And it’s super-smart! From online colour matches to new formulas, these take cosmetics to the next level.
So, the big news in make-up is the arrival to these shores of US brand Il Makiage. It is famed not just for producing good cosmetics but for making buying make-up online easy. In particular, it has made digitally choosing your correct foundation shade a remarkably simple (and successful) process. It uses what the brand calls its PowerMatch algorithm, a detailed but not too lengthy online series of questions about your skin – how it reacts to the sun, whether gold jewellery suits it, that sort of thing – alongside a series of photographs of faces from which you choose the skin tone that best represents your own. Finally, you’re given your shade match. I was a bit cynical about whether this could work but I tried it; my designated shade turned up, and it was exactly right – and, interestingly, possibly not even the shade I might have chosen if they’d been laid out in front of me.
As for the foundation itself, I really like it. It’s called Woke Up Like This (£36,ilmakiage.com), gives a very natural but buildable coverage, has a matt finish and I found it lasted well – even on some of the hotter days we’ve had lately. It also comes in 50 shades (Il Makiage is very much about inclusivity). Also worth a mention is its Mineral Baked Blush (£29, ilmakiage.com) – I like the Bootylicious shade. It’s a lovely fine powder and delivers a gentle hint of colour to your cheeks, but you can ramp it up easily if you want more. It has just the right amount of pearlescence to lift the face, too.
Charlotte Tilbury has recently launched Airbrush Bronzer (£39, charlottetilbury.com) with a matt finish. This is another wonderfully fine powder – in pressed form, of course – and comes in a very Tilbury-esque retro-glamorous clamshell palette. I love a bronzer, especially a matt one, so this is a most welcome addition. It comes in only four shades, and although I’m fair-skinned the Fair shade was too light for me – more like a tinted powder – so I’d suggest considering going up a tone if you want some more colour.
I am also a fan of Guerlain’s new Les Météorites Liquid Pearls Highlighter Pen (£32, guerlain.com) with a sponge tip. It delivers just the right amount of light, isn’t too shimmery and comes with that classic powdery violet fragrance.
Elf’s latest Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow (£5, elfcosmetics.co.uk) is another winner – I’m currently wearing it almost every day. It’s a gel formula with the colour shot through with glitter and brings an instant hit of glamour to everything. You can build up the colour but equally just one swipe gives a lovely tinted wash to eyelids (my favourite shade is Flirty Birdy, a champagne pink). The best fiver you’ll spend all summer!
Your body’s new best friends
As limbs are ever more revealed, it isn’t just self-tan that comes to the fore (I recently wrote about my favourites; you can read about them here). I also find that I start reaching for a good body moisturiser more often. So here are three of my current choices.
Sol de Janeiro launched Brazilian Nude Cream (£40, spacenk.com) earlier this year as a fragrance- (and shimmer-) free alternative to its classic range. It’s a rich cream but sinks straight in and really leaves skin smooth and hydrated. I also love the packaging with its chunky pot and large dispensing pump – although, alas, it’s not currently refillable.
I’m also a big fan of The Body Shop Energizing Pink Grapefruit Body Butter (£16, thebodyshop.com). This can look as though it’s going to be a bit gloopy or hard butter-like when you look at it in the tub, but it’s actually a super-light and easily spreadable texture that absorbs instantly and comes with a zingy but not overpowering fragrance (there are other options too, including cucumber and mango). And being Body Shop there’s also a good conscience behind it so it’s Leaping Bunny-certified and uses Community Trade shea butter.
Then there’s Garnier Intensive 7 Days Softening Lotion with Coconut Milk (£4.99, boots.com). I often moan about so many products having to smell of coconut these days (it has become the new vanilla), but in this instance I really like it – it’s just the right amount of getaway exoticism to boost the mood as you apply it. Plus the lotion itself is incredibly effective – it rubs straight in and really does leave skin feeling tiptop. It’s become one of my classics.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson