Saturday, 30 June 2012

Cosmetics and Beauty News (June 2012)

Dove By You
The Dove By You Exhibition has launched exclusively for Facebook fans to showcase what the beauty brand means to them. Viewable on, the iconic bird image is incorporated within creative designs in ways that have emotional resonance for fans. Running throughout July, those taking part in the exhibition will be provided with a design toolkit all incorporating the iconic Dove logo. Have a look and see what you think!
Men's fragrance in the driving seat
Mercedes' first fragrance for men is out now at Harrods. Retailing from £48, the bottle features the classic Mercedes logo. Containing notes of Italian mandarin, violet, cascalone, and galbanum to name just a few, encased in an elegant black and glass canister, it makes a perfect gift for the man in your life.

Women's fragrance news: Yves Rocher, Burberry, Impulse
LovePuzzleThe woman's fragrance market abounds with island-style scents at this time of year. Included in this is Yves Rocher's Monoi Eau des Vahinés Tiaré, which contains coconut, lily, tuberose, and frangipani. Priced at £27 per 100ml, it's available for purchase now. Also coming out this July is the eau de toilette version of Burberry Body. Already known for its unique combination of fruits, flowers, absinthe, incense, tea and cashmeran, it's available in 3 sizes, starting from 35ml. Finally, Impulse is releasing its Love Puzzle, which promises freshness and confidence. A sister fragrance to Loving Words, which was also launched in 2012, it features fruit and floral notes alike, harmonising peony, lilac, pear and plum among others. Retailing at a wallet-busting price of £1.99 it's available for purchase now - and feel free to check out for more.

Making it over
With summer fragrances come summer colours for women's faces in this Olympic and Jubilee summer. FrontCover Cosmetics mimics the big brands with its Givenchy-style Sunlit Metals Palette, and for £12, it's a real bargain: you get 12 colours for your eyes, cheeks and lips, plus a metallic pouch. Their Pencils and Polish pack offers equally excellent value, as for £16 you get four pencils and four nail polishes in tropical colours, as well as an accompanying pencil sharpener. As well as Bobbi Brown-style eyeshadow collections, you can also plump for their Colour of the Season palette: for £16, you get 3 lip glosses, a kohl pencil, a lip liner, a blusher, a nail polish, a cheek brush, and a double-ended eye brush - all in pink. Exclusively sold via, you'll be set for summer in no time.

Like Front Cover, BD is also taking on the big boys' designs with their latest eyeshadows. Being sold only at Tesco, the Satin Swirls eyeshadows (available in 10 metallic shades) closely resemble MAC's Extra Dimension eyeshadows for half the price (£8 vs. MAC's £16.50). Looks-wise at least, see if you can spot the difference:

MAC Havana, £16.50; BD Gold Dust, £8

Equally handy is Urban Decay's waterproof makeup range. Sponsored by Tonia Couch, the UK's #1 platform diver, the brand offers Glide On 24/7 pencils, a waterproof eyeshadow primer potion, and Cannonball ultra waterproof mascara, to name but a few. You can find my review of the 24/7 pencils here.

Also for eyes is Barry M's new range of eye makeup, which is joining Tesco's beauty range online and in store. With new colours of Dazzle Dust out for under £5, you'll be the coolest kid on the seafront. But it's not all about eyes: try their bold new nail paints, lip gloss or lipstick too, which all retail at wallet-friendly prices. 

But we know that not everyone is lucky enough to just sustain themselves with a flick of lip gloss before hitting the beach. Some of us still need concealer or primer, and to me it sounds like Cover FX has the perfect product for summer. Its Conceal FX primer is £23, but as well as priming, it covers and repairs blemishes too. Available in 6 shades from Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, it's also waterproof - so great for the beach. 

Looking good, taking care
In spite of the news above, summer isn't just about looking good: you also have to take care of your skin, perhaps at this time of year more than ever.  With luck, the sun should be beating down (overseas, at least, if not in the UK - here's hoping for good fortune for all the 'staycationers' out there!), and for that, we need sunscreen. A good starting point is Aethic's organic sunscreen, named Sôvée (pronounced so-vay). Containing Vitamin E, UVA/UVB filters and organic beeswax, it's eco-compatible too: unlike biodegradable products (which may decompose and dilute in the water, triggering normally dormant viruses in marine life forms), this is kind to coral as well as skin. Rochelle Ballard, one of the world's leading surfers, is already using Sôvée and confirms it works as well in extreme surfing conditions as it does for sunbathing. She reports that it "smells good, feels good, and works well". Available in SPFs 15, 25 and 40, Sôvée is the world's first certified Marine Positive sunscreen and is available now from Aethic's website, with prices starting at £40.

You can also take care of your skin by using organic skincare all year round. Mary Kay's new range of skincare, Botanical Effects, was launched in April with two formulations (Normal/Dry and Combination/Oily), with each skin type having four products to choose from - Cleanse, Freshen, Hydrate, and Mask. The Normal/Dry formula contains flaxseed and sea kelp to deliver a rich source of vitamins, while the Combination/Oily products contain kanuka and guava to purify and soothe. The products promise to cleanse without stripping, balance and revitalize skin, and remove impurities, as well as fighting ageing and promoting healthy skin. At around £15 per product, these are affordable treats that make excellent gifts.

A slightly pricier option comes in the form of Chery Lin Skin Therapy, whose organic replenishing facial oil is rich in green tea, argan and marula oils to provide natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing protection. Designed to strengthen and support the skin, it contains 19 therapeutic plant extracts to enhance skin and provide curative benefits. It can be used alone or mixed with a moisturiser to treat stressed or demanding skin types, particularly mature or dry skin, and costs £27 for 30ml. Also available is the hydrating skin toner (£16), nourishing cleansing balm (£18.50) and the brand's luxury rose night care (£26).

