My all time TOP 5

Or should I say my long term top 5, cos let’s face it, you never know who, I mean what is around the corner… I’m sure there’s some gems out there I haven’t tried yet.  Now choosing just five is tough, if I’m realistic it’s more like 55, but the following are firmly inducted in my beauty hall of fame….

Givenchy Eyebrow Show

“It’s all about the eyebrows!” Fast becoming my catch phrase because I Love, Love, LOVE eyebrows. This Givenchy pencil has saved my life after my beloved Clinique one was discontinued. I searched for a replacement, testing and buying almost every brow pencil in existence – No7, YSL, Benefit, Rimmel, Lancôme, Mac. It’s been a long and expensive process. You see, I like a good old fashioned pencil, I’m not a fan of these sudo, automatic non-pencil pencils that have popped up everywhere. I don’t like ones that are too creamy, but I do like ones that have a brush on the end. Finally I’ve found the right shade and texture with Givenchy. Just as well since I’ve been going through the painsaking process of growing my eye brows out. As a teenager I fell victim to over-tweezing (something I could wax lyrical about and is best left for another post).  It’s great for filling in the gaps. The powdery texture looks very natural and last all day, plus the brush on the end is great for sculpting.

£15 Available in three shades, I wear Brown

 Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream

This needs little introduction. The cult classic, developed by Ms Arden herself over 70 years ago, has really stood the test of time. If I was stuck on a desert island, this is all I’d need (this and some food, water and wine). It really is a wonder product.  This skincare classic helps to soothe, restore, soften and protect dry or mildly irritated skin. It has so many uses… I apply it to eye brows at night to help hold them in place, it’s fantastic on dry lips and can be dabbed onto cheek and brow bones as a highlighter. I have one in my bedside table and one in my handbag so I’m never without – it lasts and last and lasts too!

50mls approx. £20 Available in various sizes, tubes and pots

Guerlain Terracota Four Season Bronzing Powder

When it comes to bronzers, I’ve played the field a little, but with Guerlain Four Season Bronzing Powder I’ve found my match. The caramel hues are so far away from the orange shades we’re used to. It’s very strongly pigmented so a little goes a long way and the finely milled powder applies like a dream, so smooth and flawless. There’s no glitter or sparkle, yet it’s not too matte, more of a satin finish I’d say. What makes it one of my all time favourites is that the four shades take you through the year, no need to change to a lighter one in the winter or darker in the summer; it’s like a customisable palette. Great for contouring and the lighter shade can be used as a touch up powder. Read full review here.

Available from Debenhams and House of Fraser £46

YSL Touche Eclat

Another that needs little introduction. For years YSL’s iconic Touche Eclat has been the go-to concealer for millions of women around the World. Another multi use product – it’s a highlighter, a concealer, a touch up pen. There are lots of competitors in that market, but for me it’s still unrivalled. A sold member of my beauty hall of fame; there’s a reason that one pen is sold every 10 seconds! 

RRP £24 but dicounted prices on CheapSmells.com

Lancôme Hypnose Mascara


I have been using Lancôme’s mascaras since I was 13. From Defincils, Amplicils, Hypnose and Hypnose drama, it seemed each offering got better and better.  From time to time my eye has wondered (with Benefit Bad Gal, Clinique’s High Impact and Diorshow), but I always return to my faithful Hypnose. For me, the key is in the brush  – it’s just the right size, not too clumpy and no other mascara creates volume like it. It can be layered for maximum impact, doesn’t smudge or clump and lasts all day.  I prefer the standard Hypnose but Hypnose Drama is pretty good too. It also has the royal seal of approval – believed to be Kate Middleton’s wedding mascara of choice.

£20.45

So that’s my top 5, what’s yours?

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Beauty waitlist… BB Cream

BB Cream is making serious waves in the beauty world right now…  if experts are to be believed, it’s set to be this year’s biggest beauty trend. BB (Blemish Balm) Cream is one of Asia’s hottest beauty products and it’s heading our way this summer.

Billed as the answer to all your skincare woes in one tube. The balm that claims to be a moisturiser, sun block, primer, skin soother and even a light weight foundation.

The formula was apparently concocted in Germany where dermatologists prescribe it to heal laser skin surgery because it has soothing and skin-regenerating properties. It’s said to soothe skin, even out skin tone and provide the perfect canvas.

Sounds too good to be true? Well that remains to be seen, but if Asia’s skincare market is anything to go by, these creams mean business.

Garnier is set to launch its version, Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One BB Cream in August, expected to retail around the £10 mark. Also watch out for Mac’s Prep + Prime BB Cream and Clinique’s Age Defence BB Cream, both launching soon.

Magazine Freebies GALORE

I do love a good magazine. I’d say I’m a habitual glossy mag buyer, even if  I don’t have time to  read them, I still can’t resist tearing them off the shelves. That said I’ve been a little better recently, weaning myself off the weekly’s and sticking mainly to my top monthly’s (Glamour, Instyle and Elle).

