Monthly Archives: September 2015

Debenhams AW15

Debs AW15 3I had a great time at the Debenhams Autumn-Winter 2015 press launch at Glasgow’s Blythswood Hotel last week. The entire first floor bar area was given over to showcasing this season’s trends – and the rows of white mannequins cut a real dash. Debs AW15 2The event focused on the Designers at Debenhams collections – which this season include a couple of new labels, Nine by Savannah Miller and Jenny Packham for Debut. I was particularly smitten by this gorgeous dress by Jenny Packham (below left), which stood out from the rest.

Debs AW15 1

Dress by No1 Jenny Packham, £199

Savannah Miller’s new range, Nine, embodied a rock chic vibe – with lashings of black suede fringing and gorgeous skinny scarves a la Kate Moss. Some of the colours of the clothes were a bit grungey for my taste but I thought this patterned shirt was lovely.

Debenhams Nine By Savannah Miller Swallow Shirt £32

Nine by Savannah Miller, £32

And it wasn’t just the day clothes that were covetable; there was some beautiful lingerie to ogle too. I especially liked the elegant range of pale pink and black lace-trimmed lingerie by The Collection, of which this pretty wrap was a stand-out.

Debenhams The Collection Wrap £30 (2)

The Collection, £30

Like the wrap, this next dress exuded old-school Hollywood glamour – and could have come straight from Joan Crawford’s Mildred Pierce wardrobe!

Debenhams Edition Preen Lace Trim Wrap Dress£75

Preen/Edition, £75


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Full Marks for Clarins

Autumn Make-Up day modelClarins‘ Autumn Make-up Collection has really put me in the mood for the new season. A beautiful, compact collection of cosmetics, it boasts as its star buy the Limited Edition “Pretty Day” 5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette (£33), which features beige, pink and shimmering taupe plus matte and shimmering warm browns. I, however, am more smitten by the new Heather shade (pictured below) – a deep mauve – of Ombre Matte eyeshadow (£19).

These little individual pots of cream-to-powder formula (the other new shade for autumn 2015 is Carbon, which is just a bit too dark for me) provide silky, Clarins Ombre Matte 08 Heatherlightweight colour which is very easy to apply and blend, and lasts very well. (I teamed mine with one of the new Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Eye Defining Singles, £20 – the mushroomy Fiery Topaz shade.)

Also in the collection are a trio of new Eyebrow Pencils (£17 each), and two new Crayon Khols (£17 each), in Carbon Black and True Black – to team with the eyeshadows, plus two new shades of Rouge Eclat (£19.50), the nude-ish Tawny Rose and the russet Red Paprika. Clarins is clearly ticking all the autumn colour boxes – and undoubtedly many of the winter ones too!


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Black Orchid Bonanza

TOM FORD Black Orchid EDTIt’s still sunny and mild and not even terribly autumnal yet, but the first sign of winter is sitting here on my desk – in the gorgeous, Art Deco, shape of the latest addition to the Tom Ford fragrance family: Black Orchid Eau de Toilette (out October 5).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bottle of the original Black Orchid (which was an eau de parfum) sitting on my dressing table so I have to take Tom Ford’s word for it that the new Black Orchid (oops, I nearly abbreviated it there to its initials – then realised that that would be a fragrance faux pas!) is a distinct entity with its own character.

This sibling fragrance offers an immediate hit of the custom-grown Tom Ford Black Orchid which, along with tuberose, is at the heart of this carnal, sophisticated scent. The top note is a sensual blend of black truffle and ylang mixed with fresh bergamot and blackcurrant, while the perfume’s dark and opulent sweetness, enhanced by vanilla, is balanced by patchouli, incense and vetiver.

And then, of course, there’s the bottle. I always think that the white Tom Ford fragrance bottles look like they’d have been at home in Jean Harlow’s boudoir; this black version would be perfect for Joan Crawford’s.

* Prices for Tom Ford Black Orchid eau de toilette start at £45 for 30ml; for stockists call 0870 034 2566.


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Beauty With Benefits

Clarins FEED Purse with Products 2015For the second year running, Clarins is teaming up with FEED Projects to offer its innovative “Gift With Purpose” – whereby each customer who makes a purchase of two Clarins products (one of which must be skincare), will be offered a FEED 10 pouch containing five of the classic French beauty brand’s most iconic products. For each customer offered the FEED 10 goody bag, Clarins will provide ten nutritious school meals through the UN World Food Programme to children in developing countries.

The five iconic products included in each FEED 10 bag are large travel sizes of Moisture-Rich Body Lotion, Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate, Gentle Refiner, HydraQuench Cream-Mask and Hand & Nail Treatment Cream.

FEED Projects was founded by Lauren Bush in 2007 after she had witnessed first-hand the the devastating effects of hunger while travelling as a United Nations World Food Programme Student Spokesperson. Its mission of “creating good products that help feed the world” fits in perfectly with Clarins’ longstanding humanitarian values.

The Clarins FEED 10 offer runs from September 20-October 3. Spread the word with the hashtag #FEED10.



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It’s Not My Party (So I’ll Cry If I Want To!)

Smashbox LA LightsThere’s a party over at Smashbox Cosmetics and I’m dying to join in… No, I’m not having a funny turn – but feeling left out of the fun is how the American beauty company’s fab LA Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour collection (£25 each) is making me feel. Why? Because not a single one of the five shades is right for me as a lip colour – but I absolutely adore the texture and finish.

They’re super-moisturising so ideal for my frequently dehydrated lips, and they’re super-glossy too. But the Malibu Berry one is too dark, the Venice Beach Bronze and Silver Lake Sunset are too coppery, while Hollywood & Highlight and Beverly Hills Blush are too pale. Please, please expand this collection – and soon! I want in on the fun…

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Wheel of Beauty Fortune

Smashbox Fusion Soft LightsIt may look like a wheel of fortune, but in fact no luck is required with this winning powder from Smashbox; just a bushy brush for swirling the segments together and for applying the powder to the face and/or décolletage. Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush (£25) is its name; adding just the right amount of soft-focus illumination all over the complexion is its aim – as described by its creators at Smashbox Cosmetics.

My first impression of the shades of silky pearlescent powder was that they look quite pink and blusher-like in the palette, but I was very taken with the results: once the six shades have been smooshed together and brushed over the cheeks and forehead, they add subtle warmth and noticeable radiance to the face – as well as absorbing shine and catching the light.

Not only is this an extremely flattering, all-over face powder; its components can be used individually on the face and the eyelids. Its place is booked in my winter make-up bag!

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Model Mattes

Lauder matte lipsticksIt seems that every year, as winter rolls around, the beauty companies’ thoughts turn to matte lipsticks. This autumn, Estée Lauder has unveiled a new collection of matte lipsticks, designed in collaboration with Lauder spokesperson and supermodel Joan Smalls, who hand-picked the 12 beautiful shades and the intensely matte finish.

The Pure Color Envy Matte Lipsticks (£25 each) come in bold, highly-pigmented colours, and leave the lips heavily stained in just one swipe. These are not for the faint-hearted but if you’re ready to up your beauty game to celebrate the new season,  look no further! Be warned, though: as with most matte lipsticks, these are not ideal for those of us prone to dry lips .. Watch out for a round-up of the best mattes coming soon to this blog!Lauder lipsticks

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