Sunday, 13 November 2011


I've had a life-long love affair with Dior - when I was a child, my father bought my mother a bottle of Diorissimo, and I thought that it was the most luxurious present imaginable. I used to sit and stare at it on her dressing table, admiring the - now iconic - houndstooth packaging and longing but not daring to take the beautiful glass bottle out of its case and dab it behind my ears as I'd seen my mother do.

Working for Harper's Bazaar, it's hard not to be a devotee of Christian Dior - after all, it was Bazaar editor, Carmen Snow, who coined the expression The New Look in 1947, for the exquisite nipped in waists and full-skirts with which Dior created such an impact after the austerity of the war years. 

I've always liked Dior for saying that his 'dream' was to 'save women from nature': never having had much truck with a 'natural look'  myself, I'm more than willing to be rescued. What I like about Dior beauty is that sixty years on from the New Look, and fifty years after Christian Dior's death, the brand is still absolutely true to his original vision. It's all about enhancing, transforming and creating an incredibly feminine, elegantly made-up face. 

With such a promise, it's no surprise my make-up bag is completely Dior dependent - these below are the products I use pretty much every day: I just slap more on to create an evening look. And Sali Hughes is completely right - a navy eye is incredibly wearable, no matter what colour one's eyes. This Dior 5 couleurs palette is particularly versatile.

my makeup, as captured by my utterly rubbish iphone camera
The Skin-flash primer is a work of complete brilliance - I swear it takes five years off me. Under foundation it just brings back that nice glossiness that one seems to lack after forty, and it's packed full of hyaluronic acid, which nicely plumps up fine lines and stops them looking so visible. The 'New Look' lipstick is absolutely the perfect red for me, and I live in terror of it being discontinued - it's all the things I thought were inadvisable in a red lipstick - sheer and shiny with a tiny hint of shimmer - but it really works and helps you avoid the 'all lips' thing you can get with a strong, matte, red lipstick. 

I forgot to photograph my favourite mascara ever - Dior's Extase - it gives you vast lashes without going the full Pauline Prescott. There's a brilliant new one launching at the very end of January, which promises to be even better - 'New Look' apparently creates an 'unprecedented voluminous effect'. I can't wait.

Anyway, coming up for Spring is a whole host of beautiful, tempting new colours, all designed to save me from nature. But in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy the Dior staples I have - here I am wearing them in Dior's specially customised taxi. 
With Vincent Jeanniard, General Manager of Parfums Christian Dior UK, in the Dior Taxi


Dash said...

I love Dior products, they are so sumptuous and luxurious, as for women being saved from nature, I had not heard that before, I love it and no doubt will be coining it myself.

Baglady said...

I love Dior mascara. That's about it for me.

I hope they paid you for this.

Baglady said...

Or at least gave you a big bag of freebies.

Helen Brocklebank said...

Tee hee, no, I wasn't paid by Dior for the post, and nor did they offer me a goodie bag in return for writing about them - though I can see how my passion for Dior might be mistaken for advertorial.

However, I *have* worked with Dior for some years in my 'real life' job - hence the picture of me in a taxi with their General Manager - and I think it's often true that the more familiar one is with a product, the more one admires it.

That's not to say that Dior have *never* given me products - my first [mascara] brush with Extase was because I was given one after a shoot and I liked it so much, it's been my mascara of choice ever since. And of course, working on a magazine, there are often press samples going about.

But, with the exception of the Skin Flash Primer which was given to me at the Dior press day (when the taxi photo was taken), the products I've photographed on the iPhone were bought with ready money from House of Fraser/John Lewis or Selfridges.

