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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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.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

If like me you’ve left it till the last minute (sorry Mum) here’s a few gift ideas guaranteed to make her day.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Face Collection £32

Update your Mother’s beauty regime with No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Face Collection. It’s the perfect gift for Mothers Day containing No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream, Night Cream and Beauty Serum. Currently half price at Boots, £32 and right now spend over £22, receive a free No7 (which you can keep for yourself)… everyone’s a winner.

 

Busy But Beautiful Miracle Manicure Treatment Gift Set M&S £7.50

 

A cute and very retro 5 part set including hand cream, cuticle cream, a nail file and 2 polishes for busy but beautiful Mums.

Elizabeth Arden Centenary Eight Hour Cream Limited Edition Jar 30ml £18 John Lewis

A timeless classic, perhaps the best multi taking product ever. It’s a moisturiser, a lip balm, a soother, healer and wrinkle rescuer all rolled into one. This product’s been a staple in women’s make up bags for years, and this limited edition jar is hard to resist. Infact, I’m ordering two. Right now save 10% at John Lewis.

Or the iconic, and fail sake… YSL Touche Eclat

I haven’t come across a woman yet that doesn’t worship at its alter. It’s a little pricey so treat the woman in your life that won’t always treat herself.

All that’s left to do is pop down M&S for the dine.

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/

£2K a year on Make Up?

Any woman worth her Chanel lipstick will tell you that looking good don’t come cheap. A study this week reveals that British women spend over £133K in their lifetime on beauty products and treatments…. Averaging out at £2K a year, that’s some lotions and potions.

So, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw… “I got to thinking” do I spend that much? More? Less? Is it really worth it?

One hour, a couple broken nails and a lot of mess later, I discovered that I’m well on my way….

And this is just make up, I could fill another dining table with creams, toiletries and nail varnishes.

I must admit, I didn’t realise how much I had. Seeing it piled up like that, it does look very indulgent. In these tough times people may call it wasteful, even selfish, but Make Up is my only vice! Shoes, hair, nights out, nothing else floats my boat like cosmetics. I love trying it, buying it, applying it, merchandising it and now, writing about it.

So for now, I won’t be guilted out of it. Make up can empower you, make you look and feel a million dollars. On an “I’m feeling bad about myself” day a couple clicks of touch eclat and a dusting of four seasons, and suddenly the World’s a better place. Plus, in my mind sharing it with you makes it an investment!

And if that’s not enough, in the words of LOreal … Because we’re worth it!

Make Up Trends Spring/Summer 2011 – Bold Lips

New year, new you? With spring around the corner (humour me, I’m trying to be optimistic) it’s the perfect time to enbrace some new looks. It’s out with the old, in with the new as we take a look at some of the key beauty trends for Spring/Summer 2011, starting with…

Bold Lips

This look was big last year, but this season it’s bigger, bolder and brighter than before. Block colours were every where on the Spring/Summer 2011 catwalks and the celebs are following suit. Red’s still big…

but it’s orange and fushia that will really take centre stage. Leading by example, Kate Bosworths rocks pink lips by keeping the rest of her make up neat and polished…

I’m loving Mac’s Viva Glam Ga Ga lipstick £13.50, ALMOST as bold as it’s name sake, it features a high lustre finish and cool blue-pink shade.

I haven’t tried it yet, but Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Lipstick in No. 10 Provocative Pink (£21 at Boots) looks as opulent as they come! It promises to transform lips with the ultimate sensuality.

Whether they’re shiny or matte, let your lips do the talking this spring.

Check back later for more beauty trends.