In My Makeup Kit: Estee Lauder Single Eyeshadows

Estee Lauder is one of those brands that have really re-invented themselves over the last few years. They used to be a bit granny – that’s where your mum and your grandma (and in some cases, great-grandma!) shopped for their rouge and lipstick, but no longer. The quality of the products is still there (because they have that in spades), but it’s now a nanna-free zone. The advertising is much more glamorous, with spokesmodels like the beautiful Hilary Rhoda and the unbelievable looking Constance Jablonski, and their first Asian model, Liu Wen. And this year they have a new International Makeup artist in the form of one Mr Tom Pecheux, he of the constant flow of Paris Vogue covers, years as Mario Testino’s favourite makeup artist, runway artist regular and makeup artist to Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss amongst others. The urbane Frenchman is a perfect addition to the brand, and I love the look of his first collection, Blue Dahlia. He says “Makeup is such a fashion accessory – I’d like to highlight that part of the brand, and also bring a playful touch to the franchise.”

However! I’ve been using Estee Lauder judiciously in my kit for quite awhile as I love the finish of their products – this is still makeup for grown ups, even if it is being ushered into the new millennium. I had my first proper taste of their range at the Swarowski Fashion Rocks show in London a couple of years ago (Estee Lauder sponsored it), and I was actually really blown away by the quality. It was a huge show with a zillion models and celebrities in very full makeup looks, and their products held up amazingly. Ever since then I’ve been a fan.

One of my favourites from Estee Lauder is their eyeshadows which are super finely milled, blend deliciously and used in conjunction with others in the range give a gorgeous finish and are just lovely, flattering colours. I definitely prefer them to their eyeshadow quads from the core range, which are not the same texture as the singles. The colour pay off in the singles seems to be much better, and less powdery – plus the mattes are really matte and the shimmers are just shimmery enough. Shimmer to make you pretty, not look like an escapee from Crazy Town. And the metallics? Well they’re off the charts – love, love love these particularly in the deeper colours like purple and charcoal.

Each shadow feels like pretty little Lucite seashells in your hand, so they definitely give you that feeling you’re using something luxe, although as a makeup artist I do find they get quite heavy when you’re stacking them up and carrying them around (as one does). Word on the street has it that Estee Lauder will be re-launching their single eyeshadows later this year in the form of 48 new Pure Colour eyeshadows with finishes ranging from matte, to satins, luminous and metallic. And if they’re anything as good as the ones I have in my kit I’ll be queuing up to get to them!







I couldn’t resist this 80’s awesomeness – this is a rare Estee Lauder promotional video of supermodel Paulina Porizkova. Quite the contrast to Hilary Rhoda!

The Return of Lipstick

There is a bonafide revolution going on in makeup halls not just around the country, but around the world – Lipstick is Back.

Relegated to the status of a makeup also ran since, ooh, about 1999, when gloss usurped its position as women’s choice of lip enhancer, lipstick has quietly been easing its way back into our lives.

For me the tide turned on a shoot with David Bailey over a year ago – Kay Montano had these beautiful, creamy lipsticks from Bobbi Brown that she had been using on Nicole Kidman (aptly named ‘Creamy Lipsticks’), and I fell in love all over again with their delicious texture and the fact that they were moisturizing and had a sheen on them, but no stickiness. Gloss had been feeling a little passé for awhile, but this was the first time I had tossed an actual lipstick in my handbag in years.

My gloss bag at work started to shrink, and my lipstick palettes increase. I was using bolder colors at work – bright oranges, corals, fuchsia, red in all its permutations from deep wine to eye-popping cherries and strawberries.

Then came the launch of Chanel’s Rouge Coco lipstick in March this year with its ethereal image of Vanessa Paradis. Chanel’s Global Makeup artist, Peter Phillips, was so vocal in his championing of the forgotten makeup product, that it heralded something of a return. In the last couple of months it feels like every line is bringing lipstick back, and when the master of the fashion zeitgeist, Tom Ford, decides to launch a line of lippies, you know it’s a done deal.

My new-found love of lipstick has led me to try out quite a few lately, and my top winners at the moment are:

YSL Rouge Volupte – love the colours and they are super-creamy

Bobbi Brown – perfect for your natural lip shade but better

Chanel Rouge Coco – they really are as good as the buzz

Estee Lauder – if you’re re-investigating the classics, why not go to the source?

Illamasqua – For mouth-watering statement lip shades

NARS – from nudes to reds, his colour selection is unparalleled

MAC – like a lipstick candy store for grown ups

Lipstick is not just about applying lip colour – it’s an attitude, a feeling, a gift to yourself. It’s time (if you haven’t done so already), to make like a lady, and get yourself a lipstick.

