Tag Archives: ROX

Pearls Are Forever

No, it’s not the young “M”; but there are no pix of her in her pearls – so here’s Louise Brooks in The Canary Murder Case (1929)

I’ve not yet seen the new Bond movie, Skyfall, but I have been up close and personal with a few of its shiny stars – in the form of the jewellery. The pearl pieces worn by Dame Judi Dench in her performance as M come from the British jewellery company Dower & Hall – and to celebrate their involvement (which was not a case of product placement), they held Bond-themed parties in their London and Glasgow stores a few weeks ago.

M is a mistress of simple style – those streamlined suits, that fuss-free, elegant hair – and Dower & Hall’s Dove Grey Freshwater Pearl Studs and Dove Grey Freshwater Pearl Necklace fit in perfectly with her look.  Of course, they are easy for anyone to wear – though personally I prefer my pearls to look a little bit less lonely; apart from a pearl cabochon ring I inherited, I’m not really a single pearl kind of gal. I’d  rather  stack ’em high like Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina, or drape a string or two over a flapper dress (if I had a flatter chest) a la Josephine Baker.

Stud earrings don’t get my personal vote either: I have my eye on a different pair of Dower & Hall beauties, black, grey or white freshwater pearl drops suspended from a (silver, oxidised silver, yellow gold vermeil or rose gold vermeil) leaf which curls up the ear.. (Birthday present buyers take note!) They’re part of Dower & Hall’s gorgeous new Feather collection, and only cost £58.

I’m guessing there were pearls somewhere at the new ROX jewellery boutique which opened in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms with a truly lavish party a couple of weeks ago. It was difficult to see any of the shop’s glittering wares, as there were so many people there – not only anybody who is anybody in Edinburgh, but a fair few somebodies from Glasgow (myself included).

Pearls, you see, are big news again this winter. Indeed, this seems to be a trend that – like Bond – will not die. I think it’s one you grow into. I couldn’t abide pearls when I was younger, probably partly because it they seemed to be part of the old-lady uniform. Of course, what older ladies know – as I learned when I worked in a jewellery boutique in Paris – is that pearls are perfect against ageing skin as they reflect the light and add a radiance to the complexion.

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My Week in Beauty


I didn’t really have a big night out at the weekend but I was desperate to dabble in the new summer collection, “Enchanted”, from Clarins, so I possibly looked a little more glam than is strictly necessary for a Saturday afternoon jazz session!

What particularly attracted me to this Indian-themed collection (though I must confess, I thought it was Moroccan when I saw the colours and the new Clarins Kohl Kajal Long-Lasting Eyeliners , £15 each) was the absolutely stunning Clarins Limited Edition Colour Quartet & Liner Palette (£30; www.clarins.co.uk).

I have loved Clarins’ mineral eye shadows since they launched them last year. The colours always work beautifully together, they usually have one slightly unexpected shade, they blend very easily – and, best of all for anyone who finds that make-up doesn’t stay put all day, they last extremely well.

This new palette of sparkling shadows is one of the loveliest yet – and would look great with any eye colour since it contains an iridescent champagne shade, bronzy-gold, a coppery-brown and a vibrant violet, plus a chocolate brown eye liner. Wearing just the two lighter shades provides a fresh, casual look but once you add in the brown and/or the violet, it’s very striking…


Well, it’s always nice to get compliments about your hair – and I was delighted to get one last week (at the stage in my colour cycle when I only expect insults!)…  I’m putting it down to the fact that for several days last week, starting on Tuesday, I used Tigi Ego Boost (£12.50) from its Bed Head range.

This leave-in conditioner mends dry and damaged hair and protects it from environmental elements, plus the harmful side effects of chemical treatments, shampooing and brushing. It’s quick and easy to use and makes even the tuggiest hair comb-able. I’ve been finding that it gives my fine hair a bit of oomph in the volume department – so it really is an all-round ego booster….


