And All That Jazz…..

I met the lovely girl behind the brand All That Jazz when I went to the Olympia Beauty Show and her obvious enthusiasm is matched in this fresh vibrant brand,

I was lucky enough to be gifted two products from the All That Jazz range. The first of these was the nail lacquer in the shade Simply Irresistible. The shade in the bottle is too hard to capture on camera at least with my poor level of camera skills.  The picture below does it’s best to capture the shade but it’s much richer than this. Everyone I saw commented on the striking shade which is described as a blue purple shimmer. It sells at £9.98 here. Oh and I know I should have taken a pic of the varnish while I was wearing it. Yes I know, hindsight is a great thing!

The other little treat was the All That Jazz Vanilla Bee Bar Lotion. It comes in the cutest tin, The small size is perfect for your handbag. Ir’s filled with shea butter, golden jojoba, and packed with natural anti-oxidants, It’s a treat for dry, damaged skin. Perfect for your hands or any little dry areas like elbows. The smell is warm and comforting. It’s a solid bar that melts when warmed in the hands. It’s adorable! It costs from £7.99 here.

Bee Bar

I really like the two things I’ve tried and if I was a betting woman then I’d money on hearing a lot more from this brand!


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September’s Top Ten Posts on Strand on Beauty

I  did this top 10 post last month for the first time and you all seemed to like it so here we go for September (well the last 30 days to be honest but let’s not get picky!)


utumn look 2

Sneaking in at the bottom spot this week is my report of the Superdrug Unlock AW14 event. What a great event, brilliant masterclasses and such an exciting range of products and gifts. Superdrug has really raised it’s game this year!




Slipping back from last month’s fifth place is my Review – Skinade Collagen Drink.  A great product that’s growing in popularity.


NARS Duo Eyeshadow, South PacificThis post was something new for me as it was Strand On Beauty’s top 5 beauty picks from the John Lewis autumn fashion magazine It was great fun to write and I hope you discovered some goodies too!


140807 Dr Organic

In seventh place it’s Pegasus Beauty Showcase – The Sequel! No clue what’s brought this into the chart. I’m guessing its’s because it features a mix of great products.


Vichy Idealia & Liftactiv

In sixth place is my review of Vichy Idealia Life Serum and  Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & LashesLoved both products but the eye product has seen daily use from me – it’s that good!


Olympia View from Balcony

Last weekend’s Olympia Beauty Show was the best day out and it seems that you loved reading about it too!


SkinPEP Collagen Renew

This one came out of nowhere and straight into fourth place! It’s my June empties post. I can only explain this by noting that SkinPep recently linked to it on their website and it seems to be sending traffic my way. I ain’t complaining!


Grace Belgravia2

In the bronze medal position at third place was my report of the Inside Out Beauty event sponsored by the Elixir Clinic and Ark Skincare. Such a lovely event and the people were beautiful inside and out.


3 step system

At the number two spot again this month it’s my review of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System. This is still pretty new and attracting lots of interest. It wasn’t the right mix for my skin but it’s loved by loads of you!


140830 Chocolate Enzyme Peel

At the top of the leader board this month it’s still the amazing LA Skincare who provided the prize for my giveaway. I met Louise at the Olympia Beauty Show last weekend and she turned out to be just as delightful as her products!

That’s my top ten for you! Did any of these events, brands or products feature in your favourites recently? I’d love to hear all about it. Please comment below and do follow me if you haven’t already.

Happy Weekend!


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My Art Pro Nail Experience


I would normally have called this a review but strictly speaking it isn’t one because I haven’t properly tested out the product but I’ve had the best experience with the amazing brand that is ArtProNail.

Hannah began planning my Olympia Beauty experience weeks ago by asking me to list my 5 favourite things and promised that in return I would get a special gift when I visited her stand. I’d forgotten all about it when I arrived but Hannah hadn’t. When I started to introduce myself she already knew my name and my daughter’s. She’d done her research using the list I gave her and here’s what she surprised me with!


My favourite things were: my daughter, my blog, my friends, sunshine and laughter! So she had printed a set of acrylic nails with pictures of my daughter and I, a screenshot of my Twitter feed, the Friends logo, sunshine, and a quote about laughter. They really demonstrated that you can print anything on nails real or false with this machine. The possibilities are unlimited.

