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Red With Envy

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy model shotIt may be an old cliche to talk about “putting our war paint on” – but it’s an accurate one …  and I’ve always thought that lipstick is by far the single-most effective weapon in our make-up armoury. No other single cosmetic can so immediately transform you from mouse to minx, from shrinking violet to sexy vamp – at least in terms of appearance. And if you look the part, it’s easier to play it – and that’s how make-up gives us confidence, as well as a mask to hide behind if we want it.

Tom Pecheux, creative make-up director at Estee Lauder, agrees. “Sexy, confident and powerful – that’s what lipstick does for women,” he says. And, with this in mind, he has created a new collection for Estee Lauder – Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks, moisturising, long-lasting lipsticks with intense, multi-faceted pigments which shape and define and make the lips look plumper. Of course, with a make-up weapon that often gets wielded in public, presentation is important as well - and, with a chic tube which has a magnetic  click closure to ensure that the lid always goes on correctly and quickly, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks certainly tick that box too.

There are 20 shades of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick (£24 each; www.esteelauder.co.uk) and they span nudes through to the more dramatic colours such as Envious Red, which model Carolyn Murphy wears in the ads.Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy group shot

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Backstage Beauty: Estee Lauder for Derek Lam

Estee LauderDerek_Lam_Fall_Winter_Fashion_Show_2014_Face_ChartYesterday in New York, Estée Lauder sponsored the makeup look at the Derek Lam Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Show at the city’s Sean Kelly Gallery.  Tom Pecheux, Estée Lauder Creative Makeup Director, led a team of 15 makeup artists to create the beauty looks on more than 30 models.

Pecheux says: “Derek’s collection is strong, urban, ethnic-inspired with an emphasis on texture. The makeup look is strong yet fluid, with pools of grey and green surrounding the eye. I was inspired by water, a lagoon, deep and cool.”

Here’s what he used:

Eyes: Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder in Transparent; Pure Color Instant Intense Eyeshadow Trio in Camo Chrome (the darkest shade); Pure Color Eyeshadow in Ivy Envy; Blending Shadow Brush 25

Lips: Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Insatiable Ivory and Intense Nude

Face: Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup; Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35; Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder in Transparent

Skin: Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Creme; Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Ageing Eye Balm; Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refresher

 Estée_Lauder_EyeClosed_Derek_Lam_FW14

Estée_Lauder_Lips_Derek_Lam_FW14

Estée_Lauder_EyeOpen_Derek_Lam_FW14Make-up: Tom Pecheux for Estee Lauder

Photos courtesy of Estee Lauder

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My Week in Beauty

SATURDAY

I didn’t really have a big night out at the weekend but I was desperate to dabble in the new summer collection, “Enchanted”, from Clarins, so I possibly looked a little more glam than is strictly necessary for a Saturday afternoon jazz session!

What particularly attracted me to this Indian-themed collection (though I must confess, I thought it was Moroccan when I saw the colours and the new Clarins Kohl Kajal Long-Lasting Eyeliners , £15 each) was the absolutely stunning Clarins Limited Edition Colour Quartet & Liner Palette (£30; www.clarins.co.uk).

I have loved Clarins’ mineral eye shadows since they launched them last year. The colours always work beautifully together, they usually have one slightly unexpected shade, they blend very easily – and, best of all for anyone who finds that make-up doesn’t stay put all day, they last extremely well.

This new palette of sparkling shadows is one of the loveliest yet – and would look great with any eye colour since it contains an iridescent champagne shade, bronzy-gold, a coppery-brown and a vibrant violet, plus a chocolate brown eye liner. Wearing just the two lighter shades provides a fresh, casual look but once you add in the brown and/or the violet, it’s very striking…

TUESDAY

Well, it’s always nice to get compliments about your hair – and I was delighted to get one last week (at the stage in my colour cycle when I only expect insults!)…  I’m putting it down to the fact that for several days last week, starting on Tuesday, I used Tigi Ego Boost (£12.50) from its Bed Head range.

This leave-in conditioner mends dry and damaged hair and protects it from environmental elements, plus the harmful side effects of chemical treatments, shampooing and brushing. It’s quick and easy to use and makes even the tuggiest hair comb-able. I’ve been finding that it gives my fine hair a bit of oomph in the volume department – so it really is an all-round ego booster….


