Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation

For years I’ve had a grudge against cosmetic and make up giants who don’t foundations for dark complexions or when they say they do, they then don’t go far enough in the colour spectrum. It was ok to take our money for eyeshadows, lipsticks and nail polishes, but when where they actually going to go back to basics and sort out some foundation for real dark skins?! This really irritates me so much, that sometimes, I just walk past their counters and head straight for MAC (my most trusted foundation brand)

So, naturally I am pleased with the latest offerings from Chanel and Lancôme and their provision of foundation for darker complexions. A few weeks ago, I picked up samples from both counters and so far I’ve been enjoying trying out Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H and here are my thoughts.

I was expecting a very liquid ‘y’ and runny foundation, but thats not what I got. It’s a liquid foundation, but there is some thickness to its consistency. I was pleased with that.  There is also a pleasant floral smell to it. I normally decanter to the back of my hand and then apply from there. It dries quickly, so one had to work fast with it.

Drying around the edges already!

The coverage is light to slightly medium. I usually prefer medium to full, but still I carried on. I didn’t find it buildable,  so I still needed concealer in some areas. I thought the colour match to my skin tone was excellent (shade 14 – Brownie) and it dried to a velvet matte finish which I really liked.  My skin is oily so I finished with a light dusting of face powder. It felt very comfortable and I didn’t feel like my face was being clogged up.

According to Lancôme, its retouch free and should last 24 hours. I’m afraid, with me that wasn’t the case on the first three occasions I wore it.  (some photos below) The staying power was about 5 hours maximum, before I needed a touch up. Even when I used a primer. This was a little disappointing for me as my usual day to day foundation (Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse) gives me at least 8 hours wear. For some reason, I really really wanted to be able to use this foundation and not have to put it in the ‘nah box’.

Day One, freshly applied

Day one, 7 hours later

I was so happy with most aspects of this foundation, that I was determined to keep trying it and give my skin enough time to adjust to it. On my forth try, I got much better results. On my shine prone areas (nose and forehead), I mixed it with my regular foundation and I found the staying power was a lot better. At least 7 hours. I also changed my primer from Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Primer to MAC’s Oil Control Lotion as well, which I am sure made a difference.

Day 3, 5 hours later, no primer

My final verdict with this foundation is that its worth a try. I think for the less oily skin type, it would work much better. I have been somewhat pleased, but I don’t think it would be an everyday foundation for me, until I can figure out how to give it more staying power. Maybe it’s an evening out foundation, dinner but not dancing as I’m not sure it will last very well in a warm, potentially sweaty environment.

Result! Mixed foundations with primer - 6 hours - getting much better.

Candle Chic – Jonathan Ward London

Jonathan Ward scented organic candles are what I describe as seriously stylish and utterly luxurious. A real treat for every bedroom, lounge or living room. Actually, anywhere in your home.

In their own words, ‘Our candles are hand-poured using the finest artisan craftsmanship, and each fragrance is a sophisticated blend of premium ingredients and scents, lovingly selected and expertly combined.’ Every word there is true, the quality is excellent and they have fragrances to suit every taste. The candles are made here in the UK, with a 100% organic wax base for a clean and even smell. The glass is hand poured in Italy. It is clear that a lot of thought and consideration has gone into producing them.

Last night, my husband wanted to watch Top Gear and to get an hour of  uninterrupted TV viewing, he treated me to a new candle. Now you know I’m easily bought. Naturally, I went straight to the Jonathan Ward website rubbing my hands with glee and hubby’s bank card in my grasp. I bought a lovely candle from them about a year ago and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get another one for ages. The array of delicious fragrances was too much for me and I ended up wanting two candles. (Yes I am a greedy mare) But I was only allowed one. Bah!

Cut a long story short, I moaned about this injustice on Twitter and Jonathan responded instantly telling me my dreams can come true. They have an offer on and its a cracking good one too.

