Thursday, 3 January 2008

Best of 2007

It’s that time of the year again when I wonder whether I truly belong with the perfumistas and make-up junkies listed below. I bought even fewer cosmetics and skincare products in 2007 than in 2006. I didn't fall in love with any fragrance: I am still in thrall to Tubéreuse Criminelle and see no reason whatsoever to be unfaithful to it.

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...

  • 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic

  • Afrobella

  • All About The Pretty

  • All Lacquered Up

  • Beauty 411

  • Beauty Blogging Junkie

  • Beauty Talk

  • Beautiful Makeup Search

  • Beauty Hatchery

  • Beauty Jones

  • Blogdorf Goodman

  • Canadian Beauty

  • C’est Chic

  • Coquette

  • eBeautyDaily

  • For The Love of Beauty

  • Give Me Your Eyes I Need Sunshine

  • Getting Amped

  • Grayburn

  • HauteMommaStuff

  • Koneko’s Beauty Diary

  • Makeup Bag

  • The Makeup Girl

  • Miss Whoever You Are

  • My Life,My Words,My Mind

  • Legerdenez

  • Perfumista

  • Periodic Style

  • Platinum Blonde Life

  • Product Girl

  • Shop Diary

  • Slap of the Day

  • Steeping Beauty

  • The Beauty Alchemist

  • The Daily Obsession

  • The Life Of A Ladybug

  • The Non-Blonde

  • Urbane Girl

  • Victoria’s Own

  • We Love Beauty

  • My thanks to Annie of Blogdorf Goodman for organizing this fun event and to Melanie for the beautiful logo.


    1. LOL. You are one of the funniest LADIES out. I thought that I must rush out this minute and buy some Boots P&P, but then remembered I've just got an expensive bottle of Decleor something or other at one sixth price from TKMax. So, knowing me, I'd be slathering them both on, as I do everything that comes by and I'd never know which one it was that had made me beautiful at last! Happy Kvetching New Year, Bela.

    2. It doesn't matter how few products there's all in the writing.

    3. ok, well, i've been resisting (i'm not keen on hype) but now i might try the P&P samples my mum gave me - she is a convert herself...

      and please will you tell me where to get the vanilla and honey lipsalve - i love the sound (well, ok, the scent!) of it! i adore vanilla and handsoap at home is palmolive's milk and honey which is divine IMO

      oh, just to let you know, i plumped for some ormonde jayne's tolu (dh's birthday present to me) - mr lutens might have to wait a little longer (sorry to disappoint you, J!)

      belated happy new year greetings!

    4. do you think, perchance, that some of the allure of p'n'p is that it's so damn hard to get now? i think the smell is replusive! i've been using idealist for some time and think it's awfully good - have you tried it?

    5. Thank you for your kind words and wishes, PB. Happy New Year to you too! Décléor has very good products; they always smell delicious. You can try P&P later, once you’ve used up the other lotion. I don’t think it’s going to be discontinued in the near future.

      Thanks, L. :-)

      LH, you have a sample and you haven’t been tempted to try it? Glad to know it’s working for your mother too.

      The vanilla and honey lip salve comes from Wholefoods in High Street Ken. I believe Fresh & Wild is their own brand. They have a huge range of natural beauty products; they’re all very tempting. Luckily, I don’t go there very often.

      I’m so glad you finally found a fragrance you love. I had a sample of Tolu and didn’t like it very much, but later I acquired a mini candle and I was going to give it away when I realised that I loved the smell of it, so it sits close to my desk and I get whiffs of it from time to time. I still don’t like it as a juice, though. I’m not disappointed at all, L. Maybe Serge will come up with something that will appeal to you by the time you’ve used up Tolu. I’ve met Linda Pilkington (the creator of the OJ scents): she’s a delightful woman.

      Happy 2008 to you too!

      Well, RG, I don’t know about other people, but I wouldn’t have bought another tube of P&P if I hadn’t found it suited my skin so well, but, as I said, it might be the other creams that are effective. I don’t mind the smell at all. And it’s not difficult to get at all these days, you know. Someone I know swears by Idealist; I have tried it too: it was too silicone-y for my taste (a bit too slippery). I’m glad you like it, though. :-)


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