Beauty Bible Loves

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

Strong eye make-up is autumn’s signature.  (Viz:  yesterday’s fab palette from Urban Decay on Beauty Bible Loves.)

The challenge:  getting rid of every last atom, before bedtime.

Well, this does the job gorgeously – and at a seriously gorgeous price:  most ‘dual-phase’ eye make-up removers are several times the price.

Featuring soothing cornflower, it’s dermatologically- and ophthalmologically approved.  (And we can testify to its gentleness:  Jo’s super-sensitive to many eye make-up cleansers, but has no problems with this.)  Where it really comes into its own is with waterproof mascara, which it sweeps away with what we can only describe as nonchalance – yet leaves no greasy residue.

The only downside:  for whatever reason, this Nivea ‘find’ isn’t anywhere on-line, so you’ll actually have to get yourself to a bricks-and-mortar store and keep your (smokily made-up) eyes open for it, there.

UK readers find Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-up Remover at Boots stores/£3.36 for 125 ml




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Before you faint at the price, let us explain that one pump dispenser of this truly fabulous product, based on emu oil (we promise no beast or bird is harmed) has lasted Sarah for four months, used pretty well daily.  It is so intensively moisturising that you really do only need a small amount to keep feet luscious.

Now, as beauty editors, we get sent vat-loads of products every week.  (Make than van-loads.)  Kicking around the office we probably have a have a boxful of foot creams to slosh on.  But we are so mad about this product that we go out and buy it (well, stay in and buy it, as below).  And that’s testimony to its instant effectiveness and ongoing benefits.

We are both almost fetishistic about keeping our feet cherished and nourished, actually.  We walk all the time, and one of our long-term beauty mantras is ‘happy feet = happy face’, because there is nothing more painful than hobbling around on hard skin.

Plus feet need to look good in party sandals and – of course – should your tootsies encounter another pair at the bottom of the bed, soft toes and heels are much more inviting.

What price kissable feet, eh…?

UK readers find Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion at£25 for 200 ml – buy here
(Do go via the Victoria Health page on our site, though, at, to enjoy an automatic 5% discount added at checkout)


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For the contents alone, we’d be lusting after this new Balance Me Beautiful Skin kit.

But the gorgeous gold bag kinda brings out our inner rap star – because (in a good way) we have been gold-diggers from way back.

As regular readers know, Balance Me – founded by sisters Rebecca and Claire Hopkins – is a favourite brand of ours, and this is either a fab way to discover the range in useful trial sizes, or (if you love it as much as we do) to get your hands on the range in a format that’s travel-friendly.

Inside this, then, you’ll find four treasures.  There’s 100% Natural Radiance Face Oil with its unique blend of eight essential oils.  To soothe and brighten tired eyes, find Wonder Eye CreamSuper Moisturising Body Wash is exactly what it says on the tin (er, bottle) – but the pièce de résistance is Super Moisturising Hand Cream, winner of an Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Award, and one of the most fah-bu-lous hand-softeners ever.

Several times lately, Jo’s been using it on public transport (like the good beauty editor she is, making the most of ‘down-time’), and strangers have asked her what the glorious scent was.  And been surprised to discover:  it’s a hand cream, not a perfume.

What we plan to do, then, is slip the travel sizes in our spongebags – and decant our make-up into bag itself.

Which doesn’t just deserve a gold star:  it is a gold star.

UK readers find Balance Me Beautiful Skin Kit at£20 – buy here

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Cue theme from Jaws.

It’s coming.

Christmas is really coming.

Normally we’d still slightly be in denial, right now, but these crackers are so gorgeous we’re prepared to acknowledge that yes, the festive season is approaching.

And these are what we want to pull (as it were), at the Christmas dinner table.  Grab one end of Lancôme’s special Christmas crackers – and scramble on the floor (for ’twas ever thus) for a luxury sample of Visionnaire, Génifique, Hypnôse mascara, Absolu Rouge Lipstick, Juicy Tubes or Bi-Facil.  They come with a festive hat, and a beauty tip, which makes a nice change from a dreadful cracker joke.  (As for the chaps?  Oh, buy some cheap red crackers and mix-and-match;  they’re men and they’ll never notice the difference…)

We may just theme our table around these, meanwhile.  (Not difficult, with a red cracker, but they should look beautifully festive.)

