Tag Archives: Chanel 31 rue Cambon

My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Having been given a box set of Mad Men DVDs by a concerned friend who couldn’t understand how I’d managed to miss out on the MM phenomenon (combination of a temperamental TV digi-box, too many prior viewing commitments and having the same mentality as Woody Allen, who, in Annie Hall, refused to watch a film if he’d missed the beginning), I have become addicted to the programme. Of course, I particularly love the clothes and beauty styling – and being blonde, am drawn to Betty Draper’s Grace Kelly-like look. I’ve always been a fan of the sort of coral shades of lipstick that January Jones-as-Betty Draper often sports, and was delighted to try a new one, courtesy of the Bobbi Brown counter in Frasers in Glasgow, on Tuesday. The new range of Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colours (£16; www.bobbibrown.co.uk) includes a gorgeous coral, Sweet Nectar, that leapt out at me. Visiting American make-up artist John Hernandez advised that it be teamed with flicked-up black eyeliner and natural eyeshadow… The results would have been terrific had the eyeliner not strayed from the inner rim of my eyelids and on to my contact lenses, making vision tricky and my eyes very uncomfortable.

I had a chance to recreate the look, minus the red eyes, later in the week when a thrilling package arrived from Estee Lauder. Its contents? A dozen of the new Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipsticks (£18 each; www.esteelauder.co.uk from February 28), and what should leap out at me but a gorgeous shade called Coral Sun which lifted my spirits the moment I put it on and had an amazingly comfortable texture for a long-lasting lipstick. Within an hour of my going out with it on, two women had complimented me on the colour and asked where it was from.. And if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

TUESDAY

Speaking of compliments, I’ve had a few recently about my skin. Par for the course, you might think, for a beauty writer – but, actually, I’ve tried so many lotions and potions out over the years that I now have hyper-sensitive, reactive skin and have to be very careful which products to test myself and which to farm out to friends.

Anyway, the compliments are undoubtedly the result of my current night cream, Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale (£245). With a price tag like that, you’d expect nothing less than a glowing complexion – and this luxurious and gentle cream certainly does not disappoint… Only time will tell whether its harnessing of the orchid’s newly discovered ability to, as Guerlain puts it, “turn back cellular time” (ie: it slows down the ageing process of skin cells), will make me look any younger.

WEDNESDAY
It’s amazing what a difference in perception a change of “face” can make. Dior is re-launching its 2005 fragrance Miss Dior Cherie (from £49 for the eau de toilette) next month with of-the-moment actress Natalie Portman as its poster girl. She may be topless in the ad campaign, but Portman still oozes gamine chic, effortless elegance and natural style in a way that her predecessor, Riley Keough, never did. Keough – grand-daughter of Elvis – may have been photographed against a backdrop featuring the Eiffel Tower but, in her washed-out denim and bleached hair, she looked more trailer park than Champs-Elysees chic. The perfume’s image never used to appeal to me. But you know what? When I opened the press pack that arrived on Wednesday, and saw Natalie Portman, like the fickle Franco-phile I am (and, yes, I know she’s not Parisian but she does a pretty good impression), I ripped off the cellophane and tore into my bottle of fragrance. I’d say this is a chypre for beginners, a youthful, youth-pleasingly sweet and heady (top notes of blood orange and bergamot, a rich floral heart of jasmine and rosa damascena and a patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood base) take on that classic perfume type. It’s just a bit too much for me personally ..  In any case, I’ve found my ideal chypre: Chanel 31 rue Cambon (eau de toilette from £100; Chanel boutiques and Selfridges). And – since it’s just come out in a very portable 75ml size (along with the other fragrances in the Exclusifs collection) – I need never be without it.

THURSDAY

I can’t let Guerlain take full credit for my improved complexion: some of it is also down to the new blusher from Clarins’s spring collection.

Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour (£24; www.clarins.co.uk) is a gorgeous addition to their cosmetics range. It’s a sleek compact containing two complementary shades – one shimmery, for highlighting, and one matte, for sculpting. The ideal pick-me-up for tired, dull or (in my case, on Thursday) PMT-induced pale skin…

FRIDAY

A night-out for a friend’s birthday was the perfect opportunity to experiment with the Estee Lauder Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Wild Violet (£34) from the company’s new Wild Violet spring cosmetics collection.

