Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.
Becoming a parent changes your life in lots of ways. Sleep becomes an obsession. Showers become a privilege. Work becomes an escape (ok, that doesn’t apply to everyone). Makeup application time becomes a rare gift. Honestly, it is this time that I think I miss the most. I used to think nothing of spending 45 minutes on my eye makeup alone, these days, I’m lucky if I get twenty minutes for a night out. (Parents will know exactly what I mean, even if you plan the day around allowing yourself to have a full hour some sort of nappy/bathtime/dinner disaster will inevitably cut into your precious time.)
This week, I had to have my photograph taken for a work thing, and as always, I did my own makeup. I had twenty-five minutes to a decent face on while Sam was asleep, and this is exactly what I did.
To start with, I prepped my clean face with Clarin’s Double Serum and Janssen Cosmetics Day Vitalizer. I find these products sit well under makeup, and they are my go-to guys at the moment for such a purpose. I wanted my skin to look great for the photo, so I applied more product than I normally would to completely even out imperfections. I started with Catrice’s HD Liquid Coverage Foundation, which I’ve been testing recently and am very impressed with. It’s only €7.90, and provides excellent, lasting coverage. It’s a little more matte than I would normally go for, but for a photograph, it’s perfect. You’ll find it in Penneys and selected pharmacies nationwide.
After my foundation, I applied some Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer to areas where I am prone to redness, like my chin and between my brows. You can buy this product online and in Space NK, and many people claim it’s miraculous. It can be used as concealer and foundation, depending on how you apply it, and while I like it, I don’t think it’s the game changer some people make it out to be. You can spend less and get the same benefits, in my opinion. However, I have some, so I used it, scooping a grain-of-rice sized amount from the pot, and then using a dampened Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge to dab it on the desired spots. Some people like to dampen their Beauty Blender type sponges with water, but I like to use a setting spray for lasting results. Finally, I threw on a bit of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer under my eyes and in the creases around my nose.
Next, I did my usual brow job, using Laura Mercier’s Brow Definer and Double-Ended Eyebrow Brush. I am devastated to report that I think they’ve discontinued it since I last bought it three years ago (that’s how long it’s lasted, and I use it every time I do my makeup, it is BRILLIANT), so an alternative is Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dipbrow, or Nyx Tame & Frame Brow Pomade. To read more about how I do my brows, check out this previous column.
I didn’t want to do a heavy contour, but obviously didn’t want my face to look like a blob of rice pudding in the photograph, so used some Benefit Hoola Lite where the hollows of my cheeks should be and around my temples. I then popped some Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighting Duo in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal atop my cheekbones. This duo includes a very subtle shade and a very dramatic shade, so I tend to use the subtle shade liberally and then pop the tiniest bit of the dramatic shade on top if it’s daytime. For nighttime, all bets are off. I want to be gleaming like my granny’s freshly polished brass. On the apples of my cheeks I used some Benefit Coralista.
Whenever I’m tight for time, I keep my eye makeup simple with a bold black flick and go for a strong lip instead. My favourite base for a black eyeliner flick is Mac Paints in Bare Canvas, which I apply all over the eye, right up to the brow. This has also been discontinued (my rage), but any cream coloured cream foundation should work. I then apply a small amount of a warm brown shade along the crease of my eye before going in with the liquid eyeliner. In this case, I used Catrice Liquid Liner, which is matte and dark black, as all liquid liners should be, in my opinion. For my liquid liner technique, check out this previous column. Finally, I applied about five coats of Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, and some Ardell Individual Eyelashes. For lash technique, check out, you guessed it, this previous column.
Finally, I applied a red lip. I love red lipstick. It makes you look ‘done’ even if you have no other makeup on, and paired with a black eyeliner flick it’s glamorous and classic. I have lots of favourites, but on this occasion I just grabbed the one that was nearest, which was Loreal Paris’ Colour Riche Exlusive Reds in Julianne’s Red. It’s got a pinky tone which looks great on pale skin. At this stage, I was holding the baby, because of course, they never let you actually finish the job, but I’d gotten the hard work done. I haven’t seen the photo yet, but fingers crossed it’s decent.
2017 will be forever known as the year I got into Shiseido. It consistently puts the beauty in beauty brand with great products and gorgeous packaging. Their new eye collection is no different. Inspired by Japanese calligraphy, the range feautures mascara, gel eyeliner in six colours (each of which comes with its own little brush, which is very handy), a beautiful full-size brush, and a range of sheer cream eye colour (I’ve been using the pink one as a blush). Well worth checking them all out, in my opinion.
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