An Interview with Nathalie Franz, Founder of Magicstripes.


When I tried Magicstripes a few weeks back (read about them here) I was seriously impressed. Not only did they work incredibly well, but I just found the whole idea completely intriguing. So you can imagine, I absolutely jumped at the chance to interview brand-founder Nathalie Franz.

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LL: How did you get the idea for the Magicstripes eye lifts?
NF: On one of my travels to Tokyo I stumbled over these silicon stripes and tried them on myself. I was so amazed by the effect that I decided to put them on the European market.

LL: How to the strips work?

NF: The stripes uplift the eyelid immediately and without any cosmetic surgery. You just put the transparent stripes on your eyelid, that’s all.

LL: How much of a difference does a refreshed eye make to an overall look?

NF: The eyes are very important to the overall look. An open and awake eye is the first thing you notice at a person.

LL: What beauty tips would you recommend so that I can always look refreshed and awake?

NF: First of all use Magicstripes of course;) I personally do use them everyday to look fresh. For make-up I prefer a fresh and natural make-up, Mascara, Rouge, Eyebrows.


LL Magicstripes has recently brought out collagen masks and repair gloves – is there a difference when you use these vs normal creams and lotions?

NF: Yes there is a big difference, as all of the mask have special ingredients and effects. They are very effective due to their powerful special ingredients.

LL: What’s next for Magicstripes? 

NF: We are planning to launch more special products in the future. So stay tuned 😉

Thank you so much Nathalie for your answers!

An Interview with Kahina Giving Beauty’s Founder Katherine L’Heureux

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Kahina Giving Beauty is one of those brands which is just special! All of the products I’ve been lucky enough to try just feel so sumptuous and luxurious to use, and when I learned that the brand is making a real difference to women in Morocco, I fell even deeper into love with Kahina! I was lucky enough to have Katherine L’Heureux answer a few of my questions, and I have to say, my wish list has grown considerably!

kat at tazghilite

How did you find out about Argan oil’s amazing skin benefits?

I fell in love with argan oil when I used it for the first time on a trip through Morocco in 2007.  My skin, which was mostly dry, with oiliness at the t-zone, became balanced for the first time.  Intrigued by this oil, which I had never heard of before, I came home and did some research.

How did you come across the indigenous Berber women of Morocco? How does Kahina Beauty work with the women?

After my initial discovery of argan oil, I started importing the oil and sharing it with my friends.   The response was unanimously favourable, so I conceived of an organic skincare line based on argan oil.  The first step was to return to Morocco to learn everything I could about its production methods.  It was then, in January of 2008, that I first encountered the Berber women who work to extract the oil.  I searched high and low for reputable suppliers and met and worked with several groups of women on my quest for the highest quality oil.  Today, a lovely group of Berber women in a remote village high in the Anti Atlas Mountains harvest and crack the nuts for Kahina’s argan oil. We have also commissioned hand knotted rugs from them to provide them with an additional source of economic income.  And we work directly with the women to determine programs that we can support to help them beyond providing the economic opportunity that purchasing the oil and rugs provides.

How does Kahina mix traditional Moroccan beauty with modern needs?

At Kahina, we combine traditional ingredients with modern technology to create truly effective skincare products that appeal to a contemporary woman.  You can’t improve on what is found in nature, and the Berber women have such a rich knowledge of plant remedies, but often these remedies require extensive mixing, drying, and pressing, and aren’t meant to last for more than a couple days beyond a trip to the hammam.   Women in the West often don’t have access to wide the variety of quality ingredients we use in our products, and they want their products to last a while.  We’ve created skincare products using active percentages of the highest quality ingredients from around the world, in formulations that are meant to last.

Your newest product includes Prickly Pear Oil – how beneficial is this oil for skincare?

Extremely rich vitamins E and K, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, prickly pear seed oil has been shown to moisturize and soften skin . restore elasticity . meutralize free radicals that cause signs of aging smf brighten undereye circles. Slightly richer in weight and texture than argan oil, prickly pear seed oil is ideal for dry, mature skin types.

Do you think all skincare should have a natural oil base?

Some oils, like argan oil, and prickly pear seed oil, are wonderful, nourishing ingredients and can be loaded with vitamins, but it really depends on the product you are formulating.  Our Toning Mist, for example, is oil free.  With an aloe vera base, it helps to calm skin and gently moisturize.  By spraying the Toning Mist on before applying an oil or serum, the oils are absorbed more readily into the skin.