If you buy a candle full price from House of Fraser and then email the receipt over to Jonathan Ward, they will send you another candle of your choice!* As I told Jonathan, that’s the best deal I’ve had in ages! So now as I share this information with you,  I’m eagerly awaiting my two candle deliveries 🙂 The offer is only open until 29th February, so you have to be quick. 

Best to go over to their website and have a look at the variety of candles they have. The choice is amazing and there’s loads of helpful information that explain how the candles are made, the scents and the philosophy behind a truly great range.

* – some rules do apply.

Women…Pretty & Powerful

I met up with an old friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen in nearly 2 years and spent the afternoon catching up at her house with her 2 year old boy. She is a freelance make up artist and spends a lot of time teaching make up in different countries, so as you can imagine, life for her is quite hectic. Yesterday was just one of those days. Her internet had broken, her email was playing up, she needed to cook lunch and dinner, dash out to the post office and supermarket, feed and entertain the little man (and me), order some new business stationery, book flight tickets, answer important phone calls….the list goes on.

What impressed me was how she dealt with all of this. Smile on her face, engaging me in conversation and easily multi tasking the whole show. I was amazed and I thought ‘Damn! She is such an inspirational woman.’ Showing effortless grace and confidence in all situations, big or small. She made it all look so easy and it just struck me that women are pretty powerful, amazing and beautiful beings.

Anyway the afternoon went on and I came across a notebook with the above cover. I sneakily took a picture (while she was one the phone) of it because I just loved all the words and the images they conjoured up in my mind. Later when I got home, I was browsing on the internet and I came across Bobbi Brown’s latest Pretty Powerful campaign that launched not too long ago and I was inspired all over again about the power of women. The campaign was to celebrate the beauty of ordinary women with or without make up and what makes them feel pretty and powerful at the same time.

I really love the transformation that make up can bring. The confidence, the boost and extra pep it can give. I love how make up is to enhance and not mask and I admire Bobbi’s philosphy and approach. So today, I just want to say that every woman is PRETTY POWERFUL, from the minute we wake up and it’s something we must never forget, even when we’ve put our slap on. I’ll leave you mull over Bobbi’s words.

Greenscape’s Rhubarb, Honey & Mint Shower Gel

I spotted this in John Lewis the other day and being the sucker I am for anything that claims to invigorate me I bought it.  I’m usually a good riser, but on some mornings, I’m so sluggish and I really need a pick me up and that’s where an invigorating shower gel comes in. I was also intrigued by the ‘Multigrain Skin Care’ tagline.

Well, this shower gel really packs a punch. It smells amazing. It’s mainly sweet rhubarb I can smell on the first squirt and it is absolutely delicious. Next the peppermint, its really refreshing and I found if I inhaled deeply it had the same effect of clearing my sinuses. Strange, but a good feeling. I felt kind of clear-headed and invigorated. Peppermint is also very soothing and a natural antiseptic. You can’t really smell the honey, but its known to be very moisturising. I’m just happy to know that its there doing it’s thing silently. The smell lingers lightly on skin as well. I liked it.

Now on to the multigrain claim. I was expecting a grainy gel with bits in it. I was thinking ‘hmm exfoliator thrown in.’ Not so. It was smooth, just like any regular shower gel. I was a little disappointed. On reading the label in more detail, the multigrain is blended. It must be blended really really really smooth then. I would have liked bits. Also the gel itself is not pink 😦 Only the bottle is pink. Fooled me there! It’s comforting to know that the ingredients are naturally derived and it’s free from all the bad stuff like sulphates, parabens, artificial colours and other harsh chemicals. Guess that explains why it’s not pink!

One thing bothered me though. When I saw organic homemade on the label I thought it was organic and homemade IN the UK. No, its made in South Africa. This in itself is fine and I have no problem with it, I just think it creates a bit of a false impression as I thought it was a UK made product.

That aside, would I buy it again? Yes.

