Friday, 21 November 2014

Make-up for photographs

Some of us photograph well. Others need a little help. Good make-up can make a huge difference. I asked Shehla Shaikh, head of Lancôme Elite Team for some professional tips on how to put your best face forward.

What base should you use?
“For a photo shoot you want to go completely matt. Firstly, prep the skin with a primer such La Base Pro (£28.50) by Lancôme. Then apply Teint Idole Ultra 24H (£28.50, comes in a variety of shades) also by Lancôme.

“Using a brush will always give a more professional finish. Using it in a circular, buffing motion with your foundation will give a light, airy finish whereas patting will give more coverage so mix and match as you need to.”

How should you apply concealer? 
“Wield  an illuminating concealer under the eye such as our Teint Miracle Corrector (£26.50). Apply a fuller coverage concealer on the skin where necessary. Make-up shouldn't cover or mask the skin; it should only balance, correct and enhance.”  

What blusher should you use?
“For a day look that is more fresh and beautiful, dust blush, on the apples of the cheeks, in a pretty pink or coral, accompanied with a touch of mascara and lip gloss. The right pink for skin tone will immediately lift the complexion.

“To contour for a more dramatic look, use a bronzer. Apply with a soft-angled powder brush, buff into the temples and under the cheekbones, where the natural shadow falls. The reason why it looks so natural is because these are the areas which are sun-kissed, so it is simply enhancing. 

“It’s important to think about the face in 3D. You don’t want the same intensity all across the whole cheek, so make sure to shade appropriately with the contours of your face, enhancing the shadow. Apply it lighter on the top of the cheek and build up under the cheek bone.”

Why are brows important? How should you emphasis them?
 “They completely structure the face. It depends what look the person is after. You can fill in the brow with a pencil for a more dramatic look. For a softer effect, a soft brown shadow works better.” 

Should you use eye shadow? If so what colours?
It really depends what look you are going for. To give a natural feel I would go for subtle colours just to contour the eye. 

“For a more dramatic look you can experiment with bright colours or the classic smoky eye.”

 How should you apply eyeliner and mascara?
For an easy eyeliner application use a soft Khôl pencil. And, depending on your skill level, you can work up to a liquid eyeliner. 

“When applying mascara always start right in the roots. Use a zig-zagging motion pulling up the lashes. The new Grandiôse Mascara (£24.50) is great for this because its swan neck allows you to get right into the roots of the lashes.”

What shade of lipsticks work?
 “Choose the perfect pink by matching to the closest shade of your gums.

“To ensure you get the pure pink shade as it looks in the bullet, prime your lips first with a little balm and concealer and blend it around the edge of the lips and on top to create a blank canvas. Always line the lips with a lip liner, filling them in to create a base for a long lasting colour. 

“Pearl or shimmer finishes in pink lipstick are dated, so going for a lipstick with pure pigment, such as Rouge in Love (£21.50, comes in several shades), will give your look a more modern finish.”

If you normally go for a nude lip, should you wear colour?
 “A rosebud stain can look really modern even for daytime. Blank out lips with concealer making sure they are well moisturised. Then blot a rich colour into the middle of the lips with fingers. Alternatively, experiment with orange and tangerine reds.

 “Matt lips look best with a bold bright colour although matt can be drying and I would avoid it, if you have small lips. 

“If you are in your 20s feel free to experiment and go for something really on-trend.”

 By Daralyn Danns

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Spotlight on Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect Shampoo and Conditioner

When you receive a press release that starts with the words “we  are all too familiar with the frustration of bad hair days” you have to read on just in case this could be the miracle that could banish them forever. 

Sadly, it seems the 'miracle' will not get rid of them completely, but the message goes on to say: “Pantene Prov-V scientists have made it their mission to give you your best-ever hair day.”

So, I had to put the Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect Shampoo (£2.99) and Conditioner (£2.99) to the test.

The range’s updated formula boasts Antioxidant Damage Blocker technology which, the company says, reduces hair breakage.

Apparently, with every wash our hair is exposed to oxidation damage that can come from copper present in tap water. Reducing copper, according to Pantene, helps prevent the formation of free radicals that can harm the hair’s proteins.

The company goes on to say that with regular use the condition of the hair can improve. Sounds, good, I can hear you say, but does it live up to its claims?

Well, I washed my hair a few times with it and followed with the conditioner. It felt lovely and soft. I still have some bad hair days, but to be honest that is my hair texture, but these products did improve the look and feel and really that is all I can ask for.

