Category Archives: Bag it!

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica

In my line of work, I get to try a LOT of skincare. Some good, some OK, some breaks me out. Some goes in my kit, some goes next to my bed, some goes in my makeup bag and some goes in a drawer for a rainy day.

This is my winter skin savior this year. I get super-dry and even (dare I say it) a bit flakey when it’s really cold. Kiehl’s new Rosa Arctica cream has been my base for makeup for myself all winter long. It’s really thick and creamy – and if you have dry skin you know how key that is.

It’s made with Haberlea Rhodopensis, which is also known as Resurrection Flower and it grows in extremely dry conditions. As it is able to survive 31 months without hydration, it was this hardiness and its regenerative properties that intrigued Kiehl’s and encouraged them to look more closely at the properties of this unique flower. When proper hydration is restored, it returns to life within hours. The nutrients responsible for the regeneration of this flower are enriched the Rosa Arctica cream. All I can tell you is it works!

You have to sort of push it into the skin, but once you get it in there, it’s intense hydration. And the hydration stays all day, which you don’t get with a lot of skincare. It also gives the skin this amazing glow – I don’t know how as there’s no luminisoity in the cream itself, but it must be the power of those arctic flowers!

www.kiehls.com.au – www.kiehls.co.uk

Bag It: NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara

NARS Larger than Life Volumizing MascaraWay back in the mists of time I wrote one of my first posts for MM, and it was telling the world how crap I thought NARS’ old mascara was. (There was also something about Huey Lewis and the News in there, but Lord knows what that has to do with mascara, crap or otherwise).

However I am thrilled to report that after extensive testing, NARS new Larger than Life Volumizing mascara is proving itself to be a winner. The brush is a bit bigger than normal but not jumbo oversized like Diorshow mascara or Benefit’s Bad Girl Lash, and the main thing I like about it is that it doesn’t get goopy or overload the lash. Thus you can build a few coats with it still looking lovely and fluffy, and it really is quite volumizing.

One thing I would say is that sucker is staying on once it’s on! Make sure you have a good remover because it has the staying properties of a waterproof mazzie, without the crunchiness – which if you live in a hot climate or like a badass, long last mascara, this is for you.

In the mascara stakes Monsieur NARS, you have well and truly redeemed yourself.

BAG IT!

Bag It: Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

Cameron Diaz makeup by Gucci WestmanThese are my new eyeliner discovery, and they are fab. Super-creamy, long-wearing and they come in a great range of shades (8 in total). I thought I had all the pencils I needed, but it turns out, I was wrong. It turns out, you can never have too many pencils! What a relief.

I only have two of them at the moment but it won’t be long before I add more – I find the way they smudge yet stay colour true is more like the performance of one of the high end brands. It’s not very often that I make the foray from the department store to the drugstore, but for Revlon I’m starting to make an exception.

I have to confess to being more and more impressed with Revlon. Last year they took on Gucci Westman (NY makeup artist extraordinaire who racks up Vogue and W covers just as easily as red carpet clients, including Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore), and ever since Gucci’s been on board – well their makeup looks fresh again. I’m impressed by the pigments and colours not just on the eyeliners but also the concealers, lipsticks, nail polishes, cream blushes and eyeshadows, and their brushes are fabulous, although they can be hard to find.

Last summer I worked on a Revlon commercial in London with Kay Montano who was making up the ever-amazing Elle McPherson, and I got the chance to try a lot of the products then. It’s an impressive drugstore offering, certainly my favourite across the board of the ranges in a lower price point. Their advertising campaigns have kicked up a notch as well with their recent signing of beautiful actresses Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba, and it feels like again you can say “The Most Unforgettable Women in the World Wear Revlon.”

Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

Bag It: Le Métier de Beauté Classic Flawless Finish Loose Powder

This is another new(ish) brand to the market place, and what I’ve tried from the range I find exceptionally high quality. The standout favourite for me has to be the Loose Powder though, as it’s super finely milled, lightweight, and cuts shine without adding surface texture (for powder nerds, you will know this is no easy task!)

The container is a jumbo-sized sifter, and unless you have a face like the Exxon-Valdez, it should last you years. The brand itself was created by a duo with an extensive background in the beauty and fashion industries, from the ethos that only the highest grade ingredients and the newest, best technology from around the world would be applied to each product – an interesting idea and one that so far the brand has lived up to.

The founders of Le Métier de Beauté discovered a lab with a research chemist that produced cosmetics of exceptionally high quality, and together they researched the globe for more chemists to match this high standard, in order to produce the best of every type of cosmetic. Their products are created wherever the best labs and factories happen to be – so far over twenty worldwide. Each product is produced in small batches to ensure that the quality is of the highest level, and they then field research it with makeup artists, beauty editors and other industry experts to ensure that it meets the most stringent demands. No wonder I like this powder so much!

The powder is paraben, talc, and oil-free and has been triple-milled, so it goes on super-fine but keeps the skin matte yet fresh looking. Up until now if I wanted to really mattify the skin I used Shu Uemura Matte loose powder, but now I’ve switched to Le Metier.

Rumour has it that Le Métier de Beauté will be collaborating with design duo Marchesa (whose makeup I had the pleasure of touching up at the last Fashion Rocks in London, and if the line is anywhere as gorgeous as she is, we’re all in luck!)