All that, of course, goes out of the window in the summer months when our wonderful magazines are throwing freebies at us.  We’ve all been there, in the airport stockpiling canvas bags, sunglasses, lotions and potions. Clearly I don’t need much of an incentive to buy a mag, so stick a free REISS top on the front and I’m sold….

Yep, you heard me, buy July’s edition of Elle Magazine (in shops now £3.80) with the super-hot Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the cover and receive a free limited edition Reiss vest top. Designed exclusively by Garance Doré with 4 colours to choose from. I picked up the beige.

 

Of course it’s made on the cheap and it’s quite thin but it’s not a bad effort and will look great layered under or over another top. It is however quite small, beware they market these tops as one size fits all but I’d say this is an 8.

Here’s just some of my magazine loot I’ve picked up in the last year…

 

As the freebie season is upon us, keep your eyes peeled on the news stands, here are some worth watching out for.

Jemma Kidd Lipglosses with Red

This one’s already out and flying off the shelves fast. Red Magazine (Cat Deeley on the front) are giving away full size Jemma Kidd glosses, worth £14, available in three colours a coral, light pink and a red.

Benefit Make up in Glamour

Watch out for Glamour magazine, out  June 9th for some free benefit  High Beam, Benetint and Posietint. Beware, unlike previous Glamour/Benefit collaborations, these are not full size products. The free samples are Approx. 4 mls, around a third of the regular size. Still, not a bad deal considering they retail between £18.50 and £23.50 for 12-13mls.

Body Shop gift voucher with Instyle

Pick up July’s edition of Instyle magazine for a free £5 Body Shop voucher. Out June 9th.

Also this month you can pick up a free full size Inika Mineral Eye liner or Inika Mineral Eyeshadow with Marie Claire Magazine and an £11 Leighton Denny Nail Polish with Harpers Bazaar magazine (£4.20).

Cue a rush to the newsagents.

Best of… Pink Lip Glosses

Lip gloss is something I’ve loved for years. In fact it was probably my first make up love. I started with Lancome’s Juicy tubes then progressed to everything and anything shiny and glossy. Although I’m increasingly drawn to lipsticks now, I still can’t walk past a make up counter without sampling their latest gloss. My current obsession are nudes and peaches, but for a long time it was all about the pinks. Here’s some I have in my collection….

Left to right

Mac Viva VI Glam Special Edition Lipglass £12.50

I wasn’t sure whether to include this one as it’s at the lilac end of the spectrum, but it’s actually quite a nudey pink when applied. Typical of Mac Lipglasses it’s thick, luxurious and Long lasting, but can be a bit too glupey. BEST FOR: Highlighting a tan

Clinique Long Last Glosswear – Air Kiss (Full Size £14)

I got this sample size gloss free with a Clinique Bonus Time gift, otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I’m glad I did. This one’s Sheer, Shiny and Sticky. It’s a very pretty, light pink and great over lipstick because it lasts long-time! BEST FOR: Wearing over lipstick

Mac Lipgelee Limited Edition – Bubble Lounge £12.50

This one’s special. Creamy, shiny, shimmery and luxurious. It’s a light nudey pink with a creamy, frosty finish. Long lasting but not sticky, smells great too. Whenever I whip it out on a night out it’s quickly snatched off me and passed around. BEST FOR: Maximum impact WOW lips

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Candy Gloss £8

This one’s a light peachy pink that’s heavy on the glitter. It has a heat activated plumping effect for the ultimate pout – don’t worry it doesn’t sting or burn. Nice on its own for a hint of glimmer and has a fabulous vanilla scent. BEST FOR: Plumping

Mac Limited Edition Wonder Woman Collection Lipglass in Emancipation £17

Candy pink with a suitable gold shimmer. It’s sticky long lasting and JUMBO sized. Quite highly pigmented giving it a great coverage. It’s my current number one! BEST FOR: Everything

Clinique Colour Surge Impossibly Glossy – Prettiest Pink

This gloss is the darkest of the bunch, verging on hot pink. It has soft, creamy feel – comfortable to wear and not especially sticky. Has a satin sheen finish. Unfortunately, I think it’s been discontinued now – don’t you hate it when that happens! BEST FOR: Coverage

Pout Plump Lip gloss

Unfortunately Pout cosmetics no longer exists, but you can still pick some of these babies up online. This one’s been in the collection for years and I’m scared to let it run out. It smells and tastes minty with a cooling effect that plumps the lips and with regular use, and claims to increase collagen. That I’m not sure about but the texture is creamy with a sine/satin finish. The medium pink is great for a nice hint of colour without being too bold.  BEST FOR: Plumping

Let me know your recommendation and watch out for my Best Of… Nude glosses

Sneak a peek: YSL’s Touche Eclat launching SIX shades

And not a minute to soon…

 

For years YSL’s iconic Touche Eclat has been the go-to concealer for millions of women around the World – one pen is sold every 10 seconds! But with the market flooded with great and cheaper alternatives (Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer and L’Oreal Touche Magique being my current favourites) I wondered when YSL was going to step up its game… Cue 6 fab new shades

Let’s face it, Touche is a wonder product, as a highlighter it’s still unrivalled, but that pale pinky shade isn’t for everyone. Finally YSL have taken note and responded to the UK market’s ever darkening perma tans.  

