Thursday, 30 June 2011

Soap for Sensitive Skin

Like a huge proportion of people in the UK I suffer with eczema and have done for as long as I can remember. I am lucky that it is not so severe that I have been unable to cope with the symptoms such as sore, itchy, sensitive skin- but it does make bathing and showering much more of an ordeal.
Often I find myself seduced by the wonderfully packaged, seductive smelling, well known brands in the shops. I am after all, a beauty maniac and relish the opportunity to try new brands and different products. My skin however, rarely appreciates this addiction and often lets me know just that by turning my legs and arms into scales a snake would be proud of. Nice.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many products out there for sensitive, problematic and dry skin- ive tried lots of them, but sadly with artificial colouring free, fragrance free, paraben free and SLS free often results in bland, lackluster products which leave me feeling a little cheated and excluded from the world of wonderful, exciting, fragrant products.
I was recently contacted by the Sedbergh Soap Company, a family run business developed by Dorothe Pratt, a long time eczema sufferer herself. She had found that a large amount of products available and marketed as 'natural' and either made from or containing an amount of organic or natural ingredients, made them just that. It didn’t mean they were suitable for her skin, so she decided to create her own- and every item has been tested on her skin!
I jumped at the chance to try a selection of these products, especially as they are all free of artificial colourings, perfume, fragrance, parabens, SLES, SLS, Propylene Glycol, Triclosan and Phthalates to name only a few! I was assured that I would not be disappointed with the results.
I could smell the contents of the package before I opened it- an incredible aroma of lemongrass, wafted across the office with one colleague remarking that it smelt like ‘the south of France in here’.
I was sent the selection of five soaps- lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, sweet orange and peppermint, a lemongrass and lavender dead sea bath soak as well as a Calorie free geranium rose soap bar.
I rushed home on the hottest day of the year to jump into the shower with my lemongrass soap which contains essential oils and dry lemongrass within it. The smell was encapsulating and I found myself 20 minutes later still in the shower.
The lavender bath soak was equally wonderful. Containing 100% dead sea salt with essential lavender oil and pure lavender buds, I quickly drifted off into a land surrounded by rolling lavender fields!
My skin felt clean, refreshed and soft- not dry and scaly as it would do had I used regular soap or bath salts made with sodium chloride. Sedbergh Soap Company is a gem of a find and if their fab products weren’t enough to sway you, they are also between 70%-89.98% organic and are packaged in biodegradable and recyclable material, so they are great for the environment as well as your skin!
You can get your hands on an array of their products from soap to shampoo, salts to body lotion, as well as gifts, products for babies and toddlers and even wedding favours on their website Sedbergh Soap Company.
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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Rise & Rise of Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos now account for a fifth of all shampoo sales according to Superdrug. They have become a massive deal- saving people around the world from the perils of greasy hair when you are unable to wash it- be it at a festival, a camping break or even just to use between washes a pick up when you haven’t got time in the morning- or like this morning when it is too hot to face the hair dryer!
Granted the idea doesn’t sound wholly appealing- a fragranced, powdery spray that you use in between washes to absorb oil, de-grease and refresh the hair, but it has undoubtedly become a massive market. Almost every hair care brand imaginable now has its own dry shampoo, but which really work and which leave you with dull, matte, dusty hair?
Dr Hauschka - Body Silk
This looks, feels and smells like luxury. The price tag reflects this too- however it also looks like a pot of talcum powder, complete with the holes in the top of the pot for the powder to be dispensed from. That said it had a pleasant scent but I was left with a head of white hair after I was unable to control the flow of the powder or direct it properly to my roots. Would definitely use again if they repackaged it into an aerosol.
(£21.45, drhauschka.co.uk)
Batiste - Boho
Pack Boho in your festival or camping bag and carry your spirit of freedom with you. A few quick sprays instantly makes your hair feel clean, fresh and full of body and texture Says the blurb on their website.
Batistse is one of the original dry shampoos with a massive cult following and an every expanding portfolio of products, from original to a tropical smelling spray and from a spray with a hint of colour for brunettes and blondes to a spray with gold or silver shimmers.
Boho smells lovely and fresh but I immediately suffered with the dreaded grey hair which required a lot of combing out and although my hair looked cleaner, it lost much of its shine. As Batiste Boho says, would be great for use at a festival for a quick spruce up, but not all that great if your after shiny, glossy hair too.
(£1.52, nationwide)
James Brown London - Scandalous Fabulously Flirty Dry Shampoo
This was my favourite by a long shot. A wonderful smelling product, but far from being overpowering unlike other brands, and without the white powdery-ness of other products. It absorbed the excess oil instantly and left my hair feeling light and shiny. My hair left lifted and revived without feeling clogged with too much product. Love love love it.
(£5.49, superdrug.com)

