Vanity Mirror

10 miracles for your hair

Imagine warn nights, long summer drinks and the distinct smell of holiday – welcome to a spray of Argan Secret Miracle ‘10’. The hair dryer provides the warm air, the glass of wine; the long summer drink and leave the rest to your own imagination – oh I’m such a dreamer!

This is one of many leave-in spray treatments I have over the years tried. Many are too heavy, too greasy, too leave –in – you get the picture. This however of defiantly different. Apart from the wonderful smell – which lasts just long enough for you to enjoy and then disappears into the night like the toned and tanned edonus you saw earlier at the bar! It leaves your hair feeling light, fresh and beautiful.

It’s called Miracle ‘10’ – that’s a big word miracle. However it does back up this statement by telling you what it will do – so lets examine the claims.

  • ·      Moisturises all hair types – some would say its hard not to with the list of nourishing ingredients
  • ·      Protects hair during thermal styling – I’m guessing that means blow drying and in my world the              compulsory straighteners
  • ·      Gives brilliant shine – my hair has never had such a gloss that lasts all day
  • ·      Detangles – I spent a couple of days on a very windy, salty aired beech the other weekend and my          hair unusually was pretty tangle free
  • ·      Controls frizziness – ticked for me the same weekend as the detangles
  • ·      Seals in hair colour – is this a polite way of saying it wont fade the dyed bits?
  • ·      Strengthens hair – can only e a plus
  • ·      Prevents split ends – so far no visible sign of a split end since my last cut a couple of weeks ago
  • ·      Shields hair from sun and wind damage – is this the same as 4 & 5
  • ·      Absorbs quickly with out greasiness – yes

 All in all I’d award it 9/10. I’d minus the 1 point for application. You spray it on your hair and its quite a wide spray that if missed has a tendency to mark your wall. It does fade, but on mine has left a small dot pattern to the left of the mirror. I now spray in the bathroom – problem solved.

There are some may things listed as ingredients, but most do read as reasonably natural. There are plenty of fruit extracts and nut extracts along with water, hemp and fennel.

It retails around £14.00 for a 118ml plastic bottle, so great for taking on holiday to apply on dry or wet hair to get all the benefits listed about and you never know the tanned adonus may just stick around the bar!

Get a tan with out looking like you Gran!

Only tanatomicals would dare to call a body tanning lotion by this name – but I love it. I’ve tried a few things now by the anatomical guys and girls – some have been more successful than others granted, but they never fail to amuse me.

This time I’m sent a bright orange box that tells me my gran would have said moderation was the order of the day and she’d have had 18 children! My gran never believed in moderation and one child was more than enough for her! Inside the colour theme is followed through to the bright copper coloured 125ml tube with more wish words about your gran and the effects of the sun.

This is not a build up lightly fake tan, this is a - I look like gravy browning and I give you a good honest colour that lasts all day and night and doesn’t rub off on your clothes or even the bed sheets” fake tan.

It has a holiday smell so when your applying it you can imagine relaxing on a golden beach turning over every 30 minutes to get that ever so even rich colour. Warning – you need to be in striking distance of a sink with the tap already turned on and ideally someone waiting to drop a blob of soap in the palm of your hands. When I say its like gravy browning I mean the thick treacle variety of gravy browning. When I was a little girl we had a white dog – I wanted a brown one, so one day after his bath I took a packed of gravy powder and shook it all over him and then cried because he didn’t look like Sammy any more! I was 4, but when I first looked at this tanatomicals on my hands I was transported back 1972 and the horror on my mothers face when she realized what I’d done!

What I really like about this tan in a bottle is that it’s so easy to apply and you really don’t need hours of preparation that involves sanding machines and body scrubs. You just need to make sure you have nice smooth skin and apply it in 2 thin layers. 1 works, but I think a second application about 5 minutes after the first just gives you a really even good colour.  It also moisturises your skin and leaves a very fait fruity smell rather than a chemically one I often find with other fake tans.

I’ve used it mostly on my legs and arms. I have tried it on my chest and tummy – both worked but for me it’s about the bits that are on show to the world. The rest I’m happy to be a last year’s faint hint of a tan colour, knowing I still have my holiday of 2011 to come.

There is a definite trend with the anatomical range – their products offer great value for money, they do as they say they will and they never over promises but always deliver. I’ve found my fake tan sole mate.




A look of style and sophistication

There is something about how the colour of the packaging can instantly tell you or make you believe that a product is going to be a certain way and Filorga Serum anti-age absolute is no exception. It looks stylish, sophisticated and expensive. It has that air of ‘spa’ about it, that feeling of not having to tell you how much it is! 

It retails at around £55.00 for a 30ml very smart looking bottle/pump. Cast away the dark brown/black and white box to reveal a white and pearl pump with an interesting way of opening, which eventually reveals the actual pump. I can see it tucked inside the neck but I can’t get at it! I pull, push and finally twist before it pops up like a jack-in-a-box at a children’s party.

I pump the top and nothing happens apart from the inner tube of pearl rises inside the clear outer casing, leaving you with no mistaking how much you are using or how little you have left. Eventually after a number of pumps and a good cm of pearl inner tube later and the pure white gentle looking cream is dispensed. All very spa in an - at home kind of way! 

Designed for the mid to late 40 something’s market; it offers an alternative to more invasive surgery or surgical like treatments. The ant-age range delivers an innovative and reliable alternative in the form of an aesthetic medicine and cosmetic surgery rolled into a light cream that provides a tingling sensation when applied to the skin.

