Category Archives: Beauty

Backstage Beauty: Estee Lauder for Derek Lam

Estee LauderDerek_Lam_Fall_Winter_Fashion_Show_2014_Face_ChartYesterday in New York, Estée Lauder sponsored the makeup look at the Derek Lam Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Show at the city’s Sean Kelly Gallery.  Tom Pecheux, Estée Lauder Creative Makeup Director, led a team of 15 makeup artists to create the beauty looks on more than 30 models.

Pecheux says: “Derek’s collection is strong, urban, ethnic-inspired with an emphasis on texture. The makeup look is strong yet fluid, with pools of grey and green surrounding the eye. I was inspired by water, a lagoon, deep and cool.”

Here’s what he used:

Eyes: Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder in Transparent; Pure Color Instant Intense Eyeshadow Trio in Camo Chrome (the darkest shade); Pure Color Eyeshadow in Ivy Envy; Blending Shadow Brush 25

Lips: Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Insatiable Ivory and Intense Nude

Face: Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup; Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35; Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder in Transparent

Skin: Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Creme; Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Eye Balm; Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refresher



Estée_Lauder_EyeOpen_Derek_Lam_FW14Make-up: Tom Pecheux for Estee Lauder

Photos courtesy of Estee Lauder

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First Blush of Spring

Clarins Cream BlushSo, Punxsatawney Phil  has predicted six more weeks of winter? Well, that needn’t mean six more weeks of looking and feeling wan and wintry – thanks to my favourite item in Clarins’ new Opalescence collection. It’s a new, lightweight cream blusher called Multi-Blush Cream Blush (£18;, and it is just perfect for adding what Bobbi Brown always describes as a “pop” of colour to liven up the complexion and help enhance the old cheekbones. Unlike some cream blushers, this one doesn’t feel like it has to be dragged across the skin; it feels moisturising and very easy to blend. The rest of the Opalescence collection is lovely too, especially the new Joli Rouge Brilliant Sheer Shine Lipsticks (£18 each, shown below).Clarins Opalescence Joli Rouge Brilliant Sheer Shine Lipsticks

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A Neutral State

Clients|CliniqueYou might do a double-take at the above picture of the new, limited  edition, collection from Clinique – because the bottles in “16 Shades of Beige” are not of liquid foundation, but of nail varnish. The new range – which is available now at, and goes on-counter on February 7 – harnesses Clinique’s expertise at catering for all skin tones with its wide spectrum of foundation shades, and uses it to offer women a comprehensive collection of nude shades for the eyes and nails.

I love the eight-shade All About Shadow – Neutral Territory 2 palette (£32) of eyeshadows which range from ivory through to chocolate brown and offer a myriad of possible looks to suit each and every complexion. I’ve long been a fan of the texture of Clinique’s All About Shadows as they are extremely easy to blend, last well and can create as subtle or out-there a finish as desired.

That’s the good nudes. The bad is that I’m still not convinced by Clinique’s nail varnishes – AKA A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skin (£12 each). There are some beautifully chic shades among the octet that are being launched as part of this neutral collection but I’m afraid my heart sank as the runny varnish dripped off the brush; just the same reason I disliked the product when it launched last year.

So, I’ll be sticking with my Estee Lauder nude shades from 2013 for the nails, but the eyes are all about Clinique.

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Chanel’s Colour Compositions

Chanel Notes de Printemps model shotChanel’s newly launched spring make-up collection, Notes de Printemps, takes its inspiration from music. A strange concept? Mais oui. And one that probably speaks more to the French sensibilities – and is easier to understand in French. So I’m going to let the pictures from the collection do the talking; suffice to say it’s a pretty, fresh look which is built around plum, violet and soft red shades. I’m very taken with the two new nail colours (£18 each) – Charivari, a dark, greyish mauve which is tres chic, and Tapage, a gentle red which is currently adding a touch of summer to my toes.

Chanel Notes de Printemps nail varnishes

Also worth checking out is the gorgeous new Diapason shade of Illusion d’Ombre eye shadow (£24), a vibrant brownish purple which looks much more striking in real life than in photos.
Chanel Notes du Printemps Illusion d'Ombre in Diapason

And for lips? Well, my favourites from this musical compilation are both corally colours: the Rouge Allure (£25) in Melodieuse and the Levres Scintillantes  gloss (£21) in Sonate…Chanel Notes de Printemps Rouge Allure in Melodieuse

Chanel Notes de Printemps LS in Sonate

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The Nudes Today

NudeGlow_Katie_Holmes_CMYK_LowresI visited the Bobbi Brown counter at Frasers, Glasgow, yesterday in order to be introduced to the new Nude Glow Collection of make-up, and be shown how best to use it on my pale Scottish skin…  I have to say, it wasn’t this picture of an almost unrecognisable Katie Holmes (right) that inspired me to experiment with Nude Glow – I’m not that struck on her frosted pink lips or the palette used on her eyes (not to mention the mousey hair colour). It was more the fact that I welcome any opportunities to be taught tricks on how to achieve a barely-there make-up look that enhances and improves my appearance.

