• Wax in the City

    Waxing is every girl’s (and guy’s nowadays) nightmare. It’s not something you enjoy, it’s something you tolerate for necessary maintenance purposes. However, on one blustery autumn day on my way to a Yoga class, I came across Wax In The City, a brand new waxing studio opened in Chelsea… and my opinions have changed somewhat since my visit.

    wax in the city

    I was initially lured in by the modern and slick logo and shop front design (I mean, who wouldn’t be curious about a waxing studio that looks like a cool and colourful Apple Store?). You’re greeted by a very professional receptionist who talks you through the set up, treatments and prices, calls down for a waxing specialist or ‘Depiladoras’ and asks you to wait patiently in a waiting room that looks like the inside of a new iPhone 5s; shiny, colourful and generally cool all over.

    The Depiladora comes and collects you and takes you downstairs to a cavernous treatment space that is split up into lots of smaller booths. Long story short; you’re invited in, waxed and are in and out in less than 20 minutes (or I was for my bikini wax). Now this is no bad thing, the short time spent there is not a poor reflection on the attention paid during your treatment, they are just really that good. The warm wax formula is the best and least painful I have ever experienced (it even beat Ministry of Waxing which has been my failsafe for years) and there was absolutely no aggravation to my skin at all after the treatment. Whether this was the natural beeswax warm wax, the pre-treatment Hamamelis Water applied before and after, or just the expertise of my Depiladora (each one is trained at the flagship Academy in Berlin before they can practise), I didn’t really mind as I could only be in awe of the fact that my entire treatment was completely uneventful. There were no cries of pain, no grimaces, no ‘come near me with that wax and I will kill you’ glares. I just nipped in and nipped out.

    This, I think, is the whole premise of this Wax In The City – and why I think it will work so well in London…

    Quick, functional, effortless and excellent waxing that doesn’t cost a super-smooth arm and a leg as can be booked last minute by London’s time poor population.

    I would 100% recommend heading down to try this place out, hopefully these speed wax shacks will be popping up all over London soon, but in the meantime, do head over to Chelsea and try this place out. It was almost a joy… nearly.


    Wax in the City, 370 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5UZ

    Mon – Fri 10am – 8pm, Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm

    Walk-in service without appointments, www.wax-in-the-city.com

  • Miss Wild In Ibiza

    I was recently asked to review Joop’s newest fragrance, Miss Wild, and having taken their ‘Are You Wild At Heart’ test online, I couldn’t NOT take it with me on my recent jaunt to Ibiza (FYI you can win your own bottle at the bottom of this post).

    Joop Miss Wild joining me in VIP

    Joop Miss Wild joining me in VIP

    I was given a ‘Naughty Wild’ profile on the  www.joopmisswild.com site (head there now it’s really fun and the guy in the ad is HOT) so spent the last week running riot around Ibiza with my trusty Joop Miss Wild perfume bottle in tow. Whether it was at the David Guetta F*** Me I’m Famous Night at Pacha, the closing party at the amazing Ushuaia Hotel or lazing on the beach with a cocktail, Miss Joop followed me everywhere in VIP style…. and the scent itself really was the perfect compliment; a sexy, fresh and floral scent with a punch of spicy pink berries, a heart of vanilla and a base of rum.

    So you all want to know what my wild side is? Well see where my trusty Miss Wild bottle followed me last week…

    Now it’s your turn. You can win a bottle of Joop Miss Wild too!

    All you have to do is take the test on www.joopmisswild.com and share their results with a ‘wild detail’ about yourself and instagram me (@emmaskipper) a photo of yourself using the #misswild #badfeelssogood hashtags.

    Joop! Miss Wild from  £30 for a 30ml EDT. Available nationwide from 18th September 2013

    NB This is a sponsored post.

  • Coming Up Roses – A Melvita Skincare Consultation

    By Clare Finney

    I am, to be frank, not great at skin. Cursed with a nervous habit that finds my nails perpetually attacking my face, if I’m not causing new damage I’m dousing the whole thing in tea tree oil. Short of a laser, I’ve tried everything under and including the sun to break free.

    Part of the consultation is to test my skin’s hydration levels, a process involving a small instrument that looks quite terrifyingly like a pregnancy test. “Everyone says that!” laughs Norie. “We don’t use it in quite the same way.”Melvita Store Covent Garden

    And yet I’ve never asked for advice. Wary of counters manned by girls mumbling “some help, madam?” thorough several layers of make-up, I have steered studiously clear of exposing my skin—and my dignity—to strangers. Melvita, the organic skincare brand in St Martin’s Courtyard, seems more approachable, but even then I hesitate. It proves, though, to be a revelatory experience. Though as a skincare junky I was sold on Melvita products moons ago, my experience of the store itself was confined to running in, buying the same three items and running out. I passed the time of day with the staff, but never asked for their help choosing my products. I thought I knew. I was wrong.