I think we must all remember that ageing is a process of nature and I’m not convinced there really is anything, we can use at home, that will really stop the ageing process or it signs. However I do believe this product is capable of temporarily reducing the signs. It might even provide a longer term solution if you’re lucky and if you’ve been lucky enough to nip - pun not intended, things in the bud at the first signs.  I missed this boat – I think it passed quickly in the night and I woke with the signs comfortable sitting on my face! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look bad for 40 something, its just I think my neck that gives me away. So, I’ve religiously been applying this serum everyday on my neck and I can see definite results. When I first put it on it gives a slight tightening sensation - perhaps this is the 55 unique ingredients working or just me standing and waiting to see if I can feel anything. Who knows, what I do know is that over the first 10-15 minutes the skin on my neck defiantly changes in appearance and once absorbed it makes applying any other cream easier and gives me an overall feeling of temporarily cheating mother nature – we all like to get one up on her don’t we girls!

I have to say I think this is a product that offers a real outcome to an aging problem. I’m not going to go as far as to say this will stop the signs of ageing – I don’t even think that’s what’s its designed to do- but it will reduce the signs and make your skin appear and feel smoother, tighter and have a more positive look about it. The packaging tells me the whole skin reveals a brand new energy – a slightly ambiguous statement to make, but if its saying that your skin will look tighter and brighter then its right, it will and if like me it makes you feel better, walk taller and maybe even catch the eye of a younger looking man then its doing what it says it will do and maybe even going that extra mile!

The magic of Mosaique

Thank you Clarins for a beautiful Summer Bronzing Compact. It’s about the size of the palm of my hand, if not slightly bigger – perhaps on the large size for dropping in the bottom of your handbag? Having said that I’d happily buy a bigger bag!

Once you take it out of the classic red Clarins box it reveals itself as a caramel/golden red compact with the beautiful mosaic motif embossed in the lid and shinning through like Grecian jewel. Open the lid and it further reveals itself with a useable mirror and the soft scent of Clarins Eau Sunshine – just adding to the glamorous summer feel of this product. 

The compact has the beautiful mosaic pattern laid out before you, revealing the multi toned bronzing powder that glides effortlessly over your face, neck and chest to offer a super sheen finish that lasts all day and well into the night. Applied with the chunkiest brush you own it gives a natural, even and lightly tanned healthy glow to your skin – that all over sun kissed look we love all year round. I truly believe it’s a bronzer that can be used in the winter months as well with out looking unnatural.

With the addition of natural minerals it provides UV protection with SPF10, helping to protect you from the suns harmful rays.

A summer, spring, autumn and I think winter must have for £26.00 that will only leave you with one question to answer – is it to beautiful to actually use?

Goodies from Candy

Eye Candy has very kindly sent me their new false nails to try. I should at this point confess that I didn’t actually test the nails. A friend of mine kindly did the honors - so Natasha this is your moment!

Loved the packaging, it’s cool, trendy and eye catching. Almost has a High School prom look about it, very Glee or for the slightly more mature ladies – I think she means me – Greece!

Inside you get a collection of nails in a variety of different sizes, a small tube of pink glue and easy to follow instructions. Once you’ve sorted out the right sizes and done a little bit of prep on your own nails (not in the instructions but I thought a sensible thing to do) removing old polish, pushing my cuticles back and generally giving them a quick file and buff, its time to pop them on. So glue in one hand with the nails spread out in front of me, I start to work my way from little finger to my thumb.  With the first hand complete and all nails stuck on the ends of my fingers and not to the table or each other I begin the second hand. This second hand went on well, a little slow at first as I think I was frightened of knocking the other hand off, but eventually I got there in a total of around 20 minutes. I conclude they looked great, are a really nice colour, shape and fit. 

I should tell you I have a small child at this point and do spend a lot of time picking up toys, washing up and generally pottering all day long. The first one popped off after 2 days - I think I might have been hovering. I went and got the box, another blob of glue and the replacement was intact. The next day whilst trying to get ice out of the tray I pinged another one off – replacement quickly added and life carried on. All then went great for another 5 days and then in the shower and I managed to loose two more. If I’m honest this was the point that I decided to remove the others. I still had spare ones so I could easily have stuff more back on but after 5/6 days I was beginning to get a little bored of having to carry the glue around with me.

In a nutshell they looked fantastic, felt great, are easy to put on and easy to pop off. For a night out or weekend away they are perfect. For being a full time mummy I would need a bigger tube of glue!



1964 anyone?

The sixties saw them on every fashionable face and 2011 seems to be a repeat of this. I guess the fashion for the hippy long dresses or maxi dress as we call them now or the super short mini skirt, have all come round full circle again and the desire by us girlies to have super long thick, dark lashes is no exception. With the look being pioneered by Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham and of course the original queen of the false lashes Twiggy - Eye Candy kindly sent me a set of their naturalise 001 false eyelashes. False eyelashes that are designed to give me long, elegant and natural looking lashes that are twice the length of any natural lashes I’ve ever seen 

The first problem I uncounted was actually putting them on. I wear glasses and with out them my eyesight it’s good at all. So there I was in the bathroom, lashes on the end of the tweezers, trying to position them on the edge of my eyelids with out my glasses - I was in fits of laughter. At one point they actually got stuck to my eyebrows! 

All joking apart I did find them quite difficult to apply. But once on they are fabulous. My eyes look amazing. Bigger, more awake and dare I say even sexy. I’m sure as with so many things, the more you wear them the easier it is to apply them and take them off. When I was taking them off one of the bits of glue had stuck to one of my own eyelashes and it pulled it out - be warned girls the glue is good and strong. 

