Read our daily beauty blog for up-to-the-minute news on all things beauty, from make up and hair tips to fragrance and men's product reviews. Find out about new beauty launches and the latest celeb beauty trends here. Meena x
Laura Hamilton talks Dancing on Ice, skin imperfections and New Year's resolutions
Beauty blog: Tuesday 31st January
TV presenter Laura Hamilton was one of my favourite contestants on last year's Dancing on Ice, so when I heard she was spokesperson for Bio-Oil's current Skin Stories campaign and realised we had something in common (a love of Bio-Oil, of course), I jumped at the chance to put a few probing questions her way...
The new season of Dancing on Ice started this month. Are you watching it, and do you have a favourite?
Yes, I'm loving watching it. The standard this year is so high. It's too early to say who is my favourite but I think Jorgie, Matthew, Sebastian and Chico are ones to watch.
There have been lots of injuries already on this year's show, but you suffered quite a nasty accident last series that's left you permanently scarred. Did that knock your body confidence?
Initially I thought I'd never be able to wear skirts on TV again, but I'm regularly getting my legs out while filming A Place in the Sun and the scar is so much better.
You're an ambassador for Bio-Oil's current Skin Stories campaign. What made you want to get involved?
Bio-Oil is a great product and the more I talk to people about it the more I realise so many people love it. It's a great facial and body moisturiser, good for pregnancy, and a brilliant product for helping to smooth out the appearance of scars and stretch marks, which pretty much all of us have!
What's your New Year's resolution?
To eat less sweets and chocolate and drink less red wine when I'm filming abroad!
To find out more about the Bio-Oil Skin Stories campaign and share your own experiences, tips and skin care questions, you can visit Bio-Oil's Facebook page.
Something for the weekend...
Beauty blog: Saturday 28th January
Just had to share a picture of this lovely-looking object of desire with you. Meet the Colour Breeze Face Palette from Clarins spring collection - isn't it stunning?
The mix of peachy, pink and bronze tones makes this an instant uplifter for dull complexions. It's available now and is definitely going on my most wanted list for the new season. Which new beauty goodies have you got your eye on at the moment? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Unleashing the summer brights
Beauty blog: Friday 27th January
I know, I know, it's STILL only January, but I couldn't help getting excited when I saw this pic of Jennifer Lopez stepping out in this cobalt blue dress and fuchsia lip combo earlier this month.
It looks like J.Lo's just as eager to break out those summer shades, and if it's good enough for one of Hollywood's hottest stars, it's good enough for me! I'm already planning my summer beauty kit...
An easy way to earn some brownie points this Valentine's Day
Beauty blog: Thursday 26th January
Christmas may have been and gone but there's no time to rest on your laurels - V-Day is a mere month away, meaning it's time to don those thinking caps once again and suss out a perfect pressie for that special someone.
If you're running a little dry in the motivation department, though, fear not - a good scent always goes down well on the most romantic day of the year. To help you on your way to a winning gift, we've got the lowdown on some top perfume and aftershave picks, courtesy of Rachael Turner, our resident fragrance expert. Check out this vid for instant Valentine's Day inspiration...
To the test: No7 Lash Adapt Mascara
Beauty blog: Wednesday 25th January
After reading some of the glowing reviews you lot have been leaving on the No7 Lash Adapt product page, I popped out to get myself a tube and see what all the fuss was about.
I'm not easily won over by mascaras, so I'm throwing Lash Adapt in at the deep end and putting it firmly through its paces to test out the "up to six clump-free coats" theory.
Check out the pics below, taken after each application, to see how it fared.
I wasn't too moved by the first couple of coats, but I'm seriously impressed with the overall result. If false lashes aren't your thing, this is definitely an easy alternative in the lashwear department. Don't be fooled into thinking it's too time-consuming either - six coats might sound a lot but, thanks to a fast drying time (my lashes were ready for the next coat in a matter of seconds), you can pretty much apply them one after the other.
After what seems like a very long winter, I've been getting in the mood for warmer weather this week and can't wait to ditch the deeper shades in favour of some summer brights.
