Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Make-up mistakes

Make-up applied well can make us look healthy and glowing even when we feel tired. Badly applied make-up is worse than no make-up at all.

Here are the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Pale lips
Can make you look washed out, so opt for a lip gloss with a hint of colour instead, especially as you get older. Avoid using pearl or frosted shades. Keep lips moisturised. It helps to make them look plumper and fuller.

One of our most expressive features so it pays to keep them in good shape. Don't over-pluck them. Don't take hairs out from the top, they might not grow back.

Overdoing mascara
One of the biggest make-up crimes. Wipe the wand first with a tissue before applying and then comb lashes through with an old mascara wand or lash comb.

Make sure you apply it close to the base of the eyelashes as this will make them look thicker. Using eyeliner the same colour as your hair will help to make your eyes look bigger.


Eye shadow
Creased eye shadow looks horrible. If you want your eye shadow to stay put, apply to dry skin. Powder eye shadow will last longer than cream.

Badly applied concealer is worse than not wearing it. Make sure that it matches your skin tone exactly and that you blend it well.

Blusher is the quickest way to lift a dull, tired complexion. Stick to the shade your cheeks go when you are naturally flushed.

Blend, blend, blend
Always make sure that your make-up is blended properly. Foundation is for evening out skin tone not for adding colour.

Not matching your skin tone
Wearing the wrong colours will drain you. You can wear most hues providing you match them to your skin tone. 

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 13 April 2012

Tips to find the right hair colour

Are you thinking of brightening up your locks with highlights for summer? Or, maybe you are contemplating a more radical change and going for a completely new hair colour?

Before you head to the colourist, there are three things you need to take into consideration when choosing a new hue: your skin tone, the colour of your eyes and the shade of your natural hair.

“Choose a shade of colour within two shades lighter than your hair’s original hue,” says Liz Edmonds, colour director at the renowned Daniel Galvin salon.  “The hair you were born with complements your colouring, so it’s a good idea to stick within the same colour spectrum to enhance your hair, but not to go against your natural look.”

Christy Blake, HOB Salons’ senior colour director says that they also assess what fashion tribe a client would belong to as there are many different variations of colours that can be suited to the individual image.

If you are picking colour from swatches of nylon hair in the salon, the technician may have to combine tones to achieve the shade you have chosen. If your hair is already dyed, the colourist has to take this into consideration. Best to take in a picture so you both know what you are talking about. Chocolate can mean different things to different people. You are thinking dark chocolate, but the colourist could be thinking milk chocolate.

For a rule of thumb, those with olive skin should avoid red shades or blue-based colours as these can make you look harder. Stick to semi-cool colours, chocolate browns, golden browns or beige gold.

For those with fair skin, choose warm colours such as neutral beige. If you have a ruddy complexion, ashy shades will help to tone it down. For neutral skin tones go for a flat base.

“If home-colouring, do not take the colour to the ends of the hair,” advises Liz. “They are more porous, which means they accept the colour more readily, so it will make them much darker than the rest of the hair.”

Liz Edmonds, colour director at the renowned Daniel Galvin salon

Before you undertake any colouring process, ensure you know the upkeep entailed. “Red shades will fade the fastest and you may need to keep having vegetable colours in between having your roots done,” says Liz. She also points out that highlights on top of tint will ultimately go brassy.

Scared of undergoing a major change? Try framing your face with some lighter pieces to soften your look. “Ensuring that your hairline is lighter than the rest of your hair will prevent it from appearing as if you have a dark ring around your face,” says Liz.

You could also try experimenting with a colour that washes out after six to eight washes. A word of caution: if you already have colour on your hair don’t put anything on before talking to a colourist as semi-permanents can react with what is already there turning it into a commitment rather than an experiment. Before having any colouring process you should always do a skin test.

“Remember that using any type of colour is likely to affect the condition of your hair,” says Liz. 

By Daralyn Danns

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Destination Bollinger, Aÿ, Champagne

The sound of the cork popping, the bubbles dancing spontaneously in the flute and the way it slowly tantalises your taste buds with rich, fruity flavours. There is no doubt about it, champagne seduces you like no other drink. It’s magic meets decadence.

To go to Bollinger, producers of some the finest champagnes [and my personal favourite], was like being taken to heaven.

And, it doesn’t get more glamorous than being invited to the house where the revered Madame Bollinger lived, being wined and dined by the eponymous champagne house.  