I decided not to apply additional mascara, although I understand you can and it comes off easily with eye make up remover. I just wasn’t sure the look would work for me and I’m more of a natural looking girl.

I then discovered that once they were on I couldn’t wear my glasses as the lashes caught on the lenses and didn’t move easily as I blinked. So I spent the evening with a lovely group of my friends – just not sure who was actually there! Perhaps the perfect time to have revisited wearing contact lenses again.

All that said I’d definitely wear them again. They would look great for a day in the office or a night out for dinner or drinks with friends – I just need to opt for my lenses! To wear they are so light; look great and just made me feel like a 60’s style icon. They come in a variety of ‘looks’ from the natural that I tried to the well big, big and bigger variety.

If you’ve never tried them or if this is second time round for you then go and grab yourself a set – I’m certain you will be a fan or become one again. They can be bought from Boots stores nationwide,, Gordon’s Chemists and and retail for around £4.50 per pair.

This is one accessory that I’ll perfect the putting on off. I was too young the first time round, but this time I’m not letting the opportunity to add another cm to my lashes go by with out reaping the benefits - what ever they may turn out to be!

Banish Dark Circles

We all have days when we wake up, look in the mirror and sigh! Why do we still look tired with dark circles and puffy eyes after a nights sleep? It all just makes me crave a duvet day!

Well I’ve discovered First Aid Beauty, Detox Eye Roller and I’m proud to say it works. Lets put that into perspective. Nothing will ever give us the look of 15 hours sleep after 6, but the difference after a simply roll over the eye area is truly amazing. In the States it’s being voted by many as their miracle beauty eye buy”. Its even been featured on the Tyra Banks Show.  In fact, following one TV show the company sold over 8,000 units in an hour creating a growing list for this highly effective product. Only in America!

So let’s look more closely at the four magical ingredients inside this little bottle and lets not forget the Caffeine that helps diminish visible skin redness by shrinking blood vessels!

1.    Sodium hyaluronate and advanced peptides recapture lost volume and increase collagen production, reducing fine lines.

2.    Infused with FAB’s powerful Antioxidant Booster to combat free radicals.

3.    Witch Hazel and Menthyl Lactate to tone and soothe skin

4.    Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide and Sodium Hyaluronate to reduce fine lines

The bottle is 8.5ml big and cost £18.00 from Boots the Chemist through out the UK. When you consider that it does actually work I think it represents £18 well spent. It’s also very easy to apply, no gentle patting the eye area, which if your like me makes you feel a bit odd and I always wonder if I’m being to heavy handed! With this it a simple case of removing the lid, a gentle shake and then using the metal roller ball to glide gently over the eye area 2 or 3 times. With in a couple of minutes you can see the difference and if you need to, as the day progresses you can have a second application to keep the feeling of fresh, revitalized and smooth eyes all day long.

A treatment that can be used by the whole family and one I know Stuart is secretly using!



Isn’t it What’s Inside That Counts?

They taste and smell of cherry. A true British Summer smell and one that for me just sums up life if I was Laura and living in Larkrise! I’m not, but it still smells lovely and tastes ok too.

With 8 shades this Colour Quenching Lip Balm offers a choice to suit everyone, every outfit and every fashion statement of 2011.

01 Pink Marshmallow

02 Peach Nectar

03 Candy Pink

04 Raspberry Smoothie

05 Delicious Plum

06 Sweet Papaya

07 Strawberry Sorbet

08 Sweet Fig

I tried Peach Nectar, Raspberry Smoothie and Sweet Fig. All great shades that offered a really nice dollop of lip quenching care, transparency and fruity luminous colour. I know I’ve just contradicted myself, but trust me you get colour and transparency. I have no idea how; you just do and I guess because of this it works really well as an over gloss for your normal cream lipsticks. It just adds a little more dimension and great gloss. Out of the three my favorite is Raspberry Smoothie, it works well for my colouring and gives me a hint of colour and glossy luscious lips that are great for the day through to the evening. I also quite like a thin layer of Sweet fig with a layer of Raspberry Smoothie over the top. It’s a bit like a two ball ice cream when you can’t decide which two to have!

 This Lip Balm comes in a tube and for me it’s quite a big design/packaging floor. They are great for cheap as chips glosses that you drop in the bottom of your handbag, use for a few weeks and then throw away when they’ve gone sticky. Not in my opinion for a £15.00 Lip Balm. They just get sticky around the top and I find I’m forever having to wipe the top and clean out the lid. Why Clarins do you insist on putting a superb Lip Balm in a cheap tube? Just because it’s got a gold coloured top and Clarins written on the side doesn’t make it bad design proof.


Inside the dodgy tube are some really nice lip moisturizing ingredients such as Shea Butter, Wild Mango and Olive perhydrosqualene that will soften and Vitamin A and E to repair your lips. 

Overall I like this Lip Balm, I’d like it more if it wasn’t in a tube, but for a summer Lip Balm that keeps my lip soft and helps to repair them it’s a good addition to anyone’s makeup bag.

It’s All About the Tubing

At last we have mascara on the market that doesn’t run, flake, smudge or smear, which for someone like me that has a habit of rubbing my eyes is a godsend. I always get really excited when Clinique release a new product or re release an old favourite. This one I think is a combination of new and old – the idea of Clinique offering smudge proof mascara isn’t new, but the introduction of tubing mascara is. 

