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.
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.
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.
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..