It’s “neutrals with a hint of pink time”! Yes, that’s right: whilst the whole world of social media experiments with the mandatory seasonal shades of russet and bronze, I’m still stuck in bronzer mode with a little bit of pretty pink to eradicate signs of tiredness and add a bit of youthful flush into the mix.
Here’s what I’m using on my face at the moment; the hero products are the recently rediscovered Dior Forever Skin Glow foundation and the liquid blush from Rare Beauty, which seems to be totally sold out. Some potential alternatives listed below.
Let’s get cracking – if you’d like to watch all of the products in action (and full technicolour) then scroll to the bottom of the page and click play on the video screen.
Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation
They’ve relaunched this foundation a few different times since I first reviewed it here in May 2013. It started off as a velvet finish face base and then it became two different foundations altogether, one with a matte finish and one with a glowier finish. The matte (simply called Forever) is absolutely brilliant for staying power and a massively perfected finish, the sort that looks airbrushed. The Skin Glow looks slightly more natural and real. Flexible.
I use shade 2N but actually it looks better on me mixed with a bit of 2.5N to warm things up. In the depths of winter I’ll probably be 2N proper.
I feel as though you have to work quite quickly with this foundation, it sets fast and then sticks around until you have a proper cleanse with a flannel. The coverage is medium-to-full and it’s easily buildable – I can go in with another little tapped-on layer under the eyes and around the nose and it looks seamless.
Find Dior Forever Skin Glow here* – at Escentual it always seems to be a load cheaper than elsewhere. There’s a reason for this and I can’t remember it, but whatever: it makes it just a little more appealing, price-wise, when it’s £38.25 rather than £45.
Armani Power Fabric Concealer
This concealer deserves its own post; I use it constantly and it’s my default option. It gives a really natural, lightweight look, as though the product melds with the skin and moves with it, but the coverage is still very good. It’s a clever product in that it disguises and detracts without forming a thick, opaque layer.
You still see some of the skin beneath but it makes everything vastly improved. If you tend to wear lighter, sheerer bases and a heavy concealer on top looks odd then this is the product for you. If you can stretch to it. I’d say it’s a good investment if you struggle with concealers that sit in fine lines or look cakey – this blends in quickly and stays looking fresh all day.
You can find Power Fabric online here* – I use shade 5, for reference.
Charlotte Tilbury Cream Bronzer
Is actually called Beautiful Skin Bronzer but I’m lazy. This is very similar to Chanel’s big cream bronzer in the flat jar but comes in more shades and is marginally less orange-toned so slightly more foolproof. By buffing this into freshly-applied foundation you can create a sunkissed look that’s very believable and subtle or build up the colour for a more dramatic look.
It’s excellent stuff. Priced to reflect that. I’ve just realised that this video is erring on the side of pure luxury which wasn’t intentional! Find the cream bronzer here*, I use shade 1.
Rare Beauty Liquid Blush
This is sold out everywhere by the looks of it, but give this link* a try anyway in case you’re reading in a time of good stock! I use Hope, a lovely pink shade and you can see from the video that the amount you need to use each time is minuscule. Truly. I doubt I’ll ever use this up, unless I live to one hundred and twenty.
Good alternatives, though they’re cream rather than liquid; the cream blush from Rare Beauty (same brand, different texture) and also the cream blushes from Trinny London and Beauty Pie. They are all delicious – I apply with a brush for these, too, for a really flawless sort of effect.
If you’re lucky enough to get hold of the liquid blush I use in the video then just dap a dot on each cheek and blend lightly with a fluffy brush rather than a firmer, kabuki one. You don’t want to upset all the makeup beneath the blush, things can get alarmingly patchy very quickly…
NARS Voyageur Palette
This is one of my most-used eye palettes. Possibly the most-used if you exclude the Becca one that’s now discontinued. As in the entire brand, not just the palette. NARS Voyageur in Suede has precisely the shades I want to use on a daily basis and nothing else at all. It’s small and compact and I can bung it in a handbag if I need to an it even slides into one of those stupid small purse-on-a-string bags that are all the rage for people who seemingly never need to cart about an emergency Tampax, car keys or, I don’t know, money.
Find the palatte here* – and if you tap “Voyageur” into the search box then you’ll see plenty of videos where I’m using it. The big fat brush I use to apply the shimmery peach-beige shadow is the Bobbi Brown Blender, here* and the flatter, rounded one for the “fake eyeliner” trick that I do is a Sigma E55 brush, here*.
Brows and Lashes
Nearly there! Brows are groomed and thickened with the perennial favourite, Benefit’s Gimme Brow in shade 1, here*. Lashes are lengthened and volumised with L’Oreal’s Telescopic False Lash mascara (here*) which is as good as any of the luxury offerings out there. If you have fine, flat lashes and big brushes do you no favours then honestly, get involved with the Telescopic. I prefer the one in the matte gold tube (currently seven-ish quid here*) for everyday use but it was in my car and couldn’t be bothered to go and get it.
Clinique Lip Pop
Clinique’s lipsticks are genuinely some of the very best out there. They combine a lip primer to smooth and fill with a beautiful, punchy dose of colour and you can get matte finishes or shinier ones. Peony is, in my opinion, the perfect pretty pink. At time of writing Clinique have these lipsticks for sale at around £17 – find them here*. I doubt anyone would regret the purchase of one of these – they feel like a luxury buy but don’t have the luxury price tag.L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara*: https://amzn.to/3LzaLFW
Here’s my current makeup routine, including a rediscovered foundation that’s perfect for the summer months (ultra-glowy but lightweight and non-greasy) and what is possibly my all-time favourite mascara. I’m going to break it down into steps for you, but please do watch the video further on down the page if you’d like to see any of the products in action.
