My name is BeautyLover and I'm a Beauty Addict.
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Monday, 28 January 2008
I've been trying really hard to inspire you to try something new this January, get out of a rut or a routine and just wake yourself up with a little treat, something out of the ordinary.
If you've been resisting (or broke) this is your chance to make a change - it's payday week after all, people!
Today is my last attempt at getting you to try a new do for the new year.
Fabu hairstylist, Patrick Ludde, has given us these top tips to achieve your perfect style:
Make sure the style suits your lifestyle and consider how much time you want to spend grooming your locks on a daily basis.
For example, I have decided against the long locks of my dreams. They were just going to be too much hard work so my stylist and I compromised on a slightly longer bob with blunt bangs - I can tie it up and swish it around but I don't have to get up at six to blowdry it.
The shape of the new style should of course compliment your face shape.
I have a big round face. Pixie cuts are NOT me.
Is your hair texture compatible with your chosen style?
We've all got the curly haired friend who is a slave to her GHDs and most of us have at least sighted an unfortunate perm... Work with what you've got chica.
Some of my clients cut out different styles to bring in, because sometimes you like a fringe of one style, the texture of another and the colour of yet another. It helps give the stylist an understanding of what you like and don’t like
Ask your stylist for suggestions. They should inspire you
Lastly, the stylist should give you ideas for different styling options. Don’t be shy to ask if they are not offered! You should walk out of the salon confident with your style and that you can manage it yourself.
We're so guilty as a nation and a gender of putting up with second best, Don't let your hair suffer your Englishness! If you're not happy, say so. If you want to be shown how to blow dry it just like the stylist, say so. If you want three variations you can rock at the weekend, say so! It's your hair, you've paid good money so make sure you're happy
So there you have it, now go forth and style!
And don't forget that you can get 25% off any service at Patrick Ludde by quoting BeautyMecc when you book. we're so good to you...
Friday, 25 January 2008
I really hope all the rubbish in the papers is in fact rubbish and that Mr Cole hasn't been up to rudies with people that aren't you. But IF he has I just want you to know you're welcome round here any time.
You don't live that far away so I can come and get you and I've got lots of your favourite Blistex lip balm and SunSilk shampoo so you won't need to bring anything.
I'll even let you use my La Mer moisturiser and I never lend that to anyone. We can paint our nails Chanel Satin Blue and sing Love Machine on SingStar. It will be wicked.And you can test the new Estee Lauder Double Wear mascara so you won't have panda-eyes for the paps.
So I hope he hasn't cheated on you but if he did, pop round here. We'll have a giggle, honest. Then we'll go down to Stamford Bridge and kick his arse all over the pitch.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
Once upon a time, umm, about a year ago, I had really lovely, peachy perfect skin.
No wrinkles, no discoloration, just a picture of mid-twenties health.
And then I started working on a certain project for a certain person (who shall, for the sake of my sanity remain nameless) and teeny little dryness lines began to appear in my evermore creasing forehead. Not that I'm saying this person or this project are responsible for my premature ageing, oh no.
But they are.
And so I've been forced to seek refuge in a variety of hyper-hydrating, deep-acting, wrinkle-freezing wonder creams, none of which have had enough of an effect to be mentioned here. Until today.
For the last couple of weeks I've been trialling a new product, Tri-Aktiline: Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler and do you know what? It's a little bit lovely.
Not only am I completely smitten with the 'looks just like you bought it at a US pharmacy so it must be effective!' packaging but it actually leaves my skin smooth and taut. Who doesn't love that?
They say: The core of Tri-Aktiline is a high-tech cocktail of three ingredients that help firm and plump skin’s appearance over time. Gatuline Expression, extracted from the South American Acmella Oleraca plant, helps relax the look of facial tension and expression lines, like crow’s feet. Kombuchka PH Extract, derived from sweet black tea, works to plump wrinkles to appear smoother on the surface. Acetyl hexapeptide-3, helps prompt skin into its re-build mode, boosting natural collagen production for long-term visible wrinkle reduction.
