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My beauty stash: Deborah Brett

November 19th 2012


Make-up by Arabella Preston. Photography by Kirstin Sinclair

Rake over the contents of the ELLE and Red contributing editor's dressing table... it's fabulous

The dressing table

“It is 18th-century and French – I found it in Alfie’s Antique Market (www.alfiesantiques.com) in Marylebone, had it restored and it’s been with me now for nearly 20 years. I’m extremely attached to it as it has come with me on my life journey from my parents' home, to my first flat and now the house in Notting Hill that I share with my husband. It’s definitely part of me.

"I love the ritual of sitting on the stool, having all my bits and pieces around me and taking time (even if it’s just five minutes) to sit and consider everything. It’s a bit like being in a grown-up sweetie shop and my daughter loves to sit next to me and watch me get ready, which is really sweet.”


My fragrances

"My all-time fragrance love is Carnal Flower by Frédéric Malle, a heady but not-too-overpowering tuberose. People stop me frequently when I wear it to ask what it is. £185, www.liberty.co.uk

I also love Diptyque’s Philosykos perfume. The smell of figs reminds me of summer in Majorca, where I grew up. £48 www.diptyqueparis.co.uk


My nail varnish collection

I love quirky nail colours – it’s my signature. Some of my favourites are Essie – I love their neons on toes for summer and I also adore their putty colours on fingernails. One of my favourites is Lyford Lilac, a wonderful purple grey. www.nailsbymail.co.uk Other amazing colours are Chanel’s Peridot and Blue Satin.

Make-up essentials

In the day I wear Estée Lauder’s Daywear Sheer Tint, which is very light for the school run or when I don’t want a full face of make-up, £34, www.esteelauder.co.uk.

For evening I am a fan of Chanel’s Vitalumière range, which is a great colour match for my skin: from £31, www.boots.com. When I go out I tend to either play up my eyes with a pared-down lip or pare down my eyes and do a bold lip. I’m a big fan of lipstick and some of my favourites are the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square, £17.50, www.narscosmetics.co.uk and MAC Lady Danger lipstick. My favourite for a pale lip is MAC Velvet Teddy, £13.50, www.maccosmetics.co.uk. For smouldering, smoky eyes, Guerlain’s Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl is still the best, £23, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

As for mascara, I think cheaper ones, such as Max Factor False Lash Effect, are now just as good as the expensive ones, if not more so.

Top Industry tip

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm, £32.25 – I rub it in my hands and inhale – it really de-stresses. A make-up artist friend told me to press it on to cheekbones post make-up for a real glow. It really works.

brett jewels.jpg

My jewellery

I’ve tried to work the minimalist pared-down look but I’m afraid I just can’t do it. I feel undressed without a few baubles! I go from wearing simple gold chains with charms on them – my husband gets them for me from Grays (www.graysantiques.com) or Alfie’s Antiques Market (www.alfiesantiques.com) – to really bold pieces.

Over the past year the high street has really upped its game when it comes to costume jewellery. Jigsaw is now one of my favourite places to buy chunky, modern pieces. I also went crazy at the Marni for H&M sale and bought a huge yellow petal necklace, a white and leather flower one and some green and red crystal and plastic earrings that are real statements.

In summer I tend to go for a more boho look and love ethnic earrings from Isabel Marant or Erickson Beamon who do the best modern costume jewellery.

Deborah is senior contributing editor at Red magazine, and Contributing Writer for Elle

Photographs by Kirstin Sinclair. Deborah wears Marni for H&M

Directed and compiled by Susannah Taylor

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