All posts filed under: Make Up

Suqqu Foundation

I was rummaging around in my desk drawer last weekend and came across an unopened box containing a jar of Suqqu Foundation. I’ve no idea how long it had been in there, but I would reckon at least a year as that’s when I drifted away from wearing it nearly every day. At £62, it isn’t cheap, so I assume this must have been why I decided to try something new. Silly of me, really. I’ve trialled at least a dozen foundations since, and none compare to the brilliant Suqqu. It’s quite a thick, rich foundation, so it works very well on dry or mature skin. The amount of coverage depends on the amount you use. I like to apply it with a brush and then sheer it out, but it’s very buildable, so you can add more to get medium to full coverage. Aside from being a perfect colour match for my skin, there are two things that make Suqqu Foundation special. The first is that it looks like good skin. This takes a little …

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

For the last few months, everyone’s been trying to get their hands on The Ordinary’s new foundation. After weeks of waiting, I finally got to try it, and I was quite disappointed after all of the hype. On my mature face, it looked cakey and dry, and every fine line, wrinkle and pore was magnified. I don’t think it’s a bad foundation, but it wasn’t right for my skin, which is a pity – I know a lot of people love it and the price is insanely good. Also fairly priced is NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, £14, and it’s good. Very good. And it’s also versatile. Used lightly and buffed into skin with a foundation brush, it mimics the more expensive Perricone No Foundation Foundation – light, natural, and barely detectable on the skin. Add a bit more and you can easily build up to a flawless full coverage look that reminds me of the gorgeous Armani Power Fabric Foundation, again, at a much lower cost. NYX comes in 24 colours, so it’s easy to find a …

2017 Makeup Discoveries

2017 was the year I changed almost every makeup product I use. It was also the year I moved to a less ‘made up’ look, especially for daytime. I tried a lot of products, and I’m sorry to say that quite a few were duds. But there were some amazing standouts. These are the ones I discovered. New to the UK in 2017 is Glossier. They offer a great range of skincare and natural-looking makeup. Three of their products really stood out for me. I love their Cloud Paint – a cute little tube of creamy colour that works amazingly well as a blusher or eyeshadow. I also use it as a lip colour and, very occasionally, as a contour. I’ve tried all of the colours, and my favourite by a long shot is Dusk – a peachy, pinky, versatile shade. Another favourite product from Glossier is their Stretch Concealer. It is, by far, the most natural-looking under-eye concealer I’ve ever tried, but the best bit is that it does not crease! Set with a …

Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Since I’ve been using Revitalash growth serum, my lashes have grown quite long. Sadly, they’re also very straight, so without curling them it appears I have no lashes at all. I’ve been using the Shu Umura lash curler for years and been quite happy with it, but recently I heard about a new lash curler from Surratt Beauty. The Relevee Lash Curler, £28, doesn’t look like anything special, but don’t let that fool you. It is an amazing lash curler that fans lashes out into the most beautiful, uplifted shape without crimping. Instead of appearing bent, lashes look naturally upturned and feathery. Apply a bit of waterproof mascara and your lashes will stay curled all day. One of the most pleasing features I’ve discovered is that it’s nearly impossible to pinch the skin around your eye with this lash curler. It also has a soft ‘bite’, so I doubt it would ever break the lashes like some of the other curlers I’ve tried. I had a difficult time getting hold of one of these because they’re constantly sold …

Iope Cushion Foundation

Cushion cosmetics have been around for years, but I’ve stayed away from them for a few reasons – the main one being they appear gimmicky and are not good value for money.  So much investment goes into the packaging that the product inside is often a fraction of the amount you’d get if you bought the same formulation in a bottle. Most cushion formulas come in the form of a compact.  There is a sort of sponge or mesh ‘cushion’ inside which distributes the product when pressure is applied via a puff-type applicator.  While issues of hygiene do niggle at the back of my mind, I was willing to give a cushion foundation a try.  A friend recommended I try one from Iope. As a foundation for mature skin, Iope sounds perfect.  Made up of 30% pure water and containing an array of peptides, vitamin B5, vitamin E and an SPF of 50+, it should work well with ageing skin.  I wanted something lightweight for spring and summer, and I was sure this would be exactly want I was …

