Tag Archives: beauty

T&T 17 | A Chat With Lorna McKay of The Perfume Society

Listen to the latest Tea & Tattle episode here or on iTunes.

To round off our February episodes, this week I’m in conversation with the wonderful Lorna McKay, co-founder of The Perfume Society and co-author of The Perfume Bible. As a lover of scent, I’ve been a fan of The Perfume Society since soon after it first launched a few years ago, and I’ve been to several of their fantastic events in London. Lorna is an expert in all things beauty and fragrance related, and so it was a real treat to chat with her. I loved hearing about how she first got started in the beauty industry working for Harrods and becoming the buyer for their international department, before moving onto Liberty.

As well as describing her interesting career, Lorna had lots of fascinating tips to share about perfume, including her suggested list of top 5 fragrances women should try at least once in their life and the up-and-coming perfumers she’s keeping an eye on. I also enjoyed learning a bit more about what goes into creating a perfume and was also thrilled to get some suggestions as to rather more affordable alternatives to my all-time favourite scent ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Frederic Malle.

Listen for an entertaining discussion on the delights of perfume.

Do you love perfume? Which are your favourites? Do you ever associate certain smells with a particular person or place?  I’d love to know!

Miranda Loves: Elizabeth Arden Skincare

As is probably clear by now, I’m a bit of a skincare junkie, and all through my 20s, I’ve always enjoyed trying out different brands. I rarely stick to one brand for all of my skincare products, but instead pick and choose my favourites from a pretty wide spectrum.

I recently had some Debenham’s gift vouchers to use, and (having been so impressed by the Elizabeth Arden serum I mentioned in this video), I decided to try out the EA cleanser and toner. I definitely find keeping my skin in good condition is most challenging in the winter, as – apart from the cold wind and rain that feels ever present in London – seasonal viruses also tend to wreak havoc on my skin.

This year, however, my skin is holding up better than usual. Although I’ve never been (touch wood!) particularly prone to breakouts, I can suffer from dry and slightly sensitive skin, so I’ve been on the look out for products that hydrate as well as cleanse and are gentle on the skin. The Elizabeth Arden cleanser and toner are beautifully moisturising, and I’ve been very pleased with the results so far.

Do you have any favourite Elizabeth Arden products you’d recommend for me to try?

Please note: this is not a sponsored post; I really do just enjoy sharing what I’m loving at the moment through my Miranda Loves series. 

My Favourite Autumn Beauty Products


Another round-up post, but rather than books, today I’m sharing my favourite beauty products that I’ve been using day-after-day throughout the Autumn and that I’ll be continuing to use into the winter.

Click on the photo below to watch my video, featuring the products I use to create the curly hair-style I’ve been loving lately, my favourite face-creams, mascaras and more!


Curl in a Bottle / Chop Stick Curler / Nuxe Day Cream / Nuxe Night Cream / Nuxe Multi-Purpose Oil / Elizabeth Arden Serum (have to say I had no idea how expensive this is!! It is lovely, but I’ll definitely be eeking out my sample size a bit longer!) / Apricoderm Lip Balm (I can’t find a link for this; I think it’s only available in Europe)/ Chanel Mascara (sadly 40 seems to have sold out, but there are some other colours available) / Urban Decay Mascara and Lash Primer / Zadig & Voltaire This Is Her perfume

Do you have any beauty recommendations?

Miranda Loves: Charlotte Tilbury

Miranda Loves | Charlotte Tilbury

Even though I have a tendency to be wary of new makeup trends and am loyal to brands I know and love best (Chanel, Chantecaille and Laura Mercier dominate my make up collection), I’ve been wanting to try Charlotte Tilbury‘s beauty range for ages. Finally, I took the plunge and booked myself a make-up consultation at the CT counter in Fenwick. I always find the best way to test a new brand is to try it out thoroughly through a proper consultation (and it’s also a great way to pick up fresh beauty tips!).

My interest in Charlotte Tilbury products had been piqued by the many rave reviews I’d read from beauty bloggers and writers whose opinion I trust. I liked the brand’s practical approach to helping every girl master her own beauty routine by the wide range of ‘how-to’ videos available, and the playful side to Charlotte Tilbury’s products also appealed to me. The core products are categorised into 10 different ‘looks,’ ranging from ‘The Rebel’ to ‘The Ingenue,’ and you get to choose which one(s) appeal to you the most. Debating which look I’d go for (should I embrace my inner rockstar, or channel Audrey Hepburn?!), I arrived at Fenwick ready to enjoy myself and see if Charlotte Tilbury lived up to the hype.

Miranda Loves | Charlotte Tilbury

I was lucky as I had the only make-up session booked that afternoon, and the lovely beauty consultant Katerina (do ask for her if you ever fancy getting a similar consultation at Fenwick – she was truly fabulous!) handed me a glass of Buck’s Fizz and proceeded to guide me through more information about the brand and also do a truly fabulous job on my make-up.

