Caudalie’s New Premier Cru Range

Our evening at the Soho Hotel began with a refreshing grape tea from the Caudalie vineyard. Then it was time for my facial with one of the Caudalie therapists, Mia.

Sat in a comfy chair, Mia gave me a set of headphones and played relaxing music, allowing me to totally switch off. She created a bespoke regime for me based on my skin needs and my favourite was the Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask – it was so cooling when she applied it. I noticed that she used a standard foundation brush to apply this and it felt extra soft and soothing, I’ll be stealing this trick next time I apply my favourite mask! I really loved Mia and she gave such a lovely facial. She is based at Urban Retreat in Manchester so I’ll definitely be paying a visit to her again.

After this, one of the Paris team talked us through the new Premier Cru range. She gave us a bit of background on the brand, noting that the founder originally had a vineyard and noticed that all of her workers’ hands were fantastic; this is how she realised that grapes could be beneficial in skincare. The latest range, she tells us, came from years of research and the team are finally satisfied that they have found the perfect formulation.

So how do they work?

La Creme: This is for use on face and neck and ideally to be applied after serum. I really like this cream; it is rich enough to hydrate the skin and takes a little while to penetrate, meaning that you can spend some extra time massaging it in. The bottle is fairly large (50ml) and just one pump is enough to cover the face, meaning that this should last quite a while. It is slightly rose-scented, something that always has a cooling effect on my skin, and contains everyone’s favourite anti-ageing molecule: hyaluronic acid. Whenever I wash my face the morning after I’ve used this cream, my skin feels so unbelievably soft and is still hydrated. NOTE: Currently the Caudalie UK website are offering this in a Limited Edition set for the same price – get it while it’s there!

La Creme Yeux: This is my favourite of the two. A concentrated eye cream, this is very creamy and ideal for providing intense hydration. The colour of this cream is slightly more orange than the face cream. This is because it contains light reflecting particles to neutralise blue tones – something we all need from time to time. One thing I would note is that you only need a tiny amount but the pump automatically distributes quite a lot. Be sure to press the pump carefully when you distribute the cream and you’ll get a longer use from the cream. My eyes are sensitive and I have to be very careful with eye products but this is gentle enough for me to use and really plumps the skin.

I am a firm fan of Caudalie products and always have been, but the Premier Cru range really is something. If you’re looking for something to plump and hydrate the skin without feeling too oily or heavy, this is just the range for you.

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Gel

A clear, fairly thick formula, this instantly cools the skin when applied. I love to use mine after a hot bath to calm my skin and help me to feel even more refreshed.

It absorbs very quickly making it great for a morning pick-me up. It works beautifully when combined with the Aromatherapy Associates Relax Light oil – use that before bed (leave the oil to sink in overnight) and then top up with this in the morning for instant refreshment.

Gels are ideal for on-the-go hydration. If you need some extra help during the winter months but find creams and lotions to be too heavy or take too long to absorb, keep this as part of your morning regime for an invigorating start to the day. It is so light that it can even be pressed into the skin over tights!

Great for:

  • Commuters or those who travel for long periods
  • Sniffles and colds with ingredients such as Juniper and Rosemary to inhale

JINNYrocks Gems

Sometimes people think of gems and think of little girls at a birthday party, but with these it just doesn’t have to be the case.

I’ve tried two sets of the JINNYrocks recently, large red gems and small pink gems. What I love about them is that they’re loose in a box and don’t have a sticky bottom. Some gems I’ve tried in the past with a sticky bottom can look quite arts and crafts like because the adhesive layer can add bulk, but these are a class act.


To apply them to my face I’ve been using the JINNYlash Lash Glue (I’m not 100% that this is safe but it’s worked for me and as a lash glue is one of the best I’ve tried – on a par with DUO Adhesive). I’ve also added a couple of the small pink gems to my second coat of nail varnish, let it dry with the polish and then sealed in with a top coat as normal. A tiny amount of gems can really add an extra dimension to your make-up or nails.

Here’s me at Chester Races last year with my best friend Kate (you may recognise her as one half of the power duo behind Peaches and Cream salon). I wore a bindi and added a few small gems to create a bollywood themed look and that day I remember having so many comments about my make-up.


Gems don’t have to be tacky. The JINNYrocks aren’t the cheapest but they certainly bring the wow factor… you can’t put a price on that.