What are your favourite products?

It is so hard to choose as they are all like my children.  And it can depend on the time of year.  Right now, I’m loving our Prickly Pear Seed Oil and our Night Cream for helping my skin make the transition from winter to spring.  I’ve also been traveling a great deal over the past month and my skin is in need of deep nourishment.

What would you recommend for someone who has never tried the brand?

I always recommend that people try our pure argan oil to start.  If people have tried other argan oils, they can smell and feel the Kahina difference.  Our argan oil is a testament the extent we go to to ensure quality.  If they don’t know about argan oil yet(?), it’s a good place to start to understand how amazing this ingredient is and why I started Kahina in the first place. 

What’s next for Kahina?

I’ve just returned from Morocco and am inspired to introduce more of the traditional Moroccan hammam products into the line.  We’re also playing with scent this year.  Right now, we’re introducing our new ESSAOUIRA Body Serum with the same base as our best selling FEZ Body Serum, but with a lighter, more floral, yet still sultry, scent.

Thank you so much Katherine for answering my questions, and I can’t wait to try more Kahina Giving Beauty products – they are really something incredibly special!

Kahina Giving Beauty is available from Net-a-Porter and

An Interview with Kristin Petrovich


As much as I adore makeup (and I really, truly do) over the past couple of years, I’ve realised just how important skincare actually is. After all, you can’t out-lipgloss bad skin! So, as I’ve learnt more about what works for my skin, I’ve discovered some really amazing skincare brands. One of these is Själ . I’ve featured some of their products on here before, as I just adore the way the brand mixes ideas from Ancient Eastern Medicine with cutting edge science. So, you can only imagine how excited I was when I got to interview the brand’s terribly glamorous founder Kristin Petrovich!

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LL: What prompted you to create your own skincare line? What were your aims for Själ when you founded it?

KP: My mother and I were looking to create something extremely simple and effective for today’s consumer; multi-tasking products that would produce results and that would not plateau on the skin but rather to become a staple or ‘go to’ product in ones bathroom cabinet. It was our goal to create a well-edited, straightforward line using the highest quality ingredients free of harsh chemicals and fillers that visibly restore, nourish and reversed signs of aging while working to detoxify, balance energies and protect the skin from the damaging effects of the environment, stress, fatigue and travel.

LL: What attracted to you the idea of fusing Ancient Eastern medicine with modern technology? What do you think can be gained with combining the two?

KP: We always practiced both Eastern and Western medicines. Eastern medicines for prevention, relaxing and re-balancing energy and Western for general health and advanced science.  For us, the integration of the East and the West was the natural course to take for the brand, we found that ancient medicines coupled with the latest advances in bio-technology and anti-aging technology proved for the most balanced, effective and efficacious products. We felt this complementary approach provides for a truly comprehensive, well-rounded anti-aging regimen.

LL: Sjal skincare products are charged with precious minerals. What difference does that make to the overall product as well as to skin? How are the products charged?

KP: All matter has energy, however, gemstones and minerals naturally emit a higher frequency or energy.  Higher frequency or energy is positive for our cells and ultimately for our health.  Själ products are ‘charged’ with precious minerals including gold, silver, copper, platinum and germanium in both liquid and solid form. Known as electro-stimulants, these minerals function as semi-conductors increasing cellular productivity, performance, repair and penetration while leveraging the effects of the other ingredients. We use gemstones and minerals in different ways: powder, colloidal, elixir and frequency. Powder is ground gemstones, colloidal is a liquid suspension with nano particles and frequency or an elixir is when a stone is programmed or blue printed into the substance, it can also be done through osmosis. Själ uses a platinum peptide complex with targeted platinum delivery system, this platinum delivery system was taken from a bio-tech cancer drug research group as they are using platinum and other precious minerals (which naturally vibrate at a higher frequency) to directly target weaker cells.  They incorporated this platinum delivery system with peptides to help target anti-aging. In addition to precious minerals, själ incorporates gemstones such as diamond, blue sapphire, ruby, amethyst, citrine, and tourmaline, which promote increased cellular energy, microcirculation and clarity. Just like minerals, different stones have different properties.  For example, the sapphire is known for clearing, amethyst is known for healing, rose quartz is known for calming and circulation, malachite is known for protection.  We use gemstones and minerals that we feel are universally beneficial and complementary to our products.

