Tartan-ing it up
With autumn coming, tartan patterns and berry and forest colours are on their way back in, and with dark greens, burgundies and purples currently rocking the catwalk, there’s plenty of room for Burberry’s new long wear matte lipstick, Lip Velvet, to sneak into our makeup bags. Inspired by opulent English fabrics, the moisturising ingredients help to give a radiant as well as matte and water-resistant finish. The packaging naturally features the iconic Burberry tartan design, and comes in twelve perfect autumn shades, including Redwood and Hawthorn Berry.
Spook your nails
For an original look this Halloween, try pimping your witch outfit with the Halloween Collection by Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique. Blacks, silvers, oranges, purples and reds all help to create a ghoulish look, as do skull-shaped nail tattoos and crystal gemstones. The even more creative amongst you could also try the Dot and Flick – an eyeliner-style polish that allows you to draw bats, cats and others on your nails. Available now at Superdrug, it’s a surefire and affordable way to jazz up your costume.
As well as making your nail designs even more eye-catching, you can also take colour coordination to the extreme by trying out some coloured contact lenses. Bianca’s Beauty Blog has already been sent some to test recently thanks to the generosity of Eyesbright - however, there are plenty of options for those who fancy a change, including MesmerEyez, who offer fifty colour choices starting at just £5. Available shades include Velvet Grey, Midnight Blue, and Pacific Turquoise, to name just a few. So whether you’re after a complete colour change or just subtle enhancement, there’s a lens for every look.
Analyse your skin
The other thing to consider with the approach of the festive period is the inevitable number of photos that will be taken. Many of us are concerned about our skin and the thought of looking awful in the camera’s glare is a worry we just don’t need. Luckily, many brands offer free online skin analysis, including Johnson’s, Vichy and Dermalogica. Just answer the questions and get tailored advice on how best to care for your skin, including recommendations of specific products that might help you. You may even find that your skin type is not what you thought: people who suffer with acne, for example, could have a dry skin type (if skin is overly dry, the skin can over-produce oil to make up for it). It’s now just less than 11 weeks until Christmas, so plenty of time to kick any skin problems you may have into touch.
There’s also an app to help with your makeover: Mary Kay has just launched an app that allows you to try out every look from the latest fashion weeks. Upload your own photo, and then add colour to eyes, lips and face to try out the newest looks. Hair and accessories can also be experimented with, and all for free – so a great way to try new things out in a moneysaving way.
Buff your body
I’ve already written recently about how to get your body skin looking good all year round – not just in summer. Ashleigh & Burwood’s Panier des Sens (literally “basket of senses”) bodycare range offers an appealing solution to help with this. Using only organic and ethically-sourced fragrances, they promise to transport you to the south of France with four classic scents, including “Relaxing Lavender” and “Energising Verbena”. You can create a spa experience with their shower gels, and then follow with their natural body lotions. The brand also offers liquid soaps and hand lotions to keep your hands smooth through the winter. As well as essential oils, the products include shea butter and sweet almond for the ultimate in smoothness. Although the packaging won’t be bucking any trends (it looks more suitable for a pensioner’s bathroom than for mine), I can well believe that the products themselves are effective, and their price means they’ll also make perfect Christmas presents.
Making it over
Another perfect gift for the younger beauty fans in your life could come in the form of Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful, which claims to contain beauty stories to inspire confidence. The makeup mogul’s seventh title contains makeover ideas, product recommendations, expert tips, and of course beauty stories from hundreds of ordinary women. With six categories (natural, strong, radiant, bold, classic, and authentic), the book professes to start with who you are, rather than how you look, and each category is matched with a celebrity guide, including singer Estelle and philanthropist Lauren Bush. This should arm anyone with plenty of beauty tips to take them throughout 2013.
In addition, Bobbi Brown has also released a limited edition pink peony set in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Illuminating Pink Peony bronzer and mini face brush together cost £35 and help fund research into breast cancer for the sake of women everywhere, with £5 from each sale being donated. Out October 1st, and available while stocks last, it could make a beautiful accompaniment to Bobbi’s book to complete the perfect gift.
Time to quit?
