Monday, 31 August 2009

Cosmetics & Beauty News: August 2009

Survive summer skin with Elizabeth's Daughter
Just because the summer months are drawing to a close, it doesn't mean that the sun's on its way out. Your skin needs protecting and hydrating all year round, and one way of doing this is with products from Elizabeth's Daughter. Their daily moisturiser, £24, contains SPF15 as well as fresh pumpkin, shea butter, vitamin E, and oils from rice bran and sesame seeds, and for a little light refreshment, the skin spritz (£18) contains lots of lovely stuff from rose water and aloe vera to mountain balm and strawberries. The best of the lot, however, is probably their multi-purpose soothing and glossing balm (also £18), which contains apricot butter and meadowfoam, and can be used on any area of the body that needs TLC, from lips to heels. While the fact that the brand was originally designed for young girls makes the price tags seem a little surprising, this translates into an affordable treat for adults. Stockist details available at .

Keep your hair radiant too
Summer often has a delightful side effect of making already blonde hair blonder and making skin more radiant. I reckon that the above on Elizabeth's Daughter already has the latter part covered, but for the former, I've just been sent John Frieda's delightful Sheer Blonde Go Blonder, which allows hair to keep that sunkissed look all year round. Having used John Frieda's stuff before, I already know that things are probably going to go well.

Calling all Gok Wan fans!
I'm sure that all fans of the beauty guru will forgive my returning to skincare for a moment, because following his past collaboration with Dorothy Perkins (to make stylish clothes for normal-sized girls), Gok is teaming up with Boots to create his own skincare range. You can bet it'll be just as affordable and attractive as his clothes lines, and featuring everything from body scrubs to hand creams, the Gorgeous range is rolling out in larger Boots stores from September 14. Sounds good to me.

Be a VIP with Beauty VIP
October sees the launch of Beauty VIP - a beauty membership club offering access to exclusive discounts and treats. Unlike most VIP clubs, however, it seems both simple and affordable: you buy the Beauty VIP book for £30 from your nearest bookshop, which not only comes chock-full of reviews, interviews and tips, but also entitles you to receive a membership card which gives you access to more than 250 discounts at a variety of beauty hot spots, ranging from hair salons to luxury spas, as well as a year's worth of other beauty savings. Not to be missed!

Do it yourself
Well, with a little help from Josie Maran too. See in the below video how to make lavender and argan mist, using ingredients from your own garden. Credit-crunching AND naturally good. Josie's Argan Moisturising Stick - a multi-use treatment for dry areas - has also recently launched at Sephora for lucky US and mainland Europe buyers.

Snuggle into autumn
Essie's new autumn collection not only draws on the warm berry shades that we know and love, but also incorporates happy brights, and more formal greys and browns. The nail colour names are also a welcome change from the usual territory of 'blush' and 'orgasm', taking their inspiration instead from our autumn and winter wardrobes. So pull on your angora cardi, and for the first time deck your nails in it too.
If you fancy something with a little more of a megawatt shine, though, you could always try Rimmel's 60-second nail varnish, which comes with a patented Pro-Cision brush to make application just that little bit easier.
*UK buyers can purchase Essie nail colours from

Celebrate Organic Fortnight
I've already reviewed the fairly snazzy Purity range from Superdrug, and it's now getting involved with Organic Fortnight (September 5-20), by offering discounts on the Purity range as of yesterday (August 30) and free Purity samples for anyone who orders from the Superdrug website between now and October. Superdrug is also offering free updates on the range from and from , but even more excitingly, the first 30 people to place orders with their fashion affiliate,, will receive a Purity gift basket worth £50, to celebrate sustainability and Fair Trade.
Korres is also participating, with its new Materia Herba range centre stage. Adhering to strict ECOCERT standards, it offers cleansing, moisturising and anti-ageing products for all skin types, starting at just £20. Available September 2009 from Liberty and from November 2009 at Harvey Nichols. Beautiful!

The summer holidays may already be over, but looking ahead to half-term travels this October, there are plenty of fabulous travel kits on the market, such as Dr Hauschka's new offering. For a mere twenty-four of your English pounds, you can grab yourself a cleanser, two toners, a day cream, a hand cream, an eye cream, and a lip salve, containing all kinds of delicious stuff from carnauba wax to candelilla. So what are you waiting for?!

This works
Or at least, let's hope it does. It sounds good on paper if nothing else: This Works combines effective skincare with aromatherapy to create its newest additions. Fresh Skin, £20, is an alcohol-free toner containing malachite and oak bark to harmonise, balance, soothe and calm skin, while Perfect Hands, £18, contains various elements of loveliness from coconut oil to musk mallow. Available now from .

Happy 10th Birthday Pixi!
Makeup brand Pixi celebrates its 10th birthday this year with the release of its Wake Up Kit for eyes, created by Petra Strand, the progenitor of the brand. Designed to help you create smoky eyes flawlessly, Strand says that the colours are inspired by autumn in her native Sweden, mimicking nature and seeming to have appeared organically on the face. Available soon from, I think that creating the smoky eye look just got easier, even for beginners with makeup, and perhaps even better, the West London store also offers affordable makeovers from just £15.

Getting the most out of your skin not only recommends products based on your skin condition and skin type, but will also take the lead from you by taking account of the products you already use, and recommends products based on what others with your skin type are using too. You can use this to form a 'virtual shelf' of products, as well as checking out blogs, creating your own 'skin profile' and chatting in the website's forum. Use the invite code exclusive to this blog - Bianca - so that you can join up for free.

Wishing you a romantic autumn
Pinks are contrasted by grey, beige and gold in Givenchy's stunning new autumn palette, and the autumn look is completed by uber-glossy lips, available in Gloss Poétique Rose, Rouge Interdit Poétique Iris, and Rouge Interdit Poétique Camellia. With the eye palette priced at $53, it is undeniably expensive...but oh so worth it. Je vous souhaite donc un automne poétique...

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