Tag Archives: Mad Men

My Week in Beauty

SATURDAY

A last-minute invitation to attend a black tie charity dinner on Saturday night was the perfect occasion for me to get a second wear out of my bargain evening gown (bought last May for my first-ever formal jazz event) and a first wear out of some fab new Dior make-up I’d been sent.

I’d come across this photo of the lovely January Jones amongst the publicity for the new series of Mad Men, which got underway last week, and once more she proved to be a great inspiration – though at the last minute I switched to dark pink lips (Dior’s Rouge d’Or in Nocturne, from their limited edition Christmas collection, since you ask) as I just looked too washed out…

Anyway, my take on the 1966 Mad Men look involved using the paler shades in the classic Dior 5 Couleurs in Greige (£40), which has become my favourite palette lately, and the fabulous Dior 360 degrees Revolving Mascara (£29.50), an extremely easy-to-use mascara which does a terrific job of curling the lashes for a dramatic effect.

MONDAY

Since running out of my Chanel skincare a few weeks ago, I have been using some new products from another of my favourite French beauty brands – Guerlain. They have just relaunched their Super Aqua range of hydrating skincare and I’ve been enjoying getting reacquainted with their lovely textures and, especially, their distinctive, rose, scent. The fact that I’ve had more than a few compliments on my skin is a bonus.. I’ve been using the new Guerlain Super Aqua-Lotion (£30), a softening and hydrating toner, and the newly reformulated Guerlain Super Acqua-Serum (£65.50), which was already one of my favourite serums and is now better than ever..

The 2012 version of Super Aqua-Lotion harnesses Guerlain’s newfound awareness of the ageing effects of water pollution on the skin’s cells. The result is a serum which simultaneously hydrates and plumps up the skin, as the product reactivates the skin’s natural water purification process, thus allowing the flow of cell life to continue without disruption – ie, less chance of wrinkle outbreaks!

WEDNESDAY

I didn’t get round to trying out the new Benefit High Brow Glow (£14) in time to use it at the charity dinner on Saturday but I would probably have avoided it anyway: I’m not a big fan of the shimmering brow bone look, though I can appreciate the way a highlighter can enhance the bone structure. This easy-to-use, creamy pencil certainly does that and offers a champagne coloured alternative to the original, cult classic – the linen-pink shade of High Brow. Mind you, £14 seems quite a lot to pay for something that comes – albeit in powder form – in most eye shadow palettes.

THURSDAY


I finally got round to trying out the latest body treatment from Clarins on Thursday. The Clarins Melting Hone Hot Stone Massage (from £60) is not the most relaxing treatment I’ve had – but it was certainly extremely effective at ironing out the myriad knots in my muscles. It turns out that not only do I carry a load of tension in my neck, shoulders and back (which I knew) but also in my right foot. Go figure.

The therapist uses nine stones, in four different shapes, to carry out a deep and very precise massage – the shape of the stone and the amount of heat it can carry determines where it is used. Unlike some hot stone treatments, where the stones are placed on particular spots on the body; these ones are designed to be an extension of the therapist’s hands. The honey massage gel – available in two formulas, one for relaxing and one for invigorating – is massaged on initially as a barrier for the heat, and it melts into an oil as the massage unfolds before transforming into a very moisturising milky emulsion.

The effects were still evident several days later – though I do now crave a facial with back massage where I can completely switch off and not be flipped over half-way through as happens in a body treatment….

FRIDAY

A low-key dinner with a friend in Edinburgh seemed just the right occasion to try out the Incognito shade of  Dior Vernis Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer (£17.50). It’s very appropriately named, this shade which looks sort of putty-like on first application but then takes on a slightly lilac hue with a second coat. In fact, it’s very reminiscent of Chanel’s Rose Cache and Rose Confidentiel – and the name is inkeeping too!

