Okay girls, here's one for you. We all know that make-up these days is frightfully expensive, but we all know that frightfully expensive means it works (and probably comes with pretty packaging and a designer label). Want to know a secret? Buy the bare
essentials, make it last, and you'll save your pennies. Below is the product of numerous make-up counter sessions, years of trying to cover spots and make eye-shadow last. Here are the products that I've found work well with each other and work well with my face. Oh, and here's another secret for you: just because you buy expensive make up, it does NOT
mean you are vain or frivolous with your money. The Skin:
Benefit boi-ing Concealer: According to the angels at Benefit, this is industrial strength concealer. According to me...this is industrial strength concealer. Blemishes, dark circles and other pesky things are covered without looking cakey with just one dab of a brush. It comes in five different shades and at ÂŁ16.50, it's just as well it stays on all day. (Also, if you're buying boi-ing from the Benefit counter in Boots, ask for Caelin. She is wonderful. I had to bite my tongue so I didn't blurt out "can-you-do-my-face-so-I-look-just-like-you?" Cringe.)
Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser: If you could win Nobel Prizes for make-up, Bobbi would be the winner. Every year. If you want more coverage than your concealer, then this is the way forward. Perfect for oily skin, it moisturises without making skin greasy
and it blends well so you avoid awkward foundation lines. Moisture and coverage in one go? Yes please. Find it at John Lewis for £28.
Benefit High Beam Highlighter: This may look like nail varnish and go on like nail varnish, but it is, in fact, for your cheeks. Either that or Caelin didn't like me very much. Seriously though, get your hands on this stuff, to achieve that glow that only blushing brides or pregnant women manage to achieve naturally. Use the brush to draw on a kiss (an 'x', not an
actual pout, silly) and blend it over your cheekbones. Beautiful lady. (£18/50) Elizabeth Arden Mineral Powder Foundation: This is the stuff I stole (okay, steal) from my mother every time I go home. She may use it occasionally but oh boy am I an addict. This is magic powder: it goes on beautifully, feels weightless and blends all over your face, making your skin look as clear as crystal. It covers EVERYTHING. Do you hear? Go and buy it now before I buy all of it. Oh, and it should be pushed on, not wiped on. (£25) Eyes:
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner: Awards are good, right? Well this eyeliner has won heaps. It may look like liquid eyeliner when you're wearing it but it is a lot easier to put on. You'll need a good eyeliner brush to apply it with (Boots do a good range), and glide a thin layer on your eye lid. Dries without smudging all over your face, fingers, clothes and mirror. (I HATE liquid eyeliner.) Winning colours include Sepia Ink, Denim Ink when you're feeling all navy and Graphite Shimmer Ink when you want some fun. (£17)
Diorshow Waterproof Mascara: Dramatic and subtle at the same time. Very French, then? Goes on clump free despite the chunky-monkey brush. Ideal. That's all. Lips:
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm: Lip colour and lip balm mixed into one. Sweet, flirty, inexpensive and lowmaintenance. Need I say more? Non, ma cherie. (ÂŁ5.99)
Elizabeth Arden Colour Intrigue Effects Lipstick: Why hello sexy lady, look at your lips!! They are delicious. Well, they will be if you use this. This is dramatic and powerful and is jam-packed with the wow-factor. If you're making the choice between dramatic eyes and dramatic lips, then this is your lip-choice. Sugarplum Shimmer looks like you've just kissed a strawberry and enjoyed it.