Saturday, 28 December 2013

Marlenha Skincare

About a month or so ago I was asked to review a brand called Marlenha, it is relatively unknown but the brand immediately caught my eye due to a couple of reasons a) the company is based in Italy and I have quite an obsession with Italian women due to their amazing ability in oozing class - something which Essex quite honestly lacks and b) the words Hyaluronic Acid which jumped out from the packaging.

Italians are well-known for looking utterly fabulous dahling with the least amount of effort (or so they probably would like us to believe), the truth is it takes hard work to have amazing skin, thick dark hair and the kind of sophistication us Essex girls can only dream of, so I was excited when I received my samples of Marlenha goodies to test.

My first sample was of the  Flourish Moisturiser £49 50ml, which as mentioned above contains Hyularonic Acid and Collagen Beads. Hyularonic Acid is a big ingredient well-known amongst skincare specialists as it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water, thus having an immediate plumping effect on the skin. With added Collagen Beads, the cream promises to smooth wrinkles, even skin tone and restore the skins natural moisture balance.  The packaging itself is simple on the outside whilst the glass pot is one to display on your bathroom shelf.  I have quite dehydrated skin due to my inability to drink enough water, and this in turn leaves it quite dry - upon application of this cream it sunk immediately into my skin leaving softly nourished which lasted the whole day. Any tightness disappeared immediately but my skin was left feeling not only supple but also, and most importantly not looking overtly greasy (I can occasionally suffer from an oily T Zone). Other ingredients include Eugenol, the main component of clove essential oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) whilst Citronellol aids towards a delicate scent. Again, if like me, you like your products not full of chemicals then Marlenha promises Paraben free, petroleum free and paraffin free products with only top natural ingredients and extracts used.

I also looked at the Petal Delicate Eye Serum £67 30ml - this delicate serum whilst contains Hyaluronic Acid to plump out fine lines, also contains Edelweiss a popular mountain flower whose properties boast powerful antioxidants to combat signs of ageing and also counteracts low-intensity UV radiation!Finally it's other main ingredient is Borage Oil which helps smooth dry and damaged skin, and is excellent for those whom suffer with eczema. Just one light pump of the cream was enough to tap around my eyes and enough to sink in without leaving any residue.

Marlenha skincare is available from and is aptly named after the red rose, a symbol of love and beauty. Every product is handmade ensuring only the best possible process is used in caring for your skin.  I am so pleased I tested these but my only gripe is that they are not as readily available as I would like - although with such a top skincare range it's the kind I would expect to be seen selling in Harrods rather than Superdrug!

You can also hear me talking about Marlenha on

Lydia Bright TOWIE interview





When God made me he didn’t cut corners when supplying me with imagination, some may call it over-imaginative but really, some days it’s like I live in a whole other world. For instance in this other world, you may catch me dancing to Last Christmas with Gerard Butler, you may see Richard Branson telling everyone to follow me on Twitter, but one person you would definitely see – is my bestest friend Kylie aka Minogue. You see I’ve had a girl crush on Ms Minogue ever since she bounced into neighbours with bouncing curls, wide eyes and erm Bouncer the retriever.  My crush is innocent, quite simply we are best of friends, we talk make-up, boys, watch films and sing karaoke, but that is all in my other world.


Last week though Imagination and Reality nearly collided when I received an email from a PR asking if I would like to interview Lydia Rose Bright, ex TOWIE, boutique owner and now the ambassador of imPRESS by Broadway Nails. You see, when I first watched TOWIE my first impressions of this friendly, pretty and down-to-earth girl was that she was Essex’s version of Kylie! Excitedly I threw some questions at her agents to ask her before we met, so on the day I could concentrate on persuading her to become my new best friend!


Q. What is your must have make up product? It has to be my trusted MAC Studio Fix

Fluid Foundation as I love porcelain matt skin. 

Q. Which is the one skincare item you can't live without? It has to be my 112 cleanser and toner. (Stockist

Q. You love red lipstick but do you prefer smokey eye, neutral lip or neutral eyes and red lip for a night out. When I was blonde I would always go for red lips but now I'm brunette I prefer a smokey eye. 

Q. Glitter yes or no? No, I'm not a fan of glitter I prefer the matt classic look. 

Q.  Do you take your makeup off before bed?  Always, I would break out if I didn't.   

Q. What's your skincare routine? I always cleanse, tone and moisturise every morning and have Clear and Brilliant facials every 6 weeks. 

Q. Do you have any tips you've picked up from makeup artists you'd like to share? Contouring is my best tip - always ensure to add of flush of dark bronzer on your cheek bones and down the side of your nose to give a more chiselled model look. 

