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Regular readers will know I have a love/hate relationship with make-up trends, even though February – at least in a beauty editor’s diary – marks the official start date for stories on “how to update your make-up bags”.
Here’s what I’ve learnt from my many years in this business: no one will ever congratulate you on wearing spring/summer 2014’s new make-up look. They’ll just quietly observe they’ve never seen your face in pastels/metallics/mossy-greens before, and politely ask if you’re feeling all right. That said, someone might well tell you they like your new lipstick/ hair colour/eyeliner, so a few carefully chosen new products are all you need to produce the desired “update” reaction. For that reason, it’s worth knowing what’s happening on planet fashion.
So, in the spirit of the cut-out-and-keep guides of 1950s Vogue, I present my guide to achieving a new look this spring, with the caveat that you shouldn’t try it all at once.
1. Goldeneye Or, for the pedantic, golden eyebrow. One of the loveliest trends to emerge from the shows has been touches of metal, such as gold leaf painted on to hair at Dries Van Noten, exquisite gold-embellished eyebrows at Dior and a gold clip at Marios Schwab that sat neatly on plaits. “It’s about finding one single point of interest,” says hair stylist Sam McKnight, who added the gold touches at Dries van Noten and Marios Schwab. The gold clips are the easiest way to follow the trend without looking faintly ridiculous. They’re more expensive than the kirby grips of old but far more beautiful – try Valentino’s gold-tone studded hair clip (from £140).
2. Luminous, dewy skin Expect to read a lot about no make-up make-up. Here’s my theory as to how it came about backstage:
Designer: “You see Cara, look how great she looks just walking in. Just like that. No make-up. That’s how I want her make-up for the show.”
Make-up artist: “Yes of course.”
Make-up artist (to team): “Right, bring me 250 products, now!”
And rightly so. Because even for 18-year-old models, standing under super bright lights having already done three shows that morning can mean they need a bit of help in getting fresh, bare skin looking right.
Preparation is key. Try these the next time you’re skipping down a catwalk/red carpet or on the school run: Sunday Riley’s Good Genes (from £85) is a radiance boosting serum that doubles as a mask; Natura Bisse’s Glyco Extreme Peel (from £195) is a mild peel that will even out skin tone; and Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask (from £44), brightens and reduces open pores, while also smelling delicious.
3. Luminous, dewy skin (part two) Make-up artist Pat McGrath has a way with foundation. She applies it almost in reverse, with base first (try Max Factor’s Whipped Crème Foundation, from £7.99), then highlighter and then moisturiser on top, keeping powder only for the centre of the face. I like Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow Highlighter (from £38.50) – it gives you a glow without any annoying sparkle.
4. Nail art Just say no. You have to pick your style camp, and you’re either Rihanna or Anna (Wintour). Would you ever catch the latter with smiley faces on her nails? Unlikely. Try these shades instead: Essie’s Au Natural (from £7.99) is my favourite neutral while, for a coral-pink that isn’t too sugary, try Tom Ford’s Nail Lacquer in 03 Coral Beach (from £26).
5. Eyeliner interrupted You know how you have just mastered the feline eye? Now do it in white, or in black and miss out a chunk – sort of eyeliner interrupted. For this I recommend MAC’s eye make-up removers (from £15): cotton ear buds with pointed tips and remover on them that make it easy to clean up any foiled first attempts. Trust me, they take away a lot of the pressure.
6. Blondes, brunettes, redheads There wasn’t much on the catwalks by way of crazy hair colouring (dip-dyeing, multicoloured highlights etc) so we’re all off the hook. You can, though, update your colour to something more opaque and intense. Primary tones were big, from the bold black wigs that Sam McKnight created for Chanel, to Prada, where colourist Josh Wood dyed the models’ hair shades of 1950s-inspired blonde, blue-black and strong red. If you need a good colourist, Nicola Clarke at John Frieda in London recently took Sienna Miller from blonde to redhead; or try Josh Wood for a touch of Prada perfection.
7. Lipstick There’s nothing quite like upgrading an old favourite, and this season I’m moving from MAC’s Ruby Woo (a classic red with a matt finish, deliciously film-starry) to the brand’s new Viva Glam Rihanna special (from £15), a creamier textured red, with a slight shimmer.
Imagine it: your nails say Anna but your lips say Rihanna. This season, maybe you can have your cake and eat it too.