Sunday, 29 April 2012

Upcoming Cheat Sheets

I'm sorry I didn't get the acne cheat sheet up before the weekend. I don't want to rush it seeing as so many us are sufferers!

I'm collating a list of upcoming cheat sheets - acne being one, what to use and avoid when pregnant/breastfeeding another and also skincare for PCOS sufferers.

If you'd like to suggest more please do leave a comment below and I'll get to it! 

Once again thank you for al your support. My average page views at the moment is 13 (per person - for @tsunimee)!!! Lucky for some! I love that you are sitting and reading my ranting. :)


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Clinic on Thursday - Kind of...CLINIC IS CLOSED.


Regular readers of this blog will know that the Clinic has been getting busier and busier - so much so that I finished last week's questions on Tuesday night this week.

As more and more (lovely) people read it - there is also a lot of repetition. A lot of you have the same problems - mainly acne/little red raised bumps/greasy/combination/obsession with pores etc 

It then occurred to me that I have not yet done a cheat sheet on acne/little red bumps (your words) - SO - I am working on one to be up hopefully before the weekend.

I am also working on a 'Frequently Asked Questions' Cheat Sheet - which will basically say 'use a non-mineral oil cleanser and take a LOT of fish oil'. :)

This week the Clinic will be a little different - I have a HUGE exam next week and need to spend time revising rather than discussing zits.

So I would ask this: the Clinic is open. 
If however, your question is extremely similar to one I have answered previously I will publish it - but refer you back to previous clinics.
If your question is related to any kind of spot/zit/acne/little red bumps, please wait for the cheat sheet and ask any questions under that if possible.

And one final word - I started the Clinic because I was receiving so many emails from readers asking my advice. With the utmost respect, it is not a forum. 
I had quite a few readers jump in and answer people's questions before I could get to them in the last few clinics - and in all honesty, if I disagree with anything you have said I'm just not publishing them. Not because I'm being a diva - merely because it doubles the workload. I need to answer the initial question, then the follow-up comments from someone else - THEN correct them. If I agree with everything you've said - I'll publish. 
I am not referring to readers who join in and say 'I've got that too! Can you help me also?' etc etc

So if you are one of the readers that has answered a question from another reader recently and haven't seen it published - that is why. I'm sorry but I have to recognise my limitations - there's only one of me - I hope you understand.

Off we go! :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A Week in the Life of the blog.

You know sometimes you stand back and think 'WOW - what just happened?' - the last 7 days have been that for me.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Monaco courtesy of La Prairie. 
Having dinner with Prince Albert. 
As you do.

When I got home I was asked to give a quote to Debenhams about 'saving the flannel'. I love a flannel.
So I did.
As you do.
Debenhams very kindly sent me a Gift Card and I thought no more of it.

Monday I went live on the 'What's in My Handbag' site. 
(We women really do like a nosy in other people's cupboards don't we?)

Early Monday morning I received an email advising me that I was quoted in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
'Oh - that's nice - Mum will be proud!'
#savetheflannel started to take hold on twitter and I was the butt of many a joke from my many (lovely) fellow bloggers. 
As you would expect. 
Naming no names (read the labels).

Monday afternoon I was on my way to a SpaceNK store to do some training when I get a message from the lovely Clare Forde - who very kindly provides free PR for Give and Makeup. And I quote:

Turns out BBC Radio 5live had been trying to track me down, had managed to find Clare through Give and Makeup and 'would I appear on their show that day to talk about 'my save the flannel' campaign?'.

And so it was that on Monday at 4.55pm I defended the flannel. 
On national radio. 
From a SpaceNK stockroom.
As you do.

Well it turns out all that activity pushed people towards this lovely little site and at some point yesterday I surpassed 1,000,000 page views. One MILLION page views. 

So the upshot of all of this? I just want to say Thank You to those of you that have supported the site from the beginning, tweeted me questions, emailed me directly, harassed me when I haven't posted as regularly as you would like, recommended me and most importantly to those of you that have bared your soul - and in some cases your faces on the Clinic days:

Thank you. No, really.


I'm really rather chuffed.

As Del Boy would say: 'Well, we've had worse days.'

The one where I sell my soul to the Devil - or 'Step Away from the Bioderma'

If you are a regular reader of this blog - you will know my feelings on wipes, only ever using cleansing water, general laziness over effort.