Make-up artist Julie did a great job, and I was particularly impressed with her choices of foundation and powder for my fair complexion. I loved the Brightening Finishing Powder (£40), a pressed powder compact made up of six shades, and available in three different colour ways designed to give different skin tones a healthy glow. Inevitably, it was Porcelain Pearl that Julie chose for me.

Then it was on to the colour selection from the limited edition Nude Glow collection: we plumped for the Bronze Eye Palette (£35), one of three versatile quartets of eye colour in the range, plus Sheer Lip Color (£19) in Pink Gold, a lovely pale rose gold shade, and Nail Polish (£11) in Bronze Shimmer. Here are pictures of the collection which is in stores and online now.

Nude Glow eye palettes

Nude Glow Sheer Lip Color

Nude Glow Nail Polish

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow makeover 1

Me in the Nude (Glow), courtesy of Julie at Bobbi Brown, Frasers, Glasgow


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The Max Lash Factor

Max Factor Excess Volume

Max Factor’s latest addition to its arsenal of fab mascaras is the double-ended Excess Volume (£12.99) which is ideal for anyone who wants eye-catching, deepest black, lashes with real va-va-voom. One wand takes care of the volumising side of the operation while the second stage is a coating of what is, incredibly, Max Factor’s first jet black lacquer mascara using the other wand. Just be ready with your waterproof eye make-up remover as this mascara does not want to budge once it’s on…

In celebration of its new launch, Max Factor has coined a new phrase – the “#SELFEYE”, a twist on the selfie, so that anyone seduced by the effects of these magic wands can take a photo of one or both made-up eyes, and tweet it. I did try to do my own, but was thwarted by my Blackberry’s limitations…

Make-up guru Caroline Barnes offers these tips for taking an expert “#SELFEYE”:

  • It’s always best to raise your arm slightly upwards and look up to the lens to get the most flattering shot. 
  • Looking towards daylight and the window gives a lovely soft natural light effect but you have to be directly facing the window.
  • Flash is also perfect for the evening and has this wonderful effect of clearing up any fine lines or blemishes and making us look like we have been papped on the red carpet.
  •  Always try and avoid any lights from the ceiling as they give you very dark shadows.

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The Defence League

CLINIQUE_Superdefense_SPF_20_and_Superdefense_Eye_SPF_20_TRAVEL_RETAILWhile the rest of us were recovering from post-turkey stress on December 27, Clinique launched two new skincare products in readiness for our traditional New Year fixation with sorting out our skincare concerns.

Clinique Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer (£39; boasts a cocktail of ingredients designed to help the skin defend itself against the early signs of ageing – while at the same time protecting it from future damage from the sun’s rays, and keeping it well hydrated. The cream is available in two different formulations to suit different skin types, and the textures are lovely and feel like a treat for the skin.

If ever an area cried out for extra protection it’s the particularly delicate skin around the eyes, so it makes sense that Clinique has also launched Superdefense SPF20 Age Defense Eye Cream (£30) which protects and hydrates the skin while preventing future damage. Additionally, it has a luminous tint to it to help brighten dull, tired-looking skin. Word of warning: if you like your eye creams to feel moist and malleable then this one is maybe not for you.

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Happy New Skincare!

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing CreamMeet the first skincare hero of 2014: Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream (£25;; from January 12). Yup, its name is a bit of a mouthful but that’s easily forgiven when a product is this good. Cleansers have really upped their game recently, so much so that we’re all coming to expect more from a cleanser than just clean skin; we expect it to be a pleasure to use as well.

This one goes further still and offers defence against pollution thanks to Clarins’ use of Moringa Seed which eliminates all traces of pollution by acting as a barrier against pollution particles, and ensures that the skin’s surface is rinsed of these impurities. The Moringa Seed doesn’t only detoxify the skin’s surface, but also the epidermis – meaning that the skin regains youthful qualities and radiance. It also feels very nourishing and comforting on the skin, and is applied using the “Clarins Method” – as practised in salon treatments, making it feel very much a lovely ritual to add to the morning and/or evening repertoire…..



