In contract to the typically pared back approach I take the rest of the year, there's no time like your birthday to allow one's inner exhibitionist to embrace colour and glitter with full force. And the best thing about a January birthday? After a December’S worth of festive parties and Christmas soirees the glam look is perfected. Ahead of an evening of food, drink, dancing, and laughter with my closest girlfriends, these were the products I reached for.Read More
Any trip home for the festive season requires a calculated effort on the packing front. Fitting a week’s worth of loungewear and cosy knits in around carefully wrapped presents and those select pieces of laundry you trust only to your mum’s washing machine [wisdom] leaves little room for anything more than the bare necessities when it comes to beauty. For this reason I cultivate a skincare edit consisted almost entirely of samples and miniatures in order to efficiently accommodate the many requirements for a suitably festive makeup look.Read More
With autumn upon us and the change of seasons more than discernible, I've been inspired to give my makeup bag a minor overhaul - at least in terms of bringing some new colours into rotation. My recent move into a new apartment meant I had the chance to overhaul my entire collection, rediscover some old favourites, and add the latest launches into the mix. This look is less golden goddess and more about a 'no-makeup makeup base' and a subtle injection of warm and muted autumnal shades; below you'll find some old favourites alongside new additions that have been promoted from 'products to test' to 'products to use'.
Ahead of winter, I've been making a concerted effort to really up my game with using day cream, and I've found that having a freshly moisturised face makes all the difference in the finish and last of my foundation. Despite this, I'm still reaching for a primer most days, and SOAP & GLORY's Hocus Focus* has been an unexpected but firm favourite. The incredibly light, thin lotion is rapidly absorbed [so makeup can be applied immediately after] and infuses skin with a subtle radiance, muting redness, blurring imperfections, and injecting a welcome glow, which transcends consequent foundation application. I was half expecting my super sensitive skin to break out when using this [it's not quite as virtuous a primer as the skincare hybrids I usually reach for] but I've had no such issues, and have been incredibly impressed with the longevity of my makeup when using this as a base. It also strikes me [in texture and effect if not formulation] as a near enough exact dupe of RADICAL's Skin Perfecting Screen. As ever, MAC's Studio Finish Concealer has been my go-to groundwork concealer; its prowess when it comes to masking redness, scarring, and blemishes, and above all lasting throughout the day remains uncontested.
There's a new foundation favourite on the block; Oxygenetix Oxygenating Acne Control Foundation* is the best I've used in pursuit of achieving an airbrush finish. Light, creamy, and incredibly easy to blend, it masks and evens out discolouration and imperfections with a second skin finish that truly recreates the appearance of good skin. What's more is the formula assists skin's repair and regeneration process - encouraging cell renewal in order to reduce redness and scarring, as well as keeping breakouts at bay with a high salicylic acid count. Regularly used to heal and conceal skin after cosmetic surgery, the foundation is a favourite of celebrities and is frequently employed backstage and in film and TV for its ability to remain flawless and intact for up to 20 hours. Probably the only foundation that looks as good come removal as it does upon application, this has been a blessing on days when I've been up at the crack of dawn, out all day, and tumbling into bed past midnight. Another resolute, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer* remains my under-eye brightener of choice, perfectly masking darkness and discolouration and lasting all day without caking or creasing.
I've also remained loyal to my contouring favourite [and in fact haven't even been tempted to try anything else since I picked this up last spring]; Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow ticks all of the boxes for me, and I highly doubt it will ever be surpassed. Easy to apply and the perfect cool taupe shade to complement my pale skintone, it's completely devoid of orange undertones and doesn't draw out the redness in my skin - instead it subtly accentuates facial structure. I have an on-and-off love affair with blush, and usually swing between a few trusted favourites, rarely tempted to pursue anything new. If a new launch does make it into my daily rotation however, it must fit the bill - natural, barely-there, and subtle. SUQQU Colour Foundation in Natural Pink* is a delicate rose colour designed to provide a healthy glow and subtly assist bronzing and highlighting products in achieving a realistic contour. Subtle is most definitely the word, and it's incredibly hard to go overboard with this product, even with a heavy hand. The finished result is the appearance of just-pinched cheeks, which instantly brings life and definition to a wan complexion.
