Thursday, 24 June 2010


I want to a say a huge congratulations to Susan Harmsworth, Founder and CEO of ESPA for the MBE she has so deservedly been awarded by the Queen. I love Sue as she is a generous, driven, warm and formidable woman and is a complete inspiration to me. Not only has she forged a beauty Empire with the delicious ESPA skin care and body care products and spas but she did it all while raising a family and was successful in both endeavours. It gives me hope as a woman and also for the next generation (did you hear that you WAG wannabes) to see such a glittering example.

Some of my favourite spa experiences have been ESPA treatments. The spas are dotted in glamorous locations around the world and in the UK and are breathtaking with black slate and will make you whip out your camera phone for inspiration for your own humble bathroom. I love the bespoke aspect of the treatments as you book time instead of having to fit into a rigid timetable. You never have therapists tuk at you, as what you want is not on the menu. In ESPA land I can indulge, as I am a complete massage junkie and love having 2 hour full on massages- amazing.

I also love ESPA’s Soothing Body Oil, £28 for 100ml and Soothing Bath Oil, £25 for 100ml, Years ago I co-wrote a fashion guide called ‘Where to Wear’, and I had loads of nights writing into the wee hours. To stop me having a nervous breakdown my husband would lovingly rub ESPA’s Soothing Body Oil into my shoulders at 3am and tell me to keep going. The oil is laced with relaxing and comforting frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood and is better than any valium or prozac you could pop. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the healing powers of essential oils needs to take a hit of those bad boys.

Anyway, I want to salute you Sue congratulations and see you soon. You are a fabulous Dame indeed.


Now I love my body care with moisturising oils and bath products. When it comes to body contouring products I can feel a bit wary as many over promise and under deliver. Besides, when it comes to cellulite, I say if I can’t see it (because it’s on my ass) I don’t really care.

However, when it comes to the tummy area- that I can see and I am loving Mamma Mio’s Get Waisted Body Shaper, £35, This potent serum is packed full of 9 ingredients such as Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Caffeine and Phyco R75, which helps to tone skin, reduce puffiness and boosts Lipolysis, which is the way your body breaks down the fat stored in fat cells.

Now by rubbing in the serum once a day for 30 seconds in large clockwise strokes, you won’t get rid of your barrel belly and turn into Gisele but you will notice a tightening and a real difference. If that alone doesn’t warm your cockles, Mamma Mio is also donating a £1 from every bottle sold from to the cancer charity Look Good Feel Better, and have launched a band, Belle and the Buttons, to help tell the story. Check it out!

Monday, 14 June 2010


I was lucky enough to be invited to the Paris launch of Thierry Mugler’s latest fragrance WOMANITY, prices start from £38 and is available from 8th July, Exclusively from Selfridges and from 5th August Nationwide, www.WOMANITY.COM.

To say Mr Mugler is a visionary is a bit of an understatement. He is one of those sizzlingly and deliriously highly energetic and creative people. He trained as a ballet dancer in his youth, made his name with futuristic and mind boggling couture designs with his fashion label and gave the world….wait for it Angel. Love it or hate it Angel launched in 1992 and was the first of its kind, creating the new olfactory family of Oriental Gourmand with its vanilla, caramel and praline notes, which has now been copied a thousand times over and still is one of the best selling fragrances of all time.

Mr Mugler also directed George Michael’s iconic music video 'Too Funky' and set the screen ablaze with his avant garde and electrifying outfits, which touched the 14 year old me very deeply and made me think to myself, “that’s the kind of world I want to live in”. Obviously I didn't want to wear the Mugler motorcycle dress to Tesco- but live in a world where high art, fashion and beauty collide, which is very Mugler. He recently designed Beyonce’s concert tour outfits, which is a divalicious match made in heaven. His designs are cartoon meets fetish, which is simply fabulous. I was really honoured I got to meet the man himself, as I’m a huge fan of his work. Dita Von Teese was also at the launch and was really charming and warm and I can imagine is one of Mr Mugler’s dream women to dress.

Like the man WOMANITY doesn’t disappoint. Again with this fragrance Mugler is pushing boundaries and it's a potent mix of sweet and savoury, which harnesses the latest technology with molecular extraction to create the salt/ savoury notes without going down the traditional marine accord route. 

The top notes are that of a fleshy juicy fig, which is both sweet and green and earthy mixed with an almost animalic caviar note. The woody base notes of fig wood and leaf are elegant, green and sensuous. The fragrance leaves you a bit dazed (in a good way) as your head tries to get around it, as it really is in a category of its own. Me likey

The bottle is also nuts which I love. It looks like an Alien (very Mugler) ship had landed in an ancient Mayan community where the woman have all run wild and killed their menfolk and taken over and the aliens have left this bottle behind as a little present. Then centuries later Mr Mugler dug it up and made it into his fragrance bottle. Fantastic. Grab a bottle of genius asap. 

