It's Olympic time, and the nation is going for gold. But here at Bianca's Beauty Blog we're dashing for diamond - a classic trend which proves ever-popular. In spite of the market's bad press in recent years due to conflict diamonds, diamond sales jumped 53% in 2010, going up a further 26% in 2011. So it would seem that girls still love diamonds, and this is reflected everywhere in the fashion and beauty industries. Diamond rings remain at the top of the tree when it comes to engagements, Nails Inc released an amazing limited edition nail varnish in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee (encrusted with diamond-style stones; left), tiaras and sparkly silver eyeshadow continue to appear on the catwalk, and the Queen and Kate Middleton rocked the cameras with their Diamond Jubilee fashions.
But with the passing of the Jubilee and the collection of silver, bronze and gold medals at this year's Games does not come the passing of diamond trends and treatments. Even the very word 'diamond' is continually used as shorthand for glamour and high quality - just Google, and you'll see a whole wealth of salons containing 'diamond' in the name (even when diamond-based treatments are not offered there). It suggests the customer will have a high-end experience, and the proliferation of the word in association with fashion and beauty implies that consumers continue to find the idea alluring.
But if you want to have diamonds on your face, and not just in an engagement ring, this too is possible. The new kid on the microdermabrasion block is diamond microdermabrasion (as opposed to crystal microdermabrasion). The diamond version acts more as a 'sandpaper' for the skin, using the diamond's hard surface to abrade uneven surfaces. Crystal microdermabrasion, however, shoots tiny crystals across your face, making the technique more like using a sandblaster. There are other differences too: the diamond treatment depends more on the skill of the operator, while the crystal option is more dependent on the machine (for example, how efficiently the equipment can shoot them across your face and how well the vacuum cleans up the debris afterwards). Naturally, both forms of treatment have their pros and cons: the diamond tips allow for greater precision in delicate areas, such as around the lips and eyes, and don't have to be replaced as often as the crystals. However, they cannot always fit the exact irregularities of skin, despite the existence of different wands for different skin types and depths of resurfacing. There is also the risk of transferring bacteria across the face via the wand.
If all of that sounds a bit scary, plenty of beauty products that you can use at home give the diamond touch more effortlessly and less expensively. Judith Williams' diamond day and night creams retail for around £32 each on QVC, and include diamond powder for radiance. Even more affordable is Leighton Denny's Diamond Hand and Nail Scrub, which at £11 promises to invigorate and smooth (and all for less than the cost of a round of drinks). Finally, for bling at your fingertips, there's Swarovski's nail wraps, which come with strips of Swarovski crystals for you to make up your own nail art look.
Diamonds are therefore definitely not going away - so take your marks and dash for diamond this summer.