Monthly Archives: October 2015

A Little Noir for the Soir

Tom Ford Noir faceYou can rely on Tom Ford to confound cosmetic expectations – and for this party season, he has created a dark and decadent look that is in contrast to the reds and golds and other seasonal shades we normally see at Christmas time.

The Noir Color Collection – available from Monday – was inspired by Ford’s new signature women’s fragrance, Noir Pour Femme, and features the darkest smoky eye, matte nude lips and vampy black nails. I’d say it was reminiscent of that great beauty icon Morticia Addams, but she would have had to be feeling extra audacious to swap her red lipstick for the pale one that’s key to this look.

It’s not all sombre sophistication, however: there is a playful side to the Noir proceedings too – in the form of the new Lash Tips Mascara, in cobalt or gold, which adds a dash of colour where you might least think of Tom Ford Lip Color in First Timehaving it!

Personally, I’m already rather smitten with the Lip Color Matte in First Time (£42), which is a beautiful, very wearable velvety nude shade – and one which is surprisingly comfortable to wear.

This limited edition collection also comprises Cream & Powder Eye Color  in Night Sky (£50), Eye Defining Pencil (£29), Waterproof Extreme Mascara (£39), Lash Tips Mascara (£35 ) and Nail Lacquer in Black Out (£30).

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The Crème That’s Not For Ma Mère

CDLM Renewal Oil High ResGood news for Crème de la Mer fans – or anyone else with the financial resources to fight off the signs of ageing! The cult skincare company this month launches The Renewal Oil (£155), a highly potent and super-versatile elixir which offers a new way to deliver the famous Crème de la Mer “Miracle Broth” – a kelp-based formula which is at the core of every CDLM product – to the skin.

The dual-phase oil, which you have to shake gently before use, contains a liquid blend of sea-sourced nutrients plus the Miracle Broth which rehydrates, helps to lift and claims to plump the skin and soften emerging lines and wrinkles.

It’s not only luxurious (and expensive), it’s also great for using on the body and on hair. I have a tiny bottle and am rationing myself to just a couple of drops at a time – on the old visog, where the anti-ageing assistance is most needed! Gone are the days when I’d ask my mum to test the wrinkle potions….

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Forward Festive Face Planning!

Bourjois Night Lights in ParisI know it’s not yet Hallowe’en, but I thought you might appreciate a heads-up on a gorgeous Christmas cosmetics range which goes on sale today – allowing plenty of time for customers to perfect their party make-up or start filling their daughters’ /sisters’/friends’ stockings. Bourjois’s Night Lights in Paris collection is all about old-fashioned, high octane, glamour – smoky eyes plus classic red lips and nails.

The historic French beauty house has even created a new “night” edition of one of its oldest products, its rice powder – Illuminating Java Rice Powder (£9.99; Bourjois Poudre de Riz openexclusively from is perfect for adding a hint of festive stardust to cheekbones, shoulders and décolleté and comes in a beautiful retro tub.

Choose from two new editions of Bourjois Smoky Stories Quad Eyeshadow (£7.99 each) –  No9 Grey-zy in Love, and No10 Welcome Black – for the eyes. (The model above is wearing No10.) For lips, there is a new shade of Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick (£8.99), No15 Red-volution, and for nails, paint on a coat of So Laque Ultra Shine Nail Enamel (£5.99) in No22 Rouge Diva, and top it with the sparkly 1 Seconde Nail Enamel (£3.99) in No39 It’s Raining Down.

All products available from Boots and Superdrug stores unless otherwise stated.

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Going for Gold

Michael Kors gold fragrancesYou can’t have missed the memo about how rose gold is THE colour of gold to be seen in this year?! Well, here’s a newsflash: it’s also the gold to be smelled in… Confused? Then look no further than your nearest Michael Kors stockist where you’ll find that his perfume interpretation of the pretty pinkish gold metal is as desirable as the inspiration itself. But it’s not the only shade of gold being feted in fragrance.

Michael Kors adores gold – in all its incarnations, so it should come as no surprise that he is celebrating it in fragrance form. “There is nothing sexier than a woman with a beautiful glow after an amazing vacation,” he says.  “And nothing complements that glow better than shimmering gold jewellery and a hint of fragrance that feels just as opulent and glamorous.”

For autumn 2015, he has launched The Gold Collection, three distinctive perfumes (from £39 for 30ml): 24K Brilliant Gold, a romantic fragrance with orange mandarin and voluptuous florals; Rose Radiant Gold, a beguilingly seductive infusion of spices, florals and soft musks, and White Luminous Gold, a sparkling and sexy scent which captivates from its opening burst of pear and jasmine.

For stockists, call 0870 034 2566.

