Tuesday, 26 October 2010


I have always been partial to a metallic eye look, so it was rather inevitable that I would fall for these. But the absolute best thing about them, is that as soon as I put this on I think: "Oh I don't need much makeup today."  You see, I put this on before foundation, to avoid fallout, and the bright rush of colour just brings all focus to the eyes and makes the skin look luminous too somehow. What an amazing ability!

Every time I wear these I get compliments. (for reference, I was wearing the gold "Glisten" in this video.) So I have two shades in particular that are my favourites - they manage to be sultry, yet modern. Sultry almost inevitably harks back to 1940s or 1960s etc... Not anymore! Step forward the new, modern metallic instant smokey eye. Unfortunately these shadaws do not come out until December, but it's worth the wait. And they are from a rather unlikely source... Introducing, Bare Minerals High Shine Eyecolour.


In order: Bronzed, Frost, Glisten and Spotlight. Below, Bronzed (with a darkened crease) and Frost (worn alone.)


Yes Bare Escentuals, famed for their natural shades in small sifter jars, have for the first time brought out eyeshadows that are dramatic, metallic, and not loose in pot form. In neat tubes with a soft sponge tip applicator, they take minimal effort, are very gentle on the eye area (no dragging at all) and you need hardly touch your lids to get the full power of these high shine colours. It looks like a foiled eyeshadow or a carefully applied pigment, and some of the shades are so complex that the way the light hits them makes the colour alternate beautifully. My favourites, "Glisten" and "Spotlight", are examples of this. Glisten is an iced gold, beautiful on any skintone and perfect for everyday wear. Spotlight is an antiqued greenish gold that is so enchanting, flashing green and gold and almost taupe when worn as a blended everyday eyeshadow. Indeed all I did was apply the colour using the sponge tip, then take a blending brush and blur the edges. One step instant smokey metallic eyes, though it looked like I had spent a long time perfecting! Effortless elegance, and all the colours look fantastic with black lashes and liner for ultimate high shine with impact.

Available in 6 shades. there is also a warm toned copper, called 'Bronzed', which equally can be worn as a daytime shade, and will look the best on blue eyes. The Silver shade, 'Frost' is a bright silver, very intense and especially ideal for night time looks. There is also a metallic teal, 'Electric', and a deep plum shade, 'Moonshine', and they too look like must-haves judging from the promotional images!

Priced at £14 and containing 1.5g, these are an excellent buy - they're certainly in a different league to your standard eyeshadow - only the lightest tap is needed for full-on colour. I highly recommend these and each tube is sure to last a long time. In terms of wear, I wore them over Two Faced Shadow Insurance and they held up all day and into the night. Be sure to check them out, hopefully they are not Limited edition (will find out and update), as these are extremely different to anything else the brand has, and a brilliant contrast.

Bare Escentuals will also have wonderul gift sets available from November. I tried the 9-piece Beyond Gorgeous set (£45) and you can see my review on that, as well as a recap of the eyeshadows review, over here. Bare Escentuals make the best blushers, and the one in that set, "Pink Ribbon," is a winner in itself.

Available from Nov/Dec 2010 from selected counters and all Bare Escentuals Boutiques.

Bare Escentuals website

Friday, 15 October 2010


If you have just watched my overview of the Trish McEvoy products I own and love, you will have seen that that I am a huge fan of the brand. The eyeshadows are smooth, pigmented and original; the newly launched Beauty Emergency Card (£30) is astoundingly compact - the shades are beautiful cool toned mauves, purples and browns, which can be combined to create a surprisingly varied amount of looks (I have used it for a brown smoky eye, a purple smoky eye, and a very nude naturally defined eye) and then there is the Essential Eye Base (£16) I have it in "Demure", a dusky fresh pink, but there are a wealth of shades to suit every skintone, and I have been using it religiously: it really is every bit as good as Urban Decay Primer Potion, yet has the advantage of concealing and brightening the eyelid. And the very discreet, lively tiny sparkles, add interest to even the most basic of eye looks. I must reiterate how impressed I am with this in particular. Indeed, although it may be smaller than UDPP, it is a lot more than just a primer... I will actually go as far as saying that for me, it might throw UDPP off its well-worn pedestal.

