Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Diamancel Foot Buffer

For years I've avoided buying this even though I knew it would be good because it's £40 and it's the most unexciting purchase ever. Then I saw it was in the Cult Beauty sale for £19 so I snapped one up (having looked at my poor, dry feet) and I've just used it for the first time.

I can only call what happened an epiphany. My feet are soft as a baby's with such little effort. This tool is essential if you suffer from dry feet. It's a miracle worker. Everyone needs one. I am stroking my feet and marvelling at such smoothness.

The bad news is that it's no longer available at Cult Beauty but honestly and truly, spend the money. You won't regret it I promise.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Laser hair removal

The delightful topic of body hair is one I've not mentioned before. Not because I am smooth skinned, untainted by unwanted hair. Ha! No, because it's not glam and it's such a bore. Waxing, shaving blah blah blah. All of it is annoying and makes me want to stab those blondes who have a whisp of hair and complain about it. I am dark haired.

After more than 30 years of battling with my body hair I made a decision this year. It was going to be The Winter Of Laser. My sister had her legs lasered a few years ago and going in the sunshine with her now is an exercise in smugness (her) and pure envy (me) as she shimmies into her bikini smooth as can be while I sport red bumps and ingrowing hairs. Enough already!

I decided my six months in New York could not be all about shopping (only because my credit card couldn't stand it, I could totally shop for six months) and so I decided the time had come. Laser hair removal is expensive but there are bargains to be had and indeed within two weeks of being in New York, Gilt City (a version of Groupon) had an offer for Bliss hair removal at 40% off. It's such a complete bargain I can hardly believe it. I bought a session of five full leg treatments (which includes mild bikini line - nothing freaky) for about $1600 or so (I actually can't remember how much it was but worked out it was about £900). Back to the Bliss mothership I went my legs freshly shaved for my first session. By the way, you do have to go on for a patch test before your first session.

Just so you know, it hurts. Do not be fooled. In places it is excruciating. In other places I barely feel it. This depends on each person, what my sister found painful doesn't hurt me and vice versa. When it hurts, I find myself clinging to the bed, gnashing my teeth cursing about a) being a woman and b) caring about body hair. It takes about an hour to do both legs (including toes!) After the first session I looked like a plucked turkey and my legs were very itchy. This is normal. I applied copious amounts of body cream. The miracle is it works immediately, I already had obvious bald patches. Back I went five weeks later for session two. I was told it would hurt less each time. A lie. I went with raging jet lag and forgot to take ibuprofen beforehand (do this as it makes a huge difference) and the technician made the current stronger. I am quite good with pain, bikini waxes don't bother me at all. I have a tattoo. I am not a wuss. This bloody hurt.

However, the pain is completely worth it. By April my legs should be hair free and I can't wait. I am considering booking several holidays in very hot places and packing only bikinis. It's so liberating to be hair free and yes, it shouldn't matter and yes, it's madness to have to spend so much money and go through pain for beauty but you know what? I don't care. I wish I had it done years ago. I shall keep you up to date with my quest for smooth legs.

In other Bliss news, I went to the London spa to have a Shellac manicure today and it really is leagues better than the New York ones. The staff are lovely, they pay such close attention to the treatment and my manicure is better than the ones I've had in New York. I am still reeling than London does this better but there you go. Also, it was free as I had built up sessions on my loyalty card. Much happiness.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

Much woe, Estee Lauder has discontinued by beloved Doublewear mascara. They still do DW but it's not the one I love and adore. I knew this would happen, I finally find my desert island mascara and they do away with it. I bought this new Bobbi Brown one to see how I'd get on. Meh, it's ok but it's not even in the same league as the Estee Lauder one. My one faint hope is I might be able to stock up while I am back in London as they are running down stocks.

One is not amused.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas gift ideas

I am a little late with my list this year but if you are a traditional last minute shopper, then here is my list of gifts I'd love to find under the tree.

Bliss is still one of my favourite brands. The eye masks are truly miraculous. I have invested in a job lot of these as I am flying so much. They are perfect when you have a hangover as well.

The Bliss shower gels are my staples and I adore them all. The new Grapefruit one is gorgeous.

YSL nail varnish is blowing my mind. It's very treaty, looks gorgeous and is a cinch to apply.

