The Mole Patrol – Five Top Faves

MakeupMole - FavesThis time of year one’s mind starts turning to all things cosy and wintry, so it’s time for a snuggle-fest on the Mole Patrol. Crack out that duvet, whip up some hot chocolate and slather yourself in serious moisturizer for that dry and winter parched skin – it’s a cold weather delight!

Embryolisse moisturizer

This is a must for winter skin. It’s heavy and glues back all those lovely dry

crack-y bits you get when your nose turns red. I always put it back in my kit at this time of year as more and more models start turning up with their faces falling off due to too much heating inside, the cold outside, and seeing as they’re so gorgeous and can get away with it, often a diet of caffeine and cigarettes. Embryolisse to the rescue. Word on the makeup streets is that what you buy in Parisian pharmacies is better than their export stuff (which you can get in London at the makeup shop PAM in Shepherd’s Bush).

Illamasqua Cake Liner in Mislead with Sealing Gel

Because this sucker don’t move. I’d read all the raves on the internet but only recently have I tried it, and it is amazing. So when the wind is blowing and you’re swaddled in scarves and beanies, at least your eyes will still look like Audrey Hepburn’s (even if the rest of you looks like Freddie Krueger).

Bobbi Brown Eye Palette in Velvet Plum

Fab neutrals that would suit any eye color, and an amazing dense black brown eyeshadow which is a surprisingly difficult color to find in other ranges. Combined with the Illamasqua Cake liner it is a wintry winner.

Chanel Particuliere Nail Polish

Straight from the Paris shows (where she created 50 shades of nude nails for Louis Vuitton) Sophy Robson’s top nail color for the coming season is Chanel Particuliere. Sure to be as coveted as last season’s Jade and the original got-to-have-it nail color, Rouge Noir, I fell in love from the second I saw it. It’s a weird taupe-y mauve color that’s like dead people’s hands, but better. The fashion pack are going to love it! I think the new Chanel shade is chic, effortless and original – just like Chanel really.

Benetint by Benefit

Aaah, a hardy perennial – just rescued from the makeup Vault where it has been languishing for quite a while, this is the perfect outdoor flush for when it gets cold. I do love a wind burned cheek (well a fake one, not a real one!) this time of year, and this bestselling 30 year old tinted liquid made from rose petals is still the original, and still the best.

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).