The eyeshadows and blushers are bought as loose pans, which means no wasteful packaging, but also be aware that you will need to house them in a planner or other magnetic palette. The eyeshadows are £11 and are consistently amazing - you must try them! There are shimmery glittery shades similar to the NARS Night series but with better texture, or there are matte, perfect nude shades. And the definers are the extra-pigmented shadows which can be used to line the eyes. I mix them with Trish McEvoy Finish Line, for eyeliner that will last all day and remain bold.

With that backdrop in mind, it is with great excitement that I can share with you this fascinating and enlightening interview with the lady herself.... I found her ideas very logical and direct, a perfect mirroring of the brand's image in fact!


Teaching is clearly crucial to you, as evidenced by your regular master classes; Do you see teaching as an important part of the brand identity? & do you plan to bring out any more books after the success of "The Power of Makeup"? 
· Teaching is absolutely one of the most important parts of my brand as I feel it is not only about the makeup you wear, but the ability to apply it each day on your own with ease. I do plan on releasing a new book in the near future! 

· Trish McEvoy is also one of the few companies not to be owned by a conglomerate, this marks you out as very different to the competition! Do you think this defines the brand, and if so, how?
· I feel this does not define the brand at all, it just enables us to react quicker to the always-changing market needs. It also allows for less bureaucracy, fewer divisions, and a more cohesive team that feels like family.
· I read that you were born in Dublin, raised in Berlin, then left for the US (where you are now) - Do you think this informed your designs: sleek and tailored towards travel and convenience? How did you come up with the "Planner" concept?
· My adult life is what influenced me in my Planner design. My husband and I were on a trip to Italy and I had my makeup strewn all over the hotel’s bathroom sink. My husband walked in and said “Trish, there has to be a better way.” That is what inspired me to come up with the idea for the Makeup Planner System. The influence of different cultures at a young age certainly enabled me with a better understanding of people and their differentiated needs.
· You were one of the first pioneers to combine science and beauty - having links of course with the Dr. Ronald Sherman/Trish McEvoy Skin Care Centre - and most recently launching the new Lash Enhancer products. Do you think in future the link will become ever closer and skincare and makeup will ultimately be fused, or do you think the artistic ritual of makeup application will prevail? 

· Many consumers are time crunched and love the benefits of color with treatment and knowing this, the fusion of skincare and color has been a focus in our line for over a decade. While skin-benefiting dual action products will continue to be a growing trend, there is always the consumer that is strictly interested in skincare, without color. For both customers, ingredients will continue to evolve and the good news is technology keeps advancing! The improvements for skincare and color will grow from fantasies to become realities. 
· Your range started with brushes, your brushes are very distinctive and famous for their quality, talk me through the process? (How do you decide on a design, and develop them?)
The design and development of my brushes starts with the look that I want to achieve. Then, each brush is designed to make it easy for the consumer or artist to achieve a result – from the density of the color to the finished look.
If I’m looking for a sheer application on a part of the face, the brush hairs will be longer.
If I’m looking for more dense color application the hair will be shorter. 
Depending on the part of the face, the size of the brush will differ. 
The hair type is determined by if the brush is to be used with liquid or powders.

