Tom Ford has been at it again, creating high glamour, super sexy products that make you want to Collect Them All. It might take you awhile though with his latest lipstick collection called Lips and Boys – which features 50 (50!!) miniature lipsticks in a dazzling array of colours. From violets to perfect nudes, golden metallics to classic reds this collection has literally any colour that a girl could want. And why boys? Well they’re named after men that have inspired Tom Ford in his life, which is super-cute I have to say. And about the only reason I would wear a lipstick called Collin.
I think by now you might have figured out that I am not a drugstore gal. Of course there’s always some stuff there that’s worth checking out (like mascaras, and lipsticks, and the odd nail polish). Although there are loads of good drugstore products – with the economic heft of global cosmetic giants like Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal they’re always going to be on top of the new technology,
so lots of their stuff is great now. And if you let me loose in a French pharmacy, well that’s a different thing entirely. I’m practically in there with a bulldozer, ripping up Crealine and Embryolisse and Honeoplasmine, not to mention Evian and Avene Water and La Roche Posay everything. (Get your hard hats on boys, she’s coming in!)
But drugstores in Australia, not so much. Do you want to know why?
Because Australian drugstores have missed the memo on why people shop there, and that reason is price. It’s supposed to be cheap fellas. Mascaras in Australian pharmacies cost $27 (L’Oreal), Revlon eyeshadow quads are $25, Max Factor lipgloss is $20. I know all my US readers are passing out right about now – products cost about 4-5 times more in Australia than in America. For the exact same thing. So you know what? I often figure I’d rather spend the extra amount and get a premium product for a bit more (OK quite a bit more – Chanel quads are about $100. But it’s like, you know, Chanel. HELLO.)
So the other day when I checked out Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Glow, needing a new lip balm with SPF for my poor model who was going to fry the following day at the beach on a 31 degree day beach shoot, I was very pleasantly surprised. The price was right ($3.60 – jeez, I can’t even get a coffee for that these days in Sydney), and the product was a surprisingly good dupe for Dior’s Lip Glow, which is currently on my wish list as it’s just a gorgeous rose hued lip balm. And I think we all know YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OF THOSE.
So in my kit it went and it kept my lovely model’s lips moisturized and sun protected and with just the perfect amount of twinkly sheen, all day long. So the next time you want a coffee, get a Baby Lips lip balm instead. It will last a whole lot longer than that caffeine.
So I’ve been prepping for not one but three big beauty stories lately which has been a good chance to give my kit a clear out to get some new season colour in there.
I have to confess that I love having a good re-organise as nothing feels better than a fresh, clean kit, and you can always find a way to tighten up and improve your general organization. A kit tune-up is my idea of a good time!
I’m rotating out of my winter products and putting in spring/summer ones – shooting spring stories for Australia means more colour and beautiful lighter textures are going in.
This season I’m getting back into gloss after quite the hiatus from it – probably a legacy of a complete overdose on the stuff a few years ago. As in, I was buried in it. In my defence, at the time we were all channeling goopy-lipped vixens so I got a lot of use out of them – then not so much the past couple of years. But now I’m feeling it again.
Since I’m still loving bold strong lip colours at the moment, I’m reaching for Illamasqua’s Intense Lip Glosses to add an element of shine to a statement lip. I’ll be carrying Mistress (bright coral orange) and Indulge, a ridiculously bright fuchsia, and since wine lips are no longer just for winter, I’m carrying the sinfully rich Hermetic. I love Illamasqua’s lip glosses because they are pigment rich, high-shine and really do what you want – which is take a bold lip over the top, somewhere over the rainbow.
OMG OMG OMG, yum yum yum. That’s what I have to say about Revlon’s two newest lip offerings, Color Burst Matte Balm and ColorBurst Lacquer Balm.
These are delicious jumbo lip crayons that are so quick and simple and come in a great range of colours, and you can so easily toss them in your handbag (like I have – I currently have about 4 of them in mine). Plus the Matte Balms in particular will be going in my kit as they provide a phenomenal base for a statement lip.
Let’s talk about the Matte Balms first. I have to confess that these are my favourite. They have great pigmentation yet feel very light on the lips, and they’re creamy and a cinch to apply. They have a wind-up bottom for when you need more of that good stuff, and they’re also fantastic just as stain. I would recommend putting a lip balm underneath as they are matte, so if you have dry lips you might find them a bit drying. I also love that they contain natural emollients such as Shea butter, Mango and Coconut butter, (much nicer than putting petroleum on your lips – isn’t that a gross thought?)
There are ten shades to choose from with lots of yummy brights which a) makes me happy and b) is perfect for my kit as I’ve been getting bored with some of my old bright lip colours lately. I have discovered that if you were that way inclined, you could even layer the Matte Balm with the Lacquer on top for a real full-finish lipstick. Be warned though, they do have a minty smell and taste. I prefer my lip products unscented and taste-free, but even I can handle it, and I’m quite picky on such things. They’re so great they’re worth it. (Ooops, I think I stole someone’s slogan!)
