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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New Beauty Crush: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Girl of the moment Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, my new beauty, style and general all round girl crush.

When it comes to make up, Rosie knows what suits her and sticks to it – I love the simplicity of her make up. Her signature look centres around sultry smokey eyes and bronzed skin. Despite having the biggest and best lips in the business, Rosie doesn’t play up to them. I’d be tempted to colour in that pout all kinds of fuchsias and reds, but she keeps it simple with hues of nude and browny-pinks.

Here’s how to create the look.

Base

Her base is glowing and dewy. I’d imagine she starts off with a luminous primer like Clarin’s beauty flash balm then adds a subtle base colour, something like Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. With that flawless skin, I doubt she needs concealer, but a couple clicks of a highlighter or under eye concealer like YSL’s touché éclat will correct any dull areas – I think there’s evidence of some in the inner eye area – which works great to open and brighten the eye.

Cheeks

Not one for bright blushers, Rosie opts for bronzer and highlighter instead. Either she’s blessed with the most amazing cheekbones EVER or there’s some clever contouring going on here – I choose to believe it’s the later. Take a multi toned bronzing powder, something like Guerlain’s Terracota Four Seasons and contour the natural lines around your cheeks, forehead and chin. A dab of liquid highlighter on the top of cheek bones would accentuate the tan and draw attention to the chizzled features. Finish with a light dusting of a peachy/pink powder blush to add a touch of colour to apples of the cheeks.

Eyes

Brows are full and combed slightly upwards, which I love. For the smokey eye Rosie opt for gold and bronzey brown eye shadows rather than the standard black and greys. An eye quad or a palette would work best to mix and match for the shade that suits. I have a great one by Frontcover that contains some gorgeous bronzey hues. The intensity of the smokey eye varies – smudge shadow along the lid and up to the crease, if you’re feeling adventurous, take it higher up to the brow bone. Smudge some shimmery brown or bronze under the lower lash line and in the inner eye. Work in a brown or black eye liner.

For some added va-va-voom, a small kitten flick created with a gel or liquid liner looks very sexy. Finish with lashings of mascara.

Lips

Let’s face it, lips like that don’t need much dressing up. A smudge of Vaseline and they’re good to go! They’re generally kept natural, I really don’t think she wears much lipstick – maybe just a hint of sheer colour, something like a nude or dirty rose. She’s more a lipbalm kinda girl.

 WORD OF WARNING: Trying to recreate the look of one of the best looking women in the World, may lead to self esteem issues!

Avoid the post wedding blues with a few mini pick me ups

It’s back to reality with a thump this week. The Royal Wedding’s over, Easter’s over, the endless run of bank holidays are over and we’re back to the 9-5 grind – Booo!

Before we slip into another Blue Monday, hatch a plan to cheer  yourself up… WARNING, it could cost you money.

1.  Paint your nails

I’ve painted mine shocking pink today and I must admit, every time I look down at my hands I feel quite proud of my bright finger nails and they’ve caught many an admiring glance. I’m wearing No7 Foxglove – two coats with a base and top coat.

2.   Treat yourself to some summer make up

Especially important if you also happen to be having a fat day. Something like a bronzer or a bright lipstick should do the job. I just purchased a gorgeous 17 Lasting Fix Lipstick in Hawaii Pink £4.79. Perfect for that LIP N GO look. There are few things I love more than make up, but the Sun I worship. So when it’s shining I can’t afford to waste vital tanning time applying a face full of make up, nor would I want to. However I still want to look summery and fresh, so I slapped on some bright lipstick with some concealer and a touch of mascara and I’m good to go.

Here’s the lippy in action

 

I’m wearing the lipstick, L’Oreal Touche Magique Concealer and a light coating of Clinique’s high impact mascara.

A new bronzer is also a good idea. In the summer months you can normally afford to go up a shade. I love the look of Urban Decay’s new Bronzing Powder £20 and my much loved Guerlain Terracota Four Seasons Bronzer needs a little break – at £46 it’s not for daily use.

This lovely, fine bronzer is baked in an oven and even hand-finished. Great for fake tan phobics, this beauty gives a gorgeous light, golden glow for a sunkissed look. Speaking of which…

3.  Fake it to make it

Most of us look, and feel better with a summer glow. I’m all for safe sunning, but it can be a slow process and it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a head start – especially your legs! It’s pretty scary unveiling those white, spikey, scaly tree trunks at the start of the summer months, but it’s amazing what a shave and a hint of colour can do.

San Tropez, still an eternal classic, is a great false tan, but can be messy and stains your clothes. I reserve it for events – weddings, holidays etc. For frequent use, I prefer everyday tanning lotions like Dove’s Summer Glow Body Lotion.  Slap it on after your shower, wait a few minutes to dry and you’re good to go.

 

Follow these steps (or some of your own mini pick me ups) and voile, a whole new you. And if that doesn’t work, there’s another bank holiday in three weeks.

I wonder how poor Kate Middleton’s feeling a week on– the fairy tale wedding is over, her new hubby’s back at work and she’s holed up at home… except home is a palace so boo hoo.

Possibly the best bronzer in the World… Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer

Rid your winter complexion and step into Spring with the award winning Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer.If like me you’ve contemplated buying this bronzer, but were put off by the price tag, I’m here to tell you it’s worth it, and so are you!

For the first time ever Terracotta from Guerlain, the hero of bronzers, give us not one but four bronzing powders.  I delayed buying this product; for £45 I thought to myself, I can buy two bronzers and have some change! So I bought a Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, which was too sparkly, then the Nars Laguna Bronzer, which cracked and crumbled within weeks. They say if you buy cheap, you buy twice – I sure learnt that the hard way…. Not that Blobbi Brown and Nars are cheap, but there’s a reason Gerlain’s Terracotta has such a cult following.

My first impression is that it’s a very substantial product. The compact is quite heavy and the powder sufficiently packed in, no danger of this one crumbling. It also comes with an instructions leaflet and a suede pouch…. although for £45 it should come with some suede shoes.

Available in two colour ways –  Blonde and Brunette (this one is the Brunette version). The colour is amazingly intense. 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. 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. Furthermore, the 4 powders allow you to easily create the colour that suits your complexion and the season.

This product is an instant lift – I looked sunkissed every time I use it. Yes it’s pricey, but I’ve been using this one for 6 months now and it’s barely gone down.

Go on ladies, treat yourself… you won’t be disappointed!

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED ON MY NEW BLOG SEE IT 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!