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The Helen Mirren Effect

Posted by The powder room
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on Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Spending on anti-ageing beauty products for women in their 50s and 60s has shot up nearly 200% in the past year as British women try to look as good as 60-something role models like Dame Helen Mirren.

For the first time this age group are the spending more on skincare than women in their 30s and 40s according to leading online beauty retailer Escentual.com.

Women in this “Silver Surfer” 60s age group are now spending on average £235 every year on skincare alone. This expenditure on anti-ageing creams and serums is now higher than any other age group: Women in their 20s were seen to spend £80 per year on skincare, 30-something women spent on average £140-a-year, women in their 40s £210 and 50-something women spend £220.

The high-end beauty retailer puts this down to several high profile women like Dame Helen that have kept their looks well into their late 60s. Dame Helen won a BAFTA Fellowship this week and looked nearly 20 years younger than her actual age of 68, and other famous women are also looking amazing well into their 60s like Jane Seymour, 63, Susan Sarandon, 68, and Jacqueline Bisset, 70.

Rakesh Aggarwal from Escentual.com said: “Even a year ago the skincare market for the over 60s was not a significant amount - we would see expenditure of around £80 per annum for this age group and it is now nearly three times that amount. Without a doubt this age group is the single biggest growth market for anti-ageing beauty.

“We put this down to many more mature female role models in their 60s showing women that they can look amazing at this age. This “Silver Surfer” age group also are often financially more independent and secure now so they often have more disposable income than some younger women.”

Rakesh Aggarwal added: “Clearly the big beauty houses have picked up on this trend for 60-something women becoming a bigger market. Some of the biggest skin-care sellers that we have had this year have been anti-ageing products targeted at this age range, such as Dior DreamSkin Serum, Clarins Double Serum and Guerlain Abeille Royale.”

The Top Five Selling Escentual Anti-Ageing Skin-Care Products

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Ageing Anti-Wrinkle Resurfacing Care 50ml £13.15
La Roche-Posay Anti-Ageing Sensitive Skin Fill-In Care 40ml £26
Nuxe Day Anti-Ageing Re-Densifying Emulsion 50ml £43
Clarins Double Serum – Complete Age Control Concentrate 30ml £44
Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin 30ml £67.15

Average Woman Only Uses Quarter of her £450 Beauty Collection

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on Wednesday, 30 October 2013
New research by a hair and beauty retailer in the UK has revealed that the average British woman has a beauty collection worth £450; including makeup, cosmetics, creams and fragrances.

But the average woman only uses around a quarter of her collection (that's £110 worth.)

Xtras.co.uk polled 1,872 women from the UK, aged 18 and over, and asked them questions about the cosmetics they currently had in their possession. The study was part of ongoing research into the hair and beauty habits and preferences of British females.

Perfume was revealed to be the average lady's most expensive beauty item (followed by foundation, and then mascara.) While some  52% admitted that they have products in their beauty collection that were past their use-by dates.

Sixth of Women Don't Know their Natural Hair Colour

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on Tuesday, 22 October 2013
A new study looking into the hair care spending habits of women in the UK has revealed that 17% of women don't know how their hair looks in its natural state, as they've been colouring it for so long that they ‘can't remember’ its original appearance.

The study, conducted by www.vouchercloud.com, polled 1,342 women from around the UK as part of research into the impact of beauty treatments on personal finances.

It also revealed the average woman visits her hairdresser every 8.2 weeks, and spends £42.32. Only 12% claimed that they’d never had their hair coloured.

Of those who do colour their hair 62% said of woman said they still knew what their natural hair colour was, 21% of said that they were unsure, but 17% said that they genuinely didn't know what it was as they had been 'dying it for too long'.


The beauty

Posted by Tania Kindersley
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on Wednesday, 04 September 2013
I bang on a great deal about the trees and the hills. When I go to the south, after about a week, I find myself missing the mountains like you would miss a person. I get quite tearful when I drive back north and pass the Welcome to Scotland sign.

All the same, when you’ve lived in a place for fifteen years, you can start to take it for granted, just a little. When I first moved here, I was so amazed and entranced that I used to get in the car and head into the wild spaces. About twenty minutes north-west of my house, the country opens up like a book, and there is nothing but hills and sheep and heather. The road spirals up above the treeline, and there is a section of thirteen miles without a human or a habitation. Old granite bothies sit, gently crumbling in the weather, abandoned by the soft moderns, who need to be nearer to a shop and an internet connection, who cannot afford to be snowed in for days at a time as the older generations were. This is the road which is the first to close in the winter. You will hear it on the national traffic reports. ‘The snow gates are shut at Cockbridge,’ the presenter will say. (The name Cockbridge always used to make Terry Wogan giggle, in the old days.)

