Tag Archives: Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate

My Week in Beauty

SATURDAY

If there’s one thing I can bear less and less well as I get older it’s being kept dangling when it comes to arrangements – and being at the mercy of other, more laidback, folks’ timetables (or their habit of confirming rendez-vous at the last minute). I’m always waiting for people to get back to me in my work; I can’t stand it happening in my personal life as well..

By Friday night, I had recovered from a stressful week work-wise, and was feeling in control of my weekend plans – when I received a text telling me that the main focus of my weekend plans was under threat. By the time I finally learned that the get-together was cancelled, I felt stressed-out and I was upset at how upset the unexpected change of plan had made me.. There was only one thing for it (well, three, if you count the double G ‘n’ T): a long soak in the tub with the lavender-scented Aveda Stress Fix Bath Salts (£29; www.aveda.co.uk), which help to calm and relax and are part of a new range of body products from the American beauty company. Indeed, so therapeutic was the bathtime experience that I carried the Aveda Stress Fix Concentrate (£21) – a rollerball oil with the same soothing scent – around in my handbag for the rest of the week.

MONDAY

It’s totally irrelevant to my beauty journal – though I could tell you exactly what make-up I was wearing at the time (Clarins eyeshadow, Guerlain eyeliner, Clinique mascara, Dior foundation and lipstick, Benefit blusher – see?) – but I met Tony Bennett on Monday.  Well, I accosted him and his wife in the street… I had been propping up the bar in Rogano (drinking coffee, I should point out), when I turned round to find
a dapper old gent in a powder blue suit giving me the once-over. By the time I had registered that it was Tony Bennett, whose concert I was going to review that night, he had gone. I leapt off my bar stool, peeked out into the street and saw him heading off into a busy shopping street.

Having long wanted to meet him – not least because his one-time musical director, the late John Bunch, was a good friend of mine – I sprinted (that’s how it looks in my mind; “galumphed” is probably a more apt description) along a few blocks, caught up with him and breathlessly introduced myself. And, er, that’s the high point of the story. He didn’t say much, didn’t shake my hand and probably thought I was just a nutcase.  Still, these are the chances you have to take sometimes when you’re faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…

TUESDAY 

Oh dear, an emotional (PMT-fuelled) chat with a very mixed-up friend on Tuesday threatened to make a mess of my new mascara….  Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara (£17; available from August 1; www.clinique.co.uk).

However, I’m delighted to be able to report that despite a couple of tissues’ worth of tears,  my naturally poker-straight lashes remained beautifully composed (this mascara has a very clever wand, which separates, stretches, bends and lifts the hairs as it coats them)  - though I can’t say the same about my eyeliner. (Or my friend!)

The mascara comes in two shades – Black and Extreme Black (the one I’ve been wearing, which is very glossy and certainly wears well through the day).

WEDNESDAY

I’m big into the blues this summer – royal, cobalt, navy, turquoise, any shade as long as it’s not wishy-washy pastel which wishy-washes out my pale skin. For the first night of  the Glasgow Jazz Festival, on Wednesday, it had to be my new “electric” blue (that’s what the shop assistant called it) top and last summer’s nail polish of choice, Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate (£18), a bold, vampy shade guaranteed to make you feel like a bold vamp – even if you’re feeling more like a washed-out wallflower!

 

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

One of my highlights of my trip to Paris with Chanel earlier this year was the moment when Peter Philips – the company’s Creative Director of Make-up – unveiled the new Rouge Velvet Allure range of lipsticks (and complementary nail varnishes). Or rather, when his squad of chic assistants opened the coffrets of lipsticks to show the waiting beauty press.

While the other girls reached for the nudes, beiges and subtle shades, my eye was immediately drawn to a strong coral shade – La Ravissante (love the name – the Ravishing One). The bright colour perked up my pale complexion and prompted Peter Philips himself to compliment me on the colour – his colour! Not only that, but, considering that it’s a matte lipstick, it’s much creamier than you’d expect. Oh, and it lasts extremely well.

La Ravissante is one of eight shades of Rouge Allure Velvet (£23.50 each) - the model in the picture is wearing La Fascinante, teamed with the new Le Vernis in Pirate (£18) which I’ve been hooked on since the summer. I also love the Rose Cache shade which was launched at the same time.  

I was wearing my La Ravissante  on Monday when I went to hear the great jazz singer Carol Kidd playing a duo concert. It was just as well I popped backstage to say hello, as she had left her lipstick at home – and asked if she could borrow one. Check out the results – and the fact that the same shade looks completely different on the more tanned Ms Kidd.

Here’s a wee clip of Carol Kidd and her guitarist Nigel Clark (oh, and La Ravissante!) in action last Monday, singing one of Style Matters readers’ favourite songs – well, it does come from Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

TUESDAY

I’m loving my Diorskin Forever but it’s not the only foundation that has recently seduced me: Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation (£32; for stockists, call 020-7313 4774) is another lovely new one which has a great shade for my pale skin, and provides impressive coverage and a natural look.

Not only that but it has skincare properties -and comes in a lovely art deco bottle..

And if you’re interested in experimenting with new looks but are put off by the idea of having your make-up done in a department store, check out Shiseido’s Magic Mirror, a virtual make-up application that allows you to try colours without anything touching your face. It’s touring round the country just now – currently in Jenners in Edinburgh, until October 19. To find out when it’s coming to a counter near you, call 020-7313 4774. 

