Hero Product

Tory Frost threw her reservations about celeb ranges out the window to try Claudia for M&S

You might have read ‘hero product’ and expected a really transformative serum or mind-blowing mascara. Sorry, but that’s not the type of hero product I’m selling.

I’m speaking literally, of a product line developed, if we’re to believe the marketing, by my actual hero, Claudia Winkleman.

Need I explain my hero worship? She’s whip-smart – an excellent columnist, presenter and critic. She’s incredibly funny. She’s unashamedly herself. In a world of ‘bubbly’ telly women she’s at times cynical, sceptical, openly squirms at hugs and quite happily takes the piss. Despite wealth, she wears high-street dresses on prime time and refuses to stray from her signature look, even though plenty of people think it’s awful.

I’m usually pretty scathing of celeb make up ranges. Rarely based on quality, the bulk of the budget tends to go on an endorsement fee, leaving crappy formulas, sickly smells or safe colours and branding.

There are, of course, exceptions. Kendall Jenner’s Estee Lauder lippy is great, although I don’t believe she gave more than a nod of approval for her part. The Pixiwoo Real Techniques brushes are, obviously, amazing. But unless, like Kat Von D for Sephora, a product-mad celeb teams with a quality brand, I’m sceptical it’s anything more than an exercise in flogging tat.

Until I threw good sense out of the window for Claudia’s M&S make up range. Marketed with her signature wit, the shadow names are ‘base’ and ‘not base’. The lashes are ‘fiddly, but good’. The gift sets contain products I trust she might use, to create a look she’d wear, that she could actually be arsed to achieve.

The Gamechanger eyeliner is the standout. As promised, it’s really black and long-lasting in a soft, glide-on formula. It’s twist up, so no fanny on with a sharpener, and when I did as instructed, using ‘absolutely loads’ (after chucking the crappy smudger in the bin) I realised why Claudia loves too much kohl.

A little bit is Kate Middleton: safe, proper. A fair bit is Good Charlotte: pop star does rock star. But a fuck-load is sixties supermodel, banged behind the bushes before downing a Tom Collins too many. Panda eyes are unapologetic, boy-repelling and more than a bit confrontational. Claudia’s look, hell her personality, is confident, capable and a bit of a handful. And if that’s on sale, I’m buying it.

Claudia Winkleman Make-Up Range, from £5

Tory Frost

Tory is a freelance journalist who writes about most things for money and beauty for fun. Her favourite smells are Elnett and Oud.

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