Hannah handed us over to a colleague who took time to show me how the machine worked and took a picture of my daughter so that she could print it onto a nail for her to take away too! Brilliant.

Anyway, aside from all the friendliness and fun there is a serious busuness here. Here’s what you need to know if you are a salon or business that might want to buy one of these machines.

The machine was launched in the UK at the Olympia Beauty Show.


Option to change colour of any design by 10 variations

Option to edit designs with built in templates


New designs can be uploaded anytime via USB portal

Software to produce your own designs is included

New seasonal custom designs released to customers by ArtPro Nail UK Limited


Option to take real-time photos for use as nail patterns


Ability to count the number of print times

Software upgrades available

Ability to set passwords and thus limit access

Folders can be created for the classification and management of patterns

Prices start from £1650+VAT for a portable machine and everything else you need to know is here!

Just love this whole concept and would definitely get my nails printed for a special occasion. What do you think? I’d love to see your comments below.


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Make-up brushes – what are they all for? Can’t I just use my fingers?


OK. So I feel like a bit of a fraud. All this time I’ve been blogging and telling you what I think about about make-up and skin care products. I’ve only been using one brush for my make-up. It’s a foundation brush and I use it to swipe on some product and then I smooth it out with my fingers. The thing is, I have no clue how to use brushes, I don’t know what they’re for or what they’re called. There I’ve said it.

To be fair on the whole foundation thing the Space NK assistant told me that NARS sheer glow is designed to be applied with your fingers as the warmth of your fingers gets the product to the right temperature for application.

A week or two ago, I did buy another brush, just a cheapie from Wilko’s to apply highlighter with. It seemed to work quite well and I started to be persuaded that maybe having more brishes would be a good idea but I still didn’t know where to start.

Fast forward to this Sunday when I went to the Olympia Beauty show and I was gifted a whole set of Final Checks brushes from Danielle Everitt. Now I’ve never understood why other bloggers say things like “eek” or “squee” when they are excited but believe me I definitely wanted to shriek both when I opened my lovely gift.



Now remember what I said before – I don’t know one brush from another – and so I e-mailed Danielle and said. What are they all for? And what are they called? Here’s what she said:

My brushes dont have offical names as I always feel like people should use any brush to achieve the look they’re going for and be a true artist. But in the set you do have:

Powder/Blending Check Brush – Great for bare minerals makeup
A first ever rounded foundation Check brush
Blusher/countouring angle Check brush
Concealer Check brush
Blending eye shadow Check brush
Angle brush
Lip Check brush

Final Checks Holder

This 7 piece brush set is made from HD synthetic hair and you can buy it here for £46.99.

Now they look and feel great to me  but I’ve already confessed that I have no idea about make up brushes. What I do know is that Danielle has been a celebrity make up artist for more than 7 years using her brushes on many artists in the editorial and TV industry. Numerous celebrities have purchased the set, complimenting on the softness, style and quality.


So what do you think? Are brushes a must? Does it matter if you just use your fingers? I’d love to hear what you think and do tell me if you like Final Checks brushes.



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Review – Vichy Idealia Eyes

Idealia Eyes

Tonight I was planning on writing about some of the goodies that I picked up at Olympia.Beauty yesterday. But then I realisd that I hadn’t taken any pictures as there wasn’t any sunlight left when I got home and then I remembered that I just had to tell you about this great Vichy Idealia Eyes contour cream that I’ve been using. Now if you’re like me you usually try out all face and eye creams for at least a week before you start to form an opinion of whether the product is doing good things for your skin and how you look.

But the thing is that I just can’t wait that long to tell you about this product!  I was impressed with this product from the moment I took off the lid!

This new generation eye contour idealiser is designed to illuminate, target signs of fatigue, dehydration and ageing. Its intended to make eyes appear brighter, smoother and more awake. But those are a marketing man’s words. For me, this product is so exciting! I loved the applicator that allowed me to see exactly when the cream is coming out and how much and allows me to smooth the cream onto the under eye area without applying pressure or dragging with my finger tips. Immediately I had applied the cream the shadows were gone and my under eye area was perfect! I can’t tell you what a difference it makes and how excited I am to put it on each morning.