Lee Stafford- Poker Straight Dry Shampoo
A funky looking bright pink bottle with an equally saccharine scent which I personally found a little overwhelming. That said the product worked- my hair looked much cleaner and it didn’t weigh it down or have the dusty feel that other products left. It kept its shine but I did need to re apply it by later afternoon.
(£5.10, boots.com)
Charles Worthington - Front Row Refresh & Revive Brunette Dry Shampoo
I loved the professional look and design of this item and as a massive Charles Worthington fan I had high hopes. Given my previous experiences of turning my hair grey I decided to give the Brunette shampoo a try. The shampoo is meant to blend in with your hair colour as opposed to being white, which indeed it did. I smelt pleasant and
didn’t leave me with a powdery white mess. It did however leave my hair very matt, bordering on dull. I realise that greasy, dirty hair takes the shine off your locks in any event, however this product whilst leaving me grease free also left me with matt, dull looking hair.
(£6.29, Boots.com)

Tresemme - Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo
A fresh smelling, light and pleasant dry shampoo. Unlike the majority of the other brands Tresemme didn’t leave me with a powdery, ashy residue- which was nice! My hair felt, as the name says ‘refreshed’, clean and it kept its shine and movement.


(£4.39, Superdrug.com)
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DuWop Twilight Beauty

This November sees the eagerly awaited release of part one of the final Twilight films, Breaking Dawn and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have become a massive twihard (uber twilight fan for those of you who aren’t!) so you can imagine my excitement when I came across Twilight Beauty.
Oh yes, the genius’s at DuWop have created a spectacular range of cosmetics based on the massive appeal of Twilight where fans of the books and film, as well as women looking to highlight their own radiance can indulge in the unique and exceptional makeup experience that these products offer.
Packaged in hauntingly beautiful containers, dark trees wrap around the item with a muted gold shining through creating the illusion that it is lit by moonlight from within and with evocative Twilight and Vampire inspired names, its hard not to want to posses them all (see what I did there)
DuWop currently have three Twilight Beauty lines;
Luna Twilight Reflects the mood and sprit of the sagas iconic female characters presenting a collection that creates a harmonious blend between soft, natural beauty and stunning, fierce splendour.
Volturi Twilight Represents the powerful reigning coven in the novel and films vampire world. This range has the crest of the family on the packaging and features a multitude of items allowing you to recreate the same supernatural beauty that transcends time.
Nox Twilight Was created to coincide with the launch of the third film, Eclipse and is a special collection of 12 nail varnishes each adorned with the Cullen family crest.
Two of my favourite products are the Mortal Glow blush and the Twilight Venom, an adaptation of DuWop’s massively popular Lip Venom.
Mortal Glow is a gorgeous, satin smooth blush with three colours blended into one compact. It creates a lovely subtle glow, perfect for all skin shades.
Twilight Venom is a shimmering, red lip stain and lip plumper in one. It smells divine, a little like cinnamon and although I don’t usually wear my lips red, I really liked the effect and stain- and it lasted far longer than usual lipsticks.
Twilight Beauty is available to buy from simplebeauty.co.uk
If you would like to be in with the chance of winning a selection of these gorgeous products all you have to do is follow my blog via Google Friend Connect, Post a comment below and follow me on twitter @sarah_berryman1. The Competition closes on Sunday 10th July and a winner will be selected at random from all the entries. Good Luck!

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER WILL BE CONTACTED SHORTLY
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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Oh la la Boudoir Prive!

Hot on the tails of Glossy Box which I mentioned several posts back, is Boudoir Prive. Boudoir Prive’s Beauty Box follows the similar concept of allowing consumers to try luxury products before they buy, all for a very reasonable price of £10 per month. For your monthly membership of £10 you will receive one of their boxes directly to your home or office, containing six expertly selected samples of both well established and brand new brands.

The samples will cover skincare, body care, hair care, make-up, fragrance and lifestyle, providing you with a comprehensive selection of items to try. Unlike some of its competitors, Boudoir Prive then encourages feedback on the samples in exchange for fabulous discounts in their online shop, should you then chose to buy the full size version of the product.

Following the dissatisfaction seen with many of Glossy Box’s customers following the arrival of June’s box which contained an inexpensive, well known hair care product which was far from luxurious, the hunt is on to find a truly decadent company who provides truly high end products, and that company could very well be Boudoir Prive. After all, their name alone evokes images of wealthy, Chic Parisians and Marie Antoinette indulging in extravagance, splendour, enchantment and luxury.