For those of us that have never heard of tubing mascara; let me assure you it has nothing to do with the activity of riding on water or snow whilst hanging on for grim death to an oversized inflated inner tube. It does however refer to the casing that it puts around each individual eyelash to create a natural look that I’ve not experienced with any other mascara.

It’s available in two colours, Black Onyx and Dark Chocolate. I tried the Dark Chocolate and just found it gave me a really nice natural colour. I’m not sure I’d chose it for a night out – black works so much better in the evening, but for a day colour its perfect. If your blessed with amazing, long and dark lashes I’m sure it would look fabulous any time, but for those of us that were blessed with other assets, we may want to use a building mascara to create those lushes lashes. It does work well over the top though to help keep the building mascara on your lashes and not making its way down your face as the evening progresses! It is a must for your bottom lashes any time - the brush is so beautifully small and delicate it makes applying your mascara to those little small lashes easy - no more trying to weild your large brush towards those delicate little ones.

One of the advantages, apart from the lack of smudging is the ease at which this mascara comes off – allegedly. I’ve always used an eye make up remover wipe that over the years has successfully removed my eye makeup I've asked it to. Not any more. With this mascara it does nothing, not a smudge, not a peel not even a flake or a smear, nothing. It appears you use warm water and in my case a flannel. Now it does remove it, but I think it requires slightly too much rubbing and I’m not sure this is entirely good for the delicate skin around your eyes. 

Lets talk money – it comes in two sizes, 6g for £15 and 10g for £25. I think this is an average price for a good quality mascara and as with most things it’s cheaper to buy the bigger one in the long run.

Clinique I think have brought a really nice day wear mascara to the market that does what it says on the tin. I’m not certain it’ll replace my trusted old mascara, but I’m impressed enough that for holidays it’ll be the only one I’ll take.

First Prize Goes to…


No surprise when you try ‘their returned by very popular demand’, Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm.

Looks amazing, wears amazingly and smells amazing.

They have re introduced 3 shades, if I can call them shades, 01 Crystal Coral, 02 Crystal and 03 Crystal Red. The word Crystal is key; they are crystal in looks, so much so in fact at first it’s a bit of a shock. The Crystal Red I tried is a very dark almost burgundy red that looks like a bullet shaped piece of raw redcurrant flavored jelly. 01 Crystal Coral looks like mandarin jelly and 02 has no jelly equivalent – it’s just a very lovely pale pink colour.

As with all Clarins products style is of the essence and unlike most lip balms this is presented as a lipstick rather than a lip balm in a tin. We’ve all had to from time to time use our nail to extract the balm from the bottom of the tin! Not a pleasant thing for any of us to have to do. However with this you simply apply as you would a normal lipstick, which is in the classic Clarins silver case that any girl, myself included, is smugly proud to use in public! 

So I’m happy to report it looks cool and tastes as sweet as a fruit pastel, but just seems to disappear off your lips. At first I was a little bit shocked that the colour of the actual lipstick is far removed from the actual colour that applies to your lips. With the Crystal Red you get a very subtle and feminine depth to your lips and with anything like this the more you add the deeper it appears. However it just disappears. Its as though it soaks into your lips, which does mean that your lips become incredibly soft, but I seem to be constantly applying it to try and keep the small amount of colour it gives me. I can only guess the Crystal Coral would be similar and Crystal would just give you a lovely soft sheen. All that said, this lip balm gives you all you could wish for this summer, silky smooth lips, and the transparency of a gloss and the subtle colour of a sheer lipstick. All three colours are being offered as a limited edition, so please girls go out an buy at least one of them, if for nothing more than to have the ultimate posh lip balm in your handbag.

Visit you’re nearest Clarins counter and swap £16.50 of your hard earned cash for this summers must have lip balm.

She's How Old?

My grandmother used to say there was one thing a lady can’t hide about her age –  her hands. 

Perhaps this is why I’m verging on the obsessive about using hand cream at every possible moment throughout the day. Two of my most frequently asked questions are “does anyone have any hand cream?” and “do we have any chocolate between us?” Don’t ask me to choose if I could only have one!

Most hand creams are designed to make our hands feel soft with a quickly absorbed, nice smelling moisturising lotion. Great, ticks all the boxes or does it? The Australian company SKIN DOCTORS has created a hand cream that obviously does all of the above; but will also help your hands look 10 years younger in 6 weeks. Now that’s a hell of a claim to make. So I’m happy to report that I’ve taken the challenge and am going to use this every day for 6 weeks or as long as the 75ml tube lasts me.

It’s packaging is quite clinical, with a white and grey box with black writing. It gives it an air of authority - a feeling that you should instantly believe what it’s telling you. I for one will be disappointed if for £29.95 its not telling me the truth about dramatically reducing age spots, freckles, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving my hands plumper, smoother, super soft and hydrated.

So lets have a look at what’s in this hand cream that gives them the confidence to make these bold statements. 

1)    Line Factor 10 – this is the bit that increases the skin density and firmness, improves the texture and generally smoothes and plumps the skin

2)    Uniprosyn PS 18 – makes the wrinkles on our hands appear less deep. Its also a bioactive ingredient that reduces the roughness of our skin and stimulates protein synthesis

3)    Phyllanthus Emblica or to you and I Indian Gooseberry! – this lightens the skin giving a brighter more even colour. Also as an antioxidant it eliminates free radical damage

4)    Lactic Acid (Isn’t this what you add to milk to make yoghurt?) – in this cream it exfoliates by loosening or breaking up the thick outer layer of the skin, which in turn smoothes the skins texture and stimulates natural skin regeneration. It also acts to hold more water in your skin therefore further reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

5)    And finally it has SPF15 to provide UVA/UVB protection against UV rays and free radical damage

So lets recap – this cream will make my hands feel and look younger, with the help of some pretty impressive ingredients and 15 years worth of experience that Skin Doctors have within the specialist skincare business to provide “clinical strength skincare without a prescription”.

