Tag Archives: Bobbi Brown

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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Bobbi Dazzler

Bobbi Brown SS13 portait

Katie Holmes modelling the Bobbi Brown Spring Summer 13 look – smoky eyes & sheer lips

Any time I hear about a new lipstick which is glossy and moisturising, you can bet I’ll be first in line to try it out. I’ll also be first to abandon the notion if the colour is too faint or the texture too much like a balm. Fussy? Moi? Well, yes. After all, this beauty malarkey does not come cheap – we need to be confident in our purchases, and not feel we’ve wasted our hard-earned.

Which is why it’s always worth asking for a make-over or a make-up lesson involving the product you’re interested in. Try before you buy and all that. I’m amazed that most women I speak to wouldn’t dream of asking for a make-over at counter; they tend to wait until they’re invited. Of course, not all beauty brands offer free make-overs, with no obligation to make a purchase, but many do – and one of those is Bobbi Brown where their “make-up lessons” are indeed very educational and enlightening.

I may have gone in to Frasers in Glasgow to find the ideal Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color (£19; www.bobbibrown.co.uk)- as it turned out, I found three – but I emerged armed with the knowledge that I had also inadvertently stumbled across my ideal nude, matte eyeshadow shades – plus the first eyeliner pencil that has ever stayed put on me…

Make-up artist Rhona offered to “do” my eyes and we settled on a natural eye look, to complement the bright shade of Sheer Lip Color I expected to choose. Everything I’ve used on my eyes in recent months has been shimmery and I’ve been longing to find a matte eyeshadow that could give me a subtle nude look; considerably more subtle than the shimmery versions I’ve been creating..

To my amazement I happened across the Holy Grail of easy-to-use matte eyeshadows in the form of the recently launched Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks (£20 each) in Sand Dune and Vanilla, which Rhona applied in a sort of reverse smoky eye: she used the darker shade, the tan-toned Sand Dune, across the lid before highlighting with the creamy Vanilla colour.

I doubted the wisdom of using a pencil eye liner since I have never yet found one which didn’t smudge or slip. But I have to bow to Rhona’s superior knowledge of – and faith in – Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil (£17.50) which not only glided on in the manner of a crayon, but lasted right through to bedtime when I reluctantly removed it. One tip she gave me about this pencil is that you have a few seconds in which to play with it (if you want to make it look smudgy or smoky) before it sets.

And the lipstick? Well, I loved the texture and the glossy shine but was torn when it came to narrowing down the shades. There are 14 shades of the Sheer Lip Color, and I loved all of the trio that I tried: the bright, reddish Pink Blossom for when I need an injection of old-fashioned glamour; Tutu for some natural-looking bright pink, and Nude Beige for a chic nude lip.

With every purchase of Sheer Lip Color at www.bobbibrown.co.uk, customers will receive a deluxe sample of High Shimmer Lip Gloss (2.4ml) by simply entering the code SHEERLIP at the checkout. Expires 30/05/13 or while stocks last.

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The Scarlet and the Pink

Gentlement Prefer Blondes - DAAGBFLet’s face it, Valentine’s Day can be a pretty lonely place. So I love the idea of a Valentine’s-inspired make-up range which you can buy for yourself and perk yourself up with – not that that was necessarily the concept that Bobbi Brown was going for when she devised her new, limited edition, Pink & Red Collection.

Hot pink and blood red is a combination that really shouldn’t work – but it does. Witness its most (if not only) iconic incarnation in the Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend sequence from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The key to the clash working is – I think – that you’ve got two bold shades. The only other pink-red combo I can recall is the Catherine Walker dress that Princess Bobbi Brown Pink & Red productsDiana wore to Kuwait in 1989, but the top half was a wishy-washy pastel pink so the effect was watered down and had considerably less impact than the purple-and-red outfits which the same designer created for her.