· The Trish McEvoy range offers a practical, innovative approach to beauty; very different to other brands where collecting seems positively encouraged - Trish McEvoy seems more about building up a colour profile and neatly housing it in your planner. So, how often do you think a woman should change up her makeup to suit the seasonal trends, or her age, and so on? Any tips on that?
Seasonal makeup really has to do with coverage. 
Spring/Summer months you’re wearing lighter clothes everything should be lighter on the face
As you then go into Fall/winter, you’re dressing for more warmth and layering clothing, your face should be dressed up a little more.
As far as age, pictures do not lie. I always suggest that women take a picture of themselves and take an honest assessment of what she sees.
One of the principles in makeup is that it can make you look younger OR older. 
For the young, the thick heavy liner gives you a more mature look. For the more mature, a little less line gives you an instant defined eye without adding years. 
For the young, tinted moisturizer may be all you need. As one matures, Even Skin is what you want to look at. If your skin looks even continue with lighter coverage. If your skin is not as even as it had been, evening out the skin becomes very important. 
Shimmer on the young gives a wonderful party effect. Shimmer as one ages should be applied strategically, understanding that shimmer should never be applied where there are fine lines. 
Dark lip color is best left to the young. The sheerer the texture, the more trans-generational. 
Face color, very important. Sheerness to enhance the look of a natural healthy glow. Face color always applied to high apple. Sculpting and contouring is best left to the young or the more mature with a fuller face.
· I am currently reading a book on beauty through the ages; Do you have a favourite beauty era which inspires you? & how do you get your inspiration for new colours and products?
The era that I’ve been inspired by for years are the 70s because it was a period where a natural look was very popular. It was a time of enhancing natural beauty, unlike the 40s, 50s, 60s or even 80s where adornment was more the focus.
I get my inspiration by listening to women’s needs, watching movies, looking at women on the street, always thinking about how to enhance a women’s appearance and be able to express her personal style.
· If someone is stuck in a rut, or knows little about makeup and what suits them, do you have any tips? 

· Take a picture of yourself. The picture will tell you what you need to focus on. Likely, it will be a little bit of coverage under the eye and a little bit of color to the skin. It always goes back to evening out the complexion, illuminating the look of dark circles and adding a touch of color and definition where you feel you need it.
· And finally, if someone is new to your range, what is the best starter piece for them? Is there an item that you feel defines the brand?

· The pieces that define us are the Makeup Planner keeping everything in one place, my foundations and their different textures, concealer of course, eye base essentials to brighten and even out the lid, our simple medically-designed skincare and a sampling of fragrance from my fragrance wardrobe that best suits your mood or personality!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Estee Lauder Christmas 2010 Pure Colour Extravagant Gold And Sensuous Noir Review

Trust Estee Lauder to design a perfect Christmas collection. And, look out for their best ever Makeup Artist Professional Color Collection 2010 set... yours for £49 with the purchase of any fragrance. (From 25th October whilst stocks last.)


I was lucky enough to attend an Estee Lauder event, and had the chance to try the new offerings. There is, as usual, much to be admired. (And the Ladurée macaroons in our goody bag really sealed the deal!!!) I must congratulate and thank the fantastic Estee Lauder team for a wonderful evening.

The Christmas season is translated rather traditionally, with warm browns for eyes (Five Color EyeShadow Palette in Extravagant Gold, £34) and glossy red lips. 

The Pure Colour lipsticks (£17) are the ultimate in festive Christmas style: Extravagant Red and Extravagant Berry. Extravagant Berry is far more of a vermillion shade than it appears in the tube. It has a fabulous smooth, creamy, utterly perfect consistency - one coat gives, well, pure colour. The lipsticks also come festooned with gold glitter (see my video reviews for a shot.) Each has a corresponding lip gloss; the one I tried was Extravagant Berry's sister, Star Ruby. (£15) These layer up to give the most perfect shining red lip, perfect for any Christmas party!

Star Ruby has very interesting tiny glitter particles - green, gold and red - making it a very striking gloss indeed. Extravagant Berry worn alone is a satin finish and feels moisturising. It can almost be an everyday red, it is just so wearable. I can see it adapting to dressy or casual with ease. Worn with the gloss however, it becomes exceedingly elegant.

I am fast becoming a big fan of Estee Lauder's lip glosses. Tom Pecheux has a real eye for colour, and any makeup fanatic will appreciate the subtle nuances and combinations within his creations. My favourite so far is Twilight Petal, a soft and elegant twinkling pale pink, but I just received Perfect Nude, and it's a very special warm beige that layers brilliantly over any nude lipstick - it almost has an orange undertone. For someone like me who struggles to not look like a shuddering corpse every time I attempt a nude lip, this really is nothing short of a miracle product. Both these glosses are now my staples and a definite re-buy.