However: *breathe* I know that some of you for numerous reasons - need something quick and easy for occasional use. Occasional. Use. I'm talking airplanes, hospitals, kids face paint and drunken nights out that would otherwise result in you sleeping in your makeup.

Products like Bioderma originally came to the fore because makeup artists used (and still use - obvs) it backstage to get a full face of heavy makeup off a model in 10 seconds flat. It's great for doing that. It doesn't mean you use it every day and every evening in the real world. Unless you are Helena backstage at D & G - You need to wash your face.

So, at the Natural and Organic Show in Olympia recently I came across these. While I wouldn't advocate using them regularly - they seem to be gentle and very quick - in essence...

If you must use something to remove eye makeup in a hurry - you could do worse.

I don't hate them. That's about as good as it gets from me on the instantaneous removal issue.

Available in Waitrose and organic shops.

By the way - don't think it escaped my attention that when you google 'organic facial cleansing pads' - Liz Earle and Olay (!?!) pay for the two top advertising spots.

You are not organic. And false advertising should be illegal.

Rant over. Thank you for listening.

Monday, 23 April 2012

What's in My Handbag?

And another little snippet - I recently spent an afternoon with the girls from What's in My Handbag...where they proceeded to tear my cupboards, shelves and boxes to pieces - albeit in the best way....

The results are here...if you fancy looking through my stuff....

The Patron Saint of The Flannel

Just a quick one for a Monday morning but your truly is in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph today extolling the virtues of the flannel.

If you still only use wipes, cotton wool and muslins you may want to avert your eyes now.....

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Overnight Travel Kit

I went on an overnight trip to Monaco earlier this week - more of which to come at a later date.

I snapped off this pic very quickly as I was packing up to come home as it was probably the best overnight kit I've managed to put together for some time.

As I was going on my own and didn't have to make room for seven billion items belonging to my children that normally fill all of my cases - I didn't worry too much about travel sizes.

Included above is:

That's it. Stood me in good stead. Anyone have any good suggestions for travel sizes for the future?

* the above are a mixture of PR samples, purchases and product from clients (Serge, Hampton) but are all equally amazing.  No affiliate links. Just being helpful.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Clinic on Thursday - CLINIC IS CLOSED


The Clinic is open. I'm thrilled at the success of the Clinic - but I may have to cap the amount of comments I can publish at any one time - last week I was still going on Sunday morning - I hate letting anyone down but my kids are getting tired of looking at the back of my head all weekend! 

For newcomers - just leave a comment with your query below - unless its a straightforward question I need to know what you are using at the moment, how you cleanse and your diet.

If your question is very similar to previous weeks - I may refer you to that post - but I will always get back to you!

So let's see how we go......!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Aesop Petitgrain Hydrating Body Gel and Control Anti-blemish Gel

Launching at Aesop counters today, this revolutionary Petitgrain Body Gel is a beautiful addition to the Aesop family. Perfect for the warmer weather, it is scented with grapefruit and lemon peel and feels AMAZING on the skin - I'm keeping mine in the fridge.

Already on counters but equally as exciting is the new (ish) Control Anti-Blemish Gel.

Containing Niacinamide, Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid - this is perfect for applying directly to the affected area and is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Two lovely additions to the range.

On sale now from Aesop.

Petitgrain Body Gel is £23.00 and Control is £15.00.

*PR Samples. Lovely ones at that.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Semi-Silent Sunday

Scaffolding. What peptides do for your face - in a picture. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012



The much anticipated 111SKIN from Dr Y Alexandrides launched this week and judging it based on what I have tried so far - it does not disappoint. A collaboration between the Doctor and two space scientists, they have taken years of research and blended it perfectly with years of experience to give an extremely high tech range that promises the most advanced and sophisticated anti-ageing treatments available on the current market.

The key ingredient across the range is NAC Y2, a potent anti-oxidant that stimulates the production of glutathione - thus - in layman's terms, providing scaffolding support for your face.

Not so much a concern when you're 15. The only concern when you're 42. Trust in the Hirons. And if you're not interested in having your face injected with botulism or fillers - as I am not (Why WOULD you DO that?!) - this could be right up your alley.

I've been using a sample of the serum for a couple of weeks and the results are clearly visible. Plumper over the cheek area, smoother in texture and it has definitely contributed to my 'glow'. You lose your glow as you head towards perimenopause/menopause - Mother Nature's way of making you less physically attractive to the opposite sex because you can no longer procreate. How bloody rude.

