You snooze, you… er, win.

November 9th, 2010 — 11:10pm

Sleep. One of the most important things we can do to maintain our health and our looks. I read a magazine article today that told me every woman should aim to get six hours sleep a night. Six hours!! Even when I worked in a competitive, targetd driven job in London that kept me at my desk for ten hours a day I still got more than that. The fact is, women learn to listen to their bodies and we all begin to realise what our optimum sleep hours are. Mine? I could easily live on ten hours a night and refuse to listen to either my boyfriend (who thinks we should leap out of bed in the morning) or my sister (‘ha ha wait until you have kids!’) who both claim I’m an oddball for wanting to snooze the hours away. One of my biggest hates is not being able to fall asleep or waking up too early but there are things you can do to help you get a good nights zzzzzz’s.

Don’t eat too late! Some claim you shouldn’t eat past 6pm but how realistic is that. The best meals to chow down on in the evening are carb heavy – yes, I said carbs. They release their energy slowly, over a long period of time, which is perfect for sleeping. And besides, who doesn’t want to fall asleep after a visit to Pasta Browns?

Smell you later! Add some lavender or eucalyptus  oil to your pillow (or create a scented spray like me, see blog archive). Lavender is soothing and will relax you, whilst the eucalyptus promotes breathing which is perfect if you have caught a cold already. Apparently, if you have a cold you wake up a number of times in the middle of the night – although you don’t realise it – so unblocking airwaves is a good thing.

Tea for two? Any caffeine-free tes is good but try sipping a chamomile or a peppermint tea before bedtime. Chamomile is well known for it’s soothing effect and will promote sleep. Just be careful not to drink too much as it’s a diuretic too.

Set a structure. Following a regular sleeping pattern will help wonders as your body will get used to it. Sleeping in at the weekend is actually disrupting your body clock. However, this is easier said than done after coming home from one cocktail too many at 2 am on a Saturday morning.

Keep it cool. Open a window to let some fresh air circulate around your room (1st floor to penthouse only please!) and sleep in pj’s made of natural fibres. Let yourself breath!

On your back! OK I’m not sure of the actual sleep benefit here but this is a tip my mother gave me years ago. Sleeping on your back means a non-squashed face which equals a wrinkle-free complexion in years to come. She also swears by wearing a bra in bed to keep her assets separated, therefore ensuring a crepe-free decollete. I must admit, it seems to have worked on her but unfortunately, I’m too much of a wriggle monster to train myself to sleep in one position. Although one person I know swears by satin or silk pillow cases so her face doesn’t crumple up and her blowdry lasts longer.

And lastly, lay off the booze. Alcohol will only promote a restless night which will leave you pale, tired and worn out the next day. And when that happens, out comes the sugar to keep me going through the day – a nasty roundabout. If you have to drink and can’t avoid it (me most of the time) then drink lots and lots of water before bed and try pricking a vitamin E capsule and adding it to your night cream. This will, at least, ensure plump, hydrated skin the next morning.

Sweet dreams stylebiters! xoxoxox

Asleep for 100 years but still wakes up with fresh breath? Pur-lease...

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Skin-savers for a rainy day

November 8th, 2010 — 9:43pm

With the icy grip of autumn firmly holding on to my shoulders, my skin gets so parched that it just wants to drink and drink and drink any products I feed it. My normal/combination/sensitive skin (yes, that type does exist) tends to suffer from dryness if not properly looked after and boy, does it let me know when it doesn’t feel properly pampered!

Seeing as my budget won’t stretch to monthly facials at the moment, I’m having to recreate a home-spa of my own. Two products stand out a country mile for me, firstly Guinot’s hydrating mask – what a ring-dinger of a facemask we have here! I think the shea butter has a particularly beautifying effect on me and drenches my skin in a bath of moisture. It leaves my skin soft, supple, soothed and leaves me with a radiant complexion.

Secondly, the amazingly scented Aromatic Cleansing Balm from Darphin. Seriously, smell this stuff, drink it in – it’s a spa in a jar. Applied to wet skin, this amazing, velvety balm turns into a cleansing milk and removes all traces of make-up and dirt whilst leaving my skin plump and hydrated. Used with a muslin cloth means the skin is also thoroughly exfoliated.  So much so that I could easily get away without using a moisturiser if I really had to.
The combination of these two products means an effective, anti-winter barrier, is formed to protect my senstive skin against this horrid, windy, wet weather and should prevent any problems for the season ahead.

