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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Autumn Beauty Done.

In a world where we are all too busy to sometimes text that friend back, post that birthday card or arrange those drinks with old colleagues. It is getting increasingly harder for brands to convince, engage and spend time with customers. Making in-retail events very hard to succeed at.

Do customers want to give over hours or even half an hour of their day to a brand, a store? What is the excitement for them if they turn up?

What is the magic algorithm to success? I’m sure there is a numbers geek out there that could apply some logic to the psychologies, but without access to this I would say after attending Selfridges recent Autumn Beauty Event they have come close to cracking the code.

A year to the launch of Selfridges Beauty Workshop concept, the store opened up the doors to the beauty set for an evening of education, make-up, fun, sugar and prosecco.

With a £10 coveted ticket price, which you have to apply in advance for. You are adorned with a golden wristband – the access to the fabulousness.

You are transported into Selfridges amazingly unique way of making events a must-attend show. With complimentary branded candy floss, pick-a-mix stalls (this guy had a queue as long as those for a launch of a new Chanel nail varnish!), snow cones (with real vodka toppings), DJ’s, manicurists, make-up artists, skincare gurus… Free gifts, free prosecco – lots of free prosecco. It was no wonder that despite the sheer volume of ladies – it was fun, giggly, girly, purely and unapologetically fun and frivolous. A night to dip in and out of brands you love, or those you want to discover without the pressure sometimes felt by stepping onto a luxury beauty brands counter.

A perfect launch platform for brands to start a relationship with new customers. Especially for the likes of Charlotte Tilbury whom was unveiling her new capsule make-up collection exclusively at Selfridges. However, with the economic downturn still pinching our pockets, the FREE aspect is key here, it was very interesting to see that even the big players joined in the fun. With super GWPs for high spending clients, juice bars, international make-up artists. Even Jo Malone had a lady making free felt brooches for those whom spent on counter. It was the apple version of a beauty event. Exquisitely planned, superbly executed. Dynamic and emotive.

This allows customers, myself included feeling more at ease at buying luxury products. We are investing in the quality rather than quantity but we do need to feel we are getting an amazing deal.

So as you can probably tell we had a great time. This may of course be down to the company I was in. However, looking around us all we saw and heard was excitement, giggles, smiles and good times.

Yes this is hard work to achieve, and without being privy to Selfridges bottom line, I dare say its an investment but I truly believe that investment in your key clientele is the best thing you can put your money on these days.

If your customers go away having had an amazing night that’s made them happy, chances are they tweeted about it, blogged about it, put it on facebook, instagrammed it. And even if they don’t pop back though your doors for a week or two the people they shared it with just might.

I have been to events, launch parties, make-up lessons, skincare workshops. You name it. With all of these things sometimes the fundamental element gets forgotten. Fun.

This was about a girly catch up, a bit of competitor snooping but ultimately celebrating what’s great about being a girl, make-up, trying every pinky red lip shade on every counter until we find ‘the one’ scouting out the hottest nail colours from the sea of choice. Daring to try a new look, a vamp goth lip a daring red…

Ultimately a night of escape with girl friends, of rewards with free goodies, a sense of enjoyment, a little chip away at re-claiming your ‘me-time’ away from family, work and other life commitments.

Whilst I think we’d all love it if these evenings happened more often, what is so special and desirable about them is their surprising arrival. Plus the effortless detail that does not go un-missed.

Thank you Selfridges. A pinnacle of light in today’s doom and gloom retail landscape.

Discover Selfridges Beauty Workshop concept in the Oxford Street store.

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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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Bare Minerals Skincare Range

The skincare foundation you wear to bed!

For those in the know you will already have seen and quite possibly even used the New Bare Minerals Skincare range, it is already available in Selfridges and set to hit the rest of the UK high street later this year in September. I met with the Bare Minerals team a couple of months ago and have been trying the new skincare range since then.

My favourite of the range and the IT product has to be the Pure Transformation Night Treatment– this genius product thinks like a foundation and works like an intensive skin spa treatment, in essence my new best friend in a pot. My favourite thing about this product – it allows you to have a radiantly glowing flawless complexion even post cleansing (so no more running to the bathroom to hide that bare faced look) at first I was worried that this tinted powder would rub off on my pillow and sheets but once buffed on to the skin using the super soft natural brush that sits attached to the lid it stays put on your skin until morning.

The formula is created to work in harmony with your skins natural rhythm to restore, replenish and rejuvenate whilst you sleep – you can use the treatment as a last step in any skincare routine, after your moisturiser or night cream you simply shake, twist the lid off and buff on to your skin. It’s available in 4 shades starting at Clear (which is great for guys too).

I have been using it every night for the last month and I am very pleased with the results so far, I love the even toned look it gives you, but what I also like is the fact that my skin seems to have improved generally – it looks brighter, it is less sensitive and less prone to redness and my pores look more refined too. If this is what it can visibly do in just a month I am excited to see it’s lasting longer term effects from continual use. The product is £45 so an investment for most, but with such quick visible results and unique application I think I am converted! The product also comes in a decent size jar so the powder will last you months and months as you don’t need a lot to apply all over the face.