Q. If you had a makeup brand what would you call it? Rose as it's my middle name. 

Q. What do you think plays a major part in looking good i.e. diet, exercise? Feeling confident in yourself - this could be down to having a fabulous wardrobe, a new fresh hair do, training regime - I think it's all about doing what makes you confident. 

Q. What's your must have product you can't live without? My imPRESS stick on nails. They are fabulous, they come is so many different colours and prints and are so easy to pop on and pop off. They’re great for girls who want to be glamorous but don't have hours to spend in salons. 

Q. What is the one thing you wish you could change in the beauty industry today? I wish I could invent a machine that you could program every morning to spray on your make up perfectly in a minute. 

Q. What's your New Year’s resolution? To have lots of fun!

Q.  You have a choice full glam makeup forever i.e. full on TOWIE incl going bed or completely natural incl going out? Glam forever baby! 


For full on glamour in a flash without resorting to false lashes try Benefit They’re Real Beyond Mascara £19.50 – a few swipes of this ingeniously designed mascara brush gives lashes dramatic length and volume without clumping together - stockists House of Fraser.  Barry M Glamour Puss Shadow and Blush Palette £6.49 includes 6 dazzling eye-shadows to make your eyes sparkle and a blusher to make your cheeks pop.  It took me less than 5 minutes to apply imPRESS Nails £5.99 and give my nailos a manicure to rival any gel polish, so easy to apply and if prepped correctly expect them to last up to a week available Boots or Superdrug. Kiss Nail Wraps £5.99 from ASDA are great for making your nails centre of attention and can be used on top of your nail varnish for a speedy party look!


Lydia’s make up was applied by Kayleigh Whiting of The Make-up Lounge. For bookings email, askmollybeauty readers will get 20% off full makeup with lashes, usual price £48 – offer to be taken one month from publication.  Lydia’s hair was styled by Sara Hinn of Mars and Venus, Brentwood Tel: 01277 203740 – prices start from £35 for hair styling.


Finally a huge thank you to Lydia for her time, she was just as lovely as I had expected –  warm, chatty, friendly and whilst I loved seeing her photos of her family and vice versa, plus getting her top tips on how to snag a seat at the best restaurants there just wasn’t enough time. So with this in mind I’d just like to say feel free to pop by mine any time you’re visiting Brentwood, the kettle is always on, bring your jim-jams, I’ll supply face packs, popcorn, DVDs….


If you have any queries please email or follow on Twitter @askmollybeauty/

Friday, 20 December 2013

Radio Product Featuring last minute Christmas Gifts, Revitalish latest product, Marlenha & more

Hamper £29.99
Code Mascara £19.95 Harvey Nichols or QVC (I purchased mine via QVC and was so happy with the results I told Molly to try it out).
Lavender Mint Shampoo & Conditioner £13.50. Conditioner £14.50
Revitalash Spotlight Highlighting Pencil £19.50 or 05603 141 950
Marlenha Petal Delicate Eye Serum £67   Marlenha Flourish Moisturiser £49
Angel Perfuming Body Oil £32 Womanity Perfumed Shower Gel £22 Stockists Debenhams
Benefit Boing Concealor £17.50 Girl Meets Pearl  £24.50 available department stores nationwide counters.
Neom Bath & Shower Gel £18
Heaven Afternoon Tea Candle £24.40

Friday, 13 December 2013

Over-50's Glam Makeup

Last week I rushed to the makeup counters of department stores full of excitement and glee as the new Christmas make up hit the shelves and I wasn’t disappointed.  Tubs of sparkle, tubes of glitter, and bottles of bling everything was shiny, glitzy and exactly how it should be. Picking up an eye-shadow full of iridescent particles I went to buy it when I had a sudden sickening feeling as the realisation of truth dawned upon me and a voice (a Beauty Ed’s voice), gently whispered to me “Molly put it away you’re just too old”. For a second I almost listened but the sparkles captivated me so I bought it and yes, whilst I may look like Tinkerbell’s grandmother this is the one time of year when all my beauty rules are thrown out of the window and glitter rules!  However, as we age a few rules shouldn’t be ignored when applying party make-up:-


·         Skin tends to get dryer so choose foundations wisely, it’s best to stick to a tinted moisturiser as anything too heavy will make lines look more prominent.

·         I’ve said it before and will say it again pore minimisers are your best friend, they act as a barrier between skin and makeup gently filling in lines and giving a great base to apply make-up.

·         Liquid eyeliner is your enemy – it’s ageing so favour soft kohl instead.

