Tag Archives: Jamie Coombes

My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

There’s nothing like being treated like a supermodel to brighten up a dull Monday – and that’s exactly what happened to me when I was reunited with Jamie Coombes, Dior’s National Make-up Artist and a member of the International Pro Artist Team. I loved the makeup he did for me this time last year – he taught me how to create the look and I trotted out variations on it at every event I went to last winter. So, on Monday when I had an appointment with him at Frasers in Glasgow, I challenged him to come up with an evening look that would see me through this year’s party season. “Oooh, can I play about?” he asked. Carte blanche was duly granted.

Jamie must have been reading my mind because he immediately picked out green as the dominant colour in the smoky eye he elected to create. His first step was to apply a little foundation – Dior Forever Fluide 010 (£29.50) – on the eyelids as a base. Then, taking the Dior 5 Couleur Designer in Green Design (£40), he applied its darkest shade along the lash line and created a V shape in the outer corner. He spent quite  a bit of time smudging the dark green, and pulling the colour further into the lid while keeping the darkest part at the outside. In the centre of the lid, he applied some of the central, shimmery shade in the palette – as well as the golden shade from the Dior 5 Couleur Designer in Amber Design. 

To complete the dramatic eye look, Jamie lined my eyes using a combination of the Carbon and Navy shades of Diorshow Waterproof Liner (£17), and then applied the Carbon shade to the inner rim of the eyelids to intensify the effect.  He plumped up my stumpy eyelashes with a coat of Diorshow Maximiser (£22), a bodybuilding primer, before applying the fantastic Diorshow Black Out Spectacular Volume Mascara (£22).

After sculpting my cheeks with blusher and highligher, Jamie painted on a nude lip – the Rouge
Dior in Beige Angelique
(£22.50), the shade he used recently on Charlize Theron. That’s what I’m wearing in the photo at the top of this article. Then we experimented with a bolder – almost scary – red: Diorific High Fashion Lipstick in Dolce Vita Red (£21.50). I think the pale one is slightly too pale and the red a bit too strong with the strong eye, so I’m going to conduct further experiments at home – sticking to warm shades to complement the greens.

Meanwhile, Jamie is coming to a House of Fraser store near you over the next few weeks: Tuesday, October 25 & Wednesday 26 at Selfridges, Manchester; Thursday 27 at Harrods, London; Friday 28th at Selfridges, London;  November 1 & 2 at Jenners, Edinburgh; November 3 & 4 at Frasers, Glasgow; November 15 & 16 at Arnotts, Dublin; November 17 & 18 at Brown Thomas, Dublin and November 28 & 29 at Harrods, London.

WEDNESDAY

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, as they’ve been doing for the last 18 years, the Estee Lauder Companies are highlighting this great cause with their own campaign.

Jo Malone London‘s contribution to the cause is one of the most covetable: Jo Malone Red Roses Body & Hand Wash (£30; http://www.jomalone.com) is a gorgeous new product which went on sale at the beginning of the month and is almost too delectable to use on a daily basis. (If you think my kids are going to get to wash their mitts with it, think again!)

£5 from every sale of the Red Roses Hand & Body Wash is going to be donated to help fund grants for research into breast cancer, here in the UK.

THURSDAY

Well, I’m not sure if my legs would have made the grade in a 42nd Street-style line-up, but they certainly stand a much better chance following the Clarins TriActive Body Treatment – The Body Sculptor (£63; selected Clarins spas nationwide) which I enjoyed on Thursday.

The TriActive Body Treatments are the first new treatments to be introduced by Clarins in four years, and I was delighted to be getting the chance to try one out at the Clarins Spa in Frasers, Glasgow (0141 221 5760). There are three variations on the treatment – The Moisture Quencher, The Firming Age Corrector and The Body Sculptor. It’s a very thorough treatment- the therapist asks if there are any areas you would prefer she skipped as the massage takes in the breasts, tummy and inside leg.. Very French, you see. I skipped the tummy – mine does not like massage since I had my twins.

This isn’t a treatment designed to send you drifting off for a wee snooze – it’s about results. The 60-minute massage is all about detoxifying, toning up the skin and “sculpting” the contours. My skin felt lovely afterwards and where I had the toning mask (upper arms), there was a distinct sensation of tightness. I wouldn’t expect visible results after one session so I may well consider booking in for a series. Just as well, then, that, until October 29, Clarins Spas are offering the chance to book six body treatments for the price of four. Call 0800 036 3558 for more details or information on your nearest salon.

