Project Disaster?

Dannii Minogue has gone and done a Cheryl Cole. She’s gone from 90’s Australian soap star, to musical joke, to X Factor judge and national treasure. She’s now frequently seen on the fashion pages of glossy magazines, rather than on heat’s ‘what were you thinking?’ spreads, and constantly praised for her style. She launched her first range of clothes, entitled ‘Project D’ (no points for ingenious names!) which was received exceptionally well by the press and public alike. I’ve been watching her reality show on ITV2 so have followed her journey and the realisation of her ambition to launch her own fragrance. Unlike other celebrity fragrances it doesn’t rely purely on her name, but more on the brand she’s created with her friend Tabitha. I praise this and have been looking forward to seeing/trying her first scent ever since I was wrapped up in my duvet watching her develop it on the telly.

Dannii & Tabitha. Nice hair.

I was sent a bottle to try and I ripped open the package having not really paid any attention to the information I’d been sent previously. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. As Dannii is a super stylish lady (I adore her in those M&S ads and was even persuaded to buy a bag that she was modelling, just because her smile was telling me to) I expected a super stylish bottle. So much of the fragrance market depends on a flashy container to grab attention and make you feel like you’re taking home something a little special. This bottle looks like it’s come out of the Avon catalogue (sorry Avon!) and chosen by your Nan. It’s pink, frosted and has a flower lid – all things that although aren’t my cup of tea, I could deal with. What I take massive objection to is the hideous lady on the front! It looks like it was designed about 15 years ago, not in 2010 by someone who gets paid shedloads to show off her style. It’s definitely not one you’d be proud to put on your shelf... maybe hide it behind that Paco Robane.

So, the important bit - how does it smell? Again, initially I was disappointed. I spritzed it on and got a massive whiff of alcohol, making me think this was made on the cheap. Once it settles down and dries the scent does get better, but again it’s pretty old school. I love fruity, floral fragrances but this is definitely more on your musky floral side. It reminds me a bit of my Nan and wouldn’t be something I’d buy for myself, but old fashioned fragrances are all the range now so maybe I’m missing a trick. I have been wearing this since yesterday to get a feel of it and I admit that after a while it does start to grow on you, settling down and leaving you with the basenotes which are quite uplifting and refreshing.

So stylish. What happened?

The range consists of the Eau De Toilette, which I’ve been wearing, and three purse sprays which contain the different elements of the main spray which can be worn alone or together. I really like this idea – we always want something unique and personalised so I love the fact that Dannii has followed through with this idea and created something a bit different. She says that the fragrance aims to mix classic glamour with rock n roll – I get the classic glamour, but I’m lost on the rock n roll (especially with the ugly lady!) Overall, this may be more your cup of tea than mine. I like the concept, I really like the ‘build your own’ element and I like the idea of Dannii’s own fragrance. What I don’t like is the bottle design. Maybe Dannii should’ve asked for a bit of advice from Cheryl.


Elfie Nails

I've run into Autumn like a child running towards a bouncy castle. I was more than happy to put the summer dresses away (mainly because I hadn't worn them since June anyway) and get out the jumpers. But just like any girl, a new season means a new reason (or excuse) to go shopping for 'in-season' items... and this time it was nail polish. I'm so over the shades from 2009 so I've brushed them to one side and gone a bit crazy on eyeslipsface.co.uk. Oops.

I would say I invested in four new shades, but when they cost £1.50 each you can hardly call it an investment. I ordered these four shades and they arrived a mere 48hours later with a little jump for joy. So we've got Smoky Brown, Purple Pleaser, Rosy Raisin and Plum. Although from the bottle pictures I look like a crazy woman for buying three practically identical shades, from my nail shot you can see there's actually a big difference...


Plum, Rosy Raisin, Purple Pleaser, Smoky Brown

The nail varnishes come in fab square bottles and outer packaging that makes them look a lot more expensive than their £1.50 price. The polish applies nicely and it's easy to get to the corner of your nail thanks to the sturdy handle - the only downside is that some of the brushes were a little uneven or had stray fibres, but you can't really quibble at the cost. I applied two coats of each to start with, but you really need three to get a full colour. Unless you use a topcoat the dark colours do start chipping after a day or two, but that's due to the thickness of the formula which is inevitable because of the price.

