Friday, 29 April 2016

Spotlight on Zelens Lip Oil Treatment

Having suffered with dry lips for as long as I can remember, I am always on the lookout for products that promise to hydrate and smooth them. So, when I heard that Zelens, the company developed by plastic surgeon Dr Marko Lens, had brought out a new lip oil treatment, I had to get my hands on it.

Containing nine plant oils laced with botanicals, vitamins, peptides and other anti-aging goodies, this Zelens Lip Oil Treatment (£40, gives dry lips a much needed drink while at the same time helping to protect against environmental damage. It makes lips look plumper and smoother.

By Daralyn Danns


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A visit to Windle & Moodie, Covent Garden, London

There is a vibrant buzz going on at this chic yet unpretentious hair salon. Over the years Windle & Moodie has carved out a reputation as being one of London’s most highly-regarded salons and has long been a favourite with celebrities and models as well as having many long-standing regulars.

Starting out in Covent Garden as a small shop over 28 years ago, Windle & Moodie now has taken over the street. No matter what time of day you visit it is always a hive of activity. To be so successful for so long is no mean feat in the fickle world of hairdressing. 

Windle & Moodie

What makes Windle & Moodie stand out from the crowd is its warm and welcoming contemporary feel which attracts people from all walks of life and all ages. This gives this salon its unique charm.

The staff make the more mature woman feel they are getting a style which makes them look contemporary and relevant to today and the fashion conscious know they are going to walk out with a look with which they could have just stepped off a catwalk.

Paul Windle, the founder, has his finger on the pulse and is always there heading up the team. His partner Neil Moodie, renowned for his editorial work, is constantly travelling the globe doing shoots for the top press and tending to the tresses of some of the leading names in the world of fashion. So, the stylists are always abreast of the latest trends which they can interpret for their clients. Whether you want a classic bob or the latest cut, the guys and girls at Windle & Moodie will be pleased to cater for your every whim.

Although I was just having a blow-dry, my stylist Victoria Ralph took pains to look at my hair. She really listened, unlike some, and discussed how my hair fell, the texture and what would be the best way to style it considering I was flying to the sun the next day.

The choppy bob may be the look of the moment, but Victoria was quick to tell me that for my fine and fluffy hair this was not something I should be emulating. “Smooth is the way to go for you,” she said. “When you want to add texture and movement, do it by styling and using products. More-lived in hair does not mean having to have your hair cut that way.”

A chance to relax after a hectic day

My hair was washed and I was given a lovely massage. The dim lighting, which I loved, gave me a chance to relax after a hectic day.

To give my hair body and protect against heat damage Victoria prepped it with Windle & Moodie Fortifying Spray which contains sugar beet extract to help condition, and honey to make the hair shiny. She then dosed my locks with what is arguably the hero product of the range, Invisible Day and Night Cream. It is enriched with monoi oil to help calm any frizz and also has a UV filter which protects hair from the sun. Keeping those rays off coloured hair will slow down colour fade.

I also had a quick colour consultation with Takashi who told me that I had to be careful with build-up as he felt that the previous salon had taken the colourant through too many times. Before he would touch my hair I had to have a skin test, despite the fact that I was already using Wella colour, to ensure that I would not have any allergic reaction. I was impressed. 

The result was elegant and chic. It was a pleasure to find somebody who could style my hair simply without adding volume. One of my pet hates of hairdressers is that they make my hair too puffy so that as soon as I leave the salon I have to head to the nearest ladies’ room to flatten it.

Even though I did see the sun, I also encountered rain on my trip. Victoria’s blow-dry was so good that it lasted a week. It morphed into hair that looked lived in so it looked up to the minute and still smart enough to take me anywhere. One very happy client.

By Daralyn Danns

For further information and appointments visit Windle & Moodie

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Highlights of Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is chaotic. The traffic is noisy and often at a standstill and the streets bustle and pavements are not always in the best condition, so things can get rather heated here. Yet Thailand’s capital city has a distinct fascination.
Bangkok at night
Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand

It’s a melange of extremes, the five-star luxury hotels and skyscrapers fuse with poverty. One of its main draws has to be the people whose friendliness and hospitality is laudable.

At the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market we were inundated with Thais who were not trying to sell us anything but were simply enthralled by us because we were foreigners. The market is crammed with boats from which people sell fruits, vegetables and other foods and the majority of the visitors here are from Thailand. But you should give it a try as a floating market is an experience that you will not forget in a hurry.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand 

The vast Grand Palace, built in 1782, is the big draw. The star attraction is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a block of green jade, it will have you gasping in amazement. 

