SPRING/SUMMER 2015: our latest beauty edit

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I’m so excited to be able to unveil the new season’s curation today. I have five beautiful new brands to introduce to you, and feel honoured to be in a position where I can bring them to MyShowcase.

One of the wonderful things about sourcing the brands for MyShowcase is that it often brings me back into contact with people I have known and admired throughout my career. I hardly dare admit how many years it is since I first met Cassandra Hall, but I do remember that it was in an office at the top of a tall building in Grosvenor Street, where she worked for many years as PR director for Lancome. Some 20 years on (we both started young in this business!) here we are in another time and place, bringing the beautiful scented candles Cassandra and her husband Jonathan have created to you.



La Montana, Cassandra and Jonathan’s brand, was born out of their new life in Spain. The couple have a home there and were so struck by the environment and, in particular, the unique and beautiful mountain aromas that they decided to create a candle range that evoked this. Their first candle, First Light, was inspired by early morning walks with their dog – it’s a blend of wild mountain herbs fennel, bergamot, rosemary, mountain pepper and rockrose – and it’s completely divine. I challenge you to smell it and not understand why Cassandra and Jonathan could have created their candle range.

Way back in the days when I was presenting a beauty slot on The Big Breakfast (did I really appear on that programme with a paper bag on my head one morning?), I came across beauty therapist Jane Scrivner, who had written a book about detoxing and asked me to review it. Over the years I’ve followed and admired Jane’s progress and now, here we are, presenting her skincare range to you. To say I’m impressed with these products is an understatement. Jane’s attention to detail is reflected in the formulas and presentation of the range, and I predict that she will win many more awards with it in the years to come. One of the things I love most about this range is that it’s succinct and genuinely holistic, Jane approaches good skin from inside and out. And yes I’m taking her rose hip supplements.

I find beauty brands in lots of different ways. But sometimes they find me. Which is the case with Magicstripes, makeup artist Natalie Franz’s stroke of brilliance. There I was, sitting quite happily having a cup of coffee with a friend in Westbourne Grove, when something flew out of her bag and across the room – a packet of invisible eyelid lifting tapes. Naturally it caught my eye, and although I was about to finalise this season’s brand edit, mountain and earth were moved to bring this clever concept to you. These are no gimmick, they work like, er, magic. I know you’re going to love them.

Now I know it sounds like something out of a medieval physician’s handbook but ‘chicken skin’ is a very genuine issue for many people. It even has a latin name, keratosis pilaris, and manifests as permanent goosepimples, making the skin (arms and legs) rough and bumpy. Annette Luck had this problem for years and became increasingly frustrated over the lack of effective treatment. So she made her own, as you do, bringing Ameliorate to the market and many, many grateful users. Trying is believing with Annette’s Skin Smoothing Body Lotion. It’s an absolutely perfect fit for MyShowcase.

Finally, I bring you Vita Liberata suncare, and I’m so happy to be able to do so. Alyson Hogg’s broad-spectrum sunscreens are a natural step on from her much loved self tanning treatments, and they are superb. Alyson’s incentive was to develop a range that cares for the skin while protecting it from the sun, but also – importantly – to ensure that the formulas wouldn’t sensitise skin while actively in the sun on holiday or just going about daily life (usually under a cloud) at home. Many people have issues with this and it never seems to have been properly addressed, until now. All hail Vita Liberata!

It’s especially exciting to be able to enhance the MyShowcase brand edit across the categories to bring you a more complete beauty offering. When I look at our cast of brand experts – from Nicky Clarke to James Read, Jane Scrivner, Rebecca O’Connor and beyond – I feel immensely proud to be in a place where such expertise can be brought to one platform, one growing, brand-building mothership. A new dimension in beauty discovery and retail? You bet!

Enjoy discovering these beauty class acts. Kate x