Sunday, 27 December 2015

12 Days of Giveaways Winners

Morning All!

The 12 Days are starting to finish so for ease, (and having learned from the last few year's experiences) I am putting all the winners on their own dedicated page so that you can check in at your leisure to see if you have been lucky. The page is now live in the tabs above or click here.

A word to the winners - we frequently have winners who share names with other entrants. If you win, you will receive an email from me confirming.
Please give the brands/PRs some time to respond, it's still the holidays and a lot of offices won't open until the first week of January.

All winners are chosen by via rafflecopter.

Thanks and Good Luck all!

Thursday, 24 December 2015



Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year and to celebrate we held back one box for one lucky reader.

To WIN the last remaining box simply enter via Rafflecopter below. Same as always. No obligation, we don't sell your email address, you can enter once a day and the giveaway is open for 12 Days. Full T&Cs are available here:

Once last week's vlog is up later today, I'm having a few days off until New Year. Time to chill with the family, watch Elf on repeat, and just let it all hang out. Quite literally.
Thank you all for your support this year. I'll be back on New Year's Eve with a ridiculous giveaway to start the 2016. In the meantime, from my family to you and yours, I wish you all a happy, healthy, festive season, wherever you are, and however you do or do not celebrate it.

See you soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


So Day Twelve is nearly at an end and so to finish up we move to the end of the alphabet with Zelens.

The brand needs no introduction on this blog and Dr Lens has kindly offered one International reader my Top 6 picks from the range:

Z Pure Cleanser
PHA  Bio-Peel Pads
Triple Action Eye Cream
Z Luminous Serum
Z-22 Facial Oil
Stem Complex

This giveaway is worth a whopping £575.00 and will go to one reader, no matter where you live in the World. Full T&Cs are available here:

Huge thanks to Marko from the brilliant Zelens and Good Luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Continuing a day of madness - which is what I should have called Day Twelve, Nude Skincare are offering five - FIVE - lucky UK readers the opportunity to get their hands on one of the above Beauty of Nutrition kits containing the following:

Advanced Renewal Moisturiser 50ml (lush)
Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly 30ml (lusher)
Progenius Omega Treatment Oil 15ml (lushest)

To win simply enter via Rafflecopter below. Full T&Cs are available here:

Good Luck Everyone! And thank you Nude!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Twelve starts with the lovely Pixi, who have very kindly let me pick whatever I like for one extremely lucky International winner.

So, our first giveaway of the day consists of 
  • the entire Pixi Skintreats Collection (obviously), including the runaway freight train success that is Glow Tonic, the pads, the balm, the Rose Oil, the masks, I'm even throwing in the wipes for those party nights when you're too inebriated/can't be bothered to do a full cleanse. (Just make sure you fix it in the morning yes?)
  • Flawless Beauty Primer - literally cannot be without it. That is all.
  • The entire Mattelustre Lipstick Collection - all 11 gorgeous shades.
To win all of the above simply enter via Rafflecopter below as always. Full T&Cs available here:

Thank you Pixi and Good Luck everyone!

Monday, 21 December 2015


Day Eleven finishes with New CID. Long-time readers will be well aware of my obsession-use-every-day-without-fail-love-affair with i-glow shimmer powder in Coral Crush from New CID.

So the lovely peeps from New CID are offering 3 lucky readers based in the UK the chance to win the Baked Collection set pictured above and below - BUT...

Just for this giveaway - they've replaced the usual contents of Sirocco and Bronze Mini powders with Sirocco and Coral Crush. You cannot buy this in stores. It's just for us. :)

To win simply enter via Rafflecopter below. Full T&Cs are available here:

Good luck everyone and thank you New CID.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We continue Day Eleven with Bliss. Big, chunky skincare goodness could be yours!

Up for grabs is:

Fabulous Makeup Melt Get-To-Oil Cleanser 
Firm, Baby, Firm Moisturizing Gel-Cream 
Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask 
Fabulips ‘Pout’-O-Matic
Grapefruit + Aloe Soapy Suds 
Grapefruit + Aloe Body Butter

To keep yourself clean in the New Year simply enter via Rafflecopter below. Good Luck everyone and thank you so much Bliss!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Ooohhhh we're nearly there!

Day Eleven starts with a HUGE giveaway from Kate Somerville. My love affair with this brand is well documented, so let's save time and get straight to it.

The brilliant team at KS are offering one lucky reader a $500 gift card to spend on any products they like, to send anywhere in the world.

To WIN this beautifulness (is SO a word), simply enter via Rafflecopter below. All T&Cs are available here:

Open Internationally and you can enter up to once a day.