However, as it is still only January, I decided to back away from the coral nail polish (for now) and embrace some pretty pastels instead, in the form of Cool Romance, Orly's new nail collection. I've swatched my two favourite shades - Prelude to a Kiss and Faint of Heart - below, in celebration and anticipation of all things spring.
Prelude to a Kiss (pink) and Faint of Heart (green) after three coats.
You can get your, ahem, hands on a set of four delicate Cool Romance shades exclusively at Boots from 1st February. Enjoy!
Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation
Beauty blog: Saturday 21st January
I don't know about you guys, but this month is definitely the time that I take a step back from the hedonistic, all-out glitter and loud-as-you-like colours that are pretty much everything that I love about the party season.
I find myself wanting a really effortless, I-don't-need-to-detox complexion, which is, admittedly, easier said than done! Anyway, the beauty buffs at Maybelline are definitely on the same page and have launched their latest foundation to help us see in January with a fresher (yet flawless) face...
It's all about getting that fresh and squeaky-clean complexion that's incredibly easy to blend. I can see big things for this one, especially with the spring trend for fresh and flawless coverage. In fact, it was a hit with Maybelline make up artist Sharon Dowsett, who took a shining to it while working her magic at London Fashion Week spring/summer 2012. "I was amazed at how a lightweight foam texture could provide such natural coverage - I'm using it on myself now and can only describe the skin finish as beautifully clean and velvety," she said. It's armed with SPF16 and contains vitamin E, so it's definitely one for the pared-down beauty kit.
You can find it in selected Boots stores now and it'll be available on Boots.com next week so keep an eye out for it!
Another skin treat
Beauty blog: Friday 20th January
I'm still religiously following the daily regime that Simple skin care expert Caroline Frazer kindly devised for me a couple of months ago (it's going brilliantly, by the way!), but Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser, the new blemish-busting beauty from Good Things, landed on my desk recently and, after a quick sniff, I just had to give it a mention.
It's no secret that I'm in love with the Good Things packaging - who said skin care couldn't be sexy? - and every product I've tried from the brand has come equipped with an uplifting scent. which makes the whole skin care experience even more enjoyable. The thing I love most about the brand, though, is the fact it's specifically designed for those of us who have waved goodbye to our spotty teenage years (the odd breakout aside, obviously) but are not quite ready to embrace those anti-ageing formulas just yet.
So, if you're still trying to beat the January blues and restore your skin to its former glory while you're at it, why not put this scrummy-smelling, gorgeous-looking cleanser through its paces? It's available to buy on Boots.com next week.
Finding your ideal foundation just got easier!
Beauty blog: Thursday 19th January
As our inbox is constantly bursting with questions about finding the right foundation, I thought it was time to tackle the situation head-on. So I called on EcoTOOLS make up artist Lauren Parsons to share the bare facts when it comes to facewear.
Young skin tends not to need any foundation - normally it's just a case of covering blemishes. Using a concealer brush, tap a little concealer on to any area that needs covering.
Treat spot-prone skin in the same way as young skin. If you feel you need to even out your skin tone, apply a very light foundation or tinted moisturiser then use a Kabuki brush to buff any excess off by swirling it in circles all over the face. Follow by applying concealer as needed over each blemish. The key is to apply little and often, rather than trying to cover everything in one thick layer.
Skin becomes much drier as we age, so beware of over-powdering. Look for light-reflecting foundations to replace that "youthful glow" and apply using a foundation brush to give you a light, even coverage.
And there you have it - your perfect foundation covered! If you have a burning beauty question you can drop us a line at email@example.com. We're here to help!
Getting to know UNE
Beauty blog: Wednesday 18th January
It's one of those brands that's been loitering under my beauty radar for a while now, so I thought it was about time I did a bit of digging and found out what was at the heart of UNE, the cosmetics brand with a conscience. I got in touch with its marketing manager, Christine Zapisesco, for the lowdown. Here's what I found out...
About the products
UNE champions the use of natural ingredients and recycled packaging.
