Category Archives: Favourites

The Mole Patrol – Five Top Faves

Chanel - Le VernisMAC lipstickChanel Vendetta nail polish
Superstar manicurist Sophy Robson put me on to this one, and it is indeed a winner. Deep, shimmering sparkles in a purple black base are making me dream of cold winter nights. Chanel does it again!

Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow in Galaxy
Just this side of gunmetal, it’s lovely on it’s own tucked at the lash line with a black pencil, or as a base for winter’s opulent shades of grey – the new take on the smoky eye.

Revlon brushes
What a revelation these are! Perfect sizes, great for blending and super soft bristles. Usually I’m not a drugstore makeup girl, but these brushes leave some of their much pricier counterparts in the shade. The foundation brush is excellent, as are the blush and powder brushes.

MAC lipstick in Underworld
Proper old skool 90’s red brown, the color of the season. Just this side of brick red – so wrong, it’s right!

Chantecaille Flower Infused Cleansing Milk
Gentle, aromatic, flower infused and a perfect transition for your skin into the cooler months.

Best. Waterproof. Mascara. Ever. (at least for this week)

Cover Girl Waterproof MascaraCover Girl Volume Exact in Black

The fact that I’ve been kicking back and tanning, swimming in the pool and sipping frozen margaritas, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m on holidays. But I assure you that it’s a cover (a deep cover) for my real purpose, which is bringing you the best of American beauty – including finding the world’s best waterproof mascara.

I’ve been relentlessly testing, through sunscreen applications, evening cook-outs and trips to Austin’s Barton Springs in 45 degree heat, and this is the one that’s held up – Cover Girl’s Maximum Volume Waterproof Mascara.

It’s got a pliable rubber brush that gets to the base of every lash, and so far even with multiple coats it doesn’t create the dreaded Stick Lash.

And let’s be clear – this is no lightweight testing process. We’re talking underwater breastroke, twice-daily dips and margarita fuelled poolside frolics, and always, always I have smudge proof, splash-proof, sweet and fluffy lashes. Meaning I don’t have to look like an egg (my natural state without mascara), even though I’m poolside.

I’ll be continuing my stringent testing methods all this week and next, and there are a quite a few more things on my list, so I’ll keep you posted on what other little makeup gems I find. Sadly for my UK readers they will probably be mainly US products, since I plan to take full advantage of what’s on offer in the nirvana of the American drugstore. But if you do find something you really like, you can always buy it on as they now ship overseas. Which is dangerous. Not as dangerous as my mascara testing, but someone’s gotta do it!

Summer Lovin’: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

Or “Tranny powder”, as I like to call it, but unless you’re Jodie Harsh you probably shouldn’t follow in my footsteps.

When it’s as hot as London has been this summer, something everybody needs is a good translucent powder, and I’ve been using Laura Mercier’s for oh, about 9 years now. I’ve used it on beach shoots in Sydney , CEOs in the States, and sweaty models in the banlieues of Paris, and even in the hottest conditions it’s stood the sticky potato-face test without looking cakey, floury or as if you’re auditioning for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

Its finely milled French cashmere talc absorbs oil and stops shine without looking over-done, which is understandable when you know its creator – Laura Mercier is one of the greatest session makeup artists ever and a personal fave of mine. Her extensive and lovely line of makeup was created with both makeup artists and consumers in mind, which is why it turns up in both handbags and professional kits alike. And why, dear readers, I use it for work, (and for my sometimes sweaty self), and you can confidently use it on yourselves in these hot summer months!

The secret (like most things) is in the application. Puffs and sponges will deposit too much powder, and I’m not a fan of the big brush either – too 90’s. You aren’t seeking to eradicate your face with powder, just to set your makeup and to dust off shine. So using a small brush (I like Ruby and Millie’s 10mm, available at Boots), just take it over your t-zone – forehead, nose and chin, and what Gisele accurately but un-charmingly calls the “bulldog creases” for those lines that run from nose to chin. (Then again, only Gisele could call them that as there is nothing bulldog about that girl!)

The cheeks are left au naturel as a little bit of shine here is what pulls the look together and makes it modern (if you want to make yourself look 1000 years old, powder all over, I dare you!)