I used to drive up there just to look at the emptiness and the wide skies. I could hardly believe that so much wilderness and beauty still existed on this crowded little island. I would drive just for the sake of driving, and look just for the sake of looking.

The empty spaces, thirty minutes from my house.The empty spaces, thirty minutes from my house.

Now, I don’t take those wild journeys any more. It’s a two hour round trip, and I have books to write and my voluntary work to do and my mare to ride. There is no time. Even so, every morning, as I speed along the valley to HorseBack UK, I pass the long line of indigo hills which rise to the south of the River Dee. In the distance, I can just catch a glimpse of the proper mountains to the west, the ones which are so high that their peaks are still white as late as May. That is my daily commute. I always look at it, but often my mind is busy with other things, all the tasks that must be done that day, the enduring lack of time. (Too many things; too few hours.) I don’t, I realise, always take in the fullness of the landscape as I should. I’m too used to it.

This morning, for some reason, I was suddenly struck by the great good fortune of having beauty, at my door. It was a couple of tiny, insignificant things that did it.

Since I went back to horses, I look at a lot of equine videos on the internet. I am interested in the new school of horsemanship, and like to see other people working their animals. I watched one such clip last night. It was a woman in a dusty, dirty round pen, with a few dilapidated buildings in the background. There were no trees, no hills, no verdant pasture. It made me rather melancholy for some reason; it was all so arid and loveless. I thought how lucky I was that I get to work my own mare in an emerald field, surrounded by Scots pines and old oak trees, with a thickly wooded hill gazing down on us, and the swifts swooping, low and joyful, over the ground.

And the hill I can see from my front doorAnd the hill I can see from my front door

And then, this morning, I heard someone on the Today programme speaking in that bland managerial jargon that a certain sort of official operative is prone to use. For some reason, it conjured up an entire office environment: with those pale neon lights and thin cheerless carpet and pages of serious documents written in that same bland prose. The first half of my working day is spent outside, in the good Scottish air. Even when I am back at my desk, as I am now, tap tap tapping away at my keyboard, and staring furiously at the computer screen, I may still gaze through the window and see a long line of beeches beyond a dry stone wall built of the lovely local granite, by craftsmen whose skill has been passed down from one generation to another. I may see the wind move in the trees and, if I am lucky, the lone heron making his stately progress over the cut hayfield.

Of course, not everyone needs natural beauty. Some find loveliness in brutalist architecture; some get their aesthetics from a magnificent cityscape. Some people perhaps do not need beauty at all. But I do. And even though there are days when I don’t quite appreciate it as keenly as I should, I remember now why I must lift my eyes to the hills. It is a crazy privilege to have them here, at my front door. They go back at the top of my list of Things Not To Take For Granted, like opposable thumbs and electricity.

Women Waste over £4.8k on Wrong Colour Makeup in a Lifetime

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on Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Women across the UK spend an average of £4,888 on makeup that’s completely the wrong colour for their skin-tone in a lifetime, says new research - and foundation and blusher are the worst culprits.

On average women in the UK waste £76.38 purchasing makeup in the wrong tone or colour every year; adding up to £4,888 in a lifetime.

Just over 2,000 women were polled in the study conducted by www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk. 65% admitted to buying make-up that was the wrong shade, leaving them unable to wear it.

The top "wrong shade" makeup culprits were revealed as

1) Foundation- 55%
2) Blusher- 50%
3) Bronzer- 49%
4) Eye shadow- 33%
5) Lipstick- 32%

On average, each year women purchase 6 items in the wrong colour - with the average cost of each of these items being more than £12.

Yes - 75%
No - 25%

SUN STARVED BRITS TO RISK HEALTH THIS SUMMER

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on Tuesday, 09 July 2013
Around 4.9 million people in the UK (10 per cent) are likely to risk scorching themselves in strong sun in an attempt to get a tan this summer, a survey by Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN has revealed.

