Beauty Bible Loves

From the bestselling Beauty Bible team: our latest product finds and classic faves – because they're worth it!


Autumn.  Hmmm, funny time for a bronzer launch.

But this isn’t for the beach – it’s for the ballroom, or at the very least the office Christmas party.  (They’ll be upon us before we know it.)

Award-winning fake-tan-meisters He-Shi have packed this instant bronzing gel with hydrating elements (including vitamin E/quinoa protein) – but what we love is the shimmery glimmeriness of it.

Little particles of sparkle enhance an existing tan – and the bronzing gel is ‘buildable’, meaning you can layer it for extra depth of bronzitude.  (And extra dazzle.)  Great all-over, or simply across the décolletage, on arms/shoulders – and shins.  (Good news, meanwhile:  it’s very reasonably-priced.)

October may only just be upon us, but we say:  bring on the mistletoe.

UK readers find it at£10.50 for 150 ml – buy here


Read More

Tan on the wane…?

Exfoliation helps keep it bright.  But as well as scrub-a-dub-dubbing, we’re rather taken with this oil, which adds a silky veil of argan-enriched bronzitude to post-summer skin.  (There we go:  that ingredient again…)

Douvall’s Argan Bronzing Oil is especially good on fading forearms, we’ve found.  (Though do give it a few minutes to sink in if you’re wearing white or getting back into bed, because unlike some instant tans, it doesn’t ‘set’ immediately – ‘cos it’s an oil, duh…)

But the combination’s lovely and super-realistic:  oil and mineral make-up pigments, effectively delivering the sun-kisssed glow.  Might be too much faff for a whole body, but exposed shins or forearms that are becoming a bit pastier than you’d like?  Perfect.

The small dropper bottle’s probably all you need at this time of year, for tan top-ups, but there’s a bigger version, too, for holidays (or when summer swings round again).  If you want to try-before-you-buy, it’s at Urban Retreat at Harrods, which is always worth a beauty-mooch.

Douvall’s is an organic, ethically-produced range from Alicia Douvall, a vegan, world-travelling mother, actress and model, who – like us – first stumbled upon argan’s powers while in Morocco.  But despite the fact it’s the ingredient du jour, we’re huge fans of argan – and pleased to find this innovative way to apply it.

Because we’re really, really not ready for the sun to set on summer, just yet.

UK readers find Douvall’s Argan Bronzing Oil at£14 for 15 ml – buy here



Read More

File this under ‘magic’.

We’re not sure why it works – but it delivers on its promise.

They tell us, actually, that Stila Custom Color Blush reacts with the skin’s pH – and the results with this luminous finish one-shade-fits-all innovation are certainly completely individual and personal.

So get over the fact it looks like Self-Adjusting Bronze looks like Just Another Bronzer, in the palette.  Because it’s so NOT:  swirl onto cheeks with a big, fluffy blush and magically the colour mutates to your perfect just-flushed glow.  A touch sun-kissed, for sure, but with the absolute perfect rosy glow, at the same time.

Very becoming indeed.

There are already two other options in the range – Self-Adjusting Coral and Self-Adjusting Pink – which are variations on this.

Try any of the three – and hey, presto!  Cheeks are perfectly, luminously flushed.

Just like that!

UK readers find Stila Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Bronze/£13 at – just click here
US readers find it at$20 – just click here

Read More

It’s that tricky transitional time, complexion-wise, when most of us want to warm up our complexions a bit without coming over all Barbados-bronzed…

This is what’s been doing it for us, whisked over our regular winter shade of foundation to kiss it with the lightest touch of sun.

The stripes – inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s love of sailor tops, naturellement – blend beautifully when swirled with the brush, and perk up the skin while at the same time mattifying it a little – as if you were using the lightest-weight silken powder.  (If you look carefully, there’s the merest whisper of shimmer in the formula, but on the face it adds luminosity, not glimmer.)

Normally we ditch the brushes that come with compacts, but this is a good size.  (Though we still prefer the effect of applying it with our lovely Liz Earle Powder Brush, which you can read about here.  It’s ‘buildable’, so as the season progresses, add more to intensify the effect.

You can also dip a finger and use the darker shade for sculpting, or add a touch of the golden stripe to brows for highlighting. (NB  Go for Sable Beige rather than Sable Rose, we’d say: this peachier shade is universally flattering even on pinker-toned complexions.)

Et voilà!

One gorgeously, slightly-summery face.

