Information & Advice
Katie Campbell is our resident Boots.com Beauty Editor. Ex-Grazia beauty journalist Katie Campbell will be covering everything beauty.
Published November 2008
Katie Campbell is our resident Boots.com Beauty Editor. Ex-Grazia beauty journalist Katie Campbell will be covering everything beauty – from backstage trends, beauty masterclass features, new brands and exclusive launches to insider tips and tricks from the industry experts.
On my blog I’ll be posting my thoughts, sharing my beauty inspirations, waxing lyrical about products I’ve been trying, giving you the skinny on the ‘coming soon’ launches and revealing some of the advice the experts have been sharing with me. For the benefit of you readers I’m going to try and upscale my beauty routine (I’m embarrassingly, hideously, low maintenance) and report back, so you know I’m practising what I preach.
See you soon!
I have to say that I absolutely love foundation - I know freckles are 'cute' but I have had an obsession with trying to disguise them ever since I was a teenager. I'm slowly coming round to the fact that I will never have a complexion like Scarlett Johanssen (sob), but after reading Katie's feature on Flaw Fixers, at least I can pick a foundation that will tick all the right boxes and hide my freckles with minimal clogging. Failing that, I can always go back to my old and trusted favourite, Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in Soft Beige - it's never let me down in 10 years. Thanks Max.
Do you ever watch someone else do their make-up and find it fascinating? I do. I love to see how people apply it, because more often than not they have their own quirky little ways of putting it on. It's the same as getting ready to go out - everyone has their own rituals before an evening out on the tiles. I've been reading about how make-up guru Lisa Eldridge loves to sip champagne and listen to Britney in her How the Experts Prepare to Party Interview. For me it would have to be a vodka cocktail and Madonna's Immaculate Collection...
I have to keep up with the latest beauty trends for my job, and the best piece of knowledge I have gained so far is how to use highlighter to maximise your best features. It honestly works wonders for my tired skin. This is something that I will always use - I even bought a new tube of my personal favourite, No.7 Highlighter Illuminating Lotion, today. I feel like I'm letting you into a little secret here, but read Katie's Glow Maintenance feature and find out how to achieve it yourself?
I have just realised I have an entire week of Christmas parties coming up and I am so not prepared! I like to 'glam up' at this time of year and my absolute beauty must-haves are false eyelashes. They never fail to look fab with my Little Black Dress but unfortunately I have a rather shaky hand and applying the lashes usually ends in a disastrous gluey mess. This year I shall be taking the advice of Max Factor make up artist Caroline Barnes in the How to Apply False Eyelashes
My fave false eyelashes? 'Hiroko' by Tokyo Lashes (available in store). These black feather-like lashes with flicks of dark purple are subtle, sexy and utterly gorgeous.
Hi, I'm Jen - Boots.com's resident Beauty Editorial Assistant. Our wonderful Beauty Editor Katie is off sunning herself in Thailand (lucky girl) - but fear not dear readers, you shall not be without your daily fix of beauty news. Whilst she's away I shall be going through the site, picking out the best of our features and recapping on all our favourite style tips, advice from industry pro's and lovely products.
My chapped lip discovery this week is Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant - full of moisturising properties in a handy little stick. I love it.
I do love November. Not only is crimbo a mere stone's throw away, but it's the month the beauty brands get giddy and go all-out with their fabulous Christmas collections. It's dreamy compacts central. I can't decide which I love the most -Chanel's so-chic Tweed Palette, YSL's Bow Lip Duo, Christian Dior's Night Diamond or the delicious Fresh Bloom Allover Colour palette in Blackberry Bloom from Clinique. I'm a sucker for these limited edition buys that are almost too stunning to use. They fly off the shelves at a rate of knots, and is it any wonder? They're a little slice of luxury and I love them. If you're thinking of treating a make-up obsessed friend/relative this Christmas you can't go wrong with one of these beauties. Be warned though: you will have seriously raised the bar for next year's stocking filler. That humble Satsuma just won't cut it.
