A present from Lancome

When you have a brand as global, renowned and respected as Lancome you need a pretty darn good person to lead the creative way. In Aaron de May they've certainly got ahead of the bunch with a guy who is uber stylish, passionate and knowledgeable about makeup. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting him in Selfridges to talk to him about Lancome's new Christmas collection which was designed in collaboration with designer L'Wren Scott. A fabulous brand, fabulous creative director and a fabulous designer - that just means a fabulous collection that ticks all the right boxes.

The collection itself is very traditional, consisting of a grey smokey eye palette, deep red lipstick and two fabulous nail colours. It's refreshing to see such a big brand going back to basics and delivering something that is not only wearable, but can be made into so many different looks with the sweep of a brush. I love the fact that the palette comes with three different brushes so you can play and experiment, finding the methods of application and final looks that really suit you. I adore the nail varnish in particular, especially the grey-blue shade which was created specifically by L'Wren and Aaron a year ago to match her collection. It was created using a swatch of material from a dress specifically to match her designs and I think it's my 'most wanted' item of the moment.

What was so interesting to learn from Aaron is that he doesn't believe in makeup as a mask, but as something to enhance your natural beauty. Now you may not think that's anything particularly new, but when he says he doesn't like using foundation, covers up each individual blemish with a brush and concealer, uses highlighter galore and likes a bit of lip balm mixed with makeup, this is a new and refreshing approach. He likes to experiment and use the products in different ways, so creating something that's natural yet enhancing of our features. He suggests using your fingertip to blend (hoorah, I've been doing this for years and always get told off,) focusing your under-eye makeup in a triangle, dabbing lipstick on rather than applying from the bullet and starting with a liner when working on a smokey eye.

Having worked with celebs all over the world, the six of us (I know, how spesh am I?!) made the most of our time with him and dug deep into his knowledge. He was quickly whisked off to his next stop before a journey over to Paris after only being in the UK for 24 hours. It's people like these who really make a brand and you can tell his ideas really filter through into everything Lancome does. If you need some ideas for your Christmas list this year then this is a good place to start - if you invest (or get someone else to for you!) in an amazing smokey palette and red lipstick you'll be creating looks for years to come. Channel a rock chick, sexy siren, sixties swinger or even boho chic... Lancome has it covered.

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