This week I’ve asked Lisa some questions that I’ve been thinking about for a while…

I’m looking for a really nourishing eye cream but one that’s not too heavy. What’s your recommendation? 

Dermalogica’s Total Eye Care is a good all round, multi-tasker for both morning and night.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum or Gel is my favourite daily treatment night cream for eyes for all skin types.  They have a beautiful texture, sink into the skin well and it really makes a noticeable difference to hydration quickly. The choice of formulation is purely personal.

For sensitive and dry skins, look at Avene, Kiehls Creamy Eye treatment with Avocado and Dermalogica Ultra-smoothing serum for eyes.

Zelens Triple Action Advanced eye cream is a premium but excellent choice.

If you have specific concerns like darkness, wrinkles or puffiness, I’d use a multi-purpose eye gel or light cream in the morning and a night cream targeted to your needs.  In the morning, make sure you leave a good 10 mins after applying your eye cream before using under-eye concealer – this will stop it creasing.

I’ve recently started using a black liquid eye liner. I love the effect but feel the black is too harsh, what else would you recommend, that’s not brown?

Black can sometimes be too harsh you’re right – and slightly ageing too – especially for daytime.  Graphite grey, navy, black-plum or a brown-black (a deep espresso) will all be softer and more interesting depending on your eye colour.

As for the type of eyeliner you choose, I’m a huge fan of gels, used with a fine brush (I couldn’t be without my Bobbi Brown superfine eyeliner and the Laura Mercier fine angled eyeliner brushes).  Gel is totally flexible – it can be used to create a statement line to the eyes which is still crisp but slightly softer than liquid, or you can smudge it before it dries for a sultry look, either blended into your mid or dark eyeshadow for a smoky eye or on its own for a rock chick effect.

If you’re a beginner at applying eyeliner, trace a thin line with a pencil first, then go over it with the gel.  Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier make the longest-lasting gel liners in beautiful colours, or try one of the L’Oreal Superliner Gel Intenza colours for the best budget version.

For the festive season I’d love a deep red lipstick with a matte effect. Which is the best one to go for?

I’m a firm believer that there’s a red out there to suit everyone, no matter their skin colour and tone, eye and hair colour.  Today’s lipstick textures are so much better than those on the market even three years ago and the best matte formulations are super long-lasting, contain nourishing oils and vitamins and are kind to your lips and wear off evenly.

I particularly love:

  • NARS Velvet Matte pencil in Cruella or Mysterious Red or NARS Pure Matte in Amsterdam
  • Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau in Muse
  • Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon
  • For a sheer burst of deep red without making a statement, try Lipstick Queen’s Medieval.
  • Although it’s not matte, I adore Bobbi Brown’s Hollywood Red.

To prepare your lips, pat on a thin layer of concealer all over the lips before applying your lipstick. Just make sure your lips are smooth and you apply some balm 10 minutes or so before. Remember you can make any of your favourite lipsticks become matte by dusting a thin layer of translucent powder through one layer of tissue on top of two coats of lipstick.

I’m really noticing a change in my skin with the change in season. How do you recommend keeping it looking fresh?

Really invest time in your skincare routine in the cooler months, layering your products.  Cleanse, tone, serum, (oil if needed), cream in that order and weekly exfoliation and a hydrating mask all over the face if you have normal, red-sensitive or dry skin and on the cheeks if you have oily or combination skin.  If you have dry or sensitive skin, switch to a milk or calming cleanser in the winter.

Consider introducing a wholly natural facial oil to suit your skin type if it feels dehydrated but make sure it has no mineral oil.  Any skin type can be dehydrated due to a lack of water and / or too much salt and alcohol – it’s different to a dry skin type.

Avoid super-hot water when cleansing as it will dry the skin out.  Make sure you remove your make-up and apply your skincare at least an hour before bed, if not two – or your expensive products will end up being absorbed by your pillowcase instead of skin!

Nurture from the inside by drinking lots of water and eating excellent foods for the skin like salmon, mackerel, almonds, walnuts & pistachios, olive oil, avocado, artichokes, broccoli and seeds.  Consider taking a fish oil supplement too.

TIP: if your face feels tight and wind-whipped during the day in a cold snap, take two pea-sized amounts of your normal face moisturiser, rub between your hands until they are coated in a super-thin layer and pat onto your face over your make-up for instant relief.

This is a big one but I am in desperate need for a new foundation. It seems like a minefield out there and I don’t want to waste my money. Where do I start? 

There are five things to consider:

  • Colour-matching

Test the foundation, whilst not wearing any, around the jawline for the best match.  Lighting in shops is poor so take a small mirror and check the colour by the door.  The one that ‘disappears’ into your skin is the right one.  Always wear s foundation for a day to see how it lasts or ask for a sample or two, do not buy on the spot!

  • Coverage and finish level

Are you looking for light coverage (water-based foundation or tinted moisturizer), medium or full coverage? Would you like a dewy or light-reflecting, semi-matte or matte finish?

