Monday, May 21, 2012

Tanning Time

The power of bronzed skin can make you feel and look a million dollars. For those of you wanting to add a little sunshine to your day, I have just the ticket.

With Dove Spa you can prepare for summer with a safe and natural looking tan without exposure to the sun’s rays. Using either Original or NEW Dark mist, a St. Tropez Spray Tan at Dove Spa ensures a beautiful, even, streak free tan. For a flawless, longer lasting tan we recommend regular exfoliation and daily moisturising in the week prior to your treatment to prepare the skin.

Until 30th June, Dove Spa are offering St Tropez for only £12. For longevity opt for three courses for £49 or better still 10 courses for £125.

For our Reigate readers head to 13 Church Street, Reigate, RH2 0AA, to indulge in the relaxing surroundings, while making the most of this brilliant offer. Call 0844 826 5998 to book or for other locations visit -

Friday, April 20, 2012


Smashbox is a brand that was introduced to me by my mother a few years ago, when she brought me an eyebrow/eyeliner palette kit.  Ever since I’ve adored all the products, including the hero product Photo Finish. Until recently QVC was the only retailer but since 2011 Debenhams have been selling the range also. So why isn’t the brand readily available here in the UK and who is behind these fantastic products?

Smashbox was launched in 1996 by two LA brothers Dean and Davis Factor, the grandsons of make-up legend Max Factor, Smashbox cosmetics focuses on long-lasting products that are designed to give a flawless look, worthy of Hollywood stars such as Drew Barrymore and Charlize Theron, who are known to be fans.

Smashbox Cosmetics are part of a larger empire of the Factor brothers; Smashbox Studios is where the inspiration for the cosmetic line began. Smashbox Studios includes a modeling agency, a photo studio and a clothing line. The cosmetics arm of the business was sold to Estee Lauder in the summer of 2010, yet the brothers still remain at the helm.

Smashbox were the first brand to create HD make-up, their products are not only created for models on set or celebrities, but also for the woman in the street. Offering the same hardwearing durability, coverage and steadfastness in everything they have produced. Smashbox has successfully brought several niche products out of the professional sphere and into the make-up bags of the masses. The Photo-Finish Primer, for example, which goes on before foundation so that it will ‘cling’ to your skin and eliminate shine; of the Eye-Beam Liner, a double-ended pencil that lightens the corner of the eye, as well and the lower rim. These may sound like products for obsessive compulsives, but it’s surprising what a difference they make. In fact they are extremely practical, easy to use, quick and versatile.

Smashbox was really ahead of its time back in the late 90’s an with today’s demand for a more professional feel to make-up and customers wanting well-considered products that will enhance what they have rather than redrawing their looks. Smashbox is for everyday not just those special occasions, it has done all the fiddly bits, and created solutions to your beauty problems so you get the easy task of playing with it all!

So why isn’t the brand so big here?

Smashbox had something of a trouble start to its UK breakthrough. On the night of their launch in 1998, a Smashbox PR was allegedly drugged and raped by someone thought to be a friend of the Factors. No one was charged, however, in the ensuing furore, many beauty press sidestepped Smashbox giving it little coverage. With the beauty industry turning its back on the brand, it struggled to make its mark.

Perhaps with Lauder acquiring Smashbox and its distribution in Debenhams, the brand will be able to be recognized for the quality of the products rather than past events.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Last year saw the launch of Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black, this April, Brown is added to the colour range.

The gel eyeliner is inspired by the hottest catwalk looks and helps you achieve that cat-eye effect, while allowing you to highlight and frame your own eyes with ease and precision.  The beauty of this eyeliner is that it is an oil-free formula that doesn’t smudge. While being water resistant it allows you to go about your business from morning until night and will last, if you can, for 24 hours.

The colour pigment is true and rich, due to the clear gel base and high pigment concentration. For those of you with sensitive eyes, it has been ophthalmologist tested and is completely safe to use with contact lenses.

The tiny pot (which will last you a long while) comes with a very precise eyeliner brush, enabling you to use small strokes across the lash line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner.

Personally, I found the brush to be a little too thick and have opted to use my Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Brush, as it has a flat edge that lets me literally press he eyeliner onto my lash line with out having to worry about being too heavy handed with brush strokes.

Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Brush

To enhance your own eyes, you can extend and thicken the line from the outer corner up towards your brow, creating a winged look, which has been popular for decades.

For me the brown is best suited for a fair complexion and I would say the black could look too severe for the day, yet perfect for a night out.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in brown is available nationwide this month, so keep your eyes open, it is not one to miss!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Jo Malone Parma Violet Tea Linen Spray

I love my bed, I adore crisp clean linen and that feeling on a Saturday morning when you wake up and realise that you don’t have to get up for work. You can turn over and doze off to sleep again, not before turning the pillow over to get the cold side. Bliss!

