Life & style You won't see her, but she's there - in the salons, spas and shops - and this week she's happy to share her secrets on skincare.
The beauty spy
It's as important to refresh your beauty products as it is to have a wardrobe overhaul every now and again.Right now, I'm replenishing my bathroom cabinet with the latest, climate-appropriate products, and fortunately I have some of world's best skincare experts on speed dial, including Dr David Orentreich, the charming New York dermatologist who gave me the perfect excuse to go shopping. "It is important to change your skin care to suit the changes in temperature, humidity and sun exposure," he tells me. "Sun protection is necessary all year round. A large proportion of skin damage happens when people are walking around, unprotected, rather than when they are lying on the beach when they are careful to use a sunscreen. For moisturisers, use lighter formulations in the warmer, humid months, and richer, and more hydrating formulations when the weather gets cooler." Sisley's All Day, All Year (Dh1,462) is the one I'll be using now that I'm spending more time outdoors. It's a moisturiser that protects my skin from the appalling, dehydrating effects of air-conditioning, as well as offering sun protection. I'll also be applying a good eye cream to fend off the crow's feet and dark circles; SK-II's Signs Eye Cream (Dh349) is my current favourite - and an age-fighting skin serum. I'm addicted to serums. They're packed with antioxidants and skin-brightening ingredients, and the more I use them, the smoother my forehead will be when I am old? so I tell myself. My skin is extremely happy with Crème de la Mer's Radiant Infusion (Dh411) but I can't wait to get my hands on the new Supreme Maintenance Serum from Dr Sebagh (aka The King of Botox), who makes incredible skincare products. This one is due out this month and promises to be his best yet. Dr Orentreich also says, "The lips can become dry when you spend more time outdoors. Avoid licking your lips and, to keep them moist, apply emollients in layers: a coat of lip balm followed by a moisturising lipstick, topped with a layer of lipgloss. And exfoliate the lips and skin around." Clinique's All About Lips (Dh88) is, he says, one of the best for "melting" flakiness away. For moisture, I find Eve Lom's Kiss Mix lip balm (Dh 71) the most pleasing.
"Many women do too much to their skin, layering on make-up, then removing it with cleansers and applying moisturisers on top. I recommend a simple regime that is based on thorough cleansing and exfoliation. These are the most important parts of any skincare regime and most people just don't do them regularly. This is a big mistake, because by regularly exfoliating, dead skin cells are removed so the skin can breathe better and the cell-renewal process will be in balance, which is the key to a fresh, young-looking complexion. Regular cleansing also helps pores to shrink and fights cystic blemishes and skin inflammation. Applying too much moisturiser will clog the pores, and lead to whiteheads. Use cleanser once a day, at night, for normal/dry types and twice a day, morning and night, for oily/very oily.
Red lipsticks... The one make-up item no girl should be without Chanel - Rouge Hydrabase in Barcelona Red, Dh100 MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger, Dh65 Estée Lauder Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Classic Red, Dh88 (All available from Paris Gallery, Abu Dhabi, and Harvey Nichols, Dubai)
As a fan of John Galliano's sublime fashion creations, I had to put my name down for his first-ever fragrance. No surprise that this dark, romantic perfume, in a beautifully sculptured glass bottle, is a work of art. It's available exclusively by mail order from Harrods (www.harrods.com), and priced £69.