Bling-a-ding!

Nail maestro Sophy Robson instagrammed behind the scenes images of the beauty shoot of the new issue of V magazine. Make up by Peter Philips. Photography by Richard Burbridge. Bling it on!

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The Oil Rush

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Buzzing in beauty are organic oils – for face, for body, for nails and for hair. Oils have been used since mankind basically and are now experiencing a massive resurgence. Oils nourish, hydrate, heal and balance the skin no batter what the skin type is. Contrary to belief they don’t clog up your pores. So don’t be intimidated by thinking you will end up looking like a spotty teenager – you won’t – instead will have gorgeously hydrated skin. And unlike the majority of what you can buy in beauty department stores these products are natural – ie free from artificial ingredients and full of organic goodness. As this winter has been especially harsh oils came to the rescue and nourish my skin.

The trick is to massage the oil into your face in circular movements – therefore stimulating the blood flow of your skin. Rodin facial oil was developed by a make up artist. As you can imagine models do many shows during fashion week and need to be made up in the minimum of time possible. Travelling, working crazy hours, cleansing and reapplying (crazy!) make up to their skin can have negative impact, hence make up artists often travel with some Rodin Oil in their make up bag to rescue the models skin. This product comes with a hefty price tag so below are some products that are a bit more affordable.

I really rate Kiehls midnight recovery oil – it smells delicious and is absorbed really quickly. Recently I tried out Josie Maran which you can use on hair, face, cuticles you name it. Great for travelling as it is multi use product. It is basically pure argan oil so really delicious stuff. When I went skiing a couple of weeks ago I bought the Clarins blue orchid oil. from a knowledgeable swiss pharmacy sales assistant. She was so right in advising me this bestselling oil. It  is my current favourite as the botanical fragrance puts you in a very relaxed state of mind before going to sleep and the 100% natural ingredients  (rosewood, patchouli, blue orchid & hazelnut oil) do their best over night! In the morning I add 2 drops of this into my moisturizer to add extra hydration.  Since last week i have been using Aurelia Cell Repair night oil which has been a delight, see my blog post on this brand here. Finally I am also a massive moroccan oil fan to keep my hair in check and have been known to drag liters home with me from the pop up store at cosmoprof in Bologna.

Have you got any favourite oils you simply love?

Korean beauty

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Ok so South Korean beauty is trending as they say.. What is all the fuss about you might wonder?

South Korea is the innovator of the moment, bringing new ground breaking products to the market – it’s the new France of the beauty world. It was the country to really champion BB creams (originally a german invention, a combination of tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and an overall makeup base). Now many high-end cosmetics brands, such as Dior, have developed their own BB creams. In much the same way that Harajuku put Japan’s beauty and fashion scene on the global stage, K-pop groups like Psy’s gangnam style have brought recognition of Korean cosmetics to their fans across the world.

Koreans are OBSESSED with looking good and will go to any length to achieve this. The country has invested loads in R&D which can now be seen with the growing popularity (and earnings!) of Samsung, etc. There are several very high quality cosmetic producers. At the beauty fair cosmoprof I made a real effort to check out their booths and see their newness. Last year Coty, a french big player in the beauty market, announced a joint venture with LG Household & Health Care (LG H&H) to create Coty Korea.

Koreans really stress the importance of flawless skin. Key to this is nurturing the skin and creating bright skin, which in the old days would symbolise coming from a noble family.

So what is their trick?

1 – Facial massage

To maintain porcelain looking skin, Koreans usually perform facial massage. This stimulates blood flowing through the skin.

2 – Power exfoliation

Koreans love a good scrub, which they can get at the popular public baths (jjimjilbang, in Korean) and with at-home treatments.

3 – Super charged skin-plumping masks and serums in highly soluble formulas.

I use Korean face masks all the time. They also make great presents when you come back from an Asian trip. Packed with effective ingredients the impregnated sheets really do make a difference and make your skin feel amazing. Highly recommended before a big night out or on the day after! The pore tightening serum is widely used for many purposes. It brightens their complexion and it heals the rashes or stretch marks on the face. The toners that are used by the people of Korea remove the dead cells of the skin and hence the skin becomes cleaner. They use serum to rectify all types of skin problems that is caused due to heat, air pollution and dust particles.

4 – Skincare with natural ingredients made from fruit extracts and plant extracts like ginseng and green tea or water extracts.

