My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

I was in Edinburgh last week, staying in a friend’s flat on and off while I covered the jazz festival. Knowing that I was going to be out and about a lot – and out late into the wee small hours on the odd occasion – I had to make sure I had a make-up bag full of only the most reliable basics.

For the last few weeks I’ve been using the new Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara (£18) and I’ve decided that, along with Lancome’s Hypnose Precious Cells, it is my favourite new mascara of the year so far.

It’s perfect for creating fuller, longer and more voluminous-looking lashes – ideal for someone like me, who is somewhat challenged in the luscious lash department. (Long, Bambi-style, lashes seem to be the preserve of the men in my family!) Not only that but it conditions the lashes at the same time.

Anyway, the new Laura Mercier mascara proved its reliability and it was only the day when I tried another brand that I ended up with panda eyes..

TUESDAY

I may have been playing it safe with tried and tested basics but I managed to fit in a little improvisation on the make-up front while at the jazz festival. I spent a few days (it lasted remarkably well, even through the typing of around five concert reviews, one beauty article and numerous emails) falling in love with the Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Surreal Violet (£12; www.esteelauder.co.uk). A slightly opalescent, lilacy take on the putty shade that’s all the rage, it’s a great summer-to-autumn colour – not too wintry and not too pastelly. Love it!

WEDNESDAY

Disaster struck on Tuesday when my then-current liquid eyeliner fell apart – the brush came out of the lid. Luckily I had a spare – although I hadn’t used it before, having been put off by the old-fashioned bottle (when I was sent it, I was hooked on the pen-brush style of liner).

Anyway, Guerlain Eye-Liner in Encre Brun (£22.50) – a simple name for a sophisticated-looking cosmetic – saved the day and won my heart in the process: I am now totally smitten. It draws an elegant, even and smooth line and is just the job for creating a flicked-up fifties look or a Cleopatra-style cat’s eye.

It served me well through the last few days of the jazz festival though I’m still trying to establish whether it was guilty of causing said panda eyes on the last night, or whether that was the mascara. The late night session in the wine bar didn’t help mascara matters.. …

I’m off to dig out the other shades of Guerlain Eye-Liner which I have, including last season’s midnight blue colour, bound to look stunning with some of the new season’s navy, teal and kingfisher blue shades.

THURSDAY

Purple is big news once again this autumn/winter – how many years is that then? – and one of the loveliest of the new products that I’ve been sent so far is the limited edition Dior 5 Couleurs in Misty Mauve (£39) which I played about with on Wednesday and Thursday.

The colours are shimmeringly beautiful – opal white and pink highlighters, mauve and plummy-beige mid-tones and a dark aubergine shade perfect for creating a smoky eye look. These are classic colours which are worth investing in, if you’re in need of a new palette.

FRIDAY

Yuck. Woke up on Friday feeling hideous. Sore throat, runny nose and period pain – a triple whammy and one which left me looking totally washed out.

I’m pale at the best of times and usually need to have a bit of colour on my face to give me a lift. I especially wanted to look my best as I was escaping the jazz for half an hour in order to meet two of the lovely girls from the Clinique PR team for an update on the next few launches.

Thankfully, I had taken a new blusher to try out in Edinburgh and it saved me from looking like a ghost of my usual self. Just a light dusting of Chanel Joues Contraste in Pink Explosion (£29) gave me enough colour to make me look human again. And its slight shimmer added a hint of much-needed radiance.

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