Here are some of our fail-safe steps to updating your look and nailing daring make-up every time! We’re talking smoky eyes, perfectly flawless skin, luscious lips and perfectly polished nails.
Follow our top tips for the ultimate glam look…
Smoked-up eyes never go out of style, but there’s a trick to keeping it looking fresh, and if there’s one new piece of make-up you need to buy, make it a dark, smudgeable eyeshadow in warm charcoal and midnight blue tones. Ideally, choose one with a vague shimmer of gold or silver shot through it, so that it still looks flat, but not completely matte.
- Smudge dark shadow closest to the lash line as a liner to help give the illusion of even thicker lashes, and in the socket, creating a “V” at the outer corner of the eye. Blend and fade out – the latest shadows are so easy to smudge together to create that smoky effect, but a proper eyeshadow brush will ensure the powder is really “pushed” into your skin and stays in place.
- Apply pencil liner over the top to intensify the lash line. Then take a liquid liner and paint in any areas you notice between the lashes that appear pale.
- Tidy up the edge of your eye shadow using a clean cotton bud. Make sure you wing the shadow up at the outer corners to lift your features, not bring them down.
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“When the focus of your attention is on your eyes or lips, the last thing you need is full-on blusher,” says Val Garland. “Now it’s more about cheekbones, and less about colour. Soften the blush – too many focuses highlight flaws in the complexion.” Skin is more matte and less shiny now, and the idea is to use anything to make skin look flawless. The trick is to prep your skin well so that you can get away with applying less foundation.
- Clean skin first. You can’t put face cream, foundation and powder on top of dirty skin and expect it to look fresh. A wonderful, yet gentle, cleanser is Lancôme Galatéis Douceur, R399 for 200ml, which tones, and removes dirt and make-up all in one.
- Try a skin primer – they miraculously help to fill pores (which become more obvious with age) and smooth the surface of your skin so that anything else you put on top glides on more easily. Our favourites are Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, R395, and the fabulous Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush by YSL, R800.
- Touch out imperfections with concealer over anything else you need to with foundation and powder over the T-zone. Apply a delicate blusher along the cheekbones to give shape, but not so much it’ll compete with your eyes or lips.
After season upon season of easy-wear, pinky-beige glosses, it’s time to wear lipstick again. The question is, how dark can you afford to go? The biggest trend right now is matte, but “matte” isn’t as flat as it was when we wore it back in the ’80s. Many new matte lip colours are also light-reflective, so you get more of a three-dimensional stain that looks velvety, rather than dry – and so is ultimately more flattering.
- Prep skin on lips first using a concealer or foundation, or try MAC Prep + Prime Lip, R250, which helps the lipstick last longer.
- Press colour into your lips using a lip brush. This helps the colour to last longer too.
- If you like using a lip liner, try using it over your lip colour rather than underneath it. Try Rimmel 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Contouring Pencil, R89,95. The waxiness of the pencil prevents feathering, but because it’s on top of your lipstick, it doesn’t leave a ghastly rim around your lips when the colour wears off.
Nail polish doubles up as a protective barrier, helping to prevent your nails from splitting and peeling, and so allows them to grow stronger. Also, take care of your hands in between manicures – whether you do them yourself or go to a salon – by lavishing them with sunscreen, moisturiser and cuticle oil.
- File nails first before soaking them and the cuticles.
- Massage a little oil into the cuticles before polishing makes the skin look softer and more groomed, especially next to a dark polish that shows up any imperfections.
- Buff nails to a high shine before applying any polish,” says nail expert Pippa Hebden, who tends regularly to the tips of Geri Halliwell and Scarlett Johansson. “This makes the polish go on more smoothly and the shine comes through the polish, making the end result even glossier.”