You may suppose that I’ve been having a fabulously relaxing holiday somewhere exotic, given my absence from the blog for over a month. But.. this has actually turned out to be the busiest period work-wise of the year so far – a whirlwind of jazz previews, reviews, Edinburgh Festival Fringe coverage, meetings with beauty PRs and, of course, a spot of socialising.. It’s been a challenge to keep the signs of over-indulgence, under-sleeping and working round the clock at bay – and to keep my skin hydrated and healthy. This year I was assisted by two new products – Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase (£40; www.clarins.co.uk) and Clarins Hydraquench Cream Gel (£46) – which counter dehydration. I kept my skin thoroughly exfoliated with the heavenly scented and soothing Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (£28.60) and, since I had a long-overdue catch-up with the lovely Chloe from Origins & Ojon (over one of my few proper lunches of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival week), the new Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Eye Cream (£35; www.origins.co.uk) and Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Concealer (£16) have been in charge of tackling the signs of tiredness.
The Scottish Jazz Awards, easily most glamorous event of the jazz calendar, took place on the eve of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival – and as I was a presenter, I felt I had to make an extra effort, squeeze myself into my slinkiest dress and pull out all the stops on the make-up front. As it turned out, I only arrived in Edinburgh (“fresh” from the family holiday at the rain-swept seaside) around an hour before the pre-awards reception so all plans for a leisurely make-up session went out the window and I only had time for a simple eye make-up with a statement lipstick.
This was the moment that YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres (£22.50; yslbeauty.co.uk) came to the rescue – and my addiction to it really took hold. I’ve been faithful to three of them ever since – Corail Aquatique (no7); Rouge Gouache (no11) and Corail Fauve (no12). And I should point out that I don’t do gloss: this is an altogether more chic and practical way to sport shiny lips. My other beauty appointment mid-jazz fest was with Melissa from Tom Ford Beauty who treated me to a sneak preview of the autumn/winter look which Mr F has created. Strong, jewel colours are to the fore once more and if it hadn’t been a surprisingly glorious sunshiney day when I saw the new collection, I would have been praying for an early winter so I could start wearing them in earnest. I’m already looking for opportunities to wear the vibrant new season Tom Ford Lip Color in Aphrodisiac (price TBC).
The new Dior colour collection, Golden Jungle (pictured above), arrived just as I was embarking on my second reviewing campaign of the summer: of the Edinburgh Fringe. And I’m already hooked on the Dior 5 Couleurs Designer in Khaki Design (£40). It’s been a revelation. I am now a convert to green eyeshadow, as it looks absolutely fantastic with blue eyes. It’s going to be difficult to wean myself off this palette and on to the other autumn ones that are starting to arrive through my letter box.