People are so desperate for some sunshine that 44 per cent of those planning to travel abroad this summer say a good reason for leaving the country is to spend time somewhere sunny after the dismal weather in the UK. A third of those travelling abroad (31 per cent) said getting a tan was one of the reasons. And regardless of where they spend their summer, around 7.2 million people (14 per cent) say they are more determined to try to get tanned because of the bad weather in the UK over the last year.

The YouGov survey, which asked more than 4,100 UK adults (aged 18+) about their holiday plans and sun habits, was commissioned by Cancer Research UK and NIVEA SUN to highlight the importance of enjoying the sun safely.

The research showed that although 87 per cent of people are aware that too much sun exposure is the main cause of skin cancer, some still aren’t taking the necessary precautions to avoid sunburn and enjoy the sun safely.

Only 65 per cent plan to use sunscreen of at least factor 15 this summer and only 36 per cent say they always spend some time in the shade when they are abroad and in strong sun.

The number of people being diagnosed with skin cancer has risen dramatically since the 1970s, and malignant melanoma is now the 5th most common cancer in the UK (2010).

Yinka Ebo, Cancer Research UK senior health information officer, said: “We know it’s been tough getting through the long winter, especially when last summer was such a wash out. But it’s still important to avoid getting sunburnt when it finally makes an appearance. We all need some sun to make vitamin D for healthy bones, but overexposure to the sun’s rays can cause sunburn, which is a sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged. Not only can this cause premature ageing and wrinkles it increases the risk of skin cancer.

“That’s why we’ve teamed up with NIVEA SUN to encourage people to enjoy the sun safely this summer. Whether home or abroad, when the sun is strong, it’s important to use a combination of shade, clothing and at least SPF 15 sunscreen to protect yourself and your family.”

For sun safety information from Cancer Research UK visit www.sunsmart.org.uk

Mirror, Signal, Mascara...

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on Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Almost half of women admit applying make-up when they are driving - most commonly at traffic lights or when they are in a jam, according to a new poll. And 43% say they put on their slap in their cars on the daily commute even though they know it is wrong. A further 42% say they use their car's rear-view mirror to adjust their make-up.

Time pressures are blamed for commuters' last-minute beauty top-ups - with the majority of women admitting they don't get out of bed until the last minute. The results came in a survey of 1,000 women by leading Harley Street clinic Debra Robson LDN, the UK's premier semi-permanent make-up brand.

Insurers estimate that as many as 450,000 accidents a year are caused by women drivers being distracted while applying cosmetics. Yet only 14% said that using make-up in the car had an adverse effect on their driving, according to the poll. Most women say they top up their make-up during the daily commute.

It's not so much a case of Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre as Mirror, Signal, Mascara with nearly half of women (46%) saying they apply make-up while driving. More than six out of ten (63%) put on make-up on the train and a further 43% on the bus.



The most popular make-up products applied by commuters are: lip gloss (chosen by 35%), mascara (30%), lipstick (25%), bronzer (6%) and eyeliner (4%). The last minute rush is caused by women staying in bed too long. Almost half of women (51%) say they almost always leave it till the last minute before getting out of bed before work. That leaves them with less time to put on their slap at home. A fifth (21%) are so rushed they spend just five minutes doing their make-up before work whereas 42% spend 10 minutes and 22% spend 20 minutes. Only 10% of women spend 30 minutes or more putting on their make-up before work. Just 5% of women don't wear make-up at work.

Debra Robson said: "We all know putting make-up on in the car is wrong - but nearly half of us do it.

"It's because most professional women do everything in a rush, particularly in the mornings when they are juggling a multitude of tasks.

"That's why so many women are finishing off their make-up routine on their daily commute - whether that is in the car or on the bus or the train.

"Faced with such time pressures, increasing numbers of women are trying semi-permanent make-up. It saves vital minutes in the mornings and means your make-up looks great from the moment you wake up."

To see more permanent make-up solutions log on to www.permanent-makeup.com

Words by Katy Pearson

Average UK Women’s Bathroom Beauty Products Worth Nearly £2,000

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on Tuesday, 14 May 2013
A new survey has revealed the contents of the average British woman’s bathroom beauty cabinet is worth an incredible £1,964.30 - but only £327 worth of them are used regularly.

Online beauty retailer Escentual.com's poll revealed that most women owned 65 beauty products which would cost on average £30.22 per product. But the vast majority of these beauty products would be rarely used – with less than a 1/6 being used daily. 

