How to Contour. Or Not.

how to contour clinique chubby contour

I did a little contouring kit comparison over on my Telegraph “hub”; Clinique Chubby Contour sticks vs the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate. Tom Ford’s “S&I” was one of the first contouring products that I remember seeing on a cosmetics counter; now the world is inundated with things to make your face look like some kind of chiselled sculpture. Except that it hardly ever does. Look like a chiselled sculpture, I mean. And all of this business about it being one of the oldest “backstage” tricks, with makeup artists contouring their models left right and centre: nah. As I say in my Telegraph video, I can honestly count the times I’ve been contoured on two hands and I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of shoots.

clinique chubby contour

Any-hoo, people seem determined to draw in cheekbones (or perhaps the beauty industry is determined to make people feel as though they have to draw in cheekbones) and so we are being treated to a bazillion dubiously-coloured creams and gels and powders with which to achieve this razor-sharp look. My choice would probably be, after having tried much of the contour-paraphanelia out there, a sweep of matte bronzing powder just beneath the cheekbone – no glitzy highlighter to “contrast”, just a beautiful glowy foundation that catches the light. (Or something like Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser, which is still one of my favourites over a decade on.) All of these creamy contour things are a potential recipe for disaster, as they do tend to slide about a bit as you blend them and it’s easy to dislodge your foundation and make everything look a bit grubby. Saying that, I think that the Clinique Chubby Contour stick will be a huge hit – it has a kind of “kindergarten” appeal: you just draw the crayon on where you want a shadow and then blend.

clinique chubby contour

Go on over and take a look at the video, see what you think. It actually all turned out to be very subtle, which is, I suppose, what most of us want. Most of us. A tip with the Chubby Contour Stick: it helps to buff it in using a small, flat-topped foundation brush after you’ve blended it a bit with your warm fingers for a few seconds. It just seems to give a neater finish, but do experiment and add your tips and tricks below!

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Soigne Spring Colours

Soigne Spring

Selfridges used to stock a nail polish brand called Kure Bazaar that I was obsessed with – I loved it but for reasons that I don’t know, it disappeared. Its USP was that its formula used up to 85% of natural origin based on wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn. So does Soigne – and these ‘botanical’ formulas from past experience really do seem to bring something extra to the party in terms of gloss and longevity. It goes without saying that if you reduce the harshness of the formula, then it’s going to be a better deal for your nails. Soigne Spring Nails looks milky and elegant; reminds me a bit of sugared almonds. Incidentally, the trio is supposed to be inspired by marshmallows – clearly the French brand hasn’t ever been exposed to the violently pink Tesco marshies. I’m googling French marshmallows now to see if they really are so Farrow & Ball. Colourwise, the soft peach/pink shade is Creme Bavaroise, white is Vanille and leans to a warm white and the ashes of roses shade is Canneberge. Soigne doesn’t get nearly much attention as it should – everything about this brand is elegant and stylish and I’m… Read More

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Summer Transitional Skincare.

Summer is almost here! Well, sort-of. The temperatures are rising but it’s England so let’s be honest, it’s rainy, cloudy and breezy most of the time. This funny time of year is often tricky on the skin front, the heat and humidity can do awful things to the complexion, suddenly there’s a new wave of oil and spots, dry patches and a face that doesn’t know if it wants every treatment you have or just to be left well alone. Lovely.
When this happens I tend to stick to skincare that I already know, perhaps using it in a new way by mixing products together to get the results I’m looking for.

The Glow Duo

It’s taken me quite a long time to fall for the Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream (SPF30), but now I feel like my skin is finally in the right place (a little dry and a bit spotty) to be able to fully accept and work with this cream. It gives a lush glow without any grease and offers protection from the sun, win win! Combine this with the Oskia Get Up & Glow serum (full review here) for some extra skin smoothing, glow giving benefits and we have a great daytime under-makeup match. I simply mix equal amounts of each together with my fingertips and apply to toner damp skin.

I am currently testing the Gressa foundation and mixing the foundation directly into this duo is my current favourite way of applying it to avoid it looking dry and clingy. (I would love any tips on how you apply this foundation!)
Pick up the Tinted Nutrient Day Cream UK / US or Get Up & Glow here.

Oil-Free & Calming

There are some nights when I just really don’t want to slather my skin in layers of oils and creams, it’s just too warm and suffocating enough already without feeling something sitting on my skin. No thanks. For those nights, I reach for two trusty serums, the Dr. Hauschka Night Serum, an incredibly simple but effective gel-serum that works wonders on my skin, especially when it’s oily and spotty. By the time morning arrives everything looks calm again, like my skin has had a moment to catch its breath and reboot. Secondly, the classic Dr. Alkaitis (so many wonderful skin doctors) Organic Soothing Gel is also fantastic. You really cannot go wrong with this soothing, antibacterial and hydrating serum. It is very thin in consistency and can be applied with a cotton pad or quickly patted onto skin with fingers – it’s also great mixed with richer oils to help them sink in.
Dr. Hauschka Night Serum here and Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel UK / US

The Moisture Boosters

For a serious moisture boost on days when my skin is feeling parched, there are three products I turn to. For eyes it has to be the True Botanicals Eye Serum, a new launch from the brand and as always deliciously silky, potent and nourishing. It brightens, firms and reduces puffiness and dark circles, a perfect treatment for eyes that are itchy and sore during hayfever weather. For the rest of my face I like a combo of oil + water-based serum. Skin needs both water and oil to stay perfectly balanced and hydrated, so the Evolve Hyaluronic Serum 200 and Vedani Botanicals Silky Moisturiser No32 are perfect together. I layer on the serum first and then apply the oil with a push and press technique. If you have read my full review of this oil, there’s no need to say anymore, it’s perfect in every way.
Get the TB Eye Serum here, Evolve Serum here and Vedani No32 available here.
Do you switch up your skincare for summer?

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Everyday Hair Heroes…

best hair care products

A nice little hair video to finish off the week. I did a roundup of my most-used hair products – shampoos, hair masques, conditioners and so on – because people are always asking and I don’t often delve into the world of hair on my Youtube channel. Perhaps because I don’t really do a lot to my hair and so the products I tend to use the most are the ones that just make it look sleeker, shinier and give it a bit of an undone vibe. I always think that it might be a bit boring for those who want to know about pink hair dyes and undercuts and semi-mohicans and all of that jazz. Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.

So it’s all about the grooming and keeping things swishy, for me. Hair products for natural hair – things that you can just bung in and leave. No tools required. Had I included my favourite tools in this video then they would have been – without a doubt – Mark Hill’s Wicked Waver and the Big Hair from Babyliss. Both incredibly easy to use, both pretty affordable. You can find my full review of the Wicked Waver here and there’s a video demo of the Babyliss here. Both can be bought at

Products Shown:

Philip Kingsley Products:

Goldwell Mask:

SEAH Cashmere Mask:

Phyto 7:

Toni & Guy Tropical Elixir: £3 off at Boots!

Gielly Green Argan Rescue:…

Wet Brush:

Ojon Protecting Treatment:

CoLab at BeautyMart:

Colab at Superdrug:

Colab at Feelunique:

Colab at BLOW Ltd:…

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