Thursday, 28 February 2013

DKNY inspired by Keith Haring Collection in stores today.

Today sees the launch of the DKNY Art for Men and Women in the UK. Those of us who were around in the 80's will no doubt remember Keith Haring's work popping up everywhere and his friendship with Madonna - who wore clothes designed by him and championed him whenever she could.


“I have always been inspired by the life and innate style of the artist,” says Karan. “I have admired Keith Haring’s work ever since his designs first appeared in the subway stations of New York; they are not only visually compelling, but communicate a message that I think everyone can relate to. This really speaks to the essence of DKNY; wearable art that’s young, urban and totally original.”

Keith Haring passed away in 1990.  Before he died, he founded The Keith Haring Foundation in his name to maintain and enhance his legacy of giving to children’s and AIDS organisations. Throughout his career, Haring produced murals, sculptures and paintings to benefit hospitals, underprivileged children's groups and various community health organisations.  The mission of the Keith Haring Foundation is to sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals. The Foundation supports not-for-profit organisations that assist children, as well as organisations involved in education, research and care related to AIDS.

DKNY Art Women EDT 100ml RRP £38 / DKNY Art Men EDT 100ml RRP £34
DKNY Art Women is exclusive to The PerfumeShop from today and then nationwide from April 2013.  DKNY Art Men is exclusive to ThePerfume Shop.

More information on the Keith Haring Foundation can be found at


Leona Lewis announced as Brand Activist for The Body Shop

Spring 2013 sees the launch of from The Body Shop of The Cruelty-Free Collection by Leona Lewis - a Limited Edition make-up and fragrance collection. Leona is well known for her veganism and animal rights work - so becoming a Brand Activist for The Body Shop seems a pretty perfect fit to me.

“I’m so excited to present my first ever make up collection, designed to celebrate cruelty-free
beauty at The Body Shop. With two on-trend looks to suit every skin tone from fair to dark, high shine lip glosses and a wild, liberating fragrance, you’ll go wild!”

The Leona Lewis Cruelty-Free Collection launches March 26th in selected stores.

Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Collection

I'm a sucker for a good flower visual. This is for the new Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose Collection available nationwide from today.

Hard to go wrong with Bobbi Brown and how much do those colours make you pine for Spring??!

Prices start at £11.00 and the Lilac Rose Collection is available on

'What's your issue?' Beauty & Skincare week at Liberty

As part of Liberty's Beauty and Skincare week 'What's your issue?' I will be hosting two workshops and giving (finally) one to one skin consultations on 12th and 13th March respectively.

Rest assured this is not a 'normal' beauty/skincare event - I have been promised there are to be no arm & hand massages in sight! Sidebar: I've never understood the arm & hand massage phenomenon. Fix my face please - leave my hands alone. I digress.

For an entire week there will be yoga classes, nutrition workshops, massages from Ren, opportunities to meet Dr Sebagh and Susan Harmsworth from Espa and yours truly. 

I will be holding two workshops on the Tuesday - one to talk about anti-ageing and one to get a grip on problem skin aka: acne.

Wednesday sees me taking over the Queen Mary room for individual skin consultations - I'm staying all day (10am - 8pm) to try and see as many people as possible.

More information on the event can be found here.

For bookings please email stating whether you are interested in one of the workshops or an appointment for a skin consult. 
Bookings are being taken on a first-come first-serve basis and I have no control over the system. 
Workshops are £35.00 redeemable against purchase and there are 30 places available.
Skin Consultations are £75.00 for 45 minutes, are fully redeemable against purchases made on the day and there are 10 appointments available.

Hope to see you there! 

Friday, 22 February 2013

An interview with Poppy King

Earlier this week I was invited to QVC to interview Poppy King - founder of Lipstick Queen.

I tweeted that I was meeting Poppy and asked if anyone had any questions for her - and you did!

First up - some q's from readers...

'Do you plan to do any more collaborations similar to the one you did with No.7?'
No, I'm focusing on Lipstick Queen - my baby - for the foreseeable future.

'How do you take care of your lips? Scrubs? Balms?'
To be completely honest my lips hold up very well - I use my own range and it does just fine! If I DO need help - say when I've been travelling, I use a spare toothbrush to massage them and follow up with my moisturiser.'

'And if you do prep your lips, do you plan to release your own lipcare line? Poppy Perfection sounds good!' (questions posed by @RedButtonGirl)

Watch this space! My top tips for good lips are:
  • a good lipstick shouldn't ruin your lips!
  • do NOT lick your lips - even though its very tempting - its the absolute worst thing for them..

