Thursday 30 December 2010

Well Another Year Over and A New One Just Begun......

Sound familiar?  John Lennon's Happy Christmas Song (War is Over) and whilst the lyrics are as poignant as ever, somehow the battle has changed between who’ll win for the most sofa ads over the festive season ...... since when have these ads changed from promoting family values, everyone watching TV together on the latest Italian leather masterpiece with cushions to match to 3 scantily clad “babes” in underwear, provocatively prancing around to Duran Duran's song "Girls on Film" ???!!! ...... AND not one of the “babes” had a tape measure to make sure the sofa wasn't too big for their lounge, there wasn't an eager Sales Assistant with a clip board of "interest free orders", fabric chart and recommended cleaning products in sight. There was no promise of a delivery date anywhere in the backing track and with the drop in temperature to minus 8 degrees, I think the “babes” are going to need more than a thermal vest and Simon le Bon warbling on in the background to keep them warm!!  Anyway the ad must have caught my hubby’s eye as he turned to me and said "do you think we need to update our sofa?"  I don't think for one minute he was admiring the “babes” soft focus technique.....  "Mmmmmmmmm” said I and called his bluff ….. “'re on..... we'll go looking when Man Utd play next!".  He’s still thinking about it…….

Whilst we all have a tendency to over indulge at this time of year it's also important to invest a bit of TLC in yourself. There's loads of products out there, in fact the shelves are crammed, however fear not, we can highly recommend a couple with the emphasis being to hydrate your skin and hair. 

The recent harsh weather conditions and everyone's friend at the moment "central heating" has probably taken its toll on your skin – certainly has ours (albeit it the odd Pinot Grigio as well!). So we’re the first to admit we don't drink enough water, the only daily intake coming in the form of soda to compliment the aforementioned “Vino Collapso” and the 15 cups of tea the following morning... and yes, we know it's not good enough.  We've read lots of features about the benefits of drinking more water; improves the skin tone, helps with weight loss and generally, maintains good health - after all over bodies are 60%- 70% water. Not forgetting also that increasing our water intake suppresses hunger – that’s some water intake for me and Debs!!!  So, amidst the many New Year Resolutions, we’re making drinking more water a top priority.

Making sure you cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin properly is also a must for ensuring clear, blemish free skin.  One of Debs favourite facial products is Cleanse & Polish by Liz Earle. This original, multi award-winning hot cloth cleanser quickly removes daily grime and make-up to leave skin clean, soft and radiant. The 100ml pump starter kit retails for £13 which includes a muslin cloth to remove all traces of make up and gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it feeling cleaner and looking healthier.   My first encounter with Liz Earle products came after a weekend jaunt to Amsterdam where Deb’s had proudly laid out her purchases in the bathroom, complete with the muslin cloths which come with the starter pack – there they were, draped like some homage to Tutankhamen’s Tomb and at one point I thought  I was going to be “mummified”…..yikes!!  However, those ancient Egyptian’s were certainly onto something, because Deb’s refuses to cleanse her skin any other way, regardless of whether she uses the Hot Cleanse & Polish or another brand.

The Instant Boost Skin Tonic retails for £11.50 for a 200ml bottle - gentle and alcohol-free, this heavenly scented, non-drying floral toner revitalises, soothes and brightens skin and finishing with Skin Repair Moisturiser which comes in three formulas; combination/oily, normal/combination or dry/sensitive retails at £17.25 for 50ml.  
I'm more of a  "Simple” Gal - no witty comments please!!   I don't have sensitive skin, however I like the simplicity of the products and the affordability, I've even introduced my daughter to the range.  

Hair also takes a battering at this time of year – if the weather, central heating and lack of water intake doesn’t damage your flowing locks, then the heated appliances will probably finish them off!!!  Deb’s latest beauty find which she’s raving about is from the award winning range by renowned Tricologist, Philip Kingsley who has over 45 years of experience of treating the locks of the rich and famous, including Renee Zellwegger.  

Being our very own “Bridget Jones”, Deb’s decided to try out the renowned “Elasticizer” after one too many uses of her hair straighteners coupled with her ever changing hair colour (Jordan, eat your heart out!). Retailing around £20, this isn’t a cheap product to use every day but as a weekly pre-shampoo treatment, it promises to put body and shine back into damaged hair …….and boy, does it!! If your hair’s over processed and feeling a little dry or damaged, this is the product to put back what your GHD’s have taken out! If your budget can’t stretch to Philip Kingsley products (and whose can these days?), then my fabulous Hairdresser has written a piece below about how to care for your locks without snapping those already over-stretched purse strings! 

Hi, my name’s Andrew a.k.a "The Ginger Snipper" and I’ve been tending to Mrs Savage’s tresses for over 22 years.   

