Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me you will be utterly bored with all the "New Year New Me" nonsense and be wanting to shove anything "detoxing" up the jacksie with a rolling pin. At least, I think that’s what they’re recommending; I tend to switch off after someone mentions a detox. Instead, I’ve decided to do the exact opposite and track down some of my old, and hopefully classic, beauty and fragrance favourites; Thierry Mugler’s Angel, Mac Spice lip pencil, and Chanel’s Rouge Noir.
I have been longing to try Angel again, ever since I realised it’s in the Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez top ten Classic Fragrances. I felt simultaneously very pleased with myself that it was my signature scent for years, and irritated that I had pretentiously let it go when it became ubiquitous and much copied. Well I started my first Angel day off in a haze of gourmand nostalgia, but after a couple of hours the spicier notes came through and I fell in love with it all over again, more than twenty years later. I had remembered it as a sweet but fresh fragrance with a certain something unusual about it. Maybe that was where I was at with my perfume appreciation at that stage; I certainly feel I have learnt a lot since, not least due to hanging around with other fumeheads and lippie-aficionados.
This is an amazing scent – the fresh zesty peel notes that appear after the initial sweetness give way and turn into a deep spiciness with a hint of church incense and patchouli. It’s like wandering into a shop that sells crystals and tarot cards whilst wearing a diamond tiara. I suppose it’s no coincidence that I wore this in my grungiest years, but I was a rubbish grebo; my standard issue German army boots were contrasted with little black dresses and deep red lipstick. I always wanted that touch of glamour. Angel now feels elegant and sparkly but with an earthy depth that’s just perfect. I think it might be my new [old] favourite.
I'm sure you’re all familiar with Mac Spice and all its dupes. Like Angel, it was launched in the nineties and quickly gained cult status as the perfect nude shade. It’s a long time since I wore it, or even lip liner at all; I tend to just go straight for the bullet these days. In red, OBVS, as the children say. But the odd cool neutral has made it into my everyday routine so I thought I’d give it another go. Pixiwoo in particular are lip liner devotees and they inspired me to get back on point, so to speak.
Unable to get hold of a Mac Spice when I needed it, though, I hunted out a Bourjois dupe recommended by them, Crayon Contour Des Lèvres in 12 Facétieuse. It is a perfect nude, and I’d forgotten how great a toffee coloured lip liner can be at giving you a brilliant bee-stung pout. I used to push the edge to the very limit, (not over though, never over…) filling from the outside in, then topping with some lip balm. More recently, I've been using Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Blush on top, which looks great with a smudgy smoky eye. I've now resurrected the few lip liners I have and am using them more and more as a result. They’re really long lasting and I love the fact that you can use them as a stain of colour not having to reapply as much throughout the day.
I was so excited when I finally got hold of some Chanel Rouge Noir back in the day – I had to go on a waiting list for it. Crazy, but we all wanted the shade that Uma Thurman wore in Pulp Fiction. I had to have it. It also reminded me of Shirley MacLaine in the 1988 film Madame Sousatzka. I was a strange teenager; there was something about the strands of beads, short dark nails and beautiful decorative fabrics in her costume that I adored. So as soon as the short dark nail thing happened I was there, and I don’t think it’s ever really gone away for me.
I haven’t worn actual Rouge Noir for years though, until my friend got me some as a present a few months back. I still really love the rich bloody-black sheen of it, I couldn't stop looking at my hands. I feel like it goes with anything too, hold it against denim or black lace and it will look fantastic. It is straight up elegance with a touch of bohemian gothic and suits everyone in my opinion. My old [young] self wasn't so bad really; quite a stylish girl.
What are your old favourites?
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