The secret to beauty sleep?

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Awhile ago I was gifted with a little product from this works, a skincare company I really like, it’s ethos is clear and simple. Great products, using natural actives that do what they say – and actually work.

Yet when I was handed this product, I have to admit I was sceptical. How could this work? How can this little roller ball help me sleep more deeply and feel less stressed? Is this little product the secret to living a london lifestyle?

Whilst by no means do I think this is a magic potion, it has delivered. I rolled it on to my temples and pulse points as directed and breathed in the natural active aromas of lavender, eucalyptus and frankincense. At first I thought this won’t do anything… But I just closed my eyes and breathed in and out and soon found myself drifting off. When I woke up it was from my alarm. I hadn’t woken in the night. Not once. I felt like I’d had a weekend sleep.

Now the reason why I haven’t posted about this product straight away was to see if it stood the test of time. When I first used the product I was dealing with a super stressful situation and hadn’t been sleeping at all. So I felt that I needed to assess using it for a longer period.

Now a few months in, I have stopped using it everyday but when I do use it I notice a difference and tend not to wake in the night. It really does work!

So what’s inside this little rollerball wonder? Refreshing Eucalyptus which is renowned for boosting your physical and mental fatigue like a sensory cleanse and reinvigorating. Frankincense essential oil which helps you relax both physically and mentally whilst acting as an antiseptic to help fight infections, it also works at rejuvenating the skin so you look replenished when you wake. Last but of course by no means least, Lavender Oil, which most of us know is the most effective oil in helping hypertension, nervous tension and insomnia.

Since trying this, we are all now heading into the festive fast lane and the wonderful this works Christmas collections are now on shelf. I would say if this post makes you think of anyone you know, gift them this product. I was gifted this and it’s been one of the best gifts I have had. Giving the gift of better sleep? Surely that’s at the top of everyone’s secret letter to Santa?

This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less £12
This Works Dream Team £10

Discover more this works products

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A day in Dior

What better way to spend a Sunday than to disappear behind the scenes to one of the most renowned couture brands, Dior, following the takeover by CHANEL in 2011, this exhibition embodies Dior London embracing how this brand has styled the very best of British.

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As you stroll along the Brompton road you are delighted to unique and impeccably created window designs, from the humorous with vast Dior umbrellas (which plays perfectly with our less than Spring weather) to the cute with giant styled Harrods bears to a london we all wish we lived in, with Dior buses travelling alongside Diorified london sights, a Miss Dior London Eye to a London Underground stop I certainly wished existed ‘Lady Dior’

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Throughout my tour of Harrods you see reminders of what makes Dior so iconic and innovative, taking its heritage in design, modernity and not being afraid to give it an edge. The Harrods colour hall takes centre stage to a studio set up, making you feel more like a film star whilst having a makeover than sitting in a department store. It’s starry, glamorous and filled with limited edition makeup that is beautifully alluring. And even if the idea of sitting for a consultation is a little daunting for some, the wonder of Dior comes to the rescue with an in built video with subtitles within the limited edition makeup display – so you can happily stand, be inspired, learn and discover how to create your own ‘New Look… That is So Dior’

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Captivated as I was with the makeup… I made my way through to the black hall, where their latest ‘Collection Privee’ unveils a new debutant ‘Gris Montaigne’ an ultra feminine exclusif parfum infused with Patchouli, bergamot, rose, amber, cedar, sandalwood and oak moss blended by master nose Francois Demachy. Whilst some Patchouli fragrances can not really be my thing on first scent this is a delightful fragrance not too over whelming, it hasn’t made my to buy list but it is one I urge you to discover. At the moment CHANEL’s last addition to their Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection 1932 remains top of the Perfumes I want to buy list.

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My daily spritz at the moment is CHANEL Eau de Cologne from the Les Exclusifs range it’s zingy citrus notes allow me to hope that if I wear it daily the sun will appear in much the same way in the movie Field of Dreams you embrace the theory of ‘If you build it, he will come’. So despite the wind, rain, snow and arctic temperatures, my house is filled with Daffodils, I’m wearing Spring Neons and I am spritz-ing my way to spring.

