Summer Weekend Wishlist

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In keeping with this week’s summer theme, here is where I would like to be this weekend – on board a boat in the middle of the ocean – possibly the most gorgeous summer photo ever – by Pamela Hanson for Tommy Hilfiger.

I would, however, settle for…

Eating al fresco at Petersham Nurseries


Dappled shade, a menu made up of locally grown produce, delicious lemonade – Petersham Nurseries Cafe, tucked into a bend by the river in Richmond, is such a treat (it opens for lunch only Tuesday to Sunday). If the menu is a little out of your price range – or mentally marked ‘special occasions only’ – the delightful teahouse serves cake (the lemon poppyseed is my downfall), tea and coffee.

Swooning over the mini sundresses at Childsplay Clothing

Such a great website which has carefully curated designer children’s wear under one virtual roof. There is plenty to covet here, whatever the size of your child. And their sale is on right now (if only the Stella McCartney polka dot tulle skirt wasn’t sold out, it would be on my list NOW). I would love to see my little girl sporting this Oiliy Junior dress (reduced to £28.20). Heck, I’d wear it if it came in my size.


Wearing Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint with SPF 15


Liz Earle’s long-awaited make-up range is an out-and-out winner. And this is EXACTLY what you need. It has SPF 15, is laden with good-for-your-skin ingredients, and gives you that dewy complexion without looking like you have a face full of slap (one of my personal bugbears. I had a pre-wedding makeover once and my husband’s response was, “Why do you have orange talcum powder all over your face?”). And it’s £21, which puts it on the not-cheap-but-affordable level (this is your SKIN, people – you wear it every single day). All the beauty editors I know are fans – and that is good enough for me.




Lighting up my garden 

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Hurricane lanterns, fairylights strung through trees, candles (under close supervision, of course) – perfect for a summer night in the garden. Head to Ikea, Garden Trading or Cox & Cox. Mine is the classic London courtyard garden – and I rather fancy stringing lights across it.

Making my home smell like summer with Neom’s Enchantment candle


This is summer in a candle: bluebells, rose and something called guaiacwood (I don’t know what this is, precisely, but it combines with the florals to smell delicious). It’s all natural (no nasties), with 50 hours burn time (£42).






Images: Pamela Hanson for Tommy Hilfiger; GQ; via Pinterest

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Weekend Wishlist

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Oh joy. The weekend is So Very Nearly Here. Here’s what mine would contain, were I the Queen. Or even K-Mid.

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Peonies. Armfuls and armfuls of peonies (until I look exactly like this girl from the Vogue archives). Or just a bouquet of palest pink, white and cream ones. They are summer in a blowsy, overblown, gorgeous flower. I love peony season. (I also love these pictures, from Trouvais.) You can buy them from everywhere – on offer at M&S (I have deep pink peonies – reduced to £5), your local flower stall, or a fancy florist (this is a wow bouquet).


Susan Ibrahim for & Other Stories The name Susan Ibrahim is new to me, but she’s a Paris-based Swedish designer who has worked with & Other Stories on a niche collection which does not – hurrah – cost the earth. The red dress, for instance (also available in black), comes in at £65; and this terribly ladylike leather handbag at £79.




Big Birdies… 

big_birdie_detail-1For this is what these delightful cushions (£20) are called. Yet, I know I am obsessed with cushions – but a couple of these marching across C’s bed? What could be nicer? They’re by the clever Clare Nicolson, fashioned from vintage fabrics and come in a variety of colours. (I found these courtesy of Design Sponge, which I was cruising in search of inspiration.


Clinque Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm I’ve gone a bit Diane Vreeland on the ‘think pink’ front today, haven’t I? Still, I have dry lips and I like the merest suggestion of colour (I cannot carry off lipstick) and so these brilliantly-named Chubby Sticks, £16 have shot to the top of my wish list. Plus Clinique is one of those brands on which a girl can rely upon always deliver.


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My Beauty Uniform: Jo Tutchener-Sharp, Founding Partner of Beauty Seen PR

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JoStellaLowResAs someone who has worked in the beauty industry for over 16 years and has founded her own highly-respected beauty PR company, Beauty Seen PR, representing some of the best brands on the planet (Carita, Shiseido and Revlon – to name but a few), Jo Tutchener-Sharp knows everything there is to know about skincare and make-up. Moreover, as mum to 16-month old Sonny, she has become an expert on how to look great when time is short and a small person is pulling feverishly at your ankle. For inside tips on the products to use to leave you looking awake, fresh and perky (even when you’re not), then Jo is most definitely your woman. Over to you Jo….

