New Year - Love And Light

Saturday, 31 December 2011

As I write I'm sitting with a hot water bottle wedged behind my pained back, sipping a hot chocolate to chase away the tail-end of a cold whilst enjoying the peace and quiet of an afternoon sans son. There's nothing I like better than this scenario (minus the backache). Gloom gathering outside, warm and cosy inside with a dreamy candle flickering on the dressing table.
Heaven scent: Harrods leather, tobacco &
cognac candle creates a cosy, fire-side mood.
Yes, my name is Hannah and I'm addicted to candles especially of the posh variety. They're one of the beauty items I rarely buy budget; who wants to sit in a room choked with cheap sickly fumes? I love my Jo Malone, Aqua Di Parma, Neom, True Grace, Tocca, Diptyque, Cire Trudon (the list goes on), but my absolute favourite is Harrods Leather, Tobacco and Cognac Candle.     
This is undoubtedly a beautiful, luxurious object at first glance but beyond pretty packaging the scent is quite sublime. I wish we had smell-o-blog because although it is billed as a being a blend of masculine notes conjuring 'vintage leather seats, Cuban cigars and aged French Cognac' to my (admittedly untrained) nose, the scent is subtly sweet and creamy with a kiss of curled tobacco smoke and the enveloping aroma of soft, lived-in leather. Seriously yummy. 
The candle I have was originally a press sample but now that it is running low - and with Christmas money burning a hole in my purse - I've decided to restock. A quick flick through Harrods online reveals the price to be nowhere in the £30 ballpark I was expecting - £14 for 180g. Eh? Really. A hand-poured candle (√), produced in France (√), with a gift box (√) and a lid to protect against dust and fluff (√) from Harrods? Crikey. I know that following the excesses of Xmas even thinking about buying a 'present' seems indulgent, but this luxurious treat is worth every penny and the perfect companion for January's dark days and nights. Enjoy.       
Love & light for 2012 x                                                                                                                       

Reviewed: Rockalily Lipstick in Pompadour Pink

Friday, 23 December 2011

I have been itching to write about this lippy for weeks but life - and a torturous amount of coursework - has conspired against me. Now, with my file finally FILED (praise the Lord), I'm as free as a bird to blather. So blather I will. I stumbled across @RockalilyLondon on Twitter. ReeRee, the founder of the lipstick range, kept twirling around my timeline with intriguing tweets so I decided to have a nosey at how Rockalily rolls; which is with a big nod to Rockabilly and a saucy wink to vintage, pin-up style.                                  

Makes the boys wink: Rockalily lipstick in Pompadour Pink

Though I'm a lot less high-maintenance than the days when Katie Puckrick was my beauty idol and Sunday's were spent hauling a banging hangover around the jumble at Portobello Road, I do still have a penchant for arched brows, leopard print and a latent love of lipstick so fierce it owns your face. The latter I just never, ever wear. 

But then, on the Rockalily site, I spied ReeRee's Pompadour Pink lipstick and had an, err, re-think. The name sang to me, the colour - a hot pink with cool undertones of magenta - grabbed me and the gallery of real gals (wearing the actual shades in their own style), made me think y'know what? that might just suit me too. Straight to PayPal.

Intense colour straight from the bullet

So here I am rocking Rockalily. I'd had a whole 4 hours sleep the night before - s'cuse the wan face - but wowza, just check out that lip colour. It's a fresh, punchy pink with cool blue almost lilac undertones that makes your eyes and teeth look that little bit whiter. The texture is creamy, ultra-moisturising (thanks to vitamin E, apricot kernel oil and lanolin), and the colour pay-off superb. Pompadour Pink is billed as a semi-gloss formula so I was expecting it to perhaps go on patchily - not a bit of it. The photo above shows two full swipes + evening out with a lip brush = perfect coverage. Love the fact that the bullet has a squared-off tip which makes application so easy too. I also noticed another benefit; as you get older your natural lip colour fades (sighs), and your lip shape softens but a bright lippy really perks up the peripheries of your pout again. Result.

