Friday, 30 November 2012

Pixi Glow Tonic - a P50 dupe.

(old packaging - updated 2013)

I found this Glow Tonic at Pixi last week and my eyes immediately zoomed in on the ingredients. They are incredibly similar to P50 and I am really enjoying using it.

Pixi skincare is definitely no-frills, which I REALLY like. Anyone else sick of throwing away a heavy box that added £1.50 to the price of your product? I know I am.

Petra's sister Sofia trained as an aesthetician in Sweden to degree level, she was based in Stockholm and was a facialist with a little black book of Sweden's A list. She wanted to create a line that she could use in her bespoke facials in Stockholm.

Sofia wanted to develop a range for Pixi that was based around purely: simplicity and efficacy, the skincare is hand made in small batches and packaged simply and priced sensibly as she wanted to encourage people to use the best quality skincare at a price they could afford. (TOTAL WIN)

The skincare is 'spin' free, over 12 years old and still is hand labelled/filled and very much anti-hype. There are no added fragrance/colour/fillers, with some products that are AMAZING for even hyper sensitive skins. It is definitely a results-driven range.

The Glow Tonic is an oil-free, alcohol-free, gentle but astringent toner. Heavy in aloe vera, it also contains witchhazel to tone and firm, smooth the appearance of the skin and soften the texture. Ginseng is a natural supplier of oxygen to the cells and horse chestnut stimulates the skin and circulation. 
Glycolic loosens the excess accumulation of dead skin cells and thus exfoliates. It says for normal to dry and older skins but this will help all skin types in my opinion. 

You can use 2 x day as a toner - will help diminish signs of sun damage and reduce fine lines.

AND: it's £16.00. SIXTEEN POUNDS. For 250ml. 

And wait for it: I just called the store to fact check the price and Pixi is currently on a Buy One Get One Free promotion.  

What it DOES have in common with P50 is that it not available online - you need to call the store on 0207 287 7211 or email for mail order.

Glow Tonic is available from

By far the BEST BOGOF offer I've seen in a long, long time. 

(product reformulated in 2013 - this is 2012 formula)

You should also check out their masks. I'm working my way through them and in light of the promotion will move them up the list to review!

* PR Sample, but I'm buying this offer. No affiliate links and I have no business links to Pixi.  Unfortunately ;)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Thought for the Day: Stem Cells and Bollocks

There are a lot of 'stem cell' products being launched at the moment. Brands need to be very very careful what claims they make when they suggest that a plant stem cell - a PLANT stem cell - can affect the cells in human skin. 

Its one thing to use peptides to stimulate and give a 'kick' to the skin and collagen. Its another to suggest that those carnations you bought from the Shell garage can reverse ageing and 'wake up' dead cells.

If we could 'wake up' anything 'dead' or 'non-responsive' in the human body don't you think scientists would give that knowledge to people who are paralysed?


Just saying.

Liz Earle Official Statement

In the interests of full disclosure: I have worked for Liz Earle in the past. 

I used to joke that if you lived on the Isle of Wight you either worked for Liz Earle or were a chambermaid (no offence IOW peeps). The company is a huge part of the IOW's being. And the IOW is very small. About 140,000 people. That makes it the size of Bolton. Or, slightly larger than Brighton. Everyone knows everyone.

Earlier today my phone started going into overdrive. People were being laid off. They had cancelled their plans for the huge expansion on the Island and the 500 new jobs that would go with it. Managers were being let go. Liz had been let go. From multiple sources. And when I say sources - I mean friends. I'm not working for the Wall Street Journal folks - I'm under no illusions.

After I had tweeted about what was happening I immediately received a call from their PR Dowal Walker.

'It is categorically untrue that Liz has left the company.' 

Fine. I'm more than happy to put something right.

I asked if it was true that she is now contracted for 25 days a year only - and that was mainly for QVC and PR purposes. As far as the Official line: Liz is still on board.

This from their Facebook page earlier this month when the rumours started.

"Hi All.
Please be assured that Liz continues to be an integral part of Liz Earle Beauty Co ltd. We are delighted that Liz has retained her involvement since Avon acquired the company in 2010. We hope this clears up any misunderstanding :)"

This is their release to the press regarding the redundancies/cancelled expansion:

'Liz Earle Beauty Co. Limited continues to evolve and contribute to the Island economy.

