Tag Archives: Clinique

The Art of Looking Polished

Cate Blanchett in Blue JasmineThere’s something very attractive about the polished look that you seem to find most often on the streets of Paris, New York and London. Simple, usually nude make-up (with the occasional slash of bright lip colour), unfussy clothing and accessories and an air of being on trend but not slavishly under its spell. It’s not a look that comes easily, or naturally, to everyone (though the luminous Cate Blanchett certainly worked it in Blue Jasmine, above) but there’s one simple step that can set you on the path to polished-dom: great skin. And great skin starts with thoroughly cleansed skin, as Clinique’s guiding dermatologists Dr David and Dr Catherine Orentreich, always advise their patients. They say: “Skin that is cleansed well, gently yet thoroughly, is better prepped and primed for whatever treatment products are applied after.”

It makes perfect sense, then, that Clinique has now launched a cleansing brush – to ensure the most thoroughly cleansed, healthiest skin.  Its Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush (£79) is not the first cleansing brush on the market, but it’s the first I’ve tried which was created by a skincare company – and that Clinique Sonic System Purifying CLeansing Brushcounts for a lot. As Clinique’s boffins point out, the most effective brush is only as effective as the cleanser it’s used with – so producing your own brush to go with your own cleansers (Clinique designed this one to be used with its 3-Step Facial Soaps) is the logical way to go.

The brush is oval-shaped and designed with two lengths of bristles to tackle different areas of the face, and to ensure that even the tricky-to-reach, and easily clogged, area around the nose gets attention. Lightweight and waterproof (so you can use it in the shower), the brush is gentle enough to be used twice a day for 30 seconds at a time (the self timer automatically turns it off after 30 seconds, the appropriate amount of usage time for most skin types).

* Available exclusively from John Lewis stores and online at www.clinique.co.uk now, and nationwide from August 29.

 

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A Neutral State

Clients|CliniqueYou might do a double-take at the above picture of the new, limited  edition, collection from Clinique – because the bottles in “16 Shades of Beige” are not of liquid foundation, but of nail varnish. The new range – which is available now at www.clinique.co.uk, and goes on-counter on February 7 – harnesses Clinique’s expertise at catering for all skin tones with its wide spectrum of foundation shades, and uses it to offer women a comprehensive collection of nude shades for the eyes and nails.

I love the eight-shade All About Shadow – Neutral Territory 2 palette (£32) of eyeshadows which range from ivory through to chocolate brown and offer a myriad of possible looks to suit each and every complexion. I’ve long been a fan of the texture of Clinique’s All About Shadows as they are extremely easy to blend, last well and can create as subtle or out-there a finish as desired.

That’s the good nudes. The bad is that I’m still not convinced by Clinique’s nail varnishes – AKA A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skin (£12 each). There are some beautifully chic shades among the octet that are being launched as part of this neutral collection but I’m afraid my heart sank as the runny varnish dripped off the brush; just the same reason I disliked the product when it launched last year.

So, I’ll be sticking with my Estee Lauder nude shades from 2013 for the nails, but the eyes are all about Clinique.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Having spent some of Saturday and Sunday nights getting reacquainted with The Fabulous Baker Boys (on DVD), I went on to have a bit of a Suzy Diamond-inspired week. In case you don’t know the film, Suzy Diamond was the singer who’s drafted in to give the eponymous sibling lounge pianists a touch of glamour in their rather dated act.

I may not have writhed around on top of a grand piano (hey, there’s still time – that scene takes place at New Year’s), but I’ve been listening to the soundtrack and, more importantly, was inspired by the Suzy Diamond look throughout the week. Cue lots of playing about with nude eye shades and red lipstick…

TUESDAY

Getting my hair sorted out on Tuesday at James Dun’s House salon in Glasgow was the second step in my Suzy Diamond homage. Michelle Pfeiffer, who played Suzy and immediately became one of my favourite actresses when I first saw this film in 1989, is a California blonde, but for this part, her hair – appropriately for the floosie- turned-chantoosie – is a dirtier blonde than in her earlier movies.