WEDNESDAY

We’ve been having a bit of a heatwave here in Scotland, and it’s been too hot to to wear much – in terms of make-up as well as clothes…

Less face paint is definitely more when it comes to staying cool, and one summer essential which emerged last week was Estee Lauder Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara (£25; www.esteelauder.co.uk from June, and at Selfridges just now).  It’s not the first double-ended mascara (Guerlain’s Le 2 has two ends and two mascaras, but they are for use on all the lashes, top and bottom) but it is the first to have a brush and mascara for the top lashes and a separate brush and different coloured mascara for the bottom ones. The idea is that the mascara for the bottom lashes, which comes with a dinkier brush, is a subtler shade (either Rich Brown, Rich Blue or Rich Plum) and one which will bring out the colour of the eyes, while the top lash colour is Bold Black.

I’ve been finding that it does indeed flatter the eyes (and I’ve been wearing it with no other eye make-up – unheard of for me!) but that the lower lash mascara eventually smudges – which was the same problem I had with the first dedicated lower lash mascara I tried, by Clinique.

THURSDAY

ROX were at it again on Thursday night .. Holding another fab soiree I mean. This time the Glasgow-based jewellery store was hosting a birthday bash to celebrate 40 years of Gucci watches – and a swell party it was too, even if all I could do was ogle the timepieces in question…

Actually, when my ship stops hovering outside the harbour, I think I’ll get myself along to Rox and treat myself to some of the sexy bamboo jewellery I fell in love with on Thursday. A new watch  can follow. Who needs to keep track of time when there are tassle earrings seeking an owner?!

The Kim & I at the Gucci party, photographed by an Orson Welles-inspired snapper .

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My Week in Beauty

TUESDAY

I was going to review a show at the theatre on Tuesday evening but I went looking as if I was heading for a night at the opera – or something equally glam. Why? Because I had had a meeting with Melissa, the chic PR for Tom Ford Beauty, just beforehand – and I’d been treated to a mini-makeover at the TFB counter in Frasers in Glasgow.

Melissa was in town to preview the company’s new colour collection of molten-toned colour inspired, as she explained, by “the beauty of a radiant, bronzed face”.  As a paleface, I wasn’t
sure there would be anything for me in this range, but the four gorgeous Tom Ford Cream Color For Eyes (£28), in metallic shades, were all extremely tempting – and looked as if they would complement blue eyes beautifully. I went to the theatre wearing the shimmering Platinum colour which can be layered for a dramatic look. And you know what, it’s the first cream shadow I’ve used that lasted the pace – it was still in place at bedtime.

WEDNESDAY

Caroline, an Edinburgh-based friend and fellow jazz fan, hosted a dinner party at her new flat last week and invited some of the creme de la creme of the capital’s jazz scene to attend.

I found myself chatting about beauty buys with the singer Angie King. Last time we met, at Christmas, she expressed interest in trying the then-new Lancome serum Visionnaire, and, on Wednesday, I was struck by how luminous and youthful her complexion was. The secret, she revealed, was not Visionnaire (which she had never got round to trying) but Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£41; www.esteelauder.co.uk), which she has been using since we last. She would certainly be a great poster girl for this, the mother of all serums.

THURSDAY

I’m still searching for a luxurious beauty parlour like Sydney’s (left) – the lavish, Surrealist-style, salon frequented by Ros Russell, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and their cohorts in George Cukor’s wonderful 1939 film The Women. But while I’m searching, I’m more than content to have a regular treatments in one of the lovely Clarins Spas. On Wednesday, I had a change of venue: instead of going to the spa in Frasers, in Glasgow, I tried out its sister over in Debenhams. It’s just as attractive as the Frasers one, but a little more contemporary in its design. My Clarins Triactive Facial (from £60) was – as ever – just what the doctor ordered. It’s the perfect blend of results and relaxation: my skin looked energised afterwards, and I was well rested thanks to the thorough face, neck and shoulder massage.

FRIDAY

My hair has been feeling tuggy and a little dry at the ends so on Friday, with a few days to go before my hair appointment, I decided it was time to try out a product I’d only put off using because I thought it might be messy (and time-consuming). In fact, Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment Plus (£16; www.ojon.co.uk) was easy (and not messy) to use.  You simply take a tiny amount of the solid, wax-like balm, warm it in your hands until it becomes an oil and work it through the hair. After 20 minutes you rinse it off. I found my hair’s texture had improved immeasurably, and the effects lasted several days – though, thankfully, the coffee bean-like smell of the product didn’t linger at all!

