Saturday 26 May 2007

Holiday Preparations...

I’ve been ordered to cut down on my writing due to the ever present ‘work related upper limb disorder’, which is what they are now calling the ole’ RSI. I got asked a couple of times whether I really needed to do my writing. The answer was yes but I may have to slow down a little. Not necessarily in immediate preservation of my upper limbs but also due to the new voice activated software I am supposed to purchase which takes quite a while to train. I’m not sure whether this software is going to help of hinder the blog, however. I talk nineteen to the dozen most of the time so the posts may just end up getting unbearably long. Do let me know and I’ll try and keep a lid on it.

I’ve been a bit behind on keeping you up to date on the world of the celebrities recently. I’m blaming the imminent latest series of Big Brother which is due to start next week. It's made me want to become a recluse. The words flogging, dead and horse spring to mind - further proof that Channel 4 really do know how to take something too far, and then beyond. The mention of BB makes me want to switch off my tele, turn away from the papers and disconnect the internet. I don’t care. I really don’t. There are people starving in the world that’s where the money should be going. Not on try hard wannabe’s who prostitute themselves as pawns in some larger Orwellian scheme. I think it attracts fame seekers of the most talentless kind and I have no interest in supporting it. So what is preventing me from taking the aforementioned drastic measures? The third series of Grey’s Anatomy started on Thursday and it was the closest I’ve come to hyperventilating for a long time. I advise anyone who hasn’t seen it to get to the video shop and pick up the first two series. The perfect (and only) antidote to the BB madness that is about to engulf this poor country.

So that rant over what else has been going on. Paris is off to prison and too bloody right. I don’t know why anyone thinks that she should be let off. On the contrary if they are worried about her safety I’m sure solitary confinement would do the trick. I do not see why anyone should pity someone who broke the law repeatedly and is now sad about the consequences. My heart bleeds. It must suck being an heiress and still having to abide by laws – especially ones that may prevent you from killing someone whilst behind the wheel of a ton of metal. But whilst Paris has been trying to get out of her own mistakes (writing a letter to Arnie about how tough jail will be will not work – Arnie would rule that jail) Britney seems to be on the way to repairing some of hers. She has lost the weight and the pasty wiped out look and is back in the dance studio looking refreshed and toned. I only wish that she would spend more time with her kids but the last photo’s I saw they were both present so things really seem to be on the up. I only wish that I could tone up in time for Ibiza in a couple of weeks. It’s not looking promising though. I haven’t been strictly dieting but I have been not drinking too much booze (definitely none during the week), eating cereal for breakfast and no carbs after 4. I have to say I do feel better I’ve just got to start on the toning exercises and fast. It’s not good being a fashion and beauty writer on holiday with girls shaped like Barbie. The pressure is on.

Another part of the preparation is also completely exterior. The weekend before we go I will be getting my hair down and my eyebrows and the dreaded bikini line waxed. Would get the armpits done too but that really is a step too far for me. I’ve done it once before – I’m just too chicken to do it ever again. I also can’t do my legs. Having naturally dark hair and with the sporadic heat waves at the moment I cannot risk the need to hop into a skirt with legs like George Clooney’s. It’s just not going to happen. Little Miss F tried to epilate my legs but as she approached I ran off screaming and locked myself away. Much to her amusement. I’m going to go to the Büty Salon for the waxing. They did a great job with my brows last time so I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll be just as good on the more delicate areas! Getting my hair done is another nightmare. My hair has two looks – huge and frizzy (earning me the nick names Bon Jovi, Rod Steward, Dave Lee Roth, Duff McKagen to name but a few) or stuck to my head lifeless flat. Hairdressers seem only capable of achieving the later. I would like to say its not their fault but having told them I want big hair before they even start I’m always amazed by the amount of gunk they apply before using a heavy brush to really jam my hair down whilst they blow dry it. I also ask for the same colour every time and every time they ignore me. However, I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a while now and this time I’m going to be firm… or at least I hope so.