 Perfect Nude, Extravagant Berry, Star Ruby

There are two limited edition palettes, Extravagant Gold eyeshadow palette and Extravagant Five Colour lip palette. I do not suit warm tones, although for anyone blue-eyed the eyeshadow palette will prove indispensable. It consists of warm browns and gold, with a neutral charcoal brown for good measure. Excellent smooth pigmentation.

I was instantly drawn to the lip palette. Although I am not usually keen on lip palettes, which get so messy, I had to once again admire Tom Pecheux's keen sense of harmony. Every lip shade was in attendance, and they looked so perfectly balanced.

I was somewhat disappointed to realise that the deep bugundy and vibrant almost neon orange are both very sheer. However, that is probably more appealing to the average customer. The middle red square is very pigmented and concentrated, and I have used it as a blusher and lip colour. The other two shades are very soft, moisturising and glittery - and I love them! Very sheer, but no less brilliant for that. All in all, I would recommend this as a gift, as there is something for any woman to enjoy here. People who prefer subdued looks, or who have small lips, will be especially keen on this. (£34)

My absolute favourite has to be the nail polishes. I have now decided that I will buy high end for nails. I had concluded that cheap drugstore dupes were ideal. But, wearing these, I now realise that nails needn't chip within 3 days. Honestly, my nails can last up to 2 weeks with Estee Lauder polishes! They wear amazingly well, and with Seche Vite, they are indestructable. The new limited edition colours are Extravagant Pearl (A beautiful pale gold which looks so pretty even with one coat, or can be layered to achieve real gold) and Extravagant Night, a deep plummy purple with hot pink and silver flecks of glitter. I love wearing these together, a sparkly version of the YSL modern manicure. These are such fantastic shades, I am off to buy backups immediately. (These are already on counters, £12.)

Then finally we have a new fragrance, currently on counters, Sensuous Noir. This immediately reminded me of Tom Ford's Black Orchid, and not remotely what I would imagine when thinking of an Estee Lauder fragrance. It smelt very complex, woody and spicey. Trying it at home, I smelt echoes of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. It opens with a very fruity, honey heart. Next, it quickly transforms into that Tom Ford woody, sensual oriental scent. And once settled, it smells quite sweet, vanilla almost, and musky. It is indeed, a very sensual and womanly scent. Usually I am drawn to sharper perfumes. Sensuous Noir is a very feminine, enveloping perfume. It will last on your skin right through the day, as it is an EDP. I think it would suit any age, it is equally appropriate for a 20 year old as a 50 year old. Initially I found it startlingly seductive, but I realised that the warm undertones stop it from being too showy, and gives it an ambiguous cross between provocation and homeliness. This will certainly have many admirers, falling as it does between so many paths. Not the most distinctive perfume, but in a way that is its strength. I will be wearing this during the winter and highly recommend it to those who adore woody, amber, smouldering feminine scents.

Sensuous Noir is a woody floral chypre; the notes include purple rose, jasmine, black pepper, melted woods nature print, creme noir accord, patchouli prisma, spiced lily, benzoin, vanilla, honey and amber.

Estee Lauder Sensuous Noir is available on counters now and at Estee Lauder’s website, in 30 ml Eau de Parfum for £32. / 50ml £43. Other products are limited edition and available from 
27th September. 

Plus, you really must see these in person - exclusively available in Harrods, these beautiful compacts are true collector's items. The squirrel (Pleasures solid perfume Playful Squirrel by Jay Strongwater) is my favourite. At £320, I must save up - almost said "squirrel away"- but one day...

He lifts the acorn above his head to reveal the perfume! (So much cuter in reality, but no photo sadly.)



This one is Sensuous perfume in a Purple Hibiscus compact, a (relatively) more reasonable £160.

As ever, Estee Lauder triumph with a wealth of beautiful offerings for your delectation. 


