Tuesday, 11 August 2009


This is a tricky subject. Personally, I like my lashes light, feathery and fluttery, with a deep inky blackness. I hate gloopy ones – likes spider’s legs dipped in tar and too-thick & dry ones which look like witchy split ends. So, bearing this in mind, I favour lengthening or tinting formulas. Here are the best: 51) No 7 Sensitive Eyes Mascara – not because it’s for sensitive eyes but because the neat little brush makes for lovely, clean definition and the formula is non-gloopy. 52) Jemma Kidd Semi-Permanent Lash Tint – the semi-perm promise is a bit overstated – it’s not a tint in the traditional sense, BUT it does last all day (I’ve worn it in the pool, in the sea, in the shower because I forgot I was wearing it) unless it happens to come into contact with oil and then, bye bye batting lashes. I like it because one coat makes a big difference, it inks up lashes beautifully and it never feels heavy. 53) Illegally expensive this one, but if PRs are sending, I’m requesting Chantecaille’s Mascara. It’s got a bunch of lovely things in it like Rosewater, vitamin E, Green Tea and Beeswax, BUT it’s the glide-on formula that picks up on each and every feathery little sucker and leaves you with a far fuller fringe than you had before that makes this a resolute favourite. En-chantecailled.

OK, another deep breath. There are so many brands that make great lipsticks now. LancĂ´me, YSL, Givenchy, Shu Uemura, Guerlain, No 7, Miners (honestly – try them – some really lovely shades) Paul & Joe, MAC (shades are second to none but the sugar sweet scent makes me queasy)... good stuff. I’ve gone with the brands I just feel really ‘get it’ and regularly make it into my make-up bag. 54) Urban Decay Lipstick. The dagger-stabbed pack is USP overkill BUT there are some seriously great shades in the line-up. Revolution is one of the truest reds I’ve found (Illamasqua’s Ignite & MAC’s Ruby Woo are fab too) while 5150 is a gorgeous, meaty coral. They pack some weight too – not just the packaging, which will add some clout to you clutch (all the better for striking exes around the head with), but also thanks to their vitamin & hylauronic acid rich formula. 55) Chanel. No surprises here. My first ‘real woman’ lipstick was Chanel’s Rose Baby & I’ve been having a lusty affair with them ever since. If you want a soft, moisturising formula go for Rouge Hydrabase, which does the sweetest, powdery pink (Coco Pink) or the Rouge Allure range, which has a sophisticated satin finish. You can’t beat the coral paunchiness of Vertige, or the tortured femme glam of Exquise. I smile just thinking about it. 56) RMK – for their glossy, candy pinks that always perk up the face. I pack two or three each time I go on holiday because they never fail to make me smile.

The list of things I expect to get from my foundation might come with a pinch of the Veruca Salts (I want! I want! I want!), but here it is: I want the sort of coverage that evens out, adds radiance (without ANY sparkle or glitter), is untraceable (even when you’re nose-close to the mirror) and does not settle unceremoniously in lines or over dry patches. I’d also like a bit of SPF if possible (but this isn’t a deal-breaker) and a formula that does not break me out in spots. I’ve found that it’s only possible to get the untraceable side of things from tinted moisturisers which are more about the moisture than they are about the pigment. More of this in a moment.

I am ALWAYS being told by PRs that their brand’s foundation looks totally natural, but I just find myself zooming in on their skin, which is more often than not screaming out with product and far from selling their point. My pet peeve: foundation that settles over peach fuzz and looks too powdery. Don’t believe the counter girls either. In my experience, at least half of them are wearing cheaper options from Boots as they get meagre discounts on their own products, so what you’re looking at probably isn’t the real deal anyway. In my extensive experience only ONE foundation has ever done all the above (minus SPF. Sob.) and that’s 56) SK-II’s Air Touch Foundation – and even then it doesn’t even do it every single time. Less is more with this one – if you overdo it skin will look masky and forehead lines will appear where you didn’t have any before. BUT, if you do it right – the right distance, moving across the face in smooth movements, just a few seconds for the entire face (it can take a bit of getting used to), you’ll get a fine mist that leaves skin looking like itself but far better – you’ll end up with glowy, poreless and bright skin. It’s bloody expensive though – even the refills for the fancy canister cost £40 for 2!

Now for tinted moisturisers AKA my complexion comfort zone. I’ve already waxed lyrical about Murad Sheer Tint which I use daily because it is traceless, but I’ll admit that I need a little more on special occasions. On holiday I took to pairing it with a tiny dusting of Bare Minerals foundation, just over the t-zone to take off shine, and that worked beautifully. I wouldn’t use Bare Minerals on skin with peach fuzz though – peach fuzz + powder = regrettable close encounters with the opposite sex. I’ve tried 57) Sue Devitt Tinted Moisturiser, and liked it a lot. It sinks in nicely and provides adequate coverage – nice on red patches and moisturising too – although I’ve never found a tinted moisturiser that provided skip-the-skincare levels of hydration and this is no exception. 58) Clinique Almost Makeup is nice over the t-zone and good at evening things out. Their Moisture Sheer Tint on the other hand is a bit too sparkly & made my skin look sweaty in photographs. 59) PIXI Illuminating Tint & Conceal is a tricky bugger because it does contain a glittery quotient and isn’t great on dry skin (once again, the 3-in-1 promise is overblown – it is not a proper moisturiser!) And if you use too much and all over the face you can look a bit like a mannequin BUT if you use just a small amount over necessary bits i.e. nose, forehead and chin, it’s rather wonderful. On bright days it does make skin look lovely & luminous thanks to its light-reflective properties.

And, now that I’ve covered the biggest bases, I’ll be back with the less ‘epic’ cosmetics in a day or two (sorry, I’m actually supposed to be on holiday!)...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SKII airtouch is excellent but the colour range lets it down bigtime