It’s Best Budget Beauty time again and who better to join me in my bargain-hunting exploits than the self-confessed dupe-obsessive Nadine Baggott? Nadine has decades of experience as a beauty editor and presenter and spends an unholy amount of time chasing down high-performance products that cost a fraction of the luxury versions.
In this little duet of videos (is that even a term?) we unearth our favourite makeup and skincare finds in the under £20 bracket. I think that it could quite easily have been an under £15 challenge, really, as most of the products featured hover around or under that price – a few are currently available for under a fiver.
As with last week’s, I have captioned my video using a real-life transcriber so that the subtitles make sense. On the skincare video you can get this to appear by clicking the CC at the bottom of the video screen. I’ve listed the featured skincare products at the bottom of this page – for the makeup finds, click through to Nadine’s video and all of the listings will be in the description box!
Right, get watching if you want to find out which cult (and notoriously hard to get) skincare brand will soon be in Superdrug or which eyeshadow pencil is as good as the designer ones yet costs less than a fiver…
Here’s the Best Budget Skincare video:
and the Best Budget Makeup video on Nadine’s Youtube channel:
Products Featured in the Skincare video:
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser*: http://bit.ly/2rjRByY
Curel Makeup Cleansing Gel*: http://tidd.ly/6b72c794
Inkey List Collagen*: https://amzn.to/2SIY2Xr
Hada Labo Hyaluronic with retinol + collagen*: https://amzn.to/2SWx4dP
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid*: http://tidd.ly/f6b3539f
The Body Shop Aloe Day Cream*: http://tidd.ly/53ff3fb0
Simple Calming Moisturiser*: http://tidd.ly/852f4075
Eucerin Vit C*: http://tidd.ly/e9074e01
The post Best Budget Beauty Under £20 – with Nadine Baggott appeared first on A Model Recommends.
Well here’s a makeup collection that feels decidedly spring-like; it’s making me feel quite optimistic and invigorated about things, despite the fact that we’re being battered by various storms and all still wearing tights.
It’s the Act IV collection by Estée Lauder, created in collaboration with Danielle Lauder, an aspiring actor and Mrs Estée Lauder’s Great-Granddaughter.
It’s a chic, unfussy collection of seven makeup products that gives a glamorous nod to the “Old Hollywood” vibe but at the same time remains wearable and useful for everyday looks.
The idea behind the collection is that it’s beauty that makes you the star – just enough glitz and shimmer to add a bit of pizazz to the day but not over the top and definitely not unattainable. The packaging isn’t fussy but it definitely has that vintage luxury vibe.
And you can tell that there’s a distinct Hollywood lean to Act IV because the skin products concentrate on creating that very dreamy, almost soft-focus effect; there’s the Cinemattic Complexion Liquid (shop here) that acts as a blurring, mattifying primer and the Spotlight Highlighter (here) that just gives a hint of warmth along with the traditional pearlescent glow.
You can actually use the Complexion Liquid on its own, if you want an even and perfected base but little in the way of coverage, but it’s a dream beneath foundation, creating a very smooth canvas. It gives everything that ethereal sort of quality, I think, especially in combination with the highlighter and the loose Party Puff Starlucent Powder.
The Party Puff Starlucent Filtered Powder (online here) feels and looks like something you’d find on a vintage dressing table, perhaps backstage on a film set, and the coral hue gives a fresh finish that works to set makeup as well as add a little extra radiance.
The colour makeup is a dream if you love your springtime pastels; I think this is one of the only times I’ve actually liked coral and lavender tones on my lids! The Best Picture Multi-Look Palette (shop here) is for eyes and face, though I think it works best on eyes – the lavender and charcoal shades mixed together make for a really sultry, smokey eye that has a bit of an edge.
I don’t often inject purple shades into my makeup routine but I found this quite exciting, really, and it made me feel as though I’d stepped out of my comfort zone.
By about an inch.
I mean it’s not as though I died my hair bright green and walked down the high street wearing a thong bikini, but in terms of a little makeup shake-up I found the lavender tint very pleasing!
The lipsticks and tints will perhaps be the most universally pleasing; two Luxe Lip Creme shades (Reel Coral and Reel Rose, find here online) and then a travel-friendly Lip Duet Tint and Balm, here, which has – as the name suggests – a balm in one end and a tint in the other.
It gives a healthy little flush to the lips and can be intensified by skipping the balm step altogether. But if it was punchy you wanted then the Reef Coral is the one to leap for – really very bright, almost neon in some lights, it’s the kind of shade that will only look better as the weather gets warmer!
Ugh, I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer. I think it’s going to be coral lips and lavender eyes all the way, for me, once the wild flowers start coming out!
You can find the Act IV collection on the Estée Lauder website here – prices start at £34 for the creme lipsticks. What do you think about pastels with a punchy lip? Is this something I might have to do a School Run Makeup on?
I raved about this wondrous shampoo and conditioner duo just after Christmas but – as usual – it has taken some time to edit my written review. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing at all, because it’s given me a chance to test Olaplex 4 & 5 (sounds like a virus) to an almost obsessive degree.
You may have heard about Olaplex; it started off as an in-salon, professional product for helping to drastically repair and strengthen damaged hair, and it was one of those treatments that people whispered smugly about, people who were in the know.
“Your colour looks nice, darling, where did you get it done?”
“Oh, you know, darling…Barnabas does it.”
(I am hugely aware that these fictional people already sound like total twats. If truth be told, I’m regretting having even started the off-piste dialogue section, but now I’ve created Mandy and Gwyneth I feel I can’t stop. Forgive me, Olaplex, they’re not going to do much for your street cred, old Mands and Gwynnie, but they absolutely are OMG obsessed with your product, so it’ll all be good PR in the end.)
“The Barnabas does your colour?”
“Yes, darling Gwynnie, always has done always will.”
“Well, not always.”
“He will have to die at some point.”
(I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Someone intervene. I think it’s the sinus medicine I’m on, it has sent me totally bonkers.)
“Well, Gwyneth, there’s no need to wish ill on someone like that, he’s -“
“I’m not wishing ill, Mandy, it’s a simple fact of life. He will, at some point, die. Anyway, Jonas does my hair and look how strong it is, despite the fact that I bleach the living tits out of it every four weeks. Touch it Mandy. Touch it.”
“I don’t need to, Gwyneth. It looks strong as a horse’s mane. You basically have a horse’s mane. You’re basically a hor-“
“Olaplex, Mandy. My hair has never felt so strong and healthy. So robust. So…”
“Empowered. I know, Gwyneth darling. I get Olaplexed too. Olaplex one and two. Stronger hair, stronger you.”
OH MY GOD, OLAPLEX, I’VE WRITTEN YOU YOUR NEXT WORLDWIDE AD CAMPAIGN! That’ll be £450 please.
Anyway, Olaplex is the kind of strengthening treatment that people (especially people who bleach the bejeezus out of their hair on a regular basis) can’t get enough of. Steps 1 and 2 are the in-salon parts, with 1 being the bit that you apply when you’re actually having your colour done and 2 the after-rinsing part. Many colourists mix it directly in with the hair colour or bleach and it helps to rebuild the structure of the hair, making it smoother and stronger. Despite the hair being dead. Which is weird, when you think about it. It’s a bit like using No More Nails to glue a skeleton back together.
And there’s a home bond-strengthening treatment, now, as well as the in-salon steps; there’s step 3, the Hair Perfector, which is a pre-shampoo leave-in treatment, and there’s step 4, a shampoo, and step 5 which is a conditioner. Oh, and step 6, which is something you leave-on after you’ve rinsed out all the other gubbins.
Here in this review I’m talking specifically about steps 4 & 5, but I will come back to 3 (and 6!) in a later post. I need to try them properly, but as far as I can tell step 3 is a kind of Elasticizer-style pre-shampoo deep-conditioner and step 6 (The Bond Smoother) is more of a leave-in treatment that protects against frizz and so on when you’re blow-drying.
So far, however, I haven’t felt as though I’ve needed them at all. The shampoo and conditioner work amazingly well on my hair, leaving it feeling so (empowered) strong and smooth, I haven’t really felt the need to reach for the stronger stuff. The big guns.
