My ‘desert island’ products

The London Lassie lists the latest products everyone should know about…

Lately I have came across so many great cosmetics. There is so much choice on the market so when I find something I love I have to tell everyone about it. Read on for my must-have’s…


The Facial Treatment: 


Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£31.30),

To put it bluntly, this is acid for your face. But don’t be put off. Apply to face and neck once a week at night time and awake to glowing, smooth skin.

The Toothpaste:


Janina (£11.25),

The best whitening toothpaste I have EVER used. It’s pricey for a toothpaste but trust me, your teeth will change colour.

The Facial Oil:


Cowshed Rasperry Seed Antioxidant Oil (£36.00),

I apply this day and night to hydrate my skin and fight London pollution. It makes your skin super dewy and smells amazing.

The Highlighter:


Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter (£24.50),

Apply along the tops of cheek bones, brow bone, length of your nose and on your cupid’s bow for glowing skin.

The Gradual Tan:


FAMOUS DAVE’S GRADUAL 10 Self Tan Lotion/Tan Extender (£17.99),

It’s rare to find a tan that looks good and does good. This bronzing wonder is full of oils and antioxidants to treat your skin as well as making your browner. The best thing is it’s literally streak proof, no matter how badly I apply, I have never EVER seen a streak.

Go beautify yourselves ladies!


The secret to looking like Cara…

…from A-List stylist to the stars and the Victoria Secret Angels, Teddy Charles!

British Vogue cover, January 2014

If you haven’t heard of Cara Delevingne you’re from another Universe, let alone another planet. The internationally renowned model is known just as much for her ability to party as her ability to work a Burberry Prorsum runway and is never out of the press whether it be in a DKNY advertisement or pictures of her watching basketball with Rihanna. The IT-girl is simply unstoppable at the moment with a bubbling acting career through the likes of up-coming movie, The Face of an Angel and Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi film and she has also just had her second British Vogue cover shoot within ten months.

One thing that shines on the January 2014 cover, is her amazing beach waves. Despite looking relaxed and effortless, this is often the hardest hair trend to achieve. Curls either fall flat, look too poodle-esque, or too much salt spray results in a matted birds nest! 

I spoke with Teddy Charles, the stylist behind many supermodels such as Gisele, Karlie Kloss, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Jourdan Dunn and of course Cara, about how to get perfect Delevingne waves. Teddy has worked with Cara on numerous projects including the DKNY campaigns and says: “Cara is really fun – she makes everyone laugh on shoot! Her hair is in great condition too.” Want to know a HUGE secret? “I always put extensions in Cara’s hair when I style it”, says Teddy. Ah-ha! Finally the explanation to her lengthy locks. But, what about those gorgeous loose waves? Read on…

A-List stylist, Teddy Charles

A-List stylist, Teddy Charles

How to get Cara’s waves [Warning: may lead to intense strutting]:

Step 1: Wash hair with shampoo and use a tiny bit of conditioner at the tips. If hair is too moisturised it will fall flat. Rinse hair with cold water for extra shine! 

Step 2: Blast hair upside down until almost dry. Then, use a medium round bristle brush to create height and volume. Scrunch hair whilst drying to achieve gorgeous Cara-like waves!

Step 3: Spray dry shampoo at the roots for body and spritz the lengths of your hair with a little salt water for bouncing model-like tresses…

You’re welcome ladies!

Round the twist

The London Lassie gets ready to embrace twirled tresses…

Caught in a summer shower last weekend my straight, sleek hair was devilishly transformed into a mop of frizz. Nevertheless, despite thinking I looked like a novelty dish washing brush, I got loads of compliments (and a few free drinks).

Summer was all about sleek locks and the slicked back look, but with more rain to come our way this autumn it seems designers have prepared us for this twist of fate as kinky manes are set to cause a storm!

One of the best hair looks from the AW13 catwalks has to be that of the Just Cavalli show. Roberto Cavalli coveted deep, defined crimps and waves. To get this look, plait damp hair and leave to dry. Then unravel twisted tresses. Easy!

Just Cavalli AW13

Just Cavalli AW13

Bin those straighteners and your umbrella. Real women have curves after all!

