Wednesday, 31 March 2010


You would think being Johnny Depp's baby mama would be enough to smile about but Vanessa (Joe Le taxi) Paradis has landed a dream gig of being the face of the delicious new Rouge Coco lipstick range. It’s not the first time she has inspired Mr Karl Lagerfeld. Does anyone else remember her amazing Coco Chanel ad where she is a whistling bird like creature swinging in a cage being watched by a cat from 1992? No I’m not on crack- it was a genius TV campaign check it out on Youtube!

Now this is lipstick for lip gloss fans, as it’s super creamy with a melting balm like texture with lip moisturizing and loving meadowfoam oil extract. With Chanel you always get quality and the pigments are really punched up and looks great on all skin tones. I am wearing the deep purple Rouge Noir one at the moment and love the fact it doesn’t look ashy and washed out on me (it’s a real problem getting deep enough lip shades and pigments for darker skin tones).

Loads of my friends can’t be bothered with lipstick or gloss as reapplying is a big pain the ass but to that I will quote Mademoiselle Chanel herself and she said, “If we agree that eyes are the mirror of the soul, why not also admit that lips are the mouthpiece of the heart?” I hear you sister – so give your lips some respect and take the time to reapply a decadent lip colour that will make you feel like Grace Kelly in Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch a Thief’.

The new lipsticks also have that very grown up and luxurious thing of being slightly scented and I’m not talking about being bubble gum or coconut flavoured like some girly lip glosses but scented for a lady with a fresh bouquet of rose, raspberry and a hint of vanilla. The packaging has a satisfying weight and click to the lid, which makes me get a bit over excited and the great range of shades will get you coming back for more. I love it!

Monday, 29 March 2010


The French have a saying, that with the change of every season you should have a facial. Well I have a new saying, “with the change of the season and if you’re feeling really blahhhhh about your look, go and see Sibi at Daniel Hersheson for a Hair Manicure, from £75, tel. 0207 201 8797”.

When I’m beauty bored, I find it very hard not to tinker with myself and I have to fight the urge to do something stupid and drastic.  I’m growing my hair, which will take forever as my afro hair grows about 1/4 inch a month. Back in the day my beauty boredom would normally lead me to say to my hair stylist,  “screw it -give me a scattered pixie crop nowwwwww please!” However, I have grown emotionally and am resisting the urge for the big chop. When I was in university my beauty boredom reached an all time low and lead me to tiger stripped highlights. I'm talking orange and blonde stripy highlights in the front with my jet black hair colour at the back. As soon as I saw the results, I knew I should have had a manicure instead but I caved in to the beauty boredom. In the end, my hair broke off from the double dip of relaxing and peroxide -a mistake I will never make again.

I see beauty boredom all the time when I sit in salons with sunny blondes going goth biker chick black. I also see women with Jerry Hall long locks chopping it all off for a cheap thrill, which ends in tears as soon as their hair hits the floor. I feel their pain but don't give in. If you know your look is working but your feeling a bit blahhhhh, try a Hair manicure instead.

Sibi Bolan at Daniel Hersheson is one of the most talented colourists I know. She works her magic on a number of A- List celebs and is responsible for Billie Piper’s gorgeous warm blonde look. Like a nail manicure, Sibi’s hair manicure uses AHAs to gently buff and smooth the hair’s surface for an even colour result and then a clear (or you can have a bit of temporary colour) glossing and conditioning treatment packed full of plant extracts is put on. This just pumps up your natural colour or highlights. You get the thrill of doing something to your hair but it actually conditions and works with your look instead of trashing it. Book in today to beat beauty boredom!

Friday, 19 March 2010


OMG I love it when fashion and beauty collide. This time Lancome and Alice Temperley have decided to create the most fabulous fashion/ beauty love child in the shape of this cosmetics beauty bag. I love the stud work and animal print, which is taken from Temperley London's Cruise Collection and the classic Lancome rose, which has been given some thorns to toughen it up a bit. The bag is also quite big and is a perfect weekend away size. Lancome and Alice launched the new beauty bag in Temperley’s uber chic Notting Hill Boutique and it was lovely to meet her !

Get ready to sharpen your elbows and wing it to a Lancome counter this June as this bag is free (that's right it's F.R.E.E) when you buy 2 Lancome products (one has to be a skincare product). Thanks Lancome for this fashion forward beauty bag, which will bring a little catwalk cool to your daily beauty routine.

