The make-up fetishist in me can’t help but feel a shiver of delicious anticipation when I unwrap and uncap a new product. The packaging and the colour, they’re all foreplay for me. By the time it hits my face, I want it not to disappoint. More than that: I want it to satisfy my urge for each new release to be bigger and better than it’s predecessor. The other day, in a frenzy of excitement, I put all of these new releases on my face. Here’s what that looked like:
THE PRODUCTS & REVIEWS //
BASE / MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC42 / This foundation seems to have divided beauty writers – some reckon it offers a bit too much coverage, others think it’s the genius answer to sweaty summer days. I fall into the latter camp: it does offer pretty hefty coverage (freckles along with spots are all but erased), but the finish is sheeny and healthy, mimicking skin well. Importantly, it really is ‘waterproof’ – I put some on my hands and washed them a good four times vigorously and no budging did happen. Similar results on my face: I walked around the city all day and nothing slipped or was mysteriously consumed by my skin. If you struggle to find a foundation that stays on in hot weather, put this on your shopping list.
CONCEALER / Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer in Medium Cool / I think this is the answer to my handbag concealer issue: while I love LM SC with a passion, it needs a little thinning down with a more watery concealer before it’s applied under eyes and I also need to carry a brush on me to apply it. Not so this one: on the one end, it’s a serum/concealer hybrid which is designed to go under the eyes to nourish/brighten and is applied with a doe foot applicator. On the other end, it’s a thick stick of creamy concealer that can just be run over the brightening concealer or over spots/redness before you pat it in with fingers. Very, very handy stuff.
BROW PENCIL / Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil in Brunette / I’m exceptionally fussy when it comes to eyebrow pencils – get the wrong one and you’ll give the game away. What you want for really natural brows is something that mimics hairs, and to achieve that you need a thin head/applicator, a matte finish and a colour that’s none too warm (eyebrows are always cool in tone). Smashbox have smashed it out the park with this offering that ticks all those boxes and comes with a handy spoolie on the end.
BROW GEL / Diorshow Brow Styler Gel / Actually, maybe it’s just brow products I’m fussy about; it is rare that I make a recommendation of brow gel as most get cruddy and dirty quickly, don’t hold brows or have pigment in that unevenly loads up hairs. This clear gel comes on a slightly novel applicator – it is made of hard rubber nubs that really push into the hairs of the brow as you brush through. This means even distribution and much control of the product, which helps enormously in the battle to keep brows in check. As you need to turn the end of the tube to release product (rather than dip the brush into a gel receptacle), this won’t get grubby after a few uses.
BLUSHER / Tom Ford Eye and Cheek Shadow in Bronze Ombre (out shortly here) + Tokyo Cheek Cheat / Holy potato: Tom Ford have done it again. This ombre is a whole lot of my make-up wishes come true because I simply love that look of a face infused with health and a really sneaky way to do it is to take a bronzer that is just a tad darker than your skin tone and pop it on cheeks and on your eyelids. That they’ve made these little palettes to do just that makes life very easy for me. While the Ford’s brush effort in this palette is stellar (and does the work of nestling colour onto the eye crease deftly), I’ve been having fun with a bigger brush and the Tokyo Cheek Cheat, which is a bit of a gimmick, but is helpful if you’ve yet to discover how the placement of blusher can change the appearance of your face.
EYESHADOW PRIMER / Benefit Air Patrol / That this is Benefit’s big launch of the season should tell you most definitely that eyelid primers are on the rise. This one comes in a rubber applicator, of which I am no fan (there seems to me no point – it supposedly is gentle/easy to dab on but I find a finger does the job far better and have taken to just using mine to apply this), and contains an SPF 20 (with which I am exceptionally pleased – eyelids are delicate, under cared for places). It performs well, stopping shadow from moving while allowing it to be applied smoothly. My only niggle is the colour – it is a translucent beige that works well on me but I suspect may be a problem on dark skins.
EYESHADOW / MAC Haute Dogs Collection Mineralize Eye Shadow x 4 in Pure Bred / This collection is out on the 3rd of September and I recommend you make a note (though I’ll clearly do a post on it before then to remind you as I am deeply, deeply enamoured). While all bizarrely inspired by pampered dogs, the collection is really very wearable because they’ve stuck to the whole glossy, healthy Labrador/Cocker Spaniel end of things. I dread to think how I’d look had I worn a collection inspired by a poodle. Annnyyywwwaayyy: this shadow quad is a nice, rich, sumptuous affair that makes a sheeny, hazily defined eye a doddle.
MASCARA / Rimmel Super Curler (launching shortly here) / This is the only one I was slightly disappointed by. It’s a little dry for a mascara, so I found myself having to put in a LOT of arm work for relatively poor results. The whole curler thing did nothing whatsoever for me: my lashes remained resolutely straight.
LIPSTICK / MAC Haute Dogs Lipstick in Rare Breed / The perfect caramel nude – a bit 90s, a little Park Avenue princess, very much a ‘whack on when you don’t know which lipstick to put on’ affair.