Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Best Face-Creams For A Hangover

However late it is or drunk I am I always always take my makeup off. This was ingrained into me as a teenager by my Mum who looks about 10 years younger than she is and although it's always incredibly annoying when you're knackered, I thank her for her words of wisdom.

Over the weekend I celebrated my best friend's hen-do in the wonderful city of Bath. At 2am I was drinking shots and dancing like a crazy women, at 3am I was chatted up by a guy who turned out to be half my age, at 3:15am I was giving him motherly advice about his love-life and at 4am I realised that I no longer had the stamina of a student and was hoping that someone would fly me to my bed.

The minute I got back to the YMCA (not the most glamorous but turned out to be really good fun) I went to the communal bathroom and after cleansing thoroughly, rubbed my miracle vitamin C serum over my face. As my drunk friends popped in and out of the bathroom I offered them some of my miracle serum but they looked at me as if I was crazy. "Nicola the last thing I want to do is put serum on my face. I neeeeed sleep", were the last words my friend Charlotte said before nearly falling over.

Anyway, I'm not going to say that I looked any better than the girls the next morning as we all looked pretty worse for wear, but psychologically my vitamin C serum helped me feel that little bit more human.

So, I thought I'd quickly talk about some great ways of making hungover skin a little less grey and sallow.

1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.

This is not recommended if you are going to be out and about, but if you are nursing your hang-over in the comfort of your own home then apply a thin layer on your skin. It will feel and look a bit strange but once you wipe it off, your skin will look 10 times better.

2. Estee Lauder Face Primer Plus-Illuminating Base

This is good if you are planning on heading out. Not only does it make a great base for makeup but it has illuminating ingredients that will make you really glow.

3. Aeterna Gold Collagen Creme

My miracle vitamin C serum!! Love this stuff! Use it after a night out and in the morning and reap the benfits.

4. Clinique Moisture Surge-Extended Thirst Relief

This feels and smells amazing and will do exactly what it says on the tin!!

Get in touch and share your tips xx

Monday, 24 October 2011

OK Magazine Beauty Videos

Morning!! A very quick one today as I am realllllly tired.

I've just started presenting beauty videos for the OK Magazine website and I'd love you to tell me what you think.

- OK! Celebrity Beauty Watch One on MUZU.TV

I'll write more later this week. I've found some great products to help hide the effects of a hangover!!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Weird Massages

I had a very amusing conversation with my friend Chloe yesterday. She had been feeling a bit under the weather and booked herself in for a massage. Apparently she arrived and within a couple of minutes the masseuse was walking up and down her back. Chloe, who had never experienced a Thai Massage before was finding the whole process a bit weird and painful but kept quiet and let the woman continue.

After ten minutes of someone walking up and down her body (and putting her foot down particularly hard on her calf muscles for some reason) Chloe was relieved that this part of the treatment was over. However, things got worse when the woman started pounding her poor shoulder to within an inch of it's life.

I went for a massage a few months ago which was amazing but I found it a bit too much when the beautician put her hands slightly too close to my knicker line for comfort. I know that this is common practise but I found the whole thing a little bit intimate.

The thing that a lot of us have in common in this scenario and many others (have you ever been to the hairdressers and smiled stoically as they hacked away at your hair and made you look hideous?) is that we don't speak up. We can be strong and strident in our every day lives and then find ourselves in a scenario where we have paid to be pampered and for some reason we just can't speak up for ourselves.

The only time that I did confront a beautician was after a particularly hideous bikini wax. This woman was so rude and offensive and the wax was so badly done that I marched up to the owner of the salon and demanded a refund. I soon regretted this when she made me lower my knickers and show her what the problem was!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Roja Dove

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know that one of my big passions is perfume. I don't know why I'm so obsessed but I just love the way that a scent can really define a person and linger long after you've left a room. I also like the way that it creates and re-creates memories.

I had one of the most interesting hours of my life last week when I met Roja Dove who is one of the most famous perfume-makers and "noses" in the industry. This man knows everything that there is to know about the history, psychology and creation of scent.

We met in the Roja Dove perfume room at Harrods which is wonderfully luxurious and filled with rare and famous scents, many of which date back to the 1930s and tell a fascinating story.

I sat on a plush velvet sofa and instantly warmed to Roja when he turned up. He was wearing a flamboyant beige shirt which was covered in images from "Superman" and had a great energy about him. After talking about his cat Missy (so called because he knew she'd grow up to be a madame)we turned to the subject of perfume. His passion for the subject was effervescent. As his eyes sparkled and he regaled stories and facts I was totally enchanted and engrossed.

Roja's passion for perfume was inspired by his mother's handbag. He saw it as a secret world filled with mysterious fragrances that combined to produce his first impression of a woman. He believes that the scents we love and hate all root from memories and experiences, most of which are created in the first ten years of our life.

My hour with Roja involved finding my perfect scent by going through a process of elimination. First we discovered that the family of fragrance that I love is chypre based. I am not to my surprise a floral girl!

After this discovery my nose was taken on a journey through the history of some of the most impressive Chypre based perfumes in the world. Each time I smelt one I was not told what the perfume wasas Roja believes that marketing and names can strongly influence a woman's choice of scent. Instead I was asked merely to give an instant reaction from the heart. I compared my reaction to two scents at a time, returning my least favourite tester to Roja as I went. It was at this point that he revealed what the perfume I had handed back actually was.