·         Choose mascaras with caution, as we get older eyes become more irritated so make sure your mascara is formulated for sensitive eyes and doesn’t flake. Viv Shepherd MUA recommends using waterproof mascara.

·         Colour is a must so Viv recommends using a soft blusher as the older we get the more lacklustre our skin becomes.

·         A neutral lip liner will stop colour from bleeding when applying colour to the lips. A satin or gloss is more flattering than matte and whilst neutral colours make lips look fuller a solid, glossy shade will awaken the complexion.

·         Avoid matte eye-shadows and stick to light textures. If using a cream based one make sure you use a primer first and lighter shades are more flattering if you wear glasses.

·         Fill in brows with a good brow-pencil – an earthy shade gives a natural look but avoid heavy colours which will drag the face down.

·         You can wear sparkle but stick to your nails for your Christmas bling.


Once again I could fill a paper with the amount of gorgeous beauty products around this Christmas but I’ve tried to narrow it down to some of the best and here’s my pick!


MAC Divine Nights Collection is perfect for understated glamour. The Mineralise Eye-shadow Until Dawn £16.50 is muted purple surrounded by soft gold, whilst the Lured to Love Blush £22 is a flattering coral pink, Flair for Finery Lipstick £16.50 is a natural nude and gives a silky sheen which gives the illusion of fuller lips. Stockist


For pure class Clarins cult lipstick Joli Rouge £18 in Clarins Red is one that everyone should own. The iconic shade with blue undertones is universally flattering to all skin tones and immediately updates a daytime to evening look in one quick step and the long-lasting and creamy formula is perfect for dry lips. Their Ombre Minerale Eye shadow £17 can be used wet or dry and is perfect for crepey lids as is smoothing and will stay put all night.  Available nationwide counters.


Glamour doesn’t come better than Estee Lauders Christmas Collection and I’ve fallen in love with Eye-shadow Trios Artic Zinc and Amber Alloy £27. Artic Zinc is glistening cool shades of navy, silver and lilac whilst Amber Alloy shimmering shades of mauve, plum and iced pink looks amazing on brown eyes. Their Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer £21 in Chrome Kimono is a beautiful rosy pink.  Available nationwide counters.


For a subtle sparkle of glitter the best polish is by far Barry M No 334 £3.99 from Superdrug. This limited edition of gold and rose gold feather specks is different from glitter and incredibly eye-catching.


Eye of Horus is a new makeup range in the UK but has long been loved by professional make-up artists and celebrities from Australia to the Philippines. Their Goddess Mascara £13 is perfect for older lashes as contains Moringa Oil which is rich in vitamins and fatty acids so strengthens brittle lashes and is ideal for sensitive eyes. Stockists


Clinique All About Shadow Quad Smoke and Mirrors £28 is glamour in a compact. The easy colour step guide ensures the 4 shades of grey from charcoal to silver make a perfect smokey eye. Compliment this look with the Chubby Stick Intense £17 in Mightiest Maraschino a juicy shade of red for full on glamour. Available nationwide counters.


bareMinerals Prime Time Primer Eye-shadows £16 are perfect for older eyes as their waterproof formula ensures make-up stays put.  Chroma Violet and Gunmetal are metallic shades a trend seen this winter and due to added primers the crème formula will not crease. Available House of Fraser.


Make-Up Atelier Paris Crème Eye Shadows £14 are high quality pigments which allow for seamless blending and perfect for building up colour whether you want a light wash for day or heavier for evening. I love Gris Metal dark, metallic silver, Gris Fume a warm, neutral grey and Bois De Rose a dusky rose. Stockists


A huge thank you to my mum for being my model – I’m sure you’ll agree she doesn’t look a day over 50 and to Viv Shepherd for her expert make-up skills for bookings contact 07796 172021. If you have any queries please email or follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty.



Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dehydrated Hair/Dry Hair Tips

After years of dyeing and heat styling my hair has had enough, it’s snapping, in protest and all over my black coat, little snippets are breaking away at an alarming rate and what I thought were short layers are not – it’s broken hair and as my friend tried to tactfully tell me if I continue to abuse it the whole lot will have to be chopped off.  


Before I resorted to such drastic measures I contacted Spargo Hairdressing in Brentwood to see if they could help. I’d been to their open day and was impressed they stocked Philip Kingsley (PK) one of the world’s best hair care brands. Ian Marshall the owner advised me to have the PK Scalp Mask Spa Treatment and explained how this would hydrate and improve the condition of my scalp and if used in conjunction with the cult product Elasticizer would nourish and renew my hair.