Temples and markets make excellent memories but what really made this a trip of a lifetime was the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Dining with a view over the Chao Phraya River, was like being on a film set. No wonder, the hotel which was built in 1876, was an inspiration for writers such as Somerset Maugham, Wilbur Smith, and John Le CarrĂ©. It is the perfect escape from the frenetic city.

Riverside Terrace
Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

This year, this legendary establishment is celebrating its 140 anniversary. This grande dame revers its heritage and history, its mystique follows you everywhere you go.

The service is beyond reproach and the facilities spectacular. There are eight restaurants to choose from and if you feel inspired to learn how to cook, you could always enrol at its Thai Cooking School which you get to by the hotel’s shuttle boat.

The historic 140-year-old Authors’ Wing  Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok 

If the feeling of frenzy from the city still drifts after a long day sightseeing, then head to the Oriental Spa and Health Centre, also across the river, for a Thai massage.

Rooms are spacious and comfortable and are decorated beautifully in teak and Thai silks laced with contemporary touches.

Though out this special year, there will be a programme of literary, music, fashion, art and culinary events to celebrate the restoration of the historic 140-year-old Authors’ Wing and Garden Wing of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you should have afternoon tea in the fabled Authors’ Lounge which recently has been restored to pay homage to its classic late nineteenth-century design.

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok epitomises the word luxury. A stay here will spoil you for anywhere else.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

Thai Airways. For flights and best rates visit www.thaiairways

Stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Rates start from THB 11,950 per night (approx GBP 240). For more information or to make a booking, call +66 2 659 9000 or visit

Friday, 22 April 2016

A visit to Sanrizz, Knightsbridge, London

“All rules can be broken when it comes to hair colour,” exclaimed Tina Welsh, manager at Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.

Yes they can, provided you feel that you are in capable hands and not just with somebody who talks a good story and may not deliver. Talking to Tina, I could tell she knew her stuff. So, you might not need to go lighter as you age and those dreaded greys appear. Or, if you have been hankering after a certain hue but are not sure, you may be able to have some test strands.

My roots had started to show big time. You know what I mean, one day they are OK and the next you really notice that regrowth.

I had had the best results using Wella Professionals colourants than I have had with any other and wanted to choose a salon that worked with them, so, I chose Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.
Sanrizz, Knightsbridge.

At the previous salon the colour had been taken through to the ends a few times. As this can be damaging to the hair, I did not want to do it again. Tina agreed. “There are better alternatives that are less harmful to the hair,” she said. “You could use a gloss which will just wash out if you need shine. However, at the moment, your hair is perfect and does not need touching. This time, I will just do the roots and we can judge the situation and what is better for you on your next visit.”

Tina gave me a good consultation. She emphasised how important it is to listen to the client. “You need to not only discuss what they want, but look at his or her features, skin tone, face shape, hair line and texture of the hair. You also need to know the history, in other words, what has been used previously, and where they want to take their hair.”

Techniques are always changing. Tina said that now hair is becoming more muted. Highlights are not as precise as they used to be, they are more blended into the overall colour. It is a more artistic approach.

While you should not follow trends slavishly, it is always good to catch up with the latest methods of applying colourants.

Being in a hurry, I did not want a blow-dry, instead an assistant rough-dried it. It must have looked good as I went to a press launch afterwards and somebody commented how lovely my hair looked. There is a lot to be said for simplicity.

By Daralyn Danns

For more information about Sanrizz, visit



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Spotlight on Cire Trudon Cyrnos

When it comes to scented candles, it is hard to beat Cire Trudon. The company is a specialist, it has been making candles since 1643. The new Cyrnos (£70, John Lewis) is a stunning edition to the range.

Its lovely warm citrusy fragrance makes you think of warm nights spent in Mediterranean gardens. It burns for 55-65 hours so you will get plenty of enjoyment out of it. So whatever the weather this summer, you can create your own glow at home.

By Daralyn Danns

Monday, 18 April 2016

Spotlight on La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream

Some years ago I was told by a leading dermatologist that he did not believe in sensitive skin until he met me. So I feel I am justified in using this term to describe my skin.

I was beyond delighted when I learnt that Chanel has just launched La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream (£58). The same skin guru also advised me to look for creams that are not overloaded with ingredients. The less in the product, the more chance you have of not having a reaction.

La Solution 10 De Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream is a soothing cocktail of 10 ingredients which includes the antioxidant-rich Silver Needle white tea.

Well, never mind the science bit, I always say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I had no reaction on first use – a good sign – and my skin also looked and felt great. The cream has a lovely buttery consistency which soaks into the complexion and does not leave any greasy residue.  

Chanel is on to a winner with this fragrance-free potion. No redness in sight, my sensitive skin is thrilled to bits with its new treat. 

By Daralyn Danns