Although Pompadour Pink would look amazing against a cool skin tone I love the way it jars against warmer complexions - I'm on the anaemic olive side. Below is a close-up that's pretty true to tube and I've also pictured the rather lovely Rockalily packaging, sadly only after BB ripped it to shreds. Little boys just don't appreciate beauty.

Anyhow, I'm so impressed with this lippy - did I mention it wears brilliantly well? - that I will definitely be heading back to Rockalily for a vintage rouge version. When the New Year doldrums set in what better way to face the day then with a spirit-lifting, lovely new lipstick?

Lipstick to make your pout perkier ;)

*Rockalily Lipsticks are £14 plus £2.50 p&p for up to three lipsticks.

BB Reviews: Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Look mummy - no hands!

Readers who have visited my blog before may recall that we have tangle-related episodes in our house. Now BB's curls are past the wispy, baby-blonde stage and into tow-headed toddler territory he's prone to 'cotts' (as the MIL would say). We've been easing out knots rather nicely with the fabulous Johnson's baby no more tangles spray - which you can read about more here - but lately BB's become insistent on brushing his own hair. 'I am a BIG little boy, of course.' Obviously.

I use the regular Tangle Teezer on my own hair. It glides through long, coloured locks that would otherwise ball-up like sticky string but it's too cumbersome for BB's wee hand to hold which has, in turn, caused more tantrums. So, when I was asked if he'd like to trial his very own Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot (the child-friendly version), the answer was an affirmative - 'yes, please.'

If you've got girls to buy for you'll no doubt have already come across this nifty invention down the aisle marked 'pretty stuff.' As the mother of a boy, I get to shop in the small, dusty corner of childrens-wear dedicated to stripes and dodgy motifs so we are late to this particular vision of cuteness.

The Magic Flowerpot itself is fairly self-explanatory. The brush (with anti-tangle bristles), 
is housed underneath the flowerhead which sits neatly atop its accompanying pot and there's lots of space inside to store all of the lovely grips, bands and ribbons you might need for little girls' hair. We trialled the Tutti Frutti colour-way and BB's comments are as follows, 'it's pink and blue and beautiful.' For me, though, one of the best things about the Magic Flowerpot is that his lordship can have a go at brushing his own barnet which makes one little big boy very happy.

Brush with greatness -
Encourages independence and
de-tangling without tears :)

Left: BB's 'worm' stash

In the absence of girlie grips to stowaway I asked BB what he would like to keep in the pot instead. 'Mmm (taps mouth whilst thinking). Let's put earth and some worms in there mummy. I will kiss and cuddle them.' Sweet boy of mine.    

• The Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot is £13.26 and available from Tangle Teezer and stockists nationwide.

Accessorize Nail Polish - £4 (err, wow!)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Oh how I covet glitter nail polish. I fall hook, line and sinker for owt that sparkles (can't lie) but, in all honesty, blingin' nails appeal to my slummier side. A couple of coats of razzle-dazzle hides a multitude of sins and usually stays on for *whispers* weeks - perfect. I also like the fact that glitter gives a slightly rounded, built-up effect (a bit like gels), which makes short, stubby nails look a whole lot chicer. I picked up this beauty - called Molton Copper - in Accessorize for £4, with another nail colour and a blusher which I will post on soon. 

Hot stuff: Accessorise nail polish in molton copper

I can't say I was expecting much. Initial impressions were decidedly cheap and cheerful but I impulse-bought purely for the colour; a gorgeous copper with a rose gold undertone. On the nails, however, it sings with a dense super-sparkly effect that reminds me of glitter encrusted party shoes. To get the best result you do need to use a slightly different application technique. On my first attempt I brushed it on in strokes which deposited the barest smidge of glitter - wrong, wrong, wrong. Trying again, I realised you need to dab the polish on in tiny blobs (technical term), and then buff it around with the end of the brush to achieve the intensity. If your kids use glitter glue you'll know what I mean. I'm making it sound like hard work when in fact it was very, very easy.

