My Week in Beauty

SUNDAY

Mm, after experimenting with Dior’s beautiful new colour collection, Dior Gris Montaigne, on Sunday, I came to a conclusion that I had suspected for some time: grey and I just don’t get along when it comes to eye make-up. While brown tones make dark blue eyes “pop” and help warm pale complexions, cool greys don’t seem to do anything for my colouring.

As gorgeous as the new Dior 5 Couleurs in Gris-Gris (£40; pictured below) is, with its spectrum of shimmering shades from pearly white to glittery black, it just doesn’t do it for me in the way that the gold tones from the Christmas collection did. Which is why I keep going back to them!

This new range is a homage to the colour that has long symbolised Dior elegance, the dove grey which adorns the walls at the original Dior boutique at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris.

And, while I may not be able to pay tribute with the grey eyeshadows (or, for that matter, with the to-die-for Lady Dior bag in its grey incarnation -just a bit out of my current price range), I’ll be able to get in on the grey act thanks to  Dior Vernis Haute Couleur Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer in Gris Montaigne (£17.50), which looks set to take on Chanel’s Black Pearl as the nail colour for spring 2011.

MONDAY

Frasers department store in Glasgow was the venue for a buffet breakfast on Monday – but the local beauty press was far too busy learning about the new Apothecary, which we’d been invited to view, to bother about the bagels and other delights.

This new space – which is also to be found in several of the House of Fraser stores in England  - is home to various niche brands, many of which I’ve never come across before.  Per-fekt, Gentry Grooming and Body America are three of the names which were new to me, while Laura Mercier, Ojon and Crabtree & Evelyn are old favourites. There’s also Apothecary’s own name bath and body range, which was created with the renowned perfumer Francois Robert.

I left Frasers with a bulging bag of samples from the numerous ranges represented in the Apothecary, and headed straight over to the Rogano bar to share my spoils with Margaret, my beauty therapist friend whose opinion is always worth seeking for skincare advice.

We’ll report our findings anon, but in the meantime we’re both checking out the Apothecary website – at www.houseoffraser.co.uk – to see which brands didn’t provide samples!

TUESDAY


On Tuesday, I couldn’t help thinking of Twiggy as she was in the 1960s as I dabbled with not one but two new mascaras – at the same time… On the upper lashes, I was trying out the latest wonder wand sent by the Boots Press Office. 17 Photo Flawless Lashes Mascara (£5.99; www.boots.com) has a curved brush which is perfect for bending the lashes out and up. Not only that, but it also comes in a trio of shades – Black/Blue, Black/Green and Black/Copper – created to complement the colour of the eyes.

While my upper lashes were coated courtesy of 17, the lower lashes were kitted out by Clinique, the brand new Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (£10;
www.clinique.co.uk) to be precise. This is a first: a mascara with a dinky wand specifically designed for those pesky, short lower lashes. It certainly works wonders, transforming teeny lashes into luscious tendrils and even finding lashes which were invisible without mascara.  And if you want the Twiggy or Liza look, it’s an absolute must…

WEDNESDAY

My beauty highlight of the week was discovering a fantastic new cleanser which is really a pleasure to use.  Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel (£19.40; www.elemis.com) does exactly what it says on the label – but with an unusual degree of luxury and comfort.

It’s a rich gel, which smells lovely, and which you apply to dry skin before you begin massaging it in with damp fingers.  At that point, it begins to emulsify and dissolve the make-up and dirt on the face. Packed with anti-oxidants, it cleanses deeply while comforting and soothing the skin – so much so that even a confirmed water-avoider like myself is more than happy to use it…

THURSDAY

I had a real treat on Thursday – an afternoon in Edinburgh, culminating in a trip to The Filmhouse to see one of my movie heroines in her breakthrough film. Carole Lombard is the heroine – both in terms of her talent and her style – and the film was Twentieth Century (in which she’s pictured here), from 1934, one of the current season of Howard Hawks movies.

Lombard was an intelligent beauty, a sassy, sexy young woman who didn’t take herself too seriously, was a master of her craft,  liked to hang out with the boys, and knew how to use make-up and lighting to make the most of her looks which, despite the gorgeous photos from her brief run of success in Hollywood, were not perfect.

Any opportunity to see this luminous beauty on the big screen is worth taking – especially since she crammed a string of sensational screwball performances into her short life, among them Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, True Confession, Mr and Mrs Smith and To Be or Not To Be.

Clark Gable lost the love of his life when she died in a plane crash at the age of 34; the world lost a great talent – and one of the most exquisite beauties ever to light up the screen.

FRIDAY

Beauty lifesaver of the week was undoubtedly Dior Crystal Nude (£26.50; www.boots.com), a mattifying and transparent foundation which can be used alone to enhance bare skin and make it look naturally smooth and clear, or which can be used for touch-ups to perfect the skin while you’re out and about.

I started using it on Monday at the Apothecary launch when the heat caused by so many bodies crammed into a small space at the back of the always overheated store triggered an outbreak of T-zone shine. And it worked. So much so that it didn’t leave my make-up bag all week…

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