If you’re a fan of Chanel’s Vitalumiere foundations, last week saw some new updates. First, its Vitalumiere Fluid (top left), a very pleasant satin-finish liquid foundation, is now available in Beige 70 and Beige 80. I really like this foundation, it gives just enough coverage for my verging-on-dry skin and it’s good to see the range of shades expanding.
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.
What do you mean you haven’t bought your Hermes sari yet? Chop, chop, they won’t stick around forever you know. While researching the Hermes sari on Google, I came across my own post from 2008. Check it out here if you want to learn how to drape a sari (Hermes or otherwise).
[Image Hermes SS08 from Style.com]
In only seven days time I will be hauling my ass to Heathrow along with my paltry baggage allowance to head off to Mumbai for eight weeks. I am working on a new magazine launch and need to pack enough clothes to make a professional impression (not easy for a jeans-and-Converse girl) as well as my files, notebooks, laptop and the obligatory bits and pieces that my mum has requested I take over for her (er, six Mum roll-on deodorants??!!!). This is what brought me to the Oxford Street sales. In the last year or so I have overcome my urge to consume, consume, consume. I think it’s because I buy so many magazines. Looking at merchandise in magazines gives me the same buzz as buying the stuff itself, so even though I spend a bundle on glossies, it actually works out as a saving. For this reason I haven’t had the urge to hit the sales although I will of-course browse a sale rail if I’m passing one, I’m not a total freak.
I must be one of the lucky few who has a boyfriend who actually likes shopping. And D knows what he’s doing as it was he who told me that Fenwick has an extra 10% off on the first day of the sale*. So after I gave him a head start at Skandium in the hope that its Florence Knoll sofa would be heavily reduced (it wasn’t even in the sale), we met for a quick butchers in Selfridges before snaffling some half-price Charbonnel & Walker champagne truffles in Fenwick. Up to Kurt Geiger on the first floor where I fell upon some Repetto ankle-tie ballet pumps. This was a true bargain as I had already seen and rejected them a couple of weeks ago at Kurt Geiger in South Molton Street (£130! For ballet pumps!). I’m hoping these will work to zhuzh up jeans for day as I can’t see myself wearing Converse to appointments with the Gucci PR. I’m slightly concerned that the dusty pot-holed streets might eat them alive but I’ve been promised a car and driver so hopefully that will take care of that. After a cursory look at the lingerie (no decent Fifi Chachnil and the Hanro basics were not on sale) we were outta there.
On the way to lunch at DKNY – now wouldn’t it be nice if restaurants had sales? – we passed huge queues at Miu Miu and Prada. I mean, really, who queues for a sale? Don’t even get me started on the ladies who were treated for hypothermia after queuing at 4am for the Next sale. Next?! I just don’t get it. These people clearly have more time than money but even so, don’t they know they can shop online? Post-lunch we took ourselves home with our modest sale buys – chocolates and Repettos for me, shoe trees and a new pair of gloves for him.
Disneyrollergirl’s Dos and Don’t for sensible sale shopping
1. DO make a plan. Don’t aimlessly wander from one end of the high street to another, you’ll give up at the first hurdle. Pinpoint five destination shops then factor in a coffee break to recharge.
2. DO go with the flow. There’s no point being in a hurry if you decide to hit the busiest shopping street in town. Slow down to the same pace as the dawdlers and bring a copy of Grazia to read while you queue for changing rooms and tills.
3. DON’T shop with friends, they’ll give you sale fatigue. If you shop alone you can get more done.
4. DON’T pay and queue in the obvious places. Go to the mens department where it’s less busy or somewhere off-radar like the flower department which is usually quiet.
5. DON’T go to the nearest loos. The ones further away will have shorter queues. Try Mamas & Papas in Regent Street, Selfridges 3rd floor in Oxford Street and Fenwick in New Bond street for the nicest, cleanest and quietest toilets in the West End. Fortnum & Mason has luxurious toilets with an attendant who wipes the seat before you use it and you get fancy soap and your own towel but it’s a tourist attraction in itself so be prepared for a queue. Harrods charges £1 to use its loos unless you go to the one in the basement accessed via the bread department. Avoid TopShop, Oxford Circus and Borders, Oxford Street toilets – nasty, nasty, nasty.
6. DO shop for gaps. It’s more satisfying to come home with something you actually needed than yet another stripy T-shirt.
7. DO be decisive. If you’re not sure, leave it. Don’t get caught up in the sales hype, once you’ve typed in your PIN you know you’ll never take it back.
8. DO go for quality over quantity. Aim for two or three quality bargains instead of ten bags of tat. Believe me, the buzz will be the same.
*until 1pm only!