I recently attended a MAC event where MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl was consistently employed as the finishing touch in a fresh-faced, radiant and dewy base look - an occasion that instantly revived my love affair with this beautiful product. The colour and finish are perfectly pearlescent, more than living up to their name with a subtle satin sheen and cool creamy hue, which provide illumination with finesse. This is highlighting at its most sophisticated and professional, a far-cry from the chunky glitter highlighters so regularly employed to disastrous effect. I use my fingers to blend this across my cheekbones and up towards my temples before dabbing any excess down the bridge of my nose, on my Cupid's bow, and in the inner corner of my eye. I've long since favoured setting a cream highlighter with a powder one, and while the Cream Colour Base is subtle enough to sit on its own, I find it pairs beautifully with EVE LOM's Illuminating Radiance Powder* [released in November], which is in some ways its powder equivalent and certainly helps to prolong the cream's longevity. For a flawless, airbrushed finish, I finish my base with a generous dusting of EVE LOM's Sheer Radiance Translucent Powder*. Without a doubt one of the most remarkable products I have ever used, this renders its competitors positively archaic. The formula blurs imperfections and provides an instant soft-focus, brightening effect via light-diffusing particles. Who needs PhotoShop?
September marked my first brow-threading session since spring and so I've returned once again to my old favourite, the ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DipBrow Pomade. This is best employed in defining brow shape [so I tend to set it aside in favour of a pencil once they start looking a little unruly], but it also creates the appearance of thickness, and when applied correctly [in short light strokes with an angled liner brush] is incredibly natural looking [the colour range is exemplary]. Occasionally I do reach for a brow gel [at present RMK's Clear Eyebrow Gel*], but with my brows so newly threaded and DipBrow lasting all day without budging, it's no longer rendered an essential.
With pinks and purples defining current eyeshadow trends, I've been inspired to step outside of my metallics and neutrals comfort zone and embrace colour. The GIVENCHY Palette Collection The Makeup Must-Haves* presented the perfect options; a warm muted plum, a blue-toned [and high on shimmer] slate grey, a delicate nude-champagne, and a cool frosty pink. Between the four there are a multitude of successful colour combinations - from subtle daytime enhancement and definition to a full-on glamorous smokey eye. I typically rarely wear eyeliner on a daily [or even weekly] basis as I tend to end up aggravating my sensitive eyes with consistent use; but in recent weeks I've found myself reaching for the SISLEY So Intense Eyeliner* on a regular basis - consistently employing this finely-tipped and super pigmented black right to the roots of my lashes in order to define my lash line, without causing irritation. I've happily sat in the same mascara rut for seven years, alternating between the two L'Oreal favourites that I've adored and repurchased on countless occasions over the years. Occasionally I'm tempted out of said rut by a new launch or luxe offering [and admit that I do adore CHANEL's Le Volume Mascara], the most recent of which was TOM FORD's Extreme Mascara*. When it comes to lashes I am all about volume over length [being blessed with naturally long lashes means there's no battle between one or the other] and this mascara is all about thick, glamorous, intensely black lashes - the falsie effect without the clumping [thanks to an innovative light and creamy formula]. I'm quite the convert.
I usually favour a crayon lip liner as I find the creamy formulas blend well and don't look overly drawn on, but SISLEY's Phyto Levres Perfect Lip Liner* has proven that [in the world of lip liners at least] a high-quality product makes all the difference. Despite its pencil form, the formula is creamy and glides on smoothly and comfortably, firm enough to define a line, but soft enough to blend. The pink-toned nude is a perfect match to my natural lip colour so I've been regularly employing this beneath lipsticks of any and every shade. I've been swinging consistently between two lip colours in recent weeks; SUQQU's Creamy Glow Lipstick in Akanebara* [a limited edition from their incredible autumn collection] appears to be a deep and bold burgundy hue in the bullet, but applies fresh and sheer, giving a just-bitten warmth that exudes autumnal vibes. My second staple has been the TOM FORD Lip Colour Sheer in Skinnydip*, which in the bullet appears to be far from a conventional autumn shade! A dark pink-peach with a warm golden sheen, which serves to enhance the lips and provides a very subtle infusion of colour, so isn't as bright as an initial glance would suggest.
What's on your face this season?
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My recent travels called for a makeup bag kitted with seasonally appropriate essentials. Long days spent travelling, temperatures in the high 30s, and nights spent hotel-hopping and even under canvas meant that complex and timely procedures and heavy bases were a definite no-no.Read More