On the day Stacey Moss applied a layer of mint exfoliator to my scalp, a thoroughly rejuvenating experience. Elasticizer was generously applied to the mid lengths and ends, and I was then left with a continuous supply of cappuccinos under a head steamer (to ensure the product reached the cuticles), whilst Stacey gave me some invaluable tips such as never use a hair oil before applying straightening irons as this will make hair sizzle! Finally I was treated to an amazing head massage before the rich oils from the products were shampooed out. Amy Henesy then applied her expert cutting skills by blunt cutting my hair which made it look thicker, shinier and most importantly take control of my broken layers. The difference was astounding and I thoroughly recommend this to anyone with long, frizzy or highlighted locks to keep hair in tip-top condition.


The PK Scalp Mask Spa Treatment is usually £37 however, Spargo 01277 210768 are offering askmollybeauty readers an incredible discount of 50% off valid for 1 month from publication.


I also contacted world leading Trichologist Philip Kingsley to give readers some tips on dehydrated hair:-


·         You can have the best colour, cut and hairstylist but if your hair is dry it’s never going to look or feel its best. Thankfully though there are many easy steps you can take to restore hydration, shine and health to your tresses.


·         Dry hair lacks moisture and this is what causes it to look dull and also to break easily. Hydrate them with a leave in pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, what surprises many people though is that daily shampooing can help with this too. Water is your hair’s most natural hydrator – its moisture, not oil content that keeps your hair supple.



·         Dry hair usually has a rough cuticle which means it can’t reflect light well. Daily use of a post-shampoo conditioner for your hair texture will smooth your hair cuticle giving you lovely light reflection and shine. The use of a leave-in conditioning, protective spray can also be beneficial– acting as both a curative and preventative styling tool.


·         Dry hair is already fragile so take extra precautions when you colour or highlight it. Make your stylist aware of your dry hair concerns and stress that you don’t want them to overlap previously bleached areas of hair. For extra protection and hydration use an intensive moisturising mask 3 days before and then again after any colouring or bleaching.


·         Your hair only grows half an inch a month so you will see results from a nutritious diet in about 6 months. We suggest eating at least 120g of protein with breakfast and lunch (your hair is after all made of protein!), and including a mixture of complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables into your daily regime. Red meats contain both iron and ferritin (a stored iron that helps make hair cell protein) and are essential for strong, healthy hair growth.


·         If you use a blow-dryer make sure to hold it at least 6 inches away and stop when’ just dry’. Correct blow-drying doesn’t dry out your hair its applying heat to already dried hair that does the damage. Straightening irons, we suggest limiting their use to twice a week – and always use a styling aid with heat protection when doing so.


To stop my hair from breaking even more, I’ve been testing the following products:-


KeraStraight Moisture Mask £25 I loved this and from the first time I tested it there was an immediate difference to the condition of my hair. Using the same technology as the KeraStraight protein treatment and with added Palmeira Tucuma a Brazilian fibre palm, this instantly hydrates and improves brittle hair.


Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Ultimate Luxe Set £70 is the ultimate in hair spa treatments and offers everything to keep your hair in tip top condition, with full sizes of sulphate-free Moisturizing Lather Shampoo, Keratin Intensive Treatment, Styling Treatment Oil and HydroCream Whip. Whilst expensive the products will last months and are of the highest quality. For an intense hydrating burst try the Super Charged Moisturizer £14.75 or the Hair Repair Treatment £13.75 to strengthen damaged, brittle locks.


JOICO Moisture Recovery £10.95 is ideal for a quick spritz of hydration which doesn’t weigh the hair down. Containing Panthenol and Evening Primrose Oil both well-known ingredients in the hair industry to reduce frizz and leave locks protected from harsh winter elements.


Philip Kingsley Elasticizer £15 In over 27 years this cult product hasn’t changed its formula because quite simply it works. My hairdresser raves about it and people tell me it’s their must-have product. Upon application the hair cuticle is given a moisture boost, leaving hair silky, soft and swishy but most importantly not lank!


If you have any queries please contact me or follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty/

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christmas Gifts for Everyone

This year I’ve trawled the shops, the internet and hassled PR’s to bring you the best in Christmas gifts. I’ve taken the hard work out of guessing what to buy for Dad, Mum, Daughter, Son and even your pet – so put your feet up, have a glass of wine and chill – because Santa Claus is Coming to Town Woohoo!