It is best practice that companies review their organisational design and processes to support their growth plans. 

Liz Earle Beauty Co. Limited is currently reviewing the infrastructure to ensure world class resources are in place for future growth expectations. A consolidation of roles, improvement in working processes and effectiveness are key priorities. The business objective is to continue to drive for growth and optimal business performance. 

As part of the Organisational Review there is a consultation process underway and is expected to conclude in the next 30 days.'

'A consolidation of roles, improvement in working processes and effectiveness are key priorities.'

Ahem. Laying people off.

I've since been told both Liz and Kim Buckland officially resigned from the Board on 25th September, which is true. Source

So what gives?

Who knows.

It's inevitable that when a smaller company sells out to a huge international conglomerate - Avon - that they will make changes after the initial grace period of promising 'no changes'.

But please: don't treat people like idiots and tell them 'not to talk to anyone'. Especially when it's people losing their livelihood. Its an even bigger insult.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Mumsnet Bloggers Network - Guest Beauty Blog Editor. ME!

You know when you are courted by politicians in the run up to the General Election that you are 'perhaps' slightly influential. 

Mumsnet is the phenomenon that keeps on growing. Currently hitting over 40 million page views a month and 5 million visits, it its one of the busiest sites in the UK. 

The Mumsnet Bloggers Network is a great way to get your blog out there - and a great place to find some amazing things to read. There are literally hundreds of updates a day - from cooking to child-rearing to beauty to relationships - you name it - it's on there - it's completely engrossing and makes a great change from the Sidebar of Shame if you are at your desk in your lunch hour!

And best of all for me - I'm the Official Inaugural Guest Beauty Blog Editor. Very honoured and thrilled to be asked.

For our first ever Beauty Blog round-up, this month we are discussing Winter skincare. Seasonal changes are the most testing time of year for the skin. Especially Autumn into Winter. Does your face suffer from that ‘tight’ feeling when you come in from the cold? Do you want to avoid that red/sore look for party season? Whose products do you like? Do you have any hand-me-down tips from previous generations? What are your favourite products? Why do you prefer some products to others? When do you make the switch over?

We’ll compile our favourite posts – whether they be informative, irreverent or just plain entertaining – and we can’t wait to get started. If you have a post you would like to submit you can tweet us at @mumsnetbloggers and @carolinehirons – please use #mnbeauty – we’ll RT you and link back to you. 

If you're not yet a member of the bloggers network, sign up here: - you don’t need to be a beauty professional – or even a Mum – we’d love to hear from you.

Join us! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Clinique Sweet Treats

Just a quick one. Clinique have a lovely 'Sweet Treats' online event this week with Limited Editions being released each day when you make your purchase. will be unveiling a new treat each day, exclusively available with your online purchase – you need to visit each morning to find out the purchase qualifier and offer code - but I've checked it out myself and there are some lovely gift sets - and really reasonable too. 

My fave is this lip gloss kit. How cute? £25.00. Bargainous.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Cheat Sheet - Winter Skin


I've had numerous requests for advice recently about winter skin and what to do/not to do.
The change from warm to cold to central heating to cold to office to travel to central heating etc can really make your skin feel like it's 'burning'. 