But back to Bobbi, whose own bold take on the colour scheme has resulted in a range that stands out from the many spring collections that are dominated by pretty, delicate, romantic pinks. She says: “With  this collection, I took an unconventional approach to the season’s traditional colour palette.

“The Pink & Red Collection isn’t about matching your lips, cheeks and nails. It’s about deliberately mismatching. I love pink and red worn together – it’s a very modern mix (and perfect for Valentine’s Day).”

Personally, I’ve been seduced by the beautiful and comfortable (even on dry lips) new Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Hot (£18; www.bobbibrown.co.uk), a perfect match forBobbi Brown Pink & Red Marilyn’s dress, and the Bobbi Brown Nail Polish in Valentine Red (£11), a vampy crimson shade. But if you fancy inverting the look, you could team Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Heart with Bobbi Brown Nail Polish in Pink Valentine…  Indeed, they’re next on my wish list!

Also in the collection are a pink and a red lip gloss and a pink and a red cheek tint.

In all, it’s the perfect antidote to the Valentine’s Day blues….

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My Week in Beauty


Lunch with my friend Margaret, a beautician and make-up artist with her own salon outside Glasgow, gave me an idea for my mum who had been complaining about being stuck in a make-up rut. Margaret, like my mum, has green eyes  and fair skin, and when I met her her eyes looked fantastic lined with purple pencil.

So, armed with Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Black Plum (pictured left; £15; http://www.esteelauder.co.uk) and By Terry’s Silky Eye Shadow (£22; Space NK stores)  in the lovely new lilac shade Milky Marshmallow, I experimented on Mum – and we were both delighted with the results, especially once we added a coral lipstick.  Green and beige eyeshadow shades are henceforth (or at least temporarily!) banished to beauty Siberia…


Givenchy seems to be having a moment just now – at least it had a moment chez moi on Tuesday when I received the latest summer colours (report to follow), and finally got around to trying its latest fragrance, Eaudemoiselle de Givenchy (eau de toilette from£39).

It’s a bit heavy and headily floral for my personal taste – but I can imagine it will appeal to first-time perfume wearers, the demoiselles who want something that the opposite sex can’t fail to notice…  It made me think about first perfumes and how I must experiment soon with a return to my own first fragrance – or at least the first one that I wore more than once.  I do love the new Givenchy bottle – an important factor in our first fragrance choices …


I’ve been writing a series of articles about beauty basics and, as happens with these things, different make-up artists have different ways of doing things.  While some advocate using a special eye base to keep eye make-up in place and make it last, others – including Bobbi Brown – prefer to use a flesh-coloured shade of shadow as a base.

The gorgeous new limited edition Guerlain Ombre Eclat 4 Shades in Ombre Perlees (£36; available June 5) is ideal for this, if you’re fair-skinned. I started wearing it on Wednesday and expect to continue on a daily basis through the summer. The colours are natural, fresh and very flattering, and they last brilliantly – especially if you use the pale pink as a base.

Teamed with coral or pink lips, this is the ideal palette for daywear.


And speaking of coral, a sandal-buying spree on Thursday prompted me to dig out a nail varnish I was sent a while back.

Revlon Nail Enamel in One Perfect Coral (£6.29) is a great shade for this summer – and even just one coat gives the right amount of bright, orangey-coral colour.

It’s a flat matte shade bordering on red, so it won’t take the place of my favourite-ever toenail shade, RMK’s Nail Color in Cherry, a sort of shimmering watermelon shade, which I’ve not been able to track down for some time – and for which I’ve not been able to find an exact match in an other range.


The first seriously hot day of the year had me reaching for the Factor 50. I’ve tried various sun blocks and high SPF sunscreens under my make-up but Chanel UV Essentiel SPF50 (£34) is my favourite by far.

It’s milky in consistency and evens out the skin tone as it goes on (not that that’s one of its claims) – and I love the way my foundation goes on on top of it. Some treatment primers leave the skin shiny, even once the foundation has gone on, but this one doesn’t – and I have been known to use it even when there’s no call for a high SPF.