The product itself is filled to bursting with Rare Minerals, Vitamins A, C and E, Emblica Fruit and Ectoin extract – creating an active soil complex that is derived from the purest of mineral soils, so much so they put it into liquid and let me drink it!

In addition I have also been using the coordinating Purifying Facial Cleanser – with an easy to use pump application this is super simple and delivers a fresh scent, skincare benefits whilst dissolving your makeup (including eye makeup) it does need to be washed off but I am already a facial wash cleansing advocate this didn’t bother me. Its ingredients reads more like a fruit smoothie than a skincare product – filled with Pineapple, Lychee, Guava Fruit Enzymes, Avocado oils and Pomegranate extracts – as you can imagine it smells gorgeous too! The texture is very light and fluid.

I still have the moisturiser and eye cream to try so I will report back if any of the other range makes my ‘need to blog’ list!

You can buy and try the new Bare Minerals skincare range from Selfridges stores or Selfridges website.

The one where MAC goes all Surf Babe…

MAC Surf Baby Model Shot
From the Northern line to the Pacific Coast Highway… this morning was no normal commute!
I arrived this morning at MAC HQ and found myself on a mini holiday up the Pacific Coast Highway, as I sipped lemonade and sat amongst the sand and seashells… and a surf board! It could only mean one thing… it was time for summer MAC style.

I’d seen snippets of the MAC SS Surf Babe collection awhile ago so I was very excited to see and play with the new products, and get really into the holiday spirit! It’s a really fun vibrant collection that just gets you dreaming of endless summer days on the beach, people watching or just poolside posing.

My standout products have to be the return of the Crushed Metallic Pigments – which are just fabulous to play with to create that real ethereal make up glow on your skin and eyes. SUMMER STASH – Light pink champagne (Frost), Light white pearl (Frost), Light violet with silver pearl (Frost), Brown bronze with gold pearl (Frost). SURF THE OCEAN- Frosty platinum (Frost), Light yellow green (Frost), Gold bronze (Frost), Dirty graphite with silver pearl (Frost) RRP: £25.50 / EURO 34.00

MAC Mineralize Pigments

I loved the new Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks, a really easy fun way to apply bronzer – the best bit is that they are water based so gives a real refreshing feeling on the skin with a fab bronze sheen glow, I can see this being a summer make up staple! (Available in three gorgeous shades TAN-TINT Soft suntan bronze, BILLIONAIRE BRONZE Warm golden tan, GILTY BRONZE Coppery bronze with gold shimmer RRP: £23.00 / EURO 35.50)

For those opting for the more traditional bronze powders you won’t be disappointed with the Solar Riche or Refined Golden Bronzing Powders. (REFINED GOLDEN Finely spun golden with soft pearl finish SOLAR RICHE Mid-tone deep orange brown RRP: £19 / EURO 25)


With spring being all about pop brights this collection warms up but continues this trend with some really wearable but high trend limited colours, as a bit of a nail varnish addict I love the aqua shade – just perfect for tanned toes to wear proudly (ooooh I dream of the return of flip-flop & sandal season!) The Nail lacquers come in HANGIN’ LOOSE Dirty pink nude and OCEAN DIP Mid-tone creamy aqua RRP: £10.00 / EURO 13.50


The Five limited Ed Eye Shadows continue the warmed sun shades mixed with surf and sea tones and are great to wear sheer or layer for a more intense pop of bright colour. The Frosty white acts as a great highlighting and brightening eye colour SHORT SHORTS Eye Shadows available in Frosty white champagne (Frost) SUN BLONDE Dirty yellow gold (Frost) SAFFRON Deep coral caramel (Satin) SURF USA Frosted teal (Frost) SWELL BABY Mid-tone grey (Satin) RRP: £12.00 / EURO 15.50

MAC My Paradise Cheek Powder: A warm coral tone blush with a hibiscus golden embossed flower adding just a subtle shimmer to the skin when applied with a brush  RRP: £19.00 / EURO 25.00


No MAC collection is complete without some iconic Lipstick shades and of course Lipglass, for that water shiny effect; LIPSTICK – NATURALLY ECCENTRIC Creamy white nude (Lustre), HIBISCUS Bright orange coral (Cremesheen), BUST OUT! Dirty mid-tone violet (Lustre), MOCHA Peachy yellow-brown (Satin), RRP: £14.00 / EURO 18.50

LIPGLASS – GIRL ON BOARD Pale white gold, GOOD LOVIN’ Soft peachy pink, STRANGE POTION Soft coral pink, KRAZY KAHUNA Warm mid-tone brown RRP: £13.50 / EURO 18.00


My official countdown to June 2011 has begun.

Images courtesy of MAC Cosmetics.