I say: Wowsers, HEXApeptides! That puts pentapeptides to shame... There's lots of other exciting stuff in the press release about smoothign agents like shea butter and humectants and silicone to immediately mattify and mask lines while the hardcore techno ingredients get to work in the long term but basically, the massage from me is - I Like.
Tri-Aktiline: Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler is available from Boots.com now and from larger Boots stores from the 4th February at £26.99.
Go on, don't let the bastards wrinkle you up.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
You must know by now, that I fear the Madonna claws.
As in, literally live in terror. So it's a happy day for me when a new hand cream comes out that promises to protect my dainty handsies from the bitter winter chill.
I do love me some Jo Malone at the best of times, so it with great pleasure that I recommend to you their new Vitamin Nourishing Hand Treatment. Of course, it comes in lovely creamy, be-ribboned Jo Malone packaging and yes, the tube is all sexy black plastic with an elegant cream label, edged in gold but most importantly, it's goooooooooood.
The cream is dense, and I mean dense, but it still sinks in right away and leaves your hands feeling really fresh. The scent is gorgeous, clean but not clinical and even in this hideous weather, my hands stayed soft as a baby's bum-bum for hours without reapplication. Obviously, at £34.00 it ain't cheap but you only use a teeny weeny little bit each time and you get a whopping great 100mls. One lovely tube would definitely see you through to spring time.
conditioner too - as much as I love my La If you fall in love, do try out the other products in the range. I'm in serious heart with the lipMer balm, it's a little fiddly to be screwing and unscrewing the lid all the time, and in this weather, you need to be able to reapply outside. Tricky in mittens. The Jo Malone conditioner is in a handy tube and gives a really lovely finish - almost gel-like. And as a bonus, no need for gloss. Yay.
The Vitamin E gel is pretty special too, I've been heaping it on in the evening to repair my delicate, red-prone skin from the nippy wind outside. Speaking of, I imagine it would be great for chapped nips if you were breast feeding.
Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there...
Monday, 21 January 2008
I don't think I have documented my love of karaoke here AS yet. This is a huge oversight.
There is nothing more satisfying than going to Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, getting slightly tippish (ahem) and belting out Love Machine with your best girlfriends. Boyfriends too should you be so inclined and less ashamed of your singing voice than I.
And why Love Machine? Because despite my desperate wannabe indie girl creds, I heart Girls Aloud. I heart them so much. And most of all, I heart Cheryl. Did anyone see the E4 documentary where she went home and the dog weed on her designer hoodie? It was beautiful.
So it is with great pleasure that I present to you Cheryl Cole's preferred lipbalm...
Blistex Intensive Moisturiser!
I've ALWAYS wanted to say this...
Cheryl says 'Trying to look your best all the time is exhausting, but thanks to my Blistex Intensive Moisturiser keeping a smooth pout and winning smile is one thing I never have to give a second thought to.'
I say: It's a thick creamy lipbalm that takes a little bit of rubbing in but once it's on there, you've got barrier cream that's going nowhere. Perfect for this weather.
I once had the pleasure of writing a Girls Aloud annual and I have to say, Cheryl's questionnaire answers were the best (no of COURSE I wasn't allowed to interview them).
She's a delight.
Sarah was pretty much just trying to get free La Tasca dinners and Nicola kept changing her mind about what her favourite movie was because they were on tour and she was 'watching loads'. Bless.
How are you getting on at revolutionising your look?
Any of you gone for the chop yet?
Bought a new lippy?
At least some body lotion though, right?
Okay, okay, so I'll start you slowly.
How about a new mascara? How about a new mascara that doesn't clump, doesn't smudge, gives nice but natural volume and length and is ONLY £7.00?
Interested? Well, click on over to Avon!
No really! Since my Cynthia Rowley conversion, I've become really taken with the Avon catalogue (I love it, it just feels so 1950s Americana housewife) and seriously, the Superfull Mascara is genuinely the best product I've tried in a long time.