A note for our darker skinned ladies – translucent powder always bills itself as powder that looks good on every skin tone, but on darker skins it can look ashy. Better picks for you are Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder in Basic Brown or Golden Orange, which Kay Montano has used on Salma Hayek in the desert and swears it doesn’t over-build or get cakey, no matter how much you use it.

Because even when it’s hot it’s about the glow (not the sweaty potato face).

Summer Lovin’: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge Calypso Coral

Bobbi Brown Pot RougeGet the steel band going and pour me some Jamaican rum, ‘cause I’m feeling like a dreadlock holiday…
Well it’s more like Sainsbury’s in Putney, but when I dab on a little bit of Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral I can at least imagine that those waving palm trees and daquiris poolside are on their way (even though it could be a while).
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge is a great, dense cream blush for cheeks and lips that I have (and love) in my kit in Summer Tan, Milk Chocolate, Pale Pink and now Calypso Coral. Just dab on with fingers for the kind of believable blush that makes you look and feel like you’re just back from holidays (even if the closest thing you have to a holiday right now is reading Grazia with a packet of crisps in the park).

Summer Lovin’: Chantecaille Future Skin

Chantecaille Future SkinWhen the weather warms up in a capital city like New York or London, there’s lots to think about – like am I going to asphyxiate under someone’s armpit on the Tube/subway during my commute to work? Have I got time to shave and fake tan my legs before I go out so people don’t think a hairy celery stick is walking down the road if I wear a skirt? Will my massive man-hole sunglasses from last year be acceptable this season, or do they make me look like a tragic Victoria Beckham wanna-be?

What you don’t want to be worrying about is “will my foundation turn into a soupy mess with the heat?” Enter my new favourite for summer, Chantecaille Future Skin.

Chantecaille is a lovely brand created by a French mother and daughter team (unsurprisingly their surname is “Chantecaille”) which is based on plant botanicals. Their skincare is gorgeous as are their blushes, both cream and powder, but they are on the more expensive side of things (as in, ask the price before you pay as you may pass out at the till). However their products are divine and last ages, so it’s up to you whether you’re scrimping or saving on foundation – for me it’s always an item worth spending on, as glowing gorgeous looking skin really is the base of your beauty.

Future Skin is a lovely rich foundation that provides good coverage but as it is gel based and oil free it never looks heavy, even in bright sunlight. For the foundation boffins out there apparently it has 60% charged water (whatever that is), seaweed extracts, and light-reflective pigments to ease flaws. Great, I’m there!

I apply it with a foundation brush (an Armani one to be exact, which I’m loving) and simply applying it to any red areas and patting in with my fingers. It takes five minutes and it stays all day, giving you a lovely glow that has more to do with good genes than heat induced sweatiness. And what I like most? It looks like your skin, only better.

Major LA makeup artist Patti Dubroff loves it and uses it on all her A-list clientele (and if it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Kate Bosworth, it’s good enough for me!) One drawback– it’s better for our fairer skin sisters as although it comes in 8 shades, it’s definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum. In an upcoming post I’ll be looking at the best foundations for women of color. So hold on to your makeup sponges girls! There’s lots more makeup fun to come.

Chantecaille Future Skin is available at Space N.K in the UK and Neiman Marcus in the US.

Summer Lovin’: Becca Watermelon Beach Tint

picture-1Well the plan on holidays was that I’d test lots of waterproof makeup, but given that I didn’t swim due to the unheated-ness of our villa’s swimming pool, it was a little difficult. What I did test at the beach and fall in love with on those hot (almost summer) days, was Becca Beach Tint.

 This is a fabulous rose colored waterproof gel that gives the perfect flush of health. It glides over your sunscreen (‘cause you are wearing sunscreen every day aren’t you?) and did last the distance for a whole day at the beach, even through a rather sweat inducing game of Frisbee. I am a fair skinned blonde so it’s perfect on me, and I think would be gorgeous on more olive-y or even black skintones also– no ashiness here. It’s also beyond gorge as a lipstain.

 Although, like all makeup goodness that I love it always seems to find its way into The Kit, so I will be able to update you in future on how it fares at work.