P.S. I want to give a shout out to Alice, after the launch my goodie bag had Alice’s A/W 10 Look Book in it and I scared my husband as I actually gasped as every shot  of the Look Book was of this model and it’s so rare to see a whole collection being modelled by a black woman- so bravo!



At a launch the other week I noticed the immaculate nails of a fellow beauty journalist and asked who did her nails. Now I love a good manicure/ paint job. In our fast paced world where I get around 300 emails a day it seems a bit naughty and decadent to take 45 mins out for a relaxing manicure and gossip. Having lovely nails makes me feel like a groomed Hitchcock siren and a laydeee. I love Essie nail colours as they really don’t chip or budge and come in a scary range of colours. I never knew there could be so many pinks! I personally love Sugar Daddy (ironically I wore it on my wedding day) but I also love this deep Plumberry shade, which I am wearing now as I type. Check out the new season spring shades, which are Neo Whimsical and Pop Art Pink, they are chic and look clean on the nail but are also bang on trend with the new pastels.

There are a few people I really rate when it comes to touching my nails (there are lots of dodgy dirty people out there I would prefer to do it myself) and I am so excited to say Alex at Neville, in Knightsbridge is one of them. She is super talented and warm.  Other nail gurus I love are Danielle at Daniel Hersheson,, Andrea Fulerton,, Leighton Denny, and Nonie Crème,, Jessica Hoffman at John Frieda Alford street and Sophy Robson, They are all superstars in the beauty industry and what they all have in common and what makes you want to keep going back to them, is that they are warm, maternal (paternal in Leighton’s case), a good laugh, discreet, fabulous and not afraid to take you in hand and make you experiment with a bold new colour. As a ‘seen it all before love’ beauty journalist, to be able to trust these great nail artists, is quite refreshing and means I never fall in a pale pink nail rut.

After my chic and precise manicure with Alex at Neville weirdly I bumped into Inga also another amazing manicurist who I love and we had a lovely long catch up. It was then that it hit me how much your own personal glam squad becomes part of your inner circle and personal war cabinet. I love going to Daniel Hersheson, it’s like a therapy session and I always come out feeling fabulous as well as looking sharp and fixed up. I don’t think it’s an accident that hair stylists, facialists and nail experts often become friends and confidantes - the people you tell your secrets to. Look at most Diva’s entourages they all consist of hair stylist and make up artists - and yes I am talking to you Kate Price.

We all live in a digital age where instead of having a chat in the local butcher we do online shopping and as a freelancer I email in my copy and pay my bills online as well. There is not much face time with the outside world. However, the beauty world is one of the last places you can go into a huddle, have physical contact and be close to other humans and chat without it being pervy

I used to work as an Estee Lauder Bureau beauty consultant working on brands such as Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, Clinique and Crème de La Mer after university - before I became a beauty journalist. I worked in Harrods, Selfridges and Dickins and Jones and it was like being a bar tender. There were huge amounts of women who would come to my counter looking for a red lipstick or new lipgloss and would end up crying in my arms. Through sobs they would tell me how their boyfriends had left them after 7 years and they had only come in for a beauty pick me up. I always gave them free full make overs and a pep talk and sent them out with a spring in their step. It was there I saw how women really bond over beauty and a hair salon, nail bar or spa is where women go to decompress, gossip and get advice on how to deal with wayward husbands, frenemies, bitchy work situations and talk about being 4 weeks pregnant when no one else knows and generally reboot in order to face the fast paced digital world again.

Go on book in a mani/pedi today – you’re worth it!

Monday, 15 March 2010


Loads of slap for social/ economical gain that’s what.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a night owl and I love working and watching movies when the rest of the world sleeps. The other night I watched the brilliant Cate Blanchett in ‘Elizabeth’, directed by Shekhar Kapur, if you haven’t seen it do watch it- it’s sexy sumptuous history at it’s best. Anyway, I chased watching ‘Elizabeth’ with an episode of ‘What Katie did Next’ and realised the remarkable similarities with the two women.

Now I know everyone hates Katie Price AKA Jordan at the moment but in terms of modern day media role models I would prefer my daughter (I don’t have one but when I do) to want to be more like her than Toni Terry or a girl who sells her story of how she was roasted by some footballers to News of the World. She’s a grafter, I love hard workers, she’s a businesswoman and works for her own money (right on sister), she’s a mother but still flogs her sexuality (who says your bangers have to be put away after you give birth?) and Peter Andre left her- has everyone forgotten that? Is she pushy, domineering and a bit needy? Yes. Give her a number of a good therapist I say, she is suffering from classic abandoned dad syndrome. I know lots of people who have had the best home life and education, who haven’t achieved 1/4 of what she has. RESPECT.

