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BEAUTY: Yon-Ka anti-wrinkle cream – but does it work?

10 Oct

French skincare brand Yon-Ka’s wrinkle-blasting anti-ageing day cream launched last week but I’ve been secretly trying it out for the last month to see if it’s worth recommending.

Frankly the stats make you want to headplant your pruney old face into the stuff – testing shows that daily and nightly application can reduce the appearance of wrinikles by up to 64% over 8 weeks. By that reckoning I’d be back in my twenties (oh God, please).

I’ve always thought expensive cosmetics and beauty products a total waste of money, a marketing wheeze, but now that I have my very own darling set of wrinkles, I find myself much more willing to try anything – ANYTHING GODDAMIT! – to try and reverse the damage.

The Yon-Ka anti-wrinkle moisturisers are paraben-free and 92% natural (not sure what the other 8% is mind you), harnessing dill and boswellia in a way that’s twangs your floppy skin cells back to attention. I’ve used it religiously for four weeks and have definitely seen an improvement – worth continuing with the product, put it that way. I’m pretty good at putting my moisturiser on day and night so it’s not just that my skin is more ‘oiled’.

I like the look of these Stimulastine products – a bit Dermologica/sciency (a good thing in my book) but looks quite sleek and expensive too. And I have to say it smells totally divine in a way pricy moisturisers always do.

Whether you want to spend £70 on a pot of moisturiser or can stomach a product on your shelf that stipulates specifically ‘Age Correction: Restructuring Wrinkle Remover – Deep Wrinkles’  (*SOB*)  is down to you. Just don’t hate me when you see me strutting down the street in six months looking like a university fresher! for beauty salons using Yon-Ka products. Available to buy online here



BEAUTY: To pluck or not to pluck?

24 Sep

Whoa, those brows are spooky

Is it wrong of me to be a little amused by this product? I know I probably don’t take enough care of myself and need to buck my ideas up a bit on the beauty front, but honestly – a Brow Menu?

Step 1: choose your caterpillar

It is brought to us by Shavata, she of Shavata Brow Studios who first set up shop in Harrods’ Urban Retreat and is now expounding her message to the badly-plucked masses.  “This is my passion. The entire process of creating the perfect arch fascinates me,” she saysssssssssssssssss (oops, sorry, fell asleep for a second there), “and  I am constantly thinking of new ways to make this previously daunting beauty task simpler for my clients.”

Yep. Good brow action there Adele. We like.

Admittedly my eyebrows are not high maintenance – not bushy or angry or the victim of a frenzied threading attack that’s sent their natural arch all askew. If you have trouble getting your brows right, maybe this selection of stencils, each named after a famous namesake, might be of use. In which case I’ll shut my trap and simply tell you that celebrity eyebrows like Adele’s (full and distinctive) and Kylie’s (slim high arch) can now be transplanted to your own grateful forehead.

And gentlemen, don’t think I have forgotten you. I bet you’ve had some sleepless nights worrying about your Denis Healey’s. I recommend choosing a George (naturally high arch), a Brad (straighter line) or a Jude (curved but bushy) for a more modern interpretation on the classic brow.

Hey, no problem, always happy to help!

Jude Law. Covetable eyebrows apparently.

The Brow Menu launches nationwide in House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols today from £17.

MAKE-UP: You too can look like, er, Andy Warhol…

2 Sep

It must be pretty tough being a make up brand at the mo. There seems to be another new kid on the block every week, and there’s only so much slap a girl can wear every month.

Who knows the creative process whereby NARS decided that women wanted to look at Andy Warhol whilst applying their eyeshadow. But hey, I’m liking the results. What do you think of these three Andy Warhol Self-Portrait Palettes? They go exclusively for one month to SpaceNK from the beginning of October, then through NARS from 1 November 1 at

By the way, from next month, when Muddy Stilettos spreads its wings and turns into a beautiful swan of a blogazine (!) I’m thinking about featuring carefully selected make up and beauty. Can’t say I really took massive interest in moisturiser, plumpers and shimmers in my twenties (in fact, ZERO), but I have finally come to realise that actually, I need some help. It would mean that when I discover anything interesting, useful or goddam essential to help in the battle against the wrinkle and triple chin, I’ll let you know. Interested?


