March 2012

Get It While IT'S HOT

March 8, 2012


Marni Mania hit all the world today. As I was on my way to an event at Westfields in Straford this morning, I realised that it was Marni Day for H&M. I was joking as I tweeted on twitter, and facebook to everyone whether there would be a line there. Of course, I was being snarky!


I've known people to have slept on the streets in Edinburgh in the middle of winter, when H&M did their collaboration with Viktor & Rolf. A bit silly?! Maybe not in the eyes of the fashion hungry.


To my delight, there was not really a massive line at the H&M at Westfields, in Stratford. And I got a bracelet to get in at 10:40. As I finished my other event at 10:35 I made it just in time, and got exactly the one piece I have been eyeing the whole time! This gorgeous resin bracelet in olive green and jade tones. It is MARNI ALL OVER......and I'm in LOVE!


By the time I got back into the West End at Oxford Circus around noon time, most of it had already gone. I saw one lady carrying 6 or 7 massive shopping bags. So much, she couldn't carry it! Really sweetie? Are you going to wear all of it? Or sell it on Ebay? I think it's a shame that people sell it on to make a profit. Collections like these should be bought and coveted. For me, it's the one special piece, to say, I got a piece from the collection, and I feel lucky.


Did you get your Marni today? Write to me and tell me something special about you & Marni at:


I'll post it here for everyone to read....remember to send photos too of you wearing it!


MARCH 7, 2012


Here's a little darling, that will get conversation going!


Andrea Garland's 1960s influenced enameled brooch lip balm. It has a real VINTAGE Scandinavian look to it....groovy heh?


Secret compartment in the pin of the head of the dolly reveals a 100% natural rosehip lip balm. Super organic ingredients such as beeswax, raspberry seed oil, grapefruit & lavender.


 £26 each, for a limited time only. Fantastic idea for Mother's Day as well. You can be Mama's little darling every time she looks down at it!


Available only online at:

The Dolly Mix

Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern 9 February- 5 June 2012 (March 2012)

Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at Tate Modern can only be described as an out of this world experience. Her installations leave you with wonderment, and make you feel like you drank a little bottle with a label: “Drink Me”, like that of Alice in Wonderland.

On the first day of London Fashion Week, as most fashionista’s were galloping their way down to Sommerset House, and Central London for the first fashion shows, I was on my way down to see Yayoi Kusama’s art exhibition at Tate Modern. I was excited to see this particular exhibition as I had read about Kusama a few weeks prior in the Financial Times magazine; also she is the artist that Louis Vuitton will do their next Summer collaboration with. (More about that later in a follow-up article about Kusama & LV.)

Kusama is one of Japan’s best-known living artists. She was born in Matsumoto, Nagana, Japan, in 1929, to an upper-middle class family. In her early career as an artist she was frustrated with Japanese-style art, and became influenced and interested in American and European Avant-Garde. In 1957 she moved to the United States, to New York. Her adoption of techniques such as montage and soft sculpture have been said to have influenced artists such as Andy Warhol and Claus Oldenburg. In 1973 she moved back to her native Japan, still rather an undiscovered artist. She then became an unsuccessful art dealer and folded her business quickly after a few years. In 1977, she admitted herself into a mental hospital where she still resides to this day.    

Her work is best described to be hallucinatory intensity meets minimalism, surrealism, and pop-art. Her signature is known to be dense patterns of nets, as you will see in Room 3, of the exhibition in her Infinity Net Paintings, and polka dots. Three highlights of this exhibition have to be:

Room 4, Accumulation Sculptures, where she stuff everyday objects with stuffed fabric phalli.


Be sure not miss Room 5 with the famous Aggregation: One Thousand Boats Show.


Room 12, I’m Here, but Nothing, where polka dot sticker pots glow in a dim light room. The polka dots are said to signify her hallucinatory visions.


Room 14, Infinity Mirrored Room-Filled with the Brilliance of Life. This room is her largest installation she has made to date. Obsessed with infinite space this experience will leave you as Kusama intends: on a journey of self-obliteration.


This is the largest, and said to be Kusama’s first European exhibition. Be sure not to miss this unique artist. Exhibition runs till June 5, 2012 at Tate Modern. For information and tickets go to:

Other activities and events with Kusama at Tate Modern:

From a white room to a spotty dotty space: Families are invited to take part in covering a furnished monochrome living room with multi-coloured stickers. The Obliteration Room runs Feb 9-March 18 in the McAulay Gallery, Level 1, Tate Modern. Entrance is free and open to all. Visitors are invited to tweet on Twitter, with the tag #ObliterationRoom, or share them on Facebook at

The Hello Cube: March 24, An afternoon of fashion, silent disco and sound workshops, and a chance to win a trip to Yayoi Kusana’s studio in Japan, initiated by Louis Vuitton Young Arts project and The Hello Cube has been created to re-act social media and physical activity. If one tweets on Twitter “@TheHelloCube next red sparkles” sets off a sparkling red pattern in the cube and sends twitpic of the display to the person who tweeted. VERY COOL!

Sorbet Millions Necklace-DIY

Inspired by the sorbet colours at London Fashion Week, I decided to make this necklace. It’s called the Millions necklace, because the beads look like the candy Thousands and Millions. Here is a step by step guide and the list of items you will need to make your own Sorbet Millions Necklace.

Things you will need:

(You can buy all these things at a beads specialist or store. I suggest my favourite shop in Covent Garden at 21 a Tower Street, WC2H 9NS,

Copper Wire

A Pack of 100 beads of two different colours. Mix two complimentary colours. I’ve used a lilac and a bright yellow.

A pair of Wire clippers and a pair of Rounded Pliers for beading

1 metre of ribbon

Needle and Thread


  1. Start by measuring the length that you would like the necklace to be. Be sure to give at least another two inches as you will be twisting the strands together, so you will need to give space for the twists and turns.
  2. Cut 4 pieces of the copper wire the same length.

3.String the beads on the copper wire giving 2 or 3 centimetres of either end. You will string 2 strands of each colour of beads.