Good luck everyone! And thank you Kate Somerville. You rock.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 20 December 2015


One of my favourite discoveries of 2015 is up for grabs as Day Ten continues with a complete Unite 7Seconds Collection. 
If you have seen my vlogs/videos on YouTube recently you will have seen me waxing lyrical about the unite Seven Seconds Leave-in Conditioner Spray. These beautiful sulfate-free products have helped save my Rod Stewart hair this year.
Well the lovely people at Unite are offering one lucky UK reader the entire collection - including amongst others, the gorgeous shampoo and conditioner from the range.


7SECONDS Refresher
7SECONDS Shampoo
7SECONDS Condition
7SECONDS Glossing Spray
7Seconds Condition Spray

Thank you unite! And Good Luck everyone! Full list of the T&Cs can be found here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day TEN starts with some FRESH loveliness. See what I did there? Oh never mind.

The lovely folks at Fresh are offering FIVE lucky UK readers a complete set of the following masks:

Sugar Face Polish
Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask
Rose Face Mask
Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask

The hero masks above are worth over £250.00 and you can win them all simply by entering via Rafflecopter below.

THANK YOU FRESH and Good Luck everyone! And thanks Fresh for opening more stores! Much needed. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 19 December 2015



You can't go wrong with a little Soap & Glory, so we're giving you a LOT of S&G. :)

To win all of the below:

Mist You Madly Fragrance Mist
Scrub Your Nose In It Facial Scrub
Drama Clean Makeup Remover
Pulp Friction Body Scrub
Bright & Beautiful Energy Boosting Radiance Serum
The Righteous Butter
Flake Away Body Polish
Glow Job Sunkissed Tinted Morning Moisture Flash
Clean On Me Shower Gel
Heel Genius Foot Cream
Hand Food Hand Cream

Simply enter via Rafflecopter below.

As with all the giveaways, you have 12 Days from their launch to enter and you can enter daily.
Full T&Cs are here:

Good Luck! Thank you Soap & Glory!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day 9 continues with my favourite candles! Cire Trudon will be known to regular readers/followers of my Instagram. The fragrances are sophisticated, they burn beautifully and last ages.

We have two on offer for one lucky UK reader. Madeleine and Ernesto, two of my favourites, are in their Limited Edition Christmas silver and gold colours and will probably be sold out by the time this giveaway ends.

To win, simply enter as on all previous days via Rafflecopter below. You can enter up to once a day and full T&Cs are available here:

Best of luck everyone! Thank you Cire Trudon. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I can't believe we're nearing the end already! We kick off Day 9 with a massive International Giveaway from Radical Skincare.

Liz, the co-founder of Radical, very kindly let me choose my personal faves from the range for you, so one lucky winner will win all of the following:

Hydrating Cleanser 
Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads 
Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum
Extreme Repair Moisturiser
Eye Revive Cream
Express Delivery Enzyme Peel

To win this lovely lot, worth nearly £450.00, simply enter as always below.
Full T&Cs are available here:

Huge thanks to the very generous team at Radical! Good Luck all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 18 December 2015

12 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS - DAY EIGHT - got2b glued Hairspray

We finish Day Eight with my favourite 'bun' hairspray. This stuff stops time. I mean, not literally, but it could. Nothing, I mean nothing, gets past this spray. So in celebration of all of you that rock a bun, or a spike, or just a wave that you are tired of going frizzy, Schwarzkopf are giving one lucky winner a YEAR's supply of the yellow tins of joy.

To win, enter as previously below. Couldn't be simpler. Full T&Cs:

Good luck everyone! And thank you Schwarzkopf.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Eight continues with Black Chicken Remedies. Just (literally) launched in the UK on Cult Beauty, this gorgeous range may be hard to get your hands on, but Chey, the lovely founder, is offering one lucky reader the entire line, no matter where you live in the world.

The gorgeous cleansing oil, the serum, deodorant, Balm of Ages, mist, eye cream, everything, could be yours....

Love Your Body Oil 100ml £54

Love Your Face Serum 30ml - £66

Balm of Ages 75g  - £38.50

Cleanse My Face – purifying oil cleanser 100 ml - £46.75

Hydrate My Face – Botanical Hydration and toning mist 100ml - £27.50

Axilla Deodorant Paste™ 75g - £17

Love Your Body Polish - £28.80

Total Prize - £278.55

To enter simply do so via Rafflecopter below, usual T&Cs apply, all are available on the original 12 Days post here:

Thank you Chey! And good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Eight starts with Elizabeth Arden. The iconic 8 Hour Cream launched in 1930 and now it, and the entire collection, is going to one lucky winner in the UK.