People You Should Know #4 -The Beautician

11 Jun

Meet Helen, Muddy Stiletto’s favourite beautician. This is what a walking advert looks like. She’s in her FORTIES!!!

I’ve had plenty of facials over the years, but I’ve never really seen the point of them. I rarely look or feel much different afterwards. Just shinier and blotchier. And poorer!

 But I am a total, absolute, allelujah convert to the facials that Helen (above) gives in her beauty room at her Postcombe home (near J6 M40, on Oxon/Bucks border). I’m not kidding you, I looked about five years younger after her facial – massively less lines around my eyes and forehead. I couldn’t quite believe it but it was me.

So I’m here to share the good news. Here are 5 brilliant reasons to go and visit Helen for a treatment: 

1. She never stops. I hate facials where the beautician faffs around with little pots of serum out of eyeshot, then plops a pair of cucumber slices on your eyes and goes off to have a cup of tea and crumpet for 15 minutes. Helen constantly massages, rubs, even plucks your eyebrows all as part of the fee. 

2. Great service. Don’t like the music? No problem, what would you like to listen to? Not sure about the steamer treatment (that’s a real blower – you’ll either love it or hate it!) or ultrasound (yes, you read it right)? That’s fine, she’ll tailor the facial to what you like. It’s a much more personal approach than the facial-by-numbers that big salons tend to use.

3. She has muscles in her fingertips. No, not really, but -here’s another gripe about average beauticians (sorry!) – I can’t stand it when you ask for a firm massage and instead the masseuse tickles you from top to toe. During a facial Helen obviously won’t be pummelling away but, as I was on a roll, I did happen to have a hot stone massage as well (*sigh* it was amazing) and the pressure was just perfect for my knarly shoulders. 

4. She’s Chinese and is a dab hand at acupressure, using it in her facial treatments as well as as basic principle in her back massages. I love all that sort of stuff. I had acupuncture a few years ago and I nearly exploded with newfound energy so I’m a big believer in it. 

5. The price. When a 1.5 hour facial is really brilliant but only costs you £45, you know you’re onto a winner. A one hour facial is £35, and a one hour Chinese massage with hot stones is £40. That, my friends, is a total wacker dacker bargain. 

So Helen, I crown you Muddy Stiletto’s official de-wrinkler.  It’s a job and a half but I think you’re up to it.

Helen, May Lee Beauty. Tel: 07711 889896.

Check out this amazing ad campaign!

18 Feb

I’m not a make up kind of girl. I’ve never worn foundation (apart from during an ill-fated period of TV celeb punditry), or pandered to powders, bronzers or false eyelashes. I did go through a stage of bright red lipstick in my teens and early twenties but, accompanied as it was by tracksuits at time (I KNOW!), I’ve learnt from my mistakes. For me, less is definitely more.

But. But but but but but but… This piece of marketing wizardry makes me want to change my mind – maybe be a bit more daring and revisit some colour and attitude. Beth Ditto for Mac cosmetics; the diva who breaks the rules with the make-up brand that helps her every step of the way. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a clever campaign but you have to admit… aren’t you a teeny bit curious about the new Mac range coming out with Ms Ditto in June?

People you should know #1 – the miracle make up artist

6 Dec

 I don’t like to blow my own trumpet – much – but did you see the piccy of moi in the Thame Gazette and Bucks Herald?

The reason I mention it is because the woman who did my slap for the shoot, London-based make-up artist Natalie James (see her artistry above), has just gone stratospheric and is now working with the Creative Director of Kurt Geiger and a host of celebs including (sigh) Dominic Cooper. But when she’s not hanging out with beautiful models and hot men, she’s helping the likes of us face the world. What a trooper.

She’s just started doing her Fabulously Festive make-up looks on the run-up to Christmas, and for the first time she’s venturing out of the big smoke and into the Home Counties, yah. Make-up parties are always a good laugh, and great for those who don’t feel confident applying make up or attempting new looks (that’s me), or for groups who want to have a bit of fun getting ready to go out on the razz (that’s me too).

 Alternatively, she offers a 2 hour Make up Detox which includes establishing a new skincare regime and mastering a make-up look for those whose make-up bags are full of disgusting, decades old products that should carry health warnings (that’s…. ). Oh bloody hell, I’m so booking her!

Natalie James Fabulously Festive Make Up: 07794 547 560





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