See below for more curled looks to embrace next season:

Derek Lam AW13

Derek Lam AW13

L'Wren Scott AW13

L’Wren Scott AW13

Marc by Marc Jacobs AW13

Marc by Marc Jacobs AW13

Giles AW13

Giles AW13

Junya Watanabe AW13

Junya Watanabe AW13

Rodarte AW13

Rodarte AW13

For curlspiration straight from an expert follow Ouidad on instagram:

I was lucky enough to meet the Queen of Curls and Co-Creator of the Sunsilk curl ranges in New York this year and she is a genius!


Dr. Francesca Fusco

The London Lassie has a wee blether with leading dermatologist and Sunsilk hair expert, Dr. Francesca Fusco, in New York on how to achieve thick healthy locks!



After year’s of wearing extensions my hair feels thin, and has the tendency to fall out. How can I prevent this?


If they’re long hairs with a little white bulb at the end that’s okay.

*she grabs a hair*

Do you see that little white bulb on the tip? If you’re seeing that little white bulb that’s okay to have hairs coming out. That means it was ready to fall out and there is a new hair behind it. But if you are losing a lot, like more than a hundred hairs a day that could indicate that there is a nutritional issue going on or a stress issue or a change in hormones. Probably one of the most frequent causes of hair loss is when women are going through stress; we aren’t getting the right dietary components in our body.

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan?



Dr Fusco:

Ok, and do you get red meat and vegetables in your diet?


A lot of vegetables, I eat red meat around once a week.

Dr Fusco:

Ok, well one thing you could consider doing is taking a vitamin every day. There are a number of vitamins that you can buy in your local drug store that can help your skin and hair, and they contain a good amount of iron and things you may not be getting in your food.

And just remember there is always a 2-4 month lag between doing the right thing and then noticing it reflected in your hair. So you will have to be doing it for about 2-3 months before you see any results.


I see.

Dr Fusco:

So that’s for the sheddy part of it.

In terms of them snipping the ends of the hairs…May I look at your hair to see?



Dr Fusco:

Normally everyday you blow dry your hair?


No, every few days but I always straighten it, which is very bad right if I do it everyday?

Dr. Fusco:

If you do it properly…It’s okay!

(Looking at the tips of the hair)

When was the last time you had your hair trimmed?


A month ago.

Dr Fusco:

Ok, it’s good! A bit dry, do you colour your hair too?


Yeah, but semi-permanent and haven’t done it in a while.

Dr Fusco:

I can see the colour on your hair!

*she continues looking*

So now what I am going to do is look mid-shaft to try find a bubble hair…

It’s not bad but a bubble hair comes from heat, the hair is almost woven like under a microscope and you see a little white bubble in the middle.


Oh my god! That sounds awful!

Dr Fusco:

Yeah, its called bubble hair and bubble hair means that you have to be more careful with the heating products that you’re using because that strand is more likely to break. And you don’t want it to break right in the middle.

*she finds a few!*

One thing you can do to prevent that is nourish your hair every day just like you would nourish your face.

You know when you wake up and your face is really dry and flaky? You can fix it by moisturising it and the same thing for your hair. So, you treat your hair to a hair mask once a week or whenever you can, pay a lot of attention to the tips.

A lot of women forget to put the conditioner and products on their scalp, afraid it is going to weigh down the hair and make it greasy but it won’t.

So, remember to really massage it thoroughly into the scalp and comb it through the hair and try to give your hair a holiday at least one day a week from the heat…if you can, if you can!


Wow I never thought of putting conditioner on my scalp!


Trust me, your scalp needs it!


I’ll be trying it!

Your hair is so full and bouncy *it really is*. How do you recommend women get volume like yours?

Dr Fusco:

So, part of that comes from the styling and when you speak to the stylist they will tell you how to use the right brush and also using the right product will make a big difference. You can talk to your stylist to help you choose the best product for your hair and achieving the volume.

I am sure you know the trick of when you go to bed at night wearing your hair up in a scrunchie, do you know that trick?


No… *I haven’t owned a scrunchie since 1996, but according to Ashish they’re making a comeback!*


Okay, so you want to wake up the next morning with volume… You put your hair in a ponytail on top, in a loose scrunchie and when you wake up in the morning and you take the hair down it’s perfect! That’s the trick. Use a scrunchie because they don’t damage the hair.


Great tip! And so easy! *note to self: buy scrunchie*

Dr Fusco:

Yeah, I know right!

Another thing is using dry shampoo. So what you do is lift the hair up  and you spray a little of the dry shampoo underneath and then when you let go it looks a little bit more volumised.



Yeah good!

Dr Fusco:

Any other questions you have?


