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Sad but true…

8 Jul

I have a Three Graces announcement to make <fanfare> – on the 1st anniversary of the blog’s birth in August, I will be closing for business. Obviously it’s been a bit quiet on here recently, having started off with nearly a blog a day. Well, I’ve been darned busy.

The freelance malarkey has taken off and I simply don’t have time to make The Three Graces really good. And who wants anything less than really good? I do hope you’ll follow me – I’ll be writing for Tank from now on, and posting at Because Magazine four times a week. There will be videos, news, features and interviews galore to feast on. I’m also writing for a bevy of glossy magazines and so The Three Graces spirit lives on.

TTFN friends, and thank you for supporting this little experiment of mine. I’ve loved it and will miss these purple walls a whole lot.

Arrivederci x


Chanel Confidential

30 Jun

I’m sure you’re already avid fans of this website, but CHANEL Make Up Confidential is my new online obsession – it’s entirely dedicated to that enigmatic make up created by Peter Philips. Featuring animated still life montages, tutorials by the wonderous Lisa Eldridge and a round-up of new season products, it’s definitely one for the favourites tab.

Today, Selfridges London is dedicating two windows on Oxford Street to the Chanel robots that appear on the site. There will also be a robot animation on the Chanel counter where you can choose and buy your favourite shade of the lipsticks and eye palettes used to create the little guys.

“A few years ago I made these little robots as part of a headpiece I created for a tribal makeup shoot – that’s where the idea first came from, ” Peter explains, “I then had the chance to play with these characters and do an animation. That’s how my little robots came to life”


BeachTomato and Because Magazine up for Handbag awards

31 May

I’d like to suggest you add these two to your ‘Favorites’, lads and lasses. And while you’re at it, perhaps you’ll vote for them to win Handbag awards with the handy link at the bottom of this post?

I started contributing to Kirsty Hathaway’s gorgeous this spring – beautiful design coupled with handy shopping pages and some amazing contributors (Polly Vernon, Indigo Clarke, Bella Pollen…) has created a real buzz. After all, if you can’t spend all day, everyday lying on white sands, what could be better than filling your browser with the world’s best beaches?

I did that little black and white story on the bottom of this beauty page shot – another reason to stop by! (shameless plug).

Second of all is Because Magazine, Tank Magazine’s website collecting fashion, culture and beauty together for you to stop by and admire.

I’m going to be working with this site very soon, so again would LOVE for you to click ‘vote’ in their category, Best Independent Magazine Site. More about them later!

Don’t think of it as ‘influencing votes’, but more of a campaign to see the bestest bits recognized online… Here’s the link should you wish to vote:

Chloe Cheresse: the girls

27 May

I generally love Chloe collections, and am very excited to see what former Pringle designer, Clare Waight Keller is going to do now she’s been brought in to replace Hannah MacGibbon. But another exciting change at the house of Chloe is taking place, as they introduce Imogen Poots and Camille Rowe as the faces of Chloe scent, Cheresse.


Both just 21 years old, English rose Imogen and French model, Camille have the fresh-faced, chic beauty that the Chloe woman embodies – and I love ’em. Look out for the campaign in September, with looks that’ll most likely pre-empt the SS12 show makeup.



Apostle: online natural beauty site

13 May

For green beauty bods like me, Apostle has gathered premium organic and all-natural beauty brands together on one gorgeous shopping site. Handy. Emma and Paul Denham launched the site at the end of 2010, and it’s already got 19 beautiful brands in stock, including several, like Rodin, which have previously been pretty hard to get your hands on if you live outside of London like me. Emma created the site after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the beauty industry’s synthetic ingredients, and the difficulty to establish which brands are truly natural.  “I also became aware that there had been a real change in the quality of natural skincare products available.  Brands like Antipodes have been doing in vitro trials with fantastic results, helping to dismiss the belief that natural is not as effective as non-natural.  I wanted to create a place where people could shop in complete confidence that all the hard work of ingredient checking had been done, somewhere you could come and find great products which really work and which are natural too.” And there are more ranges in the pipeline. “We have a couple of brands lined up to launch in the next few months and we will always be on the look out for great new additions to our range.”

It’s got a whole bunch of my favourite products in stock – go fill your wicked basket with their skin-friendly goodies.

Dior moves on with a new face: Mélanie Laurent

6 May

There’s still no official head of the house today, but Dior are ushering in a new muse to their beauty compound: the exquisite Mélanie Laurent. She is the French blonde siren from Inglorious Basterds, and this year will officiate as Master of Ceremonies for the opening and closing of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Who could be better to represent Dior’s Hypnotic Poison?

Artistic Gel Manicure at Lanes Health & Beauty

1 May

I can’t seem to achieve that elusive ‘life-proof’ manicure – one that lasts longer than a couple of days without cracking, peeling or less-than-cute cuticles. I wash up, I clean, I tap away on my laptop, I do other peoples’ nails, I pull hairs out of the drains – life goes on, my nails go off. So when my friend Julie mentioned her new Artistic Gel treatment, I jumped at the chance to try it. Although I have investigated and seen the chip-proof marvels that are Gellish, Axxium and Shellac, I somehow missed out on actually trying them for myself. But they’re all very similar, so Artistic Gel it is.

I plumped for ‘Vogue’ (natch), a mid-tone lavender-grey with the subtlest hint of shimmer. I love it. And the good news is that after a gel base coat, two gel paint coats and one gel top coat, all sealed in with UV lighting, it should last around 2 weeks. The pictures really don’t do the colour justice, so try it for yourself, PRONTO.

