Blush in-a-rush

I was only just talking the other day with a girlfriend – let’s call her R (she’s shy!) – about her love of dewy-looking, cream and gel-based blushes and bronzers and how they’re super-flattering on more mature skin.

She’s in her fifties (well, just 51, so I’d better steady on!), but looks A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and is your average walking ad for everything ‘healthy glow’ (she eats ‘clean’ and really looks after herself, quite an inspiration!).

She’s suspicious of anything too powdery which, she complains, tends to flatten her skin and (yikes) settle into fine lines and create the opposite of the fresh, glowy look she aims for.

Then what should land on my desk from Bourjois but the new Aqua Blush (£8.99) liquid blush! Exactly the kind of thing R needs and is talking about.

This is a creamy liquid that you squirt out (and you don’t need much!) and quickly apply and blend with your fingertips.

Easy.  Super-speedy. And the very fresh, pretty finish reminds me of the effect you get with ‘gloss’ blush sticks. It’s the kind of thing I’d keep on standby by the front door and in my car glove as it’s PERFECT for mums-on-the-run and those of us who don’t want anything to flatten our glow.

As an aside, Bourjois have a great offer exclusively in store and online at Boots right now: if you spend £15 or more on selected products, you can snap up a free Summer Essentials box containing three full sized (no less) Bourjois products.

Bourjois Summer Essentials free gift

You get the Maxi Delight Bronzing Powder – a HUGE compact that will last you all summer, although the sunkissed gold is a little too soft for me, I’m still hooked on my Bobbi! – along with the Pinceau Poudre Bronzing Brush, which I LOVE (it’s super-compact and the bristles give a great spread, making application easy).

Also included is the Color Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach! This chunky, glossy crayon has had rave reviews in the beauty blogosphere and press, although the lovely tinted shine it gives – and this shade is REALLY pretty – doesn’t last very long on me at all before starting to look quite dry. It’s the same with most crayons for me (boo!), as I need something glossier and more moisturising. But I know others LOVE these crayons …

The brush is my absolute fave thing in the box, and I know I’ll use it loads.

But backing up to the Aqua Blush, I tried it in 04 Berry Nice (pictured top) on top of my tinted moisturiser and below bronzing powder, and it gave a really nice, natural-looking flush of pinky colour. It comes in 4 natural-looking tints, though, and you can check them all out here!

A fun, easy to wear red lip for summer

You know the coral red nail polishes I was talking about last week?

Well the same principle – that orange-based reds make a great choice for a wearable, ‘grown-up’ ‘pop’ of summer colour that looks fresh and modern – applies to lips, too.

Again, shiny is the way to go and, for lips, keeping it sheer with the option to build up colour makes for the least scary, freshest approach.

The new Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 507 Insoumise (£25), part of the Chanel Summer 2015 collection currently on counters, fits the bill perfectly.

The colour definitely looks intense in the tube – and gorgeous for it – but glides on to give beautifully soft and sheer, super-moisturising colour.

This almost feels like a tinted balm in texture – the best test being that I’m just getting over a cold (fun!) and my lips have been particularly dry. I didn’t need to apply a balm and the colour went on nice and smoothly.

I took this snap for Instagram this morning!

Chanel Coco Rouge lip colour review

How do you feel about wearing bright colour on your lips for summer? Do you like to go sheer, or for maximum impact?

Possibly this summer’s most perfect bronzer …

Hold the homepage! I think I’ve found the best bronzer of the summer.

I absolutely LOVE this limited edition (yikes! Pretty please, Bobbi, do this for the main range …) Bobbi Bobbi Brown Face & Body Bronzing Duo (£34) in Elvis Duran and Telluride. I’ve been sweeping it everywhere (pretty much) since it arrived for the weekend and I promised I’d review it on Instagram!

This giant, tactile compact is filled with one part medium, warm bronzer (Elvis Duran) – it’s very close to the Medium classic Bronzing Powder I mentioned only recently – and an ‘illuminating’, deeper and pinkier shade (Telluride).

When you apply the pinky shade on top of the bronzer, to the apples of the cheeks and dusted onto the collarbone , too – you get the most amazingly realistic, just-back-from-the-beach glow without sun.

It’s SO good, I’ve been using it right on top of a daytime facial self-tanner (the new James Read one with an SPF 15, but more about that very soon), with no base as such, and I’ve felt good to glow!

Apply it wherever you fancy – to the tops of the feet to set off a new summer colour on your toes, or onto pasty knees exposed by distressed jeans! – because it’s especially made for the body, too.