There is a joke, which I find really interesting and telling about human nature it goes like this- “what do women and men have in common? They both hate women”. This can be very true and whether you are a queen in the 16th century or Jordan in the 21st century, a powerful woman will always get haters and these two women seem to have dealt with their public image in the same way. They have both created larger than life caricatures of themselves, which both dazzles the public and protects their own real fragile personalities. In ‘Elizabeth’, there is an interesting scene at the end where she decides to desex herself and cast off her sexuality as a woman and become a living icon to replace the Virgin Mary in the hearts of her subjects. She cuts off her hair and has her signature porcelain foundation applied to her face and hands to make her look like a statue. The effect is to look unworldly, as people love to admire and adore things, which are not of the norm. Cut to Jordan, instead of desexing herself she has done the opposite thing of selling sex but in exacting the same way. Big hair check, crazy cartoon eyebrows and make up check, clothes most people wouldn’t dream of wearing check. In her own way Jordan has also created a caricature of herself, this iconic cartoon image. If you watch her playing with her kids in her tracksuit bottoms and scruffy ponytail, you do realise Katie Price and Jordan are two very different people and you will never ever really know who Katie Price is even with all the interviews, books and tell alls (it’s a weird game she plays of Jordan pretending to be Katie Price pretending to be Jordan).

The use of hair and make up to weave a magic spell to cast over their subjects and fans is not a new game but a very interesting game. Elizabeth I can be considered one of Britain’s most successful monarchs reigning for over 40 years and making Britain one of the most powerful nations on earth while Jordan has created her own empire and still manages to fascinate the public even with the negative press, she has not gone away. So ladies the next time you see a tube of lipstick, foundation and blusher have respect that in certain hands these are some of the most powerful social/ political/economic tools a woman can wield!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Now I have never been down with the kids or was ever part of the cool crew at school. When my friends at 17 started getting inked with dinky daisy tattoos on their hips and Japanese symbols with meanings like life, peace and destiny -it really wasn’t for me.

However, I can say at the age 31 I was incredible over excited to visit Chanel’s new counter at Selfridges last week, which is a recreation of the barn seen at the Chanel S/S 10 catwalk where Lilly Allen performed. At the show Peter Philips, Global Creative Director of Chanel Makeup came up with the rather fabulous idea of creating and sending the girls out on the catwalk with temporary Chanel inspired tattoos. Now these tattoos called Les Trompe L’oeil de Chanel, £49 for 55 individual tattoos, call 0207493 3836 for stockist details, last up to five days on the skin. You might sniff at the price but it’s Chanel baby and these ain’t no tramp stamps but are ethereal and terribly chic. I love the chain and pearl ones, which I had put on. I am sure these will be super coveted and will fly out of the Chanel barn.

After my initial high of having my tattoo applied (like when you were a kid you just transfer it with water) the inevitable happened. I was feeling like the dog’s bollocks and then I stepped out of the barn and tripped over and to my amazement slid and glided for a good metre across the polished floor of the beauty hall. I was wearing a super soft cashmere coat and I think this helped my glide and I was also wearing baggy jeans, which ended up in me somehow managing to moon everyone around me- reminding me that like the Chanel tattoos my coolness is also very temporary.


Ok, now I am a child of the 80s and was what would be now known as a rather excitable tween back in the day. I have always loved all things music and movies and I had a massive crush on the teen movie star Corey Haim, who was the Zac Efron of his day. I loved him in the cult movie ‘Lost Boys’, which showcased loads of young rat pack esque 80s stars such as Keifer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Feldman, Alex Winter from ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’. Corey squeaked his way through that movie as his voice was just breaking (bless him). I also loved ‘License to Drive’ it was all so glamourous set in 80s America, home of the big hair and where you could drive at just 15, all quite dreamy for a London based tween. In that film he starred with a super young Heather Graham ('The Hangover'/ 'Boogie Nights') and his best buddy on and off screen Corey Feldman- they were known as the two Coreys. Corey Haim was a teen heartthrob as he was cheeky, funny, cute and adorable on screen and I  ed him.

I was really sad to learn today he had passed away from what they think might be a drugs overdose at the age of 38. Like so many child stars Corey battled years of drug abuse and it is so so sad. Goodbye Corey Haim and RIP.

