Tag Archives: Clarins Eye Contour Gel

My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Little did I know, when I opened my parcel from Dior on Monday, that it contained what will undoubtedly be my lipstick for the party season. Or perhaps I should say lipsticks?

The Dior Rouges Or Collection for Christmas 2011 only comprises lipsticks and nail varnishes – but, boy, what beauties they are. The new lipsticks – Rouge Dior Les Rouges d’Or (£22.50 each) – come in vivid shades, among them the coppery coral Victorine and the dark reddy-pink Belle de Nuit (my two favourites – so far), all of which are infused with a golden powder. The colour lasts brilliantly and they’re extremely comfortable too – even on dry lips like mine. If you’re not going down the matte road this winter, this is THE alternative..

TUESDAY

You’d think someone was trying to tell me something. Right on cue following the arrival of the party lipstick came another must-have of the festive season: a super-efficient, multi-purpose, cleanser.

Darphin Azahar Floral Water Micellar Cleanser (£23) is a gentle and fast-working cleansing water which instantly dissolves all traces of make-up – both on the face and on the eyes – with minimal effort.

In other words, it’s the ideal cleanser to have on stand-by for those nights when you come in the front door and do not want to make a detour en route to collapsing on your bed… It will only add a couple of seconds on to your waking hours – much better than waking up with your eyelashes stuck together and your mascara all over your pillow….

WEDNESDAY

Another staple of the party season emergency beauty kit is a good eye gel. And I’ve had plenty of excuses lately for doing some preparatory work in this department: my eyes have been very puffy of a morning, thanks to a bout of insomnia.

Wednesday morning was particularly bad – but luckily I had a choice of eye gel to choose from. I can’t actually feel any difference between Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes (£19; www.origins.co.uk) which can be used as a mask or as a daily eye treatment under the eyes, and Clarins Eye Contour Gel (£26.50; www.clarins.co.uk) which should be patted into the entire eye contour area. However, my vote goes to Clarins for the simple reason that you get 18 months to work your way through the 20ml tube – which, for me, is much more realistic than using up a 30ml tube of No Puffery in just six months.

THURSDAY

Since Clarins recently did away with my favourite liquid eyeliner pen (they replaced it with a new one which I DO NOT LIKE!), I’ve been fairly faithful to Guerlain Eyeliner (£23) – which is liquid and applied with a brush –  but I was tempted to stray by Yves Saint Laurent Cream Eyeliner (£20) which I first wore out on Thursday on a night out with my girlfriends. I’m fed up seeing photos of me with slitty-looking eyes; I only seem to have non-slitty eyes when I keep the eye make-up simple – a light wash of colour, a slick of inky eyeliner and mascara. This superb cream eyeliner – which doesn’t come with a brush (you can buy one from YSL for £18; luckily I had a great old one from The Body Shop) – is perfect for creating a dramatic 1950s or 1960s flick, and it stays put all day. Pens? Pah!

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My Week in Beauty

TUESDAY

The big  beauty event of the week was a dinner in Edinburgh’s 212121 restaurant hosted by the glamorous girls from Tom Ford Beauty. Once or twice a year they treat us to a preview of the latest scents and lipsticks by the fabulous Mr Ford, but this was a particularly exciting occasion as they were introducing us to a whole host of new goodies. Mr Ford has obviously been a busy boy: he has just launched a comprehensive skincare range, a full make-up collection and three new fragrances – two of which, Jasmine Rose and Santal Blush (from £120 each; www.harrods.com) are limited editions designed to complement the new make-up. The range will be available in selected department stores nationwide from October 3, but is already in Harrods.

Before we got stuck into our unusual dinner – 212121 refers to the structure of the menu – we all had a play with the make-up. Most exciting were the exquisite Tom Ford Eye Color Quads (£62), ten eyeshadow quartets boasting intense colour in a variety of textures. I was very taken with the Sahara Haze colourway, which included a beautiful green (I didn’t quite get why it had the Sahara tag), while my colleague Merle – a poster-girl for vivid blue eye make-up – loved the Cobalt Blue variation (right), and immediately applied some over her existing make-up.

There wasn’t actually time (we did have to dine, after all – and there was champagne to be quaffed) to try out everything so I haven’t been able to form opinions on most of the products but they look every bit as sleek and chic as you’d expect – and unusually practical. It’s really a very logical, and thought-through, range.

The product about which I was most cynical – but ended up
being persuaded by – was Shade and Illuminate (£55), which was born of Tom Ford’s belief that the first step to beauty is to understand the “architecture” of your face. Using the two creams in this compact, you can sculpt and contour the face so that it looks more symmetrical, and to create such illusions as killer cheekbones. Don’t believe me? Well, all I can say is that if this product had existed in 1932, Marlene Dietrich might not have had to whip out her wisdom teeth to achieve that chiselled cheekbone effect : applying the darker shade (using my thumbs and pressing then rubbing) to create a shadow under my cheekbones produced amazing results.

