Tag Archives: Smashbox

Liner Love

Sophia LorenEven if I didn’t know anything else about Sophia Loren, I would be able to tell from this photo that I have three style loves in common with her: pearls, leopard print and …. beautifully lined eyes. For years, I have been devoted to liquid eyeliners (with only a brief fling with gel ones) partly because I adore the retro looks that can be created, but also – and this was actually my original reason – because it was easier to achieve an eye line which stayed put and didn’t smudge if I used one of the liquid variety.

My first eyeliner pen was a L’Oréal one which no longer exists. Later, I was a serial buyer of a Clarins one but they changed the nib from a brush to a rigid felt tip pen effort and I found that it was too hard on my eyelid and tricky to use. In recent times, the only eyeliner I have truly loved has been Guerlain‘s which comes in an ink bottle with an elegant brush, in three colours (I love them all – navy, black and brown) and lasts an eternity.

Nevertheless, this summer, I have been persuaded to experiment once more with the pen variety of liner. Of the two new liners on the block, I am – contrary to my own expectations – totally sold on Estée Lauder Little Black Liner (£22, from August 31). Why did I not expect to be convinced by it? Because I saw the dreaded felt tip pen-style nib and because I wasn’t very taken with its sibling, the mascara base Little Black Primer which launched earlier this year. However, the thin end of this dual-ended, waterproof eyeliner provided an impressive and smooth line – and it was love at first brush stroke! (Though perhaps not as fine a line as I would always want.) The thicker end can be used for an even more dramatic effect. Having found that my beloved Guerlain bottle often gets damaged in transit, a pen is a good move for when you need to do your eye make-up away from home.

I’m less in love with Smashbox‘s new Photo Angle Pigment Gel Liner (£18), a pen with an angled tip which – as far as I can see – would only come into its own if you were going for a very thick and full eyeliner look. It comes in five colours – Jet Black, Cocoa, Smoke, Plum and Lilac – and, like the Little Black Liner, is waterproof.

*  Estée Lauder Little Black Liner is available exclusively at Boots from August 17.

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Smashing Lips

Lucille Ball painting lipsHollywood star Lucille Ball (above) was mad about make-up, and I’m quite sure that had it been around in the 1940s, Smashbox, the Los Angeles cosmetics brand, would have provided her with many favourite products. Being a fan of a bright, strong lip, she would have loved the latest additions to its impressive range of make-up which has been created for a photo-perfect look.

Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners (£15 each) are ideal for creating perfect, movie star lips since they allow you to subtly even out the shape of the pout. Available in 12 shades, including four nudes, they have a cap which houses a tiny built-in sharpener so they sharpen themselves every time you twist off the Lip_Lacquer_AfterDarkcap. No need for footery pencil sharpeners..

For glossy, Lucille-like, lips Smashbox’s Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers (£19 each) are ideal. Similar to, but less pricey than, YSL’s lip lacquers, they are ideal if you’re not a fan of lip gloss but want high shine and lasting colour which stains the lips while not drying them out. There are 20 beautiful shades; so far, Coral and After Dark (right) have got my vote….

* Available from www.smashbox.co.uk and www.boots.com and from Boots stores nationwide.


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My Week in Beauty


I caught up with my beauty therapist pal Margaret on Monday and she reported back to me on the Dior Capture Totale One Essential skin boosting serum (£75) I asked her to try out a while back. This is the anti-ageing serum which Dior launched earlier this year, with promises of “increasing the skin’s ability to repair itself in order to combat all signs of ageing” and of  “increasing the effectiveness of skincare products applied afterwards”.

Margaret’s verdict? “I really enjoyed using it and definitely thought my skin looked more youthful. It’s expensive, given that it lasted only about a month – so is probably only for ladies with a disposable income!” She’s now testing Lancome’s Genefique …


Okay, I know it’s only June – season of sorbet colours and hot pinks – but the autumn/winter cosmetic collections have been arriving and we beauty writers are already experimenting with the shades everyone will be wearing at Christmas..

Last week, the Chanel colours – including their next sure-fire must-have, the pewtery purple shade Paradoxal – arrived, and then, on Tuesday, I received a package containing the already-available Marks & Spencer Perfection Long Wear Nail Lacquers (£7.50 each; www.marksandspencer.com) in Gunmetal and Rainbow (don’t understand that name – it’s silver).

If you want to get a head-start on everyone else, go for the Gunmetal – a glistening metallic grey which looks great on fingernails. The Rainbow shade would be better against more tanned skin than mine but if you feel artistic you could always give yourself a French grey manicure, painting the silvery shade along the tip of the dark grey. It looks fab! Practise now and you could be celebrating Christmas in July – beauty-wise, anyway …


With the hot weather last weekend, I noticed that both of my six-year-old twins had red bags under their eyes after they had been out in the sun – despite having been slathered in Factor 50. The younger boy, 11.41, who is fairer, actually looked quite ill because of it.

So, on Wednesday I set off to find a sun cream that could be used on the sensitive area under the eyes – and the only child-friendly one I could find in Boots was Garnier Ambre Solaire Very High Protection Stick for Sensitive Areas (£8.97; www.superdrug.com) which has turned out to be a great and speedy way of applying sun protection to the whole face.

What was particularly worthwhile about this trip to Boots was the chat I had with the excellent suncare advisor (at the Sauchiehall Street branch in Glasgow). I hadn’t known that almost all sun creams take a good 20 minutes or more to take effect, and that the only ones which are absolutely instantaneous are from the Nivea range. .


And speaking of suncare – or rather sun tans – is what my pals Lizzy, Colette and I were doing when we went out on Thursday. Lizzy is the chief of my department of fake tan testing so when she announced that her new favourite tanning product was a body tint which cost less than a fiver, I took note..

Actually, I’ve got a feeling I gave her this Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan Bronzing Spray (£3.25) last summer so I was especially pleased to hear it was a hit.  She reported: “It gave me a lovely, even, colour for the night – I got lots of comments about my healthy glow  – and I didn’t wash it off until the shower the next morning.” The only drawback, says Lizzy, was that because of the spray, she had to do the tan in her bathroom – so the ten minutes post-application were spent scrubbing her bath. In the scud!


I went into Debenhams to return a faulty necklace and came out looking like a movie star – though not Roz Russell or Joan Crawford (pictured, below, in the famous department store scene in The Women), alas!  My transformation was thanks  to a lovely girl called Gemma who was manning a new beauty counter – Smashbox.

Smashbox is an American company which was founded by the great-grandsons of a certain Hollywood make-up pioneer called Max Factor. I’m pretty sure it was available in the UK in the mid-1990s but it hasn’t been widely available here for years so we had a bit of catching up to do.

Gemma talked me through the philosophy behind the cosmetics. It’s a professional brand; the make-up has skincare benefits and it’s all about problem-solving. In this case, this meant applying some green primer to my flushed cheeks before the foundation went on. I hope to get to try out some of the products at home soon – as soon as I’ve tracked down the PR – but in the meantime, I may head back to Debenhams soon for another free make0ver!

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