Bin it – NARS mascara in Black Orchid

Nars Black Orchid Mascara  

 

 

Nars Black Orchid Mascara

 

I flat out hate this mascara (and that’s not a word I use lightly). It has a brush that looks like it escaped from 1985, and it performs so poorly compared to the rest of the NARS brand, I was quite staggered. OK, I think mascara manufacturers have gone a little OTT with all their rotating brushes, and fancy little combs, and rubber spikes and ones that look quite frankly like torture devices (hello Givenchy, I’m talking to you), but in 2009 something that low-tech just doesn’t cut it. Even Maybelline Great Lash (or Not So Great Lash as I like to call it) is fancier than this mo-fo.

In the interests of fairness, I’m just going to go and try it again: Nope, still made my eyelashes look like 5 little sticks. Its formula is thin and has an unerring ability to get at the ends of the lash and sort of clump, and then the crappy retro brush pushes your lashes together into aforementioned sticks. There is just no way to separate the lashes then to fan ’em out and get ’em fluffy. And we all know how much we love a full and fluffy lash!

In all honesty I wanted to love this because the square rubber packaging is so chic, and I have to admit to being a sucker for NARS in general (despite it’s excessively high price point). There’s just something about the witty names, gorgeous colors and the rubberized packaging that never seems to date that means a couple of times a year I find myself purchasing more sparkly eyeshadows and blushes I rarely use, but when I do, they make me happy (maybe because I’m actually justifying that hefty price tag? Not sure).

But this sad little mascara is one for the bin. Send it back to sing with Huey Lewis and the News – you know it wants to!

Bin it!


Bag It – Laura Mercier Brow Powder

Oh such an old favourite. I have had these in my kit since God was a boy, and used it on practically every client who needed some eyebrow help (and baby don’t we all in these troubled times?)

Illamasqua brow brush
Illamasqua brow brush

They need a stiff brush, like the Illamasqua brow brush (sadly both the Laura Mercier brow brush, or the Chanel eyebrow brush I am currently using have been discontinued). Any of these bad boys will do the job. The beauty of the powders is that you can blend the two colors together to get just the right shade, and it comes in 5 different tones.

Laura Mercier Brow Powder
Laura Mercier Brow Powder

There is even a version for redheads which is nice for our oft-neglected russet brethren. The blonde ones have an almost green cast which is the color region you need to be in to correct blonde brows – taupe-y, ash to green. Sounds weird, but anyone who has been using blonde pencils with too much red in them will know what I mean (as one of my friends unkindly said to me in my late 1990’s, pre-makeup career, ‘Why are your eyebrows orange?”).

And the Brunette powder is a perfect dark brown with a black right next to it so you can get a little bit dramatic if you feel like it. It fills in spaces and gives strength where required. If your brows are lovely and full and don’t obviously look like they need help, put the tweezers down, and thank your lucky stars. You don’t need them.

Bag it!


Paris or Perez?

If you’re minted (like Paris), or just need a guilty, cheap little pleasure (like Perez) this section covers both ends of the shopping spectrum.

If I have to slather a celebrity, it’s Kiehl’s Crème de Corps all the way, because it’s rich, creamy formula locks in moisture and makes skin gleam expensively.

For runway, when I’m going to be frantically rubbing acres of long teenage legs (one of which I have been unceremoniously kicked with, by an especially grumpy catwalker, in seasons past), it’s got to be good ole’ Nivea Body Lotion. It’s non-greasy, soaks in fast and makes skin look like satin. Perfect!

Right Now: Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment

url

A few years ago, I would have laughed if you had told me there was a better lip balm than Kiehl’s lip balm. I loved it so much I would have married it (if it was legal to marry a lip balm, which I’m pretty sure in continental Europe and most states of America it’s not.)

Oh sure, I’d flirted with Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (expensive Vaseline, let’s be real), and Smith’s Rosebud Salve (which was considered to be really cool because you couldn’t get it in Sydney. Which meant you had been overseas.)

Then when I was assisting Alex Box in Paris, she put me onto the homeopathic French wonder (only from French pharmacies, so even cooler again!) that is Homeoplasmine. This was my Number One lip lover for quite some time.

And then I found my Paw Paw Ointment. The simple red tube that can be found in any pharmacy in Australia, $5, lasts forever, next to the till. (Really daggy! Can get it at any chemist in Australia!) But then I moved overseas and I realized how good that little red tube really was.

Lucas’ Paw Paw is an Australian remedy that cures chapping, cuts, sunburn, bruises and irritations of the skin, and because it uses the antiseptic properties of the paw paw fruit, it cleanses and heals the wound with enzymes. I have had models literally begging to buy my Paw Paw from me at the shows because it did such a good job of healing their makeup ravaged faces.

It was first created by a doctor (Dr Lucas, unsurprisingly) in 1906, in Queensland, who noted the medicinal properties of the paw paw fruit in healing in his patients. He then passed the recipe on to his wife, and it’s been handed down within his family through the generations. It still uses the image of his original hospital in Queensland on the tube.

It’s become something of a cult fave over here, as more and more fashion insiders hear of it. I hand out tubes like M&M’s, because if I love you, you need some Paw Paw in your life, and I have always had to ask family to bring over suitcases of the stuff. Until now – finally it is available in the UK on the internet at www.pawpawshop.co.uk

So you don’t have to wait for my next smuggled shipment!