I really liked the shades and would definitely buy some more colours. When I compare these to the other cheaper brands on the market (including Collection 2000, Rimmel, 2True etc) they stand their ground and are actually preferable to a lot of variants. Overall they're fab colours, arrived super quick, have a fab price and don't look cheapy. Perfect for pre-payday shopping urges.


Collection Nostalgic

I used to use Collection 2000 when I was 16 and just starting to experiment with make-up, attempting to get away with powder, clear mascara and a hint of lipgloss while at school. (The lipgloss was a push!) I have to admit I've barely picked anything up since that time - I happily progressed onto Rimmel, then Maybelline and eventually Benefit by the time I went to Uni and thought I was really cool. Ahem.

I've rediscovered the brand recently - I'm all over nostalgia at the moment - and they've actually started to make some pretty damn good stuff. I recently reviewed their EXTREME mascara and was pleasantly surprised. I've also been trying a few of their other new goodies and they haven't disappointed either. One of my faves is their Hotlights lipgloss, which contains a built in mirror and light for applying your essential gloss while out on the town. Although this isn't a new concept (it's been done many times before by more expensive brands) it is super bargainous at the teeny price of £3.99. It also comes in six delish colours that leave a silky sparkle to your lips. The formula also isn't super sticky so you don't have to worry about getting gloss in your hair while dancing away to 'Groove is in the Heart'.

Another one of my faves is the matching felt liner to the EXTREME mascara. These felt tips (sounds a bit wrong when you call it that, but you basically do use it like a colouring pen) give you a really strong, striking line that will have you channeling Amy Winehouse, without the bouffant, in no time. The first time I used this I managed to smudge it everywhere, so be sure to use a primer and avoid getting your eyes wet or rubbing! As long as you don't touch, these pens do last all day. The colour is really strong and it's so easy to apply, getting a straight line and a sexy eye with very little hassle.

I've also been using their Lasting Colour nail polish in Blue My Mind. This is a very real colour match for the Revlon and Chanel navy colours, but at £2.79 it's a hell of a lot cheaper. The polish applies easily, and after a couple of coats gives a fab colour. It claims to last up to ten days, but unless you sit on your hands you're bound to get a few chips. It lasts a good few days without needing another coat or for you to re-apply - more than acceptable to someone like me who types their life away and ruins polish in about 24 hours.

So I've rediscovered one of my youth brands... I just need to find some of that clear mascara now. In celebration of these new launches the fab people at Collection 2000 have given me three sets of these products to give away to one lucky person (oh how we spoil you.) For your chance to win, all you have to do is follow my blog and comment on this post, telling me your favourite 'youth product' and why. Did you love Heather Shimmer, or did you channel clear mascara for your brows like me? Tell me more... and I'll pick three lucky ones.

T&Cs - Competition open to UK residents only, closing date Sunday 3rd October 2010, one entry per person, judges decision final, etc etc etc.


Good Associates

Baths have become my guilty pleasure. I went through a stage of not having had one for about four years (no jokes here please about smelling) but now they've become a weekly treat. I don't like bubble bath (the bubbles get in my mouth and freak me out, but that's another story,) so I usually use Radox bath salts which dissolve into the water. I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of products from Aromatherapy Associates and this morning I gave their bath oils a whirl... or a soak.

The Essential Travel Oils kit contains four different oils meant for taking away for the weekend or as a gift - Deep Relax, Revive Morning, Revive Evening and Support Lavender & Peppermint. The kit is really cute, coming in its own little case which houses the four 7.5ml oils perfectly. This is a perfect introduction to the range, giving you enough oil to fully experience each variant. The instructions say add two caps to your bath... I thought 'how the hell are two little capfuls going to be enough?!' But they are! I plopped two caps into the bath and instantly the hot water made the scent fill the room. In fact, it pretty much filled my whole flat for a few minutes!