1.       Lush Christmas Gifts available take all the hassle out of wrapping with their professionally wrapped goodies and gifts start from just £6.50! With a huge range of festive pamper products from Dream Cream to Shimmering Gold Fun Bars there’s a bath bomb, lotion and soap for kids to grandparents! Also by Lush is the Limited Edition Vivienne Westwood Knot Scarf £15 which raises awareness of the waste made from wrapping paper - this scarf is an alternative to gift wrap, the receiver then has the choice to wear it or pass it on!


2.       Benefit Perfume Gift Set £29.50 – watch her huge smile when she opens this Christmas Day, featuring the best of Benefit fragrances all in one set.  Alien by Thierry Mugler £50 limited edition is a must have for Christmas – a coffret containing radiant body lotion and shower gel all encased in a reusable glamorous box. Boss Jour Pour Femme £49 is for the woman who embraces the day, light, flirty and sparkling she celebrates being alive. Available department stores nationwide.


3.       LaurensWay Gift Set £30 Let it Glow Darker than Dark - this amazing set contains everything you need for true Essex glamour - teenagers will love it! Stockists


4.       For the girl who has everything gift her with bareMinerals Brush on Splendor £29, this luxurious brush collection is a must have for perfect make-up application – stockists House of Fraser.  Jane Iredale Glamour Lip & Eye Palette£49.95 is contains 15 stunning eye shades, 10 PureMoist Lipsticks and 4 PureGloss Lip Glosses all condensed into one classy compact. Stockists


5.       Men can be hard to buy for but you won’t go wrong with these fragrances.  For something unique A*Men Pure Malt Thierry Mugler £45 is a masculine fragrance inspired by techniques used to produce whiskies, whilst it has Angel undertones the smokey notes make it incredibly sexy. Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss £52 encapsulates the strong, ambitious man but also one not afraid to show his emotions. Stockists department stores nationwide. For the sporty type Ferrari Red is fast paced, exciting and ideal for the younger man - gift sets £28 from The Perfume Shop.    



6.       Babyliss New Big Hair £45 available Boots is the latest version of this best seller. Featuring ‘super ionic’ conditioning technology which ensures hair is left super shiny with tons of bounce!  Have endless fun with the Limited Edition Paul Mitchell Express ion Crimp – perfect for parties add a little wow to your hair. At £89.95 they’re not cheap but are gentle on hair and create volume like you’ve never had!


7.       For a necklace which oozes sophistication treat your lady to something unique. This necklace is made up of Hematite, re fire-polished Czech glass and cream glass pearls £33 A stunning and timeless piece of jewellery from the makers of celeb favourite Wish is the Silver Cross Necklace £28, pieces can be made to order to check out


8.       Menace Male Grooming, Shenfield 01277 220408 offer a wide range of Mens Dermalogica gift sets or check out I love the Shave Set £42.50 which contains everything a man needs for the perfect shave. The Body Therapy Favourites contain my favourite Stress Relief Treatment Oil £18 – a great gift for a couple to share!    Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare £39.90 is a brand used all over the world in first class salons. This gift set is incredible value and contains all you need for a starter kit and to see for yourself the benefits of using the products. For the candle lover Elemis Scent of Spa Candle £25 is the ultimate in relaxation and will fill the whole house with its wintery scent of cinnamon, orange and vanilla.  Available from



9.       My daughter use to scream when I tried to brush her hair, that’s until I found Tangle Angel the professional detangling brush £14.99, it’s my must have for stress free mornings!  Is your friend a blonde bombshell? It’s Always A Blonde Moment £35 for 3 products guarantees to make her hair shine and give highlighted hair the condition it needs, visit


10.   Make sure Bagpuss or Fido’s smelling delicious with Paul Mitchell Awapoochi Shampoo & Conditioner £10.95 each from, fur coats are left shiny and smelling puuurfect!



11.   For an amazing keepsake and a great family gift, Treasure Forever make moulds of hands and footprints into stunning, contemporary art. I had my children’s done years ago in silver and bronze and it’s become the focal point of my hallway - fingerprints can be imprinted onto silver jewellery as can paw prints! Contact Fiona Barbour


12.   I love this dinky Lip Smacker Tree Ornament just £3 from Sainsbury’s, guaranteed to keep lips soft and lightly scented – now I just need mistletoe (and someone to kiss)!  Yardley Mixed Hand & Nail Cream £9.99 contains 3 beautifully scented creams and is a must for those hands which need TLC from hairdressers, nurses to gardeners. Stockists Independent Chemists.