In the 18th Century, a woman’s Boudoir was her sanctum. A place to retreat, reflect and experiment with her hair an beauty in the comfort of her own home. We at Boudoir Prive are reinventing the contemporary Boudoir and revolutionising the way cosmetics are sold online, by giving women the luxury of discovering new beauty products in the intimacy of their own room.

Limited membership is available soon, just enter your email address here for an exclusive invitation. Once you have signed up you will be given a unique link to share with your friends which not only tells them about the fab brand but allows you to increase your chance of priority access and receiving your box before everyone else- which makes us feel a little bit special!

The first Boxes are due to be shipped in July with an official launch in August.

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Monday, 27 June 2011

How to Stay Gorgeous in the Heat

So it appears that summer has arrived today- all 32 degrees of it. Will it last? Probably not- but in case it does here are a few products you may like to try out to help keep you your gorgeous best in the sweltering heat!

MAC Blot Powder

I couldn’t live without this product! A powder designed to provide shine control without adding any extra colour to your face- perfect for when you want to keep our face shine free but not caked in heavier powders or foundation. Available for £17.50 from the Mac website for leading department stores.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist

A wonderful cooling skin mist with a delicate rosewater scent, ideal for use over make up- keeps your skin dewey, moisturised and cool in the hot weather. Spritz on for instant refreshment. Available for £7 from The Body shop



Simple Sun Sensitive Protecting Lipbalm

Just like your skin your lips can get dehydrated and dry in hot weather- Simple’s sun sensitive protecting Lip Balm will sort that out- With an SPF of 30 and a special blend of active ingredients and sunflower goodness this lip balm is perfect for keeping your lips moisturised and safe in the sun. Suitable for sensitive skin, available to buy for £4.60 at Boots.

L’Occitane Angelica Eye Roll On

Baking hot days make for warm, sticky, uncomfortable nights, which lead to poor sleep and tired eyes. Ulltra-fresh and light, L’Occitane’s Angelica Eye Roll-On gel immediately decongests the eye area, reduces dark circles and puffiness, and smoothes fine lines. Eyes feel instantly awake and younger, with signs of tiredness diminished. Available from L’Occitane for £15.




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Marilyn Monroe Beauty Secrets Revealed



My Beauty Idol was the Magnificent Norma Gene Baker, aka Miss Marilyn Monroe. For me, she was the epitome of beauty. Gorgeousness personified in the body of a curvy, busty, blonde if somewhat damaged and frail American film star in the 1950’s. 

Her acting ability was questionable, her films were average and her personal life was riddled with pain and anguish. However, when you look at the thousands of images of this woman, you would never have guessed it.

She was unquestionably beautiful, elegant, with an air of grace which saw her placed high in the list of unattainable women. She was untouchable, and yet so human, humble and ultimately, sweet.


Her platinum blonde hair, red lips, buxom figure and much replicated beauty spot set her apart from many of the other stars of her era. She brought something new and glamorous to the big screen.

Her figure would be poured into tiny dresses in her films, accentuating her tiny waist, womanly hips and pert breasts. Her bright blonde hair would be perfectly coiffed and her make up would be immaculate, leaving her resembling nothing less than a perfect screen goddess.

Marilyn in the Travilla Dress

Sadly Marilyn died in 1962, yet this year which would have seen her celebrate her 85th birthday shows that 49 years later she is still far from forgotten. In fact, at a recent Californian auction, Monroe’s Ivory Pleated Travilla dress from the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch sold for a staggering $4.6million.

 Her Red sequin dress sold for a cool $1.2 million. It is clear that all these years later, the fascination with Monroe is still as powerful as it was back then.

One element of Monroe’s life which has always interested me (being a beauty fanatic) was her beauty regime. Not much is known about her beauty or skincare practice, indeed the majority of what is known comes from photographs showing her at her dressing table, surrounded in products and another of the contents of her bedroom following her death.

Marilyn at her dressing table  full of Erno Laszlo products
 
One brand which Monroe was known to love was a brand called Erno Laszlo. Erno Laszlo was a Hungarian born dermatologist who founded the brand in 1927.

He was hailed as the Angel of Beauty when in the 1920s he was credited with curing princess Stephanie of Hungary of her sever acne using his products and Ritualistic system.

His main principle is that Water heals the skin, indeed every Laszlo ritual begins with water wash technique- splashing the face with comfortable hot water, up to 30 times.

We know Monroe used Laszlo’s products- indeed his distinctive bottles and pots can be seen in various photos with Marilyn and one product in particular that we know she used was his Active pHelityl Cream, a moisturiser for dry to slightly dry skin.

