Dear Santa


’Tis the season to bestow gifts on friends and family – and personally (perhaps it’s because of our jobs), we like to give gorgeously: bath and beauty goodies which don’t need a) dusting or polishing, b) walking or c) won’t have them wondering how long is a decent interval before they can drop them at the nearest Scope shop. You might not automatically think of Victoria Health as a ‘gift’ destination – but we certainly do. Some of our biggest pressie successes have been things we’ve bagged at VH – and so this month, we thought we’d share some of the ‘finds’ we’ll be wrapping for loved ones any minute now.

Cailyn Cosmetics O Wow! Brush, £20. We have raved about this before. We will rave about it again. And we’ll probably go on raving about this literally life-changing foundation brush until the seas freeze over. We’ve gifted this to several friends in 2015 and their rave reviews mirror our own (which you can read about here). You squeeze/squirt your base onto the back of your hand, pick up the colour with the brush’s microfibre bristles, and then literally ‘smoosh’ into skin (um, it’s a technical term!) for the most flawless finish ever. Truly astonishing and absolutely our Beauty Find of the Year. Read More…

The Seven Deadly Sins of Ageing


Is there anyone (over 23) who doesn’t want to look younger than she is…? If so, then I haven’t met them. But fighting the ravages of time doesn’t happen by magic. It requires certain lifestyle steps (and some make-up know-how). Do you admire how Goldie Hawn looks, or Uma Thurman, or Kristen Scott-Thomas…? Diane Keaton? Meryl Streep? Helen Mirren, even? My hunch is they avoid committing these Seven Deadly Sins of Ageing. So: at a time when most of us are making New Year’s Resolutions on the health and beauty front, this is the best place to start.

1) Excessive exposure to the sun. You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again: sun exposure leads to broken capillaries, freckles, age spots, wrinkles, dry and leathery skin, loss of elasticity, uneven skintone… End of. And while I’m a firm believer now that we do need regular sun exposure on our bodies to assist production of vitamin D (so crucial for bone health, but also for prevention of certain cancers), the simple rule is: SPF on the face. Every day. Get your arms and legs out there, for sure (I now try to get 20 minutes of sunshine on my limbs every single day – and take a vitamin D supplement because, well, we live in England and it isn’t always sunny). But an SPF25+ on your face is the best way to prevent that list of beauty woes, above. End. Of. Story. Read More…

Get Better With Age

anti ageing bible promo health notes 2

Many of you know that my other hat bears the words ‘Beauty Bible’. For the past 17 years, I have co-written the seven books and jointly edited the website ( with YOU contributing editor Jo Fairley. This week, a new edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible is published, with updated ‘tried and tested’ products to reflect award-winning new arrivals.

We’re rather proud that Beauty Bible product trials are known as the biggest independent ones worldwide. Each product goes to panels of ten women to trial in real-life conditions and report on comprehensively. We average their scores to find our winners; a convincing eight or nine out of ten is typical for the top scorers. Read More…

Treatments We Love


Without wanting to sound like spoiled princesses, it takes a lot for a spa treatment to wow us. We’ve lain on too many couches twitching while a less-than-gifted therapist tells us she’s about to ‘flip us over’, or ‘close the pores’ with an astringent. (Truly, they’re not elevator doors!) But a handful of treatments over the years have genuinely wafted us to paradise – so we thought we would share a run-down of our favourites. None is cheap. But as far as we’re concerned, life is too short to settle for second-best on the therapeutic front. And taking care of yourself, we believe, isn’t indulgence: it’s entirely necessary, in order to help stay well enough to look after others and sail smoothly through a life in which all of us has too-much-to-do-in-too-little-time. Here are our five fah-bu-lous favourites.


Temple Spa Drift Away Massage at Soholistic: The Soho Hotel’s ‘spa’ isn’t a full-service destination with wet rooms and the like: it’s just four (sound-proofed) treatment rooms off their basement gym. But as big fans of Temple Spa (who make Skin Truffle the highest-ever-scoring ‘miracle’ treatment in The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible), we were keen to try this massage. And it seriously didn’t disappoint. Therapist Emma is also an acupuncturist, so she knows her pressure points – and also how to un-macramé little knots of tension in the back, and legs. It’s genuinely a top-to-toe treatment: the face and scalp are also massaged (although we like the fact you can request for the otherwise blissful aromatherapeutic oil NOT to be used for this bit, if you’ve got a date/appointment afterwards and don’t want to look like an oil slick). The true test of a massage’s effectiveness is whether or not we want to book ourselves in for a repeat performance – and we already have. ‘Nuff said.
Soholistic, Soho Hotel, 4 Richmond Mews, London W1D 3DH/020-7559 3000 Read More…

Supplements: What We Take


Our bathroom shelves may be lined with the latest wonder-in-a-jar miracle-promising products, packed with antixoidants, herbs and vitamins – but trust me: it’s only half the battle. True beauty is more than skin deep and over the years, the two of us at Beauty Bible have come to believe that for truly amazing skin, it’s also what you put inside your system that really counts.

Hands down, experts agree that healthy skin is the product of good nutrition. Why? Epidermal tissue – which makes up the outer body – is synthesised from proteins (collagen and elastin), fats, vitamins and minerals. Skimp on those and you’ll short-change skin. Not so long ago, we saw for ourselves just what a difference dieting can make, during a five-day pop-up shop at Selfridges for the launch of our latest book, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.

We did 160 back-to-back anti-ageing consultations with real women – and there’s no question: in those who ate well and supplemented their diet, this literally shone out through their healthy complexions. (By contrast, fascinatingly, one woman who came to see us – I’d call her fat-phobic, as she’s eaten a virtually entirely fat-free diet for the past 20 years – looked a good 20 years older than she is, with deep wrinkles. And no, she doesn’t sunbathe: it can only be her fat-restricted diet that is the culprit.)
Read More…

Simple steps to a healthier mindset

autumn girl

Last week saw the launch of the latest edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, the seventh book in the series by Jo Fairley and me. Beauty isn’t just about products: it’s about a healthy body, a calm mind and taking joy in life. There are lots of strategies we have found over the decades.

  • Be loving to yourself. Relying on others for your self-esteem and making decisions based on other people rather than what you really want can cause grief all round. Tell yourself you are a good person, not perfect – no one is – but you try your best. Then give yourself permission to get things wrong, acknowledge it and move on.
  • Count your blessings before bed. Think of three nice things that happened today. They can be as simple as seeing the sun rise, receiving or giving praise at work, or a great cup of coffee. You will sleep sweetly.
  • Don’t ponder problems or make decisions in the middle of the night. Your brain can’t process things then. Write a reminder for the morning, then do this breathing exercise.
  • Inhale for a count of four, hold for seven, then exhale very slowly to a count of eight. Repeat four to six times, feeling your breath going in and out of your body.
  • When you wake, decide that just for today you’ll be as happy as you can. Whatever happens. This doesn’t mean you won’t notice difficulties but that you’ll live in the solution, not the problem.
  • Never lose hope. If it seems to be slipping away, phone a supportive friend and share the problem. But don’t dwell on it afterwards.
  • Make things fun. Wear bright colours, put on make-up, do your hair, play music during tedious chores, reward yourself with flowers or a movie.
  • Examine any wobbles. If you have done something wrong, put it right. Take a few drops of Bach Rescue Remedy and count up the positive things in any
    situation. If the wobbliness persists, consider talking therapy or homeopathy.
  • Reach out to other people. Be nice, pay compliments. Listen, really listen.
  • Cultivate peace. Ask yourself what makes you feel peaceful and do more of it. Remember: it may be a case of ‘being’ Read More…