Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Raise and hold your leg please...

* Don't worry - there are no before and after pictures in this post! But let's set the scene:

A bush.

I'm not the best at de-hairing myself.  I shave my legs as and when, my underarms more often (obviously - eewww) and my Lady Garden? Well, it hasn't been waxed in about 9 years.  Let's just say I maintain it myself...(my poor mum is going to die when she reads this post).

So when I was offered the chance to visit Xenia Yordanova at Eleven salon - just off Bond Street - I thought it was perhaps an opportunity to take maintenance - you know - down there - a little more seriously.

Xenia is a no-nonsense yet warm powerhouse of a therapist.  After getting me to strip off from the waist down - she held up a modesty towel (thank GOD) while I got on to the bed - which, incidentally was still dressed for a facial with full bedding - nice - my previous experiences have involved therapists stripping the bed right back to the plastic and using a strip of bedroll down the middle - practicality for them - not comfort of the client - taking precedence.

Xenia asked what I was after - the thought 'to have it look less like Epping Forest' did cross my mind - but we went for between a normal bikini wax and a Brazilian.  A Hollywood? Not for me thanks - I'm not keen. I think we're supposed to have something down there - no?? And I went for strip wax - I hate hot wax - I don't understand people who say it is less painful. Ugh!

And then?  'Raise your leg and hold it and pull this area tight for me.' OK. This part was new to me - and I was seriously embarrassed - this woman has now seen parts of me previously only seen by my husband and gynaecologist - and yet the look on her face was one of total concentration and professionalism.

My embarrassment quickly disappeared and we started talking - in the way that you ask a taxi driver 'you been busy?' - I asked Xenia - 'I bet you've got some horror waxing stories haven't you!?' And - well - she did - but I think therapist etiquette is 'what is said in the room stays in the room'. But let's just say cleanliness is a courtesy to your therapist - as she said - 'if you are going to the dentist - you brush your teeth!'

And the waxing? Everything you would hope it to be - quick, when I say quick - I mean - pro-level quick - 10 minutes tops - (perfect for squeezing it in at lunchtime), clean, efficient - and done exactly how I wanted it - not how she thought it would be - again - sign of a good therapist - someone who actually listens to you! - she wanted to take more off - baby steps people - give me a chance!

If you are a regular waxer - especially in you know - that area...  you need to visit this woman. Brazilians and Hollywoods are her speciality.  And it shows. I'm going back.

Highly recommended.

Xenia Yordanova is based at Eleven, 11 Blenheim Street, W1.
Appointments - 0207 491 2390
Prices start at £18 for a bikini, rising to £35 and £40 respectively for Brazilians and Hollywoods.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Murad Trial Update/Supplement Tips

One week in...
I started trialling Murad's Cellulite Solution just over 2 weeks ago - original post here.
Do I still have cellulite? Obviously. BUT - I have noticed a few changes in my habits..
  • I am eating less. Yes. Really. I thought it could be down to the heat... but I really seem to be eating LESS in general.  
  • I am persevering with the supplements - despite the definite whiff of vitamin B (GAG).  I am however, admitting to breaking the habit occasionally and am not giving myself a hard time about it. I honestly think that most people would do the same and so consider this a REAL trial!
  • I am drinking an inordinate amount of water.  Again - could be down to the heat - but I've never kept a jug on my desk at work for ease before!
 I have dipped in and out of taking supplements for years.  Never completely habitual, but always taking SOMETHING... so here - a few of my faves and some tips that you may find helpful if you want to supplement yourself..

  • One of my all-time favourites is Floradix.

I have been taking this on and off for over 19 years. It was recommended to me by my midwife to boost my HB levels in pregnancy.  It contains organic iron, herbs, vitamins and is basically a brilliant boost if you are run down in ANY way.

  • Vitamin D - more of that here. Get some. Today.
  • Folic Acid - have been taking this since I was 13 and started my periods. It's not just for pregnancy. Read up about it - your body needs this to synthesize and repair your DNA - get to it.
  • Magnesium - this was recommended to me on my first day (many years ago) at The Organic Pharmacy. I went for a health check-up - (something they do for all their staff - nice eh?) and mentioned that I had a very stiff neck and had done for years - I was also grinding my teeth at night.  I was prescribed magnesium and have never looked back.  It made a difference overnight - amazing. Taken at night it also aids sleep.
  • Omega oils -fish or flax for vegetarians - too many known benefits to list here - but everything from skin, hair, nails, brain function, cholesterol and heart disease can be aided by these wonder oils.
And just quickly!
  • Never take iron with calcium (i.e. a glass of milk) - they work against each other. Take iron with vitamin C  - orange or apple juice
  • Never take iron before bed - take it in the morning - personally gives me wild dreams and keeps me up all night if I do
  • Always take vitamin B and any oil supplement BEFORE food. Otherwise you'll be burping fish and thus gagging for hours afterwards. Ugh.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

First 'Thank You' Giveaway - CLOSED

If you follow my little blogette you will know that I am not exactly a 'regular' poster. And yet I have  slowly and steadily gained a few lovely followers over the last few months. Nice!

