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/