Just when I think I couldn’t be any more in love with Topshop, they go and produce these lovely videos for their new makeup collection, Heavy Duty. It’s a rockin’ London eye, fabulously cool makeup artist Hannah Murray (who is the Creative Director for Topshop makeup) is on beauty duty, and they have one of my favourite singers, Sia, providing the tunes. All r-i-i-i-ight.
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!
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.
If you’re minted (like Paris), or just want a quick cheap guilty pleasure (like Perez), this section covers both ends of the shopping spectrum.
I haven’t been this impressed with a Revlon product in a loooong time – not because Revlon products are bad, it’s just it’s rare for a drugstore find to actually muscle it’s way into my (already overcrowded) kit. But wow this is a good brown.
For hardcore makeup trainspotters, you will know that there are a plethora of browns on the market, but many of them aren’t quite right. They’re too red, or they’re too grey, they’re too shimmery, they read orange – the list goes on and on. Finding the RIGHT selection of good browns that are appropriate for different skintones and eye colors, is sadly, a huge case of trial and error (I know because I have many shipwrecked dud shades lurking in the bottom of the Vault.)
However, Revlon’s new eyeshadow in Rich Sable in the new Matte range is a definite winner. It’s a great rich brown that is slightly more on the grey side, but it’s still warm enough to make your eye color pop. For blue eyed gals like myself, it’s fabulous – lovely for all over shading, or in the crease, or as a liner (especially in combo with black.) If you wanted to win a stare-off with Cameron Diaz, this would be the eyehsdaow to do it in!
The only gripe that I have with it is that it does crease after a few hours wear – but you know what? The color is so good that it’s forgiven. And for £5 a throw (and even cheaper in the US!) it really is a bargain winner.
Chantecaille eyeshadow in Cola
Same type of shade, but a little more on the grey side, not quite such a rich brown. I do love this one as well – it’s beautiful in the crease and wears (it has to be said), much better than the Revlon. Chantecaille products are so lovely and really do make you feel glam when you use them, which goes some way to justifying their hefty price tag. So rich or poor, there’s the perfect earthy brown eyeshadow for you. And for those seeking to justify their purchases at the moment, even the Chantecaille is soooo much cheaper than a new pair of shoes. Buy them both – I dare you!
Chanel 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.
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.