I often compare my makeup bag to a John Pawson interior: there isn’t much in it. Despite writing about beauty I operate a strict rule of seven products maximum – and also in common with a Pawson interior, they are mostly aimed at concealing.
The staples include Benefit’s Girl Meets Pearl, a pearly liquid that I use instead of foundation and which makes your skin look radiant even after a night on the Pinot Grigio; Guerlain’s Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator, which magics away those pesky nose-to-mouth lines and Clinique’s Face Bronzing Gel Tint.
Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme mascara in Extreme Violet is also in my magnificent seven. (I’ve been addicted to purple mascara ever since Frey-Ja Barker, an independent make-up artist in Fenwick’s personal beauty suite, told me that it really makes blue or green eyes stand out,)
But recently, I’ve been breaking my self-imposed rule. The reason? I’ve developed an obsession with Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows. (Has anyone else noticed that cream formulations are much easier to apply and less aging than powder shadows?) Once I’d tried one – I started out with Galaxy (a silvery taupe) – I had to have several more. So began a quest to track down the elusive Mercury shade.
It took several visits to the Selfridges counter in London to nail a pot and all I can say is that there is a reason why it keeps selling out. It’s a a hugely flattering, suits-everyone silver that will put the sparkle back in your eyes. Frankly, it’s probably the most exciting £16.50 I’ve spent in the past six months as everyone comments on it. (Ed: it’s currently available online at Selfridges!)
It was while cooling my heels at the Bobbi Brown counter, that I also discovered another genius product: The Face Highlighter Pen, which is perfect for blusher-phobes as it illuminates the cheekbones in a subtle, foolproof way.
And just to add further weight to my makeup bag, I’ve recently broken my ‘no palette’ rule. I’ve always boycotted palettes as they take up too much space and invariably there are always a couple of dud colours that never get used. But earlier this year Chanel launched its Ombres Perlées eyeshadow collection, £39, which is possibly the first palette ever, where every shade is gorgeous.
It’s not just me who thinks so: I was recently having my highlights done at John Frieda when the client next to me whipped it out. Soon everyone (female) in the salon was cooing over the five cream shimmer colours, which include a fabulous stormy grey.
Meanwhile, several friends, including a well-known perfumer, are raving about the Giorgio Armani makeup collection which they say is better than Botox. But really, I’d better not go there as pretty soon I’m going to need a suitcase to carry it all around.