Despite its name, the quintet of colours is actually mainly made up of shimmering ivory, bronze, taupe and copper – with purple as the accent colour. If you’re not in a mood indigo, then you can achieve a suitably smoky evening eye look without the violet. It’s a beautiful palette, however you work it – and very reminiscent of both the Dior golds and the Guerlain Ecrin in Champs-Elysees, two favourites from the winter collections.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

There are glamorous weeks and then there was last week; a week which begin with a party hosted by movie director-turned-food critic Michael Winner and attended by the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber – oh, and me.

The party was to launch Michael Winner’s new book, Unbelievable! (JR Books), which is a collection of stories about memorable meals he’s enjoyed with his famous chums over the years. One famous chum who doesn’t figure in the book but whose presence upped the glam factor at Monday’s party was the ever-bubbly Barbara Windsor.

She may be in her seventies, but Barbara looked much, much younger – and not only that, but she was wearing a very sexy fragrance which turned out to be the classic oriental, Guerlain Shalimar (from £32.50 for the eau de toilette). “I’ve worn it for years,” she told me, adding that after wearing it at an event once, she was thrilled to receive a jumbo-sized bottle from the one-time Guerlain ambassador, perfume expert Roja Dove. Perhaps it was this gorgeous ad for Shalimar from the 1960s that also inspired Barbara’s beehive-like hair style..

TUESDAY

Barbara Windsor didn’t enquire as to my preferred perfume – mind you, given that it had been applied at 7am, it was probably barely noticeable 12 hours later! My favourite for the last couple of years, since it came out in fact, is Chanel 31 rue Cambon (£160), from the Exclusifs collection created by Jacques Polge.

I’m mad about this elegant yet sensual chypre which comes in a magnificent 200ml bottle (and – unfortunately for me, has a magnificent price tag to match!). Due to the size of the bottle, I couldn’t bring it with me to London but I’m thrilled to learn that a small bottle is in the offing, hopefully for next year.

In the meantime, anyone who fancies trying out one of these less commonly worn Chanel fragrances (there are five other perfumes in Les Exclusifs collection) will find them at a handful of department stores (including Frasers in Glasgow) – previously they were only available in Chanel boutiques. Call 020-7493 3836 for stockist info.

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday, back in real life after my star-studded soiree in London, I decided to nail down my verdict on the latest mascara – Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara (£8.99). Like my favourite mascara of the year so far, Lancome Hypnose Precious Cells, it conditions and strengthens the lashes while making them look longer and fuller.

I loved the thick wand which was very easy to use. And my lashes did indeed look about significantly more luscious than they would without cosmetic help, but I’m afraid I won’t be keeping this mascara. Why? Because I ended up with my old affliction – panda eyes…

For some reason, some mascaras just don’t stay on my lashes.  It doesn’t happen with all mascaras so I only stick with ones that have passed the panda eyes test. This one didn’t – so it’s being lined up as a successor to Mum’s current fave, Topshop mascara …

THURSDAY

Thursday was the annual Estee Lauder companies’ Christmas press day in Scotland. Which means that all the Lauder-owned beauty brands set up stalls in a trendy media watering-hole, and we journalists get briefed on all the goodies that are coming out for Christmas.

I always think that Clinique does Christmas with THE most style – and at great prices. It’s a bit early to post pix of Christmas gift sets, I think, but it’s never a bad time to write about beauty treats for oneself.. and Clinique Limited Edition Strawberry Fudge Colour Collection (available from November 12; www.clinique.co.uk) is likely to be just the job for brightening up dull November days.

Not only is this mini-collection very pretty, it’s also very easy to wear – rosy cheeks, toffee pink
lips and lashings of black mascara. The star product is the Clinique Limited Edition Strawberry Fudge Holiday Compact (£25), a lovely silver compact containing three eye shades and a blusher. All very wearable – and the perfect present.

FRIDAY

On Friday, my friend Kim – whom I met when we covered the beauty beat for sister newspapers back in the mid-1990s – hosted a soiree at which I sold off some of my unwanted beauty products, in aid of charity.

The night was a huge success. In fact, it was nearly over in five minutes as that’s the length of time it took for every last lip gloss to disappear. Judging by what I brought home with me (not much), everyone is on the look-out for a beauty bargain but nobody is prepared to compromise on their looks. Which makes the job of beauty writers like myself all the more, er, important as we really don’t want readers wasting their money on products which don’t deliver.

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