Its been 12 days now and my hands still say I’m 43 …………… ! however I can defiantly feel they are smoother and generally have a healthy moisturised feeling.

An ancient tradition or a new fad?

It looks like a pair of giant tweezers or the pincher part of an animal you wouldn’t want to find in your sock!

Now I’m all for oral hygiene, lets not under estimate the power of fresh breath. But some how the idea of this tongue cleaner just doesn’t sit with me. But I’m game to try it!

It has my initial vote as its Pink! They also do them in Blue, Green and Yellow. Is it Blue for Boys and Pink for girls? In which case who uses the Green and Yellow ones? Or is it just that these are four nice colours that any family would be glad to accesorise their bathroom with? 

I’ve read the instructions, which I think are very detailed when I’d think it was pretty much common sense, but I‘m instructed to make sure the thumb grips are face down - check, I’ve run it under the cold water tap – check, and I’ve extended by tongue! All that’s left now is to press down and gently pull forward all the way to the end!

I’m told this is an ancient tradition – to clean your tongue. The Romans didn’t just give us straight roads and bathing but the tongue scrapper as well. Even early Buddhist and native South Americans were known to take tongue hygiene very seriously. So why if we’ve know about it for so long does it take Molar Limited to send me one in the post to try before I’ve ever seen one? Is it a well kept secret of people with bad breath? Or perhaps people with nice breath 

The big question is does it work? Well I did as I was told and it did scrape off an alarming amount of saliva – leaving my tongue feeling bone dry and with a slight gagging reaction (perhaps I was a little over ambitious as to how far I put it back on my tongue!) the end result was actually ok. My tongue felt clean/cleaner than it had before and I could defiantly smell, although not taste, which was interesting, the minty freshness I was told it would leave behind. I did feel slightly stupid scrapping my tongue, but if the result is fresher breath and better oral hygiene, I’m happy to add an extra laugh at myself in the mirror each morning 

You can buy these in most pharmacies or direct from Molar Limited at They cost £3.25 so to replace them every 3 months as recommended is a small price to pay for an ancient remedy to bad breath!


Life Lines

Crows feet, laughter lines, deep wrinkles, fine lines...  Call them what you like we all have them and we all would love to not have them!

I have a selection of these and one in particular that runs between my eye brows to the bridge of my nose, its about 1/2 cm long, so not huge but has presence! It always looks worse this time of year as the browner my face gets the whiter it appears. I obviously frown as I sunbathe! I even go so far as to add a little fake tan to it as the summer progresses – oh what we do in the name of vanity!

I’m not sure Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth Paltrow would be quiet as honest, but they are amongst the growing number of A-listers that are raving about beauty guru Maria Hatzistafanis' new range - NIP+FAB. 

So let me help you understand the science behind this new NIP+FAB Frown Fix that DOES actually do what it says on the tin. 

The pen shaped dispenser contains 3 things that do the amazing job of reducing all the lines we get as our face marches through life telling everyone how old we really are –

1) Amino acids to help expression lines appear reduced

2) Purslane extract to smooth the appearance of wrinkles

3) Centella extract to reduce the appearance of fine lines

It comes in a plain white box with black and light blue writing that has an almost clinical quality about it. Inside you’ll find the pen tucked into one corner, so much so that I thought I’d been sent an empty box! I quite like the fact that its discreet and small enough to drop into the bottom of your handbag but still be found at the required moment. Pop the lid off and you’ll see a small brush that allows precise application. Then you’ll spend the next 10 minutes twisting the bottom convinced you’ve got an empty one until eventually a huge blob appears on the brush and you frantically try to rewind before you realise that you can't. Thankfully once you’ve overcome this initial design flaw it all becomes easier.

Each morning for just over 2 weeks now I’ve used this and the results are quite amazing.

The clear whitish light gel is fragrance free and for someone with relatively sensitive skin I’ve not experienced any drying of the skin or irritation. Applied with the brush it allows you to target exactly the right place and absorbs into your skin quickly to leave no sticky feeling or residue – this means you can apply your normal make up over the top easily. Within a few minutes your wrinkles and lines start to appear less prominent. The skin plumps and feels firmer – it just looks better and feels younger. I also think the more I’ve used this the less the wrinkles are generally appearing, even if I haven’t applied it – this of course could be my imagination or as friends have suggested wishful thinking!

I’m assured that Boots currently have a good supply of this product, after an initial waiting list (reported figures range for 3,00 to 7,450 people) they have learnt their lesson and now keep the shelves stocked high! And for £10.25 for a 4ml pen I’m certain this will be something that once tried no girl or boy in his or her right mind will ever be without - I certainly know I wont.

Note to anyone out there – buy two it’s always good to have a spare!

I should also say that will give you a full list of all the products in the range.


Somethings are just meant to be together

Tea and biscuits, fish and chips and roast beef and gravy. Can we say the same about hand cream and lip balm?

I’m not that convinced however anatomicals are out to prove me wrong. They have combined an aloe vera based hand and lip balm into one 30ml tube.

