GRACE NOTES | APRIL 2017
Working as a beauty writer practically requires me to turn up at work wearing as little product as possible – a blank canvas if you will – to be smothered and swatched in potions and pigments from 8 ‘till 5. As it's my job to swatch and sniff my way through the latest and greatest beauty launches, each month I debrief on the ones worth writing home about. Say hi.
A bunch of you asked what fragrance I’m currently wearing after the post I wrote a few weeks ago and the answer is La Fenice by Merchant of Venice. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever smelt before - mostly because the key ingredients are [refreshingly!] not the usual suspects. Hawthorn, heliotrope, and almond feature, resulting in something that is at once sweet, warm, and fresh. In short, it’s the sort of scent you want to drench your clothes in on a sunny day.
If you follow me on Insta Stories then I’m sure you all know that I’m big into orange and red eyeshadow makeup lately. It’s a far departure from the copper/nude/bronze look that I’ve worn from the get-go [literally ever since I first learned how to blend eyeshadow], but I’m really enjoying being more experimental with my beauty looks and well, bright eyeshadow is just more fun. As you’d expect, it’s harder to source brighter colours [especially when you have specific shades in mind], but fortunately Morphe have come through on the orange/red front with an entire palette [which also happens to have some lovely neutrals thrown in for good measure].
Honestly this is the kind of palette where I’d happily wear every single colour [and that’s saying something when there are 35 of them]. I’ve spent the month working my way through them - the nudes are great for everyday definition or as transition shades, and the brighter ones look amazing packed on bold and bright for a one-wash wonder.
Shoutout to The Ordinary for [literally] saving face once again - this time for completely bringing down the underlying redness in my skin and fading the souvenirs of my 2015 hormonal acne breakout - those pesky red marks that simply would not disappear. If you have any kind of redness in your skin [rosacea, sensitivity, pigmentation etc] this will work wonders - don’t be put off by the ‘acid’ element, this simply means that its pH balance sits to the left of the pH scale - azelaic acid is actually a yeast derivative that naturally occurs on skin, and this is a water-based formula so it’s super gentle. What’s more, it has the ability to kill bacteria [obviously one of the number one acne triggers], making this is an all-round great product if you have blemish-prone skin.
It’s also a great finisher product [thanks to a soft gel-cream formula], giving skin a smooth, matte texture that’s perfect for applying foundation on top of. Personally I always finish off with a moisturiser, but if you have oily skin this would make a great makeup base.
I stick to a tried and tested rotation of nude and neutral lip options on a daily basis - I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve added new shades into this mix in the past three years, so whena newbie does make it in the upper echelons of my lipstick wardrobe, it’s something to be shouted about. I’m one of those people who can lust after a particular lipstick shade for months, only to make the purchase, wear it once, and never lay eyes on it again. Yet at the same time, it’s sometimes the most random and unexpected samples I’ve been sent that become handbag staples.
This is one such gem - part of a new range from Zelens - one of my favourite derm-approved skincare brands but hardly the sort of brand that pops to mind when you consider purchasing a new lip colour. The one thing this does mean however is that the ingredients within are every bit about doing good as they are looking good. It’s super comfortable, hydrating without being greasy, and lasts all day. Plus the shade is that perfect ‘my lips but better’ hue that offers a very subtle enhancement without being too high maintenance. Win, win.
Okay hear me out, because I’ve never quite believed anybody who told me that Parlux hairdryers were worth the pricetag, but they were all right - this hairdryer is seriously incredible. You might think that any device which blasts heat at your hair would accomplish the same results, but, like most things in life, not all hairdryers are created equal, and this one has some pretty impressive specs (a 2200 watt motor, ionic and ceramic technology, an in-built silencer, heatproof casing, and an 83 metres per hour airflow) resulting in super smooth, soft, shiny, and speedily dried hair.
FYI, ionic technology uses negatively charged ions to control frizz and reduce dry time by preventing static and eliminating moisture droplets, while ceramic technology helps to distribute heat smoothly for an even blowout. Together, these technologies help to dry hair without dehydrating it - something which most hairdryers are guilty of - resulting in dry, fluffy ends.