This elevated frequency emitted from gemstones and precious minerals helps direct energy to specific areas of need, constantly adapting to your skin under any condition, allowing for maximum performance and benefits.

LL: The products feel incredibly luxurious to use. Was that an important element in creating them?

KP: Yes, of course, the entire experience of the product is important. From texture, to slip, to absorbency to overall feel on the skin.  We work with the purest ingredients and bases as we want the product to feel luxury as though its your your own skin, we want allow for the product to absorb so it can do its job.

LL:What do you think are the most important elements of an effective skincare regime?

KP: I think creating a well-round product as opposed to something one dimensional, the modern consumer does not have time for 15 serums, things need to be simple yet comprehensive with a multitude of minerals, proteins, vitamins, peptides, amino acids, botanicals, algae, etc.  Products need to be balanced yet effective.

LL:Your newest product, the Bio-Regeneratif Serum is absolutely amazing to use! How did you decide on the Malachite and gemstone blend?


KP: We are constantly being bombarded with EMFs and Radiation, we are electrical beings affected by electromagnetic pollution (mobile phones, computers, power grids, etc).   Electromagnetic pollution creates oxidative stress. Stress can lower our frequency and energy field making us more susceptible to illness and disease.  As gemstones naturally vibrate at a higher frequency they are healthy for our skin and body.  Malachite, for example, acts as a shield against EMFs and Radiation.  It protects the skin externally by balancing electrons and internally by stimulating the production of glutathione, our body’s most powerful detoxifier.  Our gemstone blend helps to provide enhanced cellular energy, microcirculation and skin clarity.

LL: How important do you think a serum is in your skincare regime? Should it be used once or twice per day?

KP: The most important part of a regimen as they can make the greatest impact, I always suggest twice per day.

LL: What’s next for Sjal?


I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Kristin for taking the time to answer my questions! I just find it so fascinating to learn about brands like Själ and see how individual they truly are! I’ve also been fortunate enough to try out the new Bio-Regeneratif Serum, and it’s amazing! So keep an eye out for my review!

Själ skincare is available from Harvey Nichols and from

Harvey Nichols A Beautiful Mind Event*


Last night, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh very kindly invited me to their Beautiful Mind Expert Panel Discussion. Nestled high up on the Forth Floor, the newest and best products for Spring and Summer were discussed by some of the stores experts, and I have to say, I had an absolute ball!


The Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Hall is where I tend to go whenever I’m in the mood to treat myself, so when I had the opportunity to learn from the best, and absolutely jumped at the chance! The evening was hosted in the upstairs bar, and we were treated to the most perfect looking nibbles and copious amounts of fizz! It was a lovely way to meet people as excited about beauty as I am – and I was so excited to meet Debbie Jones, who is the head beauty buyer for Beyond Beauty.


As well as being a serious beauty buff, Debbie gets to introduce the best and newest products to Beyond Beauty, so if you’re like me and are addicted to EOS lip balms or at-home beauty devices like Tria’s or Clarisonics, you have Debbie to thank! It was fascinating to learn about what’s popular up in Edinburgh versus elsewhere in the UK (EOS lip balms are a very big deal) and I loved learning about what’s coming up. London’s Beyond Beauty are going to be the first in the UK to open up a sculpting bar with Rodial, as contouring has become such a popular technique, and Debbie also talked about how important cleansing and at-home devices have become.


Jacqui Fenner from Harvey Nichols’ Beyond MediSpa then shared about the incredible range of treatments which are available at the in-store spa. It’s one of the corners of the store I keep meaning to head into, but learning about their incredible treatments means I am booking up ASAP! Rather than the typical whale-music beauty salon, the Beyond MediSpa is far more futuristic! Instead of relying on products alone, the spa is focused on intelligent skincare and body treatments. Jacqui talked us through the Hydrafacial which is a new treatment which was introduced last year. The process includes everything from lymphatic drainage, hydra-dermabrasion, a mild peel as well as red light treatment.

She also talked about CoolSculpt which is the newest treatment at the spa. It sounds amazing! Basically, it’s a non-invasive way of getting rid of any areas which you can’t target with exercise. The treatment can be used on arms, tummy and thighs, as basically the fat is sucked and then frozen, and the fat cells crystallise and die. It’s a permanent solution, and one treatment can make you drop an entire dress size!