4.Seal the ends by using the rounded pliers and creating a loop as in this picture. Do this on all two sides of each strand.

5.Then twist the 4 strands together. Make sure it is not loose but rather tight. This is easy to do as you have used copper wire, and it will hold a shape.

6.At the ends of the one twisted strand, wrap copper wire at the ends to hold the strands together on both sides.

7. Cut the 1 metre of ribbon in half. Measuring less than about a third of the ribbon tie it around the area with the copper wire ending. Wrap up covering all the areas of the copper wire.


8. You will then need needle and thread, and will need to sew together all the gaps and hold the ribbon together. Make sure you do this secure the ribbon together like a bandage as you sew all the layers of ribbon together.


9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 on the other side.

10.Voila, a Sorbet Millions Necklace. A key accessory for SS’12.

The Fantastic Miss Banbury Cross, Burlesque Dancer Extradonaire

Lyndsey Buckingham walks into the Carluccios in Covent Garden, and gives me a slight wave as she heads towards my table on a frosty February mid-morning to meet me for brunch. She smiles with a je ne sais quoi girlish charm, if you’d like, and takes off her vintage fur, and relaxes into the leather bench. Most people would probably take a double-look at Lyndsey and mistaken her for Marilyn Monroe.

We order our brunch of mushroom omelettes, teas, coffees and toasts, and begin the interview speaking about her latest venture of learning bullwhips and coming up with a sassy new routine of rock girl meets cowgirl. (More about that later.)

Lyndsey’s stage name is Miss Banbury Cross, and is known for her Burlesque performances. She has had no classes in this art. In fact, most of what she does is indeed a natural talent, and driven by a passion for it. She tells me that in 2008, while in university, she studied a module in cabaret, and was fascinated since. Pushing her personal boundaries, and being influenced by bygone eras such as the 1960s and 1970s, she began to develop techniques, and build a signature performance. Miss Banbury Cross is best known for her champagne or sparkles and gloves routine- truly sensational to watch.

As for her stage name, Miss Banbury Cross, Lyndsey wanted to choose something that would make her stand apart. Apparently, most other artists choose their titles or stage names from a known burlesque name generator. The name came to her one day out of the blue, and is based on the old English Nursery Rhyme:

“Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross

To see a fine lady upon a white horse

With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes

She shall have music wherever she goes”

She describes herself and her act as sex pot meets rock’n roll meets cheeky in a saucy way.

When I ask about how she feels when people may stereotype her as a Marilyn impersonator, she states that although she has done various work with walkabouts, or promotions for companies or events, it nonetheless infuriates her at times. “If you watch films or documentaries where Marilyn Monroe spoke, she was just a regular person like you and I, and not the dumb pin-up, people wanted her to be”, she says. On a regular basis Miss Banbury Cross performs at the PROUD cabaret from Wednesday through to Saturday, in the evenings between 8 and 11. She also has done work in other European countries such as Italy, been featured in TimeOut in Barcelona, and FHM in France. Each year, she is the closing act for the Burlesque Festival, in the U.K., and tells me that what she likes about that event most is that the burlesque community celebrates what they are doing in the arts.

Lyndsey manages herself, and her business, and tells me that often it is self-emotion that guides her. As of recent late, she has been trying to learn the craft of bullwhipping. Bullwhips were originally used as a tool for working with livestock. It is the length, flexibility, and way the whip is thrown, where the end exceeds the speeds of sound that create a sonic boom. Lyndsey tells me that there are artist who use bullwhipping in their acts to cut cigarettes in a person’s mouth in half (however, this takes a lot of practice or a talent, otherwise it is incredibly dangerous), or flick out flames on candles. Her vision is to create a show using bullwhips. She’s inspired by her Canadian roots (she’s half Canadian), and traditions like the Calgary Stampede. Describing her costume she beams, detailing a civil-war-like saloon girl type dress, with a real Gone with The Wind Style, in green, revealing golden hues underneath, all hugging a wee corset. The booties she’s got to match are equally as fabulous, and will soon be encrusted with rhinestones.

You may wonder, and what’s next for Miss Banbury Cross? Well, she would like to work on the potential of building herself as a global brand, and acquiring more global titles for her art-form. The present is just as exciting with shows and events coming up all over Europe. I’m waiting for the next sonic boom…are you?

If you would like to book Miss Banbury Cross for your event or for more information, please visit her website:

Events that will have you asking: Sir, can I have more?

Even if one does not know the man, Charles Dickens, one knows of his works and characters such as Scrooge in The Christmas Carol, or Oliver in Oliver Twist. 2012 marks the bicentenary celebration of Charles Dickens life and work, and everyone can learn more about this unique author whose universal works has touched us for more than two-hundred years. The celebration is international, and organisations and institutions all over the world are providing events, programs, and exhibitions to commemorate this spectacular event.

The Museum of London for example has an exhibition on Dickens detailing his difficult childhood of working in a blacking factory, to how he became a journalist, and later, a great author and commentator of Victorian times. Look out for the walk along the Thames, hosted by the Museum of London. The walk will consist of a tour of the Thames, detailing the settings in Dickens’ novels, to a pub he frequently visited. Only for two days April 14 & April 15 from 11am-1pm. (For tickets and information visit the Museum of London’s website:

I went along to an event at the beginning of the celebration that was a stroll (in the mind and imagination) for children at the Museum of London. It was a delightful afternoon for about thirty children sitting in a corner of the museum as they went on an interactive story journey of costumes, re-enactment and songs. Lizzie Lewendon, a BA Honours Performing Artist, led this event, re-creating Dickens’ childhood and explained how characters, such as Oliver Twist came from his experiences of working at the blacking factory. Lewendon details how Dickens’ sketches later became popular, and grew into stories of their own, and how the tragedy of the death of his own sister by tuberculosis inspired him to create her as a character in the Christmas Carol. Playing on an electric piano she inspired the children into song re-creating the streets of London (namely Camden Town, where Dickens’ grew up), how Dickens’ raised funds for Great Ormond Street, and how his main message was a criticism on the ignorant during Victorian times. The afternoon had brought me back as a child when I used to visit a production of the Christmas Carol every year with my school, and how later this great author had inspired me to take on degrees in literature and journalism.