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My Week in Beauty

TUESDAY

You may have seen this photo before but it seems the ideal one to use to illustrate my trip to Edinburgh on Tuesday night for a sumptuous dinner hosted by Estee Lauder’s press team. The reason it’s the ideal pic is that I was wearing the same dress – and just about half the journalists at the table in the exquisite Number One restaurant at the Balmoral were sporting the nail varnish I’m wearing here - Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Teal Topaz (£14; www.esteelauder.co.uk).

The dinner was a 30th birthday celebration – not of a person, but of Lauder’s now-iconic serum, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, now going by the name of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex (£41 ) and reformulated to harness the latest research in genetic ageing while holding true to its original mission of reducing the appearance of past damage from environmental assaults and preventing future damage.

While the press girls had us under the spell of champagne and Michelin-starred food, they also gave us a preview of their summer make-up. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2012 – The Capri Collection goes on sale at Jenners, in Edinburgh this month, before it hits counters everywhere else in May – and Edinburgh ladies who passed the beauty squad post-dinner will undoubtedly be forming an orderly queue… We all had a play with the products – and went into the night smelling divine, thanks to the Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer (£27) we were trying on our hands and forearms….

WEDNESDAY

Eugh, I felt a wreck on Wednesday after a particularly disturbed sleep in a Holiday Inn
Express which had previously seemed very comfortable and quiet. I was awake every hour thanks to a combination of the racket coming from the room opposite, the noise of traffic on the stairs through the wall from me and my usual first-night restlessness when away from my own bed.

Anyway, the result was that despite having fused Kim Novak and Veronica Lake influences the night before, I looked more like Simone Signoret – at least in the heavy-lidded eye department – the morning after. Only one thing for it: Clarins Skin-Smoothing Eye Mask (£29.50; www.clarins.co.uk). This has turned out to be an absolute must-have for me lately as it seems to be the only way of waking up my eyes when the lids weigh heavy on them ..

THURSDAY

I took the train to London on Thursday for a quick visit to interview the wonderful singer-songwriter – and fashion plate – Melody Gardot whose new CD, The Absence (Decca), comes out at the end of May. Since I last met her three years ago, Melody has visited more countries than I’ve probably managed in the last 15 years – and she has absorbed musical and style influences wherever she’s been.

When she opened the door of her hotel suite to me, she was a vision in a fringed Lanvin dress and Moroccan-style turban into which her still long (she assured me) locks were tucked. The turban and 1940s-style shades were very Gloria Swanson-in-Sunset Boulevard – and I told her so. Apparently, I was the second person in a day to compare the 27-year-old to the great Gloria (the other comparison had been a vocal one) – but she couldn’t visualise Swanson, so before I left, I had to help find a photo..

Anyway, Melody’s make-up – as ever – was exquisite  (see the video below too); perfectly defined eyebrows sat above the retro specs, Hollywood red lips offset her newly nut-brown skin and her nails were painted a metallic sand shade which offset the camel colour of her turban and wrap. Having been on a train for five hours, I felt bedraggled by comparison but had at least made my own nod to glamour in the form of my Chanel’d nails (the April shade which has been my favourite for months now). I painted them on the train – a calculated risk, but worth taking since I had my handy Rituals Nail Varnish Corrector Pen (£6.90; from John Lewis and www.rituals.com)  with me…

SATURDAY

A girls’ night out for my friend Colette’s birthday and the occasion to wear a kaftan-style top I had exhumed from the depths of my wardrobe during a major spring clean gave me the perfect excuse to move on from April to, no not the May or June shades of Chanel nail polish – but one named Distraction.

Chanel Le Vernis in Distraction (£18) is part of Rose Ultimes de Chanel, a mini collection, coming out on May 11, of lip glosses and nail varnishes based around a pink theme. I have totally fallen for this gorgeous coral shade which is extremely pretty and very retro. And it went a treat with my top (shown below, in photo with my pal Lizzy) which has multi-coloured (including coral), Sergeant Pepper-style, frocking.  With two coats, it’s perfect against pale skin like mine .. Goodbye April, hello Distraction!

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My Week in Beauty

SATURDAY

I spent last week with my jazz critic’s hat on (though it was a bit warm for a beret..), as I was covering the Edinburgh Jazz Festival for Scotland’s two quality broadsheets.