The beauty world has gone mad for vibrating tools. First, it was Lancôme's Oscillation Mascara (see my beauty blog review earlier this month), now there's another beauty gadget arriving on shelves: Neutrogena Wave cleanser - a vibrating cleanser. Spies tell me this is the number one cleansing product in the US right now - which is no mean feat. It's a dinky hand held device with a disposable cleansing pad that foams when wet. The premise is that the vibrations allow for a better cleanse as they speed the cleanser into all the nooks and crannies a quick splash of water doesn't reach. I'm sensing this will become a hit with the teen market: the hot pink colour is cute, the tool is gadgety and High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens is the face of the range. Need I say more? Check it out yourself now; it's just hit boots.com.
I'm giddy with excitement today. It's holiday time! I'm off to Thailand soon for some winter sun and I cannot wait (apart from the flying part that is; three take-offs and three landings just to get me there. Shudder). In my absence, the lovely editorial team at boots.com will be my guest bloggers from the November 26th - 3rd December. Until then, you?re still stuck with my beauty blog while I pack.
So far I've got...
Don't expect too much directional make-up for spring and summer. Backstage at the spring/summer shows, trend makers like Pat McGrath said the remit was just to make the girls make-up pretty and upbeat, like an antidote to the misery of the financial doom and gloom. Translation; pretty pinks and shimmery skin is the trend forecast.
I've been working on a few features about chic Christmas looks and came across this shot of Ugly Beauty actress America Fererra radiating old-school Hollywood Glamour at the Emmy Awards. Yes, I know the awards were yonks ago, but this pic is worth flagging up again as a great example of red carpet beauty that works. I love it. Whilst some retro beauty can appear a bit contrived, America slips effortlessly into this one. The make-up is simple, clean and sophisticated. The hair? stunning. "It's a super-groomed style that makes hair look thick, luscious and glossy," says George Northwood, creative director of London?s Daniel Hersheson salon and Alexa Chung's chief hair cutter. Fancy trying the look at home? "Apply a volumising mousse (try Tommyguns Miraculous Volumising Mousse) and roughly dry hair before setting on medium-sized heated rollers," says George. "Lastly use a pair of waving tongs on the front of the hair to give shape and frame the face for a sexy yet strong look."
There have been some crazy 'six pack' related beauty trends over the last few years. Courtesy of - surprise - America (where else?). First there was the painful-sounding Ab 'etching' (a precision style of liposuction). Then the professional spray tan 'shading' technique (for the illusion of a six pack and a svelter silhouette) and now 'Abs in a Box'. Say what? It's a home kit that allows you to 'paint on' and shade your own abs, with a semi-permanent body stain. Once on it's apparently sweat and water-proof, so you can show off your new 'six pack' in the pool or the gym, or even create your own Daniel Craig-style Bond sea emergence. Only in America...
Just a quickie - I forgot to include this tip in my last hand cream blog. It's an obvious one: if you can't stand to apply hand cream during the day but your hands are screaming out for some TLC, load them up at night. I do this whenever I remember. And for an intense treatment, slather on your favourite hand cream and pop on a pair of Cotton Gloves (from boots.com for £2.99) and leave on as long as possible. Day, night, it doesn't matter. Although it could be considered a questionable 'look' in the office. Unless your boss is used to you channelling the eighties-style Michael Jackson era...
I've never been a hand cream fan. Possibly because I spend 10 hours a day at my laptop writing beauty features (and this blog!). Greasy, gunky hands all over my keyboard? I'll pass, thanks! Yet I know plenty of friends and beauty journalists who keep their trusty hand creams on their desks, in their cars, and in their handbags, primed and ready for action and regular applications. My reluctance to use them perhaps explains my grisly 'granny' hands which 'out' me as a hypocrite who aint following her own handcare beauty advice. So I decided to do something about it and put some hard-working hand creams to the test. Here are my favourites:
Dr LeWinns Restorative Hand & Nail Cream My favourite, with a wonderful spa-esque smell, it's rich and yet sinks in swiftly without stickiness. It contains shea butter and pearl extract, plus skin-friendly fruit acids.