The ingredients are great too  – DRM-Bright complex and Vitamin B3 to reduce dark circles, Vitamin CG to smooth fine lines, and Caffiene to energise. And of course there’s Vichy water in there too.

If you want to get your hands on this it’s on offer here for £19.55. I really don’t think you’ll begrudge a single penny of that!


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Olympia Beauty 2014

Olympia View from Balcony

Every time I enter this amazing building I’m in awe of the architecture and the sheer scale of the exhibition space. I was so glad to have the press room to use as a base for a coffee and a seat before I set off on a tour of all the lovely brands. The generous goodie bag that was given to me right at the start of the day also put me in just the right mood.

My first port of call was the Art Pro Nail stand. I’d heard about their innovative computerised printing set up that can print anything at all onto your nails – nail art in a digital world! When I got to the stand I went to introduce myself and discovered that not only did they know who I was but they had already used images from my blog and Twitter and printed them on to a set of acrylic nails! I was blown away, not just by the technology but by the whole package. The customer engagement and service and the knowledge of the brand was absolutely on point. If I had only kept that one appointment my visit would have been worthwhile.



Next on my list for a catch up was the lovely Louise from LA Skin Care. We’ve worked together on a giveaway and tweeted and e-mailed almost every day for a month but never met. The products are great and really work well and she was as lovely in person as she was in the blogosphere!

Next stop was an unexpected one at All That Jazz. I’d seen the brand once before at a show but as I passed by, the man handing out leaflets got tangled in the fringing – and that led to me getting the chance to speak to the lovely Jazz herself. It’s such a fresh young brand with a real buzz about it. I can’t wait to try the nail polish and the Bee Bar that I was gifted.



As I walked on I came across Abdullah who told me about an holistic skincare brand Obey Your Body. The products are rich in Dead Sea Minerals and a demonstration of the gentle facial peeling gel was fascinating.

Another contact that I had made before the show was Danielle Everitt. She has an amazing brush set that’s called Final Checks. I’m so excited to try these. I’ve come really late to the party on this whole make up brush thing. I was just looking at my motley collection of brushes this morning and thinking that I should invest in a proper set and then pow! these came along.

Final Checks

I also tried the Magnetic Mascara from Santhilea. The system is  3 step one that managed to make my short stubby lashes into long full ones. That not an easy thing to do! But I wasn’t able to get one to bring home as they were sold out by1pm! Great news for Santhilea but not for me.MagneticMascara

I can’t tell you how many more amazing brands that I saw and lusted over but there were plenty. I’ll be writing up reviews of the goodies that were in my press bag and some of the lovely gifts that I was given on the way round. So you can look forward to hearing about products from:

  • Alida
  • All That Jazz
  • ArtProNail
  • Australian Body Care
  • Dermalogica
  • Final Checks
  • Docteur Renaud
  • ibd
  • OPI
  • and more

Just before I left I saw Amy Childs at her perfume launch. I could easily have snapped a picture of her but thought that I would be professional and talk to her PR people. Sadly, my press pass and my having worked with another TOWIE related brand held no sway and they told me I could only take a photo if I bought a signed product. They didn’t even try to talk to me about it or share any details. Amy was so lovely and apologetic that she wasn’t allowed to oblige. She is stunningly beautiful and so much more engaging in real life. I really liked her and for that reason I’m going to try and get more info from her PR company. Watch this space. Update The lovely people from Can PR have now been in touch and hopefully I’ll soon be able to update you all about Amy’s products. So a happy ending!

And just in case you haven’t had enough of a flavour for the day then here are a few more snaps of some of you favourite brands.




Morgan Taylor



Thanks so much for visiting my blog today I hope you’ll drop by again soon!



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Review – ARK Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer

Ark goodie bag (2)

I’ve been reflecting on this product, the ARK Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer, and trying to sum up what it does and how it makes me feel and the words that popped into my head were simple – it makes me feel special! Now I don’t know whether it has anything to do with the glamorous surroundings that I was in when I was gifted this,  ( You can read about that here) or whether it’s because it’s beautifully presented but when I’m wearing this I just feel that my skin is  looking the best that it can look and that makes me feel confident.

Let me try to tell you more about the practical side of things rather that my whimsical thoughts!

The purpose of this Anti-Ageing Skin Protector is to perfect and protect. it has a an SPF 30 which is great becuase even when it’s not sunny I want to be sure that I’m protected against UVA and UVB rays.  It creates the perfect base for make-up and helps it to last  all day.

