Hot on the Highstreet Week 177 – Beauty Competition

After a luxuriously long summer, autumn has definitely arrived, and this week my iPhone tells me it will be raining on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There is no more need for shimmering after-sun body moisturisers and fun summery make-up; instead we look for nourishing face creams and comforting products to help us get through the cold months ahead.


Dr Perricone seems to understand women’s skin better than anyone. His Deep Moisture Therapy is my favourite winter moisturiser to use day and night. Rich but light it hydrates and softens skin, noticeably improving complexion tone. The new No Foundation is another great product, providing a lovely natural glow to paling winter skin. The cream includes SPF 30 perfect for days out in the sunshine, though this product is best in winter, providing a light coverage whilst also moisturising your face.

In my opinion the Sanctuary Spa Secret Facial Oil is best used before bed, after cleansing. This 99% organic plumping treatment revitalises skin overnight, so you wake looking bright and rejuvenated. Long term the oil will soften and restore your skin’s natural youth, a kind of superfood for the skin.

The 111 Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask uses advanced technology to nourish the skin and stimulate collagen production. The gel mask cools and refreshes the face, instantly brightening the skin. Perfect pre-holiday, or for a weekend pampering session to calm your stressed skin!

Jurlique is a natural brand that I cannot fault. Every product I’ve tried I dread finishing, the effects are genius. The Rosewater Balancing Mist is a refreshing spray to hydrate and soften the skin and leave skin looking dewy. The spray is perfect to use in the morning and at night keeping your skin balanced and beautiful at all times. Hydration without the greasy residue.

In winter your face needs a little more care and attention. Thalgo’s Masque Desalterant is perfect for this, a moisture quenching mask that gives your skin a moisture boost. I found this product to be ideal for sensitive skin, soothing and protecting skin against the damaging winter weather.

Lipstick pencils are easier to use and often the colour looks more intense. This is certainly true of the Lord & Berry 20100 Shining Lipstick. These thick pencils come in 12 shades, something for every occasion. The colour is bright and the texture creamy. My favourite hue is Mandarin, an orange-red that will really make your lips pop.


Most know Sanctuary for their gorgeous spa in the heart of Covent Garden. I tried a few of the products this week and was thrilled with the effects. As the colder weather ensues skin tightens and cracks quickly and the Tight & Tone Body Serum is ideal for combating those symptoms adding smoothness to the skin whilst also toning up bums and tums! For extra softness use the 4-day Moisture Oil Scrub which gently exfoliates and leaves skin silky.

I always like to have a hand cream at my desk and this season I am using the lovely Liz Earle Superskin Hand Serum. With extracts of rosehip oil and pomegranate, it smells as good as it feels.


It was pretty cool to have Daniel Hersheson himself commenting on my hair colour and style, advising me on what would work best with my eye colour and skin tone. Since then I’ve been a massive fan of his work and products and the Essentials kit is a must-have for girls who enjoy experimenting with hair styling, and is the perfect gift. It includes the Hersheson limited edition Batiste Dry Shampoo, pins, grips and hair bands in small and large.

Kerastase’s Volumifique shampoo and conditioner is the perfect duo for fine hair. The shampoo is silky and naturally thickens hair; the conditioner controls fizz and adds strength without the unnecessary grease. Professional products to revolutionise your hair.

I’ve always thought Fudge haircare was for boys only. The sweet smelling Iced Raspberry and Vanilla Hair Spray, packaged in a brilliantly psychedelic pink container, says otherwise. With extra strong hold, a few sprays will last you all night. The Salt Spray is a great texture tool to ensure your hair looks breezy and beachy all year round.

Fun and effective Bumble and Bumble are a fashionista’s dream. For luscious locks follow the Color-Minded routine which keeps coloured hair bright and beautiful. The shampoo and conditioner are gentle and soft on all hair types. Complete your routine with the Dryspun Finish, a thickening spray to create a full and airy texture without letting hair feel heavy.

To win a selection of these products:

1. Follow Thoroughly Modern Milly on Facebook here.

2. Follow Thoroughly Modern Milly on twitter here.

3. Tweet me telling me your favourite Autumn beauty product and why.

The winner will be decided on November 1st and the prize will be posted out as soon as the winner gives delivery details.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 151

I am very excited to see the launch of the Mavala ‘That’s My Colour’ campaign. This is a month long social media initiative which sees Mavala nail varnish brand encouraging the public to send in pictures (via Twitter and Instagram using #ThatsMyColour or directly to the MavalaUK Facebook page) of objects featuring colours they’d love to see bottled and turned into a Mavala nail polish. It could be your favourite dress, a flower or anything else made from a colour that inspires you. I know mine would be a particularly shocking shade of neon pink to match my website and all my thoroughly modern accessories.

At the end of the month three entries will be selected to create the Mavala ‘That’s My Colour’ collection to be launched in early autumn giving the public a special chance to dictate which colours are must-haves for the forthcoming seasons.

See the video here explaining the campaign – and post your picture to one of the social media platforms below:

#ThatsMyColour on Instagram

@MavalaUK on Twitter

MavalaUK on Facebook

Good luck!

THOROUGHLY MODERN MAN: St. Martin’s Chamber Music Competition 2012 – The Final

Although I sing at St. Martin in the Fields on a regular basis and have been involved in many concerts there, this was my first time sitting in the audience.  It certainly made me realise why this church is so popular as a platform for classical music, and it is a particularly appropriate setting for chamber music.  It was hard to believe that this was in fact a competition and not a professional recital given by three accomplished chamber groups, as the standard of music making was remarkably high across the board.

The St. Martin’s Chamber Music Competition had its inauguration in 2010, and has since proved to be an invaluable career launch pad for both it winners and participants.  We were treated at the end of the night to some Haydn and Beethoven played by the 2010 winners, the Piatti String Quartet.  This made clear the ferociously high level of competition for the award, as the quartet played sublimely to close out the evening’s music.

First up on the competitive front was the Cremona Piano Trio, consisting of a pianist, a violinist and a cellist.  The highlight of their programme for me was their finishing item, the Shostakovich Piano Trio in C Minor op 8.  I’m a sucker for a bit of Shost and they played it with just the right combination of bravado and sensitivity.  The Jacquin Trio, formed of a pianist, a violist and a clarinettist were up next; I enjoyed most their Hommage à Robert Schumann op 15b by Kurtág.  This was comprised of five snippets of movements, and concluded with a final movement that was longer than the rest combined – it really allowed the players to shine with its wide spectrum of styles, tempi and tone colours.  After the interval came the Lekker Quintet, a wind ensemble who presented a bold and daring programme of Ligeti, Kurtág and Vasks.  These five seemed completely in their element with the Vasks, which suited their modern tastes perfectly, and was impressively concluded with some eerie yet perfectly tuned singing.

As the judges said in their deliberations, any of these chamber groups would have made more than a worthy winner.  They eventually gave the award to the Jacquin Trio; I suspect that what may have tipped the balance was the charisma and wit of their clarinettist Jessie Grimes, who introduced the trio and their music with charm and intelligence.  The audience prize, determined by paper ballot, went to the Cremona Trio.

Keep an eye out for each of these finalists, and indeed the Piatti String Quartet also.  I suspect their fledgling chamber music careers will flourish off the back of participation in this prestigious competition.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, Mark McCloskey.