Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I can't believe that Aromatics Elixir is 40!

I really like this fragrance - my best friend wore it and my sister-in-law wore it for years (and may still do to be honest I just haven't asked her). It was what you chose when you were buying your first proper fragrance and didn't want to smell like your mum by wearing Chanel no.5. So it was a bit of a shock when a bottle came into the office to celebrate 40 years of the fragrance and everyone said 'Oh it reminds me of my mum!'

That told me then...

It still is a really nice fragrance for daytime (well I think so anyway) so here is some of it's amazing heritage as told by the brand.

'AROMATICS ELIXIR is a bracing green chypre - at once visceral and intellectual - as powerfully womanly as it is vibrantly unorthodox. Its starkly severe quality is offset by a sultry warmth. The result is complex, uncompromising, formidable.
· Top notes: a heady rush of sparklingly herbaceous verbena, coriander, clary sage and chamomile.
· Heart notes: a plush embrace of Bulgarian rose, carnal jasmine and sensual ylang-ylang.
· Base notes: a fist of patchouli, laced with oakmoss, sandalwood, lavish Florentine orris and leathery labdanum, exuding a smoky, incense-rich trail of balsamic benzoin resin and earthy vetiver.'

And in the past 10 years 19.7 million bottles have been sold so it's still pretty popular and not just amongst the older generation (which almost but not quite includes me *ahem*)...
So to celebrate they've given it a bit of an update which goes something like this..

'To celebrate AROMATICS ELIXIR’s 40th anniversary, Clinique has commissioned a limited-edition tribute to its classic creation.
AROMATICS ELIXIR PERFUMER’S RESERVE uses cutting-edge molecular distillation technology from Grasse’s renowned Laboratoire Monique Rémy (LMR) to create a fresher, smoother, modern interpretation of Chant’s original.
· Rose, jasmine, myrrh and patchouli notes are cleaner, lighter, with a contemporary transparency.
· The addition of orange flower absolute and peach lends a creamy luminosity.
· The fragrance’s intoxicating sillage becomes tender, subdued - a whisper rather than a shout.'
Sounds cool - look out for it nationwide from October 7th or buy online from Clinique.

Monday, 26 September 2011

I want a new winter coat... but which one to choose?

I know we are due a mini-heatwave by the end of the week but I feel a bit short-changed. I am actually looking forward to getting out my winter clothes which I prefer and cover up all that summer weight that seems to have slipped onto my hips - and I just prefer to be wrapped up if I'm honest. What I will be needing is a winter coat as although I LOVE my faithful duffle I really do need something with a bit more style...7

Here are my favourites...

The short tweed Cambridge coat from Jaeger
How gorgeous is this classic car coat with it's oversized collar and sleek silhouette. This is an investment piece and I would feel like a character from Mad Men when I wore it... price tag? £450

Hobbs Bernice Coat in Melange Grey from John Lewis
Another classic this time from Hobbs that will go from one season to the next. Loving the wide lapels and wrap-style with belted-waist (make the most of your shape that's what I say!). And you can see, even from the picture, that this is a soft little number being in a mohair mix fabric. Damage? £369

I like checks - especially when they are muted, like this one. This has a black satin lining, black logo embellished buttoning and two front clip pockets - will definitely keep you warm and cosy when you're walking the moors... Price? an affordable £120

Red car coat in nylon/wool mix from River Island.
I quite fancy a flash of red to brighten up my, well let's face it, all too black winter wardrobe. And red is one of the season's signature colours on the A/W catwalks. This one is smart, simple and at a cool £80 is great value for money...

Classic tailored camel coat from Jigsaw.
Oh yum! Do I love this coat? Have always wanted a classic camel coat and have never had one... love the hidden buttons and the length is perfect... again a classic investment buy which if I look after it will last me a few seasons. Price? A sterling £229

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Uniqlo Innovation Project has launched!

I am a sucker for Uniqlo clothing - they really do great basics for all shapes, sizes and most importantly ages. You won't feel like mutton wearing their clothes and they do seem to be pretty hard wearing - mine need to be they get washed so much...

Yesterday saw the launch of the UNIQLO Innovation Project collection which represents the 'ultimate in everyday apparel, pairing universal designs with revolutionary functionality, a concept that UNIQLO intends to roll out to all it’s clothing in the future.'

Through working with top creative talent; Design Director Naoki Takizawa, Creative Director Kashiwa Sato and Style Director Nicola Formichetti (the collection was showcased for the first time in Formichetti’s pop up store in New York last weekend), the UNIQLO Innovation Project takes clothing to the next level; featuring a versatile collection of garments with cutting-edge fabric technology. 

What this actually means is that they have paired their top creatives with fabric manufacturing to develop new products that do the following....

UNIQLO  launched the first collection under the new UNIQLO Innovation Project concept on Friday 23 September. The collection is online now with free delivery for the first week, and is available to buy in-store 311 Oxford Street and UNIQLO Westfield London

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bag that saves lives from The Body Shop

This is a strange picture to send out as publicity as you can't see the bottom of the bag which is really nice. What you can see is Tamara Mellon OBE who has just launched this limited edition shopper with all the profits going to stopping the sex trafficking of young people and children. Available from the 6th October it will be £4 well spent and you'll actually use it - it's that attractive!

The Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign is a three-year global campaign in partnership with NGO ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking) an international network of children’s rights organisations. The campaign aims to put an end to the trafficking of children and young people, guarantee their rights to be protected from exploitation and inspire long-term change to protect children and young people. The campaign has been launched in over 50 The Body Shop markets and in just two years has already collected 6.7million signatures and raised over US$3million worldwide. At the time of writing the campaign had presented petitions to 20 governments around the world and already inspired governments to change laws in eight countries. Recently, the campaign presented the biggest petition on human rights in history to the EU. At the end of September the campaign will be presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

For further information on the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children & Young People campaign, please visit The Body Shop or ECPAT

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sandbanks - a little bit of heaven

Now I know why it's called millionaire's row.... Sandbanks is a truly beautiful place to hang out, even when the sun's not shining. I've just got back from a two day treat - it's been a hard weekend saying goodbye to eldest daughter and depositing her alone at Leeds Uni  so a windy walk on the beach was just what the Doctor ordered to blow away the cobwebs.

We stayed at The Sandbanks Hotel which has been refurbished and is now 4 star (it had been a seventies throwback but that's all gone). They've created a wonderful beachside terrace with an outdoor bar which I am sure would be quite fantastic in the summer. And the brasserie restaurant which serves the fresh catch-of-the-day overlooks the sand and out to the Isle of Wight and Bournemouth along the coast. If these pictures don't convince you to go then I don't know what will....

Mussels and chips overlooking the sea at Swanage....
Jazz cafe at Sandbanks

Lullworth Cove across the chain ferry...
Amazing rocks at Lullworth Cove

Friday, 16 September 2011

Philips ReAura creates skin that's just like new...

Nothing is as soft as a new-born babies skin and we'd all like to return to the soft, downy, line-free skin of our youth. Well there's no such thing as miracles - which in my case is what it would take, but things can now improve dramatically with this nifty new beauty product that replicates salon treatments in your own home...

Using revolutionary light treatment the Phillips ReAura laser skin rejuvenation home treatment is endorsed by leading Harley Street cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting and is the first home treatment of it's kind to come to the UK.

Phillips ReAura is clinically proven to achieve remarkable skincare results by providing three benefits for overall appearance and in trials 93% of users had visible improvements - the study was carried out independently.

So, how does it work? Thousands of microscopic laser beams are delivered to specific areas and these beams pass down through the epidermis and dermis of the skin, creating a pattern of microscopic treatment zones. This triggers the skin's natural cell renewal process, so even the sensitive and line prone areas like the eyes and mouth look more plumped up and therefore, youthful. Sun spots and age spots fade and you get an even skin tone.

As with all treatments of this type it takes a period of weeks to build up the effect - the testers used the laser treatment for 12 weeks - but the results were pretty impressive and being able to do this in your own home does free you from the tyranny of booked appointments...

Philips RéAura is available from September 2011, with a recommended retail price of £799.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

J'Adore - the latest film where Charlize Theron looks STUPIDLY beautiful!

It's almost impossible not to find fault with this film. It has the Hollywood glamour of a by-gone age brought to life with vignettes of Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, and Grace Kelly interspersed with all the glitter of a back-stage fantasy at a Dior show. Chalize Theron looks absolutely amazing - and I mean amazing... Although J'Adore has been around for years and is a fragrance many will associate with another generation, this type of advertising works as well today as it always has done. In a time when we are all suffering from 'advertising fatigue' I was sold hook, line and sinker because if I wear this fragrance I will become one of these women... definitely!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

An evening of hair-styling with Peter Lux and Head & Shoulders...

We had another night out last night - this time at the St Martin's Lane Hotel hosted by Handpicked Media and Head & Shoulders. Head & Shoulders has been around an amazing 50 years this year making it even older than me (ha ha). So it was born the same year that Audrey Hepburn swept the board at the Oscars for her performance as Holly-Go-Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. So we all started on our strange heads of real hair 'dolls' with an Audrey inspired style for good measure.

I haven't got any pix of this yet but here is one of Peter Lux, the brand's Creative Beauty Director who is full of brilliant hair ideas and is a great person to spend an evening with.

And hasn't he got a great head of thick, shiny hair - he uses nothing but Head & Shoulders or so he says... I must say I do actually believe him...
To quote Peter
'Personally, I like to think of Head & Shoulders as the little black dress of haircare - you know that when you use it, you'll always look and feel good; and of course, wearing black is the ultimate torture test for an anti-dandruff shampoo.'

Well I don't know if using a shampoo actually makes me feel 'good' exactly, but the cocktails served last night (along with the mini burgers) certainly made me feel way too good (hence the slightly delicate feeling this morning which certainly can't be blamed on my shampoo).

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Keeping Up With BeautyandtheDirt

I love our weekly stint where we natter about beauty products that float our boats each week....

Here is last week's instalment!

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel you could win a bottle of DKNY fragrance and a really cute bag - you've really nothing to lose!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I can't wait for Westfield, Stratford to open!

Westfield, Stratford (or Stratfield as I shall be calling it henceforth just because I can) is opening in six days and I am excited... Oh yes, forget the closeness to the Olympic Park (didn't get any tickets so what do I care) and look to the fact that this uber-shopping paradise will be much easier for me to get to than the Shepherd's Bush version and all well in time for Christmas shopping...

I'm not going for the official opening, am not fussed if I see Nicole Scherzinger cut a ribbon and sing a song if I'm honest and I expect it to be absolutely packed. No I'm planning on timing it just right to miss the pre-Christmas crowds and the post-opening hordes and hit the stores sometime around mid-October.

Why am I going? Because there will be over 300 stores and lots of places to eat so I shall go for the day. And they are including lots of my favourite stores - John Lewis, Marks & Spencer plus Reiss, Topshop, Primark, Hollister, Uniqlo - we'll all be happy in my house. I used to live in Leytonstone and then Walthamstow. Stratford was a tube station and little else - it's about time the East End became a destination in this way and I for one, although I didn't get tickets (bitter, moi?) am happy we are regenerating this part of London. 

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