Cheap & Easy Makeup Brush Cleaning

Good makeup brushes are expensive, so it’s important to take good care of them.  This means regular cleaning, which can be a bit of a pain.  I used to dread the task until I discovered a cheap, easy, and very quick way to gently get my makeup brushes squeaky clean with minimal fuss. For this method, you’ll need two things: A silicone pet brush like this one from The Groom Room.  You want one with little bumps on one side and soft spikes on the other.  Don’t spend a lot!  The one above comes in at £8.50 and should last years. A bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid Castile Soap.  This comes in a variety of scents as well as an unscented baby version, so choose the one you like best.  Again, you don’t need to spend a lot.  I buy it by the litre for around £14 and it lasts ages. To get started, lay the silicone brush in a sink exactly as it’s pictured above with the larger soft spikes pointing down.  Squirt about a …

Spend vs Save

It can be tricky to find makeup that works well with older skin.  I’ve tried lots, and I’m sad to say that the older I get, the more money I have to spend.  Drugstore foundations don’t work for me any more, and heaven forbid I try to use an inexpensive mascara.  Of course, my view on this is subjective, but I do believe there are products upon which you have to spend, and those on which you can scrimp a bit.  Here are three fantastic products that don’t cost a fortune. As I mentioned, I have to spend a decent amount on foundation, but on brow products, I can save loads and not compromise on quality.  The Sleek Brow Kit, £8.49, comes in five flattering colours and works just as well as its more expensive counterparts.  With a powder and a setting wax, it makes quick work of shaping and defining brows.  The kit also includes two decent brushes and a set of mini tweezers. I’ve tried many mascaras, but I’ve yet to find a budget …

2016 Favourites

I spent most of 2015 battling terrible sensitive skin issues.  It was my sixth case of conjunctivitis  from dry eyelids that sent me on a journey to find skincare that my skin could tolerate, and I’d nearly sorted it when my lips became so chapped that I ended up with cheilitis.  It took months to recover to a point where I could try new things to see if they irritated or not, so I’ve been able to spent this year testing both skincare and makeup.  I’ve had to give away a lot of once-used products because they caused my skin to become annoyed, but I also found quite a few things that are great for sensitive skin.  Here are my top discoveries of 2016. On top being sensitive, my skin becomes dehydrated easily, so when I tried Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, £29, I found that it not only helped my sensitive skin to feel more comfortable, it also hydrated and made my skin look plumped and fresh.  I try not to use skincare that contains …

Primers for Mature Skin

Have you noticed that your foundation doesn’t look as nice as it once did?  Perhaps it’s going a bit patchy by midday, or accentuating the fine lines around your eyes.  Maybe it wears away before you’ve even left work for the day.  Or worse, settles into pores and wrinkles and does more to age than to improve. The good news is that they probably haven’t changed the formulation to your favourite foundation.  It’s more likely that you need a primer.  A good primer will go a long way to improving the finish and wear of foundation, but it’s important to choose the right one for the task.  Here are three I like, each with a specific function. When opting for a natural look, Hylamide Finisher HR Blur, £19.00, is great for making skin look healthy and flawless.  It diminishes the appearance of fine lines and pores, and helps makeup go on smoothly.  It’s contains no silicones, so it works well with all sorts of foundations, and it has the added bonus of being full of skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. …

Three Foundations for Mature Skin

Upon observing my maturing skin in a magnifying mirror, I’m always surprised by the small age spots, enlarged pores, fine lines, and general crepiness, especially around my eyes.  My instinct is to cover it all up with the thickest foundation possible, but that’s not always a good idea with mature skin.  Heavy foundation doesn’t hide time.  In fact, it can be cakey and ageing, swapping one set of problems for another.  But there is hope!  I’ve found three foundations that play nicely with mature skin. If you’re looking for light coverage, you’ll not find a better foundation than Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum, £45.00.  It’s feather-light and makes skin look bare-but-beautiful. Use this one over a blurring primer for a flawless-but-natural skin effect.  Perfect for weekends, trips to the newsagent, or dog walking – any time you want to look good, but not done.  Best applied with fingers. For medium coverage, It Cosmetics’s Your Skin But Better CC Cream, $38.00, is my everyday go-to.  It seems to hover just over the skin and never shows off pores, …