Included in the giveaway are:

The lovely brand new All-Over Miracle Oil
Eight Hour Cream - the original
Eight Hour Hand Treatment 
Eight Hour Facial Moisturiser 
Eight Hour Body Treatment 
Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm 
Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick

To win simply leave your email in the widget below. Comments are closed and all full T&Cs are available on the original 12 Days post. Your email is not used for anything other than the entry. We don't keep your details, or give the to the brands. You can enter up to once a day.

Thank you Elizabeth Arden and good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 17 December 2015


Day Seven continues with Show Beauty, easily my current hair care range of choice. I dabble everywhere, as regular readers/viewers will know, but I have never met a Show product I didn't love, and their Working Texture Spray, pictured below, is one of my favourite products of all time.

This giveaway includes the following lushness:
  • Premiere Working Texture Spray
  • Premiere Dry Shampoo
  • Premiere Finishing Spray
  • Pure Treatment Oil
  • Decadence Hair Fragrance
  • Sheer Thermal Protect
  • Lux Volume Mousse
  • Premiere Mini Dry Shampoo
  • Premiere Mini Finishing Spray

To win all of the above - enter via Rafflecopter below. Due to shipping restrictions this is open UK and USA only. Sorry folks. Not our fault!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! And thank you SHOW Beauty.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Seven starts with Abnormal Beauty Company, aka Deciem, aka NIOD, aka Grow Gorgeous etc etc

The Abnormal lot are offering one lucky reader all of the following:
  • Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age 
  • NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 
  • Grow Gorgeous Shampoo Intense 
  • Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum Intense 
  • AB CREW Body Wash 
  • HIF Hydration
  • Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Body Mist
To WIN all of the above simply enter via Rafflecopter below as previous entries. Comments are closed, full T&Cs are available here: - there's also updated information on how the 12 Days are chosen and what happens to your email address after you enter (absolutely nothing, it's not for sale).

Good Luck everyone! Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Day Six continues with Emma Hardie. And it's a good'un!

Moringa Balm Cleanser is one of the most-talked about products on the blog and the lovely team at Emma Hardie are offering one lucky winner A YEAR'S SUPPLY.

That's right, a year's worth of product in the form of 5 x 200ml pots worth £55.00 each.

To win, simply enter your email in Rafflecopter as per usual below. (A word on Rafflecopter - it had some issues with high traffic so I'm monitoring it daily - sorry about that!) UK only.

Comments are closed, so please do use the initial 12 Days post to ask me any questions.

Good luck everyone - and thank you Emma!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Six starts with Votary, producers of my current favourite cleansing oil, which became a staple in my routine this year.

This prize includes the entire range including the brand new, not yet released, toning serum:

Clean Your Skin - Cleansing Oil 100ml
Renew Your Skin - Toning Serum 50ml (launches 1st Jan)
Heal Your Skin - Rose Facial Oil 30ml
Calm Your Skin - Jasmine Facial Oil 30ml
Smooth Your Skin - Neroli Facial Oil 30ml

The value of this prize is £315.00 and it is open to you wherever you are in the world, aka Internationally! :)

Thank you Votary and congratulations on a beautiful launch! And good luck everyone! Comments are closed - please leave any queries on original 12 Days announcement post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Our first Stocking Filler is the sellout Liberty Advent Calendar. This gorgeous gift was sold for £149.00 but was worth over £400.00 and is going to one lucky home in the UK.

As always, to win, you just need to enter via rafflecopter below. You can enter up to once a day. UK only.

Thank you Liberty and good luck everyone!

The full list of products in the calendar is available here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Day Five starts with Elemis. ;)

To celebrate 25 years as a brand, Elemis are offering one lucky reader their 25 Heritage Heroes set worth £225.00. They are also throwing in an Aching Muscle Super Soak because it's my fave and I asked them to.

The 25 Heritage Heroes contains:

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 30g
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 50ml FULL SIZE
Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream 50ml FULL SIZE
Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment 15ml FULL SIZE
Pro-Collagen Marine Mask 15ml
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich 15ml
Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Mask x 2
Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser 30ml Tube
Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 15ml
Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml
Gentle Rose Exfoliator 15ml
Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser 20ml
White Flowers Eye & Lip Makeup Remover 28ml
Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules 7 x Rose 7 x Lavender
Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash 50ml
Dynamic Resurfacing Gel Mask 15ml
White Brightening Even Tone Serum 10ml

Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml
Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream 50ml
Frangipani Monoi Body Cream 50ml
Jasmine & Rose Hand Cream 20ml
Instant Refreshing Gel 20ml
Skin Nourishing Milk Bath 60ml
NEW British Botanical Shower Cream 50ml
NEW British Botanical Body Cream 50ml

To win all of the above simply enter as always via the Rafflecopter widget below..
Open Internationally.

Thank you Elemis! Congratulations on 25 years and good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 14 December 2015


SORRY IT'S SO LATE! No wi-fi access over the weekend and I was a TAD preoccupied with DURAN.