However, the week got off to a glamorous start when I attended my friend Merle’s royal-themed 40th birthday party. A couple of months ago she suggested that I come as Grace Kelly and the more I thought about it, the better an idea it seemed – especially when I remembered that I have a floral-patterned, full-skirted, calf-length  Zara dress which always reminds me of the frock Grace was wearing when she was introduced to Prince Rainier. The bonus was that I could wear this to my gigs (the second of which, appropriately, was a tribute to Louis Armstrong, Grace’s co-star in High Society) and not look ridiculous. I just stuck on fancy headband as I was leaving the concert, and, voila, my Kelly look was complete.

Of course, channelling Grace Kelly in the 1950s was easy – as it’s completely inkeeping with one of my favourite looks: a natural-looking eye make-up and coral-red lips. Luckily, my favourite coral of this summer,  Estee Lauder Pure Color Longlasting Lipstick in Coral Sun  (£18; www.esteelauder.co.uk), hadn’t yet melted on Saturday. By Thursday, it had come a cropper in the Edinburgh heatwave, and it’s now un-usable. Here’s a pic of me in character; my friend, the singer and concert promoter Todd Gordon, plays the part of Frank Sinatra rather well!

TUESDAY

Beige is boring, pink is too/ Only navy nails will do … (apologies to Kay Thompson’s Think Pink song from Funny Face).

I fell in love on Tuesday, in Edinburgh …. with midnight blue nail varnish, two in particular: Dior Vernis in Tuxedo (£17.50, from August 16) and an old one that I discovered I’d never tried – Chanel Le Vernis in Blue Satin (£17.50;  for stockists call 020-7493 3836). They both look fantastic with my colouring (much better than the brownish metallic shades which are also going to be big for autumn) – and, I think, a lot more chic than black or grey. I am definitely a convert.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering who the fabulous-looking woman is in the photo – that’s an American singer by the name of Clairdee, with whom I bonded over beauty tips and style secrets (when we were supposed to be discussing jazz!). She’s got THE most amazing skin, so watch out for her recommendations and advice on this blog over the next few weeks.

WEDNESDAY

Oooh, it’s not too late – I hope – to get your mitts on the exquisite eyeshadow quartet which Chanel brought out about six weeks ago, as part of its limited edition Byzance de Chanel collection which is exclusive to its make-up studios in Frasers, Glasgow; Fenwicks, Newcastle and Selfridges, London.

Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow in Topkapi (£37) is a thing of beauty; very easy to wear and to adapt to either a low-key look or full-on glamour. Though it does seem a shame to muss up the quilted boules of colour..

I got hooked on the top two shades last week for daily wear – and plan to wear them instead of some of the (frankly, rather disappointing) autumn shades I’ve been sent …

THURSDAY

As if by magic, the perfect companion to the Topkapi quartet was also in my make-up bag for the jazz festival: the limited edition Estee Lauder Pure Color Liquid Eyeliner (£19), from its new Modern Mercury collection, is a wonder: a liquid eyeliner which is as soft as a child’s crayon, and glides across the eyelid without dragging. In fact, you barely feel it making its mark.

I’ve been using the Black Quartz shade (can’t wait to try Graphic) which has a subtle sparkle through it and provides a considerably less harsh line than the average pure black liner. Of course, you can build it up for a dramatic look, or play it down for a softer one. The only drawback is it feels a little sticky once applied – on me, anyway.

And, speaking of makeup bags: I finally broke my bad habit of finding myself with my business cards because I’ve changed handbag. My new tip? I’m keeping my business cards in my make-up bag. After all, I never leave home without it!

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

I never used to care much for Kate Winslet’s looks, but since she became one of the faces of Lancome, she has really blossomed. Her latest ads are for the new Lancome L’Absolu Nu (£19.50; www.lancome.co.uk) range of lipsticks – and boy, what terrific lipsticks these are. They’re extremely moist, glossy and they miraculously make your pout look fuller.

At first I thought I was imagining that last quality but then I read the press release and it explains how Lancome harnessed the latest advances in optical science to intensify the radiance of the lips and make them really eye-catching, even in the most natural shades. It sounds like hooey but it works…

There are 12 shades of this gorgeous new lipstick – and I want them all! Especially since they are extremely comfortable to wear – even for the driest of lips.