Video: Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2010 Behind the Scenes

I loved this show – incredible clothes (what we have come to expect from Alber Elbaz), and I found the aesthetic to be really interesting. This season the Lanvin team were playing with the idea that everybody is starting to look the same, which I think we can all attest to – the incredible rise in plastic surgery creating a veritable army of clone-like female “beauty”. By giving the models the same hair and a robotic black eye, Elbaz eloquently makes the point that fashion should also be about diversity. It might be beautiful, but surely we don’t want everyone to look the same? Nice to see a really interesting ethos behind a show. Hats off to Elbaz, Guido on hair and the redoubtable Pat McGrath on makeup (who, quite frankly, does it again).

For those viewers at home who would like to take this look for a spin, I would recommend:

  • Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Eyeliner plus MAC Smolder pencil and MAC Carbon shadow to create the black structure to the eye
  • MAC Pro glitter in Gold and Reflects Antique Gold for golden shine on the lid
  • Benefit Hoola bronzer for contour under the cheekbones (no blush)
  • Estee Lauder Vanilla Truffle lipstick for an expensive beige mouth, and Estee Lauder Clear Gloss for shine



Trends: Coral

I don’t know about you guys, but I for one am Officially. Over. Winter. In my mind it’s done – I’m sick of the scarves and coats and hats and ready for some tropical style—ee warm weather.

So if I can’t have summer in actuality, I’m going to fake it. Which means getting into the color on everyone’s lips and cheeks. Yep, coral. A shade you might be frightened of, quite rightly, because you think “Oh my God, Nana”. But like lots of things (such as clogs and double denim) that are so wrong they’re right again, coral is the lip color for spring.

Why? Because it’s just really gorgeous and flattering, and it’s more interesting than pink and not as full on as red or orange, so you can feel like you’re making a statement and flirting with a trend yet not feeling like an escapee from Disney’s Small World. Coral is pretty, flattering and lady like. Call it the Mad Men effect.

It’s no longer a color for Mrs Slocum. It’s more a modern version of Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. (For really, who DOESN’T want to be cuddled up in a convertible with Cary Grant on the Riviera?)  It’s true, it’s a color that had its heyday in the 50’s and 60’s, called something clever like “Shrimp Cocktail”, and everybody’s gran had a tube of the stuff in their bathroom. But now with the improvements in technology and a wider range to cater for all skin tones, it’s possible to find a shade of peach for everyone.

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly

Corals to Covet

Bobbi Brown has a whole Coral collection out this season, called Cabo Corals. I’m loving the Cabo Coral Pot Rouge, which is the yellow-er sister to Calypso Coral Pot Rouge (which has a bluer undertone.) Cabo Coral would be beautiful on anyone, but it’s gorgeous on deeper skin tones, and those with more yellow-ish skin. The Cabo Coral lipstick and the shimmery nectarine Sunset Beach gloss are pretty spesh as well. I even like them all together – call it the Double Coral Face! Bobbi Brown  Lip Crayon in Coral Pink is also on my wishlist – it’s gorge.

Benefit – Coralista blush, which came out last year but is still right on trend for 2010. We do love Benefit’s blushes,( although why they insist on calling them “Face Powders” is beyond me –  I think it’s confusing and misleading.) But call them a blush and they are DIVINE. Coralista  went straight into the Top Ten of Benefit’s prodiucts as soon as it was released, so I’m clearly not the only one with a love of all things peachy.

Illamasqua – Obey lipstick, the perfect 60’s peach lip and Excite powder blush, a vivid apricot, are my top shades in their range.

Paul & Joe Cheek cream in 03 – this gives you that watercolor, lit from within glow.

NARS – Casablanca and Barbarella lipsticks are both classic corals, plus the new Summer 2010 collection which I’m BEYOND excited by, has Love Devotion Lipstick, a sheer guava stain, and Enchanted, a coral cream blush (which J Lo, and  Zoe Saldana  wore to the Oscars.) And let’s face it, full monty coral needs luminous skin, so add a bit of Orgasm Illuminator whilst you’re at it. Oh and you could add NARS lipgloss in Orgasm whilst you were there. You know, if you wanted.

How to Wear It

Even though grannies are cool again (witness the incredible resurgence of grey hair and the lavender rinse that Kelly Osborne has been sporting lately), still there are limits to how Gran can you go? Let’s think about it instead as how Grace can you go?