Most women said they would use only 11 favourite products every day, and admitted that over a fifth of beauty products they had bought had never been opened and would just sit in the cupboard collecting dust – (amounting to over £200 worth of wasted products.) But they kept most of the products just in case they were needed for special occasions.

Now Spring is here finally and most women will be clearing out the bathroom cabinet, and are set to find at least 14 unopened products sat at the back of the cupboard collecting dust.

Escentual.com Beauty Editor Emma Leslie said: "It’s that time of year when women are going to go through their cabinets looking to clear out the products they don't use anymore – it’s amazing that over 1 in 5 products bought never even get opened.

"Most consumers admitted that more than once a month they would buy a beauty product that they didn’t need when out on a shopping trip, just because they felt they had to buy something.

"This waste of money is much less likely with online shopping when women consider their purchase much more and can’t be pressurized into buying by pushy salespeople."

Nearly 14 times a year (13.7) women admitted buying beauty products they didn’t need in shops, as opposed to only 8 unwanted products a year online. But there are several women for whom shopping for beauty products is clearly their obsession. Over 1 in 8 women (17.6%) had beauty products worth in excess of £3,000 in the bathroom cupboard, and nearly one in five women (19.2%) had managed to stock-pile over 130 different beauty products in their cabinets. At the extreme end of the scale nearly 3% of women (2.9%) had over £5,000 worth of cosmetics all stored away in their bathroom cabinet. The survey also found that most women would clear out their cabinet once a year 65% but nearly one in eight admitted they only do it when they move house, and a quarter of women kept products in their cupboard that were up to three years old.

Words by Katy Pearson

Two Thirds of Britons use Gadgets in the Bath

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on Tuesday, 30 April 2013
New research from an online bathroom retailer has revealed that two thirds of Britons use technological gadgets whilst in the bath, despite the risks of water damage.

And 1 in 10 admitted to having damaged electronic goods by dropping them in the bath water accidently.



The study, conducted by www.UKBathrooms.com, polled 1,241 adults from around the UK as part of ongoing research into bathroom habits. The study asked, ‘Do you ever use technological equipment whilst in the bath tub?’ to which 67% said ‘yes’.

The survey then looked at the gadgets most commonly used in the bath.

The top 5, as revealed by the poll, was:

1. Smartphone- 71%
2. eReader - 54%
3. Tablet - 47%
4. iPod - 42%
5. Handheld games consoles - 31%
(respondents could select more than one answer if they used more than one gadget in the bath)

The most common bathtub activities involving gadgets, were:

1. Keeping up to date with social media - 57%
2. Speaking on the phone - 52%
3. Texting - 49%
4. Reading novels - 46%
5. Listening to music - 41%
6. Playing games - 38%
7. Watching videos - 33%
8. Keeping up to date with current affairs - 32%
9. Emailing - 29%
10. Skype/Facetime - 12%

Some 38% of people claimed they ‘became bored’ if they didn’t use gadgets in the bath, while 44% said that they spent longer in the bath due to using gadgets whilst having a soak, with 20 minutes being the average additional time spent in the tub for those using gadgets, compared to those that didn’t.

Words by Katy Pearson

British Women Choose Weight Loss Over Pay Rise

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on Tuesday, 30 April 2013
More than a third of British women would rather lose weight than have a pay rise, says a new survey.

With summer holidays fast approaching it seems shedding pounds is more important than saving them for 35% of working women in the UK.

The poll by travel website HolidayPlace.co.uk asked British women if they would rather lose a stone in preparation for the beach or gain £1,000 on their annual salary. Despite the recession only 65% opted for the pay rise with the remainder saying they’d happily forgo the salary hike for the chance to possess the perfect bikini body like Kelly Brook’s.

And almost one in ten, eight per cent, said they would happily give up £1,000 of salary if it meant they were assured of losing a stone effortlessly.

Words by Katy Pearson

Fire Brigade issues ‘beauty blaze’ warning

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on Thursday, 18 April 2013
London Fire Brigade today issued a warning about ‘beauty blazes’, following a large house fire believed to have been caused by a hairdryer in Harrow this week.

New figures from the Brigade show that there is a ‘beauty blaze’ every fortnight in the capital, caused by items like hairdryers, straighteners, tongs, vanity mirrors, and bathroom candles.

Beauty blazes

Tom George, Acting Deputy Head of Community Safety at London Fire Brigade, said: "Firefighters in London attend at least one of these ‘beauty blazes’ every fortnight. Whether it’s candles used during a bath or straighteners used in the morning, people need to make sure they include fire safety in their beauty routines.

