Monday, 31 December 2012

A final Instagram of the year and a massive thank you.

Almost 2013. Another year on the blog. I just want to say a huge, massive thank you to all of you for reading, commenting and supporting me for another year.......

Selling out Pixi of Glow Tonic
Trialing Sunday Riley 

LOVE Christmas lights!

Best mascaras.

Loving this.

Max as Henry VIII.

Christmas card for my brother - Chris.

New Balance Me cream - and cakes!

Had to be done.

Emma Hardie getting felt miked up for QVC.

Best oil for zapping spots and preventing scarring.

Christmas present from the BFF featuring my husband SLB.

Ava and the Virgin Queen - the National Portrait Gallery.

Marilyn at the NPG.

Christmas card from Max - genius.

Your average day.

Still loving this.

Hot sauce on everything.

Nice cards from lovely people.

Loving Flowerbomb.

The kids enjoying the empty streets in London at Christmas time. 

Wishing you a very healthy, Happy New Year for 2013 from my family to yours. 
See you on the other side.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Awards. Eye Cream and Launch of the Year. Eysilix, Hydraluron and Indeed Labs.

I didn't get on with Nanoblur and could never be bothered with Peptalash (just one more thing to do too far - you know?) but Indeed Labs redeemed themselves completely with these two products this year.

Eysilix is essentially every eye cream you ever bought, with added peptides, all wrapped up together for £24.99, as opposed to some of the more ridiculously priced eye creams on the market at the moment. It contains 10 peptides, which doesn't always mean anything but in this formulation, for me, they work. I've noticed if I stop using it my dark circles are worse - it doesn't fix them permanently, if you stop using any cream they will come back - but it does help them on a day-to-day basis when I am using it.

No surprises for my Launch of the Year.

Hydraluron has basically been in my routine since I wrote this review when it launched. Nothing has changed, I still use it daily - most of the time 2 x a day. I've lost count of how many tubes I've used. It has absolutely helped keep breakouts at bay and my pretty much permanently dehydrated skin loves it. 

Eysilix and Hydraluron are my Eye Cream and Launch of the Year. Both are available at Boots.

Friday, 21 December 2012

SpaceNK Sale. Heads up.

Brace yourselves. After you've enjoyed the festivities of Christmas Day - if you're awake at midnight you might want to check out which goes live with its SALE for Boxing Day.

My sources have supplied me with a nice long list of everything going into sale and its a good one.

Virtually all of Jemma Kidd is on offer - and Fekkai - along with Aromatherapy Associates, ByTerry, Chantecaille, Diptyque, Kevyn Aucoin, Laura Mercier, Rococco, Shu Uemura and... *breathe* Kate Somerville.

*forgets saving plan - moves it to Feb*

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

2012 Awards. Best Fragrance Launches. Jo Malone, Robert Piguet and Michael Kors.

I have had a bit of a love affair with fragrance this year. There was no choosing between these three. All of which I have worn consistently since receiving them. Sometimes together. First up - and this is in order of their release only - like I say, I can't pick..

is Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud. I absolutely love this - a very welcome addition to the Cologne Collection, it started life as a Limited Edition but very quickly became a must-have in the permanent range.
Smoky oud, Damask roses and a little clove and praline.  Beautiful.

Next up is Petit Fracas. A subtle take on the original iconic Fracas. Predictably for me, this is a jasmine, tuberose and gardenia heart over a musk and sandalwood base. Softer than the original but still strong enough to pack a punch, I have worn this almost every day since I came across it.

Bringing up the rear but by no means last is Michael Kors Rose Gold. This new release is a blend of pink pepper, waterlily, raspberry, peony, gardenia and yes - obviously - tuberose.

Its heavy, but not too heavy - and really soft once settled. Again - almost daily usage since it launched. This one is Limited Edition - get it while you can.

Jo Malone Velvet Rose And Oud is available here for £95.00.

Petit Fracas by Roger Piguet is available here priced £130.00

Michael Kors Rose Gold is available here priced £75.00

Monday, 17 December 2012

Candle of the Week. Timothy Dunn Arabian Fig - and a special mention to Mr Hirons

Four score and twenty years ago - a woman in red married a cute floppy-haired musician in West London. 

OK - 18 years ago. Just setting the scene. I did wear red - we had two boys by then - the jig was well and truly up - and anyway, ivory is not one of my colours. 