So:  Santa, bring it on.

UK readers find Lancôme Christmas Crackers exclusively at Selfridges

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This is a bit of a dream come true, to be honest.

As you probably know, we’ve been on a 17-year crusade to help women identify the best beauty products out there – with the help of 20,000 testers who’ve enrolled in the trials for our series of Beauty Bible books.

At the same time, in the past year or so, we’ve become rather enamoured of one particular, trusted ‘beauty box’ company, Latest in Beauty, who – unlike some – don’t work on a subscription model, but introduce women to new products through ‘themed’ boxes, where the beauty-loving customer knows what she’s getting.

So:  when Latest in Beauty asked if they could ‘theme’ a box based on The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, it seemed like the perfect match.  Not only have we already whittled down 4,000 age-defying products to help readers identify what really works:  this box allows you to try many of the award-winning products before you spring for a full size.  So you can tell if you like the texture, fragrance, if it works for your skin – and discover any ‘instant’ benefits.  (Actually, there’s even a full-size award-winning lip pencil in there, from Inika, which is one of our favourites.)  We applaud brands who are happy to offer sample sizes – because that alone shows immense trust in a product.

The beauty brands who want to introduce their winning products to you in this collection include Lulu’s Time Bomb, Balance Me, Elemis, Liz Earle – and more, including Temple Spa, whose Skin Truffle cream is the highest-scoring ‘miracle’ product we’ve ever, ever trialled. The value, amazingly, is £90 – but the price is just £19.95, plus £2.95 p & p.

We suggest you click here to read the full run-down, and get clicking because Latest in Beauty tell us that the first ‘run’ of limited edition boxes is scampering out the door.

So when it comes to discovering dream creams, super-serums and age-beating make-up that really works, it helps to think ‘out of the box’.

As long as it’s ‘our’ box…!

UK readers find the Latest in Beauty Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Box/£19.95 plus £2.95 p & p – buy here


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Lovely, home-grown Lyn Harris is one of our most talented perfumers. We’re huge fans of Miller Harris Un Aire de Rien, Citron Citron (one of the best reasons to visit Firmdale Hotels, where they savvily have the hand wash and cream in the loos), La Fumée… (You can read Jo’s rave about that particular fragrance, here.)

But Lyn’s fragrances, with their high-quality ingredients, have until now always been priced at the ‘splurge’ level. Birthdays, anniversaries, special treats etc.

Not surprisingly, then, her By Lyn Harris Perfumer London fragrances have skyrocketed to the top of the sales charts at M&S Your Beauty, the new beauty ‘concept’ department currently rolling out across the UK at lightning speed. There’s Le Cologne: a classic citrus (and unisex, with it). La Fleur, pulsing with white gardenia and Indian tuberose, shimmering above soft woods. Le Noir: deep, dark and smokily, with its amber and patchouli base. La Rose is – as the name suggests – a perfect rose concoction, while Le Sauvage is the one you’ll be buying for his side of the bathroom shelf (then nicking): zesty with orange and grapefruit, with an aromatic heart underpinned by classic vetiver/oakmoss/tobacco.

But our absolute favourite – as a couple of Shalimar-lovers from way back – is La Poudrée, a fabulous Oriental with nuances of peach and raspberry among a wafting cloud or iris, orange flower, rose, vanilla and musk.  It’s utterly divine (and has elicited lots of ‘ooh, what are you wearing?’ comments which is always the best sign.

And what’s that other ingredient we’re trying to get our nostrils round…?

That’ll be the sweet smell of success, that will.

UK readers find Lyn Harris Fragrances at selected Marks & Spencer stores (those with Your Beauty department) and£25 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum – buy here


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We’ve always loved double duty beauty products – lipsticks you could use for blushers, for instance – but when BB creams came in, we were a bit less than excited.  To be honest, it just sounded like another bit of marketing hype.

And in a way, it was/is!  BB creams are mostly just another name for the best tinted moisturisers.  But whatever the brands choose to call them, some are truly great additions to our make-up bags.