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Perfect Skin? Aka BB v CC: the face-off

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Despite over a decade spent working at glossy magazines, I remain fairly clueless when it comes to the mysterious world of beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good unguent as much as the next girl, and have the bathroom cabinet to prove it (plus the designated egg section in my fridge is dominated by nail varnish).

My latest beauty-related puzzlement can be summed up thus: what the bejesus is a CC cream? I had just about got to grips with BB (blemish balm) cream – I dutifully slap it on every day and love the whole ‘better skin without looking caked in make-up’ thing – and now this. Argh. Confused of W&W.

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Weekend Wishlist

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I am relieved to report that the weekend is so very nearly here. I am almost as excited as this beautiful girl: it’s my birthday. I have a cosy supper with girlfriends booked at High Road House on Saturday evening; my family coming on Sunday (when husband is facing his demon: the oven). Being surrounded by the people I love the most sounds like a pretty fine birthday present.

I’d love to be this girl, on this Italian (I am postulating here) beach (it feels a bit Mr Ripley without the murder), wearing this fabulous hat by Grieve – an Italian brand run by the same family for four generations. This hat was styled by the wonderful Liz Thody for Easy Living magazine. Allow me a brief pause here: I worked at Easy Living for several happy years and was terribly sad to hear the magazine has been suspended last week. Such a great publication and SUCH a great team.

I love Liz’s work – and this shoot, by the stupendously talented Kate Powers – has always been one of my favourites. Beautiful, evocative, happy-making – everything the collaboration between a photographer and stylist should be.

True Grace Hyacinth candle, £24



As I write it is a gloriously sunny day, and I have spent a terribly English morning at Petersham Nurseries (coffee, poppy seed and lemon cake, gardening advice), I am feeling like flying the flag for all things English. True Grace is a wonderful English brand, who make exquisite candles from natural ingredients. They have recently revamped their website – it is now a thing of beauty. I am hankering after their Garden Rose candle; or what could be more English than Hyacinth? (Did I mention that their prices are terribly reasonable?)

J Crew pop up shop


You know about my obsession with J Crew. Joy to the world (well, to London – sorry), they are opening a shop on Regent Street (around the corner from the  GLAMOUR office, where I spend half my week – yessssss) in November. And next week, for two days and two days only, 24th-25th May, they will have a pop-up shop in Kings Cross. (The Stables, Western Transit Shed, 4 Stable Street).  Fear not, everyone else can shop online. I’d take quite frankly pretty much anything as a birthday gift.

this works no wrinkles active serum, £39

And it actually really does work. It does what it says it will on the bottle. (Could I sound more emphatic? Or surprised?) Like 8 hours sleep in a bottle. Better skin, anyone? It starts with this. I love everything about this works, but it’s this serum which has been a revelation.


Friendship bracelet, £165, Astley Clarke

I know, this is a very ‘and back to me’. Sorry. Next time it will be all about others. But I do love these bracelets – and turquoise and gold reminds me of holidays in the sunshine, and my mum wearing turquoise against brown wrists. I thought she looked so grown-up and elegant (which, of course, she did). Astley Clarke is one of our must-visit sites.



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Ruby Hammer: How to get ready (and gorgeous) in five minutes flat

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Ruby Orange Background

Ok, so she has incredible genetics on her side, but Ruby Hammer also has the knowledge, experience and tricks to look amazing, even when she’s short on time and flying out the door. An internationally acclaimed make-up artist (not to mention businesswoman and mother) who has worked for the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and This Morning (to name but a few), Ruby knows every trick in the book when it comes to make-up – even how to get ready in five minutes flat. And let’s face it, that’s what we really, really want to know. Over to Ruby….

Make time for the essentials….

“If you’re trying to get ready in 5 minutes, you can only do it if you’re on top of your grooming. If you take care of your eyebrows, have a good skincare routine, drink lots of water, make sure your nails are done. If all of that is up to speed, then it’s very easy to get ready in 5 minutes because everything else is done. But, for example, if you’ve got unruly eyebrows, then it’s going to take you 15 minutes to tidy them up. You’re never going to look pristine. Look ladies, however busy you are, everybody needs and has to make some time for grooming, for hair removal, facials, highlights.

