Retail therapy

Mac isn't just about creating sensational looks for the runway.

Mac isn't just about creating sensational looks for the runway.

There are some solid make-up-greats amongst the more avant-garde colours, one of which is the new Skinfinish Avant Gold Collection of Mineralise Skinfinish face powders.

Our tester tried `medium' Skinfinish (£16 in five shades) which is a light mineral and talc-based baked powder applied with a large cosmetic brush (MAC's 182 at £29 is perfect) on her face, although it can also be used on the body. "I've got a little bit of summer colour and am a bit loathe to wear too much make-up during the hot weather, but this powder is so light and gave a natural but finished golden matte look without any shine or shimmer - perfect for a more composed day time look.

Available from MAC counters in Fenwick, Newcastle, and House of Fraser, MetroCentre, Gateshead, www.maccosmetics.co.uk.

A LIP salve is a lip salve, right? Wrong!

Our tester has just tried the Anti-Wrinkle Lip Effect Q10 Plus Lip care by Nivea. "I've never really noticed, up until now, how lined and tired looking my lips were. There's no way I'm considering anything surgical but am keen to find affordable help. This new salve is much more viscous than a normal one; you can literally coat your lips with it, but it resembles a natural lip gloss rather than anything medical."

Q10 is a `nature identical' enzyme (for repair and renewal), while the salve also contains soybean and calendula oil for smoothness and anti-aging properties. Available from Boots and Superdrug at £3.99.

ATRIXO has been looking after hands for almost 50 years, so it's high on the list of recognisable authorities.

But which cream to choose? Our tester tried the Intensive Protection Cream (£4.75 for a 200ml tub) with glycerine. "It's a very good all rounder, and perfect for keeping by the sink, in the office or in the garden shed," she says. "But I like to carry a hand cream in my handbag too, so I also tried Regenerating Treatment with liposomes, vitamin E and avocado oil (£3.99 for 75ml), which is more heavy duty but surprisingly light and doesn't leave a residue. But my favourite is Enriched Moisturising Cream (£1.79 for 50ml) with camomile which is more a luxury product. My hands always feel so angry after washing-up, and this calmed them down." Atrixo products are available from Boots, Superdrug, and independent pharmacies.

THE conundrum of how to successfully go straight from the office for a glamorous night out, was explained at a recent fashion event hosted by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in aid of Bridge, a local charity which helps women access education, training and employment. Featuring clothes from Marks & Spencer and make-up tips from Seaham Hall's Serenity Spa, PwC senior manager (assurance), Sandra Rodger, was shown how bronzer can be used to great effect instead of blusher on cheekbones for extra colour by Jennifer Ross, pictured here. The current must-have cosmetic at the spa is the Diane von Furstenberg Primer, £26, a non-oily serum applied to the skin as a base before make-up.

THE Missoni's are a three generation fashion family who've produced some of the most innovative and distinctive fashion knits and fabrics over the past 50 years. Now they've designed perfume around colour. They've created Yellow with bergamot and magnolia; Magenta Pink with peonies and rose; Intense Orange with mandarin and bitter orange and Brown with amber and chocolate. Missoni is available exclusively from Fenwick, Newcastle, from today. The parfum is priced at £200 for 15ml, the eau de parfum is from £38 for 30ml, the parfum rollerball £50 for 6ml and the body lotion £32 for 200ml.

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