"Many of the straighteners available today can reach temperatures of over 200 degrees celsius, which is hotter than the oil in a deep fat fryer, so it’s vital that people take care.

"Candles are popular in the bathroom, but if they’re not placed on a heat proof surface, they can melt through your bath or toilet. This is especially important with tea lights, which get very hot on the bottom."

The fire in Harrow this week caused severe damage to the first floor of a terraced house. The blaze is believed to have been caused by a hairdryer which was left on a bed. It heated up the bedding which then caught fire, and quickly spread to the rest of the room. The fire comes just days after the Brigade published a photo of some burnt straighteners on its Facebook page, which went viral and has now been seen by 4.3 million people.

The facts

The LFB says 165 fires in the last five years have been caused by beauty habits. The most prolific cause of these ‘beauty blazes’ is candles used in the bathroom, which cause around two fires a week in London. Hairdryers, curling tongs, and hair straighteners have caused 17 fires in the last five years and shaving mirrors – which are angled to magnify people’s faces – were responsible for 33 fires. When in direct sunlight, the mirrors can magnify the sun’s rays, which can concentrate heat and ignite fabric (such as curtains and carpets) nearby. There was also once incident where a can of hairspray was left too near a candle, which caused it to heat up and explode.

Words by Katy Pearson

A Quarter Of Men Would Like Their Partner To Undergo Cosmetic Surgery

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on Wednesday, 17 April 2013
New research has revealed that 24% of men would like their partner to have cosmetic surgery in order to improve their looks.

When asked what surgical enhancement would most improve their partner’s looks Liposuction came top of the boys' wish list with 57%, followed by breast enlargement, 49%, and dental surgery, 42%.

And of the 1,248 men polled by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, some 12% would tell their partner they thought cosmetic surgery would improve their looks.



Words by Katy Pearson

Women spend more than two months of their lives shaving their legs

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on Monday, 15 April 2013
Spring is finally here and even though one of the longest winters is almost at its end few UK women will rejoice because it brings on their most hated springtime beauty chore - shaving their legs.

According to a new beauty poll by online beauty retailer Escentual.com, leg shaving comes top of a long list of most hated beauty chores with 35% of women despising this preening routine the most – and during a lifetime
British women spend 72 days doing this most hated task.

The average women spends four minutes removing the hair from their legs, six times a week which adds up to an incredible 21 hours every year. And now as the tights are put away as warmer spring weather approaches this weekend it’s going to be a necessary part of women’s weekly beauty regime all over again.

Escentual.com Beauty Editor Emma Leslie said: "Leg shaving was by far the most hated beauty chore for British women, but most women felt they could not go without doing it."

The second most detested beauty chore is hair styling, 17% said they hated having to do it but admitted spending 16 minutes every day teasing their locks into place which amounts to almost a year during their lifetime (294 days).

The third most hated beauty chore was plucking eyebrows (14%) which took 11 hours a year. Next was taking off make-up, which is hated so much by 6% of British women, that they simply refused to do it! The majority of women (68%) begrudgingly remove their make-up daily but two fifths remove their makeup twice a week at most.

Words by Katy Pearson

Fifth of Women Use Sunbeds for Base Tan Before Holiday

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on Wednesday, 03 April 2013
New research by an online independent travel agency has revealed a rise in the number of women using sunbeds, despite their dangers, in the run up to going abroad in order to achieve a ‘base tan’.

Sunshine.co.uk carried out the research as part of an ongoing study into the holiday preparations of people around the UK. More than 1,900 women from around the UK took part in the poll, all aged 21 and over.

When asked, ‘Have you ever used a sunbed to achieve a ‘base tan’ before going on a hot holiday abroad in the past?’ 19% of those taking part said ‘yes’.

These respondents were asked how many minutes they had used a sunbed for, in total, leading up to a holiday abroad; to which the average answer was ’30 minutes’.

When asked why they had wanted to build up a ‘base tan’ before going on holiday abroad, the majority, 62%, admitted that they didn’t want to appear ‘pale’ on their first day of the holiday, whilst 14% claimed that they thought it would prevent them from getting sunburn on holiday. 19% said a base tan helped them to get a darker tan when on holiday. All respondents were asked if they thought using a sunbed was dangerous, to which less than half, 43%, said ‘yes’. When asked if they had been sunburnt on their last holiday abroad, 77% of those taking part said that they had.