As a little thanks for your patience and support I thought I would do my first giveaway and after asking the peeps on twitter, make-up was the preferred option this time round.

 So I'm throwing in the following (all new, all untouched - despite my daughter's best efforts...):

1 x Benefit Lipstick in Flirt Alert (colour not shown)

1 x Benefit Lip Gloss in Fresh Squeezed

1 x Jemma Kidd Make Up School Firming I-Silk in 01 - Vintage

1 x No.7 Extravagant Lashes - Black

And finally:

1 x Nars Blush in Mounia (although the temptation to keep it is killing me -I know I will always stick to my 'Sin'...

To be eligible to win all of the above I would simply ask you to let me know what you would like to see more of on my blog.

That's it.

Colour? Skincare? Advice? Haircare? Fragrance?

You can email me at or leave a comment - either - it's all good.

Winners will be chosen at random next weekend so closing date is Friday 2nd July.

July's giveaway will be a birthday special - and my faves - skincare...!


Friday, 18 June 2010

Murad Cellulite Solution Regimen Trial

I have a confession to make.

I'm not bothered about my cellulite. I know the media tells me I should be - but really, I've got more important things to worry about. And anyway -it's behind me- I don't even have to look at it - so why stress?

 *NOT my arse. But what a great picture.

I mean, I'm 40 - and I've had 4 large kids (I know I remind you of this often - but if you had sprung forth a total of 38.25lbs of human from your loins you would probably wear it like a Blue Peter badge too) - I'm SUPPOSED to have cellulite.
However, what I do NOT appreciate is the slightly 'baggy' baby belly that Max left me with. Yes Max - it's your fault that Mummy can't show her midriff even slightly without sucking it all up REALTIGHT.

Max caring not a JOT about his mother's stomach.

So - being the awkward cow that I am - when I got the chance to trial the Murad Cellulite Solution - my first thoughts were - EXCELLENT - baby belly here I come. 

So. I started last Saturday. The regime entails taking two packets of supplements, one in the morning and one at night and using a serum and cream on the affected area of bottoms and thighs (stomach).


So far it's surprisingly easy.  I have already noticed a general improvement in the skin on my face.  And applying the serum/creams is no hard labour for me. I grease myself like a chicken pre-roast every day anyway.

I may be going nuts but I think the supplements are also improving my sleep.

So, we'll see - will I look like THIS afterwards?:

Helena Christensen looking fabulous - for a change.

Err. No. But that's OK.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

all for eve Nail Polish - Eve Red - created by Sophy Robson

Just a quick one!

It's just arrived on my desk - beyond excited!

The perfect red for Summer.

Get buying!

all for eve Eve Red is priced at £10.00 can be purchased here!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Guesting on Zuneta - Lost and Found

I was a guest over on Zuneta today...check it out here.
 I like being sent things I haven't used. No. I LOVE being sent things I haven't used.

So I was thrilled to receive FOUND ISTR anti-aging cream. Firstly, anti-aging ANYTHING - sign me up - NOW. Secondly, something I haven't tried? - DONE.

First, a couple of complaints (tiny ones):
  •  The packaging. I know it's high-end, I realise that is part of the deal with expensive products - but seriously - THREE outers????  Not necessary - And none of them entirely suitable for holding the product in on their own - so all are in the bin - meanwhile the cream rests on its laurels on its ownsome on my shelf..

  • Secondly, the leaflet that comes with it uses a colour font that is SO pale I can hardly read it. Granted my eyesight isn't great - but come on!  I don't want to dig out my specs and sit under a lightbulb to read it! Your customers want to read about you - make it easy for them! Especially seeing as you are not aimed at teenagers - we (slightly!) older chicks have a greater chance of perhaps NOT having 20/20 vision! So it is to the website that I go....
  • Lastly, more of an aside than a complaint: 
    Keep in the refrigerator - never gonna happen.
    Do not swallow (?) - wasn't planning on it but good to know.
    Use the enclosed spatula - never gonna happen - but thanks for the tips...!
Move on to the product itself however and things perk up considerably.

ISTR (name comes from Breton and means oyster) makes nearly every claim you want it to *takes deep breath* :
Not tested on animals, No synthetic colour or fragrance, Free of petrochemicals, mineral oils and silicone. Free of added preservatives, Phthalates, DEA, Sodium Lauryl/eth Sulphate, Aluminium and Titanium Dioxide.

Right. What it does contain is parabens - BUT - not in the way you would think. They are not added to the mix once the formula is complete, FOUND are simply letting you know that some of their ingredients were previously preserved in parabens - something that happens in most products in most ranges (yes even the ones that claim to be paraben-free - my arse) and something I have previously posted about... these guys are just letting you know every detail - very admirable I must say.  Legally, they could have just 'not mentioned it' and said they were paraben-free...