Thursday, 4 March 2010


When I saw Ben Cooke, the loveliest and most talented celebrity hair stylist last week we were talking how fab we thought Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud (something kinda ooh) hair was looking. I love the volume, colour and curls of her hair. I think she is finally really happy being in her own skin, having ditched the crack like fake tan habit she had and embraced her porcelain look. When you feel good on the inside it really does shine through to the outside. Nicola’s hair, which is larger than life is quite cartoon like and I think she is not the only one rocking this cartoon hair. Kelly Osbourne looks like Pebbles from the Flintstones with her platinum white hair in this photo and she has only gone and made herself look more cartoon like with her blue/purple rinse- love it! As for Lady Gaga what can I say – I do think the highlighter yellow really does suit her!

All this cartoon hair does feel very futuristic and like the 21st century as imagined by someone in 1952. I really like this surreal cartoon hair and it may have come about as the whole world has gone loopy with the credit crunch melt down. People are also rethinking how to structure their work and lives with better maternity leaves, working from home and flexible hours. Lots of people have clicked that slugging your guts out for the system will not get you a pat on the back after 35 years of hard graft but often leads to a big fat custard pie in your face. When I see cartoon hair I think of doing your own thing, being creative and saying screw it. Bring it on! I’m off to dye my hair Superman blue/black.


There’s something tres chic and lady like about a proper lipstick. If like me you have been in the land of lipgloss, trying a lipstick again may seen a bit weird. When many of my friends think of lipstick they think cakey and dry. However, the other week I meet the warm and lovely Gucci Westman, Revlon’s Global Artistic Director at The Dorchester as she has designed the most mouth watering new range of lipstick called Colorburst.

The range boosts 12 shades and there really is something for everyone and every skin tone. Now I love Gucci she is super talented, friendly and has worked with celebs such as Drew Barrymore and Madonna and she was even in the ‘Sex and the City’ movie where she was doing Carrie’s make up during the Vogue wedding dress shoot! She told me her favourite colour is Coral, which will look amazing for summer and I love the Plum shade, which is really rich and packed full of pigment. The lipstick also won’t suck the life and moisture out of your lips as it’s laced with sweet almond oil, anti-oxidants and elasticolor technology, which gives the lipstick a weightless dreamy texture. Best of all I love the quilted packaging, very Chanel and the price because at £7.99 you can rock every shade!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Last Friday was amazing. Not because it was a Friday but because I was invited to see Lady Gaga at the O2 with the lovely PR ladies who look after Herbal Essences and their new yummy Beautiful Ends range, which helps control frizz and spilt ends with red raspberry and silk extract. Besides all that it smells like a juicy boiled sweet! The evening was beyond glam and began as the delicious celebrity stylist Ben Cooke who looks after Leona Lewis and has worked with everyone from Victoria Beckham to Cheryl Cole, gave me a power blow dry. Now with my job lots of people say they can style my afro hair and give it a go but they don’t know what they are doing and the tight curl/ frizz beats them. I usually end up looking like James Brown or Condoleezza Rice on a bad day. However, along with a hand full of super talented stylists, I always feel like I am in safe hands with Ben and he makes me feel fierce and want to do batty rolls Beyonce stylie.

Lady Gaga (or avant garde Madonna as I like to call her) was really impressive and I felt she is a proper artist and will stick around if she wants to. Her show was really moving, as it was like a musical with a loose story of going to the Monster’s Ball -a metaphor for a place of complete artistic and social acceptance. I was really proud to be British that night when the crowd went nuts for her. The crowd was full of Gaga fans dressed in home made costumes and I have never seen so much gold lycra, batty riders, sequins, dodgy wigs and glitter make up in my life. Bless. I love the fact we as a people throw open its arms and embrace and love original, eccentric and talented artists like Gaga and Beth Ditto. Ask anyone in America and they have never heard of her, here she has fronted a high street fashion range with Evans and is bessie mates with Kate Moss. Surrounded by thousands of screaming Lady Gaga fans I was proud. If that wasn’t exciting in itself there was a Cheryl Cole sighting in the toilets and I also saw Sharon Osbourne walk past our box at the O2 and I screamed “I love you Sharon” she screamed back “I love you too”! I really think we are BFF now! Thanks Herbal Essences for a beautiful end to the evening, I couldn’t stop singing gaga roma roma and waving a Gaga esque claw in my husband’s face when I got home. Fabulous!
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