The consistency of the cream is silky but somehow dense – I’m not sure if that’s the right word. It feels like it has goodness packed in. It has vitamin E which is an anti-oxidant and provides photoprotection; shea butter to nourish skin and protect it from free radicals; and sunflower which is packed with vitamins and minerals.

As you apply the cream it appears to be quite white but has you smooth it on the skin it’s easily absorbed. My skin looks not shiny, not shimmery but glowing. Not in an overheated red kind of way, and not with obvious light reflecting particles –  it just has something  indefineable that works like magic! You should use it over your moisturiser either as a base for make-up or on its own. I’m sure that it will make you feel special too.

This award winning product comes in a 30ml pump dispenser that gives you just the right amount so that nothing is wasted. It costs £36.00 here and that puts it just about in my reach. I have a kind of cut-off point of £30 – £40 for any beauty  product  – more than that and it just feels too indulgent and I feel I have to wait for a special occasion to treat myself.

I’ve got some other ARK products that I want to try out but these things take time and I want to give you my honest considered view, so give me a week or two and come back and see what I think!

Ark goodie bag

Do tell me if you’ve tried and ARK products and I’d especially like to hear if you try this ARK Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer.

I’m looking forward to reading all your comments.



PR sample. All views are my own.




September 19, 2014 · 2:44 pm

Review – Thea Age Revival Uplifting Eye Care

I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to discover new brands and what’s even better is when they are as promising as this one. Before I started to write about beauty I would pretty much buy products from a short list of about 5 or 6 brands. I bought what was right under my nose and what I could afford and I really didn’t know what amazing products are out there. I know that I’m only beginning to scratch the surface but little by little I find great brands and meet and engage with some lovely people who have great values and purpose. This brand, Thea, is one of my most recent discoveries. It was founded by Althea Tomlin in 2011. It’s inspired by the fusion of african and asian high performance natural skin care ingredients.

140910 Thea3 (2)


Thea Age Revival Uplifting Eye Care is a gentle high performance uplifting and toning organic enriched antiaging eye cream.  It has an impressive list of natural ingredients that includes: organic aloe juice, hyaluronic acid, organic olive and jojoba oils, organic rooibos tea, organic lavender & pomegranate extract, evening primrose oil and organic blue algae.

For me eye creams are a big deal, at my age I need a lot of help with getting my eyes to look good. As a beauty blogger people take notice of what my skin looks like and the eyes are the focal point. I look for a product that lifts, tightens and smooth my eyelid so that when I apply foundation or eyeshadow it doesn’t settle in the fine lines and crepiness that are a fact of life for me. This eye cream from Thea ticks all those boxes for me. It’s rich and yet not greasy, it doesn’t make me have panda eyes by affecting my mascara and it doesn’t melt when I get warm (which I do often on the way to work on the tube). The most amazing part of it though that it has an almost instant lifting effect that I love!


140910 Thea2


A 15ml pot costs £19.95 here and for me that’s good value. I’ve been using it day and night for over a week and I’ve hardly touched it. If I was to make any criticism of the brand (and believe me its a hard thing to do) it would be that the packaging isn’t as luxurious or professional looking as I would like. I know I’m fickle and that I can’t wear the pot. But I just love my packaging and how my products look on the shelf. Still, I’m planning on trying out more products from the brand and if they deliver like this Thea Age Revival Uplifting Eye Care  has then I’m pretty sure that I can get over how it looks on the outside.

Have you discovered any Thea products? I’d love to hear about them. Do leave me comments below.



I received this product as a PR sample. The views are my own and I wasn’t paid to write this post.


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September 18, 2014 · 10:34 pm

Strand On Beauty’s top 5 beauty picks from the John Lewis autumn fashion magazine

John Lewis have released their fabulous Autumn Fashion magazine online! The magazine covers a fantastic variety of fashion and beauty items and I’ve been asked to pick my top 5!

Now John Lewis is a brand that I think of as being dependable and high quality and of course fair  – they always match prices so you get the best deal.  But to be honest I don’t usually think of them as inspiring but looking at their beauty feature is making me want to spend! Their take on the AW14 palette is a modern refresh of classic shades –  dusty blue eyeshadow, muted red lips, ballerina nails and gleaming skin.