TUESDAY

New eyeshadows have been rather thin on the ground recently – it’s all been about the lips, dahling! – so I was desperate to get my hands on the new Estee Lauder DoubleWear Stay in Place Shadow Cremes (£15.50; www.esteelauder.co.uk) – although, as someone whose oily eyelids usually don’t hold creme colour for more than five minutes, I didn’t have any great expectations…

However, these are fab: they really do stay in place. My favourite combination is the new limited edition shade of Buttercream (worn all over the eye area), with Smoky Plum to shade in a slightly smoky eye – a lovely day look which I’ve been teaming with the Lancome L’Absolu Nu No.103, a violety-pink shade. Creme eyeshadow? I’m a convert!

WEDNESDAY

I ran out of my favourite toner, Lancome Tonique Douceur, last week and was very wary of experimenting with any new ones as my skin can be on the sensitive side. However, after using the newly re-formulated  Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion (£23; www.origins.co.uk), I found that my skin felt lovely – and no sign of redness.

THURSDAY

The jazz side of my journalistic career doesn’t usually overlap much with the beauty side but my jazz pals and I all had the chance to get glammed up for the swishest event in the jazz calendar (indeed, the swishest jazz event I’ve ever been to!) on Thursday night: a formal fundraiser for the Glasgow Jazz Festival, for which I’ve programmed some movies this year.

It was the exactly the right occasion for me to give the autumn-winter colours from Chanel a first outing – although they don’t go on sale until August 19. The new Chanel Illusions d’Ombre eyeshadows, which shimmer and glisten, and the most bling of the new trio of nail varnishes, Chanel Le Vernis in Peridot, simply scream out to be worn to a fancy do, and since I was wearing a simple long black dress with minimal jewellery, I decided to go for the most dazzling of the Illusions d’Ombres, the gorgeous Epatant shade – a greeny, sea blue which, like the Lauder cremes mentioned earlier, lasts brilliantly. It was so dazzling, in fact, that I felt it distracted from my eyes so I toned it down a little – with some of the coppery eyeshadow from the Dior 5 Golds palette I’m still loving from last year.

FRIDAY

And speaking of Dior … it’s launching an exquisite-looking leopard print compact of eyeshadows, the Mitzah Palette, as a limited edition for Selfridges from June 1. Inspired by Christian Dior’s muse, Mitzah Bricard, it has camel, deep brown and nude shades and looks very sophisticated. Sadly, there were no samples for the press … but a bottle of the complementary new limited edition nail colour – Dior Vernis in Camel (£17.50; available exclusively from Selfridges from June 1) did fall into my hot little (hungover) hands on Friday.

It’s a matte shade which is a lovely alternative to the lighter nude shades of earlier in the year. Dior are definitely gaining ground in the nail colour department this summer … this one is tres, tres chic!

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

We’ve been having a bit of a Star Wars moment in my house recently – thanks to my twin boys’ ever-increasing obsession with the original trio of movies. I hadn’t seen them for years and was struck by how very now Princess Leia’s hair styles are – all those pleats! Sometimes they’re piled high in a bun, sometimes she wears long loose pleats and other times – as in this picture – she loops the loop with them (and snares the gorgeous Han Solo in the process!). It’s just too bad she (and Carrie Fisher, the talented actress/writer who played her) is best remembered for her two-bun look…

The ongoing Stars Wars fixation was the perfect backdrop, on Monday, for the arrival of a parcel containing two perfumes which both looked as if they had been designed by a sci-fi fan.

I’m not drawn to extra-terrestrial style fragrance bottles myself, but the latest addition to Thierry Mugler’s Alien family of fragrances  - Alien Sunessence Amber Gold Edition (£40; out now), a fresh floral amber eau de toilette variation on the original Alien perfume – is bound to appeal to younger fragrance fans and devotees of the Alien range.

The other new perfume on the inter-galactic block is Aura by Swarovski (from £44), the first eau de parfum from the celebrated crystal company.

Like Alien Sunessence, it’s a fruity floral which comes in a strikingly futuristic bottle – with a crystal-topped lid, of course..

TUESDAY

Every so often media coverage of a nail varnish makes my pals sit up and take notice – and I’ve had a few requests for any spare bottles of this season’s must-have Chanel polish, the Black Pearl shade of Chanel Le Vernis (£17; call 0207-493 3836 for stockists). If you can’t get your hands on a bottle – or a beauty writer pal can’t help you out – then here’s an alternative which is virtually identical: Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Perfect Storm (£14; www.esteelauder.co.uk). But it is limited edition – so hurry!