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Miracle on Every High Street

Max Factor Miracle Match foundation model shotApplying my foundation has been a delight rather than a chore lately. Why? Because I discovered the latest foundation Max Factor Miracle Match (£12.99) almost the minute it went on counter. Not only is its hydrating, creamy texture a pleasure to blend onto skin, but it also provides such a natural yet flaw-Max Factor Miracle Matchobscuring finish that it will earn you compliments on how well you look!

The reason for this is that Miracle Match has been developed using a breakthrough formula which blurs imperfections (older ladies rejoice!) thanks to its light-reflecting particles, and contains translucent particles which allow the natural radiance to shine through. The skin is nourished by such conditioning agents as vitamins E and B so it feels comfortable and cosseted. And, as someone who invariably has trouble finding a perfect match for her fair Scottish skin, I love the fact that there is a shade which is ideal for me – the palest one of the 12 available, Light Ivory.

Max Factor Miracle Match is available at Boots and Superdrug stores now.


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A Match Made in No7

No7 makeover 13Last week I finally visited Boots for a No7 Match Made appointment, having been invited ages ago when the much-loved beauty brand began offering the Match Made service for women shopping for foundation. Since then the Match Made service has been extended to lips and cheeks too. The process begins with a discussion about what you need from your foundation –  in my case, good and lasting coverage but with a natural appearance. This led Rose Marie, my cheery consultant, to opt for the Stay Perfect range of foundations. She used a little gadget to take a picture of my skin and calculate which three shades might work. After testing all three, we settled on Cool Vanilla – modelled here, and applied with No7’s foundation brush. Top tip? Don’t dab foundation on the face and then start brushing it all over; instead, squirt some product on to your hand and work from it there. Otherwise, you end up with too much on your face…No7 makeover 1Rose Marie administered Match Made concealer in the same Cool Vanilla shade as the foundation before colour-matching my blusher – the foundation recommendations determine which two blushers will be proposed. I was shown a coral shade and a pink one, Damson Mist, which is what Rose Marie had just applied before the next picture as taken.No7 makeover 3For the eyes, something subtle and delicate – so that the emphasis could be on the lips. I chose the Eyeshadow Trio in Good Earth.No7 makeover 4Here’s the eyes-wide-open photo of the eyeshadow’d look – complete with very baggy under eyes.. Eek!No7 makeover 5After she had worked on defining my eye brows, Rose Marie persuaded me out of my comfort zone by allowing her to use eyeliner under my eyes and not along my upper lash line. She followed this with lashings of Dramatic Lift mascara both above and below the eyes. I really wasn’t very keen on the results, as seen in the next picture. I felt I looked like my eyes were popping out of my head. I’ve never liked how I look with eyeliner under my eyes (maybe some of us just can’t carry it off; I don’t even think – shock, horror – that Princess Diana, the queen of that look, always managed it!).No7 makeover 6Phew, lower eyeliner removed – and Brown Felt Tip Eye Liner applied to eyelid .. and on to trying the list of suggested lipsticks that go with Cool Vanilla complexion. The first choice (not pictured) turned out to be too pink, but this shade, Soft Paprika, from the Moisture Drench collection, was much better.No7 makeover 9Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer was a must to disguise the eye bags, and to make me look fresher and more awake! No7 makeover 11Powder and a hint of bronzer rounded off the whole experience very nicely. I’d recommend it – the foundation in particular was the perfect match. And my No7 consultant was very patient, and extremely generous with her time. Oh, and we had a good laugh while we were practising my “Ta-dah!” moment… It’s only make-up after all; it should be fun..No7 makeover 10


Make-up used:

Complexion: Airbursh Away Primer (£16.50), Stay Perfect Foundation in Cool Vanilla (£14.50), Match Made Concealer in Cool Vanilla (£7.50), Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer (£13.50), Powder Blusher in Damson Mist (£9), Perfectly Bronzed Dual Bronzer (£12)

Eyes: Stay Perfect Smoothing & Brightening Eye Base (£7), Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Trio in Good Earth (£9.50), Stay Precise Felt Tip Eye Liner in Brown (£8), Dramatic Lift Mascara in Black (£13.50), Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil in Brown (£8)

Lips: Precision Lips Pencil in Rose (£6.75), Moisture Drench Lipstick in Soft Paprika (£9.95)



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Hard as Coloured Nails ..

OPI Nail Envy Strength in Colour CollectionI had the most fabulous manicure recently (details to follow soon) but when I removed the polish a week (a world record for me!) later, my nails had slipped back into their old weak and splitting ways. Thank goodness then for the package that arrived from OPI the next day. It contained a new quartet of varnishes which not only paint but also treat the talons and are targeted at weak nails like mine.