Don’t misunderstand me I’m not adverse to unusual combinations - pickled onion monster munch, salad cream sandwiches and jam on Yorkshire pudding are some of the odd combinations I quite like, but a hand cream and lip balm in one?

anatomicals have stayed true to their bold packaging this time bright lime green and witty slogans/comments. They say the combination is handier than sitting next to someone who can fly a plane when the pilot has just died and something about a tranquiliser gun and a rhino. Inside the lime green box is a grass green tube with a clear top with what looks like a roller ball in the end. All very conventional so far and a little underwhelming.

I was on my way out the other afternoon and just wanted something to moisturise my lips and give them a smooth feel. I picked up the tube, removed the clear top and squeezed the tube whilst rolling the end over my lips. Nothing happened. I removed the lid to make sure there wasn’t a seal that I had to remove and tried again. It was only after a few minutes that I realised the ball on the end was actually the lip balm!

Functionally it does work, as obviously you do only have to carry one tube in preference to two in your handbag. On the down side you look like you have a really BIG lip problem when you fish out of your bag not a sleek, discreet lip balm, but a bright grass green tube and proceed to spread it around your lips 

From a lip balm point of view it dried mine out as quick as I could apply it. From a hand cream point of view its fantastic, leaving a really nice soft, protective none greasy layer on your hands that actually feels as though it’s feeding your skin with all things lovely.

For £4.00 I’d buy it for the hand cream and maybe remove the lip balm like you would a spot on a teenagers face!

Lets agree to disagree anatomicals. I think you’ve added another great hand cream to the market place and in turn slightly lost your way on the inventive front.

I wish you better luck with your next attempt at combination therapy.


Would you put Cantaloupe Melon on your skin?

Clarins always seem to find the most amazing natural products that not only have out of this world skin enhancing properties but also smell divine.

This product is designed for those of us that don’t want to wear foundation everyday or a sun-tan lotion that we reserve for our holidays but do still want to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.  It can obviously also be worn under your daily moisturiser and or foundation as well as on its own - It reminds me a little of their Beauty Flash Balm but with added SPF40.

One of the things I do find confusing about beauty products in general but in particular with Clarins is the amount of products that seem to do the same if not very similar things. I do understand (before you all start shouting at me) that they have to cater for different skin types, but even so if I look at just a small selection of the products available most do seem to either do similar things or have similar properties. If I take this Ecran Multi-Protection SPF40 Day Screen High Protection – to give it it’s full name, I could put it under or over my moisturizer or instead of, under my foundation or just wear it on its own. I’m also guessing I could wear it with the Beauty Flash Balm I mentioned earlier! I just find I have to really read what the product is and then work out where it goes in the “I’m putting my face on” process!

That said this is lovely to wear. At first I think it washes me out slightly, but as it settles onto my skin I find my natural colour and freckles come through. If I put it under my Clarins Skin Illusions Foundation it provides a really smooth surface to apply it to and does seem to settle the foundation onto my skin with a slightly more even tone. Its oil free too so your not left with a shinny film or heavy feeling on your skin.

So were does the Cantaloupe Melon come in? Well it provides the super oxide dismutase (SOD), which is an enzyme that neautralises the toxic oxidants that ages our skin prematurely. By encapsulating this in microcapsules Clarins can make sure this is only released when its applied to the skin which gives us maximum potency (can I make a childish joke about us all liking maximum potency?) in turn this means its one of the most effective products in the Clarins range for anyone that’s out and about this summer and who’s favorite day cream doesn’t give them SPF protection. It also looks after those with ultra sensitive skin to UV light and pregnant women who are quite prone to UV-induced hyper-pigmentation.

On top of all this it also gives your skin its very own environmental shield! In addition to the Cantaloupe Melon it has extracts of white tea, succory dock-cress (nipplewart), rhodiola (a herb known for its anti-aging properties) venuceane (a natural antioxidant peptide) and glycofilm (anionic polysaccharide) all of these help protect our skin from the pollution that occurs in our air today. (You start of with simple Cantaloupe Melon and end up with a chemistry lesson – sorry)

So lets summerise. If your looking for a small 30ml bottle costing £29.50 that can make your skin look smooth and fantastic, that you can wear on its own or under your favorite daily moisturiser and or foundation, that has a SPF of 40, help minimize aging and smells of melon this is the product for you …. I think!


Today it’s all about Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation SPF10

I’m new to wearing foundation and so far have tried a couple and talked to a lot of my girlfriends who tell me it’s a very personal choice. It all seems to depend upon the weather, what they are doing that day and how their skin is feeling in general. Seems very complicated and a little unnecessary to me. But then what do I know! As I said I’m new to this foundation wearing.

The one thing Clarins always gets right is the presentation and this product is no exception. In its striking red box with clear white text it instantly gives you an understand of its style and sophistication. Open the box and you are delighted with a perfectly sized square glass bottle with a gold top complete with thumb print notch on one edge to house a simple C. For a foundation bottle its sexy and one I would definitely display on my dressing table.

Its packed full of goodness for your skin with a cocktail of minerals and plant extracts that aim to give your skin the illusion of a natural and flawless complexion. Something I’m pleased to report it actually does. I’m lucky I think, through out my teenage years spots were something that didn’t plague me and as a result my skin is pretty clear, apart from a broken vein or two on my cheek and the usual areas that are a slightly different shade, oh and my freckles which I like. This Skin Illusion Foundation however just gave me a completely even skin tone that allowed my natural colour to radiate through. I’m lead to believe this is the mineral silicon from Brazil that helps to fill and smooth small lines but adds a subtle opalescent glow to your skin tone. 