They say: 5x fuller lashes. Without clumps. Innovative brush technology for a quick-release and clean lash look. Clump-free, defined, volumised. 7ml
I say: Survived a particularly overly emotive row with Mr BeautyLover, a coaching session, a review of said row with several friends and several cocktails and this HATEFUL weather we've been having. 7ml.
Where's the bad here? There is none. Fact.
I don't know how much time you spend comparing Bobbi Brown promo shots versus the Avon book but really, they're looking more and more similar. It's about time there was a high street equivalent to her Bobbi-ness, so I'm totally pitching for Avon to come through. And the best bit is, it isn't even high street, it's online and from your sofa.
At last, a brand that appeals to my laziness and wallet. Hurrah!
Thursday, 17 January 2008
For approximately, hmmm, about three years, I visited what felt like every hairdresser up and down this bloody country, attempting to achieve this haircut.
Yes, it's Willow off Buffy. Get over yourself, I was a student.
Anyway, I went through torture attempting to secure this haircut. At first I took the picture in with me but clearly, hairstylists in Nottingham are above watching Buffy and after much scoffing, they just took on their very interpretation of 'Choppy Bob'. Mostly, I wound up looking like a mid-first series of friends Rachel or Myra Hindley. Neither are flattering in this day and age.
This went on until I just gave up, grew my hair to shoulder length and occasionally flipped the parting. Never would I reveal a secret hair-crush ever again. Until I met Jonny at Lee Stafford.
He knew! He knew that by 'messy, choppy, textured bob, I secretly meant 'please make me look like Debbie Harry in the Heat of Glass video!' And when I could be arsed to get the mousse and the diffuser out, I really did! It was a miracle.
This is potentially due to one of two reasons:
a) Jonny is a mind reader
b) Jonny has the Lee Stafford hair dictionary at his disposal
The hair dictionary is a fairly awesome bit of kit, which has hundreds of picture of styles, each with a definition. You want 'tousled'? Okay, show me which tousled. 'Choppy bob'? Show me which choppy bob. 'Blonde but not slutty Atomic Kitten blonde?' Go for it.
Of course, I like to think he's just psychic because we have a deep, hair-orientated spiritual connection but hey, that's just me.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Now we've got your moisturiser sorted, it's time to look at base.
These products have been a big concern of mine recently given the terror of Bad Skin and I've been really reluctant to put anything new or heavy on my face.
Obviously I heart my Prescriptives Colour Match foundation more than ANYTHING and recommend it to everyone ever, but in looking for a lighter alternative with great coverage, I discovered an old favourite. My trusty old Bare Minerals i.d. Bare Minerals.
I'd stopped using this when I hooked up with Prescriptives, because, quite frankly, I'd been a bit heavy handed of a morning and was going out with a face like the Joker and a fluid just seemed easier. But having watched the Bare Escentuals hour on QVC at the weekend (I have no shame. Or life.) I decided to give them another go, and do you know what? I'm back on track.
It sounds really silly but it is totally all about the tap, swirl buff method, and the more you buff, the better the product looks. I kept adding more because I wasn't getting the result I wanted but really, I just needed to keep buffing. I also find it helps to let the make up sit for a moment, post-buffing, before you get a look at the actual finish. I've been teaming my 'Fair' foundation with Bobbi Brown pink blusher and Bare Minerals Pure Radiance which really helps my skin looks healthier (and like it's had plenty of sleep even when it hasn't...).
On my better skin days, I'm all over M.A.C. Hyper Real foundation. You have to try this stuff, it makes you look like you've 'been in make up' for five hours. Seriously. The coverage isn't as heavy as Bare Minerals of Prescriptives but there's SPF 15 in there as a bonus and it gives a really healthy, vibrant sheen to your skin. Gorge.
Sigh. I dream of a day when foundation is a thing of the past.
If only those stupid skin perfecting vitamins actually worked.
(when you've been out drinking and not sleeping...)
