Beauty buy: Space NK Beautannia Brighton bath oil

I spent this evening luxuriating in Space NK‘s new Beautannia Brighton bath oil, mainly to warm up my bones after seven days and seven nights of relentless April rain. I usually like deep relaxation bath oils  – Liberty, Jo Malone and Aromatherapy Associates are my go-tos – but Brighton is fresher and perkier, and a little bit masculine. It’s based on a blend of sea moss, orris and grapefruit but I like it because it comes in a generous 245ml glass blottle (£42) and the scent infused the entire flat, making me feel like spring might finally be within grasp.

Space NK Beautannia bath oil, £42, launches May (I tried a preview bottle)

Vogue Festival: the verdict

As the fashion publishing industry continues to go through ongoing changes, magazines are testing different ways to extend their brand messaging beyond the paper page. While Hearst has launched Hello Style to beckon the Youtube generation to its titles, Vogue went the interactive route last week with its two-day Vogue Festival. (more…)

Beauty buy: ARK Age Maintain skincare

For some reason, I’m getting bombarded with info about anti-aging products. I don’t generally subscribe to the whole anti-aging schtick but I agreed to try out some products by ARK because it’s not a ‘promise you’ll look younger’ brand, but has more of a self-preservation ethos. So I bypassed the serums and masques and requested a face wash and lip balm. The Age Maintain Conditioning Cleanser is a wash-off cleanser that’s very satisfying to use with a nice consistency and soothing fragrance. I use this at the end of the day as I really like the smell so it serves as an incentive to take that extra make-up removal step that’s usually such a chore.

While the Plumping Lip Balm didn’t noticeably plump my lips (they’re quite plump already), I did love using it. It comes in a glass bottle and the balm is more of a light cream than a waxy balm. I used it in the morning as a base for lipstick and reapplied it later in the day. I noticed that you don’t get that constant need to reapply that you sometimes get with other balms which is good as the down side is that the bottle is not very portable. At £26 it’s expensive but you get a lot of product. (Alas, a too-cluttered washstand meant mine ended up smashed to smithereens on the bathroom floor.) Another reason I avoid all the serums etc is because I don’t want to be saddled with a beauty regime that costs a fortune. However, the ARK products aren’t badly priced considering the science behind them so I’d buy these two products again as they’re so lovely to use.

Jo Malone London Blooms: Iris & Lady Moore

I’m noticing my choice of fragrance changing as I get older; it’s really weird. I never used to like powdery or rose-scented fragrances and now I’m all over them. My default Spring scents are Maison Martin Margiela Untitled and Chanel Jersey, but I’ve added Jo Malone’s new limited edited cologne to that. From the London Blooms trio, Iris & Lady Moore is a powdery fragrance that’s so clean and subtle, it’s nice to put on in the morning and just catch a gentle whiff off during the day. The bottles have been decorated with botanical drawings, a first for Jo Malone whose packaging is usually so minimalist. Talking of which, this month Jo Malone is switching up its home packaging, reversing it to a more unisex black background. A clever ploy that suggests they might be trying to capture more of the male market?