Also organic
If you're looking to move into the world of organic beauty products and get to know the various ranges better, new website could be an ideal place to start. Selling handmade, natural and organic beauty products online, the one-stop shop, which was launched in May, aims to support independent sellers, and as well as helping you purchase the right organic products for you, also allows knowledge, beauty tips, guides, and organic homemade skincare recipes to be shared. The venture is strongly supported by Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers' CEO.

Another concept along similar lines, which aims to inform consumers about the highest-quality products, is a service that is currently only available in the US, but is something that I hope will be available to European shoppers soon too. The website personalises and optimises premium beauty products and skin care, offering for sale only those products that have been proven to deliver on their claims via scientific vetting. Featuring brands like Snowberry and SoPhyto, I feel it's a valuable resource for those looking to truly verify the products they use.

From organic to anti-ageing
A concern that comes with sun exposure is the problem of how to reduce the effects of the sun's ageing properties. Regular, year-round use of sunscreen helps for sure, as does moisturisation of your whole body and face (with any moisturiser; it doesn't have to be specifically anti-ageing). And now in the field of multi-tasking products comes another way to fight against the ravages of age: Renouve is not only a hand sanitizing lotion but also contains collagen-stimulating peptides. The world's first product to fulfil both of these requirements, Renouve's non-oil based, alcohol-free and 95% natural formula contains the antibacterial bitter orange peel extract as well as palmitoyl tripeptide-5, which is designed to stimulate and produce collagen while actively firming and moisturising the skin. Available now from, the beautifully-packaged hand sanitizer retails at £22 for 30ml.

Fit Skin For Life

Something that the above correlates with perfectly is Mama Mio's summer campaign, Fit Skin For Life. The body care brand has launch an online Fit Skin Test (available at to help women understand their skin. Each woman who takes the quick test will receive a personalized Fit Skin Report, which features nutrition and exercise advice as well as tips to improve and maintain smooth, firm, fit skin.

This type of personalised beauty approach is really gathering momentum this year, and Giorgio Armani, whose Luminous Silk Foundation was recently awarded the InStyle Best Beauty Buy award for the 10th year in a row, is also jumping on the bandwagon. Their new Foundation World features an easy-to-use diagnostic tool which helps you choose your perfect foundation and shade, allowing you to sort by coverage, look, skin type, complexion and more.

Still not sure what you need to go for?
Even with increasing numbers of diagnostic tools available, choosing the right products for your skin can be overwhelming. That's why Marks and Spencer has just opened a brand new beauty department, featuring exclusive niche beauty brands from Europe and America, including Skyn, Nuxe, Dr Murad and Apivita. It also stocks its new own brand range, entitled Pure. Virtual makeover services are available, with the flagship store being open on Kensington's High Street now, and with the aim being to open over 100 new departments by the summer of 2013, as well as internationally in the Czech Republic and Poland.

You could always shop online...
I'm a big advocate of online shopping to get the best deals and the right products, but you still need to be careful. Julie Burford, the managing director of online cosmetics company Cocktail Cosmetics, gives the following advice:
  • look for sites that offer a no quibble returns policy
  • check that the site you are buying from is accredited by an internet quality mark, such as ISIS or Safe Practice
  • read up online about the site's customer service before you buy
  • look for a delivery commitment, which will tell you how long after your order you can expect your products to be shipped
Support good causes...
In a world where people so often get conned or receive bad customer service, it's often difficult to remember that the world of fashion and beauty does good things for the planet too. For instance, the British Bee Keeping Association, the UK's leading organisation that supports honey bees and bee keepers, is to receive half of the profits from the sale of limited edition bee charm bracelets designed and made by Cinderela B. Money raised from the sale of these bracelets will be used by the charity to fund education and research into honey bee health and promote the craft of bee keeping. Each bracelet (available from costs £19.95 and is presented in a gift pouch. Rachel Jackson, the founder of Cinderela B, explains her support of the BBKA: “The beauty of nature is very important to me and I try to reflect that in the design of my jewellery. Honey bees play such a massive role in helping to keep nature in balance so we wanted to do our bit to help ensure that they continue to thrive.” bee-utiful prizes...
If you want new beauty products but just can't spare the cash, there are usually plenty of competitions offering exclusive beauty goodies. I've got one coming soon - so stay tuned! For now, though, luxury bath and body brand Noble Isle is offering one lucky person the chance to win their sumptuous Heather Honey fragrances, and in addition will adopt a hive in the winner's name on Heather Hills Farm in Perthshire. The heather honey extract used in the perfumes is also harvested in Scotland and mixed with jasmine, magnolia, neroli and grapefruit for a truly unique fragrance. The prize also includes money off at the Heather Hills Farm shop and pots of heather honey. To enter, "like" Noble Isle's official Facebook page and answer the question found in the competition tab. The competition closes on July 31st, with the winner being announced on August 3rd.

...and support fun causes too!
In lighter-hearted news, International Kissing Day takes place on July 6, so it's time to break out the gloss and share the love. Why not invest in a mineral gloss for the occasion? Lily Lolo's, for instance, retails at £7.29. Or, alternatively, you could jazz it up even more with Front Cover Cosmetics' Sugar Rush: edible glitter that'll make others really want a kiss!  

The biggest beauty news of all
For Christmas 2012, Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld is launching a makeup collection in conjunction with Shu Uemura. Karl already uses the eyeshadows to sketch, praising Shu Uemura's sheer range of colours. This new collaboration is sure to take beauty counters by storm this festive season. Keep your eyes peeled, and remember - you heard it here first! 

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