It’s like an A-lister getting ready for the red carpet. It’s going to take hours for a girl who hasn’t had her legs waxed, had a facial, had her hair coloured or her eyebrows tweezed to get ready. All those bits need to be done before you get to the finer bits of looking great. Yes they’ve got more money, but any woman can make her daily routine shorter by making sure she’s got her basic grooming in place. You can’t have it all. You can’t do nothing and expect to look good in 5 minutes – no-one can do that.

So, make sure your hair colour is up to speed, your eyebrows are done, your nails are ok and you have some sort of skincare routine in place, then off you go…

Start with Serum…

Double Serum, £55, Clarins

Double Serum, £55, Clarins

One of the quickest things to do with your skin is to apply some sort of serum. My favourite one is Clarins’ Double Serum. Just 5 seconds of putting that on everywhere means you’ve done something. It prepares your skin. It takes care of hydration, lines, firmness. It is fantastic. It’s for all skins. Everybody. In a month’s time if you use that religiously morning and night you’ll see a difference. If you’ve got wrinkles, then you’ll have to put on a moisturiser as well.

I’m on my 3rd bottle of Double Serum, which is unheard of for me.  I’m always trying new things and for me to have finished a bottle, bought another for myself and another for work, that really says something.

Look after your brows…

Nothing beats brushing your eyebrows. It makes you look wide awake and groomed. It’s nice to add colour and fill in gaps, but if you’ve only got 5 minutes, just brushing them with an old toothbrush or an old mascara brush helps you look awake.

Curl your lashes….

Eyelash curler, £20, Shu Uemura

Eyelash curler, £20, Shu Uemura

Even if you haven’t got time to apply mascara, make sure you curl your lashes. It’s important to invest in a really good curler – I like the ones from Shiseido and Shu Uemura. By using one, you can really wake up and widen your eyes. You should ideally, hold the curl for 30 seconds.

Now it’s time for the lips…

Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour balm, £16, Clinique

Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour balm, £16, Clinique

If you haven’t got time to apply mascara, then after you’ve brushed your eyebrows and curled your eyelashes you should focus on your lips.  I use lip balm with a shot of colour. One of my favourites is Clinique’s chubby stick,  it’s brilliant and using it will just add a bit of brightness to your face.

Time to tackle dark circles….

Secret Camouflage, £26, Laura Mercier

Secret Camouflage, £26, Laura Mercier

Every woman needs concealer. Use it under your eyes if you’ve had a late night or in the corner of your eye, on the odd blemish, around the nose. Just put a tiny bit on your finger and dot it on and blend. My ultimate concealer, the one I use professionally is Laura Mercier’s Secret Camflouage – it just doesn’t budge. You can dot it on spots, dark circles, wherever.

A concealer by definition does heavy duty work, it’s for blemishes, dark circles, puffiness. If you want to add a blast of light to an area, you could use a radiance pen, like Touche Eclat which is light reflecting. although it’s not going to conceal a spot or a dark circle or anything like that.

Are you blushing?

Cream Blush, £7.99, Bourjois. Available 8th May at Selfridges and 15th May from Boots.

Cream Blush, £7.99, Bourjois. Available 8th May at Selfridges and 15th May from Boots.

It’s lovely to use blusher and there are bucket loads out there. For speed, the Bourjois Little Round Pot is excellent. There’s the traditional powder for someone who wants to use a brush, but they’re  just about to launch four little cream ones. Cream is softer and quicker to apply. Dab some on your finger and smear on, there’s no chance of putting too much on. Just smile and dot it on the apples of the cheeks.

If you do have time….

They're Real mascara, £19.50, Benefit

They’re Real! mascara, £19.50, Benefit

If you have time for mascara, the first thing you should do is your lower lashes. Look up and add mascara, then look down and do your upper lashes. You only need one good coat for the day, just to bring out the eye. If it’s at night or you want to make more of an impact, then you can do one coat all over and then repeat or maybe just add a little extra on the outer edges of your eye, so you have a cat’s eye effect. There are thousands of mascaras out there but I love Max Factor Masterpiece and Benefit’s They’re Real

No time to shine….

