My Holidays in Beauty

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I last updated my beauty journal – and a lot has happened. Mainly the fact that I’ve turned 40 – and I have to say, it was not only painless but entirely pleasurable. I had a fab party that was everything I’d hoped for and more, I felt great and I got some nice compliments on my hair and make-up (Chanel nails, Clarins eyeshadow, YSL mascara Dior base, Dior, Ojon-treated hair and Clinique lipstick, since you ask). What more could a girl (ahem) want?!

Skincare staples over the last few weeks have been Shiseido White Lucency Clarifying Cleansing Foam (£29, ), a brilliant wash-off cleanser which seems to calm redness-prone skin, Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (£24,, an exfoliator disguised as a toner which is faster to use than the conventional wash-off equivalent, and the brand new Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil (£29). After several weeks’ use, I am now noticing an improvement in the shininess of my skin – it hadn’t quite kicked in at the time of my birthday, however. The logic is that putting oil onto oily skin cancels out the skin’s urge to produce excess oil.. If a permanent shine is the bane of your life (with me, it tends to happen after a drink or if someone points a flashing camera at me! – see picture), I’d recommend experimenting with facial oils.

I’ve more or less given up on blotting papers and have reverted to good pressed powders – notably Guerlain Meteorites Pressed Powder (£34) and the brand-new  Clarins Ever Matte Mineral Powder Compact (£25, from February) – and have realised that I often don’t look shiny in real life; it’s those damn photos where the flash bounces off my forehead (and nobody else’s) that have given me this complex.

Clarins Eye Quartet in Smokey Passion/Dior Rouges d'Or in Victorine in action

I’m going to be gutted when I run out of the two limited edition cosmetics which have seen me through all the Christmas nights-out and parties: Clarins  Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion (£30) and the Dior Les Rouges d’Or lipstick in Victorine (£22.50).

And speaking of favourite products of 2011, I rounded them all up for a “Beauty Oscars” feature in the Daily Record at the end of December. Here’s hoping the next 12 months produces such fantastic finds as Diorskin Forever Fluid SPF25 (£29.50), Chanel Illusion d’Ombre  (£22.50), Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet (£23.50),  Lancome Visionnaire (£58), Guerlain Rouge Automatique (£24.50), Sisley Phyto Mascara Ultra Stretch (£27), YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking (£22), Chanel No19 Poudre (from (£61), Clarins Eye Contour Gel (£26.50), Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask (£88), Clarins Extra-Firming Body Lotion (£39.50), Nanoblur (£19.99) and Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Creme (£40). Happy – and beautiful – New Year!

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