From France they harvest pink algae that’s rich in active silicon, which helps the skin appear more plump and energises the cells for better hydration and as a result a more supple and younger looking skin. Brown algae extract and acacia gum help to lock in the skins natural moisture to reduce dehydration and acts as a reservoir of moisture that is released through out the day. Finally it has a protective barrier against pollution, oxidants and UV through the use of white tea extract and succory dock-cress or nipplewort as it’s more commonly known.

I’ve learnt a lot about foundation on this journey and have now accepted that its not just about how it applies, looks and feels but also that the range of colour available can be the deciding factor. Too few colours are as bad as too many. Clarins offer 10 shades to suit the palest of complexions to the darkest.

103 Ivory

104 Cream

105 Nude

107 Beige

108 Sand

109 Wheat

110 Honey

111 Toffee

112 Amber

113 Chestnut

As I’ve just mentioned how it applies is very important. I do find it easier to apply with either my fingers or a damp brush. I found with this foundation my fingers gave a more even and transparent result and meant I reduced the risk of any tidemarks around the neck, hairline and ears. Not a good look! However the flip side to that is I found it didn’t stay on all day. As the day progressed I found the coverage thinned and towards the afternoon I had to just touch up a couple of key areas around my ‘T’ section.  Its not a huge criticism as it applies so easily and feels like liquid silk and after a day in the office we all have to touch up the face before heading off for a drink after work.

As with all Clarins products it retails at the slightly higher end of the high street market. This foundation is £24.00 for the 30ml glass bottle with pump. I’m certain though when you’ve tried it you’ll also agree its £24.00 well spent.

Am I now a foundation user? Yes I do believe I am and this one will certainly be on my list of likes. Will I wear it day to day? Not convinced I will be, I will definitely wear it when I go out and want to present a flawless naturally health complexion with minimum fuss.

Thank you Clarins for introducing me to this Skin Illusion Foundation SPF10. or call 0800 036 3558 to find your nearest stockist.

Win a Lip Glaze You Can Apply in the Dark!

The high street giant Superdrug delivers another exclusive product to us girls. 

With 6 colours to choose from including 2 new colours for Spring 2011 this GOSH Light’N Shine lip glaze will quickly become your “I can’t leave home with out it” product for this summer.

Now lets just be honest with each other for a minute. We’ve all purchased lip glosses that promise to give us a wearable, lip plumping gloss that have turned out to stick our lips together and then deposit themselves on the rim of our wine glass with a rather unattractive slap, which in turn is guaranteed to attract every wasp with in a 3 mile radius. Trust me this one is different.  I wore number 03 Soft Rosa (a very pretty pale pink with a definite but not overwhelming sparkle) over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and loved every minute of wearing it. Obviously I was forced to try it out on a range of different glasses and can proudly report it performed better than expected on a variety of wine glasses, a G&T glass and a champagne flute! (is this a good time to invite you to read my review on anatomicals headache relief balm?!)

With colours available ranging from White to Hot Pink, with Rosa, Plum and Light Purple as well as the Soft Rosa I tried, I not sure it’s a great range to choose from however the colours do seem to tick all the boxes for this years trends for pretty natural looking lips with ultimate gloss offering a long lasting, lip quenching high glaze treat for bare lips.

Now let me tell you the 2 reasons why GOSH Light’n Shine Lip Glaze is extra special.

Reason 1 – How many times do we get caught short out and about and needing to reapply our lip-gloss? As girls we can multi task and use our imagination but now we have a lip-glaze that has it’s own in built mirror and LED light (doubles as a light saber for those Darth Vader moments). Imagine being able to reapply when ever and where ever we need to - in a dimly lit restaurant, before the lights go up at the theatre and for those of you still young enough to be pitching a tent at Glastonbury or the V Festival we all understand its as important to have kissably glossy lips as it is to be wearing the right wellies!


Reason 2 - Thanks to my friends at GOSH they have given me 5 of these wonderful summer essentials for you to win. To get your paws on one, nip to the GOSH facebook page and click 'Like' (

Once you've done that nip back to me and tell me you've done it by commenting here or tweeting @TopGayer, and the lucky winners will receive one in the post.

If your not lucky enough to win, the full range is available exclusively from Superdrug and retails at £7.99 

Where are Captain Pugwash and Master Bates?

This season is all about all things Nautical and Sally (the UK’s largest supplier of professional hair and beauty products) have launched their limited edition range of Nautically inspired Nail varnishes, featuring bold colours such as Starboard, Below Deck and First Mate or in none nautical terms Green Crème, Dusty Purple Crème and Rich Navy Crème.

Designed to work with this seasons Nautical colours and styles, these nail varnishes are fun, hard wearing and chip free and will be available for a limited time of 4 months from February to May 2011 direct from Sally stores across the UK’s High Streets.

I tested Ahoy (Intense Pink) and just loved it. I do have a bit of a thing about painted toe and fingernails have done ever since I was a little girl and I experimented with my mothers nail varnishes! This pink is a deep intense bright pink that had a hundred sparkles in it that seem to dance on your nails as the light hits them. It’s extremely fun and perfect for on your toes. I’m not sure it’s a colour I would wear with confidence on my finger nails, but I’m certain on a younger girl it would look great, perhaps teamed with a blue and white stripped T-shirt to completed the nautical look.