Still, that's why the Sweet Baby Jesus gave us dermatologists, blusher and 111Skin. Amen.

111Skin is available now from Harrods. Prices start at £35 for a cleanser and go up to £190 for THAT serum.

Go get your glow on Ladies.

*pr sample

Friday, 13 April 2012

NARS Spring/Summer 2012 - loveliness abounds

Last week I was invited to a NARS Masterclass showcasing the new colours for Spring/Summer -and what lovely colours they are. I don't cover a whole heap of makeup on this blog but its NARS. You have to wear NARS. It's the law. And frankly if you're woman over a certain age *coughs* and have yet to experience the joy of a NARS blusher making you look alive again - take my word for it. Get to a counter near you and ask for an Orgasm or some Deep Throat. At the very least a Mata Hari or just your regular Sin. What can I tell you - the man is filth.

Don't be fooled - while he may have 'questionable' names for his blushers - his quality is hard to match. This is high end at its best.

The stars of the show for me were the amazing new tinted moisturisers - with a base of waters from Francois Nars home of Polynesia, the seven shades promise to hydrate, brighten, provide antioxidant support and promote cell renewal while simultaneously offering build-able, glowing coverage. Skincare, coverage AND SPF. Marvellous.

NARS Tinted Moisturisers are £27.00 and available now from SpaceNK. The S/S Collection is on counter Monday and the website is taking pre-orders now.

God I love me some NARS.

* not affiliate links
* what I have spent on NARS in the last 15 years probably bought the sundeck on his island home. Where's my invite eh?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Clinic on Thursday - Clinic is Closed.


It's back!  Thank you for all of your comments and replies to my replies over the last few clinics. I love how interactive it has become and know that all of our conversations are helping other readers with similar problems.

Let me know how I can help! 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Two years ago I sat down and penned a little post about cleansing massage. It proved popular and so I kept posting.

And now here we are in 2012 - I just wanted to say a huge Thank You to all of you that have taken the time to read, comment, talk about, link to, feature and support this blog along the way.

It is hugely appreciated.

Thanks. A bunch.

Source - Pinterest!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Speak Up, Save A Life

Regular readers will know of my charitable initiative Give and Makeup.

Red magazine recently launched a campaign called 'Speak Up, Save A Life'.

The aim of their campaign is to ask that every police force in the country works alongside an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate in its work to prevent domestic violence and help save lives.

They need 100,000 signatures, so that the debate can go to the House of Commons.

They only have 8000.

I honestly find that a little embarrassing. We can do so much better.

I have signed the petition.

I would urge you to take one minute out of your day and do the same.

Thank you.

For more information on the campaign.

For more information on Give and Makeup.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Cheat Sheet - Top Tips for Great Skin

I've noticed doing the Clinic these last two months that I am repeating a lot of the same basic tips week after week. None of which I mind, that's the point of the Clinic - but it did get me thinking that it might be useful to do a quick cheat sheet about basic care and how to get the most out of your skin.
Interestingly, most of the tips are based around diet and lifestyle - not particular products - but I will do a follow up of good products too...