UK readers find Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder/£34 – just click here
US readers find it at$60 – just click here

Read More











It is worth drifting by the Benefit counter regularly to check out their kits:  they’re issued pretty regularly, and generally brilliant, packing lots of on-the-go essentials (in lightweight travel sizes) into a nifty and stylish box – like this one, Cabana Glama, decorated on the outside rather like a  faux vintage Airmail postcard.

In our experience, kits and gifts-with-purchase generally feature one or two brilliant products, with the rest duds, but Benefit serve up some crackers.  (Actually, Benefit are crackers – in a good way – but that’s another story.)

This particular option is your get-gorgeous-on-the-way-to-the-beach kit – or (as it’s a little early in the season), more likely back garden or balcony.  It showcases a smudge-on base/concealer (Some Kinda Gorgeous);  cheek ‘n’ lip Posietint;  bestselling Hoola bronzing powder;  rose, cappuccino and milk choccy eye shadows and some applicators (though we rather guess that in our case, these will slip into a parallel universe of lost make-up tools and disappear forever within 5 minutes of acquisition, so you may want to have your own brushes on standby).

But overall, glam in a box – and pretty darned frabjous for getting you in the mood for sunny weekends.

UK readers find it here/£28.50 at
US readers find it here/$36 at 

Read More

It was with the very, very greatest fear and trepidation that we tried Spray di Solé Sun Gelée.

It’s all very well knowing that this bronzer/self-tanner is ‘taking Hollywood by storm’.  But on this side of the pond, in April, it’s going to be used on skin which basically looks like it’s spent winter under a stone.  Serious room for error, here.

At first pump this looks scarily like Camp Coffee (remember that stuff…?).  The thin, tan-tinted liquid’s also reminiscent of Guerlain’s long-lost Teint Créole, which was for years Beauty Bible’s go-to leg tint.  (Very first we ever used, actually.)

The secret weapon, here, is the kabuki brush.  We’d never have thought of putting on a face tint/self-tanner with a kabuki brush – but this one’s synthetic and if you squirt one or two pumps into the bristles, that’s all that’s needed for an immediate glow, and longer-term tanning.  Through the swirling action, it blends amazingly into skin for flawless results (not a word we use lightly) – and because it’s tinted, you can see exactly where it goes.  It features hyaluronic acid so it feels comfy on skin, and make-up goes on easily, on top.

So far, so good.  So far, so nail-biting, nonetheless, because exactly how dark would it go, after eight hours’ development…?  The answer is:  perfectly, lightly sun-kissed.  Jo tried it before the weekend and has ever since had people telling her how well she looks, and ‘is that a Hastings tan…?’  Which it is.  (Hastings being the sunniest spot in Britain.)  A total cheat, however, acquired in her bathroom, where frequent top-ups will be applied during the summer season.

The how-to video on Spray de Solé’s site here suggests it can be used to cover up tan lines, too.  Good wheeze.  And if you’re a real wuss, there’s a Liquid Bronzer version that washes right off again.

UK readers click here to find Spray di Solé Sun Gelée at£42 for 15 ml (including brush)
NB  To take advantage of a special discount at VH, click here for our site, then click through to VH.  Takes a few clicks but worth it to save £2.10, no…?
US readers find it here/$49

Read More

Despite the fact that the late, great Kevyn Aucoin was quite the rudest make-up artist Jo’s ever worked with (on a Yardley shoot in New York that starred Linda Evangelista, FYI), he did leave behind an extraordinary make-up legacy in the form of his signature line.  And this is our new fave rave.

This is a bronzing powder with an ‘ombrée’ finish:  in other words, one end is darker than the other, ranging from a sort of Rio tan at one end to ‘Cornwall cove at the other.  What’s crucial is that it contains not one micromolecule of red tone, to our (somewhat educated) eye, so it goes on true bronze rather than faux Pocohontas.

We’ve discovered it’s great for multi-tasking, which sort of justifies the not-cheapness of the bronzer.  (It should last forever, meanwhile.)  What we’ve discovered is that if you swipe your finger across the darker end, you can quickly shade eyes.  And if you’re into contouring – creating a slightly shadowed look under the cheekbone, or under the chin or along the jaw to sharpen contours – the dark end’s great for that, too.

The Kevyn Aucoin folk claim that it’s got gold, silver and bronze ‘crystal pigments’ to add radiance, but that makes it sound sparkly – and it’s not (we’re not fans of sparkly bronzers on older faces).  It goes on quite matte and satiny, in our opinion, ideally with a big, fluffy bronzing brush.


UK readers find it at Space NK here/£36
US readers find it at Space NK here/$45

Read More