Lovely lips - Elizabeth Arden and Nuxe

For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried around a tub of Vaseline to soothe my dry, chapped lips. Autumn and winter are especially unkind, with the central heating blasting and freezing air outside. While at the airport recently, a limited edition Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant caught my eye and was quickly snapped up in a moment of ‘duty-free frenzy’. I’d wanted to try the Eight Hour Cream for a while, so was happy to finally get my hands on some at a slightly cheaper price.

First off, the tin drives me mad. Fair enough it’s pretty, but I seem to have great difficulty screwing the lid on correctly and have managed to get it stuck several times, with great strength (not from me, obviously) or a knife wedged in needed to get it off. Once I do manage to get the lid off, the product itself is quite nice; it moisturises well and isn’t too sticky. The smell of it really puts me off however. It has a strong lemon scent, which reminds me of a kitchen cleaner and makes my stomach turn a little whenever I use it. Since buying it, I’ve heard lots about a fragrance-free Eight Hour Cream, so if I was going to invest in anything else from the range, I’d definitely opt for that.

On to nicer smelling things. I’d wanted to try Nuxe’s Rêve de Miel lip balm for a while and was disappointed to not pick it up when I went to Paris in July. On a recent business trip to Munich, I had a whiff of it and knew I couldn’t leave mainland Europe without it again. At around €11, it was pretty pricey, but the smell alone makes it worth it. The name would suggest it smells like honey, but to me it smells exactly like Terry’s Chocolate Orange (although sadly doesn’t taste like it). The consistency is quite paste-like, not something I've found in a lip product before. The result is a matte finish, another rarity among lip balms. I don’t find this as moisturising as the Eight Hour Cream, but I reach for it more simply because it smells delicious. 

A combination of these two has been keeping my lips looking and feeling nourished over autumn and will hopefully see me through the chilly winter. I definitely prefer Nuxe's Rêve de Miel and will be happy to finish off the Eight Hour Cream, although I'm glad that I've finally seen what all the fuss is about.

A trip to Chanel

For my birthday, my sister booked me an appointment at the Chanel pop-up beauty store in Covent Garden; a half hour slot with make-up artist Mary Greenwell at a cost of £25, which was redeemable against a purchase. This obviously made my first splurge on Chanel justifiable, and logical, right? I arrived just before my allotted time and perused the store, thinking about what I might want the MA to try on me. I had in mind that I would buy the Holiday nail varnish, but it was way too orange for my tastes in person. Coromandel could have been better, but I’m not a massive fan of the sheen. The Lumière d'Artifices Beiges illuminating powder looked absolutely beautiful... the price tag not so much.

My session with a Chanel MA and Mary approached; my face was cleansed, toned and moisturised with Chanel products, which smelt lovely and felt very luxurious. I thought there’d be some kind of discussion about what I wanted the make-up to look like and what I wanted them to use, but this didn’t happen.

First step; foundation. The guy applied Vitalumière Aqua in B10, which I’d had a sample of before but was never wowed by. Luckily I had never splurged as it was clear the colour was slightly too dark for my skin. Mary then came across to take over the reins and applied a stick concealer instead, which comes in a lighter, more fair-face friendly shade. I felt like this was a little heavy for my dry skin and looked a bit cakey. Mary’s suggestion of "you need to blend it properly, and use the right moisturiser underneath" was not all that enlightening. Next up; blush. A yellow-based one (can’t remember the name) was put on, but promptly taken off as it was the wrong shade for my skin and looked muddy. A beautiful rose coloured one (72 Rose Initiale) was then applied, which I loved instantly. Very English rose-esque. The lips were the next step. Mary slapped on about seven coats of an über-red lip (again, not sure which), not something I would ever normally wear. This was followed by a sandy brown eyeshadow worked all along the lid up to the brow. It was decided the look didn't need mascara, probably for the best... didn’t want to attract too many weirdos on the train home.
I ended up buying the rosey blush used on me. With a price of £31 and the redeemable £25, I didn’t think £6 at all bad for a Chanel blush. The product is really finely milled and feels very soft, although it can be a bit powdery because of this. Pigmentation is decent, giving a nice natural looking flush and sheen. It is quite a glittery blush, which isn't something I'd normally opt for, but it's not at all offensive, and helps to give a nice glow to the skin. After reading that Lisa Eldridge used this blush on Kiera Knightley for the Anna Karenina premiere in London, I’m even more excited to own it.

Swatch on my arm - swiped on the left, blended on the right

As well as this, I received a complimentary goodie bag because my brainy sis, who saw it advertised in one of those free magazines you get outside the tube, had quoted a special code. This was really generous actually, with a blush brush (perfect!), a lip balm (in the beautiful Chanel packaging) and a sample of Coco Noir thrown in (cutest perfume sample I’ve ever seen).

All in all, good fun and I really enjoyed my first foray into Chanel make-up. Not sure the price is entirely justified, but nice to splurge every now and then. With the passing comment of a drunken chav on the train home, "Nice lipstick darling, beautiful", that was the end of my Chanel experience.