I bought it at John Lewis – £8.95

Creed’s Love in White Perfume

My husband bought me Creed’s Love in White perfume as one of my Valentine Day treats. Just before Christmas, he fell head over heels in love with Creed and our bathroom shelf is now full of their various creations. Now, there is a Creed bottle on my side of the bathroom shelf too. I always thought they were a men’s brand, so I was a bit surprised to see a feminine perfume. Upon investigation, they do 20 fragrances for women. I stand corrected.

I can only describe Love in White as a ‘nice’ perfume, but I’m still undecided about it.  Nice isn’t the most helpful of words, but that’s all I have. It sounds funny, but the smell baffles me. My initial thoughts are that it might be what I call a ‘desk’ perfume. I always have a bottle of perfume on my desk for quick squirts to refresh myself maybe before a meeting or after lunch. Desk perfumes are not necessarily my favourite perfumes, but they serve a purpose and I’m sure most woman have one. A white bottle, with strong lines and silver ribbon, it would make a statement on any desk.

The first thing I smell when I spray it is citrus, which gives a hit of freshness. But it then mellows to a magnolia-ish, vanilla base note. But before it gets there, there’s a myriad of other smells. According to Creed, these scents are rice husk (huh? really?) iris, jasmine, rose and daffodil. For me, there’s too much going on there. Even though, I can mainly smell vanilla as the base note, according to Creed, the base also includes sandalwood and ambergris. All very lovely, but still to busy for me.

At £142 for 75ml it’s not a cheap perfume and although it’s a lovely gift, it won’t be making it into my all time favourites. However, I would be quite eager to try some of their other fragrances. It’s just a shame I didn’t fall in love with it.

Hair Update, 2 weeks on

Two weeks on and I’m still loving my short crop. I’m not so thrilled about how cold my head gets, but that’s a small price to pay for healthly locks in months to come. I think.

Surprisingly, it has grown much quicker than I was expecting and I find this really encouraging. A friend said to me the other day, that I’m at the bum fluff stage. I never laughed so hard. By summer, I’ll be expecting at least 1 inch of growth. I don’t know how realistic that is, but time will tell.

I think it looks a little bit spiky. You can’t see it in the picture though. Not sure if that the effects of hair relaxer, but I’m really hanging in there for some curls. I would love some curls!!

Also I don’t know why, but I’m suffering from a severe dry scalp. It’s not itchy, just flaky. That is NOT impressive, but my sister says that is bound to happen as my scalp is more exposed. It will take a while to settle down. I’m praying this is sooner, rather than later. I’m not putting much product on it either, just shea butter for keep my scalp moisturised.

I went to the gym for the first time today and I have to admit it was a relief not having to worry about my hair. Before it was always at the back of my mind how much I was sweating. I would be on the treadmill worrying about how wet my hair was getting, rather than putting my all into my workout. Right now, I have no worries in that department!

I’m still getting lots of supportive comments and what I hope are admiring glances. Especially when I team up with a red lippie.

So, seeing as pictures tell a thousand words, how about a comparison exercise?:

Day 1

Day 14


ps- these are not the best pictures, I know. Especially the day 1, but for the purposes of comparison, I think it works. Also I’m playing around with different watermarks. Not so sure about the milky green colour. However, I’d hate to see my face pop up on a dodgy website, so this watermark should suffice for now. Better pics and watermark next time. Promise *bats eyelids*

I love bubble baths!

I confess, I love a good pamper session and nothing says pamper to me like a good old bubble bath, with real bubbles and suds that last. I hate pitiful bubbles baths that die before they actually start. Whats the point of that?

That is why I alway choose a good quality bubble bath. Yes, I might pay more than if I picked one up in the supermarket, but that’s a small price to pay for an uninterrupted hour of bliss in the tub. So today, I thought I’d share with you my most favourite bubble bath. Dadummm…….


I love, love, love (did I say love?) I Coloniali products, ever since the days I used to borrow steal my sisters I Coloniali shower cream when I was 15. I don’t remember which one exactly she used to use, but I loved the packagaing – the silver metal screw top bottle and pleated cardboard sleeve. All I know, was that a shower was always a bit more posh and luxurious when I opened that forbiddened bottle.