James Dun’s House (0141 248 5864) is an elegant and very contemporary salon which opened a couple of years ago in the same building which now houses Jamie’s Italian. Not only does this salon offer a full range of Aveda spa treatments but its hairdressing is all done with Aveda too.

I was very impressed with my very natural-looking (I hate stripy hair!), born-again blonde locks – achieved by Christine using Aveda highlights – and, especially, by the attention to detail that this salon offers. While you have your colour done, you can select a complimentary mini-treatment from a little menu – a neck and shoulders massage, a hand treatment, or a colour consultation for a new lipstick..

I’ve not yet been asked to add glamour to a piano double act,  but within a couple of days of getting my hair done, I’d notched up a respectable number of compliments on the shine and colour..

WEDNESDAY

You can’t experiment with red lipsticks – or any other strong shade – unless you have a good cleanser to remove all traces of each tester. Luckily, on Wednesday, I received a parcel from Lancome – just in time for my trawl through the red lipsticks of the season…

Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur (£20; www.lancome.co.uk) is a lovely cleansing water, and cleansing water is the quickest, most effective way to remove lipstick in a hurry. Apart from the texture and fragrance, this refreshing liquid is a hit because it has a pump so you don’t risk too much coming out by tipping it onto your cotton pad – as happens with normal bottles. Anyway, it’s now my default morning cleanser – for those days when washing the face is just too much effort.

THURSDAY

Over the last few years, the party season has started a little earlier than before for us Scottish beauty writers. Why? Because those lovely ladies at Clinique come up to Glasgow and treat us all to a fabulous festive dinner. This year’s dinner took place on Thursday and it seemed only good manners to wear as many of my favourite Clinique products as possible for the occasion.

The main one is my ever-reliable Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup (£20 ; www.clinique.co.uk), which – used over Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF15 (£ 14) – keeps my face more shine-free and even-toned than any other combo I’ve tried.

On the eyes, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black (£13) and Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow in Double Date (£18.50), a neutral palette, helped me create a fairly natural look so that the emphasis could be on my Suzy Diamond-esque red lips. Which I achieved not with the best current red that I could find –

My quest for a Suzy Diamond-esque red lipstick led me to Dior Rouge Dior Haute Couleur Voluptuous Care in Zinnia Red (£22), a gorgeous blue-toned red from the beautiful new Dior lipstick collection that launched in September. However, for the Clinique night, I went into my own personal archive and exhumed the very same shade of red from my favourite lipstick range  – Clinique Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick (£14.50). These lipsticks are very shiny and highly moisturising – and the most comfortable I’ve come across. A couple of years ago they had a limited edition shade called Parisian Red. It came out for Christmas, I fell in love with it and then they stopped making it. I must confess I felt like a naughty schoolgirl sneaking it into the proceedings on Thursday…

FRIDAY

Too late for my night-out, I was seduced by the newest acquisition in my mascara collection – Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Excess Mascara (£23). The name may sound more like the sort of product that Michelle Pfeiffer might have worn in Married to the Mob, but it provided dramatic lashes that were certainly worthy of Suzy Diamond.

Not only does this fat wanded mascara curl and lengthen the lashes, it makes them look as if they’ve multiplied. On the smudge-test results, the jury’s still out – I’ve had mixed results so am hanging fire with my final verdict. But put it this way: I’m happy to keep giving it the benefit of the doubt as long as it keeps giving me movie star lashes.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Amongst the numerous gorgeous new cosmetics which have been arriving chez moi over the last few weeks came a batch of new eyeshadows from Revlon. With their plain, black packaging, the Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeshadow Monos (£4.99) hardly had the wow factor of some of their more expensive counterparts but they quickly turned out to be serious contenders.

Within the new range of richly pigmented eyeshadows are some with a “Perle” finish and others with a “Satin” look. The standout for me, when I tried them on Monday, was the beautiful Peacock Lustre shade, a gorgeous, blue-tinged green satiny powder which matches the eyeshadow worn here by Elizabeth Taylor in her role as Cleopatra. It’s perfect for using as a light wash of colour across the lids or if you want to create asmoky eye by mixing it with a brown shade for a khaki effect – very autumn 2010! Since the season’s blue eyeshadows just don’t do anything for my blue eyes, I’m going to copy the famously violet-eyed Liz and give green a whirl instead ..

