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.

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Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence De La Beauté Awards 2011 winners revealed…

What better way to end a Monday than a glamorous Awards ceremony at the Claridges Ballroom for the annual Marie Claire Beauty Oscars Prix d’excellence de la beauté awards 2011. From champagne and beauty gossip with the beauty pack to the award winners acceptance speeches, hosted by the very glamorous Christine Bleakley from Daybreak and the lovely Trisha Halpin, Editor in Chief Marie Claire UK.

The Awards themselves were split in two categories best International Winners – as voted by both Marie Claire International judges and the creme de la creme of beauty journalists across the globe; from Marie Claire – Lisa Oxenham (UK), Ariane Goldet (France), Ying Chu (US), Ana Serrano (Spain), Antonella Bussi (Italy) and representing the beauty journalists vote: Emmanuelle Demarest, Marie-Francoise Dubillion, Dominique Garnier, Aurelie Lambillon, Emmanuelle Lannes, Genevieve Murat, Brigitte Papin, Marie Pouzol, Alexandra Raillan and Zoe Zhang.

Plus our very own best of the best British winners as voted by a panel of UK beauty journalists: Lisa Oxenham (Marie Claire’s very own award-winning beauty journalist and stylist, Hannah Betts (Writer and columnist for British Broadsheets and magazines) Annabel Jones (who has over 10 years experience as beauty journalist) Sarah Vine (Beauty Editor and columnist for The Times) and Alice Hart-Davis (Award-winning writer and creator of Good Things Skincare)

So the winners for 2011…

International Winners….

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – this wonder product has been rushing off our high street and online store shelves faster than the Clinique consultants can utter the words ‘miracle serum’ with its clinical proven results of a 53% improvement in dark spots after 12 weeks use this potent skin solution of Vitamin C and Salicylic acid is sure to become a true icon!

Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation – a foundation I have yet to try but is coveted by a number of my friends who swear by its multi tasking properties and barely there effect – it moisturises, gives SPF and long-lasting coverage.

Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Serum – The power of honey harnessed in this youth serum, every skincare brand on the market has their version of a youth fighting serum and the masters at Guerlain prove to strike gold with this fab product infused with Royal Jelly and honey to help skin self repair, despite it reminding me of buying my grandma Royal Jelly as a child I’ve tried this product and do think it’s really worth the investment!

Roc Sublime Energy range – I am not that familiar with the Roc skincare range but this sounds like science in a tube… the range itself was designed to harness electricity as it passes from cell to cell within our bodies and utilise this power or skin energy to turn back time (time travel for your skin!) with that claim it is one worth trying especially at such an attractive price starting at just £29.99

Garnier Ambre Solaire Golden Protect Oil SPF30 – With all the sunshine today I decided it was time to dare to go bare-legged after months and months of opaque tights, I am not convinced it was quite the right decision but it has got me in the swing of feeling summery so it was fab to see one of my favourite sun protection brands winning an award. Plus it’s fantastic to see an oil with such a high SPF – I have very pale skin (thanks to my very blonde hair and English complexion) so a high SPF is a requirement even in the slightest ray of sunshine!

So on to my favourite part… The British beauty winners!

Best Beauty Care product goes to – Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum, this products predecessor generated a waiting list of over 20,000 women so it’s not surprising its made it to the top spot. However that said I had real problems with this product – I tried it’s predecessor and had the worst reaction to this serum resulting in a month of just using Aqueous cream on my face it was so sensitive after using it…. so unfortunately it doesn’t get my seal of approval – but thousands of others seem to love it!

Highly commended in this category also were: L’Oreal Youthcode, La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum and Skinceuticals Pigment Regulator.

Best Make up product – Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick. I’m a huge lip junkie from glosses to lipsticks and even balms I love trying and using new textures and lip products and this is a fantastic lipstick – the colour pigment is strong on application and truly has a great long-lasting wear – I can highly recommend it!

Highly commended in this category: Garnier Youth Radiance 2 in 1 Tinted Eye Roll on Concealer, Burberry Make Up range, Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick.

Best Ethical product – Clarins Gentle Beauty Soap – I was really pleased to see this product win, Clarins work tirelessly at their ethical responsibilities when using exotic plant ingredients by replanting and supporting local communities without shouting about their green ways, so it’s lovely to see them recognised with this gentle little soap – which itself has an Ecocert organic certification. I am a huge soap fan so very happy to see soap taking centre stage in the beauty elite once more.

Highly Commended – L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Nature Range, Une Make-up Range, Aveda Control Force Firm Hairspray.

That’s it for this year… time for one more quick glass of Champagne to celebrate the winners and a read of Marie Claire on the tube home!

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.

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