beauty favourites
beauty favourites
Fragrance Direct for Beauty
Fragrance Direct has always been trustworthy for, well, exactly what it says on the tin. It was only in the last month, however, that I realised what a haven it could be for beauty loot of the unfragranced variety. Their inventory of discounted beauty products reads like a beauty junkie’s Christmas list MAC, Bobbi Brown, Rodial et al. The highlight of my initial haul was the Rodial Instaglam Eye Tint in Aspen, which was a massive £9 off its retail price. Th brightening concealer contains hyaluronic acid (a hydrating wrinkle-killer) and works a treat underneath the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Sand (£3 off through Fragrance Direct) which features a long-lasting powder to set concealer and stop it from sinking into any lines or wrinkles.

Other favourites from my cost-efficient haul include MAC Frost Lipstick in Tanerama (£2 off – an incredibly ‘club girl’ nude on pale skin but stunning when paired with a dark lipliner as it creates a much more dynamic and shiny hue), MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Bordeauxline (£1 off – the most flattering eyeliner for green eyes), and Bobbi Brown Brillant A Levres Lip Gloss in Hollywood Red (£3 off – a botanical and brightening soft red gloss with aloe extract & avocado, jojoba and chamomile oils).

MILK Beauty Massage
I have been travelling, working, and working out so much over April and May that my body has been in slight revolt. Muscles off fleek.

Thankfully, I had booked in for a coconut oil massage with mobile beauty service MILK Beauty just before I left for three weeks and it completely transformed my entire body. With each massage, your therapist arrives with towels, essential oils, a super soft blanket, music and a massage couch to set up a perfectly serene space bespoke to your schedule. I decided to ‘host’ my masseuse in my kitchen as it is one of my largest rooms and has a floor to ceiling window (sunshine is very peaceful, to me). Sixty minutes later, my coconut oil-kneaded body felt brand new; knot free, awake, and ultra moisturised. This is a perfect post-flight treat.

Dermalogica Prescription Facial and Gluttony Manicure at PEINT
Post-massage, I began to realise a few additional body parts were becoming ravaged by travel. Like many people, faux-oxygenated airplanes make my skin feel dull and dry. Something needed to be done before heading to Belfast’s chilly air (a personal skin irritant of its very own). I found reaolve in PEINT‘s Dermaologica Prescription facial. Knowing Dermalogica have worked miracles on my sensitive skin on previous occasions, I booked in with the small salon’s lovely ladies for the one-hour treatment and managed to fall asleep before she was even half-way through.

The facial combines a tailored consultation and assessment of the skin to target your treatment where you really need then. In my case, bringing everything back to life; a relaxing orchestration of cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, messaging and topical treating to result in skin so fresh it looked like foundation.

Seriously. They put a #nomakeup photo on their Instagram and I look no different when I’m caked in cosmetics.

When awake, I wrapped my time at PEINT with a Gluttony manicure. The real indulgence, of which, is the parrafin wax mittens and the face-to-face therapist time (the ladies at PEINT are honestly some of the sweetest around).

mandara spa london

Mandara Spa, London

CACI Lift & Sculpt at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge’s Mandara Spa
As Summer creeps up on us, so do the shorts, skirts, and – most intimidatingly – swimwear. Knowing it takes a certain level of confidence to bare thighs with pride, Mandara Spa recently extended their range of CACI treatments to include the Lift & Sculpt. As an alternative to surgery, the electro-massaging Lift & Sculpt helps tighten, lift and smooth the leg and bum area with zero pain. There is a slight discomfort during the treatment (comparable to a quick but soft pinch), but immediate results after only one session. In fact, if you ask the therapist to do one side of your body before the other and take a photo, you almost look like two bodies joined in the middle.

For the best results, a session of six or more is advised but if you’re looking for a confidence boost before baring your bikini body, a day at the Mandara Spa (one of London’s most sumptuous underground retreats) will not go to waste.

Tip: you aren’t advised to work out directly after your treatment so I would suggest utilising Mandara’s neighbouring gym and pool beforehand so you have nothing but the Balinese relaxation area to think about post-treatment.

