The more make-up I have the more I feel bogged down by it; I love make-up lot but the more I have, the more I crave a make-up regime that can fit into my back pocket. Just like I crave a wardrobe with one perfect pair of jeans, one perfect t-shirt, one perfect dress, I crave just four cosmetics, all the absolute last word in effectiveness.
I also, of course, crave skin that needs no make-up. I battled with bad skin for years and years; I used to have to wipe out my entire face so that I could draw a new and acceptable one on. This strikes me now as tragic and not a thing I want to do anymore.
I find myself now investing more in things to maintain good skin (I am a huge fan of Decree skincare, despite it being ruinously expensive. Sorry I know I have said this before. I sometimes feel The Ordinary would help me, if I could only navigate their impenetrably complicated products.) I have also got this eye cream from Drunk Elephant, highly recommended by lots of people. I think it works, but then I am also not drinking and sleeping a lot, which might also make a difference.
But still the cosmetics pile up – I can’t resist things at duty-free, sometimes I buy something at a make-up counter out of sheer bloody-mindedness.
This extended moment we are having saw me having a really uplifting sort-and-clear out and I put away things I’m just not using, (mascara, lipstick, performance eyeshadow), and brought to the front a streamlined clutch of the things I am using. I also cleaned all my brushes and chucked out a lot of old mouldy stuff that really was a disgrace.
The other thing I did was to clean all my products. This sounds like a weird thing to do but it’s amazing what a difference it makes if you take a smeary bottle of product that has been rattling about in various bags and give it a good clean. It feels brand new again.
It’s like when you clean the washing-up liquid bottle!
Isn’t it? …hello…?
I do my make-up in the downstairs bathroom because it has the least bad light of anywhere in the house. I group things in a series of jars ranged from left to right in what order I use them.
In jar 1
No7 Dark Circles Corrector, which isn’t nearly as good as everyone says it is, along with my Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift, which is and alas also looks to be discontinued. Does anyone recommend a seriously good under-eye concealer?
In that jar I also keep my under-eye concealer brush, which isn’t that interesting or good so let’s just skip over that. I have just bought another one from My Kit Co because I had one from Real Techniques that was good but the bristles started coming out in fistfuls.
Also in the jar is my Milk make-up eyebrow gel in Haze. While I cannot stand that heavy eyebrow look, defining your brows subtly does help your face generally and this is very barely-there but effective. Last is my foundation bush, from Beauty Pie. I’m sure whichever one you have is just as good.
I wasn’t bothered about brushes for years, I just used my fingers. But once I started using them again I noticed what a massive difference they make. I even use a little face mask brush to put on my face sunscreen. Yes she has finally gone insane.
A side note: I also have a separate SPF for my face. A lot of people say “Why don’t you use a moisturiser with an SPF in it?” And my answer is because I am devoted to a skin range that doesn’t do a moisturiser with an SPF in it. And then other people say “Why don’t you use a tinted SPF?” and I say because sometimes I just want to wear the SPF on its own without make-up. So I have this from Sonia Dakar and I am very pleased with it.
At the moment I am using my Milk Make-Up Flex Foundation stick in Light Medium, I really love using a stick foundation, I’ve decided that this is what I am going to do forever. You just dot it all over your face then buff it in with the brush – there’s just so much less mess and it feels like this will last for absolutely ages. I have enjoyed using this, but for my next foundation I think I’m going to get the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. Obviously I will have to wait and go to a counter for this as buying something like that without checking the colour first is asking for trouble.
In jar 2
My eyeliners. Enough said. There are currently seem to be about 40, but the one I rummage for is my Bobbi Brown Longwear Eye pencil in Mahogany, (I can’t find it anywhere online damn it), and if I am feeling in the mood, my Chanel Eyeliner pen. Gallingly this Chanel one is best one of the many I have tried and it thuds in at £31. But I have had it for ages and it is as precise and fresh as the day I got it.
In jar 3
My bronzer brush and blusher brush. Neither very exciting brushes. My bronzer is BareMinerals Sheer Bronze in Dark to Deep, which I have tried to find a link to and can’t find it anywhere and I am now panicking that it has been discontinued.
I have just taken delivery of a cream blusher that I am wildly excited about, (it has come to this), by a brand I’ve never heard of called Kjaer Weis.
It was recommended to me by my friend MC who is very enthusiastic about make-up and researches hard and buys only the best stuff. I had been having trouble with my blushers up until then; I had in my teens and twenties used very, very PINK blushers but these days I look faintly mad with it on, like I have stolen my mummy’s make-up and drawn big pink circles on my cheeks. This Kjaer Weis cream blush in Blossoming is a very grown-up and pleasing pink/terracotta mix.
This blusher came in a very heavy metal pot and the idea is that you keep the pot and buy a refill, which I really like the idea of.
I rarely carry make up around with me as, thank god, I don’t have to worry about zits showing through any more. And also, I’m not going anywhere at the moment. But when I eventually do again I will only take what will fit in my STOW cosmetics bag. This is ruinously expensive but it is probably the most luxurious thing I own.
How about you? What’s your make-up looking like right now? Please leave recommendations for the products you love right now in the handy box below.