After drinking exquisite wines, including La Grande Année Rosé 2004, a superb pink bubbly made with the renowned red wine, Côte aux Enfants, and R.D.1995, a well-structured aged champagne, Jérôme Philipon, Bollinger’s president challenged us to a blind tasting.

“Force de punch,” I exclaimed after savouring the fine, delicately bubbled golden-amber champagne. “I like your comment!” he replied. I was extremely flattered as I am no wine critic.  But, I know what I like and this silky-smooth liquid gold was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It was Bolllinger’s legendary cuvée, Vieilles Vins Françaises which is regarded by many wine connoisseurs as a jewel in the crown of the champagne world.

Approximately, 3,000 bottles are made in exceptional vintage years of which only a coveted few reach the UK. At £550 a bottle, this 1997 vintage is a fizz my taste buds won’t be getting used to, unless, of course, I win the lottery.

At Aÿ, the home of Bollinger’s headquarters, history oozes from the village’s buildings as if enveloping you in a champagne haze. Fragmented, well-manicured vineyards carpet the surrounding hills, and millionaires rub shoulders with farmers. I half expected to see Tante Lily, as Madame Bollinger is affectionately known, come tearing down the road on her bicycle on her way to inspect the vineyards – a common sight during the German Occupation of the Champagne region.

The next morning, I got up early to take a stroll along Epernay’s fabled Avenue de Champagne punctuated with 19th-century mansions housing the headquarters of the likes of Moët et Chandon and Mercier. Bathed in a rosy glow from the rising sun only made them more alluring.

Batteries recharged, I was ready for the science bit. Bollinger has been around since 1829 and is still family-owned. A tour around the cellars is jaw-stopping. Blending, fermenting and ageing, so much goes into a bottle. Even Bollinger Special Cuvée, the house’s non-vintage champagne, is brimming with reserve wines fermented in barrels – not a common practice in Champagne. I was gobsmacked to discover that around 300 wines go into making this.

The end of our visit ended with the tasting of the Vin Clairs, wines from the last harvest. Some of these were so high in acidity, they almost set my tongue on fire – and that was with swirling them around my mouth and spitting them out. To think the wine maker has to decide which ones to use.

Afterwards, we were treated to lunch where, of course, there were more magnificent champagnes to taste. Such hard work!

As the last bubbles in my champagne flute floated away, so our visit ended. As Madame Bollinger said: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad…” I understand why!

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

Eurostar offers return fares to Reims, the heart of the Champagne region, with one connection in Paris from £89. Connecting fares from UK stations available. For more information or to book, visit or call 08432 186 186

Rail Europe Fares to Epernay, from London to Epernay start at £110 return per person call 0844 848 4070 or visit or call into the Rail Europe Travel Centre at 193 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EU

I stayed at La Villa Eugène,

Visit Champagne Mercier ( ) to board a laser-guided train on tour around the cellars

Bollinger tours can only be booked through Arblaster & Clarke (

Monday, 2 April 2012

Back to Daniel Galvin

Great result

“Your hair hasn’t faded on the ends and it has kept its tone,” said Liz Edmonds, colour director at Daniel Galvin, as she cast her beady eyes over my hair. “The overall colour could do with being a bit cooler and there are certain areas that need being blended through with some tint, which we will do after the roots have been touched up.” 


It was nearly five weeks since I last visited Liz. There were no signs of orange, thank goodness, and there definitely wasn’t any yellow peering through – the two problems that she had to deal with on my first visit. 

I was pleased with how well it had lasted, but felt it was a touch too warm, But, as Liz had already picked up on it, I felt quietly confident that we could be on to a winner this time, even though Liz had warned me that it will take a few visits to get it perfect.

“Fading occurs naturally through wear and tear. The longer the hair, the more porous it is as it has been subject to more abuse from the sun, styling etc,” says Liz. “The colour shouldn’t be taken through to the ends too often.

“Your problem with too much orange was due to the fact that the base colour got lighter and the highlights on top faded and gradually went warmer so the hair ended up looking brassy.”

After all the hassle I have been through, I don’t think anybody could tempt me to put lights back into my hair.

My roots were done first. After being shampooed, Liz massaged a gloss through the ends to cool down the overall shade and cover the areas that had become a bit too translucent.


As I watched Megan, my highly-competent stylist (it looked amazing for days) blow-dry my hair into soft waves, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: a lovely, natural light golden brown. I really was blown-away with the result. When I got home even the concierge at my apartment block remarked how great it looked.

This has to be one of the best hues I had for a long time. In fact, it looks so good people think it is natural!

By Daralyn Danns

Daniel Galvin (