Part of Bobbi’s new Nude Sands collection, it also comes in a softer, pinkier-toned Bermuda & Antigua option) check it out on counters now (and while you’re at the, see the limited edition Lip Shimmer in Bare Sparkle, £26.43 …

Bobbi Brown Lip Shimmer Bare Sparkle review… which is exactly that and just beautiful, too!)

Do you have an all-time favourite bronzing powder?

Loving on Friday …

Three for the road for your weekend browsing!

1. This image (top) from BeautyMART’s online edit of all things summer body buffing and beautifying (all of which can be shopped online).  It reminds me of the back garden, didn’t-know-better bronzing on a sun lounger as an Eighties teen. Naughty, but oh-so-nostalgic and before we knew that faux is the only way to glow! (Via


Goop step-by-step stretching tutorial,

2. Feel (and inches taller!) and Undo The Day with this step-by-step neck decompressing and back lengthening exercise. I have a foam roller which I’ve found to be SO helpful in getting me to uncurl my spine and sort out my posture after being hunched over a laptop all day! I’m totally going to give these exercises a go this weekend (at

Estee Lauder Bronzing Make Up Tutorial

3. The No Sun Suntan video make-up tutorial with Mary Philips for Estée Lauder. Some lovely tips on where and how to apply bronzer for the most natural result (via esteelauder on You Tube).

Wishing everyone a WONDERFUL, stay-safe-and-look-gorgeous-in-the-sun weekend!

Why coral red is THE colour for summer toes …

I’m noticing this colour a lot on many of the Instagram accounts of forty and fiftysomething fashion and style bloggers at the moment.

Somewhere between a poolside red and a hot coral – the glossier the better – it really pops against bronzed skin and looks grown-up-classic, but fresh and modern, too.

This is a colour to take you everywhere, all summer long. It’ll work with everything, from distressed jeans and Birkenstocks to dresses and heels.

So, here are some shiny reds with an orange undertone going on which makes them ‘pop’ in the exactly the right way:

1. Bourjois La Lacque Nail Varnish (£6.49) in Are You Reddy?

2. Chanel Nail Colour (£18) in 717 Coquelicot.

Part of the summer, and quite the sizzler. Would make a gorgeous gift for a girlfriend, too!

3. Nails Inc Nail Kale (£14) in Hampstead Grove.

Rich, glossy colour, enriched with the Superfood of the moment to feed your nails!

4. Jessica Custom Nail Colour (£10.50) in Confident Coral.

Buy the polish, or treat yourself to a Jessica Geleration professional gel pedi and feel all set for summer. Or do both, so you can do touch-ups (my sneaky way to make a gel or Shellac mani last a little longer!).

5.  Essie Nail Colour (£7.99) in Coral Canyon (pictured) or Fifth Avenue.

LOVE an Essie polish: easy to apply and oh, the colours! Both of these creamy, orange-reds are fab, and Fifth Avenue is available in Boots and online.

6. Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer (£14) in Envious.

Reliably gorgeous, glossy colour, in the cool, ice cube-like bottle.

How about you? What shades are you loving right now?

A beautiful body scrub

I hesitate even to call this a body scrub – think more ‘spa style, rose-scented, polishing and hydrating body treatment’.

One of the latest additions to the Moroccanoil body care range, the new Moroccanoil Body Buff Fleur De Rose (£41), is definitely a treat. There are, of course, less pricey ways to smooth and soften your skin for summer, but I’ve got to say – having reviewed this – I think it’s incredibly special and leaves skin feeling unbelievably smooth.

It’s the argan oil, infused throughout the whole Moroccanoil range, that definitely makes the difference here. I’m a huge fan of the original hair oil and have found nothing to match it in terms of frizz-taming, polish-adding and general craziness-controlling! There are other oils in here, too, including sweet almond, avocado, sesame and grape seed oil (a wonderful nourisher).

As a scrub, the texture is lovely: just gritty enough and super-nourishing. And the smell … I’m not a huge fan of single rose scents usually, but I loved this! So fresh, summery and uplifting.

My skin felt smoother and so well moisturised afterwards, as if I’d applied a body oil but less greasy. And it stayed that way to the end of the day, which is really saying something as my skin is pretty dry. That’s definitely another bonus for those of us who have found our skin gets a little drier and needs even more help in our Forties plus!

The rose scent lingers, too, but not in an overpowering way.

Most of all, I love the way it smoothes and deeply moisturises in one, very luxurious, step!

More great body buffers for all budgets coming soon! And in the meantime, I’d love to know, what are your body buffing faves? How do you get your skin ready for summer?

Looking for a new mascara?

Are you in the market for a new mascara?

If so, great – I’ve got a new goodie for you to try! If not, keep the name in mind and check it out next time you’re on the lookout, or fancy trying something different.