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Definitely Darphin

November 1st, 2010 — 10:13pm

What a treat to be invited to a delectable breakfast at Claridges last week! We nibbled on mini smoked salmon bagels and tiny pots of bircher muesli whilst Darphin’s global marketing director, Helene Frey, talked to selected beauty editors about the brands new ‘vision’. The French company are hoping to attract a younger customer base and have created 8 serums that are targeted towards individual skin requirements. Whether your skin is dehydrated, mature, sensitive or suffers from redness, there will be a serum for you. Each of the 8 ranges also includes a skin cream, eye cream and cleanser to enhance the effects of the speciality serums. We lucky few got to try out all of the 8 ranges until there wasn’t a patch of skin on our faces or arms that wasn’t covered in the luxury products. My favourite was the blue hydrating serum which was instantly absorbed by my skin and left me with a smooth, bright complexion. I also managed to take home a bottle of their new anti-wrinkle Predermine serum for my mother who has only just used it for the first time today but is apparently very impressed! Well if it can please my mother, it can please anyone! The serums aren’t cheap, at £112 for the Predermine, it’s definitely an investment but Darphin will have us believe that once we see the results of their serums, we’ll be back to buy the whole range.

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Tantastic!

October 14th, 2010 — 8:45pm

The nights are getting darker…the temperature is getting colder… Christmas is a mere 72 sleeps away (decided I want the Leroy from Anya Hindmarch, now I just have to be really, really good to be in with a chance of it being under the tree). But what does all this mean to me? It’s time to break out the tan! Let’s face it, we all look better with a tan and whilst summer is the time when we show a bit more skin and need the fake bake to give us that sun-kissed ‘I’ve just spent my lunch break  in the park’ glow, in my opinion, winter is when I need tanning the most. It’s cold, it’s (usually) raining all the time, you eat a few too many mince pies and hey presto! You are a pale, pasty, porker. Not sexy. I like to feel like I have permanently just come back from my winter break in the Caribbean with the Rooney’s, and my trusty tanning spray gives me that special pick-me-up that I need. But what to do with the hands???? You wear gloves and you have white hands, you don’t and you’re in with a chance of looking like you’ve dip-dyed your fingers. The best tip my grandmother ever gave me was to fake tan without gloves then after washing your hands well, apply a tiny amount on the back of your hands and rub the two backs together, including the back of your wrists. This ensures a nice, blended tan line and makes sure you don’t have a dirty orange stains in between your fingers and around your nails. Fake tan mistakes probably give me the biggest giggle in celeb mags. Just check out my faves below.

Chelsea after she’d been tango’d.

Lilo after rubbing her face in the dirt.

Priceless sock lines…

And who do you think the celeb is with the heavy gold chains and chunky arms below?

Ouch! It could be a fan at an A-Team convention but actually, it’s the gorgeous Miss Barrymore! And I’m guessing those horrible gold, gypsy bangles are hiding some very obvious tan lines – just look how white her hands are! I hope you’re reading this blog Miss B…

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Eve Lom cleans up

October 12th, 2010 — 6:06pm

Widely regarded as the official Queen of Clean, Eve Lom has created a skincare range that has gathered a growing reputation and a committed following since she opened her first beauty salon in London in the 80′s. Eve has produced a range of products so fantastical that Vogue named her famous cleanser “probably the best cleanser in the World”. But what of this cleanser? What makes it just so damn good?

Firstly, the ingredients, a blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove and eucalyptus oil, combined with cocoa butter. The result is a yellow, waxy paste with some slight texture which cleanses by melting away the dirt on your skin and also moisturises and gently exfoliates at the same time. The feeling of smearing my face in this clinically scented vaseline-like substance wasn’t greatly appealing but once it warmed up on my skin and I saw how quickly my make-up dissolved, I was won over.  Even the most stubborn make-up is removed. As with most other people, the decadence of having a ‘ritual’ is very attractive and I therefore adored the second stage of the process. A specially woven muslin cloth is then used with the cleanser to improve skin circulation while cleansing and exfoliating the skin in minutes. By wetting the cloth in warm water and moving it in circular motions across your face (no vigorous scrubbing here thank you!) the warmth and the moisture ensure every last trace of dirt is gathered up. The result is clean, perfectly balanced skin and a radiant complexion.  My skin felt plump, moisturised and incredibly clean. My one concern was if I had slightly oily skin, would this be an issue placing a heavy moisturiser over the top however, Eve creates products that work to balance out any dryness or excess oils and therefore this cleanser is suitable for all skin types.