While Charles Dickens was a part of British history, his bi-centenary celebration puts us into being part of his continuing growing legacy. Look for more information and events about Dickens at:

For more information on Lizzie Lewendon and her Musical Storytelling projects, visit her website at:

Gazelli at Urban Retreat: Beauty, Youth & Love

Gazelli-Spring Festival 2012-A celebration of spring, mother & woman

A national treasure seems to have come to London in the form of a spa range from Azerbaijan. Gazelli is a well-known and popular spa brand from Azerbaijan, and will be featuring 30 days of treatments at Urban Retreat, in celebration of Novruz, a Persian holiday welcoming the New Year and spring.

The assortment of treatments available, were specifically created for Urban Retreat using, expertise in Gazelli’s spas in Azerbaijan. These treatments are like no other that one has experienced in London, as they incorporate old rituals, and unique ingredients in the products that they use, to truly heal and feed your skin and your soul. It is also worthy to note, that the treatments are worth having as many of the products used in the treatments are not retail available, but exclusive to the treatments alone.

 I had the privilege of experiencing BEAUTY, Moisture Boosting & Radiance Facial on the first opening day of the treatments. I was greeted by Mitte, the therapist, and led into the treatment room. Upon entering, I felt I was transported to perhaps one of their spas in Azerbaijan. The cosiness of the room immediately made me melt into a state of calm. After changing into the robe, I was asked to sit on the wooden arm chair in the corner. It turns out that all their treatments start with a welcoming ritual of cleansing your hands, and feet. Now I know how this sounds, I too at first, got visions of biblical times when Mitte bent down to cleanse my feet in a basin. Nonetheless, this part of the treatment is incredibly relaxing and welcoming. It also gave Mitte and I a short space to get to know each other, and speak about any concerns before the treatment took place. I had told Mitte that I had a stressful week on the computer loading up the March issue, and she suggested that we do the BEAUTY treatment to restore the hydration, and relieve the stress in my skin.

Gazelli Treatment Room at URBAN RETREAT

The smells within the treatment can only be described as a little bit of euphoria. They were not sweet or sickly, but natural, and took me to envision what natural fruit orchards would be like in areas of Euro-Asia. My skin felt plump and deeply hydrated, but not left feeling greasy. I have to point out that at the end of most facials it is always pointed out to one how radiant or what a beautiful glow one has due to the facial. I find this only to be true because they have left to much product on and the skin is greasy to the touch. And speaking of to the touch, my skin felt smooth, and flawless. I was impressed with how I did not feel at all inclined to put any make-up back on. I would describe the look as almost like when I use BBcream in the day-which is a smooth, natural radiance.

All their treatments also incorporate their retail line; Triple Youth, which contains White Healing Oil, an ingredient unique only to this brand. It is an ancient legend that caravans were going around the town of Naftalan (Azerbaijan). The camels on this journey were avoiding some mysterious pools of oil on the ground. One camel on this journey was sick, and was set free. A few months later, the caravans returned to find this sick camel revitalized and healed, as it had bathed in the oil pools. And thus, word spread that the oil could heal. Even the famous explorer, Marco Polo had evidenced this oil in his Book of Marvels. He describes being near Naftalan, and witnessing oil that was not fit for consumption but would cure skin illnesses and diseases.

Dr. Hamzayeva, (developer & owner of the brand) and a team of scientists have adapted this ancient resource and extracted its active elements, thus patented Gazelli’s White Oil. It is able to stimulate skin cell renewal, and shield it from harmful environmental effects. It is also, incredibly nourishing as it can feed the skin deep with nutrients and vitamins.

The proof of this great healer was not just in my face, but also in my legs. I noticed two days later, that the eczema on my shins has completely healed due to the products applied when I had my feet cleansed. I could hardly believe this result as my religious application of E45 on this area never seems to help this problematic area.


Wish Tree at Urban Retreat. Pop your wishes onto the card, and hope it comes true! Celebrate with Gazelli for Novruz!

My suggestion is that this would be great Mother’s Day present that both mother and daughter will enjoy. Or why not treat yourself to welcome spring? Gazelli’s Spring Festival at Urban Retreat runs until March 31. Be sure not to miss their Azeri Tea Ceremony and The Wish Tree at the door where you can write your hearts’ wishes, and a chance to win some fabulous prizes from products, to a two day trip to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.


To Book or for enquiries: call 020 7893 8333 or go to:

GENIE IN A BOTTLE : Do These Beauty Products Really Do Magic? (March, 2012)

There are many products out there that women swear are amazing, and products that they swear one cannot live without. Do these beauty products really do magical things? Is there a genie that lives inside these bottles that will grant all our hearts’ desires and wishes?

In this feature, Beauty investigates about the (REAL) genius that goes into claim to fame beauty magical solutions.

#1 – Dry Shampoo, Desert Island Product or Fairy Dust?

On the top of the list that gets statements such as: “I cannot imagine how many times it has saved me in the mornings” to “Great for bad hair days” is dry shampoo. It is claimed to be invented by the French, but in fact was invented by a chemist, Hans Schwarzkopf, in the 1970s. Schwarzkopf originally, included dry shampoo as only one product within his range, Batiste. Since being acquired by FFC (Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics) in 2004, Batiste dry shampoo is now the UK’s leading dry shampoo brand. The original formula or version is the same as it has always been. It is described to be a liquid spray that dries quickly into an incredibly fine white powder. The scent is delicate, and subtly sweet, with a hint of citrus. Also, the bottle is the same size it has always been. (This is good to know, as you know you’re getting value for money with this brand. Bottles tend to get smaller as brands evolve over time.)