Mythic Oil treatment at The House of RUSH
Mythic Oil is one of very few hair oils that make a difference in my unruly, flaxen mane so I was thrilled to find out that The House of RUSH (the brand’s Piccadilly flagship) had introduced a Mythic Oil treatment. Though my recent re-introduction to hot yoga has done wonders to my body and mind, my neglectful non-use of hear protectant or hair oil has left my mop…well…moppy.

Under the care of my Canadian goddess of a hairdresser, Mythic Oil brought my curls and colour back to life. After a wash and treatment with their products, the oil was applied, I sipped on a cup of branded tea (featuring many of the oil’s natural ingredients) and watched as she blasted out the best and healthiest feeling blow-dry of my life. All in under one hour.

Shop the products:

mythic oil treatment

mermaid hair
As the red toner faded from my most recent hair experiment, I couldn’t get the idea of My Little Pony Hair out of my head. With a bleached mane and the availability of hair God Jason Collier in my favour, I booked in at Smooth You.

As silver is the most ‘unnatural’ colour I have subjected my hair to, I knew I couldn’t be in safer or more talented hands than that of a man trusted with the manes of Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller, Eva Longoria and more.

With Smoothie – the salon’s gorgeous resident Maltipoo – on my lap, a flooded inbox on my phone, and a night’s mask of argan oil on my locks, the process began. A two-hour dance of root maintenance, bleach bath and rinse before separately-ombred sections of pastel pink, baby blue, and silver.

As you can see, the result was utter My Little Pony Hair perfection. Beautifully muted and expertly blended creative colour with very little – if any – damage to the condition of my curls.

I have never felt more like myself.

before and after mermaid hair

Before and After

Maltipoo gif

A video posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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floral spring edit
I may be an exceptionally excitable human being, but I have seen very little get my friends ‘Lela Excited‘ before unleashing the new Häagen-DazsLittle Gardens‘ collaboration with Liberty London on them.

We’re talking Level Ten Lela Excited, ie “I’ve just seen a baby bunny become best friends with a baby unicorn and build a house made of glitter!”

The reason? Not only are these limited edition flavours (Lychee Raspberry Rose and Apricot Lavender) deliciously mood-boosting, but they come in gorgeous packaging specially designed by Jardins de Babylone – a team of botanical artists from Paris.

In keeping with the Häagen-Dazs quality gold standard, both varieties are made from a base of only 4 kitchen-friendly ingredients – fresh cream, real milk, sugar and free-range eggs. The soft and fruity florals are added naturally – real lychees, raspberries, Moroccan apricots, Turkish rose extract and lavender.

The flavours will be sold exclusively in Liberty London from next Monday (April 11th) for a limited time alongside a Carnaby Street window takeover designed by Rebecca Louise Law (her previous projects have been featured everywhere from New York;s Times Square to the Royal Academy).

To celebrate the launch of Little Gardens, I’ve compiled a special Dazs & Liberty-inspired floral Spring Edit for you to enjoy before you check out the range in store next week…

It’s time to get Lela Excited!

Shop the Spring Edit
The Floral Ice Cream: Häagen-Dazs
The Floral Cut-out Boots: Marni
The Floral Umbrella: Totes Isotoner
The Floral Dress: Dorothy Perkins
The Floral Skirt: Romwe
The Floral Top: Rare
The Floral Heels: Steve Madden
The Floral Fragrance: Miller Harris Rose En Noir Eau De Parfum
The Floral Sunglasses: Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
The Floral Bath Bomb: Sex Bomb from Lush
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beauty favourites
Medi Pedi at Margaret Dabbs
After a month of travels that had me stomping the deserts of Ras al Kaimah, cobbled streets of Mexico, towering hills of Florence and everywhere in between, my feet were well and truly deserving of some TLC. Life called for a sensible stop at Margaret Dabbs’ expert nail hideaway in Westbourne Grove.

The luxurious Medical Pedicure (or Medi Pedi) is a complete sole-saver, offering a 45-minute overhaul for all things below the ankle. During the treatment, your Podiatrist uses surgical techniques to soften, hydrate, anti-age, and improve the overall health of your feet and nails. The results are instant, therapeutic (nothing beats a foot massage), and you can even tack on an in-chair manicure (for utter bliss).

Pranamat ECO
Though this product is probably on the edge of Category Beauty, it might be my favourite discovery of the month. The Pranamat is, in essence, a massage mat. A naturally-produced massage mat which utilises pressure points to stimulate the body, mind, and relieve muscle aches and pains.