Eve has a substancial collection of products in her range of which I am yet to try however, I have been seduced by her cleanser and will be sure to return to try out some other products soon. £48 for 100ml or try a starter kit for £25.

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Bloom & Blossom

October 4th, 2010 — 8:01pm

Ok I’m not expecting the pitter patter of tiny feet anytime soon so is it wrong for me to love a product meant for pregnant women? If it is then I don’t care because I am totally loving the Bloom & Blossom revitalising leg & foot spray that I picked up from Space NK. Great to use when I get out of the shower and my legs feel heavy; it also smells so fresh which must be the tangerine leaf and yellow sweet clover. This B&B foot sprays’ number one objective is to reduce any puffyness (goodbye cankles!), get rid of water retention and tone the skin. Also made with Aloe Vera and Horse Chestnut, it’s specially formulated for those mummies-to-be, and because of that, you know it will be effective – and that’s exactly the type of product I want in my bathroom.

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Estee Lauder collectable compacts

October 4th, 2010 — 7:10pm

Harrods are currently stocking the most covetable selection of compacts from Estee Lauder. The exclusive collection of unique designs house either solid perfume or pressed translucent powders and range from £55 to £250 in price. I’m sure you’ll agree that they would be a welcome addition to any handbag! Nothing says ‘I’m a lady’ more than whipping a jewel studded compact out to powder your nose. I especially love the London designs which includes the tube compact below.

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Westwoodmania

October 1st, 2010 — 3:16pm

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir is my all-time favourite perfume. Its slightly smokey, florally, spicey scent drives me crazy and I once heard a rumour that it is based on the same smell structure as sperm… That’s right. Sperm. The smell is allegedly meant to invoke the scent of sperm on skin which should cause all sorts of  excitement from the boys!

Good old Viv has now released her new perfume, Naughty Alice, and I’m fairly sure that she didn’t get her inspiration from any bodily fluids this time… Naughty Alice is a gorgeous, sensual and musky scent and is what they call a  ’floriental’ fragrance (see what they did there? Clever) which incorporates black rose, violet and ylang-ylang. It’s not going to replace my bottle of Boudoir but I predict that it will be a big hit this Winter. From £35 for 35ml.

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For pore-fect pores

September 30th, 2010 — 8:22pm

It always seems to be the same two brands producing high-tech, marketable goods for women with high-disposable incomes at the mo. In my mind, Rodial are the beauty equivalent of apple with regards to their ability to create certain products before their competitors but now Bliss seem to be catching up pretty quickly… Say hello to their ‘Pore–fector’ gadget which is definitely something for the girl who has everything (bar the willingness to put a bit of elbow grease into her beauty regime it would seem). Their new skin toy will give you ’complexion perfection’ as it uses sonic waves to clean blocked pores. By generating sonic vibrations - which in turn creates ‘micro–jets’ – the pore-fector leaves your skin clean and purified whilst the vibration helps any products to be absorbed into the skin. It’s gimmicky, true, and very similar to the Clarisonic but… betcha still want one! £125 from Bliss outlets.

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Going green

September 20th, 2010 — 12:10pm

Bonjour Style Biters!

My shampoo and conditioning routine has had to take my recent Brazilian blowdry into consideration and I am now only allowed to use shampoo free from Sulphurs (SLS). Of course my hairdresser only  told me this after I had forked out the £150 for the treatment and I had to pay another £40 for shampoo and conditioner in the salon. £40 for shampoo! That certainly made my eyes water. Now that I am coming to the end of those bottles (and I have been very economical with the products!) I couldn’t face spending that much money again, so I went onto lookfantastic.com and carefully looked through their unbelievable selection of specialist shampoos. I’m now using Green People Vitamin shampoo and conditioner which  is a vegetarian brand that uses around 70 – 97% organic ingredients. So far so green!

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