In the end my two favourites were actually ones that Roja had created himself. They were part of a very special collection that he made for women who can't afford to have a totally bespoke perfume made but who want to smell different and "one off". There are only fifty bottles of each one in existence and they cost £1000 each. While this is a lot of money, these fragrances are a total world apart from your average scent. The ingredients are rare, immaculately layered and each perfume has taken years to perfect.

If you want to explore the world of Roja Dove and try a slighly more affordable (it retails at £495) but absolutely stunning perfume then I recommend that you head to Harrods and try his Aoud. It is one of the most incredible perfumes I have ever smelt. Even more affordable are his range of perfumes which have such enigmatic names as "Enslaved" and "Scandal". Each one tells a great story and will be unlike anything you have experienced in the fragrance world.

click below to discover more about Roja Dove's fragrances:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wedding Outfit Disaster

Before I met my husband Chris I was organised and punctual. I wrote lists, kept my filofax in order and arrived at appointments at least ten minutes early.

Oh how things change. The following example is an illustration of how far the other way I have now gone:

Typical morning with Chris if we are due to be out of the house in an hour:

1 hour to go:

Chris: Fancy a coffee?
Me: That would be lovely. Let's make some fresh coffee.

55 Minutes to go:

Me: This coffee is lovely
Chris: Let's have another!!

50 minutes to go:

Chris: Are you going to have first shower
Me: Yes....You'll never guess what happened to me yesterday...

Conversation continues

40 minutes to go:

Me: Right I really should get in the shower now

More chatting and laughter. At this point Chris often decides to clean the toilet (this is a total mystery to me! Our toilet is very clean and this seems to be Chris' reaction to the fact that we are running late)

25 minutes to go:

General rushing around, showers, smudged makeup that needs redoing, swearing and running out of the house only to forget something.

You get the picture? My husband and I are great at chatting, making each other laugh and cleaning toilets but are absolutely hopeless at getting out of the house on time.

Saturday morning was literally a carbon copy of the above with the added twist that we were going to a wedding and had a train to catch.

We were of course running late and as we sprinted from Leicester Square tube to Embankment (well Chris srinted and I lagged behind in my heels that were slipping like crazy because of my tights) I heard a weird sound and the next minute felt a gust of wind around my bottom. The zip of my gorgeous polka dot dress had broken and my dress had split all the way down the back.

Me: Chris!! STOP!!!! My dress has broken

Chris: (Still running) That's OK...come on....

Me: My bottom is showing

Chris: SHIT!!!!! What shall we do???

Total and utter panic ensued. It was 9:30am on a Saturday morning and not one shop was open. We didn't have time to go home and in pure desperation I started hammering on the door of NEXT hoping that somebody would be there.

Finally a lovely woman came to the door and after lip-reading my manic pleas through the shop door and seeing the state of my dress she let us in!!!

After crazily looking for a suitable outfit (there wasn't one) Chris found a black dress. I NEVER wear black at a wedding but these were desperate times. Next came the challenge of getting me out of my other dress in a pitch black changing room. The zip would not budge and even Chris who is very strong couldn't pull the dress apart. We asked the shop-keeper for scissors but she asked in a rather nervous voice why we needed them and denied having any. (I think she was concerned that we were total nutters and was fearing for her safety after all the shrieks coming from the changing room as I tried to lower the dress over my bum).

Eventually after another 20 minutes of screeching, laughing and nearly crying I was safely zipped into my new black dress. I was sweaty and my makeup was everywhere.

At this point I would like to thank the following people:

Chris: For getting me out of my dress and later on literally pushing me onto the train (by this time my legs and feet had literally seized up from lack of fitness and slippy heels) so that we did indeed make the wedding.
My Sister-in-law: For lending me a red belt that detracted slightly from the funeral feel of my dress

I would not like to thank the woman who stage whispered that she didn't know you were allowed to wear black at weddings as I walked past her!!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Kiss Me Quick

I have always had an extreme fear of red lipstick. There are a number of reasons for this:

1. It always goes on my teeth/smudges/rubs off

2. I am absolutely definite that it doesn't suit me

3. I spend the whole day licking my lips self consciously and checking them in the mirror when I wear it

4. I like to define my eyes and have always been told not to have heavy eyes and lips. The chances of me leaving the house without lashings of eyeliner and mascara on are nil!!

Anyway, I am doing a bit of TV work at the moment and I figured that bright red lips might help me in my bid to look cool on camera.

I popped into MAC where they LOVE making you look colourful and vibrant (like a rainbow) and asked one of the heavily made-up shop assistants to find me my "perfect red".

Two minuted later she returned with their new lip pencil. It is called "Kiss Me Quick" and is described as being yellowy/red. She applied it with great care and then did big the reveal. What met me in the mirror were a very kissable and vampy looking pair of red lips. The colour really worked with my skin-tone and I felt like distinctly Hollywood-esque!

The fact that it was a pencil meant that the colour lasted nicely but I do recommend applying some balm so that your lips don't feel too dry.