It may have been a bit too sober a shade to wear to Tuesday’s press night of Mamma Mia, the Abba show which came back to the Clyde Auditorium last weekend, but it certainly looks very chic and very now.

If I’d really wanted to get into the spirit of the show,
however, I could have chosen any number of the beautiful, vibrant colours in the range, which has been designed by Tom Pecheux. I particularly like Wicked Green and Wild Blue, which are also limited edition shades.

WEDNESDAY

Flicking through the copy of the InStyle’s authoritative Best Beauty Buys 2011 on Wednesday, I found myself nodding in agreement at more of the inclusions than usual.

I’ve recently become a fan of the lovely basic skincare items in Lancome’s comprehensive range, so was delighted to see that two of my new favourites were included in the best cleansers and toners category. Lancome Eau Micellaire Douceur Express Cleansing Water (£20; http://www.lancome.co.uk) and Lancome Tonique Douceur Softening Hydrating Toner (£20) are a delight to use. The cleansing water is a lovely, refreshing way to remove make-up and cleanse the skin, while the toner – which smells gorgeous – is extremely comfortable and leaves skin looking healthy.

In fact, Lancome really cleaned up in that category, as their cult eye make-up remover Lancome Bi-Facil Non Oily Instant Cleanser (£19.50) was the third of the five products in that section….

THURSDAY

The lovely Ally and Sheena from the Clinique and Aramis & Designer Fragrances PR teams were in Glasgow on Thursday to brief us beauty writers on their next batch of new launches.

And there’s lots happening. Fragrance-wise, there are two new limited edition additions to the DKNY Be Delicious family – DKNY Be Delicious Juiced (£26.50 for 30ml eau de toilette) which is a fresh, fruity concoction, and DKNY Fresh Blossom Juiced (£26.50 for 30ml eau de toilette), a light fruity-floral scent. Both are availalable now from Debenhams, and from Boots from April 5 onwards.

Personally, I’m not a great fan of fruity fragrances so I was most excited by my introduction to the gorgeous colours in the new range of Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balms (£13.50; www.clinique.co.uk). These chunky lip balm pencils are highly moisturising and super-comfy to wear – and I was immediately hooked on the bright pinky-red shade, Chunky Cherry.

FRIDAY

Friday was the launch date for the new Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipsticks (£22.50; call 0207-493 3836 for stockists). And, as you may have read here a couple of weeks ago, they were being launched here in Glasgow with a photo opportunity for customers at Frasers: you could come along and have a mini-makeover using one of the 18 shades of Rouge Coco Shine, a moisturising sheer lipstick created by Chanel’s make-up maestro Peter Philips, then have your picture taken in a special Chanel photo booth..

I was invited along to be a guinea pig, and was delighted with the results. I’d already tried out one or two of the lipsticks at home and love the texture (ideal for a dry-lipped lipstick lover like myself), but I hadn’t tried the colours that Lucinda, the flame-haired make-up artist selected for me.  At home, my favourite of the four shades I was sent was the reddy-pink Monte Carlo. But on Friday, for the camera, the bright, orangey-red Rebelle proved a winner – and a great match for the coral necklace I had thrown on at the last minute as I left the house.  Check out the results below – I’m on the right, and that’s Lucinda, sporting the Romance shade … and if you fancy trying out a Rouge Coco Shine for the cameras, then read on for a list of stores that will be running the same event .. (Thanks to Boothnation for emailing me my photos and saving me from having to scan them in!)* Debenhams Oxford Street, London on March 19

* House of Fraser, Westfield on March 19

* Debenhams Liverpool on March 25

* Selfridges Birmingham on April 1 & 2

* Fenwicks Newcastle on April 2

* Selfridges at the Trafford Centre, Manchester on April 9

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

On Monday I was still experimenting with the new spring colours from Chanel, having worn them out for the first time on Saturday night – with great success. Les Perles de Chanel (available from January 28) is the name of the collection and it’s a very classic French look with a modern twist. Just look at the ad photo (right): the model’s make-up is a sort of muted, elegant take on the late 1980s and early 1990s, the period when I fell in love with French style. With the soft grey eyes, subtle lips and radiant complexion, it conjures up the look of the Parisian girls I knew when I worked over there nearly 20 years ago. And one of the lessons I learned back then (I worked in an upmarket costume jewellery shop) was about how flattering a jewel the simple pearl could be.

