Wednesday, 22 April 2009


I have a new beauty Crush and it's the first lady of Cameroon. She reminds me of my childhood in the decadent 80s and I bet she smells of YSL's Opium and Dior's Poison. She looks like the love child of Diana Ross and Liberace. In these dull, credit crunchy times, her devil may care attitude and more is more approach to hair care has made me love her. Also check out the purple chanel handbag she is swinging with care free abandon. First Lady Chantal Biya- I salute you.

Saturday, 18 April 2009


Ok, what’s with the weather? The rain is giving me serious frizz. I have been embracing my curls lately and have been slapping on loads of Kevin Murphy’s super hydrating LEAVE-IN. LUXURY conditioner. I put it on damp hair and afterwards my thick, rebellious hair always seems to do what it’s told. The rich formula contains thirst -quenching mango butter, silk proteins and amino acids, which leaves hair silky, soft and with defined curls. I also like the fact it’s paraben and SLS free and doesn’t irritate my scalp with too much fake fragrances.

If your dry, thick hair also needs a moisture boost, grab a few bottles until the April showers decide to stop messing with our hair!

Friday, 17 April 2009


I can’t tell you how much I love Chanel. Everything does it for me. Some brands just epitomise glamour, luxury and general fabulousness and for me- Chanel is that brand. When a bike knocks on my door and I see that black and white bag with two interlocking C’s, I swear my heart skips a beat.

Anyway, you can imagine how excited I was when I went to their A/W open day today in the Chanel Academy. It was like a Chanel Nirvana with a sneak preview of the upcoming collections for handbags, rings, watches and of course the latest beauty products.

I bumped into one of my favourite people in beauty, the make up artist Kay Montano who is working with Chanel and has used her talented fingers and magical brushes on Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

She immediately pounced on me and gave me a sexy, flicked liner Amy Winehouse would be proud of and dusted my cheeks (in what I like to call the Magic C, which goes from above your cheekbone to the edge of your eyebrow like a C shape) with the new Soleil Tan de Chanel Poudre Precieuse Libre Effet Hale, a shimmering golden loose face and body powder that looks great on darker skin. I have been totally Chanel-ed and am loving it!

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Ok, I need to drag out my soap box and jump on it, because I am evangelical about Equazen’s Eye Q Naturally sourced omega 3 and omega 6 oil capsules, available from Boots or check out their website This golden elixir has changed my life. I kid you NOT.

The capsules are rich in Essential Fatty Acids and are sourced from sustainable fish such as pilchards and sardines but don’t let that put you off. Essential Fatty Acids are amazing for your joints, brain and is said to help behavioural problems in children. More importantly, since I have been chugging down 4 capsules a day in about 2-3 weeks I noticed my hair has doubled in thickness and stopped breaking and it now grows at a rather deliriously wonderful turbo speed. My skin is much softer, my nails are terminator strong, my husband says I’m less moody and my general sense of well being is through the roof. My mum is taking them and several PRs and beauty experts who have immediately spotted a difference in my hair, skin and nails have demanded, “what the hell are you on?” So, gather round brothers and sisters and let me tell you, Eye Q’s capsules are no snake oil but little drops of golden heaven. Go buy it now and repeat after me- EYE Q WE LOVE YOU!

Thursday, 9 April 2009


I was at a launch today having a manicure (one of the lovely perks of my job) and I was having a chat to a fabulous PR and friend about how some guys just don’t get beauty and what it does for women. At this point, I had multiple flash backs to dinner parties and family gatherings where I constantly get baffled looks from both men and women about what the hell I do for a living.

It usually goes something like this with an older conservative gentleman.

Old Gentleman- “So you read history at Bristol University, I hear”.
Ateh- “Yes it’s a passion of mine”.
Old Gentleman- “And now you’re a beautician”?
Ateh- “ No, I am a journalist who happens to write about the wonderful world of beauty”.
Old Gentleman- “ I have an ingrown toenail can I show you in the bathroom”.
Ateh- “ No, I don’t do that but I can suggest someone you can see”.
Old Gentleman- “Thought you said you were in beauty, it’s all rubbish anyway, you just brain wash and take advantage of insecure women”.
Ateh- “ Firstly, would you ask a banker or hedge funder to pay your gas bill. Secondly, my job is to educate women and empower them to express themselves using beauty products and treatments.”

As you can imagine I am very popular dinner guest. The fact is for me the beauty industry is about the inside and not the outside. I love beauty because it speaks to the soul and spirit. I also think beauty is very liberating for women, did you know hedonistic party girl flappers in the 1920s (think the likes of Pixie Geldof and Lilly Allen of their day) showed their defiance and emancipation by wearing red lipstick? Before the First World War only prostitutes wore red lipsticks and it was a sign women didn’t want to be pushed back into the home and subservient roles after working while their men were away on the frontline.

Beauty for me is about connecting to your spirit and there is nothing more soul restoring than having a long soak in the bath. I love Origins Peace of Mind Vapour Bath, the minty bath makes you breath deeply, which is better than a Valium for taking the edge off a hard day.

I also love to mask when in the tub and apply the SK II Facial Treatment Mask, which leaves skin plumped and soft. The best part of wearing it is that every time I put on the freaky looking cloth mask with cut out holes for your eyes and your mouth I scare my husband. I do a Hannibal Lector voice while jumping out at him naked. To be honest I don’t know what’s scarier.

Anyway I digress, I also love doing my own nails, it brings out the OCD in me as I love the ritualised ceremony of filing, cutting my cuticles and making them look polished and ladylike. I love slicking my nails with Essie’s Sugar Daddy, a pretty cool toned sheer pink, which makes me feel all Grace Kelly chic. That’s the magic about my beauty world, a pink nail polish can bring out my inner movie star just like films can help you travel the world without leaving the room or a ride in a convertible car can make you feel glad to be alive.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


What a lovely piece Ateh... you are so right about memory and smell. I have kept one of my grandmothers lovely silk scarves tucked away and every now and then I bury my face in it and breathe in her wonderful old-fashioned floral perfume. Its more 'her' than any photographs I have...

On another note - I hadn't even thought about perfume for my wedding though - eek, two weeks to go. I like quite spicy perfumes - but are they really 'wedding-y' enough?!

Dear Zoe,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful fragrance and memory moment! As for your wedding if spicy, sexy, Orientals are your favourite then wear them on your wedding day. When it comes to weddings the jig is up for most of us who are not going to come down the aisle blushing virgins! So wear what you feel comfortable in, will delight in wearing again and what your fiancé will recognise as being the sensual Oriental loving woman he fell in love with.

I love Orientals as well and as your fragrance sister I love Annick Goutal’s Grand Amour, which has warming amber, vanilla, Turkish rose and white lily. Goutal also do a fabulously spicy fragrance Encens Flamboyant Godron, which is filled with spices such as sage, frankincense, cardamom and nutmeg incense.

Miller Harris’ Fleur Oriental
, is also a heady sensual fragrance, which will get your fiancĂ©’s heart fluttering as you walk up the aisle with amber, vanilla, musk and spicy carnation and romantic Turkish rose.

Finally, Guerlain’s iconic Shalimar has been re -imagined as a lighter fresher version- Eau de Shalimar. This romantic and enticing scent contains jasmine, rose, powdery iris with sparkling citrus top notes.

Good luck with your wedding!!!! Also a quick wedding tip- DON'T try any new beauty products as you don’t want any surprise break outs and rashes, stick with your beauty regime, drink lots of water, get loads of sleep if you can and have a magical time!
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