After two layers I sealed with a top coat and ta-da! SHOWTIME. Aztec, the second shade pictured above, was 'nice' enough. It has the blue bottle wing effect (sort-of), that everyone's been going mad for but fell flat as a pancake compared to the stellar Molton Copper. 

What do you think. Would you wear grown-up glitter? x

Sequins For The Soul

Thursday, 24 November 2011

One of my favourite sayings, which I'm going to paraphrase as it's a little on the - ahem - crude side is, 'you can't polish a poop but you can roll it in glitter.' I totally subscribe to this view of life. It may seem a little on the superficial side to focus on veneer (beauty products, make-up, vanities etc), but I firmly believe that feeling good about how you look on the outside works wonders for how you feel on the inside - and vice versa. We all have times that are, let's face it, really quite blah. My 'sequins for the soul' always involves something kitsch (preferably leopard print), retro-inspired, foot-based (pedicure/reflexology), or just ridiculously sparkly. Failing that there is always wine, The X Factor and After Eights. Easily pleased.

Exhibit A: Warehouse leopard print clutch, £45 at ASOS
Totally tempted. Can a girl ever have too much faux leopard?

Exhibit B: Aromatherapy Associates 
Deep Relax bath oil , £37. Known in our house as 
the 'knockout drops.' Fantastic for the fatigued

Exhibit C: I've got my magpie-eye on this black-based
nail lacquer laced with blue, silver and pink glitter
 from Butter London, £12. Available at Harvey Nichols

Exhibit D: a very retro christmas -
Gisela Graham glitter snowflake around £4

Exhibit E: BB - Priceless sunshine and sparkle

What are your sequins for the soul? x

LOVE Living Nature

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Living nature's firming flax serum leaves my skin
feeling toned but not taut

I've been using this super little serum for the past month and - wow - it's a keeper. I'm not a huge fan of serums per se. I don't like the feeling of my skin being suffocated under a blanket of silicone, the ingredient that tends to be used to give serums their 'silky' feel. This one, however, is certified natural, silicone-free, preservative-free and performs beautifully leaving skin ultra-smooth and soft. Whilst Manuka honey and rosehip oil do a grand job of boosting moisture and softening the signs of ageing, the really interesting ingredient in this serum is harakeke flax gel. Native to New Zealand (from where Living Nature hails), harakeke has a mildly astringent effect on the skin that temporarily reduces the appearance of pores, firms and creates the perfect canvas for make-up. And when I say this serum has a firming-factor, it really does. Not in an unpleasant taut fashion - there's no obvious egg-white type film left on the skin - rather your complexion just feels fresher and more toned. It's a lovely, lovely product.

The harakeke plant

Holding just 13mls of serum the pump-bottle is of a rather diminutive stature but, as I always say, good things come in small packages. A little goes a very long way and for those with combination/oily skin - like me - you could probably get away with using it as a day moisturiser. Don't forget SPF though! For drier complexions I would follow with a moisturiser suited to your skin type. 

* Living Nature Firming Flax Serum is £22.45 and available at Living Nature.

Happy Hands

Thursday, 17 November 2011

There's nothing quite like the compare and contrast shocker of glimpsing your toddler's plump palm in your own chapped mitt. Or the photo reminder that reveals your speed-aged hands used to look smooth even against a newborn's skin. With kids, hands are constantly submerged thanks to the relentless cycle of stuff to wash; dishes, clothes, bottles, backsides - toys fished from out of the loo - repeat, repeat, repeat ad infinitumThe stripping nature of some antibacterial soaps, wipes and detergents can cause the skin's natural barrier function to protest leaving them itchy, irritated and - in severe cases - cracked and bleeding. As my boy would say, 'it's not beautiful.' Since BB came on the scene my hands have been on a downward spiral that's been hard to halt and I hate relying on hydrocortisone. Here are a couple of products I've been trialling religiously which have hands-on-heart helped - you might like them too x

