A last-minute invitation to attend a black tie charity dinner on Saturday night was the perfect occasion for me to get a second wear out of my bargain evening gown (bought last May for my first-ever formal jazz event) and a first wear out of some fab new Dior make-up I’d been sent.
I’d come across this photo of the lovely January Jones amongst the publicity for the new series of Mad Men, which got underway last week, and once more she proved to be a great inspiration – though at the last minute I switched to dark pink lips (Dior’s Rouge d’Or in Nocturne, from their limited edition Christmas collection, since you ask) as I just looked too washed out…
Anyway, my take on the 1966 Mad Men look involved using the paler shades in the classic Dior 5 Couleurs in Greige (£40), which has become my favourite palette lately, and the fabulous Dior 360 degrees Revolving Mascara (£29.50), an extremely easy-to-use mascara which does a terrific job of curling the lashes for a dramatic effect.
Since running out of my Chanel skincare a few weeks ago, I have been using some new products from another of my favourite French beauty brands – Guerlain. They have just relaunched their Super Aqua range of hydrating skincare and I’ve been enjoying getting reacquainted with their lovely textures and, especially, their distinctive, rose, scent. The fact that I’ve had more than a few compliments on my skin is a bonus.. I’ve been using the new Guerlain Super Aqua-Lotion (£30), a softening and hydrating toner, and the newly reformulated Guerlain Super Acqua-Serum (£65.50), which was already one of my favourite serums and is now better than ever..
The 2012 version of Super Aqua-Lotion harnesses Guerlain’s newfound awareness of the ageing effects of water pollution on the skin’s cells. The result is a serum which simultaneously hydrates and plumps up the skin, as the product reactivates the skin’s natural water purification process, thus allowing the flow of cell life to continue without disruption – ie, less chance of wrinkle outbreaks!
I didn’t get round to trying out the new Benefit High Brow Glow (£14) in time to use it at the charity dinner on Saturday but I would probably have avoided it anyway: I’m not a big fan of the shimmering brow bone look, though I can appreciate the way a highlighter can enhance the bone structure. This easy-to-use, creamy pencil certainly does that and offers a champagne coloured alternative to the original, cult classic – the linen-pink shade of High Brow. Mind you, £14 seems quite a lot to pay for something that comes – albeit in powder form – in most eye shadow palettes.
I finally got round to trying out the latest body treatment from Clarins on Thursday. The Clarins Melting Hone Hot Stone Massage (from £60) is not the most relaxing treatment I’ve had – but it was certainly extremely effective at ironing out the myriad knots in my muscles. It turns out that not only do I carry a load of tension in my neck, shoulders and back (which I knew) but also in my right foot. Go figure.
The therapist uses nine stones, in four different shapes, to carry out a deep and very precise massage – the shape of the stone and the amount of heat it can carry determines where it is used. Unlike some hot stone treatments, where the stones are placed on particular spots on the body; these ones are designed to be an extension of the therapist’s hands. The honey massage gel – available in two formulas, one for relaxing and one for invigorating – is massaged on initially as a barrier for the heat, and it melts into an oil as the massage unfolds before transforming into a very moisturising milky emulsion.
The effects were still evident several days later – though I do now crave a facial with back massage where I can completely switch off and not be flipped over half-way through as happens in a body treatment….
A low-key dinner with a friend in Edinburgh seemed just the right occasion to try out the Incognito shade of Dior Vernis Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer (£17.50). It’s very appropriately named, this shade which looks sort of putty-like on first application but then takes on a slightly lilac hue with a second coat. In fact, it’s very reminiscent of Chanel’s Rose Cache and Rose Confidentiel – and the name is inkeeping too!
The corresponding Dior Addict Extreme lipstick (£24) would have been perfect for the January Jones look (above), but I need just a bit more colour to prevent me from looking pale and of interest only to a mortician …