Monday, 18 April 2011



Designer Vanessa Gounden presented her debut collection at the glorious Banqueting House in Whitehall.

What makes this debut collection different is that Vanessa is not straight out from college; she is in the prime of her life and has used her own colourful and rich life experiences as inspiration for the designs.  Of Indian descent, Vanessa grew up in South Africa on her family’s small holding where she helped cut and prepare roses for sale to florist. Vanessa G the label has taken the red rose as their logo and the rose heads could be seen everywhere at the show, decorating the bar area, the side tables, the catwalk show and even the carpet at the reception was black with digital rose prints.

Due to apartheid growing in South Africa, Vanessa and her family had to leave their livelihood and were removed to a dormitory township with minimal facilities. Here Vanessa played an active role in the trade union movement and served in the Nelson Mandela administration after South Africa’s first democratic election in 1944. This experience equipped Vanessa with high business acumen but also with a strong desire to help those equally deserving but less fortunate.

Her collection takes unique pieces of art from unsung artists and transforms them in to timeless classic which are handcrafted for individuals who are equally passionate about the arts and fashion.

The catwalk was impressive and ran along the sides of the hall with a large facade of coliseum like arches at the front. Inside these arches, lasers projected films of nature (rivers, flowers, skies etc) at the right time to correspond with the prints on the model’s garments.  Opening the show was the moody monochrome film of clouds with the models wearing grey and white photographic prints with just a touch of pale pink. The prints were of the sea, clouds, windswept umbrellas, skylines and pink flamingos.

Tights were embellished with hanging sequins, sheath dresses lightly skimmed the body, trousers were high waisted and slim, and jackets finished at the waist with ¾ length sleeves. Coats ranged from the classic trench to the glamorous 1950’s swagger style. However the classic trench was given a twist with the digital photographic prints -loved the one in pale blue with the photographic art of woman and umbrella splashing in the sea.

We now swapped black and white film to colour and it was the turn of the florals, greenery and the earth.  Here the models garments merged with the large photographic prints hanging behind them, clearly showing the full picture of the digital prints on the clothes.

The next stage saw the colour palette change to a striking  black and red combination. The print here of red flora was larger with more background space. 

Vanessa G cleverly includes the different styles of the classic look in her collection, making sure all classic women will find something they love. From the above the knee fitted sheath dress, the mid calf A line skirt, the pencil skirt to the cute high waisted retro 50’s full dress which was given an update with a shorter length.

Vanessa G brand is for the upwardly mobile and well-heeled woman who is looking for a new contemporary experience and to own a piece of art through her clothes.  'Art’Outure', a mix of Art and Couture - the ultimate statement of luxury.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Scrub up for Summer with SPC Skincare

Scrub up for Summer with SPC Skincare

Before you bare all on the beach this Summer, get your skin looking luscious! SPC Skincare offers the perfect exfoliating and moisturising products to help you look fresh and beautiful this Summer. Also ideal for pre-tanning to ensure you get an even and glowing sun-kissed tan!

SPC Kiwi Complexion Scrub

Get in the mood for Summer with the fresh and stimulating SPC Kiwi Complexion Scrub (£29.00 per 50ml). This gentle exfoliating scrub works to brighten and revitalise the skin, leaving a fresh and decongested complexion.

Blends of Kiwi, Walnut, Pomegranate and Condus Crispus Seaweed, combined with Pineapple create a highly charged and effective antioxidant. Rich in minerals, the key ingredients in this combination scrub are renowned for their anti-ageing properties.

Key ingredients include
  • Exotic Ginger
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Sweet Almond Oil

SPC Ginger Body Scrub

Revitalise your senses with the SPC Ginger Body Scrub (£35.00 per 500g), luxuriously blended with fine grade sea salt, the micro-fine particles and pure natural ingredients result in an exfoliating experience which is both revitalising and relaxing.  Particularly effective when applied on dry skin pre-bathing/showering, once applied and worked in to the skin, shower off.

Key ingredients include
  • Exotic Ginger
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Sweet Almond Oil

It’s also water soluble which is great for exfoliating in the bath. The skin will be left glowing and rejuvenated and the body will be left re-mineralised, assisting with PH balance and detoxification.

