypriot beaches my bright white skin, so prepared to apply my usual brand of fake tan (Palmers Cocoa Butter Gradual Tanner). Just before I pumped the bottle, I remembered that I’d been send Soltan’s Beautiful Bronze Self Tan Mitt (£1.74) and rushed to my beauty cupboard to grab it. I’ve used these mitts before (which you wear over your hand to apply the product to skin) and I’d forgotten what a huge difference it made to the overall result. It was a pleasure to not have to worry about washing hands, so makes the job much quicker too. Spending your pennies on the mitt really is the best way to an even-toned, streak-free tan. www.boots.com

The Literary Gift Company. It’s not often that I notice adverts on Facebook, but my attention was grabbed by a link to buy this quirky mug (£9.95), which reads GO AWAY, I’M WRITING. It’s a trait of mine to shut out the world when I’m trying to write – it drives my other half crazy, as I’m often unable to even register that he’s speaking – so in future, I can place the mug on a table between us to remind him to leave me to it… The situation is reversed when he’s reading – so for him, I will be buying the apt GO AWAY, I’M READING. They will make great stocking fillers if you know geeky types like us. www.theliterarygiftcompany.com

Ladies, your credit cards are set to take a battering… Illamasqua is launching its first standalone store. Set to open in September, the store will be located in the heart of London’s Soho.
If you are yet to discover Illamasqua, the new flagship will provide the perfect opportunity, with a rotating exhibition area to showcase limited edition products in collaboration with the charity, S.O.P.H.I.E – as well as a unique makeup school, offering evening and day-time courses. Unsurprisingly, given that Vivienne Westwood’s son and founder of Agent Provocateur Joe Corre is a key investor, the brand is unapologetically anarchic, demanding a curiosity. It encourages an experimental nature towards makeup, which is truly inspiring, breaking boundaries by rejecting the traditional hard-sell at beauty counters and a paint-by-numbers approach.
Professional makeup artists work for the brand, whose quality products boast impressive formulas and intensive pigments. If ever there was a season to rediscover makeup, this is it, as the daunting, polished and immaculate styles of the past few seasons make way for a new grunge which is slightly smudged around the edges and endearingly imperfect.
The brand, which launched in November 2008, has quickly earnt a loyal following with its cult status being recognised in the US where it is sold in Sephora. The website, www.illamasqua.com, is well worth a look and with this in mind, their window displays are likely to be highly anticipated.

Feature: ANTI-AGEING – ON A BUDGET (03.09.10)
Worried about lines, wrinkles, or pigmentation? Wish your body could feel and look firmer? Want to add some sparkle back to your smile? This week, we have the answers – and it won’t break the bank, as everything costs £10 or under…

Pearl Drops Replenishing White
Our daily diet causes damage to the surface enamel of our teeth, which dulls the colour, making them look older. Keep your smile looking young by swapping to a whitening toothpaste – and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Using breakthrough whitening technology, Pearl Drops Replenishing White is the only anti-aging teeth whitener, replenishing your tooth’s brilliant white enamel surface to reverse the effects of time.
The product promises to combat the most overlooked sign of ageing. The unique advance in teeth whitening, with a patented formula that contains Liquid Calcium®, restores and protects the whiteness of teeth. The products has harnessed the expertise of the UK’s leading whitening experts to combat this in three ways: ‘Reverse’ the damage already done to the surface enamel, ‘Protect’ against future surface enamel damage, and ‘Enhance’ the whiteness of your teeth.
With Pearl Drops Replenishing White, £7.99, 50ml, available from Boots. For more information visit www.pearldrops.co.uk.

Aldi Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum
With so many anti-ageing creams and serums on the market, it’s hard to know which to choose – and even harder to find one under £10. However, this year Aldi’s Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum was hailed the most effective anti-wrinkle cream on shelves, according to a Sunday supplement. Costing just £3.49, sales have soared – with many stores selling out. Aldi claims the serum’s combination of Shea Butter, Macadamia Nut Oil and Vitamins C and E helps to smooth out wrinkles and improve the elasticity of the skin.
The Serum is available in Aqua-Complete and Anti-Ageing Serum. The light cream-gel texture makes skin feel softer, smoother and tighter – and users report noticeably less wrinkles after using it for just a couple of weeks.
Aldi Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum, £3.49, 50ml, available from Aldi stores nationwide and at aldi.co.uk

Korres Colour Eyebrow Pencil
Sparse eyebrows can be a sign of old age – so make sure that you don’t pluck them too much. To help them look more defined, use a brow powder or an eyebrow pencil. It’s essential that the pencil looks natural, so rather than tracing a harsh line, mimic natural hairs by drawing lots of tiny strokes.
Korres make three shades of eyebrow pencil – dark, medium and light – all for just £8 each. The pencil is made of cedar wood and is long lasting, with an exceptional powdery texture for a natural matte finish. Its pressed colour powder technology allows a smudge-free effect with easy application – either to wet or dry skin. Korres Natural Products is Greek company with roots in the first Homeopathic Pharmacy of Athens so it’s all natural, good stuff.
Korres Colour Eyebrow Pencil, £8.00, available from www.bathandunwind.com

Dove Pro-age Hand Cream
Hands are always a giveaway when it comes to age, but Dove’s Pro-age hand cream is one of the best on the market to help soften mitts and make them look visibly younger. Priced at just £2.99, it claims to improve the appearance of age spots and wrinkles
The cream is formulated for women over 50 and, according to Dove, has been created to give your skin back what it needs – faster cell turnover and plenty of rich nourishment and protection.
It contains AHA that helps to get rid of dead skin cells and help the skin activate new ones, Glycerin to add critical hydrating nourishment, so the skin improves its cell turnover, Olive Oil to provide additional nutrients to help your skin, and SPF to help prevent sun damage.
Dove’s Pro-age Hand Cream, £2.99 for 75ml (www.superdrug.com)

Phyto Phytodensium Anti-Aging Shampoo
Hair gets more fragile and weak with age, so it’s important that you prevent any potential thinning by swapping to an anti-aging shampoo. While it’s hard to find one under £10, Phyto Phytodensium produce an anti-aging shampoo that fits the bill. It increases hair density and strength by fortifying and invigorating tresses back to their youthful elasticity. It’s a gentle shampoo that, for best results, can be used with Phytodensium Mask and Phytodensium Serum.
In clinical tests, 95 per cent of volunteers noticed fuller, stronger, shinier hair after four weeks of testing – and that’s good enough endorsement for us!
Pyhto Phytodensium Anti-Aging Shampoo, £10 for 200 ml (www.hqhair.com)

L’Oreal Body-Expertise Age Re-Perfect Calcium Replenishing Creme-Lotion
Don’t be put off by the long name, as L’Oreal’s Body-Expertise Age Re-Perfect Calcium Replenishing Creme-Lotion has the power to make skin feel softer, and appear firmer and younger-looking.
With age, skin can lose its density, becoming drier sometimes beginning to ‘sag’. However, this lotion, costing just £5.95, is enriched with Hydraulium New Age Re-Perfect Calcium, which prevents dry skin.
Its firming formula also helps to fight slackening and wrinkling of the skin; improving its firmness and making it look younger.
L’Oreal Body-Expertise Age Re-Perfect Calcium Replenishing Creme-Lotion, £5.95 (250ml) available from www.feelunique.com

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