Treasured possessions: Laura Mercier lip palette

Could this be the most loved Laura Mercier lip palette?!

It was a press gift many moons ago and didn’t even make it to the beauty cupboard when I got back to the office, it was a firm staple in my handbag from first sight and, as you can see, has been well used ever since.

The larger pan on the far left was a lip conditioner that you applied pre-lippie, it was brilliant for ensuring the colour went on smoothly and gave it a great, glossy finish.

As is rarely the case, all the colours are fab (bar the sludgy brown, bottom left). I particularly like the two coral-y shades along the bottom, but the hot fuschia pink on the top row is fab too. Unexpectedly, the almost flesh-tone shade at the top is brilliant for toning down the bold shades into a more pastel, natural look.

I love the massive mirror (before it broke) and I often used the pinkier shades as a cheek tint for touch-ups on the go.

So, my plan is to take my rather beloved palette to the Laura Mercier counter next week and see if they can match up a couple of the shades with their traditional bullet-style lippies. Unfortunately the label on the base has worn-off long ago, but it should be do-able? From the website the Tangerine and Sunrise look promising…

On a separate Laura Mercier note – I *seriously* hope I’ve been good enough this year to find this creme de pistache souffle body creme in my stocking on Christmas morning. A-MAZING.

5 of the best: winter lip balms

I am strongly resisting putting on the central heating as I know it is the beginning of the end for my skin, lips and hair on the hydration front. But it’s not all doom and gloom, it gives me the perfect excuse to start purchasing an array of lip butters and balms to keep stashed in my pockets, glove box, handbag and on my desk, by my bed… I’ve never been precious about having a different lotion and potion for cuticles, lips etc. I find one I like and slather it on to any dry spots I notice at regular intervals throughout the day.

My long-standing loves are:

Balance Me Stellar Face Balm I reviewed this a while ago and whilst it’s billed as an overnight facial treatment I find a good dollop rubbed into raggy cuticles before bed renders them super soft by morning.

REN Mayday balm – this is my desk staple, I love the calming rose scent and it’s great for a myriad of day-to-day skin complaints – I’ve used it on everything from chapped skin to burns and insect bites. A great natural soothing balm.

Lanolips 101 Ointment (above) – I keep this on standby for when serious chapping strikes. I ride my bike pretty much every day, whatever the weather, so my lips, knuckles, nose, cheekbones etc get a real battering come winter. As the name suggests, its key ingredient is medical-grade lanolin; it’s colour/fragrance free with 100% natural ingredients, so it’s a great one to slap on Country Bebe on the back of the bike, too.

And onto my two new(ish) favourites:

By Terry’s Baume de Rose – this launched in 2003, so by no means a ‘new release’ but it is new to me, as a birthday present, last month. It has a creamy, rosey scent (a signature of By Terry products) and yes, it is a luxe purchase (or a very indulgent gift!) but I have been suitably impressed how a quick swipe of this sheer balm and I can feel the softening effects on my lips for hours after. I’ve noticed my lipsticks are going on better too as my lips are in tip-top condition.

The Korres Lip Butters are perennial favourites, but whereas I usually go for the colourless Guava formula, this time I’ve plumped for the jasmine (the pomegranate and wild rose are great, too). I like that it leaves the sheerest hint of colour and the rich buttery texture makes it feel really soothing on the lips.

That’s it! Next up in the ‘5 of the best’ series: winter haircare.

Beauty trend: Autumnal berry shades

From Jo Malone’s new hedgerow inspired blackberry and bay fragrance, to the stunning Violet Underground make-up collection from Tom Pecheux at Estee Lauder (think claret, violet and mauve shades in high gloss and metallic finishes) – this season has gone berry.

Violet underground palette, £40,

Be it dark winey cassis or bold raspberry pinks, wear them on fingers and lips for a shot of on-trend colour.

Rochas RTW AW12/13 via

Worn with a backdrop of flawless, velvety skin and a taupe, nude eye, lips are stained with a just-bitten matte wash of ‘not-too-perfect’ colour, rather than a meticulously applied, straight from the bullet, glossy look. Use a finger to apply and tap colour into lips, forget lip liner and blot slightly with tissue for the perfect matte stain. [note: lips need to be in tip top condition for this look, try applying a little vaseline and gently scrubbing with an old tooth-brush to keep them soft and hydrated].

Two lip products that are new season staples in my make-up bag to perfect this look are the limited edition lipstick from Topshop in Wicked:

Lipstick in Wicked, £9 from the new trend collection at Topshop, out mid-October

This is the *perfect* teeth-whitening, blue-toned cassis/blackcurrant. You can see swatched on my hand it’s highly pigmented, velvety soft and layered up it gives a strong bold lip. I’ve been wearing it roughly blended into lips, applied with a finger, for a wash of colour. I can’t recommend this one enough if you’re looking to try out the autumn berry lip trend. Spot on.

Next up is a super easy, effortless take on the berry lip. The lip perfection gel from Perfekt, in Vine:

Lip perfection gel in Vine, £18 available at Harvey Nichols

A great gel colour in a classic redcurrant. Unlike a lot of classic glosses this has real staining power and the colour actually clung to the lip for a longer wear. I like the clever formula (especially over winter) with hyaluronic acid and jojoba to hydrate and moisturize chapped lips, while peptides boost collagen to plump out fine lines. It’s got a mild spearmint tingle to it, too. A great multi-tasker and super simple to apply on the go.

I’ll be continuing the autumn beauty trend posts next week with nails, stay tuned.

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