Monday, 29 August 2011

Cosmetics & Beauty News August 2011

Natural beauty benefits of organic argan oil
Scientists have recently concluded that argan oil is one of the best oils for human health. The argan tree, native to Morocco, is known as the tree of life - and not without good reason, as its oil can be used not only to get loads of vitamins and nutrients but also to keep hair, skin and nails looking healthy and beautiful. Model Sophie Dahl is a fan, as is chef Heston Blumenthal. Ideal for all skin types, the oil protects, moisturises, and reduces signs of ageing as well as treating skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne scars. Best of oil (see what I did there? BOOOOOM), a wide variety of products using argan oil can be found at an equally vast range of prices, so that everyone can feel the difference: examples of products using the wonder oil are Mazuri Organics Olive Oil and Argan Oil hair treatments (just 99p, folks!), LPO Anti-Ageing Organic Argan Cream (£17) and Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion (£50 for the largest size). Other products that can help to treat such skin conditions are products containing Dead Sea minerals, such as those made by Malki.
Beer and barley spa treatments launch at Brown's Hotel
Brown's Hotel in London has added a new range of British beer and barley treatments to its already sumptuous spa menu in celebration of the Great British Beer Festival. The treatments blend Maris Otter barley with East Kent Goldings hops, Hooky Gold Ale from Oxfordshire and St Austell's Tribute Beer from Cornwall to create a truly unforgettable experience. Barley is high in vitamins (including B1 and B3) and minerals (selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and copper), and what's more, all treatments also kick off with a hot malt drink which is high in fibre and has a low glycaemic index (GI) and a unique barley snack created by the hotel's pastry chef. Whether it's a 90-minute pale ale pedicure, a 75-minute honey and barley facial (which also uses lagoon water and sesame seed oil) or a 90-minute barley body wrap you're after, you now truly can have your beer and drink it too. Prices from £85.

30 Days of Fashion and Beauty is back!
Giveaways and offers are now in full swing as September's calendar of events draws closer. The National Magazine Company is also offering stacks of free hints and tips online as we get back into the swing of work, school and university. Prizes include Elemis spa treatments, £500 to spend at Reiss, Bellapierre makeup, and bottles of Lolita Lempicka fragrance. I'd get entering if I were you. 

Debenhams launches 'boob job in a bra'
Aiming to give the biggest boost on the high street, Debenhams have launched its Triple Boost bra. Allowing women to enhance their bust without the cost or pain of surgery, the bra is available in several colours and has taken two years to perfect. Three separate foam pads in varying densities are pushed in different directions, resulting in a maximum impact of cleavage and shape. The different pads enhance the shape of the bust, provide a boost, and add extra uplift. The bra is available in sizes 30A-38DD, and costs £22. 

Boob a glass?!   
Even more wacky is the new collagen drink that's just hit the shelves in the UK. Pure GOLD COLLAGEN contains hydrolysed collagen, hyaluronic acid, borage oil and vitamins to tackle ageing skin. While collagen drinks have been popular in Japan for some time, they are only just arriving in Britain. The ingredients supposedly work together to add moisture and plump up the deeper levels of the skin - as opposed to topical skin creams that only work on the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). 10ml should be taken every day for four weeks to see noticeable results according to clinical trials in France - following these tests, the 47 participants showed a 28% decrease in skin hydration, 19% increase in skin suppleness, and a 30% decrease in wrinkles. The 50ml bottle, on that basis, should last you 5 days, meaning you'd need 6 bottles to get you through a month. At £3.60 a bottle, is the total monthly cost of £21.60 worth it? You decide.

Supporting Breast Cancer Care
(I'll stop talking about boobs in a minute. I promise.)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many brands are reissuing classic products in pink packaging to help get people thinking about and examining their chests - remember that men can get breast cancer too! Palmer's, for instance, has reintroduced the nation's favourite cocoa butter in a limited edition pink bottle, with 30p from each sale going towards the support of men and women with breast cancer. Mineral makeup brand Jane Iredale is also not missing out, with 100% of the net proceeds from its new product, Lollipops and Roses (a Swarovski-decorated keychain lip duo that comes with its own mirror - £19.95, available from September), also going to a charity supporting breast cancer awareness. Finally, Clarisonic is also supporting through sales of its paisley range, including the new Clarisonic Mia; £3 from each sale will go to Look Good...Feel Better.