    “What do you use, and how do you use it?” Upon entering the store I’d been given a glass of (organic) prosecco and placed in a comfy white armchair. Now, readied and steadied by fizz, I am being grilled. I reel off my usual routine: cleanser then face cream in the morning, cleanser then rosehip oil in the evening—all Melvita products, and all, I presume, good. Yet while I am indeed praised for brand choice, my consultant is not so impressed with my methods of use.

    Melvita Store Covent Garden 2

    “The oil is good for scarring—but if you are going through a time when break outs are likely, it will just make them worse.” More disappointing is the discovery that, despite this regular oil bath, my skin is still dry. Part of the consultation is to test my skin’s hydration levels, a process involving a small instrument that looks quite terrifyingly like a pregnancy test. “Everyone says that!” laughs Norie. “We don’t use it in quite the same way.”

    In fact the procedure proves both unembarrassing and totally painless. Taking the ‘pregnancy test’ in one hand, Norie places it variously on my cheeks, nose and forehead and tells me the reading. “Six is good, anything below is fab.” My scores are surprisingly sound—my only problem area, it turns out, is my forehead.

    “This is very dry. Do you moisturise up here?” Norie says worriedly. I squirm. I don’t want my hair to get greasy. “Well, you’re going to have to do something. You’ll need anti-aging cream otherwise. In fact you should start now anyway—you’re already showing signs of lines.

    “WHAT?!” I exclaim fearfully. Being made aware of your lines is upsetting to a woman at any age, but at just 24 years old I couldn’t help but feel it to be bitterly unfair. I use rosehip oil. Miranda Kerr uses rosehip oil, and her face has never seen a wrinkle. What have I done to warrant this? Norie loses no time explaining.

    “The rosehip oil is good—but it is also dense and difficult to absorb. That’s why it’s best to mix it with something water-based.” This means not only that the oil is absorbed more easily, but that it penetrates deeper into the skin, leaving your skin free of the sheen you get when you smother it with oily stuff. Rocket science it isn’t, but I’m impressed.

    “Do you drink a lot of coffee?” Norie asks. I smile. Now I will redeem myself. No, I’ve given up, I say. I just drink tea. “That’s still not that good. It’s not hydrating. Have you tried some of our herbal teas?” She gestures pleasantly towards the shelves. Oils, toners, creams and serums I’ll consider—but I draw a deep and wrinkled line at funny tea. Moisturizing serum - BIO-EXCELLENCE - V1

    Be that is it may, I still learn an enormous amount about skincare here, from the benefits of blemish water to the perils of using normal cream around your eyes. “I know it’s tempting, but it will just cause puffiness.” Happily my visit also happens to coincide with the release of an eye cream, as well as a new range called Nectar Bright.

    Containing active ingredients which help tackle pigmentation and dark spots, the range is not the first to jump aboard the ‘brightening’ bandwagon in skincare,but it is among the most natural.

    The ingredients come from flowers—narcissus, wintergreen, bellis, white lupin and white sea silly—that protect themselves against the sun’s UV rays by responding to cycles of day and night and hiding from the sun. I am intrigued. Perhaps, in a few months, I’ll introduce some bits into my regime. For now, though, I’m sticking to rose facial water, rosehip oil, rose day cream and rose cleanser. Oh, and keeping my hands off my face.

  • This Is BeautyMART

    Now this post is outrageously late.

    Last year I helped the incredible ladies at BeautyMART HQ set up their first foray on the web with their blog… Now – a year later no less – they have had huge success with their stores and uber-cool beauty vending machines and have today launched their e-commerce site and magazine.Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 10.10.40

    So what makes BeautyMART special?

    Well to begin with I have to start with the founders; Millie Kendall (of Ruby&Millie and MBE status) and Anna-Marie Solowij (a former Vogue Beauty Director and brand consultant). These two industry big-wigs not only know their stuff (together they could probably write an encyclopedia on the beauty business) but they are the most delightfully innovative pair I have yet to come across. Perfectly complimenting each other, Anna-Marie and Millie have set out to change standards in an over saturated beauty market with their magazine-edited-style selection of products.