Gillian from Tom Ford then explained about the brand’s rather impressive fragrance collection. She is so passionate about the brand, and it was fascinating to learn more about the thought process behind the perfumes. Rather than having delineated ‘male’ and ‘female’ scents, they are unisex and you really do need to take the time to see which fragrances really appeal. Gillian explained that Tom Ford doesn’t want his fragrances to appeal to everyone, but I think that once you find your fit, you really love it. We got to sample a little of the Neroli Portofino Body Oil (my favourite) and we all had serious scent envy!


Michael Becman is a top Laura Mercier makeup artist, and has ‘made-up’ everyone from models to celebrities. He talked us through the top trends he is seeing with makeup, and was even kind enough to perform a demonstration of contouring. Since the Kardashians have become so popular, more and more people want to learn how to contour.


The Laura Mercier Contour Palette has been swiftly added to my wish list after seeing Michael work his magic! He recommended to start contouring after applying foundation, and rather cleverly, the Laura Mercier kit has no warmth so whatever you contour gives depth to your face. Depending on your problem areas, contouring can shorten your forehead, slim your nose or lift your cheeks. Unlike the rather distressing Pintrest contouring tutorials I’ve seen, Michael’s work was like magic! He pressed the cream into cheek bones and chin, and instead of looking stripy, his model just looked well rested. It was incredibly subtle but so beautifully done. After working the kit to add depth, he used a highlighting shade to add some life to cheek and brow bones (always blend up!). Then, to finish off the natural look, he added a swirl of blush. To find your perfect flush, he recommended pressing just underneath your fingertips to see what colour suits you best!


If contouring sounds like a little too much, he also shared what he loves for an easy, everyday look. Rather than just popping your regular moisturiser, Michael likes to apply a moisture mask for all day hydration, and he recommends attending to your brows rather than adding mascara if you want a bit of a lift. A touch of bronzer is then all you need to look beautifully natural.


Manda Gunion from Nails Inc then talked us through what’s new from one of my favourite nail brands. Harvey Nichols Edinburgh has a Nails Inc manicure bar, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne alongside your mani or pedi. I love visiting before I have an event to go to, since it’s so fun getting to enjoy some bubbles alongside your pampering! This year marks the brand’s 16th birthday party, and Nails Inc are in the middle of rebranding their old style bottles from round to rectangular. The new bottles are incredibly well thought out – they are made of Venetian Glass, and the brush designs are patented to be as easy to use as possible. We got to see the stunning collaboration with Victoria Beckham which resulted in two exclusive colours, as well as new colours which are being released for Spring and Summer. Manda recommending plumping for the Judo Red, turquoise and yellow if you want seriously on-trend nails. She also talked about what’s new and coming for the brand; Alexa Chung has been signed as the newest face (or nails), and there is a new formula which easily washes off the nail. There is even a halal formula in the works which allows water to fully penetrate the polish! In store, there is also going to be an unlimited manicure card, which means, for £99, you can enjoy as many champagne manicures that you can squeeze into 8 weeks! This summer, the nail bar is also introducing a new pedicure treatment which sounds divine – it’s inspired by crystal, and as well as your regular moisturising treatments and massages, there is a warming jelly which deeply nourishes feet, leaving them toasty for hours after you leave the store. It will cost somewhere around £65 and it sounds amazing!


Last, but certainly not least, was James Hoffman of Electric Hairdressing’s Edinburgh salon. It’s a relatively new edition to the Edinburgh store, and you can find it tucked in beside the MAC makeup counters. It looks super slick, and I’ve been meaning to head in and check it out! I’ve tried and loved Electric products in the past, so it was great to hear from James. He explained that the UK-produced products are more universal than brands like Kerastase, so they sort multiple hair-related issues. And, unlike a lot of salons I’ve been to, Electric also believe your hairdresser should be both your stylist and colourist so that you get a really bespoke look and service. If your in the mood for a seasonal change, James is seeing shorter, blunter looks and hair colour is getting lighter, with a move towards more ashy blondes.

After the experts had finished telling us about all of their wonderful departments, there was time to mingle, and get some one-on-one attention. I had such a wonderful evening, and I feel like learned an absolute tonne. Not to mention that my wish list has grown considerably! As if the evening wasn’t fabulous enough, everyone went home clutching the most generous of goody bags courtesy of the evenings’ brands.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Harvey Nichols for inviting me – I had an amazing time!

An Interview with MONC XIII Founder Natasha Esch


It’s always super exciting when new opportunities present themselves, so I’m really excited that I can add interviews to LuxeList. View Post

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