Blue eyeshadow and I have never really got on. Having dark blue eyes, I was always being given eyeshadow palettes in blue or shades when I was a teenager first learning about make-up, and I’ve never found a blue palette which didn’t make me look like a beginner – or remind me of the Queen Mum or Dame Edna or someone still living in the 1980s (a decade whose looks I still can only remember with horror, sorry Dynasty fans)….
This was the case until I got to grips – during my holidays last week – with the latest eyeshadow compact, which comes from Dior’s Blue Tie collection for autumn 2011 (available from August 16). The Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky Eyeshadow in Smoky Navy (£32) is a craftily designed compact with a pop-up mirror and a trio of colours – two of which (a shimmering denim and a deep navy) I found were brilliantly easy to apply for a smoky look. I don’t think blue would ever be my first choice for a smoky eye (I like the sound of the new palettes in Smoky Nude, Smoky Khaki and Smoky Brown), but this could sway me ..
I went to St Andrews laden with products to test. One of them – which was much better tested there, in a power shower (as opposed to in a bath in my shower-less Art Deco bathroom) – was Elemis Tranquil Touch Body Polish (£20; www.timetospa.co.uk), from Elemis’s new Sp@Home range.
As with all the items in the range, Tranquil Touch is a professional standard product with a lovely aromatic fragrance; luxurious but functional too. It made the chore of exfoliating a pleasure – which is why my body has now been scrubbed enough to last the next two months!
Remembering how the seaside air completely dried out my skin and hair last year, I didn’t stint on the serums when I was packing – and although I had decided that the time is right for adding an anti-ageing serum to my routine, I used it with my usual Chanel Hydramax Active + Serum.
The anti-ageing serum in question is Clarins Double Serum Generation 6 (£54; www.clarins.co.uk), which I’ve experienced in facials but had never before used myself. After just a few days’ use, I was a convert: my skin looked refreshed and glowing, and well recovered from all my late nights at the Glasgow Jazz Festival. This is the sixth generation of Clarins’s famous dual-phase serum and it certainly does seem to firm, hydrate and nourish the skin.
“Dramatic length, visible lift and long-wearing results” – if you saw that on the heading of an email in your in-box, you might think someone was trying to sell you Viagra. However, these are some of the observations made by testers of the latest mascara from Benefit..
I’m always a sucker for a new mascara – so I had high hopes for Benefit They’re Real! (£18.50; www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk). I wouldn’t say I’m likely to drop any of my favourite mascaras and switch to this one, though it did give me well-curled, well-plumped-up lashes. The problem was that it wasn’t easy to use, it seemed to clump the lashes together and the results, while good, weren’t dazzling. Still, if you’re promised something that moves the earth, you’re just being set up for disappointment!
“Happy feet, I’ve got those happy feet … ” So goes the song, and so it was on Friday when I felt the benefit of a week of using the other Elemis Sp@Home goodie I took on holiday: Elemis Treat Your Feet Foot Cream (£16). This is a gorgeous-smelling (patchouli, eucalyptus and lemon oils) cream, rich in texture but easily absorbed – and it did a great job of moisturising and soothing my feet and softening hard skin, thanks to key ingredients jojoba oil and shea butter.