Category Archives: Beauty

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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A New Angle on Skincare

DietrichJust when you thought that skincare products could just about do everything it might ever be possible for them to do, along comes a new trend in serums: re-sculpting. I’ll bet Marlene Dietrich would have loved to have given these a go before she redefined the angles of her face by having her wisdom teeth extracted, for maximum cheekbone impact! For those of us who don’t fancy fillers and Botox or who lack the confidence to take advantage of the recent wave Clarins Super Restorative Remodelling Serumof “contouring” make-up, introducing a new step into the skincare routine is the ideal alternative.

Within a few weeks of each other, both Clarins and Estée Lauder are launching their variations on the resculpting theme, hot on the footsteps of Clinique’s recent Sculptwear range. Clarins’ Super Restorative Remodelling Serum (£80; available now) promises to help lift features, replenish the skin, reshape and redefine the facial contours and reduce the appearance of age spots. This serum, which also restores radiance, gives older women’s skin the support it needs to bounce back and recover from the hormonal changes which inevitably weaken it, so it is worth trying if you’re concerned about sagginess and loss of definition of the facial contours.

Lauder, meanwhile, is launching a whole collection of resculpting products. Dr Nadine Pernodet, Vice President, Skin Biology Research & BioActives, R&D – says:  “We already knew that skin’s structure helps give skin the density and definition that is characteristic of youthful skin. But, thanks to our latest research,we now know it’s critical to also improve visible volume to create a true transformation.” Volume gives skin dimension – therefore, to improve the look of the facial contours, both visible structure and volume Lauder New Dimensionneed to improve, and that’s the aim of this new range.

Lauder’s New Dimension Transformative Collection comprises Shape + Fill Expert Serum (£62); Expert Liquid Tape (£46), a treatment to be targetted at specific areas such as around the eyes, and Shape + Sculpt Face Kit (£34) and Shape + Sculpt Eye Kit (£30) which both include colour to help with contouring. I’m still testing and too early to share my personal findings – but wanted to let any of you ladies who are feeling flush with dosh and a little flabby of face have all the info!

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Every Skin’s Coming Up Rosy …

Origins Original Skin maskPink is not a colour that pops up much on my sartorial spectrum. However, it will be featured prominently on my bathroom shelf now – thanks to this fab new ten-minute face mask.

Origins Original Skin Retexturising Mask With Rose Clay (£23) has a two-in-one formula which not only deeply cleanses the skin but also exfoliates it.

Using this rose-scented mask reminded me of my teens and the first masks I used which were either of the peel-off (flashback to a lemon Avon version!) or clay variety.

But this one is much better than the mud masks of my youth. And it left my 43-year-old skin with a definite rosy glow ..



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Liner Love

Sophia LorenEven if I didn’t know anything else about Sophia Loren, I would be able to tell from this photo that I have three style loves in common with her: pearls, leopard print and …. beautifully lined eyes. For years, I have been devoted to liquid eyeliners (with only a brief fling with gel ones) partly because I adore the retro looks that can be created, but also – and this was actually my original reason – because it was easier to achieve an eye line which stayed put and didn’t smudge if I used one of the liquid variety.

My first eyeliner pen was a L’Oréal one which no longer exists. Later, I was a serial buyer of a Clarins one but they changed the nib from a brush to a rigid felt tip pen effort and I found that it was too hard on my eyelid and tricky to use. In recent times, the only eyeliner I have truly loved has been Guerlain‘s which comes in an ink bottle with an elegant brush, in three colours (I love them all – navy, black and brown) and lasts an eternity.

Nevertheless, this summer, I have been persuaded to experiment once more with the pen variety of liner. Of the two new liners on the block, I am – contrary to my own expectations – totally sold on Estée Lauder Little Black Liner (£22, from August 31). Why did I not expect to be convinced by it? Because I saw the dreaded felt tip pen-style nib and because I wasn’t very taken with its sibling, the mascara base Little Black Primer which launched earlier this year. However, the thin end of this dual-ended, waterproof eyeliner provided an impressive and smooth line – and it was love at first brush stroke! (Though perhaps not as fine a line as I would always want.) The thicker end can be used for an even more dramatic effect. Having found that my beloved Guerlain bottle often gets damaged in transit, a pen is a good move for when you need to do your eye make-up away from home.

I’m less in love with Smashbox‘s new Photo Angle Pigment Gel Liner (£18), a pen with an angled tip which – as far as I can see – would only come into its own if you were going for a very thick and full eyeliner look. It comes in five colours – Jet Black, Cocoa, Smoke, Plum and Lilac – and, like the Little Black Liner, is waterproof.

*  Estée Lauder Little Black Liner is available exclusively at Boots from August 17.

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The Fantastic Mr Ford

Tom Ford Noir Pour FemmeOver a sumptuous dinner at The Balmoral in Edinburgh last week, I was treated to my first taste of the sexy new fragrance from that master of the sexy fragrance, Tom Ford. Following the success of his Noir and Noir Extreme perfumes for guys, he has now created a feminine variation – though, as with many of Mr Ford’s scents, it’s as likely to be coveted by the opposite sex as by the one for which it was designed.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme is a floral oriental, with opening notes of citrus and spice, a floral heart of precious rose absolute, jasmine and orange flower and a sensual, warm base of vanilla, sandalwood and amber. As with the original Tom Ford Noir, it plays on the idea of a person’s duality: this one captures what is described as “the powerful assuredness” which the TF woman uses to turn heads, and “the vulnerable romanticism she keeps fiercely private”. Put it this way, it’s the kind of fragrance that will stop both men and women in their tracks – if they get close enough…

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme (from £53 for 30ml) and Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Hydrating Emulsion (£35 for 150ml) are on sale now. For stockist info, call 0870 034 2566.

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The Nudes Headlines With Ms Moss

Kate Moss nude collectionThe most covetable mini make-up range this summer comes courtesy of my fellow 40something, the redoubtable Kate Moss. Her Nude Collection for Rimmel was born out of her experience and knowledge that nude shades can be sexy, demure, polished, pretty and pretty damn versatile – and her belief that there is a nude shade to suit every skin tone. The spectrum of nudes on offer in her bijou collection ranges from delicate pinks to rich toffee tones, via pretty peaches and cashmere beiges – in five new shades of the creamy Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipsticks (£5.49 each) and four new shades of Rimmel London Salon Pro With Lycra nail polishes (£4.49), the fab nail polishes which have a salon gel-like finish.

Enthusing about her chic and sexy collection, Kate (who is pictured wearing the Lasting Finish Lipstick #43 and Salon Pro #26 Bare Yourself) says: “I want every girl to feel great in her own skin and find her prefect nude. Make-up is all about having fun and experimenting with both natural looks and red carpet glamour. But, for this collection, I really wanted to go back to basics, so I have designed a perfect palette of nudes to suit everyone. I think we’ve truly got a shade for every Rimmel girl.

The collection is on sale nationwide now; it’s joined by Rimmel London Lip Conditioning Balm by Kate (£4.49), a nourishing lip balm, on August 5.

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