Enjoy my singing and rollers now won't you? :)

Have a great week!



You say 'Tata'. I say 'CLEANSE ME WOMAN!'.

I've never met a Tata product I didn't like, and it is especially true of the cleansers. Day Four's prize is all FOUR of Tata Harper's cleansers (see what I did there?). ;)

From dry/dehydrated to oily/combination to dull/sensitive, whatever your skin type or condition, Tata can help. The Cleansing Collection is worth over £200 and this giveaway is open Internationally.

To enter simply do so via rafflecopter below. Thank you Tata and good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 December 2015


Day Three comes to us from sjal, the gorgeous brand that have been on the blog and across my social media posts pretty much since the beginning.
sjal uses only the highest quality ingredients and combines biotechnology and eastern medicine with precious gemstones and minerals, resulting in luxurious formulations that literally leave the skin feeling amazing.

To win one of FIVE sets of the below:

Balans Deep Pore Cleanser
Mineral Kalla - energy tonic spritz
Saphir Concentrate Facial Oil
Kura Intuitif (30ml) - moisturiser for dehydrated/dry/mature
Kashmir Saphir (30ml) - restoring, regenerative and firming mask

The sets are worth more than £350.00 each, and we have five of them! :)

Simply enter via rafflecopter as previous giveaways.

Thank you sjal and good luck everyone!

Full T&Cs can be found here:

This giveaway is open to the UK only and you can enter every day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 12 December 2015


Day Two is upon us and it's the beautiful Kypris. You will have seen this on the blog recently after it's launch in the UK.

It's still only available in Selfridges (online and instore) but now for 12 Days you have the opportunity to get your mitts on it.

Kypris are offering one lucky winner the Complete Experience Collection which is includes full sizes of the following:

Moonlight Catalyst
Antioxidant Dew
Clearing Serum
Body Elixir
And a Beauty Elixir of your choice.

The value of this collection is well over $400.00

Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
*This giveaway is open to the UK, the EU, USA, Canada and Mexico only.

Comments are closed. For full T&Cs see this post and feel free to leave any questions on that page:

Good luck everyone!

Thank you Chase and Kypris!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 11 December 2015


Well if you're going to start, you may as well hit the ground running....

The Body Shop are offering one lucky winner living in the UK & Ireland the chance to win ALL OF THE ABOVE.
It is literally so big we couldn't fit it into the hamper or the picture. Included in the hamper are all of the brilliant launches from 2015 including the gorgeous:

Oils of Life
Facial Oil
Revitalising Cream
Gel Cream          
Essence Lotion
Twin Ball Facial Massager

Their best selling...

Drops of Youth
Concentrate 50ml
Sleeping Mask      
Eye Concentrate

The Spa at home....

Spa of the World
Camellia Cream
Egyptian Milk and Honey Bath
Moroccan Rhassoul Clay      
Dead Sea salt Scrub              
Himalayan Charcoal Clay      
Kukui Cream      
Monoi Oil      
Mask Brush    

The beautiful...

Green Tea
Body Butter
Body Scrub
Body Sorbet
Bath Tea    
Bath Infuser
Body Lotion
Shower Gel

The splendiferous....

Black Musk (EDP)

The iconic...

Eye Makeup Remover
Sumptuous Cleansing Butter      
Eye and Lip Makeup Remover

And the brand new...

Swinging Silver Palette  
Grooving Gold Palette  
Colour Crush Lipstick x 2
Festive Nail Colours x 5    

ALL PRODUCTS ARE FULL SIZE. The value of The Body Shop's Giveaway for Day One is over £500.

Enter via Rafflecopter below. You can enter once a day. GOOD LUCK! And a huge thank you to the brilliant and very generous team at The Body Shop.

Full T&Cs are available here: and comments are closed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 10 December 2015

12 Days of Giveaways!

WHOOHOOOOO! I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone.

To celebrate the most successful year of the blog since it's launch five and a half years ago, this year's 12 Days of Giveaways are bigger than ever.

To save confusion, I thought I would list all of the T&Cs here in one clear post and close comments on the actual posts themselves, as last year some people seemed to think that leaving a comment was how to enter and I want the process to be as simple as possible for everyone. You can leave any questions related to any of the giveaways on this post. 