FRIDAY

October is proving to be a great month for new lipsticks: in fact, we’re spoilt for choice. The latest is Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre (£22.50; from October 19), a sheer lipstick infused with gold. There are 12 beautiful shades in the collection – so far I’ve fallen for no.112, AKA (appropriately enough for someone who’s overdue a trip to the French capital) Rose Parisien…

The make-up maestro who created this sumptuous purpley pink – and the rest of the range – is Lloyd Simmonds, YSL’s Creative Director, and he’s going to be previewing his new Holiday collection at Selfridges on Thursday, November 3 (from 5pm) and at Glasgow’s Frasers on Friday, November 4.

During his visit, clients can have their make-up done by a member of his team – and receive a luxury goody bag and glass of champagne. Appointments cost £25, and are redeemable against any purchases made on the day. For Selfridges, call 0207 318 1358 and for Frasers, call 0141 221 3880, extension 2036.

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Oh dear, I rather overdid it on Sunday night during a couple of back-to-back jazz gigs in Edinburgh – and felt somewhat the worse for wear on Monday. Unfortunately, unlike the uber-chic Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, I didn’t have the urbane William Powell on hand with a liquid hangover cure, but I did have Clarins Eye Contour Gel (£26.50; www.clarins.co.uk) which refreshes the eye area, while toning and de-puffing it. It’s even better if it’s been in the fridge overnight. If William Powell was around today, you can bet it would be as essential to his hangover-chasing kit as Worcester sauce and raw egg..

TUESDAY

I finished using Origins Plantscription after about six weeks and have to report that while using it, I found it had a slightly drying effect on my skin – so much so that I had start using a moisturising serum as well. I didn’t notice any improvement in the lines on my face – if anything, I became more aware of the lines on my forehead because I was studying them more closely than ever. After I finished Plantscription I switched to Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Serum (£245.50; www.houseoffraser.co.uk) and Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Rich Night Cream (£255) for my evening skincare routine. I’d been using these two high-end products for about a week when – on Tuesday – I had an appointment at the Clarins Spa in Frasers, Glasgow,  for my monthly facial.  And the first thing that my facialist, the lovely Lindsay, said when she had finished working her magic was that my skin felt significantly firmer than before. Whether this is the result of the Plantscription, or my new Guerlain evening routine, I don’t yet know … but I’ll be continuing with my super-expensive skincare ritual and shall report back anon.

WEDNESDAY

I went to see the French film Little White Lies – Ces Petits Mouchoirs – on Wednesday, with my French pal Sabine. Over our pre-movie coffee, Sabine – who had just returned from a holiday in France – was singing the praises of a face cream which her sister had advised her to track down while en vacances..

Its name (which evokes our last cinema trip – to see the superb psychological thriller Les Diaboliques)  is Diabolique Tomate by Garancia (around 33 Euros in French pharmacies), and it harnesses the goodness of tomatoes – in particular lypocene, which is a powerful antioxidant – to hydrate the skin and help with anti-ageing. So far, Sabine is very impressed – and her sister is a complete convert.

THURSDAY

Our man from Dior, Jamie Coombes, was in Glasgow on Thursday to acquaint journalists with the latest additions to the company’s vast range of beauty products. Not only did I come away with fantastic, glossy, neon-pink painted nails – Dior Vernis in Paradise (£23, with top coat) – but also with a brilliant tip which I wish I’d known last time I ran out of nail varnish remover: if you paint a layer of nail varnish over the varnish you want to take off, then wipe it off while wet, it will take off both the fresh and the old coats. Jamie showed me – and it works! He also picked out a couple of colours from the new Dior Addict lipstick collection (£22 each) for me to try – the photo shows me (just hours before I finally got that hair colour sorted out!) having the New Look shade expertly applied.

* Jamie Coombes, international make-up artist for Dior, is available to book for a personal make-up lesson in Jenners, Edinburgh (0844 8003725) on Monday April 25 & Tuesday 26, and in Frasers, Glasgow (0141 221 3880) on Wednesday 27 & Thursday 28. 



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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

A dull Monday was brightened up by the arrival of a package containing a selection of new lipsticks from Dior – all from its revamped Dior Addict (£22 each; at Selfridges now and nationwide from April 11) range. As you can see, none other than Kate Moss is the face of this new collection, the advertising film  of which was directed by Jonas Akerlund who’s best known for Lady Gaga’s Telephone vid.

Miss Moss looks gorgeous – 1960s rock chick meets 1950s starlet – in the ads, but frankly I’m more excited about the fact that there are 44 exquisite colours to choose from, and the texture, which is less waxy than a conventional lipstick and contains an innovative gel that makes lips feel hydrated and look shiny and full.