Sunday, 13 June 2010


I love a sensual, rich oriental fragrance and love it even more on my husband! I have discovered the sophisticated warm oriental fragrance for men Atelier Flou’s Black Purple, £115 for 100ml Eau de Toilette, available from Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie, 5th Floor Harrods, tel. 0207 893 8797, which is rather fabulous. Roja is one of the beauty industry's most knowledgeable and passionate fragrance experts and the most charismatic and fabulous as well! He has the best taste when it comes to unearthing classic fragrance houses and Black Purple from this well established and chic house is a gem.

Fresh hesperidic (citrus family) top notes are blended with the herbaceous Rosemary with floral heart notes and warm Amber and comforting Vanilla, Nutmeg and soothing Vetiver. What I also love is the unusual animalic Liatrix base note, which is both sexy and unique. I really like it when people can’t name your fragrance and there is a bit of mystery in what you are wearing. Grab a bottle and spritz your man in it, which will leave you singing Prince’s Purple Rain and looking at him in sexy slow mo

Friday, 11 June 2010


Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at Revlon’s new A/W nail colours. I am a huge fan of Revlon nail colours. They are fashion forward and don’t chip diddy chip. I went on a one woman mission to get the sexy Valentine shade over from the states and almost cried with joy when they brought the shade to the UK! These shades are just as covetable.

The fabulous matte Ruby Ribbon, £6.29, available nationwide, is tres chic and I have it on my nails as I’m typing, it makes me feel a bit mysterious and like I’m in a 1940s film noir. The other new shade is Emerald City, a delicious green with a metallic sheen. The shade reminds me ironically not of Judy Garland in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ (I saw the film again the other day I thought my God someone must have been on tripping on acid when they made that, it really is a bit surreal and psychedelic- genius) but that of Liza Minnelli in Bob Fosse’s ‘Cabaret’, which makes me smile. Paint your nails with either shade and do your best jazz hands and have fun with these fab new shades. Enjoy.  

Thursday, 10 June 2010


I’ve always loved Natalie Portman and it’s really exciting that she has been named as Dior’s new face. As an Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning actress Miss Portman started young at 13 in1994 with her beguiling, hypnotic and slightly disturbing turn as a Lolita esque character in Luc Besson’s brilliant movie 'Leon'.

She is the epitome of class and is a fab choice for Dior. Her diverse roles in the Star Wars trilogy, Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’ and Woody Allen’s ‘Everyone says I love you’ show she’s got the range, darling.

I love the fact Natalie Portman also made that sometimes painful transition from child star to big girl movie girls with dignity and also without a smack habit or images of her rolling out of clubs half cut (are you listening Lindsey?). 

She’s also got her education with a degree in psychology from Harvard university. Bravo Dior!

Friday, 4 June 2010


Today there been a storm of controversy over images of Claudia Schiffer taken two years ago by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld for a Dom Perignon ad campaign gracing the cover of German fashion magazine Stern Fotografie to celebrate its 60 year anniversary.

Now this image has been called tasteless and has been accused of invoking images of ‘blacking up’ where white performers even as recent as the 70s would don black make up and afros to mimic and mock black ethnicity.

To me I don’t find this image is offensive and I feel it wasn’t meant to insult but I would be lying if I said it didn’t hit a few nerves as a black woman.

When I see the image the first thing that springs to mind is the outfit and necklace are bang on for Dynasty fabulousity. They remind me of my mum in the 80s, as a diplomat’s wife she would often kiss me goodbye before being whisked off to some glamourous charity ball at the Dorchester. However, the hair reminds me of a black Barbie doll my mother bought me in the 80s. She was scared I had no positive reaffirming images of black feminine beauty and had it shipped over. My black Barbie had this exaggerated afro and was dressed in a red lace slip, which made her look like a disco singing (‘Street Life’ comes to mind) hooker and this is the problem. As a little black girl and even today we are devoid of seeing many powerful images of black beauty. Yes we have the phone tossing amazon that is Naomi Campbell and younger models (literally!) such as Chanel Iman, however this image just smacks of, “Oh look at Claudia dressed up as a black woman! Oh she is an exotic curiosity”, which I find a bit odd and slightly unnerving.

Back in the day when I was a hot little number hitting the dance floor in clubs doing my thing dancing to ironically jungle music, I would often have young men come up to me from Italy and other European cities where multiculturalism wasn’t as developed in the UK and whisper in my ear that I was like a beautiful panther, which after laughing in their faces I found offensive. This image reminds of that, where people accept and acknowledge black beauty, it’s what I call the Grace Jones effect- where she is a beautiful creature rather than just being beautiful for beauty’s sake, it’s beauty with a black label on. I will be happy when people don’t feel the need to do these kind of images and try and make statements like the Claudia one- even as an artistic expression but here’s hoping. I would love to know what you all think please leave comments.
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