I did a double-take on Monday when I read the press release that accompanies the Spring 2011 cosmetics collection from Guerlain. Why? Because it name-checked one of my favourite underrated actresses of the 1940s – the luminously beautiful Gene Tierney, who, for some reason, is not remembered much these days despite her timeless gorgeousness and a film legacy which includes the exquisitely haunting romantic-fantasy The Ghost and Mrs Muir and one of the seminal film noirs, Laura…
According to Guerlain’s creative director Olivier Echaudemaison, Gene Tierney was “a very classic star”, and this new collection is all about creating a very classic Hollywood look. Subtly enhanced eyes are complemented by statement
lips, with fuschia pink the key shade – it even features in the lovely and extremely easy-to-wear new Guerlain L’Ecrin in Rue de Rivoli (£52.50; pictured above), six slightly pearlised eye shades of beige, pale mauve and auberginey brown.
I think that Natalia Vodianova (right), the model who is the face of Guerlain make-up, looks less like Tierney – and even less like Kim Novak and Grace Kelly, who are also name-checked in the press release – and more like the contemporary American actress Elizabeth McGovern in her Ragtime days (early 1980s) but I can see the influence of what Echaudemaison describes as Tierney and co’s “fire under ice” sex appeal …
Of course, a classic movie star look requires classically long, luscious lashes – and by Tuesday I was a convert to a mascara which achieves those with minimum effort – Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara (£22; www.esteelauder.co.uk).
A new variation on the original Sumptuous Mascara, it has an almost triangular brush which contains two types of bristles that create a false lash effect when they comb and coat the hairs with the three-fibre formula mascara.
I’m hooked on the Extreme Black shade, but am looking forward to trying Extreme Indigo, Extreme Violet (both limited editions) and Extreme Brown…
I turned 39 just before Christmas – and, suddenly, it feels as if 40 is looming. So when I went along for my regular Clarins TriActive Facial on Wednesday, I told Lindsay, the therapist, that ageing was now a concern.
After the super-relaxing treatment – it really is the most pampering facial I’ve come across in recent years – Lindsay delivered her verdict and I was chuffed to hear that she wouldn’t prescribe any anti-ageing creams for me just yet. Keeping the skin moisturised is really the key to getting the most mileage out of its youthfulness, so I intend to continue with the Clarins HydraQuench range, which I’m alternating with Chanel’s Hydramax, and from which I recently began using Clarins HydraQuench Cream (£32.68; www.clarins.co.uk) at night to counter the effects of the cold weather.
By the way, I noticed that the Clarins Spa (0141 221 3880, ext 2023) in Frasers, Glasgow is offering 25% off treatments if they’re booked before January 15 and taken before the end of February. Not a bargain to be sniffed at!
Skincare is not the only reason for my complexion looking better than usual at the moment: the latest foundation from Chanel – Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (£31; 020-7493 3836), which goes on sale on Friday, has played its part too.
This lovely, sheer and moisturising foundation feels fresh and makes the skin look fresh and healthy. It’s very runny, and the consistency takes a bit of getting used to but I found it a treat to use a foundation that gave decent coverage to my less-than-flawless skin but wasn’t cakey or heavy-feeling.
I haven’t tried wearing it for a full day yet – or, for that matter, for a night-out (when a glass or two of wine might ordinarily trigger an attack of shine), so I’ll report back once it’s been through these tests. But so far, so good.
Over Christmas my hair behaved very strangely indeed. No amount of conditioner could stop the ends from being infuriatingly tangled after washing and matted within a few hours of drying it.
I had had my hair coloured with Aveda highlights before Christmas, and so had been using the Aveda Pure Abundance shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t know whether it could be the colour that was causing the problems – or the products. By the end of the holidays, however, I was noticing lots of split ends and breakages so I sent out an SOS to Aveda.
The lovely Cemo, who looks after us beauty journalists, said: “Pure Abundance is designed for fine hair to give it volume. However, it contains Acacia Gum which gives the hair root a lift. It’s a sticky ingredient so it’s probably the reason for the difficulties you’re having combing your hair.”
Cemo immediately sent me Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturising Shampoo (£18; www.aveda.co.uk) and Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturising Conditioner (£19.50). She explained her choices: “Dry Remedy is enriched with Buriti Oil so it will inject moisture into the hair. Since it’s an oil, it can weigh fine hair down so focus the treatment on the ends of your hair and not the roots.” On Friday I followed her advice – and there was an instant improvement which lasted all day – my hair looked healthier and stayed completely un-matted and smooth. Hopefully, this means I won’t have to have it all chopped off next month after all…