Still, here are the few items that ‘made it’ to my bathroom shelves in 2007.
The main discovery of the year was undoubtedly Boots No.7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum. I am not usually swayed by hype, but I saw the TV programme that started the stampede and the evidence that P&P was effective against skin ageing seemed compelling so I decided to give it a try, thereby betraying my resolve to only use products devoid of parabens, etc. By the time I went to my local Boots the shelves were empty and there was a notice warning of a shortage and to expect a long delay. The situation was apparently the same all over London. I waited for a while and checked the display in Boots regularly: it was quite funny, actually, you’d see these women approaching the counter and glancing around furtively and then walking away; no one wanted to be seen openly looking for that product. I got rather impatient – you know, I was getting more wrinkles in the meantime, but one of my Internet pals – a very generous woman – took pity on me and sent me a large sample of the serum. I used it up and finally managed to buy a whole bottle. After a few weeks, someone commented, unprompted, that my skin looked smoother and plumper. Hooray, it worked!
However, things are not that simple (are they ever?) because at exactly the same time as I started using Protect &Perfect I also began to use Avon Ultimate Day and Avon Ultimate Night creams. You see, P&P is not a moisturiser; it has to be used under one. The question is then whether my skin has benefited from P&P or from the two Avon creams. I intend to test this further: when I have used up the tube of P&P (it’s now in a tube not in a beautifully luxurious but infuriating bottle – at least two days’ worth of precious serum was lost in the first bottle I bought), I will stop using it for a while and stick to the Avon creams. If my skin shows signs of regressing to its former state, I will know P&P is not the miracle-worker it’s been hailed to be, which would be a shame.
As I said above, I slipped, and slapped high-tech creams on my face again, but, I’m happy to say, not on my lips (well, except for the lip gloss below, of course). I have added to my small collection of natural lip salves: Badger Chai Rose, which tastes deliciously of cardamom and rose, and which, I have this minute discovered, is supposed to be for the body too – difficult when you only have a small tube of it, though. And Fresh & Wild Vanilla Honey, which tastes wonderfully of – yes, you guessed it – vanilla and honey. They are both 100% natural and 100% yummy.
I also have on my desk a small tube of Clarins Baume Couleur Lèvres in Coquelicot (Poppy - 11). I don’t like gloss: at my age, when the outline of your lips become rather ‘vague’ and you don’t want to look tarty by drawing it with a pencil, you need to wear ‘proper’ lipstick. Not too shiny is best, otherwise your lips look younger than the rest of your face and that’s not a good thing (the same goes with bright white teeth and long hair). I got that sample of lip gloss with a French magazine. How could I resist: it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s a gorgeous shade of red (the pic is of another one) and it smells of cherry; it glides on easily and it’s not sticky. I recommend it to anyone not ancient as I am, who can still wear lip gloss without looking silly. I just use it while I work – for me.
My only other purchase in 2007 was a small bottle of Palmer’s Olive Butter body lotion. I’ve never been able to use the original one: the smell of cocoa butter makes me nauseous (or nauseated, if you live over there, to the left of us) so I was delighted when I found the same great product with a smell that I could tolerate, nay that I could ‘love’. It doesn’t smell of olive oil, though, as one might expect, it smells of flowers, possibly hyacinth or lily of the valley. I can’t quite tell. What? Am I supposed to be a perfumista or something? Anyway, it’s gorgeous and soft and emollient. It’s not greasy and goes in very easily. A great, cheap product.
And that’s it for the new stuff. Told you I’d been very frugal in 2007. But don’t go away just yet: I must tell you about my favourite eye pencil. It was discontinued several years ago, obviously – anything that works and is attractive gets taken off the shelves; it’s a fact of life, but I got wind of it and stocked up. I am currently using the last of my little stash of five L’Oréal Eye Artist crayons in Muscat. It’s a purply brown with a hint of shine that suits me better than any eyeliner I’ve ever used (certainly better than the peel-off liquid eyeliner Dior launched in the early 1970s. It was so silly: it would come off in the middle of the day and you’d end up with a kind of thin, curling caterpillar on your upper lid, LOL!). One day, in a couple of years’ time, I will have to go in search of a replacement. I’m not looking forward to it.
This time, I’m done. Check out what the ladies below (Word 2007 is telling me I’m not supposed to use the word ‘ladies’; how sweet, I have a feminist copy of the program) are recommending. I will be joining you there...
My thanks to Annie of Blogdorf Goodman for organizing this fun event and to Melanie for the beautiful logo.