Porefessional primer, £24.50, Benefit

Porefessional primer, £24.50, Benefit

If shine is a problem, then you can either powder the t-zone (the forehead, nose and chin) or use a primer or a BB cream. With primer, you just dot a little bit around your nose. Nars, Laura Mercier and Benefit all make good ones. They feel like velvet and refine your skin. With regard to BB creams, Dior and YSL make great ones. And the new CC cream from Clinique is good. (Ed’s note: come back next week for Natasha’s inside info on CC creams).

Nars Multiple, £30, Space NK

Nars Multiple, £30, Space NK

The other thing is if you have good skin then you can use a Nars Multiple stick, which you can dab on the eyes, cheeks and lips. It’s very good.

And what about cleansing? Are face wipes bad?

I think they’re fantastic for when you are on a long plane journey or you’re just cream crackered and want to go straight to bed. But they don’t replace a proper skincare routine. However gentle they are, they just don’t. It’s like brushing your teeth. Sometimes you can be really quick and brush your teeth for a minute, but you can’t do that every day. I can tell when people just use wipes as I can see a build up of dirt on the skin. Wipes don’t slough off the skin properly, they don’t help you massage cleanser into the skin. They just don’t do a thorough enough job. You have to cleanse properly, whether you’re using a foamer or oil, you have to get in there and stimulate the skin with your fingers and dislodge make up, dead cells and impurities, and remove everything thoroughly.

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Roses are red, Jo Malone is cool

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640x480Jo Malone, the classic fragrance brand has taken an edgier twist with Charlotte’s Corner, a new collaboration with super-stylist Charlotte Stockdale. Stockdale (pictured here, with her daughter, in a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar) has worked with everyone from Mario Testino to Karl Lagerfeld, and is the brand’s Style Editor.


Using Red Roses, her favourite Jo Malone scent as inspiration, Stockdale has developed a quirky collection of limited edition offerings including 300 individually-numbered bottles of Red Roses cologne hand-dipped in neon paint, scented scatter cushions and vintage flea market finds such as two 1930s crystal perfume bottles. Classic has never been so cool.

Dipped Red Roses cologne, £120; Abigail Ryan scented cushion, £90. Available exclusively online at Selfridges in London and Manchester.

IMAGE: Luis Ridao for Harper’s Bazaar

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My (Beauty) Uniform: Grace Timothy, editor and blog queen

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Hurrah! Grace is back! And, with a little twist on the usual ‘My Uniform’ formula, she’s here to tell you what a beauty ed simply cannot live without. (Have you checked out her blog, The Pregnant Beauty Guide, yet?)


When I was growing up, makeup was always hovering overhead, a tantalising trapping of ‘being a grown up’. Then, as a gangly, boob-less woman, I could make it work in a way clothes just didn’t. I get clothes on other people – and worked in fashion for 4 years – but struggle to dress myself to great effect. I’m not that into it bags or perilous shoes, but I will always have THE season’s hottest colours… on my face. My uniform is all about the skin, lips, eyes and nails. So whatever sartorial error I’m making, at least I’ve got a bold lip to distract. Obviously as a beauty editor, I’m constantly trying new products. And yet there are a few gems I always return to…

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Have skin? You need this balm.

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[This post is sponsored by the British weather and its sudden decision to channel the Arctic.]

It might be called Baby Balm but, quite frankly, you can slap this on anywhere, on anyone (well, anyone you know. It would be weird to accost a total stranger in the street with, ‘Your skin looks very dry, you need this’). Although if you do have dry skin (or have a child who does), this Bloom & Blossom balm should be the very next thing you buy.

See that number 5? That’s the total number of ingredients in that little pot. There’s nothing in there to frighten the (most clean-living, Whole Foods-devoted) horses. And yet it is a WONDER balm.

I started using it because I was talking to one of the brilliant, inspiring and downright fabulous founders of Bloom & Blossom (although I didn’t know that at the time) about little C’s winter-dry skin (dry, patches of pink eczema behind her dear little knees). The next day, this was on my desk. Now I am wedded to it. I dab it pretty much everywhere on C in the winter (also v v good for teething babes with sore pink chins) – especially cheeks prior to venturing outside. I even use it myself.

The whole range is worth investigating – there are lotions and potions for mamas and babes. It’s all gorgeously packaged and so kind to your skin. It’s available at stores around the UK or you can order online.

Image: Bloom & Blossom


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