  • Your skin type

Even if the colour is spot on, if the formula of foundation isn’t suited to your skintype, you won’t look your best.  Avoid oil-free formulas if you have dry skin and go for an oil or gel base with anti-ageing moisture properties. If you have oily skin go for oil-free, water-based foundations with medium coverage. If you have sensitive skin, look for fragrance free products and if your skin is also oily or combination, consider a mineral powder formula as it will usually have less preservatives.  Normal skins can take their pick and if you want to create an airbrushed flawless finish, HD liquid foundations are your bet – I love the new Liquid Halo by Smashbox.

  • Texture

Finally, consider what you like to use: powder, mousse, liquid, cream, cream to powder or tinted moisturiser?  If you use a lot of cream products (cream highlighter, blusher, bronzer), I wouldn’t pick a powder or mousse foundation as you’ll find it very difficult to use these on top of your foundation.

Thanks Lisa! Here is a link to Lisa’s website for more tips and tricks Lisa Hancox Make-Up.

If you have a make-up or skincare question for Lisa, please leave a comment below.

During the Summer I discovered lipstick – read my trepidation into lipstick here. I went with bright corals and varying shades of pink to orange but now it feels right to warm things up a bit for Autumn/Winter.

No shopping around for this one. I went straight to Tom Ford beauty counter in Harrods. I’d been having this feeling for a while that I missing out – “lipstick envy” sort of feeling. I kept seeing and hearing about Tom Ford lipstick but couldn’t get my hands on it locally.

When I took Miss Pollyanna (daughter #1) on a day trip to London I managed to negotiate a trip to Harrods with her by playing it off with a stop at the Morellis Gelato ice cream parlour. Win-win as I far I was concerned!

Tom Ford Crimson Noir

So now I’m in possession of Crimson Noir. It’s stunning. A really rich, warm tone with the scent of vanilla. Honestly – it’s divine and almost too good to use.

Do you have any other autumnal shades I should know about?

Reflecting on my holiday to Italy and having compiled my holiday resolutions, I was feeling a bit of pressure to put them into practice. There’s nothing worse for me than saying you’re going to do something then not following it through. So off I trot to John Lewis…

The ‘To wear bright lipstick‘ was by the far the scariest holiday resolution I had made. I have ALWAYS steered well away from lipstick but being in Italy changed my thoughts on this and I was about to step out of my nude lip-gloss wearing comfort zone. Orange seemed like a good place to start. I trawled Chanel, Clinique, YSL and the usual, but these were my favourites.

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Dior, Diablotine Extreme 643.

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A punchy, tomatoey bright red/orange. Glossy finish and plenty of colour so no need to over apply. Goes on well and stays on very well.

Bare Minerals, Go the Distance.

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I bought this one as an everyday, ‘go with anything’ shade. I’ve recently bought the Bare Minerals foundation and really like it so I’d thought I’d give them a go. Love it. They also had a couple of other shades very close to this one, so definitely worth having a look at.

Bobbi Brown, Salmon.

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This is much, much lighter than the others. The girl on the counter reassured me this was the one – the one that I’d lusted after in the magazines. I was a bit dubious but went with it, she was the expert after all (yes, total sucker!).

Definitely best worn with a tan as it has that real ‘tangerine’ look. But equally, it still has all the qualities you’d expect from Bobbi Brown and I really love the fact it’s a bit brighter and more ‘orange’ than the others.

Bourjois, Rouge Edition,  03.

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One routine trip to Waitrose I stumbled across the Bourjois lipsticks and thought I’d give them a go. For £7.99 I have to say, they’re brilliant. They’re so easy to wear, last a long time and feel moisturising.

[frame_center src=”” href=””]Top left: Dior. Top right: Bobbi Brown. Bottom left: Bare Minerals. Bottom right: Bourjois[/frame_center]
I couldn’t do a post about lips and not mention my trusty Eight Hour Lip gloss. An absolute winner. The usual benefits of the Eight Hour Cream with a proper glossy effect.

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Have you found any lipsticks I should know about??!

Laura x



Pollyanna by the pool

There aren’t many times when you can completely and unashamedly relax and unwind. But the holiday to Borgo Egnazia was a time when I could. Relaxing by the pool with my newly discovered Martini Spritzer, I decided I was going to make some holiday resolutions. With no chores and no lists, my mind was free to focus on the future…and my style!

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Everyone knows the Italians have an impeccable eye for style but I have to say I was quite overcome by the effortless manner in which they pull this off. After a couple of days of hiding behind my ovesized Chanel’s I began to embrace it. I wasn’t going to be intimidated, instead I would join them in their unadulterated penchant for style.
[styled_box title=”My resolutions. My new style ‘rules’…” color=”pink”]Embrace brights.
This goes for lipstick too!
Accent a plain outfit with a pop of leopard – my new found love!
Be confident in your own style and wear your head high.[/styled_box]
[frame_center src=”” href=””][/frame_center]Let’s see if I can stick to them….?!


ps. what will your holiday resolutions be?