SO without further ado:
  • Giveaways will be clearly specified as 'UK and Ireland only' or 'International' - I have no control over this, it is entirely dependent on the brand.
  • The prizes will be sent to the winners directly from the brands.
  • Giveaways will be held using Rafflecopter, a completely independent widget allowing me to pick a completely random winner and giving everyone the same chance of winning.
  • All giveaways are open for 12 Days from the day they launch.
  • No purchase is necessary.
  • One winner per prize unless specified.
  • Winners will be given 48 hours to claim their prize after which I will pick another winner by random.
  • You can enter every day, effectively giving you 12 chances to win.
    (your information is kept strictly confidential - I do not give brands your email details - nor do I keep them myself)
As an aside - some FAQs from brands and PRs:
  • I do not charge for the 12 Days of Giveaways. I don't make money from them at all, outside of the normal ads on the blog.
  • Equally, you cannot buy a spot in the giveaways - I offer spots to brands that I have loved in 2015.
Any questions, leave them below! Good Luck everyone!
  • Also: the blog will be running as normal alongside the giveaways
  • this week's vlog is not going up until Monday because DURAN DURAN and Mum's internet access is not far off dial-up, so I'll upload when I get back on Monday morning.

Monday, 7 December 2015

A Guide to NIOD

OK here's the thing - I have loved everything I have tried from Deciem. Grow Gorgeous, Hylamide, Hand Chemistry etc - all excellent. There is no doubt in my mind that Brandon, the founder, is at the forefront of science in products and he talks in a way that very few people I have met in the industry talk. Passionately, intelligently and with love and excitement.

I have not had as much success with NIOD as I have with the rest of the range, but this is purely, 100% because of my own limitations and frankly, because the range confuses me. I like to know exactly how something works, when it works and how quickly it works. NIOD has no interest in my problems, it just wants to get on with the job. It cares about the science, but I think that sometimes the science overshadows the 'PLEASE GOD JUST TELL ME HOW IT WORKS!!!'

I know I'm not alone. As NIOD's success has grown, I am asked more and more often about their products, and I found myself unable to answer properly so I asked Brandon, a man who by his own admission will use 597 words when one will suffice, for 3 sentences on each product. I asked politely, but I did say 'THREE SENTENCES BRANDON. THREE.' ;)

Being the total gent that he is, he entertained my impertinence.

'Beauty science is on the verge of an explosive level of innovation and the next 5 years are going to be revolutionary.'

CAIS - Copper Amino Isolate Serum
1. If you're going to use 1 product from NIOD, use this one.
2. It focuses on skin health and not lines/wrinkles or specific signs of age.
3. It has a very high long-term value to the skin.

MMHC - Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex
1. If you're going to use 2 products from NIOD, MMHC should be the second one.
2. It shows visible results faster than CAIS.
3. It provides visible anti-aging value quickly and in the long-term but, unlike CAIS, its long-term value to skin health and quality is limited, if any. Basically MMHC is a much more advanced version of Hylamide HA Booster. (SCORE! CH)

HV - Hydration Vaccine
1. Use only if skin has lost hydration. I do not believe in hydration when it's not a necessity.
2. Seals in supplemented and naturally-present NMF instead of "hydrating" the surface.
3. Is a very pro-silicone product. Silicones are extremely misunderstood, extremely underrated and are extremely advanced today. The silicons in HV are very advanced and cost many times more than many active peptide technologies used in skincare.   (I'M BEGINNING TO LOVE THIS MAN. CH)

FECC - Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate
1. Is not meant to targets signs of eye aging that are common to the rest of the face. For these signs, CAIS and MMHC should be used under the eyes as well.
2. FECC focuses largely on eye-area-specific aging including puffiness, darkness and fine dynamic lines. Deeper lines cannot be fixed topically except when they're static which MMHC will help with. Hollowness also cannot be fixed topically (except with temporary topical filling-type spheres which offer very minimal improvement for a very short time).
3. Is low in viscosity. NIOD is absolutely against eye creams. They do not absorb well and actually cause water retention/puffiness.

ELAN - Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network
1. Is not part of the core NIOD regimen. It should be used at nighttime only.
2. Is for those who are educated and users of topical Vitamin C.
3. It's 30% Vitamin C in a stable antioxidant network that is more advanced and 5% more concentrated than Hylamide C25.

LVCE - Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester
1. Dissolves impurities instantly without water.
2. It's ideally wiped and rinsed to allow for a single-step cleaning.
3. Leaves a comfortable ester cushion on the skin. This will not clog pores and will help everything applied to penetrate better. If left alone without other topical treatments on top, this cushion will disappear and actually balance (not trigger or reduce) natural sebum production.

NIOD overall:

1. All you really need is CAIS for skin health and quality. The other products are basically better forms of skincare but CAIS is care for the skin's health.

2. If you use everything, the order should be:
PM: LVCE, CAIS, MMHC, FECC, ELAN (If extremely dry skin, follow with HV)

PHEW. Right. Now that I'm a lot clearer, I'm off to get it all on my face again.

