Thursday 31 March 2011

Speed Review: Aussie Lusciously Light

I like the slogan behind Aussie- "there's more to life than hair but it's a good place to start" - a similar idea to that which I hope Skin Deep to be about.
If you're going to choose a High Street brand for your haircare, I rate Aussie and it certainly takes me back to my student days when it was a firm fixture in both mine & my housemate's regimes.

I was sent products from Aussie's new Lusciously Light range of conditioners & treatments to try. The idea behind the range is that it offers the same conditioning benefits as the original products but without weighing hair down. The packaging is functional & in line with the rest of the brand, in fact, I'd probably have preferred something to distinguish it more clearly although the floating kangaroo & balloon illustrations are cute.
So, first up, the Daily Conditioner. It definitely has a lighter texture to standard conditioners- I found it more akin to a body lotion. The scent is fresh & reminded me of life in university halls! As anticipated, it has good rinsability. Upon styling, my hair was easy to comb through and felt super clean, remaining fresh & not at all greasy over a weekend. I was impressed with the level of shine but I did find my flyaways were harder to control when I blow-dried my hair. I'd definitely recommend this as a good product for avoiding build-up on hair, particularly at such a reasonable price but would suggest incorpating a treatment product alongside.
Which brings me nicely onto... Lusciously Light 3 Minute Miracle. The original 3 Minute Miracle is a hero product for the brand, winning copious awards & works in line with the ethos of "it's great to have good hair but life's too short to spend hours achieving it". I was intrigued to see how the Lusciously Light version would compare. As with the original, a little goes a long way. The squeezy bottle is going to last for a long time and so represents fantastic value for money. I wasn't particularly keen on the scent, having become accustomed to salon brands, it smelt too sweet & synthetic for me and annoyingly, it lingers. Unlike many masks, I really liked that this was easy to rinse out. I did find that my hair was overly soft & difficult to manage after using. I think this product fulfills its purpose & I can only reiterate that I think it's a good budget option but I've been spoilt & now like my hair masks to be a little more of a treat.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle review


Tuesday 29 March 2011

Speed Review: Aubrey Organics Neat Feet & Feet Relief

Considering that I've spent the winter living in my Fit Flop Boots, my feet are in surprisingly good shape- they're hardly about to cause an obesity epidemic amoungst the garra rufa fish population. However, the clocks going forward acts as a reminder that summer sandal season is swiftly approaching & in turn, time to pay that extra bit of attention to feet.
In celebration of summer, I was sent some products from Aubrey Organics to try, namely Neat Feet Foot Scrub and Feet Relief Massage Cream.
The packaging isn't going to win any design awards but it's not offensive & I liked that it has a unisex feel. What's more, the rhyming names of the products appealed to me.
First up, I tried Neat Feet Foot Scrub.

Aubrey Organics Neat Feet review

I'd have preferred the scrub to be presented in a tube rather than a tub as I did find it quite messy to use. The colour of the product itself is muddy brown so not the most aesthetically pleasing. I liked that the scrub has a grown-up spicy scent, a step away from the standard peppermint offerings. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what the scent is- I thought I could detect cinnamon although the packaging notes Cayenne pepper amongst other herbs & spices. The base of the scrub is coconut butter which I found made it a pleasure to use- it's a soft texture with the added bonus that it melts away easily, not leaving residue in the shower. I tend to choose quite abrasive scrubs with salt bases, for example, and unfortunately, I felt that the finely ground walnut didn't really deliver for me, despite not really suffering from dry skin on my feet.

After my shower, I used Feet Relief Massage Cream.

Aubrey Organics Feet Relief review
It's not a particularly luxurious product to use but wow, does it ever deliver results. It was easily absorbed, without greasy residue and left my feet feeling wonderfully soft,  a feeling which lasted almost 24hrs. Again, the scent is difficult to pinpoint but the formula boasts natural deoderising properties so even if it's not for everyone, it's surely the lesser of two evils! Out of the two products, this was definitely my favourite. I'd happily keep a bottle in the bathroom as a grooming essential and would be prepared to pay about £12-15 for it so it was a nice surprise to find it's £8.57.


