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Tara’s Favourite Finds – from our resident beauty boffin… Tara Adamson, our self-confessed beauty addict.

She is the David Attenborough of the beauty industry because what she doesn’t know about the latest products out there, isn’t worth knowing. Trust her, she knows her beauty…

Why not follow me on Twitter; @TaraYMB I’d be happy to answer any beauty related comments or questions you may have

Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer

Wow! Well, this is a totally new venture for Crabtree & Evelyn; a brand that’s been around for years and one that I associate with traditional quality and style. I’m so impressed with this new Nail Lacquer collection, I want to try them all; and you can too at just £6 a pop!

I tried Slate; an elegant cool grey crème, Raspberry; a vibrant lipstick pink and Blueberry; my favourite of the bunch which is a deep navy blue with shimmery sapphire sparkles, but they’re available in 21 other brilliantly glossy, ravishing shades from creamy nudes to dark, sultry sparkly colours. The bottles are stylish, colours have good opacity needing only two coats, and the brushes are a good shape making it easy to cover your nails in three perfect strokes.

These fast drying polishes are free from nail-damaging toxics camphor, dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde and toluene. They help to reinforce and protects nails and the colours lasted a good week without chipping or peeling off.

When you’re ready to try a different shade, the lacquer is easily removed without the nail being stained, I think I’m going to try Pomegranate next; a sophisticated, shimmery Bordeaux wine colour, perfect for the time of year. £6 each from www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk

The Ultimate Fix

I’ve been searching for a product like this, that actually works, for years and I think I’ve finally found it! Usually with fast-drying nail products, I find that they either bubble the varnish immediately, or it starts to peel off within a day or two. Life is too short and I’m far too impatient to wait an hour for my nail polish to dry properly and this product renders them touch-dry in seconds. I’m told that this is ‘The Breakthrough Nail Fixing Spray’ as it dries your nail enamel super quickly, gives long lasting shine and helps to prevent chips; just a quick blast from 30cms away (remember, less is more here!) over all coats of nail lacquer (base coat, colour, and top coats) is all you need.

Unlike some other drying sprays, the smell doesn’t catch the back of your throat; it is non oily and contains no CFC’s, parabens or other nasties. Available in two sizes; a 200ml spray (£17) which treats up to 50 manicures and a small 50ml handbag sized can (£9.50) which would treat up to 12 manicures with ‘normal’ use – well, I think I probably managed three manicures before the can ran out; humph! From www.beautynarcotix.com

Sisley

Sisley make-up is completely new to me; I’ve tried a lot of their skincare and absolutely love it but I’ve been dying to try out their luxurious make-up collection; its gorgeous!

Phyto Ombre Glow Metallic Eye Shadows (£30 each)

These stunning, super soft, finely-milled powder eyeshadows have an lovely gel/powder/cream formula which glides on beautifully. Easy to apply, these Eye Shadows leave no fallout and have a long-lasting, crease-free finish with the most intense, highly pigmented colour. Available in four shimmering, shiny metallic shades; Gold, Pearl, Silver and Bronze, you can achieve different effects by either sweeping over a light wash of colour with fingertips or the tiny sponge tipped applicator or using a damp brush to pack on the layers for a more dramatic evening look.

These multi-tasking beauties can also be used as a highlighter on the cheekbones or as a brightening eyeliner. My only negative comment here would be that if you’re going to splurge £30 on an eyeshadow, I would expect the price to reflect slightly more luxurious packaging.

L’Orchidée Highlighter Blush with White Lily (£62)

This luxurious silvery compact screams sophistication! Inside, you’ll find a good-sized mirror and silky soft, finely-milled pressed powder in the shape of a lily with the petals in different shades; softly shimmering pinky coral, light and dark bronze and shades of gold – it’s so pretty! This Highlighter Blush would suit all skin tones; the shades really lift the face and enhances the complexion with the most beautiful radiant glow. The shades blend beautifully and give a lovely luminescence to the skin; the individual colours could be used alone with a small brush as eyeshadows, or use a big fluffy brush to sweep lightly over collarbones, cheekbones, forehead and under the eyebrows for a fresh faced, super healthy glow. This compact can also be used to sculpt and illuminate; the peachy pink tones bring a beautiful warmth to the face.

So Intense – Thickening and Fortifying Mascara (£38)

Initially, I was very apprehensive (well alright then, a bit terrified) about using this mascara – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brush quite like it! So Intense has a thin comb style wand with very short little bristles which seem to be overloaded with product. The wand does take a little while to get used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it gives amazingly dark, glossy lashes.

The style of the wand enables you to apply the mascara from the very base of the lash and slowly stretch it out beyond the tips leaving them lengthened and defined. This mascara is long lasting, clump and flake free, and leaves your lashes beautifully soft and plump. The formula itself slows down lash loss; it is fortifying and enriched with vitamin-packet peptides for stronger, more nourished, protected and conditioned lashes. If you can get over the look of the brush, this is a fantastic and highly effective volumising and lengthening mascara. From www.houseoffraser.co.uk