Another problem is the pasty legs. I’m using Garnier Summer Skin but to no avail. Photographers could still use my body as a reflector board. I’ve also been frantically buffering my dry skin bumps but with the new job I feel like I’ve barely had time to wash my hair. I’ve also got to start thinking about what make-up I can take that is not going to fall down my face at the first sight of the Spanish sun. Oh for the Elizabeth Arden Eye-fix now!! You never know, on my pre-holiday Boots trip (always a must) I might find it becomes a necessity. I think I’m going to have to re-read Love Is Not Enough before I go anywhere though – why do holidays make you feel like you have all the money in the world?

So I’m off to think about holiday make-up and products. Please get in touch if you have any ideas or recommendations. I’m going to need all the help I can get xx


Sunday 13 May 2007

Attention Fashion Designers

I got really excited today when I received a lovely email entitled 'Project Catwalk 3' from someone at Shine TV. "My time has come" I thought. Finally the recognition for my purely mental fashion designs. No such luck (and just as well because I don't think I'd be very good). But believe me this is an oppertunity of a life-time for someone out there who has always dreamed of becoming the next Westwood (Vivienne not Tim) or Galliano.

Project Catwalk - the hit Sky One fashion series is back for a third season and looking for contestants.

The series which has been hosted by both Liz Hurley and Kelly Osbourne, offers an exciting and eye-opening opportunity to talented up and coming fashion designers. In the past contestants have designed for celebrities, labels and leading figures of the London fashion world like Giles Deacon and Patrick Cox.

The series is currently casting - looking for 12 talented and hungry fashion designers to compete against each other in a series of challenges to determine who has what it takes to be the next "IT" designer. You must be available over the summer to film in London and be willing to be put through a range of experiences that test both the creativity and character required to make it as a top fashion designer.

For one designer this will be the opportunity of a lifetime - a chance break through as fashion's next big name. Details of this years prize are still to be finalised ,but in the past the designers have had their talent exposed to the global fashion community, won a substantial cash prize to kick start their collection, had their designs specially featured in the pages of top fashion magazines and had the chance to take up mentorship’s with leading designers.

Project Catwalk wants to uncover the best exciting new British fashion. if you think you've got what it takes apply now to

Good Luck - please please let me know how you get on xxx

Tuesday 8 May 2007


I’ve had a lot of requests for more tips for the more mature Miss. This has taken rather longer than usual for me to compile as I’ve had to out source the tips and recommendations as there would be no point in me giving it a go. It’s really bad for your skin to use anti-aging skin products before its necessary. Now the results are in – thank you to all the contributors picked by Mumma B. I really appreciate it!! I have to say I’ve been struggling to know how to do the mass of information justice without just writing verbatim. So I’ve decided to establish some order and get a little more info on some of the products (so I hope I’ve got them right). I've also found myself being struck by a bit of PC shyness - is it Pro-Age or Anti-Ageing? I'm afraid I don't know so I've just gone for what I think! 

As always you need to try to follow some basic rules. Ms K says she drinks 2 litres of water a day and always wears sun protection on her face – even in cloudy weather. And as for the products…
It’s amazing how everyone’s skincare regime is completely diverse and the contributors this time are no different. Ms S uses L’Oreal Eye Make-up Remover which is one of my favourites – it really works. Mumma B is a Dermalogica convert and swears by their Dermalogica Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover – use a “small amount on fingers; pat onto eyes; remove with cotton wool pad soaked in water – squeezed out. It’s great for sensitive eyes and really gets the make-up off properly – better than Clarins!” High praise indeed!

Cleansers and toners are tricky. They are really skin/person specific. So I’ve got three really good ranges to recommend. Mrs S uses Darphin Rich Cleansing Milk which contains mango butter and Rich Toner. Both are ideal for dry and more mature skin (both are available for around $50). Ms B recommends Elemis Soothing Chamomile Cleanser and Apricot Toner. The cleanser not only contains soothing camomile but also vitamin E and is great for ‘ultra-delicate’ skin. The Toner which gives you an alcohol free fresh sensation and radiant appearance. Mumma B uses Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser it suits all skin types and contains orange extract. It comes separated in the bottle (see pic) but she directs “shake it and use with cotton wool – very good and easy”.