Monday 28 March 2011

Speed Review: Lanvin La Plume Eau de Parfum

Until I'm able to afford a cocktail dress from Alber Elbaz's line for Lanvin, or even make it to the launch of one of their signature lines such as the collection for H&M last year, I'll have to make do with a Lanvin fragrance. Which, it turns out, is no great hardship.

La Plume is the latest addition to the Lanvin fragrance collection and I was sent a sample to try.
Although the box is a little generic, I absolutely adore the bottle which simply demands a vintage style dressing table to rest upon. Contained within a square frosted glass with a fabric label (LOVE this touch!) and topped with a mirrored Lanvin lid, the fragrance also features a delicate rose and feather decoration which sits in perfect contrast to the harshness of the sleek lines on the bottle. I'd have preferred this to be a permanent part of the design as opposed to a removable decoration although, having said this, I'm not sure how that would work without constantly getting in the way of the spritzer.
Lanvin perfume review
So, what about the perfume itself?
The initial blast is an overwhelming, sweet apricot fragrance which I really didn't like. I understand that they're trying to capture a femininity but it's verging on saccharine. I so wanted this to be an elegant yet modern scent and these initial notes really didn't give me that impression. If I didn't know otherwise, it could just as easily be another fruity floral celebrity offering (in fact, the notes remind me of The Body Shop Fuzzy Peach Perfume Oil which I loved so much when I was in my early teens). There's clearly a market for such fragrances so this isn't necessarily a critism- fragrance is, after all, one of the most personal beauty choices you can make- it's simply not for me & I'm disappointed as I wanted desperately to love this. The fragrance does retain much of these fruity overtones throughout the day although it mellows onto the skin and becomes much softer and for me, more wearable.
I think that £49 for 100ml EDP does represent good value and I'd say it would be a good choice for an easy-to-wear summer scent.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Mum's the Word

I wasn't planning to do a Mothers' Day Gifts themed blog post- after all, it's not an occasion which my family & I particularly note, apart from the standard card & bouquet of blooms which my mum will be receiving this time next week (UK Mothers' Day is 3rd April). However, Lush have come up trumps once again and I couldn't resist sharing details of their Mothers' Day offering.

For a token gift, I think these MUMS Bath Ballistics (£3.60 each) are absolutely adorable. The name is short for Chrysanthemums & the cute floral moulded versions of their signature Bath Ballistics are designed for those mums who like to receive something of the pampering variety. I really like that they are affordable, proving that you don't have to go OTT on the gifting to show you've put care & thought into the day. However, my favourite aspect of the Bath Ballistics is that they are presented on a stick, each with a label which has been implanted with flower seeds- the idea being that your mum plants it to grow her own flowers, with the stick being used to mark the spot. There are three to choose from, Avobath, Space Girl or Vanilla Fountain and if you can't decide then the set (pictured) is also available.

Lush Mothers Day

If your mum is a fan of Lush, then why not take her for a girls' day at one of their stores? From 11am on Mothers' Day, stores nationwide will be hosting Mamma Mia parties with drinks & nibbles, retro tunes and instore pampering. Children will be kept occupied with finger painting & creating handmade Mothers' Day cards whilst mums are treated to complimentary skin & hair consultations and relaxing hand massages.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Speed Review: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Lightening Spray review
Being brunette, I passed the latest product launch from John Frieda, Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray, onto a trusted blonde tester.
The idea behind the product is that it can be used between salon visits to maintain brightness of blonde highlights. John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray can be used either for all over lightening for highlight effects or, as my tested chose & which I suspect will be the most popular option, for root blending. So, what did my trusted tested think?
The directions are easy to follow and concise- simply spray onto towel dried hair then style as desired. The packaging states that for optimal lightening you should use hair straighteners or curling tongs after blow-drying and that the more heat you use, the greater the lightening effects. This scared me a little & I was initially worried that the product was similar to Sun-In, popular in the 80’s and 90’s, and would turn my hair into the more strawberry blonde/orange colour range, as well as being damaging.
Fortunately, I did not find this was the case.  I used it on my roots, although you can also use it all over the head or as a highlighter.  I found that the product did not change the texture of my hair or leave it feeling heavier than normal, weighed-down with an additional product being used.  I liked it so much that I’m able to prolong my next salon hair colour appointment because my roots are not as noticeable as they would normally be this time between appointments.
So, there we have it- as people are increasingly looking to save money without compromising their grooming habits, I can see that this will prove popular. Have you tried John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray? Don't forget to comment!

