Tag Archives: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres

Luxe Lips on a Budget

Bourjois Rouge Edition AquaAll hail my latest beauty hero! Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque (£8.99) may have been around for a few months but it took me till now to stumble across it in Superdrug while on a quest to find something to replace a much-loved and much-missed lip lacquer which I can’t really justify splashing my cash on…

When I fell in love with YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres back in 2012, a tube cost £22.50; now the price tag is £26 – and I’m afraid I just can’t help but think that that much of an increase smacks of greed. Of course, I might have been tempted to part with the asking price – and kept the lip shine for special occasions – had I not discovered the beautiful Bourjois equivalent and taken a chance on it. (A no-brainer especially just now, when Superdrug is offering 3-for-2 across all its beauty brands!) It was a miracle that in the coral-pink Appechissant shade (right) I found a pretty close substitute for the gorgeous Corail Aquatique colour that served me well across several adventures in 2012, and was always complimented.YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain

I’m happy to report that the Rouge Edition Aqua Laque was a big hit on its first outing on Sunday. What do I love about it (and the YSL)? Well, the flattering colour which can be used to soften a darker shade, the high shine and the complete absence of any stickiness (this is not a gloss, and I am not a gloss wearer!). As someone who won’t be doing the matte lip thing this winter, I am hoping that Bourjois add some more shades to the current existing sextet. And that they don’t hike the price up by £3.50!


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My Week in Beauty: In a Mountain Greenery (Where God Paints the Scenery)

Well, talk about starting the week in style: I got up on Monday morning knowing that by dinner time I’d be lapping up the luxury of a five-star hotel in St Moritz, in the Swiss Alps, where I had been invited on a press trip… Actually, I didn’t get up; I ended up staying up all night  having managed five minutes’ sleep at the children’s bedtime and having failed to notch up any more. I had to leave the house at 4am, with the prospect of two planes and three trains ahead of me. Aaaarrrggghh!

To say that I resembled the walking dead by the time I arrived at the elegant Badrutt’s Palace Hotel – destination of the rich, the famous and, er, me – would be an understatement. Luckily, I was met with a reviving welcome cocktail and instant friendship by the hotel’s lovely PR, Anna, with whom I bonded over shared experiences and beauty products. (Put it this way, when I left St Moritz, two days later, she was off to splurge on some YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres – £22.50; having had a shot of mine..)

I think I managed to fool her into thinking I was less tired than I was – thanks to a quick dusting of my new preferred perk-me-up blusher, Guerlain Blush Duo in Chic Pink (which – as you may agree from looking at the picture above – is slightly coral-coloured; £32.50)  and one of my two favourite bright, glossy and moisture-rich lipsticks from the wonderful new Estee Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick collection by Tom Pecheux – Fireball, a coral red, and the near-fuschia Pink Riot (pictured  below; £14.50; www.esteelauder.co.uk). Oh, and I gave Origins Ginzing Brightening Mascara (£17 ; www.origins.co.uk) a go though, as fab a curling and lengthening mascara as it is, I’m not convinced that it contributed much in terms of “brightening” my face or eyes.

First nights in unfamiliar beds are always a bad bet for me, sleep-wise, but by lunchtime on Tuesday I felt totally revived. Why? Because I started my day with one of the hotel spa’s signature treatments, the Engadin Stone Massage, during which heated stones from the surrounding Engadin mountain range are placed on the body’s energy centres – even between the toes! I especially enjoyed having the heat on my tummy and back – and the way in which the therapist combined the hot stones treatment with traditional massage techniques. It set me up nicely for a full schedule that afternoon:  I lunched at the chef’s table in the hotel’s kitchen, helped make chocolates with the pastry chef, went for a sail on the lake and raided the local supermarket for chocolate and cakes.

I ended the week in a similarly upmarket hotel, back in my hometown of Glasgow. The new Liz Earle Colour (www.lizearle.com, from September 10) range was introduced to the local press over a sumptuous afternoon tea at The Blythswood on Friday. (So sumptuous in fact that each journalist had a cake stand to herself.) I’ll be trying out the cosmetics I was given over the next few weeks but will be putting in a request ASAP for a bottle of Liz Earle Signature Foundation (£21) which I tried at the launch. It felt sublime – and when I complimented one of the Liz Earle girls on her glowing skin, it was this silky foundation which she credited.

Since my return from Switzerland, my sleep hasn’t been great – I had the best sleep on night two in St Moritz (oh, and the silkiest-ever hair after washing my mane there) – so I’m planning to take a leaf out of Ms Earle’s book and use her new, limited edition, rose and lavender, version of one of my all-time favourite cleansers, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (£19.75 got 150ml), at night-time as its key ingredients are very conducive to relaxation … and sleep.

So is this: one of my favourite singers singing a song that – along with her version of Rodgers and Hart’s Mountain Greenery – I couldn’t get out of my head while I was being driven about in a Rolls Royce in St Moritz..