Partly because I can’t imagine what the big guns might actually do. I don’t want to go OTT. I mean, can hair be too strong? Could that be a potential problem? I have visions of me whipping my mane over my shoulder and accidentally killing someone. Or demolishing small buildings with my plait. Mind you, it could be quite useful if I wanted to lasso things. Buffalo. Horses.
Anyway, the shampoo and conditioner are bloody brilliant. I have the proper “wow” sensation when I use them – even before drying my hair off I can feel that satisfying slip, the slip that I haven’t really had since first dying my hair. (Twenty five years ago almost. I first had highlights at sixteen, I saved up money from my weekend job and went to a place that used a crochet hook to pull massive wads of hair through a rubber hat with hundreds of slits cut into it. The indignity.)
You can find Olaplex at Space NK here* – small bottles of the shampoo and conditioner are £13, bigger ones are £26. I will report back once I’ve tried steps 3 and 6 – if I haven’t garrotted myself with my strong-as-steel ponytail in my sleep.
If your hair is weak, frazzled, generally just dry and shite (name of my new hair serum I’m going to bring out – Dry n Shite) then this stuff is well worth a try. I mean, if you can get your salon to use the first steps when you’re having your colour done then all the better, but my colourist doesn’t, and I am still having great results from the home stuff. It gives me the weighty, swingy feeling that I love but none of that horrendous semi-oily residue that some strengthening products seem to leave – have you ever experienced that? Like a rubberised coating that won’t come off? Argh! Well Olaplex doesn’t do that. All hail.
After writing off my “daily essentials” makeup bag, thinking I had lost it at a hotel, I was excited to find that it was, in fact, stowed away right at the back of the glovebox in my car. Behind the owner’s manual and the pile of old MOT certificates and the broken umbrella and – joy! – a sweet bag with a singular Percy Pig from M&S in it. I ate the pig, despite the fact that it must have been at least six months old and had probably been heated and then frozen, heated then frozen, about sixty times.
Anyway I’m still here to tell the tale, so God only knows what they put into those pigs – I think they’d survive the apocalypse! Unlike Clinique’s excellent Pep-Start Lip Balm, which had the dead and dessicated body of a woodlouse stuck into the top of it. Not Clinique’s fault, of course – mine for losing the lid many eons ago – but still, gross.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve cut the contaminated top off the balm with my extra-sharp Global kitchen knife (how I’ve longed to slip a mention of my knife into this blog, I can die happy) and I’m contemplating using it again. The thing is, before you go all hysterical, I’m pretty sure that the louse was dead before it stuck to the balm. It’s not as though it crawled on, got its little legs stuck and then slowly expired from thirst and hunger.
How do I know this? It’s an educated guess. The louse corpse has no legs, so the chances of it crawling on and getting its legs stuck are virtually nil; I looked closely with my magnifying glass and there’s no evidence of leg material whatsoever.
So I don’t think it’s as though the woodlouse died of some terrible disease and leached all of its germs and whatnot into the balm and I’m sure now that I’ve cut off 5mm of product all will be fine. Vote now.
Good grief, that went off on a tangent. If Clinique haven’t already discontinued that balm then they probably will now. It’s tainted. Tainted I tell you!
Click to watch the video and find out what was in my Time Capsule makeup bag. I could equally have called this my “Lost and Found” edition, or “Daily Essentials I Didn’t Appreciate Until They’d Gone”, because it’s a bit farfetched to call something from only a few months ago a “Time Capsule”, but seeing as though I didn’t have the foresight to keep a bag filled with makeup favourites from 1995 and bury it in my parents’ garden, this will have to do.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49 here*: http://bit.ly/2zWfFZK
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Brush Set, here*: http://bit.ly/2SfAAke This is actually really good, usually mini brush sets are a bit hit and miss! If she does them again next Christmas and they are the same, I’d get them!
Chanel Powder Brush No3 – discontinued?
Karen Walker Necklace*: http://bit.ly/2OX1wn1
Zoeva Buffer Brush, £17 here*: http://bit.ly/2vkEGif
Rodial Banana Lowlighter, £38 here*: http://bit.ly/2Hd3Ce5
Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde, £14 here*: http://bit.ly/2vkEGif
L’Oreal Unlimited Mascara, currently £5.99 here*: https://amzn.to/37jyzrJ
Clinique Pep Start Lip Balm – can’t find this at all! Where has it gone? It’s REALLY GOOD! Apart from the dead woodlouse body.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Hot Gossip, £17 here*: http://bit.ly/38u3Jy5
NARS Voyageur Palette in Suede, £28 here*: https://bit.ly/2w8Z7Pv
I’ve made some quite significant changes to my skincare routine since Christmas and so I thought it might be time for an update. This wasn’t the easiest update video to film, mostly because the issue of the hero product’s price-tag was hanging over me like a spectre the entire time I was talking about it!
But I have had really quite brilliant results from this particular wonder cream and so I managed to get over my fear of being pelted by rotten eggs – or whatever the online equivalent is – over the price. I like my skincare routine updates to be genuine and accurate recordings of the products I’m using and what they seem to be doing to my skin and so it would actually be quite weird for me to not mention a high-performing product just because it’s out of the usual budgetary range…
I’m going to let you watch the video to find out what I’ve been using (strong strong retinol and less of the other types of active ingredient) but before you tune out, thinking, “I don’t want to listen to a video”, hear this: I’ve actually got proper, professional closed captions on this video. I’m trying it out to see whether people find them useful and actually turn them on – Youtube do caption their videos automatically, I think, but the transcriptions can be very hit and miss and are often woefully inaccurate.
So, if you’re in the office/feeding a baby/pretending to be on the toilet and can’t listen aloud, just set the video running with your sound off and click the little CC symbol on the bottom of the screen. That’ll bring up my painstakingly transcribed captions. (Full disclosure: paid someone else to do it, I barely have time to edit the videos let alone caption them. It takes bloody ages.)
Anyway, let me know whether it’s useful – or, should I say, more useful than the standard captioning – if you regularly make use of the subtitle functions. You can find a (spoiler alert) list of the products I’ve been using if you scroll down past the video screen, but please do take a moment to watch, because that’s where the magic happens!
I’ll be back with a full, standalone review of the Medik8 retinol product because the results warrant it and the pricing is sure to be a talking point…
My Current Skincare Routine
Morning – Cleanse, Hydrating Serum, Moisturiser
Cleanse Products I’m Using:
Skinceuticals Cream Cleanser, £31 here*: http://bit.ly/2H6Vw6L
Bioderma Micellar Water, £19.50 here*: http://tidd.ly/e9f2529
Murad Pre-Biotic Cleanser, £38 here*: http://bit.ly/3bo2hPj
Serums I’m Using:
Alpha-H Skincare Hyaluronic 8 Serum, £38 here*: http://bit.ly/2vjOJnK
La Roche-Posay Hyalu-B Serum, £38 here*: http://tidd.ly/16cfb4b1
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid, £5.99 here*: https://amzn.to/3boRJiY
Inkey List Collagen, £8.99 here*: https://amzn.to/3boRHrm
Moisturisers I’m Using:
The Body Shop Carrot Day Cream, £14 here*: http://bit.ly/2Hje7Nb
Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Moisturiser, £25 here: https://drsambunting.com/products/flawless-moisturiser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid, £16.50 here*: http://tidd.ly/facc95e1
SPF I’m Using:
Elizabeth Arden Great 8 SPF35, RRP £36 but is currently £24 on Amazon here*: https://amzn.to/3bmfd8z
PM – Cleanse, Hydrating Serum, Moisturise
As above but no SPF and a proper balm cleanser, I’ve been using:
Emma Hardie Moringa Light Gel, £34 here*: http://tidd.ly/99e8c9bc
Pestle and Mortar Renew Gel, £38 here*: http://tidd.ly/1c6393b6
Every three or four nights (I’m working my way up to every other night!) I use the R-Retinoate below. Sometimes I follow with a bit of moisturiser, often I just use it alone!
