Wednesday, 30 November 2011


On our road trip stop in San Francisco I was lucky enough to be staying almost next door to this charming place. Where I sampled it's delicious peanut butter cookies.  I just stumbled across this gorgeous video of the founder Meg Ray explaining the history of her pastry shop Miette.

A little something sweet for this chilly afternoon in London.

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You can purchase the cookbook right here, What a lovely Christmas gift for the pastry aficionado in your life.

Monday, 28 November 2011

In the style of...

Scarlett Johansson

Sometimes a cover comes along and it throws me through a loop.  I love this look on Scarlett Johansson created using Dolce & Gabbana.  It is all about perfect skin, contrasting colours and is simply divine.

There is nothing stopping you heading straight to your nearest Dolce & Gabbana counter and scooping up the whole kit from them, but lets have a go at recreating this look on a bit more of a budget.

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Scarlett's eyes are emphasised with a teeny tiny whisper of eyeliner along the top lashes, just enough to connect the roots of the lashes defining the shape of her eye. Try this Mabelline gel eyeliner which is around £7.99 ($12.00) that comes with its own brush.  Use this technique to apply the product trying to use as little as possible. Add one coat of black mascara and the smallest hint of a line along the outer corners of the lower lashes. I would be inclined to use an angled brush, and a powder eyeshadow to achieve the soft smudge along the bottom.

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Try the black in this palette, it is such amazing value at £6.49 ($10.00). Made by a company called Sleek, the pigment in the product is fantastic and the array of colours available are incredible for the price.

For your lips you need to find a vibrant, shocking pink, matt lipstick in a shade that suits your skin tone.  Apply some colour to the tip of your ring finger and dab lightly on your lips blotting on a tissue as you go, this creates the gorgeous "kissed off" look that Scarlett rocks effortlessly.  How about this, again from Sleek, priced at a recession busting £4.00 ($6.00) you can experiment with a whole new lipstick wardrobe!

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This is such a gorgeous look and is well suited to the holiday season.  And if you are feeling daring why not go the whole nine yards and have a go with this. (Try and see beyond the ridiculous CGI hair on the box if you can!).
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What's The Skinny?

Great skin is something that virtually everyone I know is trying to achieve and maintain and why not?  It gives you a real confidence boost when it looks smooth, clear and hydrated.  Although I am a firm believer in looking after your skin from the inside (fresh ingredients and plenty of water, blah blah blah!).  I am always searching for the perfect combination of products and gadgets to help my cause from the outside.

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I had read some great reviews about this product, the Clarisonic, so as soon as I could get my Sephora fix in the USA I had bought one of these babies to take out for a test run.  I decided to go for the most compact version in the range of the three available called the Clarisonic Mia.  It. Is. Amazing.  My skin has never felt so clean and flawless.

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If any of you have a sonicare toothbrush then just imagine its big sister ready to give your face the clean out of its life!  It works with a teeny drop of the cleanser that you already use and the Mia gets going on a one minute cycle of sonic vibrations that opens your pores, clears them out and refines them, it removes all traces of make up and visibly reduces any fine lines. Phew. All that in one minute.  

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The next step up is the Clarisonic classic which has three different speed settings, although the Mia is more than enough for me.  And then there is the Clarisonic Plus which is the big version that comes with a body brush programme and attachment.  Perfect for skin buffing to aid circulation and cellulite reduction or any fake tan prep you might do.   All of these products have interchangeable brushes which come in normal, sensitive, delicate, deep pore and body.  I use the normal one at the moment and I cant fault it.  My skin is apparently loving being so cared for.

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And look, it even comes in a ton of different colours to match your bathroom decor, if that's the type of thing that floats your boat.  And for the guy in your life the cliche manly grey!  Incidentally I insisted my man give it a whorl and he was suitably impressed with the results and if he had his own I'm sure he would use it.

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This piece of pampering kit doesn't come particularly cheap, they start at about £75.00 ($119.00) for the Mia, but give yourself a treat or put it on your Christmas wish list and I promise you, you will not be disappointed with the salon facial-esque results this will give you.

The other piece of skin beautifying kit I got my hands on in the States is the tanda Zap.  I sometimes get breakouts and hate the idea of putting harsh astringent chemicals on my skin and I really, really hate the idea of taking any prescription drugs in order to clean up the problem.  So I am always on the search for the miracle cure without going to see a dermatologist.  This little product is proving pretty efficient at some serious breakout busting.  

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It works on the basis that the very strong blue light is placed over the problem area as SOON as you feel a spot about to appear,  I will let the guys at tanda Zap explain:

Blue Light: 414nm blue light works by producing oxygen singlets which attach to the P.acnes bacteria (acne-causing bacteria). These singlets have a phototoxic effect on key porphorins, causing the P.acnes bacteria to self-destruct
Sonic vibration: Increases microcirculation to reduce swelling and inflammation while agitating the skin to expose more of the bacteria to the light
Gentle warming: Produced by the light energy, opens pores and allows the light to reach more bacteria.
Scientific I know, makes sense, yes, does it work, you know I think it does! I have used it religiously on every break out since I have had it and it has definitely kept the spots from developing (gross I know but we are all friends here!). It was $49.99 in Sephora (about £32.00) and so far it seems to do what it promises.  I will certainly keep you posted if that changes anytime soon.
So these were the little technological skincare gems I discovered on my travels.  Do you use either of these? Do you have any fail safe products you use for pimple control? 

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Dream Drive

I'm sorry I haven't been around here nearly as often as I would like recently but in my defence the last month has been a dream.  Five thousand one hundred and fifty one miles and eleven states of adventure. 

 I know I promised whilst on my journey that my return post would be about the fantastic skincare products I discovered in the USA (and I really struck gold!).  However, I figured I would share the journey first and then talk perfect complexions.   

The trip started in Savannah, Georgia and ended in Los Angeles, California, With everything from Tennessee to Texas in between.

Do you recognise these wonderful places? Are any of them your home town? Have you ever done a road trip? Are you planning one?  I am now obsessed with the travel plans of others so spill the beans...

I'm so happy to be back here with you guys, up next the skincare gem...I promise!