Orba Originals Relief Cream -
helps to cool and calm irritated skin

Left: Nurture Protect SPF15 Hand Cream.
BB aged 2 hours old - before my hands
entered a life of domestic service

Verdict: Despite the fact that this cream is designed with Psoriasis sufferers in mind I've found it has helped heaps in conditioning the tight, chapped skin across my hands and fingers which gets mighty itchy, inflamed and unsightly. The cooling cream formula, enriched with goat's milk extract, has a similar texture to old-fashioned cold cream cleaner and has noticeably reduced the heat and redness of some particularly sore patches on my hands. Relief Cream can be applied any time, anywhere (on the face and body), but I have found it best used as an over-night treatment. Layer it on thickly and your hands almost breathe a soothed sigh - aaah! Made from a blend of lipid-rich, nourishing oils including borage, evening primrose, apricot, jojoba and avocado it's my new winter must-have for buffering reactive, sensitive skin and a real pleasure to dip into. Please note that online this product is called Psoriasis Cream

Verdict: It's hard to get excited about a hand cream when they're usually a dull, functional necessity but this one I could do - yes, really. Nurture is a fantastic skincare line with a holistic approach to skin health; supplements for the inside and products with performance anti-aging actives for the outside. I'm currently trialling some of the ranges new skincare - which I will post on at a later date - but I can already see that the lab sample of neck cream is doing sterling, smoothing work. Back to the hand cream in question. Cocoa butter, glycerin and sweet almond oil plus green tea extract, vitamin E and UVA/UVB filters all add up to a formula that's nourishing yet not at all greasy. I use this several times a day and - unlike some hand creams - the moisturising factor actually lasts. You can still feel it on your skin several hours later. Love it! Another thing to love about Nurture is that all of their products are tax free and delivery is free too. Good stuff.

Notes On A Theme

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

If I had £140 burning a hole in my pocket (which sadly I don't), I would be SO tempted to 'invest' in this stunning stationary collaboration from Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders and Smythson of Bond Street. I love everything about it; the buttery leather, the graphic clasp, the complete exquisite luxury but, most of all, I dig the colour combination. Camel, red, black and gold are enduringly chic tones conjuring cashmere sweaters, inky eyeliner and iconic actresses of the late 60's - think Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde.

Designs on style: jonathan saunders
2012 panama diary for smythson

To re-create the colour theme with make-up it's all about understated yet expensive-looking textures and tones. On the eyes, I would go for Jemma Kidd Firming I-Creme Duo in Tweed £20, which gives lids a polished, modern and - key as you get into your 30s and beyond - smoothed effect. I use the tan shade as a wash (blended out to nothing), right up to the brow and then press a dab of the metallic tone onto the centre of the lid. For full-on elegance follow with a sweep of gel eyeliner. I'm currently loving Barbara Daly Make-Up for Tesco Eye Liner Polish (in-store priced £7.99), which could give similar products at twice the price a run for their money and is incredibly easy to apply. Complete with a glossy, lengthening mascara like DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Perfection, £13. I've been using this recently and it's fantastic for giving lashes a naturally extended, separated look. The smudge and flake-resistant formulation encases each lash in a polymer tube which dissolves only on contact with warm water. The emphasis here is on sleek - rather than volumised - lashes and to that end this mascara works like a charm. 

For statement lips, I will not be parted from my Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colour in Cherry Lush. The last time I wore this to the ballet (not a regular occurrence, I've only been the once), a handsome man winked at me and said 'well, hello Shanghai dolly.' I'm not 100% sure what he meant - and as chat up lines go it could have been better - but the disarming delivery put a spring in my step and this particular lipstick always does too. At £35, it is seriously spendy but, if you've an eye for high quality, covetable cosmetics you honestly won't be disappointed. 