Monday, 14 January 2008
I do get a little bit frustrated every time marketers find something new for me to be afraid of. First it was just wrinkles then it was the fine dryness lines and the 'loss of firmness'. After that, we moved on to the eyes - are they baggy? Do you have crow's feet? How about sagging lids? And that's before I get started on your A-Zone... mew.
And if you're not dealing in anti-ageing products by the age of 25, woah betide you rocking up at 30 with a bottle of Olay, hoping for the best.
All I want is a moisturiser that is nice to use, not too expensive, doesn't make me break out and keeps my skin hydrated. Is that too much to ask?
Well, aside from making me shat myself about 'discoloration and dullness' (add them to the list with 'loss of radiance'), Estee Lauder's new Revelation moisturiser seems pretty good. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and I'm quite liking it. The 'Age Resisting Brightening Creme' includes Skin Clarifying Enzyme Technology and a Tri-Vitamin C complex which claim to even skintone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and neutralise anti-oxidants to keep pesky Father Time at bay.
All at the same time!
Thankfully, once you've made it through the scaremongering, this is a lovely product. My skin is soft and does look more even-toned after a couple of weeks' use. And given how dodge my skin has been recently, that is a result. I even had to give up on Hope in a Jar because it was irritating me. Plus Revelation has a delicious consistency that sinks right in on my combination skin - you can choose either a combination skin or dry skin option. It's thick enough to feel like it's doing some good, but not at all greasy and it doesn't reek of perfumes so you can actually sleep at night wearing it. Result.
Scores slightly too high on the bullshit-o-meter but delivers the goods, so we'll let it go this time.
If you're looking for a new moisturiser to build into your routine, go for it.
Available nationwide, £40.00 for 50ml.
Friday, 11 January 2008
Since I'm feeling so very generous this week, I have another fabulous offer.
Yesterday I gave something back to East London (an almost half price massage so trumps the Olympics) so today, I'm looking after central London ladies (and gents!).
If you're West (is Best) London, you should be able to get here pretty easily, it's not far from TopShop after all.
The lovely people at Patrick Lüdde Salon and Spa, a really rather fabulous salon at 22 Maddox Street is offering all BeautyMecca readers 25% off any service! All you have to do is drop the BeautyMecca name when you book and you'll be giving yourself and your wallet a treat.
International Session Stylist and Colourist Patrick Lüdde and his partner, renowned Hair Stylist Neil Ward have created a complete oasis, or in their words “contemporary environment with a serene and relaxed feel" with 14 style stations and two beauty rooms providing everything from traditional beauty services like manicures and waxing, through to Thalgo facials and gentlemen's grooming. You know whether or not you need a back wax...
Pretty much everything is on offer here but I've got to say, as someone attempting to grow their hair, I'm intrigued by the George Michael Long Hair Clinic... Visit patrickludde.com or call 020 7495 9040 for more info on that one or to find out more about any of the treatments available.
Patrick is going to be giving us some top tips on how to choose a new hairstyle next week!
I'm just give, give blooming give...
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Since I was so horribly self-indulgent and lazy yesterday, I'm going to attempt to make it up to you with a few fabby offers...
Beauty Rehab for £100 instead of £170!!!
The Parlour is a super swank salon over in East London, all gorgeous magenta pink wallpaper boudoir-esque chandeliers. And inside the pretty candy coloured package is a hot of luverly treatments. Beauty Rehab is perfect if you're looking for a way to kickstart your new year's resolutions or you just need to, you know, 'refresh' because you're a bit skanky.
The package includes:
Consultation with a therapist
Mud and sea algae wrap
Inspiration Tea (no, really)
Indian head massage
Once you're all shiny and new, you can bounce back down Old Street and scoff at all the bad hair on the streets. Try not to make bodily contact with Amy Winehouse if you see her, some of what she has might be catching.
The Parlour is at 3 Ravey Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4QP
Call 020 7729 6969 or log on to www.theparlouruk.com
Sorry non-London ladies but the offer is valid right through until the end of February so you could always pop down and see us?
