I’ve been very naughty – I’ve been using this for nearly a YEAR without telling you about it. In fact, I’ve nearly finished the tube and I haven’t said a word. Let’s just say it’s a very rare thing for me to finish a foundation – I always switch them out for whatever new one I happen to be testing. But this one – I just keep going back to it.
The finish is perfect – it’s like a souped up tinted moisturizer. It melts into the skin, eradicating any redness or discoloration that you might have. It never looks masky and it has just the right amount of glow to look like – well, like nothing at all. Like Mother Nature really, really likes you.
I love the practical black tube which you can toss in your handbag or kit, and for a BB cream it comes in a decent range of shades – 9 in total. Like all BB foundations it covers the skin spectrum from alabaster to mahogany. (One of the many reasons I do love her range of makeup so).
I was super skeptical of BB creams when they first came out, which is why I was so late to that party – they seemed to me like a cynical rebranding of tinted moisturisers. I’m always a bit wary of new products that get released as there is a fair amount of Emperor’s New Clothes that goes into makeup. New! Shiny! Fantastic! Exactly like something that came out four years ago that we’re hoping you’ve forgotten about! Plus the first BB creams that I tried only came in about two colours – fantastic for the two people who happen to come in those shades! The rest of us? In the too hard basket.
That is, until I tried the Bobbi Brown BB Cream for a foundation article I was writing, and I was sold, hook line and sinker. These *MAY* even make it into my kit when I do a foundation reorganize. You never know your luck in the big city.
I’ve discovered the most delicious new nail polish collection, from the house of Balmain in Paris. I’ve been a fan of their clothes ever since Olivier Rousteing became the house designer in 2011. Three nailpolishes in all that I think are so
chic, so beautiful, so perfectly chosen – like everything at BeautyMart, who stock them, which if you haven’t heard is just about the hottest beauty destination in the world right now.
BeautyMart is the brainchild of Millie Kendall (yes, of Ruby and Millie fame – what a great beauty brand that was!) and Anna-Marie Solowij, who has been a beauty journalist for twenty years. Six of those years she was Beauty Director at Vogue, so she’s no slouch in knowing great makeup and skincare when she sees it. In short, these two know their stuff. So they pulled together all their favourite, fool-proof beauty products and created BeautyMart. It’s at Harvey Nicholls, in Shoreditch (bien sur), and now online. They stock all kinds of makeup and beauty deliciousness, cherry picking the best of Paul & Joe, Bourjois, TopShop, Revlon, Illamasqua, Homeoplasmine, Japonesque, Barry M, to name a few – I’m getting a bit breathless just typing it.
The Balmain Paris Nail Couture collection funnily enough fits with my perfect nail wardrobe, which has been classic red (Chanel Fire or Pirate), black (Chanel Black Satin), or nude (Essie Ballet Slippers) which I’ve been sporting pretty consistently for years. Plus it has a matte Top Coat to give your nails just the right finish. So here it is, in one gorgeous coffret, from the achingly cool and reinvigorated House of Balmain – the ultimate red, black and nude polish to take you wherever you need to go. Which in my case is going to be straight to BeautyMart, as soon as I land back in London.
I was thrilled to hear this week that Lara Stone, one of my favourite models, has been signed by L’Oreal. Following in the footsteps of Claudia Schiffer, Milla Jovovich and Laetitia Casta (along with a bevy of celebrities), Ms Stone with her fabulous gap toothed smile and one of the coolest editorial modelling careers on the planet is perfect to give an edge to the venerable French beauty house. Here’s her first video for the brand.
So today is a red letter day for me – or rather yesterday was. I wore eye makeup. Um, what the what? I hear you ask? That’s not exciting, that’s just normal. Well maybe for all you lucky people out there with well behaved eyeballs, but for me over the last two years due to an auto immune disease I haven’t been able to wear it. As in, at all. As in one swipe of mascara, or eyeliner, and my eye feels like someone is scratching it with ground glass, and I want to rip it out. So for the last two years I have patiently sucked it up, put on more blush, made my skin as radiant as possible (thank you, Bobbi Brown BB Cream), and ensured that my eyebrows were groomed to within an inch of their lives. Apart from the odd foray into red lipstick, that’s been it. And just FYI, I look like an egg without eye makeup (pale and blonde, even my eyelashes are fair).
Until yesterday! That’s right, I have finally found an eye makeup I can wear. So all you sensitive souls who struggle with chemical additives in makeup and skincare need to listen closely. Neal’s Yard. It’s an English organic line that started with skincare (all the way back in 1981 when anyone who was into natural products was considered to be a total beardy weirdy), and they now have a makeup line. All of their makeup has been created using the finest natural ingredients, and most of it is so pure you could quite literally, eat it without having ill effects. Kay Montano sent me some of their eye makeup to try when I explained my egg-faced predicament, and hallelujah! It works. I used their Cocoa and Wild Plum eyeshadows mixed together, smudged along my lashlines and applied it wet at the roots of my lashes to make a non-irritating eyeliner. No mascara (we’re not there yet baby), but let me tell you, that little bit of eyeshadow made me feel transformed. I had eyes! That you could see! That are actually quite blue when I put eyeliner on! And it felt life changing.