Friday 25 March 2011

This week I'm loving....

Seven Wonders Miracle Oil

Seven Wonders Miracle Oil review

I love a good multi-tasker, not least because my job means products are ever battling for space in my increasingly crowded bathroom. Multi-taskers are, of course, also convenient for travel as well as offering a money saving option.
I had high expectations for Seven Wonders Miracle Oil and I'm so pleased that it didn't disappoint.

Seven Wonders Miracle Oil hails from America and looks like something you'd stumble across in a fantastic apothecary. The oil is relatively thick and although the image above resembles olive oil, mine was golden in colour. It can be used as a hot oil treatment on hair, a bath oil, a body oil, a cuticle oil, a massage oil, a hair oil and a scalp oil.
I have to admit that I'm getting beyond bored of the generic fruity scented offerings which the beauty industry seems to be bombarding us with of late but although this falls into the fruity category, it smells absolutely incredible, natural & luxurious.
I tried Seven Wonders Miracle Oil as both a hair oil and a body oil. As a hair oil, I found it a little too heavy for my fine hair so in future, I'd probably be inclined to use as a hot oil treatment instead. As a body oil, it is thick and takes a while to absorb but is wonderfully nourishing and I'll definitely be continuing to use it in this way.
Seven Wonders Miracle Oil costs £14.50 for 237ml from which I feel is a very reasonable price.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Speed Review: Cina Nail Art Fruit Salad kit

I'm not normally into nail art but when I saw these cute Fruit Salad decorations from Cina Nail Art (available at Sally's Express), I thought I'd give it a go. I'd also consider these for summer toes.

Cina Nail Art Kit review

Within the pack, you get 10 of each fruit which gives the option of mixing & matching or choosing to apply each nail with the same fruit. The fruits are adorable- teeny watermelon, kiwi, apple, citrus, starfruit and strawberry slices.
I painted my nails in the usual way- base coat to prevent staining followed by the suitably bright OPI Cajun Shrimp and waited for them to dry. I initially thought the decorations would be applied to wet polish but upon reading the instructions, this isn't the case.
I played around with the various decorations- leaving some nails plain, placing one decoration or doubling up. Although tiny and fiddly, the decorations were easier than I expected to use. I rested my hand on a flat surface, placed the decoration onto my nail, slathered on Seche Vite top coat and then repositioned using the provided orange stick, gently pressing around the edges.
I was impressed with how well the effects lasted- I only had to remove once my nails were showing signs of tip wear & even then, the decorations remained quite secure & only budged after some vigourous rubbing with nail polish remover. If you're looking for a fun way to experiment with nail art for the summer, I'd highly recommend these.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Selfridges go loco for Coco

Selfridges Coco Chanel

Selfridges Coco Chanel

Selfridges Coco Chanel

I wouldn't normally blog about a brand so soon after a similar post (last week Selfridges, London played host to a pop up shop for the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible) but as soon as I saw these pictures, I couldn't resist.
To celebrate the new Chanel Coco Mademoiselle advert featuring Keira Knightley, Selfridges have opened an exclusive Chanel cinema, contained within a lifesize mock-up of a Chanel perfume bottle. The cinema shows behind the scenes footage and a "making of" film and the interior is inspired by the advert.
Additionally (and geeky quiz addict that I am, I have to say that this is the most exciting part), there is also the opportunity to take part in an interactive tour of Selfridges Beauty Hall whereby you'll be asked questions about the infamous Gabrielle Chanel. For every correct answer, you can receive a luxurious souvenir, samples or, for a lucky few, a very special music box.

The Chanel cinema runs from today (Tuesday 22nd)- Wednesday 30th March.