Balance me Super Moisturising Handcream Thick and indulgent, a little goes a long way. Crammed with pure essential oils like geranium and lavender plus moisturising shea butter and sweet almond oil. Again, it won't leave hands greasy.
No 7 Protect & Perfect Hand Cream SPF15 The 'anti-ageing one'. Leaves skin with a slight pearlescent sheen. It's got the all-important SPF15 to help protect against future age and sun damage, plus it claims to help fade age spots, includes lipo-peptides and promises to reduce fine lines in 2 weeks.
Goodworks Good Intentions Hand Cream Feels creamy, smells delicious (that'll be the geranium and orange essential oils). Two minutes after applying, I'm tapping away on my keyboard without greasing it up. That'll be a good result, then.
Mineral make-up is big news at the moment, but it's rather a grey area in terms of benefits and techniques so I grabbed L'Oreal's Paris' international make-up artist James Kaliardos for a quick Q&A. As I've previously mentioned, James created an almost solely mineral-based look at Julien MacDonald's spring 09 show. Far from an over-powdered result, the girls' skin simply looked beautiful; radiant as if lit from within. And there wasn't a cakey face in sight
Q: What do you like about mineral make up? what are the benefits? A: L'Oreal Paris Mineral make up is talc free, preservative free and skin-friendly. You get perfect coverage and a soft focused finish with Minerals which makes the skin look like it's been re-touched.
Q: Do minerals require a different application technique to standard powder formulas? A: Yes, standard powders are blotted on the face but with Mineral Powders you brush the product onto the face in small circular motions. The circular motions allow the pigments to build up gradually, delivering a radiantly flawless result.
Q: What's the biggest mistake you can make with mineral make up? A: Mineral make up is very fine so it's important to really tap off the excess from the brush before applying it to the face. You only need a minimal amount of product. Make sure you apply the product to a well moisturised face for an even finish.
If you're an organised, early bird Christmas buyer who's already sniffing out the best gifts (if only for yourself), you'd do worse than to check out Ruby & Millie's latest offerings. They're fast becoming the go-to brand for gorgeous palettes. Check out this stylish lip kit (love the metallic red case - very festive) with nude, pink, red and plum lipgloss shades. Use the brush provided to use them separately or create your own mix of colours. Now, who wouldn't be happy to unwrap this on Christmas day?
P.S Can you tell that I'm working on my Christmas gift pages? Expect more recommendations in my beauty blog soon. (I'll try and show some restraint. Honest.)
Wow, the weather's really turned. I'm working the 'seven layers of clothing at once' look as I write this beauty blog (I kid you not) and it's not a particularly pretty one. And don't get me started on my skin. Any shred of radiance has packed its bags and headed off to sunnier climes. Then there's the chapped lips, frizzy hair, dry patches... help! "Winter skincare needn't be complicated," reassures Balance Me aromatherapist Sian Jones who is a big believer in multi-purpose balms. "Always have one to hand that you can use to deal with a whole host of winter skin issues, from dry cuticles, sore lips or windswept hair," she says. Her choice: Balance Me Stellar Beauty Balm . "I suffer from very sore lips and cold sores and I wouldn't go anywhere without it," she says.<
Glass perfume bottles look beautiful and sophisticated on the dressing table, but could be deemed a health and safety hazard in a travel bag. (Case in point my poor mum who smashed a full bottle of her beloved Chanel No 5 recently. Steady there, mother). And what about the weight they add to a travel bag? Purse sprays are an option, but the chic alternative is a solid perfume. Compact, less weighty and with a rather glamorous old-school charm, they're a smart beauty buy that's great for travel and slip stylishly into a handbag or an evening clutch. The most desirable at the moment? The Stella In Two Solid Perfume and Yves Saint Laurent Elle Intense Solid Perfume. Both make beautiful gifts, too, if you're looking for something for your wish list. Sorry mum, they don't do a No 5 version...yet.
