I am the first to admit I’m a beautician’s drinking, smoking, water-averse, staying-out late nightmare. Add to that my blonde, pig-trotter pink complexion and the fact that, against all hair and beauty advice, I have laid my face out flat in the sun, like a wet bathing suit, for the past 100 years. And the net result is that as I tumble into my mid-forties I have skin the texture and consistency of well-used gentleman’s club chair.
I have toyed with face-creams in the past – Clarins, Janet Sartin – but to little effect. For not only have I not really, truly, honestly, exactly, cross my heart, followed the instructions – using night creams during the day and foot lotion on my face. But I do also have to admit that I can be the tiniest bit lazy when it comes to taking my make-up off. I have been found passed out under my duvet, mouth wide-open, in full mascara and black eyeliner, with a scarlet slash of Chanel Pirate still on my lips.
So far so slut. But now I am determined to turnover a new leaf. After all there is a point when being a little smudgy and Kate Moss, turns into, well, Kate Moss. So armed with a carrier bag of latest crone cream from the beauty industry's finest manufacturers I got slathering in the name of science and saving my leather-ette skin.
First out of the bag was a Clarins Vital Light Day Illuminating Anti-Ageing Cream, £59, ( www.clarins.co.uk ), which was comforting and smelt familiar. It soaked in well, leaving my face feeling smooth and plump. I also liked the Givenchy Smile 'N Repair Perfecting Wrinkle Cream, £65, ( www.houseoffraser.co.uk ) as it did feel that it was doing exactly that.
Everyone raves about Chanel Sublimage, ( www.selfridges.com ) even my sister who is quite a low maintenance kinda gal, goes out of her way to stock up on the stuff when she goes through Duty Free. But I found it a bit too highly perfumed and a bit too thin. However it does obviously depend on your skin type (and I think I had the Essential Regenerating Fluid, £225 when what I needed was the La Crème, £240). My sister has beautiful skin that has never seen the light of day, let alone been left out to crisp and dry by a highly chlorinated swimming pool. So no doubt she doesn’t want or need a fist full of clotted cream in her face.
Equally I was not blown out of the water by Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood range, from £35, ( www.rodial.co.uk ). Apparently Angelina Jolie doesn’t go on an extended tour of terrible war zones without it. She packs it along with her UN serious face. But I found it all a little sticky and tacky and it didn’t absorb brilliantly.
And don’t get me started on Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale New Generation Serum, £305, ( www.houseoffraser.co.uk ). Quite apart from channelling some sort 50 Shades vibrator chic (it shaped like a gold-tipped doubled-ended dildo!) the thin cream stung my face and was so highly perfumed that it battled with the scent I actually wanted to wear.
So what did I love? La Prairie Anti-Ageing Longevity Serum, £152, ( www.harrods.com ) is the sort of skin treat you want in your bathroom just to slap on whenever the mood takes you. It’s fab and does the job beautifully. I got very in to the Caudalie Vinexpert range, from £36, ( http://uk.caudalie.com ) with its firming collagen stimulating serums and day creams, it was gentle on my skin and made it glow afterwards. I also rather fell in love with a product from Azerbaijan: Gazelli Triple Youth Reviving Eye Cream, £40, ( http://www.urbanretreat.co.uk ) which unlike most eye creams did not make my eyes water and smelt of delicious roses.
But the star of the show as far as I am concerned is the Simon Thérapie Range, ( www.simontherapie.com ). The Diamond Face Contour Moisturizer is cool and thick, the Diamond Eye Contour Moisturizer (available with the face moisturizer for £135) makes you look like you’ve had 12 hours' sleep and the pièce de résistance is the Gold Acid-Free Micropeel, £120 with anti-slackening effect, which you use as face scrub in the shower. It is so good I lent to a girlfriend who promptly stole it. I am never speaking to that cow again even if she does now look ten years bloody younger!