Ooooh, the Christmas make-up collection from Clinique – the beauty company that seems to do Christmas more stylishly than most – is not only extremely pretty to look at, but, with its frosted and candy colours, it looks good enough to eat. And since it was inspired by the definitive Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, it’s impossible not to hear the wonderful sounds of Tchaikovsky’s score when you try out the products and read their names.
“The collection was inspired by the characters, costumes and scenery of the ballet,” says Janet Pardo, SeniorVice President Clinique Global Product Development. “The tulles and velvet fabrics in vivid pinks, glittering whites and vibrant purples inspired us to develop a colour collection that brings to life the whimsical nature of The Nutcracker.”
Clinique’s Nutcracker Suite’s leading lady is a new powder, Clinique Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams (£23), which brings a shimmering elegance – a touch of the Snow Queen – to your party look if dusted across the shoulders, neck and chest. Florrie White, Clinique’s UK Colour Artist, suggests using it to add “pops of soft pink shimmer to your temples, inner corners of your eyes, cupid’s bow and your collar bone to enhance your features, whilst adding a touch of festive sparkle”.
The other big stars of of the suite are the palettes – inspired by the Waltz of the Snowflakes, The Nutcracker Act I colour compact (£35) comprises a Snowflake Suite eye shadow quad in soft pinks and sultry tones, and a delicate Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Plié Pink. Meanwhile, The Nutcracker Act II compact (£35 – and available only from Clinique online) is made up of a Sugar Plum Suite eye shadow quad of plum shades with shimmering white and silver tones, along with a flushed pink Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Tutu Pink.
But you’d better glide gracefully down to your Clinique counter fast while stocks last.
Christmas movie time comes but once a year – and it seems to me that some of my favourite Christmas movies boast some very stylish characters, some of whom have influenced me over the, ahem, decades.. In The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Loretta Young (above) is not really a fashionplate, but I have always covetted her black ankle boots and, one year, my Christmas wish came true when I stumbled across a pair in the Office sale – immediately after seeing that lovely Christmas movie on the big screen at the Glasgow Film Theatre. Another festive favourite is The Man Who Came To Dinner (1942) which is not only gloriously funny, but also boasts some covetable ensembles sported by Ann Sheridan (below) who played a Hollywood movie star. I’ll be looking at her – and Bette Davis’s – wardrobe from that film in another post but here’s a publicity shot of one of her Orry-Kelly outfits.A movie which is often forgotten about in the festive film roll call is the deliciously stylish Bell, Book and Candle (1958) which shows off a modern day Manhattan witch’s simple, sexy and elegant wardrobe to delightful effect. Kim Novak slinks around memorably in a selection of Jean Louis clothes, while working her magic on unsuspecting James Stewart. Like Bell, Book and Candle, The Thin Man (1934) isn’t usually included in festive movie round-ups – its status as an influential screwball comedy, and as the first in one of the most successful series of Hollywood films of the 1930s, tends to take precedence – but it is set around the Christmas holidays. Myrna Loy appears in a number of wonderfully chic outfits by the British costume designer Dolly Tree. Her jaunty tartan get-up is immortalised in this lovely sketch.
If your hair is misbehaving due to the weather, central heating, heat damage – or whatever – it is definitely time to introduce it to Bumble and Bumble‘s Invisible Oil family of products. A blend of six featherlight oils is the DNA of the sibling items in the range – and what’s great (and unusual) about this blend is that it works wonders on any hair type and with any hair issues. So whether you’re looking to tame wild hair or soften dry hair or detangle fine hair, it will do the job.
In addition to the Invisible Oil Shampoo (£23) and Conditioner (£25), the collection comprises the actual Invisible Oil (£16) blend plus a Heat/UV Protective Primer (£19) which you scoosh onto and work through wet hair before letting rip with the hairdryer. The results? Glossy, soft hair which you most definitely won’t wish was invisible…
Hollywood star Lucille Ball (above) was mad about make-up, and I’m quite sure that had it been around in the 1940s, Smashbox, the Los Angeles cosmetics brand, would have provided her with many favourite products. Being a fan of a bright, strong lip, she would have loved the latest additions to its impressive range of make-up which has been created for a photo-perfect look.
Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners (£15 each) are ideal for creating perfect, movie star lips since they allow you to subtly even out the shape of the pout. Available in 12 shades, including four nudes, they have a cap which houses a tiny built-in sharpener so they sharpen themselves every time you twist off the cap. No need for footery pencil sharpeners..
For glossy, Lucille-like, lips Smashbox’s Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers (£19 each) are ideal. Similar to, but less pricey than, YSL’s lip lacquers, they are ideal if you’re not a fan of lip gloss but want high shine and lasting colour which stains the lips while not drying them out. There are 20 beautiful shades; so far, Coral and After Dark (right) have got my vote….
* Available from www.smashbox.co.uk and www.boots.com and from Boots stores nationwide.