I often get asked what Make-up I’m using. I like to think that it’s years of practice and an eye for detail that make the difference. Or that it is maybe the care I take of my skin. Or it’s the good products that I use. But the truth is it’s a combination of all those things.
As I have previously said, Make-up has been a lifelong passion. I have always been in awe of the way Make-up can literally transform a person. I believed as a young person that Make-up could give me the confidence I needed to go about my life. My mum had always worn Make-up, and all the strong women in my life also wore Make-up. Whether it was lashings of navy mascara, Max Factor Crème Puff, or an orange lip.
My mum always said that she believed we should make the best of ourselves and what we have. It was by no means meant to be false advertising. It was and is about enhancing our own good points and making them shine, giving you the confidence to be the best possible version of yourself.
I have always favoured a strong eye over a bold lip. I am naturally fair-skinned. I have bluey/green eyes. I was not blessed with dark hair, so my eyelashes and eyebrows are really fair too. This generally means that they are non-existent without some enhancement. I learnt early on that several coats of mascara made all the difference to my eyes. Some concealer to hide the naturally-occurring dark circles, also helped make my eyes shine.
I am a strong believer that Make-up is fun. It is not serious. It’s about trying new things and seeing what works for you. It’s about taking inspiration from the great beauty icons of the past like Monroe, Hepburn and Taylor. Or the funky beauties of today. It’s about finding a fit for you that makes you feel strong, sexy and confident. Make-up has the power to change you.
Anyone close to me, my best friends in particular, will attest to my passion for Make-up. I was always the friend who spent hours getting all the girls ‘glammed’ up before I finally did my own Make-up. I have always loved seeing the transformation and the happy smile on the face of my friends when they saw their new ‘look’ for the first time.
So I guess you’re all wondering what make up I use? Well if I were to sit here with the full collection on show, you would probably be a bit shocked. There is a lot. But I justify it as my hobby and my passion. What I will do here is my current Make-up edit. It will be in 2 parts: prime, Base and Blush and in next weeks installment we will talk about Eyes, Eyebrows and lips.
On a side note, its important to mention that I also prime my skin with cleansing, toning and moistursing. We will look at this in a skincare edit coming soon.
These days if I am going out, I will always use a primer. It holds the make up in place for hours and can easily refine your skin before you apply your foundation. If you get hot or oily, a primer has the power to lock in the foundation so that you don’t become a greasy mess. I have used Benefit Porefessional for a while which is a dryer texture almost silicone and covers pores very well and locks in make-up. At the moment I am using L’Oreal Lumi Magique. This primer is lovely. It has a high level of luminosity, so even if your skin is feeling sallow or dull, a sweep of this and you will have a glow to be envied.
Over the years I have tried everything from tinted moisturisers, mineral powder foundations to bog standard foundation. It really depends how your skin is without Make-up. If you have good skin, then you will likely only need a tinted moisturiser with maybe a touch of concealer.
If your skin is oily, then you need a primer first and then a foundation that is not too oily, something that matifies the skin. If your skin is older, then it should be all about the glow and the youthful look, so you are looking for ‘luminous’ or ‘moisturising’ foundations.
SPF is good if you are outdoors, but it doesn’t photograph well, you will often get a white cast, so if you are on a night out, opt for something that doesn’t have the SPF in it.
My skin is pretty good and has a natural glow. But I suffer a lot of redness across my cheeks. So I usually opt for a lighter foundation, my current favourite is Mac Face and Body C3. It’s a really light foundation that is glowy and can be built up in layers. I apply this all over the face and down the neck with a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. The sponge makes for a lighter application so that the Make-up is not heavy or cakey. For more coverage and still a dewy finish then I would highly recommend the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. I use the shade ‘Cashew Beige’. I love that it can be worked into the skin with a buffing brush or with your fingers and gives a beautiful healthy skin-like finish.
Then I go in with concealer where I need it.
I have a lot of concealers. My personal opinion is if nothing else, everyone should have concealer. For dark circles, redness or blemishes. This together with a coat of mascara and a lip gloss and you can be out the door.