However I digress, the main event of the Harrods takeover lies on the Fourth floor, where after battling your way through childrenswear and families, a little challenging on a weekend, you are rewarded with the entrance to the ‘So Dior’ exhibition… Within lies a tribute to the world of Dior, from the 1947 New Look – that caused such a stir in post war europe as it heralded a new sense of joy in clothing, style, elegance. To the couturiers links to perfumer – the launch of Miss Dior, created in 1947 and re-embodied today by Natalie Portman it is easy to see how Dior’s style is one that continues to stay chic whatever the decade.

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As a fashion honours graduate you can imagine my delight at being surrounded by such beautiful atelier craftsmanship, I am very lucky that I was privileged to have been invited by Dior, to the launch of the Dior V&A exhibition back in 2008 ‘The Golden Age of Couture’ which remains today one of my favourite evenings. So it was a delight to see a host of stunning gowns on display. The most mind boggling of all was the sequin dress created for Audrey Hepburn – I stood for a good five minutes trying to work out how small she must have been to fit in the dress… With all this size zero talk I would imagine she was smaller if not at least a zero in today’s standards.

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Of course no Dior exhibition in London is complete without a tribute to Lady Dior herself Diana Princess of Wales. The handbag who’s name pays homage to one of Dior’s most exceptional ambassadors. You can watch in glory on a Lady Dior screen how this icon is created.

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After your Dior-over what better way than to sit on a Sunday afternoon and take afternoon tea, The Dior Cafe is open to serve clients a stunningly beautiful array of English Afternoon Tea with a little Parisian Chic, the cafe resides to the side of the exhibition and can be full so advanced booking is certainly recommended. And of course a take home, after such a fabulous afternoon the return to reality can not be commenced without something to remind you that it wasn’t an Alice in Wonderland moment…

Enjoy your Day in Dior at Harrods until 14 April.

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A walk through ‘The world of CHANEL’ at Harrods

Ever wondered what it would be like to live inside a brand? If you could pick any brand why not the ultimate brand (in my opinion) CHANEL – well of course if any store could make this happen it would of course be Harrods…

Yesterday I took a walk through ‘The world of CHANEL’ in Harrods. It is a takeover of such immense scale it is amazing how it has been so cleverly kept secret until now.

Even from the walk along Brompton road you get a sense of what lays ahead as the Harrods flags have turned monochrome with just CHANEL fluttering away along the iconic building’s length, all it’s 23 windows along the stores front have been utterly transformed into Karl’s AW ready to wear catwalk show, suddenly walking along the pavement you can be front row of the ultimate fashion show. Take in the fantasy ethereal forest dream – where animals meet haute couture! I wasn’t even inside yet and it had taken my breath away!

Entering through Door 6 and into the stores Colour Hall (formerly the Lifestyle room) I discover a new pop up neighbour for MAC a PINK, yes you read correctly, CHANEL beauty boutique offers itself like a grown up sweetie shop – that you just have to discover! From giant 900ml bottles of No5, which yes you can buy money permitting, to a gorgeous EXCLUSIVE Collection created by the master, Peter Philips – Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup just for this installation and named ‘The Harrods Collection’ the star of the collection, none other than a pretty pink powder blush compact ‘Brompton Road‘ for £46, this is a great way to own a little limited edition piece of this fantastic take over.

But if that is not all, the space plays host to a whole 3 weeks of celebrity makeover events, I was lucky to spot Mary Greenwell and Sophy Robson who were giving expert makeovers and manicures respectively using the CHANEL new AW collection. Once made over I could not resist indulging in some CHANEL photobooth fun (not only is there an in-built wind machine, so you can create that hollywood glamour pose, but the miraculous booth even airbrushes you so your photos arrive picture perfect in a lovely CHANEL folder) now if only all my passport photo posing experiences where that good!!