WIN! 5 Absinthe Collection Gift Sets from The Body Shop

In an unusual turn, The Body Shop have included absinthe as an ingredient in their latest range of hand care items. Normally forming a recipe for one hell of a cocktail, absinthe extract has purifying properties. As a result, this range is designed to purify, hydrate and eliminate odours.

Five lucky winners will receive the entire collection which includes…

  • Absinthe Purifying Hand Wash for everyday cleanliness
  • Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream for light hydration and freshness
  • Absinthe Purifying Hand Gel for on-the-go cleansing
  • Absinthe Purifying Hand Butter for intensive moisture
  • EXCLUSIVE! Make-up Bag designed especially for Mixed Gems

To enter, all you have to do is e-mail with your full name and ‘Absinthe’ in the subject line. Competition ends on Thursday 28th February 2013 at 5pm and five lucky winners will be notified the next day. Please note that winners have three working days to reply and after this another winner will be selected.

Good luck!


To celebrate its new Absinthe Hand Care range, The Body Shop has commissioned a series of vintage-inspired postcards by artist Jack Hudson. To see them all, and LIKE your favourite, visit

Suti Facial Cleansing Balm

A little while back I got their Organic Face Oil for Night and absolutely loved it. Keen to explore more from the range, my most recent piece was the Organic Facial Cleanser.

The formula of this cleanser is bizarre! Contained in a small, round pot, it is like a grainy butter to the touch. It is a kind of Shrek green in colour and doesn’t resemble any other cleanser I’ve used. When applied to a wet face, however, the texture changes altogether.

When mixed with water, this balm melts into a luxurious oil. It is soft and rich on the skin, and the scent is so uplifting when inhaled. It comes complete with a muslin cloth (which is slightly firmer than the Liz Earle cloths so many of us love to use) and so you can really get in and remove all make-up using the balm. It’s ideal that this cloth is a slightly harsher muslin as the cleanser leaves a very oily balm and it can help to remove the excess.

Your skin will feel super soft and balmy to the touch after using this, but one thing I would note is that the formula is very rich so don’t mix it with any other cloths or your Clarisonic – I learned this the hard way! Finished with a layer of Face Oil for Night, you will wake up to soft and plump skin guaranteed.

Suti’s tagline is ‘Feed Your Skin’. From what I’ve used, it’s certainly a good one.

Mixed Gems Ultimate Beauty List

Skincare List

Creme de la Mer


  • RMK Cleansing Balm
  • The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil
  • Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm


  • Pixi Glow Tonic
  • RMK Skin Tuner Treatment


  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex
  • Clarins HydraQuench Serum
  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage Serum
  • Indeed Labs Hydraluron
  • Zelens Z Matrix Energy and Moisture Infusion

Eye Products

  • Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye
  • Zelens Triple-Active Eye Cream

Facial Oils

  • Chantecaille Rose de Mai Facial Oil
  • Sisley Black Rose Oil
  • Zelens Z-22 Facial Oil
  • Ole Henriksen Oil
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Complex

Moisturiser for Day

  • Crème de la Mer The Moisturising Cream
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisturiser
  • Ole Henriksen Hydrating Moisturiser
  • Ole Henriksen Empower

Moisturiser for Night

  • Origins Drink Up Hydrating Mask
  • Zelens Z Matrix


  • Origins Drink Up Hydrating Mask
  • Ole Henriksen Blueberry and Blackberry Enzyme Mask
  • Zelens Transformer Mask
  • Clarins HydraQuench Mask

Make-up List



BB Cream

  • Bobbi Brown BB Cream
  • Dior HydraLife BB Cream
  • Garnier Oil Free BB Cream


  • Illamasqua Loose Powder in 010
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Finish, Loose or Pressed
  • Guerlain Meteorites Pearls
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders


  • Illamasqua Powder Blushers in shades Hussy and Excite or Cream Blushers in shades Promise, Dixie, Zygomatic and Rude
  • MAC Powder Blushers in Dollymix and Fleur Power


  • MAC Pigment in Vanilla
  • Laura Mercier Shimmer Brick in Peach Mosaic
  • NARS The Multiple in Copacabana
  • Peaches Pigment in Pearl
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick

Bronzing Powder

  • Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
  • MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Medium Deep
  • Chanel Illuminating Bronzer