Medik8 R-Retinoate Intense, £210 here: https://www.medik8.com/r-retinoate-intense.html
Medik8 also do the Crystal Retinal in different strengths, the 10 is MEGA! I used the 6 without any fallout (as in my face falling off) whatsoever and thought it was brilliant – it’s £59 here: https://www.medik8.com/crystal-retinal.html
For an incredibly strong retinol (1%!) without the humungous pricetag then do look at PaulasChoiceUK here*: http://bit.ly/2ScPYhn It’s £12 for the smallest bottle or £53 for the 30ml size and it’s really bloody potent.
With all of these, please start off slowly and with a moisturiser first if you’re being extra cautious – the moisturiser acts as a sort of buffer. I use the retinol products above straight onto clean skin, but only once every three nights. Once I want to increase the effect I will use every other night but with a hyaluronic acid serum beforehand or even a moisturiser beforehand!
Not since Molton Brown’s Geranium Nefertum have I spritzed a scent and really really liked it. I think that my nose has gone on strike, to a certain extent – it’s not that it can’t smell things, it just doesn’t really get that excited anymore. Not much tickles my olfactory fancy. It started when I was pregnant with my first baby, this whatever kind of attitude towards perfume, and I still don’t feel as though I’m “back in the room” when it comes to appreciating smells.
My most-used perfumes? They are all pretty low-key. I love Philosykos from Diptyque (the eau de parfum* lasts far, far longer than the toilette and is worth the extra cost), I also still use Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 (find it here*) a lot – it’s the ultimate adaptable fragrance, with just one scent molecule that smells quite different on whoever is wearing it. My favourite smell on Mr AMR? The Molton Brown Geranium Nefertum, which is (as I wrote here earlier in the year) so sexy it hurts.
Considering how many exotic, niche and horrendously premium (aka expensive) perfumes cross my path on a weekly basis, my favourites list is quite tame. I’d add some Le Labo, I’d add the Oud & Bergamot by Jo Malone and I’d maybe throw in a little bit of Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc, despite it being out of season, but it’s really not a wild and wicked list.
Anyway, I’ve digressed hugely here; what I wanted to say was that not since Geranium Nefertum have a spritzed a scent and really, really liked it yet here I sit repeatedly sniffing a bottle of Jo Malone’s Poppy & Barley. I’m late to the party, because it was an autumn release, but I’ve never really been one to follow the seasonal “rules” when it comes to beauty and scent. It’s true that I might lean towards perfumes that smell of suntan lotion when the weather warms up, and I’m more likely to use a red lipstick in the winter, but apart from that I have quite the liberal attitude towards what goes where and when.
Jo Malone call Poppy & Barley a “lively floral scent, enhanced by rose and violet and topped with juicy blackcurrants” but quite honestly I don’t find any of the individual notes to be that noticeable. And for me, that’s the beauty of it. It just smells full and rich and multi-layered – yes there may be fruits, but it’s not peachy or citrussy or anything that I can put my finger on. There’s some sort of woodier note, there’s a lighter floral (but not at all “pretty”) and there’s a pervading understated sweetness that’s not cloying but still makes itself known.
It’s sort of like if you had to represent “nature” as a perfume, this smell. It’s a posh harvest festival. No nobbly carrots here, parishioners, only send your finest berries and some poppies. Bloody hell – imagine that, a Jo Malone-level harvest festival! Our school harvest festival used to consist of some tins of beans and tuna, formed into a precarious tin pyramid, with old onions and cabbages and carrots scattered around the base. Now and then one of the “good” parents would have donated some satsumas, but the majority of the fruit offering, when I was at primary school, was made up of apples from people’s gardens. Most of them puckered or shot through with wasp holes.
(I realise that makes it sound as though I was in school during the immediate post-war period: it was actually the eighties. I find that any sort of childhood memory I recount now sounds like something from a history book, which is vaguely frightening. I had to explain to someone in their twenties what a record player was, the other day.)
But back to the present day and nice fragrances: if Jo Malone did harvest festival then it would probably smell like Poppy & Barley. I realise that talking about harvest festival isn’t particularly relevant, just as we hit the really cold part of winter, but I’m running with it.
You can find Poppy & Barley at LookFantastic here* – at starts at £48 for 30ml.
Here are my 2019 favourites for skincare and haircare, including the latest shampoo discovery that actually changes the entire feel of my hair and the skincare that’ll make a proper difference to your beauty routine.