Sarah is having a small rave about Yves Rocher Peau Parfaite (the name goes on and on…and on), which claims to be a truly multi-purpose product that gives you 24-hour moisturising, evens out skin tone, hides imperfections and signs of fatigue, smooths skin, amplifies radiance and protects against external aggressions (that’s down to the white tea, a potent antioxidant).

Does it perform?  In short, yes.  It makes your complexion look soft and dewy, certainly evens out skin tone, and camouflages small blemishes and pigmentation (you might need a whisper of concealer as well, depending on how good your skin is).

It’s a great everyday, lightweight, between-seasons skin enhancer.

BB?  Stands for Bloody Brilliant, in this case.

UK readers find Yves Rocher Peau Parfaite Sublime Skin 6 in 1 BB Cream/£18 for 50 ml at - buy here

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Bird-phobics, click away now.

Packaging junkies:  stay right here and feast your eyes on this.

We predict that Tara Smith’s haircare – which just landed in M&S Your Beauty – will be ruffling a few feathers in the hairdressing world, proving that it’s possible to get great results without resorting to harsh detergents or synthetic chemicals.  It’s vegan, and – as superstylist Tara explains – ‘is tested on film stars, not on animals’.

Featuring some of the most stop-you-in-your-tracks designs that we’ve ever seen gracing a haircare bottle, this is a capsule collection which targets specific hair issues:  frizz and wayward curls (the Working Curls range), dull hair (Shine On), sensitive scalps (Gorgeously Gentle) and flat or thin hair (Feed the Root).  There’s a small selection of stying products, too:  Shining Moment Glosser (featured here), Rock Hard Hold Gel, and what Tara describes as a ‘Base Coat Serum‘, which is a bit like a primer for hair:  it ‘preps’ hair for other styling products, or (used on its own) simply smooths the hair shaft with lightweight borage oil, for gloss and manageability.

An exciting addition to the natural haircare world that’s worth tweeting about, we’d say.

Or maybe squawking.




UK readers find Tara Smith at£5 – 14 – buy here


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You won’t often find gifts-with-purchase on Beauty Bible Loves – because we don’t, often.  (Love ‘em, that is.)

But who could resist this?  The most gorgeous black-patent-and-knicker-pink shoe-carrying case, free with any 60 ml purchase of this bestselling fragrance, while stocks last.  (You might like to read Jo’s review of Jimmy Choo  on The Scent Critic, here, which talks about its sherbety topnotes, salted caramel tones – and the powdery dry-down of this chypre scent.)

We know it’s going to sashay right off the counter – the gift’s at department stores nationwide – so we suggest:  unstrap your heels, and get your skates on.


UK readers find the Jimmy Choo Shoebox/free with any 60 ml – the Eau de Toilette is £44, the Eau de Parfum £49

PS  To read Jo’s review of Jimmy Choo, see her blog posting on The Scent Critic - here


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‘Cult’ is a word oft bandied-about in Beautyland.

But when it comes to Bumble and bumble Spray de Mode, it’s no cliché .  This hairspray really does have its own stellar fan club, who rely on its fixing power to ensure that catwalk ‘dos’ and Vogue photoshoots are not wrecked by drooping tendrils or slipping chignons.

And for the first time, it’s available in the UK.  Spray de Mode is one of those beauty souvenirs that hairdressers would schlep back from the States in their (excess) baggage.

Now, we’ll ‘fess up that we’re not hairspray girls ourselves – but we know so many stylists who rave about this that we wanted to share, nonetheless.  It holds firm, yet is flexible.  (No ‘helmet-head’ with this.)  The how-to, apparently, is to hold the can 10 inches away and spritz in ‘fluid strokes’.  It can also be sprayed onto sections and ‘fixed’ with heat tools.

So:  spray it again, Sam.  (McKnight, that is…)

UK readers:  Bumble and bumble Spray de Mode at£21.50 for 300 ml - buy here (NB  Spray de Mode’s flying off the shelves so fast they can barely keep it in stock, but if it’s not on the site, there’s a button you can click – and they’ll e-mail you when a new consignment lands)
US readers find it at £15 for 4 oz – buy here

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