Monday, 4 October 2010

Illamasqua Art of Darkness (Review)

This is most DEFINITELY Illamasqua's best collection to date. I felt "Sirens" was almost too mainstream to fit in with Illamasqua's self-described anarchy, and "Dystopia", although a fabulous collection with shades that are certainly my personal favourites (greys, blacks, silvers) it also felt a bit like it had been done before... Yet Art of Darkness, with its enchanting name and its complex inspiration, introduced via a cast of characters including a gypsy Queen and an androgynous man, definitely sets up Illamasqua as a force to be recognised. 

The blue lipstick, "Disciple" is a deep navy blue. It sets the tone for a brand who pride themselves as rejecting the mainstream. Your alter ego might look good in this, but I don't think you will... Strictly for goths or very beautiful vampy girls (must be young or you'll look like snake lips.) Also, the dry texture means you will probably need a gloss on top. But, it certainly has great colour payoff! By the way, I tried this on eyes and it does not work at all (creases.) But, I do know someone who will be able to work this, so I'm sending it to her and I just know she will adore it!

I also tried the new Precision ink liner in"Abyss" (£16.50), a dark glossy black. The best thing about this is how very glossy it is! I have never had such a 'patent black' liner before. It lasts incredibly too, in fact it is too trenchant for everyday wear (unless you work in a sauna/ chip shop/ farm) so I am reserving it for days when I know I will be in the great outdoors, or need to have liner last 14+ hours (or for if I ever brave spinning class again.) You will need an oil-based cleanser to get this off neatly. Everyone needs a hard-wearing liner like this in their collection. Recommended!

Then ....... there is the pièce de résistance.


Every so often, a product comes along that is so gorgeous you forgive it being tiny. Last product like that was Guerlain's "Blush and Sun", which is only 5g for £26, but which is so perfect that I'm not even angry. And this new Illamasqua Pure Pigment in "Ore", which is only 1.3g and £15, is just so beautiful and perfect, that I can't even try to compare them unfavourably to MAC pigment sizes. This does remind me actually of a MAC ltd edtn pigment, "Gold Stroke" (another stunning colour)


but the truth is, this Illamasqua pigment is just so much better. Gold Stoke is more warm but it does still really remind me of it.It is perhaps more obviously a bit like MAC "Antique Reflects Gold glitter." A mixture of the two almost. However, Ore's texture is not gritty in the least. MAC Antique Gold glitter looks achingly beautiful in its jar, but once applied to a lid, it loses its base colour and translates as a pile of glitter. I know a makeup pro must know the secret to getting it to apply like its appearance, but mere mortals will never manage.

Yet "Ore" applies just the way I wish Antique Gold glitter would: a taupey gold with flecks of red and green glitter. I was all set to rubbish the Illamasqua pigment as just like MAC but smaller... However the truth is, judging from this pigment, these are literally better than MAC: more complex, a smooth fine texture, and potentially less messy as there is a little pigment hole opening. I am upset now, as it means I'll have to start collecting them!? I have no doubt whatsoever that I will use Ore all up (more than can be said for my MAC pigment jars) and what is more, I know I will never want to be without it. I wore this over the weekend and layered up for a really dramatic eye, and then today I wore it as a wash of colour and it was perfectly neutral but very special all the same. I swear I am going to wear this everyday now. I highly recommend this divine pigment!!!! (*N.B I got mine in Selfridges and they still had a few left. Would not be surprised if this sold out - by rights, it should! Grab one right away! You will NOT regret it.)

A must-have from the collection.

There are some new Liquid metals out, and although I planned to buy some, I noticed there is a disparity between the amount given on box and website (8g) and actual amount (1.5g). Although I have no doubt that these are beautiul too, I think I will stick to Estee Lauder's Shadowcremes which have more product inside. Although there is something satisfying about hitting pan, there is something too annoying about buying small jars and seeing product go down quickly. Having said that, I am toying with the idea of buying the liquid metals compact (4 shades, £29.50) simply for the convenience of having all those bases. The new shades are "Superior" (dark blue) "Stoic" (deep emerald green) and "Resolute" (rusty red.) As a travel idea, it might be nice to combine a small neutral palette, and then add this in and instantly have so many more options - these can be used as liners or shadows. 

There are also some new polishes out which look perfect for the oncoming winter! Dark racing green ("Viridian") and deep rusty red ("Scarab") and a bronze red lipgloss which I considered buying but decided was a little too dark ("Hermetic.")

