Recently I’ve had to radically downsize my kit, as you know what? My body doesn’t love me carrying my bodyweight in makeup to and from work every day.
So I’ve stripped my kit back to bare bones, re-tuned the chassis, super-charged the performance and fine-tuned it to just what I need.
One of the few foundations that survived the cull? MAC Face and Body (although I decanted the ass of them first, as they come in jumbo outsize bottles which I love, but they weigh a ton). I carry it in five colors, (although there are many more available) ranging from pure white to deep mahogany. I won’t go on a job without it, mainly for its extraordinary body improving abilities. It’s like a gym and a solarium in a jar (but with a lot less effort involved).
It evens out the skin tone, making it look smooth and polished, taking the color up a couple of notches, or many to a deep dark tan if desired. Or down to a Twilight pale glow if that’s more your speed. The finish can be built up with two coats to robotic and plasticized, or one coat for a more natural glow. Simply apply liberally with bare hands, smoothing it out – but be careful of pale colored clothing, as it can transfer. And it is literally the wonder-product for what I call ‘corned beef’ legs – pale, translucent, slightly blue, the color of well – you get the picture. And not what you want in a picture peeking out from a Prada dress.
Another lovely thing – it’s a beautiful, super sheer face foundation. Applied either with fingers or a brush it will give you the baby skin (you wish) you were born with.
Can I be really honest? I had misgivings about this line when I first heard about it – the fact that Charlotte Tilbury, one of the world’s biggest makeup artists known for her high-octane glamour shoots with fashion darlings, photographers Mert and Marcus, was launching a budget – BUDGET I tell you! – makeup line to be sold in Boots, well it just didn’t seem quite right. I am not generally keen on drugstore brands at the best of times because I think life is too short to have inferior pigment, nasty why bother sponge applicators and over-inflated ideas of a product’s abilities due to how gorgeous Kate Moss looks in the advertising (cough cough, RIMMEL), but as they say in the classics there is a time and a place for everything.
So in the interests of fairness I decided I had to give it a try, starting with a pale pink lippie called Vintage Lace. The range itself is quite a clever idea, dissecting the line into Fair, Medium and Dark skin tones, and has been well parlayed into very user-friendly colors. I hated the packaging though, all based around the whiteness and shape of an Ipod (it’s working on the blushes because they are actually shaped like an Ipod. On the lipsticks? Not so much. They are white plastic with clear lids like some nasty Avon tester from the 70’s).
However – the Vintage Lace color is the perfect nude, just a notch down from your own lip color to give you the illusion of supermodel lips, and although the texture is not super creamy (like, say, Estée Lauder), it does have good pigment to it which I like. It’s dense and matte and can either be dabbed on with a finger (my preferred method), or applied with a lipbrush.
It’s not what I expected Ms Tilbury to be putting her name to, but this lipstick has me sufficiently intrigued that I’ll probably try some other things. Tune in for more updates. Below you can find a video of her version of the myface.cosmetics 5 Minute Face.
Concealer is a key, key product in my kit, because if your skin doesn’t look good, you don’t look good. Quite frankly I could live without foundation, but if you expect me to do a face without concealer – well let’s just say it wouldn’t be easy.
I have to confess that the reason I got into the Bobbi Brown CreamyConcealers was because they gave me the a-m-a-z-i-n-g Pro Palette, and before this, I was a hardcore Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage girl.
Don’t get me wrong, Secret Camo is still on my workbench for every job, but more and more I’m reaching for my Bobbi Brown, and recommending it to clients. The secret is in the Correctors, which come in tones from pale pink to dark peach, and can be layered with the concealer to properly correct under eye circles. You can also layer it over their genius Eye Brightener (which comes in four color correcting tones) if you have very dark under eye circles.
The Creamy Concealer comes in fourteen shades, and Bobbi’s range of foundation and concealer shades is one of my favourites for women of color (the other good range is Becca). With the Pro palette you can mix and match to get just the right shade, but it is quite expensive, so for those of you who aren’t either employed in the realms of makeup or completely obsessed (ahem), this could be overkill.
Simply apply with a concealer brush on any skin blemishes or under eye circles, and tap in with a finger (no wiping or swiping please! If you are sweeping the product around on the surface of the skin, you ain’t doing it right.) Press it in and let the warmth of your fingers melt the concealer into the skin, then dust over with a TOUCH of translucent powder using a fluffy brush (like a small eyeshadow brush). This will set the makeup.
Voila! No more ugly under eye luggage, and your skin looks like a dream.