Tuesday, 31 May 2011


In 1933 Mae West famously said ‘peel me a grape’. In 1995, Mathilde Thomas and husband Bertrand peeled that grape, deseeded it, destalked it, but instead of throwing all this away, with the help of Dr Vercauteren from the University of Pharmacy of Bordeaux, they saw the great anti-oxidant benefits. And so created their own beauty brand called Caudalie with the grape vine as the main ingredient.  They chose the name because Caudalie in the wine industry means ‘a unit of measurement of quality and duration the wines flavour stays on the palette – the finer the wine the more caudalies it will have’.

Named after the finest wines, Caudalie created the ultimate moisturiser – Premier Cru, to treat all signs of ageing such as wrinkles, lack of firmness, dark spots, and dullness. And after the success of their Premier Cru – The Cream, which has become one of the best selling anti-ageing creams in France, they were inspired to turn their dedication to the delicate eye area.

This year sees the launch of Premier Cru – The Eye Cream. Looking luminous in its gold and silver packaging, it does look like the ultimate ‘elixir of youth’ which Caudalie states it is, targeting all visible signs of ageing around the eyes. And if that’s not enough, Caudalie also says this eye cream has an original feature - it can brighten the eye contour sweeping the shadows away and eliminating dark spots.

And how does it do all this? Well it’s in the grapes. Caudalie has 3 patented ingredients all based on the grapes.

1. Grape seed polypehnols - the most powerful anti-oxidants in the vegetable world. They stop free radicals and are 10,000 times more effective than vitamin E.
2. Resveratrol from the grapevine stalks – identified as the most effective active ingredient for prolonging cellular life by Harvard’s department of medicine.
3. Viniferine from grapevine sap - helps diminish and protect against dark spots by regulating melanin formation.

Other grape ingredients are organic grape water and the nourishing grape seed oil.

Mae West might not have known what she was throwing away when she said ‘peel me a grape’, but now our eyes are opened, Premier Cru will let us still have our peeled grape and eat it without losing the benefits of the skin and stalks.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


The Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) hosted their 6th annual Beauty Awards this year at the Intercontinental London Park Lane.

Provided with champagne and nibbles, the beauty industry guests were able to network for half an hour and see the nominated products before going in to the main room for lunch and the awards.

The theme this year was a tribute to the late iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor.  

The opening of the Awards Ceremony began with Caroline Neville, CEW (UK) president, followed by a presentation of a cheque for £25,000 from CEW (UK) to the Eve Appeal - a gynaecology cancer research fund whose focus is to raise vital funds for research into prevention, detection, treatment and care of ovarian cancer.  More information can be seen on their website  www.eveappeal.org.uk

Once wined and dined, the awards began with Marigay McKee, Beauty & Fashion Director of Harrods, acting as Master of Ceremony.  Behind stood 26 graceful female statuettes designed and donated by Lalique. Joanna Page from the hilarious comedy series ‘Gavin and Stacey’, and now the new face of Superdrug presented two of the awards.

This year there were no brands that ran away with multiple awards, the most was two. Lanolips took ‘Best New Skincare Treatment Product-mass’ for their 101 Ointment , a 100% natural lip balm containing ultra pure medical grade lanolin; Dr Organic took ‘Best New Everyday Facial Skincare Product-mass’ for their Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum and both came joint winners for ‘Best New Brand-mass’

Other brands that came away with two awards were:

Balance me received the ‘Best New Bath and Body Product-prestige’ for their Rose Otto Body Wash and ‘Best New Certified Organic Skincare Product’ for their Super Oil with Juniper and Bergamot.

Liz Earle received the ‘Best New Haircare/Styling Product-prestige’ for their Naturally Active Haircare Botanical Shine Shampoo and ‘Best British brand’ for their Naturally Active Skincare.  All their Naturally Active Skincare products use the best quality natural ingredients.