The corresponding Dior Addict Extreme lipstick (£24) would have been perfect for the January Jones look (above), but I need just a bit more colour to prevent me from looking pale and of interest only to a mortician …

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My Week in Beauty

MONDAY

Having been given a box set of Mad Men DVDs by a concerned friend who couldn’t understand how I’d managed to miss out on the MM phenomenon (combination of a temperamental TV digi-box, too many prior viewing commitments and having the same mentality as Woody Allen, who, in Annie Hall, refused to watch a film if he’d missed the beginning), I have become addicted to the programme. Of course, I particularly love the clothes and beauty styling – and being blonde, am drawn to Betty Draper’s Grace Kelly-like look. I’ve always been a fan of the sort of coral shades of lipstick that January Jones-as-Betty Draper often sports, and was delighted to try a new one, courtesy of the Bobbi Brown counter in Frasers in Glasgow, on Tuesday. The new range of Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colours (£16; www.bobbibrown.co.uk) includes a gorgeous coral, Sweet Nectar, that leapt out at me. Visiting American make-up artist John Hernandez advised that it be teamed with flicked-up black eyeliner and natural eyeshadow… The results would have been terrific had the eyeliner not strayed from the inner rim of my eyelids and on to my contact lenses, making vision tricky and my eyes very uncomfortable.

I had a chance to recreate the look, minus the red eyes, later in the week when a thrilling package arrived from Estee Lauder. Its contents? A dozen of the new Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipsticks (£18 each; www.esteelauder.co.uk from February 28), and what should leap out at me but a gorgeous shade called Coral Sun which lifted my spirits the moment I put it on and had an amazingly comfortable texture for a long-lasting lipstick. Within an hour of my going out with it on, two women had complimented me on the colour and asked where it was from.. And if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

TUESDAY

Speaking of compliments, I’ve had a few recently about my skin. Par for the course, you might think, for a beauty writer – but, actually, I’ve tried so many lotions and potions out over the years that I now have hyper-sensitive, reactive skin and have to be very careful which products to test myself and which to farm out to friends.

Anyway, the compliments are undoubtedly the result of my current night cream, Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale (£245). With a price tag like that, you’d expect nothing less than a glowing complexion – and this luxurious and gentle cream certainly does not disappoint… Only time will tell whether its harnessing of the orchid’s newly discovered ability to, as Guerlain puts it, “turn back cellular time” (ie: it slows down the ageing process of skin cells), will make me look any younger.

WEDNESDAY
It’s amazing what a difference in perception a change of “face” can make. Dior is re-launching its 2005 fragrance Miss Dior Cherie (from £49 for the eau de toilette) next month with of-the-moment actress Natalie Portman as its poster girl. She may be topless in the ad campaign, but Portman still oozes gamine chic, effortless elegance and natural style in a way that her predecessor, Riley Keough, never did. Keough – grand-daughter of Elvis – may have been photographed against a backdrop featuring the Eiffel Tower but, in her washed-out denim and bleached hair, she looked more trailer park than Champs-Elysees chic. The perfume’s image never used to appeal to me. But you know what? When I opened the press pack that arrived on Wednesday, and saw Natalie Portman, like the fickle Franco-phile I am (and, yes, I know she’s not Parisian but she does a pretty good impression), I ripped off the cellophane and tore into my bottle of fragrance. I’d say this is a chypre for beginners, a youthful, youth-pleasingly sweet and heady (top notes of blood orange and bergamot, a rich floral heart of jasmine and rosa damascena and a patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood base) take on that classic perfume type. It’s just a bit too much for me personally ..  In any case, I’ve found my ideal chypre: Chanel 31 rue Cambon (eau de toilette from £100; Chanel boutiques and Selfridges). And – since it’s just come out in a very portable 75ml size (along with the other fragrances in the Exclusifs collection) – I need never be without it.

THURSDAY

I can’t let Guerlain take full credit for my improved complexion: some of it is also down to the new blusher from Clarins’s spring collection.

Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour (£24; www.clarins.co.uk) is a gorgeous addition to their cosmetics range. It’s a sleek compact containing two complementary shades – one shimmery, for highlighting, and one matte, for sculpting. The ideal pick-me-up for tired, dull or (in my case, on Thursday) PMT-induced pale skin…

FRIDAY

A night-out for a friend’s birthday was the perfect opportunity to experiment with the Estee Lauder Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Wild Violet (£34) from the company’s new Wild Violet spring cosmetics collection.

Despite its name, the quintet of colours is actually mainly made up of shimmering ivory, bronze, taupe and copper – with purple as the accent colour. If you’re not in a mood indigo, then you can achieve a suitably smoky evening eye look without the violet. It’s a beautiful palette, however you work it – and very reminiscent of both the Dior golds and the Guerlain Ecrin in Champs-Elysees, two favourites from the winter collections.

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