Monthly Archives: November 2014

Christmas Beauty Countdown

Chanel Advent Calendar 2Why should the children get all the fun in the countdown to Christmas? Advent calendars needn’t be exclusively for the young and non-dieting – as Chanel will demonstrate tomorrow, when it unveils its giant advent calendar in its Covent Garden boutique. Each day, a window will open to reveal a range of exclusive events, gifts and treats – including makeovers, manicures with celebrity nail artist Jessica Hoffman, and portraits by fashion illustrator Jason Brooks.

For information about gift vouchers, or booking a fragrance master class from the boutique, call 020 7240 2001, and you can keep up to date on what’s happening by watching out for the hashtag #CHANELATCOVENTGARDEN.


Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty, Chanel

Christmas, Boxed

Xmas - Carole LombardI love this pic of one of my all-time favourite movie stars – the wonderful Carole Lombard. As Rupert Everett sort-of said in My Best Friend’s Wedding: “Love the hair, love the dress, love the Christmas wrapping paper!” Actually, those prettily decorated boxes are what I covet the most – gifts-in-boxes always remind Origins GYme of the Christmases we see in old movies. Which is one reason why I love visiting the Origins counter at Christmas – they offer so many fab gift boxes and they wrap them for you too!

Some of the gift sets are such great buys that it’s tempting to stock up for yourself. The one I have my beady eye on is the Plantscription set of anti-ageing products, Grow Younger. It contains a full-size, 50ml, tub of Plantscription Anti-Ageing Night Cream, plus smaller sizes of the range’s cleanser, eye cream and Youth-Renewing Night Cream. At £55, it offers a jaw-dropping saving of over £40.

And as if that wasn’t enough, if you spend £50 at the Origins counter at John Lewis stores nationwide, or at Harrods or Selfridges in London, you’ll receive a lovely, Nanette Lepore-designed toiletry or cosmetic bag to keep for yourself!Origins gift with purchase

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty

The Famous 5

Chanel No5 - GiseleChanel is spoiling its No5 fans this Christmas … Not only is there a gorgeous new Baz Luhrmann-directed advert to savour – and whoever would have thought that a hit song from Grease would be the musical accompaniment to a Chanel ad?!  – but there are also three beautiful new body products in the Chanel No5 collection.

For the number one No5 woman in your life, how about treating her to a new, curvaceous bath soap (£22) or the luxurious No5 Body Cream (£60)? Or, best of all, the gorgeous No5 Loose Powder (£50), a delicate powder which leaves the skin soft and subtly scented and provides the perfect finishing touch to the “sillage”, the sexy-sounding French translation of the less-than-sexy-sounding  “trail” that your perfume leaves as you move about in all your No5 loveliness ..

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty, Chanel

Taking on The Hands of Time

Aveda Hand ReliefSerums have become a staple of our skincare regimes in recent times – and now, thanks to the latest body care launch from Aveda, they could be poised to be part of our bedtime routine ..

Aveda’s Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum (£25) is an extra weapon in the war against the signs of ageing – and nowhere is it more difficult to mask one’s true age than on the hands. Ask Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker, both of whom have hands that have long been more of a clue to their age than their faces are.

Aveda created this serum to take advantage of the fact that during the night when we are asleep, our skin both loses and absorbs moisture faster and more effectively. The serum gets to work during these optimum “rest” hours, to help deliver intense hydration by morning. It harnesses the power of nature’s botanical remedies – notably such hero ingredients as molasses and liquorice extract blend, which visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots, and gradually even out skin tone – to help plump, tone and refine the hands in a more effective way that a hand cream, used alone, could manage.

And if you need further convincing, here are some facts at our (young-looking) fingers: 83% of women showed a significant improvement in dark spots after four weeks’ use, and 82% of women showed a reduction in visible fine lines after four weeks’ use.

For stockists, call 0870 034 2380, or visit


Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty

Making Like Monroe

Max Factor - Gwyneth as MarilynOver the last 12 months, Max Factor – the make-up brand that was born in Hollywood – has been celebrating  “100 Years of Glamour” by transforming its poster girl Gwyneth Paltrow into a series of much-loved stars, each of whose signature look represents their era.