I was going to do a bodycare version of this 2019 roundup, as well as a “best books” video, but I’ve left it too late and all of a sudden the whole “best of last year” thing seems very outdated. It’s the video equivalent of being that person who’s still saying Happy New Year! to people they haven’t seen for a while – I mean when do you stop saying it? February? Move on.
I’m listing the products beneath each video pane for ease, but please do give them a click and a watch – the haircare one is particularly brief, which will no doubt make some of you ecstatic with joy.
Elizabeth Arden Great 8 SPF35, is usually £36 but at time of writing it’s £24 on Amazon (legit retailer) here*: https://amzn.to/2NCyNmK find it in most department stores and on FeelUnique here*: http://bit.ly/2NDbMA9
Dr Sam’s Flawless Moisturiser, £25 here: https://drsambunting.com/products/flawless-moisturiser
Kate Somerville Retinol Vita C serum, £85 here*: https://bit.ly/30xCK1q
Murad Retinol range, from £25 for a small serum size, here*: http://bit.ly/2TzC7CI
Arden Retinol capsules, from £42 here*: http://bit.ly/369Esas
Inkey list Collagen, £8.99 here*: https://amzn.to/38b9b8e
Hada Labo Lotion, £16.95 here*: https://amzn.to/2TwiwDs
Beauty Pie Plantastic Cleansing Balm, £11.89 + membership here*: http://bit.ly/3694HxL
My Plantastic review: https://www.amodelrecommends.com/skincare-review-beauty-pies-apricot-cleansing-balm/
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser review: https://www.amodelrecommends.com/skincare-review-the-ordinary-squalane-cleanser/
Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Mask, £55 here*: http://bit.ly/38kXjAP
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid, my review: https://www.amodelrecommends.com/the-pmt-skin-saver-and-four-ways-to-use-it/
May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Balm, £159 here*: https://bit.ly/2sy54E4
Cicaplast Baume B5, £7.50 here*: http://bit.ly/2FZluIS
Olaplex Shampoo, from £13 here*: https://bit.ly/38CdGsM
Olaplex Conditioner, from £13 here*: https://bit.ly/38EW2Vm
Josh Wood Uplifting Shampoo/Conditioner for Blonde Hair, £10 each here*: http://tidd.ly/17c52c40
Virtue Full Shampoo from £14 here*: https://bit.ly/37rauA5
Davines OI Oil, £35 here*: http://bit.ly/30WVS91 (this is the large bottle and it would last for years if you use it as sparingly as I do!)
Tangle Teezer Brush for fragile hair, £12 here*: https://amzn.to/3aGpPif
Colab Dry Shampoo, £3.50 here*: http://bit.ly/2RpALce
Here begins my epic task of catching up on all of the stuff I didn’t manage to post before the end of 2019, and I’m going to start with a bit of a Chanel update. Because who doesn’t love a dose of double-c luxury to kick of the year?
Before Christmas I was invited on the press trip of dreams; a visit to the Chanel skincare labs to look at their latest launches, coupled with a very swanky stay in Paris. Let’s face it, a trip with Chanel is never going to be shoddy, but this was next-level extra; bedding down at the Ritz (in a room, I should add, I didn’t just pull out a sleeping bag and lie in the lobby) and some really quite excellent dining.
Despite the fact that on the way out to Paris I was surviving on 75 minutes’ sleep from the night before (can’t ever sleep before an early wakeup call, see Early Bird) I threw myself into the Chanel immersion wholeheartedly, touring the HQ, having my makeup done at the Chanel flagship store on the Champs Elysees and even doing some Chanel-themed crafts. (Gilding my own Chanel logo with gold leaf. As you do. Crafting de Chanel.)
I sat in what can only be described as a Chanel Classroom, learning about some of the ingredients they use in the new Sublimage cleansing range (the new l’Huile-en-Gel Cleanser* is a gorgeous gel-to-oil-to-milk concoction, if you’re a Chanel-ophile and are in the market for a luxury treat!) and I went down the skincare labs to see how a few of the raw ingredients are extracted.
