27 August, 2017 / General

For the love of make-up


My make-up bag is a precious thing…

Whenever I lose it – which is often – the accompanying panic is of a similar level to when I’ve misplaced my purse or flat keys – or am having one of those horrific dreams when I’m, say, naked in Sainsbury’s baked goods aisle.

Most women I know are the same. It’s taken us years to find our favourites, and to replace it all would be nightmare in terms of time, effort and cash. When I was younger, I hopped from brand to brand, whereas now – although I’m not averse to trying something new – I’m somewhat more faithful to my favourites. Here are the beauties currently seeing me through the day. The pic, incidentally, is my daughter’s kit. I’m on a mad book deadline at the mo and my favourites are scattered all over in various bags. Note to self: organise make-up! 



Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue BB cream – recommended by Misha McCullagh, a BM consultant who gave me lots of helpful advice when I was writing The Woman Who Met Her Match (my main character, Lorrie, works on a beauty counter in a posh department store and I needed the inside info on what that’s like). I can’t bear a caked, claggy feeling on my skin, and haven’t worn actual foundation for years. This BB cream is sheer and light and gives just enough coverage to smooth out any wear and tear.

Bare Minerals Smoothing Face foundation brush. Brush application, as demonstrated to me by Misha, was a revelation. Before that, I’d just smeared on my base with my fingers. But brushing gives more even coverage and a really brilliant, professional result. I’m a total covert.

Benefit ‘That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer. Another counter recommendation (I really am a beauty salesperson’s dream. ‘Here I am! Have ALL of my money, people!’). If I’ve been working long hours and lack sleep and fresh air, my skin starts to look ashen. This magical stuff perks it up. Often, I put a blob on my hand, with a blob of the aforementioned BB cream too, blend them with a brush and then apply – so it’s a primer and BB in one. The effect is really light and brightening.

Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder. Powder can be viewed as a bit ‘nana’ but I’ve worn this for decades (not the same one, obv) and always have that trusty green compact in my bag. 

Chanel Hydrating Lip Color in Rouge Coco. I’m having a ‘red revival’ after two decades of more subtle lip shades. Weirdly, I assumed I’d passed the cut-off age for a true red, but a counter lady persuaded me otherwise. This formulation glides on, is neither too matte nor too glossy, and lasts for hours as long as it’s applied with a liner. It’s amazingly easy to wear and it cheers me hugely. 

Diorshow Proliner – a twist-up liner which is far easier to apply, in my opinion, than the liquid type that comes with a brush. It’s  like drawing with a pen and gives deep, rich colour that lasts for hours. While I feel slightly too old for the liquid flick, this little beauty works for me.

Other bits and bobs…

As for blusher, at the moment I’m using a swanky Chanel one – but only because I had a treaty gift voucher. I could just as happily use a bargainacious brand like Barry M or Boots No. 7. Ditto for pencil lip liners and eye liners – I don’t believe you need to spend a lot. And mascara-wise, I’m currently using Soap & Glory but I’m equally keen on Clinique and Benefit. I’m a bit of a brand-hopper, lash-wise.

And underneath it all? When it comes to skincare I’m currently wedded to Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser (easily the best cleanser IMO), plus her Superskin Moisturiser and serum (called Concentrate for Night). The ladies at the John Lewis concession in Glasgow are super-helpful and I often come away with a few enticing freebies when I’ve made a purchase. Yes, it’s all a bit spendy, but these products last and last and are a joy to use every day.

Isn’t it brilliant to be a woman sometimes?



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