I like my baths really hot and practically overflowing so I probably needed three caps to get a fully intense result, but two is more than enough if you want a subtle scent. It really made me relax and the smell coming out of my bathroom was amazing. You should get three baths from each oil, meaning you get twelve baths overall - this works out at about £2 a bath (sorry for the maths!) which I think is good value for a little treat. Especially when you can easily spend £3.50 on a bath bomb. Definitely one for the Christmas list.


Autumn Aspirations

With the weather suddenly turning colder and the nights drawing in, my wardrobe has suddenly converted from floaty dresses and gladiators to biker boots and jumper dresses. So much for that Indian Summer! Now we couldn't very much continue wearing our bright corals and pastel colours - when you change your wardrobe you should also change your makeup bag. This season it's all about dewy reds, deep berries and a hint of green to lighten the palette. Revlon's new Autumn colours are perfectly in tune with the catwalk...


It's no secret of mine that I adore Revlon nail enamels. They're fab quality, reasonably priced, apply easy, stick around for a long time and come in a great range of colours. Their Autumn collection contains two more delicious colours that I'll be coveting well into the winter months - Ruby Ribbon and Emerald City. Unusually for Revlon, both these shades are 'matte', something I don't think they've done before. I'm all over matte colours as the moment so was eager to see how these varnishes stood up.

The Ruby Ribbon shade is a deep berry shade, almost with a hint of purple, and the Emerald City a deep green that literally does look like an emerald colour (says what it does on the tin!) The result of the varnish was a fab colour after only two coats which applied easily even though they're both dark colours. Even though the finish wasn't the usual shiny self of the Revlon polish, it definitely isn't 100% matte either - I'd say somewhere in the middle. You still get a hint of shimmer due to the content of the shade, meaning it's not so scary for those of you who don't like matte finishes, but still on-trend enough for fashionistas. I think I'll be wearing the Ruby Ribbon shade more, purely because it takes less coordinating on the outfits.... tut, tut!

There's also this fab new eyeshadow palette, which I haven't had a chance to use yet but the colours are gorgeous. They perfectly complement the nails - one is a very deep berry, the other a delicate green and two 'supporting' colours which can be used as a base and a smokey shade. Everything you need for a perfect Autumn look. Revlon, we salute you.


Special FX

There’s nothing more upsetting than being unconfident in your own skin – or literally unconfident about your skin. I’m quite fortunate to have a pretty clear and unproblematic face, and apart from the one major spot which seems to be like a inhuman force taking over my chin (if you’ve spoken to me this week you know I’ve been suffering!) I have a pretty fuss-free life. But I do know there are a lot of you out there who suffer from skin conditions that leave you shying away and reaching for the thick foundation, which inevitably only makes it worse.

I was invited to a Cover FX event this week, which was hosted by the company’s founder Lee Graff in House of Fraser on Oxford Street. She set up the company in response to so many people that suffer with problem skin (including herself) that were only making the underlying issues worse by not directly treating them. She says: "My dream was to help men & women with skin conditions face the world with confidence by offering them makeup products with therapeutic benefits that would perfectly match their skin tone, be affordable, well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins and achieve a perfectly natural, flawless effect."

And so Cover FX was born. It’s been in very limited distribution in the UK until this point, but now the masses can benefit from their fabulous formulas. Lee showed us many examples of ladies with tragic problems that had hit their confidence (as well as their lives) badly, but had used Cover FX make-up to create a flawless look so you would never know. It was gasping (literally, we gasped) to see the results.

Lee shows us case studies

However, the brand isn’t just for problem skin. Cover FX specialise in primers, which basically even out your skin to create a perfect base on which to apply your make-up. I’m quite new to the primer party, but I have been trying a few in the last few months and they definitely help to create an even base and make it easier to apply your make-up... but nothing I’ve tried before is like this! I’ve been using Clear Prep FX and Eye Prep FX, both of which claim to be anti-shine, create a flawless base and extend wear. I normally wait about a week before reviewing this kind of product, but I’m so excited it’s really time to share already.

The Clear Prep FX has quickly replaced any other make-up must have. You need a small amount to blend all over your face, focusing on your T-Zone, and then apply make-up as normal. It really does create a base that makes your other make-up look much more natural and ‘blended’ so you instantly look less ‘made up’. The best thing though is that it makes your make-up stick around (literally) for the whole day without a glitch – I normally get to about 3pm and start looking a bit droopy or greasy, needing to get out the compact and do a touch-up. Not this week. I’ve had my make-up on well into the evening and I still look as fresh as a daisy. Sweet.