So what about my top 5? In reverse order:


NARS Duo Eyeshadow, South Pacific

This is a brand that is fast becoming one of my favourites. I”ve recently purchased the Sheer Glow foundation. This NARS duo eyeshadow  in South Pacific is definitely on my wish list. It costs £25.00 here.



Lancome Grandiose Mascara in black. With my stubby straight lashes I’m always looking for a magic solution. This product promises “Fanned-out lashes, divine curves. Lancôme reinvents its mascara and unveils a new application technique that effortlessly creates perfectly open, full and even lashes.” It’s got rose cell extract too so I’m sold! It cosrs £24.50 here



Buy Liz Earle Signature Lip Colour Online at

There are a multitude of different shades of red lipstick and I think that there is the perfect shade out there for everyone. This,  mynumber three pick, is by the lovely Liz Earle. Not only is Liz Earle Signature Lip Colour, 02 Hibiscus the perfect shade for this transition from summer to autumn but it’s enriched with a blend of natural source vitamin E, avocado oil and shea butter. If this is your kind of lippy then you can buy it for £14.00 here.


Buy John Lewis COLOUR Nail Polish, 10ml Online at

For my runner up I’ve chosen a slightly girly pink nail polish from the John Lewis Colour range. I know it’s autumn but I just can’t bear to leave summer shades behind. It’s John Lewis COLOUR Nail Polish, 10ml, English Rose. This nail polish is made in the UK  and with a 2-in-1 formula it offers extended wear, and a glossy and chip resistant finish which is water and detergent resistant. Its also Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP free. It ticks all the boxes.  It costs just £7.50 here.


Buy Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup SPF 25, Fresco, 30ml Online at

If you’ve been following me for a while you won’t be surprised that my top pick is from Estee Lauder. It’s the Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup SPF 25. This innovative product provides makeup with serum technology. They claim it brightens and perfect and reduces the look of lines.What’s not to like? It’s a little more expensive than I’m used to but with foundation and serum in one and a SPF25 it may just be worth it. It costs £37.00 here.

So what do you think? Would you have picked a different top 5? Take a look here and let me know what you would choose.


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September 15, 2014 · 10:49 pm

#Inside Out Beauty Event with ARK Skincare and the Elixir Clinic at Grace Belgravia

At the end of a long tiring week I was delighted to arrive at the oasis  of calm that is Grace Belgravia for an event with ARK Skincare and the Elixir Clinic. Tucked away in a select corner of London the women only club houses The Elixir Clinic, Grace Cafe, Grace Gym and Fitness, Grace Medical and even Grace Delivery!

Grace Belgravia2

I was so pleased to be invited to the event by ARK as they were the very first company to approach me to write about their products on my blog. That was in March this year when I had only been blogging for a few weeks. Since then I’ve been an ardent follower of the brand and its progress and have been delighted that they have been winning awards for their gorgeous products.

The welcome from both the Elixir Clinic and ARK was so warm and the detox smoothies and sushi were stunningly laid out and tasted delicious. I should have taken a picture –  it looked so stunning but the evening was so interesting and the people there so engaging that I struggled to find time to fit in all my blogger duties!

Ark products 2

I was introduced to two ARK products that I was fortunate enough to be able to bring home with me in my goodie bag. These were the Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF30 Primer and the Regenerating Skin Defence. The Anti-Ageing Skin Protector SPF30 Primer provides skin perfecting daily defence. It contains Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Sunflower to leave the skin looking flawless all day long. It costs £36.00 here Regenerating Skin Defence is an innovative new treatment serum that uses advance plant stem-cell technology to regenerate skin cells and reveal brighter looking skin. It costs £70 here. I’ll be trying them out ver the coming weeks and you can be sure that this isn’t going to be the last you hear from me on these products.

Ark goodie bag

 While I was there I was also treated to a manicure and I felt really pampered. I was also able to try the full range of ARK products.

Ark products2

 Then before it was time to leave I checked out the ladies room – always a measure of luxury in my book! I think it’s fair to say they passed my test!

Grace Belgravia

 If you haven’t tried any of ARK’s products then you should definitely give them a try. I really don’t think that you will be disappointed.



September 13, 2014 · 2:34 pm