Monday, 27 February 2017

Spotlight on Braun SensoCare styler, £89.99,

I have fine, fluffy hair so I try to resist using straighteners because I know that the can heat can damage the hair. Indeed excessive use can make your hair become frizzier and drier which in turn can lead to breakage. Heat defence sprays may help to protect your tresses but they are not miracle workers.

For damage limitations some experts have advised keeping the temperature of your straighteners under 180C. So when I discovered the Braun SensoCare styler (£89.99,, which you can use at 120C, I decided to give them a try. (They do reach 200C for those who want it.) They heat up and cool down quickly which is a bonus.

You need to create an individual profile before you use them. Questions about your length, density and colour flash up on the tiny screen so that they adapt the temperature for your specific hair type and number of strokes needed. You also get feedback on the moisture level of your hair, so that if it is too wet to be straightened you will be warned. 

You can also use them manually and select your desired temperature which is my preferred method as I only want to use the lowest possible setting. 

Braun has also kitted the styler out with, what it claims, are indestructible ceramic plates that will not scratch or deteriorate. 

They glided smoothly over my hair and were easy to use. These are a winner with me as I can ensure that I am using the lowest heat possible to achieve the results I want, be it straight or curly.

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 24 February 2017

Update your make-up for spring

It is all too easy to get stuck in a routine with your make-up. Even those who go for a natural look need to update techniques and products as they become more advanced.

Luckily, make-up now is pared back. According to Terry Barber, director of make-up artistry for MAC, using it as a corrective tool is old-fashioned. “The new view on beautification is broken, glossed greased or has a certain (simple) unexpectedness to it,” he explains.

It is all about individuality. There is a rebellion against the “one face fits all”. Beauty is accessible to everybody. Make-up should not be used as a mask but to enhance you natural beauty.

This season Terry feels that you should be thinking washes of colour v opaqueness. And if there is one cosmetic item having a moment, it is gloss.

“What you want is luminosity,” says Terry. “You need to create shine. A matt lip will create drama.” Go for a red or try Mac Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (£17.50) which comes in 12 shades. My favourite is Topped With Brandy, a deep dirty rose.

Gloss lovers should get their hands on Stratagloss Opalite (£18) a sheer light pink laced with gold and blue. It is part of a collection by make-up supremo James Kaliadros for MAC.

Whatever you wear on your lips, you need to ensure that they are in good condition. MAC Lip Scrubtious (£12.50) has instantly become my go-to saviour to save my chapped lips. This sugar-based exfoliator gently buffs away dry and flaky skin. The formula is infused with conditioners that leave lips soft and moist. They are available in five flavours. I love Fruit of Passion.

To create a radiant complexion Terry suggests mixing a drop of MAC Strobe Cream (£24.50) into your foundation and pressing it on to the cheekbones with the heel of your hand. “This will make it look as if it has been done with skin care and not by make-up,” he points out. “If you use too much highlighter you can see bits of frost.”

For a great selection of eye colours take a look at Glamorize Me (£36, MAC) a lovely palette of six wearable classic shades with a twist from make-up artist Diane Kendal They have a lovely creamy texture and blend easily.

Blusher, says Terry, is also an important item this season. It should look like a natural flush, place it high on the cheek bones and brush upward and outward. Forget stripes or placing it on the apples of the cheeks. 

“Make-up should look like it belongs to you. It is about making smart choices,” says Terry. “It is the face as it is but better, not day drag!”

By Daralyn Danns

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret has a new limited edition label by London-based designer Luke Edward Hall

Lip-smacking blackberry and blackcurrant flavours silky-soft on the palette. Yes, there is something comforting about drinking a glass of good claret on a cold winter’s night.

Following the success of last year’s limited edition “Paul Smith” label, Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret (£9.75, now has its second one. Not only does the wine taste good, the bottle looks great as well.

The latest collaboration is with London-based illustrator and interior designer Luke Edward Hall. His label depicts his version of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.

According to Geordie Willis, creative director at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Luke was picked because he is one of the capital’s most exciting young designers. The pairing of the UK’s oldest wine and spirits merchant with the new and fresh is an exciting proposition for this much-respected company.

“I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to design a bottle label for Berry Bros. & Rudd's iconic Good Ordinary Claret. As a fan of 'Graeco-Roman myths and legends' since childhood, it was natural for me to illustrate a label inspired by Bacchus, god of winemaking and his wild Bacchanalian parties. I wanted it to be very colourful and eye-catching too – I used a variety of my favourite materials to create the design – paints, pencils, chalks and pastels,” commented Luke Edward Hall.

There are only 4,000 bottles with this label so you need to be quick off the mark to ensure that you get one. I like the bottle so much I am keeping it to use as a vase.

By Daralyn Danns