So thank you Neal’s Yard for your lovely, edible (OK not really but it’s very reassuring to know you almost could), wonderful makeup that even the most sensitive of eyes can wear. And thank you Sisley, for your gorgeous Eau Micellaire liquid which has currently booted my Bioderma Crealine off my bathroom shelf (never thought that would happen, EVER), and took off every skerrick of eye makeup, without any eye irritation whatsoever.
Thank you Kay, for thinking of me and, as always, being the ultimate beauty resource.
And thank you to makeup in general for reminding me of the power that a lick of colour, a few strokes of powder can wield. That eyeshadow did a lot more than just bring out my eyes – it raised my spirits and gave me hope there is life after autoimmune.
Super, SUPER excited at the up coming launch of ThandieKay, the new blog that is due to start soon.
Thandiekay.com is a collaboration between famous British actress, Thandie Newton, and her international makeup artist and longtime friend, Kay Montano. After meeting on a Vogue shoot in 2006 they have been fast friends ever since, and have come up with some truly beautiful red carpet moments together. When I was assisting Kay I met Thandie on a number of occasions and not only is she a divinely lovely person, she is whip smart, funny and very talented. And she still looks gorgeous without a scrap of makeup on!
Kay has over 25 years of makeup experience behind her, working with pretty much any star you can think of – Keira Knightley, Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lawrence, Rachel Weisz, Salma Hayek, to name a few, as well as serious editorial (I’ve lost count of her Vogue covers). As well as regular beauty fare I have a feeling that we can expect some pretty amazing posts on art, photography, fashion and life in general from these two, and I for one, can’t wait.
Can we just talk for a minute about how FREAKING amazing these eyeshadows are? Let’s. (This is a makeup blog after all).
I can’t fault these, I love everything about them. There are four generous eyeshadows in each compact, and each colour is gorgeous in it’s own right, as well as a beautiful mix together. The other thing I love is that they have a mix of shimmer and matte in each compact which is perfect as when building a beautiful eye, that’s exactly what you want – matte to create the architecture and the shape, and shimmer to make it all sizzle and pop.
The texture of the shimmer shadows is exceptional as well – they are very similar to the MyFace Blingtones (another MM fave, as long-time readers will know). The line was actually created in consultation with über-makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury who also consulted on the development of the MyFace line, so you can see her influence in the Tom Ford shadows.
On a side note, Charlotte is working on her own line at present which will be released in September. She has also got a fabulous new website with lots of videos and Tips and Tricks which you should definitely have a look at, www.charlottetilbury.com.
Here’s Charlotte using the Tom Ford Eyeshadow quads on lovely Laura Bailey.
The quads come in about 10 different and lovely combos, ranging from blues to purples to gorgeous burgundies and an amazing collection of browns and coppers. The hardest bit is choosing which one to buy next.
I also love the Tom Ford packaging as it’s super lightweight which is perfect for makeup artists. It’s all about what’s inside, not the packaging that counts!
Another winner from Mr Ford’s makeup line. You’ve got yourself a fan-girl, sir.
Tom Ford is available from David Jones in Australia, Neiman Marcus in the US and Selfridges in the UK.
I call this wonder product “time in a can”. I’ve blogged before about how “special” my hair is (Read – needs hours of blowdrying to not look like Worzel Gummidge’s sister), so anything I can find to make the annoying and time consuming task of taming my barnet easier is a bonafide secret weapon in my books. And I’m constantly amazed by how many people don’t use dry shampoo, or even know it exists. For me it’s right up there with oxygen – a necessity for sustaining life itself.
I first came across it years ago on a shoot and seen it many hairdressers’ kits since. Dry shampoo basically soaks up any oil on your scalp and gives a denseness to the hair shafts, making lank hair look healthy again, and keeping a blowdry going for a good 4-5 days. You just spray it in your hair at the roots, shake it out and go. No torturous hairwashing and blowdrying required (and if you had my hair, you would know it is torture.)
I’ve tried lots of dry shampoos but I keep coming back to Batiste as it’s so effective and best of all it’s CHEAP. Not as cheap in Australia as the UK (which does make me feel gruff when I think about it, but it’s still a good deal cheaper than Klorane or Bumble and Bumble). And cheap is good when you use it 365 days a year. It gives the hair a heft as well which makes it perfect for styling (and why it is so beloved by hairdressers).
One warning – the standard Batiste is definitely better for blondes as the white of the powder can look ashy on some darker hair tones. However Batiste do a darker version for darker hair colours (which I always keep in my hair kit, as well as the standard one). Bumble & Bumble also make a range of dry shampoos for all hair tones including redheads, but that will set you back considerably more than the Batiste.
And best of all at the moment is that the new flavor is out, Cherry. I’ve always been a sucker for Cherry products (for eating, cooking, wearing – and did I mention eating?) and this one is no exception. The scent isn’t overpowering either which is important for me given that most scents make me feel sick (a weird thing which started happening when I was pregnant years ago, and very annoyingly has never gone away.)
It makes me feel like Spring is in the air!