Well, the Party Season has nearly finished, how was it for you?? A big build up and then a big let down? Did your extensions stay in or did they get caught in your stilleto`s at some ungodly hour in the morning.  Did the Christmas hair-do survive the recent weather, or did it collapse before you got your starter?

As a professional hairdresser, these questions are something you would ask your clients’ next time you saw them, we would do our best to make sure everything was ok but people are human and  guess what, so is your hairdresser!!! Speaking personally I’ve never had a "DO" collapse (that I know of!!!!) If you know different please don’t respond…… after all, your hairdresser is for life not just for Christmas!!

On a more serious note, this time of year can play havoc with you hair, chemically treated, over use of heated appliances, and believe it or not central heating dries your hair out too. As a home remedy (and very cheap!!) once a week after shampooing your hair, heat a small amount of cooking oil for a few seconds in the microwave (probably best to avoid the flavoured oils such as garlic!), apply to damp hair massaging in well, wrap your hair in a towel and leave for at least 10 minutes. Now the important bit, do not just rinse your hair (remember, oil and water do not mix!!!) apply neat shampoo as this will emulsify the oil, massage in gently and then rinse.  Your hair should feel softer and this process should eliminate some static that can be present.

It`s important to keep your hair moisturised at this time of year and a particularly good range of products I can recommend is " L`anza", which can be purchased from salons appointed to stock them or online at

 Thanks Andrew, great tips - hope you become a regular beau-blogger!!

So, it just remains for Deb’s and I to wish you all a very Happy New Year, we hope you'll keep to your Resolutions and that you've enjoyed reading so far and follow our blog in 2011.
Savvy & Appy xx

Sunday 5 December 2010


On Sunday, 28th November 2010 we attended a master-class at Selfridges, Manchester hosted by Illamasqua’s Creative Director, the ground breaking Make-Up Artist, Alex Box, whose work has featured in publications around the world including Vogue. 

Alex has created looks for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and  Alexander McQueen to name but a few and has become one of the most influential make-up artists of our time.

Illamasqua is a new London-based brand which celebrated its second birthday in 2010. What makes Illamasqua products so completely different and unique is that it brings truly professional make up to the high street to provide a high performance look to anyone who wants to self express and accentuate their look beyond the norm and to bring out your alter ego.  The Autumn/Winter 2010 Collection “The Art of Darkness” contains products which are rich in colour designed to bring intensity to your make-up palette.

Illamasqua promises that its products are “designed to be colour intense, colour-true and long lasting” and both Debs and myself can confirm it certainly lived up to the hype.   After the Master-Class had finished, we were invited to test the products and redeem the cost of the class against our purchases.

Easier said than done!  We were like two kids let loose in a sweet shop, trying product after product and blown away by the quality and intense colours of the eye and lip products. Should we buy lipstick, eyeshadow, lip gloss, foundation???? No…. lipstick, get lipstick… gloss….what, gloss and lipstick? Yeah, get both…..noooo, foundation, definitely foundation……oh and an eyeshadow!!

After much deliberation, Debs purchased the Rich Liquid Foundation and I bought the Cream Foundation which comes in a handy compact. 

Debs wore her foundation the following day and fell completely in love with it – after using other quality brands in the same price bracket such as Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, MAC, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder (you name it, she’s tried it!!!!) she’s now a convert to Illamasqua. She found the coverage second to none which suited her combination skin perfectly as it wasn’t greasy or too heavy.  We’re both used to applying foundation professionally using brushes, but Deb’s felt the warmth of her fingers helped her apply this make-up slightly easier and commented on how little she needed to achieve maximum coverage.   
As well as the foundation, I wanted to try and find a highlighter which could be used for Bridal Make-Up, ensuring it could last throughout the ceremony into the evening, with a subtle shimmer but not over-sparkly.  I found the ideal product in Pure Pigment and chose the colour “Future” after Phil, the Counter Assistant assured us the product had been used on Kylie – SOLD!!!!. 

Check out the Art of Darkness Make-Up Video on YOU TUBE.  It’s the most fascinating video promoting the use of make up we’ve ever, ever seen.  It’s totally mesmerising and the music definitely sets the mood!  The concept of the video is revolutionary. 

Although I don’t what we would do if we came across such a sumptuous scene whilst walking my Boxer dog “Tito” – he’d probably bounce about, lick his chops and jump on the table.  I think Debs has a soft spot for “Wolfman” and she’d see off that Wanton Woman dancing around the table!

After watching a true artist at work, it was a pleasure to have a chat with Alex and introduce her to Savvylash.  We would highly recommend anyone to attend Alex Box Master Class - you won't be disappointed as Alex is not only highly talented but also an incredibly friendly and approachable person.  We are now true converts to Illamasqua products and can't wait to bring out our Alter Ego's........even when we're out doing our Christmas shopping and dog walking!!!!