By Daralyn Danns

Monday, 17 November 2014

Quick styling tips

It always looks so easy when a hairdresser styles your hair. It seems to be done to perfection within a few minutes. As we all know styling your own hair can be difficult. So, it is always worth picking the brains of your hairdresser to see if they can give you any easy tips and tricks for you adopt at home.

Emma Mitchell at London’s Daniel Galvin salon ( is a mine of information. I rate this lady highly. Her blow-dries last and you always leave the salon with a style that looks done but not over styled.

If you are in a hurry try Emma's tip and add a dollop of mousse through the top of your hair and leave to dry naturally. If you have fine, fluffy hair you will need to blow-dry it, but you can do the top and just rough dry the underneath as people won’t notice this area.

“Volume is back,” says Emma. “Some people will need more than others, so take into consideration your face shape and height.” She suggests using a large round bristle brush when styling. They don’t damage the hair as much as heat-retaining ones.”

Another great idea - from her assistant Tyler - is to twist the hair as you are blow-drying. It is easier than using a brush and will give you waves and bring out the natural movement in your hair. “Decide what size sections you want. You can take two large sections or smaller ones if your hair is shorter,” says Emma. “This is an easy look to do at home and is a good look with this season’s clothes.”

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 14 November 2014

Altis Grand Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal

The glittering lights of Lisbon twinkling in the night lent the city a fairytale air. From the D. Fernando Grill, set on the 12th floor of the Altis Grand Hotel, I lapped up the sweeping views.

There is something about being in a magical place to celebrate your birthday and this restaurant definitely provides a sense of occasion. A happy collision of formal sophistication and laidback charm, the service is intuitive.  If you want attention, you will get it. If you want to take your time and relax you can.

Attention to detail is impressive. The menu comprises traditional Portuguese dishes, all beautifully presented, that send your taste buds spinning with smells and flavours. I plumped for the hot prawns to start followed by a Dover Sole that was so fresh and succulent  that it would have put many top restaurants to shame.

 The D. Fernando Grill,

Wine lovers will be seduced by the Portuguese wines that have been well chosen. Apparently, the owners of the hotel have won awards for some of the wines they have produced  which is obviously why the selection is so good. 

It is always the little things that make an evening memorable. For me it was the unexpected birthday cake and a bottle of bubbly served to me. This is a hotel that goes out of its way to make you feel loved and wanted.

Walking into the newly refurbished five-star hotel, which is in Lisbon’s business district and few minutes’ walk from the famed Avenida Liberdade, I got the feeling that this was a typical business and conference hotel. How wrong I was. The lovely warm welcome I received on check-in and the invaluable help about the city that I got from guest relations made me feel that each visitor was not a number but somebody to be cherished. The Altis Grand has nailed Portuguese hospitality down perfectly.

The lobby

Rooms are comfortable and modern. My deluxe room, done in a palette of greys, ebony and stainless steel, had a sophisticated pared down feel. There are lovely touches  that mean so much, such as the welcoming message on the TV screen and the mouth-watering pastel de nata, a buttery pastry filled with custard, accompanied by a bottle of mineral water waiting for you on arrival. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi.

The buffet spread at breakfast was rather good offering plenty of goodies to entice you.  And once again exemplary service, a theme that echoes around the hotel. 

Another great plus of this hotel is the free shuttle to and from the airport (has to be booked in advance). 

The Altis Grand blends Portuguese geniality with elegance and charm. What more can you ask for?

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there 

British Airways offers a daily service from London to Lisbon three times weekly from £110 return including taxes and charges. Hand baggage only from £80 return including taxes and charges. To book or for more information visit  or call 0844 4930787

It is hard to beat BA when it comes to service on short-haul flights

Hotel Altis Grand is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. For best rates and more information or to book visit or call 020 7380 3658

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Spotlight on Chanel Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15 with mini kabuki brush

This is definitely a “your skin only better” foundation. Having a superb velvety texture, this innovative powder gives you the finish of a fluid foundation, so you have perfect-looking skin that glows.

The secret is the combination of two powders that meld with the skin’s surface. As it contains canola oil, this new foundation, is also lovely and moisturising. 

You can choose the level of coverage you want. The mini kabuki brush makes application easy. It has been cleverly designed to pick up just the right amount of powder to give you flawless looking skin. If you want more coverage, layer up.

Chanel Vitalumière Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15 with mini kabuki brush may change your make-up routine forever. It comes in five shades and costs £55.

By Daralyn Danns