We’ve been having a bit of a heatwave here in Scotland, and it’s been too hot to to wear much – in terms of make-up as well as clothes…

Less face paint is definitely more when it comes to staying cool, and one summer essential which emerged last week was Estee Lauder Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara (£25; www.esteelauder.co.uk from June, and at Selfridges just now).  It’s not the first double-ended mascara (Guerlain’s Le 2 has two ends and two mascaras, but they are for use on all the lashes, top and bottom) but it is the first to have a brush and mascara for the top lashes and a separate brush and different coloured mascara for the bottom ones. The idea is that the mascara for the bottom lashes, which comes with a dinkier brush, is a subtler shade (either Rich Brown, Rich Blue or Rich Plum) and one which will bring out the colour of the eyes, while the top lash colour is Bold Black.

I’ve been finding that it does indeed flatter the eyes (and I’ve been wearing it with no other eye make-up – unheard of for me!) but that the lower lash mascara eventually smudges – which was the same problem I had with the first dedicated lower lash mascara I tried, by Clinique.


ROX were at it again on Thursday night .. Holding another fab soiree I mean. This time the Glasgow-based jewellery store was hosting a birthday bash to celebrate 40 years of Gucci watches – and a swell party it was too, even if all I could do was ogle the timepieces in question…

Actually, when my ship stops hovering outside the harbour, I think I’ll get myself along to Rox and treat myself to some of the sexy bamboo jewellery I fell in love with on Thursday. A new watch  can follow. Who needs to keep track of time when there are tassle earrings seeking an owner?!

The Kim & I at the Gucci party, photographed by an Orson Welles-inspired snapper .

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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


Oooh-la-la, on Monday I was sent the sexiest new mascara I’ve tried in ages: YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking (£22) is just the job for creating come-hither eyes. Or, as the press release says, for achieving “indecent volume”… The mind boggles.

Anyway, it does this thanks to its asymmetric brush and the combination of two types of wax in its formulation: a soft adherent wax to thicken the lashes and a hard wax to maximise the curve.

Since it’s part of YSL’s Noirs collection, there are six shades of black to choose from – I’ve been using No2, Ashy Black, but would like to get my hands on Jade Black and Cherry Black to see how much difference there is…


Wednesday was the Estee Lauder companies’ annual Christmas press day in Glasgow – which means that we journalists get the chance to view all the festive goodies from the likes of Aramis, Aveda, Darphin, Clinique, Ojon, Origins and Bobbi Brown. One item which leapt out at me as being the ideal suits-all cosmetic was the Bobbi Brown Party Eye Palette (£39; www.bobbibrown.co.uk), a lovely, new, limited edition sextet of neutral shades perfect for day or evening wear.

They sure know how to throw a party, those folk from ROX, the jewellers in Glasgow. French Martinis, fabulous jewellery on display in the chic “Thrill Room”, and lovely fellow journalists to mingle with – my pal Kim and I had a great night at their “Audience With  Shaun Leane” event on Thursday.

Aside from the chance to chat with celebrity jeweller Shaun, the girly gossip and the trying on of each other’s bijoux, I enjoyed having the opportunity to wear my favourite of the Christmas collections’ nail polishes – Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Carat (£17.50; from November 4; for stockists call 020-7493 3836), a beautiful garnet shade with gold running through it, seemed the perfect choice for a night in a jewellery boutique…


And speaking of Chanel, I was invited to their Espace Beaute at Frasers on Friday to have a little make-over and a play with the new Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipsticks  (£23.50). As they did when they launched Rouge Coco Shine earlier this year, Chanel had a fancy photo booth there so that glammed-up customers could get a souvenir of their makeover. Their lovely Regional Make-up Specialist LucindaPaterson-Brown, who transformed me in March when Rouge Coco Shine was launched, was on hand – possibly for the last time before she starts a new job working more closely with Chanel’s Creative Director of Make-up, Peter Philips.

I couldn’t take my eyes off Lucinda, who was wearing the La Fascinante shade – a dark red – of Rouge Allure Velvet and had teamed it with a very simple, retro eye. She used the same colours on me but I felt it was just too harsh so she tried a different shade (pictured): La Raffinee. My pal Margaret, herself a make-up artist whom I met years ago in Frasers, got the Chanel treatment too. And while she wasn’t convinced by the coral La Ravissante (it was nothing like her usual nude shade), I think she looks gorgeous.

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