Dry shampoos can be a pricey item to use, as it may be something you can go through quite a lot of. There are websites (if you Google it) that will teach you how to make your own dry shampoo. Which leads to: What exactly is dry shampoo? It can be a combination of things such as baby powder, cornflower, oats, or any other powder that tends to soak up oils or the sebum in your hair roots. The culprit with dry shampoo that leaves you with grey rings is if it is made from the basis of baby powder. Do not be mistaken by the name, you will have to wash your hair with normal shampoo, as this product is only for in between shampoo sessions, and does not clean your hair as such.

LUSH Cosmetics, which prides itself from fresh handmade cosmetics, makes a non-aerosol version if you are concerned about the environment. They created NO DROUGHT dry shampoo in a brain storming session with their UK managers. Wanting to create a product that people could use at events like festivals, their aim was to produce something with the key word FRESH. In the end they came out with a base of using their vanilla puff dusting powder, which includes cornflower, and three essential oils of lemon, grapefruit, and distilled limes. If you like something rather natural, and don’t want to cook it up yourself, then this is the better bet.

Today, there is an extensive range of dry shampoos to choose from. There are formulas that have tints in them, to ones that smell of tropical fruit to chocolate, and even ones that can add a bit of sparkle. My advice is this: If you use dry shampoo frequently, that is, every other day between wet shampooing your hair, then use a basic one that is good value for its money. Otherwise, you can get the different formulations, for special occasions. As for cooking your own, it may sound easy, but I don’t recommend it, as you may create grey halos in your crown that people will question. Pricing for dry shampoo: Rule of thumb: If you pay more than £ 4 for a bottle you are paying too much. Salons sell dry shampoo, but it’s usually £10 a pop, and not good value. Having said that, the diva inside me, does like to invest in Toni & Guy’s version of dry shampoo that comes in a 150ml and a travelling size of 50ml. Look out for miniature versions for the handbag or travelling purposes too!

Does this Genie grant us our 3 wishes?

Well it certainly ticks the box of saving us when we don’t have time to wash our hair, and bad hair days are non-existent with this number. We can say: I love GENIE, with this one!

Special NEW Dry Shampoos to look for:

  1. Batiste Dry Shampoo: Sexy & Glam, Gold Shimmer AND Fruity& Cheeky Cherry, £2.99 for 200ml. Selling at Superdrugs Nationwide.

Beauty’s verdict: These two newest additions to the Batiste family are fabulous. The Cherry flavour does not smell sick or too sweet, it also has a slight floral twang through it. Inspired by vintage fashion the design of the can is sweet too!


Gold Shimmer is great for that subtle hint of extra oomph…I say, great for weddings, when you have to work hard as brides’ maid and can’t get enough time in between all the hustle and bustle of the big day. The sparkles are subtle and not too obvious, even in black hair. See picture.

Snob’s Verdict: So much choice to choose from in this range. I’m going to say the winner here for me is the original. It has such a delightful lemon sorbet smell about it (which is so SS’12) and the miniature one is perfect for my summer travels and the handbag.

Click here to see the how to use video on the Batiste website:

2. Superdrug’s Dry Shampoo: Chocolate Brownie £1.99 for 150ml. Selling at all Superdrugs Nationwide. 

Beauty’s verdict: Great for brunettes ONLY! Smells divinely of chocolate…

Snob’s verdict: Smells so cocolicious….careful boys don’t try to bury themselves in your hair on the escalators at tube stations, or try to lick you! It does have a rather dark tint in it, so don’t use it unless you have dark brown, brunette or black hair.

#2 Lip Balms, Lip Tints, or Lip Service?

Lip balm was developed to moisturize and relieve chapped lips. It was originally developed and marketed by Charles Brown Fleet, the makers of Chapstick in the 1880s. A shocking but interesting revelation was that some people used to use earwax as lip balm or lip salve prior to this.

Now most of us probably started using lip balms since the age of five, and most of us probably will make the claim that it was the first piece of beauty product that we ever used. It was certainly the case, with me, since my father was an incredibly conservative man. I hailed lip balms as my ultimate beauty product well into my teenage years until I could use other make-up pieces.

There is an old urban legend that lip products can be addictive, or that overtime of constantly using them you will be addicted to them. This is simply not true. I would say that if you think or feel you are addicted to them it is only because of the flavour it, if it has one, or that you put it on so often, it becomes a habit. There is no harm what-so-ever in using this product. The difference between brands, are the ingredients that they use, and whether the lip balm or salve indeed makes your lips soft, feels non sticky on the lips, and can recreate a smooth base for lipstick applications.


A quirky but true fact about your skin on your lips is that it is the only part of your body’s skin that can regenerate like a baby. It is in fact, the part of you that remains forever young. Of course, this is true, because the lips need this regenerating power due to the fact that we use our lips and mouth for everyday functions like eating and talking.

When choosing a lip balm product, it is best to find those that have the shortest ingredients list. Key ingredients to look out for that are good are Vitamin E, aloe, any natural oils such as almond oil, jojoba oil, or wheat germ oil. Lanolin is also a great one for lips or skin in general, as it makes it incredibly soft. The oils are taken from the wool of shorn sheep (not harming them what-so-ever)and moisturizes our skin so well, due to the oils being incredibly similar to the oils that we produce within our skin. Any other organic ingredients are also a big plus, and also try to find one with SPF 15, as you also want to protect this fragile area of skin.

Whether it is clear, flavoured or tinted, it is your- self preference. I personally like clear lip balms, and those that come in a tube rather than ones in a pot, as I find constantly sticking your finger in them a bit unsanitary. As for tints, I like slightly tinted red ones, as they add a bit of natural oomph to your lips. My favourite flavours are cherry, and recently, I discovered one with a coconut flavour. My verdict is that lip balms must service the lips. They must have key honestly good ingredients and moisturize the lips quickly, and soothe or heal any chapped areas. Flavours, tints, and any other gimmick to sell you one is just lip service.

Special NEW Lip Balms/Lip Tints:

  1. Lanolips- An Australian brand, where ultra-pure medical grade lanolin is the key ingredient. Also contains Vitamin E, and SPF 15. This particular product has won InStyle Magazine’s 2010 Best Beauty Buys Award, and won Beauty Insider’s Choice Award 2011. Available at and Boots stores nationwide. £8.16/12.5g or tube.

 Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour SPF 15- Comes in 5 shades: Rose, Apples, Sunshine, Dark Honey & Rhubarb.


Beauty’s verdict: This is one of the most moisturizing lip products I’ve ever used. The colours are so pretty and texture is so silky. My favourite is Rhubarb, which gives a deep pink colour, and smells rather fruity.

Snob’s verdict: Their lady lamb logo certainly makes me laugh. At first I thought it was a load of wool…..but containing 60% ultra-pure medical grade lanolin means it’s a great healer, and I give it both thumbs up!

2. Anatomicals- This quirky BRITISH(YEAH!) company has come out with 3 new lip balms. Key ingredient in them is Vitamin E. I have to say, they contain the shortest ingredient listing for a lip balm aside from Vaseline I have ever seen. Available at Boots at £2.45 each.


Snog me senseless: A minty tingling lip balm

Never lose your cherry: Cherry Flavour with SPF 15, and a slight red tint

Stop Cracking up: Coconut flavour lip balm

Beauty’s verdict: Loving how these balms protect from winter and frost, and gives a natural gloss. Also they are not sticky, and go into the lips quickly. My winner of the 3 choices is Never lose your Cherry….it ticks all my boxes: Red tint, cherry flavour & SPF 15!

Snob’s verdict: At first I thought this was a gimmick lip balm, with all these quirky jokes on the box. I started using one and going on to the next every two days. My winner is the Stop cracking up, as the coconut flavour in that is rather unusual. It doesn’t have that sickly tropical taste, but a subtle hint of nuttiness. Oh yes, nut allergy sufferers, don’t worry….it’s safe to use!

PURE GENIUS GENIE 2-in-1: This magical number from Anatomicals, is a 2-in-1 tube of hand cream plus lip balm! The cap of the hand cream has a solid lip balm on the top cap. Hand cream contains fantastic moisturising ingredients such as shea butter, lanolin, and avocado. Also contains calendula and allantoin to sooth dry hands. Lip balm contains soybean, and jojoba oils to salvage chapped lips. Do not be mistaken by its name. It does not contain aloe. As the quirky message on the tube says: “Hello can soon turn into goodbye when someone sees how rough your hands and lips are…” Aloe Aloe Aloe…. Available for £3.50 for 30ml at


#3 BB Creams, The Promise of the Look of Natural Eternal Youth

BB Creams apparently will be the next big thing in beauty. Its’ claim to fame is that it has skin regenerating properties and an all in one make-up and skin care product: it’s a moisturizer, a tint, primer, a skin protector, and a concealer.


There are two claims of where it was originally developed. Some say it was a doctor in Germany, others say it was a Doctor in Korea.They leave a natural glow and are super easy to use, hence the popularity of them in South-East Asia. It was invented for the purpose as a healer to post-skin laser surgery. The name BB is an abbreviation of Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. (And no, it’s not for those who have blemishes-anybody can use them.) Its’ moisturising properties also claim that some BB creams have the same properties as those found in moisturising serums. It can make the tinted moisturiser look rather dull. The finish of BB creams leaves the skin natural looking, and feeling matte. Redness or blotchiness of the skin disappears, and the skin is relieved of any inflammatory conditions.


Now the million dollar question is: Do they work? Is this a genie in the bottle? Well according to claims of people who have used them they even out the skin tone as foundations or tinted moisturisers do, and cover up blemishes as a concealer does as well. The texture of this product is lightweight, and gives enough moisture to the face even without a layer of cream, and acts also as a primer so the product is long-wearing. Best of all, it protects the skin as they contain SPF 15.


Many companies have started integrating this product into their lines, including Clinque, Estee Lauder, Garnier, and M.A.C. One of the most famous brands in Korea for BB creams is Skin79. They make a wide range to cater to all skin types and age groups, and they even make one for men. Skin79’s Homme Triple Action BB Cream for Men, claims to be able to keep the skin matte and control shine, and cleanses the pores as it contains mushroom extract LS-8865. It also contains anti-ageing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid that are found in top anti-ageing creams to fight wrinkles, and contains deep-sea water, which is famous in Japan for being deeply hydrating, and detoxifying. Other ranges from Skin79 include those that have whitening properties, or give extra radiance, and these lines are under names such as Diamond Pearl and Oriental Gold Plus. On average they cost about £13-£15 per 30ml.


So if you’re looking for a one-step solution, or an all in one skincare, cosmetic product for your holidays, this seems to be it. It certainly is a generous genie that grants more than one wish!

BB Me: Our suggestions for BBeautiful Results:

M.A.C. -Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer, £21/30ml sold at all M.A.C. counters and stores nationwide. Comes in 3 shades: Illuminate- to add radiance to sallow complexions; Neutralize- to calm red or blotchy complexions; and Recharge- to brighten dull complexions.

Beauty’s Verdict: Left the skin matte and feeling smooth. Certainly lifted my natural colouring!

Snob’s Verdict: I was rather impressed that this particular BB cream had such a strong sun factor. Contains SPF 35! WOW! I’m going with this one to the beach this summer!

2.KIKO Cosmetics- BB Cream Coloured Beauty Balm, £8.90/30ml, sold online on the KIKO website or at their stores found in both Westfields, London. Comes in 5 shades, 01-05: Light, Natural, Rose, Medium & Dark. This range is recommended for darker skin tones as it covers all ranges and skin tones. A unique BB cream as the cream comes out white in colour, but micro-encapsulated pigments break as you apply it on, and adapt to your natural skin tone. It also contains K-2, energy release, an active ingredient that prevents the loss of moisture. Contains SPF 15.

Beauty’s Verdict: Mmmm this one is the winner for me, because it adapts to me. I also feel more moisture from this, and it feels rather nourishing on the skin.

Snob’s Verdict: What can I say? I think this is the one stop Genie in the Bottle….grant all my wishes: Go away red blotches, go away blemish, feed my skin…make me a martini!