With a new year looming on the horizon, plenty of people will also be considering their new year’s resolutions. For me, it’ll be about getting my driving licence so that I can spend that time in the gym instead of behind the wheel. For others, it might be to go on a diet or to stop smoking. For the latter group, they can look to Barcelona’s football club for inspiration, as the club has just partnered with the Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable campaign. The partnership, christened “Quit Smoking with Barça”, brings together two major campaigns - the pan-EU "Ex-smokers are Unstoppable" and Barça's "Sense Fum" movement as a truly unstoppable combination. You can watch the promotional clip for “Quit Smoking with Barça” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7i1mcUOrAoM
In addition, there’s inevitably an app for this, with the “Ex-Smokers” campaign also launching their iCoach tool recently to help people quit. Available for iOS and Android systems, the app will offer iCoach users ease of access to this valuable digital health coach while they are on the move. The App is available via www.exsmokers.eu/mobile, and in the Apple Store under "Ex-smokers iCoach".
Rejuvenating over Christmas
It’s true that when most of us think of Christmas we don’t exactly think of rejuvenation. When it comes to me, I’m all about damage limitation in the months leading up to my favourite season, because I just know that come December, I’ll be keeping the mince pie industry afloat almost single-handedly. But a spa break is appealing at all times of year, especially at Christmas, when getting away from the hustle and bustle can be difficult. Ragdale Hall spa’s Bring A Friend Offer is a great value way of getting together with your nearest and dearest for a special treat during the festive season. All meals, treatments, use of spa facilities and exercise and relaxation classes are included for a Christmas break within the UK of exceptional value.
But even if a spa break is not possible, it’s certainly possible to recreate parts of the experience at home. Get Ashleigh and Burwood’s organic products in (see above) and with some Organic Pharmacy face masks you’ll be well on your way to a Zen-filled state of bliss. In Selfridges’ Beauty Workshop, the Organic Pharmacy offers its full range, including its three latest masks: the enzyme peel mask with vitamin C and papaya, the honey and jasmine mask, and the purifying seaweed clay mask. These masks promise to improve skin, tone, deeply cleanse, and hydrate, leaving you with a healthy, radiant complexion and ready for the new season.
So once you’ve got your spa-style treatments, how else can you make your own spa day? Look out for an article on this very soon.
Once you’ve prepped your skin to perfection, what about your makeup? Look no further than QVC, who have just launched bareMinerals’ Five Star Fabulous collection on the UK’s favourite shopping channel. Exclusive to QVC, the set of five eyeshadow shades costs £36, and includes two brand-new shades, as well as those that are already best-sellers in the UK, US and Japan. It encompasses neutral shades for daytime and glittering shades at night, and the five can be combined and tailored to suit your mood, meaning you can go from work to the Christmas party in no time.
Wild About Beauty’s newest palette, Divine Night, is also out now. Formulated by Louise Redknapp and Kim Jacob, it embraces a range of berry colours for the perfect autumn and winter look. Costing £29, it has shades for eyes, lips and face to suit all skin tones, from apricots to roses, via smoky, dusky purples. Available at House of Fraser and Debenhams now, to me it sounds like an excellent travel investment, without an overabundance of products for just one area of your face.
From madness to mindfulness
Some people love Christmas and adore nothing more than getting organised months in advance (like me). For others, it’s a seemingly unending delirium of crowds, cooking, and buying gifts for others that you don’t know they’ll like. Those people might like to try the Mindfulness Massage, which is offered by The Third Space Medicine in Soho, an exclusive fitness and lifestyle hub. The massage is an hour-long treatment designed to engender physical and mental tranquillity through meditation and physical manipulation. Developed by experts in yoga, cognitive behavioural therapy and complementary health care, the massage can also be followed by extra mindfulness coaching. Sounds like a great way to work smarter, be more focused, and increase emotional stability all year round – not just in what for some can feel like the most stressful season of the year.
Going for gold
Even though the Olympics are over, you can still go for gold with the world’s first 24-carat gold shapewear, whose nanoparticles promise youthful skin. British brand Peachy Pink London have outsourced production of this innovative shapewear to Italy, where the central technology, Nylgold, is used to offer anti-oxidant and moisturising benefits. In each item (you can opt for shaping leggings or high-rise shorts, both available in gold or black) there are more than four billion gold nanoparticles per square centimetre, which, when combined with hyaluronic acid molecules, promise to combat ageing. Available from www.peachy-pink.com, the products also give the appearance of a more sculpted body in the short-term, with sizes 8-22 currently in existence. However, given the starting price of £70, they might be one for your letter to Santa.
Cult brand Anatomicals now available at Tesco
The brand beloved by so many is now made available to even more people thanks to its recent deal with Tesco. Known for their tongue-in-cheek names and beautiful fragrances, Anatomicals is also affordable, with their body cleaners priced at £2.99 and hand products starting from £2.49. There’s even the Manatomicals line for the fella in your life, which could make great stocking fillers. Shop now, and avoid queues at the beauty counter later…