A stroll along the ground floor and suddenly I feel and see tweed underfoot and I know I have entered something special. If like me you have ever felt a bit too intimidated to enter a CHANEL boutique now is your chance to experience the absolute wonder and awe of it. Another pop up boutique this one on a grand scale for the Ready to Wear Collection, Handbags, Accessories and Les Exclusif CHANEL fragrances. It is a little CHANEL curiosity shop – there is no other explanation for the dream you will feel you have entered. You will indulge your eyes in some of the ultimate visual merchandising you will ever witness as well as being able to touch, see and feel iconic CHANEL products. As well as some EXCLUSIVE products that you may recognise….

The iconic Harrods tote has been pimped up CHANEL stylee with a uber luxe chain, golden CHANEL logo and quilting effect. CHANEL’s biker boots have been given a wash with Harrods green as well as their classic overnight holdall. For those with slightly more disposable income there are also limited edition Classic handbags too!

The pure attention to every detail is brought to your attention at every turn, and no more so as you take in the mural wall and ceiling hand drawn in chalk to create a CHANEL forest backdrop to the latest AW fashion pieces.

With my eyes already starry and feeling like I am in the best luxe dream I went further into the world of CHANEL….. up another 2 floors to the 3rd Floor in Harrods, past illustrated maps of the world, to the entrance to ‘Une Promenade’ the most stellar installation and creation of a brand yet.

Through a wall of pearls you disappear and enter another world (I can only imagine that this is what stepping through those fur coats in Narnia would have been like – had it been real) but thanks to Karl & the CHANEL team sometimes fiction and dreams obviously do come true!

You move through the promenade with a CHANEL guide or alone if you prefer, through the making of 2.55 handbag – watching a multitude of screens as the Ateliers work their magic to create the dream handbag for girls worldwide.

My favourite room has to be Karl’s CHANEL doll house, hosting CHANEL Bearbricks – which if you follow the cult of Bearbrick life you will instantly want to own but alas they are not for sale! They stand over Harrods bears in their hand-made CHANEL suits (and boots) and you just wish that Karl Lagerfeld had designed your childhood bedroom.

Then onwards to Gabrielle’s apartment, featuring printed Coromandel screen walls, Haute Couture dresses, replica furniture from Gabrielle’s original apartment – you can feel like you are in 31, rue Cambon, PARIS.

No CHANEL world is complete until you see and even feel a bit of TWEED, and this world does not disappoint – enter the 54 room (named for 1954 – the year of Gabrielle’s return post war and the entrance of the tweed CHANEL jacket) stand and take in the hand drawn jacket designs on floor to ceiling scale on none other than tweed canvas by Karl himself. I never in a million years thought I would come face to face and touch one of his hand drawn designs.

A CHANEL world also naturally must pay homage to the world’s most iconic fragrance – that of course is none other than No5. A fragrance that is a brand in itself, step inside Andy Warhol’s famous prints of the mystery bottle. Watch the No5 films played on none other an immense No5 bottle.

There is of course lots more – such as a 2.55 handbag the size of your double bed (you could literally live in it and to be honest I would be more than happy to do so)…

Why not enter the world of CHANEL at Harrods too… explore from 5 – 24 September at Harrods, Brompton Road, London. I think I need to go again just to check I have not dreamt it!

A new fragrance star is born

Stellar crystal gurus Swarovski are about to add a touch of sparkle to the fragrance world with the launch of their first perfume Aura.

When I first heard the whisper of a collaboration with Clarins Fragrance Group I started to get very excited with visions of Crystal fortresses and amazing creations littering my imagination. So when my invitation to the Swarovski Crystallised lounge arrived back in November for the exclusive reveal I was more than a little curious…

Famed for its heritage in crystal figurines and beautiful Jewellery you’d be forgiven for not paying homage to their hollywood status, from Kate Hudson’s crystal red carpet dress to arguably one the most famous pairs shoes, I’m talking about Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers in the original Wizard of Oz to Audrey Hepburn’s necklace in Breakfast at Tiffany’s Swarovski has helped keep the sparkle and glamour in tinsletown over the years.