I have bought many eyeliners this year and my favourite is this one from NARS. I pretty much wear it every day. Easy to apply and stays put all day long.

I also covet the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeliners. These look gorgeous and if I could justify buying yet more eyeliners...

My favourite moisturiser discovery this year is the Kiehls 24/7 Activated Moisturiser. This smells like absolute heaven and it makes me feel happy just to put it on. I highly recommend this.

Yet again I will say that a Tom Ford lipstick would make anyone happy.

And the Bumble and Bumble DrySpun Finish is fabulous. I succumbed and got some of this and it's the best hair product I've used for ages. It just makes your hair all oompy and full.

The Chanel cream blush made my year, finally they released a cream blush and it was worth the wait. And of course it looks fabulous on your dressing table

Finally, if you love Moroccan Hair Oil for the scent then I am reliably informed this perfume smells the same. Etro's Shaal Nar. I've not smelt it but it's top of my wishlist. Jenni, this one's for you!

Merry Christmas to you all. May your Christmas day be filled of beauty wonder.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Maybelline Baby Lips

There is nothing more enjoyable than browsing a New York drugstore. Forget Boots, these places sell everything. Beer, milk, ice cream, cleaning products, underwear, stationery, fruit salads (yes, really) cakes, biscuits, candy, magazines, cigarettes (also, yes, really) you name it, they have it. And they have make-up. Loads of it immaculately presented. Maybelline is not a brand I have a huge amount of time for but I had read that the Baby Lips balm was a winner so I bought one for the princely sum of $4.

I am loving it. It's the perfect lip balm, easy to put on, flattering and moisturising. If you lose it (I always seem to lose my lip balms) you don't mind as it as only $4. So far I've not lost it but I bought a few more just in case. They come in loads of shades or just clear. Basically they are real winners, I've not seen them over here but I don't spend much time looking at Maybelline so maybe they are available. If not, leave a comment if you'd like me to hit you up.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

NARS One Night Stand

Over on the Sali Hughes forum, there is a a lot of noise about this, however it seems to be sold out in the UK. There are always issues with NARS supply in the UK, somebody should sort it out. I offered to get some for those desperate and needy souls whose lives are incomplete without a blush palette and three people have asked me to get them one. My beloved Sephora of course has stacks of them.

Now of course I find myself wanting one. No, I don't need one. Yes, I have a lot of blusher but look at it. You can read about it here. It's so beautiful. NARS do the best packaging, so cool. I must resist.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bumble and Bumble Dryspun finish

Once again, we can thank Sali Hughes for bringing this to my attention, she mentioned it a few weeks ago. You spray on dry hair and it gives it bouf, oomph, pizzazz. And it really does. New York is not a natural friend to my hair, I noticed in my first few weeks that my hair was looking lacklustre and a bit, well, flat darlings. I dislike flat.

I went into Sephora (as I tend to do at least once a day) and had a play with this and I am impressed. It's easy to use, it doesn't smell nasty and it works. It's also $29 and I simply can't justify it at the moment. Curses buying a house, it's eating into my beauty fund.

Frankly, why bother buying it though? I can just go to a Sephora and use the sample. My sister became somewhat obsessed with this on her visit and made it her mission to spray at least once a day. I blame her for the fact that now every time I go into a branch, the canister is empty!

Maybe Santa will be kind to me. In the meantime, my hair seems to have acclimatised and it's improved somewhat. I am not sure it's for sale in the UK yet (could I be any more annoying?) but when it lands, check it out.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

New York City Bliss

I've been in New York for two weeks and have been to the Bliss Spa twice. What can I say? I am addicted. However, I have a rare example of an American thing London does better. The Bliss Spa in Chelsea, London is superior to the two Bliss Spas I've been to here in Manhattan. I find this hard to believe as well but it's true.

I have decided to embrace the shellac manicure again since I can't stand chipped nail varnish. So fresh off the plane I high-tailed it over to 57th and Fifth.  I wasn't bowled over by the service, the technician was competent but distant. She didn't ask if I wanted a drink or make me feel anything other than a minor inconvenience in her day. I want to say it's cheaper than London but having just looked up the prices, I am not sure it is. Maybe a few pounds less. However, when it comes to Shellac manicures I have learned the hard way that it's worth paying for. There is nothing worse than a badly done job to irritate you. And she did a great job. However, slightly put off I decided to book today's manicure (and pedicure) with Bliss 49 on Lexington.

