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
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.