world according to sam

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Tag: beauty

 Do I look 60?

A Saturday meander through Boots skincare department to look for a new face cream that would hopefully iron out some of those wrinkles …. And what an array to choose from. So when I was approached by an assistant with the offer of a sample and perhaps a test on the back of my hand I was drawn in … Like a moth to a flame (sucker!)   On closer inspection a new L’Oreal cream was being trialled with the divine and ever youthful  Helen Mirren as the figurehead. Proffering a wrinkly hand I was massaged first with a liquid serum (Glow Re-Activating Essence) followed by a calamine pink cream – L’Oreal Age Perfect Golden Age, Rose ReFortifying Day Cream. Who wouldn’t be drawn in with the promise of ‘re-cushions’ and ‘glow activating’ ? 

Ever the optimist I purchased in a frenzy,  hopeful that my next ‘new to market’ skin cream purchase would truly contain the elixir of youth. On returning home I headed straight to the L’Oreal website to check out the details … And there it was … Skincare for 60 year olds! How rude!

Anyway I have had it for a while now and have been using it diligently. The serum is cooling on the skin but does not feel particularly rich or nourishing, though it is flecked with tiny rose gold particles.  The cream is super thick and almost ‘stiff’ but moisturises well. The packaging and feel of the products are pure luxury but fortunately not the price… And like so many of these large companies nearly always on offer in some form or another at Boots. 

Results – no outbreak, moisturising and gorgeously glamorous packaging   Not sure I am a full convert and can probably be tempted by the next ‘big thing’ however having now finished the moisturising cream and being left with nearly half a bottle of the serum I will probably buy another of the moisturising day cream as I like my skincare to ‘match’ which is totally at odds with many beauty bloggers who have a plethora of products in their bathroom cabinets which they rotate throughout the week! Thinking what to wear takes long enough, introducing a choice of skincare to the fray would be a disaster!


Sanctuary Spa Green Lemon & Orange Blossom Bodywash



This has the fragrance of a Luxury Spa but the price tag of a Groupon getaway special! I love the clean, citrus fragrance and that the  body wash is moisturising. So many of these body washes strip the skin of its natural oils and leave your skin tighter than the Bride of Wildensteins.

This is how it’s described on the Sanctuary Spa website

Enriched with moisture beads, this refreshing shower gel when blended with warm water  effortlessly wraps skin in zesty lather for an all over body awakening. Skin is left feeling freshly cleansed, soft & smooth.

True dat ….. I am not normally keen on those bursting bubbles as other products I have tried with similar ‘nano-technology’ leave you covered in little coloured beads that don’t burst and make you feel all warty and horrid – but these do burst as you rub the wash into your skin.  The body wash has a thick consistency which means you don’t tip half of it down the drain and quite often Sanctuary Spa products are available on 3 for 2 at Boots, so great value for money.  I like that the fragrance smells natural and not cloying or synthetically sweet, so even suitable for Mr H, perfect as an everyday shower gel or in the bath.  There is also a body lotion which I am yet to try but I really like to ‘layer’ fragranced products to get long-lasting scent so will definitely try both products together  … my only criticism is Why are the products made in Thailand?   There are plenty of personal care manufacturers in the UK and Europe, the carbon footprint for shipping product all the way from Thailand seems crazy!





Ted Baker Ottoman Experience – Extreme Grooming

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetBefore I continue I think I must make it clear that it was the husband that was being groomed here – not me and whilst my hirsuteness may have increased over the past few years I am not yet in need of a Turkish barber with his arsenal of trimming, burning and cutting weapons of mass reduction!

Cut A Dash at The Ted Baker Ottoman Lounge on Theobalds Road, EC1 is the full works whereby a man puts himself in the hands of a skilled, master barber but this is not for the faint hearted.  Real cut throat razors are used along with flaming tapers to singe hair.  On arrival we are shown downstairs to the Ottoman Lounge, a basement bedecked in  funky wallpaper depicting scissors and cut-throat razors interwoven with Byzantine vines, Turkish coffee and Efes beer are offered up whilst we wait to be shown to the barber’s chair …. lush, traditional leather seats built for comfort. The shop fit is very much Ted Baker, traditional with a quirky twist

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetOnce sat in the colossal seat at the Carrera marble vanity unit, so begins the barbering ritual.  After covering up, the head is thrust into a basin, which is pre-fragranced with lemon balm,  a brusque shampoo followed by a rub down with a towel something akin to dog-drying.  This treatment is not for wusses!! Our barber sets to work, nimbly trimming, clipping and shaping hair …. nothing looks precise but it is …. one of the neatest and most thorough haircuts I have ever seen Mr H have,