However, sometimes in fact most times, this doesn’t actually happen and even getting to sleep in the first instance can be a struggle. Stress of everyday life can get on top of you and churn over and over in your mind, preventing a calm and deep nights sleep, but I think I have found the solution. Jo Malone’s Parma Violets Tea Linen Spray.

This light linen spritz is a sophisticated blend of lavender, lime and parma violets. It delivers a crisp yet relaxing aroma that you can waft over your pillows before bed to help ease your overworked mind and help you drift off to sleep. For that added luxury, use this on napkins, tablecloths and towels too.

Like all of Jo Malone’s fragrances, this last for a long time, it had such staying power that often I wear this as a perfume, the scent is one that is quite moreish and I think, dare I say this about a linen spray, a little flirty.

This makes a lovely gift for those who have everything, or a nice alternative to wine or flowers for the host of a dinner party.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Zum Zum

With the arrival of Spring and the desire to become more healthy and active, I have decided to take Zumba classes. I'm not very disciplined and often lack motivation to do exercise (I have an alarm set on my phone to remind myself to do sit-ups every evening, I rarely do them and the alarm is swiftly turned off!). So when I saw Zumba classes advertised at my local community centre, I thought why not!

Zumba is a modern mix of aerobics, Latin-inspired, calorie burning. It offers a wealth of benefits such as;
  • Dynamic core workout
  • High calorie expenditure
  • Easy, non-intimidating environment
  • Weight-loss
  • Positive self-image
  • A sculpted body
  • Exercise in disguise
  • Stress relief

My class is on a Monday, which in my mind is a hideous thought, but in theory, I have my hours’ worth of cardio exercise done and dusted for the week.

To support this 'hard-core' regime I am making a conscience effort to take a longer walking route to and from work, including walking up and down the escalator, standing on the tube, and I have even added another alarm to really REALLY make me 'remember' to do my sit-ups.

So far so good, ok only two weeks into this fitness madness but I am enjoying the classes, the longer walks are more pleasant due to the lighter and Warner evenings and you know, sit-ups feel much more enjoyable when I have actually done them, that sense of achievement is quite powerful!

There are over 40,000 locations nationwide and many of them are at convenient times. Visit

So…Zum Zum!


Monday, March 5, 2012

24 Hour Big Hair

During my years of obsessing over big hair and volume I have heard of a number of volumising powders and ‘dusts’ that are designed to give you instant height on-the-go. I had always been a bit put off by them as I assumed that your hair would look as though it was laced with dry shampoo and leave a white, unsightly residue. But when I saw TRESemme’s 24 Hour Body Plumping Powder was on offer, I simply couldn’t resist.

TRESemme 24 Hour Body Sky High Plumping Powder

TRESemme’s 24 Hour Body Plumping Powder creates instant root lift. The lightweight powder absorbs easily, and doesn’t leave any ‘white’ residue in you hair as I had feared. The little bottle s small and light enough to throw into your handbag for use when every you need a lift. Simply part your hair into section where you want the volume most. For me I generally part my hair half way down and also about an inch from my parting, for a double hit. So sprinkle the powder onto the root and gently rub into the hair. You will feel the hair literally becoming thicker in your fingers. Its rather odd but the end result is simply brilliant. I have to say this little body bomb is actually addictive! I had intended to save it for nights out or use when my hair was getting too long and needed an extra boost between haircuts, but I’ve been using it everyday and cant get enough of it. I do have to say that TRESemme’s 24 Hour Body Plumping Powder is quite good value for money and a little does go along way.

Give it a go, I promise you wont be disappointed!


Friday, February 24, 2012

St. Tropez: The evolution of the tan – part 5

This is what St. Tropez’s Head Tanner Nichola Joss had to say on how the Red Carpet experience compares with fashion week:
“The intensity is different, there is always a short time frame, but with Red Carpet you’ll have one, maybe two people to work with so it’s a lot more personal, whereas at LFW you have 22 girls and they all have to look amazing. There’s a real team work ethic at LFW as the girls walk down one after the other, whereas with a celebrity they are on their own and need to be nurtured”.

Aside from the glamour of the catwalk and the Red Carpet, what tips does Nichola have for us mere mortals that want to self-tan? “When layering a product on, it can start to look flat and when this happens, it’ll look fake. It’s all about maintenance; you must exfoliate the skin. The myth about exfoliation is that it will make you lose your tan, but it actually brightens the skin and allows for the tan to fade evenly”.
Nichola’s second top tip is about application, “When tanning, you should use a tanning mitt. Put the product onto the mitt and then apply to the body. It helps you achieve a sheer application and there isn’t as much of a tendency for build up”.
So there you have it, follow these simple rules and you too can look Red Carpet gorgeous.
K x