My brief to the florist was red, big, fabulous, wild and show stopping. Step forward Mr Timothy Dunn - whose shop (at that time) was across the road. He surpassed himself. It was full of barcarolle roses, red berries and eucalyptus as a nod to the season. He even added red chili* peppers in it as a nod to my musical tastes. It was genius. And I let it dry out and kept it in the kitchen for years afterwards.

So today of all days, the Candle of the Week has to be Timothy Dunn's Arabian Fig.

'A blend of wild fig, basil and clove enhanced by frankincense, cassis, rose and jasmine intertwined with radiant base notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and musk.'

It is the absolute perfect candle for this time of year. Mr Hirons and I will be burning it this evening when we get back from school pickup and doing the big shop. We still lead rock star lives.

Congratulations Tim. I love it when a grafter does well.

And Happy Anniversary Mr Hirons.

Timothy Dunn Arabian Fig is available here and priced £45.00 for 60 hours burning time.

*that's how they spell it - don't judge me
Also - PR sample - thanks TD. Back off bitches - he was mine first.

A little Chili Peppers to brighten your morning. The best song from the best band. We miss you John  Frusciante.

2012 Awards. Best New Makeup Launch. Clinique Chubby Stick Intense

The criteria for this one? This is the only new item of makeup that made it's way into my everyday-permanent-usage bag. 

A step up from the original Chubby Sticks, these are just that bit heavier, but still feel light and not at ALL sticky on the lips.

Chunkiest Chili looks gorgeous worn with a bun and minimal makeup.

And Mightiest Maraschino? Divine.

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense is my Best New Makeup Launch for 2012.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

2012 Awards. Most Missed Brand. Kate Somerville.

Yes its all good and well smiling down on me looking all peachy-skinned and fabulous - but its really all a big wind-up ISN'T IT KATE?!

That's it - turn up for a while, give us this amazingness...

and this...

And I can't bring myself to mention this...

And then SOD OFF back to America?

Kate Somerville is my Most Missed Brand of 2012.

*throws self to the floor, begs for your return to the UK shores*

Saturday, 15 December 2012

2012 Awards. Hand Cream of the Year. Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream SPF 15.

I'm not going for an award-in-every-category this year. Just highlighting a few favourites that I've really enjoyed using in 2012.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I haven't always had a good relationship with the Clinique range. I think the 3 Step is in dire need of updating and Clarifying Lotion? No.

Having said that, I love this hand cream. It has become a staple. Oddly, I keep it on my bedside and use it in the evenings when I get into bed. I love the smell of SPF (I never said I was sane) and this absorbs really well, leaving no residue. You however, may want to take advantage of the SPF and use it during the day as is intended, like a sane person. Another tip - always rub the residue of your hand cream (and moisturiser!) on your elbows - always. I met Goldie Hawn in the 90's - she looked (and was) amazing but her elbows looked like lizard skin and completely gave away her age (sorry Goldie! Love you!).

*tips hat to Clinique, admits some of the skincare products are nice*

Also possibly a contender for longest name of a product?

Friday, 14 December 2012

2012 Awards. Gadget Launch of the Year - ghd Air Hairdryer

I have never been in on the ghd scene. I don't own the straighteners - and I didn't know that ghd stood for Good Hair Day. Makes perfect sense though - I had an old boss that we privately nicknamed PBHD - stood for Perpetual Bad Hair Day (in our defense it was horrific). But ghd's? I wasn't on that bandwagon. Yes, if there was a hair-awareness rock - I would be under it. 

Until around a month ago when my hairdryer blew up in my hand - and I literally on the same day received an email from ghd asking if I would like to try their new Air hairdryer. If I'm honest, I said yes purely out of laziness. The timing was right is all. 

Thank GOD.

This little, stylish, compact machine has LITERALLY saved my hair. Killed my frizz. Halved the time it takes to dry. It's quick, quiet, comfortable in the hand and I am now aghast that I didn't upgrade my old (and I mean OLD) hairdryer sooner.

ghd Air Hairdryer is my Gadget of the Year.

*orders straighteners, gets on bandwagon*

*PR Sample - thank GOD.
Not an affiliate link.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The lovely Dr Tom Mammone from Clinique

Dr Tom Mammone. Executive Director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology
Clinique Research & Development, Worldwide

So here is the blog post that almost never was. The charming Dr Tom very kindly gave me this interview back in May. Yes, May. He even went as far to give me a telephone interview when I couldn't make it to our planned meeting. Then I put the notes carefully away - so as not to lose them - and well, lost them. The shame. I thought Ava had taken my lovely notebook to school (she's a stationary addict just like her Mother). She swore blind she hadn't, making me feel even worse.