The Eye Prep FX is more of a long-term product, claiming to strengthen around the eye area to hydrate, firm, and rejuvenate. Lee had been using this for six months – seriously, this woman looks amazing. Her eyes were better than mine and she’s a grandmother! If this is what I’ll look like in six months, halle-bloody-lujah! It instantly gives you a fab base to apply under eye concealer, which is something I suffer with – having to cake it on to cover my bags and then looking like a creasy crisp after a couple hours. With this there’s practically no caking at all and, again, it looks like I’ve just applied my concealer hours later. Definite thumbs up from me.

Ruth from 'A Model Recommends' has a taster

These products are pretty pricey (around £40 each) but they provide results. How many times have you bought a £8 product that does as much good as a chocolate teapot? At least with this it’s a great investment that you know will show results. I’m not letting these bad boys out of my sight (no, dear friends, you cannot borrow) so get yourself down to House of Fraser pronto.


Burt Take Two

So my experience of Burt's Bees has been a bit of a rollercoaster. It started way up there with some amazing lip balms that haven't left my side in weeks. It took a bit of a nose dive with a facial wash that really didn't agree with my skin, but now like a good ride at Alton Towers the dip just makes the rise up again even better. I've be using the Orange Facial Cleanser which you could say is a little bit popular... literally everywhere I look,or whenever you mention Burt's Bees then this product seems to be the diamond of the range.

This 100% natural cleanser claims to wash away impurities and make-up without over drying skin. It contains the 'zesty oil of natural oranges' to leave skin clean, hydrated and refreshed. I have to admit that it does all these things, while smelling delicious and feeling delightful. The formula is orange (naturally) and feels almost like a thick jelly; it lathers subtly rather than overloading you with foam, which is a natural reaction from a natural product. It really smells of zesty oranges, without that awful chemical citrus smell you so often get in other products (think your mandarin body washes,) so it uplifts you while you're having your morning shower.

When applied to the skin it feels smooth, is easy to manoeuvre around your face and leaves you feeling refreshed and clean. It doesn't give you a deep cleansed feeling which exfoliators or menthol products give, but this is great as an every day facial wash. There's no tight feeling after - in fact my skin is smooth, radiant and clear. Most importantly though is the fact that it didn't dry out my skin, nor did it react in any way or aggravate my sensitivities. Because it's 100% natural it's full of the best ingredients, something you can really tell after using it.

At £9.99 it's not the cheapest product, but you do get a large tube which will last for ages as you need such a small amount of product. Considering it's 100% natural and free from nasties such as sulfates, this is a fab product for anyone wanting something for super sensitive skin, as well as for those that just want to be careful about their skin care products. So Burt, what's next on the rollercoaster?!

Tom Ford is HOT.

Yep, the fashion designer is massively hot and I'm not afraid to say it. Even though I'm definitely not his type (if you know what I mean) he's got that sexy-gentleman-with-a-hint-of-ruggedness look down to perfection. He's elegant, sophisticated and very exclusive - and these traits have been passed down to his new cosmetics collection, which I had the pleasure of experiencing last night.

Hello Gorgeous!

Tom Ford beauty was launched in April this year, but has been completely off my radar until now. His fragrances are delicious, elegant and amazingly unique (you literally will never be able to compare his Black Orchid scent with anything else) and provide the inspiration for the other products. The range includes a collection of twelve lipsticks, categorised into nudes, pinks and corals, which are encased in a beautiful white case that screams exclusivity. The bullet (technical term for lippie) is stamped with Tom's logo and the colours are divine... these were some of my favourite shades.

Fabulous colours, nude to deep red

The lipstick itself is really luxurious, unsurprisingly, and applies like a dream. It's creamy, smooth and silky, without being too greasy or smudgy. Because the shades are so pigmented it even stays on for hours, well after the lop layer has been left on your champagne glass (darling, it's Tom Ford - you have to drink champers.) Every lady in the room last night had a fab pout - from nudies to deep reds, we were all looking fabulous.

