Wednesday 21 July 2010

NARS Online Event

NARS onlineI've been sent details of an online NARS event and thought I'd share it for any fans of this fab make-up brand to check out.
Pitched as "Marcel Nars, the long-time companion (yes, that's the dog in the image above) of Founder and Creative Director, Francois Nars, is making a special virtual appearance on Twitter and Facebook."
You'll need to act fast and submit questions today to #MarcelNars at Twitter, which he'll answer tomorrow (22nd July) at 1pm EST. Alternatively, log onto Facebook tomorrow at 2pm EST and ask questions live. Only followers of @NARSissit will be able to submit questions (Twitter) or for Facebook, fans of the NARS group. You can submit any questions you desire, whether you wish to get a head's up on the hot looks for Autumn or how to achieve the perfect flawless base.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Product Review: Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser

As I suffer from dehydrated, sensitive skin, I asked one of my oily-skinned trusted testers to review Origins Deep Pore Cleanser with Saw Palmetto and Mint (£15 for 150ml) from the brand new Zero Oil Collection (launched this month). Here are her thoughts...

First impressions: I use Origins products within my regime anyway so am familiar with their philosophy. As with all of their products, the packaging leaves an impression of an environmentally friendly, natural and honest product. Being in a tube, the packaging is functional but it is bulky which isn't ideal for me as I travel a lot for work.
Use: I liked that it doesn't have an overpowering scent. It's a traditional cleansing gel style formula which doesn't lather much but is quick and easy to use. My skin didn't feel tight or dry after use which was a positive, as even though I suffer from oily skin, I don't like to feel as though my skin has been stripped of all its moisture.
Results: I was very pleased with the effects and the feeling of my skin after use. I would definately recommend it! Already being familiar with Origins products, I think I'd be prepared to spend between £20- £30 on this as the tube is a generous size and a little goes a long way. With this in mind, I'd say that it's a competitive product and if placed on the market targeting women like me, it would prove successful, particularly if available to buy in a bundle purchase with other products from the range.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Product Review: Famous Dave's Moisture Tan

Although I am naturally fair, I'm lucky in that I tan easily which means that my skin tone is quite versatile- pale & interesting suits me equally as well as a rich, honey tan. As a general rule, I tend to highlight my fair skin with glosses but come summer, I embrace my exotic side and experiment with fake tan. I'm not afraid of making mistakes, which is a blessing for a beauty writer and have had my fair share of streaky, tango-shade disasters (top tip: rubbing a freshly cut lemon helps to erase mistakes).

This week, I trialled Famous Dave's Moisture Tan. The American tanning brand has quickly gained a dedicated fan base so in this respect, I had high expectations although the fun packaging, with its circus inspired typeface did make me doubt how effective it would be at delivering a natural experience.

Following the law of fake tanning, I applied the lightweight formula to freshly exfoliated skin. I was impressed at how simple it was to apply using the handy mitt which the PR thoughtfully included in the package and the speed at which it dries onto skin. The presentation in a convenient pump bottle also cuts down on mess. The lotion isn't tinted so I'd say that the mitt is a necessary tool to ensure even application- there's not really any way of telling where you have or haven't already applied. There's no denying the inevitable "biscuit-y" odour as the tan develops but it certainly wasn't unbearable or as strong as I've experienced with some other brands.

The results really speak for themselves. I'm incredibly impressed with the natural shade (I don't resemble an oompa lumpa!!) which isn't dissimilar to the colour I normally tan and will be relying on this for beach prep throughout the summer.

£24.99 for 236ml at

Thursday 8 July 2010

Continuing travels of a beauty blogger...

Today, I created my own eau de parfum, with the help of a "nose" at the house of Galimard which was founded in 1747. Named after today's date as the ultimate souvenir, my summery fragrance contained my favourite aromas including top notes of refreshing grapefruit, blackcurrant, green tea and bergamot, followed by floral heart notes of violet, rose, gardenia, linden, pomegranate and a hint of fig with a warm, sweet base of vanilla, praline and oriental sandalwood.

I returned again to create a sensual, spicy blend for Mr. SkinDeep, which I'm hoping he'll like! Although his usual D&G choice is spicy, this has a greater depth. Again, my inspiration for the name came from a date, this time our anniversary (no excuses for forgetting now!). It was interesting to create a men's fragrance by comparison, with much more powerful scents and different concentrations employed. I chose a base of vanilla, vetiver and sandalwood followed by heavy, spicy heart notes of bamboo, carnation, wild jasmine and fig balanced by fresh, citrusy top notes including tomato, orange blossom, bergamot, lavender and physalis.

Unfortunately, on this visit, I ran out of time to visit the Musee International de la Parfumerie and perhaps, if I had, I would have viewed a selection of unusual or quirky bottles. Although I viewed antique examples on my various trips around the perfume houses, nothing in particular stood out. However, I am sure I will return. I've absolutely fallen in love with the "behind the scenes" creation of products and whilst I lack the patience and discipline (smoking, alcohol and spicy foods are all forbidden) to ever train as a "nose" myself, I have gained a deep admiration for those who do and will continue my interest in the manufacture of products.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Travels of a Beauty Blogger

As a self-confessed fragrance addict, it has long been my dream to visit Grasse, France and, with my attendance at a friend's wedding in nearby Cannes, here I finally am. Heralded as the world's perfume capital, many renowned "noses" (of which there are only approx. 50 globally) have honed their craft here. The area's climate is ideal for the growing of rose, violet, tuberose and, perhaps most famously, jasmine.
Originally developed in order to disguise the offensive odours of the regions's historic leather tanning industry, the perfume industry has long since thrived here with historical visitors including Queen Victoria.
The town itself is long past its glory days with dilapidated buildings and a confusing traffic system.
Yesterday, I began at Molinard, which was founded in 1849. Here, I toured the premises, learning about the raw materials, distillation methods and bottling. I treated myself to a bottle of Iles d'or, from the 1930s, in the signature packaging originally designed by Lalique.
Heading onto the famous Fragonard, one of the oldest fragrance houses, I learnt in greater detail about the different notes of a scent as well as the families, e.g. floral, oriental, etc.. which fragrances are identified by. As anything with a hint of violet instantly captures my imagination, I treated myself to a bottle of Emilie parfum, a floral blend combining orange blossom, rose, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, sandalwood and amber.
Overall, a wonderful day.
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