OPI Nail Envy Strength in Colour varnishes (£19.50 each) harness the fortifying power of OPI’s famous Original Nail Envy Nail Strengthener with softly tinted colour in four delicate OPI shades (from left to right) – Pink to Envy (an online exclusive – at, Bubble Bath, Samoan Sand and Hawaiian Orchid.

I love the Samoan Sand shade which provides a very chic and subtle glossy nude finish and matches my pale skin tone perfectly. Watch this space for more colours as they’re launched!

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Chanel Me Beautiful

Chanel makeover 15As the sister-less mother of two boys, and a self-employed writer who works at home and doesn’t see enough of even her closest female pals, an afternoon of girly chat at Frasers in Glasgow was a real treat yesterday. The fact that it was a Chanel-themed chat, while my skin and make-up were being treated to mini-facial and makeover, was a delightful bonus. No wonder I looked happy at the end (above). Here’s how I looked once Megan had applied my base, tidied my brows and applied lip balm.Chanel makeover 1The reason for my visit to Chanel in Frasers was to experience their complimentary “Wear It Your Way” makeover promotion which runs nationwide until October 9. The concept behind Wear It Your Way is the idea that style is all about being individual, and the house of Chanel reckons that in make-up terms that means enhancing your natural beauty, specifically through your choice of foundation finish – whether dewy and fresh or subtly sculpted. Mine was natural but with good coverage especially for my cheeks, which are prone to redness, and my T-zone which gets shiny. (Scroll down for details of all products used.)Chanel makeover 2You shouldn’t waste any time you’re lucky to have with a good professional make-up artist, and Megan is definitely one whose advice is worth listening to – in fact, she is one of Chanel’s top 20 make-up artists in the UK. She showed me how to create a very subtle but flattering look for the eyes using the the limited edition Exclusive Creation Entrelacs palette from the autumn colour collection. Chanel makeover 6When I explained my aversion to eyeliner crayon or pencils and my love of liquid eyeliner (usually the only kind I can trust to stay put), Megan showed me a foolproof method of applying liquid liner – by first pencilling in the line with the Stylo Yeux Waterproof no10, a waterproof crayon. She then took a fine brush and “borrowed” a bit of colour from the tip of the waterproof liner, and used it to extend the line in to the inner corner of each eye – the bit that’s tricky to reach. Finally, the liquid eyeliner Ligne Graphique  – the black, no10, shade – was drawn on. Chanel makeover 7We opted for the new Ecorces shade of the wonderful Le Volume mascara, before choosing a delicate coral shade, Pensive, of the newly reformulated (it is now much better for dry lips) Rouge Allure lipstick, topped with a slick of transparent Gloss Volume. There was no debate about which perfume Megan was going to spritz me with: it had to be my very favourite Chanel fragrance, 31 rue Cambon.Chanel makeover 8My makeover was preceded by a mini facial from Nicola (below) , who – along with the new Ultra Correction Lift Express Firming Mask (£56) – deserves credit for how great my skin looked and felt. Chanel makeover 9Megan finished the makeover by showing me how to intensify the eye make-up, by using the darkest shade of the Entrelacs palette, for more of an evening look. Shame I was only going home to feed the children and watch Corrie!Chanel makeover 10I was delighted with the results which completely fulfilled my remit for the makeover which involved not overloading the eyes which I felt already looked heavy-lidded due to tiredness, and keeping the look natural but lasting. I’m going back for a masterclass in the Christmas colours in November. I hear the new collection is based around the iconic Rouge Noir nail varnish, so I’d better get myself into full femme fatale mode for that appointment – and make sure I am going to a cocktail bar or somewhere suitably noir-ish afterwards!Chanel makeover 14 or 1To see all the new season make-up on proper models, and for tutorials on how to do it yourself, visit For stockists and to find your nearest store for a Wear It Your Way makeover, call 020 7493 3836.

Make-up used:

Complexion: Le Blanc de Chanel primer (£33) to even out skin tone and illuminate the complexion; Perfection Lumiere foundation in Beige Rose (£36) applied with the new 2-in-1 Foundation Brush (£38); the highlighting concealer Perfection Lumiere (no12) under the eyes to brighten the skin and hide lines;  Poudre Universelle no.130 (£36) plus Les Beiges Healthy Glow no30 (£39) added a very subtle hint of sun-kissed colour; Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick no21 (£32).

Eyes: Exclusive Creation Entrelacs (£46), Stylo Yeux Waterproof no10 (£19); Ligne Graphique (£26); Le Volume in Ecorces (£25); Le Sourcil de Chanel (£43)

Lips: Rouge Coco Baume (£25), Le Crayon Levres in Natural, no34 (£17.50); Rouge Allure in Pensive, no162 (£26); Gloss Volume (£26)



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