IMG_4528Another dousing at the lemon balmed sink and back up again to be wrapped in a steaming fragrant towel (it looks like Mr H is grimacing here due to the intensity of the heat, but not sure!) for face kneading and on to commence the removal of facial hair. Plenty of sudsy lather is applied with a traditional badger  brush and then the dangerous part ….. out comes the cut throat razor and the barber deftly clears all facial hair ….. followed with the flaming taper which is run over the skin, exploring both ear and nose orifices on its journey, one almost expects to smell pork crackling ….. Mr H explains later that there was a definite sizzle to this step but was not uncomfortable.  Then on to trimming and threading of eyebrows …. here my heart sinks as I have a terror of men’s eyebrows looking over styled, there is something rather emasculating about eyebrows that are shaped and arched (think Bobby Cole Norris on TOWIE!), but I need not have worried the end result is just a cleaner line, groomed rather than preened.  Another mummification in a steaming towel whilst slowly broiling and a rather brusque arm massage.  Another slathering of the astringent lemon balm certainly lifts Mr H from his state of near slumber (were he a fighting man I think he may well have taken a swipe at his barber assailant).  The whole treatment comes to an end with a firm pummelling of the back, neck and shoulders  ,,, I imagine these guys go home free from tension having taken all the days woes out on their client sat in the seat before them

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And the good news is Mr H can’t wait for the next time …brilliant gift for your significant other!

Luscious Lashes

IMG_5215The holiday preparations continued in earnest until my day of departure, (there is a LOT of body to prep, believe me!) – yet another covering of those pesky and persistent greys at the glorious Daniel Galvin Salon and a quick trim too, all followed my Shellac Manicure and Pedicure at the beginning of the week.

And then my favourite beauty treat (for treat, read addiction) Eyelash Extensions – I am all about the eyes, and will happily forego lippie, blush etc for mascara. For the last seven years I have been having eyelash extensions with the gorgeous Liana of Lashes by Liana.  I honestly cannot live without my falsies.  A middle of the night loo visit isn’t nearly so terrifying when a doe eyed reflection of me stares back from the bathroom mirror instead of my (almost) lashless self.




I have tried other lash extensions at in-store concessions (to feed my lash obsession, on the rare occasion that I have not been able to see Liana), but have always been disappointed with the results. The High Street offers up the Good, The Bad and the downright Ugly …. in my mind lash enhancement should be subtle.  Horror stories on the internet and in magazines is down to poor practice rather than the lash extensions themselves.  Good lashes should feel weightless, add a little length and volume without making you look like Widow Twankie and be soft and natural to the touch. The BAD/UGLY are the lashes weigh the eyes down and are stiff and unmalleable and in some cases can result in eyelash loss and traction alopecia (bald bits).  A good lash extension therapist will take into consideration the health and strength of your own lashes and apply extensions accordingly.  As much as I would like to dolly up, Liana has advised me that my lashes (short and curlies) are just not up to taking the fringe brushing lengths I so desire …. which is how I have been able to keep having the lashes for so long without any damage.



They take maintenance and care, but they are worth it ….. you can’t scrub at them with oily eye make up remover and the best thing is to simply stand under a shower and allow mascara to wash away (though you only really need mascara when you are going out otherwise they are fine left natural).  You can’t use liquid eyeliners as the oils dissolve the lash adhesive and for the first 24 hours the lashes must not come into contact with any water – however after three weeks on holiday and putting my face in water every day and putting on and taking off a snorkel and mask my lashes are still looking great.  The lash extensions are adhered to your own lash at the base and will fall out when your own lash falls out, lashes last up to 8-12 weeks but lash infill maintenance is recommended in between to keep lashes looking full and ‘tangle’ free.

Liana is the leading light in lash enhancement, with an impressive clientele of actors, models and celebs.  Find her in a secret hideaway in the heart of London’s Marylebone, (details are revealed when you book your consultation), everything about the experience is just lovely.  This is not a speedy treatment and  will take about 90-120 minutes. but you are lying down under a cosy blanket on a very comfortable beauty bed …. you can even have a snooze and awaken looking transformed.  I am too busy chatting to sleep but the entire experience is very relaxing.  This may not be for you as a regular treatment but I would urge you to try this for a special occasion and is an absolute MUST for Brides and Mother of the Bride because you really don’t need to wear mascara and I tend to use my Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara in Black only when I am going out.


In my opinion this is one of the most flattering, anti-ageing beauty treatments you can have, soft fluttery lashes really do knock years off you and avoiding having to take off make up every day surely must help preserve the eyes too?


What experiences have you had with Lash Extensions?


Contact details for Liana          +44 (0) 7956 120 001  |  |


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