Tag Archives: Giorgio Armani Cosmetics

My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

After being confined to quarters as a result of the first big snowfall of the year (which caught everyone offguard), it was time to venture out on Monday. I don’t have an array of ski-wear like Audrey Hepburn’s alpine wardrobe in Charade, but what I do have – in lieu of her very cosy, complexion-protecting headgear – is Clarins HydraQuench skincare range (www.clarins.co.uk).

I had been sent this recently, after my fantastic Tri-Active facial at the new spa in Glasgow’s Frasers, and it had just started it using at the weekend. Immediately I applied the rich yet easily absorbed Clarins HydraQuench Lotion SPF15 (£32), I felt that my skin was ready to take on the
elements. It’s the perfect day cream for those of us whose skin is prone to dehydration, and particularly sensitive to the cold.

And it’s especially effective when worn over what Clarins considers the star product in the collection – Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum (£37.50), a comforting, hydrating liquid which, despite a slight oiliness, is a pleasure to use and really does deliver. There are two other moisturisers in the range, plus a lip balm.

TUESDAY

Being stuck indoors – apart from the very occasional venture out to shops/school/pillarbox – I had plenty of time last week to assemble my cold weather emergency skincare kit.

A key component is Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator (£25; www.elemis.com), a brilliant exfoliator which I’ve been using since I had a facial at their SpaPod in Debenhams in Glasgow a couple of months ago.

I wouldn’t use it every day – though Elemis says it can be used daily – but it’s certainly gentle enough to be used frequently, and on sensitive skin. In this cold weather, it’s a must to keep the skin smooth, soft and ready for all the lovely comforting moisturisers I’ve been falling in love with.

WEDNESDAY

There’s nothing like a compliment to boost the spirits, especially on a dreary winter’s day – and I received a couple on Wednesday when I revisited one of my favourite lipsticks from last winter: Rouge Dior Serum de Rouge no.760 – AKA Raspberry Serum (£24.50).

Actually, whenever I’m feeling a bit blue, I stick on this beautiful reddish-pink, super-glossy lipstick and I immediately feel brighter. Dior calls this lipstick a treatment because it contains ten times more concentrated skincare ingredients than your average lip colour; I call it a treatment of the spirits as well – prozac for the pout ….

 

THURSDAY

I had a bit of haircare epiphany this week thanks to the discovery of Aveda’s Pure Abundance range (www.aveda.co.uk). This relatively new collection turned out to be just what I needed for my hair, which, since it was treated with Aveda’s all-natural highlights, had looked good colour-wise but been very limp, lank and fine-feeling.

The combination of Aveda Pure Abundance Shampoo (£13.50) and Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner (£15) was an instant antidote. These plant-based formulas manage to make the hair look and feel fuller but without weighing it down. Frankly, I was amazed at how effective they were – and the results were even more impressive the next day, after I’d slept on it. (Ordinarily, it’s only immediately after having my colour done that I can get out of washing my hair every single day.) Oh, and the smell is sublime…

FRIDAY

Finally, on Friday a chance to get out on the town. Going out for cocktails for a friend’s 40th at the Blythswood Square hotel was the perfect occasion to road-test the primer to which I’d been introduced when I had a makeover at the Giorgio Armani Cosmetics counter in Frasers.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Master Primer (£32) is a silky-smooth, transparent gel which evens out skin tone, mattifies the skin and smoothes away fine lines. My foundation went on beautifully afterwards and looked great. Indeed, for once I didn’t feel the need to check how shiny I looked – in fact, when I looked in the mirror, shininess didn’t even cross my mind. I think it’s safe to say that this is my latest must-have. Especially for brightly-lit bars like the Blythswood’s Salon.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

My week started in a glamorous gothic fashion when I went to the opening night of The Rocky Horror Show in Glasgow. I may have been disappointed in the show but enjoyed the references to 1930s horror movies as I loved all those films – Bride of Frankenstein especially – when I was a teenager.

I’ve only met a handful of genuine stars among the many celebrities I’ve interviewed – and I’ve probably only interviewed one bona fide movie legend: Fay Wray (left), the actress who was dangled over the Empire State Building in King Kong back in 1933.