The stand-out item in the new collection for me is the gorgeous, limited edition, Ombres Perlees de Chanel (£39) which are a welcome alternative to the usual Les 4 Ombres (£35.50), the hard texture of which I’ve never taken to. I found the new Ombres Perlees easier to use. The colour glided on and blended beautifully, and there are any number of ways of mixing them to create different effects, from the smoky eye I sported on Saturday, to the more discreet and dainty day look I adopted on Monday for a day of meetings. The pearlised finish makes it really fresh and flattering.

Les Perles de Chanel is a big collection with some lovely colours for the lips – well worth checking out if you go for pink and rose shades.

And, of course, the nail varnishes – Chanel Le Vernis in Black Pearl and Pearl Drop (£17 each), in particular - are instant classics, and a lovely antidote to some of the dull matte shades around this season.

TUESDAY

I spent Tuesday afternoon watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s on DVD, in preparation for a discussion on BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe about the film’s

enduring appeal. What struck me on this viewing was the scene in which we see Holly (played, of course, by Audrey Hepburn) getting groomed and ready in a hurry. It’s always fascinating watching other people’s beauty routines – even if they’re fictional – and Holly’s involves getting her beauty sleep under a lavish eye mask.

Realising that she’s due on a train in 45 minutes, she flies into action. “I’ve got to do something about the way I look!” she exclaims to her new neighbour as she dashes to her dressing table and loosely pins up her hair. Then, the most fascinating part of her routine.. All the party girl who never took off her make-up from the previous night has to do is tend to her brows and lashes. She elegantly pencils and combs her eyebrows then brushes both upper and lower eyelashes, before disappearing into the

bathroom to slip into her little black dress and pin up some loose tendrels of hair.

When she emerges a matter of seconds later, a vision of cool sophistication in a wide-brimmed hat, she smugly asks: “How do I look?”.  But there’s still one last step: a stop at her mail box where, using a mirror she has stuck to the inside of the box’s flap, she applies her lipstick, before scooshing herself with perfume which she stashes in the mail box! A lesson in time-efficient beauty to us all…

WEDNESDAY


Where to hang my  trio of limited edition prints by Daisy de Villeneuve was the main dilemma on Wednesday.. These funky, felt-tipped designs are being sold as part of Clinique’s Kiss it Better campaign which, every year, raises money to fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer. Each set of prints is signed by de Villeneuve and costs £100 – and all of the money from their sale will go to the Kiss It Better appeal, which is part of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Visit www.clinique.co.uk or www.gosh.org/shop in February to buy your own set..

THURSDAY

I haven’t had as busy a day as Thursday in a long time. Not only was I juggling work commitments in Edinburgh during the day, but I had two evening events to attend – almost simultaneously – in Glasgow: Estee Lauder’s dinner to introduce the latest Pure Color collection from Tom Pecheux and the launch party for Glasgow’s latest upmarket hotel, the Grand Central.

With only a quick stop-over at base camp, I just about had time to change my outfit and freshen up my make-up – but it was a ten-minute session with an eye mask that really set me up for the night ahead.

Holly Golightly doesn’t have a monopoly on the old eye masks – and they’re not only for sleeping beauties: I swear by a fantastic eye mask which has, very disappointingly and bafflingly, been discontinued. Chanel Precision Eye Patch Total is its name and, thankfully, I still have quite a few. I used one on Thursday and not only did it refresh me but it also smoothed away the fine lines round my eyes and plumped up the skin. A similar effect can be achieved with Guerlain Super Aqua-Eye Anti-Puffiness Smoothing Eye Patches (£68, above), but they’re not quite as hydrating and soothing as the old Chanel ones. Anyone else fancy lobbying Chanel to bring them back?

FRIDAY

A follow-up emergency application of the Guerlain eye patches was just what the beauty doctor ordered on Friday morning – to counter the effects of a champagne-fuelled late night on Thursday, and render me fit for a morning meeting in town with jazz contacts. The patch certainly made me feel brighter but something else was required to give my complexion a lift: and it was Guerlain to the rescue once more, in the form of its terrific radiance-boosting concealer.

Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator (£28), as its name pretty much suggests, is everything you need to perk up tired and old-looking skin. I dabbed it under my eyes to counter dark circles and give myself a shot at looking more wide-awake. And it did the job.. So much so that I’ll be laying in extra supplies next time I go away for a jazz weekend..

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

There’s nothing like a bit of retro glamour to brighten up a dreary November day – at least that’s what I found when I gave myself the Revlon Fire & Ice treatment on Monday. This beautiful red lip and matching nail shade was introduced by the American company back in 1952 and has been revived just in time for Christmas.

If the photo shown left looks a vaguely familiar, it’s because it’s actress Jessica Biel and photographer Mario Testino’s recreation of the original 1952 ad, which featured one of the world’s prototype supermodels, Dorian Leigh, and was shot by the legendary Richard Avedon.

I love the Revlon Fire & Ice Lipstick (£7.29) and the All Fired Up Nail Enamel (£6.29) – both exclusively available from Boots, from December 1. The nail varnish is the first to tempt me away from shocking pink in ages, and I’m having fun trying to figure out the best eyeshadows to go with the lipstick. Mind you, I have to say: I much prefer Dorian’s Fire & Ice look to Jessica’s …

TUESDAY

Tuesday was an exciting day – it was the day I finally got to try out the new Spa at Blythswood Square in Glasgow. Housed in the vast (10,000 square feet) basement space in the new Blythswood Square hotel, this is the city’s first luxury spa – and it certainly looks the part. As the photo of the corridor (above) off which the nine treatment rooms run, it exudes five-star style.

In addition to the treatment rooms, there is a thermal suite with a spa pool, saunas, relaxation areas and a cafe in the spa. It’s easy to see how you could spend a day here, just devoting yourself to the art of relaxing. Anyone who’s booked in for a treatment can use the facilities before and/or after their appointment so make sure you allow plenty of time on either side of your booking.

I was booked in for an Anne Semonin Phyto Aromatic Facial (£80 for 55 minutes) which was indeed relaxing. The therapist tailored the treatment to my skin’s needs and used products designed for sensitive skin – yet my cheeks flared up not long afterwards and didn’t calm down for days. I think I’ll try something else next time: it’s not going to put me off indulging in such luxury, no sirree!

WEDNESDAY

Oh dear, on Wednesday I looked like I might be coming down with something – I was even paler than usual and my normal blusher didn’t seem to give me the lift I required. (Plus, with it being pink, it was a bit too close to the shade of my newly blotchy cheeks!) So I turned to a blusher which has saved me from looking like a ghoul (or, worse still, Gillian McKeith) in recent months: Guerlain 4 Eclats in Caresse de l’Aube (£31; www.johnlewis.com). I had thought this was part of the Guerlain Christmas collection but clearly I had mis-filed it: it came out with the autumn colours but was such a hit, it’s become a permanent part of the make-up range. Swirling the four shades together means you can add a natural colour all over the face, where required…

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I was thrilled to open my post and find Chanel’s spring 2011 colours there. It’s too early to write about them, save to report that they are absolutely stunning – and based on Coco Chanel’s favourite jewel, the pearl, and its luminous effects.

The spring 2011 collection has a bit of an edge to it, unlike the current Christmas collection, Les Tentations de Chanel (above and left) which is more classically beautiful in my view. Really, there’s something for everyone amongst the sumptuous pinks and golden browns – though, sadly for me, the gorgeous shocking pink blusher – Les Tissages de Chanel Blush Duo Effect Tweed in Tweed Fuschia (£31) was just a bit too strong a shade for me. Love, love, love the nail and lip shades, though – Chanel Le Vernis in Pulsion (£16.50) and Chanel Rouge Coco in Patchouli (£21.50), in particular.

 

FRIDAY

Lunch and a catch-up with my beauty therapist pal Margaret on Friday gave me a chance to hear her thoughts on the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex (£35; www.esteelauder.co.uk) I had asked her to test.

Here’s what she had to say about this new cream-gel which promises to reduce the look of every key sign of ageing around the eye area, thanks to its ability to support the natural synchronisation of the skin’s repair and protective mechanisms.

“I really enjoyed using this beautifully textured treatment, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with highly sensitive skin because it contains very active plant extracts. For the rest of us, it’s not going to ‘rock your world’,  but it is a good maintenance product and is a pleasure to use – oh, and it has all the latest beauty wonder ingredients, including hyaluronic acid.”

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