Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
Q I have several powder blushers but they are a bit dry looking on my skin and sometimes show up fine lines. Do you know of one that looks dewy? Or should I try cream blush? I have found them a bit tricky to apply but perhaps you can give some tips?
A First thing is to make sure your skin is sufficiently hydrated before you apply make up. Two suggestions here: try an HA (hyaluronic acid) serum to plump skin under your moisturiser then a primer over it to create an even surface. We really rate Balance Me Tri-Molecular Hyaluronic Serum, £30 for 30ml, which contains different weights of HA so it can penetrate more deeply. Primerwise, we’re keen on the new Elemis Pro-Collagen Insta-Smooth Primer, £58, which helps to smooth out fine lines and also disguises open pores. (Bit of a revelation this product. Make up stays looking fab from dawn to dark or you can leave your face bare of foundation but somehow more polished looking.)
There are some great powder blushers, including the affordable E.l.f.Luminous Blush range, in four shades, £7.50. Our testers liked Inika Baked Blush Duo, £33, ‘as it doesn’t have a powder feel to the product and is more moisturising [than my current one] so looks better on my skin’. £33, in Pink Tickle and Burnt Peach duos, with two shades in each compact.
Jenny Jordan says the trick with powder blush is to tap the blush brush on the surface of the compact and then tap and dab it on your cheeks before you blend out the colour thoroughly. (Jenny’s own specially designed no. 45 blush brush, £20, is firm enough to tap etc but feels very soft. Order from salon, tel: 020 7483 2222, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
But, as the years pass, we are increasingly using cream or gel blushers, which are applied with fingers, give a lovely soft natural look and can easily be retouched. Actually, the Joint Gold Award winner in our latest Cream Blusher trials was a gel-cream formulation, which also contains blurring powder pigments. So a tube of Glossier Cloud Paint, £15, combines the lot! These products often don’t stay the day but the other Gold Award winner was Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm, £20, which is not only goof-proof to apply and natural-looking but also lasts well, according to our testers.
Now on to gels! We’re raving about – and wearing ourselves – Chantecaille Aqua Blush, which gives the most flattering just-been-kissed flush. It comes in a pretty little bonbon pot and all you do is stroke the dome of the blush up your cheekbone, blend – et voilà. It lasts pretty well but it’s such a doddle to pop in your make up bag and reapply that retouching is not an issue. £38 in three shades – our favourite is Marigold, a light warm coral.
For a real Beauty Steal gel blush, head to the Rimmel counter in Boots or Superdrug and have a play with water-based Jelly Blush. It’s £7.99 and boasts a ‘bouncy formula’ – we’re not quite certain what they mean by that but, as Jenny Jordan says, ‘Jelly Blush is brilliant and very easy to blend’. Rimmel claims it’s long-lasting but we found it did need reapplying – though again that’s the work of seconds. In four shades, our go-to is Melon Madness!
Beauty Bible loves… Ubiety, from £7-34.
Ubeity doesn’t just smell good. It doesn’t just look good. It actually does good, too, with all profits going to support the West Country’s Dorothy House Hospice Care.
The name means ‘being grounded in one definitive space’. If that’s a bit difficult to get your head round, we take it to mean ‘be here now’, and sure enough the formulations have been developed specifically to be grounding, calming and empowering, taking their inspiration from ‘wild woodlands and their energy’. And we’re certainly finding the whole collection wonderfully Zen.
Ubeity doesn’t just smell good. It doesn’t just look good. It actually does good, too, with all profits going to support the West Country’s Dorothy House Hospice Care
The debut collection features hand wash and lotion, facial mist, body salve, lip balm and a wonderful essential oil-fragranced candle. (More to come, we’re told.) The scents are most beguiling, focused around ingredients like lavender, frankincense, clementine, spearmint, neroli – and in the case of the candle, cedar wood, sage and ylang ylang.
They have been created by Wells-based Arcania Apothecary, Limelight Bath Ltd. (who created the essential oil blends) and Bath’s Supple Studio, who designed the gorgeous packaging.
We’ve seen a lot of ‘worthy’, fund-raising/charity-focused ranges in our time, and have always felt that unless the smells are great and the textures good (as good as what we’re already buying, actually), they’re never going to succeed in raising money – no matter how great the cause.
But this is all-round, feel-good fabulousness. Just ‘buy here now’ – and prepare to be here, now.