And finally, to a new non-toxic nail brand rocking a gorgeous collection of retro reds. NIYOT is a range flying in the face of fancy top coats, nail wraps, foils and decals with a small - but perfectly formed - trio of classic red shades that are absolutely on the money. I ordered Lost Red £8, which has a cool undertone that would work particularly well against winter skin. The finish is glassy, pure and pigment-precise. On short nails the effect is clean, neat and chic but on longer, shaped nails? Femme fatale.

What are your must-wear colours for winter? x

Eleven Hair - Party For Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Friday, 4 November 2011

Righty-oh. I'm going to do a blatant blog shout-out for my favourite salon - Eleven Hair - in aid of a fantastic cause. On the 11th of November, the very talented guys and gals of this super-fun hair hot-spot will be hosting a fabulous shin dig (all day and into the night), to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research. In true Eleven style there will be complementary cupcakes, canapés, champagne, a free mini make-up session or mini-manicure and - get this - goodie bags courtesy of Moroccan Oil. Also planned are musicians, a drag show and an evening cabaret. Something tells me the team will be putting on quite a party.

Feel-good friday: Eleven will be open from 
10am until 8pm on the 11th of November. 
For appointments call: 0207 491 2390

Entertainment apart, the serious side of the day will involve raising cold, hard cash. Eleven are donating 11% of the days takings to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the only UK based charity dedicated to finding treatment and cures for all blood cancers. So, if you're in London and in the market for seamless colour (Jason Welch does the best highlights and is renowned for colour correction), or the kind of cut that will keep you coming back for more, why not book in on the 11th for an all-round great hair day? 

For more info on blood cancers or to donate visit:

Lancôme 'All I Want This Christmas' Advent Calendar

Monday, 31 October 2011

Daily spoils: 25 reasons to get up in December

I've just bought BB's first ever chocolate advent calendar in readiness for December but for a grown-up, uber-glamorous version (without the sugar rush), here's one to add to your wish-list. Crammed with gorgeous cosmetic eye-candy from Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura, Viktor & Rolf and Yves Saint Laurent it doesn't come cheap (£80!), but I guess you could say it's the gift that will keep on giving - to YOU ;) 

The Lancôme All I Want This Christmas advent calendar is on sale now and available exclusively online at Selfridges and Selfridges stores nationwide.

Trick O Treat - Jessica Nails Halloween Collection

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pumpkin Patch

And now for a bit of freaky fun - MWAH HA HA HA!  Generally there's so much tat in the shops come Halloween - lacerated plastic finger anyone? - that I just can't be bothered to buy into it. Last year poor, deprived BB wore a t-shirt depicting a shrouded illustration with the slogan 'I love my mummy.' This year I'm going to make more of an effort. I may shred up a sheet and draw eyes on it...

Even spookier, I'm almost - shock and very real horror - tempted to embrace the spirit of all things spectral myself with this limited edition Halloween nail collection from Jessica. I haven't seen these varnishes in the flesh, so to speak, but I do own a frightening amount of Jessica nail polishes and the quality and depth of colour is always super-duper. Pumpkin Patch, a punchy orange, would be the obvious choice to pay homage to the tradition of Trick or Treat but for a manicure you can wear beyond the witching hour Batty, a black with flecks of multi-toned glitter (above right), would probably be your safest bet. Whatever ghoulish goings-on you've got planned for Halloween be sure to have a horrid time. When the phone rings, just don't answer it... 

*Also shown from left are: Witches Brew and Ghostess With The Mostess. Jessica 'Trick O Treat' Halloween nail shades (15ml) are available priced £7.95 from and approved salons nationwide. 

Review - Lacura Concealer Pen, £3.59

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A lovely friend of a friend introduced me to the Lacura Beauty range back in August. We were wandering around Aldi in a Wembley industrial park, as you do, looking for something for the annoying, wheat-free person (me), who doesn't do scran-from-a-van to scoff before heading on to see TAKE THAT!! (woo - Mexican wave). Though my mind was giddy from hunger - and the anticipation of seeing Howard et al. - I did note M's throw-away comment that the Lacura concealer was really quite good. 

