Jo Loves... January

Jo loves... soaking in scented waters, two make-up 'steals', a heavenly hair treat - and rediscovers a favourite perfume, back to its exquisite old self...

Lucy Annabella Organics Bath Milk


A few weeks ago I met the wonderful Colleen Harte, holistic therapist, aromatherapist and founder of this all-natural Irish brand (you can read more about her here) - and I've just been so impressed.  Among my favourites are the scented candles (Spearmint and Lemongrass is just the wake-up call my senses need in this dark month!), and the Bath Milks (above):  swirl into running water, lie back - and the blend of essential oils really will work like a mini-treatment.  My favourite Time Out Bath Milk is a real chill-out blend featuring some of my favourite essential oils - orange, juniper berry, geranium, marjoram and chamomile Roman - but they're all instantly skin-silkifying.  Packaging's beautiful, too, with botanical illustrations clambering all over the glass bottles and jars.  Do check the so-lovely range out, won't you?  Because Colleen deserves to be a huge success...

Lucy Annabella Organics Bath Milk is at£30 for 125 ml - buy here

DHC Moisture Care Lipstick

I'm already a convert to their brilliant budge-proof mascara (see here) - and now DHC's lip-quenching lipstick has become my No. 1 winter choice.  It's packed with hyaluronic acid and collagen (which doesn't plump, but is a brilliant moisturiser - so this simply glides over even the driest lips, delivering (in the case of PK05 Whisper Pink, which is my chosen shade) a swoosh of sheer colour shot with the prettiest mini-glimmers of gold.

DHC Moisture Care Lipstickis at£11.50 - buy here

Touché by Flavien Intensive Nourishing Treatment

Quite apart from Flavien Abbas's film-star good looks, this hairdresser - based at Urban Retreat- has created some really sensational shampoos, conditioners and styling products.  In an attempt to avoid the 'fried' look my hair developed at the scrag-end of last winter, I've been slathering on this mask once a week - and I can report that it is unquestionably the most divinely-scented hair treatment I've ever tried, absolutely packed with jasmine and white flowers.  The shine-boosting benefits are amazing, too:  there's olive oil, argan oil, sesame seed oil, prickly pear oil and rosemary oil (though it's not greasy-making, I promise), shea butter and hydrolysed silk protein.  The price below is for the travel size - but I figure that with weekly use, the bigger tub'll last me four or five months, so it really doesn't work out heinously expensive per treatment.  (PS  Until 20th January, you can enter a prize draw to win a personalised treatment from Flavien, with some shine-boosting runners-up prizes - just click here.)  And meanwhile, I am that sad woman sniffing her hair...

Touché by Flavien Intensive Nourishing Treatment is£17 for 50 ml - buy here

Guerlain Mitsouko Eau de Parfum

A few weeks before Christmas I had the truly massive pleasure of interviewing Guerlain's 'nose' Thierry Wasser for The Fragrance Foundation, in front of an invited audience.  He talked rivetingly about the challenges of his job, one of which is working to maintain the quality of Guerlain's fragrances - which are increasingly under pressure as guidelines restrict certain ingredients because they're known allergens.  And yes, that explains why some of your favourite perfumes may not smell like they used to.  I'd been feeling that way about Mitsouko, the heavenly, cocooning chypre Guerlain classic - and turns out it wasn't just an illusion. There have been restrictions on oakmoss, a key chypre ingredient - which meant Mitsouko lost some of its mysterious depth and phenomenal staying power.  Well, Thierry's cracked the problem.  By 'fractionating' the oakmoss (to remove the allergen) - and replacing it with an inspired drop of something else ('because whenever you remove something, it leaves a hole to be filled'), Mitsouko got its mojo back:  utterly bewitching, and 'my' Mitsouko again.  The 'replacement' ingredient turns out to be a touch of celery!  You can't tell it's there - but it totally works.  I got the very first bottle of this new incarnation - and Thierry's advice is to look for the code '2P01' (onwards) on the bottom of the box, which is the perfume-lover's clue to the batches which proclaim Mitsouko's return to glory.  Hallelujah.

Guerlain Mitsouko Eau de Parfum/£75.50 for 75 ml at - and we suggest you visit the Guerlain counter, to ensure your Mitsouko is from the right batch

Read Jo's review of Mitsouko on - here

No 17 Smokey Eye Trio

Ever had that panicked feeling where you're expected at an important meeting (or in my case, to give a speech) - and you realise that a lynchpin of your make-up kit's AWOL?  Happened to me recently, when I discovered that my faithful Tom Ford Beauty Eye Colour Quad (in Cocoa Mirage) was back at home.  What to do?  Hit Boots (no surprises there), and see what I could find.  But actually, the stand-in turned out just brilliantly:  a great trio of equally flattering nude shades.  A touch more shimmer than Tom's, for sure - but it rose to the occasion with a sweep of bone on the brow, taupe in the crease, and a darker shade of brown for extra depth around the lashes and outer corners of the eye.  You can see the three tones in my snap (because Boots doesn't have a pic of the palette).  Not quite on a par with Tom Ford version - but who can argue with £55 quid cheaper...?

No 17 Smokey Eye Trio is£5.49 - buy here