Ms W uses two moisturisers like me Olay Moisutriser during the day and Body Shop Rich Vitamin E Night Cream… at night. For G.M L’Oreal Age Perfect is the moisturiser of the moment. I’m not exactly sure which one as there are a few but the Age Re-perfect Pro-Calcium is a popular choice and contains sun factor 15. Ms B uses Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream which increases skin firmness and elasticity. Ms G uses Clarins Extra Firming Night Cream and Clarins One-Step Facial Cleanser which come in a dry skin range as well.

As for added extra’s Mumma B has been trying out Garnier's Ultra Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream for me and she thinks it’s working. An interesting recommendation from Ms B is Elizabeth Arden Eye Fix Primer which acts as a shield between your skin and your eye make-up and then prevents streaking and fading. I really want to try this out. For a morning treat Mumma B recommends – Origins Ginger Float Cream Bubble Bath. She also recommends the new Dove Pro-Age Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner which “seems to work really well”. Ms C loves Chanel No.5 Body Lotion a true classic.
Now for the rather tricky part. The make-up. This is so variable from Miss to Ms anyway but older skin is sometimes quite a difficult base which makes getting it right even more necessary. Ms W recommends Estee Lauder Equalizer Smart Make-up with SPF 10 which adapts to the changes in your skin. G.M only foundation on ‘grey days’ but recommends Barbara Daly’s Concealer for under the eyes and for blemishes. Ms B uses Chantecaille Foundation. I haven’t been able to check this out as they are doing up their website at the moment but it will be definitely worth a look when it’s done. 

The only blusher recommendation we’ve had is G.M – Laura Mercier Blusher. Formulated with French ‘Cashmere’ talc I like the look of Orange Blossom and Crushed Hazelnut. As for powder she starts with No 7’s matte powder first - possibly Perfect Light Pressed powder (available for about £7.50) - on her nose, under the eyes and to blot her eye shadow. Then Barbara Daly’s Powder Highlighter ‘Light Illusion’ as which she describes as “wonderful” and uses it to brighten the skin and the cheek and brown bones.
For eye make-up Mumma B recommends using unfrosted powder eye make-up. She says “matte is kinder to older eyes – wrinkles seem to show up with shimmer”. G.M uses No. 7 Brown Amazing Eyes Pencil instead of a specific eye shadow. She shade and lines the eye and the dusts lightly with powder and uses the pencil for the eye-brows if necessary. This would be her Desert Island choice – it’s very versatile. Ms B uses Chantecaille Eye shadow. Ms C uses Dior’s ‘Diorshow’ mascara part of their ‘backstage make-up’ range and Laura Mercier’s Eye shadow and eye liner.

Mumma B recently purchased Max Factor Colour Perfection 917 Pansey. I tried it last time I was home and I loved it. It really stays on. G.M again uses a pencil to its fully potential this time No. 7’s Perfect Lip Pencil – “fairly neutral during the day and more dramatic at night. Pencil as lipstick and dust the lips with a bit of frosty powder such as Bourjois to make the lips look fuller”. Ms C recommends Dior lipstick. Dior Addict Ultra Shine in Ultra Sexy looks exciting.

So what were the Desert Island picks for the more mature Ms? Ms G would choose L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream cream or L'Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream. Which I must say is pretty amazing. Or the Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector which works really well and is at a very decent £9. Ms B chose the popular Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream something which I have wanted for sometime but have to make do with stealing everyone else’s. Ms C would use Dior Capture Moisturiser for her Desert Island. She didn’t specify which one but I think the Capture R60-80 1eres Rides Smoothing Cream looks great (the whole range is available here)
I hope this has helped. Please email me any more suggestions for older skin this is something I can always use updating on. I’m going to run upstairs to play with lip liners and frosty powder – a technique I shall be using more often. xx
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