UNE's lip products are naturally fragranced with tomato leaf.
All its lip and eye shades have been designed to suit all skin tones.
About the brand
UNE launched in the UK in 2010 with a desire to enhance each woman's natural beauty.
UNE supports Plan International, a charity that provides support to the education of young girls in Africa.
The brand has just announced a collaboration with Environmental Justice Foundation* (EJF), to support its "Pick Your Cotton Carefully" campaign.
If you fancy supporting the campaign (and perhaps dabbling with the products too) you can get your hands on an "I'm not Artificial" organic cotton T-shirt exclusively at Boots.com from March. From every sale, £2 will go to EJF's campaigning work, and you'll also get a free UNE Lip Toned Colour Lipstick with every T-shirt. What's not to love?!
*Registered charity number 1088128
Check out Clinique's spring collection!
Beauty blog: Tuesday 17th January
Here's a quick snippet from another exciting spring make up collection, this time courtesy of Clinique. Almost Spring, the brand's spring 2012 offering, celebrates flushed cheeks, barely-there lips and super-fluttery lashes.
After months of speculation and hush-hush, Beyoncé and hubby Jay-Z announced the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy, this week. Seems like it was only yesterday when Beyoncé debuted her bump at the MTV Video Awards. No doubt we'll soon be seeing super-cute mum and baby ensembles. It's all made me want to reminisce, so let's take a quick trip down memory lane with just a few of Beyoncé's best beauty looks.
If there's one thing you can see in all of these pics, it's clear Queen Bee knows how to glow. Her hair and make up colour palette is full of caramel, honey and chestnut tones that are perfect for her gorgeous skin tone. This spurred on a quick hunt for goodies that could get me that little bit closer to luminous superstar skin...
Une Skin Glow Pencil - we've all heard the trick about using white eyeliner on the waterline and inner corners of your eyes to fake that wide-eyed look, but brilliant-white liner can look chalky and downright strange on warmer skin tones. This pencil from Une is available in a range of shades that'll really work the bright-eyed look.
Soap & Glory Glow All Out - a radiance powder that will leave you with a flawless finish without making you look like a disco ball.
Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator - this range has been making waves for its complexion-evening talents. I've definitely wished for brighter under-eyes in the past (it's my beauty bugbear) and it sounds like the ideal job for this illuminator, which promises to help reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
So not only is Miss Blue Ivy heiress to the fame and fortune of her superstar mom and pops, she'll also be the next in line for that enviable radiance. Lucky girl!
The Man Corner: The new Lynx hair effect
Beauty blog: Friday 13th January
Stop the press and hold the grooming headlines: the new hair care range from Lynx has landed. For more than two decades this beefy brand has been producing deodorants and body sprays, and it was a personal favourite during my teenage years (only a short while ago, honest). Now its new range of hair care and styling products is here for all those flaky, oily or styling-related disasters.
I managed to get my hands on a few hair care heroes from this great range which includes a deep cleaning shampoo (coming soon), a two-in-one and an anti-dandruff shampoo to keep your locks looking and feeling as healthy as can be. There are also some cool styling products available to help you achieve more sleek styles than a self-conscious chameleon.
You'll be pleased to know I've been generous and handed out a few new hair care gems to some of the other lads in the office. The feedback has been great, with the styling products proving particularly popular.
Stretched skin, swollen ankles and general tiredness may not sound very glam, but at six months pregnant, they're all the excuse I need to indulge in some mum-to-be pampering with my new favourite beauty treats.
Spending time in the tub is one of my current favourite pastimes, and I love nothing better than sharing it with Little Me Mum to Be Luxury Bath Soak. It might not foam up quite as much as I'd like, but the oh-so-relaxing scent more than makes up for any shortcomings in the bubbles department.
Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up, I slather on Mama Naked Positivity Hand Cream during the workday - the notes of mandarin and grapefruit give my mood an instant boost.
