Notes On A Theme

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

If I had £140 burning a hole in my pocket (which sadly I don't), I would be SO tempted to 'invest' in this stunning stationary collaboration from Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders and Smythson of Bond Street. I love everything about it; the buttery leather, the graphic clasp, the complete exquisite luxury but, most of all, I dig the colour combination. Camel, red, black and gold are enduringly chic tones conjuring cashmere sweaters, inky eyeliner and iconic actresses of the late 60's - think Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde.

Designs on style: jonathan saunders
2012 panama diary for smythson

To re-create the colour theme with make-up it's all about understated yet expensive-looking textures and tones. On the eyes, I would go for Jemma Kidd Firming I-Creme Duo in Tweed £20, which gives lids a polished, modern and - key as you get into your 30s and beyond - smoothed effect. I use the tan shade as a wash (blended out to nothing), right up to the brow and then press a dab of the metallic tone onto the centre of the lid. For full-on elegance follow with a sweep of gel eyeliner. I'm currently loving Barbara Daly Make-Up for Tesco Eye Liner Polish (in-store priced £7.99), which could give similar products at twice the price a run for their money and is incredibly easy to apply. Complete with a glossy, lengthening mascara like DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Perfection, £13. I've been using this recently and it's fantastic for giving lashes a naturally extended, separated look. The smudge and flake-resistant formulation encases each lash in a polymer tube which dissolves only on contact with warm water. The emphasis here is on sleek - rather than volumised - lashes and to that end this mascara works like a charm. 

For statement lips, I will not be parted from my Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colour in Cherry Lush. The last time I wore this to the ballet (not a regular occurrence, I've only been the once), a handsome man winked at me and said 'well, hello Shanghai dolly.' I'm not 100% sure what he meant - and as chat up lines go it could have been better - but the disarming delivery put a spring in my step and this particular lipstick always does too. At £35, it is seriously spendy but, if you've an eye for high quality, covetable cosmetics you honestly won't be disappointed. 

And finally, to a new non-toxic nail brand rocking a gorgeous collection of retro reds. NIYOT is a range flying in the face of fancy top coats, nail wraps, foils and decals with a small - but perfectly formed - trio of classic red shades that are absolutely on the money. I ordered Lost Red £8, which has a cool undertone that would work particularly well against winter skin. The finish is glassy, pure and pigment-precise. On short nails the effect is clean, neat and chic but on longer, shaped nails? Femme fatale.

What are your must-wear colours for winter? x

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