Video: BTS at Isabel Marant Spring 2014

Isabel Marant

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope everyone had a wonderful break over Christmas and 2014 has started the way YOU like – whether that’s with a bang or with an easy slide into the new year (not with credit card debt, a pile of stuff you need to re-gift, and an extra 5 kgs comprised of Lindt balls, champagne and ham. That’s not what we’re looking for. At all).

It is a new year but we ARE NOT going to talk about the New You – please refer to this amazing post from as to why not . It’s self-love not self-hatred, healthy eating, not diets and being happy in your skin that counts in 2014.

However we ARE going to refer to the new Isabel Marant Spring collection for what effortless, lush skin, perfectly groomed (but simple) brows and lips look like, along with possibly the best collection to stride down last season’s catwalk. Because, quite frankly, with those clothes who needs piles of makeup?

And PS if you DO have a habit that needs changing (I for one have decided I need more straight up and delicious salads in my life, every day), I’ve discovered the app Little Bit to help you make sure what you want to do each day gets done.

NARS – Matte Lipsticks

I have yet to try these beautiful, creamy matte lipsticks that have been popping up all over town, on celebs (like Lea Michelle and Christina Hendricks), and on runways (uber-makeup artist Diane Kendal has been busting out the Madere Matte Lipstick at Thakoon in New York this week). I’m quite partial to a matte lip which is chic and cool at the same time, and these new lipsticks have a beautiful range of shades from nude to reds and wines. Plus with a matte lipstick you can easily add shine with a gloss or lipbalm, so in a way, it’s a clever investment – two lippies for the price of one! Who needs shares when you can invest in NARS?

And in honour of the new lipsticks, Monsieur Nars and his clever team have created this short film with the lovely Heather Marks, who I worked with on one of the shows at London Fashion Week a couple of years ago – and yes, she is that beautiful. We bonded over the lack of food backstage as we were all corralled in an area with no access to food –put it this way, Vitamin Water and chewing gum seemed like a feast! I love this film, and there’s also a Behind the Scenes to go with it. If this doesn’t make you start lusting for a matte lippie, I don’t know what will!

NARS Matte lipsticks will be available soon.

Hall of Fame – YSL Beaute Touche Eclat

YSL Touche EclatI had to create a whole new category for this one (much to my webmaster’s chagrin, I’m a little category-crazy, but I can’t stop myself!) but really, with one sold globally every 20 seconds, can you blame me? This is no ordinary product.

Created in 1992 by Terry de Gunzberg after she had spent years as a makeup artist hand mixing concealers and foundations and luminsiers to brighten and illuminate skin (remember, this was back in the dark days of makeup where foundation ranges were only four or five shades, and black models had to carry their own theatrical foundations with them in order to get made up!)

First off, I need to tell you that Touche Eclat is NOT A CONCEALER. I will repeat that. It is NOT A CONCEALER. If you wish to cover spots, bumps, bruises, acne, scarring and skin conditions like rosacea, this is not that guy. Please don’t buy it for this purpose. For those, you need a proper concealer – my favourites are the heavy cream ones in a pan that you apply with a brush, like Becca concealer or Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage.

What Touche Eclat is for is for brightening the dark places of the face, those areas that could do with a lift. It’s especially good on the under eye area, but I also like to use it around the corners of the nostrils and it can be used in laugh lines and wrinkles (within reason! Obviously if you have deep wrinkles there are limits to what a product – even a great one like Touche Eclat – can do) to make them less pronounced. It is also good on the outer corners of the eyes which tend to darken with age, and in the inner corners of the eye next to the nose which are the deepest points of the face. By using a light reflecting concealer there you illuminate the area which makes you look younger (and unless you’re twelve, we all need a bit of that!)

For the under eye area, you may still need a heavier concealer for extra coverage as Touche Eclat is a brightening product and not designed to cover everything. I usually use it in combination with another concealer – Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier generally, but occasionally I stray into Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay in Place concealer.

Touche Eclat now comes in four shades so they too cover darker skin tones. Be warned however, some skintones (particularly yellow ones), don’t suit the Touche Eclat colours which are very much on the peach side. There are now many other luminising concealers on the market, and others I like include Clinique, Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder. However I do still keep all four of my trusty Touche Eclats in pride of place in my concealer bag.

Touche Eclat now has it’s own website, and for your viewing enjoyment I have included an excerpt from the new Touche Eclat commercial, which is as beautiful as this iconic product.

In My Makeup Kit: myface.cosmetics – Vintage Pink Lipstick

MyFace Cosmetics by Charlotte TylburyCan I be really honest? I had misgivings about this line when I first heard about it – the fact that Charlotte Tilbury, one of the world’s biggest makeup artists known for her high-octane glamour shoots with fashion darlings, photographers Mert and Marcus, was launching a budget – BUDGET I tell you! – makeup line to be sold in Boots, well it just didn’t seem quite right. I am not generally keen on drugstore brands at the best of times because I think life is too short to have inferior pigment, nasty why bother sponge applicators and over-inflated ideas of a product’s abilities due to how gorgeous Kate Moss looks in the advertising (cough cough, RIMMEL), but as they say in the classics there is a time and a place for everything.

So in the interests of fairness I decided I had to give it a try, starting with a pale pink lippie called Vintage Lace. The range itself is quite a clever idea, dissecting the line into Fair, Medium and Dark skin tones, and has been well parlayed into very user-friendly colors. I hated the packaging though, all based around the whiteness and shape of an Ipod (it’s working on the blushes because they are actually shaped like an Ipod. On the lipsticks? Not so much. They are white plastic with clear lids like some nasty Avon tester from the 70’s).

However – the Vintage Lace color is the perfect nude, just a notch down from your own lip color to give you the illusion of supermodel lips, and although the texture is not super creamy (like, say, Estée Lauder), it does have good pigment to it which I like. It’s dense and matte and can either be dabbed on with a finger (my preferred method), or applied with a lipbrush.

It’s not what I expected Ms Tilbury to be putting her name to, but this lipstick has me sufficiently intrigued that I’ll probably try some other things. Tune in for more updates. Below you can find a video of her version of the myface.cosmetics 5 Minute Face.