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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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.

Eau de Princess

Want to smell like a Princess?

Apparently Miss Middleton’s scent of choice for her big day was White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum, a little-known British brand.

The scent is described as ‘fragrant as a vase of white flowers quivering in the breeze by an open window, this is a delicate and nuanced scent.’ Umm, sounds nice BUT doesn’t the bottle look extremely masculine, I’d expect to see it on William’s bedside table, not Kate’s.

Available at Harrods £70 for a 50ml bottle.  Get in quick, they’ll fly off the shelves now.

Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding Make-Up

Or should that be Kate Windsor?

Well the wedding’s almost over (sobs) but worry not, we still have the dress, the hair and the make up to obsess about.

Staying true to her “commoner” roots, Kate decided to do her own make up on the day. It was a brave and commendable decision, but with 2 billion eyes watching me and a queue of celebrity make up artists clambering for the job, I’m not sure I would have turned down a helping hand. So how did she do?

Now before I upset anyone, I’ll start by saying the girl’s gorgeous and would have looked amazing in a bin bag. The dress was stunning and the hair, in my opinion, was just right – classy, feminine and understated, and that Cartier tiara was to die for BUT I was a tad disappointed by the make up.

Well actually, just the eyes. For bridal make up, I thought they were a touch too dark. Many make up artists won’t use eyeliner on brides, or bridemaids for that matter. It can shrink the eyes, especially when applied to the bottom lash line, and look severe. Fortunately the rest of the look, like Kate, was pretty and feminine. She has apparently been taking make up lessons from Arabella Preston before the wedding.

Here’s how to get the look.

Skin

Natural and simple, I applaud Kate not for overdoing the tan, like sister and maid of honour Pippa. Create a flawless base with a sheer foundation or tinted moisturiser, I’d suggest a mineral based foundation for a natural glow. Set with a subtle dusting of powder. For the cheeks, choose a rosy pink powder blush to create a flushed look, blending from the apple of the cheek up to the hairline. Kate was spotted stocking up on Bobbi Brown products the week before the wedding.

Eyes

Kate opted for a  smokey eye, slightly heavy on the liner. Start with a neutral base colour all over the lids, then sweep a smokey brown along, and below the socket line. Line the upper and lower lash line with a black kohl pencil (for a less dramatic look try brown or grey) and finish with a natural and glossy mascara. Rumour has it Kate used Lancome’s Hypnose, which I LOVE and it great for creating Volume, and for me, is more of an evening mascara.

Brows

The eyebrows look darkened. To create the look, first comb them in to place with an eyebrow brush, then fill in any gaps with a dark brown pencil or brown powder. Something like Benefit’s Brow zings would work a treat.

Lips

Lips were kept simple, allowing her natural smile to shine through. Complete the look with a nude/pinky gloss.

Nails

Apparently manicurist Marina Sandova, from the Jo Hansford salon, popped into Clarence House yesterday to give her a classic nude manicure using Bourjois Rose Lounge, £5.99, topped with a subtle shimmer in Essie’s Allure, £9.95.

Overall, a job well done. Now I just can’t wait to see the evening outfit,and make up of course.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Kate’s look.

Nail Polish fit for a (future) King… The Royal Collection from Nails Inc

Forget buffets and bunting, to be prepared for the Royal Wedding, all you need are regal nails.

I must admit I wasn’t that excited when Kate and Willy announced their engagement, no more excited than I would be about any other couple in the public eye announcing their impending nuptuals. I didn’t feel the need to rush out and buy a copy of Kate’s blue dress or tacky wedding memorabila from Collectables. However, with an additional public holiday and a new kick ass Royal Wedding inspired nail polish collection from Nails Inc, I’m slowly getting on board (fickle I know).

 To celebrate the Royal wedding in their own unique way, Nails Inc have launched an amazing limited edition range.

The elegant ‘Kate’ Sapphire crystal nail polish. £15

Inspired by Kate’s engagement ring, this beautiful sapphire crystal cap is a must have for your dressing table!

But not to be outdone by his future queen, there’s The ‘Will’ Union Jack crystal nail polish £15

An eternally classic shade with the coolest, glitziest cap ever, Royal and Wonderfully British

Or for the full regal look…

Royal collection, £25

4 limited edition glossy nail polishes to nail the regal look.

So on April 29th, I plan to enjoy the day off, watch the wedding on TV and raise a bottle in their honour, of polish that is.

Available online and in store now.