Chris Clarkson, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, said: "Holidays shouldn’t be about getting a sun tan; they are about relaxing and spending time with family, friends or loved ones. There’re no two ways about it – using sunbeds is a dangerous habit and it’s something that should be avoided at all costs.

"So what if you look pale on a trip abroad. Holidaymakers should always put their health and safety before vanity."

Words by Katy Pearson

French women look 7 years younger than Brits

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on Thursday, 21 March 2013
French women look seven years younger than British women by the time they reach 40, says a new survey.

More than 80% of British women think that French women are the best preserved in the whole of Europe and that they age much more gracefully than us Brits.

In a survey commissioned by UK beauty retailer Escentual.com, British women judged their French counterparts to look seven years younger than them by the time they hit 40. And in the case of some famous French women it was more than seven years. Politician Segolene Royal, 59, was thought to be 12-years-younger at 47, and actress Catherine Deneuve, 69 was thought to be 10-years younger. French actress Audrey Tautou, who is 36 – they thought was 29. Actress Juliette Binoche, 48, was judged to be 41.

The vast majority of British women (89%) said the secret to French women’s youthful visage is their anti-ageing skin care regime. French ladies start using skin repair, anti-ageing creams and serums at least five years earlier than British women – 33% of French women start as early as 15, and by the age of 20, nearly two thirds of French women are using specialist anti-ageing French pharmacy brands like Avene, La Roche-Posay and Caudalie.

On our side of the English Channel women generally don’t start on their skin-care routine until the age of 25, and even then it’s only half of British women that would have a consistent regime of anti-ageing skincare.

Escentual.com skin-care expert Emma Leslie said: "British women tend to start using anti-ageing products when they start to see the first effects of ageing, which can be a bit too little too late. Whereas French women will often take preventative measures even when they are in their mid to late teens."

The French are by far the biggest spender on anti-ageing products in Europe – spending £1.9 billion on facial skincare in 2009, an average expenditure of £78-a-year for every female over 15 in France. British women spend less than half that (£854 million) which may go some way to explain the comparatively wrinkle-free French visage.

When British women were asked if French women’s increased expenditure had worked for them 90% said they thought it had, and 51% of that number said they would be happy to spend that much more if they could get the same results.


Cornwall mums "most pampered" on Mother’s Day

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on Monday, 04 March 2013
The most pampered mums in the Britain are from Cornwall, and mums in the county receive the most lavish gifts on Mother’s Day, says beauty retailer Escentual.com.

On average the amount spent last year on perfume and beauty gifts for Cornish mum’s was £62.44, and Falmouth, in Cornwall, was Britain’s most generous town with sons and daughters spending £106 on average on Mother’s Day presents.

Northallerton in North Yorkshire had the lowest average spend in Britain for Mother’s Day at £7.12.

The five most generous towns were:
  • Falmouth in Cornwall (£106),
  • Royal Leamington Spa in Warwickshire (£102),
  • Pudsey in West Yorkshire (£97.62),
  • Bicester in Oxfordshire (£91),
  • Nuneaton in Warwickshire (£88)

While the five most pampered counties in Great Britain were:
  • Cornwall (£62.44),
  • South Glamorgan (£60.35),
  • Warwickshire (£55.74),
  • Derbyshire (£55.39),
  • Oxfordshire (£54.90)

The five least generous towns were:
  • Northallerton in North Yorkshire (£7.12),
  • Wallasey in Merseyside (£11.95),
  • Epsom in Surrey (£12.32),
  • Silchester in Hampshire (£16.50),
  • Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire (£18.50)

And the least generous counties were:
  • Shropshire (£26.51),
  • South Humberside (£29.76),
  • Ayrshire (£30.40),
  • Dorset (£30.84),
  • Herefordshire (£32.19)

The results, compiled Escentual.com from their nationwide Mother’s Day sales figures, also show that British sons and daughters spend an average of £41.23 on beauty and perfume gifts for their mums.

Escentual.com CEO Rakesh Aggarwal said: "There was a huge variation on expenditure for Mother’s Day gifts across the Britain but Cornwall, and Falmouth in particular, were by far the most generous. But it’s the thought that counts on Mother’s Day, so any present given on the day will always be cherished."

