A Whiter Shade of Pale

Gothic Drama at Zac PosenIt started as a murmur at the last Fashion Week – not a bronzer in sight, instead either natural skin tomes or slightly paler, bones highlighted with judicious use of contour and luminiser. Then came Twilight, the vampire film seemingly beloved by all, and the murmur became a whisper, and now with the release of New Moon (the sequel to Twilight), and the fact that I haven’t opened my bronzer bag in six months, I think the whisper is officially a roar – pale skin is back in.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of Fashion Weeks brings up in September, but I don’t see paler skin going anywhere. When the only people wedded to their toxic tans seem to be Lindsey Lohan, Victoria Beckham and Jordan, I do think it’s time to move on and embrace the skin you’re in, one free of nasty melanomas and prematurely aged by the sun.

Being on the lighter side myself I can attest too many long Australian summers in the sun, cooking myself to my deepest color – a disappointing watery tea shade that invariably burned, and took about 150 hours of hard core sun exposure to get what I could have done in half an hour in the bathroom with a coat of Clarins fake tan. So even on holidays now I protect myself with SPF 50, and try not to worry too much about those toxic (but oh so enjoyable!) rays. Thus it’s great to see that there is a new movement afoot to embrace our natural, un-suntanned selves. Just in time for winter!Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Twilight

Chantecaille have introduced a new pale shade of their fabulous Future Skin foundation, which was sorely lacking from their line before, and both MAC and Illamasqua do pure white foundations for the fairest amongst you.  Kay Montano uses Becca Sherbert when she is looking after the creamy complexion of regular client, Nicole Kidman, and for highlighting the alabaster-skinned I like either Becca Pearl, or Pat McGrath’s favourite, Armani Fluid Sheer in 0.

And of course for our friends whose skin is NEVER going to be a whiter shade of pale, rock the gorgeous skin tone of caramel, honey or ebony that you are, and don’t feel left out – because black is ALWAYS beautiful.

In My Makeup Kit: MAC Face and Body foundation

Mac_Face_and_Body_Foundation

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.

From the Front Lines – Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation

Kinee DioufLast week working on British Vogue I met the beautiful Senegalese model, Kinee Diouf, and she showed me her top foundation pick for  black skin – Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Matttifying Foundation.MakeupForeverMatVelvet

It evened out her skin perfectly, and the redness of its undertone was just right for her polished ebony coloring. Even better for darker skin tones? It’s got a mattifier built right in, so your skin shines just the right amount when topped with powder, and means fewer makeup touch-ups throughout the day.

Make Up For Ever is very hard to get in England – PAM in Shepherd’s Bush (a wonderful little professional makeup shop) has some of the range, but I’m planning to stock up when I go to the US in August. Sephora, here I come!!

Summer Lovin’: Chantecaille Future Skin

Chantecaille Future SkinWhen the weather warms up in a capital city like New York or London, there’s lots to think about – like am I going to asphyxiate under someone’s armpit on the Tube/subway during my commute to work? Have I got time to shave and fake tan my legs before I go out so people don’t think a hairy celery stick is walking down the road if I wear a skirt? Will my massive man-hole sunglasses from last year be acceptable this season, or do they make me look like a tragic Victoria Beckham wanna-be?

What you don’t want to be worrying about is “will my foundation turn into a soupy mess with the heat?” Enter my new favourite for summer, Chantecaille Future Skin.

Chantecaille is a lovely brand created by a French mother and daughter team (unsurprisingly their surname is “Chantecaille”) which is based on plant botanicals. Their skincare is gorgeous as are their blushes, both cream and powder, but they are on the more expensive side of things (as in, ask the price before you pay as you may pass out at the till). However their products are divine and last ages, so it’s up to you whether you’re scrimping or saving on foundation – for me it’s always an item worth spending on, as glowing gorgeous looking skin really is the base of your beauty.

Future Skin is a lovely rich foundation that provides good coverage but as it is gel based and oil free it never looks heavy, even in bright sunlight. For the foundation boffins out there apparently it has 60% charged water (whatever that is), seaweed extracts, and light-reflective pigments to ease flaws. Great, I’m there!

I apply it with a foundation brush (an Armani one to be exact, which I’m loving) and simply applying it to any red areas and patting in with my fingers. It takes five minutes and it stays all day, giving you a lovely glow that has more to do with good genes than heat induced sweatiness. And what I like most? It looks like your skin, only better.

Major LA makeup artist Patti Dubroff loves it and uses it on all her A-list clientele (and if it’s good enough for Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Kate Bosworth, it’s good enough for me!) One drawback– it’s better for our fairer skin sisters as although it comes in 8 shades, it’s definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum. In an upcoming post I’ll be looking at the best foundations for women of color. So hold on to your makeup sponges girls! There’s lots more makeup fun to come.

Chantecaille Future Skin is available at Space N.K in the UK and Neiman Marcus in the US.