Do you think there is an increase in hair fall for young women in recent years?


I have to say over the last five years I have been sitting in my office and all the young girls have hair fall due to the damage. So for me the message getting out to them is, take it easy with the heating products and extensions and if you can give your hair a holiday once a week. A Saturday or Sunday don’t use the heating products and condition, condition, condition.

Feed your hair from the roots, from the scalp.


Thanks Francesca!

Cannes goes braid crazy!

The London Lassie is loving wonderful weaving on the red carpet…

The hair trend on the red carpet at Cannes this year was almost definitely plaits. Woven by the likes of Cara Delevingne, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Palermo and our Cheryl – it’s clear this style coveted by little girls has been grasped by the hands of the world’s top stylists.

To get the on-trend superstar look simply weave an effortless messy French plait, secure with a Cheryl and Nicole inspired black ribbon and wait for the compliments to stream in…

Bérénice Bejo opts for a Heidi style look

Bérénice Bejo opts for a Heidi style look

Miss Delevingne rocks an edgy fish plait

Miss Delevingne rocks an edgy fish plait

La Creme de la Creme - Chezza steals the show yet again!

La Creme de la Creme – Chezza steals the show yet again!

Emma Watson looks cute with a messy side braid

Emma Watson looks cute with a messy side braid

Freida looks super glam with this braided up do!

Freida looks super glam with this braided up do!

Milla Jovovich looks super sultry with this effortless looking up do

Milla Jovovich looks super sultry with this effortless looking up do

Nicole's french plait complete with ribbon give her a more youthful look!

Nicole’s french plait complete with ribbon

LOVE Olivia Palemo's super volumised side braid!

LOVE Olivia super volumised side braid!

Get a summer glow even when the sun isn’t shining!

The London Lassie gives the tops tips for a hydrated summer complexion…

After SIX MONTHS of winter, (seriously Mother Nature, what gives?) our skin really needs a boost. Winter isn’t the best time for skin. Chopping and changing between sub-zero temperatures and central heating filled homes causes skin to become dull and lifeless with a tendency to breakout. Because our body needs more energy in winter, if not fully nourished it will tap into the fat reserves, where essential skin nutrients are stored, resulting in dry skin. Dehydrated skin cells turn over sluggishly, causing a build-up of dead skin, which deters light reflection.

Something has got to give – and it doesn’t look like we can rely on the weather. Follow these tips to trick your skin into believing it’s spring.

Get a microdermabrasion facial

This treatment is known in the industry as the ‘non surgical facelift’ and it really is that miraculous. The skin is cleansed and then heavily exfoliated using crystals blasted onto the skin. This deep scrub smoothes out fine lines and reduces deep wrinkles. It also takes away the top layer of your skin which is blocked with oil and pollution. Afterwards, the excess skin is shown, and it’s not a pretty sight (think grey dirt), and if you get the tube to work it will be much worse. Oxygen is then pumped deep into the skin to give it a glowing and healthy boost. After your skin has been buffed to perfection and oxidised a deep hydrating mask is applied and left to set. The result? A glowing complexion you weren’t even sure you were capable of. Your make up will sit much better too!

Prices around £70 and available from most good salons.


Drink coconut water

Since the changeable weather is getting us down, many of us are beating the blues by engaging in a good night out. But the consequential hangover is another skin enemy leading to more dehydration. Drinking water is universally known as the way to go, but apparently pure coconut water is the most hydrating fluid you can drink for your skin. Get this delicious stuff down you to put all the rich goodness back into your complexion!


 Exfoliate regularly

Central heating and extreme weather can dry our skin out, and can also lead to breakouts. Keep excess oils at bay and remove pollution regularly by using a daily facial scrub such as St Ives Invigorating Apricot Facial Scrub (£4.29). Follow with a hydrating moisturiser and you’re good to go!

 st ives

Take Supplements

Although we all try to eat our 5 a day, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Add extra nutrients and improve your looks from within by taking a good daily supplement. Perfectil Hair Skin and Nails Tablets are always a winner and at only £6.69 for a month’s supply they are a bargain!



Okay, it seems obvious, but sleeping more is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Skin cell production is at its highest at midnight and your skin is more likely to absorb moisturiser after 4pm so make sure you apply a rich night cream. While you sleep your skin is given the chance to restore and revitalize itself. Your skin cells need 8-10 hours of rest in order to do this. Without enough sleep your body cannot drain off enough toxins meaning you can wake up with puffy and sallow skin with dark circles under your eyes – never a good look!