A brand I have been trying myself recently is Amore Pacific’s skincare range: LA NEIGE. The brand name stands for snow – water, that is what the brand is all about. I have tried the Water bank hydrogel and I’m really impressed with the fragrance, the way it goes on, the way it gets absorbed and the how fresh my skin feelts. Prices are more expensive than say L’Oreal, but cheaper than Lancome. La Neige is not for sale in Europe or USA but you can purchase it at SASA.

5 –  Stem cell skincare.

On a more technical note the Koreans are pioneering stemcell skincare. Beaucell is a range that makes the skin look plumper and younger. It  uses extracts of stem cells from adult bone marrow and excess body fat tissue, rather than the synthetic stuff you see in most Western products. First engineered for bone and tissue regeneration Purigenex is the only topical medical-grade collagen sold in the U.S..

Top Korean beauty products:

  1. Face Masks – sheets drenched in Hyaluronic Acid for example are very effective 
  2. Skinfood nails & facial mist
  3. Tony Moly Gel liner
  4. Etude house lip and BB cream
  5. China Glaze nails – very high quaity and great colours
  6. Clarisonic cleansing rotator – great for the ultimate weekly exfoliate
  7. Contacts to make your eyes look bigger
  8. Eyelash extensionswhich are professionally applied
  9. Eye strips to create ‘western’ eyes
  10. Nail Art – this is where it all started
  11. Missha make up
  12. Airless pumps (keeps the product from being contaminated and oxidized. Everything from cleansers to moisturizers and even foundation can be found in an airless pump. Plus, the technology allows you to ensure the perfect amount of product every time)

There are 2 excellent places online to shop everything Korean Beauty related: Soko Glam (Soko, short for South Korea) and the BB cream shop. 

 

 

Eco-friendly nail polish, nail wraps and lip tar

 

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NCLA nail polish

 

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Ten over ten nailpolish

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Kure nail polish

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RGB nail polish

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Kure nail polish

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Priti nailpolish

Nail polish is great fun but can ruin your nails and is not recommended if you are pregnant. Why? Because they contain toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and camphor. Luckily there are now brands whose formula don’t contain the above mentioned ingredients. Enter Priti, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Ten over Ten, Kure, RGB and NCLA. NCLA also do really cool nail wraps and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics has the infamous Lip Tar which is pure pigmented liquid colour fun.

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NCLA nail wraps

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the infamous Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Treat your skin like silk

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One of my favourite blogs intothegloss has put up this great little cleansing video featuring french skin expert & facialist in new york Isabelle Bellis. It features great tips like massaging your face endless and treating your skin just like silk. If only we all had her gorgeous cheekbones..!

Frida!

 

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Frida is one of my style heroes. I visited her house in Mexico many years ago and was mesmerized by her use of colour, style,  originality and her tearing love story with husband and freedom fighter Diego.

My little brother gave me a market bag with Frida on it which I carry around a lot. I love it.

Whilst browsing Pinterest I found many like minded people who have been inspired by her style and are real Frida aficionado’s. I definately belong in their camp and adore Frida. My love for the combination of hot pink (pantone 226C) and turquoise probably comes from her. Viva Frida!

Aurelia

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Last week I met the inspiring founder of Aurelia skincare, Claire Vero. Her passion and enthusiasm for the brand she set up herself was completely infectious. Being a beauty industry insider myself I know how hard it is to set up a new brand, so my respect goes out to her. Also great to see a newcomer in a market which is basically dominated by the big players like Unilever, L’Oreal, P&G and Beiersdorf who own the majority of the skin brands you see in store. In luxury skincare there is more brand diversity but it is still a very competitive market to enter.

Claire saw the effects dermatology can have on improving peoples lives first hand, when she worked at GSK. Her idea was to incorporate science & botanical ingrdients to get the most effective products. Probiotics on one side and botanics (sourced from Africa) on the other side provide the ingredients of the range.

I tried the antioxidant and omega-rich cell repair night oil and was pleasantly surprised. The fragrance relaxed me with essential oils of neroli, lavender, rose and mandarin. The next morning my skin felt hydrated, fresh and not a bit greasy. Happy skin equals good morning vibes so I have been happily applying this every day and night.

Dream away with the little video below Aurelia did to highlight their african ingredients.

Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil
Shop it at aurelia.com and at net-a-porter.com.