Thank you so much Brandon! (I have asked for an update on Photography Fluid - will add to this post hopefully tomorrow - Brandon likes a good question - hit him up in the comments. ;) )

Further information on NIOD including all prices is available in detail here:

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Cheat Sheet - How to POP a spot

As much as any dermatologist will tell you not to pop, the fact is that you do. We do. You know you do, I know you do, the industry at large knows that you do, but they pretend that you don't. I know there are some of you that do manage to restrain yourselves, but you're in the minority and up there with those people that don't lick their lips when eating a donut or chew when eating a fruit pastille.
You exist, but the rest of us don't know how you manage it.

I'm a popper. Always have been, nothing more satisfying to be honest. And although some of you do seem to show great restraint, I know most of you pop because you tell me so - usually with a faint look of 'Don't shout at me' eyes.
As if! If it's the right time, I always pop. With that in mind, I offer you my way to pop. All risk is your own.

But before we go any further, for the sake of being professional, balanced and fair, here is my lovely friend Dr Sam Bunting telling you why you should not pop:

'Of course the correct answer is never pick a spot in the first place-treat them with an anti-inflammatory acne preparation containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide (no need to go higher than 2.5-5%); allow it to dry and then cover with concealer. Then – and this is key – divert attention away from the trouble zone. So if the spot is on the chin, work a mesmerising smoky eye. If it's on the forehead, rock a red lip. Remember to assess your face from what I call conversation distance – a good 1m away from the mirror (absolutely NO magnifying mirrors); remember no one every inspects you as closely as you’d like to think.
If you have been tempted to pick and its red and raw, it’s important to interfere as little as possible, to reduce the risk of pigmentation and scarring. This is especially true if the spot had not come to a white head and formed a pustule. Until the erosion has healed over, it will be almost impossible to get make-up to adhere and it may well cause secondary infection.  Wipe with a gentle antiseptic like witch hazel and apply light pressure for a minute. Then apply an anti-inflammatory acne preparation that will form a film over the area and leave it be. Don’t apply make-up until the skin has healed properly.'

That's the Dr. I love her. But I still pop.

Please bear in mind: Popping is not picking. They are two very different things.

How so?

Popping - 'Ooh I see a whitehead! Where did that come from? I think I can get that out. Let me have a go. Yep. Excellent.' *carries on with routine*

Picking - 'Ow. That red lump on my chin is KILLING ME. I must be due on. Bloody hormones. I'm going to get it out. *attempts to pop red lump for ages*
'OWWW. Ugh. I'll try again later. Ooh there's another one! Maybe that one will come out. *prods second bump until it bleeds*
'OOWWWW. Ugh. No joy. Why does my skin hate me?'
*plays with it all day with dirty fingers, doesn't leave it alone*

If you fall into the latter category you're making the simple mistake of opening the oven door before the cake has risen. A little patience changes the outcome.

A few simple guidelines will give the best result (although do bear in mind that every skin is different) and they will probably go against everything you've read from brands trying to sell you products. Nothing new there so let's crack on.