You could also choose between these great sounding colours 

Life Preserver – Luxurious Crème Poppy

Hey Sailor – Vibrant Crème Red

Lighthouse – Bright yellow

White Cap – Sparkling White

Pelican Grey – High Shine Grey Crème

Sea Spray – Pale Blue Crème

Sunset Sail – Peachy Pink High Shine Crème

Knotty – Shimmering Bashful Beige

As with any nail varnish there is always the danger that it will take an age to dry and before you reaslise you’ve scuffed or scratched the polish. With this polish it seems to dry really quickly and even felt strong and chip resistant before it was completely dry. With the addition of a topcoat it would be near on impossible to chip and I experienced no colour fading and certainly no wearing off on the ends of my nails and I didn’t give it an easy time with a fun packed Easter weekend.

With a huge range of colours to choose from these will certainly add fun to your nail varnish collection and are a must for pretty hands and feet this summer and if you cant decide which nautical colour to choose, Sally has the answer with Anchors Away Mini Pack for £7.99.



anatomicals - the company that only want you for your body

The colour of the tin and the word headache written across it should have been enough to tell me this was going to smell of Lavender and potentially quite strongly - mixed with Peppermint and a very pungent smell that made my eyes water slightly. Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to anatomicals headache relief balm – a balm designed to be rubbed on your temples at the first sign of a headache from a company that’s tag line is “we only want you for your body”.

The pocket sized box and tin are smart and have an originality about them - a product that actually says what it does on the tin. It almost has an 'Innocent Smoothie' or 'Original Source' look and feel about it. Clean, modern and simple, however, I wish I could say the same thing for the website. The word strange and out of context spring to mind, maybe this is the image they are looking for? Take a look at

I have a theory that we all too easily reach for painkillers when we have even the slightest dull ache of a potential headache. Not in itself a bad thing, apart from asking ourselves the question “could we find an alternative that might be a little more natural?” I must point out at this stage I’m not saying this product is natural, at no point have I been able to find anything that tells me it is, however there is a strong implication that it may be when you read the list of ingredients that are at least recognisable, such as Extra Virgin Oil, Garden Yellow Beeswax, Rosehip Extract, Oil of Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Mandarin and Sandalwood and Calendula Extract. Then we have CI9140 and 15985 (any ideas?)

I love natural remedies for every day ailments such as headaches and with an odd satisfaction I woke on Sunday morning with that oh so recognizable dull pain (for those that have read my review on GOSH Light’N Shine Lip Glaze this will make sense!). Quickly I applied the balm to my temples with small circular movements that in it’s self seemed to help. After the initial eye watering and overcoming of the intense smell I felt a warm sensation that seemed to permeate through my temples and defiantly eased the ache. Once the initial intense smell had eased slightly it did leave a soothing almost comforting smell that continued to help me feel better. I can’t say it made my headache go away completely but what it did do was make it manageable and allowed me to continue with my day of Easter egg eating and generally enjoying the long weekend.

What I will conclude is that this is something that I think makes a difference to me having or more importantly not having a headache. I'll use again and it's defiantly one of those items that will be dropped in my bag         (a handy 20g tin for £3.49 you could have one for each handbag!) and taken with me just incase.

 Oi! You Throbhead Headache Relief Balm is available now from John Lewis, Heal’s and

3 well know facts about our teeth and us

Fact 1

None of us actually enjoy a visit to the dentist. Its just one of those things we all have to do and its normally the job that’s put off as long as possible by using every excuse under the sun and eventually done when we get the 3rd/4th reminder from our dentist!

Fact 2

We all acknowledge that dental hygiene is very important for so many different reasons.

Fact 3

We all want perfectly straight, sparkling white teeth that any ‘A’ list Hollywood celebrity would aspire to be seen with on the red carpet!

Molar however have launched a new TePe Interdental Brushes, designed to help us maintain our teeth, prevent gum disease and help us have better dental care at home and for less then £4.00 it’s certainly worth exploring.

I tried the mixed pack containing all available sized 8 brushes from the smallest Pink 0.4mm through to Grey 1.3mm (this one I’m sure is for cleaning the holes in your iron or the loo in your children’s dolls house. Trust me there is no way that this one would fit between any of your teeth). Also available are Orange 0.45mm, Red 0.5mm, Blue 0.6mm and Yellow 0.7mm, Green 0.8mm and Purple 1.1mm. Sense told me to start mid range so after selecting the Red one I worked my way around my mouth gently seeing if I could slide it between the gaps in my teeth. At this point I should point out I don’t have the perfect smile. As a child I wore a brace, which I hated and took out at any opportunity when my parents weren’t around and as a result I have a slightly crooked couple of top teeth, 1 filling and one at a bit of an angle on the bottom. This said there was no way the Red one was fitting between any of my teeth. Orange followed a similar journey until I decided Pink was the one for me. I managed to slide it between my two bottom front teeth and as instructed I slide it backwards and then forwards. The sensation was like running your fingernails down a blackboard. There I was in the bathroom with this Pink handle sticking out of my mouth, attached to a small wired brush firmly wedged between my teeth, that somehow I had to slide out.

Never again will I put something that looks like a miniature loo brush between my teeth in the name of beauty.

I don’t dispute they wouldn’t work perfectly for some people, giving them an alternative to the cheese wire we call floss and help the adult population of the UK to achieve that desired Hollywood smile. I also don’t dispute that for people who wear a brace, plate or have a bridge that this product wouldn’t make removing tricky particles of food a more enjoyable experience. I just know that this product had a funny effect on my entire body and one I wish never to repeat.

For those of you that wish to try this innovative product you can purchase it for dental practices and chemists including Superdrug, Boots, Lloyds, Alliance Pharmacy and supermarkets including Tesco’s, Asda, Sainsburys and Waitrose. For your nearest stockiest please call 0845 226 0660 or log onto