One woman's 'quite good' is another woman's 'can't live without.' If you're ever just sick and tired of looking sick and tired then this could be for you. Having tried scores of under eye concealers in my career as a beauty journalist, Lacura's is - for the money - my current no-contest favourite.

The packaging alone must be worth 3 quid; it has the luxury look and feel of casing at the top-end of the market. The brush tip is good quality and holds its shape, the formulation is fluid but thick enough to deliver excellent coverage that doesn't go patchy. There's a good level of light reflection and it makes an excellent base for eyeshadow. 

Superb value: the packaging alone looks worth - £3.59

But, and here's the rub, despite being a fab little product there is still some dark shadow show-through. Very few under eye concealers completely cover unless you go for heavy (read: obvious), camouflage or have time to add in colour correction first - see the end of the post. I'm going to hop on my high horse here and say that it's absolutely OK for a face to retain a bit of natural shadow. There's nothing more unnatural and frankly odd-looking than an under eye area blanked out with a ton of concealer. It can actually make your eyes appear smaller. 

Below is my very first attempt at a before and after picture. The sun came out briefly so the lighting did change in the bathroom - and I am no David Bailey - but I reckon that my exhausted eye looks a whole lot fresher. What do you think? Would you try/have you tried Lacura? x

                                 Oh sigh, bleary eye
Oh my, perkier eye

* Lacura Beauty is available at Aldi stores nationwide.

TIP: paint concealer under the eyes and leave to sit for 30-seconds to allow the product to 'grab.' Then, gently press into the skin with the pad of your finger or stipple over the area with a flat, synthetic concealer brush. The idea is to keep the product where you applied it rather than moving it out to the sides of the eyes. Don't forget to apply to the shadows in the recesses nearest the bridge of the nose and also at the outer corner of the eyes where the lash lines meet and there can be redness and discolouration. 

Also recommended:

* Benefit Erase Paste, £19.50. This is my go-to concealer for those periods of child illness/extreme sleep deprivation. It has a thick, tacky consistency meaning it stays put where you need it most but softens out onto the skin to a coverage level that, whilst fairly heavy-duty, isn't cakey. I love the fact that as the day wears on - and make-up fatigue sets in - you can press over the area with your finger tip and it blends back to being as good as new. Available in three shades which all have a 'melon' undertone to neutralise darkness. 

* Garnier Caffeine Anti-Dark Circles 2-in-1 Roll-on, £9.99. An oldie but still a goodie. Instant brightening results and deceptively effective coverage. On a truly tired day it's not enough for my dark circles but if you don't really wear make-up and simply want something to freshen up your eye area it's worth a go.

* Bobbi Brown Corrector, £17. The product for super-hard to conceal shadows. Corrector is a cream base - with either a pink or peach undertone - applied beneath concealer to counteract the appearance of stubborn discolouration. Available in 11 shades spanning most skin tones it's the big-guns option for when you need serious help. If you are a Bobbi foundation fan you can check out your match via the online Face Shade Guide. Otherwise, I'd recommend braving the counter bare-eyed for a professional colour corrective consultation.

Genki Konnyaku Cleansing Sponges

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Recently, I attended a fantastic press launch for a new natural beauty website and met lots of inspiring, product-passionate people from fascinating ranges. It was particularly enjoyable because it's rare to meet the actual bods behind brands without some smoke and mirrors spin, so it made for an event that I came away feeling genuinely enthused about. The day also brought together two of my favourite things - beauty and complementary therapies - so I was a very happy bunny indeed. (You'll be hearing more about Nutri Beauty in the coming weeks as I've a huge box of wholesome goodies to get through and will be reviewing, in due course, the 'best bits'). 

After having a rootle around said box, I reached for the least attractive item. A colourless, stiff-looking cleansing sponge with little - seemingly - to remark upon. I felt awfully sorry for its plainness. Can't put my finger on why, but it reminded me of a friend at school who could never drop a singleton crisp in case it felt lonely. 