13.   Finally for a truly amazing, show stopping Christmas cake made by the incredibly talented Gill of Crazy Granny Cakes is this chocolate sack filled with edible goodies. It’s everything a centrepiece should be eye catching, fun and filled to the brim with sweeties! For more details visit or email








Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dehydrated Skin

If you look in the mirror and a road map stares back you'd be forgiven for reaching for the nearest anti-ageing skin cream however, often these fine lines - let's call them A roads are a result not of a skin type i.e. dry but are in fact caused by dehydration and the good news is you can do something about it. To put simply our skin is made up with layers of water based cells - the top layer being protected by sebum (oil) and sweat and the amount of sebum we have determines our skin type i.e. dry/oily etc. Dehydrated skin is not a type but a condition caused by lack of water content, external elements such as hot weather, use of harsh products, diet and illness.

Symptoms can be tight, itchy and taut skin but there are a couple of simple tests you can do to determine whether you are dehydrated a) with your ring finger gently push up from your cheekbone towards the eye, if the effect resembles crepe paper this indicates water loss; b) take a pinch from the back of your wrist, if it doesn't ping back immediately then this also shows a lack of water (note the older you are the more likely you will suffer from elasticity loss); and c) have a peek down after you've used the toilet - if your urine is the colour of pale straw then great, anything darker then it's time to filling up your water bottle! Below are a few tips to help with hydration.

· Drink more water - this sounds obvious but many of us are guilty of forgetting to drink enough, even if you have to set an alarm every few hours to remind you to drink a glass it's worth it and especially if you exercise.

· Up your intake of water based fruit and vegetables such as melon and cucumber.

· If the heating is on place a bowl of water by your radiator to humidify the air.

· Working in an environment with air conditioning such as an office or aeroplane zaps moisture from the air - try using a home-made facial spritz with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil.

· Check your salt intake including labels on food as salt is often hidden in many items.

· Cut back on caffeine and alcohol - if you're drinking alcohol match each drink with a glass of water - hangover headaches are caused by dehydration.

· Use products for dehydrated skin complaints - most will contain hyaluronic acid which holds 1000 times its own weight in water, products should be water rather than oil based.

· Apply oils to your skin whilst your body is still damp from the shower to lock in moisture.

· Whilst tempting to have a hot shower in this weather, try and keep the temperature warm.

· Replace lost salts and sugars from sickness/diarrohea with Diarolyte or something similar.

· Lips may be flaky so avoid licking as this will make them worse just regularly apply Vaseline.

· Finally and a word of warning whilst the effects of dehydration can be treated, left to late and those fine A roads will start to resemble the M25 and then dear readers you're stuck!

I road-tested (pardon the pun) lots of products and these were my favourites.

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi Phase £41 - this instantly sunk into my skin and made it feel supple and smooth. Non-greasy, the key ingredients of 2 different types of Hyaluronic Acid reach right into the inner layers of the skin and give continuous hydration, whilst Omega 3 Peanut Oil, Katafray Bark and Alfalfa hydrate, protect , replenish and give radiance.

Clarins HydraQuench Mask £33 is an intensive 10 minute treatment. I tested this after a recent flight and my thirsty skin drank in the product so quickly it sunk in within minutes and my skin was left feeling incredibly soft. I'm not alone in my love for this product Ann Daniels Polar Explorer regularly uses this when she braves the icy weather of the North Pole! Stockists available nationwide counters

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Cream Cleanser/Moisture Mask £22 -a cleanser for skin to help bring back elasticity to taut and tight skin - this cleanser can be used to gently and efficiently remove impurities. For an additional benefit it can be also used as a mask to increase moisture levels, simply leave on for a few minutes then tissue off - a time saving product so great to take on holiday. Stockists available nationwide counters.

Dermalogica Stress Relief Treatment Oil £16.90 is bliss in a bottle, whilst I try to bring new products to every feature I apologise now if this crops up more than a few times as quite simply its divine! My skin has been peeling so I've been slathering this over my body whilst it's still damp from the shower however, not only is it great on dry skin but due to a cocktail of relaxing essential oils it also aids a decent night sleep! The Skin Hydrating Mask £31.50 works by delivering time released hydration to give skin a constant moisture boost, the skin-saving formulation includes lycopene-rich Tomato Seed lipids which restores the skins barrier. Compliment this with an intensive serum - the Skin Hydrating Booster £51 instantly hydrates and gives parched skin a quenching drink of hyaluronic acid, fine lines are diminished and it leaves skin feeling smooth and supple - I've been using this for years and love it! Stockists call 0800 591818.