#4 Easy Nail Art- Yeah, Right, Best Leave it to the Salon?!

Now here’s a genie that often says he will grant us beautiful nails through colour or design. The result is often like a three year old did our nails, when we buy nail varnishes or polishes and do a DIY job. I’m sure a few of your have begrudged even moi when I gave instructions on how to turn your nails into strawberries in the last issue. I will admit that it takes patience, and practice with a nail brush to create designs as such.


New solutions and options to painting your nails have been applying nail wraps. While it looks easy, it can be a bit of a sticky situation. You can get bubbles when applying them on and have to be extra careful, or others can tell they were a bad wrap job.


A new genie in the bottle promises a cool nail effect by using a magnet. The nail polish contains very fine metal particles and while the nail polish is still wet, a magnet is hovered over the nail. The magnet pulls at the particles and creates a nail design or effect. If you twist the magnet or move it in different directions it will make a different design. Many nail polish makers are now coming out with magnetic nail polishes. Look out for them in Boots. A birdie told me they that No.17 make them, and you could get them at a snip of the price.


Who's making Magnetic Nail Polishes NOW!

  1. Nails Inc.-Magnetic Nail Polish. Available at Nails Inc Stores/Counters Nationwide, £13, 10ml. In 3 colours named after landmarks of London: Big Ben-metallic gold; Trafalgar Square-metallic silver; and Houses of Parliament-metallic purple. Look out for 2 new additions to this range as well: Whitehall a stunning teal and Kensington Palace, a metallic raspberry. Each bottle sold donates £1 back to the Prince’s Trust.


Beauty’s Verdict: I think the magnet on the cap is a brilliant idea, as it also has a foot that sits on the cuticle. This way there’s no smudging and easier than trying to paint flowers or designs on with a brush.

Snob’s Verdict: A bit pricey for a polish, but I can forgive that too because they do a good cause too for the Prince’s Trust. Favourite colour is the gold because it easily matches everything I wear.


2. Boots No.7 Magnetic Nail Polish, £5.99/10ml is available nationwide at Boots. Available in 4 colours: Teal, Blue, Lilac and Gunmetal.

Beauty’s Verdict: Works exactly the same as all the other brands. Paint, and put magnet over when it’s still wet. Loving the Blue colour!

Snob’s Verdict: The teal colour option is almost like a green. Going to paint this one on to leave my friends green with envy.

#5 Water Atomizers-Total Waste of Money Princess?!

My final product in this feature is the water atomizer (or basically, water in an aerosol can). I can remember bringing a massive one of these to a barbeque trip out to some lakes in Calgary, Canada, years ago when I worked for Venture Magazine. My boyfriend, at that time, laughed at me, and said that I only took it along with me to be set aside as the posh girl from the office.


The thought of it is rather ridiculous, as it is only ionized water that sprays from a can. In terms of moisturising the skin, it does not do it to the same effect as a cream would. However, I suggest it as the desert island product on holiday, and a must to take with you on planes (that, is if you can find small ones under 100ml to take onto the cabin). The most available brands here in the UK seem to be Avene, and Evian at Boots, but they can get rather pricey at £6-£7 for 150ml.


I recently discovered a more economical version that is just as nice, made by a British Company called Beauty Formulas. They make a face & body cooling mist for about £2.99, 150ml. You can buy it online at: I have found some locally on occasion at various pound stores in my area.


My verdict is that it’s a genie in a bottle on a scorching summer day on the train or on the tube. I’ve had eyes of envy when I start spraying myself, and feel relieved and refreshed, on the train. I also give it as a gift to all my friends before they go away on holiday, as I find that it’s a great pick-me-up at the airport, or on flights.

Beauty's Verdict: It's boring, and just water! I don't want my mascara to run!

Snob’s Verdict: It’s 999 on a hot day, and makes you feel fresh. Thumbs up! to a simple beauty solution. You’ll be grateful to have one when you’re sweltering in the summer heat.



My favourite genie that comes in a bottle of all time has to be

1. Water Atomiser, and 2. BB creams.


I rate the one from KIKO to be No. 1. Try it for yourself and discover a genie in the bottle today. Create your own verdict! If you need any more advice on these products, please do send me a message on the contact page.

The Edit: Reviews & Other Neat Stuff

Beautys' Abi Fabi Edit:

Moschino Cheap & Chic London Fashion Week 2012

At London Fashion Week there were no definite trends this season. In fact, trends seem to outdated for most fashion designers. Hot right now in fashion, is what creates a more individual look for the season. A spotted theme though, was that of sorbet colours for SS’12. Soft hues of pinks, lilacs and yellows were apparent led by Louis Vuitton and their Spring Campaign Look: Sugar Me.

This candy coloured look was also seen on the runway by Moschino Cheap & Chic and Christopher Kane. Lace detailing either on collars or hemlines made this look standout. I’m loving Olivia Palermo’s skinny trousers in that lovely sky hue. To get this trend on now, I suggest: Forever 21’s new skinny jeans in an array of sorbet colours at only £12.50 a pair.

Olivia Palmero at London Fashion Week- Moschino Cheap & Chic Show 2012

Another definite hit was the complete opposite to the softer feminine look but strong vibrant colours such as lime greens, reds and pinks. Notice the trend is already followed and had its kick-start by Lianne La Havas on the left in this photo.

The strong red was spotted being sported by Peaches Geldolf also seen at the Mochino Cheap & Chic show.

A more feminine approach was also taken to eyewear. The cat-eye lense is purrrfect at the moment, and was seen on the catwalk of Christian Dior and Giles. I’m eyeing a pair in a clear with sparkles and light blue lenses at Miu Miu.

On the Monday morning of Fashion Week I woke up with pure glee that I would not have to grapple with the beast (my hair) as I headed to my appointment at the Toni & Guy Blow Dry Bar at Sommerset House. The Toni & Guy Blow Dry is a haven for all fashionistas to freshen up before the show. A wash with Toni & Guy’s organic range, trim and blow-dry later, I was soared to new heights, and felt like one of the models myself. Even more exciting is that they have launched a new range of Age-Defying hair products which has caviar in it. (Look out next month on the feature with this new hair care product.)