What you will need:
'Clean' everything. Clean hands. Clean skin. Clean flannel. Clean tissue. Acids. Cotton wool or on a ready made pad. A good quality (non-mineral oil) facial oil.
  • Slipping it into your routine is the easiest way. AM or PM. Not lunchtime in the loo at work.
  • Cleanse. With a flannel. If the flannel doesn't knock the head off the spot that's your first sign that it may not be ready. If it's sore, it's probably not ready. I steer clear of sore spots. They're still working their way up the dermis food chain and causing inflammation along the way.
  • If you can see white, it's not sore or too tender and everything is clean, take a tissue, rip it in half and wrap it around the forefinger of each hand.
  • Finger placement is also crucial. 
  • One of the biggest mistakes made when popping is to go straight in from RIGHTNEXTTOTHESPOT. You put your two fingers on the spot and you just push your fingers together, so that you're so close, you literally just get a little teeny whitehead, then everything almost gets pushed back down into the spot. Not good.
  • Do NOT use your nails. Pads of fingertips only.
  • Put your fingers either side of the spot, to the best you can, depending on where it is, obviously. You should be able to SEE the spot. Gently push downwards and then at a 90 degree angle towards the bottom the spot, start to push upwards. If it's ready, it will come up and out. Gently repeat. When the white stops, and it's spouting pink, STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP.
  • If you see blood (it's already too late but..), STOP. 
You're in scarring territory. Show restraint.
  • Now you need to move quickly. Take your pre-soaked acid toner cotton pad, or ready and waiting acid pad and apply it firmly to the spot, using a similar pressure as when you've ripped off a plaster or a wax strip. Hard pressure. Hold it down for a few seconds. Turn it over and repeat. There should be no bleeding. If there is, keep the acid on it until it stops. I have been known to walk around making a cup of tea holding a pad soaked with acid on to an overly pronged spot waiting for it to calm itself. The bigger the spot, the longer you hold acid on it.
  • Note: this may sting like a MOFO. Stinging is good. I know I say it all the time but stinging is good. The acid will be helping to kill the bacteria, aiding a quicker healing time and making sure the skin is prepped ready for the oil. You'll have a 'Kevin at the sink in Home Alone' moment. Embrace it.
  • Yes, oil. I don't use drying out products. You dry out the spot, you also dry out the area surrounding the spot causing a ton of inflammation and dehydration and frankly, making a prime breeding ground for bacteria and scarring. A Juicy Lucy skin is harder to scar. A dried-out, shrivelled up area will scar easily. Simples.
  • Take your acid pad off, and put your chosen oil on the area.
  • Massage it firmly in. You can't be mamby-pamby at this stage. Be firm. Good strong pressure massaging all around the spot and over the spot.
  • Depending on the rest of your day/evening, finish your routine, but I try and do this either on mornings that I'm not wearing makeup and am working from home, or in the evenings at teatime.
  • It's best to do it when you're at home with a little time afterwards as you're going to repeat the oil application as soon as it has all absorbed...
    Apply, wait, absorb, apply, wait, absorb. Repeat at least three times if you can. 
  • Throughout the day or the next morning you will find that the spot erupts a little goo, like a mini-volcano. Wipe away with acid and reapply the oil. This sounds time-consuming but I promise we're talking seconds, not hours. And it's worth it if it speeds up the spot healing process and helps prevent scarring.
  • IF you have a ready spot but you have to go to work, do everything as above, apply your moisturiser over the area, don't avoid it - and then proceed with your makeup. Powder is your friend. Once you get home, cleanse immediately and do it all again. You may find the rest of the spot just throws itself at you willingly, or that it has calmed significantly to be almost invisible. Just DON'T be tempted to start on it like you're climbing Everest with a pickaxe. 
The reason I do oil and not drying products is because in my experience, drying out doesn't always work and causes more damage. Using oil does one of two things: it either swells up the spot and forces the 'head' of the spot to show up the next morning, or it settles it down and almost disperses the remnants. 

Sidebar: you can of course, use extraction tools, but you can't use them where you can't see the spot - and you need to know how much pressure is too much. If popping is your thing and you haven't already discovered her, watch Dr Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper. Be warned: you may gag.

More info on products/people mentioned here:

Saturday, 5 December 2015

VLOG WEEK 14 - YOU mag shoot, Boxgate and Joanna Bloody Lumley!

Hi All!

What a week. Unless this is the first time you've read the blog this week you may not know that things were slightly overshadowed by a certain box. That's all we'll say of it now.
I started the week by going to Soho Farmhouse with the lovely Elizabeth Arden team and finished it by going to the Women in Film and TV Awards with MAC, where I saw not only the LEDGES that are Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, but also discovered that Kenneth Branagh is hot. Yes. Yes he is.

Have a wonderful week and if you fancy a read I'm in YOU magazine tomorrow morning, my first - and quite possibly last - mainstream media interview. Still cacking it. Much more comfy here on my home planet.

See you next week.

Cult Beauty Box Announcement

FIRSTLY: if you didn't even WANT A BOX, couldn't afford a box, hate the boxes, I'm sorry that this has taken over the blog this week, normal service will resume tomorrow with a Cheat Sheet by way of an apology and I haven't finished dehydration products! :)

The rest of you with an interest in the Box.....

WE HAVE MORE. Very limited stock, but more.

SO: people that were on the waitlist and ONLY people that were originally on the waitlist and did not buy a box:
  • Being on the waitlist does not guarantee you a box.
  • Being on the waitlist does not guarantee you a box.
  • You will receive an email shortly after 12pm tomorrow UK time. 
  • You are all getting it together - no staggered emails. As requested. May The Force be with you. 
  • PLEASE read the email carefully.
  • One email, one box. No-one - I repeat no-one - 'ordered ten and ebayed them!' Chill your tits. 

  • The email will offer you the box on a pre-order basis only. 
  • You will not - repeat - will NOT have this box before Christmas. We did not put the original box together in 24 hours, it obviously takes time to coordinate. It will ship early - mid February. 
  • No, unsurprisingly, discount codes are not valid with the box. If a near 50% discount isn't enough then I can't help you any further.
  • I apologise if this reads like I'm talking to a child. Just trying to be crystal clear and manage expectations.
  • Being on the waitlist does not guarantee you a box. 
Also: there are no Customer Service people on the phones at Cult Beauty today. I'd be surprised if they weren't face down in a VAT of G&T after the grief they had this week, but that's just me. 

Good Luck for tomorrow. I'll be hiding and watching Poirot.