The only thing I don’t like about it is the color selection which I don’t think goes deep enough – as you know I like powders that cater to all skintones, and this range could do with a number four in it’s range of three colors. However sometimes products can surprise you, so I’m going to slip the darkest color into my kit for London Fashion Week and see how it fares.

So it’s BAG IT!

Bag It – Nude Age Defense Moisturiser

Nude Age Defense MoisturiserI have to admit to being a bit of a sucker for organic skincare – I like the advantages it has over its chemical counterparts and the general organic ethos of being kind to the planet whilst we’re kind to ourselves (and what’s more beautiful than that?)

Nude Skincare is one of the original players in this new and burgeoning market – they have an extensive range of pre and probiotic plant based botanical products, and the Age Defense Moisturiser is the one that has crept into my kit, replacing my old faithful Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser.

I love the Age Defense because it leaves skin soft but not slippery, providing quite a nice matte base for makeup. It has orchid and the new wonder oil, argan to reduce wrinkles (not that any of my clients have those!), and hyaluronic acid keeps water in the skin where it belongs. And best of all it does it without parabens, sulphates or mineral oils, so none of the usual skincare nasties. I also love it because it is carbon neutral, ethically responsible with the ingredients it uses, and doesn’t test on animals (and with the recent surge in laboratory experiments on animals, this is increasingly becoming a concern of mine – there’s nothing uglier than unnecessary suffering).

The smell at first is a little earthy for those of us used to all the chemical stuff coming out of the lab, but actually now I’ve been using it for awhile I quite like it. And once you try organic skincare, I promise, you’ll be hooked. Kay is a huge advocate of it, regularly using the lip balm on her celeb clientele, and silkening Claudia Schiffer’s famous and endless legs in the Body Moisturiser. It just might be going on my wish-list for Santa this year – after all it is October, and I have been good!

Nude Age Defense Moisturiser – BAG IT!

www.nudeskincare.com

Bag It – Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Concealer

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place ConcealerI’m quite a recent convert to liquid concealers, and the Estee Lauder Double Wear is the reason for the change. Normally I’m a die-hard cream concealer fan, but this gives great coverage in a thin liquid that really does stay all day.

All the Estee Lauder Double Wear products (and there are now quite a few as they keep expanding the range) really are quite frankly, bullet proof.  The concealer is best for under eye areas as I find it’s liquid-y slip is perfect for covering dark circles, but probably not what I would reach for first for a blemish (that particular prize would go to either Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage or Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer).

As part of my ongoing commitment to hardcore summer testing processes, I even took this concealer into the pool yesterday (and underwater) and there was still some kindly erasing my dark circles after an afternoon swim. That’s how long lasting it is!

If you’re not one of those ladies who likes to constantly be reapplying her makeup – let’s face it, who is? Even I’m keener on the application than the re-application process, and that’s my job. So anything that means less touch-ups is a winner in my book. Bag It!

Bag It: Dior Beige Massai

Dior Beige MassaiThis is officially my favourite eyeshadow set at the moment, and it’s been in my kit so long that it’s the old enamel blue and black stripes (and that’s old! I think I bought it pre-2000) and it’s still getting cracked out on a regular basis.

Why so good? Well it has the perfect nutmeg brown for starters, which has a slight bit of shimmer but only a touch (the other four shadows are matte). It has a cream, which I never use but hey at least it’s there if I ever need to do – well, a cream color, a gorgeous matte peach which has just the right amount of blue to it, not too coppery, an almost wine color which is lovely on blue and green eyes mixed with the brown, and my other fave, a mustard-y camel color which is just the wrong shade of tan to be oh so right.

They’re gorgeous mixed together or used separately but they are a kit staple, so for me it’s BAG IT!

Bag It: NARS Velvet Matte Pencils

Oooh, baby, where do I start? Honestly these are the best thing to pass your lips since chocolate was invented, and if you’re a lippie spastic (come on, be honest, I think lots of people are), it’s pretty much foolproof.

The chubby Crayola-like stick takes me back to my stationery collecting days at school (yes, before I collected makeup I obsessively collected stationery – am I sensing a trend?) And it’s totally Collect ‘Em All!Nars-Velvet-Matte-Pencils

Basically it’s a cross between a lipstick and a pencil, and like it says on the box, it’s truly MATTE. I’ve been into matte lips and over gloss for quite some time, so these are a timely edition to any makeup bag. However if a glossy lip is your thing, you can add your gloss of choice over the top and you have a perfect lacquered lip.

The deep reds are amazing and the orange-y one, Red Square, is this weird off color that is great for shooting editorial because it’s so strange, and the pencil glides over your lips to impart deep, rich matte color. I can’t think of a single color that I don’t like in this range, and I have about 8 (so far!) in my kit. The fleshy beige of Belle de Jour, the perfect mauve of Sex Machine, the warm browns of Bettina and Tortola which are so right for a natural lip, and the pink perfection of Roman Holiday are all staples in my kit. No more excuses for bodgy lip outlines and thin, anemic looking color coverage! Importantly, for our makeup artist friends out there they are light, portable and take up no space, which is relevant when your kit is making Bungalow 8 on a Saturday night look empty.

Its easy pencil application means that you don’t need to fiddle with a lipbrush and a multiple layers of lipstick to get the right depth of color and a perfect line. Get thee to a NARS counter immediately and

Bag It!