I was skeptical. Very skeptical. But the Pranamat has proved its worth. Even five minutes of mat-assisted meditation makes my body and mind feel healthier and more awake: if nothing else, the circultatory benefits sell this baby and I can’t wait to see the long-term benefits.

GOSH Lumi Drops and Foundation Drops
I was completely blown away by the Foundation Drops the first time I used them. Though the product had gimmick potential (it’s quite entertaining to use), it is one of the best foundations I have used in years. The consistency is light like a serum but buildable from light to heavy coverage. It has incredibly comfortable and long-lasting wear, excellent shade options for pale girls, and tone-corrects to the perfect ‘nude skin’ look with a single drop on each cheek (blended out).

For someone who never wears blush, I have also developed a soft spot for their Lumi Drops in Peach. The drops act as a soft highlighter and this shade – blended across the cheekbone – adds a Kardashian-worthy luminescence to the face. Superdrugs gems abound!

1001 Remedies PurAir Purifying Spray
Another natural beauty godsend. Made with 100% nature-derived ingredients, 1001 Remedies’ PurAir Air Purifying Spray eliminate environmental toxins and pollutants, dispel bad smells and helps – and I quote – “restore emotional equilibrium”. Essentially, it cleans the bejesus out of the atmosphere around you and smells like the most gloriously expensive spa in the world (think cinnamon, ravintsara and peppermint). The travel size has become my in-flight BFF.

AVON Perfectly Matte lipsticks
These lipsticks have quickly garnered cult beauty item raves for being “more matte than MAC matte” (which beauty junkies will know are renowned as the be all and end all mattes). I, Favourites-obviously, agree. I don’t love many of the lighter shades but everything coral and darker – especially Ruby Kiss – is stunning, smooth, and wears without any of the dreaded ‘dry lip cling’.

Jason Glowing Apricot Body Wash
A product unlikely to ever leave my bathroom. The smell and formulation of this sulfate and paraben-free body wash is a dream. It contains certified organic Aloe Vera Gel, sunflower oil, apricot oil (where its sumptuous scent comes from), chamomile, and Vitamin E: in essence, the perfect body wash for hydration. Foamy and all.

beauty favourites
Hot Chocolate Wax at Pamper Rooms
After a waxing ordeal that deserves a Carrie Bradshaw-style column of its very own, I sat down with a number of lady friends to reassess my choice in waxing professionals. All signs pointed to Lycon Hot Chocolate Wax so I booked into Pamper Rooms to trial it for the first time. Long, TMI story short? I am a total convert. The chocolate wax is perfect for sensitive skin, intimate areas, and generally making a painful experience feel like a spa treatment. Pamper Rooms have the most incredibly lovely staff, super-boujis treatment rooms, and are discreetly but conveniently located in the lower levels of Shoreditch’s Celestine Eleven boutique. Talk about getting pleasure out of pain.

Perricone MD Nutritive Cleanser & Eye Lift
At the beginning of the year I switched back to a former cleanser favourite – the aforementioned – and should have done so sooner. The facial wash and makeup remover is as gentle as it gets, yet delivers substantial anti-ageing benefits thanks to the addition of DMAE and Alpha Lipoic (both aid in brighter, smoother, and more balanced skin).

A throwback love affair browse also turned me on to the brand’s High Potency Eye Lift – an intensive eye treatment – which has already knocked a good five years off my eyes. Though I have no deep wrinkles, I do notice fine lines creeping in every now and then (especially if I am dehydrated) so have found this liquid gel an absolute lifesaver. Dr. Perricone’s had used Pycnogenol (boosts elasticity/tightness) and his patented anti-ageing ingredients (DMAE and Phospholipids) to invent a practically perfect cocktail for the eye area. Wrinkles, bags, and circles – be warned!

Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment
I was very dubious to try One United as its packaging rambles on – a bit maniacally – about having “25 benefits!”. Recipe for a gimmick, if experience has taught me anything. Thankfully, and marketing aside, it is a fantastic product. The multi-benefit spray does everything you could desire post-hair wash (detangles, softens, heat protects) and keeps my recently-coloured hair silky and manageable. A judgemental thumbs up.