Top tip: Don’t forget your SPF hand cream for the light treatment.

Two weeks later… I’m about to get the nail colour removed but I’m pleased to say I have just one tiny chip – seriously, it’s barely visible – and definitely keen to do it again.

Happy Birthday, Topshop Makeup!

27 Apr

On May 5th, Topshop’s makeup range will have been with us for a whole year. And what a year. I now see the products being used alongside the big cosmetic houses by make-up artists and editors alike. The cream blush is a total hero product, and the kohls – just soft enough without being too greasy – are storming the market. It’s not just appearing in magazines either – I’ve spotted them in several editor’s makeup bags too.

The makeup collection’s designer, Lizzie Dawson has actually worked for Topshop since she graduated over 7 years ago, but designing blouses. She came to the makeup launch with a fashion head on, as Topshop really wanted the brand to reflect their founding tenants of success, originality, fun and that newness that has girls and women all over the country queueing up the latest editions week in and week out.

“They wanted something that was easy to use and really conducive to play,” says Lizzie, “It’s not about precision and time-consuming grooming, they’re as playful, fast and cool as the clothing we go to Topshop for. It’s about experimentation and having fun with colour, mixing it up to make statements about your personality, like you do with the clothes. In fact that’s why trend-led pieces like the eye mousses and nail polishes are small – it’s an affordable way to try something out for a season before moving onto the next. It’s for those girls who go into Topshop once a week to see what’s new – little things they can mess around with.”

Lizzie’s not only a Topshop thoroughbred, and a loyal customer and most importantly a makeup obsessive, so she knew what the Topshop girl would want to buy and how good it would have to be to satisfy other cosmetic junkies too.

“The nail polishes alone went to and from the manufacturers in Italy 10 times before I was fully satisfied,” she remembers. “I wanted the best formulas, things my friends would use. High street makeup can be really bad – I was aware we needed to be sure of the quality before it went out there!”

So she had the 350 girls on the shopfloor trial the products, as well as the designers and directors, to make sure it passed Topshop standards at every level. “These people are fashion-forward and right at the heart of Topshop, which made them the ultimate judges really.”

And I think it’s Lizzie’s obsessive attention to detail that has seen the collections blow a lot of other high street brands out of the water, and really exceed everyone’s expectations.

In a great coup for the beauty world, the makeup is actually designed and produced before the clothing collections, so Lizzie’s makeup actually inspires a lot of the clothes. So for once we’re actually starting fashion trends rather than complementing them! “I do use a lot of fabrics like satin, silk and cotton as swatches for the make-up too though,” Lizzie says, “Mainly to ensure the manufacturers get the textures spot on – the silver polish from the Sandstorm collection was actually based on a piece of metallic leather I found, and the spearmint colour came from a vintage dress I found in Austin.”

So what will the Topshop makeup guru wear for the range’s 1st birthday on May 5th?

“A bright lip – nothing screams sophisticated charm more than a ‘look at me’ statement lip. I’ll go for Infrared, the new vivid orange. If you want to tone it down at all then just pat with your finger and it’ll take the punch out of the colour. Or the birthday nail colours we’ve released to celebrate – precious metals for your nails.”

Jason Wu: from the catwalk to your nails

13 Apr

Legendary US fashion designer, Jason Wu has paired up with industry favourite Creative Nail Design on a collection of 5 fashion-forward nail colours, now exclusive to Creative Nail Design have created the nails for Jason’s last 8 shows, and have now taken the partnership to retail with these limited edition colours.

Spa review: Anne Semonin at Radisson Blu Dubrovnik

12 Apr

I used to review spas for Glamour and so since leaving I haven’t ventured into one, and rather missed it. Back in August, Wella took a group of us beauty writers to the Radisson Blu in Dubrovnik for a trend presentation and new product launch, and I loved it there so much I decided to return. It wasn’t a freebie, I’m not getting paid to review it – I just like to share when somewhere is as lovely as this.

The hotel is impeccably designed, styled, catered and staffed – literally no complaints whatsoever – and the views over the Croatian landscape on one side and the sea on the other are breathtaking. But most importantly, the 3500 square metre spa is just as wonderful.

There’s a real mix of health-spa vibe and pampering here – the gym and workout room keep the active occupied, while holidaying sloths like me had the choice of two indoor pools (one hydrotherapy, the other with a hatch to the outside to catch some sun) around which to recline. There seemed to be a wicker recliner everywhere you stepped, just in case you collapsed in a heap of overly relaxed bliss.  In the warmer months they also put more beds out on the spa’s terrace. The bar in between pools serves a mix of healthy smoothies and indulgent wines. My kinda spa. 

The treatment zone included several steam rooms, saunas, hammams and a cooling plunge pool, with a chic-looking shower at every turn. As per the hotel’s high standards, everything was impossibly clean and well set out, and the stunning views across the Adriatic kept distracting me from my magazine swimming.

Our massages  – The Blissful Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage for me, and the Deep Tissue Massage for my husband – were spot-on. I always think the test of a good masseuse is that you feel both cosseted and challenged – the massage has to move something within you whilst you remain utterly relaxed. Mine did just that, and another sign of a good masseuse – her hand didn’t leave my back once. The Anne Semonin products used in the treatment and available all over the hotel suited me down to the ground – a blend of essential oils and trace elements make them gentle giants of skincare. In fact on returning home I bought The Botanical Body Oil as a reminder.

I cannot recommend this spa highly enough, and in the summer you’ll have access to the various outdoor pools, gazillion restaurants and private beach too – get booking.