So I would advise  going coral strongly only on one feature – for instance, if you’re sporting a coral cheek, just do a peachy stain on the lips, and vice versa. There is no need to become a Technicolor Shrimp Cocktail billboard! I love it with a soft, neutral shadow on the eye, something like NARS Cyprus or Estee Lauder Cinnamon single eyeshadow. And natch, neat brows, lovely skin and lots of ladylike lashes (but no clumps please, this is the Riviera).

Serendipitously, I found a video from the new NARS Youtube channel that is the look from the Autumn/Winter 2010 Marc Jacobs show that has, drumroll please, Lilac Eyes and Coral lips together in one look!



Trends: Lilac Eyes

Dior-Spring-2010-Make-up-Vlada-Roslyakova

Spring isn’t quite officially here, but as far as I’m concerned, its time to look ahead and think about bare legs, short skirts (yessssss! say all the men in London), and most importantly, re-think your makeup bag for the coming season. I call it a bonafide trend as of today, because I saw three ladies on the Tube in one morning wearing varying shades of violet on their eyes. So my top trend? It’s Lilac Eyes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had (interesting, cough) true beauty trends – for a few seasons it’s been the same old stuff recycled again and again – natural makeup, perfect skin, smoky eyes, red lips – and much as I love those classics, aren’t we all just a little bit keen for something different?

I know I am, which is why I sat up just a little bit straighter when the genius makeup maestro Pat McGrath sent a bevy of beauties down the runway for Dior with gasp! lavender eyelids. Gorgeous, glowing, proper washes of Easter egg purple – it’s part of a bigger seasonal trend for pastels that I predict will be huge this season, as we all search for color to lift us out of (let’s be honest), 2009’s deep funk. The ubiquitous Ms McGrath even did pastel eyebrows yesterday for Balenciaga. Whilst I don’t see us necessarily sporting a pastel brow to herald in the warmer months, a pastel lid we can do. To the paintbox, ladies!

Lilacs I love

NARS Jolie Poupee duo – vibrant lavender and deep jewel toned purple. This is where NARS really comes into its own as a range – they have one of the most rockin’ colour selections anywhere. Colours you didn’t know existed let alone thought that you needed – that is until you headed down to your makeup counter.

NARS D. Gorgeous single eyeshadow  – a shimmery pale lilac. Worth wearing for the name alone!

Bobbi Brown Lavender and Lilac eyshadows, with Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Orchid. Yeeeeeeeaaaah. That’s what I’m talking about.

Becca Lapis Eyetint with Ametrine – this creates a more subtle, shiny wash of color that is so, so gorgeous on. Lapis is apparently a Limited Edition color so if you want it, you’ll have to be quick.

Estee Lauder single eyeshadow in Lilac – beautiful, does what it says in the box, shimmering lavender to make your eyes glow.

How to wear it

Although lavender looks gorgeous on every eye color, pastels can be a little hard to wear if not done correctly. The application part is easy – simply wash your chosen color from the lashline to the crease, with a brush or your finger in the case of a cream.

But in order to make it work, you need a very thin black liner along the lashes – like dental floss! Oh so thin. Liquid or gel eyeliner is more defined than a pencil. And lashes, lots and lots of lashes. You’re going to need a Bad Boy mascara, one that gives you lashes for days – not clumpy, not trampy, but ultra flirty and lots of ‘em. Go nuts. I am currently liking Lancome Hypnose mascara for this uber-sexy effect.

Without eyeliner and mascara you will look like an egg – but not of the Easter variety. Just an albino one. If you feel a bit naked under the eyes you can always softly smudge a nice chocolate pencil. MAC Coffee pencil is a good one.

Go easy on the foundation – heavy, mask-like base will quickly take this into Grannyland (and nobody really wants to go there). Myface foundation is lovely for light, everyday wear that still gives sufficient coverage. And no weird fake tans please – pastels and fake tan will make you look like the bonkers neighbour in There’s Something about Mary, and the Mole is never EVER going to tell you to look like that!

Blush is a must, a soft pink would be good, but nothing too cutesy. I like a pink with a little bit of gold shimmer in it – my latest fave for most skintones is Chantecaille powder blush in Laughter.

Although Ms McGrath went for the full magilla at Dior with a bright red lip, I would possibly choose something a little more understated if you’re just going out for groceries. I like a soft pink lip with a bit of brown (again to keep it out of the kindergarten, and make it pretty without looking like you should be sporting an Easter bonnet). Becca Sheer Tint lip colour in Gisella, Myface Vintage Pink lipstick, and the old classic Estee Lauder Crystal Baby lipstick are all good options. You may not have a Spring in your step yet, but at least it can be Spring on your eyes.