I don’t wear nail polish all the time as my nails just cannot cope with the excitement of chopping and changing colours too regularly. They get stressed and split and become scraggy round the edges whenever I’ve had a couple of days of polish.
This was certainly the case on Monday – the return to colder weather didn’t help matters – so I had to get my nails on a twice daily regime of my favourite nail treatment: the Intensive Nail & Cuticle Therapy (£7.50; www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk) from Crabtree & Evelyn’s La Source range.
I’ve been a fan of this lovely cream for almost ten years because it’s easy to use (especially on trains, planes and automobiles – if you’re not driving..), it’s not greasy or oily, and it keeps the nail and surrounding skin moisturised and healthy-looking, thanks to the panthenol and keratin (a natural protective protein found in nails and hair) it contains.
Chanel’s summer nail polishes may not be on sale until May 7, but this one, Le Vernis in Nouvelle Vague (£16.50), is already generating pages of magazine copy – and no doubt the inevitable waiting list.
Alas, as is the case with many of the most tempting summer goodies, this beautiful greeny-turquoise shade will look fab on a bronzed beauty – or even a slightly sallow one. But when I tried it on Tuesday, I was forced to admit that against my white, no fake tan please – we’re proud to be porcelain skin, it looks less like the “it” shade and more like the … well, you can guess – I do like my alliteration after all.
So my bottle is winging its way down to the infinitely more sallow-skinned Shiv who will once more be the envy of her office by jumping the queue in terms of must-have nail polishes. I may be getting slightly paranoid about how little there is for me in the summer cosmetics collections but I’ve already earmarked at least one of the two other Chanel polishes for another pal, fake tan-loving Lizzy – who also happens to have a penchant for pink…
Veronica Lake has been one of my favourite old stars since my dad showed me the delightful1940s comedy I Married a Witch (a forerunner to Bewitched) when I was a child. Lake played a beguiling sorceress who, by way of revenge, casts a love spell on the descendent of the Puritan who had her burnt at the stake.
I love Lake’s trend-setting “peek-a-boo” fringe – she could hide behind it when she was playing coy and scheme behind it when she was playing the femme fatale. It lent her a sophisticated, mysterious air which balanced out her mischievous smile and the cheeky glint in her eyes. She was a delight in several wonderful 1940s movies, and had an air of intelligence and wit about her – unlike some of her more overtly sexy contemporaries.
Hoorah! A summer collection turned up on Thursday which might provide me with a new nail polish. This Estee Lauder collection’s name isn’t promising (for me) – it’s Bronze Goddess – but it includes Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Ultra Violet (£12; www.esteelauder.co.uk), a sparkly dark purple, which looks like it will be just the job for summer nights-out.
In need of a new eyeliner – I love the retro eyeliner look achieved with a pen-brush style liner or one that you paint on from a little pot (kohl pencil just doesn’t work for me) – I dug out one I’d been sent a few months back. Max Factor Masterpiece Glide & Define Liquid Eyeliner (£6.99; www.boots.com) doesn’t so much glide as drag. It’s not easy to control or vary the width of the line, and it was an effort to use.. Think I’ll be reverting to my Clarins Eye Liner (£18; www.clarins.com) or one of the terrific Clinique Brush-On Cream Eye Liners (£13; www.clinique.co.uk) …