TUESDAY

The fates are clearly conspiring to make me go green this autumn. I was rummaging through a bag of Topshop Make Up that I had been sent to help me research an article for their 214 mag, and leapt out? A stunning, metallic emerald green nail shade of nail polish. Topshop Nails in Poison Ivy (£5; www.topshop.com) is its name, and it is a Wicked green indeed – definitely reminds me of those Wizard of Oz witches.

WEDNESDAY

Having been suffering from some bug that I caught during the Edinburgh Jazz Festival as well as several disturbed nights’ sleep due to unwell children, I couldn’t wait to try out the new Elemis SpaPod in Debenhams, in Glasgow’s city centre. I needed a nap!

The visit began with a detailed analysis of your skin by a therapist. And when I say detailed, I mean detailed: absolutely no flaw goes unrecorded by the clinical imaging equipment which takes a picture of your skin and then highlights all the different types of damage on one particular area. I thought I was doing a pretty respectable job of keeping wrinkles at bay so was gutted to be told that I had 27 on one side of my face alone!

Once the therapist – and the machine – have worked out which products would be best suited to your skin type, you move through to the SpaPod for your facial. The pod is a cosy, quiet room with an “Intelligent Massage Chair” which, I quickly realised was not for me. As my Elemis Modern Skin Power Booster Facial (£45/30 mins; www.elemis.co.uk) got underway, with the therapist removing my makeup and cleansing my skin, the chair whirred into action and I found myself being rolled around, pushed up and then sinking down thanks to the chair’s undulating movements. Relaxing? No way. The worst bit was when it grabbed my legs tightly around the calves and squeezed them till I thought the blood vessels would burst. The noise and the motions combined to make me feel like I was on a mechanical rodeo bull… Shades of Gene Wilder in Silver Streak.

But, once I had asked the therapist to put me out of my misery by switching off the chair, the facial was utterly blissful – thanks to the lovely-smelling and feeling products used and to the super-relaxing neck and shoulder massage I was given. The human touch? You can’t beat it..  And what’s more, my sensitive skin didn’t flare up afterwards: in fact, it looked radiant for days. I’ll definitely be looking to make this a regular thing. They’re currently doing two facials for the price of one at the Glasgow Debenhams Elemis SpaPod so I’m off to make my follow-up appointment.

THURSDAY

Thursday evening was a long-overdue night out with the girls, Lizzy and Colette. The catch-up was supposed to happen over Prosecco and pasta at Jamie’s Italian, the new Jamie Oliver eatery in Glasgow. However, after queuing for, oh, two minutes, we decided that we really didn’t want to waste another 88 (you can’t reserve tables for small groups, apparently), and headed off to find an alternative restaurant.

It was a well-behaved night, with moderation on the alcohol front, but I had come prepared, beauty-wise, by applying a layer of Origins Zero Oil Instant Matte Finish (£11 ; www.origins.co.uk). This wonder-working, all-natural liquid absorbs oil but doesn’t dry out the skin and provides a lovely base for make-up – though it can be used over make-up in shine emergencies. Just wish I had had some with me the previous week in Edinburgh when photos were being taken after wine had been consumed …

FRIDAY

Uh-oh. I’ve spotted the first deep creased wrinkle on my forehead. (It’s probably been there for ages and I hadn’t noticed, though I’m sure if it was very obvious either my mother or my twin sons, who have inherited her critical gene, would have taken great delight in pointing it out!) Anyway, now I’ve noticed it, there’s no going back: I have to face up to it, and take it on. And I’m going to do this with the help of Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus  Wrinkle & UV Damage (£35; available in Selfridges nationwide and at www.clinique.co.uk now, and at other stores from September 10).

It claims to visibly repair UV damage and reduce wrinkles while preventing future signs of ageing and the environment by fighting free radicals. I’ll let you know how I get on … Hopefully, it will be more successful than the Clinique Self Sun Body Daily Moisturizer, the self-tanning body lotion that streaked my legs for a week in early July and just would not budge.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

I may be the one who writes about beauty but my friends are all experts about the areas that particularly concern them.