Monday 21 March 2011

Speed Review: Burt's Bees 24 Hour Body Lotion

I quite like Burt's Bees. It's not a brand which features highly in my regime but I tend to be impressed when I try their products & I really like the ethos behind the brand. In particular, I'd struggle to remember a time when I haven't had a tin of their Beeswax Lip Balm within my kit, which is a great multi-tasker.
I was sent their new 24 Hour Body Lotion in Aloe & Buttermilk, designed for sensitive skin, to try.

Burt's Bees Body Lotion review

I hated the scent (weird & sickly, like a combination of honey, coconut & aloe) but loved the formula of the lotion- it's richer than I'd expect from a lotion yet easily absorbed. The marketing blurb claims that the lotion has been fomulated with "Liquid Crystal Technology" to give better penetration & absorption of nutrients into your skin and I have to say that my skin still felt nourished 24 hours later when I came to have my daily shower.
I think the price of £9.99 is fair for the 170g tube and given the results, I'd definitely consider using this again- just in one of the other three scents.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Speed Review: Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask

I've put all manner of things onto my face in the name of beauty research but Rodial's Glamoxy Snake Mask definitely falls into the weirder end of the scale.

Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask review

Designed to deep cleanse, brighten and reduce pore size, Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask contains Syn-ake, a peptide which mimics the Temple Viper's venom and helps to relax expression lines as an alternative to botox. The Rodial site explains that Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask was Anne Hathaway's secret pre-Oscar prep to achieve a brightened complexion.

The packaging is sleek, as with all Rodial products and the mask is presented in a functional tube. The mask is a gel like consistency and is jet black in colour, which certainly feels odd to apply.
I hated the scent- the mask smells so strongly of alcohol (which sure enough, is listed in the top few ingredients) that it reminded me of vodka tipples- this definitely wouldn't be the product to reach for if you're looking to reinvigorate morning-after skin!
It tingled a little upon initial application but dries quickly onto the skin. You have to leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes which longer than I usually like to wait for my masks to work but as it's dry, you can carry on with other chores.

Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask review

I will admit that I had great fun peeling the mask off & it's refreshing to find a mask which delivers results without being super messy. My skin felt quite tight after using so that I needed to moisturise immediately.
I did like this mask but I wasn't especially wowed by it and at £68 for 50ml, I expect to be. If you're looking for a miracle worker from Rodial, I'd recommend by-passing this and investing a little extra in their Glamtox Night Cream which is one of the best products I've tried so far this year.

Friday 18 March 2011

This week I'm loving....

Nailease Instant Manicure Varnish Strips

I love the appearance of perfectly polished nails but for those short on time or with a less than steady hand, an immaculate manicure can be difficult to achieve without costly trips to a salon or nail bar.
I've never been one for false nails and the like so when I was told about Nailease Instant Manicure Varnish Strips, which launched last month, I was intrigued yet not convinced they'd be for me. It's taken me a while to get around to trialling the strips but I'm absolutely delighted with the results. Practically foolproof to apply, the pre-cut varnish strips simply stick to nails and then are filed down (a file is thoughtfully included) to size. A high gloss manicure is easy to achieve in a short amount of time as there's no fussing with base or top coats and the strips are sufficiently opaque that it takes away the worry of applying a few coats to achieve a saturated or streak free colour. The best part is that there's zero drying time. I have found that tip wear is worse than with regular polish but given how easy the strips are to apply, I'd happily experiment with colours more regularly. When the time comes to remove the polish, simply use standard polish remover. I was impressed to note that there was no staining on my nails despite having trialled a black shade.
Additionally, the strips would be ideal for those who travel as there is no liquid involved or the design strips would be a good starting point for anyone wanting to try out nail art. The strips are priced at £5.99 which I think is a fair price.
A perfectly polished thumbs up!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Pop Down to Selfridges

It seems the beauty experts are doing the rounds this week as following my post on Nicky Kinnaird yesterday, comes the news that Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey will be hosting a pop up shop in Selfridges, London starting tomorrow (17th) and running until Monday 21st March. If you're not familiar with the pair, now is the time to acquaint yourself. They are hugely influential in the beauty world and authors of the Beauty Bible series of books (my copy of The Green Beauty Bible is well thumbed!). The pop up shop in Selfridges is commemorating the latest addition, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible. To celebrate, the pop up shop will feature many of the products included within the book, the chance to meet Jo and Stacey for one-to-one consultations and culminates with a book signing on Monday evening from 6.30-7.30.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Nicky Kinnaird Personal Appearances

