Friday, 29 April 2016

Spotlight on Zelens Lip Oil Treatment

Having suffered with dry lips for as long as I can remember, I am always on the lookout for products that promise to hydrate and smooth them. So, when I heard that Zelens, the company developed by plastic surgeon Dr Marko Lens, had brought out a new lip oil treatment, I had to get my hands on it.

Containing nine plant oils laced with botanicals, vitamins, peptides and other anti-aging goodies, this Zelens Lip Oil Treatment (£40, gives dry lips a much needed drink while at the same time helping to protect against environmental damage. It makes lips look plumper and smoother.

By Daralyn Danns


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Highlights of Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is chaotic. The traffic is noisy and often at a standstill and the streets bustle and pavements are not always in the best condition, so things can get rather heated here. Yet Thailand’s capital city has a distinct fascination.
Bangkok at night
Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand

It’s a melange of extremes, the five-star luxury hotels and skyscrapers fuse with poverty. One of its main draws has to be the people whose friendliness and hospitality is laudable.

At the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market we were inundated with Thais who were not trying to sell us anything but were simply enthralled by us because we were foreigners. The market is crammed with boats from which people sell fruits, vegetables and other foods and the majority of the visitors here are from Thailand. But you should give it a try as a floating market is an experience that you will not forget in a hurry.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand 

The vast Grand Palace, built in 1782, is the big draw. The star attraction is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a block of green jade, it will have you gasping in amazement. 

Temples and markets make excellent memories but what really made this a trip of a lifetime was the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Dining with a view over the Chao Phraya River, was like being on a film set. No wonder, the hotel which was built in 1876, was an inspiration for writers such as Somerset Maugham, Wilbur Smith, and John Le CarrĂ©. It is the perfect escape from the frenetic city.

Riverside Terrace
Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

This year, this legendary establishment is celebrating its 140 anniversary. This grande dame revers its heritage and history, its mystique follows you everywhere you go.

The service is beyond reproach and the facilities spectacular. There are eight restaurants to choose from and if you feel inspired to learn how to cook, you could always enrol at its Thai Cooking School which you get to by the hotel’s shuttle boat.

The historic 140-year-old Authors’ Wing  Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok 

If the feeling of frenzy from the city still drifts after a long day sightseeing, then head to the Oriental Spa and Health Centre, also across the river, for a Thai massage.

Rooms are spacious and comfortable and are decorated beautifully in teak and Thai silks laced with contemporary touches.

Though out this special year, there will be a programme of literary, music, fashion, art and culinary events to celebrate the restoration of the historic 140-year-old Authors’ Wing and Garden Wing of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you should have afternoon tea in the fabled Authors’ Lounge which recently has been restored to pay homage to its classic late nineteenth-century design.

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok epitomises the word luxury. A stay here will spoil you for anywhere else.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

Thai Airways. For flights and best rates visit www.thaiairways

Stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Rates start from THB 11,950 per night (approx GBP 240). For more information or to make a booking, call +66 2 659 9000 or visit

Friday, 22 April 2016

A visit to Sanrizz, Knightsbridge, London

“All rules can be broken when it comes to hair colour,” exclaimed Tina Welsh, manager at Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.

Yes they can, provided you feel that you are in capable hands and not just with somebody who talks a good story and may not deliver. Talking to Tina, I could tell she knew her stuff. So, you might not need to go lighter as you age and those dreaded greys appear. Or, if you have been hankering after a certain hue but are not sure, you may be able to have some test strands.

My roots had started to show big time. You know what I mean, one day they are OK and the next you really notice that regrowth.

I had had the best results using Wella Professionals colourants than I have had with any other and wanted to choose a salon that worked with them, so, I chose Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.
Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.

At the previous salon the colour had been taken through to the ends a few times. As this can be damaging to the hair, I did not want to do it again. Tina agreed. “There are better alternatives that are less harmful to the hair,” she said. “You could use a gloss which will just wash out if you need shine. However, at the moment, your hair is perfect and does not need touching. This time, I will just do the roots and we can judge the situation and what is better for you on your next visit.”

Tina gave me a good consultation. She emphasised how important it is to listen to the client. “You need to not only discuss what they want, but look at his or her features, skin tone, face shape, hair line and texture of the hair. You also need to know the history, in other words, what has been used previously, and where they want to take their hair.”

Techniques are always changing. Tina said that now hair is becoming more muted. Highlights are not as precise as they used to be, they are more blended into the overall colour. It is a more artistic approach.

While you should not follow trends slavishly, it is always good to catch up with the latest methods of applying colourants.

Being in a hurry, I did not want a blow-dry, instead an assistant rough-dried it. It must have looked good as I went to a press launch afterwards and somebody commented how lovely my hair looked. There is a lot to be said for simplicity.

By Daralyn Danns

For more information about Sanrizz, visit



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Spotlight on Cire Trudon Cyrnos

When it comes to scented candles, it is hard to beat Cire Trudon. The company is a specialist, it has been making candles since 1643. The new Cyrnos (£70, John Lewis) is a stunning edition to the range.