Chanel took ‘Best New Make-up Product-Eyes or Lips-prestige’ for their Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour and ‘Best New Men’s Fragrance-prestige’ for their Bleu De Chanel EDT

Elizabeth Arden glowed when they were awarded ‘Best New Self Tan or Suncare Product’ for their Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF 50 and ‘Best Iconic Beauty Product’ for their much loved Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant.

Batiste coloured dry shampoo took the Best New Haircare/Styling/Colouring Product – Mass category award last year and this year it was the turn of Batiste Dry Shampoo Fresh – just proving we love our time saving dry shampoos.

All For Eve, the stand-alone beauty and fashion brand set up to raise funds and awareness for The Eve Appeal charity, won ‘Best New Hand and Nail Care Product’ for their Swarovski Crystal Nail File. Here is the chance to not only purchase the best nail file but also help ovarian cancer research

Other awards were as follows:

Filling the air with fragrance was Chloe Love Chloe for Best Women’s Fragrance

Best Classic Beauty Product-Mass category went to Bio-Oil, a specialist skincare product that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone.

Fluttering their long eyelashes with excitement were RapidLash who won Best New Make-up Product-Mass for their Eyelash Enhancing Serum.

Well we won’t tell you what Nars was doing when they won the Best New Make-up Product-Prestige for their Cosmetic Orgasm Illuminator

Best New Bath & Body Product –mass went to The Sanctuary Ultra Rich Body Butter 

Smiling whilst keeping the wrinkles at bay were Clarins who won Best New Everyday Facial Skincare Product for their Multi-active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream

Eyes wide open were Estee lauder when they won Best New Skincare Treatment Product for their Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex

Emma Hardie were gleefully amazed when they won Best New Brand for their Amazing Face.
And for the Best Classics Beauty Product – Eve Lom came clean with their Cleanser
Not forgetting the guys:

Nivea for Men Q10 Revitalising Gel took the Best New Men’s Grooming Product- Mass category.

For the Prestige category of Best Men’s Grooming Product, it was Shiseido for Men Skin Empowering Cream.

Best New Men’s Fragrance: Chanel Bleu De Chanel EDT.

After the awards the lucky winner of a £50,000 Global Radio campaign prize draw was Elemental Herbology. Then the grand prize draw in aid of the Eve Appeal began. Prizes included a tote bag handmade in the Bill Amberg Studio; Top to Toe pamper day with Richard Ward; evening of luxury at Harvey Nichols with champagne and a 4 course dinner for two; three Mamo Mia boot camp treatments at Urban Retreat in Harrods plus three Mamo Mia boot camp kits; and two night weekend stay for two at the Intercontinental with breakfast.

A great event and still enough time to rush home and start buying these wonderful products from Superdrug on:  www.superdrug.com  

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com

Sunday, 15 May 2011


After studying  Fashion Design at the University of East London and graduating in 2007, British born Simon Christopher Waller started designing at John Richmond. Now he has taken that large scary leap and created his own brand Christopher Waller which was launched in July 2010.

His new brand’s philosophy is:
'To provide effortless sophistication to women on a day-to-day basis blurring the transition from day to night with clean and flattering silhouettes enabling subtle detailing to shine through.'

And this certainly showed through with his AW10 debut collection which was a mix of silks, wools and jerseys in minimalistic chic tailoring injected with an effortless laid back wearablility.

For the SS11 collection, Waller has taken his inspiration from the minimalist artists of the late 50’s and 60’s who rejected outside influences such as politics, religion, symbolism etc  as the only means to create art. They chose to strip their work to the pure basics where colours, lines, shapes and textures were used sparingly and didn't express the moods and feelings of the artist, but relied on the viewer to appreciate the object in its simplicity as just a beautiful piece of art.

Waller has carried this minimalism in to his cut and colour palette, proving you don’t need to rely on frills, bows and bright colour ways to create beautiful statement garments. The fluid fabrics of silk, jersey and finely woven wool he uses ensures the simple tailored cut is not harsh and gives a soft luxurious feel to the whole collection.