This above picture is exactly where I sat. The technician was friendlier and even made me a mint tea. She did a great job as well (navy blue on fingers, purple on toes since you ask) however it still doesn't have the wow factor of the London spa. The staff at the front desk are positively dumb. I don't expect them to be Einstein but honestly, these girls lacked any customer care training and there was no evidence of brain power. I find this astounding in a city that takes customer service so seriously. Maybe they don't need to try and everyone flocks to them anyway but on a Sunday morning, this place was not that busy. However, I guess Park Avenue princesses don't work and go in the week.

Having said all that I am sitting here admiring the handiwork so overall I am pleased and I will go back to the 49 spa. I just wish they would up their game to match their prices.

The Bliss products are cheaper by far and they have amazing holiday sets which are fantastic value. The shower gels and body butters for $33. Obviously I stocked up.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Christmas is coming and that means palettes are hitting the shops. Bobbi's make my mouth water. I don't even use palettes that much finding you favour one or two colours and the rest remain unused but by god, they are so pretty.

This Twilight one is gorgeous:

I've very much got my eye on this smokey eye cool palette:

They also do one for warm:

Tom Ford does these quads all year round and they are the holy grail of eye make-up. This one makes my heart flutter:

This Blue Dahlia Estee Lauder palette is also soooo pretty:

Look at this Lancome packaging!

I want them all!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Essie Fall 2013 collection

I am well aware I don't need any more nail varnish but honestly, since when has need got anything to do with anything? I like the look of After School Boy Blazer and Cashmere Bathrobe in this little lot. You can find out more here.

While I am here, my nail colour of the week on my fingers is Smokin' Hot and I still adore this colour.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bliss Pink Grapefruit & Aloe

Another day, another grapefruit shower gel to try. My obsession with grapefruit refuses to go away and when I read that Bliss had a new scent, I was champing at the bit to try it. I am not at all disappointed, this is heavenly.

Zesty and refreshing, I am a big fan. Bliss do great shower gels, very concentrated so although they are expensive, you don't need much. Recommended.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Nail colour of the week

Toenail colour of the week actually. YSL's Brun Moderne. I love this very much, it's dark, glossy and vampy. I can't wait to have it on my fingers too. The YSL nail varnish is addictive. I like the look of all of these as well.

Just saying...

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

I discovered this range a few years ago in a moment of desperation when my nails were a mess and I was nowhere near a nail bar. I bought this and was hooked. You don't need a base or top coat, you just put this on and you're done. It's not the same as a proper manicure but it's still excellent in an emergency and it stays on for days and days. The colour above is called Shell we Dance and it's the perfect pale pink. Last week in New York I also bought Commander In Chic:

I've not had time to use it yet but I think it looks like a good colour.

I also bought Earl Gray which I loved however I gave it a friend who admired it so much and had bought me dinner so I figured she deserved it.

They are about $7 each. I've not seen them in the UK but they might be available. If not, I am willing to take orders and send some back. You can read more about them here.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


I have recently rediscovered Kiehls and I had forgotten how much I like it. Last month I bought the Skin Rescuer which claims to fix stressed skin. I don't know about that but it feels like a dream and is light yet moisturising.

Then at the airport last week, this caught my eye:

24/7 Activated Moisturiser. It's sold for flights to help dehydrated skin so of course I snapped it up. It's divine, it's full of essential oils so it smells like heaven. Applying it on the plane when you feel like you've had the life sucked out of you and the air smells like stale peanuts is such a tonic. I am pretty sure you don't have to fly to feel the benefits of this.

I also bought a travel sized cleanser.

This is very intense, you only need the teeniest blob as I discovered when I spent about 10 minutes trying to rinse it off. It's a great cleanser though and skin feels nice and soft and not tight afterwards.

So all in all, I am enjoying Kiehls and although not cheap, it's not super-expensive either.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sephora, Sephora, how I love you

I was in New York last week for work and it was pretty intense. However, the sun was shining and it was lunchtime and there is a huge Sephora opposite the office.