I'm hugely excited to hear that one of my beauty icons, Nicky Kinnaird, founder of SpaceNK, will be making personal appearances in her stores throughout the UK this week. Nicky's impact on the UK beauty industry can't be underestimated...imagine a UK without SpaceNK? She's always got her fingers on the pulse & nine times out of ten, it's SpaceNK which introduces us to cult products first.
Nicky will be at the following SpaceNK locations this week:
16th March- Marylebone 10-2
17th March- Loughton 10-2
18th March- Kingston 10-2
23rd March- Glasgow 10-2
24th March- Cobham 10-2
31st March- Northcote Road 10-2
This really is a unique opportunity and as such, doesn't come cheap. The event costs £60 for which you get a 15min personal consultation with Nicky (bookable in advance through the relevant store on a first come, first served basis) and a 30min professional make-up lesson. Yes, it's pricey but the cost is fully redeemable against any purchases made and frankly, after a consultation with Nicky, you're going to want to shop!

Speed Review: Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Cute-icles Love Oil

I have to admit that I've somewhat neglected my hands this winter. Now that the fun, summery colours are coming out and attention is back on mitts, I'm seriously regretting my laziness so it was with perfect timing that I received Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Cute-icles Love Oil to trial.
I really like the idea behind Andrea Fulerton's signature range- when I first heard that the celebrity manicurist was bringing out a line, I fully expected it to be pricey & serious yet although the products are well thought out and from what I've seen, nice quality, they maintain a fun element with names such as Cute-icles Love Oil and are wallet friendly.
The bottle of Cute-icles Love Oil is very plain but is presented in a brightly coloured box. It's super easy to apply to cuticles, due to the incorporation of a brush- just like a standard polish.
Despite being an oil, it's not overly greasy. It absorbs quickly yet is wonderfully conditioning  and is jam packed with caring ingredients such as Sweet Almond Oil, Horse Chestnut & Ginger Oil. Unlike other nailcare products I've tried, this has a truly addictive scent similar to mint chocolate ice-cream!
At £4.99, it's an affordable way to treat cuticles and I'll be keeping a bottle on my desk & bedside table from now on.

Monday 14 March 2011

Blind Test: Rosemary Mint Shampoo

2 Shampoos, 3 Blind Testers, 2 verdicts.

A new theme for Skin Deep, today's post is a blind test. Skin Deep has put Rosemary Mint Shampoos, ideal for invigorating fine hair, on trial. So, what do you think? Would you like to see more blind tests on Skin Deep?

The products on trial?
First up we have Aveda's bestselling Rosemary Mint Shampoo, which retails at £10.50 for 250ml.
Testers described this as having a very strong mint fragrance and that it "left my hair feeling very soft and very shiny". It wasn't for everyone, with one of the testers stating, "my hair felt limp & flat. I would not want to use again" and another bemoaning the difficulty in rinsing out.
1 out of 3 testers preferred this.

Next up, Happy Hair Days Rosemary & Mint Thickening Shampoo which is a budget friendly £3.99 for 300ml and boasts a paraben and SLS free formulation.
Testers were wowed by the "fantastic, natural fragrance" which "definitely smells like rosemary".
A tester with short hair stated, "After styling, my hair did not feel too weighed down as it can with non-volumising shampoos. My hair was soft but not flat. Would definitely use it again." SLS free shampoos do take some getting accustomed to however and one of the testers felt it wasn't for them, saying, "I found this difficult to rinse out & my hair was left feeling weighed down and greasy."
2 out of 3 testers preferred this.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Sweet Charity

Cowshed has teamed up with Essie to create a limited edition nail polish, Becky's Wish, in aid of the Starlight Children's Foundation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The charity grants wishes to sick children as well as providing entertainment in hospitals & hospices throughout the UK.
The blue polish was initially created as a bespoke shade for a little girl called Becky in her favourite colour, when she was granted her wish to enjoy a mani-pedi with her idols Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby.
The polish is available to buy for £10, with all proceeds going to the charity, at

