Chanel Le Rouge Collection No.1: On Video

chanel le rouge collection no.1 review

I told you this week would be rather heavy on the Chanel, but I couldn’t write about their amazing Nail Gloss without then going on to reveal the ins and outs of the new autumn launch, Le Rouge Collection No.1. (If you’re astute and read between the lines, here, you’ll realise that I spent all of my allotted work day clarting about with Chanel stuff and didn’t leave time for anything else. I have red Chanel things coming out of my ears.)

But what a gorgeous collection – the first from their global creative makeup director, Lucia Pica. Le Rouge is a beautiful collection of makeup for eyes, nails, cheeks and lips using the colour red as a sort of underlying theme. Sometimes its used boldly, in the bright cherry-red lipsticks, for example, but often its included in a more subtle or surprising way – when was the last time you saw a brick red eyeshadow, or red-tinged mascara?

I’ve played about with my favourite items from the collection on video – it’s not a perfect, polished look, because I was quite literally just messing about with the camera rolling, but you get a good idea of how the products can be worn. I found it quite liberating splashing on red shadow and then a clashing red lip – it seemed to go against all of the makeup “rules”, but felt so good! The reddish shadow from the Candeur et Experience palette seemed to brighten my eyes instantly, and I’ll definitely be wearing this a lot going into the Autumn – I enjoyed wearing the red lipstick too, but I do find red lips a bit of a faff unless I’m going to something very dressy and need to make an effort…

chanel le rouge collection no.1 review

If you’re a true red lipstick fanatic then there’s plenty to keep you going in this collection. It would be weird for there not to be, I suppose, for what makeup item lends itself better to red than a lipstick? Above, from left to top right, there’s the deep and dangerous Rouge Audace, the bricky and chic Rouge Tentation, the bright and summery Rouge Feu and the shade I wear in the video and photo above, Rouge Charnel. In all honestly, Feu is my favourite, but I decided to go wild, push myself out of my comfort zone and choose a tone darker than usual.

What an absolute daredevil I am.


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Starskin: The Master Cleanser

starskin the master cleanser review

Starskin, The Master Cleanser, Detox Sea Kelp Leaf Cleansing Foam. Woo! That’s a product name and a half, isn’t it? I had to add some commas in just to break things up a bit, otherwise I could imagine people expiring from lack of oxygen before they reached the end of the sentence.

This little cleanser almost passed me by completely because it had slipped to the very side of my inbox and had jammed itself between a load of folded press releases. As you can hopefully see from my skilled photography (!) the packaging is rather different to anything else you might have come across, cleanser-wise. The Master Cleanser isn’t housed in a pot or a tube, a pump-action bottle or a screw-top jar; this is packaging at its most minimalist and frugal. A simple squeezy pouch with plastic nozzle – no fuss, little waste and easy to get every single last drop of cleanser from the inside. Why don’t all cleansers arrive like this?

I’ll tell you why not: they don’t bloody well stand upright! Which is fine if you have a load of bottles next to the bath to prop it up in, or a wire hanging thing in your shower where you can shove it alongside the flannels and razors and whatnot, but if you don’t have a handy place to stow it, its like trying to grapple with a miniature drunk who just wants to lie down.

Good for travelling though, I’d imagine. Nice and light and squashy. And you get used to the whole “lying it flat” thing, so long as you don’t mind slipping on it every time you step into the shower tray.

And the cleaner itself? I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is very rich and luxurious and a pleasure to use. Though it’s touted as a cleansing “foam”, it’s not a foaming cleanser in the sense of one of those washing-up liquid affairs that almost turns your face inside out with the amount of surfactant it contains. It doesn’t leave my skin dry or tight (though it does leave a sort of squeaky feeling on my hands when I rinse, which I find almost unbearable because I’m funny about squeakiness) and it seems to do a decent job of removing makeup and grime…

…but you can’t use it on your eyes. It does say something to this effect; okay their words are exactly to this effect  – avoid the immediate eye area – but, as always with my cleanser testing, I couldn’t resist taking one for the team and so I applied it directly to my eye area. Not even tentatively. Straight over the lashes in the hope of removing my mascara (it didn’t) and onto the lids to work away at my eyeshadow (did a grand job there). It stung like an absolute b*stard, I won’t lie. Which is annoying, because I was hoping that their warning would just be a “playing things safe’ sort of warning. If I’m using a cleanser, I like to be able to use it all over my face, including my eyes. It’s just the way I am.