I’m particularly enamoured of the Matte Balm in Mischevious which is a lovely coral colour, Standout which is a deep raisin-berry and (let me dig in my handbag for the ones I’m carting around) and Unapologetic which is a bright raspberry. The nude in Complex looks quite interesting as well, so that needs to go in my kit too. For deeper skin tones there’s an incredible grape colour called Shameless, which will also be fabulous for editorial shoots. I’m kind of obsessed with this one. In. It. Goes.
Then the ColorBurst Lacquer Balms are also gorgeous with more of a sheer glossy finish. The Lacquer Balms have some beautiful pink colours with the bright fuchsia tones of Vivacious and Flirtatious (these really made me think of Revlon’s spokesmodel Emma Stone who stars in the ad campaign), and Coquette, a sweet blue-based baby pink, which is one of the personal ones I have kicking around in my handbag.
Both the Matte and the Lacquer Balms have buildable colour so you can go quite sheer or build it up and layer it with other products (I’m a natural born layer-er-er – yes I know that’s not a word, but it should be!) so if you’re looking for me, I’ll be busy in my lip kit.
How cute is this exclusive Lulu Guinness bag for the Great Ormond St Hospital Children’s charity? Lulu Guinness has partnered with Clinique to raise money for the Kiss It Better charity (which was set up by Carmel Allen for children with cancer), and has created 10 of her ‘Izzy’ satchels in a Limited Edition pink that retails for £550, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity. Each purse is hand signed by Lulu, making it a real collector’s item, and it also contains ALL of the Clinique Chubby Sticks, which I’m a little bit obsessed with at present.
I’ve been a huge fan of Lulu Guinness and her beautiful purses and accessories for ages, and I had the pleasure of doing her makeup in London for an event a few years ago. Let me tell you, this is a lady who knows red lipstick! She’s a fabulous woman and I’m not surprised she’s involved with such a great charity.
So if you like beautiful handbags, Clinique Chubby Sticks (AND WHO DOESN’T?) and helping sick children in need, consider buying yourself a belated Christmas present. Available exclusively from the Clinique website for the month of February. Be quick, as I know these won’t last long.
I’m currently obsessing over orange. Lipstick, to be precise, although I am partial to a good orange eyeshadow (or blush for that matter) on occasion too.
Flicking through the new Paris Vogue I saw this gorgeous image from a beauty shoot with Diane Kendal (who I love, love, love) and shot by David Sims. Dripping with gloss, as orange as a tangerine or a Mexican sunset it’s sexy, 70’s and like a modern spin on Guy Bourdin – another hot reference point this season.
So I’ve been beefing up my orange selection of shades in my kit in hopes of busting out a few titian tones on shoots early in the New Year (bring that on, is all I can say).
- MAC Morange – ah, such an old faithful. If I could only carry one orange, it would be this one.
- Illamasqua Flare – Lighter than Morange, but still a neon bright burst of citrusy goodness
- MAC Vegas Volt – I love the off-ness of this colour and have used it on an early 60’s inspired Marilyn Monroe shoot for its sick Technicolour properties.
- Revlon Carnival Super Lustrous Lipstick – Quoted as “Neon orange bitch lips” in the press (which if that isn’t a name to make you run out and purchase, I don’t know what is), this is the lip that Gucci Westman created for the Rag and Bone Spring/Summer 2014 runway show. Mix Mischevious Matte Balm, which will be out in January, and the yet to be released Carnival and you’ll be good to go do what Neon Bitches do.
- MAC Orange Lip Mix – A classic, opaque orange.
- Chanel Excentrique Rouge Allure – all the gorgeousness you expect from a Chanel lipstick, with a bright tangerine hue which is gorgeous with a tan.
- Tom Ford Wild Ginger – hot orange, like only Tom Ford could do. Also an honorary mention to Tom Ford True Coral which is another bonkers salmon pink that I adore. Think Norma Desmond on acid and you’re halfway there.
- Laura Mercier Tunisian Moon – this is another subversive orange. Grace Kelly would have loved this.
- NARS Heat Wave – an intense orange-red. Also new NARS Short Circuit Cinematic lipstick from the Limited Edition Guy Bourdin collection also bears checking out. It’s described as Fire Coral – ‘Nuff said!
And to get you even MORE in the mood for some disco under the mistletoe, here’s the BTS ad campaign for the extremely gorgeous NARS Guy Bourdin collection for Holiday with the lovely Toni Garn showing us how to do lips and eyes right. (The redoubtable Diane Kendal is weaving her makeup magic on this video as well – let’s just say it’s a Diane Kendal kind of day.)
Since nothing says Christmas like glossy orange lips (well at MM HQ, anyway),I’d like to say Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all my lovely readers. I’m so ready for 2014 I can’t tell you! (2013, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out).
So whether you ring in this New Year with golden eyes, luxe lashes, cat eyeliner or the most fluoro of orange lips, have a fantastic break and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. Ring-a-ding-ding!