Sunday, 22 February 2009

Fashion Week/ Beauty Rescue

It’s that time of year again- London Fashion Week!!!!! Fashion week is a heady mix of interesting and fresh ideas, drama, high art, fun and chaos. As a beauty journalist and beauty addict the clothes come a close second to the make up and hair looks. My favourite part of fashion week is running around backstage getting the latest looks and inspirations for the next season. The genius and highly creative hair stylist and make up artists, take inspiration from films, art, music and street culture and the references are often as weird and wonderful as “a Vermeer painting meets raga” (I kid you not). After hours on my feet and red bull induced twitching I have to rely on an arsenal of beauty rescue products to make me feel relaxed and centred again.

Elemis’ Aching Muscle Super Soak
is a favourite with warming birch, clove, alpine and mineral rich sea salt. Afterwards I slather my skin in Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Massage & Body oil, which contains comforting ylang ylang, geranium and vanilla, which is better than a bottle of prozac. My new best beauty friend is Dr Hauscka’s Birch Arnica Body oil, which I am putting on tired shoulders to ease strains from elbow shoving and wielding my handbag as a weapon for people trying to push past me. Ahh the joys of fashion week- beauty, clothes and a cardio workout all in one!

How do you use Colour Correctors?

Alot of makeup brands have colour correctors that are meant to go under your foundation, how exactly do these work and is it to be used with your concealer?

Thanks for the question Michelle. Using colour correctors has been a beauty secret make up artists have used for years. Green tints neutralizes redness, lavender helps give sallow complexions a glow while pink gives warmth to most skin tones.

By Terry have a fab product called Preciosity highlighting Primer Serum, which has a pink iridescent colour and uses natural pearl extract and can be used under foundation to make your skin glow. I use it instead of foundation mixed with my moisturizer. Bobbi Brown’s Eye Brightener comes in 4 shades and can be used instead of concealer to banish tired grey and blueness under the eyes. Estee Lauder’s face primer Plus Color Correcting Base has made life even easier as this primer has yellow and gold tints and chamomile to help calm and neutralize redness. Have fun.

Love Ateh xxx

Can you recommend Paraben free Beauty Brands?

Hi Ateh,
My latest obsession is checking all my cosmetics and products for parabens in the ingredients. Do you think we'll see a day when these are totally removed from all products? And can you recommend any paraben-free brands? I like Neal's Yard, and Balm Balm. Any others?

Natural and organic beauty has really become very mainstream, which is fantastic. The more people demand paraben free products the more beauty companies will have to cater to people’s changing needs. Origins are reformulating all their products to be Parabens, Propylene Glycol and DEA free, which is fabulous. I am a huge Origins fan and love their body products and face masks. I’m using their new Dr Weil for Origins, Night Health Bedtime Bath Oil, which is packed full of soothing organic lavender and chamomile oils. The Organic Pharmacy is another great paraben free beauty hot spot which has legions of celeb fans such as Gwyneth Palthrow and Madonna- check out their Carrot Butter Cleanser and Rose Plus Marine Collagen Complex. Burt’s Bees is another great natural beauty company, try their sulfate free Super shiny grapefruit & sugar beet shampoo. Balance me and This works (created by ex- Vogue beauty director Kathy Phillips) are also favourites.

Love Atehx

Friday, 20 February 2009

Split and cracking Nail Question

Ateh - my nails are really split and cracking with all this cold weather. I keep filing them down but nothing works! My diet is fine so can only assume its the cold... can you recommend any really good nail creams? Its my wedding in 7 weeks - I want my nails to look nice!!

Thanks for your question and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Just like your skin nails can get dehydrated especially in cold weather. To ensure your hands and nails stay soft and supple, oil your nail cuticles every day with Creative’s Solaroil, which is a blend of light oils with vitamin E. Also every time you wash your hands remember to moisturise them afterwards with a rich hand cream look out for ingredients like shea butter, which is ultra nourishing and is found in one of my favourites’s Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy Cream. I also love Nivea’s SOS intensive balm, which contains skin smoothing panthenol and calendula oil.

For an extra boost and to help grow and strengthen your nails and give a gloss to your hair why not try taking a supplement. I am taking Equazen Eye Q Naturally sourced omega 3 and omega 6 fish oils, available in Boots, which has made my nails as tough as teflon and my hair has doubled in volume and stopped breaking after all my chemical relaxing!!! I can’t recommend it enough to help moisturize your skin, nails and hair from the inside out.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Eye Make Up Remover Question from Kim

I also really enjoyed the exhibition! Did you see the tall boots with embroidered lions and bows? I just wanted to reach into the cabinet and take them home, they would look great with skinny jeans! Thanks for the great cleanser tips, it is such an under rated product but can make all the difference to your skincare. As a dedicated eye liner wearer what eye makeup remover would you recommend?

Thank you for your comments Kim yes it was amazing and alot of those boots would look fabulous on the catwalk today! When it comes to eye make up removers I love Chantecaille's Rose Eye make up Remover. The non drying formula soothes and calms with honey, aloe vera, Chamomile and nourishing rosewater.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Tsars and T-Zones

This Valentine’s Day my husband and I went to see the V&A’s exhibition Magnificence of the Tsars (bless him). I’m a sucker for 18th century history as you know and the exhibition was bursting with the most opulent men’s wear from the court of Peter II of Russia. As I walked around what struck me the most was the quality, pristine colour and detail, which could still be seen on these clothes, which were 300 years old. The craftsmanship was mind blowing. It also got me thinking that these clothes had outlasted both Imperial Russia and Communist Russia. With our current economic downturn it’s also time to start thinking about smart beauty choices and investing in a few quality beauty buys is much better than buying lots of faddy ones you won’t look at twice.

Like an investment wardrobe I believe there are investment beauty buys. Good quality cleansers are major investment beauty buy as they’re the closest things to touch the skin. Deep cleansing is a must if you want glowing skin so always go for the best quality cleanser you can afford. The amazing jackets and uniforms in the V & A were only able to look that good and stand the test of time because they were kept clean and well preserved. To help your skin fair as well, try Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel as it’s soap free, which won’t strip the skin and balm mint and lavender also keeps skin feeling refreshed and calm. Simple’s Moisturising Foaming Facial Wash is also a great soap free wash and leaves skin feeling smooth and protected with vitamin E.

When it comes to a cleansing balm you can’t beat Amanda Lacey’s Cleansing Pomade. It’s expensive but will last for at least a couple of months and good skin means less heavy duty make up and break outs. The texture melts like butter onto the skin and is rich in Vitamin E and D and calendula oil to leave skin soft and clean. A more wallet friendly choice is the iconic Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish with antiseptic hops and circulation boosting rosemary, which gets out mascara without scrubbing. Healthy and clean skin is always a good look so help it stand the test of time with a little TLC.

Eyeliner Question from Daph

Dear Ateh,
I use a pencil eyeliner but I am not pleased with the result - I find that it is smudged and the outline of the eyes is not even as one eye is more pronounced than the other. As a mature woman is it better to use a liquid eyeliner or can you give me tips on using a pencil as I prefer not to use liquids.
Many Thanks

Hi Daph,
Thanks for your question. I love eyeliners as they give your eyes definition and when used on the upper eyelid can give your lashes more volume. As a fabulous older woman I would suggest sticking to a super soft eyeliner pencil as this gives a less harsh finish. Also jet black can look quite severe for everyday, so try experimenting with other colours such as dark browns, sables, taupes on fair skin tones and dark violets, dark greens and dark greys and slates on darker skin tones. I love Dior’s Crayon Eyeliner in Deep Brown or Precious Violet, which comes with a blending tip so you can smudge and gently blend the colour. Rimmel also do great pencils which won’t drag the skin – try the Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Sable Brown or Stormy Grey. For a touch of fun why not try metallic? Shu Uemura do a delicious soft liner called Drawing Pencil in Metallic Brown. When it comes to applying eyeliner it can be daunting but try resting your elbow on a table and with the mirror in front of you draw on the liner in small strokes until you build up to a full line. If you have small eyes try only lining the outer corner and drag the line out to elongate the eye area and give the illusion of larger eyes. Practice makes perfect so keep going for it and have fun!!!

Love Ateh

Exfoliation and Trends Question from Michelle

Hi Ateh,
Wanted to ask you, which do you think is the best exfoliating face product and also a moisturizer for very dehydrated skin?Also what do you think is the look for this summer, colours and nail colours etc Thank You!

Hi Michelle,


Exfoliation is a key way to gently rid the skin of dead dull inducing skin cells. A smooth skin also absorbs serums and moisturises better so your face can get the full benefit of your products.

Be careful not to over do it with exfoliators as this will leave your skin irritated and weakened. Aim to exfoliate the skin once to twice a week. I love Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant as it is non- abrasive but uses enzymes such as papin, rice and salicylic acid as well as skin brightening Licorice and skin calming green tea.

If you enjoy using an exfoliator with some polishing beads try Liz Earle’s Gentle face Exfoliator. Perfectly sphere Jojoba beads roll over the skin without scrathing or tearing the skin and eucalyptus oil smelled heavenly as well as being anti-septic and anti-inflammatory.


I love Annick Goutal's Creme Splendide Visage, which contains rose oil and vitamin A, C and E and Elemis Pro- Collagen Marine Cream, which boosts skin's hydration with Padina Pavonica.

Summer Looks

As for summer looks and nail colours. Believe it or not but lilac lips was huge on catwalk seen of Zac Posen, Aquascutum, Modernist, Kenzo and Afshin Fez. This was a lavender deadened with grey to translate the look stick to sheer washes of mauves and pinks with a blue undertone. I am loving Estee Lauder’s New Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Mayfair Mauve. Metallics on the eyes were also big at Gucci and Aquascutum and skin at McQueen, Vivienne Westwood Red Label and Chloe was fresh and super hydrated. To get the look try sheer foundation, which will give the skin a glow like Bobbi Brown’s new Skin Foundation SPF 15 or Revlon’s new Beyond Natural Skin Matching Make up.