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My Beautiful Summer

Dior’s autumn collection, Golden Jungle

You may suppose that I’ve been having a fabulously relaxing holiday somewhere exotic, given my absence from the blog for over a month. But.. this has actually turned out to be the busiest period work-wise of the year so far – a whirlwind of jazz previews, reviews, Edinburgh Festival Fringe coverage, meetings with beauty PRs and, of course, a spot of socialising.. It’s been a challenge to keep the signs of over-indulgence, under-sleeping and working round the clock at bay – and to keep my skin hydrated and healthy. This year I was assisted by two new products – Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase (£40; www.clarins.co.uk) and Clarins Hydraquench Cream Gel (£46) – which counter dehydration.  I kept my skin thoroughly exfoliated with the heavenly scented and soothing Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel (£28.60) and,  since I had a long-overdue catch-up with the lovely Chloe from Origins & Ojon (over one of my few proper lunches of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival week), the new Origins  Plantscription Anti-aging Eye Cream (£35; www.origins.co.uk)  and Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Concealer (£16) have been in charge of tackling the signs of tiredness.

The Scottish Jazz Awards, easily most glamorous event of the jazz calendar, took place on the eve of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival – and as I was a presenter, I felt I had to make an extra effort, squeeze myself into my slinkiest dress and pull out all the stops on the make-up front. As it turned out, I only arrived in Edinburgh (“fresh” from the family holiday at the rain-swept seaside) around an hour before the pre-awards reception so all plans for a leisurely make-up session went out the window and I only had time for a simple eye make-up with a statement lipstick.

This was the moment that YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres (£22.50;         yslbeauty.co.uk)  came to the rescue – and my addiction to it really took hold. I’ve been faithful to three of them ever since – Corail Aquatique (no7); Rouge Gouache (no11) and Corail Fauve (no12). And I should point out that I don’t do gloss: this is an altogether more chic and practical way to sport shiny lips. My other beauty appointment mid-jazz fest was with Melissa from Tom Ford Beauty who treated me to a sneak preview of the autumn/winter look which Mr F has created. Strong, jewel colours are to the fore once more and if it hadn’t been a surprisingly glorious sunshiney day when I saw the new collection, I would have been praying for an early winter so I could start wearing them in earnest. I’m already looking for opportunities to wear the vibrant new season Tom Ford Lip Color in Aphrodisiac (price TBC).

The new Dior colour collection, Golden Jungle (pictured above), arrived just as I was embarking on my second reviewing campaign of the summer: of the Edinburgh Fringe. And I’m already hooked on the Dior 5 Couleurs Designer in Khaki Design (£40). It’s been a revelation. I am now a convert to green eyeshadow, as it looks absolutely fantastic with blue eyes. It’s going to be difficult to wean myself off this palette and on to the other autumn ones that are starting to arrive through my letter box.

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My Week in Beauty


I’m afraid I didn’t get to any of the gala nights at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival – too busy living it up with Annie Ross and organising my exhibition – but I wasn’t going to miss out on the “Gene Kelly Ceilidh” being held alongside a screening of the lovely, underrated musical Brigadoon. I didn’t manage to find a Cyd Charisse-style dress to wear for the dance but my lips were certainly worthy of a close-up, since they were modelling the latest lip colour innovation from Yves Saint Laurent – YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres (£22.50; www.yslbeauty.co.uk).

It may look like a little bottle of nail varnish but this is actually one of the best lip stains I’ve come across. It is the gloss for those of us who hate glosses as it has the longevity of a stain and the comfort factor of a lipstick – but the shine of a gloss. And what’s more it comes in a fantastic array of colours. I’m particularly smitten with the misleadingly named Corail Aquatique (no7); Rouge Gouache (no11) and Corail Fauve (no12).


And, speaking of YSL.. I was feeling and looking a little tired and run-down on Tuesday – so decided to give the new gel blushers from their spring collection a whirl. YSL Voile de Blush  (£28) turns out to be one of the few items from the candy-coloured spring range that suits me and is to my taste. I’m afraid I’m not into tangerine and bubble gum pink nails or bon-bon shades of eyeshadow. But I was rather taken with the effects of the jelly blusher – natural, radiant, fresh and moisturising-feeling.


I can’t believe there still over two months to go before the launch of the new Chanel Hydra Beauty range which will replace most of the existing Hydramax products (my beloved Hydramax + Serum survives, alongside the new Hydra Beauty equivalent), to which I’ve been addicted for the last few years. Hydramax has proved to be the best and most comprehensive antidote to dehydrated skin that I’ve found, so I was a bit trepidatious, to say the least, about the news of the advent of Hydra Beauty. If it ain’t broke etc …

However, Hydra Beauty goes one better than Hydramax has a low-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to plump skin up. It also harnesses the hydrating powers of the camellia (Coco Chanel’s signature flower) and blue ginger which aren’t in the original Hydramax range.

I’ve been using the products since January, and so far my favourite is the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (£50; from May 18) which makes the complexion look and feel fab, and is a fantastic base for foundation…


I’ve not been able to tear myself away from the raspberry-tastic April shade of Chanel’s spring nail varnishes (I’m not much interested in the May or June shades) – but it now has not one, but three rivals for my affections – in the form of the new Dior Vernis Extreme Wear Nail Lacquers (£17.50) which go on sale on April 1 along with the new Dior Addict Extreme collection of lipsticks. Of the four new nail colours, I dying to try Incognito (a putty shade) and Lucky (a vibrant pinky-coral) on my fingernails. I’m not as taken with the bright pink Plaza, but my toes are currently sporting Riviera (right, though the picture doesn’t do it justice – it’s brighter), my new favourite coral. Summer, it seems, has come early …

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