But my favourite part of the trip was a tour around the Chanel archives. Les Archives de Chanel. (I think I irritated the entire press group by labelling everything X de Chanel. It was all so stylish, so minimalist. Even the lifts looked nice. Lifts de Chanel. I just could’t help myself!)
In the archives they had some of the most important dresses and suits from various decades and they had loads of amazing photographs showing early designs and campaigns, but it was the vintage beauty packaging room that really tickled my fancy. It was like opening a time capsule, but a brilliantly elegant one – no mouldy parchments, broken records or rusty old sardine cans here! Instead there were teeny oil-paint tubes of moisturiser, bottles of talc, boxes of soap – all of them vintage and some from as far back as the 1920s.
What I found amazing was how many of the products that Chanel introduced in the 20s are echoed in their modern launches – in some ways the types of product and the way that they are presented has changed very little.
Glass bottles with sleek shapes and unfussy labels, minimalist black and white boxes and products that seemed more than a little familiar. How brilliant that some products available today, such as the Huile de Jasmine, were originally launched almost a hundred years ago!
It seems crazy that a product idea can work so well, be so desired and cherished, that it has almost the same look and formula a whole century later. If that’s not a masterclass in branding then I don’t know what is!
Although I have to say that the hand cream has evolved somewhat: from simple tube to what has to be one of the most ergonomic and satisfying pieces of packaging I’ve ever had the pleasure of touching. Have you seen the Chanel Creme Main? It’s housed in a perfectly smooth pebble of a bottle that fits exactly into the palm of your hand. So clever. So unusual. So well executed.
I realise I’m going down one of my rave routes (as in I’m getting diverted and praising something for ages, not as in I’m following a trail of gurning, topless, whistle-blowing dancers to a large tent in a remote field) and so I’ll stop now. I do wish I’d made more comprehensive notes on all of these archived products, though – honestly, they were fascinating. Look at the tanning products!
I can’t imagine too many people were bringing out tanning products as a range in that era – this was really thinking outside and around the proverbial box and giving people products that they didn’t even know they needed. Not just tanning oil, but self tan – get that sunshine hit without even stepping outside…
Marvellous. I’d go again, if only just to take better photos and write things down. As it happened I was too busy enjoying myself.
You can find the new Sublimage cleansing range online here* – my pick would be the Oil-in-Gel Cleanser* because it completely (and easily) removes makeup without being at all drying. Obviously the Sublimage pricetag applies, here, so please don’t faint when you see it.
Pricetag de Chanel.
Stand down, Outraged of Welwyn Garden City, I said How To Do A Glow Job not blow job! To be honest, I’m almost forty and still couldn’t tell you how to do the latter that well, so the chances of me writing a post about it (or – urgh – making a video) are slim.
I mean I’m not saying I’m particularly bad at it (must ask) just that it’s a pretty obscure thing to do a step-by-step on and I can’t imagine a video tutorial would get past the censors on Youtube. Although pretty much everything else seems to get past them so maybe it would be worth a punt…
Anyway, it’s a Glow Job how-to not a Blow Job how-to and for this totally non-explicit filming session I was joined by the wonderful Lisa Caldognetto, who is a busy working London makeup artist. She has a signature skin prep routine that she calls The Glow Job and she kindly offered to demonstrate it. It’s 50% skincare and 50% makeup, really, when you break it down – a refreshing change from the usual heavy-on-the-base add-a-load-of-shimmery-highlight routine that you see so much of.
The Glow Job technique relies on adding the glow at the bottom of the pile – so creating a really glossy, plumped-out and dewy base layer and then adding minimal coverage so that the natural juiciness of the skin really shows through. The startling thing about this look is that there’s no foundation used – it relies on having relatively good skin to start with, admittedly, but it’s a nice reminder that you can go easy on the coverage and still look perfected and polished.
I’ve listed the products that Lisa used below the video pane, but please do watch the tutorial to see how Lisa applies each step – she has a lovely way of using Weleda’s Skin Food, for example, and a very light touch with her makeup brushes. It’s always so interesting to see session makeup artists at work, they’re a total mine of information.