Dull winter skin – we’re coming to get you!

La Beauté de la Simplicité

The London Lassie looks at the purest new beauty trend fresh from Paris…

Whilst watching the Paris runway shows in awe style followers from around the world witnessed many stunning collections from the likes of fashion connoisseurs Lanvin and Margiela. Nevertheless, the obvious trend is a simple one. Shown through Paris showcasers Chloe, Stella McCartney and many more it is apparent that the only wear to wear our face next season is fuss free.

Dozens of fresh faced beauties graced the runway in non-existent lip and eye shades with beautiful fresh skin that let the clothes do the talking. It seems back to basics is the only way to go. Boring and unimaginative you say? Think again.

Celine AW13

Celine AW13

Chloe AW13

Chloe AW13

Isabel Marant AW13

Isabel Marant AW13

Jean-Paul Gaultier AW13

Jean-Paul Gaultier AW13

Stella McCartney AW13

Stella McCartney AW13

With shows such as Geordie Shore and TOWIE showing wannabes heading to the supermarket in make up so heavy you’d need a trowel to remove it, it’s time women went to the bare necessities. Surprisingly the new series of TOWIE has shown stars Lucy Mecklenburgh and Jessica Wright without make up. It seems even Essex girls are willing to bare all!

But do you dare to bear? It’s not as scary as you might think! With more and more BB creams hitting the shelves it seems no surprise that this is becoming an apparent trend. BB creams smooth out imperfections and give a flawless complexion resulting in not much need for foundation. Also, Nail Inc and many other brands have released nude collections to keep your nails as simple as your face.

Top tips for a naturally beautiful face:

  • Have regular facials to keep your skin in tip top condition
  • Start with a good BB cream (Rimmel do a great one)
  • Use a light reflecting foundation or tinted moisturiser (Guerlain’s Parure de Lumiere is amazing) and apply using a brush for a flawless, natural looking complexion
  • Use a cream blush on the apples of the cheeks to give a natural glow (Try Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Uber Beige)
  • Use a nude or white kohl pencil on the lower lids to create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes
  • Use a good lengthening mascara (can’t go wrong with YSL’s false lash effect)
  • Pencil your eyebrows in using feather like strokes in a shade lighter than your natural colour. A good set of eyebrow do wonders for your face.
  • Use a nude lipstick such as Mac’s lippy in Creme d’Nude and finish with a dab of clear lip gloss

This trend may be more difficult for some to adapt to than others, especially if you’re addicted to smoky eyes or scarlet pouts. But just think, this look doesn’t take long to achieve -you can have an extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning! Pass the cleansing wipe…

A Hole in One Won’t Impress Anymore…

The London Lassie explores the rising trend of piercings and their shift from ghetto to glamour.

Hedvig Palm in Vogue Jan'13

Hedvig Palm in Vogue Jan’13

Piercings aren’t new: some of the oldest mummies discovered wore earrings, nasal studs and hoops date as far back as 1500BC and lip and tongue piercings have commonly been found in African and American tribes. Even nipple piercings date back to Ancient Rome and female genital piercing dates back to Ancient India. Price Albert famously pierced his genitalia to help hide the appearance of his large penis in tight trousers (lucky Victoria) and thus, the name for that specific special piercing was born.

It’s true that piercings have been around for eternity, but it feels like the way they are perceived is about to change. In modern times, puncturing the body (apart from the ear lobes) has been seen as rebellious. Punks in the seventies adorned their faces with spikes, nineties kids pierced their brows, Christina Aguilera changed her name to X-Tina and pierced every part of her body, and remember the absolute horror of the Royal family when teenage Zara Phillips got her tongue pierced? Nevertheless, it seems this shock factor is about to disappear as the fashion world embraces body modifications.

British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman recently stated “I had my ears pierced, but…I have never been tempted by any other kind of piercing. However, recently I’ve found myself starting enviously at those who have multiple piercings”.

Hedvig Palm in British Vogue Jan '13

Hedvig Palm in British Vogue Jan ’13

January Vogue included stunning beauty shots by Patrick Demachelier of model Hedvig Palm adorned with multiple ear and nose piercings decorated with thousands of pounds worth of exquisite studs and hoops. Model of the moment, Abbey Lee Kershaw recently said of her 10 bodily punctures, “I see my body as a blank canvas that’s aching to be decorated. 40-year-old model and Vogue contributing editor, Laura Bailey says of her newly pierced ear cartilage “I did it to feel a tiny bit like that pretty, carefree teenager. To make grown-up life and fashion feel a bit more punk, a bit more free”. With a boost in popularity with the fashion pack could it be that piercings are now chic?