You can see one of Laszlo's jars at Mailyn's bed side


I was advised that Laszlo was very strict with clients when describing how to use his skincare ritual and in my quest to attain Monroe’s dewey , youthful and flawless complexion I wanted to give it a go too.

His ritual follows the well knows 3 step plan- cleanse, tone and moisturise, but with a difference.
As stated on their website;

 Dr. Laszlo's cleansing products bring your skin back in balance and accelerate cell renewal for fresher, firmer skin. Described as the best cleansing system available, these products work in synergy for your unique skin type


You begin by using the pre cleansing treatment, Active pHelityl oil. Yes I did say oil and for someone with problematic skin I found the concept of adding oil to my skin frightening.

 I needn’t have worried. The oil is rich in Chaulmoogra Oil from India, and this pre-cleansing face treatment melts away makeup, and traps dirt and impurities on contact to promote clear, healthy looking skin.
 
Once it has been massaged into your skin you fill your sink with warm water and use the Sea Mud Soap.


Rub it into the water to create a sink full of ‘treatment’ water and massage the bar into your skin over the oil. Then the water splashing technique comes into affect! This is where the rumours about Monroe splashing her face 20 times with water originated from.

Indeed in this regime you splash your face 20 times with the ‘treatment’ water which exfoliates, cleanse sand cleans your skin deeply. Then with fresh warm water splash a further 10 times.



You finish your Laszlo ritual by then dabbing some Light Controlling lotion onto your face. This Removes any trace residue from your facial cleanser, Gently exfoliates the skin by loosening dead skin cells, Balances pH so your facial moisturizer can be more effective and Naturally binds moisture to your skin to keep it hydrated.


The final step is to apply Monroe’s favourite, the Active pHelityl Cream. I must admit, I was incredibly excited to try this product- to try something that Marilyn had used all those years ago and experience the ritual she would have undertaken, with the ingredients which haven’t changed since then. 

The moisturiser has a consistency similar to that of Vaseline- it is white in colour with a wonderful delicate fragrance, reminiscent of luxury talcum powder.


It is recommended that if you find the cream too heavy for you skin, that you then use their Regular Controlling Lotion over the top- shake the bottle to mix the product well, pour onto cotton wool and dab onto your skin. It leaves it feeling refreshed, clean and incredibly soft.

I have been following this routine religiously for over a week and am delighted with the results.

 
 Laszlo is undoubtedly a luxury brand, it appealed to Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy back in the day for a reason. That said, it is without a doubt worth every single pound.

For a massive Monroe fan, to be able to re-create her skincare regime was nothing short of magical for me- that alone would have been enough for me but the results was great too- my skin is clear, fresh and glowing- not an easy feat for problematic, sensitive skin!

Laszlo is currently unavailable to buy exclusively at Harrods.

COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED



 If like me you too are a massive Marilyn Monroe fan and want the chance to win her favourite beauty product, Erno Laszlo's Active pHelityl Cream with an RRP of around £50, then look no further.

All you have to do is follow my blog through Google Friends Connect on the right hand side of the page, follow me on twitter @sarah_berryman1 and leave a comment below with your contact details and a brief description as to why you want to win this prize.

A winner will be chosen at random on my birthday, August 3rd.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Quest for Eternal Beauty


I always approach anti-aging skincare products with a degree of caution- As my mother would say ‘ you don’t know what chemicals they may have put in there which in 30 years time may come back to bite you!’ She is right, but like many people I also find myself getting caught up in the hype, much like when No 7 launched their Protect and Perfect range which sold out country wide in a matter of hours. (Yes even at 25 I was one of the mad women rampaging through boots to get my hands on this new wonder lotion promising to help you on your way to eternal youth)

So its no surprise that I am equally excited and as always, sceptical, in equal proportions at today’s launch of Olay Professional Anti-Wrinkle kits which are on sale on the Boots website.

The fact that there is a strictly limited edition pre-sale stock of just 300 items causes my heart to palpitate slightly at the prospect of not being able to grab one first, regardless of knowing if it will actually truly work.

This particular range sold out in 17 minutes when it went on sale in the US. It has been created in consultation with a team of leading dermatology experts from around the globe and rolls out nationwide in August.

That many Americans cant be wrong can they? Well, there’s only one way to find out, off to Boots I go again!

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Monday, 20 June 2011

I Love Posie Tint

I am a lifelong fan of Benefit- I love their products, not just because they are beautiful to look at and decorate my dressing table superbly- but because their products actually work, and last.