And so after ALL that - the CREAM itself!

Not containing all that crapola gives it the texture of mayonaise - not creamy - just... well... gelatinous?  It is LOADED with anti-aging properties - every peptide worth its salt is in here:
Matrixyl, Matrixyl 3000 (the Rolls-Royce version), Dermaxyl, Argireline - and my favourites - anything to do with sea/seawater/oysters/plankton AND - BONUS - trace elements. Loves me a trace element - namely manganese, copper and also - Carnitine - loves me an amino acid too.
If you're not fully aware of what they do - think of it this way - if you can take it as a supplement - you can generally put it all over your skin...think omega oils..vit a/c/e etc..Amino acids are basically proteins that support your collagen - 'scaffolding' for your face. Yep. Really. The absolute exception is sugar. Wonderful ON the skin - kills your collagen when taken internally via food and drink.

Well, I am in love with this little pot of magic folks. So far it has taken down some redness I was experiencing, dried up some spots I was brewing, and perked up my jowels no end. This morning two people who see me every day commented on how 'fresh' I looked... that'll do!

Could it be that a product exists that actually does what it says on the box??

If you're thinking that you're looking a little dull/lacklustre/saggy/baggy/droopy or just plain OLDER - this COULD be the one for you.

Now if only I could read the leaflet properly...!

MUA of the week - Chiara Guizzetti

This week's MUA is Queen of the Catwalk Chiara Guizzetti.
You know that dream where your backstage at Chanel tending to all the top models faces while Karl Lagerfeld holds court next to you? Chiara does it in real life - and worse - makes a living out of it.. How rude.

How long have you been a MUA?
I got my PDC award in Make up in 2002 in London and did my first photoshoot straight away.
I remember being very nervous…I met the crew in South London and when I saw the photographer with the model I just wanted to run away: he previously gave me all the details about the look..except that the model had black skin (???!!!) It was quite tough but came out very well. That was my first real “lesson”.

How long have you been working in the industry?
Eight years in total. For four years alongside  Space NK, two years with Daniel Sandler Cosmetics and two years as a full-time freelance MUA.

When did you get your ‘big break’?
When I came back to live in Milan and got represented by Green Apple Italia.

 Gianfranco Ferre

What advice do you have for aspiring MUA’s trying to get into the industry?
It’s a very competitive industry, especially these days.
Be nice and people will want to work with you.
Be perseverant, eventually it will pay back.
Don’t rush things: it simply takes time.

Who has been your best client so far?
I worked with lots of lovely people…. but I have a very nice memory of working with Marie O’Riordan, former editor of Marie Claire UK. I did her make-up when she was the main judge for Britain’s Missing Top Model, she’s exquisite, very professional and I feel  so lucky to have met her and worked for her.

And your favourite job so far?
Last year in Venice for the Chanel cruise show. It was AMAZING. From to the gorgeous hotel (booked out just for us) on the Lido, to working with the world’s top models, the magic atmosphere of Venice…Watch for yourself  (Warning - this video will make you A: jealous and B: crave Chanel)

What are you currently working on/who with?
I just did a shoot for Pierre Ancy.

How many brushes do you own?
Lots. More than 50 I’d say, but I tend to use my favourites most of the time, of which there are probably about 10.

What do you consider your speciality?
My make up style is generally soft, not really into the heavy handed stuff…my strong point is a  good eye for colours.

What is your favourite brand, and why?
I like variety and to be able to I like to work with different brands: Laura Mercier for concealers, MAC and Becca for foundations, Daniel Sandler for  blushers, Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks, Stila, Kevyn Aucoin, Chantecaille, Shu Uemura, Madina Milano, Stephane Marais, Chanel.

 Donatella and Christopher Kane - like you do...

Your kit is on fire – and you can only save 5 things. What are they?
Bioderma Make up Remover
Decleor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Emulsion
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (if you don't own this after reading all of these MUA's list it in this section you're clearly missing a trick!)
Lash Curler
Daniel Sandler Watercolour

You can follow Chiara's life on the road blog here.
And check out her amazing website here!

Guesting on Zuneta

I'm over on Zuneta again today with a little guest post - check it out here.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

SpaceNK Sale

SpaceNK Summer Sale starts on 24th June and runs for 2 weeks.

The full sale will be in the following stores:


and will contain a selection of all your make-up favourites including Laura Mercier, Chantecaille, ByTerry, Shu Uemura, Sonia Kashuk AND Stila!!

The rest of us skincare, fragrance and haircare addicts can be soothed by Aromatherapy Associates, Caudalie, Barielle, Bumble and Bumble, Darphin, Dayna Decker, Jurlique, Marc Jacobs, Tocca, Dr Brandt and Dr Sebagh among many others.

All other stores will only have limited sale due to space constraints and will have a selection of the following only:

SpaceNK Own Label
EVE LOM (few lines)
Jemma Kidd
Neil George

Personally, I'm gearing myself up for stockpiling Dayna Decker candles - you??