Beauty Junkie Christmas Gifts for Under £30

Now that Bonfire night has come and gone, I don’t feel quite so guilty talking about Christmas gifts.  If there is a beauty addict on your list this year, here are some great ideas – all for under £30. For the lipstick fanatic, look no further than Charlotte Tilbury’s Mini Lipstick Charms, £29.  You get three of her gorgeous Matte Revolution lipsticks in three very wearable shades.  Beautifully packaged in rose-gold tubes, there are wonderful for any age.  I’d happily buy them for someone who is seventeen or 70. If you’re shopping for someone who loves eyeshadow, Laura Mercier’s Layer Up Holiday Caviar Collection, £29, is something special.  Four beautiful stick cream eyeshadows in flattering colours, including the must-have rosegold.  Comes in a pretty package ready for a gift bag. Skincare is always a welcome gift, and I don’t know anyone who would be disappointed receiving Emma Hardie’s Merrily Mooring Balm, £15.  It comes in a cute little bauble with one of Emma’s fantastic cleansing cloths.

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder

I’ll come right out and say it: Bronzer scares me.  I’m quite pale, and every bronzer I’ve tried has been either too dark, too shimmery or too orange.   At my age, I have to be quite careful with powders of any sort as they tend to leave me looking a bit chalky and dull.  Chalky, dull, glittery and orange?  Not a look I go for. So how to add a bit of colour and life to my pale complexion?  Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder is just the thing.  The powder itself it finely milled, so it never looks artificial, and it adds the most beautiful touch of healthy, sheer colour without a hint of orange.  Skin looks glowing, radiant, natural and very very pretty. There are four colours from which to choose – all of them gorgeous.  I prefer the Light Brunettes, but there are darker options if you want a bit more colour.  All of them have a very pleasant, light scent that disappears almost immediately.

Liquid Lipsticks

Like most everyone in the world, I’ve gone crazy for matte liquid lipsticks.  They are an absolute doddle to apply, and most are easy to wear.  In the past, I’ve found matte lipsticks drying, but after testing quite a few of the liquid variety, I’m happy to recommend a few that look great and keep lips feeling comfortable. Gerard Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick is steal at £9.50.  The colours look expensive, and it’s long-wearing without feeling drying.  My favourite shade is Serenity, a lovely pinky-brown rose that should flatter most complexions, but if that doesn’t suit, there are thirteen other shades from which to choose. Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, £16.00, does what it says on the tin.  Well, nearly.  I got about six hours of wear before needing to reapply, and that’s with lunch and several cups of tea.  There are fifteen shades, my current obsession being Amore. If you’re feeling spendy, By Terry Terrybly Velvet Rouge, £30, is probably the finest liquid lipstick around.  The colours are lush, and leave lips looking beautiful while …

Shade Scout App for Makeup Lovers

Have you ever been eating a raspberry tart and thought ‘that colour would be lovely as a lipstick,’ or passed by a classic car and said to yourself ‘I wonder if I could find an eyeshadow in that colour’? Well, there’s an app for that. Shade Scout is an app that allows you to use the camera on your phone to match colours to make up products.  Simply point at the colour and Shade Scout will give you a list of brands and shades closest to your selected shade.  It even has a handy ‘try it’ function that allows you to ‘wear’ the colour to see if it suits you, via the wonders of your phone’s camera (for the record, the pink hue of my ukulele pick was not flattering on me). The app is free from the Apple Store and is also available for Android.  There are loads of makeup brands included within, and the colour matches are remarkably good.  You can match lipstick, blusher, eyeshadow, foundation, bronzer, and brows.  Sadly, there isn’t a nail …

Eyeko Me & My Shadow

Over the last couple of years, my attitude to makeup has changed.  As my skin has matured, it doesn’t get on very well with heavy foundations, powders or dark colours as these things can be a bit ageing.  I’d rather invest as much as possible in skincare and then use light makeup to highlight good skin.  I love illuminating primers, light foundations, cream blushers and moisturising lipsticks because they’re flattering and don’t highlight lines or imperfections.  I  love a creamy stick eyeshadow for the same reasons. Eyeko’s Me & My Shadow is incredibly easy to use.  Just swipe it onto the eyelid, blend it with the attached brush and go.  Seriously.  It’s hard to get wrong and it doesn’t budge once it’s set.  Even better, it’s waterproof but still easy to remove with a good oil or balm cleanser. While I appreciate colour preferences will vary, there are three I find particularly flattering, and I believe they’d suit anyone with a fair complexion like mine.  Quartz is a pretty pink that gives a hint of …