Tag Archives: Boots

Q&A With Poppy King

Australian make-up guru Poppy King has long been a champion of the lipstick – and in her mission to spread the word about just how fab this most classic of cosmetics is, she has just collaborated with No7 to produce a capsule collection of lipsticks.

In tribute to No7, the collection comprises seven lipsticks (£12) – and matching glosses (£11)  – each named after the reasons women wear lippie: Power, Seduction, Confidence, History, Glamour, Allure and Intrigue. Sounds like the cosmetic equivalent of the Seven Dwarfs from the Snow White fairy tale …  Here’s what happened when the Lipstick Queen granted Style Matters an audience on all things lipstick-related.

Style Matters: Is a girl’s best friend her lipstick – and, if so, why?

PK: I believe a girl’s best friend is her self esteem, and lipstick can help with that – so, indirectly, yes.

SM: Who is your favourite famous lipstick wearer?

PK: Of today? Chloe Sevigny. And of all time? Louise Brooks (pictured below).

SM: What advice would you give someone who is lipstick shy?

PK: To start sheer. These days there are a lot of options in sheer colour, so you can have almost a hybrid of lipstick and lip gloss until you get used to the idea of lipstick.

SM: What are your golden rules for applying lipstick?

PK: I always believe the best way is straight from the tube and then if you want, use some lip liner AFTER you have applied the lipstick where you see any gaps or where to define the line.

SM: Do you believe that lipstick should only be applied in private – or do you love the theatre of applying it in public?

PK: Whatever makes you more confident. I would rather see a woman applying her lipstick in public than being on her Blackberry constantly!

SM: Any tips on shopping for a lipstick?

PK: Don’t make snap judgements. Try something on and walk around in it. It takes a while to really know if something different feels right on you.

SM: Which is your personal favourite of the lipsticks in your new collection for No7?

PK: I adore each shade of course, but the colour that I am most myself in is History because I have worn red pretty much for 20 years in many different forms and textures.

SM: Bright lips are big news this spring/summer. Do you have any tips on how best to wear it?

PK: It’s not so much the application as it is minimal eye make-up. When you wear bright lips then you don’t want your eye make-up competing.

SM: What are your top tips for getting your lipstick to last?

PK: Blot with a tissue and start again; apply lipstick from the tube; choose less glossy lipsticks; use a lip liner over the entire lip first before applying the lipstick; after lunch, take the lipstick off and re-apply from the start and it should last right through the afternoon.

SM: And what about tips for finding the perfect shade for your colouring?

PK:  I have just one – the right lip shade(s) lights up your whole face!

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My Week in Beauty


My week started in a glamorous gothic fashion when I went to the opening night of The Rocky Horror Show in Glasgow. I may have been disappointed in the show but enjoyed the references to 1930s horror movies as I loved all those films – Bride of Frankenstein especially – when I was a teenager.

I’ve only met a handful of genuine stars among the many celebrities I’ve interviewed – and I’ve probably only interviewed one bona fide movie legend: Fay Wray (left), the actress who was dangled over the Empire State Building in King Kong back in 1933.

When I interviewed Miss Wray in 1998, she was already on the wrong side of 90 but before she would let me start firing questions, she insisted – in a distinctly non-diva-like way – on applying some lipstick. The still striking nonagenarian realised that she had no mirror and asked if I had one. I lent her my Bobbi Brown compact and she proceeded to apply a shocking pink lipstick.

A couple of weeks later, I spied a compact with two mirrors – one of them a magnifying one – in a shop near my office. I bought it and sent it to Miss Wray at her Trump Towers home. Imagine my surprise and delight when she wrote back to thank me … The power of lipstick and a compact – unites all women!


And speaking of horror movie legends, that was one of the subjects of conversation over a dinner at the elegant Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow on Tuesday. The occasion was to celebrate the arrival of Giorgio Armani Cosmetics at Frasers in Glasgow.

I was sitting next to Frederic Letailleur, who has the impressive title “international face designer”  for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, and we discovered that we had much in common – notably a passion for old movies, and, especially, movie music. Frederic is also a fan of old horror movies and actually began his career doing the make-up for monsters and aliens on stage and screen. (Perhaps that should have rung an alarm bell when he offered to do my make-up, but he was so charming that it didn’t.)

We all had a great time – indeed, at one point there were so many animated conversations going on round the table of glamorous people that I felt I was in the party scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Right down to the fact that I was sitting next to a Fred. Luckily, nobody’s headgear caught fire.

After a considerable amount of champagne (bubbles like company, I find), I really could not be bothered with the palaver of washing my face with my usual rinse-off cream. Instead, I turned to what is currently my favourite beauty short-cut, Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser (£17.50; www.clarins.com), pictured above. This gorgeous-smelling liquid cleanser removes all traces of make-up in one fell swipe, and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth and refreshed. Hope they do a travel size…


I was reunited with Fred on Wednesday for the promised makeover.  The new Giorgio Armani space in Frasers’ beauty hall is impressive – large and elegant – and I was able to have my make-up done fairly discreetly, which is always a good thing if you don’t want passers-by spying you with a naked face..

What was striking about the Armani makeover was how fast and effective it was. Fred used a wonder cream, called Crema Nera (£180) to prepare my skin. This luxurious moisturiser calms redness and evens the skin tone. Then, before it had completely sunk in, he was applying Fluid Master Primer (£32) to mattify and ready the skin for the utterly gorgeous foundation, Luminous Silk Foundation 2 (£32) which he brushed on. Of the various aspects of the makeover, I think it was the base which impressed me most – Fred gave me a glowing, healthy-looking complexion by using a dash of bronzing liquid.