Kate’s favourite shade is no578 “Dior Kiss” – which she models in the ad above. I’ve only tried out a handful of the 44 colours, but love the texture and the glossy effect. I’m hoping that when Dior’s  National Make-up Artist Jamie Coombes comes to Glasgow next month, he can help me find the best shade for me …

TUESDAY

Some beauty products just baffle me – not because of the “science part” (though that can be a challenge sometimes, if not explained well), but because I do wonder: “What’s the point?”. That was my reaction to the latest nail varnishes from Revlon, a company which already has an impressive range of nail colours. Why? Because its latest thing is smelly nail varnish.  The limited edition Revlon Scents of Summer Nail Enamels (£6.49 each; available now) are just what they say on the label – unfortunately. If you are so inclined, you too could smell papaya, coconut, bubblegum or one of the other scents every time your fingers are near your face. One for the tweenies, methinks – it’s just a step up from the scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers that my generation collected ..

WEDNESDAY

At lunchtime on Wednesday came the sad news that Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most beautiful and talked-about women of her time, had died. Contrary to many news reports, she was not “the last of the great Hollywood stars” – we still have Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Kirk Douglas, Olivia de Havilland and several more – but she was unquestionably one of the most fascinating.

She had delicate features and, in the early part of her career, often looked like a porcelain doll; her rosebud mouth usually the focus of her look. At some point after she became a fully-fledged sex symbol in the late 1950s, she began playing up those unforgettable, so-called violet eyes. The 1960s suited them beautifully: lashings of fashionable kohl drew attention to them, and personally I think she looked far more alluring with the accent on her eyes and her lips painted in muted colours than in the darker shades which were undoubtedly a requirement of being filmed in black and white a decade earlier. In fact, it almost looks like she’s wearing Dior Addict no.564 (AKA Model)  in this pic …

THURSDAY

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Clarins make-up is really having a moment just now. My Neo Pastels Eye Colour and Liner Palette (£30) is being used on an almost-daily basis and on Thursday I finally got round to trying out their new range of creamy, natural-coloured lipsticks.

Clarins Rouge Hydra Nude Smoothing Cream Lipsticks (£16.50; www.clarins.co.uk) would have been a pleasure to use – had it not been for one thing: their scent. What is it about smelly beauty products? First the fruity nails – and now these lipsticks which have a caramel sort of fragrance to them. I realise that most lipsticks do have a scent but this one is very pronounced, especially if – like me – you can’t stand sickly, sweet, vanilla-ish fragrances. Anyway, if you do like that sort of smell under your nose all day – lucky you: you’ve four pretty nude shades (coral, rose, beige and caramel) to choose from …

FRIDAY

And speaking of Clarins, thank heavens for the their treatments … I was feeling quite run-down and fed-up before I arrived at the Clarins Spa at Frasers in Glasgow but a Clarins TriActive Facial (from £62) soon sorted me out. When Lindsay, my facialist, asked about my skin concerns, I mentioned that I was beginning to worry about the signs of ageing (well, the fortieth birthday is hanging over me), in particular around the jawline. She tailored the treatment accordingly, explaining to me afterwards that “as soon as someone mentions concerns about sagging round the jaw, I reach for the ClarinsPRO Refreshing Lift Mask.”

Regular lymphatic massage – which is a staple of all the variations of the TriActive facial – helps to prevent jowls appearing, but that mask produced especially impressive results. So much so that it can only be used by therapists in the spa: at one point, customers could buy it, but they loved the tightening effects so much, some were over-using it – and it’s very potent..  Needless to say, I’ll be back for more!


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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

In these hard times, manicures can seem like an unnecessary expense – especially when there are so many fab products you can use at home, or even on the go.. My current nail colour addiction (and sadly I can’t find a picture of it) is Chanel Le Vernis in Rose Confidentiel (£17), a wonderful deep brick pink, the ideal autumn colour and the perfect pink until party season (with its hot pinks …) comes along.

Anyway, I’ve been testing some of the products on the market for nail and hand care this week to see if my favourite combination – Crabtree & Evelyn Cuticle Cream plus Clinique Deep Comfort Hand Cream – can be beaten, or at least rivalled.

TUESDAY

On Tuesday, I finally began treating my nails after a couple of weeks’ abuse by nail polish. Nail polish just doesn’t seem to agree with my nails so I try not to wear it too much and to always treat my nails to some TLC whenever possible.

Instead of turning to my usual treatment, however, I gave Rituals … Nail Cuticle Treatment (£6.25;  www.rituals.com) a whirl. What appealed to me when I requested this product to try was the fact that, although it’s oil-based, it’s not messy. The gel is released through a brush and you can either push it into the nail and nailbed with the brush or with your finger tips. It’s very easy to use and, because of its pen design, perfect for keeping in your handbag, ready to use whenever you find yourself with a spare few minutes.