When I interviewed Miss Wray in 1998, she was already on the wrong side of 90 but before she would let me start firing questions, she insisted – in a distinctly non-diva-like way – on applying some lipstick. The still striking nonagenarian realised that she had no mirror and asked if I had one. I lent her my Bobbi Brown compact and she proceeded to apply a shocking pink lipstick.

A couple of weeks later, I spied a compact with two mirrors – one of them a magnifying one – in a shop near my office. I bought it and sent it to Miss Wray at her Trump Towers home. Imagine my surprise and delight when she wrote back to thank me … The power of lipstick and a compact – unites all women!

TUESDAY

And speaking of horror movie legends, that was one of the subjects of conversation over a dinner at the elegant Blythswood Square hotel in Glasgow on Tuesday. The occasion was to celebrate the arrival of Giorgio Armani Cosmetics at Frasers in Glasgow.

I was sitting next to Frederic Letailleur, who has the impressive title “international face designer”  for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, and we discovered that we had much in common – notably a passion for old movies, and, especially, movie music. Frederic is also a fan of old horror movies and actually began his career doing the make-up for monsters and aliens on stage and screen. (Perhaps that should have rung an alarm bell when he offered to do my make-up, but he was so charming that it didn’t.)

We all had a great time – indeed, at one point there were so many animated conversations going on round the table of glamorous people that I felt I was in the party scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Right down to the fact that I was sitting next to a Fred. Luckily, nobody’s headgear caught fire.

After a considerable amount of champagne (bubbles like company, I find), I really could not be bothered with the palaver of washing my face with my usual rinse-off cream. Instead, I turned to what is currently my favourite beauty short-cut, Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser (£17.50; www.clarins.com), pictured above. This gorgeous-smelling liquid cleanser removes all traces of make-up in one fell swipe, and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth and refreshed. Hope they do a travel size…

WEDNESDAY

I was reunited with Fred on Wednesday for the promised makeover.  The new Giorgio Armani space in Frasers’ beauty hall is impressive – large and elegant – and I was able to have my make-up done fairly discreetly, which is always a good thing if you don’t want passers-by spying you with a naked face..

What was striking about the Armani makeover was how fast and effective it was. Fred used a wonder cream, called Crema Nera (£180) to prepare my skin. This luxurious moisturiser calms redness and evens the skin tone. Then, before it had completely sunk in, he was applying Fluid Master Primer (£32) to mattify and ready the skin for the utterly gorgeous foundation, Luminous Silk Foundation 2 (£32) which he brushed on. Of the various aspects of the makeover, I think it was the base which impressed me most – Fred gave me a glowing, healthy-looking complexion by using a dash of bronzing liquid.

He said: “I mixed Fluid Sheer 10 (£28) in to the foundation to give you an added touch of warmth, then I dabbed it with a blusher brush over the cheekbones and along the hairline. This builds the warmth on areas which would be exposed to the sun but in a more natural manner than any powder bronzer could achieve.”

On the eyes, Fred used two eyeshadows, 13 and 14 from the new Eyes to Kill collection, plus the vampish, Excess Mascara (£23)  fromthe same range.  The coppery colour palette matched my leopard print beret a treat!

THURSDAY

If you aspire to femme fatale eyes a la Joan Crawford (right) but can’t afford the Armani price tag, treat yourself to 17 Wild Curls Mascara (£5.99; www.boots.com) in Wildest Black, the latest budget wonder wand.

It certainly gives good lash – plenty of flappability and come-hither potential but, as with the last under-a-tenner mascara I tried out, it left me with smudges under the eyes. If you’re prone to panda eyes, avoid this mascara – but if not (lucky you!), I’d highly recommend it for the party season when black lashes are as essential the little black dress…

FRIDAY

Joan Crawford would probably have scratched my mascara’d eyes out to get her mitts on the lipstick in Clarins’s limited edition Christmas collection. Clarins Rouge Prodige in Barocco (£16) is a beautiful deep claret shade which is a terrific alternative to the dark purples that are around just now – especially if you fnd that that shade can drain you.

Not only does it look good on the lips – though those of us with dry lips may need to stick some balm on first – but it also looks drop dead fabulous in its rococo tube and would be a lovely present for anyone who loves old-fashioned Hollywood glamour…


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