Thank you Mrs Howarth..

Where did it all begin, this love of fragrance?

I was the child who gathered rose petals, squashed them and placed them in water.

There were deep red velvety English roses in the front garden at my childhood home that my mum loved because the smell was so heady and rich and we used to smell them together.

Everywhere I went I picked leaves, crushing them between my fingers, pulled up grass to smell the sweetness. A large part of my childhood was outdoors – cycling, skating, running, climbing trees, smelling flowers, wading in rivers and I have vivid memories of bluebell woods, white flowers, trees and green – the beautiful scent of leaves, trees, bark and grass. Nature.

I had never owned a fragrance, I didn’t know about notes, fragrance families, ingredients or perfume houses. I just loved things that smelt amazing.

At secondary school sitting in class all I did know was that every-time Mrs Howarth, my English teacher, walked by the fragrance she wore was absolutely beautiful. I think it was her ‘signature’ fragrance as she always smelt the same.

I remarked on the fragrance, she told me what it was.

Tresor Eau De Parfum.

Tresor - upright

Fresh, floral, fruity, spicy, it is fine and elegant. Peach, apricot, jasmine, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.

Mrs Howarth came to my desk one day and passed me a tiny tissue wrapped bundle, I opened it up and inside was a tiny Tresor Eau De parfum miniature. For me, all for me. I was bowled over.

It is timeless and ageless  – I was barely 14 years old at the time and still love it now as a woman who is thirty-something 😉

Tresor really is a ‘treasure’ and so special to me. It takes me back to a time in my life when someone’s kindness introduced me to the wonder of fragrance.

Tresor has since been gifted to me by some very special people in my life and I have even bought it as a gift for myself.

Thank you Mrs Howarth for your thoughfulness and kindness shown to a young girl who at that point in her life would not have been able to purchase something so beautiful as a bottle of fragrance from an amazing perfume house, created by such a fantastic nose.

Sophia Grojsman has created so many beautiful fragrances that I adore and have adored at different stages and ages throughout my life – Ex Cla-ma tion! Calyx, Paris and Eternity to name a few.

Memories last and fragrance memories are everlasting.

Do you have a special fragrance memory?

Beautiful Eyebrows

Ready set brow and gimme brow boxed

I love having my eyebrows shaped, I do think it is the one thing you can do to your face that makes a real difference, making you look more youthful and groomed and the results can either be subtle or impactful.

I have always been a fan of Shavata and I regularly go to Harvey Nichols in Manchester to visit the brow studio to have my eyebrows threaded to perfection. The results are fantastic. Having tried waxing in the past, which I found quite brutal on the delicate skin around my eyes, I find threading to be quite the opposite as it does not aggravate the skin and is not as invasive. Over time I have found that my growth has diminished where I do not want it to be (why did a random eyebrow hair always end up closer to my eyelid than my eyebrow! My eyes haven’t drooped that much yet!) and my eyebrows keep their shape for longer which is a real plus.

I have good eyebrows but in their natural state they do need a little enhancement to fill in the odd gap where I am growing them a little thicker and to create a slightly stronger look than my natural look, which is something I particularly like to do when I do my daily make-up. I am always looking for good eyebrow products and I love to experiment and try different types of products such as waxes, powders, gels and so on.

I am also intrigued by more semi-permanent techniques such as micro-blading but I am not  necessarily ready to take the plunge yet to have a procedure like that carried out and besides with so many great eyebrow products on the market I enjoy the flexibility and control you can have over your eyebrows to rock either a strong look for an evening out or be ‘girl next door’ with something softer when you are dressed down at the weekend in jeans and relaxing.

Benefit have refreshed and revitalised their brow range and have also released more products in their brow line up to ‘wow your brows’.   I love the new packaging and the uniformity in terms of colour and style across the current offering Benefit has for brows (which includes absolutely everything you could ever think of for your brow needs to be fair!)

Benefit Gimme Brow

I have always had the award winning Gimme Brow in my make-up kit since its original release.

Lots of little microfibres fill in and plump up your brows giving them shape and definition. If you are after a quick fix without the need to use a pencil or do not want to spend considerably more time than necessary shaping your eyebrows then this product does enable you to achieve a fantastic natural full and groomed look speedily. The minuscule brush is the perfect size to hug the eyebrow as you brush through the hairs.

Benefit Ready Set Brow

After I have used Benefit Gimme Brow I like to run though my eyebrows with an eyelash/eyebrow wand/spoolie and that is how I use Benefit Ready Set Brow. This product softens the look of the Gimme Brow, leaves eyebrows even and sets the shape, particularly good if you have any wayward eyebrows that have a mind of their own, I know I do and sometimes, depending on how I have slept at night, they do seem to have a mind of their own and stick out in different directions – lovely! The gel is clear and the brush is really cool as it has longer bristles on one side and shorter bristles on the other to enable you to coat the hairs evenly for sculpting and shaping.

Lisa Potter-Dixon is the Head make-up Artist and Brow Expert for Benefit Cosmetics and I would suggest checking out her Instagram and You Tube for inspiration and some cool step-by-step guides on how to do your make-up and eyebrows – very inspirational and such a lovely person too.