My pal Shiv is one of my top testers for fake tan and body products; apart from her essentials – mascara and lip gloss – make-up has tended to be much lower down her priority list .

Her skin is so good that she only recently began to feel the need of some sort of coverage to even out dark circles and disguise fine lines – so she turned to the excellent By Terry range.

When I met her on Monday, she was singing the praises not only of the By Terry Touche Veloutee (£29; www.spacenk.co.uk), a concealer/highlighter and cousin to the original Touche Eclat (which Terry de Gunzburg created at YSL), but also of the lady who sold it to her in Space NK.

Shiv went in to buy the shade she had bought before. When the saleswoman realised they didn’t have it, she didn’t try to persuade her to buy something else; instead, she persuaded her to book herself in for a mini-makeover the following weekend.

I’ve not heard the usually cynical Shiv wax so lyrical about a retail experience as she did about the makeover. She was thrilled with the results  and left with a different (and better) shade of the Touche Veloutee,  as well as her first eyeliner pencil in probably about 20 years and a list of make-up she’d like to try.

TUESDAY

I spent some time on Tuesday in a bit of a coiffeur quandary. My hair is desperately needing to be coloured and cut but, for the first time in ages, I’m toying with the idea of doing something different with it. It could be that I fancy going for the chop because, suddenly, the ends of my hair are tangling and look like they’re paying the price for my regular colour sessions. It could be that short hair looks so much easier (though I know, from experience, that it isn’t). Or it could have something to do with the fact that, however much she may hate it, I love Oscar-nominated Carey Mulligan’s elfin crop. Though not half as much as I love the original model – as seen on movie actress Jean Seberg (above). Not sure if I’m quite ready to take the plunge but you never know …

WEDNESDAY

Dior’s summer make-up collection arrived on Wednesday morning – and the pinks, peaches and corals are mouthwateringly pretty. Also in the package was Diorshow Extase Mascara (£21.50), which somehow I missed out on when they landed in stores at the end of March.

I can report that, as often happens with mascara, I’m in love again.. This mascara is brilliant for beefing up scraggy lashes and making them look like contenders in the battable stakes. I am fickle when it comes to mascara so we’ll have to see whether I’m as much in love in a couple of weeks as I am now ..

THURSDAY

I was writing about foundations on Thursday and, in the course of testing a few different ones, I had a Dorothy moment. In other words, just as Dorothy realises that “there’s no place like home” in The Wizard of Oz, so I realised that there’s no foundation like my old reliable: Clinique Perfectly Real Make-up (£20; www.clinique.co.uk).

It’s not an all-singing, all-dancing base like some of Clinique’s recent offerings, but Perfectly Real is a godsend for women like me, with a less-than-even skin tone, and a complexion which is totally confused in its orientation: it veers between oily, sensitive, dehydrated and dry. Not only does this foundation deal with all these issues, but it also comes in a shade which is a perfect match for my very fair colouring.

FRIDAY

It may be the Easter Holidays and Friday is the day I usually look after my twin boys, but I had to book my mum to babysit for long enough for me to sneek into town to meet Melissa, the suitably chic PR for Tom Ford Beauty. After all, she had promised to give me a preview of the new Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colors (£35), which go on sale in Harvey Nichols on April 24.

This collection of 12 lipsticks marks the talented Mr Ford’s first foray into the world of cosmetics.  Why start with lipsticks? Well, over to him. “There is no more dramatic accessory than a perfect lip,” he says. “It is the focus of the face and it has the power to define a woman’s whole look.”

At £35 a pop, a Private Blend Lip Color does not come cheap, but it’s designed to be the ultimate in luxurious lipstick -as the expensive-looking ivory and gold tubes suggest. The quality is immediately apparent when you apply the lipstick too. Extremely moisturising, it glides on to the lips thanks to such rare ingredients as soja seed extract, Brazilian murumur butter and chamomilla flower oil. My mother has already named a coral-coloured Lip Color as payback for the babysitting job ….

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