I know everyone has their favourite brand when it comes to mascara (Lancome Hypnose, Maybelline New York Great Lash and Benefit They’re Real are a few that come to mind) and, funnily enough, I only came to wearing mascara on a daily basis since being in my Forties. Before that, it always looked too much somehow.

How about you?

These days, I reach for it as part of my most rushed, five minute morning make-up routine – that extra definition really makes a difference in helping me look brighter eyed!

My new discovery is the latest magic wand from KIKO Milano (on-trend colours, great formulas and well priced). They brought out an amazing limited edition mascara last Christmas – really densely packed bristles, but the result was ultra- natural – which I used until the last trace because, of all the mascaras that have passed my desk since, I couldn’t match it.

Until now!

The new KIKO Milano Extra Sculpt Volume Mascara (£8.90) has the most extraordinary-looking brush which cleverly catches all the lashes and coats them evenly without clogging. The hourglass shape, and the wand itself, was designed in collaboration with award-winning Japanese designer Makio Hasuike.

The effect I achieved, in just a couple of strokes, is amazing separation, lift and, with a couple of coats, a natural flutter factor to the max!

The initial effect settled down after a while into something so natural looking (maybe if you curled your lashes beforehand, this wouldn’t be the case – I’ll try that, too). But I actually loved this even more. For me, it was perfect in providing some much-needed definition and length, without looking or feeling at all heavy.

There’s also a waterproof version, which would obviously be great for summer hols (available now online and at KIKO Milano boutiques).

What are your all-time favourite mascaras or what or you loving right now? And do you feel bare without it?

1, 2, 3, glow: Bobbi Brown favourites for fortysomething skin

These are 3 Bobbi staples I’ve been using for years which, in my mid-forties, are the ones I faithfully return to help me get out the door feeling considerably glowier and more pulled together.

1. Bobbi Brown EXTRA SPF Tinted Moisturizing Balm (£36, at Bobbi counters nationwide and online)

I just went back to this super-nourishing favourite of many years after a Spring fling with MAC’s classic Studio Face And Body Foundation (£25).  I really missed the dewiness of this gorgeous tinted balm. It’s one of those that just seems to make you look a million times better instantly and no one I’ve converted to it (which is a fair few …) has been disappointed.

The texture is just THE best, so lovely, and provides instant dewiness and natural-looking colour. It also has an irresistible orange blossom scent. I think this is one Bobbi originally created for dry and mature skins, and, since using it in my thirties, it’s been working for me.

Lately, I have to say, I’m finding that I need a little more coverage in areas where I’ve got some pigmentation and uneven skin tone, but right now I’m unwilling to forgo the gorgeous, sheer and ultra-natural finish of this base.

I’ll be looking at the best ways to cover areas of pigmentation/uneven skin tone and the (hugely common) melasma in a future post!

2.  Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (£28, at Bobbi counters and online)

You know, I LOVE this and continue to recommend it as my all-time favourite bronzing powder, second only to the legendary Nars Laguna (£27.50 at Space NK). The latter is also amazing – I just find I need to use a lot more of it in order to get the effect I want!

With the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Medium, I get the perfect depth of colour (and here, I blame my Italian genes for erring on the side of you-can-never-have-too-much), without using as much product.

With the Nars, I ‘hit pan’, as they say, in less than a month (which, again, says more about my love of bronzer than anything else!).

I flirted with the idea to switching to Dark, but, as the Bobbi consultant pointed out when I restocked last week, this works better on my olive/sallow skin as it’s got a definitely warmer, cinnamon-y tone to it (going too dark can look muddy).

Years ago, Bobbi taught me the best way to fake that just-back-from-the-beach glow: by adding a swirl of rose pink blush on top of the bronzing powder, on the apples of the cheeks. But right now, I’m finding this gives me enough glow to-go!

3. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush (£38, at Bobbi counters and online)

A good brush really makes all the difference, and is something really worth investing in if you possibly can (and I know this one costs more than the bronzer. But it’s a goodie, should last you ages and has been redesigned with slightly more rounded head, which I think makes it better than ever!).

A great trick I learned recently: when you’ve finished dusting and blending bronzing powder on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead, dust a little around your hairline, too.

Blend, blend, blend (taking a little down onto your neck and décolleté), but don’t overdo it so that it disappears completely – with the right shade, this shouldn’t be too much like hard work. I always recommend visiting the counter and trying the colours (it’s really hard to tell from an online swatch), to get exactly the right depth and tone for your skin.

A side note: I’ve got fiftysomething girlfriends onto these, too, with equally fabulous results!