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Face-Saving Guide to Make-Up 2006-11-07

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest.

‘Face-Saving Guide to Make-up’ an article by Jessica Kiddle

The news that the British cosmetics market is now worth 1 000 million GBP will come as no surprise to those of us who do battle with a bulging make-up bag each morning. Yet, while most beauty product addicts won’t have batted a mascara-coated lash at this statistic, or consumer trends watchdog Mintel’s revelation that British women now spend more on beauty products than their European counterparts, it makes you wonder how many of your recent beauty buys have actually been good value? Because for most of us, even the most cursory glance through our make-up bag will reveal unused flaky foundations, off-colour concealers and an array of lipsticks which disappear at the first sign of a cup of coffee.

‘Celebrity endorsement, product placement and fancy packaging have turned us into aspirational brand snobs,’ says Scottish make-up artist Mr.Craig-Alexander Wilson.

‘We all want a piece of Chanel or YSL, and make-up is the easiest way of getting that.’

Yet for many of us, much of the cash spent on these brands is money down the drain.

‘The most expensive products aren’t necessarily the best and what we should be basing our decisions on is performance,’ says Mr.Wilson.

But how to work this out before handing over your hard earned cash for the latest lipstick whose marketing material emits the subliminal message that you too can have a pout like Hollywood beauty Scarlett Johansson? The simple answer, according to Mr.Wilson, is to try before you buy.

He says that to find out which products do, in fact, deliver on their promises, you should spend time on-counter, getting make-overs and talking to the beauticians about what colours to use and what suits your skin. Most cosmetic counters offer makeovers for free. But will that eyeliner, which looks so good in the counter mirror, last the day? Or will you look like a panda by lunch-time? Unfortunately it can take years of trial and error before you find out what works and what doesn’t. So, to save you the time and the money, we’ve asked Scotland’s leading make-up artists what products they couldn’t do their job without and which products really live up to the hype.


For a polished blemish-free base look no further than Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer, 27.00 GBP, and Tinted Moisturiser SPF20, 30.00 GBP, (Space NK; 0131 225 6371) says make-up artist Ms.Ainslee Currie, who has worked with KT Tunstall, Edith Bowman and Yasmin Le Bon.

‘The primer sits on top of your moisturiser and prevents any other products from disappearing into the skin. It’s light and easy to apply so you don’t feel like you’re wearing lots of make-up, but it lasts all day and evens out your skin tone. I also always use their tinted moisturiser. It has a good creamy consistency and lasts all day.’

Another of Ms.Currie’s must-haves is Touche Eclat, left, 17.99 GBP, by Yves Saint Laurent (John Lewis; 0131 556 9121).

‘For an illuminating concealer it wins hands-down,’ she says. The secret is its reflecting particles which deflect light away from those under-eye shadows and illuminate the whole eye area.

If you prefer to get the coverage of a foundation, however, try Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, 21.50 GBP (John Lewis).

‘It’s like a second skin,’ says Mr.Wilson, who says she has used this product on singer and actress Jennifer Ellison.

‘It’s long-lasting and waterproof, so it’s great for everyday wear because it’s not heavy yet creates a flawless finish.’

Set foundation with Max Factor’s star make-up compact Crème Puff, 4.45 GBP, (Boots; 0845 0708090), says make-up guru Mr.Graham Johnston, who was responsible for Ms.Renée Zellweger’s look in the film ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’.

‘I have always had one in my make-up kit because it provides quick and instant coverage in an emergency; it also removes excess shine and can be used to cover unwanted blemishes.’


According to Ms.Sharon Webster, who last year worked back stage at Live8 beautifying the likes of Susan Sarandon and Davina Mccall before they went on stage, the best basic eyeshadow you can buy is MAC’s Shroom Matte Eyeshadow, 10.00 GBP(Harvey Nichols).

‘This shimmery cream eye powder is the ultimate classic shade,’ she says.

It gives the eyelid a subtle wash of colour and helps the whites of the eyes stand out — you can use it on its own or blend it with darker colours.’

However, while eyeshadows might be fun to use, mascara is a woman’s can’t-walk-out-the-door-without essential, and for make-up artist Ms.Anita Anderson, who makes up celebrities such as Ms.Tess Daly and Ms.Martine Mccutcheon, it has to be Hypnôse Custom-Wear Volume Mascara, 17.50 GBP, by Lancôme (Boots).

‘A lot of the time a mascara’s impact on the eye is just down to the fact that it colours the blonde tips of our eyelashes,’ she says. But not so with this product which she says is unmatchable both in intense colour and thickening affect.

‘You can tell it’s a good quality mascara because it doesn’t dry out too quickly and flake, and it doesn’t drop and smudge during the day either.’

When lining the eyes, Ms.Webster and Ms.Anderson both plump for Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, 13.50 GBP, (Jenners; 0131 225 2442).

‘Make-up artists call them ‘ink pots’ and they’re in virtually everyone’s kits,’ says Ms.Anderson.

‘Its creamy consistency makes it easier to apply than a liquid and also a lot softer. They come in a great selection of colours all of which are really versatile — the look can be kept very subtle with a thin line or smudged with a cotton bud to create a smokey diva effect.’


There’s a reason products build a cult following and, in the case of Stila’s Convertible Colors, 17.00 GBP, (Space NK; 0131 225 637), it’s their ability to bring a youthful flush to any skin.

‘As opposed to powder blushes, which can look chalky on the skin, I love this creamy formulation because it warms on your fingers making it malleable on the skin,’ says Ms.Anderson.

‘I love the peony and petunia — they may look frightening in the pot because the colour is so concentrated but once you rub it on to the cheek it creates a dewy, youthful finish which, at the end of the day, everyone is after.’

Another cult product is the berry-coloured cheek stain Benetint, 21.20 GBP, by Benefit (Harvey Nichols; 0131 524 8388), loved by Ms.Webster.

‘It’s made from crushed rose petals that stains the skin a natural rosy colour, which you don’t have to re-apply, ‘ she says.

‘It makes you look like a china doll.’

Others prefer the St Tropez look to the English Rose, which is where a bronzer is essential. Here Ms.Anderson is torn between two of her favourites: NARS bronzer in Lagoona, 21.50 GBP, (Space NK) and MAC’s bronzing powder, below left, in Refined Golden, 14.00 GBP, (Harvey Nichols).

‘In my opinion they are best,’ she says.

‘On fairer Scottish skins you have to have a subtle bronzer and not something which looks like it belongs in a tanorexic’s handbag. These two are the best colours in this respect — adding a subtle warmth to the complexion.’


Where lips are concerned, Ms.Currie says, there is no point in forking out for expensive primers. Instead she suggests buying her favourite base: Carmex Lip Balm, 2.49 GBP (Boots). The long-wearing beeswax formulas not only moisturise but form the perfect long-lasting base on which to apply colour. When it comes to the next step, beauty addicts are divided into two camps — lipstick ladies and lipgloss girls. When she’s doing her own make-up, Ms.Currie falls into the first category, always using Chanel’s classic Hydrabase in Envoutant, left, 14.50 GBP (John Lewis).

‘With a lipstick you should always buy the colour that suits you, but it’s also very important to go for something moisturising and this is my personal favourite,’ she says.

For those who prefer the gloss, Mr.Wilson loves the iridescent colours of Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes range (John Lewis), 13.00 GBP.

‘They are brilliant because they’re ultra glossy but also ultra long-lasting,’ he says. ‘They also taste great.’



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