Saturday 12 March 2011

Speed Review: Korres Quercetin & Oak Night Cream

I have to admit that Korres is rarely the first brand that springs to mind when making my beauty choices but I've always liked the products I have tried from them, particularly the delectable lip butters. I was sent their Quercetin & Oak Night Cream to trial which I've been using for a few weeks.
The first thing I noticed about Korres Quercetin & Oak Night Cream was the muted & clinical packaging. I guess this is a little strange for a brand which is normally associated with being earthy & naturally focussed. I have found that Korres packaging falls into two camps- either enticing, per the shower gels, or non-descript and I'm afraid that I felt this product felt into the latter category. It's a dark brown glass jar with a white lid which didn't look particularly appealing on my bathroom shelf, nor did I feel it was reflective of the price tag. However, I liked that all of the packaging is recyclable. The packaging also disguises the fact that it's actually quite a generous jar of product. There are no specific instructions on how to use the product so I simply incorporated into my normal nighttime regime.
I was anticipating a natural, possibly herbal scent and was a little disappointed that the cream didn't smell like this- although not unpleasant, it had a fragrance which reminded me of clay based masks I've tried in the past. I absolutely loved the texture- it sank into my skin beautifully, leaving it feeling hydrated & soft and looking plumped. A little goes a long way so although Korres Quercetin & Oak Night Cream is pricey at £39, I do feel confident that the jar would last well which goes some way to justifying the purchase.
I would recommend Korres Quercetin & Oak Night Cream to anyone wanting firmer & more nourished skin but without the heaviness of other night creams.


Friday 11 March 2011

This week I'm loving...

Temperley for Elemis Safari Traveller Collection

This new launch sees the best of British fashion & beauty collaborating to raise money and awareness for the Mothers4Children charity.
The gift set brings together a few favourites of mine- I adore Elemis, have long admired Alice Temperley's designs and am a sucker for anything with a hint of leopard print.
Within the covetable case is a selection of Elemis' best loved products including Pro Collagen Marine Cream (which I'm currently enjoying using for a plumped, radiant complexion) and one of my all time favourite body products, Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt.
Temperley for Elemis Safari Traveller Collection launches exclusively in John Lewis stores tomorrow, priced at a reasonable £79.

Skin Deep News

Do beauty writers practise what they preach? To hear about my beauty bad habits, head over to Modesty Brown's Beauty Blog where I've been interviewed for the Friday Confessional.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Skin Deep talks to...

Amanda Connock, Founder of Connock London.
Connock London is a bath & body company which launched last year & is inspired by little known natural ingredients from across the globe.

SD: If you were to introduce Connock London to someone for the first time, which product would you recommend they try?
AC: Kukui Oil Body Lotion. It is packed full of deliciously nourishing ingredients such as Kukui Oil, Macadamia Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E. It sinks into skin straight away and has a light, fresh fragrance. This product has been my bestseller since launching and I am now seeing lots of customers coming back for more.

SD: What is the best thing about running your own company?
AC: That the sky's the limit! It is really exciting to think that there is no limit to how successful you could be. Running your own business is incredibly rewarding as you can see the result of every decision you make and you can operate how you want. I don't see it as work because I am doing what I've always dreamed of doing.

SD: What struggles have you overcome in setting up Connock London?
AC: I don't think setting up a business is ever easy because there is no way of knowing how things will turn out. When I started out, I knew what I wanted to achieve but I didn't have a clue how to go about it! There have been issues and struggles at every stage, mainly due to my lack of experience but I have surrounded myself with people I trust who I constantly ask for advice. Now, people are starting to come to me for advice, which is an amazing feeling!

SD: How do you envisage the business developing?
AC: It is still very early days so I don't want to make the mistake of taking on too much too quickly. I am putting all my energy into establishing a strong business in the UK and listening very carefully to the feedback from my customers. I am launching two more products in the Kukui Oil range later this year so that is keeping me very busy for the time being!

SD: Which celebrity would you love to see as a fan of Connock London?
AC: I would love to see Donna Air using a couple of my products.