Viktor&Rolf Winner!

The winner of the Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Giveaway is..... Sarah Berryman. Sarah you have email. Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone that entered and thank you V&R!


Friday, 4 December 2015

Cult Beauty Box Update

Hi Everyone.


Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you who bought the Box yesterday. The response was unprecedented and very much appreciated. I really hope you love them.

Secondly, as I said on social media yesterday, I can only apologise to those of you that missed out and were very vocally disappointed.

Here's some facts:
  • We used the same process that we have used with the previous boxes.
  • Emails had to be sent out in groups or the site would have crashed. I don't see that changing in the future, but that will be decided by logistics and IT people, not me.
  • There was roughly the same amount of people on the previous wait list for box 2 as there was for this box.
  • Box 2 took 3 days to sell, this one took roughly 3 hours.
  • Everyone - everyone was sent an email - if you did not receive one, check your junk mail and your filters. A lot of people that had issues were on gmail if that helps...
  • The last email, completing the full wait list, was sent out half an hour before the box sold out.
  • Launching between 12pm and 1pm was my suggestion due to feedback from people living in Australia, Europe and the USA after the last two boxes. It seemed the fairest time to try and give everyone access. 
  • We had a nine hour window for waitlist people to make their sale before it was supposed to go on general sale at 9pm. 
  • We took the step of closing this wait list early to try and prevent disappointment.
  • The wait list gave early presale access, it was not a guarantee of a box, in the same way that it was not an obligation to buy.
  • The boxes were always, always going to be Limited Edition. I even used the term 'once they're gone, they're gone'.
If you've ever tried to order anything from a H&M Limited Collection or gig tickets at 9am on a Friday, you will know that no order system is perfect. 

Having said that, we are trying to get more boxes. 'Trying' being the operative word. You have to know that this is not just down to myself and Cult Beauty. There are 6 brands involved. That means 6 products, 6 boxes, 6 supply chains, 6 stockholdings, 6 massive discounts, and that's before the actual box itself. All of this in the busiest retail period of the year. It's a huge ask and one that frankly, I'm very grateful to the brands and Cult Beauty for even considering.

We are hopeful that we can make more boxes, I cannot promise anything but we have all our ducks except one lined up. If that duck is available, we are a GO for more boxes. If not, then you will just have to take my word for it that we tried our hardest.

IF we are able to obtain more boxes, they will not go on general sale. Everyone on the wait list will be sent a new link to a new private page to get your box. There is no need to contact anyone, there is nowhere to sign up. IF we get the boxes and you signed up for the waitlist, we will be in touch. If you bought one, you won't receive an email offering you a second one.
I imagine that even if we make more, there will still be disappointed people. I don't know what to tell you, we can't make an infinite amount of boxes at nearly 50% off. That's why they are Limited Edition. 

I hope to have a confirmation for you on Monday.

And again, a massive thank you to those of you sending support yesterday when both myself and Cult Beauty were under a barrage of what can only be described as 'aggressive complaints'. I do really understand that some of you were seriously disappointed and had done everything in your power to obtain a box. I get it. WE get it.

And the biggest thanks to the team at Cult Beauty - especially the Customer Service team who have literally been under fire since launch. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Give and Makeup Urgent Appeal

Hi Everyone.

I just came back from a Refuge drop off and have an update regarding their current families in need. This is their busiest time of year but they have had a recent influx of young girls under the age of 10 - between 2 and 8 especially.

These children turned up with literally the clothes on their back, nothing more. If you can spare any of the following and post them to the below address it would be hugely helpful in giving these children some comfort in what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year for little ones.

When thinking about what to send for children (and the women for that matter) the easiest way is to look at what you use from the moment you wake up.

They need:

Second hand is obviously fine, but please do make sure they are clean. It only causes additional work (and cost) for an already-stretched team if they have to wash everything.

And then any kind of suitable toys and DVDs. Nothing graphic, no play guns etc and no violent films. Educational children's DVDs, puzzles, games, dolls - anything. 

These children have nothing

Neither do their mothers, but they are particularly short of things for small people at the present time.

Give and Makeup c/o
Pardip Barmi
PO BOX 855
W4 4AW

I am updating the Give and Makeup page right now to reflect the seasonal need. All your questions can be answered there but I will obviously answer any that I can in the comments.

Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Cult Beauty Box important update!

Ok lovely people I am told that the numbers are swelling on the wait list. It is highly unlikely that there will be any boxes left once the wait list sale closes.

The lovely people at Cult Beauty are hard at work packing up the boxes ready for.......


Don't be disappointed!

Things to remember:
  • There is no obligation to buy on the wait list - it just gives you first dibs
  • It's £195 - value just under £400
  • Ships Internationally

See you Thursday ;)