THURSDAY

After being quite unwell on Wednesday, I was really short on sleep on Thursday – and had a girls’ night out to get ready for, to celebrate my friend Siobhan’s birthday. It seemed the perfect time to dig out the Clarins Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask (£28.99; www.clarins.co.uk) which I’ve been using intermittently for the last month or so.

I have to confess: I don’t find this sort of eye mask – a cream – nearly as effective as an actual mask that you lay on the skin round your eyes. (Chanel, why did you discontinue yours?!) I wouldn’t say it makes my eyes feel particularly refreshed but it does produce a tightening sensation and perks up the old peepers. Next time I have a hangover, I’ll give it another shot – that’s the big test!

FRIDAY

The eye cream I’m most enjoying using on a day-to-day basis came into its own on Friday when I was even more sleep-deprived .. Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Creme (£40; www.esteelauder.co.uk)  is one of the latest products at the Lauder counter and it really does brighten the eye area as it’s a sort of iridescent cream – though one that you use night and day. I can’t say I’ve noticed any particular improvement in the firmness of the skin around my eyes – yet – but it’s a lovely eye cream with the bonus of meaning you can skip using a highlighter when you look tired ….

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

I’m not ready for summer to be over but now that jazz festival season is finished – it’s time for me to look ahead to the autumn. And, frankly, the new season colours from Clarins and Chanel are making the idea a whole lot more palatable.

It’s all about the eyes with the Clarins Colour Definition autumn 2011 collection (available mid-August) – as the photo shows. The French company is introducing a new Clarins Eye Quartet Long Lasting Mineral Powder Palette (£30; www.clarins.co.uk) in six gorgeous colourways. I’ve not been able to get past the Rosewood collection of pinky brown shades – a very easy-to-wear palette with colours that do indeed last extremely well – but this photo has persuaded me to try the Graphite quartet for my next night out. The model is wearing it with Instant Definition Mascara in Intense Black, Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Rosy Coral and new 3D Radiance Face Powder.

TUESDAY

So apart from my coup de foudre for midnight blue nails, my other big beauty passion during last week’s jazz festival was for a nail colour that is being revived soon: Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate (£17.50; from late September).

The picture doesn’t do it justice. This is a gloriously vampy, pinky-red which fits in perfectly with the femme fatale feel of the new lipstick the company is launching in the autumn: Rouge Allure Velvet. You could easily imagine Lauren Bacall wearing this as she gets her claws into Bogie in The Big Sleep or To Have Or Have Not..

I’m pretty sure it’s part of the reason I found myself being approached by a 20-year-old girl in the street on Saturday.. There’s nothing like a compliment from another woman to give your spirits – and confidence – a lift: this student told me she loved my style..  Bizarrely, she too was wearing a long black dress, short denim jacket and had her blonde hair in a high ponytail. But she didn’t have the Pirate polish .. Perhaps if she had, then she too would have found herself sufficiently emboldened (though the two glasses of rose just prior to this may have helped) to run across the street, stop the American singing star Curtis Stigers, and tell him how much she loved his performance in Glasgow last year of The Heather on the Hill …

WEDNESDAY

When I was a little girl – way before I could blame it on my hormones – I used to end up a sobbing emotional wreck after pretty much every episode of Little House on the Prairie. Each week my mum would say: “Why do you put yourself through it?”. But I always went back for more. It was a similar story on Wednesday, when I attended a press screening of Sarah’s Key, a new movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas as a journalist who discovers a personal link to a particularly shameful atrocity committed in Paris during the Second World War.

I sat in tears almost from the off. I kept going to leave but was pulled back into my seat by the story which is compelling both emotionally and intellectually. And they really nailed the obsessive feeling that you get when you start investigating an aspect of history that has a personal connection. My own quest for the story of my Hollywood ancestor took over my life for months.. The only bit that didn’t ring true was when Kristin didn’t either tear open a box containing many of the answers to her questions – or sit and stare at it for hours, savouring the anticipation. No, this being Paris, she went for dinner..

Anyway, it may seem fatuous to say it but Kristin ST looks radiant throughout the movie. Sadly, by the end I certainly didn’t: puffy eyes and mascara tracks right down to my chin. Not to mention the red nose. My new beauty hero, Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Eye Contour Cream (£35.50) – a delightfully soothing, firming and moisturising balm – had to work extra hard on Wednesday night.

THURSDAY

I am already a big fan of the Hypnose mascaras so really didn’t think Lancome could improve on perfection. But their new Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes (£20.50; www.lancome.co.uk ) is a stunner.

Clearly, the French beauty company was determined not to rest on its lash laurels: they have spent seven years developing the conical brush which can get in to the smallest, trickiest lashes and which does a brilliant job of separating, lengthening, curling and volumising  - everything you could ask for, really. The formulation of the mascara is such that it holds the curl and gives the lashes a glossy sheen, while stretching them beyond belief.

FRIDAY

I went to get my hair colour seen to on Friday – and turned out a bit blonder than expected. No matter what I say to my hairdresser, I never know how it’s going to turn out.. why is that?

Luckily, I think I like it – consequently, I have decided that, since it coincides with the return of scarlet nails and matte red lips, my beauty icons for the next wee while  (or as soon as it’s appropriate to ditch the summery wardrobe) are the femmes fatales of film noir, particularly Kim Basinger in LA Confidential (a colour version of noir heroine Veronica Lake) who could have stepped straight out of the ad campaign for Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet.

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