According to a US beauty blog post, while Americans are cutting down on their fashion buys, sales of home hair colorants are buzzing like nobody's business, with Proctor and Gamble revealing a 20% increase in sales of its Nice 'N Easy home hair colour kits. A shiny new dye job appears to be the perfect pick me up?providing you choose the right shade, of course! Here are some pearls of wisdom from Clairol's Creative Director, Sean Tetlow, on how to colour your hair at home, "efficiently, effectively and with the minimum of mess":
My shower is currently under 'one in, one out' house arrest as my boyfriend has finally reached the end of his tether regarding the number of products that trigger a domino rally effect every time he steps inside. (The final straw; my razor head becoming lodged in the waste pipe, thus sparking a 30 minute retrieval mission).
I have relented and removed the five shampoos and conditioners I haven't used once in the last 6 months, but have stuck to my guns about my Balance Me Super Wash and my favourite shower product ever: Caudalie Peche de Vigne Shower Gel , the most delicious peach-scented shower wash. Now, I ration this baby, so I was surprised to discover whilst clearing out the shower that the pack was nearly empty. Hmmm, I'll have to add to my Christmas list, I thought. A few days passed and next thing I knew, my man was exiting the shower. And what was that smell floating out from the shower room with him? Yep, the faint smell of ripe peaches. Boyfriend guilty as charged. His defence: he 'thought it was the cheap one'. I have since given him a new bottle of FCUK Sport Body Wash to use and he's been tasked with reporting back. I will be keeping my beady eye on my Peche de vigne in the meantime...mitts off, boyfriend.
Last week, I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon playing detective at a Halloween murder mystery courtesy of Nivea for the press launch of their new Silver Protect range of men's Roll on and Aerosol deodorants. The Halloween link was silver which not only provides anti-bacterial properties but, don'tcha know, when made into a bullet can kill a werewolf (this blog is so educational). The silver ions within the formula 'incapacitate odour-forming micro-organisms to help prevent body odour from being produced', say the Nivea crew. It's not launching until January 2009, but I'll get my man to test and report back (on the deodorant, not the werewolf slaying).
So here I am, having just tried Lancôme's new vibrating mascara , Oscillation. After reading all the US press about it (it's had rave reviews from every beauty blog going) and hearing about the waiting lists on both sides of the Atlantic, I was very keen to try it. Were those 7000 vibrations-a-minute claims simply a marketing ploy, or did they really enhance the mascara 'experience'.
After curling my eyelashes and wiping the mascara wand with tissue to remove any excess (a practice I employ with all mascaras to help prevent clumps), I was ready to start testing.
To initiate the oscillation and start the motor you place your finger on a button at the top of the wand. Don't worry that you can't see the vibrations (I had to touch the wand against my hand to check it was working), if you can hear them, it's working. Technique-wise, I found the best way to apply was to slowly work from lash roots up without zigzagging (the vibrations mimic the zigzag for you).
Reserve judgement until your lashes are dry; at first I thought mine were clumpy, but now they've dried and I've separated a few they look thick, long and rather luscious. I LOVE the effect. It actually looks and feels like I?ve got false eyelashes on! I'm ashamed to say I've been so mesmerised by my new lashes that for the last half hour I've felt compelled to check them out every few minutes. Conclusion; fab result. Not just a gimmick, after all.
I'm really addicted to Clinique's Quickliner in Really Black (a recent discovery) at the moment. It's just perfect for creating a smudgy line - even for me, and I'm completely useless at applying eyeliner (it's true, I make a rather hopeless beauty editor). I use it to wiggle at my lashline from underneath and it provides a fantastic line of definition that can be gently rubbed in for a smoky line effect. It's like eyeliner for dummies. Which is why I love it.
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