What’s more, its dinky, unisex bottle is perfect for stashing in the handbag, shirt pocket – or wherever. And it contains just the right amount for one sunny summer, though if there’s any left over there’s no rush to use it: unlike some sun creams, which require to be used within six or 12 months of opening, this has an 18 month deadline…

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My Week in Beauty


A hair crisis was narrowly averted on Monday – thanks to James Brown Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo (£5.99; www.boots.com).

Having promised to go out with the family after spending the morning and much of the afternoon working at the computer, I found myself without enough time to get both my hair and my make-up done… The choice was: wash my hair and risk the family’s wrath, or skip the hair-washing. In which case, I might as well have also gone the whole hog and worn my jammy bottoms for the rest of the day.

It was only when I remembered about the can of dry shampoo in my cupboard that a third option presented itself. And you know what? My hair actually looked better, post-James Brown Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo, than it has, post-normal shampoo, for ages.


On Tuesday, I was still flirting with the new Dior mascara, Extase, which was sent the week before. But, as always happens when I start a relationship with a new mascara, I began to reminisce about past favourites.

Friends are always asking me for mascara recommendations, and there’s no better recommendation from a beauty writer than to say which items she would buy if she had to…

Any time I can’t find a satisfactory mascara among the latest offerings, I turn to one of the following: Estee Lauder Sumptuous (£18; www.esteelauder.co.uk), Bobbi Brown Party Wear (£17.50; www.bobbibrown.co.uk), Revlon Double Twist (£6.29) or Boots No7 Lash 360 (£11.50; www.boots.com).

All of these are fantastic for adding length, boosting volume and curling the lashes. Put it this way, I always have at least one of these mascaras in my cosmetics cupboard – just in case the latest wand I’m testing fails to work its magic..


The weather was really warm on Wednesday and a lighter foundation seemed in order – especially since my skin seems to be behaving, for once, as far as being shiny is concerned.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15 (£28), which launched early last year, has become one of my favourite bases; a must for when I want light, natural-looking coverage and I don’t expect to get hot, bothered and shiny (it’s better for the dehydrated/dry part of my combination skin than my oily part).

Ordinarily, I’d avoid a shade called Sand – Ivory, Porcelain or some other shade of “as pale as they come” is usually the one for me – but this one is absolutely perfect. I dread to think what the girl who wears one of the three paler shades looks like sans make-up. Something out of Twilight, perhaps…


The press preview of theV&A’s  Grace Kelly exhibition took place today. One aspect of her style which isn’t covered is the make-up that she used to create her classic, fresh-faced American look.  Coral was her favourite lipstick shade,  so I’m sure she would have loved Dior Addict Lipcolor (£21.50) in Coral Craze, from the forthcoming summer collection. I do! It could well be the replacement for my last favourite coral lipstick, Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Coral Reef, a limited edition two years ago..


Having highly sensitive skin – possibly as a result of testing too many creams and cosmetics over the last 14 years – I am always very careful about what I’ll test on my own face, and which lotions and potions I’ll delegate to tried and tested testers.

Luckily, I decided to give Dior’s latest anti-ageing moisturiser a whirl myself. Why? Because Hydra Life Pro Youth Comfort Creme (£40) is extremely kind to even the most sensitive of skins. It’s one of several new products in the new Hydra Life collection which claims to delay the signs of ageing using pure plant extracts selected from Dior gardens.

Only time will tell if the signs of ageing are delayed but in the meantime, I’m relishing using this highly hydrating, delightfully scented and luxurious-feeling cream which – like its siblings in the Hydra Life family – contains a unique concentrate of plant extracts from Uzbekistan, France and Madagascar.

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My Week in Beauty


An afternoon involving the school run and a children’s sports class meant that nothing too adventurous could be tested.. So I was happy to stick to my favourite new neutral eyeshadow, the Elegant Taupe shade of Givenchy Le Prisme Yeux Mono (£19).