  • Illamasqua Brow Cake in Peek or Thunder
  • Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wizz
  • Charlotte Tilbury Eyebrow Wand


  • Charlotte Tilbury quads
  • Tom Ford quads
  • Sugarpill pressed powders or Pro Palette
  • MAC Cosmetics pressed powders in shades Antiqued, Cranberry, All That Glitters, Amber Lights, Kid, Mulch, Woodwinked and Carbon
  • Urban Decay Naked Palettes
  • Peaches and Cream Pigments


  • Peaches and Cream Eyelashes in No.9, No.4, No.19
  • All Eylure lashes

Haircare List

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 17.08.58


  • Kerastase Nutritive in Bain 3 or Elixir Ultime
  • Ojon Detoxifying Shampoo
  • Original Minerals Maintain the Mane
  • Redken Cerafill


  • Kerastase Masquintense Thick 3
  • Moroccanoil Deep Conditioning Treatment


  • Moroccanoil Treatment
  • Kerastase Initialiste Serum
  • Sleep-In Rollers
  • Tigi Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo
  • Ojon Rare Blend Oil
  • Bumble & Bumble Pret a Powder
  • Bleach Dry Shampoo

Nail List

Deborah Lippmann

Maintenance Items

  • Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File
  • Leighton Denny Cuticle Oil
  • Tweezerman clippers and pliers

Colour Shades

  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish shades in Rare, Harem, Cameo, Lament, Fragile, Hemlock, Raindrops
  • Shellac Manicure

COMING SOON: Bath and Body Edit

Beauty Cupboard Mixed Gems

Everything Else

  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
  • Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System
  • Emma Hardie Facial Cloth
  • Omorovicza Cleansing Mitt

Beauty sources

Clarisonic: The 60 second facial

Day 1:

The first time I used my Clarisonic, I was amazed at how instant the results were. My kit came complete with various brush heads and a sample of Clarisonic’s own cleanser, but Liz Earle skincare always works best for me so I decided to stick to that.

First, I removed my make-up with Cleanse & Polish and the hot cloth cleanser. Then, for a deep clean, I applied another coat of Cleanse & Polish to dry skin and removed it with 60 seconds of Clarisonic.

Afterwards, my skin was incredibly soft – softer than I have ever known it to be. It felt thoroughly clean and I didn’t have any make-up left on my skin. To follow this, I used my Clarins HydraQuench serum as my skin gets quite dry in the cold weather.

Day 7:

My skin felt just as soft after one week of twice daily use. The first treatment seemed to remove lots of dead skin and every treatment thereafter was maintaining that level of cleanliness. What I started to notice as well, however, was that my pores weren’t as noticeable in size. Normally I can see the pores in my t-zone quite easily, but now they seemed smaller in size in these areas.

Day 14: 

To add to softer skin and reduced pores, the main thing I’ve noticed is a difference in how hydrated my skin is. I’ve been using my regular serum, Clarins HydraQuench, but due to the fact that my skin has been so clean it has been able to penetrate further. As a result, my skin is glowing and my make-up seems to sit much better as the skin underneath is prepped so well.

The verdict? After just two weeks of using this I cannot imagine not having it. With Christmas just around the corner, I would really recommend treating yourself or a loved one to this because you will be giving the gift of great skin. An absolute wonder product for the whole family to enjoy.

Kiss Nail Wraps

Kiss nail wraps come in lots of different designs (my favourites are these leopard print ones) and you stick them onto your nail like a sticker. The result is a manicure that lasts up to ten days.

Each pack contains 18 nail strips in different sizes, meaning that whatever size your nails are you’re probably covered (not to mention you’ve got 8 more to play with in the event of a mishap). Nail stickers are laid out on a clear strip; consequently, you can hold the strip over your nail and measure which one will be right before peeling anything off. The strips are thin enough to be comfortable (they sit smoothly on your nail with no bumps) but sturdy enough to last.

Once you’ve put your sticker onto the nail, there’s quite a bit of excess at the tip. Using the file included in the pack, you simply file away the excess and your manicure is good to go. I must say that I’ve tried other nail wraps that operate in this way and when it came to the filing the sticker was too thick to file through, meaning that the edge of the manicure was jagged and uneven. These, however, are just as easy as they claim to be and finish with a smart, smooth edge.

Whether you’re after a 5 minute manicure without the drying time or just something special on your nails, these are an easy path to a gorgeous manicure.

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