Anyway, digression aside, this bubble bath really IS luxurious. I love how its girly and candy floss pink in an elegant glass bottle with a cork. It’s thick, it’s creamy and smells just like  heaven. I love how when I open it its smells something exotic and far away, I love how when I pour it under hot running water it creates lots and lots of thick foamy bubbles. I love how the spicy and sensuous smell envelops the entire bathroom.

I also love how it makes my skin feel very soft and moisturised. I look after my skin pretty well anyway, so I’m sure its not soley responsible for skin feeling loved, but I like to think it enhances things in that department. It contains bamboo extract which is known for its excellent moisturising properties and helping to keep skin looking youthful and radiant.

Most of all I love how when I step into the bath and lay my head back, inhale the beautiful smell, I instantly feel relaxed. Extremely relaxed, in muscles and mind. It is such an indulgent treat. But a girls’ got to have a treat every now and then. Right??

ps: I think it can be a bit difficult to get hold of the brand nowadays, I hear online mutterings off supply problems etc. I purchased my last one from Liberty’s, but I’m not so such they still stock it either. Suffice to say I’ll be holding on to my current bottle tightly and using it very sparsely. 

Girl about Town, part 2: Bourjois Boutique

*****Warning — Picture Heavy*****

Following the LFW show, I decided to pop in the beautiful boutique from Bourjois. It’s their first in the UK and the venue of choice was ever so chic. Only Beach Blanket Babylon!! Too cool.

Suffice to say, it was very colourful, candyshop pretty and fabulously girly. There is a golden poodle swathed in pink ribbons waiting to welcome you at the top of the stairs. Need I say more?  I could have spent the entire day there. There were make overs, manicures, styling sessions, body art, the works….Bourjois really laid it out! Channel 4 are also filming LFW bits and pieces from there with Jameela Jamil for T4.  They also had some good deals on their products with up to 65% off in some cases. I wasn’t bowled over that the sales assistant pushed a sale on me as soon as I entered, but I was far too dazzled by all the make up and products to be too bothered.

The amount of products on display was truly astounding and everything was laid out for you to have a good rummage and play. I never knew that Bourjois did body washes. They do, but only in France. That is such a shame as I was told by my friend that the vanilla one smelt scrumptious. I couldn’t smell, bad cold!!

The nail polishes were nice, but I didn’t buy any as I have a lot of similar shades already and I’m really trying hard this year not to make any double purchases. Same story with the eyeshadows. I was just happy to look around and play really.

Unfortunately I was too late for a goody bag 😦 but I took loads of pictures!

Girl about town, part one

So yesterday, I immersed myself (only a little) in the craze of London Fashion Week. It’s been a few years since I did the show circuit and I’d forgotten how crazy it is. Right now, it’s 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon and I’m still in bed with a legendary back ache.

I was helping out a friend who has just launched her own nail business(Omoge London – full feature coming soon) to make sure all the models hands were ready for their close up’s in the Francesca Marotta show at Goldsmith’s Hall. Lady like nude on long oval nails was the shade du jour!

Anyway, I took a few photo’s, so enjoy.

ps: I would have put descriptions under each photo, but for some reason my settings are acting up. *cries*

Beating the smudge

Always painting your nails before bed and wake up to smudges? Or in my case actually painting your nails IN bed?

I’ve found, if I wait 2 minutes after top coat is on the last nail and then slather on a nail oil it protects my nails from smudging. By slathering, I mean a fresh dip into the bottle for each nail and no rubbing in either!

Added bonus, is that your cuticles and side walls (nail tech speak) get a huge dose of intense moisture and hydration for the duration of your sleep. Fabby, no?

I use the OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Oil, as its ultra hydrating and penetrates fast, but there’s loads out there to choose from.

I would love to know what do you do to avoid smudges?

Go forth and conquer the smudge!

Previous Older Entries