My latest confidence trick? Bright eyeshadow. It’s easier to wear than you think – at any age.
Away with friends for the weekend – and not for a particularly dressy affair – I had one of those ‘wow’ moments when a friend of mine walked into the dining room one evening wearing bright red eyeshadow. This, by the way, is a woman who, much like me, leans towards more au naturel make-up most of the time. But she looked seriously fabulous – block capital ‘WOW’ worthy with her bold painted lids. We all told her as much.
In response, she said that this was her two fingers to the menopause and to feeling invisible or overlooked at times. She’d decided that she was going to have some fun with her make-up and embrace boldness.
As far as I’m concerned, she’s totally right – and not alone. Who says age has to have anything to do with make-up or deciding what you want to put on? You’d be amazed at the number of beauty launches I go to where the brand will tell me they are aiming their products at millennials (ages 25 to 41) or even generation Z (ages ten to 25). But why on earth limit your customers that way? Who’s to say if you’re 40-plus you can’t and won’t love it, too?
So I’ve followed my friend’s lead and am now ramping things up – for daytime as well as evening when it comes to my eyes. For a full-on look like this picture, opt for Elf Cosmetics Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in similar green Aurora, or bold purple Supernova (£6, elfcosmetics.co.uk). For a more subtle green, try Clarins Ombre 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Jade Gradation (£36, clarins.co.uk). Or, if it’s fun colours you are after, look to Zara Eye Shadow Palette in Clash Out (£17.99, zara.com), which boasts six shades and is refillable. And for a sheer, shiny, watercolour take on bold, reach for Byredo Colour Stick in Mesolithic (£28, byredo.com), a pretty sparkling lilac.
A balm to brighten
For a vibrant lip look or just to add a dash of glamour on its own, I cannot wax lyrical enough about the new Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm (£34, hourglasscosmetics.co.uk). Personally, I think of it as a light lip gloss in stick form that creates just the right amount of shine, adds a hint of colour and isn’t remotely sticky. But as the name suggests, this is really a balm (hence the twist-up ‘bullet’ format, as it’s known in the trade). It deploys the brand’s own ‘conditioning complex’ – think hydrating and nourishing – so that lips (even ones prone to dehydration like mine) feel happy and cared for throughout the day while also looking elegantly dressed up.