SPC Citrus Body Moisturiser

The zesty SPC Citrus Body Moisturiser (£30.00 per 200ml) will leave the skin feeling ready for Summer with delicate blends of Lemon, Lime and Orange, citrus fruit essential oils. Your skin will be left feeling silky, supple and smooth and the citrus blends will leave the senses completely invigorated.

Key ingredients include
  • Lemon
  • Mexican lime
  • Orange
  • Black Pepper

SPC Skincare offers an exciting transformation of how you do skincare. We blend essential plant oils, extracts and other simple but potent ingredients into formulas that help to defy age, stimulate cells and rejuvenate your skin. SPC Skincare has a wide assortment of products that allows anyone to create a personal skincare plan unique to the individual.

As you read through the labels you might feel as though you are reading a recipe for a really vibrant salad. Ingredients matter and we ensure that our formulas are invigorating and work to preserve, protect and provide you with your own skincare path.

SPC Skincare products and treatments were created by the award winning spa at Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire, England. With years of industry experience and research gained through the spa and close collaboration with industry specialists to pick the best possible ingredients, the creation of our products deliver results, including visual radiance to the skin and improved emotional wellbeing.

The SPC Skincare products were designed with a view to create a skincare and body range that enables you to recreate your own ‘spa’ experience at home as part of your everyday life.


S – Synergy of nature and science
Expertly harnessing the benefits of both nature and science.

P Potency of ingredients
Active ingredients are carefully selected to create products that really work.

C – Commitment to excellence
Throughout all of our luxurious products and treatments, we are committed to giving outstanding results.

We are proud to say that we are a British company.

Check out our new website at! To celebrate the launch of the new website, for every person that signs up for an SPC Skincare e-newsletter receive a £10 off promotional code.

For further information, images or samples please contact Sarah Mahoney at SPC Skincare on 01753 717109

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

bareMinerals Skincare

Bare Escentuals have decided to dig up dirt for their new skincare range. Well to be more exact, they have  extracted macro and micro minerals from the soil to create a revolutionary ingredient they have named ‘Rare Minerals Active Soil Complex’. And it’s not just any old soil, but mineral abundant virgin soil from around different parts of the US to make sure they find the right concentrates of minerals.

These are extracted through a unique method which allows them to yield a densely rich concentrate capable of transformational skin-renewing benefits.

They believe Rare Minerals Active Soil Complex to be so revolutionary in the beauty world that they have patented it. Its unique electrolyte delivery system optimises the skin’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, resulting in smoother and healthier looking skin. And this key ingredient is found in all of their new skincare products which are formulated without synthetic fragrances, artificial oils or parabens. 

The hero of the new range is The Pure Transformation Night Treatment. This is like make up for bedtime!

I know the most important part is the revolutionary active ingredient it has, but being able to even out your skin tone at night by buffing up your skins in a choice of 4 shades (clear, light, medium and tan) is revolutionary in itself. We are told it does not clog up the pores (in fact it has been proven to visibly reduce them) and does not smudge on to your pillow.

This is that gap filled between cosmetics and skin care – it’s a night time treatment to replenish your skin by reducing pores, increasing firmness and improving elasticity over a period of time, plus the added bonus of acting like a light foundation and smoothing out your blemishes.

Now you may think why would you want to put on foundation for bed? Who wouldn’t want to go to bed with a radiant glow and be able to wake up the next morning, peer in to the bathroom mirror and still see that glow?  

Other products in the range include a choice of two facial cleansers:

Purifying Facial Cleanser, a light creamy lather to remove make-up and dissolve impurities. This is gentle enough to use for eye make-up removal.

Deep Cleansing Foam, a richer foamy cleanser to deep clean pores and lift away impurities. As the name suggests, this is a deep cleanser so avoid the eye area.

A choice of two moisturisers
Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for combination skin. This includes the South African resurrection plant known for its skin renewing properties.  

Purely Nourishing Cream for dry skin.  This cream is not your normal clinical white colour, but more of a natural ecru colour which instantly says natural ingredients. The hydrating ingredients include the avocado oil, and for skin conditioning ingredients there is jojoba, pomegranate oil and starfruit to name a few.

A Firming Eye Treatment includes the Masterwort Leaf cultivated in the Swiss Alps where it is known as the Queen of the plants for its transformative benefits. Here it is used for both depuffing (along with caffeine) and skin-conditioning.

Bare Escentuals are really excited about their new ground breaking ingredient and are hoping that you will be too.