So, 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; www.clarins.co.uk), 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).
Category Archives: Beauty
You 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 www.clinique.co.uk, 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.
Chanel’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.
I 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.
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.
While 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; www.clinique.co.uk) 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.
Meet the first skincare hero of 2014: Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream (£25; www.clarins.co.uk; 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…..
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 ..Indeed, 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.Probably my singlemost favourite product this year has been Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (£39.50; www.timetospa.co.uk). 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..
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; www.clinique.co.uk) proved a godsend when they were launched at the start of the year. Possibly 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 .
The 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…Inspired 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; www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk) in particular. If you’ve never taken to cream colour, this is the range that will convert you. I 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 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? A late addition to my list of favourites from 2013,Clarins’ newest foundation – Extra-Comfort (£35; www.clarins.co.uk) – 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.The emergency cream of choice on the beauty ward this year has been Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (£29; www.clinique.co.uk), 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!
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.
The 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 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.If 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‘s Love at First Shine (£19.50) is the ideal present for young beauty buff – and a brilliant bargain to boot! And, 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.
This beautiful and arresting image by the great French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) is one of a number from his 1970s heyday which has inspired an entire collection by make-up maestro Francois Nars for the festive season.
In creating NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection, Nars pays tribute to an artist whose influence, he says, is “in the DNA of NARS.” Here’s a Q&A with Francois Nars on this exquisite collection which comprises five lipsticks, five eyeshadows, four nail polishes, three blushers and a number of covetable cosmetics bags, kits and gift sets.
When did you first discover the photography of Guy Bourdin? In French Vogue, in the early Seventies. The images I found captivated me – so edgy, so colourful. I had never seen anything like them.
What draws you to Guy Bourdin? His sense of colour. His madness. The way he broke so many rules. The way he saw women. The strong sexual aspect in the images. I love a strong woman who is comfortable being sexy and beautiful, and he celebrated that in his images.
What is it about Guy Bourdin, and his work, that lends itself to make-up? The explosion of colours, and also the extreme sophistication of the girls in his photographs. The models look totally artificial, totally unnatural, but very decadent and never cheap or vulgar. I’m drawn to bringing that juxtaposition to life in make-up.
When and why did you decide to dedicate an entire collection to Guy Bourdin? I always dreamed about it. Bourdin’s influence is everywhere in my life; it’s in the DNA of NARS. I’ve long incorporated his work into our collections – in names, colours, even inspiration for the campaign images. It was only a matter of time before I created an entire collection around him and his work.
How did you translate Bourdin’s vision into this beauty collection? I started by staring at the make-up of the models, and sometimes, the backgrounds and sets of his editorials and campaigns. It was important to me to capture both the colours and the feeling of his images. From there, we translated the shades into a cohesive collection.
How are you and Bourdin alike? How are you different? Well, we both love taking pictures, of course. And we’re both drawn to beautiful, provocative, even audacious, women. I think we’re both willing to break the rules. He was unafraid in his choices at a time when everyone was doing the same thing. I hope I am bold enough to be doing the same today.
How has Bourdin influenced you as a make-up artist and as a photographer? Enormously. His point of view has been so informative in my work – as a make-up artist, then later when I picked up a camera and stepped behind the lens for the NARS campaigns.
Why do you think Bourdin is still relevant today? His images are timeless. You look at them now, and they’re still so modern. His creativity is still inspiring the photographers, the make-up artists, the designers of today. I don’t believe he’ll ever cease to be relevant.
Both you and Bourdin have worked with the same models over and over again. How important is establishing that relationship to getting a great image? It’s all about the model – without a great model, the photography does not have the same impact. I’ve enjoyed and admired all the women I’ve worked with, and I believe that really shows through in the images.
What are your favourite images of Bourdin’s? All his work for French Vogue in the sixties and seventies. And the Charles Jourdan [shoe] campaigns. They were a revelation in their time.
How did you decide from Bourdin’s body of work what to incorporate into the collection? The most iconic images, and the most daring also. I wanted to bring the bright colours from these pictures – and the happiness drawn from them – to women’s lives and make them look beautiful.
For a fan of NARS who may be new to the work of Guy Bourdin, what would you tell them? Buy the books and admire the images. That is where it all started for me.
What should women try from the collection? Holiday is the perfect time to experiment with make-up. The shades of the Cinematic Eyeshadows are seductive and sexy. And of course, you cannot go wrong with a strong red lip, found in several of the new Cinematic Lipsticks, like Short Circuit and Future Red.
* The NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection is available now, online and in selected department stores and Space NK branches.