I headed next door to M.A.C. (the official cosmetics sponsor of London Fashion Week) to see what looks they were creating for SS’12. The make-up artist did my eyes, and told me that oranges were blossoming for the season. In their SHOP collection to hit stores in March, a pretty eye palette called Call Me Bubbles has an incredible popping orange to re-create this look. They also have a new crème blusher called Optimistic Orange to match. Finishing off the look she created a strong red lip colour in their tinted lip balm called Hot n’ Saucy. Look out for this and the COOK Collection in March, as an exclusive to Selfridges. To match the sorbet couture collections I would recommend M.A.C.’s new lipglass in Fuji Pink from their East Asia Chic Collection, also available in March.

I’ve already invested in a pale almost lilac stone colour jacket with origami sleeves for SS’12. With a touch of my soft lipglass from M.A.C. and perhaps the sunglasses I’m pining for at the moment, I think I’m ready to welcome the milder weather, are you?

Sergio Rossi SS'12- Skin To Skin Collection


Now girls, I want you to say out loud the answer to this question, when I ask: Name a brand of Couture shoes or footwear. Bet your answer was Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin. Personally, I believe any real fashionista should have said the answer: Sergio Rossi.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone to my sister( who lives in Canada), and we were talking about shoes as she managed to get a fantastic deal on three pairs of open toe numbers. Immediately, I asked her who the designer was, and she said, “No one”. She then attempted to ask me who or what shoes I like to wear, and I said, “Sergio Rossi”, in which she replied, “Who?” I was shocked, and immediately educated her, while giving her a talking-down, plus 411, on couture shoes, and that Rossi is king when it comes to style meets comfort meets design.

Now, I would like to point out that I am not saying Sergio Rossi tops other couture brands because I believe this to be so, nor that it is because he is Italian, nor it is that I love them, nor it is because I want to talk about them. They are because Rossi’s formula through patient observation of women, and their attitudes about shoes, was that….” the shoe is an integral part of the woman who wears it.” It does read like a fairy-tale, but those in the know, know, that Rossi’s shoes fit like Cinderella’s slipper, and due to intricate measurements, and design is absolutely pain free even if they are sky scraper high.

Sergio Rossi’s SS’12 collection, SKIN TO SKIN, perhaps truly encapsulates this old truth of the brand. Francesco Russo, Creative Director for Sergio Rossi, has created a collection where there is a meeting of extremes: Haraki in Hawaii, and a collection where the playing of straps is key. In the summer collection, EROTIC best describes the bondage effect, and the feet are not the only ones to be bound, but also style straps for the waits, chest and wrists. What I especially like is creating a relationship that merges the shoes and the body, says Francesco Russo. Colours are bright and bring out erotica in exotica colours such as fluorescents on great classical designs, while lilies and pistils embroidered in pearls on “neo pin-up” sandals are revealed in bright kimono shades.

You’ll soon find me standing in front of the Sergio Rossi boutique on Sloane Street, drooling like a little girl over an ice-cream cart. For who could resist the call of Rossi? Hell, if the assistant there had a foot fetish, and offered me a deal like the one Charlotte got in Sex And The City, I’d let him caress my foot for a chance to get closer to SKIN TO SKIN.

Beautiful Mother's Day Gift Guide

For New Mother's Boo Boo Gift Sets

Boo is a British brand of luxurious, paraben-free skincare for new mums and babies. Started by two ex-magazine editors, Jennifer and Corinna, Boo offers a range of products that are free from: parabens, sulphates, TEA petrochemicals, phenoxyethanol, synthetic colours, and DEA. All the products are not tested on animals.

I suggest the Luxury Mummy Spa Kit which includes the award winning Bosom Buddy cream for a lifted bust; Miracle Oil(not greasy at all) to help stop stretch marks and improve elasticity of the skin; and Silky Body Wash for smooth results after the shower. Available online at or John Lewis, Harrods and Selfridges for £39.99

Another great gift set called the Congrats Mummy Kit £36.99 includes the Body Smoother. This smoother helps fight cellulite, stretch marks, and smells divine, as it has hibiscus, and shea butter that leaves the skin soft and also helps with any itchiness as well.

For Mother’s who need peace of mind, help mum get back into tune with herself: Lush Sound Bath Treatment, £65/1 Hr, at the LUSH SPA on Kings Road

This treatment is not like any other. It takes one to a deep state of relaxation and of sound mind. It incorporates the use of the ancient ear-candling, tune fork vibrations, singing bowls, and a made-to-measure soundtrack to balance heart, mind and soul. The treatment is known to leave you refreshed, pure and engaged. Lying on the bed, fully-clothed, there is a relaxing facial of hot and cold stones, ear candles, and a stimulating scalp massage. Renowned English Folk musician and producer, Simon Emmerson has created a soundscape to put one into a deep state of peace and calm in this treatment. The point of this treatment is to put one back in tune, with themselves, and is said to be a nurturing, comforting experience. Sounds like every mother needs this treatment!

To book call LUSH Kings Road SPA on 0207 376 8348 or look up the treatment on


An Alternative to Chocolate or Flowers: Speciality Teas from Yumchaa

Yumchaa is a tea company that bases its basis on no-tea bags or no tea-bagging. This is because they believe that to brew a proper cuppa, the tea leaves and water need the time and ability to mingle. They also use natural ingredients and oils in their teas. Here are two specific teas, that was suggested by one of their tea experts for a special Mother’s Day treat:

  1. Ginseng Guardian Blend, £5.20/100g

(On the left in the photo)

This tea is meant to be drunk in the morning, and makes a great substitute to coffee. It is a green tea which incorporates lemon, vanilla and ginseng. Yumchaa describes the taste as a sharpness of lemon mellowed by freeze dried creamy yoghurt vanilla granules and natural ginseng. I’m all over this tea as I like the ginseng in it! Ginseng strengthens your immune and helps to give one loads of energy. The tea is also said to help build up resistance against stress and helps one to sleep better.


