Archive for August, 2010


I had no problem recruiting friends to join me for this ultimate girls’ night in!  We stocked up on champagne and pizzas (memories of old times when we all worked in London!) and gathered at my friend’s farmhouse to meet Korben Niblett who is interntational make up artist and tutor for the Jemma Kidd Make Up School.

Korben with Jodie Kidd

Korben is just delightful. He’s the sort of best friend that every girl dreams about having – you know, ready to pop round with a blusher brush and a great bit of styling advice whenever required.  He was also ultra professional and wasn’t in the least bit put off by the sheep outside the window (“So, who uses primer?” “Baa”).

What we didn’t let on was that although we may have looked like a bunch of Surrey housewives, we had all worked as either beauty journalists or pr executives at some point in our careers. In short, we’d heard every beauty tip on the planet. Or so we thought – because Korben has completely reinvented how to apply make up at home, making it quick, easy and very effective. The class is a mix of demonstration and workshop and we were shown all sorts of fantastic tricks and tips that transformed us into the sort of dewy, airbrushed goddesses that you only ever see in magazines (not bad seeing as we’re all over 40!).  And best of all, we learnt how to do it ourselves.

We took in-depth notes!

The Jemma Kidd Pro range is gorgeous – I’d readily put it up against premium brands like Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown. Special mention goes to Skin Rescue Bio-Complex Veil SPF15, a tinted multi-tasker developed in conjunction with Shiseido that moisturizes, primes and illumintates the skin. It was so good that we all bought one on the spot.

Everyone loved their new look and the masterclass experience. Having friends at hand and being close to home certainly makes everything more relaxed (or was that the champagne?). Anyway, thoroughly recommended.

Finished result

Jemma Kidd Masterclass@home workshops are two hours long and cost £25 per person for seven people. At the end of the class you take home two make-up bag essentials worth over £30. You can also buy make up on the night (no hard sell, but difficult to resist!).

For more information or t:01483 266143

Vintage at Goodwood review

Vintage at Goodwood is a three-day festival dedicated to music, fashion, film and design from the ‘40s to the present day.  This year’s extravanganza, held at the weekend, was the first of what is to be an annual event on the beautifully situated Goodwood estate. I went along (with my family) on Saturday.

You probably wont be surprised to read that the festival is as middle class as it is nostalgic. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. It’s just slightly odd to walk into a field and come face to face with a John Lewis store in the purpose-built vintage Market Place. I didn’t go in so I have no idea what they were selling (presumably not washing machines or sofas) but I’m pretty sure that being ‘never knowingly undersold’ was a festival first.

I headed instead for what was billed as the largest vintage fashion bazaar in Europe, with over 320 fashion and accessories stalls of dressing up delights.  This was also the perfect place to people watch – and it’s the wonderfully attired punters that made Goodwood special.

So many (and hopefully everyone in future) had arrived dressed in vintage finery and the result was glamour everywhere you looked. Meanwhile the Vintage Goodwood beauty parlour was doing a roaring trade in retro makeovers – ‘natural’ didn’t get a look in.

Mr AM  amused himself by looking at the vintage cinema bus (showing Joe Strummer movies), watching new bands in the woods and trying to find the beer tent. It turned out that the bars were situated the soul, rock n roll and dance music ‘clubs’ – (don’t ask me who was playing – this is a beauty blog, not the NME) – well away from the second hand frocks.

Time for  a cream tea (because you always have one at a festival, right?) . The bunting festooned outdoor cafes were a stone’s throw away from the soul stage so I enjoyed a cuppa and a nibble of home made scone while tapping a toe to ‘Move On Up’ – I bet Curtis Mayfield often did the same, way back in vintage times.

With a nod to our rock and roll aristocracy, ever so posh auction house Bonhams were showing off some rock star memorabilia before an auction on Sunday. Lots included rock star portraits and a tatty old piano – from Abbey Road studios – that was apparently worth £150,000. No doubt someone very rich has now taken it home and I expect their cleaner will secretly shake her head in disbelief as she wipes the rock star finger prints off the keys.

Having consumed some very middle class organic hot dogs (like normal hot dogs, but way more expensive) we headed for the main stage. Here, we enjoyed the outdoor bar (at last!) and The Noisettes who played a wonderfully glitzy set as the sun went down and a crescent moon rose. As we left – tired, happy, and planning what to wear next year – the walkways were illuminated with twinkling fairy lights. I expect you can buy a similar set at John Lewis.

LIPGLOSS, BIKINI, CALPOL…holiday beauty for busy mums!

In glossy magazine land, ‘packing’ means throwing a bikini into a beach bag and heading for an exotic beach hideaway.

In my world, getting ready to for a holiday means stuffing a suitcase while answering emails, tripping over kittens and refereeing three daughters whose approach to packing varies from ‘I’ll just take everything in my wardrobe’ to ‘I’ll just take one T shirt and forget everything else’.

And I’m supposed to fit in a beauty routine too? Believe me, it’s brief!

Here’s my dead quick guide to holiday glamour.

1. Get a hair cut and colour. Go for what you know – holidays are not the time to experiment with a new look. Think of the photos.

2. Defuzz. There’s no way I’m taking leg hair on holiday. I recently discovered the new Philips Satin Perfect and its way quicker than a razor, and you don’t risk the ‘nicked ankle’ look either.

3. Fake tan. Avoid the ‘I’ve just arrived!!!!!’ look with self-tan – Xen-tan gets my vote  – applied the night before you travel as you rush around packing the Calpol and beach shoes that no one ever wears.

4. Make up. Pare it down to essentials ie mascara (without it everything else is useless) plus a shimmery bronzing powder and peach lip gloss – try the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess range  –  for that ‘tired mum to sun-kissed stunner’ transformation.

5. Pedicure. Because in many countries it’s illegal to wear flip-flops without nail polish (or at least that’s what I tell my husband as I sit immobile with wet nails while he rushes round looking for his wetsuit).

Photo: Paul Mitchell

The new Philips Satin Perfect has an extra-wide head which enables it to remove more hair in one stroke, giving you long-lasting smoothness, faster. Its high performance discs are made of textured ceramic material, which gently grip and remove even finest hairs.

This is a sponsored post for Philips Satin Perfect

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