Chanel RTW and Givenchy couture tried it last year. With elaborate nose ornaments and pearly punctures we all stared in awe, partly due to our love of the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where the heroine had plenty of piercings. But they didn’t really catch on. Too much too soon perhaps? It seems like steadily we are seeing more discreet piercings on the catwalk and even earrings are becoming much more ornate, large and impossible to miss at Dolce and Gabbana, Balmain and Gucci this Spring.

High fashion piercings at Givenchy Haute Couture (left) and Chanel pre-fall 2012.

High fashion piercings at Givenchy Haute Couture (left) and Chanel pre-fall 2012.

In London’s east end you are never more than 10 paces away from a facial piercing, but more and more ‘mainstream’, pretty girls are adopting bull hooks and nose studs. Also, very few people now have a single stud in the ear, with every groove on the lug being a possible puncturing spot. Celebs like Miley Cyrus, who used to be girly, now have nose rings.

Singer of the moment Emeli Sande with her nose ring

Singer of the moment Emeli Sande with her nose ring

 So you want to go for the plunge and get pierced? According to New York’s prestigious piercing salon, New York Adorned, a consultation is recommended. J. Colby Smith, resident piercer says “Everyone’s ear is totally different. One thing works for you, it won’t necessarily work for her. I spend the majority of my day batting with people about that” As for the trends he recommends, “Septum chains have gone out a little bit, and backdrop chains are in”.

Yes, this could be a trend that could come and go, but they’re not permanent! Getting a piercing is like jumping on a seasonal trend. So for Spring Summer ’13’s trend piece, if you’re undecided between a nose piercing and the Prada toe-break platforms-we suggest the nose ring. After all, it’s exceedingly cheaper, and to be fair, less shocking.

As published on the Avanni blog.

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Patt Your Lips Matt

Long gone are the days of the slick lip. This summer it’s all about the matt pout!


Let’s face it; we all feel a bit sexier and more glamorous with a sleek layer of lip gloss on. But the good feeling is often short lived. A burst of gale force wind and our perfectly styled tresses are sticking to our oil slick of a mouth, leaving our lippy and hair tarnished. And once inside away from the extreme weather, the shiny smile is still not safe. A swig of Pinot Grigio and there’s more Juicy Tube on the side of the glass than on our pout. Remember when Bridget Jones agonised over the decision of the G-string and the Marks and Sparks contour pants? Lip gloss brings a similar dilemma. The sexy sheen may increase your chances of a cheeky kiss, but once the lips are locked, your date ends up looking like Julian Clary at the Christmas panto.

But never fear. It’s now time to step away from the shiny yet sticky smile. The beauty looks on the SS13 catwalks mean for the trend followers it’s time for a less problematic look. And from the terrors just described, this may be a welcome change for all. It makes your lips look super hot too…

This season lip trends were more about texture than colour. From Burberry to Missoni, the runways were teaming with models such as Cara Delevingne sporting the matt lippy look. In shades of acid bright (Burberry showcased vibrant pillar box red lips for the first time ever), lips looked textured and seductive.

Coral textured lips at Missoni SS13

Coral textured lips at Missoni SS13

Matt Red Lips at Burberry Prorsum SS13

Matt Red Lips at Burberry Prorsum SS13

To get the look at home, pat a few layers of your favourite matt lip colour such as Nars Semi Matt Lipstick on with your fingers and blot with tissue paper. For the oh so stunning finale, dust a little translucent powder. You can also get the look by using your regular lipstick with a layer of concealer below to diffuse shine.

One problem with the matt look is that it can have the tendency to show off any signs of dry and chapped skin. To avoid this, exfoliate your lips gently. You can make your own exfoliator at home by mixing equal amounts of sugar and olive oil. Sugar is a natural exfoliant and olive oil a natural moisturiser so this mixture works a treat! Leave the mixture on your lips for a couple of minutes, then wipe clean with a tissue. Finish with a touch of Vaseline and allow to dry before applying your chosen lip colour.

Now you can pout (and more) to perfection whilst looking mega on trend!

As seen on the Avanni blog.

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