Saturday, May 14, 2011

Simple and Pretty

Originally posted on La Vie En Fifi, 14 November 2009

A magazine article I have torn out (from English Woman & Home) has great interviews with three modern day beauty gurus.

Firstly, Bobbi Brown. I have one of Bobbi’s makeup books (‘Beauty’), and whenever I see photos of her or read an article quoting her, I am always admiring. I love that she often looks very natural, but in a lovely, lightly made-up way (not the other kind of ‘real’ natural). She says ‘You should wear your make-up to look like a better version of yourself, not look like someone else’.

Her philosophy is ‘simple and pretty’ and believes anything that makes you look ‘hard’ is not a beauty enhancer. ‘There is nothing prettier on any skin tone than pale pink blush and a slick of pink lipstick. It’s so fresh and feminine.’ She believes eyeliner is even more important than mascara (although she recommends both) in making you look awake and drawing emphasis to your eyes. I often only wear mascara, so after reading this with breakfast this morning of course I put eyeliner on too!

Trish McEvoy, the second interviewee, says sunscreen worn daily is the best advice she has been given. ‘If you take two women in their fifties, or even in their thirties, you can tell which one has been wearing it and which one hasn’t’.

Even though I didn’t start wearing sunscreen regularly until my mid-late twenties, I was never a big sunbather (it just took too long with my fair skin!) so I am grateful for that. I love Trish’s ‘pet peeve’: ‘People who brag about how little sleep they need. If you don’t sleep enough, eat well and exercise, you’ll never look or feel your best.’ I really agree with this. I have read your body needs plenty of sleep in order to rejuvenate and ‘reset’. If you get too little sleep this can be a factor in being overweight. And you may have heard the old saying ‘an hour before midnight is worth two after’.

I often go to bed around 9.30-10pm at the latest, and some nights if we have eaten earlier I love to sneak off 8.30-9pm with a book and the cat. She has her routine too, and often perches herself near the bottom of the stairs eyeballing me while I brush my teeth and wash my face. Then, when I go up, she springs up too with such vigour that belies her 16 years and happily settles in at the foot of the bed. None of the beauty experts mention pets as keeping you young, but I believe they do. It has been proven they lower your blood pressure.

I love Trish's outfit in this photo too. The cool, wide belt and thin body do it for me!

Lastly, Laura Mercier is mentioned. Her cosmetic line launched promoting ‘classic colours rather than seasonal trends’. Well, she is French after all. She believes keeping yourself happy is the best beauty secret of all, which may mean allowing yourself to enjoy dessert once in a while and choosing an activity you enjoy rather than being a slave to the treadmill. Amen to that.

Now I have a confession to make, I don’t actually own a single product from any of these womens’ lines (yet, unless Bobbi’s book counts?). But I can still be inspired from them right?

Bobbi Brown image from
Trish McEvoy image from
Laura Mercier image from

Update: there is no longer a cat residing in this house - she departed for cat-heaven aged 17. But with the poodle to take her place on the bed I am content. He is a great blood-pressure-lowerer as well.


  1. Great post! I always prefer classic, natural, yet pretty makeup too. I think most women tend to look the best when they enhance what they were born with rather than trying to reconstruct their faces with products and ending up looking more like a clown. I have never seen Trish McEvoy products anywhere, but I do like Bobbi Brown. I also think that Chanel is another very classic brand, I enjoy their lipsticks and eyeshadows quite a bit.

  2. I like Bobbi Brown too. I don't use her products but I have her book, "The Beauty Revolution" which I love. It has been almost minimized out of the house 2x but rescued at the last moment. She does an amazing job at making any woman look and feel beautiful. xxBliss

  3. My favorite face powder ever was Laura Mercier's translucent loose powder. (Note to self: replace the jar I used up.)

    Edward Bess is another brand that focuses on the natural look. I haven't tried any of his products yet, but they are on my wish list.

  4. I've been reading your blog for a while, but today I decided to post for two reasons. 1) I love understated classic makeup, and Laura Mercier is one of my favorite brands. I enjoy BB makeup, but I don't have much TM. I am also a devoted Edward Bess fan and own a great deal of his makeup, most of it, in fact. 2) I wanted to extend my sympathies to your dearly departed cat. When Chloe died, she was 18, and I felt an emptiness as if she'd moved out and gone to college. That little mind trick helped me temper the grief.

    Oh, and since I am finally posting a comment, I should let you know that I had nominated your blog for the Liebster Blog Award several weeks ago. If you permit links, here it is:

  5. Bobbi Brown is such a clever make up artist.
    I have seen her interviewed on TV and she is so natural and lovely, an expert in the art of enhancing what we were born with.

    I have taken her advice about the pink lipstick and have never felt better.
    (Red looks amazing on others just not on me)

    These women all look healthy and don't you think less is more in the make up department?

  6. i love bobbi brown too. such a classic and natural approach to beauty. i agree 100% w/her advice. i do wear only red lipstick though b/c pink looks awful.

    hope you have a beautiful week fiona.


  7. Hello
    I just found your blog. It's lovely. I wanted to extend my sympathies for the loss of your beloved kitty. I know how hard it is to lose a furry friend. I will light a candle for your kitty.

    My *girls* send healing puppy kisses
    x jeanie

  8. I use Bobbi Brown mineral foundation and rouge for that almost there dewy skin look.
    So sorry re. your sweet cat. xx

  9. I love her pet peeve...I HATE when people say sleep is a waste of time or for the weak...sleep is essential...there are so many processes going on in your brain while you sleep. And, you'll be more pleasant to be around and more productive during your waking hours if you do get your required sleep. And, it's always those weeks where I don't get enough sleep that I wake up with a cold or a giant pimple on my face.

  10. I have a Bobbi Brown makeup book, several brushes, and eye colors. I really like her approach and am working on perfecting my eye concealer technique since most of my makeup problems start there.

    Each of these three women have classic style: classic casual clothing, fantastic skin, good hair and slender body. What more could you want physically?

  11. I agree completely about the sleep thing. I used to be a terrible Type A person who'd say, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." Until I completely burned myself out. A solid 8+ hours every night is essential--up to 12 hours in winter! We are hard wired to rise and fall with the sun. They don't call it Beauty Rest for no reason. I say, sleep as much as don't affect your job or your marriage. ;)

    P.S. I love red lipstick. If anything wakes up a tired face for me, red is it!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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