'What was the first lip colour you experimented with?'
Red! Biba red. When I was 7 years old my Mum brought it back from the UK.

'Which milestone are you most proud of in your career?' (questions by @amandabellmua)
It's not so much a milestone, but every time a real woman pulls one of my lipsticks out of her bag - that does it for me.

'Any advice on how to organise, balance or budget a busy lifestyle?' (question by @computergirl200)
Yes! Drop any notion of perfection. Prioritise! (great advice!!!)

I asked Poppy for her Top 3 tips on getting ahead in the beauty industry - from any perspective.
  1. Work on a beauty counter for at least 6 months. People generally don't like it when I say this but until you have a real handle on the general public you won't understand their needs.
  2. It's like long-distance running. It can take a long, long, time to get known and be trusted.
  3. Never, ever assume that marketing is more important than a fantastic product. A brilliant product is far more important and will win in the end!

You can meet Poppy in person this Saturday in Selfridges Oxford Street where she will be giving lip readings and talking to her customers between 12 and 4pm. Go have your lips read - its fascinating. She nailed my personality with 2 sentences.

Poppy King's Lipstick Queen is available in SpaceNK, Cult Beauty, QVC and Selfridges.

Thank you to Poppy, her team and QVC. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine - Rouge in Danger

What I lack in eye make-up appreciation, I more than make up for in lip gloss and red lipsticks.

So when I was asked recently if I would like to try the new YSL Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks I said 'ooh yes please LOVELY could I please have that amazing red in the centre-left of the picture?!!'

Cut to a few days later and I get home from work to find a lovely little parcel with Rouge in Danger waiting for me. Open it, say 'WOW look at that packaging!' - pop the cap...and its been used.....'EEWWWW'.

At that very moment my darling daughter walks past and says 'Ooh that lipstick is lovely Mummy I played with it when I got in too.'

Moral of the story?

Never leave anything in the vicinity of your equally-beauty-obsessed child if you want to photograph it before you blog it.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine is £24.00 and available nationwide from 20th of Feb. It's available at Selfridges until then if you can't wait.

I trust yours will be pristine, shiny and glorious. Just keep it away from Ava.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

Just a quick word about this new range from Claire Vero and her team. Whilst I'm still trialing this new range - the favourite of which is (so far) the Cell Repair Night Oil - have a look at their website.

Their story, their team - and hold me down, their full ingredient listing on every product.

I expect great things.

*pr sample

Epidermal Growth Factors - EGF - Updated September 2014

EGF - short for Epidermal Growth Factor, is part of the family known as growth factors. They are used for stimulating growth and healing of damaged or dead skin. Which makes it - on paper - the perfect ingredient for an anti-ageing product.

It has the ability to stimulate cells (read: collagen) and increase the thickness of the epidermis - so perfect for ageing skin yes?

Well, no. The problem is that among its contra-indications are, among others, people suffering from psoriasis - psoriasis is caused by the body sending out a faulty signal to overproduce new skin cells - so the last thing you want to do is stimulate it. That, however, is not life-threatening.

More worryingly - is the suggestion that it should not be used on anyone with 'pre-cancerous cells or cancerous lesions'. The obvious fear being that growth factors are mitogenic - meaning while they do not cause cancerous cells, they absolutely will cause cancerous cells to multiply. That's their job. To stimulate cells. Scientifically proven to do so. 

It's not clever enough to distinguish between fibroblasts and cancer.

Therein lies the problem. How do you know if that mole on your face/back/leg is pre-cancerous? 

In the case of my Mum we didn't know her mole was cancer until she almost lost her leg.

Bio Effect - who are based solely on EGF - have no warnings on their external packaging relating to contraindications  In fact it says 'Suitable for all skin types'. *

Revive - the brand whose entire identity was based around EGF - have recently - and very quietly dropped all mention of EGF and now contain 'Renewal Epidermal Science' - I have no idea what that means - I've asked them for clarification. And until they are crystal clear on their website about what RES is?

I can tell you this.

No growth/renewal factor is going anywhere near my Mum's - or my skin.

I have asked Revive and Bio Effect if they would like to comment. *see BioEffect update below*
I'm all for being fair. I'll keep you posted.

More info:


*BioEffect do not source their EGF from human cells. It is copied from human dna and grown in barley therefore making it unrecognisable to cancerous cells. More info here:

Still no word from Revive.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Hampton Sun Privet Bloom Shower Gel

Just a quick one - I've just noticed that Beauty Bay have this on sale for £11.04 (I know - I don't know why £11.04?).

This is my favourite shower gel in the whole world. It's also Mr Hirons favourite - he's equally obsessed with it. 

