Last week I had my first hands-on demo of the infamous Clarisonic to launch its new counter in House Of Fraser on Oxford Street. Alas, 15 minutes before my appointment, I found the store temporarily closed due to a power failure, so the expected chi-chi demonstration became a potted history with Daniel Sandler on the pavement until the doors reopened and we set to.
Make-up artist Daniel Sandler discovered the Clarisonic on a trip to the States a few years ago and helped to spread the word on his return to the UK. The Clarisonic then became something of a cult, nay a phenomenon, which has now spawned quite a few imitations. But they’re not exactly the same. Clarisonic’s famous oscillating technology has been patented, meaning none of the copies are an exact match. Whereas the competitors tend to have rotating brushes, these have brushes that gently vibrate back and forth to break down oil and dirt. This means that if used properly, it shouldn’t stimulate acne or aggravate sensitive skin. According to my demonstrator, while you may experience a breakout the first time, this is just the result of deep pore cleaning, much like a post-facial breakout, but subsequent cleanses should be fine.
Here’s what else I learnt:
*You don’t need to scrub or apply pressure, just gently move the brush in circular motions guided by the timer. There are also special brush heads for delicate or sensitive skin.
*You do need to clean and dry the brush head each time you use it. You can use it in the shower but don’t store it in there wet attracting mould (ew).
*Don’t use an oil or cream cleanser. If you wear a lot of heavy makeup, Daniel recommends double cleansing, so use your rich oil or cream cleanser to remove makeup first, then use a water-based cleanser with the Clarisonic.
*Men love the Clarisonic too. It has a brush attachment that lifts the beard to prepare for a closer shave and guys with ultra short hair can even use it on their heads.
*You can also use the Clarisonic Plus on the body, even dry for circulation-boosting dry body brushing. And it’s apparently very effective in reducing those icky upper arm bumps (otherwise known as keratosis pilaris).
At £125-£179, the Clarisonic clearly isn’t cheap. But it’s a tool that dermatologists (its original customers) and make-up artists swear by for prepping the skin to help absorb products more efficiently. Effectively, I guess that also means your expensive creams, serums and make-up will perform better so you’ll need to use less. In that sense, it’s really not a bad investment.
Where do you stand on the current nineties mania? Over it already or fully paid up member of the revivalist club? I’m still in the latter camp; the ’90s was my decade in terms of defining a style and an aesthetic. I clearly remember being enthralled by all things Lang, Comme and Yohji although my budget rarely stretched beyond a CDG tee or a Lang fragrance. Continue reading
Beauty snippets: the fashionisation of beauty, Dries Van Noten X Chanel, Jo Malone London, Marni, Aerin Lauder, Downton Abbey
THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE FASHIONISATION OF BEAUTY
In the same week that Marc Jacobs Beauty leaked a handful of its products on Sephora, (the entire range officially launches next month), the New York Times wrote a story on how fashion designers are innovating in make-up. Highlights include the influence of Chanel, Dior and Alber Elbaz. You can read the whole story here… Continue reading
Oh my! A few Marc Jacobs Beauty products have just gone on sale at Sephora.com three weeks early. Shop shop shop til you can shop no more here! But fast, cos it’s only on sale today and tomorrow (if stocks even last that long)…
Beauty snippets: Boys in blusher, Marc Cain X Uslu Airlines, the problem with product placement, summer scents, YSL Forever Light Creator
BOYS IN BLUSHER (AND EYELINER AND LIPPY)
The big beauty buzz for me during the last few weeks has been around men’s beauty and grooming. With the news of Tom Ford’s imminent grooming line (due this autumn) and Marc Jacobs Beauty’s unisex products (coming to a Sephora near you soon), it seems men’s luxury makeup is tipping into the mainstream. Pushing things further, Hedi Slimane’s models at Saint Laurent wore full-on eyeliner and lipstick for the SS14 shows in Paris. If anyone understands youth culture it’s Slimane so I’m keen to see if the cool young indie set take this aesthetic to its natural conclusion. Having grown up on Nick Rhodes, Adam Ant and David Sylvian, I hope they do. Continue reading
We’ve finally got a first look at Marc Jacobs’ make-up line, launching at Sephora in August.