However Waller does add a touch of texture with his silk panelling on the jersey and wool pieces.

The main colour palette is black with accents of bold block colouring in muted earth tones of slate, stone, aubergine and dusty pink.

Highlights of the collection include a deconstructed fine wool box blazer in a muted block colour of slate with silk black cuffs, pockets and lapels; and a jersey T-dress with a taped silk seam.

Summary: A chic and minimalistic classic soft tailored look with a laid-back sporty twist

More details and images can be viewed on www.christopherwaller.com

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

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Ormonde Terrace was probably one of the most fragrantly scented streets when Linda J Pilkington used her own home there as a perfume lab and created the Ormonde Jayne perfumes.  Since then she has come a long way changing her humble settings to that of the opulent Harrods Perfume Hall and her own two London boutiques with their striking black lacquered interiors.  However some things haven’t changed - each product is still created by Linda and the bottling and packaging is still by hand but now in her British workshop rather than in her home.

From this passion for perfumery and perfection, Linda was not content to just create her 12 luxurious fragrances, but wanted to ensure her customers discovered and went away with the right Ormonde Jayne fragrance for them. And so Perfume Portraits was created.

Perfume Portraits can take from a quick 5 minutes to a longer more leisurely 45 minutes depending on how many questions and how much time you have.

At the beginning she will ask a few questions such as: what other perfume brands you already love and which ones your hate, do you like soaking in the bath or prefer to shower, do you like scented candles, do you usually carry your perfume around with you, and are you looking for a perfume for a the evening, daytime or for the summer etc. 

Now you may ask how are these questions pertinent?  Well she keeps a profile for you ,so if your loved one decides to pop in to buy you a gift, she can not only recommend the right scent but also the right product.

The next stage is where Linda introduces you to the scents of individual raw ingredients in the form of oils and which can make an Ormonde Jayne perfume. Advising you not to think of them as an actual perfume but to just concentrate on the smell and say whether you liked or didn’t like it.

After smelling about 15 of the 21 oils I’d only said I’d like two so far (vanilla and freesia).  Panicking, and wondering how she was going to find any perfume for me, never mind my perfect perfume, I toyed with the idea of saying I liked the next one.  Alas I couldn’t even smell anything. Luckily I came clean and Linda advised it was Ambroxan which you either could or couldn’t smell.  Relieved my sense of smell hadn’t totally packed in, I was just a bit sad that I wasn’t one of the perfume elite who could smell it.

After going through all the oils, Linda then chose three of her perfumes, spraying two on my arms and one on herself. We talked whilst they settled.  One I instantly loved (Ta’if) but the others were too intense. Although happy with my new favourite perfume and amazed that she found it so easily, I still kept smelling the other fragrance (Tolu) on my arm. Apparently Tolu does take a while to settle.  It definitely did take a while, but after a few hours, I was surprised to find I loved the smell – Super Perfumer Linda had done it again!

But as an impatient, want everything now, now, now kinda girl, the love at first smell Ta’if is the one for me. I loved its instant top notes of pink pepper, saffron and dates and still loved it as it settled down with the heart notes of rose oil, freesia, orange flower absolute and jasmine plus the lingering base notes of broom and amber.

I was delighted to see my new signature perfume was the one and only perfume that comes in the very luxurious  Gold Dust: here you can give your décolleté and shoulders a little light dusting of  real 24 carat gold powder ! Gold Dust is packaged in an elegant black lacquered handmade gold box which contains a very fluffy and feminine champagne coloured hand sewn French satin powder puff with marabou feather trim. 

The retail price of £400 for 15ml is not to be sneezed at (definitely don’t sneeze!) and is exclusive to Harrods.

I’m pleased to say the actual perfumes are much much cheaper at £70 for a 50ml Eau de Parfum.

Ormonde Jayne’s flagship boutique is at 12 The Royal Arcade and her new and larger store at 192 Pavillion Rd just off Sloane Square.  For more information check out the website : www.ormondejayne.com

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