I don't have any opposition to paid-for posts, but if I *am* ever offered money to write something, then please be assured it will be properly flagged (eg, A Mrs Trefusis Promotion or something similar)

S said...

you look so beautiful in that photo! love it.

my grandmum used to wear Diorissimo-swoon. i have read on perfume shrine (blog) that the EDT of Diorissimo is more true to the original scent- apparently the EDP is slightly different from the original. i grieve the discontinuation of my favourite mascara in the world- Mascara Parfait by Dior 'with cashmere'- dont know if that ingredient was truly in it, but that's what it said on the packaging.

you have given me Dior make-up gifts in the past- love love love them. my favourite Dior eye shadow is an aubergine hue which i use for a smoky eye effect. x s

S said...

by the way- the palette is called 'Stylish Move'- i dont know if they still make it, i bought mine aeons ago and just cant let go of it... x s

Anonymous said...

I am very old and will now never be rich but my ambition for years has been to be able to afford to wear Diorissimo every day, even when all I will be doing is cleaning the house. It is something to aim for !

Alison Cross said...

First of all - you look AMAZING!!!!

Second of all - I was given a Dior mascara a year ago and I wore it to death. Then it ran out. Then I bought my good old mascara just didn't match up to the Dior.

So now I wear Dior mascara

I live in fear of developing a need for further Dior as I live on a small island where Super Drug is the closest you can get to Classy Makeup.

Adore that phrase about women needing saved from nature. I love it!!!

Ali x

Rose said...

The Dior taxi looks fabulous! I would love to travel in that much style. I couldn't live without Dior mascara, Dior show is just so much better than any other mascara I've worn- it makes me very happy indeed.

I love your shirt by the way x

Anonymous said...

I love some Dior products, and Diorshow is my mascara of choice. Interesting that navy shadows seem to work on all eye colours...mine are hazel so I might give it a try.

However, I am thrilled to see that someone else uses the 010 shade of foundation. Any chance they'll come up with a slightly lighter shade? I'm just a tad paler come winter.


Sarah said...

How do you apply your Forever foundation? I bought some the other day on a recomendation, and haven't quite got to grips with it yet. I've been a tinted moisturiser person to date (so that'll be slapping it on with finger tips and blending in well which isn't really working for me with the foundation it goes a bit mask-like) and am a bit of a make-up klutz. Any tips gratefully received!

You do look very lovely in your taxi shot :)

Helen Brocklebank said...

Sarah: Try a foundation brush - Dior do a very good one, but I've had a good experience with one from the Body Shop. I don't put Forever on with a brush, because it makes it a bit too sheer for me, and I quite like a very 'made-up' look ;) xx

Unknown said...

I wonder how one can pull off blue eyeshadow. There must be a trick to keep it subtle when over 40. I'm very interested in the Skin Flash Primer. I have quite rosy skin that sometimes needs to be toned down a bit. I rarely wear foundation because I find that it makes me look older. Any idea how to avoid that?

awhirlinlondon said...

Have been wearing Diorissimo since I was in my teens. It was an annual birthday present from my father (he traveled a lot - duty free!) And my husband took over the tradition. When they forgot, I bought it for myself. Still love receiving it as a gift, though - it's what I asked for from my husband last week for my birthday - that and a Dyptique candle scented "Roses" and another "Gardenia." Such very lovely gifts.

The problem with Diorissimo is that one frequently finds that it's turned, particularly when buying at Duty Free. (I now fly more than my father did.) Open and try it on the spot.

The EDP used to be gorgeous - very hard to find, even in the Dior shop on Ave Montaigne in Paris. I bought a bottle from Harrods last year and it was just - wrong. Not turned, just - wrong. Most unhappy about it.

Have tried different perfumes over the last 30 years and am immediately met with the outraged comment that I smell "wrong." From everyone, pretty much. Outrage, no less! Good thing I've never fallen out of love with it.

Love YSL's "Faux Cils" - wonder how Dior's compares?

Dear Mrs. Trefusis - I do love your posts. Please write more of them?

Slummy single mummy said...

Hello! I've been doing a bit of exploring today and come across your blog for the first time and just wanted to say I LOVE the picture at the top of all the books. I have a bit of a book 'thing', and love how they looks in piles and on shelves :-)

bushra said...

am a complete sucker for the Dior makeup charms - have been collecting them for about 10 years now. love their cream concealer, and would be (looking) very lost without it.