One of the best things about writing about beauty is the intimate connection it immediately forges with others. When someone at a gathering knows that you are well acquainted with products and are ever-eager to discuss them, you’re taken into their confidence with alacrity – it’s unlikely that any other profession would so quickly have someone asking about how to treat their thinning hair, clump of greys or hormonal acne.
Often, I’ll be asked something I’ve written about here in detail so find myself scribbling this address on napkins galore. This time round, things have gone the other way. Freelance life has kept me busy during the days and travel, celebrations of babies on the way, and prepping for autumn’s bustling wedding schedule have filled my evenings and weekends so I’ve had little time to write about the below newbies that I think are superb, instead banging on about them to those who are interested (and, let’s face it, probably many people who aren’t) at parties.
It’s time to address that… //
The Mascaras // Mascara is an oddball: most claim it is one of their ‘can’t live without’ products, while in the same breath asserting that they’ve never found one to meet all their needs. My answer to this = get more than one. I tend to use a smaller wand on my lower lashes (they’re pathetic and need minute attention), and a big one to fluff up my upper lashes, though will sometimes make people up using three different sorts if they have exceptionally long corner lashes.
With this in mind, I’ve been very impressed by Pixi Lower Lash Mascara. The wand is very long and very thin (Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara has a wand that looks like a normal one, shrunk). This is good for those with really sparse lower lashes and makes building product fairly easy too as you’ll have plenty of control.
Another newbie offering control is Clinique Lash Power Flutter-To-Full. I’ve previously reviewed it here, and what I said then still holds true – it’s a good mascara that offers choice, but the wand isn’t my favourite.
Burberry Cat Lashes mascara has been my go-to for the past month – the wand grabs short and long lashes, the formula is watery enough to avoid clumping but thick enough to see the difference, and it doesn’t crumble under my eyes. I’d really recommend it if you need a good all-rounder rather than, like me, having a mascara wardrobe.
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors are enormously popular among those who want a bit of enhancement that you don’t need a mirror to apply as they’re a little shiny, add a touch of colour, and moisturise a smidgen. The new limited edition shades in Pink Shimmer, Orange Shimmer and Red Shimmer jazz things up further and add a little brighter, juicier colour to the range.
Zoeva Black Box is one for the smoky eye fans among you. The four liners are all densely pigmented and offer slightly different things. The soft kohl is the smudgiest of the quartet, making for the kind of waterline haze Keith Richards loves. The other pencil is harder and can be used on the lid, and the two liquid liners offer precision and the necessary swoop-y felt end that makes a cat eye pretty easy.
This Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes palette stands out of the crowd for its multitasking chops. The darker shades can be used as eyeliners (and made wet for deeper intensity), eyeshadows and brow colour. The paler shades are both eyeshadows and highlighters (and are cleverly super-sized – Smashbox know that most of us use base nudes far more quickly than deeper colours). All the shades are creamy and blend well.