And so when Robin Vincent MD of Clarins UK made the reveal I was a little surprised at the understated glamour and sparkle of the bottle. The design is however beautiful and the juice a gorgeous dusky pink that is both classicly chic and feminine. So the most important part… what does it smell like?

The perfume is a real classic – you’d be forgiven for thinking Swarowski had a heritage in fragrance as this first scent is one that I think will be here to stay, it won’t be for everyone and is quite a grown up fragrance.  At its heart a  fusion of amber, benzoin and white musk,  blended lychee, white tuberose and pink pepper. The perfumes composers are Firmenich’s Jean-Pierre Bethouart and Olivier Cresp.

In line with the Clarins Fragrance Groups commitment to responsible development the bottles are all refillable with a perfume source available in stores similar to those by Thierry Mugler Angel and Alien.

In addition to the fragrance itself is a full line of sparkling iridescent makeup jewels – this is where this launch makes its mark and sets itself apart from the pack – the jewels are filled with luminous powders made up of mineralized Swarowski crystal no less! The fragrance and Makeup jewels hit the High Street on the 31 March – perfect timing for that Mother’s Day shopping trip…

Tell me what you think? It’s sure to be one of debate… is it sparkly enough?

Hot on the High Street….

Girls (and guys) it’s time to get out your diaries and make some room for some all important beauty perk up time! Whether you’re a 5 minute lunchtime treat shopper, a sneaky online buyer at work or simply love a weekend trip around the beauty and fragrance aisles

Here’s my top pick of what not to miss…

Find your Mr Bright at Benefit – 19 March

Benefit Finding Mr Bright

This spring is dominated by hot brights as seen on the catwalk and now hitting the high street but the thought of really living this trend can be a bit daunting especially for those of us like me still clinging to their safe dark (aka black) winter wardrobe, now there is an answer! Thanks to Benefit you can give your make-up bag a spring over with their latest offering Finding Mr Bright.

My photo does not do the dayglo palette justice,  the oh so cutely named ‘brightening MANual’ comes with all your Benefit faves:

Girl Meets Pearl (which I love to twin with Nars Orgasm Blush – the two in combination give you a gorgeous pink flush with a pearly luminous glow!)

Posietint – I prefer this version than the original Benetint its shade is far more wearable and I find much easier to blend too, again you can easily mix this with Girl Meets Pearl for a similar effect as above.

Erase Paste – I like to think of this as industrial strength concealer, I tend to save this concealer for those post work drinks or nights out you know you need that bit extra coverage or brightening! Can be a god send on those mornings after the night before too….

High Beam – this product is the one that is in my most memorable make-up line up, it was THE thing to own when I was buying premium make-up for the first time.

It is a very cute palette and has a great dating make-up lesson that comes with it too, however I do have a few negatives namely that the palette isn’t that portable, it’s not huge don’t get me wrong, but for it to be a carry around palette I would have substituted High Beam for an Ultra Shine Lip Gloss – maybe even California Kissin’ to cover all your needs on the go – however this is just my opinion and does not distract from the fact this is a fab & fun little kit!

If you have time do check out the really fun dating video on Benefit UK’s YouTube Channel

(I picked James from Finance for Gabbi… you’ll understand when you watch it!)

Step into the world of CHANEL exclusively at Selfridges Oxford Street – 22 March

Keira Knightley for Chanel

I am always in awe of the truly amazing Chanel installations and creative design and to bring every beauty gals dream to life from 22 – 30 March you can step inside a supersized bottle of CHANEL’s Coco Mademoiselle – where you will find Chanel’s very own cinema!

You’ll be able to be one of the first to see the new Keira Knightley Chanel film for Coco Mademoiselle and take part in their interactive journey for your chance to take away samples of this coveted fragrance.  For Coco Mademoiselle lovers you can also get your hands on the limited edition 200ml bottle exclusive to Selfridges

I saw the amazing new film last month in a private CHANEL boutique courtesy of Chanel UK HQ and enjoyed being transported on a Parisian adventure… if you can’t wait till the 22nd you can also find a mini preview on Chanel.com and Chanel’s YouTube Channel