Seven seems to be my lucky number – in eye make-up anyway – this year. First No7 brought out the fabulous “mini” eye palette that I’ve been using continuously since it was launched in February; now it’s followed it with another winner. If the last one was mini, this one is positively bijou.. No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow Trio in Tea Party (£9.50) is its name, and a variety of looks – ranging from pretty-in-pink to a smoky, plummy eye – is its game. The rest of the No7 Summer Collection – which includes three new No7 Gel-Look Shines (£7) for nails – ain’t bad either!
I was scouring the net for a photo of a glamorous movie star with a headache – Carole Lombard in Nothing Sacred or Myrna Loy in The Thin Man sprang to mind – and I turned up this pic of silent era vamp Theda Bara whose scowl and pose combine here to remind me of how I feel when I’m stressed-out and tensed-up. The last time I felt like that, I was lucky enough to have an appointment for an Aveda Stress-Fix massage booked – and it sorted me out. But you never know when you’re going to be struck with a stress or tension-induced headache, so it’s not always possible to have a treatment lined up.
That’s where the at-home collection of Aveda Stress-Fix products comes into its own. This range has been around for a while (the Aveda Stress-Fix Concentrate, a roll-on oil, has helped keep me on this side of sanity on more than a few occasions) but has now expanded thanks to the launch of Stress-Fix Creme Cleansing Oil (£22), a luxurious body wash which releases the signature, lavender-based, Stress Fix aroma as it’s lathered, and Stress-Fix Composition Oil (£22) which can be used as a bath oil or a massage oil if you’re lucky enough to have your own personal masseur!
This Parisian pair are Julien and Amandine Azencott, the brother and sister behind the coolest new French skincare brand on the scene. The Azencotts , who come from a medical family and have both already worked in some of the beauty industry’s biggest brands, created CODAGE, so-named because it is all about “decoding” individual skincare needs and then providing a formula tailored to suit them.
Inspired by the apothecaries of the old days, when anyone could walk in and discuss their way of life, needs and issues with an expert – and be provided with a treatment tailored to their requirements – the Azencotts aim to revive the art of service while acknowledging that everyone’s skin is different.
And you don’t have to be able to physically walk up to a CODAGE Paris counter or salon to be able to benefit from the range and to be able to start practising its three-step ritual of prepare, act, protect. You can get a prescription online for a bespoke serum or you can buy one of the nine ready-made serums which have been formulated to cater to specific skin types identified by CODAGE. It’s also possible to buy a month’s worth of samples whether you’re going down the tailor-made or ready-to-wear route – check out the CODAGE Paris website for details, watch out for it on QVC or visit Fenwick or Selfridges in London.
I’ve been using one of a set of samples built around Serum No3 – for Radiance and Energy – and am a CODAGE convert, having loved the feel and results from the day and night creams and the serum in particular.
Clinique counters are exploding with colour this spring – and I for one plan to raid them as bright colour is the only antidote to the miserable wet weather we’re experiencing this week in Scotland. The reason for this colour explosion is the introduction of the new Pop Lip Colour + Primer collection – 16 shades of beautiful lipstick (£16 each) which not only provide long-lasting colour but also condition and moisturise the lips.
There are five or six nude/neutral shades (I love Melon Pop, a pale coral which evokes Audrey Hepburn’s lipstick in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to this movie-mad beauty buff) but it’s the eye-popping bright colours – Punch Pop, Cherry Pop and Poppy Pop – especially which smack of summer. Oh, and the squared, coloured tubes are pretty gorgeous too..
Visit the Clinique website to read about the fab #LipPic competition in which participants post pix of their Pop Lip-painted lips for a chance to star in a Pop Lip advertising campaign. Now, after “3”, say “Cheese”!
I’m surprised that Chanel haven’t chosen May 5 – 5/5/15 – to celebrate Essentially Chanel, the five beauty products they consider the most iconic amongst their make-up and skincare collections. Why? Because their founder, Coco Chanel, was famously superstitious and five was, as we all know, her lucky number. Nevertheless, the company is offering customers the chance to discover their top five at counters across the country from now until May 8. Simply visit a Chanel counter and enjoy a complimentary bespoke make-over, packed with expert tips and background info about the products.
The five Chanel essentials you’ll learn about are the new formulation of Rouge Coco lipstick (as modelled by Keira Knightley, above), Hydra Beauty Micro Serum (the latest addition to the fab Hydra Beauty range for dehydrated skin), Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base (a versatile bronzer that can be used on top of or under foundation), Le Volume de Chanel (one of the best mascaras on the planet at the moment) and Le Blanc de Chanel (an illuminating base beloved by make-up artists).
It’s interesting to learn which products Chanel regards as its most iconic essentials. Personally, I certainly couldn’t be without my Hydra Beauty Serum (I haven’t tried the Micro Serum yet) and Gel-Creme, my Le Lift Creme and Eye Cream and my Le Volume mascara. What’s your top five?
Clinique has just expanded its line-up of face masks with the launch of three new additions to the already impressive collection. (I’m a long-standing convert to the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, £30, which is an SOS treatment for dehydrated skin.)
Even Better Brightening Moisture Mask (£34) is an ideal investment for anyone who wants to be able to give their complexion a quick shot of radiance and hydration at the same time – maybe while getting ready for a night out. It has a creamy, luxurious texture, and is fast (five-ten minutes) and easy to use and delivers great results. My skin felt fab after using it – smooth and hydrated – and it looked healthy and even-toned.
Turnaround Revitalizing Instant Facial (£35) delivers similar results even more quickly, with the emphasis on boosting radiance and revving up cell turnover to reveal fresh skin. With its granules, it has an exfoliating effect too. A facial in a tube!
Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask (£22) is the perfect prescription for anyone with over-oily skin since it is a mattifying treatment which absorbs oil, impurities and environmental pollutants to detoxify the skin.
For best results, all of these masks can be used a couple of times a week and they tie in with Clinique’s various specialist skincare ranges.