Well, thanks to one new beauty buy, I have finally achieved movie star eyebrows – and given my face a lift. Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel (£18.50) is the miracle worker in question. It’s a little pot of water-resistant, long-lasting, intensely coloured cream-gel and it comes in four shades designed to complement different hair types. Since it doesn’t come with a brush, you might have to invest in one if you want to give the gel a go.
The brow gel can be used to create groomed, sleek eyebrows or to even out brows which are uneven or patchy. If you’re looking to neaten and shape the brows, an angled brush – Illamasqua’s Angled Brush (£19) for example – is just the job. And if you need to draw in some fine hairs that are missing, then an eyeliner brush – I love Illamasqua’s Fine Liner Brush (£19) – is essential. The results are far more realistic and natural-looking than a pencil could achieve – and the lines stay in place all day.
I’ve been using the Awe shade (left), which was designed for blonde brows – and can’t recommend it highly enough. I reckon Kim Novak – my eyebrow pin-up girl – would agree ….
Available from www.illamasqua.com
Tom Ford certainly likes to keep us on our toes. The ace designer’s latest limited edition make-up collection may be for spring 2015 but it is packed with the sort of jewel shades we normally see in the run-up to Christmas. Why? Well, the collection has been created to complement his subversively seductive Ready to Wear and takes inspiration from 1970s rock ‘n’ roll – the era of Glam Rock.
Among the highlights of the range are the new Tom Ford Eye Color Duos (£46) which each comprise a dark metallic shade plus a light, opaline one which, used over another colour, can change it as subtly or dramatically as you like. The three colour ways are Ripe Plum, Crushed Indigo and Raw Jade – the last-mentioned being the one I recently tried during a wonderful makeover by Scott at the Tom Ford counter at Frasers. It is a beautiful complement to blue eyes and would be a versatile way to instantly update your look for this spring.
I also fell in love with the two new shades of Tom Ford Nail Lacquer (£26 each): Black Jade and, especially, the gorgeous Indigo Night (pictured left and above on model). To match the Ripe Plum eye look, the recommended polish is a Tom Ford classic, Bitter Bitch.
For stockist info, call 0870 034 2566
If you love Clarins body care, you are just a hop, skip and a jump away from a brilliant bargain this month. The classic French botanical skincare brand is offering customers who pop in to one of their counters for a full body care consultation a complimentary 100ml Exfoliating Body Scrub and 100ml Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate with the purchase of any product from its body care range, prices of which start at £19.
My own personal favourite body products from Clarins are the Tonic Body Balm (£31) which has a gorgeous soothing texture and, like the Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, is packed with heavenly scented essential oils, including my very favourite – geranium. I also love the Tonic Body Treatment Oil (£40) which firms and tones and is great for massages.
For details of your nearest Clarins counter, call 0800 036 3558.
You’ve got to love Benefit’s colourful way of getting over the message about their new mascara. They don’t appear to take the subject too seriously, yet they have evidently spent a fair bit of time working out exactly what shape and texture of brush would be the best for tackling all eye shapes and all types of problem lashes (short, straight or short and straight). Taking inspiration from the way women have traditionally created curls in their hair, the San Francisco beauty brand has come up with Roller Lash (£19.50), the curved, roller-like brush of which is studded with tiny, strategically placed, hooks which grab, lift and curl the lashes to great effect.
Ordinarily, I am the first to say that I really do not want to smell like a piece of fruit or a pudding – however delicious – so I was not predisposed to like DKNY Fragrance Delicious Delights (£37 each), the new trio of limited edition, sorbet-inspired fragrances in the DKNY Be Delicious range. However, these three – brought out just in time for Mother’s Day, next Sunday – turned out to be considerably more appealing than their sorbet-coloured bottles, and ice cream-featuring boxes, suggested. They are really quite grown-up scents – unlike some of their predecessors in the collection, which have had almost exclusively teen appeal.
Of the three, I particularly like the Fruity Rooty one (pictured on the right), which, although it has blackberry and mandarin in its top notes, seduced me with its elegant base notes of iris, musk and vanilla and floral heart. Silly name; sophisticated scent..
For stockists call 0870 034 2566.
Move over serums, the latest item to squeeze into fashionable skincare regimes is the good old facial oil – long a preserve of botanics-based beauty brands but now going more mainstream thanks to the launches this month of Estée Lauder‘s Resilience Lift Restorative Radiance Oil (£50 for 30ml) and No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil (£23 for 30ml).
Both oils help lock moisture into the skin, boost radiance and make the skin feel more comfortable. Rachel Parish, No7 advisor, says: “Throughout the colder months, more women turn to us to find out how they can keep their skin looking hydrated and radiant – a facial oil is the perfect way to do that!” Simply add two to three drops to cleansed skin and massage in circular motions over your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Use it before or mixed in with your usual day and night moisturisers.
A four-week consumer trial of 119 British women found that after two weeks, they all agreed that adding a few drops of No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil to their usual day cream gave their skin an added moisture boost. After two weeks, more than 80% agreed that skin looked more radiant and healthy, and after four weeks more than 80% agreed that skin looked and felt more youthful.
I was going to use a photo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to illustrate this piece but thought it might put readers off .. so you’ve got Joanne Woodward in the dated-but-divine looking fashion-themed film A New Kind of Love instead. But why was it Quasimodo with his misshapen face and hunched back that you nearly saw? Well, because I was feeling wretched a couple of weeks ago – a pain in my shoulder and some sort of skin irritation on my face which made my complexion flaky and red.
I may not have had Quasimodo’s problems but I felt miserable. Thank goodness I didn’t cancel my facial and massage at the Aveda spa in James Dun’s House in Glasgow. Instead, I sought Hunchback-style “sanctooooary” there! And, boy, did my therapist Lindsay sort me out. She tailored the facial and body massage so that she could tackle the areas that were particularly bothering me. Fusing the Elemental Nature massage with aspects of the deeply relaxing Stress Fix massage, Lindsay worked out the knots in my shoulders and back and made me feel more human than hunchback again.
Given my unusually irritated skin, I was rather nervous about the Elemental Nature facial part of the 90-minute process, and almost skipped it. Afterwards, however, I was relieved that I hadn’t – and that I had placed my dodgy skin in Lindsay’s safe, Aveda-administering hands. She prescribed the Intensive Massage Masque (£42) from the “enbrightenment” range and, I kid you not, it corrected whatever it was that had been causing problems with my skin. Admittedly, before she started, it wasn’t looking as bad as it had the day before, but after the treatment, all signs of irritation had vanished – so I believe it accelerated my skin’s recovery. Put it this way, I now have one at home and it has become a key part of my weekly skincare routine …