It probably won’t come as a shock to any of you that the look I settled on was ‘The Sophisticate,’ which is apparently inspired by beauty icons Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Portman (in the end, I always go for a classically elegant look!). I absolutely loved everything Katerina used to create ‘The Sophisticate’ and ended up getting the Sophisticate Beauty Box so I could add my own twist to the look at home. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a favourite product, as everything really is great quality: I love the eyeshadow palette that is equally good for day or night with pretty tones that I feel really complement brown eyes. A surprise favourite for me is the lipstick, as I don’t generally go for such pale tones, but this shade is perfect for an understated lip and still gives enough colour to be flattering (especially when paired with the gloss). At work the other day, a woman asked if I was wearing blusher, and if so, which one, as it looked so natural and youthful! I was wearing the Sex on Fire CT blusher, which – no surprise – has become a daily staple for me!

Miranda Loves | Charlotte Tilbury

Impressed by the makeup, if anything I loved the Charlotte Tilbury skincare range even more, which Katerina used before applying my makeup. The famous ‘magic cream‘ lived up to expectation: it’s wonderfully rich, but not cloying, and I’m rapidly making my way through the small pot that came with my Sophisticate box. I also completely fell for the Goddess Mask (which I’ve now got my mum hooked on too!). The mask is a real miracle worker, leaving my skin feeling glowing, plumped and hydrated: it’s perfect to apply before a big day or event where you know you’ll want to look your very best. Also, once I run out of my current cleanser, I’m going to try the Charlotte Tilbury one as I loved it when I got to try it out at Fenwick.

Are any of you Charlotte Tilbury fans (I know I’m a little slow to the party here), or have you too been pondering whether to try any of her products? If you’re tempted to book a consultation at Fenwick, it’s worth noting that the make-up session costs £45, redeemable against your purchase(s).

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Please note: this post has not been sponsored in any way (I always mention it if a post is done in collaboration with a brand).

Miranda Loves: Chanel’s CC Cream


My current beauty obsession is Chanel’s latest CC cream, which I’ve been using on a daily basis as part of my go-to spring makeup routine. Colour correcting cream is super for evening out skin tone (I have quite a lot of red in my face), but still providing moisturising benefits.

I’m obsessed with Chanel’s CC cream, as I find it provides better coverage than tinted moisturiser, but isn’t as thick as foundation and is extremely easy to apply quickly with your fingers. It has a smooth, velvety texture and smells pretty great too. As a skincare fanatic, I also love that is has SPF 50 – perfect for heading into summer!

I have never had any luck with CC creams in the past – generally they just look orange and horrible on my (admittedly very) pale skin, but Chanel has now brought out a range of tones, and number 20 Beige is perfect for me (amazingly, it’s not even the palest offered!).

Have you tried a CC cream before? Which is your favourite?

++ View more Miranda Loves posts here ++

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Miranda Loves: The Perfume Bible


Last week, I went to a beauty event at Bentalls in Kingston, celebrating all things beauty, and in particular the launch of the brilliant The Perfume Bible. The authors, Josephine Fairley and Lorna McKay (pictured above),  gave a fantastic talk and did book signings as we all sipped prosecco and nibbled on dainty canapes. This book really is a must for any perfume lover; I love its layout with stunning photos and illustrations and its easy-to-read, yet highly informative writing style. The book dispels a lot of perfume myths and answers all those questions you’ve always wondered but never liked to ask (what is this layering thing? Is it really bad to rub your wrists together after spraying on perfume? Why do some perfumes last longer than others? etc etc).

One of my favourite things about the book is that it clearly explains all the different perfume families and tests which family you’re particularly drawn to by  asking you to select your favourite collection of photographs, each of which is associated to a particular perfume family. As a love of perfume is often so much about your psychological reaction to it, based on past experiences and associations, this seems a fitting way to test which perfume family suits you best. I found it to be spot on: I was particularly drawn to a collection of photographs featuring champagne, parisian apartments, flowers and little black dresses, and this accurately predicted my favourite perfumes to be floral.

perfume2 perfume7 perfume5 perfume8 perfume9I had so much fun at the event: not only was it fabulous to get to chat to Josephine and Lorna, I was in heaven wandering amongst all the different Bentalls beauty counters, receiving lots of amazing samples and goodie bags and discovering a new favourite perfume. Happily for me, too, Chanel was offering free makeup consultations, and I got to have a makeover done by one of their makeup artists. If you want to learn more about applying makeup or how to change up your look, I can’t recommend highly enough popping along to your local department store and getting advice and makeup done by the girls there. I’ve learnt so many tips and tricks from doing this, and it’s a great way to try out the latest beauty products. I absolutely adore Chanel’s new autumn palette, and I’m hoping to share a beauty post on getting a modern ‘smokey eye’ look with their latest eyeshadow collection soon.

Also, if you’re a fellow perfume lover, do check out Lorna and Josephine’s wonderful website, The Perfume Society. It offers great reviews on perfume, gives suggestions for next perfumes to try based on ones you already like, and membership (£25 for a year) offers you the chance to go to regular meetings and events in London, get sent magazines and receive a lovely sounding perfume box. It’s my birthday today, so I’m treating myself by signing up now!