From right; original for normal/sensitive skin
& French pink clay for dry skin

Konnyaku (yup, I did Google it's provenance), is a type of Southeast Asian potato; high in fibre, minerals and natural water content. Apparently popular in Japan as an exfoliating sponge, it is also the main ingredient in Konnyaku noodles. Cleansing with noodles? now there's a novel concept. 

Bamboo charcoal for oily complexions

When soaked in water the Genki sponge is soft, dense and squidgy with a fibrous feel that's more exfoliating than a muslin cloth but nowhere near as abrasive as a loofah - thankfully! Used with cream cleanser it's incredibly effective at removing make-up and grime leaving the skin brighter, fresher and super-smooth. Which reminds me never to judge a potato on its peel or a book by its cover. In this case, the 'booby prize' played a blinder.                                                                                                                        
*Genki Konnyaku Cleansing Sponge is £9.99 and available at 

Bobbi Brown - 20th Anniversary Lip Palette

Friday, 14 October 2011

For once, I'm not going to talk the talk because this rather special party-in-a-palette speaks for itself. Housing the first ten lip shades launched by Bobbi Brown in 1991 and ten contemporary brights for 2011 (I'm loving Candied Red and Cosmic Lily), it's like a lipstick lucky-dip you just can't go wrong with. And therein lies the success of arguably the most goof-proof, prettifying cosmetics range ever. What was flattering, easy-wear and modern two decades ago continues - in past and present incarnations - to be flattering, easy-wear and modern now

Two decades of lipstick brilliance

The 20th Anniversary Lip Palette, £43 (a wowser Christmas gift idea - nudge, nudge, wink, wink), is available on-line and at Bobbi Brown counters nationwide. View the shades in all their glory here.

The year was 1991


As a long-time Bobbi fan I thought I'd share a snap of little old me - aged sweet 17 - wearing the lipstick shade Beige (top row; second from left), from Bobbi's eponymous collection. Where did that baby face, natural hair colour and 20 years go? Life really IS what happens when you're not looking. Never a truer word spoken.

Cinderela B Goes To The Ball

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

It's been one of those ugly-sister weeks where I've felt tired and drab; more like an old husk than a human being. Everything has been going wrong. In my woe-is-me state I decided a nice sparkly treat was in order and swung by - as I do on such occasions - the local gift boutique before collecting BB from nursery. I've been bringing the boy to this particular shop (heavy on the Cath Kidston and Woman & Home type furnishings), since the days when his eyes were milk-drunk and navy blue. 

Cinderela B snake chain earrings from
 the glitterati collection, £25

With BB in tow I shop with a tunnel vision approach since there's no time for the subtler pleasures of browsing. When I'm alone I get to potter, pause and hear myself think - it's quite a thrill. Fired-up with the promise of a purchase I spotted these Cinderela B earrings (pictured above) which tick all the gift-to-self boxes. A little bit sexy with the gold-plated chain detail, enough of a statement to feel fashion-forward, just the right amount of weight, glitz and glamour... SOLD! to the lady on the edge. Chip and pin - kerching!

One of the things I love best about reading blogs, blogging and sharing via social media is the way in which shiny gems of information are unearthed and passed on; word of mouth becomes word of Facebook and Twitter. So, I'm going to do a little shout out and say that I'd highly recommend a look at the rest of the range. The pieces are beautiful, unusual and - considering the quality - very accessibly priced. I'm pleased as punch with my earrings. 

If your treat budget is heftier head straight on down to the Couture Vintage collection. Here, you'll find stunning, one-off designs created using assorted vintage 1920's to 1980's jewellery components. I'm in love with this Mad Men-esque necklace which debuts a selection of chains and blue marble set in glass, dating from the 1950's.

Indigo necklace from the couture vintage collection, £170

Fit for a princess packaging

Such limited-edition luxury is surely guaranteed to give the most fraught days a fairytale ending. Wouldn't you just feel like the belle of the ball?

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