Its lovely warm citrusy fragrance makes you think of warm nights spent in Mediterranean gardens. It burns for 55-65 hours so you will get plenty of enjoyment out of it. So whatever the weather this summer, you can create your own glow at home.

By Daralyn Danns

Monday, 18 April 2016

Spotlight on La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream

Some years ago I was told by a leading dermatologist that he did not believe in sensitive skin until he met me. So I feel I am justified in using this term to describe my skin.

I was beyond delighted when I learnt that Chanel has just launched La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream (£58). The same skin guru also advised me to look for creams that are not overloaded with ingredients. The less in the product, the more chance you have of not having a reaction.

La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream is a soothing cocktail of 10 ingredients which includes the antioxidant-rich Silver Needle white tea.

Well, never mind the science bit, I always say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I had no reaction on first use – a good sign – and my skin also looked and felt great. The cream has a lovely buttery consistency which soaks into the complexion and does not leave any greasy residue.  

Chanel is on to a winner with this fragrance-free potion. No redness in sight, my sensitive skin is thrilled to bits with its new treat. 

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 8 April 2016

Destination Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo fascinates, inspires and energises yet it also has an air of mystery. Depending on which street you turn down you can be propelled into the future or be discovering long-established customs and unravelling layers of centuries-old history. Here the past and the future collide harmoniously.

This frenetic and sprawling metropolis has plenty of what you would expect to see in a modern city, dazzling neon lights, skyscrapers, cutting-edge technology, oh and the crowded trains. Tokyo also clings to tradition. Slotted in amongst this futuristic world are ancient shrines, old-fashioned houses and shops. It this extraordinary heady mix of the common-place and the alien that makes Tokyo the most exciting place that I have ever visited.


It is the most densely-populated cities in the world, but it is astounding that despite having a population of over 13 million it throbs to a rhythm of efficiency. Pavements are spotless, street crime is said to be rare, and we could only wish that our train service was as punctual. 

Whatever you are in Japan’s sizzling capital city for, you will certainly be impressed by the politeness of the people who are always willing to help you. If you cannot find somebody who speaks English, you will be amazed how easy it is to communicate with your hands when you get lost which, in my case, was frequently.

The food here is sensational. You may have thought you have had Japanese food at home but the quality here is no comparison so prepare your taste buds for a culinary onslaught. Whether want a snack or want to visit one of the many Michelin-starred restaurant or something in between you will be spoilt for choice. There are plenty of places, especially at lunch time, offering set menus which are tremendous value.

Cherry blossom
© Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Tsukiji, the world’s largest fish market is the place to go for lovers of seafood. If you go early in the morning you can see the tuna auctions taking place. A good place to go if you are suffering from jet lag and want to try a typical Japanese breakfast. It was the one and only time I felt up to eating sushi for the first meal of the day.

Best to check with your concierge that Tsukiji is open to the public before going. It is, reportedly, moving to a new site in the Toyosu district at the end of 2016.

A lovely time of year to visit Tokyo is in the spring when the cherry trees are in full bloom. The blossom makes the city look pretty especially if you take a walk in Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the city’s largest parks. It provides a welcoming respite from the hectic street life. 

Sensoji Temple
©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

After visiting Sensoji, known also as the Asakusa Kannon, a Buddhist temple, founded in the seventh century, the oldest in Tokyo, I headed off to try out the Metro system. The city has so many districts, which are like miniature cities in their own right.

My first stop was Shibuya Station to walk across the renowned intersection. This is some experience. All the traffic lights stop at the same time and then the swarm begins as all the immaculately-dressed pedestrians pour out from everywhere. For one terrifying moment I thought I would be crushed but I walked with some extremely courteous locals who took me under their wing and arrived at the other side in one piece. (Shibuya Station is now under reconstruction so prepare for a little pandemonium.)

Shopping is one activity you have to partake in while in Tokyo. Each neighbourhood has its own identity. I just sampled a few. Shibuya is crammed with trendy boutiques and department stores and is where a lot of fashion trends are born. Shinjuku is chaotic but fun. If you only have time for one make it Ginza where among all the high-end shops and stores are plenty of lovely craft shops. When you see how beautifully purchases are packaged you will not be able to resist temptation.

Mount Fuji
©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

A day out to Mount Fuji, Japan’s most legendry symbol and highest peak has to be one of my highlights of the trip. This sacred snow-capped dormant volcano rising majestically into the sky surrounded by so much natural beauty is a marvel no picture can truly capture.

When somebody asks me where I would go back to if I was given a ticket to anywhere, I instantly reply Tokyo. Its compelling juxtaposition of yesterday and tomorrow makes it special.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

Japan Airlines. For information about flights and fares visit

Stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. Extemporary service at this highly-regarded hotel. Rates start from JPY55, 999 per night on a B&B basis (approx. GBP 350). For more information or to make a booking, call +81 3 3270 88 00 or visit