He said: “I mixed Fluid Sheer 10 (£28) in to the foundation to give you an added touch of warmth, then I dabbed it with a blusher brush over the cheekbones and along the hairline. This builds the warmth on areas which would be exposed to the sun but in a more natural manner than any powder bronzer could achieve.”

On the eyes, Fred used two eyeshadows, 13 and 14 from the new Eyes to Kill collection, plus the vampish, Excess Mascara (£23)  fromthe same range.  The coppery colour palette matched my leopard print beret a treat!


If you aspire to femme fatale eyes a la Joan Crawford (right) but can’t afford the Armani price tag, treat yourself to 17 Wild Curls Mascara (£5.99; www.boots.com) in Wildest Black, the latest budget wonder wand.

It certainly gives good lash – plenty of flappability and come-hither potential but, as with the last under-a-tenner mascara I tried out, it left me with smudges under the eyes. If you’re prone to panda eyes, avoid this mascara – but if not (lucky you!), I’d highly recommend it for the party season when black lashes are as essential the little black dress…


Joan Crawford would probably have scratched my mascara’d eyes out to get her mitts on the lipstick in Clarins’s limited edition Christmas collection. Clarins Rouge Prodige in Barocco (£16) is a beautiful deep claret shade which is a terrific alternative to the dark purples that are around just now – especially if you fnd that that shade can drain you.

Not only does it look good on the lips – though those of us with dry lips may need to stick some balm on first – but it also looks drop dead fabulous in its rococo tube and would be a lovely present for anyone who loves old-fashioned Hollywood glamour…

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My Week in Beauty


I’ve been recovering from my recent jaunt to Norwich for the annual “jazz party”. Jazz and parties are, as you know, both late-night affairs – organisers of this jamboree don’t take that into account when planning their concert schedule, which starts BEFORE LUNCHTIME! I should really have taken a bottle of Guerlain Midnight Secret (£58) with me – since it makes your skin look like it’s had its beauty sleep – but I was too excited at the prospect of three days of wall-to-wall jazz.

Thank goodness I did have two key weapons from my Clinique skincare arsenal with me, to help with my skin’s recovery from over-indulgence at the bar. Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser (£15; www.clinique.co.uk) and their Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF15 (£14) are both top choices for countering the effects of Gin Night, White Wine Night and, especially, Red Wine Night …  I am prone to flushed cheeks and can vouch for the fact that the cleanser takes the sting out of nippy skin, while the green-coloured base evens out the red and doubles as a great primer for the rest of your make-up.


It may look as if jazz singer Annie Ross is applying nail varnish in this photo from the 1950s – and that would be entirely apt.

When I met the great lady – still a vision of glamorous chic at the age of 79 – in Norwich last week, I was impressed by her bold make-up, not least her shocking pink lipstick which looked terrific with her flaming red hair. (What is it about stylish old dames and hot pink lipstick? When I met King Kong star Fay Wray back in 1998, the 92-year-old wouldn’t start the interview until she had applied some lipstick in that colour..) So I gave her my bottle of hot pink nail polish – the now unavailable Estee Lauder Michael Kors Nail Lacquer in Bungalow Pink – to complement the look.

Anyway, inspired by Annie, I have been on a bit of a quest to find a shocking pink lipstick for myself and it turned up on Tuesday, in the shape of one of the new Dior Addict Lipcolours (£21.50) which come out at the end of May.

The Ravishing Rose shade (left) is a brilliant choice if you fancy a slash of neon colour. And, unlike many shocking pinks, it’s not flat and matte, but moist, glossy and very, very comfy.


The promised goody bags may not have materialised but my trip into the sleek and spacious new beauty hall at Boots in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries was not entirely wasted. I was given a very educational makeover by one of the ladies at the Lancome counter – though “zone” is probably a more apt word.

I may write about beauty but I’m still learning tips and techniques and Jackie helped me overcome my aversion to kohl eyeliner (love it on other people; find it gives me panda eyes) by using a waterproof eyeliner pencil – Lancome Crayon Khol Waterproof (£17.50; www.lancome.co.uk), and giving me a 1960s look. Not only did it look great but it lasted till bedtime – and came off easily with a bi-phase eye make-up remover.


After the success of the Dior Addict Lipcolor in Ravishing Rose, I was keen to give the new Dior 5 Couleurs Iridescent Eyeshadow palette in Ready-to-Glow (£39; available May 17) an evening outing.

A book launch on Thursday provided the perfect opportunity to experiment. And I was thrilled with the results.

These colours are fantastic – they blend easily and last fabulously – and it’s not very often I can say that about eye make-up. The gorgeous shimmering shades flatter and emphasise the bone structure and add a bit of colour at the same time ..  and they look great with Ravishing Rose lips. Summer nights here we come!


I finally made my mind up today about Guerlain’s new mascara, Le 2 de Guerlain Volume Mascara (£24). I love it – but only for the first couple of hours it’s on.

The latest in the French beauty house’s collection of two-wand mascaras, this one is different because its second step is painting on a glossy top coat for the lashes: after you’ve brushed on your volumising mascara and teased your lashes into the desired curve, you are supposed to go over them with the lacquer.

While the traditional first step does indeed add oomph to lashes and is perfect for creating a lash-heavy look a la Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, I found that this mascara didn’t stay put on my lashes and I ended up with smudges below and above my eyes. Maybe, as with the kohl pencil, I need to hold out for the waterproof version…

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