A (rather extraordinary) day in the life of a beauty editor
No question: this is a very 'spoiling' job. Most of the time, yes, we're chained to computers or consigned to the 'beauty dungeon' mailing out parcels to Beauty Bible testers - but sometimes, a day comes along that makes us realise that being a beauty editor is one of the most amazing jobs in the world. And a couple of days ago, Jo experienced a day that was SO darned extraordinary, we thought we'd share it with you - giving you an insider's view of what it's like to work in this industry.
'I wish I'd had an I-Spy Book of London Hotels,' writes Jo. 'It was the first time ever I've been invited to The Dorchester, The Savoy AND Claridges in one day!' Read Jo's diary, below - and get a sneak preview of some of the products which will be launching in the next few months... So long as you don't run away with the idea that all days are like this...!
8.30 a.m. Morton's Club in Berkeley Square Lovely Louise Redknapp was hosting a drop-in breakfast for her fab range Wild About Beauty. (You'll be seeing more of it on our site soon.) Groovy as she is (in snake-print lime green cashmere), Louise is about as down-to-earth as it's possible to be: beautiful, polished and very, very warm. (Which is more than you can say about the weather outside, that day.) She's pictured here with Jo!
Look out for: The so-wearable Wild About Beauty Safari Nights collection launching into House of Fraser, and the superbly soft, tinted Nutrilips Balm in Camellia.
9.15 a.m. Claridge's, for breakfast with Clinique. (Poached eggs, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, if you want to know.) A real breakthrough, here: they were launching the first CC cream we've got our hands on - more matte than the BB creams we've seen, formulated with an extraordinary, silky, colour-correcting pigment and with a truly moisturising formula, in six shades which colour-adapt to every complexion. Here's their glamorous boffin, Ida Wong, showing before-and-afters on an iPad.
Look out for: Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 Hydrating Colour Corrector, launching 26th April
10.30 a.m. Sparkling water at Bond & Brook in Fenwick of Bond Street with Sheena Appadoo, lovely in-house PR at The Body Shop. (NB If you're looking for a perfect West End pitstop, Bond & Brook is brilliant: somewhere you can have just a cup of tea, and not be ripped off for a full meal!) Sheena told Jo about some upcoming concerts Body Shop is involved with for the charity they're supporting, The Teenage Cancer Trust (watch this space for info and the chance to win tickets), their bestselling BB Cream (it's fab) - and showed us some new ranges, including new bright eyeshadows and Chocomania (deliciously-scented - not at all 'icky'), plus Absinthe (see below).
11.30 a.m. quick cab to The Bulgari Day Spa at the so-chic Bulgari Hotel, to the Margaret Dabbs Clinic for one of her amazing medical pedicures, and a manicure. (And a welcome chance to sit - no, lie! - down, on a frenzied day!) We're massive fans of Margaret's treatments - you'll read more about this particular luxe location on the site soon. What Jo really liked was the 'multi-tasking' element: hands and feet done at the same time, while she was near-horizontal! The podiatrists are all incredibly highly-trained and friendly, quietly buffing away every molecule of hard skin to leave feet baby-bottom-smooth.
Tip (from podiatrist Helen): 'Don't buff your feet every single day. With a good foot file, work to remove hard skin thoroughly once a week.'
1.15 p.m. The Music Room next to Gray's Antique Market, where Guerlain had created a summer paradise (complete with cocktails and lots of tiaré flowers!) So, so happy to see the return of Guerlain nail polishes, which were always the best! Alas Jo'd just had a manicure, but was able to check out what is - as usual with Guerlain who really 'specialise' in summer and 'tan' make-up - a fantastic collection, including brilliant bronzers and gradual tanners of all kinds, plus the welcome (limited edition) return of Guerlain's SPFs, which we think are probably the nicest-scented suncare products out there. (Hence the tropical tiaré flowers - also known as monoi, or frangipani - all over the place...)
Look out for: the brilliant, flattering new 00 Nude shade of Terracotta 4 Seasons bronzing powder and Guerlain's first Terracotta Sun Scrub, gentle enough for face and body to 'prep' for sunless tanning. On counter from 1st April.
2 p.m. Tom Ford HQ on Grosvenor Street, London W1. Bumped into the lovely Ruby Hammer at this glamorous launch, where Jo watched Tom Ford's make-up pro create a beautifully glow-y, late-afternoon-light face on the model with these rose-gold-kissed products. (We love it when a leading make-up artist with an MBE rolls up her sleeves - incidentally, the same jumper as Louise Redknapp's, in red! - and serves tea to the assembled beauty gang!) Jo declined the nibbles but you get a sense of their mouthwatering-iness...!
Look out for: the sublime Sahara Noir fragrance - pulsing with sexy frankincense - as well as rose-tinted Skin Illuminator and the 'pearls for nails' polish (launching May). Pictured here, by the way, are the Tom Ford brushes - including the best foundation brush we've ever tried. Well worth the investment (they are an investment), or put them on a birthday 'wishlist'...
3 p.m. By Terry tea at Grosvenor House to launch their Summer Splash collection. Always a thrill - because 'Terry' herself (de Gunzburg) is one of the most exciting innovators in the business. (Created YSL's Touche Eclat. We are not worthy, we are not worthy.) Today, By Terry was unveiling their fab summer colours - and also introducing some recent launches, including a fantasically lip-quenching semi-sheer lipstick/balm, and some new shades of the swipe-blend-GO eye crayons. Nipping out from the terrace in the chill afternoon air, Jo got to see the most extraordinary London panoramas (albeit on a grey day...) NB To quote By Terry's Sandrine Charrier, 'It's probably the last By Terry launch which will feature hyaluronic acid. She's got something even more extraordinary up her sleeve for the next launch'. Our skins can't wait.
Look out for: Hyaluronic Summer Bronzing Hydra-Veil (launching April) - completely matte and brilliant for an instant, healthy glow without too much 'radiance' - and Lash-Coat Mascara, a waterproofing 'top coat' for lashes. And these Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge lipstick/balms - buy here now.
4 p.m. The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy. The last in the trio of classic London great hotels that Jo could tick off in her I-Spy book in one day! This time, for a full-on Savoy tea, for the unveiling of our old friend Charles Worthington's completely new, 'made-over' haircare range (launching in Boots in June) with new products and a new look, and to introduce beautiful actress Alice Eve as the new 'face' of the range. (And she's not just pretty, BTW, but charming, witty and bright.) Since the tea party, Charles prepped Alice for the BAFTAs - and very gorgeous her 'up-do' looked, too. We'll also be taking Charles's advice: 'These days, in the same way women have a wardrobe of fragrances, build a wardrobe of hair products that let you create lots of different styles from one cut. It's amazing what can be achieved to create curls, straight hair, volume - nobody ever needs to be bored with their hair, ever...!'
Look out for: Charles Worthington Split Ends Binder and Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair Masque.
And then... home, exhausted, to collapse - surrounded by beauty swag...! An extraordinary day, indeed...