Oh, and the other reason to love this treatment gel from the mid-priced Dutch company which uses natural gemstones in all its products? Well, it’s free from parabens. After a few days’ use, my nails are looking well on the way to recovery.

WEDNESDAY


Less successful was the hand cream I began testing on Wednesday. With the cold weather beginning to kick in, I was anxious to suss out my hand cream options. I know some of my friends are big fans of cult hand creams which I find too runny and lotion-like – I prefer my hand creams to be rich and creamy and to feel like they are going to be able to keep dry skin at bay.

Sadly, Jergens Naturals Ultra Hydrating Hand Moisturising Cream (£2.49; from Boots and supermarkets nationwide) didn’t meet my particular requirements. It’s really quite runny and although undoubtedly “ultra hydrating”, it didn’t make much impression on the driest bits of my hands. I won’t be giving up my Clinique any time soon, it seems …

THURSDAY

In recent months, I’ve been using a flesh-coloured eye shadow powder as the base for my eye make-up (a la Bobbi Brown). But it’s nearly finished, and I don’t have another one. Luckily I was given a new eye base a couple of weeks ago so, in order to have a full arsenal of secret make-up weapons ready for the party season, I thought it was time to check it out.

Cover FX Eye Prep Anti-Age Smoothing Primer (£41; selected House of Fraser stores and Harvey Nichols in London & Dublin) turned out to be a great base. It’s like a lotion so, unlike cream primers, you need to wait a few minutes before applying your eye make-up – until it has dried. Combining skincare and cosmetic benefits, it refreshes the eye area, blurs fine lines and provides an excellent foundation for eye make-up – mine didn’t shift at all. The only thing it didn’t do was disguise a burst  blood vessel which had – helpfully – appeared on Thursday morning …

FRIDAY

On Friday I had an appointment for a makeover at the Dior counter in Frasers, Glasgow. It was something of an emergency. Why? Because every single eyeshadow palette I’ve seen so far for Christmas 2010 has been based on a gold theme – and I have to confess that I’ve never been drawn to gold (or silver, for that matter) eyeshadow. It never struck me as a colour that would suit my Celtic complexion; sallow-skinned girls could carry off golds, bronzes and coppers, but not me. If I didn’t get help in learning how to work gold, I was going to be left behind this festive season..

Luckily, I was booked into the safe hands of Jamie Coombes, Dior’s National Make-up Artist and a member of the International Pro Artist Team. He was in Glasgow for a fashion show, but managed to squeeze in an appointment so that he could talk me through the Dior Christmas look.

“It’s all about luminosity,” he explained as he stripped off all my make-up, prepped my skin and beefed up my eyebrows using Dior Eyebrow Pencil (£16). Before he applied any foundation, he began work on my eyes, assuring me as he did so that “anyone can wear gold”. The first step was to apply the new limited edition Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen in Golden Glow (£24.50) as an eye base.

Using the Dior 5 Couleurs Iridescent Eyeshadow in Gold Edition (£39, pictured above), Jamie then applied the shimmering yellow-gold highlighter shade to my brow bone before “parking” some of the coppery, mustard-like shade (top right in the palette) at the outer corner of the eyes and drawing it up to the socket. So far, so pretty a look – and one which, with lashings of black mascara, would be perfect for daywear.

But I wanted to go all the way, and be shown how to create an evening look in the gold tones. To “ramp up the look” for a more dramatic effect, Jamie advised using the dark bronzey brown (bottom right shade) along the underside of the brow bone and into the socket to create a really smoky look. 

At this point, Jamie shared with me a tip which I’ve not come across in 15 years of writing about beauty. In order to make the eyes stand out even more, he lined my eyelids at the roots of my lashes using black mascara applied with a fine eyeliner brush. It produced a significant but fine line which didn’t get the way of the eyeshadow.

Once we were satisfied with the eye make-up, Jamie applied my foundation –  Dior Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Make-up (£29), which has a natural finish but provides great coverage – and a light pink, almost nude lipstick, Dior Serum de Rouge No.640 (£24.50), over Dior Contour Lipliner Pencil No.573 (£16). Finally, he swept Dior Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Sculpting Powder Make-up (£36) over the cheekbones and anywhere else he felt I needed a lift.

I was thrilled with the final results, shown here (left and below – though they look slightly less dramatic in the photo than they did in the flesh), and am now an absolute convert to the value of having some gold goodies in my make-up bag. I’ve always found that it’s worth asking for help when you’re stumped by a new look or product – in fact, I might even book Mr Coombes again almost immediately, as he returns to Glasgow’s Frasers on November 2 and is offering lessons until Friday 5. Call 0141 221 3880, ext 2099 to book a personal consultation, booking fee redeemable against any Dior purchase.

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