Friday, 10 July 2009

Current favourites (and one current hate)

I've seen this topic going around on You Tube but due to a bad hair situation I've chosen to do it as a blog post. (*Short story is I went to the hairdresser and spent £85, they made me bleach bottle blonde ... and it did NOT look good. I have now gone over it TWICE myself to undo it all; hair ruined, again. Remind me never to get my colour done professionally, no one ever gets it right. Oh and it was Regis in Brent Cross - stay away!!)

Anyway, I do have some clear favourites right now, so let's get going!


I will be doing a full review in a few weeks on my YouTube channel once I can establish if these work. All I can say for now is that they feel like they're working. These little sticky papers act to form a physical barrier to minimise your frowning as you sleep. A box of 144 pads is £17.50, which seems a lot for craft paper, but if these work I will be buying them again and again. Call off the botox! - In fact the other day I was asked for I.D to buy super glue (you have to be over 21) so I couldn't help but beam with joy, inwardly thanking my Frownies. (It was only later that it occured to me that perhaps I just looked like a bedraggled glue sniffing junkie? Banish the thought...)


This famous NARS multiple is £27 but you do get 14.2g so I'm hoping it lasts! At first as I applied I thought oh dear, it's chalky... but somehow a moment after it settles it melts into your skin, giving a natural glaze finish. It's not glittery or greasy looking. It's way better than Benefit High Beam / Moon Beam and it's a great cool colour: no gold (unlike their Albatross, whih I didn't like and was hugely underwhelmed by) and no apricot - just pure sheen.

Again, this is new so lets just hope it contines to be brilliant! But for now, definite fave!!

3. Blusher combination (Both discontinued!!! dammit!!)

MAC Foolish Me blusher

Laura Mercier face tint in Apricot

MAC Sheertone Shimmer blusher in Foolish Me looks garishly neon, but once applied it only imparts a light peach and a gorgeous highlight. Mixed with Laura Mercier's mineral blusher in Apricot (£19) for 9.3g, the colour is ultimate summer bright blusher perfection. Although LM have discontiued this, the shade's replacement is a dead-ringer and I think this is a great product. In my experience, no blusher lasts on your face (or indeed in the pot) like a mineral blusher. Check them out!

4. Laura Mercier Pony Tail brush

If any of you remember, I mentioned recently that MAC's 217 had gone straight to my bad books. Although the shape and size were perfect, the goat hair bristles had started to become coarse and scratchy and even had fallout. The brush was around a year old, yet had got to the stage where it actually hurt my eye, and frankly with that it made me fear wrinkles! I could not use it at all. I had been on a fruitless search to find its (superior) doppelgänger and finally I have hit gold.

This Laura Mercier Pony Tail brush looks more like the 224 but notice its thin, sharp head and you might imagine it does a fabulous job of getting neatly into the crease and softly blending like a dream. It was £27 but if it lasts - really lasts, without the quality deteriorating - then that's a fair price. Fingers crossed!

5. MAC Brave New Bronze lipstick (Style Warriors collection; SOLD OUT dammit!!)

Question: How long does a MAC lipstick last? Because I have 2 backups, but I never want to run out! And this is predictably sold out.

The packaging, I find gorgeous. I love the kitsch animal print overload on the boxes, and the gold tube, though cheap and tacky (As usual) has grown on me. But the real reason I could not compile a list without it is the colour. It's the combination of MAC Kinda Sexy (previously the only nude equivalent I could wear before corpse status was declared) and Velvet Teddy (nice nude but just enough brown overload to make you think Ricki Lake 90s look)but it has more pink in it than the supposed dupe Cherish, which has the same unwanted grey echoes of Honeylove on me. Phew, OK got that? - Basically, it's a stunning pinky brown nude that I reckon would work on anyone. Oh and unlike my Kinda Sexy, this satin formula doesn't feel drying at all! Amazing, just wish it was perm.

6. MAC Quite Natural Paint Pot (Limited edition)

Well whoever named this got it in one - this is indeed 'quite natural'. It's like MAC Mystery eyeshadow (minus the crappy texture) and perhaps a little more muddy. It first came out with the N Collection and is now here again as a limited edition. It does crease so expect to use UDPP as with any paint pot, but as a colour base it's perfect for any brown smokey look or even more neutral looks - you might even use it as an independent crease colour! Current fave for sure.

And one big disappointment....

Urban Decay cream eyeshadow (in 'Weeds')

The colour is the same as MAC's sweet sage fluidline, i.e, beautiful golden green. However as UD are notoriously guilty, this is stuffed full of annoying chunky glitter. But more to the point, I thought the fact that this is infused with UDPP would mean a reliably crease-free green base. But no, this creases. So all in all, completely useless. I also don't like the doe foot applicator. It was £10, and a total let down.

What are your current faves/ hates? Let me know!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Extreme Beauty

After I wrote my piece about Men and Makeup, I asked a few men whether they would sooner have plastic surgery than reach for some foundation and lippy, and they all seemed to agree that surgery was less embarrassing than having a makeup bag. As has often been noted, plastic surgery amongst men has been rising. But if my last blog entry posited the theory that truth and beauty are counterparts, then where does plastic surgery fit in? There is no doubt that plastic surgery done well can heighten beauty, and for anti-aging, often surgery is the only effective solution. Nowadays we are surrounded by TV Makeover shows and magazine and newspaper adverts proclaiming the wonders of plastic surgery for the everyman. Price plans are on hand; Big Brother advocates are featured on the websites to reassure you that yes, it feels great!!

Well this is a tired subject, and I'm sure most people can easily decide for themselves whether invasive surgery is going to enhance their lives. I have a friend who was so miserable about her nose that she pretended to have a perpetual cold so that a tissue could serve as a useful hiding device. Now, after a nose job, she has amazing confidence. But the reason this subject has been playing on my mind is of course the recent passing of Michael Jackson. It strikes me that once again (Heath Ledger comes to mind) people are putting too much faith in prescription medication; believing that if something is 'natural' and equally - if not more so, if something has been processed and approved in a Lab, it's not the equivalent of a street drug. Yet sleeping pills and anti-depressants are serious stuff, they can be fatal! Just like surgery, there is a casual attitude to these instant remedies. Doctors are not always noble enough to draw a distinction between those who are genuinely in need and those who are merely dependent. I have friends who openly admit that they went into the profession for the money, so the naive impression of doctors as saintly saviours is unfortunately often too generous a view.

Michael Jackson clearly had a crippling image problem, which, shocking to see, was indulged in by various surgeons. It is nothing short of heartbreaking to see his metamorphosis. When money is no object, how far would you go to improve? It is hardly surprising that once one 'flaw' is dealt with, others introduce themselves. And once the fear of surgery has been surmounted, how easy it must be to return to the operating table, be put to sleep, and wake up as if in a dreamland, where suddenly you are not yourself.