For that reason I am unsure as why I had never tried their Posie Tint lip and cheek stain before! I have been using their stunning red rose scented Benetint for years, yet it wasn’t until I came across this months Glamour Magazine giving away free minature Benetint, High Beam and Posie Tint that I actually tried it!

I love it! Its my new favourite product! Im not a fan of blusher- I find it too drying for my skin and gives me a caked on look, so I have actually always used lipstick for my blusher. Its not as weird as it sounds, just rub your finger over the top of the lipstick to warm it up, when you have the product on your finger just smile and gently rub it into the balls of your cheeks. It gives a far more fresh and dewey look than powdered blusher.

Now ive found Posie Tint I think I will be able to keep my lipstick for my lips again! Posie Tint is far more pinky than Benetint, making it more suitable for very pale skin ( like mine in winter) Don’t be alarmed by how neon pink it looks when you take the brush out- it is actually very subtle and will keep a gorgeous glow on your cheeks all day.

This is now one of my absolute staple products. I wish id tried it sooner.
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The SONY way is up!



So, as you may or may not know my day job sees me working at Sony Pictures in London- yes the Sony that make TV's, PlayStations and Films.

My other passion (apart from beauty) is Film, so i count myself lucky to be working for a company and in the department responsible for distributing films and TV programmes around the world.

I am even more excited to announce that i am now writing items for the Sony TV website!

Sony TV Launched in the UK on April 7th this year and is currently broadcast on SKY channel 157.

I am obviously elated to be writing for such a well known and respected brand.

I shall attach the link to my first piece here, with loads more following in the coming weeks! Onwards and upwards as they say!
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Competitions Galore!

So, Im feeling rather generous this month and am giving away loads of wonderful goodies!

Not only can you enter to win the exquisite Urban Decay Urban Bride Kit on here, i am also giving away Cadburys & Anatomicals bathing goodies and Colour On Eye Envy Instant Eyeshadow on the website a-musemag.com which i also write on.

Its nice to make someones day just a little bit cheerier by being able to send them some lovely goodies, so make sure you enter to be in with a chance of winning!

Goodluck!
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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Charity campaigns for no more cruel comsetics


Animal charity BUAV has recently launched a high-profile campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics sold within the EU.

Celebrities such as Kimberley Wyatt, Jodie Kidd and Meg Matthews have joined together to support this campaign along with Marks & Spencer, male grooming brand Bulldog and Kimberly Wyatt’s new make-up range BM Beauty.

The BUAV website states that;

The EU is due to ban the sale of all new cosmetics and toiletries that have been tested on animals outside the EU from 2013. However, officials are now considering extending this deadline. This is despite massive public opposition to animal tested cosmetics and an existing ban on conducting animal tests for cosmetics inside the EU. The 2013 ban on sales could be delayed for 10 more years during which thousands of animals will be injected, gassed, force-fed and killed for cosmetics on sale in the EU.

Why, in the year 2011 and with all the vast advancements in technology and science are we still testing cosmetics on animals and how, when we are a so called nation of ‘animal lovers’ are we still allowing this to happen?

I adore cosmetics. I love my daily routine of primping and preening, languishing time on apply my make up and enjoying every second of it. However, as a massive animal lover im ashamed to admit to admit that I rarely (if ever) check to see if my cosmetics have been tested on animals. I know that the Body Shop doesn’t test on animals, though I can’t remember how I know this, but when it comes to the majority of the other products I use, I wouldn’t know.

I am the kind of person who gets bleary eyed at animal charity adverts, turns the page of a newspaper rather than reading an article about animal cruelty as I find it too upsetting and who regularly donates to the RSPCA and Dogs Trust.

Why then am I not aware of which of my beauty products I use haven’t been tested on animals? It makes me shudder at the prospect that it could be because either they have been, or they just haven’t advertised the fact they aren’t. How many people research a foundation or mascara to see if it’s been tested on animals before buying it? I would put my money on not many.

I realise it is unlikely, but I wonder what would happen if every cosmetics company was required by law to feature a logo to show whether their products have or haven’t been tested on animals. I know that I could never purchase an item which I knew for a fact had been tested on animals, and ignorance would no longer be as acceptable excuse for buying them.

Im sure there are thousands of people out there that would feel the same and I wonder if that would cause a drop in sales of certain products, which would in turn cause the companies to re-evaluate the way on which they test their products? One can dream.
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Monday, 13 June 2011

Win a Gorgeous Bridal Make Up Kit!

