Tag Archives: Guerlain Vol de Nuit

My Week in Beauty

Meryl - and her seldom-washed hair - in the wonderful 1979 film Manhattan

MONDAY 
I love Meryl Streep – and was delighted that she won her Golden Globe on Sunday night. I wasn’t sure about the country ‘n’ western lapels on the dress she was wearing on Sunday night but loved the Margo Channing-style dress complete with pockets – which I adore on dresses and skirts.

Apart from her exquisite looks (those cheekbones! that radiant complexion! the intelligent sexiness she exudes!), what I like about our Meryl is the fact that she comes across as quite human and fallible – and completely unthreatened by all the younger actresses. And she seems to be surprisingly down-to-earth.

Once asked by a journalist for one of her beauty secrets, she replied: “I don’t wash my hair often. My record was three weeks.”

TUESDAY 

Weirdly, I was reminded of Ms Streep on Tuesday when I met with two of the PR team from Guerlain – Helen, with her long fair hair could easily have passed for one of Meryl’s daughters, or Meryl herself, circa Manhattan.

The Guerlain girls were in Edinburgh to show the beauty press some of the French company’s latest launches – though the guys at the table next to us could have been forgiven for thinking that I was being recruited as a secret agent, and being shown the latest spy gadget. Why? Because the tantalising item of beauty hardware which was being demonstrated was Guerlain G Noir (£35; available from Harrods now, and nationwide on Feb 1), the new, refillable, mascara inspired by their phenomenally successful Rouge G lipstick which comes in a bullet-style case complete with pop-up mirror.

The G Girls took me by surprise by presenting me with a belated birthday present – of three of my favourite Guerlain staples: Orchidee Imperiale Exceptional Complete Care Cream, Meteorites and Precious Light, the best eraser of signs of tiredness under the eyes that I have come across – and believe me, in recent months, insomnia has guaranteed me plenty of opportunities to test them out!

WEDNESDAY

Apart from going to see Grease at the King’s Theatre in the evening (brilliant, escapist fun – just the antidote to the January blues), the highlight of Wednesday was lunch with the Estee Lauder girls at Le Chardon d’Or in Glasgow to hear about their latest launches. These include a gorgeous, light, anti-ageing foundation – Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Makeup – which I’ll be trying nearer its February on-counter date, and some beautiful-looking new blushers, Pure Color Blush, which are due out in the spring.

But first comes their jewel-like Estee Lauder Pure Color Cyber Eyes (£19; www.esteelauder.co.uk), extremely shimmery and vibrant shades of individual eye shadows – which would have been perfect for Christmas. Luckily, I have a glamorous, 1930s Shanghai-themed banquet to attend this weekend –  here’s hoping I end up with pretty Cyber Eyes and not messy panda ones….

THURSDAY

I had my first treatment of the year at the Clarins Spa in Frasers, Glasgow, on Thursday and it was just what the doctor ordered. I slept like a baby for the first time in weeks – not, unsually, during the “chill-out massage” itself, but later on. At bedtime..

While I was in the spa, I sussed out some great promotions that they’re currently running. One is the Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion is currently on sale in a 400ml size (double the normal size) for the 200ml price of £29 – while stocks last. Also, until February 5, you will receive a special size night cream plus a mini mascara when you buy any Clarins Face Treatment
Oil (the praises of which I was singing last week) or day cream.

FRIDAY

I’m having a domestic day today – gutting my study (I feel such a sense of accomplishment whenever I throw something out – or reclaim a bit of floor space) and pondering the sartorial possibilities for Sunday’s 1930s Shanghai banquet… Since we’ve been asked to wear frocks with a Chinese flavour, I figure this dress code should extend to the beauty choices I make too.  So it’s lucky that Helen and Sophie from Guerlain gave me a bottle of Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L’Eau (from £37, available from Feb 5) a new, light and refreshing twist on one of the original orientals (from 1925). I’ll try it out over the next couple of days and if I don’t take to it, then I may give its younger sister, Vol de Nuit (from 1933) an outing – as she is a longstanding favourite of mine … and was probably all the rage in 1930s Shanghai.

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My Week in Beauty

Apologies for the oversized pictures – yet another problem with WordPress….

It’s not the easiest time of year to keep an up-to-date diary – what with all the bugs going round (I felt lousy for about ten days) and then the frenzy of social activities and shopping once December kicks in. Thankfully, I was recovered in time for the first of them: another fabulous party hosted by ROX, the Glasgow-based jewellers.

This being the Christmas party, it seemed appropriate to pull out all the stops, and give the Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4 Colour Palette (£37) – a beautiful eyeshadow quartet from the French company’s exquisite Vol de Nuit Christmas collection – an outing. Actually, as is invariably the case with palettes, I only used the two lighter shades – a brownish silver and a greeny acqua – as recent photos of me with heavy eye make-up have made me look less than my best..  So, I’m using Grace Kelly as my beauty inspiration (this week!)..

My go-to lipstick for evenings at the moment served me well at the ROX party – surviving several cocktails and copious canapes: the deep reddy-pink Belle de Nuit shade of the new Dior Rouge Dior Les Rouges Or lipsticks (£22.50).

