I feel this post is necessary as this time of year can feel a little awkward, even a touch melancholy. Officially, it’s the transition into autumn, the end of the school holidays when the leaves have not yet started to turn but every sunny day feels like an unexpected bonus to be taken advantage of. So here are some of the things I love most about September at the moment:
OK, I always enjoy reading but there is something rather wonderful about opening a new book at this time of year, especially if it’s a long novel which will accompany you as the evenings start to draw in. Summer is best suited to shorter books which you can take out with you, even short stories but September feels just right for something longer. I have a few books lined up – War and Peace which I’ve wanted to read for ages, Dictator, the last part of Robert Harris’ magnificent Cicero trilogy, along with other favourites which I’m dying to read again. It’s always a conflict between discovering something new and returning to books I already love dearly. English literature in particular seems to lend itself especially well to this season – Brideshead Revisited, or in fact any of Evelyn Waugh’s brilliant novels, Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, anything by Graham Greene.
It’s also the best time of year to read blogs. My favourite one is https://clovissangrail.com/, a beautiful and erudite look at fashion and exquisite taste. I really could spend hours on there.
Red eyes and dark lips
Left to right – Bobbi Brown Lip Luxe in Your Majesty, Maybelline Matte lipstick in Divine Wine, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Glastonberry, the Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp palette, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Love Liberty and Nars Audacious lipstick in Vera
These are THE trends for autumn which makes me happy as both of them go well with my super pale skin and I absolutely love the 1920s. They may sound scary but they are in fact much more wearable than they look at first sight. Chanel’s brilliant creative director of makeup, Lucia Pica has created a stunning collection centred around red with their first completely matte eyeshadow palette, red liner, nail polish and beautiful lipsticks. My favourite palette is still Charlotte Tilbury’s The Vintage Vamp which I’ve been devoted to for a couple of years. Think Clara Bow, rather than conjunctivitis sufferer. In terms of dark lips, some shades tend to be hit and miss but my choices would be Nars Audacious lipstick in Vera or Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Love Liberty which are beautiful berry colours, Bobbi Brown Lip Luxe in Your Majesty, or Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Divine Wine which are gorgeous bordeaux shades and for the darkest ones, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revoltion lipstick in Glastonberry or Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry. You can always start out applying these as a stain before progressing to full dramatic lip if you’re not confident enough.
To tell you the truth, summer isn’t really my favourite season for travel because many places abroad can be hot and crowded, while in the UK, it’s hard to hide your disappointment at washed out weekends and grey days which are the norm. But I love travelling in September and October, especially to Venice where I’ve booked to go next month. The days should still be long enough to go everywhere I want to and I’m looking forward to seeing some beautiful sunsets again.
My skin likes this time of year. Not too hot so the makeup slides off by midday but still far away from the misery of winter which other rosacea sufferers will relate to. I must adit that I have zero brand loyalty when it comes to skincare and will happily ditch other products if I find something I like better, even if it happens to be midway through a pot of expensive face cream. I ordered Kate Somerville’s Goat Cream especially from the U.S. and it made a huge difference to my dehydrated, difficult skin with acne…and then Sali Hughes recommended Sunday Riley’s Tidal Cream and I put the Goat Cream to the back of the bathroom cabinet. It’s like no other cream I’ve tried and works miracles on my dull, dehydrated skin. Another Sunday product is the Luna Sleeping Oil with retinol. Her range is really expensive but I will say that I can see an immediate difference in my skin whenever I’ve try her stuff which isn’t at all the case with many products. I use 2-3 this times a week after cleansing and acid toning if you do that, but before serum and moisturiser and it really brightens skin and annihilates pores, even if you’ve had a rotten night’s sleep. May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon was recommended by the brilliant Caroline Hirons. Also containing blue tansy, it’s designed to soothe, calm and moisturise sensitive or stressed skin and will definitely be one of my essentials as we head into the colder months. Expensive, but you only need the teeniest amount so a pot will last for years. And finally, my favourite Vichy Aqualia serum which is the best for dehydrated skin and amazingly good value. How nice all these products are blue as well.
Long walks and tea
These surely need no explanation.
Let me know what you particularly like about this time of year.