Notes for the season

Paring down your make-up bag

The whole point of a make-up bag is that it should act as a kind of security blanket. You hope that the make-up you applied before you left the house (or the car as the case may be ) lasts all day, but if it doesn’t you are prepared for any touch ups with the arsenal in your make-up kit. An over-full or disorganised bag brimming with 20 eye shadows and six lipsticks serves no useful purpose. Lots of items could/should stay at home, like your mascara (which should never be reapplied on top of old mascara ), and your bottle of foundation (all you need is a smart compact for touch ups ).

Start with a gorgeous bag. If you care about the bag you are more inclined to keep it clean and tidy. Brown Thomas has a good one in Marc by Marc Jacobs because you can easily clean it with baby wipes and size-wise it is ideal.

Number one essential for me is a good lip balm. When I’m feeling really decadent it’s Crème De Mer, it’s like rubbing velvet on your lips. Another super, more down to earth option is Elizabeth Arden’s eight hour cream, great for cuticles also.

Next a good compact, in powder or foundation form. I am currently mad about the latest from Bobbi Brown, the Illuminating Finish Powder foundation. It can be used wet or dry and it is ideal for immaculate touch ups. This acts as concealer when in your make-up bag, as opposed to wacking on all over the face if you were in your bathroom all toned and moisturised.

Next I would suggest two lipsticks, a nude and a red. We are always in the mood for one or the other. I like Chanel’s Rouge Allure nude — it’s neutral enough to go with everything but not so nude that you look like you haven’t bothered. For a good universal red, try YSL Rouge Pur, it is saturated in colour that stays true all day.

Next on the list of essentials would be a good bronzer or blush. Alex, top make-up artist with Laura Mercier at Brown Thomas, would say go for blush every time. I’m inclined to agree. The most amazing on counter? Lush Nectarine. It looks good enough to eat. It’s a soft apricot and provides a natural glow of soft colour.

Consider including a good little brow kit, Benefit has one called Brow–Zings, it’s a wax and a powder, water proof, with two little brushes and a mini tweezerman tweezers.

Another great thing to have in your bag is Clarins Fix Make-up. It’s a hydrating spray made with polymers, that ‘fixes’ and refreshes your make-up during the day — it is so revitalising and you look healthy and fresh as opposed to painted and caked.

With regard to your make-up bag, it’s all about remembering you’re touching up, not starting over from scratch.


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