I asked a client the other day how she chose her foundation. She didn’t miss a beat, ‘Oh, the woman on the make-up counter recommended it.’ I wasn’t surprised. It’s pretty much the same for most of us. But think about it; we’re buying a product we wear on the most visible part of our anatomy every day from someone whose job it is to sell us a brand. What are the chances of that foundation being ‘the one’?

So in the spirit of never settling for second best I’ve put together a guide to what our faces should be looking for in 2013. What products are making news and why. Brands I can personally recommend (only as suggestions, sadly no one’s giving me any freebies or cash). And a broad spectrum idea of what might actually suit you. Who knows it might save your skin next time someone’s trying to sell your face something it doesn’t need, want or even like.

First Up – BB’s (Beauty Balms)

Think of BB’s or Beauty Balms as your make-up bag’s little perfectionist.

I don’t use BB’s to replace foundation. In most cases I like them as a base for foundation and personally I think this is when BB’s really come into their own.

Designed to moisturise, protect and correct skin BB’s were originally developed for post-procedural use so they started with a pretty good reputation. Add to this the fact that they have taken the Asian make-up market by storm (Asian women focus more importance on skin and complexion than anything else, so a product they love is going to be good) and it’s easy to see why BB’s are big news.

They smooth skin, work progressively to improve skin texture over time, reduce oiliness without drying, even skin tone, calm break outs, give sun protection, correct minor flaws and they’re lightweight.

BB’s work with skin type and they’re great as a starter base, instead of foundation, for younger skins.

And I can see BB’s replacing Tinted Moisturisers simply because they do provide skincare combined with light coverage and the overall look and feel is non-greasy.

But, I’m going to hold on to my foundation. And next post I’ll tell you why you should keep the faith too. Until then here are some tried and tested BB’s (to use on their own or otherwise).


Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35

Broad spectrum BB in 5 shades. Great for correcting uneven skin tones pre-foundation.


Clinique Age-Defense BB Cream

Broad spectrum SPF30 BB in 3 shades. Good fit for your regular skincare regime and excellent instant reviver.


Diorskin Nude BB

Broad spectrum BB in 3 shades. Mineral water base gives a light, reflective finish, nice on its own for barely there coverage.


Garnier Skin Renew

Broad spectrum spf15 in 2 shades. Slightly more coverage so works as a light alternative to foundation. V. good value.

Let me know what you think.



Here’s the first of my new blogs on our favourite (and least favourite) pastime, dating. Starting with the notorious First Date, of course. I might be stating the obvious here and there but it never hurts to be reminded.

No shopping. The last thing you need to worry about is a brand new look. You want to be channeling ‘relaxed and confident’ NOT ‘it didn’t look this short or bright or glittery or awful in the changing room’.

Go with what you’ve got. You’re not looking for perfection. You want to find at least three things you already own you know you look good in, make you feel great and fit like you’re wearing them – not the other way round.

Now you can shop (just a little bit). Update, sharpen or tone down your final look with accessories. But keep it simple and don’t do shoes — more on that later. You want to stay true to yourself, so if you don’t wear it normally now’s not the time to experiment.

Don’t even think about changing your hair. Chances are you’re going on a date in the first place because you’re you.  Wear your hair the way you like it and add some polish. Have your hairdresser wash, dry and style that way you’re still you – only better.

A manicure says great grooming effortlessly. And if you’re nails are normally short don’t even think about talons. A good manicure makes long as chic as short. Consider your toes too. You might be the only one who sees them but a pedicure is priceless for your confidence.

Don’t leave your make-up to the last minute. Way back in the heady days of disco Bianca Jagger, Queen of Studio 54 and wife of young Mick, used to put on her make-up then have a bath for a ‘dewy’ final finish. Today’s products are so good you don’t need to go to that length. But give your make-up some time to breathe and avoid looking too ‘done’. Then touch up just before you head out.

Be sure of your shoes. Wear ones you’ve worn before, watch your heel height, have a practice walk if you’re not totally confident and avoid anything pinchy or fussy. The ‘my feet hate me’ face is never a good look.

BE YOURSELF! You’re the one who was asked on the date so don’t take anyone else. Relax, smile, feel confident and have fun.