Being a beauty writer who tries gazillions of new cosmetics every year, I can’t remember the last time I actually wore an eyeshadow compact down so that the base shone through..

But I’ve managed it with this Givenchy eyeshadow quartet which contains four variations on the same shade: a matte powder, a shimmery one, a sparkly one and an iridescent one.

And the little pamphlet which suggests different looks that can be created is well worth experimenting with! As I said, the one I’ve worn out is the very easy-to-wear, suits-all shade of Elegant Taupe, but I’m dying to try one of the vibrant purple or blue shades…


A totally indulgent lunchtime trip to the cinema to watch Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell light up the screen in the classic 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes proved inspirational. Their ruby red lips look fantastic in this sparkling new print, and inspired me to try out the new Lancome gloss, L’Absolu Creme de Brillance (£18; www.lancome.co.uk), I was recently sent. My shade, Rose Mythique, wasn’t ruby red like Lorelei or Dorothy’s pouts, but it was red enough for me: a lovely, coral colour which lasts well, moisturises the lips and isn’t remotely tacky.


It always happens: you’ve got an important meeting or a night out, and you wake up with a giant spot – or a “plook” (as we, ever so poetically, put it here in Scotland) – on your chin. What can you do?

Well, Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup (£20 ; available April 1, www.clinique.co.uk ) is the answer. I turned to it on Tuesday when a big PMT-fuelled plook popped up on my face. I think it was it fate because who was I meeting that day? Two of the glamorous (and spot-free) girls from the Clinique team..

I can report that not only did the foundation, which is not for anyone who prefers light coverage, conceal the plook very skilfully….


… but it also cleared it up: by Thursday morning, there was only a very slight, pink hint that it had ever been there.

The highlight of Thursday was dinner with friends at my favourite restaurant in Glasgow, Rogano.  Time to get out my evening wear for the eyes. The basics for me are Clarins Eye Liner (£18;www.clarins.com), which is the best liquid eyeliner in pen form that I’ve found, and Bobbi Brown Party Wear Mascara (£17.50; www.bobbibrown.co.uk), which is the ultimate mascara for transforming short, stumpy lashes into luscious ones. My other night-out staple at the moment is the gorgeous, but almost unavailable now (it was a limited edition, launched back in January), Bungalow Pink shade of the Estee Lauder Michael Kors Very Hollywood Nail Lacquer (£12; www.esteelauder.co.uk). I’m thinking of snapping up all remaining bottles of this deep  pink polish which has the intensity of a cherry red but suits me much better.


Friday morning was wet and wintry, so my cheery pink nails from the night before would have been the perfect antidote to the gloom but I had already resolved to switch over to my other current favourite: Chanel Nail Colour (£17) in Inattendu (on the right in the picture). For the non-pink days, it has to be this chic nude polish which suits me better than the mushroom or so-called “greige” shade of Particuliere (pictured far left) that came out in the same spring collection or the bubblegum pink shade Tendresse.

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Scarlet Woman


Estee Lauder has a range of ravishing reds for Christmas 2009.

Whether it’s danger, drama or street cred you’re after, only one lipstick shade will do for 2009: red. The most classic of lipstick colours often pops up in the Christmas collections but this year it’s making a proper comeback for autumn and, with more shades and formulations available now than ever, there’s no excuse for not finding your perfect red.

Just as fashions in clothes go in cycles, so do trends in make-up – and red lipstick is one of the oldest trends there is. In ancient times, women painted their pouts with sheep’s blood. No doubt this vogue was inspired by the erotic appeal of red lips to the opposite sex; an appeal said to stem from the resemblance of the painted mouth to another part of the female anatomy.