Unless, of course, it’s one of those half-cleanser half-treatment sort of deals, like those exfoliating cleansing powders or in-shower quick-fire face masks. Those I can forgive, because I usually use them in the morning and I don’t need to remove any eye makeup and, quite often, I use them after my cleanser and not instead of. I suppose I could use the Master Cleanser only in the morning, but still. With its luxurious texture, it would be such a bonus if it could be used over the eye area too.

So, top marks for packaging innovation, even if the blasted thing does flip-flop about all over the place, and in terms of cleansing, good marks for a formula that seems to deep-clean without drying. Minus points for the eye situation.

On that note, if you have oily skin and are looking for a very quick, instant deep-clean and polish that you most definitely SHOULD NOT get in your eyes, then I’ve recently rediscovered Vichy’s Normaderm Cleanser + Scrub + Mask. I don’t use the scrub step because scrubs often make me a bit ruddy, but you can give it a quick whizz about if you fancy, otherwise leave it on for a few minutes as a mask and then rinse. Instant brightness.

The Master Cleanser from Starskin is £17.56 here, Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask is £8.25 here.

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© 2016 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be very clearly marked. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. Outward links to retailers will usually be affiliate links. Please see here for full “about” section and disclaimer.  A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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La Roche-Posay UV Patch: Giveaway for 100 Readers

la roche-posay uv patch

In late June, skincare brand La Roche-Posay are launching something quite brilliant, especially if you’ve always been interested to know just how much UV exposure your skin is getting. (I realise that’s quite a niche interest, but there are lots of skin and beauty obsessives here so it’s not too far-fetched!) Being an annoyingly cynical sort of person, I have always wondered how much SPF I really need to apply when I’m here in the UK. And I don’t mean on a blazing hot day – it’s obvious, I think, to most of us, that when the sun is glaring down and you’re forced to put your sunglasses on your skin needs to be protected. No, I’m talking about your confusing overcast-then-slightly-sunny-but-also-cool-enough-to-wear-a-jacket kind of day. The typical British summer’s day or a nice spring day, or even a winter’s day when you’re going to be gadding around outdoors a bit. What then? How high is your exposure to UV, really?

So La Roche-Posay’s new UV Patch is of great interest to me – the first ever wearable, stretchable skin sensor that’s able to monitor UV exposure and, via a smartphone app, advise on the most appropriate way to stay protected. By scanning the patch with the app, you can keep a regular check on just how high UV levels are, something that satisfies my curious nature! The patch will be available to the general public from late June and will be totally free, available from Boots skincare experts (I’m assuming they are in larger Boots stores, but I’ll check) and dermatologists. You’ll also be able to register for one online – I’ll update you with the link once I have it – but fear not if all of this sounds like too much effort, for I have one hundred UV Patches to give away to readers of A Model Recommends. All you need to do is leave a comment below and 1oo entries will be picked at random at the end of the month. (Noon on 27th May, 2016.) Those readers will receive their UV Patch before they become available to the general public, so you’ll be able to be incredibly geeky about smart technology and skin monitoring when people ask why you have a special patch on the back of your hand…

la roche-posay uv patch

I’ve been wearing my UV Patch for the past three days – you can wear it for up to five – and the results have been really interesting. I hadn’t reckoned on my skin being exposed to UV quite as often as it was and there were a couple of hours of really intense exposure last Saturday, when I was out walking the dog, that had completely escaped my notice. I’m looking forward to testing my spare patch when the weather gets hot (ha) so that I can track the exposure over a number of days when I know I’ll be outdoors a lot – I thought I might use that time to do some SPF-testing, very scientific!

The idea behind the UV Patch is that it works as an educational tool – not just for people who are failing to use sun protection at all, but for those who are curious as to whether they are applying enough of it (and frequently enough) for it to be effective. The patch is waterproof and stretches with the skin, so you completely forget you’re wearing it, and scanning it with the app is simple; just line up the heart shaped patch with the guide on your smartphone screen and it “reads” the photosensitive dyes that have changed colour to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.


I hope that this is the kind of technology that will become very mainstream; stuck to the inside of magazines, like perfume samples, or free at the till when you buy something at Boots. Perhaps. I realise that it’s much more expensive to produce wearable technology than it is a perfume sample, or a little sachet of face cream, but it would be so beneficial to make people more aware of how they needed to protect their skin. I have to say, the app could be simplified much more – perhaps a very basic traffic light system to show when the skin is being most exposed to UV, for those who don’t want to look at the chart or read notes – but overall, it’s a very user-friendly experience.

Please do leave a comment if you’d like to try a UV Patch –  be aware that the patches won’t be ready until June, just ahead of the main launch, but definitely in time to monitor some days in the sun! I’ve been doing a marathon SPF test session recently, so keep a look out for some recommendations…

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