For her final close-up of the series, Gwyneth P has been made-up in the style of 1950s icon Marilyn Monroe, but with a modern-day twist. The statement lips, natural-looking eye shadow and luscious lashes was the Hollywood look from the 1940s into the 1950s, and – as you can see – it still looks fab today.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create it:Max Factor 1940s face sketch

1. Create a flawless base with Lasting Performance Foundation. Apply with a brush and concentrate on T-zone and problem areas for a pared back skin look that lets the eyes and lips do the talking.

2. Gently dust Crème Puff in Translucent all over for expert shine control and sealing the foundation.

3. Add a touch of retro femininity by enhancing your cheekbones using Flawless Perfection Blush in Natural. Apply with a brush using soft strokes and gently build up the colour.

4. Create a neutral toned eye-look so the emphasis is all on the lashes. Apply Masterpiece Colour Precision Eyeshadow in Pearl Beige across the inner and upper lid using your fingers to blend. Switch to the darker shade of Colour Precision Eyeshadow in Coffee to enhance eye shape and exaggerate out the outer corners using a small brush.

5. This look requires volumised lashes that look precise and polished. Use Clump Defy Mascara in Black and build the lashes with several layers paying Picture 7933particular attention to the upper outer corner lashes for a look that oozes Marilyn-esque glamour.

6. Line the lips and then fill using Colour Elixir Lipstick in Bewitching Coral. Use a small brush applicator for precision application, and build gradually for rich and colour saturated lips.

7. Don’t forget your nails! Add the essential finishing touch with Glossfinity Nail Polish in feminine Cute Coral.

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty

Palette of Platinum Pzazz

Chanel Camelia de Plumes white backgroundThis photo does not do justice to the wow factor of the limited edition Camélia de Plumes compact (£47), the star turn in Chanel’s Christmas 2014 make-up collection.

It’s a beautiful pressed powder embossed with a feather motif in the shape of Chanel’s signature camellia flower.

And if you can bear to actually mess up the embossed image, you’ll find that the translucent platinum-coloured powder adds a lovely shimmer to the cheekbones or the décolleté.

The Christmas make-up collection went on counter on Friday so, ladies, form an orderly queue!

For stockists, call 020 7493 3836.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty, Chanel

A Clarins Christmas

Clarins The Essentials Mineral Eye Make-Up PaletteGot a pal or relative for whom you need to buy a Christmas present – for less than £40? Well, get yourself online or down to your nearest Clarins counter, and nab this not-so little beauty while you still can.

Clarins The Essentials Mineral Eye Make-Up Palette (£35) is an impressive paint box style palette containing ten very wearable and versatile shades of eye shadow ranging from gently shimmering nudes and browns to a vibrant copper foil.

I’m a big fan of Clarins’ mineral eye make-up because it blends beautifully and lasts very well – and it can be used dry or wet. What’s notable about this palette is that it would be a great gift for both beauty buffs and beginners alike: you can’t go wrong with these colours, and, in case you do want some pointers, there is a handy diagram inside to show which colours work best in which areas of the eyelid.

1 Comment

Filed under Beauty

21st Century Complexion Perfection

Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial SoapThink cleansing your complexion is the part of your skincare regime least likely to need updating? Think again. This year, it’s been all about deep cleaning the skin and if your pores aren’t sparkling, then you’ve not been doing it right. During the summer, Clinique launched its Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush (£79); now comes the cleanser specifically created to be used with it.

How so? Because Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap (£16) was developed to cushion the skin while the thousands of gentle sonic vibrations of the brush remove oil, dead cells and impurities. So not only does it clean the skin but – thanks to ingredients like sucrose and caffeine which are known to be calming and soothing, and glycerin which helps prevent drying – it also keeps it feeling comfortable during and after its cleanse. Of course, the brush and facial soap should be used on make-up free skin for best results.

I’m currently using the Clinique double act of brush and facial soap at night; by day, I’ve become hooked on a classic Japanese product: DHC Face Wash Powder (£9.50), a soft powder which, once combined with water, transforms into a soapy lather. It contains a gentle exfoliator as well as soothing lavender and leaves the skin looking sparklingly radiant and feeling soft and smooth.


Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty