Water Trial: The Results Are In!

Water Trial: The Results Are In!

I've been testing out a mystery brand of mineral water over the past couple of months, drinking around 1.5 to 2 litres daily to see if the brand's anti-ageing claims are true (click here to see my previous post). Finally, it was revealed to me this week what I've been drinking: Willow Spring Water.
The key ingredient is Salicin, a naturally occurring mineral found in Willow bark that, once inside the body, is converted to Salicylic Acid. When used topically, it's a mild skin exfoliant and is present in many beauty products (such as Clinique Clarifying Lotion) and works by dissolving the keratin that sticks dead skin cells together. Salicin is also an anti-inflammatory agent making it an ideal ingredient for skincare. This is the first time I've come across it as 'edible' product and even though the amount is barely present (it says 'trace' on the bottle) they claim it has a homeopathic effect and makes skin more radiant.
I don't think I've seen a dramatic change in my own skin but I have noticed that, for the past few weeks, I haven't had a single spot or blemish. My undereyes are a little clearer too and since I haven't changed my skincare routine I'm guessing it's because of the water.
I still have about 30 bottles to get through (!) so I might keep them for the weeks leading up to Christmas to ensure I'm flawless for all the festive parties. Likewise, if I was gearing up for my wedding I'd definitely keep a stash of these bottles with me (under my desk, in my fridge, next to my bed) to prevent dreaded spots from ruining my big day.
I've been looking at the website and they have a pretty good incentive to win a 6-week supply of bottles, plus a weblink to Planet Organic offering 20% off online orders.
Well, I'm hooked so if you're up for the challenge get drinking Willow and keep me posted below on how you get on!

Party Prepping

Party Prepping

This weekend I organised not only our Christmas Day plans, but New Year's Eve and a January beat-the-blues party. Efficient huh? My mind floated off to 'getting ready' party-prepping (my favourite hobby) and there are a few things that would greatly improve this beloved ritual. So, Santa, if you're reading this, please remember what a good girl I've been and send these three new lust-haves my way!

- Ruth Mastenbroek Scented Bathrobe (pictured). Not satisfied with just a plain old fluffy dressing gown, I want one permeated with a delicate perfume that leaves a magical sillage as I walk through my home. Ruth's signature scent is encased in microcapsules woven into the soft downy robe, which can be washed 20 times before the fragrance fades. Fabulous. (£120; www.ruthmastenbroek.com)

- WonderCap. It's not the most attractive headwear, but I'm sure this heated chapeau will change my life forever. I depend on regular deep conditioning masks to keep my long hair in good shape and this glorified shower cap (which you heat in the microwave) opens up the hair cuticle and helps the products penetrate deeper. To be used behind closed doors I should think! (£30; www.victoriahealth.com)

- Miller Harris Personal Engraving. Just when I thought my signature scent L'Air de Rien couldn't get any more delicious, along comes the opportunity to have my next flacon hand-engraved. One can have a name, date or personal message etched into the already-beautiful bottle. For mine, I think I'd have "Spray me... I'll make it magical", because that's what I imagine it whispers from my dressing table as I get ready for a night out. (call 0844 561 0992 or visit www.millerharris.com for your nearest boutique).

Brides' Cover-Girl Make-Up Look

Brides' Cover-Girl Make-Up Look

Once again, the amazing make-up artist Chase Aston has put together his brilliant step-by-step guide to recreating the fresh and natural make-up look from the new Brides November/December issue's cover (pictured). All the products used are by The Body Shop - which just goes to show you can look a million dollars without the matching price tag:

'First prep you complexion,' says Chase. 'Cleanse, tone and moisturise using The Body Shop new Nutriganics Organic Skin Care range. Then before you apply your foundation, smooth over Skin Primer-Matte It! All over the face and neck. This will ensure that your make-up glides on and looks fresh throughout the day, whilst keeping unwanted shine at bay.

1. Using a Foundation Brush and Oil-Free Foundation, start from the centre of the face and blend the foundation outwards and down, along the jaw-line and onto the neck. Use Lightening Touch Concealer 01, under eyes and on lids to banish dark circles and blemishes. Finally, using a large Face & Body brush, lightly dust Pressed Powder all over to set.

2. Apply Eye-Colour 41-Golden Peach to the entire lids up to and along the brow bone, past the outer corners and under the lower lashes. Blend Eye-Colour 05-Burnished brown along the top lash-line, into the crease of the eye and onto the outer quarter corners of the top and bottom eye-lids.

3. Take the Kajal Eye-Liner in 01- Charcoal, and starting from the inner corner of the top eyelid, draw a fine line along the top lash-line as close to the lashes as possible, to just past the outer corners of lashes.

4. Using the Brow & Liner Kit 02, shape, shade and define brows with short feathery strokes, then comb through Brow & Lash gel in Clear to set.

5. Curl the lashes then use Divide & Multiply Mascara in 01- Black. Allow the first coat to dry before re-applying. Top Tip: apply mascara to the lower lashes first and allow to dry, this will ensure wet mascara does not transfer to the top eye-lids, and avoid any messy mascara mistakes.

6. Using the Autumn Leaves Cheek Colour Compact in 02-Berry, swirl a blusher brush across the palette, tap off any excess powder, now softly smile and blend onto the apple of the cheeks and up and along cheekbones for a shimmering rosy golden glow.

7. With Lip Liner in 03-Clover Pink, line, define and smooth allover a clean bare lip for a long-lasting lipstain. Take a Lip Brush and apply Colour Glide Lip Colour in 48-Soft peony, all over the lips. Finally, smooth Love Gloss 01-Natural onto the centre of the lips, pucker down, and allow the gloss to travel naturally over the surface of the lips.

Discover the Smoke & Fire range at www.thebodyshop.co.uk

Signature Scent

Signature Scent

Yours truly is always as good as gold (ahem) so I was concerned the Vivienne Westwood press office was trying to tell me something when this bottle of Naughty Alice perfume landed on my desk. Turns out Queen Viv was inspired by the Wonderland wanderer and dedicated her latest scent to her adventures.

"She is mischievous, independent by nature and dares to be different. Like the fragrance, she is whimsical and playful while being sexy."

... says the press release. If that taps into your inner Alice psyche, go forth and discover the perfume when it arrives in Selfridges this week. It's a modern powdery number with a mystical-sounding recipe of black rose, carnal violet and sensual ylang-ylang - ideal for autumnal brides who want to smell different and interesting but still delicious and feminine. The very 'drink me' magic-potion bottle comes with a dinky little Vivienne Westwood bracelet - a gold chain with a turquoise enamel heart charm... so if you're caught up in a dreamworld and you've forgotten your bridal jewellery, slip it on as your Something Blue.
Cheshire cat smiles all round.

Naughty Alice, Eau de Parfum from £35 for 30ml. Exclusively at Selfridges from September 24, then nationwide from October 18.