My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Fans of mineral powder foundation rave about its natural, complexion-enhancing look, its  skin-friendly qualities (so kind to skin that – according to one brand – you can sleep in it), the fact that it doesn’t clog up the pores, and its sun protection. I had only tried a couple of mineral powder foundations in the past, and wasn’t converted.

I hadn’t, however, tried a foundation by a specialist, all-mineral brand so on Monday I gave the beautifully-packaged refillable pressed powder compact foundation, PurePressed Base (£39.95), from Jane Iredale (call 020 8450 7111 for stockists), a whirl.

My initial impression is that it feels lovely, and gives better coverage than I might have expected, but I think it’s going to take me a bit of getting used to, psychologically. Why? Because, as someone who has worn a full-coverage liquid foundation for years, and has less than perfectly even skin, my face feels naked with only powder.  I’ll keep going and report back, once I’ve mastered the very particular method of applying it – at the moment, I’m still doing it as I read the instructions..

TUESDAY

Sometimes you can sit back and bask in the fact that you’ve trained your offspring well.  I got my six-year-old boys schooled in the art of administering arm and leg massages (while I sit in bed on a Saturday morning) at an early age and it’s paid off for all three of us. They earn 20p (negotiable; I sense that it’s only a matter of time before 50p packets of Panini World Cup stickers become the going rate) per “beauty treatment”; I get some lovely cream rubbed into what 11.41 (our younger twin) refers to as my “rusty bits” – elbows and knees, in case you’re wondering.

Boots Original Beauty Formula Body Cream (£5.49 for 200ml; www.boots.com) was selected because it is so inexpensive I didn’t mind if it got wasted by the children; it’s turned out that I absolutely love it and would choose it over many a “prestige” product. It feels luxurious and smells sublime. And – to my therapists’ delight – it doesn’t require a lot of rubbing in…  so the cash is in their hands very quickly.

They were off school on Tuesday, so I managed to persuade (okay, bribe) one of them to sneak in a mid-week treatment..

WEDNESDAY

After a night out at the weekend, I started using Givenchy Clean to Sublime (£22), a new serum style of make-up remover which can be used across the whole face.

Not only did it prove to be super-effective at removing every last trace of my make-up; it was extremely gentle and pleasant to use – and is designed to be used on particularly delicate and sensitive skin. It also leaves the skin feeling hydrated.

No wonder I had been completely converted by Wednesday ..

THURSDAY

Okay, I’ve got a confession to make: I may spend a fair bit of time looking in the mirror but even I don’t know how well conditioned my eyelashes are. So I really can’t comment on whether their condition has improved in the four weeks that I’ve been using Lancome Hypnose Precious Cells mascara (£22; www.lancome.co.uk) – which claims to “regenerate lash condition”.

What I can tell you is that this is a fabulous mascara for anyone with short, straight lashes: it does a terrific job of lengthening and curling them and making them look much more voluminous and thicker. And, really, who could ask for anything more of a mascara?

FRIDAY

Guerlain’s exquisite pearlised powder balls – Les Meteorites – have been around for about 20 years, and I only have to open one of the exquisite Meteorite tubs, as I did on Friday, to be transported back to Paris, 1992. My chic Parisian pal Anne-Sophie, you see, was a devotee of these ahead-of-their-time complexion illuminators with their parma violet fragrance.

Anne-Sophie and I both worked in an upmarket costume jewellery boutique, and her explanation of why older women favour pearls – they reflect light and enhance the complexion – is equally true of these powdery pearls. The powder is applied by brush, which has been swept over the balls at the top of the tub – so you get  mix of skin-enhancing tones (lilac, pink etc) and corrective colours (green which cancels out redness).

This summer, Guerlain has rechristened the powder Meteorites Perles (£33) and has relaunched it in three colourways – Teint Rose, Teint Beige and Teint Dore. And don’t get me started on the pretty packaging …

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