The design of this is just adorable: like a dolly-sized professional make-up artist’s box. (The two quarters ‘swing out’ sideways, to reveal the luminous highlighter below.
The eight shades are brilliant spins on classic neutrals, with three shimmering shades to set the eyes sparklingly and flatteringly alight. (Trust us: the Christmas party is no place for a matte eye. If you can’t glimmer under the mistletoe, where can you…?) Think: silver-y mauve, pearlised grey plum, light grey, medium grey-violet, a deep, dark, sexy brown-black, for smokin’ eyes – and more.)
The shimmer powder itself looks pretty when very, very lightly dusted over the décolletage with a big, fat, fluffy brush – if you don’t want to apply it to cheeks.
It’s limited edition, so be quick. Because this is something that grown-up dolls and Bobbi fans everywhere are going to want to get their hands on.
‘Cos she’s done it AGAIN.
UK readers find Bobbi Brown Caviar & Oyster Palette at www.johnlewis.com – buy here
US readers find it at www.bobbibrown.com/$75 – buy here
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
To be honest, until the last couple of years Clarins never wowed us with their make-up – but that’s all changed. And this is the latest in a series of fab finds.
A gold compact so pretty that surely even Miss Manners wouldn’t mind if you whipped it out at table to deepen your already-smoky eyes.
Incredibly wearable shades: browns, beiges and a taupe-bronze with a jewel-like finish.
(Though we don’t care what Clarins say: we’re still going to ditch the fiddly little applicators – despite their high quality – and use our own pro-quality brushes.)
The result, though, is a super-flattering evening look. In fact, we’re almost mistletoe-worthy and it’s only 6th November…!
UK readers find Clarins Odyssey Eye Quartet Mineral Palette at www.johnlewis.com/£30 – buy here (and it’s limited edition so do be quick!)
We’re reliably told that ‘smokey eye’ is the most searched-for beauty term on Google.
Well, if you want to boldly go into autumn yourself on the eye make-up front, this is a darned good place to start. Urban Decay specialise in sexy eye palettes, and this is the sultriest-yet, showcasing 10 shades of shadow from neutral mattes (think of these as your ‘canvas’), and plenty of dark shades including an inky blue and a so-on-trend forest-y green, plus the requisite charcoal tones. Each velvety tone features the new shadow formula, and something called Pigment Infusion System™, for intensity of colour.
Possibly best of all is the full-size blacker-than-black matte pencil, which is almost all it takes for ‘instant Bardot’, frankly, if you’re in a hurry. Sweep, smoosh, smudge – and you’re done.
It truly is smokin’.
UK readers find Urban Decay Smoked Eye Palette at www.debenhams.com/£35 – buy here
US readers find it at www.sephora.com/$49 – buy here
Cute. V-e-r-y cute.
Think: stylish, magnetically-closed palette. (Not just emblazoned with owls on the outside – which as you may have noticed are the creature emblem du jour this season – but even the shadows themselves have owlish outlines.)
Think: wearable shades, in lovely, soft textures, including soft bronze, shiny silver, dark blue and a good neutral flesh tone.
Think: just £7.50.
Woo-hoo! As our owl friends would say…
UK readers find M&S Limited Collection Shadow at M&S stores (stockists 0845-302 1234) or www.marksandspencer.com/£7.50 – buy here
A good smudgey but non-budge eye-liner pencil is a treasure – and Pixi Straight On Till Morning Liner is just that. (There’s such a fine line between Brigitte Bardot and Chi-Chi the Giant Panda, we always feel…)
We’ve always loved this cool niche brand, created by make-up artist and product developer Petra Strand and launched in Soho, London, a decade ago. Petra’s philosophy can be described as ‘no fuss, no muss’. She believes make-up shouldn’t change a woman’s face, but ‘simply bring out the natural beauty in all women, so they look like themselves only better’.
Her formulations contain lots of botanicals and good stuff so they treat your skin while decorating it. (Here, vitamin E gives a skin-conditioning effect, and ensures easy-glide application.)
