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Fashion and beauty for sassy over 40 women

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Monday, 25 August 2014

In search of the perfect Nude

I bet that's a headline that will win me a lot of traffic :-)

I have been searching for the perfect nude lipstick for many years. Some celebrities, like Victoria Beckham, Nigella Lawson and Eva Longoria, have definitely cracked it. I want what they're having.

First, a word of warning. Every woman has a different "perfect Nude." I fell victim to a couple of magazine articles where the writer swore that various Nudes were perfect for everyone. MAC Creme d' Nude and Givenchy Beige Mousseline were two that I bought which were wrong for me. I recently bought the Charlotte Tilbury nude plus lip lacquer plus lip pencil, but again, they were the wrong nude.

What I've learnt is that because we all have different skin tones, that applies to our lips as well. Some peoples' lips are pinker than others. For me, the Nudes that are entirely beige or cream coloured are useless. I need one with a little pink undertone.

I also find that a nude on its own looks very flat on the mature woman so you need to shoosh it up with some lip gloss on top.

For me the perfect combo is By Terry shade 100 Terrybly Nude, topped with By Terry Gloss Terrybly Shine in Floral Paradise. Together these give a subtle wash of colour and juicey shine that doesn't scream out "lipstick" but whispers "enhanced lips." It gives a nice soft focus effect to your make-up. They assured me in Space NK this is the duo that Nigella uses.

I did panic when I last tried to buy the lipstick because Space NK didn't have it, and I feared it had been end-of-lifed. I managed to get one at Harrods.

Another lipstick which worked quite well, but does seem to have been end-of-lifed, was L'Oreal's lipstick Colour Rich Star Secrets in 715, Jane Fonda.

What are your tips for the perfect Nude?

For Patti and all the lovely ladies at Visible Monday.

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Charlotte Tilbury reviewed

Celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury recently introduced her own range of skincare and make-up products. When you think about it, there aren't too many ranges designed by make-up artists  (I'm thinking Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and ??) and it's a definite bonus having a regular user prescribe the products, rather than a huge anonymous beauty house.

The products are available at her website and in Selfridges. She is launching in the US soon.

I went a bit mad, over a period of weeks, on the Tilbury range.

I then had a "make-up lesson" with Tilbury at Selfridge's, along with around 45 others. She applied make-up to a beautiful young model on stage and we then recreated each step on our tables, each equipped with all the products and a professional make-up artist helper.

First things first. It's hard to pitch an entire make-up range at all age groups, and I think Tilbury has done a fair job with this. The products look very classy in their  packaging.

The products that I love are:
Multi-Miracle Glow, £45. This is a cleanser, mask and balm. I'm on my second jar, which is rare for me. I have only used it as a cleanser. You massage it into your skin, foam it up with water and wipe away with a cloth. It leaves my skin fresh, smooth and clean. It's apparently fabulous with one of those ultrasonic brushes. I have a Clarisonic but never use it. I really didn't notice any difference.

Charlotte's Magic Cream, £70. This is her fabled moisturizer. She devised the formulation herself and used it at fashion shows and on shoots, and gradually it developed cult status. It has a lovely texture and gives a youthful bloom.

The Cheek to Chic blusher, £30, is fantastic. I normally use a cream blusher but became a convert to this, a powder, because it doesn't give that ageing powdery look. Each compact has two shades, one for "pop." If I was forced to wear just two make-up products, this would be one along with concealer. It makes me look healthy and radiant. My shade is Ecstasy.

Filmstar Bronze & Glow, with the Powder and Sculpt Brush (£84)
Tilbury says she uses this on all the celebrities she works with. Most of us are afraid to use contouring products for fear of having dark smudges but her brush makes simple work  of it. I find it's great for brushing along the jaw line to magic away the traces of a double chin or jaw droppage. The highlighting powder is very fine and adds depth and luminosity brushed along the top of the cheekbones and down the centre of the nose.

Products I found less successful

The foundation Light Wonder, £32, is indeed very light coverage, more like a tinted moisturizer. I was persuaded to get a shade which is currently too pale for me, but maybe in winter I will use it.

Wonder Glow, £38.50,  is a primer that can be worn over moisturizer or under or over foundation / BB cream. It's supposed to give "instant soft focus beauty" but a more effective product, for me, is Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm. My mum tried it too but was also less than impressed.

The mascara, Full Fat Lashes, £22, didn't give me such good eyelashes as other products and also smudged.

The nude lipstick Nude Kate, £23, is a not a very flattering nude on me as it has no pink. I tried the Bardot Beige lip lacquer on top (£16.50) but it needs constant re-applying and isn't very glossy or wet look. The lip liner, Lip Cheat, £16, in Iconic Nude, wasn't soft enough and didn't give much definition.

The eyshadows are good quality but the colours in the Luxury Palette, Uptown Girl (£38) are quite sparkly and difficult to apply sparingly, even if you blend very well with her brushes.

Finally the eyebrow pencil, Brow Lift (£22)  in Grace K, a grey shade for blondes or redheads, was a big let down. The highlighter, which is revealed when you "snap" the pencil in half, is excellent. But the pencil itself was too hard. I much prefer the Brow Whiz by Anastasia which is very soft and gives the illusion of tiny little hairs.





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