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My Year in Beauty Buys

Before we start getting too excited about the new products arriving in beauty halls for 2014, let’s celebrate the best of 2013… Here’s my top ten beauty goodies of the year – starting with the Tom Ford palette which became an instant favourite in October, and shows no sign of being replaced in my affections any time soon ..Tom_Ford_Eye_Color_Quad_-_Orchid_HazeIndeed, Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad in Orchid Haze (£62), a coppery-pink quartet with four different finishes – sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer and matte – looks set to be a permanent fixture in my make-up bag, just as it has become a permanent addition to Mr Ford’s gorgeous collection.Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing BalmProbably my singlemost favourite product this year has been Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (£39.50;  This luxurious-feeling, oil-rich balm melts away make-up and gives the skin a thorough and quick cleanse when washed off with a hot cloth.  Smear a thick layer on before you dissolve into a warm bath, however, and the balm becomes a salon-worthy treatment which leaves the skin clean and feeling nourished. Cleansers are seldom this pleasurable to use..  Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tints

For sheer ease of use and the fact that you don’t need to bother packing brushes into your overnight bag, Clinique’s Chubby Stick Shadow Tints for Eyes (£17 each; proved a godsend when they were launched at the start of the year. Tom Ford Oud WoodPossibly the sexiest smells I encountered this year came courtesy of Tom Ford – not only was I rather taken with the luscious and dark Plum Japonais fragrance from the Atelier d’Orient collection he launched in the summer, but I also fell under the spell of the Arabian-inspired Oud Wood scent for men which was complemented this autumn by a shower gel and soap .
Chanel Le Jour La Nuit Le WeekendThe biggest skincare story that I told this year was the tale of three serums from Chanel. The concept of Le Jour, La Nuit and Le Weekend de Chanel (£60 each, or £172 for a coffret containing all three) – of  “re-setting”  the skin’s clock by giving the skin what it needs at the right time of day, and even the right time of the week – may seem gimmicky, but it’s worked for me. And I plan to revisit it next time I am between experimenting with new ranges…Benefit Creaseless Cream ShadowInspired by all things Deco – from the Golden Gate Bridge in its native San Francisco to the look of the summer’s big film The Great Gatsby – Benefit’s relaunched colour collection is striking not just in the appearance of its packaging but also the performance of its Creaseless Cream Shadows (£15.50 each; in particular. If you’ve never taken to cream colour, this is the range that will convert you. PRO-INTENSE-LIFT-EFFECT-NIGHT-CREAMI loved using the Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Super System 30 Day Programme (£155) and did notice some improvement in the taughtness of the jawline – but it’s a treatment only to turn to every so often (when you’re feeling flush as well as flabby of jowl). The complementary night cream, Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect Night Cream (£95) was a stand-out which has now become a staple.

Chanel Le VolumeChanel Le Volume mascara (£24) proved impossible to resist. I was seduced (though only once I had actually been persuaded to try it!) by the khaki shade which I was sent when it made its debut earlier this year. Since then, I’ve added the blue shade to my favourites. Why? Because it gives great curl (even to stumpy lashes), adds the promised volume and holds its own for as long as required. What more could you want? Clarins Extra-Comfort FoundationA late addition to my list of favourites from 2013,Clarins’ newest foundation – Extra-Comfort (£35; – is a truly luxurious-feeling cream foundation which is as comforting to the complexion as a fleecy blanket, and imbues it with a lovely, natural radiant finish. I have classic combination dehydrated-oily skin and it ticks both boxes, leaving my skin feeling hydrated but not shiny.Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight MaskThe emergency cream of choice on the beauty ward this year has been Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (£29;, a wonderfully calming and deeply moisturising unguent to which I’ve turned each time I’ve felt my skin has been particularly tight or dry-feeling. Slather it on in a thick layer at bedtime, and you’ll feel your skin is plumped up and healthier when you waken. Your pillow might be a little stickier in the morning but it’s a price worth paying!

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The Fantastic (Festive) Five

So many gorgeous beauty gifts out there to choose from – and so little time left … So, here’s my pick of the best, kicking off with this covetable compact (£54) from Guerlain’s Crazy Paris Christmas collection.
Guerlain Crazy Paris paletteThe colours are actually brighter than this photo suggests and this oh-so-wearable palette comes in a beautiful black velvet pouch trimmed with fluorescent pink – to complement the rest of Guerlain’s gorgeous  Crazy Paris range. Clinique Aromatics Elixir Ltd Edition Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfume Spray Limited Edition (£64 for 100ml) is a must not just for those who are already converts to this cult fragrance, which celebrated its 40th birthday two years ago – but also for anyone who likes their perfume to be sexy yet chic. This special edition bottle is embossed with the signature Aromatics Elixir design.Tom Ford gift setIf you’re wanting to win a lady over, you could not go wrong with a hinged box, initials on the side (not hers – a certain style guru’s), containing your choice of two nail lacquers and two lipsticks from the super-sophisticated Tom Ford make-up range. This selection comes in at £124. Who would fail to be seduced by this gift?  Benefit Love at First Shine setBenefit‘s Love at First Shine (£19.50) is the ideal present for young beauty buff – and a brilliant bargain to boot! Chanel No5 Hair MistAnd, in at number five, it couldn’t be anything other than something from the newly relaunched range of bath & body products that complement the iconic Chanel No5 fragrance. The Chanel No5 Hair Mist (£38) is an elegant way to wear the world’s favourite perfume.

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