    And the best thing? You can get products us Brits might never have even HEARD of before, just look at the list below and tell me you now can’t live without it.

    The Korean Fringe Stabilizer

    Japanese Exfoliating Towel

    Bourjois 1 Second Nail Polish Remover

    I was a complete pleasure to meet and work with the team at BeautyMART and I could be happier for their latest venture online… I’m thinking world domination next.

    Head to ThisIsBeautyMART.com and have a browse, you won’t regret it.


  • Aveda: The Long and the Short of It

    Our journo-about-town Clare Finney head down to the Aveda Institute Salon in Covent Garden to get her hair snipped. Was she impressed?? Put it this way… she’ll definitely be going back. Find out why below.

    ponytail chop scissors

    The air is filled with the gentle, indefinable fragrance that is Aveda tea*. The salon is blissfully quiet. At 5.45 on a Monday evening that has been even more Monday-ish than I expected, I’m grateful for both: and I’m grateful too for the absolute certainty with which the day’s prevailing dilemma – should I have all my hair cut off, or should I just go long? – is solved.

    “Do you absolutely want it short?” Master Stylist Liene demands.

    “No…. well, I’m not certain. Depends who I ask.”

    “Then leave it ,”she says .”It will take you a year or more to get your hair back this length”. My fear was maintenance – I’m a wash-it-and-leave-it-girl – and that, left long, it might end up lifeless. Liene persuaded me otherwise: first by her own gleaming, simply-styled example, and secondly by talking me through the following tips:

    1/If you look after it, it will look good regardless of styling

    2/Long is versatile – there’s far more options

    3/ If you don’t like it, you can always get it lopped off.

    In short, in the world of Aveda, it’s hair health that’s key.  Get your hair nourished, and you’re nine-tenths of the way to a good hair day: yet unlike salons which use this as a thinly veiled sales pitch, Aveda are more about simple nuggets of advice: Wash it as often as you need to “be that every day, or once a week”; use intensive treatments – “even Argan oil on the ends at night will work wonders”; and if the idea of more frequent haircuts might fill you and your purse with horror at least try and keep the ends in check. “By the time you reach the them, you’re looking at hair that’s roughly 2 years old,” says Liene. “No wonder its fraying.”

    That said, of course, Aveda products are scrumptious, particularly for damaged hair for which they have an entire range. Damage Remedy’s ‘three-step restructuring system’ helps hair weakened by heat styling and environmental exposure, smooths the hair cuticle, and contains quinoa protein to help strengthen it – and while most brands achieve such feats via a cocktail of chemicals you can’t pronounce, this brand of magic is almost entirely naturally derived.

    Damage Remedy Gift Set

    Damage Remedy Gift Set

    As well as quinoa protein (yes, the same superfood you have in a salad) Damage Remedy also contains phellodendron, sandalwood and barley, all sustainably and ethically sourced and GMO free. Their environmental and green ingredient policy is worth checking out online –  there’s a whole section devoted to it – but all this would be fairly pointless if the end-product failed to work.

    This it does, and like a dream. That sinking feeling of ‘I’ll never be able to recreate this at home” I have on leaving hairdressers melts away as Liene blows the last section dry and – here’s the crucial part, readers – shows me how. “I can’t do this,” I say, glumly. “Of course you can! You’ve got two arms haven’t you?” I wave them unnecessarily. “Well then. You just need a good brush, a good hairdryer and patience. But even if you don’t blow dry it, it will look good if its in shape.”

    As I leave Liene gives me a small sample of Style Prep, a curl-defining, frizz-taming product (£19.90/100ml).  I’ve been using it since, and thus far I’m delighted to say it seems to work. Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious defining cream is a close contender, mind – and at £23.50 for 250ml slightly more of a bargain – but it’s none of the lovely, ethical, natural goodness that Aveda’s has, and the respective ingredients list simply do not bear comparison. Sodium Hyaluranate and Polyquaternium-51 versus baobab, babassu oil and macadamia nut? I know which I’d choose.

    Liene didn’t set out to sell me anything, and I was glad of it – but will almost certainly buy this once it runs out – and that, dear reader, will almost certainly involve me going back.

    *incidentally the only genuinely enjoyable Aveda tea

    To book in for your next hair cut visit www.avedainstitute.co.ukAveda institute

  • Happy for Herbal


    If you missed it last year, it was Herbal Essences 40th Birthday and they released a brilliantly gorgeous range of limited edition shampoos and conditioners…. And you see it got me thinking. Why wait for Valentines Day for a bit of TLC. We need it all year round!!

    Read more

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