Escentual.com’s best selling Mother’s Day products so far for this year are:

1) Crabtree & Evelyn Happy Hands Gift Set
2) Tisserand Luxury Bath Soak
3) Roger & Gallet Perfumed Soaps Gifts Set
4) Tisserand Soothing Wheat Cushion
5) Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Words by Katy Pearson

Ageing Spa-fully

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on Wednesday, 27 February 2013
It isn’t hard to see the enjoyable side of spa; the word is synonymous with relaxation, indulgence and the more enjoyable side of health. What is perhaps a little lesser known however is the practical impact it can have, particularly as we get a little older.

A spa isn’t necessarily the first port of call for most of us when we are looking for a solution to a health problem, or even something we would seriously consider incorporating into our wider health routine. However, choose the right venue and you will find a wealth of expertise and practical advice available for everything from coping with the menopause to help with insomnia, eczema and psoriasis, rheumatism, nutrition, and general health and fitness...

Greyshott spa

Menopause

For some women it’s a life event that has very little impact, while for others menopause leaves an indelible and often intolerable mark on their day-to-day lives. However, while it often remains a somewhat unspoken trauma, an increasing number of experts are working on holistic methods and lifestyle solutions with long term effects. At Grayshott Hotel Spa, Maryon Stewart, who started the Women’s Natural Advisory Service, has implemented her specialised programmes to advise women both during and after they reach the menopause, to make the transition as seamless as possible, or even to improve your health afterwards!

Rheumatism

Sulphur water is known for its healing properties in terms of many different health concerns, thanks to both the temperatures and the natural mineral content. At Ayii Anargyri in Cyprus, the springs in the hillsides fill the spa’s hydrotherapy pools, and prove particularly soothing when it comes to rheumatic diseases and chronic joint inflammation. It has been known to improve mobility, as well as ease pain.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Anyone who has a skin condition whether it’s severe dry skill, eczema, or psoriasis, will know that skin conditions can be a problem for any of us at any stage in our lives, and treating them is an ongoing battle. Often creams, lotions and potions seem to initially treat the surface but don’t have a long lasting effect either on discomfort or appearance. At Donnington Valley, they offer an Aqua Sun Mineral Treatment, which sees you soak under a UV canopy, in a bath containing 21 minerals and organic plant extracts from the Dead Sea. As a source of Vitamin D, it has a particularly positive effect on soothing skin conditions, while also countering Seasonal Affected Disorder, acne, and aiding detox.

Insomnia

Again, insomnia, and sleep problems can affect us at any age, but often when we are changing routines, perhaps as a result of retirement, or going through life changes such as menopause or a bereavement we are more susceptible. It is common practice to believe that most sleeping problems are the result of an overactive mind. According to sleep specialist, Tej Samani, however, there is a whole catalogue of reasons as to why people can struggle to sleep, many of them physical. Another specialist now running his clinics through Grayshott Hotel and Spa, Samani’s programmes are accessible with the wider support of the venue’s health and fitness facilities, adding a concentrated healing dimension, and a kick start to change.

Nutrition

Nutrition can have an impact on all areas of health, from digestion to skin conditions, weight, and overall wellbeing. However, trying to decipher the good, the bad, and the just-plain-ridiculous from one another with so much information flying around, can be confusing at best. As the basis of all their spa packages, Longevity Wellness Resort in Portugal offers guests both a nutritional evaluation and a biophysical evaluation, which give personal, in depth nutritional and fitness guidance based on your current fitness, age, and particular health concerns, in what is nothing short of a beautiful environment (think walks in the Monchique hinterland, swimming with a view of the treetops – you get the picture). What is also particularly nice about Longevity Wellness Resort’s approach to nutrition is that they explain the ingredients and benefits of the meals they offer in the restaurant and put any belief that healthy living is about taste deprivation and unsatisfactory portions to rest, with positively mouth-watering spreads.

Fatigue

As an offshoot of insomnia, stress, or dietary imbalances, chronic fatigue can really have an impact on your quality of life. Osteopathy, and in particular, cranial osteopathy can not only help to induce a better nights sleep, but also provide a prescriptive element, helping to identify concerns across the body that might be causing fatigue or contributing to it without you realising. Again, Grayshott Hotel Spa is on hand, and also Gleneagles, thanks to their recent introduction of ESPA Life, with specialist therapists. The advantage of these treatments being delivered at a spa is that there are so many other surrounding therapies and advice available in the same place to add support to the treatment. At Gleneagles in particular, the on-site naturopath, who oversees ESPA Life, is able to offer lifestyle and nutritional advice to help ensure that the effects of the treatment are ongoing.