SD: Where do you find your inspiration?
AC: I constantly find inspiration in the memories of my father who passed away seven years ago. He travelled extensively in search of exotic and innovative ingredients and he instilled in me a passion to seek out natural beauty secrets found in far flung corners of the world. I also feel inspired when I go for a long walk in the countryside on a bright, sunny morning.

SD: What would you be doing as a career if you weren't running Connock London?
AC: Before I set up Connock London I was working for my family business sourcing cosmetic ingredients so I would probably still be doing that. If not, then I have always wanted to be a florist- I can't think of anything better than being surrounded by flowers all day!

SD: If you could have created any beauty product, what would it be?
AC: YSL Touche Eclat is a genius product and I couldn't live without it but Connock London is definitely enough for me!

SD: What do you predict will be the next big thing in beauty?
AC: Sensitive skin. It is a very big concern which isn't fully accomodated for at the moment. I think the market place has some exciting innovations which will prove very interesting in the near future!

SD: Finally, what is your top beauty tip?
AC: The old ones are always the best- moisturise, drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep!

Monday 7 March 2011

bareEscentuals Try. Believe. Love.

To celebrate International Women's Day tomorrow, bareEscentuals are hosting special promotions for one day only at London Covent Garden Piazza, Manchester Trafford Centre and Birmingham Bull Ring. 

Women are invited to visit the locations for complimentary make-unders and the chance to discover the bestselling bareMinerals' SPF15 Foundation. You can also pick up one of the adorable limited edition friendship bracelets, each of which has five mini make-under certificates attached so that you can share the love with your female friends and family members.

Saturday 5 March 2011

Speed Review: Tesco Treacle Moon The Raspberry Kiss

This week I've been trialling products from Tesco's Philosophy lookalike range, Treacle Moon. There are various fun fragrances to choose from including mint, vanilla, coconut & ginger. I was sent The Raspberry Kiss.
The products look good and are a bargain price, each comes in under £5. Unfortunately, my trial didn't get off to the best start when I tried the Bath & Shower Gel. At £2.95 for a generous 500ml, you do get a lot for your money but to me, the product felt cheap with a synthetic scent. If you take it for what it is, this would be a fun product for young girls, particularly as it lathers really well.
The Body Scrub is also £2.95 and I think this offers good value for anyone looking for an everyday exfoliator. It's not particularly luxurious but at that price, it's unlikely to be, however, it does the job and is enjoyable to use with a jelly texture and a scent reminiscent of sweets.
The surprise of the three was the Body Butter. As a moisturiser sits with you all day, I was expecting this to hate this, with ideas that it would be heavy and greasy. I was pleasantly surprised and loved the whipped texture which sinks into skin quickly, leaving no residue.

Friday 4 March 2011

This week I'm loving....

M&S Lazy Spa Skin Deep Warming Body Clay.
Unsurprisingly, it's the name which first attracted my attention to Skin Deep Warming Body Clay but I'm delighted that it did as it ensured the discovery of M&S' brand new Spa range, Lazy Spa. Lazy Spa launches alongside Speedy Spa & Daly Spa (Tess Daly's signature range) and comprises value for money home spa goodies such as a detox bath foam, face mask and massage oil, all for under £10. Don't be dismissive of M&S beauty- I've been impressed with the products I've tried to date which I feel are true to the M&S brand with their accessible prices and good quality.
So, does Skin Deep Warming Body Clay live up to my expectations based on its name? I have to say that I really enjoyed my home pampering experience. Inevitably, it's messy to apply but I liked that it's in a tube as it means the mess is relatively well contained- no clay under fingernails with this one! It is a thick formula which I found a little difficult to squeeze out. Some clays can have a strong, herbal scent but this one is very pleasant, almost fruity. The clay gives a warming sensation upon impact with skin which I absolutely loved and feel that it really adds to the indulgence factor. The clay can be left on for up to 10 minutes but I confess I got a little bored and didn't leave it quite so long. I guess if I'd planned my pampering a little better I could have applied a face or hair mask in this time. I was pleased that it didn't leave any messy residue in my shower. Skin Deep Warming Body Clay is designed to provide a three pronged attack on skin- deep cleansing, detoxifying and conditioning. The easiest of these effects to note is moisturised skin.
Let's face it, a body clay isn't exactly an essential product but is nice to have as an occasional treat- chances are that a clay will go off and dry out before you get around to finishing it so for this reason alone I'd recommend Skin Deep Warming Body Clay at just £6 for 200ml.