WEDNESDAY

After my champagne-fuelled dinner (and nightcap in the pub), my skin looked somewhat the worse for wear – and felt terribly dehydrated. Luckily, I’d been sent a Clarins HydraQuench Mask (£31; www.clarins.co.uk),which contains moisturising hyaluronic acid and katafray bark – to try a while back so I slathered some on and waited to see what happened… It worked a treat. My skin felt comfortable again – and looked brighter and plumper. This will definitely become a staple of the beauty hangover cure, along with Clarins Eye Contour Gel.

THURSDAY

I met my mum for coffee on Thursday and got her verdict on the latest anti-ageing foundation on the market – Sisley Skinleya (£110; www.houseoffraser.co.uk). She loves it! (At that price, she should.. ) She loves the silky smooth feel it gives her skin, and the way it “tingles and feels like it’s tightening” as she applies it, using the brush that comes with it. I thought her skin looked great when she was wearing it – and I felt the same about my own when I experimented with Diorskin Forever Fluid SPF25 (£29.50; from October 3), the latest natural-looking but skin-enhancing fluid foundation from Dior which, like Skinleya, has skincare benefits.

SATURDAY

A screening of Alfred Hitchock’s classic chiller Psycho, with live accompaniment by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, was the hottest ticket in Glasgow on Saturday night. And, really, when it came to painting my nails beforehand, it was a no-brainer: blood red was the only possible colour…

I’m already a sucker for Chanel’s new Pirate shade, so decided to dabble in another scarlet, this time Estee Lauder  Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Enchanted Garnet  (£14, from October 3). This beautiful crimson is part of Lauder’s Christmas collection, but since I’m trying to identify which of the many reds on, or soon going on, sale is my favourite, I thought I’d start the research immediately. Mrs Bates would be proud..

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Oooh, we’re going to experience a bit of a Weimar Republic vibe this autumn – thanks to Illamasqua, the cult makeup brand which champions alternative looks and cultures.. It’s highly appropriate, given how film noir – which gave us the femme fatale who is also a big inspiration for autumn/winter – grew out of German Expressionism of the same era as Berlin’s cabaret scene.

Which, of course, was famously immortalised in the 1972 Hollywood musical Cabaret, with the wonderful Liza Minnelli in her best-known role as Sally Bowles, an American singer who aspires to be as decadent as those around her.

Minnelli designed her iconic look for the film – the pudding bowl haircut with the widow’s peak and the Harlequinesque eye make-up – with the help of her director father, the great Vincente Minnelli. And it’s still a source of inspiration. I’m sure it’s played a part in the soon-to-be-launched Theatre of the Nameless collection from Illamasqua. Whether it inspired their new mascara, Illamasqua Masquara (£15; www.illamasqua.com) or not, who knows – but this fab separating, curling and lengthening mascara is just the job if you want to emulate Liza’s long lashes..

TUESDAY

The prettiest package I received last week was from The Body Shop which this week launches three new ranges of handcare products. There’s the Hemp collection, for those of us with dry skin; the Almond range for all skin types and The Body Shop Wild Rose collection for, ahem, “mature skin”.

Not sure how I ended up with the rose range – did someone tip them off about my impending 40th (or is it showing on my mitts?) – but it is lovely to use. Even my boys are finding the Wild Rose Caring Hand Wash (£5; www.thebodyshop.co.uk) a luxurious alternative to the usual liquid soaps I offer them. I’ll let you know if the combined assault of the handwash, the Wild Rose Targeted Hand Oil (£7) and the Wild Rose Nourishing Hand Butter (£10) shave any years off the apparent age of my hands….

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday was the day for my regular visit to the Clarins Spa in Frasers, Glasgow. Lindsay, my lovely therapist, really looks after me and is making it her mission to ensure that I continue to look as if I’m on this side of 40 – even after December, when the big day comes along. Last time I saw her, she focused the attention of the Tri-Active facial on anti-ageing for the first time and on Wednesday, she gave me some top tips on caring for the delicate skin around the eyes.

I’ve been diligently using eye cream at night and eye gel in the morning for the last few months and, as if they knew I was starting to get a bit fixated about this, Clarins has just brought out a new, improved version of its fab Clarins Eye Contour Gel (£26.50; www.clarins.co.uk) which is a must for de-puffing the eye area. Lindsay also suggested I try a couple of new additions to the Clarins repertoire: Eye Revive Beauty Flash (£26.50) and Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask (£28.99) …. Watch this space! Oh, and the Clarins Spa in Frasers (0141 221 5760) is currently (until September 3) offering a free “mini” neck and shoulder massage, and 25% off any Clarins Treatment if you book and pay when you’re instore.