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
As my most trusted advisers, I wanted to get your opinion.
I can't decide what to do with my hair.
At the moment it's kind of inbetween - I had an AMAZING bob with a blunt fringe and it's starting to grow down, sort of to shoulder length. Now I face the eternal girl quandary...
Grow or cut?
I just know that when I rock up to Jonny at Lee Stafford he's going to say 'cut it' but now it's back to it's natural colour after many years of bleach abuse, I'd really like to see how it stands up to a bit of length.
Long hair is purdy
I haven't had long hair for ages
Long hair is totally sluttier and basically, I'm a bit slutty
(not really, but in my head, I'm a total ho. Maybe I'd be more of a real ho with long hair...)
I'm lazy and long hair is hard work
Historically, long hair hasn't suited me
I'm really, really lazy
But for every against, I have an argument.
No, long hair hasn't suited me but to be honest, I was a bit of a porker in the past and now I have cheekbones. Plus, I never had such a fabu stylist tending to my locks. If anyone's going to make long hair look good on me, it's Jonny.
And not being so bloody lazy is one of my new year's resolutions, at least when it comes to beauty anyway, and I've got all sorts of wonderful products now, like Lee Stafford Sleepover that conditions while I kip and Bedhead After Party that's a fab detangler and smells pretty.
I'm going to consult the pros and let you know what they think...
God, that was the most self-indulgent post of this entire self-indulgent blog.
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
I also love all things associated with New York and one of my favourite streets, Bleecker Street. Home to Manatus rsetaurant, Mangolia Bakery (skip the cupcakes and grab a brownie), Marc Jacobs, Bond No 9, Intermix and Cynthia Rowley.
Cynthia Rowley is a recent crush of mine, fostered on my last couple of trips over. I wandered into the boutique to escape the chills and was immediately drawn to the general cute, sparkly gorgeousness of, well, everything. And they were playing the Arctic Monkeys which I thought was cute. And then The Strokes. And then Interpol. I was in there for a while. The upshot of this story is that I tragically had to leave empty handed as I was already a little worse for credit card wear (I'd so already been in MJ) even though I'd stroked this GORGEOUS green silk shift dress with embellished collar about twenty times.
But HAPPY DAYS, Avon have teamed up with Cynthia Rowley to create a colour range based on her Autumn 07 line! Yes, I'm a little late off the mark with this one but it's still in the catalogue so better late than never, I always say.
And isn't it pretty?
The range includes:
Finishing Powder in Light-Medium and Medium-Deep
Eyeshadow Quad in Plum Orchid and Very Violet
Mascara in Black
Lipstick in Very Violet and Plum Orchid
I'm a little bit in love with Avon again. My cosmetic adventures started with Little Blossom when I was about five - man alive did I love that perfume pen and lipbalm. And I remember my mum slavishly applying Oraflame products like they were going out of fashion. Maybe they were, I don't see them in the current catalogue...
So what I'm saying is, sod miserable January, sod your anemic bank balance, the Cynthia Rowley for Avon range is pretty, a bargain (buy 2, get the cheapest free online right now!) and available from your very own living room! Why not just pick up the whole kit and caboodle? Well, not both face powders, that would be weird.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Sorry it's taken me forever to blog about my Christmas presents, I've been literally FREAKING out about my skin. Today I have a bumpy rash under my chin and on my forearms... interesting.
Anyways, here they are in all their not-very-many-but-pretty-damn-cool glory:
Hard Candy Mix Tape
The coolest palette ever from one of the coolest people I know.
Love it - thank you ma'am. I've got the Party Mix (pictured here) with green eyeshadows and this amazing pink gloss that I just can't get enough of.
BeneFit Miss Popularity
Love, love, loving this highlighter. It's perfect for popping on hard to reach places where a cream isn't right or when High Beam just can't get the job done. I love to dot it under eyebrows and in the inner and outer corners of my eyes. Gorgeous.