In the Victorian era, woman pinched their cheeks and bit their lips in order to look flushed. Early in the 20th century, red lipstick came to represent more than a state of sexual excitement; it became a symbol of liberation. Red lipsticks were first marketed in the 1920s, just after American women were granted the vote, and were dabbed on to the centre of the lips to create the “bee-stung” effect made famous by movie star Clara Bow.

By the 1940s, the red lipped look also represented power, and it’s no coincidence that the strongest, feistiest women on the big screen were the ones best known for their full, red pouts. Celebrated screen bitch Joan Crawford exaggerated her lips with lip liner and blood red lipstick – a shade which, along with her trademark shoulder pads, enjoyed a major revival in the power-mad 1980s. Both the lip colour and the shoulder pads are back in vogue again just now.

In the 1950s, red lipstick – corally reds, scarlets, tomato reds, cherry – was every Hollywood starlet’s essential make-up item but by the 1960s, it had fallen from favour; replaced by the pale, frosted lip look or no lipstick at all.

These days, anything goes and some style icons have become known for their signature scarlet: accessories designer Lulu Guinness and burlesque star Dita Von Teese are two of today’s most influential poster girls for painted red pouts. And they’ve been joined recently by such A-listers as Angelina Jolie, Sienna Miller and Cameron Diaz in sporting 1940s-inspired lips on the red carpet.

So, how to pick the right red? After all, it’s not just a case of which shade matches your favourite top/dress/coat. Choose the wrong red and you could well pass for a clown, an Elizabeth I impersonator, a drag queen or a wee girl playing with her mum’s make-up.

We’ve asked various experts and the common consensus is that the first step is to identify your skin tone – because it is the key to whittling down the range of reds to the one which suits you. If you’re pale, prone to flushing and find it difficult to get a tan, then – like red lippie-fans Diane Kruger, Gwyneth Paltrow and the afore-mentioned Dita Von Teese – you have a cool skin tone, and should stick to cherry reds which have a blue or pink undertone, and blood reds for a dramatic look, especially with dark hair and pale skin.

Women with warmer-toned complexions – honey blondes with sun-kissed skin and brunettes with Mediterranean colouring – can pull off the orangey shades better; the classic tomato reds, rusts and brick tones. Think Cameron Diaz, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Scarlett Johanssen. Girls with dark skin should opt for deep reds, berry reds and burgundies for a touch of Hollywood glamour – as Naomi Campbell often does.

But, alas, once you’ve got a fix on which shades should suit you, there is still the question of texture. Alan Pan, Estee Lauder’s make-up artist, says: “Choosing which texture of red you want is crucial. You have to choose whether you want a matte, satin or glossy finish. For smaller lips it is best to go with a glossy finish as this gives the illusion of a fuller pout.”

Matte red is notoriously tricky to wear as it can emphasise thin lips and have an ageing effect. It can also be very uncomfortable for dry lips. Generally, the drier your lips, the shinier you should go with your lipstick, and if you’re really stuck for one that’s comfortable, then follow international beauty guru Bobbi Brown’s advice.

She suggests: “Don’t feel constrained to wear red found in a lipstick tube – create your own customised lipstick by combining a red you like with a favourite neutral or brown lipstick”

Of course, there’s always the option of ditching the lipstick entirely, and opting for one of the new, richly pigmented glosses that are around this season. Just as long as it’s red.


* No7 Wild Volume lipstick in Forever Cherry (£9.50)

* Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Perfect in Red Stockings (£17.50)

* Estee Lauder Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Simply Red (£16)

* Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lipstick in Stay Scarlet (£16)


* Chanel Rouge Allure in Enthusiast (£21.50)

* No7 Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer in Flamenco Red (£9.50)

* Bobbi Brown Rich Color Gloss in Ruby Red (£14)

* Guerlain Rouge G in Greta (£25)


* Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red (£7.29)

* Dior Rouge Dior in Celebrity Red (£21)

* Bobbi Brown Rich Color Gloss in Merlot (£14)

* Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon (£23)


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