Beauty: On reflection, the star treatment is worth it

I hate looking in mirrors. Don't get me wrong, I love messing about with make-up and hair products as much as (probably more than) the next girl but gazing at myself while in the company of others isn't usually my idea of fun ... that was until I booked a consultation with make-up artist to the stars Graham Johnston.

Graham has worked with the likes of Catherine Zeta Jones and Rene Zellweger and not only is he a highly respected artist in his field, he's an immensely affable chap to while away an hour with.

I decided to take my mum along to share the session with me. We both felt that we could use some advice. I wanted to find an alternative to my usual make-up rut and mater wanted help in mastering a groomed look that she could achieve at home.

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As he set to work on my mum, applying tinted moisturiser with a sponge and brush, then using a gel liner on her upper lashes, I attempted to winkle out his celebrity secrets.

"It's a bit like the confessional," smiled Graham. "I can never tell."

Damn! Although he's too much of a professional to spill the beans on individual clients he still has some great stories to share. One TV presenter that he worked with insisted on being made up in a shade of tan not found in nature (David Dickinson perhaps?) and a colleague of his once had his entire make-up cabinet engulfed in flames after an actor waved a cigarette a bit too near the hairspray.

After brushing a sable-hued eyeshadow on the outside corners of my mum's eyes and then a couple of coats of black mascara (as, according to him, "brown is kind of a waste of time") Graham applied a shade of lipstick that Mum had initial misgivings about. "You can always wipe it off if you think it's ghastly," advised Graham. But it looked perfect, as did the entire maquillage: chic and sophisticated without looking in the least overdone.

When it was my turn to hop up on the chair, I asked Graham to do whatever he thought would suit me and tried not to blanche when he said: "I think I'm going to go Eighties."

Using shimmering gold and purple eyeshadows, he amped up the glamour with an intense smoky-eyed look and finished my make-over with a pinky neutral lip gel, which he said would have better staying power than a gloss.

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I'm beginning to think Graham may have cured me of my phobia. After leaving the salon I couldn't find enough mirrors.

David Calder Ltd, 15 William Street South West Lane, Edinburgh (0131-225 6744,

An hour-long consultation with Graham Johnston costs 100.

Risk reducer

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One in three adults in the UK suffers from high blood pressure. They probably aren't aware of it, however, as this condition, which is a risk factor for strokes and heart conditions, may not have any symptoms. So, if you're worried and want to check your blood pressure, either visit your GP or get one of these new blood pressure monitors, accredited by the British Hypertension Society.

Lloydspharmacy Blood Pressure Monitors, 14.99, from Lloydspharmacy branches nationwide,

Shine on

Sun, surf and sand can play havoc with your hair. So we're taking Ojon's Five Piece Shine and Protect Hair Ritual Kit on holiday with us. It contains travel sizes of this brand's Restorative Hair Treatment, Shine and Protect Shampoo and Conditioner, Glossing Treatment and Glossing Cream. We love that they smell of coconut oil, which is one of the plant-based ingredients in these frizz- beating products.

Ojon Five Piece Shine and Protect Hair Ritual Kit, 30.50, and John Lewis (0131-556 9121, 0141-353 6677,

White all right

Andy Murray may be sponsored by Adidas, but we're rather smitten by Clarks' tennis styles this year. These new Phoenix Lace trainers are apparently super- comfortable, thanks to their nifty Flexlight technology, which makes them both light and quick-drying. Also, despite the fact that brightly coloured footwear seems voguish at Wimbledon, we're quite fond of the classic white styling here – a decidedly classy retro look.

Phoenix Lace, 52.99, Clarks (0131-220 1261, 0141-204 2644)

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• This article was first published in The Scotsman on Saturday, June 26, 2010