At this year’s Vogue Festival in London – a weekend of fashion interviews and discussions that took place in March, “Everyone”, says Terry Barber of MAC. “talked about ‘contouring’. I call it the [Kim] Kardashian effect.”
It is a style of applying make-up, that, like the reality TV star herself, is not without its critics. “Contouring is my pet peeve,” says Olivia Chantecaille, creative director of cosmetics brand Chantecaille: “it’s ageing. Now [make-up] is about layering products delicately rather than creating dark angles that look forced. With modern make-up technology you don’t need heavy make-up. We are moving away from tan to a glow.”
She has a point. It is now 30 years since Guerlain launched its Terracotta range of bronzing powders. “Three weeks’ tanning in just three seconds” was an alluring promise to make in 1984 just as the world was waking up to the potential dangers of UV exposure. Here, with a cheekbone-defining sweep from its palette, was a healthier shortcut to a fresh-looking complexion. Today, a compact is sold every 20 seconds worldwide.
Guerlain has not rested on its bronzed laurels. “Shades have developed enormously,” says spokesperson Richard Hawkins. “Previously, light reflection to diffuse imperfections had to have shimmer” – which sat unflatteringly in the skin’s crevices; “today we use multi-reflecting pigments that can have a matte effect.”
Although powders are still popular, Guerlain’s new Terracotta Joli Teint foundation (£34.50) gives sheer coverage with a hint of a weekend in Cap Ferrat. The new Terracotta Sun Celebration compact (£47) is a quartet of brown, orange and pink to be used individually as blush, tan or mixed all over. Guerlain suggests applying in a number “3” motion from the temple down to under the cheekbone and under the chin.
Chanel Les Beiges All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid (£34) is another new product developed with subtlety in mind. “In the right shade, this foundation makes you look five years younger,” claims Chanel make-up artist Mary Greenwell. “I then use Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder [£39] a couple of shades darker to give my face dimension, down the sides of my cheekbones, up the sides of my temples and on my forehead.”
Blair Patterson, make-up artist for Estée Lauder, says: “You should be choosing two foundations over the course of the year because from January to July people become from one to three shades darker. Use the darker foundation in the less tanned months under the cheekbone and blend till they look sharp.” He also suggests using Advanced Night Repair (£43) as a no-shimmer highlighter on the cheekbones. As for a dash of shading under the jaw to soften jowels? “Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess [£30] under the jaw will detract from a double chin,” he says. “But I feel that when I recommend it I am going to end up with a dry-cleaning bill when it gets on the collar of a white shirt.”
Hannah Martin, a make-up artist for Bobbi Brown, recommends balancing shading with highlighting: “Sweep a brush all over the Sandstone Shimmer Brick [£32, available in September; Bronze Shimmer Brick available now] on top of the cheekbone to lift the cheek’s appearance.”
But is all this trickery worth mastering? “Whether we know it or not, we respond subconsciously to symmetry, so knowing your facial architecture is number one,” says the fashion designer Tom Ford. “If you know that one cheek is higher than the other cheek, apply it in line with the better cheek so that you’re creating an artificial high on the same spot which gives the illusion of symmetry.”
Terry De Gunzburg, founder of make-up line By Terry, aims for more than symmetry. “A sculpted face denotes a strong woman, independent yet a bit mysterious,” she says. She suggests an all-over-sweep of By Terry Light Expert (£45) and even some brown eyeshadow under the cheekbone to sculpt.
Photographs: Jason Lloyd Evans
Now UV it, now you don’t
It’s hazy when you leave home for the office but blissfully sunny by the time you’re heading out for an al fresco lunch, writes Caroline Brien. When to apply sunscreen? Two new apps aim to take the stress out of knowing when to wear and when to eschew sunscreen. The Ioma à Moi, from skincare company Ioma, is a clever – and free – new app for smartphones designed to provide a 48-hour forecast of expected levels of UV light using GPS technology.
“We have partnered with a global player who receives data from worldwide meteorological sites to provide UV measurements all over the planet,” says Ioma founder Jean-Michael Karam.
Every time a user makes a request, the app locates them and sends a real-time request to the database, which then provides the UV forecast wherever they may be in the world. It can also tell you when the hottest times are and when to apply its Cell Protector SPF50 (£39), which protects skin cells from the sun’s rays and spikes in air pollution.
Then there is Netatmo’s “June”, a UV-measuring sensor (£69) to be worn wrapped around the wrist in the guise of a stylish bracelet. Designed by French jeweller Camille Toupet, it measures the habits of the user, determines the recommended sun protection for their skin type and notifies them when to apply a hat, sunscreen or to head for the shade. To activate the sensor, you download a free app to your phone, compatible with iPhone 4S and above.
Stockists in this article and this week’s other Style articles