Make-up favourites – my top three brands
I’M almost embarrassed to admit I love make-up so much. While some consider it vain, vacuous and vapid – I think it’s empowering, esteem-boosting and makes me happy.
The daily ritual of coming up with a look, finding the products and then seeing the picture in my head come together is why I enjoy it so much. That and the colours, textures and glitter. I may be 40 but my eyes still light up at a bit of sparkle.
I can understand why people are so dismissive of an industry worth £2billion in the UK and growing. In times of austerity it’s seen as frivolous and women are chastised for buying products that can turn back the hands of time, claiming they’ll make lips bigger and crows feet smaller.
There’s also a view that make-up is a mask but rather than thinking of it as a shield, I’ve always considered it my biggest ally. When I’ve been up in the night with my youngest and feel groggy the morning after, make-up is my weapon to the waiting world.
It takes a lot longer to look natural than it does to look like a vintage vamp and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve turned up to a morning meeting to see women looking fabulous – red lips and lashings of mascara – who then confess that they’re surviving on four hour shuteye with a teething tot – but this look can be achieved in under five minutes.
For me it’s all about taking care of myself, spending a bit of time on my own and having fun – I’m a frustrated artist and my make-up brushes give me a bit of creativity every single day.
My face is a blank canvas every day and I’ve been painting it religiously for almost 30 years now so I should know what suits me by now. I’ve tried a lot of brands over the years but these are my three favourites…
1) bare Minerals http://www.qvcuk.com/bareMinerals
The first time I saw their incredible loose power mineral foundation in action was on shopping channel QVC.
It was being buffed onto the skin of a model with rosacea and seeing how well it applied, how natural it was, and the fantastic coverage it gave, I was sold.
Five years later it’s still the Original SPF 15 Foundation I can’t do without – my sensitive skin loves it.
Since then I’ve amassed quite a collection of the loose mineral eye shadows, lip glosses, primers, eyeliners and blushers as well as its fantastic skincare.
The loose products are not ideal for travelling as they can go everywhere but since I made my purchases (which will last a lifetime) cold-pressed solid versions have been introduced which are a lot less fiddly.
2) Laura Geller http://www.qvcuk.com/LauraGeller
This is another QVC discovery which is also now available on the Cult Beauty website.
I love this range for many reasons but one is Laura herself, she’s a celebrity make-up artist based in New York who comes over to sell many of her candy-coloured cosmetics on the show. And she’s fab.
When I buy her products I’m also buying into her passion and enthusiasm – ok, a sales pitch it may be but she had me at highlighter. And they are amazing. She’s best known for her Balance ‘n’ Brighten pressed mineral powder foundation compacts and her Spackle (American for Pollyfilla) primers which are not sticky but help make-up last all day and somehow make it look better.
The blushers are in the most gorgeous shades ever and I’ve almost hit pan (always wanted to write that) on a shimmering peach coloured one called Bora Bora.
3) Charlotte Tilbury http://www.charlottetilbury.com
This is my most recent find and the one I covet more than any other. It is gorgeous in every way -from the rose gold packaging to the ease of use and product quality they ooze glamour but are also foolproof.
Charlotte is a renowned make-up artist who has a mane of rock-chick red hair, smouldering smoky eyes and is best pals with Kate Moss. And she is is a mum of two young boys which makes me like her even more.
She’s super sexy and her trademark look is a cat eye flick with nude lip but her products work whether you want to tone it down or crank it up to the max. I’m usually in the latter camp. Her eyeshadow quads are not only beautiful but they’re also colour-coded so take out all the guess work and explain exact how to use them.
I have ‘The Dolce Vita’ palette and it is nothing short of stunning. I’m feel giddy every time I use it and that’s what make-up is all about.
She also makes really comfortable matte lipsticks and the Colour Chameleon eye crayons (there are day and night versions suited to every eye colour) last all day and can be applied in the dark. I know.
But at the end of the day, if it all goes horribly wrong and I end up looking more like Dick van Dyke than Dita Von Teese I know I can always just wipe it off…and start all over again.