Your wedding day is without a doubt one of the biggest days of your lives- I know, I got married last year! You want everything to be perfect; the dress, the venue, the weather, the decorations and you want to be the most beautiful version of yourself that you can be. Why wouldn’t you, your wedding photos will be something you treasure, along with your memories, for years to come (with a bit of luck anyway!)

Deciding what cosmetics to wear on your day will be a massive decision and knowing which products to choose and use will be just as hard. It took me 6 months of practicing, experimenting and trying new brands and products to find my wedding day look. If only this item had been around when I was getting married!

Urban Decay
have launched a brilliant product called Urban Bride- basically it is a Bridal Beauty survival kit! They describe this product as being Perfect for the Bride, Bridesmaid, Mother in Law and anyone else who is making an appearance in the wedding photos, its contents set the bar really high for products designed to work over time. Leave nothing to chance, prime face and eyes for the camera, make lips more luscious and set your looks so it lasts until the final guests leave.



The products are beautifully packaged within a silver and purple keepsake box and it feels like opening a goody bag! I don’t know what to look at, open or try first!

Included in the kit is All Nighter, a long lasting makeup setting spray, Supercurl Curling Mascara, Ultra Sharp Ultra-Defining Finishing Powder, Marshmallow Sparkling Lickable Body Powder ( which by the way tastes amazing, nom nom), Eyeshadow Primer Potion and Midnight Cowboy Lip Junkie Lip Gloss.

You can get your hands on one of these for £25 from selected Debenhams stores, or you can enter this competition to win one!

All you need to do is follow my Blog and post a comment below. If you are unable to do this for whatever reason, please follow me on Twitter and tweet me @ sarah_berryman1.

A winner will be chosen at random after the closing date of 30th June. Goodluck!

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
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Varnish yourself Pretty!

Nail varnish is brilliant for a multitude of different reasons, not least because it allows you to chop and change the colour as often as you like to suit your mood, an occasion or even to reflect the seasons.
With that in mind I wanted to tell you about two brand new varnish releases perfect for the upcoming summer months which you wont want to miss out on.

First is Nails Inc Candy Shop Collection, a set of 4 beautiful new pastel colours inspired by the SS11 catwalk shows and named Wimbledon, Cambridge, Oxford and Richmond. The colours are the perfect way to instantly update your look and channel the world of Haut Couture, but on a shoe string budget of either £25 for the set or £11 per polish. The Collection Launches in July 2011.



The second Varnish product is Revlons new Scents of Summer collection. They have launched a gorgeous collection of nail enamel infused with a variety of different ‘summer’ themed scents such as Peach, Coconut, Mango and Papaya. As if nail varnishes couldn’t get any better they now smell amazing too! This idea of scented products takes me back to my school days when scented pens first came out and it was a race to see who could collect the most amounts of different fragrances first! They sure did make your homework smell great, and as these varnishes are only available for a limited time until August 2011, I suggest that you grab and collect them all now before they go!

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Friday, 10 June 2011

Modern Icon, Emma Watson?


At the start of March Emma Watson was confirmed as the new face of LancĂ´me. As stated by Youcef Nabi, president of LancĂ´me International; 'Thanks to her charm, romanticism and her incredible modernity, Emma Watson has become the icon of her generation. We are delighted by this new collaboration with Emma, who brings a fresh spirit to Lancome.'
‘Icon of her generation’. Really? What has made this 20 year old actress ascend to the status of Icon? Since she first burst onto our screens in 2001 she has starred almost exclusively in just Harry Potter films. This young girl from Oxfordshire (although born in Paris where she lived for 5 years) while a talented actress, can hardly be referred to as an Icon of her generation surely. What has she done to deserve this accolade?

An icon, as per Dictionary.com is; a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement.

Perhaps it is just me, but when I hear the word ‘Icon’, I think of Ghandi, Marilyn Monroe, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luthor King, James Dean, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, even Madonna and Kylie. These people will all do down in history as Icons, granted for a variety of different reasons, some of which have more relevance and historical importance than others, but all of them deserve the honour none the less.

I just cant help but feel somewhat aggrieved by such a young woman who really, has yet to even begin her life and career being referred to by such a term which is historically given to long standing, innovative and influential individuals. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps to lots of teens and twenty-somethings she is an Icon, perhaps even their icon.
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Back to Beauty Basics



With the thousands of beauty products available to us these days it is easy to be sucked in to buying these beautifully, glossy packaged, celebrity endorsed, mass advertised items. Lets face it, every week, be it in magazines or newspapers there is always that article about the new miracle anti-wrinkle cream or the new fantastic all singing all dancing lotion which has just been discovered by scientists and made from a rare type of algae only found in one particular lake, hidden deep in the middle of the Amazonian jungle which can only be accessed by a canoe! Or something like that.