The Original Scent

This Autumn Tom Ford is releasing a special edition collection which contains three must have items. His classic and timeless Black Orchid perfume has been re-housed in an elegant and 1920's inspired compact so you can re-touch your scent on the go. The compact itself is beautiful, heavy and intricate - I would love to have one of these in my bag! To go alongside the compact, Tom is launching his best selling Black Orchid lipstick in a limited edition black pack to match. This colour is fantastic, deep and very on-trend. Only for those more daring among us, but this is really a stand out shade. Not only that, but he's also launching a limited edition nail enamel in the Black Orchid shade too. I got to try this last night and the colour is lovely - a very deep, almost black red which is perfect for Autumn.

Look how pretty!

The nail varnish and limited edition black pack lipstick are only available in a gift pack with the perfume compact so they really do feel exclusive and special. They'll be available in Harvey Nicols, Space NK and Tom Ford counters from October, so definitely put them on your Christmas list now before Santa is too late.

Black Orchid nail enamel


Arty Farty

Yesterday I was invited to a showcase of up-and-coming designers and artists by the fabulous Loulou Bontemps. She already has her own handbag collection which is creative, striking, and offers you a one off piece of fashion that all your girlfriends would be jealous of. I'm already a huge fan of her bags, made even worse when I spent the day with her on Sunday admiring the beauty below. It's literally like a piece of art that you carry around!

So because of her pure fabulousness I happily tottered along to the first of her latest brainchild art events, held in the fabulous Institute of Creative Arts. Loulou wants to create a platform for newly discovered designers, all who are able to sell their work through her website, so they can show their work to the media and public alike. Yesterday there was art galore, with everything from Monster Much pillows to fabulously intricate jewellery. Some of my highlights are below.

How much do you love these?!
Still Remains made lockets out of intricate keepsakes
I love this coathanger ring from Heirs & Graces
More fab Loulou Bontemps bags - I'm in love
Sally Pang beautiful dress with jewel detail
Briar Rose - scary but amazing
To have a look at more amazing pieces, information on future events and a gallery of her fabulous bags, check out Loulou’s website: www.loulousboutique.com


You Never Know You Miss It..

I'm a firm believer in the saying 'you never know you miss it 'til it's gone.' This couldn't be more true of Johnson's gentle eye make-up remover pads, which I bought on a whim when they were on a 3-for-2 in Boots a while ago. They were my 'freebie' after stocking up on some facial wash that I don't mind taking on my travels. When I first started using them I did think they were a bit of a hassle, having to use an extra product within my already bulging beauty routine, but I soon decided I loved them.

The pads are basically circular cotton pads soaked in makeup remover, but they work really well and feel so comfortable on your eyes. You need one pad for each eye and they're qualitative enough to use both sides. Once you hold the pad for a few seconds your eye makeup comes off quite easily, leaving practically nothing behind. I noticed how good these were when I'd run out and went back to using traditional eye makeup remover, which was quite frankly pants. After four different cotton pads full of formula I was still waking up with panda eyes - not so with Johnson's. These are literally a few quid so well worth a shot if you struggle to get your makeup off. I also have really sensitive eyes and these don't aggravate them in the slightest. Score.


A Fashionable Tan

London Fashion Week has been the topic of conversation for what seems like forever, but we've still got a few days of fabulous shows to go. The one must-have for any model strutting their stuff down the catwalk and in front of hundreds of snapping paps is a flawless tan. LBQ favourite, Fake Bake, has been endlessly spraying behind the scenes. Fake Bake's own celebrity tanner, James Read, has exclusively shared his top tips and insider info on the latest tan trend, The Mannequin Tan, from Friday's PPQ show just for you lovely ladies...

The Mannequin Tan is about achieving a perfectly smooth, glossy texture with a subtle glow. “When you see how many photographers there are at the end of the catwalk, you know those girls have to look flawless,” says James. “Skin has to have a high definition finish, an airbrushed texture. But most importantly, when you’ve got such high hemlines, bold colours and extreme prints, the tan has to sit back and take it,” he explains. “It can’t compete with the clothes by being really dark or intense - it has to work with the collection by perfecting the skin. You want the areas on show to gleam under the lights of the cameras. So the Mannequin Tan was the best compliment to PPQ’s SS11 collection.”