Here are just a few tips that may may help.
  • Treat the skin like you do your clothing, if you're layering clothing, layer your skincare. You need a skincare 'wardrobe' at this time of year more than any other.
    Cleanse, Tone, Serum, Oil, Cream, Protectant and/or balm. How much and when you use all of these depends on your skin but a general rule of thumb is if it's still absorbing, keep going (the only thing to be aware of is layering silicone as it will inevitably 'peel' or 'roll').
  • Don't over-cleanse. Your skin needs all the moisture it can get at this time of year. If you're dry/sensitive and you are using harsh cleansers suitable for the summer months AND overusing something like a Clarisonic - your skin may be very unforgiving.
  • Avoid alcohol-heavy products. It's one thing to have a toner showing alcohol denat at the very end of the inci list - its another to have alcohol as the main ingredient. 
  • If you love a face wash (foaming) - try and change to a cleansing milk while the weather is so cold. You can buy a milk for oily skin if you need it. 
  • Even better, use oils and balms. Natural ones. No mineral oil. An oily skin can use an oil designed for its specific type. 
  • You should NEVER aim for 'squeaky clean' anything, be it hair or skin. If you have this feeling after washing/cleansing, you really need to stop/rethink what you are using..
  • Exfoliate regularly. Face and body. Topical exfoliants in liquid form are far more effective than scrubs. Use toners or pads with AHA acids twice a day and follow with a spray of a hydrating toner containing glycerin and/or hyaluronic acid before you apply your serum and you'll feel a difference after one day.
  • Ensure you are taking omega oils to help your skin internally. Fish are the best - flax are a good second for vegetarians.
  • Do continue to use face masks - but go for more hydrating ones as opposed to clay ones. If you have a combination skin use your clay mask and go straight in afterwards with a hydrating one for a good boost.
  • If you are a shower person - don't be tempted to stand under a hot shower to warm up. Your skin will not thank you for it. Keep it warm-hot, not boiling!
  • If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema it it likely that you will experience a worsening of symptoms in the colder months. Make sure your shower/bath products are as irritant free as possible, avoid tumble dryer sheets and moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!!!
  • And finally - don't forget your Vitamin D. I've posted about Vitamin D previously here - top up, keep happy! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to the British Museum to watch Estee Lauder Companies turn it pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Whilst there I was completely distracted by their lovely PR Georgie who smelled out of this world. I suppose this would be an appropriate forum to apologise for walking up to her and sniffing her like Gomez Addams all evening. *sorry Georgie*

I rarely respond to fragrances this strongly - but I love tuberose - and I adore gardenia - so it was a bit of a a no-brainer really. And I hate to be predictable but it is in a carnation and vanilla bourbon base - also things I am more than happy to cover myself in. It does list neroli and orangeflower extract in the notes - none of which I am happy to report - my nose picks up. I can't bear smelling like fruit - I prefer to eat it.

Following in the tradition of Estee's first Private Collection released in 1973 - Tuberose Gardenia was created by Aerin Lauder for her friends. 
If you like strong florals, gardenia or tuberose you have to try this fragrance. It is divine. It's a heavy enough floral to warrant wearing it throughout the year - not just for summer.

Failing that you could just find an Estee Lauder PR to follow around all day like a sniffer dog.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is available here and at Estee Lauder counters nationwide priced from £59.00.

*pr sample - poor Georgie.

Monday, 19 November 2012

One Billion Rising - V Day 14 February 2013

Eve Ensler is the inspirational woman behind The Vagina Monologues. If you haven't seen it, you must. 
As a woman, daughter, mother of a daughter, friend of more than one friend who has been raped - I have joined One Billion Rising. I would urge you to do the same.

Over It
By Eve Ensler
I am over rape.
I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.
I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.
I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.
I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don't have a sense of humor, and women don't have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don't think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.
I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.
I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.
I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.
I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.
I am over rape happening in broad daylight.
I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.
I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called "comrades."
I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.
I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.
And I'm over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.
Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.
I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.
I am over starving Somali women being raped at the Dadaab in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.
I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it's their fault or they did something to make it happen.
I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime - the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.
No women, no future, duh.
I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.
I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters - film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes - while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.
I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?
You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?
I am over years and years of being over rape.
And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5 years old.
And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.
And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.
I am over being polite about rape. It's been too long now, we have been too understanding.
We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine - once and for all - what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need you to let our rage and our compassion connect us together so we can change the paradigm of global rape.
There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.
The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.
Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.
Because we are over it.

One Billion Rising - short film

You can sign up here

Three Do's and Don'ts with Ole Henriksen

My mantra of turning to a Dr or a Facialist when thinking about buying skincare has not altered since meeting Ole Henriksen. Since opening his first Clinic in California in 1975 he has gone on to be one of the most recognisable brands in treatment-led skincare.

When he visited London recently I was fortunate enough to catch up with him for a 1 to 1- and ask him his Top 3's.

Top 3 Don'ts:
  1. Don't go to bed with your makeup on - ever. (I already love him)
  2. Don't remove eye makeup too vigorously - the area is very sensitive - take it gently.
  3. Don't over-treat the skin. Too many actives/scrubs and having the water too hot can damage your skin - don't disrespect your skin.