Hmmm. I was loving this but after the skin breakouts, I don't know, Maybe I'm destined to be a Creme de la Mer whore all my life. Did anyone else see Catwoman? Terrible performances aside, maybe Sharon Stone is poisoning me and punishing my skin for switching. I ran out for the love of god!
Prescriptives Eyes Gift Set
This is getting double beauty points for including a fab mascara, eye make-up remover and eye cream all in a super swank purse that I've been using as a clutch all over Christmas. Prescriptives, to me you can do NO wrong.
Friday, 4 January 2008
Seriously, my skin has decided that it wants to relive it's youth. Except I didn't have a good youth. I had a terrible teenage time, filled with Sue Pollard-esque plastic glasses and acne. And they were the good bits.
To try and END my renewed adolesence, instead of burning off the top two or three layers of skin with a glass bottle of bleach, I mean, blue clearasil, I'm trying some new stuff.
Alongside my Ren mayflower cleanser, I've added Prescriptives anti-blemish serum to my routine and I'm dabbing Bliss Change Your Spots gel directly onto the terrifying areas.
Now, the Prescriptives serum doesn't work overnight but it really is making a difference.
More of an update next week! Hopefully I'll have left puberty by then...
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Now, just let me get this out.
I am terrified of Madonna Claws.
I genuinely live in holy fear of waking up one day to find that the skin on the backs of my hands has turned into parchment.
Aged hands are almost as bad as an stringy neck or crepey decolletage as far as I'm concerned and so I'm forever trying out new hand cream. Like my lipbalms, I'm never more than six feet away from a tube, I swear.
Right now, I can see my Dove Protective Hand Balm that I keep at my desk for regular touch ups (not greasy, almost gel-like actually, and smells lovely) and my Gloves in a Bottle (slightly more hardcore shielding lotion - I like to larp this on before I face the cold outdoors of an evening http://www.giab.co.uk/stockists.php).
At home, it's L'Occitane Lavender Hand Cream (my secret grandma shame) which I apply every night, smells Di-Vine and Molton Brown Naran-Ji soothing hand lotion which has an SPF for summer time. There's also some Soap&Glory Hand Food knocking around somewhere...
Anyhoo, the gist of this is that if you only make one beauty resolution this year, please let it be taking care of your hands. With your hard work and tireless commitment, we can eradicate Madonna Claws by the year 2030.
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
To me, the world is split into two kinds of people - those that want to go out and get ratted from December 24th until January 1st and those who want to hole up with a tin of Roses, Sky+ and Singstar until their pyjamas start to smell and their hair begins washing itself.
No prizes for guessing which category I fall into...
So it's come as no surprise that as I hauled ass back into the land of the living today, my skin has erupted, my hair is lank, my fringe has lost all shape and I'm the roughest looking thing this side of Amy Winehouse's bathroom. (Cheap shot, sorry Amy - your dedication to eyeliner knows no bounds.) Basically, I'm turning into Noel Fielding. And that's not a good thing if you're a 27 year old beauty obsessed lady and not a twenty-'something' year old Camden cocksman.
So like the rest of you, I'll be focusing on New Year's Resolutions this week. Every year, I say I'm not going to make them and every year I do - I did pretty well last year, all apart from the regular manicures and pedicures bit. My toenails look like my cat painted them.
1. To maintain a good skincare regime
2. To look after my hair and not just 'let it grow' (I'm thinking about growing it) but actually consult my beloved Jonny at Lee Stafford before it gets lank and manky
3. To clear out my make up drawer and try new colours
4. To drink shit loads of water (technical)
5. To keep up regular manicures and pedicures
Stagnation is worse than death people, (someone said that, right?) so please for the love of jebus, don't focus your resolutions on what to give up - how depressing? Starting the year by depriving yourself! - and look at what you can take up, whether it's just trying a new nail varnish, getting a brilliant haircut or getting a facial every month, start doing something that makes you happy.
6. Be Happy