In the pink
Fragrance brand Impulse has teamed up with fashion brand Lipsy to create a limited edition hot pink dress to celebrate their latest fragrance, Very Pink. The off-the-shoulder dress has a delicate drape sleeve and an embellishment at the waist. The dress is available at full price now from, but as a special offer for Impulse fans, you can get the dress from any of the following stores for HALF PRICE when you show your can of Very Pink (£1.99) to the cashier:
  • 22 – 26 Cameron Walk, Metro Centre, Gateshead, NE11 9ER
  • 82-88 Queens Street, Cardiff, CF10 2GR
  • Westfield, Ariel Way, London, W12 7GA
  • 122 Regents Crescent, The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA
UK women less confident than their sisters in the States
According to a survey by Mama Mio skincare, American women could teach us Brits a thing or two. 15% of American women claim their birthday suit was made to be shared, compared with 10% of Britons. Just 12% of British women feel happy in a bikini compared with 30% of Americans. Thirty-five per cent of Americans rated their boobs 'beautiful' compared with 20% of UK women, and that 20% rears its head again, with that percentage of British women thinking their posterior is their best feature, while 30% of American women are happy to bare their bottoms. 
The 'Net-A-Porter' of beauty
Finally a version of Net-A-Porter has arrived that we beauty buffs can love: is a one-stop beauty shop founded by makeup artist Deborah J Francis. Exclusive brands include Jason Shankey, Gielly Green, MUD, Natural Empathy, and many more besides. Shop by your skin type, hair type, or what's new in; there's even stuff for men. If your order comes to over £40 you get free delivery too - wherever you are in the world.

QVC Beauty Awards winners revealed 
Throughout July Beauty Month, 15,000 QVC viewers voted for the products that they themselves have used and loved. The winners are:
Best Moisturiser: Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser, £33
Best Flawless Finish: Bare Escentuals SPF15 Foundation, £20
Best Anti-Ageing Product: Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate, £38
Best Haircare Product: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, £23
Best Eyecare Product: Gatineau Melatogenine Futur Plus Eye Concentrate, £46.50
Best Nailcare Product: OPI Twice The Envy, £16.75
Best Bodycare Product: L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream, £24.75
Best Makeup Must-Have: Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, £17
Best Facial Cleanser: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, £25
Best Handcare Product: L'Occitane Hand Cream Duo, £30
Best Concealer: Bare Minerals Multi-Tasking, Well-Rested and Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush, £25
Best Lip Product: Gale Hayman Lip Lift Duo with Collagen and Vitamin E, £21.75

Also in award news comes the message that eco-luxury skincare brand Bodhi has been shortlisted for a UK Beauty Award for its Ylang Ylang Incensa, a sensual bath and shower therapy that uses a higher-than-average percentage of essential oils, making it therapeutic to body and mind. This comes just one year after the launch of the brand's first range. Top beauty journalists and buyers will vote to decide the winner, which will be announced on December 2nd. Well done and good luck!

Stock up on essentials
In these wallet-crunching times, it's only understandable that companies don't want to put prices up - but sometimes they have to. Thankfully, The Organic Pharmacy has given its fans a warning in advance, saying that "from September 15th our products will cost a little more due to a price increase in our ingredients. This is so we can continue to remain true to our principles of bringing you the best products with the best organic ingredients as we have always promised to deliver you. Stock up on your essential products before the price increase - buy online or in store by September 14th."

Ancient beauty secrets from Queen of Aleppo
It's all about the oils this month! Olive oil has been popular for hundreds if not thousands of years as a way of taking care of our health and beauty from the inside and the outside. Queen of Aleppo's 100% natural soap crafted from olive and laurel oils is proving that ancient techniques can still work wonders today. The soaps are handmade in the winter, dried on racks, and then aged in subterranean chambers, during which time the soap becomes a deep golden colour and pH levels change naturally to match those of the skin. Perfect for all types of skin, from baby to mature, it can also prove a space-saver when travelling as it can be used to wash hair as well as skin. It also floats in water, so no chance of losing it in the bath! Costs from £3.25.
Coconut oil has also been recommended recently by the International Institute for Anti-Ageing (IIAA) as a way to help soften skin. Products recommended by the institute include Environ AVST Pre-Cleansing Oil (£15.95) and Jane Iredale PureGloss (£15).

Bee friendly
Some of you may remember my earlier post about actions taken by beauty company Neal's Yard to help protect the declining bee population. French organic beauty brand Melvita is now getting in on the act, having joined forces with frozen yoghurt company Yuforia. Buy one of the limited edition frozen yoghurts from Yuforia's Covent Garden or Soho stores, and you'll be helping to raise funds to build a third beehive on their roof. Bee-yoo-tiful. (BA-DUM-TSSSH.)

Topman launch first fragrance range
This September will see the long-awaited launch of Topman's fragrance and grooming range. The range - which will launch exclusively in Topman Oxford Circus and Selfridges department stores on September 22nd before going nationwide to all Boots and remaining Topman stores a week later - will consist of two eau de parfum fragrances (16 and 27) and an essential hair and body range offering hair putty, body wash, deodorant and a body spray, all carrying the 27 fragrance. The fragrances are brought to the Topman customer at the price of £15. "No.16 gives a sense of cool fresh air using three key top notes - bergamot, poivre and a woody ozone accent - which are amplified by the heart and edgy base of amber, labdanum and musks. No.27 had to have ingredients that would be addictive and distinctive, so we chose a wild accord of clarysage, anise and neroli with a magnetic character of vetiver and nutmeg for the heart, and added tenacity to the end composition with four notes of oakmoss, frankincense, cedarwood and musks," says Azzi Glasser, the perfume designer.

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