Visit any of these spas and more by visiting Spabreaks.com or contacting 0800 043 6600.

Words by Bonnie Friend

Men forego looks to avoid a partner with expensive tastes

Posted by The powder room
The powder room
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on Wednesday, 13 February 2013
A new survey by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk has revealed that more than 50% of men would choose a partner who was less attractive, over someone they thought better looking, if they thought she had ‘inexpensive tastes’. 

More than 1,200 single UK men, aged 18 and over, were polled as part of research into male relationship values.

Respondents were initially asked ‘What are the key things you look for in a partner?’ and asked to choose from a list of options.

The top ten results were as follows, with respondents able to select more than one answer:

1. Good sense of humour - 68%
2. Caring nature -66%
3. Financial independence - 60%
4. Looks - 58%
5. Intelligence - 55%
6. Gets on well with friends and family - 54%
7. Personal interests - 52%
8. Ambition - 49%
9. Dress sense - 45%
10. Corresponding beliefs (religious/political) - 42%

Respondents were then asked: ‘Given the choice between a partner you consider to be good looking with expensive tastes, compared to somebody you consider to be less good looking but with ‘inexpensive tastes’, which option would you choose?’ 54% said they would choose the person with ‘inexpensive tastes’ over a more high maintenance partner. However, 29%, did admit that they would opt for a better looking partner with expensive tastes, with the remaining 17% unsure.

When asked why they would choose someone with less expensive tastes over someone they considered better looking, the majority (51%) explained that they would simply consider expensive tastes as an ‘unattractive feature’.

Those polled were also asked ‘Would you dump a partner if they didn’t get on with your friends?’ 42% said ‘yes’. 37% said ‘no’, whilst the remaining 21% said they ‘didn’t know’.

George Charles of VoucherCodesPro.co.uk said: "It's a refreshing change for our survey to reveal that people aren't as obsessed with looks as we might think. It seems they're equally obsessed with money! On a positive note, if you’ve got a caring nature and a good sense of humour then you can consider yourself a real catch."

Words by Katy Pearson

Wednesday at 3.30pm is when we look our worst!

Posted by The powder room
The powder room
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on Wednesday, 06 February 2013
It's not a time to set your alarm for, but 3.30pm on Wednesday is the moment each week that a woman looks and feels her oldest, says a new survey.

It is, researched says, the point in the week when energy levels have plummeted, stress is at its highest level and weekend excesses really take their toll.

Oh well, at least we'll look younger in the morning...


Majority of women would prefer to be lied to if they don’t look nice

Posted by The powder room
The powder room
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on Tuesday, 05 February 2013
A study conducted by www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk has revealed we really care about what other people think of our look - and that'd we'd rather people lied if they don't like our style.

More than 1,500 women were asked ‘Does what other people think of how you look matter to you?’ The majority, (92%), said it did. When asked to stipulate which people they asked the most to comment on their outfits (being able to select more than one answer), 89% said that they tended to ask their partner if they looked OK, while 77% said they asked their friends and 62% turned to family members. Furthermore, 17% of respondents said they asked colleagues to give outfit advice, while 1% even admitted to asking for strangers’ opinions on how they looked.

When asked whether or not they preferred to be lied to or told the truth when it came to their personal style and outfit choices, the majority of respondents, (61%), admitted that they wanted to be lied to, while 29% said they preferred honesty and 10% said it depended entirely on who the person giving the opinion was.

The research further revealed that 42% prefer to be lied to when it came to how they looked because honesty would knock their confidence, while 39% said they didn’t want to get into an argument about their style and 23% said that they couldn’t be bothered to change their outfit if someone said they didn’t really like their look.

However, when asked whether or not they were honest with other people when it came to the way they looked in the fashion sense, the majority of respondents, 63%, admitted that they were not, while over a quarter, 26% said they were. 11% said it depends on who asked them.

According to the poll, respondents were most likely to lie to colleagues and strangers about how they looked style-wise.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, said: “We were interested to find out whether or not British women preferred to be lied to if they didn’t look good in the fashion sense. Interestingly, the majority of those taking part admitted that they preferred to be lied to by their colleagues, friends, family and even their partners! While a healthy reality-check is always a good thing, it is obvious that many women only ask their friends and partners how they look not to hear the truth, but for a simple confidence boost.”

Words by Katy Pearson


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