Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Christmas and the winter sales are hardly over and Valentine's day is already upon us!

The stores all have ample stock of the products presented in our February windows. I've looked at last year's sales and made doubly sure that their ideal stock levels (to which they are topped up each time they place an order) won't leave them exposed to stockouts before they receive their next order. And I've been consulting store managers - asking if there's anything they think might outperform.

So hopefully everything will go well - though the course of love never did run smooth, there are bound to be one or two misadventures.

Here's a selection of rose-scented and rosey-hued beauty products that should charm the most valentine's-averse. Serge Lutens' Sa magesté, la Rose is a lovely fresh soliflore, while La Fille de Berlin is a more peppery rose. The spectacular magenta of the latter makes it a wonderful gift to unwrap. £69 for 50ml from Liberty.

Scotch naturals produce water-based nail varnishes, with a wide selection of natural, floral colours, as well as some show stoppers. Atholl Brose (not very pink, but a gorgeous name) and Tartan Swizzler £14 from

Paris brand, Marinho, is also doing something quite exciting - with the purchase of a Mini M UV lamp, an undercoat and a varnish, you have the world of flawless, gel manicures at your finger tips. €145 for the lamp, €18 for the base and varnishes (here, La Favorite and Le QQ/First Class) from Le Bon Marche.

New to John Lewis, Japonesque - which dates back 25 years and is influenced by Kabui-theatre make-up - is an esoteric, exotic cosmetic brand. It gives exceptional texture, has super staying-power and each item comes in a unique container with beautiful hand-injected gel fascia. Their Velvet Touch Blush (£18, John Lewis) gives you real rosebud cheeks.

Well - have a lovely lead up to Valentine's.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Sale, in France at least, is about to get under way. It was difficult to say when sale started in the UK, what with pre-Christmas offers and then '50% off' to be seen in windows as early as the 21st. By 26th, some stores were on their second markdown. Lacked punchy opening and climax - but it pulled up the figures a bit.

In France, everything is very regulated, so despite the bad Christmas, sale starts tomorrow.
We have a package of promotions - various percentage discounts on several selections of stock. Should go well.

I'm going to get down to some in-depth analysis tomorrow, but for now again, I'm just waiting.
So to pass the time, here's my pick of the remnants of the sales here and the sale in its first flush in France.

Shu Uemura, Bon Marché, Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil and UV Underbase Mousse by Takashi Murakam, €70.40 from €88 (their classic A/O Oil and Underbase Mousse, but 20% off); Paul & Joe Beauty,, Pressed Powder Compact with UV Protection £17.50 from £28, Lipstick Refill £10.50 from £14 (what better excuse to buy a beautiful case!); Kusmi Tea – receive a free wellness tea for every €30 spent on their site; Orla Kiely, Forest Flower Wash Bags, £44.80 from £66