When faced with such exotic and fantastic looking (and sounding) products, it is easy to forget about the basic beauty essentials. The ones that you pay little attention to as they don’t catch your eye in the supermarket. The ones that aren’t beautifully and expensively marketed. And yet in reality, it is these products that deserve out attention and admiration!

Take the humble Vaseline for example. This product can be used on babies dry skin, on your sore chapped lips, to smooth stray hairs, or to add a touch of shimmery gloss to your eyelids on a night out. I even use it to remove my eye make up as it leaves my lashes so well conditioned.

I believe that it is without a doubt, one of the most versatile, reasonably priced and yet most under-valued products on the market.

It seems that I am not alone in my appreciation for the basic, staple products either. Earlier this week Cheryl Cole revealed that a pot of £2 E45 cream is her moisturiser of choice. Cheryl told a magazine ‘My skin can get very dry so I use E45 moisturiser. You don’t have to use mega-expensive products, you just need to find the right products for your skin type.’

She is right- I have used E45 cream for as long as I can remember- and no its not fancy, no the packaging isn’t all that, but it is a truly great product that works and doesn’t cost the earth!

All hail the humble Vaseline and E45 Cream. Long may you prosper!
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A Box full of Beauty

There are 3 things in life that I love- Beauty products, surprises and receiving exciting things in the post! (ie not bills! )
You can imagine then my excitement when I found out about a brand new product and service which incorporates all 3 of my great loves!
GlossyBox is without a doubt one of the most innovative & original products I have seen in a long time.

For £10 a month, they will send you 5 luxury product miniatures , beautifully packed and presented in pink box for you to try at home. As if that doesn’t sound amazing enough, you can create your personal online beauty profile on their website and they will tailor your products to you, making your box as individual as you are! AND, delivery is free!



For £10 this really is a bargain, as after having a nose around their website I came across the ‘products’ page for their first box, May 2011. The price of the items which were included in the £10 box totalled more than £100 ( granted there are only miniature sizes in the box) but still I have no doubt that for £10 you are getting great value for money.

Ive put in my order for next months today and I am incredibly excited about my little surprise in the post!
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Kirtsen Dunst, the new beauty mogul?

Kirsten Dunst is not necessarily a woman you would automatically associate with an iconic brand such as Bulgari. She is not a conventional beauty or a fashion Icon , however this has not stopped her from joining the ranks of many a celebrity before her, by becoming the face of luxury brand Bulgaris new fragrance ,Mon Jasmin Noir.
Bulgari describes this new perfume as ‘’the essence of a jeweller. The emblematic Jasmin Noir perfectly embodies the luxury and prestige of the Bulgari brand with its richest and noblest codes.’’



The campaign photo features Dunst elegantly, almost regally poised against the back drop of what could easily be a palatial scene from the set of her 2006 Academy Award winning film, Marie Antoinette. In this she plays the iconic and ill fated French queen Marie Antoinette, a queen who became known for her life of fabulousness and outrageousness.

She is far from being the only celebrity set to entice us into parting with our cash in return for the latest must have fragrance, a whole host of others are also cashing in this year. So if you fancy smelling like your favourite star, check these out.

Megan Fox has teamed up with Giorgio Armani once again, this time to launch the new Armani Code Sport scent. Armani say the scent is a 'sexy, femme fatale kind of perfume - a woman’s mysterious code of seduction revealed.'

Jennifer Aniston has brought us the ever so originally titled, Jennifer Aniston. This debut Fragrance is a fruity,floral perfume, inspired by Jennifer Aniston's earliest and most treasured recollections of scent. A captivating blend of blooming jasmine, citrus notes and a sensual musk base evoke long sunny days at the beach and balmy summer evenings.

Halle Berry is set to launch her third perfume this year. Named Reveal, it incorporates iris blossom to make the scent velvety soft and airy and also includes notes of mimosa, peach, honeydew melon, neroli, vetiver, red berries, and skin musk.

Rihanna has launched her first fragrance this February, called Reb’l Fleur. The fragrance is an intense and daring fruity chypre, composed of sophisticated floral notes: tuberose, violet and hibiscus, - with a splash of coconut water, - over the light and smooth base, the combination of the final notes evokes the impression of warm skin.
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The Top 5 Products you Need right now!

We all have them, the beauty essentials that we reply on, never stray from and will always stay loyal to. The items we not just want, but NEED.
Beit that one particular shade of lippie (which sends you into a wild panic when you discover it has been discontinued), to the lotions and potions you buy In bulk when they are on offer, to simply your favourite smelling conditioner.
I have been on a mission to mend my ways, broaden my beauty horizons and try NEW products. Below you will find 5 of the best new products on the market which I urge you to open you hearts to and try!