For Sarah’s mid to dark brown eyes, this eyeliner shade – called 2nd Star Twinkle is perfect: Pixi describe it as ‘deep jade-green infused with glimmer golden sparkle’. Sarah says it’s ‘goldy-greeny-khaki’.
But most importantly, it really truly stays the distance from morning to night – even with eyes that tend to water at the slightest provocation.
And almost certainly through till morning again, if we weren’t so addicted to our beauty sleep…
UK readers find Pixi Straight On Till Morning Liner at www.pixibeauty.co.uk/£9.50 – click here
Sad but true: we even go beauty-shopping when on holiday. (There’s probably a 12-step programme for this, but what the heck: there are worse vices.)
And tant pis – because this is how Jo stumbled upon Ellis Faas‘s range, in a little beautique in Lille. Whereupon these pen-style shadows became her favourite-ever cream shadows, gliding on smoothly and then setting to a budge-proof finish that would survive – well, even a Jubilee weekend downpour.
These velvety cream-to-powder creations are densely-pigmented so a little goes a long way, but are very ‘buildable’ if you want serious depth of colour: just brush-and-blend. A little like a Touche Eclat, you have to twist the end to ‘prime’ the shadow, but then it glides on like a dream. There are some bright and pastel colours but some terrific neutrals, too: Jo’s favourite is E107, a classic taupe.
Dutch-born Ellis has been described by Vogue as ‘one of the most influential make-up artists of her time’ and we look forward to meeting her someday, because the whole range is pretty darned fab. (A lot of it is pen-style, for ease – and she even sells an ammunition-style belt, to slip the ‘pens’ into, if you’re really serious. If you happen to be passing Liberty, incidentally, your can explore the range in the beauty hall.)
We’re simply Faas-inated.
UK readers find Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes at www.ellisfaas.com/£23 – click here
US and EU readers find the shadows on the same site, which ships internationally: $36/ €26 (simply input your currency before shopping)
Don’t be put off by the fact this product has the word ‘tattoo’ in the name: Maybelline New York Color Tattoo 24Hr is actually an eyeshadow. A marathon-wear eyeshadow. (We think you probably could run a real-life marathon in this and it would stay firmly in place.)
The fact that the formula is so long-lasting is quite scary, in the case of several of the shades. (There’s a really intense purple and an azure turquoise which maybe ought to carry a printed warning for anyone over 21.) But – as so often is the case, with collections of brights – there’s a truly brilliant neutral lurking in the collection. Very quietly. A soft, flattering, perfect smokey grey-taupe (shade name: Permanent Taupe). Apply with a fingertip, blend – and in about two seconds flat, eyes are shaded beautifully. And once it’s there, it’s THERE. Oh, boy is it THERE. No creasing/smudging/movement at all.
There isn’t oodles of playtime before it ‘sets’ so you may have to practice once or twice to perfect your technique. But this is completely brilliant for mornings when you’re time-poor and don’t want to head out of the door completely bare-faced. It’s best on primed/prepped lids, but works perfectly fine on a lid to which you’ve already applied a touch of cream or serum. On entirely naked lids, it’s harder to smooth into the skin, and seems to set even more speedily.
There are a couple of other shade options which come under the ‘wearable’ banner (just): Eternal Gold and On and On Bronze. Used incredibly lightly – literally the teensiest touch – the gold’s attractive on the brow-bone, and the bronze, we’ve found, is nice on the inner top eyelid to bring a little ‘light’ to the eye. But you really need to experiment because there’s some serious shimmer in these: it’s easy to tip over into 70s disco diva-dom.
Though if that’s your thing, these would be just great. And would still be dazzling from a distance when the bouncers at Studio 54 were ushering you towards the door at closing time…
UK readers find them here/£4.99 at www.boots.com
US readers find them here/$6.99 at www.maybelline.com
(The shadows even have their own Facebook page here)