Having been unwell for a while and Saturday being my first night out in ages, I was out of practice and totally forgot to paint my nails at the front door before dashing into my taxi. I put that right on Tuesday when I headed off to the annual Clinique Christmas dinner wearing one of the new nail varnishes from Chanel – for spring 2012… Chanel Le Vernis in April (£17.50; 020-7493 3836) is the stand-out shade for me of the trio being launched at the end of January (it’s coming round sooner than you’d think). A dark browny pink (as opposed to May and June, which are pastel shades), it has vamp appeal – and was the perfect substitute for the bottle of Tom Ford nail polish which I had hoped would turn up in time.

I’ve been experimenting a little with my skincare too… I’ve not yet tried out any of the face products by the Scottish all-natural beauty company Pure Lochside, but I’m dying to try one of their facials, having recently experienced a hand and arm treatment in Whole Foods – and been introduced to their oils and balms, many of which use Scottish ingredients including the surprisingly soothing thistle.

The oil which I have been using religiously at night is Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil (£29; www.clarins.co.uk, from January). Although it’s being relaunched in a new, smaller bottle with a pipette for easy application, it has actually not changed in its formulation since it first went on the market. In 1954! I’ve been using two drops of this oil on my shine-prone skin every evening, and while I won’t say that I’ve noticed a let-up in the shininess yet (it has only been a week), I am finding it a pleasure to use and I’m noticing that my skin feels smoother as a result. So far, so positive… Let’s see what happens two weeks into the party/cold weather season – and as my 40th birthday looms ever larger.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

As a lifelong movie fan – with a particular passion for the films of the 1930s  – I’m ashamed to admit that I completely missed the centenary of one of my favourite comediennes, the original Blonde Bombshell Jean Harlow (right).

Sassy, sexy and much more sussed than the bimbo characters she often played, Jean Harlow was the original prototype of the dumb blonde persona that Marilyn Monroe also cultivated.

Of course, as one of the biggest stars of her time, she was hugely influential as a style and beauty icon – the platinum blonde, waved hair; the dark, Cupid’s bow lips, the pencilled-on eyebrows and the slouchy, slinky posture were copied by women worldwide.

I was reminded of Jean, and her languid sensuality when, on Monday, I was marvelling at the exquisite Christmas collection from Guerlain. Jean was known to be a devotee of Guerlain fragrance – indeed, the legend goes that when her second husband killed himself, his body was found doused in Mitsouko..

TUESDAY

If one item in that collection screams Jean Harlow (to me anyway!), it’s the  Guerlain Vol de Nuit Perfumed Shimmer Powder Face & Body (£49.50) which looks exactly the kind of item you’d expect to find on a 1930s movie star’s art deco dressing table.

Vol de Nuit may not be the Guerlain fragrance most associated with Jean Harlow, but it is very much of her time. Created in 1933 (the year of two of her biggest hits – Dinner at Eight and Blonde Bombshell), it was inspired by – of all things – aviation. Jacques Guerlain named this sensual oriental after the novel penned by his friend the poet and aviator Antoine de Sainte-Exupery and it was inspired by the great aviatrix of the day, notably France’s Helene Boucher.

This new shimmering powder is a lovely, modern way to try out the daring Vol de Nuit – while adding a touch of Harlow-esque glamour to any lady’s boudoir.

WEDNESDAY

One person complimenting you on your skin could just be insincere flattery but by Wednesday, I had had enough compliments in that department to make me realise that there was something going on with my complexion. It has been especially well cared for in recent weeks, thanks to more regular exfoliation (with Elemis’s Gentle Rose Exfoliator, since you ask) and a weekly helping of a luxurious mask (Sisley’s Black Rose) but I think that what prompted the compliments was the foundation: each time I was complimented, I was wearing Dior Diorskin Forever Fluid SPF25 (£29.50), which provides great coverage but a natural finish. The effect is of no foundation, but super-enhanced, healthily glowing, skin…

THURSDAY

Christmas may still be a way away but I noticed on Thursday that I had already worn down couple of the shades in my favourite Christmas palette so far: Clarins Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion (£30; www.clarins.co.uk).

This limited edition set is quite distinct from any other I’ve seen this season. It comprises a tawny, coral shade, a taupe and a dark grey-brown – all shimmery powders – plus a wet, glittery silver which goes on sheer and adds a subtle sparkle.

FRIDAY

It may seem a little premature to be talking about spring cosmetic colours but that was what Lloyd Simmonds, the creator of YSL’s make-up, wanted to discuss when he came to Glasgow to meet the press on Friday. No wonder he was keen to talk spring: he has designed a beautiful collection of pastels and sheer shades for his next collection, which goes on sale on December 20. (The photo shows him playing with the new colours.)

The spring collection was inspired, said Simmonds, “by an old-fashioned candy shop I stumbled across in Paris”. It’s playful, light, fresh – very much “candy for the face” and a complete contrast to the current Holiday Look 2011, which is based around black.

 

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