Obviously everyone is different - but in general - these are your basics if you're wondering where to start....
  • Cleanse your skin every night without fail - cleanliness is next to Godliness. Double cleanse if you are wearing make-up or sunscreen - which means most of us. I've already written a cheat sheet on cleansing - read that if you haven't already - incorporate the massage techniques here - and you're pretty much done.
    And a little tip for those of you that say you have no time: either take your make-up off as soon as you get home OR take your make-up off before you take your bra off (if you sleep in your bra then do the first tip!)
  • Cleanse your skin every morning. It obviously doesn't have to be as intense as the night time - but a quick hot flannel and milk/balm/gel wouldn't go amiss to get rid of the overnight shedding. *gross* I know some brands say you don't need to cleanse your skin in the morning. That's OK. They're wrong. If you're body doesn't sweat/shed why do we have to change the bedding? Yeah. That's what I thought.
  • Do not smoke. I won't dwell on this one because its obvious and I've preached before. Unfortunately, in my experience the majority of smokers don't care. They'd rather smoke than have good health. That's really the beginning and end of it. Also - sidebar - they are more likely, again in my experience, to have Botox/fillers/use fad products - like BB creams for example. Why? Because they aren't willing to do the work themselves. Sorry smokers - but in your heart of hearts you probably know it's true. And if you're in the minority who smoke and do everything else organically, you still smoke.
  • Get some sunshine. The term 'everything in moderation' really applies here. For normal day-to-day use, I get my SPF from my make-up. But then I work indoors all day and live in the northern hemisphere. I of course use SPF if I am sitting on a beach - but no higher than 30 if I'm honest. Otherwise I wouldn't reapply and I'd look like a beetroot. I don't use skincare with SPF. I apply it separately in between moisturiser and foundation/primer. SPF is too active an ingredient and can interfere with other anti-ageing ingredients, making all of your expensive moisturisers potentially redundant.
    The fact is that yes, obviously too much sun is damaging to the skin. But so is too much chlorine. And too much pollution. Get out there and get some sunshine. We need it. And in the right dosage it can be amazing for your skin. Some brands would have us believe the sun is the ultimate enemy. That's only true if you don't respect it. Get some sun. Not a lot, some. Just don't be stupid about it. Read my SPF Cheat Sheet.
  • Sugar. You need to think of sugar as the Devil. And fizzy drinks/soda as Liquid Satan. Empty calories. Drink water. Sugar is the easiest addiction to stop - after a few days you won't even think about that mid-afternoon chocolate. Trust me. One of the best things you can do for your health and skin.
  • Stop eating crap. It's not rocket science. If 'cooking' to you means 'piercing the film', you are not cooking - you are reheating. And eating processed food. Which has no benefit to your health or skin. I'm not going to tell you what foods to avoid. You're not a moron.
    A tip - if you're a parent and you won't let your toddler eat what you are eating - why are YOU eating it?
  • Consider supplementing your diet. If you have problem skin and don't take fish oil, try it - in large doses. If you are vegetarian try flax - but in my experience its not nearly as powerful. I am big on supplements and have posted a frequently about them - most recently, here.
  • Cut down on dairy. Dairy is designed to take that cute calf and turn it into a 1500lb cow/bull in under a year. And it does a bloody good job of it. I have skimmed milk in my tea. That's about it these days. Yes, I've even cut back the cheese. *skimmed milk has been proven to be the unhealthiest milk to drink - typical that it is the one that I like.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. It's extremely dehydrating and again is predominantly sugar. If you are disciplined and can have the odd glass of good red wine, fine. If not, you may want to reconsider altogether - especially if your idea of a good drink is beer or a Bacardi Breezer.
  • Use quality skincare. I'm not talking about £400 creams, I'm just suggesting you step away from the £2.99 packet of wipes and moisturisers in the chemist/supermarket and step it up a gear. Outside of the organic market - up to around £150 you get what you pay for (in some circumstances - you still need to check the ingredients to see what you are paying for!). After that you're paying for packaging, the rent and payroll and holiday home of the name on the box. I fully get that the majority of us are on much smaller budgets - but honestly - you need to look at the £40-£100 mark for serums and moisturisers if they are hi-tech. Cleansers can all be around the £25 - £60 mark - but it would have to be a bloody good cleanser/larger size to get me to £60. If you want quality skincare and are willing to forgo the hi-tech, you can get amazing quality natural/organic products that are very affordable.
  • A final tip - equate your skincare spending to what you would spend on a handbag or shoes. I'm not saying you should - I'm saying you should be willing to. If you would spend more on a bag than your face - you're reading the wrong blog.
    I welcome you with open arms, but you are reading the wrong blog. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

GOLD by Giles - Sneaky Peek.

GOLD by Giles launches online at New Look this week - prices start at a ridiculous £1.99. My tips: the lipglosses and rollers!

Monday, 2 April 2012

March in the life of the blog.

Enjoying Ava's styling

Smelling these

Mother's Day bliss

Handmade cards never get old

Marilyn Monroe's skincare set

Hanging out with @londonmugirl and @getlippie

Long overdue haircut for the boy

Lovely catch-up with my little brother

Enjoying that smile

Listening to and watching this - and if you look really hard - I'm on the cover

Laughing at this

Loving the Chili Peppers for this

Loving that Mother Nature can make colours like this

Loving her

Dreading two weeks of sugar rushes

Loving Spring in London

Loving my boy

Giving airplanes in the park
Sheltering under this

Enjoying Max enjoying feeding the ducks

Making sure my kids always smell the flowers


Wishing these were available year round

And seeing 6 magpies - SIX - at one time....!