Nail colours this summer are either feminine and delicate with lots of baby pinks, like Leighton Denny’s Baby Love or Essie’s classic Sugar Daddy or come in hot pops of colour like cerise or coral such as Dior’s nail colour in bubble gum or OPI’s Overexposed on South Beach.

Love Atehx

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Poppy King- Lipstick Queen

This week I met one of my beauty heroes Poppy King for a drink in the Covent Garden Hotel. I love the fact she has chutzpah in the bucket load as she created her own lipstick range at the tender age of 18 in the early 90s. She did this great feat, as she couldn’t find a matte lipstick, which echoed the ones she loved from 30s and 40s Hollywood screen idols.

Poppy is a true beauty artist and great fun and is the sort of person I love in the beauty industry. She references the arts and crafts movement and art deco, which can be felt on her packaging and loves the 70s because of its fascination with the 30s. She also loves the 40s and 20s and great films such as Cabaret, China Town, Saturday Night Fever and A Clock Work Orange because of the colour and aesthetic.

She doesn’t follow trends but follows her gut and instincts. With her latest launch The Big Bang Theory Illusion Gloss (out in April,, she has done just that again. Inspired by the Big Bang experiments last year, which tried to recreate the first moments of the universe Poppy has created a new range of 8 glosses. The new glosses will help to expand the look of lips without any irritating ingredients but by clever shimmering pigments which create the optical illusion of full lips. I’m wearing the shade Black Hole, which is a shimmery deep wine/ berry shade, which isn’t sticky and lasts really well. I like the balm like texture and it will have proud of place in my handbag. Poppy King- she bangs

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hen Day Mani/Pedi question from Nell

Hi Ateh, loving the blogs. I have a completely off- the- track question though- A close friend mine who's getting married in the summer has asked me to arrange her Hen day. The general concensus amongst all those coming is to include a beauty/ spa treatment aspect to the proceedings. Considering past Hen days of other lovely girlfriends it seems to me that manicures may be the most practical solution. I was wondering if you have any suggestions of nice places we could visit in central London? Thanks again Ateh, Nell x

Hi Nell,
Beauty treatments where you can all sit around, chat and have a giggle is a good way to go with a hen day. Mani/Pedis are fabulous for breaking the ice as there's a chance some of you guys may not know each other. I love the Leighton Denny Nail Studio in Urban Retreat Harrods, Leighton is celebrity nail expert who has worked with Joan Collins, Jade Jagger and Kate Moss. The space is light and airy where you can have lots of champagne and nibbles while all sitting in pedicure chairs. Another idea is getting in touch with Balance Being,, who have multi talented therapists who can provide facials, indian head massages, tarot card reading, Reiki and crystal healing to create a tailor made beauty experience for you and your friends. Have fun !!!!
Love Atehx

Natural Blush Question from Rav

I have a very small face, so is there a subtle blush you would recommend? Basically I don't want to end up looking like a drag queen, as I wear liquid eye liner and a lot of mascara! I also have Asian skin, so anything you can recommend for that type of skin tone would be great?

Hi Rav,
Thank you for your question. Bronzes, caramels, apricots and soft pinks look great on Asian skin. I think you will love Bobbi Brown's shimmer bricks in Apricot and Bronze. Shu Uemura also have fantastic blushers packed full of pigment, which looks good on darker skin tones and won't wash you out or look ashy. Nars' new Super Orgasm blush with its peachy tones and gold shimmer would look fab on you to. Maybelline's Pure. Blush Mineral in Topaz Rose is a soft pink, which would also complement your skin tone.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Cappuccinos, Christie’s and Colour

I was out having coffee today with some girlfriends, as we said our goodbyes, the most beautiful snow storm began to come down in sheets. The Siberian winds made my face ache so badly that I was forced to seek shelter in the nearby Christie’s showroom.

Once I regained the feeling in my face and fingers, I noticed that they had a free Post war & Contemporary Art exhibition on - www.christie’ I was blown away by all the colours and textures of some of the pieces. I have always loved pops of bright intense colour in my make up as it’s the easiest way to cheer yourself up and add some glamour and va va voom to any look, whatever the climate, whether it’s the sub zero weather outside your door or the sub zero balance on your bank statement.

Like a magpie, my eyes went straight for a painting of a woman, which was an explosion of neon pinks, reds and greens by the Chinese artist Feng Zhengjie - it reminded me of Jack Nicholson’s look in ‘Batman’. I also loved the deep chalky blue on Yves Klein’s sculpture, a David-esque statue, which looks like it has been vandalised by some hoodies but in a good way!

As I moved around the art space I realised how similar the colours are in Bobbi Brown’s new ‘Bright’s Palette’, my latest make up obsession. The packaging is the most delicious thing I have clapped my eyes on in a long time and it makes me smile every time I open it. I think it’s like a form of colour therapy. I love the fact the palette has colours for every skin tone and taste from sunset oranges to blues and greens straight out of a Brazilian rain forest. I walked out of the gallery warmed up and revitalised and even though I knew I couldn’t afford the price tags on any of the art pieces, I knew I had a little masterpiece waiting at home. Bobbi Brown I salute you.
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