Make-up magic

Christmas and the party season beckons so don your finest attire and usher in the festive season in style.

Your make-up is an important element in all this as it provides the finishing touch to your look. You do not want to appear less than gorgeous as you pull crackers on Christmas Day or wait for the fireworks to explode on New Year’s Eve.

Color me Beautiful image consultant Mary Hearne warns the impact of a great and expensive outfit or a new hairstyle can be lost if your make up is not right.

“The right make up can be understated and very natural or you can pull out all the stops and create drama for that special occasion like Christmas time.”

If you have built up a good skincare routine you are off to a head start because you will have a perfect canvas upon which to work. However, if you have neglected this area it is never too late to start - you have more than a week to achieve glowing skin in time to ring in the New Year in style.

“During the past 20 years considerable progress has been made in developing a wide range of products that help protect the skin from the elements that slow down the ageing process,” explains the image consultant. “You do not have to spent a lot of money on the products so it important to try and test them as well as getting professional advice. Once you find the best products for your skin type a twice daily routine will ensure a healthy skin removing impurities and keeping it well nourished.|By the time you reach 30 you should have established a good skin routine. You should use exfoliate and apply a treatment mask appropriate to your skin type - dry, oily, sensitive or normal - once a week.”

Flush out toxins

A good work-out will do wonders for dull and lifeless skin, she maintains. “Nothing clears the skin better than what I call Sweat and Glo - a good work-out. Any aerobic activity that gets the heart and blood pumping and the sweat flowing helps to flush out the toxins lurking underneath the skin. Clogged pores and blackheads are purged more easily after a good work out. Immediately after exercise you will look hot, bothered and blotchy. Have a shower, cool down and you will be glowing within 30 minutes.”

If this all sounds like too much hard work try a brisk walk on the prom. But remember to wear sun cream to protect against the strong Atlantic winds and the harmful UVB and the ageing UVA rays. This is important all year round.

Your make-up should be age appropriate so whether you are 14 or 40 dress up your face to suit your age and lifestyle. Young skin can get away with most looks from the natural, well scrubbed look to the dramatic. More mature skin, on the other hand, requires a bit more thought, effort and deft touches to achieve a flawless finish.

Natural skin tone

“Now it’s time for your CTM, cleanse tone and moisturise and on with the make up. Nothing dates women so much as wearing the same make up at 50 as she did when she was 25 - your style of make up and the way you apply it should change as you mature. The younger skin can get away with a light tinted moisturiser while the more mature skin needs a good foundation.

“Always choose the colour nearest to your natural skin tone. You are no longer a teenager so make up with glitter and sparkle should only be worn for parties and then only in moderation. High fashion make up looks are for the catwalk only. When you are 40 to 50 throw away frosted eye shadow and coloured mascaras. And avoid very orangey shades. Don’t overdo the fake tan. If you have not used powder start now to create a more groomed look. Do be careful not to apply too much and blend well because it can collect in and draw attention to fine lines. Use blusher and bronzers to emphasise facial bone structure and add definition to your face, particularly if you are carrying a little extra weight.”

Wearing great make up is one of the easiest ways to maintain a youthful look, according to Mary Hearne. It evens out the telltale signs of ageing but remember less is more.

“Depending on your dominant colouring the chances are that your colouring has got softer and possible cooler. You will need to change your eye shadows and lipstick colours. Avoid orange lipstick and apply your lip pencil to the outer edge of your lips for greater definition. Choose colours with pink and blue undertones and a little touch of gloss for that Christmas look.

Healthy glow

“Don’t forget your blusher. After applying it to your cheekbones add a dab to your chin and nose to give yourself a healthy glow. Apply lightly underneath the chin and on the neck to help camouflage a double chin. Add a touch of highlighter underneath the outer edge of your eyebrows to lift the eyes. An eye base is now essential as it will prevent your lids from looking creased when wearing eye shadow. A lip base will help to prevent lipstick from bleeding and avoid a buttonhole lip. Your beauty routine will now include paying more attention to your eyebrows. As well as shape they may need a little colour added. A well defined eyebrow gives definition to the eyes and face.”

She says whatever your age try to bring out the magic of the festive season by choosing colours which “bring your alive”.

“You may like a particular colour but does it like you? Make sure you are wearing the colour not the colour wearing you. For your best make up concentrate on one aspect, either the lips or eyes not both. Wear bold strong eye shadow colours with eye liner and soft lip colouring or concentrate on a bright red or strong fuchsia pink, some gloss and away you go.”

“One word of advice - don’t get caught up in the anti ageing madness, the cloned young look that pervades our television and fashion magazines. Let common sense prevail - it’s time to be and go the elegant way.”

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