THURSDAY

By coincidence, having tried out and loved their new mascara earlier in the week, I met Illamasqua’s PR Nicola in Glasgow on Thursday. Nicola is a walking testament to how wearable this apparently inaccessible brand’s cosmetics are. She looked stunning with her lilac-grey eye make-up, fanned-out lashes that would have made Bambi weep with envy, violet lips and matte purple nails. All of which worked a treat with her shock of short platinum blonde hair.

It was the nails that caught my eye most of all… Nicola was sporting one of the new Illamasqua Nail Varnishes (£13.50), four new shades with a rubbery matte finish which were inspired by the so-called Boot Girls of the Wittenberg Platz; prostitutes whose menu of services was indicated by the colour of their boot-laces… I’m not sure what Nicola’s Faux Pas shade (a dark purple) signifies (we probably don’t want to know!), but the one I’ve taken to is Vice (pictured, though it doesn’t look as maroon in this photo as it does in real life), a Rouge Noir-like dark cerise.

FRIDAY

I didn’t go out on Friday night – though I would have liked to, as I wanted to give my trio of new Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows (£13.50; www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk) an outing.

Snow Job (a minty greeny-grey), Raining Men (a grey-ish greeny shade reminiscent of my favourite new eyeshadow from Chanel – the Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant) and Tickled Mink (a taupe shade) are the gorgeous new additions to Benefit’s range of beautifully blendable and long-lasting eyeshadows.

I may have been all dressed-up, make-up wise, with nowhere to go – but I know which eyeshadows I’ll be turning to next time I do have somewhere …

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Oh dear, I rather overdid it on Sunday night during a couple of back-to-back jazz gigs in Edinburgh – and felt somewhat the worse for wear on Monday. Unfortunately, unlike the uber-chic Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, I didn’t have the urbane William Powell on hand with a liquid hangover cure, but I did have Clarins Eye Contour Gel (£26.50; www.clarins.co.uk) which refreshes the eye area, while toning and de-puffing it. It’s even better if it’s been in the fridge overnight. If William Powell was around today, you can bet it would be as essential to his hangover-chasing kit as Worcester sauce and raw egg..

TUESDAY

I finished using Origins Plantscription after about six weeks and have to report that while using it, I found it had a slightly drying effect on my skin – so much so that I had start using a moisturising serum as well. I didn’t notice any improvement in the lines on my face – if anything, I became more aware of the lines on my forehead because I was studying them more closely than ever. After I finished Plantscription I switched to Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Serum (£245.50; www.houseoffraser.co.uk) and Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Rich Night Cream (£255) for my evening skincare routine. I’d been using these two high-end products for about a week when – on Tuesday – I had an appointment at the Clarins Spa in Frasers, Glasgow,  for my monthly facial.  And the first thing that my facialist, the lovely Lindsay, said when she had finished working her magic was that my skin felt significantly firmer than before. Whether this is the result of the Plantscription, or my new Guerlain evening routine, I don’t yet know … but I’ll be continuing with my super-expensive skincare ritual and shall report back anon.

WEDNESDAY

I went to see the French film Little White Lies – Ces Petits Mouchoirs – on Wednesday, with my French pal Sabine. Over our pre-movie coffee, Sabine – who had just returned from a holiday in France – was singing the praises of a face cream which her sister had advised her to track down while en vacances..

Its name (which evokes our last cinema trip – to see the superb psychological thriller Les Diaboliques)  is Diabolique Tomate by Garancia (around 33 Euros in French pharmacies), and it harnesses the goodness of tomatoes – in particular lypocene, which is a powerful antioxidant – to hydrate the skin and help with anti-ageing. So far, Sabine is very impressed – and her sister is a complete convert.

THURSDAY

Our man from Dior, Jamie Coombes, was in Glasgow on Thursday to acquaint journalists with the latest additions to the company’s vast range of beauty products. Not only did I come away with fantastic, glossy, neon-pink painted nails – Dior Vernis in Paradise (£23, with top coat) – but also with a brilliant tip which I wish I’d known last time I ran out of nail varnish remover: if you paint a layer of nail varnish over the varnish you want to take off, then wipe it off while wet, it will take off both the fresh and the old coats. Jamie showed me – and it works! He also picked out a couple of colours from the new Dior Addict lipstick collection (£22 each) for me to try – the photo shows me (just hours before I finally got that hair colour sorted out!) having the New Look shade expertly applied.

* Jamie Coombes, international make-up artist for Dior, is available to book for a personal make-up lesson in Jenners, Edinburgh (0844 8003725) on Monday April 25 & Tuesday 26, and in Frasers, Glasgow (0141 221 3880) on Wednesday 27 & Thursday 28. 



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