Top 3 Do's:
  1. Cleanse properly - close your eyes and take your time - enjoy your routine.
  2. Eyes are the window to the soul - use a good eye cream containing efa's and peptides.
  3. Ensure the skin is adequately hydrated and moisturised - use anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids so that the acid mantle is maintained and the skin feels soft to the touch.
And my favourite quote from the man?:

'Women have the right to walk around with no makeup on and glowing skin.'  (seriously dude - we should hang out more)

If you are looking for somewhere to start with Ole's products have a look at this little beauty:

Although I can't look at it without hearing Sofia Vergara in my head shouting 'LOOK INTO MY EYES LOOK INTO MY EYES!' - I LOVE this product.
It's a peel. For your EYES. 
Containing lactic and glycolic acids, micro algae and rice bran protein - apply in the evenings and in the morning it leaves your eyes feeling silky soft and smooth - and more importantly - better able to absorb the ingredients in your AM eye cream - usually peptides - which in turn, gets rid of your lines. Hey Presto!

Ole Henriksen is available from Harvey Nichols and selected online retailers. Truth is in the Eyes starts from around £39.00 (there are different sizes).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Give and Makeup's Shoebox Campaign 2012

Hi Everyone.

I can't believe it's that time of year again. But it is. I KNOW how many of you are obsessive about shoes. I read your blogs and tweets people!

All we're asking is that you keep the box, fill it with stuff for the children - and send it to us. 

I promise you - the difference you will make is not measurable in words. 

And a note to my fellow bloggers, PR's and brands. I will happily collect them from you at events. Happily.

Thank you - you gorgeous, giving, generous people!!!!! 

Monday, 12 November 2012

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar

Ok ok Christmas is coming. There. I said it. I don't tend to go overboard on the blog with Christmas beauty offerings - not sure why really - I'm obsessed with Christmas. I mean obsessed.

However, I saw this little offering and I thought you might like it.

Latest in Beauty have teamed up with YOU magazine to celebrate their first year of working together - and I think its a pretty neat present for one of your nearest and dearest - or let's face it - you could just keep it for yourself. Better for your skin than a chocolate advent eh?

It contains the following:

·         Jo Hansford Intensive Masque (40ml)
·         Nicky Clarke Instant Calmer (30ml)
·         Bioeffect EGF Serum (3ml)
·         Balm Balm Organic Lip Balm (7ml)
·         Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (7.5ml)
·         Philosophy 3-in-1 Cleanser (30ml) or Daily Facial Wash (30ml)
·         The Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curler
·         STEAMCREAM Moisturiser (75g; designs vary),
·         Aromatheraphy Associates Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil (3ml)
·         EVE LOM Rescue Mask (15ml)
·         Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (10ml)
·         St.Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion (50ml)
·         Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ (2.5ml)
·         ESPA Lift & Firm Moisturiser (7ml) and Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum (3ml)
·         Yardley Refreshing Body Spray (75ml – fragrances vary)
·         MAVALA Rouge Rubis Nail Varnish (5ml)
·         Benefit They’re Real! Mascara (3g)
·         L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (10ml)
·         Richard Ward Volumiser Root Booster (50ml)
·         Dermalogica Favourites Pack (7ml,7ml,sachet, 5ml)
·         Bellápierre Eye Shadow (2.35g)
·         Mirenesse Lip Lift Moisture Shine (1.5g)
·         Mont Bleu Crystal Nail File (90mm)
·         AS London Candle. Contents may vary.

I opened the first door to give you an idea of the size - but that's it - I'm keeping the rest as a surprise for Ava and I to fight over open every day in December.

The Calendar is worth over £200 and is being offered for £59.95. It's also pretty huge and heavy - nice work.

Latest in Beauty are offering my lovely readers FREE P&P until 16th November. Simply enter FREEM when prompted.

*PR sample - a delicious one at that

Monday, 5 November 2012


Twenty one years ago I gave birth to one of the loves of my life. 

I don't know where the time goes but I do know that having you has enriched our lives in ways we cannot describe.

Happy Birthday my gorgeous baby boy.

Best friends

The family advert for Pantene

Big brother