Create your perfect – “barely there”
I love make up. It’s been a good friend of mine since I was a teenager and it will be until I grow old.
I remember if I ever called in on my grandmother without notice how she would sneak behind the kitchen partition wall, open her top drawer, wherein laid her little essentials – powder for her nose, rose lipstick and a comb to run through her perm. I always used to think – That will no doubt be me one day.
In essence, that day is already here – the fact is she understood the core things she needed to make herself feel like, well, herself- importantly, it wasn’t a long routine and she probably could have done it with her eyes closed.
My everyday look is what I’ve paid most attention to over the years. I’ve always loved discovering new tricks or brands to try. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed refining what products deliver the best results quickly (and stay put!) as well as exploring what colours suit me and best of all, how make up is the main accessory to any outfit.
As friends have often asked me for my tips on make up, I wanted to share them here with you. This is an edited list based on ‘everyday’ make up wear.
I’ve found it works best to keep a makeup bag with your everyday products in, where you know the products inside and out and don’t have to waste time finding them. I then keep a separate bag with more experimental make up which I only use from time to time. When I know I have time, I try to experiment with at least one product from here as it encourages me to try different looks.
1. Base – For a few years now I’ve used Laura Mercier primer – it’s light, a tube goes a long way, and as well as offering all important UV protection, it really does help other skin products go onto the skin more smoothly. What I will say though is there is NO POINT using a primer, or any make up for that matter, to try to “create” great looking skin… This really does start from within – eating healthy, sleeping, avoiding smoking, alcohol (where possible!) as well as ensuring your cleansing, toning and moisturising at least once a day. Don’t be afraid to use oils on your face either, I love Neal’s Yard oils because they smell divine and make me feel like I’ve stepped out of a spa each morning! You will get way more impact from doing these things than using a primer, but do them all and you will really notice results.
2. Foundation- I have tried so many foundations and found some inexpensive brands to give similar results to top end ones. If you’ve followed the steps in point one, you’re more than half the way there to fabulous looking skin.
For everyday wear in summer I simply use Rimmel BB cream which is light and gives a really healthy glow. In the winter months where my skin needs more colour and for evening wear I use Maybelline New York Dream Satin Liquid Air-Whipped Foundation. This really does stay put and gives great coverage without you feeling “caked” in make-up.
I apply both with this brush from Bare minerals. Please invest in one of these…. No more foundation finger marks on your clothes and surfaces and it really helps to give a blended, even finish.
4. Eyebrows – If you asked me five years ago what make up I couldn’t live without, eyebrow pencil would have been far from my priority list. Now, it would be right up there. Maybe even above mascara! Fashions change, in a few years perhaps thicker fuller looking brows might not be as coveted as they are now, but they will always be fundamental to your make up routine as they frame your face. I’ve tried eyebrow “mascara” type wands and shadows – and I still always go back to pencil. My absolute favourite for everyday is a budget friendly Rimmel one. This is so easy to apply; the brush on the lid is great for blending and giving a natural finish.
5. Eyeliner- my go to make up look is a simple black liner with a flick. I consider this an art crafted over many years of practise. Please don’t give up, it does take time but with this easy to apply Eyeko liquid liner in your armour, it’ll be much easier I promise!
6. Eye shadow- after years of trailing eye shadows, I now buy mainly MAC eyeshadows, I find they have a great depth of colour and don’t get claggy in the creases of your eyes.
7. Mascara- I only have one thing to say- Yves Saint Laurent – in black of course. An absolute classic and worth the investment. Take your time with this beautiful golden tube, build up the layers taking each eye in turn (this allows one coat to dry slightly before applying the next).
8. Blusher – A Benefit recommendation here – why?
• their colours are so adaptable to so many skin colours
• they have never broken in my handbag
• they are super quick to apply as they are in an easy open and close box
• the box has a cute little mirror in the lid
• they come with a soft, natural bristle brush
9. Highlighter – Yet another Benefit tip here (last one I promise). Benefit Highbeam is a satiny, pink liquid highlighter which I use to accent the tops of my cheeks & brow bones for a dewy glow to finish off my make up. It can also be used under complexion products for subtle luminescence. I love this stuff! I even pop it on my collar bones if I’m wearing a strappy top on a night out.
10. Lips – I have too much to say about lipstick, for here I will keep it short – I am a massive fan of MAC lipstick – Myth is a great colour for a creamy, nude effect for everyday wear.