I was then of course, too mortified to say 'Oh HI Kim! Thank you for arranging for me to speak to the Doc personally. Oh yes - I lost my notes. My bad. Ask him again would you?' No. Can't do that. The SHAME.

And then - THEN - I was looking for my passport - checked the 'safe family keepsake spot for all things important', and found my notebook, sitting there, complete with all my notes and questions in the margin. FINALLY.

So, here, without further ado and with my hugest apologies to the lovely Clinique team - especially Kim - who it turns out, has the patience of a Saint, are Dr Tom Mammone's Top Tips for good skin and good ingredients.

I asked the Dr why he thought that cases of adult acne and concerns about pigmentation are on the increase? He mentioned that he had recently had the same conversation with Dr David Orentreich, Clinique's guiding dermatologist. 

'We think they are in relation to the growing cases of adult allergies - such as shellfish, which sensitise the skin. We are also seeing a lot of acne breakouts around the mouth and chin which we are beginning to link to increased usage of oral products. 10/20/30 years ago - this was just not an issue. Its a relatively new concern.' 

I love it when I can relate to what someone is saying and recognise it to be true. Readers of the blog will know that I myself developed both adult acne and a shellfish allergy around my 40th birthday. It's not nice. The increase in adult acne and the readiness of GP's to offer antibiotics out like sweets is one of the reasons, I think, for an increase in pigmentation problems - and I asked Dr Tom for his top pigmentation fighting ingredients.
  1. Vitamin C Ester
    (reads Ascorbyl palmitate on inci lists) -
    A stable form of Vitamin C, it works in both the prevention and cure aspects - it recharges Vitamin E within the skin, aiding antioxidant support by helping your body boost glutathione levels in the skin - glutathione is called 'The Mother of all Antioxidants' (and for good reason).
  2. Dianella Ensifolia (lilacea) - This forms part of Clinique’s patent-pending CL-302 complex, which features five synergistic brightening ingredients and is a tyronaise inhibitor. It is the most powerful inhibitor of pigment synthesis we have ever seen.
  3. Yeast and mushroom extracts -
    These are proven to break down melanin in the skin and are a key part of our Even Better range.
I also took the opportunity to ask Dr Tom for his most annoying beauty myth. What really gets under his skin?
'You know, when I am at dinner parties and people talk about what they do for a living - I am always asked 'Oh come on, those beauty products, do they really work??' - of course they work. You just need to find the right products containing the right ingredients for your skin!'

And finally I asked for his No.1 tip for good skin.

'People need to treat their skin like they do their body. If you want it to be in good shape you have to work at it - its a commitment!'  (<---THIS!)

Thank you to Dr Mammone for taking the time to talk to me! And look out for Clinique Even Better in my 2012 Awards. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Backstage with Emma Hardie

Just a quickie from last night's TSV launch. The perfect caught off-guard moment from Emma as she was getting felt miked up. 

I've worked with/met a lot of women in this industry. Some amazing, some horrors. 

Emma is very much the former. 

Thought for the Day. Rodial. Size Zero.

*see update at bottom of post

Almost 2 years ago to the day I posted about Rodial and their new product range 'Crash Diet'. 

The same brand have just launched Size Zero.

Fact: No cream can make you a 'size zero'. There is no cream on earth that can get rid of cellulite.

Fact: You'd be better off taking your hard-earned cash and booking a session with a personal trainer. Eat less, exercise more. There. Saved you £55.00.

* 16 January 2013 - Rodial were today fined by the ASA for 'misleading advertising, substantiation (lack of)' and 'exaggeration' in an ad placed within Esquire magazine claiming that their Body Sculpture cream would give you a figure like Mila Kunis.... Not their first time.

ASA Ruling

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Emma Hardie has her final TSV of the year tonight/today. Here's a quick preview of what's coming up:

Full size Moringa Cleansing Balm (100ml)
Full size Professional Eye Serum (15ml)
Full size Professional Moisturiser AM/PM (50ml)
NEW *Exclusive to QVC* Moisture Mask (50ml)

Value £148
QVC TSV price £48.20

I'll be tweeting through the launch hour and blogging tomorrow with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from QVC's new Chiswick home.

Stay tuned! 


Sky Digital: 640
Virgin TV: 740
Freesat: 800
Freeview: 16

Monday, 10 December 2012


Baby Girl

Little Sister

Little Sister

Big Sister


Growing up too quickly. Make it stop.

My partner-in-crime for Breast Cancer Month

Our Boo.

Happy Birthday Boo. *heart literally explodes*