Thursday 3 March 2011

Speed Review: Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Serum

Origins have announced their latest product launch, Plantscription Anti-Aging Serum, which will be available from today, 3rd March.
With over five years research and development behind it, Plantscription is designed as an alternative to the gold standard of anti-aging, retinoic acid (which has been associated with strong side effects). Jane Lauder, Global President and General Manager of Origins said, "Plantscription is one of the most significant product launches in the history of the Origins brand." whilst Lynn Mazzella, Senior Vice President, Origins Product Development explained, "This revolutionary, patent-pending, anti-aging serum is proven to help support skin's natural fibrillin, its critical elastic fibre and in doing so has trumped all of our benchmarks." Plantscription's key ingredient is extract of bark and leaves of the Ghanaian tree, Anogeissus, which has been shown as highly effective in supporting skin's regenerating processes. Working alongside Anogeissus, Rosemary Extract and extract of Siegesbeckia scrub (traditionally used in Chinese medicine) help to protect skin's natural collagen and elastin.
I was sent a sneak preview and have been using the serum alongside my standard skincare regime for around 3 weeks.
The serum is easy to apply, with 2 pumps per use going on smoothly and without any greasy residue. I was highly impressed to note a slight improvement in the overall texture and appearance of my skin, even after such a short trial (the press release states that you need to use the serum for 4 weeks to see a noticable effect). Although the packaging is functional and clearly communicates the green message, I'd have preferred it to be transparent to be better able to judge how much was remaining. 
At £45, it doesn't come cheap but then it is aimed at the mature market (in clinical trials, it was tested on women aged 42-63) who are likely to be investing in skincare. Given the fact that results are noticable very quickly, I'd say the quality reflects the price.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Luck of the Irish

One of Britain's favourite beauty brands, Soap & Glory, is hitting the road. Travelling in the Soap & Glory mobile, the brand is set to shower Ireland with free beauty treats, starting tomorrow (3rd March).
Residents of the Green Isle should tune into Ireland AM (TV3) at 9.05am when founder, Marcia Kilgore (one of my personal beauty icons as the brains behind Bliss and FitFlop in addition to the fabulous Soap & Glory) will be revealing details of the first ever Soap & Glory Motorbike Bath Tour of Dublin. The bike will be touring the streets of the city in the morning, culminating in a mass giveaway of Soap & Glory favourites such as The Righteous Butter Body Butter, Clean on Me Shower Gel and Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumper outside of Jervis Shopping Centre on Mary Street at 11am. Selected Boots stores will also be running competitions and there's the opportunity to have your photo taken in the Soap & Glorymobile in Boots, Grafton Street from 2pm. I'm green with envy..

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Breaking News: John Galliano dismissed from Dior

Following allegations of pro-Nazi leanings and anti-Semitic slurs, John Galliano has been dismissed from his role as Creative Director at Dior with immediate effect. The undenibly talented 50 year old designer would have been celebrating 15 years with the fashion house next year. The fashion world has been filled with rumours about the flamboyant designer's alcohol and substance abuse for a number of years now and it seems that he was under the influence when he allegedgly made the remarks. However, if true, the comments are so offensive that it's unthinkable that any brand would associate with him and I don't think the standard packing off to rehab would suffice following his Mel Gibson act.

Dior have confirmed the dismissal with a statement from Chief Executive, Sidney Toledano, "I unequivocally condemn the statements made by John Galliano which are in total contradiction to the longstanding core values of Christian Dior."
Meanwhile, following my Twitter prediction that famously principled and Jewish, Natalie Portman would be placed in a difficult position due to her role as ambassador for Dior Parfums' Miss Dior Cherie, the Oscar winning actress released a statement. "I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano's comments that surfaced today. In light of this video and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."
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