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..
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….
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.
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!