  1. Raspberry Vanilla £5.20/100g

(On the right in the photo)


The fusion of a raspberry and vanilla blend is said to be how Yumchaa got started. Yumchaa describes this tea to be gentle raspberries and aromatic vanilla pods in an herbal rooibos base. Rooibos or bush tea comes from South Africa, and is known for its health properties of helping with nervous tension, digestive problems and allergies. Best of all it contains no caffeine.


Both teas are available at 5 Yumchaa shop locations in the westend of London, or at market stalls (I go to the one at Spitafields on the weekends) or online at



Help Keep (Mum) Immaculate with Keep Immaculate’s Thermal Therapy

Keep Immaculate is a professional treatment used in MayFair salons, and for the first time will be made available on the high street. It is currently being exclusively launched at Fenwicks Brent Cross. The Keep Immaculate Thermal Therapy brand was developed by award winning entrepreneur, Lydia Montoute. Lydia Montoute has won the British Female Inventors & Innovators Network ‘Special Recognition’ award, and also the Young Entrepreneur Award from the European Federation of Black Women Business owners for her innovations and creative approach.

The Keep Immaculate Thermal Therapy range works on the basis on impact heat release technology and natural oils. Whether in a face pack, slippers for the feet or a hand held exfoliator, the pores of the skin on face and body are opened by the heat once the devices are activated. This helps the natural oils that are used in combination to work its therapeutic magic and benefits. The result is a more radiant, and toned skin, while everyday stresses are soothed away.

I find it an incredibly good product for at home treatment for those who don’t want to make a mess, but want to feel the holistic goodness of a treatment. All you have to do is clean the face with one of their cleansers, and then pop one of the oils on, and activate the device, and let the heat do the rest. The devices are reusable and environmentally friendly, as you boil them in hot water for 20 min, and let them cool and they are ready for the next use.

Any 1 of the 3 within the Thermal Therapy range are now on a special introductory offer for £20 at FENWICKS BRENT CROSS from FEB 24-Mar8, 2012. You will get your choice of face mask, hand exfoliator, or pedicure slippers and 1, 25 ml oil of your choice, and 1, 25 ml cleanser of your choice as a starter pack for £20.

Glamhot Hand Exfoliator:

Specifically good for:-

- Shoulders (great for a night out when shoulders are out)

- legs (great for bare legs for that natural all over sheen)

-foot (great for feet in shoes or sandles)

- hips and bottom cheeks (for a soft and smooth to the touch feel)


The Glamhot starter kit comes with a trial size Avocado & Carrot Seed Oil which is a brilliant anti-oxidant and detox oil, a trial size Cleanser Wash that has a herbaceous, earthy aroma designed to carefully detox and cleanse. 


Sauna Radiance Mask


- Immediate noticeable results

-smooths and softens the skin

-convenient and practical to use 

-great for pampering in the bath, girls night in

-great for travel journeys


Comes with a trial size Clary Sage & Evening Primrose Oil & Cleanser Wash that carries a sweet scent that will encourage a clear complexion and advance fresh, young looking skin.


Grooming Pedicure Feet


- Great for tired feet after a hard day's work

- Pampers cold feet (gets the circulation going quickly)

- Soothing for blisters, sore feet


Comes with a trial size Apricot & Peppermint Oil and Cleanser Wash that has a cool, fresh scent. It is rich in vitamin A and is effective in softening dry, cracked skin. 


I will highlight and recommend two of their oils for Mother’s Day:

  1. Carrot Seed Oil- This oil is great to help fight premature ageing, and will keep mum looking fresh and young. Packed full of wrinkle fighting vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, C, D & E!
  2. Clary Sage & Evening Primose- The clary sage in this oil will boost cell regeneration and tightening of the skin. Another tip is that this oil is a great picker upper, for PMT!

Snob's Yum Yum Edit

Mother’s Day Gift & Eat Guide: A Couple of GOOD places to Eat



Thinking of going the grown-up route and thinking of having high tea with mummy for Mother’s Day? Hotel high teas a bit too pricey?

Look no further than booking your table at THE PARLOUR- Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG. Remember to book your reservations on 0207 659 4500 or you might not get a table.


Snob give this venue his five stars as the atmosphere is relaxed. Lovely sofa and velvet covered chairs to sit on. Menu selection is exceptionally diverse. You can have Eggs Benedict, Continental Breakfast, Teas and Scones, little nibble platters with cheese, ham, salads, fruit, and even more filling day time meals like club sarnies, and chicken with peppercorn sauce. High Tea is also available. Have the meal with a wide selection of black teas, green teas, white teas, coffees, alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktails. Do not try to resist the desert cart, as it is useless. Signature cakes include, tarts, chocolate cakes, and macarons. If you like nuts, then you must try their signature chestnut gateau, which includes macadamia, pistachio nuts, chestnut mousse, and macaronade biscuit. Yum!

Walk all that off after as it is a step away from shopping on Regent Street, and Liberty’s of London.



Thinking of brunch, but don’t want to take mum to a grease spoon diner? Stop off at the top of the Victoria Line, and go to Whalthamstow Village to EAT 17. This bistro/restaurant has been suggested by the Good Food Guide 2011. It offers good, honest British food, without pretentious staff or prices. (Organic and sustainable sources and sourcing of all their foods from eggs, to fish, to sausage.)

I think mum would definitely enjoy this venue as it cosy, and the food is delicious. Tucked away from the high street on Oxford Road, it is a real culinary gem of the area. I like going there on Sundays to get my fix of the latest Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue issue, with a little snack. I suggest the buffalo chicken wings, fish and chips and mushy peas (not so mushy), and their salads.

EAT17 (Get it? The post code is E 17….) is at 28-30 Orford Road, Whalthamstow, London E17 9NJ


Book for this venue, or go extra early or much later, as all the locals know of this HOT SPOT in this area.



Beauty & The Snob


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