You’d be hard pushed to miss the Dutch influence behind this portrait of a young woman. It’s by Desiree Dolron born ’67 in Haarlem in the Netherlands and working today in Amsterdam. It’s making its way to Art Basle, Hong Kong, which begins later this month. Hong Kong appears to be the pivot for today’s Far Eastern art boom and this portrait will stand out – Northern European aesthetics (cool, calm, fine) and the girl’s Asian beauty (cool, calm, fine) harmonise seamlessly. And the fleck of worry on her forehead is touching.
On her skin there is I imagine little more than a touch of invisible powder, good light and a little post production. How to get a little more flawlessness into your own skin? I was at a skincare presentation this mornng – Sensai by Kanebo, which is Japanese (they’re ace at incredible, silk like textures that make your skin feel like silk, yes really).
Several products stood out including a skin primer. A subtle filling effect leaves the skin’s surface smoother, it also mattifies and helps foundation stay on longer. It also has SPF15, a good thing. You can buy it from August (I suggest putting it on your shopping list), so meantime, I recommend Sisley Instant Perfect. Apply to forehead, nose and chin before foundation and after SPF moisturiser to give a smooth, matte finish and help make-up last. I also love Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, it’s oil free, helps absorb oil and holds make-up well.
On May 31st Chanel releases its summer make-up collection, L’Eté Papillon de Chanel in the UK. Inspired, you said it, by butterfly wings. There are waterproof mascaras in bright yellow, turquoise, electric blue and sea green. There are twist up cream eye shadow pens in sea blues and greens, golden yellow and pink sand. There are three nail polishes – the perfect coral, metallic blue and a green that shimmers like a butterfly wing.
How to wear them?
If youth is on your side, you’re ok with all of it applied with as much gusto as this if you like… If everything Chanel is over budget then do the hi-lo thing, buy just one piece and then hit Top Shop (Barry M does a nice line in coloured liner). Though I have never seen a yellow mascara as vibrant as this.
If you’re northward of 40 cherry pick. Try a sweep of turquoise say, on your lashes and little more than that. Add it to the outer half of your lashes over the top of black mascara for what they call in the business a colour accent. Or play safe and stay with coral on your nails and toes (yes, matching nails and toes are de rigeur for summer), a slick of sheer coral or red lipstick (also in the collection) and one of the more muted cream shadows smudged over your lids with a lick of mascara. But I say, be bold and go with the colour – for play, holiday or party. You only live once and right now, full-on make-up has never been bigger.
To shop the collection online in the US now and to see more see here. For UK stockists call 020 7493 3836. Available May 31.
So, the ideal, on trend nail length? Since at least the mid-nineties, it has been short neat and slightly rounded. The shape even has a name – squoval. It was what worked with the first statement nail colour, Chanel’s Rouge Noir. A long talon simply wouldn’t have – too Adams family. And so it has remained for its ideal blend of chic and healthy (slightly squared at the edges makes for a stronger, more resilient nail).
But creeping onto the scene over the past three or four seasons and now well and truly rooted is the new, longer nail, reminiscent of the seventies talon but with restraint. The squoval 3mm? Here it is at its most classic. Perfectly illustrated here in this photograph, one of a collection by photographer Richard Burbridge for Chanel’s summer make-up collection. The perfect new length. The perfect shade of coral. Perfect for summer.
Do you seem to get red itchy eyes when you wear nail polish? Or if you’ve suddenly got red itchy eyes have you just had a manicure? A US dermatologist found that nail enamel can cause eye irritation – not surprising when you think we apparently touch our eyes on average 200 times a day. Most good quality nail polishes no longer contain the potential irritant ingredients toluene (a thinner), formaldehyde (preservative) or DBP (which concerns organic campaigners over its questionable safety record). But it remains that a nail polish has an ingredient list as long as your arm (albeit half filled with colour ingredients). And as any sensitive soul will know, the longer the ingredient list in any beauty product, the more the likelihood of irritation.
Still, if you want to try a polish that’s bona fide not irritating, then try Clinique’s new line. It is allergy tested and hits today. The only question over the more ‘natural’ ‘free from’ ranges is their tenacity. When I had a manicure with one of the Clinique reds it lasted un-chipped for about 5 days.
If you want to avoid the above three ingredients, check the ingredient list on the bottle. And just for the record, Chanel and Dior don’t contain them. These are the only two I’ve checked before writing this, but don’t assume that all non ‘free from’ nail polish brands are the devil.
Another great new range is Kure Bazaar, here’s what I wrote about them a few months back.
To have a further look at Clinique’s – and see their online offer – see here. My best shades? Party Red (a copy of the best selling lipstick) and Splish Splash, a fun Mediterranean sea blue and Grape Ice (rich magenta).