The Privet Blossom is prevalent in the Hamptons. This shower gel is not organic or anything fancy schmancy - it does contain SLS and parabens (before I get abusive tweets) - but I've never been overly worried about parabens and I don't mind using SLS on my body (just not my face or hair). 

I've been lucky enough to spend time in The Hamptons and the reason I am obsessed with this shower gel is that with one whiff it transports me back to this....

the beach in East Hampton
If you are sick to death of this weather and craving sunshine showering with this might help you get up in the mornings.

Available here.

The Body Shop partners Teenage Cancer Trust

Always known for their ethics and work for amazing causes - The Body Shop have this year announced their partnership with The Teenage Cancer Trust - the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival of young people with cancer. 

The two organisations will be working together throughout 2013 with The Body Shop aiming to raise £250,000 for the TCT.

There are various initiatives including:
  • From April all customers can choose to get involved by making a 10p donation at the end of their purchase in stores nationwide. I personally love this option - I always, always donate in these situations - its so easy.
  • For the first time The Body Shop has launched a charity single, Beauty With Heart written and performed by Leddra Chapman available to download now for 99p here.
    All proceeds go to The Teenage Cancer Trust.
  • The Body Shop are the Official Headline Sponsors of the Teenage Cancer Trust Concert Series at the Royal Albert Hall taking place from 19 - 24th March.
This year the concerts are compered by Noel Gallagher and include performances by:
 Paul Weller, Kasabian, Primal Scream, Echo & The Bunnymen, Ryan Adams, Rizzle Kicks & Labrinth, Damon Albarn - Graham Coxon & Noel Gallagher (performing) and an evening of comedy with Russell Brand and Noel Fielding.

Twelve years of concerts has raised over £15 million for Teenage Cancer Trust - enabling them to build more specialist teenage cancer units in NHS hospitals across the UK, thus allowing young people to be treated together in an environment suited to their needs.

Tickets and more information can be found here and start at a beyond bargainous £25.00.

Please do what you can to support the cause.

Tomorrow: Q & A with Leddra Chapman.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate - Review

OK moving on from yesterday (please) - this little beauty is an example of what Clarins do really well. Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate should be in everyone's skin SOS kit. 

Containing only plant oils (yay!) this is an extremely gentle serum/oil that:
  • soothes irritation with fatty acids from soy and avocado
  • reduces redness with licorice and marjoram
  • increases the skin's resistance to external aggressors
  • contains fat soluble Vitamin A which is the most gentle formula for the skin. 
That along with the above means you start to slowly get your glow back in place of the glaring red of sensitivity. Its mild enough to be used regularly for sensitive skins as a serum/protectant and is perfect for those days where your skin just needs a comfort blanket - whether its feeling rough from partying/weather/travel - anything. Its ability to take down redness combined with the Vitamin A means it is also a safe bet for acne/combination skins.

This is a staple in my travel bag if I'm going on a plane - it's light so can be reapplied (long haul!) and doesn't clog pores - at all. 

Use under moisturiser am and pm.

One of my staple products and highly recommended.

Available from priced £39.50 for 15ml.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Clarins Double Serum - the review that never was.

So here's the thing - this is set to be Clarins biggest launch this year. It has already had rave reviews from BBB and Ree - both of whom also received it early - and seem to really love it.

However, between moving into a new office (YAY!) and the Lurg (BOO!) - although I had this early for testing, I was late to the party. And then at the weekend I was tagged in a post on Sali Hughes' Facebook group where someone expressed concern that this contained mineral oil.

THAT I was not expecting. It didn't occur to me that something from a brand that prides itself on plant extracts would contain mineral oil. I checked the box and sure enough - the oil component of Double Serum is mineral oil. 

So we have 20 plant extracts in a mineral oil. What's the point? Well, Clarins will probably say that the mineral oil is a good generic carrier oil and they can expect fewer reactions (and thus fewer returns) and it is a stable base for all their actives. My cynical side will say that it made the formula much cheaper to produce. Much cheaper.

So - this is the review that never was. Why? Because I've been working really hard on my skin lately - to the point where people are noticing and commenting that my skin is 'looking good'. 

I'm not about to slather it in mineral oil - no matter how much I love Clarins - and I DO - I really LOVE Clarins. I've been using it for around 25 years. I have a whole list of products ready to blog on my 'Favourite Brands' post that is coming up.

Just as well really because this isn't ever going to be one of them.

 I'm sticking to my beloved Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate (which is coming up next on the blog).

Sorry Clarins. But really: What's the point?