For skin prep in this video I used some products that had been left in my room at High Road House, which is a Soho House hotel in Chiswick. This is the third time I’ve had a little set of these Soho Skin products left in my room and so I can only conclude they are trying the brand out on guests before they are put on sale. They are perfectly pitched for the seasoned traveller who likes a spot of luxury and the textures are great; not too rich but with enough hydration to see you through the night. In the video I use the eye cream, serum and lip balm.
Because I was going to Wimbledon for the day I applied Anthelios UVMune 400 SPF50 in copious amounts – I was a guest of La Roche-Posay and so my choice of sunscreen seemed very appropriate. Helps that it’s one of my favourites anyway – this fluid SPF is so lightweight and now contains an incredibly effective UV filter offering really high protection. (You can find the new formula here* online.)
I have been using Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation* loads recently. It’s a lightweight fluid with a sheer-side-of-medium coverage that feels very hydrating and gives a gorgeous sheen. Convenient packaging makes it easy to travel with or stick in your handbag and the finish is just beautiful. I use shade 5 – the ahde range in this particular product is much narrower than in the other Tilbury foundations but the sheerness makes it more flexible, so you don’t need an exact “match”. You can find it online here*.
I have been setting my foundation with powder, which I virtually never do, but I have been in the city quite a bit and I feel as though it makes things hold against the heat that bit better. It’s not a matte powdered look, either, I use the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (Space NK here*) which is a huge investment, makeup-wise, but unparalleled in terms of getting a very grown-up “lit from within” finish to the skin. It’s so good: no glitter or glimmer and doesn’t actually look like a powder at all once it touches your face. Easy to apply, foolproof, I use the two darker colours to create a sort of base to my bronzer.
I’ve just seen that they do this palette in other shade combinations – where have I been? Volume II looks very summery. I may have to invest.
Bronzer and Blush
I’ve been bronzing with the cult contouring product Filmstar Bronze and Glow from Tilbury* but also the new cream bronzer that’s been launched. I didn’t have that on me, I’ll have to do a separate post. It’s lovely, definitely on a par with the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, if that’s what it’s called. (Is that what it’s called? Surely not! Hold on…. No, it’s now Les Beiges Bronzing Cream, find it here*.)
I use the Filmstar bronzer just beneath my cheekbones and then blend it out well. I don’t like this thing for harsh contour lines, I find it a bit draining and ageing on my own face and think it looks very artificial on even really young faces. So, not my bag, baby. But well buffed-in, it adds some shapely glamour and a hint of bronze and if you add the sparkle from the palette (which often I don’t) to the tops of the cheekbones it really is a red carpet sort of effect.
The blush is a Gen Nude blush from Bare Minerals, but it looks as though they are discontinuing it – it’s here* online. Any pretty pink would do for this – it needed to be pink because I was using quite a pretty pink lipstick and sometimes I think it looks slightly weird if they’re not in the same tonal ballpark…
This is where you really need to watch the video! I’ve used two cream shadow sticks and blended them – the first is By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Shade 6 (“Frozen Quartz”, online here*) all over the lids, blended in, and then Vieve Eye Wand in Mahogany* blended in at the corners.
I blend outwards and upwards towards the end tip of the eyebrow to give myself a natural little lift in the tired eye department – watch the video for a demo. Can’t really stress enough how much you need to watch this video. Just skip to the eye bit!
Mascara is the Telescopic from L’Oreal which is one of my all-time favourites and costs just over eight quid (find it here*). The fine comb really gets into the base of my lashes without spreading mascara all over my lids and then it’s easy to draw it through to the ends of the lashes to get maximum volume. It’s not one of these mega-wow mascaras (though the False Lash one is equally great and gives more volume, here*) it just leaves them longer, blacker and more separated. It’s really excellent stuff if you have fine, flat lashes that don’t do well with bigger and messier brushes.
Brows are groomed and set into place (with a bit of extra colour and oomph thanks to the fibres) with Gimme Brow from Benefit. Another all-time favourite, I use shade 1 in this and you can find it online here*. You just brush it on, brushing brows upwards (there’s a theme emerging!) and it adds some fullness and sets them into place. Wipe off the excess from the brush into the neck of the bottle before you start otherwise trouble awaits.
I have been quite enamoured with a Nip+Fab lipliner in shade 03, Caramel, but it doesn’t seem to exist online.
Neither does the lipstick, Almost Pink by Bobbi Brown, so I’m not doing very well here. I need to do a big old lipstick clear-out and see what’s new out there on the beauty counters. I’ve been sent so many lip oils, glosses and tinted balms but good old solid lipsticks don’t seem to be de rigueur at the moment. I like a tinted balm, but sometimes you want a bit more of a definite colour, don’t you? And don’t get me started on glosses… They are usually the work of the devil.
I always forget to mention brushes and so here we are: large powder brush is the Chantecaille Face Brush, smaller powder one is a Bobbi Brown Face Blender. I applied my foundation with a Real Techniques 200 and blended with fingertips, too, off-camera, because it sort of melts the foundation in at the end and I like the finish.
On my eyes, a fluffier brush to blend the By Terry shadow – My KitCo 127 – and then two little Zoeva brushes for working in the lashline and at the corners. The Luxe Pencil Brush 2020 is great for corners and under the eyes, but the 226 Smudger is invaluable for blending out liner into a softer haze!
Right, that’s the whole face. My dress at the end is from Me+Em – find it here* online, I wear a UK10 – and if I’ve forgotten any other details then just drop me a comment below!