Top Tip 1. “The models’ skin is always dehydrated and dulled by the late nights, travelling and rushing around they’re subjected to during the shows – most of the girls had just flown in from New York Fashion Week for PPQ! Their skin really needed a softening shot of hydration first, to make sure we’d get an even, radiant tan. So I applied Fake Bake Tan Enhancing Lotion with Glisteners first. It holds the tan in but also reflects the light, giving that Mannequin Tan shine.”

Top Tip 2. “I used a spray gun to apply a very fine layer of Fake Bake Flawless. It’s a liquid tan with directional colour so you can immediately see where you need to buff or wipe – it makes it easy to get a streak free tan with an instant hit of colour. It’s also very fast-drying so the models didn’t have to worry about smudging or marking the clothes. For the Mannequin Tan it’s got to be a very light mist. The girls in the shows did have a variety of skin tones though, so for the darker girls I could layer it up but never much darker than her natural colouring. The same goes for the change in seasons – you can always add a layer when spring becomes summer, and take one away again when autumn comes. At home you can apply Fake Bake Flawless yourself with a mitt – it’s a totally fool-proof way of achieving the Mannequin Tan yourself.”

Top Tip 3. “I used the Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Shimmer Brick to warm and contour the key areas on show: the face, shoulders, d├ęcolletage, legs and arms. Like The Fashion Tan, it’s about enhancing the parts of your body that the clothes reveal – you want to make your skin really picture-perfect when you’re heading down the runway!”

It all sounds pretty damn fab, but you can get this amazing tanned look at home too. Which is why I've teamed up with Fake Bake to offer one lucky reader all the tools they need to create their own Mannequin Tan. The goodie bag will contain:

Tan Enhancing Lotion with Glisteners £12.50
Fake Bake Flawless £20.00
Fake Bake Beyond Bronze Shimmer Brick £11.99

All you've got to do is email me (london.beautyqueen@yahoo.co.uk) with a really good reason why you need this at-home tanning kit. I want to know your tanning disasters, funny stories or just a humiliating grovel. The best entry will be chosen by an independent adjudicator (i.e. my housemate) and be announced on Monday 27th September. Closing date for the competition is Sunday 26th September . Good Luck!

NB - only one entry per person, don't take the piss, judges decision is final and all that jazz.


Smouldering Eyes

Every girl loves to rock a smouldering, sexy smokey eye. It's the one make-up trend that seems to have been around forever and shows no sign of fading away. Even though we'd all love to look like a doe-eyed vixen, how many of you tremble at the thought of applying liner or smudging your shadow? This fab double-ended eye tool from New CID cosmetics is all you need in your make-up bag... and it's even called i-smoulder, so you can rest assured it'll do the job.

New CID is a new brand on my radar so I didn't know what to expect. I was sent a sample of i-smoulder in Azure, a navy blue colour. The first step is the eyeshadow which hides away in the lid of one end... if you're anything like me this will fascinate you for five minutes while you figure out how it works. The smudging applicator grabs just the right of shadow so you can apply it and blend, without getting flecks of colour all over your eye. If you need more colour then you simply dip the applicator back into the lid. The shadow colour is a paler blue which shimmers and catches the light. It's really easy to blend and smudge so you can't really go wrong - a must for newbies or people with shaky hands.

The liner is angled and lengthy, nothing like a traditional pencil, so it's easy to 'colour in' your upper and lower lids. It's soft, yet not too much so, so it doesn't scrape the lid or meet resistance. The colour is perfectly complemented to the shadow so the two really match, creating a sophisticated take on the smokey eye. This was really so easy to use and created a striking look that I then decided to drunkenly replicate on my mates in the pub... probably not the best idea after a few Mojitos.

I really enjoyed using this product and will definitely be using it again for a different look. My pictures really don't do it justice, but they show how the colours work together. At £18.00 it's pretty pricey, and compared to other brands and similar products I've used a little too much. However, if you want something that's fab quality, easy to use and creates a strong look this is probably the wand for you.


A Day in the Life....

