Category Archives: Bag it or Bin it?

Bin It – Chantecaille Total Concealer

Chantecaille Total ConcealerOh how it pains me to write a negative review about Chantecaille – there are so many great products in their lovely, plant based botanical range – but this ain’t one of them.

I have tried this concealer quite a few times because I do so want to like it – their Future Skin foundation is one of my all-time favourites – but every time it’s just one big disappointment. I’ve tried it on a few jobs, and at home on myself, to no avail.

It’s a thick cream which I paint on with a small brush (as I do with all my concealers), and it doesn’t sheer out properly – it sits on the area you’re trying to conceal like concrete spackle. To be fair, it is a full coverage concealer and I know there is a market for this type of product, however it’s a bit hardcore to my tastes. With a bit more blending it improves, but it sort of clings to the under eye area, making it look powdery, cakey and dry – not cute! You know those pictures of celebrities you see every once in awhile when they look like a deer caught in the headlights, their under eyes flashing like radioactive fallout due to over-zealous concealer application? This is what I’m talking about. Even worse, it disappears after a couple of hours, leaving a pale, powdery residue on a hitherto corrected but now obviously UN-corrected dark circle. Great. Thanks.

They have another concealer called Bio-Lift Concealer which is supposed to be amazing, so I’ll need to give it a go soon in order to recover from the shock of a Chantecaille product I don’t like – really, it’s quite disturbing. I love their skincare, foundations, brushes and blushes – even their eyebrow pencils are pretty good. But the Total Concealer? Not so much.


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!

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!

Bin It – Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof (but keep the brush)

Maybelline Lash Discovery WaterproofIn my ongoing quest to discover the ultimate waterproof mascara I did a raid on Walmart yesterday. It was a smash and grab affair of L’Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon, (and it has to be confessed, two li-los for the pool WITH cup dispensers, God Bless America!). But yesterday’s poolside experiment was less than successful.

Maybelline Lash Discovery has one of the ace-est brushes ever – it’s a shrunken wand that allows you to get to every single little lash, including the bottom lashes that can be fiddly with a regular brush (and if you can do that with the outsized monster brush of Diorshow mascara, more power to you because you’re more woman than I am!)

And for the bottom lashes it’s great to have waterproof mascara as this is where you tend to get smudging, from oils and eye blinking. However, if this is the mascara you’re wearing underwater you are in big trouble as it smudges. Not massively, but enough to look like an under-eye shadow that on me looks like a giant puffy eye bag, not dissimilar to a Krispy Kreme donut (something else I have been enjoying whilst in America. Mmm, donuts). However, not something I want on my face. So for me I’m going to keep the brush, but for the mascara it’s Bin It!

Bin It: Mineral Powders. All of them.

Mineral PowdersMineral makeup, mineral makeup – it’s everywhere, and it’s being sold to consumers as the be-all and end-all of your skin and foundation woes. You would have to have been living under a rock (and then slathering it all over your face with a Kabuki brush) to miss out on this hot new trend.

Um, I just don’t get it. And it’s been explained to me a million times. It sounds like something dreamt up by a Scientologist, but when you buy into the craziness, also like it’s so weird that it COULD just be the greatest thing ever: Pure ground up rocks get buffed onto your face with a brush, all over, in a circular motion, and the more you buff the shinier it is and hence! The more like skin it becomes. So technically you end up with a face of perfect-looking skin. Problem is, what it actually looks like is a big old face of buffed-in shiny powder foundation, laid on with a trowel.

I’ll tell you what looks like skin – skin! Real skin, your skin, on its own. So if you have pimples or under eye bags, or pigmentation or rosacea, why not deal with those problem areas with a good concealer and a concealer brush, instead of covering all your beautiful skin with a faceful of grey sludge?

OK, I know people who love it, and they say it’s changed their life and that’s wonderful when makeup makes you feel good, but personally I just don’t get it. Apparently, it’s so natural you could sleep in it. Why on earth would you want to sleep in your makeup? The thought of having a layer of stuff on my face (even if it is a bunch of hypoallergenic crushed up rocks) whilst I’m sleeping makes me feel icky. The only time that should be happening is when you’re passed out and can’t find your face wipes after too much Wine Time!

It’s the biggest selling foundation in America, and one of the major brands even has a tour bus that travels the States, preaching to the unconverted about the wonders of shiny mineral makeup face.  So I know I’m probably going to get some flack for this post. Most major brands now have something mineral in their lines, including Prescriptives, MAC, Maybelline, Revlon, Clinique, L’Oreal, Laura Mercier, Lancôme, Dior and the originals which are Bare Escentuals and Bare Minerals.

I do know that its quick and easy application method is alluring for some, and certainly if you feel like you need to cover a lot of problem areas quickly, it could seem like a gift from the gods. Plus the fact that it doesn’t have a lot of the nasty chemicals that some of the conventional cosmetic brands do is positive. But as one of my clients with sensitive skin yesterday told me after she had been on (and off) the mineral makeup train, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it won’t make you break out! Like anything with foundation and skincare it’s educated guesses and trial and error to find what works for you. So if that’s mineral makeup, you go girl! But for me, it’s heading to the big storage unit in the sky.


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!