Why is there no Sephora over here? It's just HEAVEN. I was in there for an hour and seriously could have spent the whole afternoon. It's very cleverly designed. Some examples: they have nail bars, themed like Neon, so all the shades of neons from different ranges and you can do your own nails. No charge. They have stands of Top 10 products, for example, top 10 primers, top 10 mascaras, top 10 roll on perfume. This makes you look at a range you may overlook. It's brilliant marketing. The best bit is they leave you alone to play and explore. If you have questions, the assistants are there to help you but they don't hound you.

The main attraction for me was the Marc Jacobs make-up range.

It didn't disappoint. The nail varnish is gorgeous.

The packaging is divine. It's all lovely however I didn't buy anything. I know, you did read that correctly. It's expensive and you can't help feel you are paying for the packaging. Which I know is true of all high-end products but a combination of that and not actually needing anything restrained me.

I did however get a Smashbox eyeliner which I can tell you is fabulous. It's easy to apply, it stays on all day with absolutely no smudging.

I also picked up a Clinique super primer.

I am so disappointed in it. It's a very strange consistency and it's nothing special. I shall try again with it but it's not wowing me.

I am moving to New York at the end of October for six months and I feel that Sephora is going to get the bulk of my salary. They do a loyalty card though...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Marc Jacobs make-up

Oh, be still my beating heart.

Marc Jacobs has done a make-up line.

Look at it.

And tell me you don't want it.

It's only available in America at the moment but fortunately, as fate would have it, I am going to New York on Sunday for a work trip. Do not be concerned, I plan to schedule a visit to the Marc Jacobs shop to check out these pretties. The eye palettes are TO DIE FOR.

Nail colour of the week

It's raining, the temperature has dipped and autumn is well and truly here. You can get depressed and complain about this (which believe me, I have been doing) or you can embrace A/W fashion and opt for a dark vampy nail colour. So this week I went for Velvet Voyeur which is a gorgeous deep, dark purple.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September beauty buys

September is here and while I am not saying summer is over, it's definitely time to get serious in the beauty stakes. Sali Hughes has released a video of the products she is most excited about and I am warning you, do not watch it unless you want to seriously damage your bank account.

I knew what I was doing by watching it and found myself making a list of things I wanted. Of course that's never enough for me and so I waited hours, hours I say, before hotfooting it to SpaceNK. I had my beady eye on the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation.

I love the idea of compact foundations but have always found them too heavy. This is a dream, it glides on like silk and there is no cakiness, no flakiness. It's just perfect. So I bought that. Along with the pretty compact to put it in which is only £6 extra and is The Business. The thought of using it tomorrow morning makes going to work totally worth it.

I also bought some more Shu Uemura cleansing oil. I bought this last year with the Karl Lagerfeld packaging. It's marvellous, I adore it. It's lasted me nine months which isn't bad as I use it twice a day.

Then I went to the Chanel counter as I have been waiting to buy their cream blusher. At last they bring out a cream blusher. Yes, it is £27 but can you put a price on perfect blusher? This is divine. Again, it glides on and it's very highly pigmented so I can see it lasting for ages. I went for a bright pink: Affinite. J'adore.

I wanted to investigate the YSL glossy stain rebel nudes however not only were they not in yet, the sales assistant didn't know about them. Yet again, I am astounded by how bad YSL assistants are.

No matter, I am very happy with my purchases and declare the beauty A/W season officially open. What's on your list?

Estee Lauder - Modern Muse

Estee Lauder has a new perfume which is front page news. They've not released a new perfume for 10 years and so there is much excitement about this one. I would describe myself as an admirer of Estee Lauder perfume rather than a lover. My mother wore Private Collection and so I will always have a place in my heart for it but I could never wear it myself. I can't stand White Linen but appreciate why others like it. And I really actively dislike Beautiful, the name, the scent, everything about it.

However, Modern Muse sounds intriguing and I can't wait to have a sniff of it. I finished two perfumes this week, it felt almost liberating to actually finish a bottle of perfume and it means that technically there is room for a new purchase.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Body Shop Rose Shower Gel

Atlas Mountain Rose Shower Gel. I'm pretty sure no ingredient in this gel has been within a hundred miles of the Atlas Mountains but no matter because it is truly lovely. I love rose scented things more than anything else so this was always going to catch my eye. However, I wasn't expecting it to be so delightfully rosy. It's very concentrated so you don't need much and it's £6.50. Bargain. I love it.


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