I had a pretty ace day yesterday. Sometimes there's nothing nicer than taking a day off work to spend with yourself doing the things you love the most... in my case, eating cake, getting my hair cut, my makeup done and finishing off with a few cocktails. In homage to London Fashion Week, here's what I got up to on the first day of this year's Fashion Paradise.

Mmmm. Cake.

This has got absolutely nothing to do with beauty, but I really like cake. Like, REALLY like cake. If you have a birthday party and I don't really like you, I'm probably coming for the cake. So when one of my colleagues told me about Hummingbird Bakery and the fact that they were doing special 'soda pop' cupcakes this week I couldn't resist. I trotted down to Portabello Road in Notting Hill (which by the way is so much nicer on Friday - no tourists and lots of space) and ordered myself a coke special. This beauty had coke flavoured sponge and icing, cola bottles as decoration, but the best bit was that it contained popping candy in the cake mix! Mmmm, I'll be going back for seconds.

I digress, back to the beauty stuff. The lovely ladies at Toni & Guy invited me to have my hair done at their pop-up salon in Somerset House, which is there for the duration of London Fashion Week. The salon sits right in the centre of the action and offers the glitterazi (and somehow me!) the opportunity to have their hair cut, styled or just va-va-voomed in-between shows. Considering it's a 'pop-up' it's still pretty damn glam. The back wall contains images of previous catwalk shoes in a big collage, really getting you in the spirit for some serious fashion abuse. They have two TVs replaying the fashion shows from February so you can watch while you're pampered.

They've persuaded (or rather auditioned) some of their top stylists from around the country to offer their services and treat you to a real seeing to. My beautiful, chatty and generally pretty fab stylist really listened to what I said, discussing my options with me, saying what she thought would work and why. I felt like putty in her hands, I trusted her and I was ready to rock... sort my barnet out! She washed and massaged my hair and then the chopping began. Baring in mind my hair had gotten pretty long after a disastrous experience a few months ago, I was ready to have it styled and styled extreme. The Label M products she used (Toni & Guy's professional range) all smelt fabulous and didn't leave any heaviness or sticky feeling in my head - they left me feeling swishy and confident, loving my new do. They had a massive display of products and some really exciting innovations, including a volumising powder which expands when you shake it and a beautiful compact which contains split end balm to tame those fly-aways. I literally can't wait to try the range - but that's another post!

Check out my 'do! I am soooo happy. I never, ever come out of the salon feeling truly happy with my barnet, but this time I really did. It was perfect, exactly what I wanted and I felt fab. I hadn't been to a Toni & Guy salon since I was 17 and I ended up with a style I didn't really want, but which the stylist convinced me would work. Three hours later I ended up with something I didn't really like and a hole in my pocket. I would now totally go back to a T&G salon at the drop of a hat (or the flick of my hair!) because the service and cut was fab. Excuse the impromptu pic taken literally outside the venue on the way to the tube... here's a slightly better one when I got home!

Toni & Guy will be available all week for appointments and are even sticking around for London Fashion Weekend. If you fancy a chop then you can book on the day - but make sure you go early because the appointments are getting snapped up pretty quick. Next stop was a quick pop into the MAC shop, which was offering info and makeovers. I'm really not familiar with the brand and have never even owned a product from the range, so I was intrigued to find out more. The MUA that I met was extremely colourful, wearing bright pink lips and matching brows - she looked ace. She added some depth and colour to my eyes and sorted my brows out for me... I have a massive thing about my eyebrows because naturally they're uneven and completely not in the right place. She taught me how to work out where they should be, and then showed me how to recreate them using a thin brush, brown eyeshadow and a lot of skill. Look how natural they look - they even look like real hairs! I'll definitely be trying this out at home, but no doubt it's gonna take a LOT of practice!

So I had my hair done, my makeup sorted out... what better way to finish the day than with a cocktail or two? I'm back down to LFW over the next few days for a couple of shows and I can't wait to get involved and feel like a bit of a fashionista. If you're going to London Fashion Weekend make sure you go and say hi to the ladies at Toni & Guy, and maybe even pop down to MAC too. Until next time...

Mmmm. Cocktail.
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