With six new shades, there should be a touch for everyone.

The new shades hit Selfridges on 19 May 2011 before going nationwide on 7 July RRP£24.50.

Top 5 Foundations for Dry skin and with Dewy finish

This post has now been updated with NEW additions – see it on my new blog here http://beautyandlechicblog.blogspot.com

I’ve had a few questions recently from people wanting to know what foundation I use and which ones are best for dewy skin. Looking for the perfect foundation is like searching for the perfect jeans… a long, pain saking and expensive experience, but when you find the right ones, it can be hugely rewarding. It’s such an important thing to get right, I know, I’ve spent years trying. I have dry skin and suffer occasional breakouts. I like a foundation that provides a light to medium coverage, with a natural dewy finish. Some people find one good foundation and stick to it, but I prefer to have a selection, you wouldn’t only have one pair of jeans would you? And with new products and technology you never know what you might be missing. Our skin is constantly changing, as do my foundations.

Here’s my (current) Top 5

1.  Mac Mineralize Satin Finish Foundation £22.20

My favourite foundations change from time to time depending on the condition of my skin, the time of year etc, but this one’s been my number one since it was released. It’s a fluid foundation that blends the natural light-reflecting properties of micro-minerals to create a smooth satin finish. Provides a low-to-medium,yet buildable coverage with a slightly luminous finish. It instantly improved my complexion; skin appears radiant, healthy, re- energized. Contains vitamins A, C and E to help nurture and condition the skin. Good for all skin types, especially normal-dry, which is why I love it. Easy to apply with fingers or brush (I prefer brush) and best finished with a dusting of Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder.

Best for: Dry Skin, great for day time

2.  Clinique Supermoisture Foundation £21

This one’s great, especially in the summer I find. The texture is thicker than Mac’s Satin finish, but the formula is light weight. It’s perfect for a dewy glow, I feel like it moisturisers my face all day, although it helps to keep a little finishing powder to hand so you don’t glow too much. Light coverage, soft and radiant looking. Apply with fingers for a more sheer finish.

Best for:  A light, dewy finish

3.  Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Foundation £41.50

This one’s expensive, and it knows it. Released last year it’s super creamy and luxurious, thick, yet lightweight once applied and does not set. You will get a high, yet natural coverage with a noticeable dewy.  It’s super luxurious, but not the type I’d use daily.

Best for: Dry and older Skins £23

4.  Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation £23

My go to foundation when my skin’s in bad condition. It’s a creamy, luxurious, gel-based foundation that provides medium, to high coverage. It is fairly thick, but doesn’t look cakey and doesn’t set. It’s very hydrating, leaves skin looking soft, smooth and slightly dewy, plus a little goes a long way.

Best for: Skin that needs extra coverage, great for evening/longwear.

5.  Chanel Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Make up £31.66

Firmly positioned in the foundation hall of fame, it’s the go to make up for many celebrities and make up artist, frequently winning best foundation accolades. It’s the nearest you’ll come to skin in a bottle, but the coverage is a little too sheer for me – perfect if you’re blessed with a clear complexion. The light texture of Vitalumiere Fluid gives a slightly satin finish for a radiant natural youthful looking makeup. On the downside, Chanels colour range is quite limited.

Best for: Light weight, natural coverage  

Also highly recommended is Boujois Healthy Mix, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, YSL Perfect Touch and Gosh Natural Touch Foundation.

This post has now been updated with NEW additions – see it on my new blog here

http://beautyandlechicblog.blogspot.com/

LUST HAVE: Clinique’s Limited Edition Milly Pretty in Prints Compact & Gloss

Spring has sprung at Clinique and as the LOVE theme continues, I am LOVING their new Pretty in prints collection.

Perfectly in line with this season’s spring colour trends of bright pinks and peaches, Clinique’s Pretty in Prints Compact for eyes and cheeks is a stylish must-have for all you trend hunters. Featuring an eye shadow quad of rich chocolate browns and delicate pinks and a Milly blush to match, this unique, silver, arty compact comes in stylish drawstring pouch inspired by New York fashion designer Michelle Smith, creator of Milly.

The Pretty in Prints range, it also features a gorgeous Pink Long Last Glosswear, but it’s not just any pink, it’s Milly Pink.

Look fresh and chic dressed in rich chocolate browns and fresh pops of pinks this season.

Available now online and instore Pallette £25 Gloss £14