The latest addition to my yummy mummy line-up came courtesy of my fella who, in an unprecedented moment of thoughtfulness, surprised me with the Sanctuary Mum to Be Pure Pamper Bag (available in store) recently. I'm a big fan of Sanctuary bath products anyway, so I can't wait to test-drive this trio of treats.
Given that I probably won't have much time to indulge a few months from now, I'm getting my beauty kicks where I can!
It's competition time!
Beauty blog: Wednesday 11th January
We're kicking 2012 off with another great competition, this time courtesy of the lovely people at Diane von Furstenberg.
To celebrate the launch of the brand's seductive new fragrance, DIANE, we've got some great prizes up for grabs! One lucky entrant will win a Diane von Furstenberg autobiography, Diane von Furstenberg scarf and, of course, the fragrance. If that wasn't generous enough, five runners up will also receive a 50ml bottle of DIANE Eau de Toilette.
Entrants to this prize draw must be aged 18 or over and a resident in the UK.
Purchase is not necessary.
Employees and the immediate families of Boots UK Limited, Kenneth Green Associates, their agents or anyone professionally connected with this prize draw are not entitled to enter.
The prize draw closes at midnight on 10/02/2012.
Enter this prize draw by sending your full name, address and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only one entry per person, per email address will be accepted.
Prizes cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
Name and region of winner will be announced in a blog post after 11/02/2012.
Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them.
Responsibility will not be accepted for loss, delay and corruption of any data in transit or in the incomplete nature of any entries to the prize draw.
We will not pass on your personal details to any other organisation without your permission, except for the purpose of awarding the prize if necessary.
One main winner and five runners-up will be selected at random by the Boots.com editorial team.
Winners will be notified via email after 10/02/2012. Failure to respond to this email within 72 hours will mean an alternative winner will be selected from all other valid entries.
The promoter of this competition is Boots UK Limited, 1 Thane Road, Beeston, Nottingham. NG90 1BS.
Boots.com reserves the right to withdraw or amend this competition at any time.
Beauty blog: Tuesday 10th January
Partied hard all Christmas long? Your skin's probably paying the price for your temporary rock 'n' roll lifestyle right about now. Fortunately, we've called on the experts at Simple for some advice on how to get that complexion back in tip-top condition...
Simple nutritionist Fiona Hunter reckons there's a really easy way to perk up party-weary skin...
"Late nights, too much rich food and alcohol can leave your skin looking tired and dull. One of the easiest and quickest ways to restore its sparkle is to drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids, like fruit juice and herbal tea." Her best-kept secret? "When you wake up have a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon."
Simple skincare expert Caroline Frazer shares her top tips for disguising dark circles and puffy eyes...
"Concealer is a must to camouflage dark circles. To really hide the evidence of a late night, add a light reflecting product. Avoid certain eyeshadow shades, such as purple, maroon, pink and yellow and anything too vibrant, because it's very difficult to mask dark circles with bright colours. Instead, try warm browns and golds." Caroline's top quick-fix tip? "Curling your eyelashes will help open up your eyes. It only takes an extra minute or so and is really worth the effort."
For my first post of the year, I figure it's only right to tell you about the latest brand to wing its way over to Boots (in the spirit of new beginnings and all) - Shiseido! I've read a lot about this brand on other beauty blogs, so I was excited to hear that we'll be stocking its products.
We've got a few of its most popular products up already, including the gorgeous Shimmering Cream Eye Color eyeshadows. These are all about long-wearing colour and sparkle, or as make up artistic director Dick Page puts it, "the perfect balance of texture, beauty and fun in colour". Sounds good to me! My favourite shade so far has got to be Sable. It's a silky, warm golden hue with a touch of shimmer and was the eyeshadow of choice for Michael Kors' autumn/winter show in September.
Shiseido's renowned for its fabulous skin care - the Pure Retinol Eye Masks are particularly intriguing. Mini masks for your under-eye area, they're designed to deliver instant doses of retinol to help improve the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles. I've yet to try these out but they definitely sound like they mean business.
We've got more exciting products to come from the brand - so watch this space for more info on Shiseido at Boots.
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