The range is extensive and colourful because Jacobs think ‘natural is a little lazy’. There will be foundations, concealers, powders, lip colours, eyeliners, eye shadows, nail polishes and bronzers. And it looks as if they’re going to market some of the products as unisex, including the Lip Lock Moisture Balm, Brow Tamer Grooming Gel, and Remedy Concealer Pen (maybe we’ll see Harry Brant in the ad campaign). Continue reading
MY HOLY GRAIL EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER
This Tumblr blog, ‘Shit Bloggers Wear’ is cheeky – but spot on. I didn’t realise everyone was raving about La Roche-Posay, but I’ve finally found my holy grail eye make-up remover and its name is La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution. ‘Micellar’ is the magic beauty word of the hour (micellar waters contain microscopic oil spheres that gently suck dirt off the skin) and this works brilliantly. Continue reading
Beauty snippets: The Bling Ring, Jean-Louis Sebagh, Lisa Eldridge, Pinterest, YSL Baby Doll, Cosmetics A La Carte, Charlotte Tilbury, Into The Gloss, Bourjois
COSMETICS A LA CARTE COLOUR AND CULTURE EXHIBITION
This is turning out to be an exciting month for beauty. I would love to make it to the Chanel no5 exhibition in Paris but frankly, that ain’t gonna happen. More achievable is the Cosmetics A La Carte ‘Colour And Culture’ exhibition next week at 50 Redchurch Street E2. Celebrating forty years of the specialist cosmetics company (I’ve always wanted one of their custom-made foundations), the exhibition is only on for five days (22-26 May, 10-6pm) so rearrange that diary and schedule it in! Continue reading
Summer just doesn’t seem to want to kick in in NW10. I’m still wearing my woolly scarves and HeatTech which doesn’t do much to put me in an upbeat mood. But this is where the power of make-up really comes in as a mood-booster. I’ve been testing out these Kure Bazaar nail polishes and the colour palette is pretty impressive. My current favourite is Fabulous, a uplifting pink with just a hint of milkiness (third from the left). Kelly is another hot, tropical pink, this time with a subtle shimmer. Both shades are super-flattering on short nails and the added bonus is that Kure Bazaar is one of the new generation of non-toxic nail polishes that are emerging. You can buy them at Selfridges and KureBazaar.com.
Another bit of nail news comes from Yves Saint Laurent. I love YSL polishes – the colours and consistency are second to none, and of course you know I adore the gold casing. The way these La Laque Couture Tie & Dye duos work is quite interesting. Apply the main dense colour as your base coat (choose from signature Yves Saint Laurent shades of blue, pink, purple and orange), wait five minutes, then shake the shimmery topcoat and apply as many layers as you like depending on how intensely you want your nails to dazzle. They cost £18 per duo and are a cute idea for statementy disco nails – and let’s face it, disco is definitely cool again…
Oh and while we’re on a nail tip (LOL), I’ve just discovered Deborah Lipmann’s ‘The Stripper To Go’ a lavender-infused nail lacquer remover finger mitt. You get one mitt in a sachet which easily cleans ten nails in about ten seconds. Converted! Six sachets cost £14 so they’re not cheap but an excellent option for travel.
This Chanel Les Beiges sample has been sitting in its box for weeks because I was too scared to use it. I’ve never used bronzers because I don’t know where to position them, but I finally couldn’t resist this sand-hued compact (a first for Chanel) and went for the plunge.
Verdict: Peter Philips has triumphed again with this elegant Healthy Glow Sheer Powder (with SPF15) which has barely perceptible golden specks that very subtly catch the light (I used shade 30). I’ve found the best way to use this is to be confident with the brush; swish it in a swooping figure-of-three type action along the side of the face from brow to chin, then a bit over the forehead and nose. The results are so impressive – a natural, outdoorsy ‘wellness’ effect.
I think this is going to be my hero product for the summer although the only downside is it’s quite heavily scented so that’s something to get used to. It’s selling fast but Selfridges currently has all the shades.