Try Me

China Doll cosmetics L'Oreal
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The Independent Online
The worst thing about having a make-up artist as a friend is that they always know what you are doing wrong. There was a time when it was a complete sin for me to remove a lipstick from my bag, without first using a lip-liner and then applying my lipstick with the aid of a brush. Just when I get to grips with this, it's all change and I have to pat on my lip colour with my finger. Then comes the day that he plucks my eyebrows. Stripped so bare, they finished somewhere in line with my eyeball, but were then treated to 20 minutes of drawing back in.

The point I am actually making is this. I know too much, I've seen every look in the book, I've adjusted my make-up accordingly, only to be told that I am not up with the latest fad. Now my relationship with make-up is kept to a minimum.

Enter my China Doll look (above). I already have a mild fantasy of evoking a cool sensuality, but when I asked the said make-up artist to achieve the look for me using L'Oreal's new kit, our wires were obviously crossed. I said I wanted the Dolce & Gabbana Autumn/ Winter catwalk look, his interpretation was slightly different. My skin did not resemble porcelain, my eyes were not upturned and alert. To be honest, I looked haggard. When he finished, he smiled.

"Take it off before your friends see you."

"You were the one that made me look like this," I retaliated. "You're supposed to be a genius."

"Well, that's what Kate and Karen looked like when they came backstage at Prada."

Great, so I looked like a sweaty model that has been busting a gut to hail a cab across Milan for their next fashion show. I took it off.

OK, Plan B. I go home and do it myself. I am a dab hand with the liquid black eyeliner (left over from my school days, when I thought I could make myself look like Holly Golightly). The "voluminous" mascara was an absolute dream - yes my lashes did look thicker, fuller, longer and all of that, but I am afraid that the Colour Endure Stay-On Lipcolour was a no-no. I haven't got the fullest lips in the world, so red really isn't my colour and I am a little sceptical of the much-hyped claims of "permanent" lipstick; three coffees, some tuna pasta, a cigarette and six hours after my first application, I looked like I had been sucking a beetroot. I got a giggle out of my boyfriend, and some strange looks from my work colleagues. These were lovely products, but in future I will do my make-up my wayn

Charlie Harrington

China Doll by L'Oreal includes six Colour Endure Stay-On Lipsticks, one Superliner Eyeliner, one Cream Couleur Mono Eyeshadow and six LaquiResist nail varnishes. China Doll will be available from August at Boots, Superdrug and selected chemists nationwide.