American pharmacies are like nothing else. You enter a CVS or a Duane Reid and you will find everything from the usual cosmetics (but with aisles and aisles of choice), to completely out of place basics (ahem..cigarettes) and finally the wierdest and most wonderful technology (I have spotted a turkey roaster in recent times).
So I figured it was about time that I investigated these treasure troves and separated the wheat from the chaff.
Therefore, I present to you the ultimate must-have buys that always make it into my suitcase back to the big smoke.
The Turbie Twist $5.99
The kind of thing you expect to be on Dragons Den – a towel twist that actually stays on your head and is super absorbent with it. Cuts 15 minutes of hair drying time easily.
Finger Paint $5.99 (Available at Sally Beauty)
I can never resist picking up a nail polish in America, they are considerably cheaper with the exchange rate and it’s the type of thing that never makes sense to bring out with you. Finger Paint has hands down the best colours.
Flipz Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels $3.19
Everyone needs a treat and the pharmacies always have a whole section devoted to the making you fat and happy. These pretzels always go down a storm when you bring them back home.
Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer $10.99
As you know, I’m always looking for a truly hydrating moisturiser. For me, most ‘light’ ones feel flimsy and pointless, whilst something like Nivea simply sits on the skin. This is a perfect balance and great for sensitive, plane-deprived skin.
On a recent gander in a small town in Massachusetts (aka Woburn), the wondrous delights of Sally Beauty Suppliers was discovered.
As the largest retailer of professional beauty supplies in the world, you may well know of and be unphased by Sally’s. But don’t be fooled by its dated appearance, Sally’s is nothing but a treasure trove of the weird and wonderful.
And this specific store took it to a new level – typically american, the quantities were quite unbelievable..
Let’s face it, no matter how much we fight it we would all secretly love to be/be with, the smooth talking hunk.
So, when we heard the essence of the ultimate icon has been conjured into a limited edition fragrance for James Bond’s 50th anniversary, we couldn’t resist checking it out.
A unique fusion of traditionally authentic and British ingredients; crisp apple is used with heady Fougere to produce a deliciously, sophisticated cologne. All packaged up in a deluxe gold bottle, it screams refined masculinity.
Bond would be so proud!
007 Gold Limited Edition is available from Harrods Exclusively from 22nd September, £34 and Nationwide from November 1st, £25.
It’s that time of year again – there’s your office secret santa, Auntie Helen, your sister who has everything, and lets not start on the mother in law! So many dutiful presents to be bought and so little time. That’s why its always a gem, when you find such a rarity as the Affordable Multi-tasker!
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Melvita Rose Nectar Sets.
Melvita has always been known for its organic products, but this year there are two beautifully designed gifts sets that appeal to anyone who not only wants to be pampered and preened to perfection, but fancies some practicality too.
Depending on your price range and how well-behaved your lucky recipient has been, you can choose from The Rose Nectar Gift Set at a very reasonable £13 (containing Rose Water Floral Spray, Rose Fresh Body Milk, Rose Beauty Cream for Hand and Nails) or its more luxurious sister, Rose Nectar Luxury Gift Set, £34 (containing moisturising Rose Nectar, Rose Shower Cream, Rose Beauty Cream for Hands & Nails). Both focus on delivering maximum hydration even to the most sensitive of skin in the deepest, darkest of winter.
Our faves? The shower gel is irresistible with a delicate floral scent, whilst the Rose Nectar gives a lovely, light dewy finish.
Just try and give them away.
We were thrilled when we heard that the third sister to the swanky Chelsea Day Spa Boutique on the Kings Rd and the Hollywood Rd was opening up on our local, Wandsworth Bridge Rd and that we were invited to their launch party.
Positioned as a hair, health and beauty sanctuary, the spa focuses on a menu of deluxe and (what we love to hear) express treatments. For a measly £15, you can indulge in a wash and style at the spa’s first ever blow dry bar. Alternatively, you can choose from super speedy waxing, eye lash and brow tinting and the highly sought after New York manicures (fyi-we loved ours postbox red file and polish).
There are also tempting pre party packages, par example, a Chelsea Blowdry, New York manicure and pedicure for £50, as well as facials and massages on offer.
You can even help yourself to a lovely refreshments from their self-service cafe area whilst being pampered…now that’s what we are talking about.
The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique is at 186 Wandsworth Bridge Road
Photos: Michaela Letang
The results from our UV skin consultation
Ever wondered where the queen goes to, to address her ahem…monthly needs? Well, wonder no longer. Speaking Beauty can reveal John Bell and Croyden is officially her majesty’s pharmacist. We were invited down with the lovely Beauty Preen, to take a look at their 16 exciting new ranges.
John Bell’s ethos is a far cry away from the ‘one-fits-all quick fix’ ideology. They focus on individual health advice, prescribing the best products to address specific problems. We were delighted to see amongst the new lines, the innovative drinkable Gold Collagen products (plump up your skin in a drink- yes really), results driven brand, Skinceuticals, and the beautifully designed, Inner Me, health and beauty supplements.
But what was most fascinating was our skin consultation with sk:n Clinics. After a chat with the dermatologist concerning skin types and habits, a thorough assessment was carried out under a UV lamp.
And the results? According to sk:n, Speaking Beauty has limited sun damage (as if you would expect anything else), but a few indications on the nose and forehead. What was most noticeable was signs of dehydration (see image above). We were prescribed Avene creams and Skinceuticals, highly acclaimed Hydrating B5 Gel (look out for a post when this has been sufficiently tried and tested). In contrast, Beauty Preen was simply recommended to keep slapping on the old SPF throughout the Winter.
So, definitely worth checking out your own skin health – after all, in the ageing process its what’s underneath that counts.
In other words, you get used to being spoiled.
So, when we trundled down to the swanky Spatisserie at the Dorchester Hotel for acclaimed skincare brand, Pond’s, we were thrilled to see our high expectations exceeded. All it took was traditional, old school, glamour.
And thanks to their fancy video of the event, you can even take a look for yourself.
We are caught on camera a fair few times, rather embarrassingly, swigging wine like it’s going out of fashion or chewing off someone’s ear. In retrospect, the two are most probably connected.
But we digress.
Since Pond’s is one of the oldest skincare brands in the world (and has been looking after our skin since the 1840′s), there was a strong vintage theme. Beautiful dressing tables surrounded by roses and hydrangeas were adorned with their new collection, whilst new ambassador Laura Whitmore of MTV and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here…NOW! fame, strolled around showing off glowing skin and looking picture perfect in a 1940′s dress.
Of course, Laura wasn’t soaking up all of the attention. There was much admiration for the A/W products – Cold Cream Cleanser (the classic hero product and Laura Whitmore’s pick), Eye Contour Cream, Nourishing Anti-Wrinkle Cream (with SPF 15), Triple Action Moisturiser and our favourite, the wonderous, Hydro Nourishing Cream.
So, Pond’s – your granny used it, your mam used it and if its recent launch was anything to go by, you’d be mad not to use it too. Quite frankly, sometimes the best things are the simplest.
In their newest app, viewers are given the chance to undress blonde bombshell Adriana Cernanova (see above). If you hold an iPhone over any magazine and online Wonderbra ads of the model – its all wham, bam, thank you maam and she’s in her nick nocks.
I was lucky enough to be sent the hi tech bra featured in the ads, aka the new Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Lace Red, £36, and whilst I’m not saying you’ll look as immediately schmooking hot as Adriana (step by step, children), there’s good reason for the style’s bestselling status. The new red colour scheme, coupled with serious uplift and sturdy support means you are on to a winner, clothes on top, or not…