If you have any queries or wish to enquire about features please email askmollybeauty@gmail.comor follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty/

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Flawless Complexion

Does choosing a foundation confuse or overwhelm you? Do you know your BB’s (Beauty Balms) from your CC’s (Colour Correcting Creams) – or is it just a bra size? The reason I ask, is recently I attended a campaign Go Bare by bareMinerals whose aim was to educate people on choosing the correct foundation match. Their pop-up beauty theatre took on the malls of Essex to explain exactly how foundations worked and I have to say judging by the amount of cement plastered on some of the shoppers, couldn’t have come soon enough.  Foundation is probably the one product which is over-used and whilst the TOWIE look may have its place on TV in broad daylight too much looks just odd.  When choosing a foundation many beauty assistants will first determine whether you have a cool or warm skin tone. However, due to the vast selection I prefer to test 3 colours closest to my skin colour and apply them in 3 stripes where the skin has most exposure i.e, top of jawline, then go outside in the daylight – the one which disappears into the skin is the best match.

Sarah Drummond, Make-up Artist also has these tips when choosing foundation:-

“A liquid foundation with silicon is preferable to matte which can look flat on your skin, look for the words lightweight, sheer and invisible.  Some lightweight foundations won't cover every blemish so for extra coverage you need more pigment not a heavier product.

Primer is every make-up artist key tool! After moisturising spread on a light primer with silica for a filling and smoothing effect.

To hide a pimple try a colour correcting concealer, if you have a red area use a green concealer as this counteracts red. To downplay a raised, red blemish fewer layers of makeup is the key.  Dip a cotton swab in green concealer and dab onto the pimple blending into the skin with your finger, finish with translucent pressed powder. Avoid touching the area as heat from your fingers can make makeup melt.

If fine lines and wrinkles are your concern use a silicone based product which sinks into the lines and helps smooth them out.  Finish with a liquid concealer to hide any remaining evidence of a line and avoid using powder which accentuates lines.

Contouring and highlighting is one of the oldest make-up techniques which every woman should master! Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez use contouring and highlighting to add shape and definition to their faces transforming their bone structure and accentuating their best features.

Begin with primer and foundation to face and neck setting lightly with powder through the T-zone (centre of the forehead, nose and chin) of the face. With your highlighter apply to the high planes of the face i.e. tops of cheekbones, brow bones, bridge of nose and the bow of the lip. Then with your contour colour apply to the shadows of the face, i.e. under cheekbones, into the sockets of your eyes and out to the temples, finally make sure you blend well for seamless skin. “

Sarah can be contacted for all bridal and make up bookings on

Clinique have a wide range of Super-Primers £20 to aid every skin complaint from dullness, lacklustre skin and also to suit all skin types from dry, combination to oily - for a perfect blank canvas apply over the entire face or where needed before makeup application. For a natural matte finish their Pore Refining Solutions £24 glides over skin without feeling heavy and airbrushes pores leaving a look of perfection with a smooth finish. Stockists Debenhams counters nationwide.

bareMinerals Prime Time £21 is a foundation and primer in one which magically eradicates the look of fine lines leaving a healthy and radiant glow. Their original bareMinerals Foundation £24 is a cult product which deserves much more space than I can give. This mineral powder contains sunscreen and its unique application of swirl, tap and buff melts into the skin giving a perfect finish every time. Stockists House of Fraser.

More than a foundation is No Foundation from Perricone MD £47 as not only does this contain sunscreen but its unique multi-purpose formula contains anti-aging benefits to actually treat the skin rather than just as a cosmetic use. Skin is left hydrated and protected from damaging environmental elements. Stockists


Hello Flawless by Benefit £25.50 is ideal for all skin types. Oil-free this wonder product brightens skin leaving it looking luminous, the Oxygen Wow complex boosts skin cells leaving skin looking youthful and with added vitamins C & E also prevents skin damage caused by pollutants. Stockists Debenhams counters nationwide.

 For the ultimate in glamour indulgence with its classy glass packaging is Clarins Extra-Comfort SPF 15 £35. The moisturising foundation is rich in Organic Argan Oil whose properties are known to hydrate and nourish the skin – ideal for dry and mature skin which is left feeling soft and supple all day long. Stockists Debenhams counters nationwide.

 DHC Face Q10 Face Powder £15 contains a powerful antioxidant coenzyme Q10 to protect the skin. Perfect for blending, highlighting and stopping shine without leaving it cakey - this must have product should be in everyone’s kit.  Stockist

Barry M Flawless Matte Finish Foundation £5.99 is ideal for teenage and oilier complexions. Non-drying the matte finish leaves skin looking smooth and clear.  For blemishes try their Imperfection Correction Concealer Pen £5.99 which not only conceals but can also be used to illuminate areas of the face to bring skin alive. Stockists Superdrug.