I have naturally dark circles around the eyes and redness across the cheeks and around the nose. Some of this is due to the medications I take and the dark rings will always be worse if I’m run down or tired from the fibromyalgia. So for this I am currently using Clarins Instant Concealer. It applies beautifully. Its light and moisturising so it doesn’t settle into fine lines around the eye. I apply with my finger and the Real Techniques setting brush. It’s also great on blemishes and redness and can be built up.
A really good dupe for this is the Rimmel Wake-me-up concealer. It’s a lovely formula that instantly brightens the dull under eye area and can be used on blemishes and redness too.
These really came into being with the launch of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Touche Eclait which was my favourite for many years. But all the drugstore make-up ranges now have their own version. My favourite is Maybelline Dream Lumi in 01 Ivory. I use the pen as my last step to highlight under the eye again to reflect light and also on the brow bone, down the nose and on the highest points of the cheek.
Now blush is a hugely important step for most skin tones. I have never spent too much money on blush as I have a naturally high colouring. But a lot of people do not have this flush of colour, so blush is a definite must-have to make you look healthy and glowy.
Powder blushers are lovely. My favourite is Nars Gigi.But if you want something more drug store priced, the Sleek. blushes are amazing and can be picked up in Superdrug for a fraction of the price. They have a fantastic colour range. I have the colour Rose Gold 926, which has been compared many times to Nars Orgasm. For blush brushes you can’t go wrong with the Real Techniques Blush Brush which is really high quality and does an amazing job.
There are now a lot of cream blushers too. I tend to favour this now that my skin is older as they add that glow that I keep mentioning. I have used the Clinique Chubby stick in Robust Rhubarb which is lovely (but mother stole this). So my current favourite is the Max Factor Miracle touch cream blush in Soft Copper. This suits my skin tone and adds colour together with a dewyness. I apply it with the Real Techniques stippling brush.
For younger skins you can use cream or powder, but if you are over 40 my recommendation would be a cream product. There are hundreds out there, just find a colour you like.
Bronzer has always been one of my favourite steps. I have used it as long as I can remember. Back in the day the first bronzer we all used was ‘Le Glow’. It is still around today and is still just as good as ever. I have friends who swear by it.
Bronzer gives an all over healthy glow, like you have been subtly touched by the sun. It can also be used to contour the cheeks, nose and forehead. I tend to go for an all over application to give myself some warmth. It goes well with my freckles.
My favourite is Nars Bronzer in Laguna, and has been for some time. But again, all drug store brands offer their own. Another favourite is the Soap and Glory Solar Powder. It’s a beautifully soft powder that gives an instant glow.
I was never a powder wearer to be honest. But as my skin has now become oily in places, particularly in the T-zone of the face, I always finish with a powder. My current favourite is Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in No 30. This is a new generation of powder that takes away shine but adds glow. In the drug store, a favourite with many beauty bloggers is the Boujois Healthy Balance powder. You can opt for a translucent with no colour or you can use a colour more suitable for your skin tone.
Sweep the powder with a powder brush, like the Real Techniques Powder Brush, across the forehead, down the nose and on the chin. This takes away obvious shine. If you want to keep some glow, then avoid powdering the cheeks and let the blush shine through.
As a last step for the face I finish off with a highlight. I apply this to the tops of the cheeks at the highest point, on the brown bone, down the nose and over the cupids bow of the lip.
I have two favourites. Both by Mac. For a powder highlight then Mac Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle can’t be beaten for a soft, peachy golden hue of light. I would apply this with a smaller brush. Something like the Bobbi Brown Sheer Powder Brush.
For older skins then a cream product is always recommended. My favourite is Mac Cream Colour Base in Hush. Again a beautiful soft glow of light with a creamy finish that looks completely natural. I would apply this with my fingers and blend.
I hope you have found this interesting. I take ongoing inspiration from bloggers and their recommended products. And I’m always on the look out for a new buy that makes all the difference to your look.
Let me know what your favourites are in the comments. Hugs, Kiki xxxx