My camera did not do the products justice, apologies for lack of photos - though you can see them in a haul video I made earlier, and the best pictures as ever can be found at Temptalia, check out her review of Ore here.

If you are new to Illamasqua, this collection is its most exceptional to date, and a great place to start! With Illamasqua's new flagship store (20 Beak St, London) and its new makeup school, this season heralds Illamasqua's position as ringmasters of the alternative beauty scene.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I really love the distinctive "Toni & Guy" haircut. My hairdresser from Toni & Guy has moved to RUSH salon, where a haircut can cost upwards of £70, so although I justified it last time, I found it rather painful (even if they do offer you a glass of wine.) I think £50 is more than enough - but having said that, scrimping on a haircut will cost you dear. So this voucher is VERY precious, making a haircut now cost around £35. There is a huge difference between a great haircut and a backstreet barber haircut; a woman's hair is her crowning glory, and all that.

My backup hairdresser has now left my local Toni & Guy too, and I missed the chance to find out where (the staff now will doubtless withold that information from me) so now my only reservation is, whether I can find a good hairdresser amongst the esteemed Toni & Guy salons... (Any recs leave them below!!!) What I do know is, this is quite a rare opportunity. It's only available through October, Mon-Thurs. Get printing!

Link here. Courtesy of vouchercodes.co.uk

Friday, 1 October 2010

The Beauty of Kindness


A new Guinness World Record has been set by Estee Lauder to literally illuminate and kickstart this year's Breast Cancer Awareness month: “Most Landmarks Illuminated for a Cause in 24 Hours.” The achievement was complete with the Empire State Building, the 40th iconic landmark to be lit.

The Lauder company is legendary for its charitable donations, and the pink ribbon, so synonymous with Breast Cancer campaigns, was actually the brainchild of Evelyn Lauder herself. Since starting its pink ribbon campaign 17 years ago, the Estee Lauder company has raised almost $323 million and distributed more than 110 million Pink Ribbons worldwide. As in previous years, Lauder has created a number of special Pink Ribbon products to mark Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year 20 products from 14 of its brands including Aveda, Crème de la Mer, Darphin, Clinique and Esteé Lauder have been launched.  A special jewelled pink ribbon pin is also on sale (£10), and all proceeds from that go towards charity.

The message this year is a powerful one, "Connect. Communicate. Conquer" - accompanied by an arresting image:


The image, Evelyn Lauder explains "was the brainchild of James Gager, senior vice president of M.A.C, and Toni Lakis, vice president of M.A.C design. They thought it would be nice to do something new and provocative but in good taste, and I think they succeeded in doing that beautifully." I agree, the image is equal parts strong and vulnerable. At the heart of the campaign is the message to get yourself checked, without fear or stigma.

Elizabeth Hurley and Evelyn Lauder made a superb team, both looking glamorous. Elizabeth Hurley looked so beautiful, I loved her smokey eye makeup and new hair colour.

They were promoting specially designed Pink Ribbon lip sets, here priced at £25, £7.50 of which goes directly to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's research programme carried out by the Institute of Cancer Research in London.


Presented in a pink croc-print clutch, both sets are great value in any case. But knowing it goes towards raising awareness and donations makes it a crucial purchase!

The Evelyn Lauder hand-picked selection Pure Colour gift set contains four full-size Pure Colour lipsticks: 
Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Candy 
Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Rubellite 
Pure Colour Crystal Lipstick in Tiramisu 

The other, New Pure Colour Gloss gift set contains 2 double-ended glosses.

Shades include:

Nude Rose, Rock Candy, Brazen Berry, and Extravagant Pink.

Check out Look Good Feel Better for other companies involved in raising awareness this month. Bare Escentuals will be launching a special "Pink Lemonade" natural lipgloss (£13) with all proceeds going to charity.


And there will be plenty of other GUILT-FREE temptations! Get your credit cards at the ready.....

pics credits: Estee Lauder Companies, Bruce Juice,  Red Carpet Pictures.