You can find Lisa on Instagram @lisacaldognettomakeup
Caudalie Eixir*: http://bit.ly/2YLfNa7
Hada Labo Serum*: https://amzn.to/2sjCAgV
Weleda Skin Food*: http://bit.ly/2EcfmMf
Hollywood Flawless Filter Shade 3*: http://bit.ly/33jRMZd
My Kitco Flawless Face Small Brush 0.21 Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 3*: http://bit.ly/2srPvgE
My Kitco Soft Concealing Brush 0.17 Chanel Soliel Tan de Chanel*: http://bit.ly/35v66yM
My Kitco Flawless Face Medium 0.22
Charlotte Tilbury Peachgasm Wand*: http://bit.ly/2rwzOFb
Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish powder*: http://bit.ly/35kDmZw
Good grief I put Elnett’s Extra Strength Hairspray through its paces for these photos! Short of sitting in a sauna for an hour, I can’t think of anything that would test the limits of a hairspray more. Gale force winds, driving rain, what felt like sleet at one point, a broken car heater that wouldn’t stop blasting out boiling hot air, two kids riding on my back using my hair as reins (“be a horsey Mummy”)… By the end of the day I should have looked like Worzel Gummidge, instead I looked pretty presentable, all things considered.
I wasn’t even set the task of testing the Elnett Extra Strength Hairspray’s powers – all of that was purely incidental. My intention was to take some nice pictures and tell you about the limited edition Electric Nights can, which is a very festive red instead of the usual gold, but I got sidetracked by the performance.
It’s no secret that I have a very long-term love affair with Elnett – just read this post to find out why it gets me all sentimental – but the Extra Strength version is new to me. I have to admit to the fact that I was slightly apprehensive about the first application, because stronger hairsprays usually leave my hair as crispy as a Ryvita. Stiff as a board. And I hate that feeling. I love the hold and I love what a strong hairspray can do, in terms of keeping things sleek or adding volume or what have you, but I can’t stand not being able to run my hands through my hair.
Not a problem with the Elnett Extra Strength – just like the original, there’s no stickiness or crispiness to the finish and you can simply brush it out when you want to restyle. I have no idea how this miracle is achieved, but I’m glad that this particular level of low-commitment hair styling exists. Because I like to brush out my high-glam before I go to bed, in the same way that I like to take all of my makeup off.
Anyway, the hold is excellent. I didn’t quite test the “up to 24 hours” claim but I think that my extreme conditions more than made up for the shortened timeframe. The weather was truly frightful and my broken car heater basically replicated what it would be like if you stood in front of an industrial space-heater for ten minutes. One half of my face was actually cooked, like a boiled ham and the metal buckles on my coat were glowing red, like iron on a blacksmith’s anvil. It’s amazing I’m still alive, quite frankly, and even more amazing that my hair still looked almost perfect.
In case you’re wondering, my choice of festive hairstyle was a three-step catalogue of near-disasters. “Do something festive”, they said, and so I was going to do this amazing, towering, backcombed up-do with sleeked sides and a messy chignon. And then I woke up and realised that I wasn’t Guido Palau and went with some low-key waves.
I’d like it recorded, however, that I did spend quite a while prepping and fussing with my hair to achieve this particular look: first I blow-dried it smooth, then I put in rollers through the top and front to give it a bit of bounce and lift (surprisingly this made quite a lot of difference!) and then I went in with the waving tongs and gave it all a once-over.
Fixed it all in place with liberal amounts of Elnett Electric Nights Limited Edition Extra Strength Hairspray, including one dizzying upside-down session where I sprayed the roots and underneath sections to give a bit more texture and body.
My usual (almost daily) use for Elnett is to fix down the flyaways around my hairline when I have my hair in a neat bun or ponytail, but it’s equally as good for setting styles that are looser or longer – because you can brush it out the styles feel flexible and natural.
Right, that’s enough of this year’s Elnett love-in – you can find the limited edition Electric Nights version at Superdrug here – it’s £4.19.
What’s your usual party style for hair? Do we all have one? And which kind of style is the one that you always dream of doing but never quite achieve? That “ooh, I’m going out-out so I must do something with my hair that is potentially going to make me late but only after I’ve burnt myself twice with something heated and then cried and then realised that my whole head looks like a haystack and that it looked better before I started”?
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