1. TangleTeezer

TangleTeezer is the best hair brush you will ever use. Ever. This I guarantee! I have long, thick, often knotty and tangled hair. I can rarely get a brush through it when dry and cant even imagine the carnage of the aftermath of attempting to brush it wet. This brush is nothing short of Magic. Basically ( and here comes the science part courtesy of their website; Upon picking up Tangle Teezer you will notice the teeth aren’t like that of an ordinary brush which is where the hair genius comes in. The unique configuration of specifically designed teeth flex just the right amount to detangle and help smooth the hair’s cuticle which in turn protects the inner cortex from damage. It doesn’t lie that’s for sure, for the first time ever I can brush my hair even when its soaking wet and the brush glides through. ‘Mazing!



2. ModelCo Fibre Lashes

Theres no getting away from it. False eyelashes are expensive little things, often retailing at at least £5 for a pair which in theory should only be worn once. There are always eyelash extensions, but again depending upon where you have them done this can set you back a pretty penny too. OR you can try Danni Minogue and ModelCo’s new mascara which has proved so popular that it currently has a waiting list at Boots. Its called Fibre Lashes. Coat your lashes in their mascara, then use the Fibre Lashes brush to brush-on nylon fibres which are lightweight and adhere to your own lashes and act like instant lash extensions. You will then be the proud owner of dramatically longer and thicker lashes within seconds. The fibres then easily wash off when you remove your makeup, and you can use it all over again the next day, and the day after that until it runs out like regular mascara. For £35 it’s a steal!

3. Fast Shampoo

A few years ago I made a massive mistake. I cut my long, luscious locks off and had them styled into a rihanna-esq bob. There wasn’t actually anything ‘rihanna-esq like’ about it and in truth I looked like a boy. I hated it and immediately wished I had long hair again. Despite being told it would ‘grow back quickly’, it didn’t and 6 months later I was searching the internet for hair growth treatments when I came across Fast. Fast is a hair accelerating shampoo and conditioner with a special blend of herbs and essential amino acids which provides the basis for the ultimate in quick hair growth. They claim that it can help your hair to grow up to 45% faster than normally- so if your hair grows 1 inch a month, you could expect a growth with the shampoo and conditioner of 1.5 inches!
Whether it was pure wishing and hoping and longing, or whether the product has worked its charms I cannot be sure, however I did feel as though in a period of 2-3 months my hair had grown much faster than it had in the previous 6…. And at around £20 for the shampoo and conditioner, its far cheaper than hair extensions!


4. Bare Minerals Skincare

Bare Minerals has launched a new Skincare Range to compliment their highly successful Cosmetics collection (the foundation of which happens to be one of my essential products!)
In particular their Pure Transformation night Treatment really does deserve some attention, in their own words- This groundbreaking nighttime mineral treatment is powered by our proprietary 100% pure RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex. Clinically proven to dramatically reduce the appearance of pores, increase luminosity and deliver faster cell turnover-resulting in miraculous skin-renewing benefits. Experience younger-looking, radiant, even skin tone with improved texture. This concentrated powder formula replenishes skin while you sleep so you'll wake up to the famous bareMinerals naturally luminous glow. Available in four tones to instantly diffuse imperfections.
I have fairly sensitive skin and am always quite sceptical about using new products on it, but my skin loved this treatment and im not sure how I ever lived without it. Yes it feels weird putting powder on your face before you go to bed, but it is so light, silky and soft you don’t even notice it is on your skin. My skin tone has improved, It looks like imperfections have faded and it comes in a beautiful little pot too! How can you say no!

UPDATE: Ive seen this on the Daily Mail website, seems im not alone in finding this product a-mazing! Check out the article here.


5. Avon Ultra Colour Rich Moisture Seduction Lipstick

I have never thought much about buying Avon products-mainly because I cant just walk into a shop and buy them. That said, Avon has a huge amount to offer in its cosmetics range, and their new Ultra Colour Rich Moisture Seduction Lipstick, whilst a mouthful is actually wonderful!
The rich, creamy lipstick is as beautiful to look at in its case as it is on your lips. The colour is intertwined with ribbons of hydrating moisture which help keep your lips soft and dewy as opposed to dry and cracked, which often happens to me wearing lipsticks. It comes in 10 delicious looking shades and offers you staying power and beautiful coverage whilst simultaneously keeping your smackers juicy and moisturised- it’s the best of both worlds!
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