When it comes to red lipstick, there is no more iconic exponent than the greatest beauty icon of them all: Marilyn Monroe. So it makes perfect sense that Max Factor’s new capsule collection of red lipsticks is not only named after MM, but includes the Ruby Red shade (pictured below) that she loved.
The launch of the Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Lipstick Collection in January is in response to research conducted by the beauty company. Its “Glam Jan” Poll revealed that more than half of women (55%) give up on glamour in the gloomiest month of the year because it’s too much hassle. So, this year, Max Factor is calling for women “to reclaim January’s forgotten glamour and embrace the classic red lip; the look that 70% of women say is the easiest way to make a glamorous beauty statement”.
Nevertheless, according to the poll, 53% of women avoid red lipstick because they can’t find the right shade for their skin tone. So .. the new capsule collection promises a shade to match every skin tone, and at a reasonable price of £10.99.
I’ve heard this “there’s a red for every skin tone” so many times and have seldom succeeded in finding one for mine. However, to my amazement, I followed the Max Factor guide and tried Berry Red, which is the recommendation for pale skins. And, you know what? It looks great. So much so that I may join the #GlamJan and #WearYourRed party on Twitter (also on Instagram) – which enters you into a competition to win a year’s supply of Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Lipsticks!
Look out for the Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Colour Elixir Lipstick Collection in Boots and Superdrug branches.
It’s not brand, spanking, new but Clinique Repairwear Sculpting Night Cream (£58), which launched last year, is one of those products that’s so good, it has to be shouted about. If you’re concerned about slackening of the skin around the jawline and cheeks, this is one of the most affordable and enjoyable options on the market. I’ve been using mine for a couple of months and am not only impressed by the tightening results but also love its luxurious gel-cream texture, and – especially – the way it leaves my skin feeling smooth, rested and moisturised when I wake up in the morning. If it could just make me feel as if I’ve notched up eight hours’ sleep too, then it would be perfect!
Following the success of the first wave of its New Dimension sculpting and contouring skincare, Estée Lauder now brings us New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System (£62), one of three new products in the range.
Part one of this two-step eye treatment is a light gel formula which helps tighten and tone the eye area skin while helping to re-plump and refresh it thanks to its hydrating properties. Formulated with Lauder’s pro-collagen complex, the gel aims to visibly lift, firm and smooth the skin around the eyes so that contours appear more defined.
The second stage of the treatment is a crème which has light-diffusing optics to instantly the smooth the appearance of the eye area. The idea is that after using both products together over a period of time, the look of crepiness is reduced and the skin looks firmer and is strengthened.
So what did I make of the Firm + Fill two-step? Well, I loved the lovely, cooling and tightening feel of step one, and was delighted to be using it night and day, as recommended. However, I wasn’t very keen on the second step as the thickness of the crème, which has to be patted on otherwise it drags the skin, drew attention to the lines under my eyes – and looked even worse when I put my normal make-up on. Using it at night, as prescribed, seemed a little bit unnecessary as I’m not really bothered about the look of the skin around my eyes when all I’m doing is heading for bed.
Over to you! What do you think? Let me know if you’ll be trying New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System – or which eye creams you favour.
Can you improve on perfection? Well, the answer would appear to be yes – if Clarins‘s hand creams are anything to go by. Most of us beauty buffs are well acquainted with the classic Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (£21), which is a terrific all-round hand cream, particularly good for strengthening the nails and providing serious hydration. But now, those of us in our forties and/or concerned (okay, obsessing) about the giveaway signs of age on our hands have an alternative – Clarins Super Restorative Hand Cream (£37.50).
I must say I’m a convert, not least because the cream’s scent is beautiful, much more to my taste than the scent of the original Hand and Nail Treatment Cream. With its significantly higher price tag, the new cream is – perhaps unsurprisingly – more luxurious-feeling as well. Tackling signs of ageing is its main focus, and it does this by using extract of organic harungana, the “healing tree” from Madagascar, to reactivate the hormone-deprived fibroblasts which stimulate the production of collagen which, in turn, reinforces the skin’s structure. The appearance of age spots is also reduced thanks to extract of organic Montpellier rock rose, known as the “phoenix plant”.
A hands-down winner!
I love this picture of Carole Lombard, one of my favourite Hollywood beauties from the golden age, gleefully opening her Christmas presents – even though I know it was probably taken in July and all the boxes are empty! I’m sure she would have loved to find any of my pick of this year’s beauty gifts under her tree – apart, obviously, from the token one for the men!
Tom Ford Lips & Nails Gift Set, £130 (Tom Ford counters in House of Frasers and Space NK)
Christmas wouldn’t be half as beautiful without Clarins – it’s definitely the go-to beauty brand for skincare treats, and its red packaging just adds to the festive appeal. For me, the stand-out anti-ageing product this year has been Clarins’ Super Restorative Remodelling Serum (£80), which promises to help lift features, replenish the skin, reshape and redefine the facial contours and reduce the appearance of age spots.
I used it religiously from August until very recently (it lasted extremely well, especially since, once I began to panic about running out, I only targeted my forehead and my jawline!), following the “Clarins Method” – a particular way of applying it using gentle pressure. I noticed an improvement in the tautness of the skin on my jawline pretty quickly, which is why I was encouraged to keep using it twice a day and not to skip the serum step even when I was knackered.
Early on, somebody commented on how lovely my skin was looking. I remember feeling perplexed because at the time I felt quite run-down. Then I realised that the credit for any improvement in my complexion was probably due to this serum, since it also restores radiance, and gives older women’s skin the support it needs to bounce back and recover from the hormonal changes which inevitably weaken it.
Towards the end of my Super Restorative Remodelling cycle, I was lucky enough to be treated to one of the fabulous Clarins Tri-Active facials (£67 for 85 minutes), which now incorporate the serum. As ever, it was not only extremely relaxing, but also produced instant results in terms of tightening and brightening the skin. If you’re planning to splurge on a woman who is fortysomething or older this Christmas, this is the skincare to buy – and the Tri-Active facial is the spa treatment to book….
For details of your nearest spa, visit www.clarins.co.uk