 If you have any queries please contact via email, Twitter @askmollybeauty or




Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Movember Raising Awareness for Prostate Cancer

Whilst half of the time I walk around with my head in the clouds it was apparent this time last year that something was definitely "out of place" on my gym floor. Not that I spend half the time looking at the opposite sex (although it's great for boredom busting on the treadmill), I noticed that most men were suddenly sporting a growth of facial hair by way of moustaches. Thinking maybe this was a new boy-band trend I asked one of the trainers who also had more hair growth than normal and this is when I learnt about the 'Movember' Charity which raises awareness for Prostate cancer by way of sporting a moustache for the month of November.

The campaign is close to my heart as my father was diagnosed with Prostate cancer 11 years ago and whilst after months of radiotherapy he beat this disease, the fact is it's the second most common cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer and in 2010 approximately 10,700 men died in the UK which is around 29 deaths per day (statistics taken from Symptoms vary but if you have any of the following please see your GP as the earlier its detected the easier it is to treat and the more likely treatment will be successful, some of these symptoms are:-

· Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine

· Difficulty passing urine

· Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night

· Pain when passing urine

· Blood in the urine or semen

To raise awareness Mike Linger of Winger Sports Academy agreed to grow a rather dashing moustache for this feature and I sent him along to the 'Expert of Shaving', Matt Norris of Menace Grooming in Shenfield who gave Mike the following tips:-

· Growing a moustache can be like growing your hair out in to a longer style - bear with it as there will be a scruffy awkward in-between stage. After a couple of weeks it should start to look intended and also stop itching by this stage too.

· Choose what style you're going for and speak to your barber about how exactly to achieve this.

· For shaving in general and therefore before shaving in a moustache, you should take a shower first to allow the hot water to soften the hair to be shaved on the face and open the pores to allow for an easier shave. Use a face scrub in the shower and be sure to rinse your face after shaving with cool water, finish with a good shave balm to close the pores.

· When shaving in the shape, shave just outside the intended area at first and then use a specific tool to cut the shape meticulously. A magnifying mirror can be handy for intricate styles and by leaving room for error you can try some bigger sized styles to see if you prefer them first.

· A beard trimmer and/or facial hair scissors neaten and tidy the length of the moustache especially along the lip line. The hair along the lip is important in making the moustache look groomed as being able to eat the hair is not attractive!

· To avoid itchy flaky skin underneath it's imperative to regularly moisturise into the actual hair at least once a day.

· Not only should every guy own a moisturiser but also a cleanser and exfoliating scrub. These are ideal for cleaning your moustache - and always check in the mirror after eating to ensure food hasn't nestled in!

· Lengthy moustaches will benefit from a hair conditioner in the shower to really treat the hair.

· Tame longer styles with a moustache comb, a specialised comb which is more subtle to use in public.

· To keep its shape finish off with moustache wax (available online), you only need a small amount just warm it up in your fingers before applying.

Dermalogica (stockists 0800 591818 and Menace) have an extensive range of shaving products to ensure you look as dapper as possible, their Invigorating Shave Gel £18.20 gives a "barber-close" shave with maximum comfort whilst soothing and cooling the skin, whilst Hyaluronic Acid keeps skin feeling soft and moisturised. For extra clean skin and to help any irritation and peeling use of their Daily Clean Scrub £24.80 is a must whilst finishing off with Post Shave Balm £26.50 will prevent ingrown hairs and also shorten post-shave recovery time.

Clarins (stockists Debenhams nationwide) also stock a wide variety of male skincare products and their 2 in 1 Exfoliating Cleanser £21 is a quick one step product ideal for those short on time - not only does it cleanse and purify skin it also removes dead skin cells leaving skin smooth and refreshed.

Clinique Cream Shave £14 (available Clinique counters nationwide) is ideal for very sensitive skin, the rich cream lifts hair so the razor glides rather than drag across the skin which in turn decreases the risk of razor nicks and cuts.

I Coloniali Shaving Cream £15 (available M&S) has added Mango Oil to soothe and protect the skin. Mango is renowned for its emollient properties and widely used in Hindu mythology and culture - beautifully presented in a terracotta pot this is one to leave on your bathroom shelf!

For a huge bargain you can buy an entire shaving regime from Erasmic, their pure bristle Shave Brush, Shaving Soap with natural glycerine and enriching Shave Stick costs just under £5 for stockists call 01273 814 536.

Menace Grooming are donating £5 from every 'Movember' shave (priced £24) to the charity call 01277 202448 or book online

Winger Sports Academy Ltd offers one of the best sporting academies across Essex and London for further details visit

For features email me or follow Twitter @askmollybeauty.