Friday, 22 January 2016

Make-up to make you look wide awake

At this time of year it is all too easy to look and feel tired. While a splash of cold water can help to make you appear livelier and slathering moisturiser on can make your skin look dewier, some make-up applied strategically will make you look well rested.

Here are some tips from make-up maestro Terry Barber, Mac’s director of make-up artistry.

To make your eyes look lifted, Terry’s top tip is to brush brows up. Fill in any gaps with a pencil or powder, whichever you prefer.

“Curl your lashes,” says Terry. “This will open up your eyes.”

If, like me, you do not like the idea of using a lash curler, try a mascara such as Mac Gigablack Lash (£15) to create curl. 

To hide dark circles, Terry advises applying a concealer in a banana shape under the eyes. “Don’t go too close to the eyes,” he adds.

Do not apply concealer over any fine lines or crows-feet, it will only sink into them and make them look worse.

Ensure your concealer matches your skin tone exactly otherwise you will end up drawing more attention to yourself. MAC has a good range.

Another one that works for me is Clarins Instant Concealer 01 (£21.50). It brightens the under-eye area and is long-lasting. It also does not draw attention to fine lines. Those that have dry skin should moisturise well before applying.

Terry’s trick to make eyes look more wide awake is to use a neutral soft shimmer eye shadow in the inner corners of the eyes. Clinique All About Shadow Singles in Sugar Cane (£16) is ideal.

You can also try Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector (£25.50) to make you look more wide awake.

A dusting of rosy blusher, not too ruddy, says Terry will add life to your complexion.

My favourite is Bobbi Brown Blush in Pastel Pink (£19.50). This pretty pinky-lilac powder melts into my skin giving the effect of being lit within.  

Finish with a lip balm to give your lips a healthy sheen and to prevent them from drying out.

By Daralyn Danns

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Coping with hair loss

We all think of hair as our crowning glory. But, at a media event the other week, I was talking to a dermatologist who said that an increasing number of women were coming to her with concerns that they were losing their hair.

This can have a devastating effect on the way a woman feels about herself and can knock her confidence considerably.

There are many reasons for hair loss and it does not affect just the over-65s, it can also have an effect on the young. Hair can gradually become thinner or be lost totally over time. It can also happen suddenly.

Illness can play a part as can medical treatments such as chemotherapy and, it has been reported, severe stress can be a culprit. It can also be genetic. 

I asked Marilyn Sherlock, clinical trichologist and chairman of the Institute of Trichologists, for her thoughts.

“Try to find out what the cause is. Seek expert advice. There may be a treatment that will help you,” she said. 

She also pointed out that there are a lot of manufacturers selling products that claim to cure hair loss. Before you open your wallet and waste your hard-earned cash you should talk to your doctor, a dermatologist or a tricologist ( for their opinion.

Marilyn told me that she was finding that younger women were suffering a lot of hair breakage due to the extensive use of extensions.  Not only can they cause pain, but they can also cause problems such as bald patches.If you have to use them, keep them for special occasions only.

If you are over-colouring your hair, this too could be harmful to your tresses. “Root retouch rarely causes hair loss, “says Marilyn, “But bleaching over bleach can be harmful.”

A good tip from Marilyn, if you think your hair is thinning, is to use a volumising shampoo and conditioner. This will coat the hair and make it look thicker. Many brands including Dove and Rahua, an organic haircare range, make them.

Hair needs to be cared for whatever texture you have. Marilyn advises not to over-expose your hair to heat as this can damage the it. Air dry as much as possible and limit your use of curling irons and straighteners.

“If you have long hair, don’t rinse out all the conditioner, leave some in to help protect it.” says Marilyn.

Use your fingers to comb through your hair rather than a brush. If you need a brush for styling use a soft natural bristle brush. If you find that a plastic brush works for you, all well and good. On finer hair it may make the hair static and may not give you as much tension when styling.

Marilyn recommends Kent Hairbrushes. G B Kent & Sons has been manufacturing brushes since the eighteenth century and carries a royal warrant.

For styling advice always ask your hairdresser. And remember a healthy diet is a vital weapon in having lustrous locks.

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 15 January 2016

Dining at the Lalezar Grill House, Hotel Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik

When executive chef  Özgűr Dönertaş offered to cook me a special Dalmatian seafood dinner at the Lalezar Grill House, the haute-cuisine restaurant at the Hotel Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik, I was beyond delighted.

Hotel Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik

This man has toiled in the kitchens of many top restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, so I knew I was in for a real treat.

The elegant restaurant specialises in using local food served up with a touch of Turkish spice. As well as offering great seafood the steaks here are first class.

My first course was a scrumptious octopus salad with anchovies. The fish had all been caught that day so this truly was from sea to plate. This was followed by a delicious prawn and squid dish with a light lemon sauce which had just the right amount of tang.

 Lalezar Grill House

Sea bass which melted in my mouth was the main event. Each course was a good-sized portion (I am fed up of going to restaurants where you have to look for the food on the plate) and beautifully presented.

Wine has been made in the Dubrovnik area for centuries and while the industry has had its trials and tribulations, Croatia is fast gaining a reputation for its high quality wines. There are, apparently, over 60 indigenous grape varieties, with white wine accounting for the majority produced. Many people produce their own at home which they use for personal consumption.

Guided by Özgűr I tried a local Malvazija, a full-bodied white that oozes flavours of apples and peach. It lingers long on the palate and works especially well with fish.

Octopus salad with anchovies 

I also tried a glass of Pošip from the Krajančić winery. Gooseberry-drenched, this zesty wine is really pleasant to drink.

From sea to plate

For sparkling wines, it would be hard to beat one from wine producer Tomac in Plešivica. The wines are not too sweet, have just the right amount of acidity and are extremely drinkable. This family has been in the business for over 200 years so it should know a thing or two about wine.

Lovers of red wine won’t want to miss sampling Dingač. This is a hearty number with nuances of plums and spice. It is the perfect accompaniment to a fillet steak.

Even though I was full, it is hard to turn down chocolate, especially Özgűr’s delicious small cake oozing a velvety-rich chocolate sauce served with homemade vanilla ice cream.

This was a real foodie experience. Thanks, Özgűr for the most unforgettable meal.

By Daralyn Danns


Getting there

British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Dubrovnik from £62 each way. For connections from regional airports and to book visit
Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is a member of Great Hotels of the World Premium Collection. Double room rates start from EUR 84.80. For more information or to book, please visit or call 020 7380 3658.