My inbox is full of festival beauty guides right now, none of them very convincing.
Either they’re incredibly complicated (one advocating ‘understated’ glamour proposes two dermatology kits, legions of hair products, and having one’s brows and lips permanently tattooed), or they are of the rainbows and unicorns ‘dye your hair blue, apply nipple tassels and party on’ ilk.
Not wanting to stereotype you, beloved reader, but I’m guessing any summer festivals you have lined up are more likely to be of the literary, garden or dog-based variety than grotting about in the mud.
Either way, in mid-life, the aim will be less marauding flower-child than looking human — fast — from an easily portable kit, plus the odd element of pure joy.
On actual hols, I crave beauty indulgences that turn a trip into a holiday. However, for a quick jaunt, I travel light with mini flacons of any micellar water, face oil and multi-purpose balm.
Hannah’s favourite Bioré UV Aqua Water Essence Sunscreen SPF50 (£15.99, superdrug.com) inspired Superdrug’s biggest ever waiting list when it launched in April
Sunscreen is a must, of course. I’m enamoured of Bioré UV Aqua Water Essence Sunscreen SPF50 (£15.99, superdrug.com). It inspired Superdrug’s biggest ever waiting list at its April launch. It’s oil-free, invisible and inexpensive enough to apply liberally on face, neck and hands.
You’ll want to keep things minimal and multi-tasking, what I call ‘tricks and sticks’. For my opening trick, foundation-wise, might I recommend the bijou pots that are NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (£26, narscosmetics.co.uk) and Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer (£34.80, cultbeauty.co.uk).
I’d use the first if I were aiming at no-make-up make‑up — a soft, matte, blurring concealer that fans out into the subtlest of bases. The Aucoin gives a more resplendently radiant glow.
Blend in with my brush obsession: Katherine Daniels Foundation & Concealer Brush (£25, katherine danielscosmetics.com).
If contour sounds too try-hard for beauty-on-tour, then you are yet to encounter the Victoria Beckham Contour Stylus (£32, victoriabeckhambeauty.com).
Our perma-on-the-move heroine was frustrated by the chunky contouring sticks other brands were touting — hopeless for a nose and crass on a cheekbone.
Instead, her four pocket pens offer a subtle, flattering stroke. They’re first rate — lending instant bone structure to puffy features, while also wieldable as a neutral eyeshadow.
If I add her unbudging BabyBlade Brow Pencil (£30), then Instant Brightening Waterline Pencil (£24) to open up the lower inner eyelids, I’m almost recognisable in a few quick strokes. I say, almost, because even I don’t know who I am sans blush. I’m delighted by the budget brilliance of Studio London Flaunt Flawless Cream Blush (£4, superdrug.com).
I fell for the pinkly pretty Embrace and the purplish Captivate. However, warmer complexions will favour tawny Inspire, coral Passion, or orangey Empower.
I can’t go anywhere without Jones Road Lip And Cheek Stick (£34), the ultimate, multipurpose colour stick that comes in eight shades. And I always have a Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder compact (£38, charlotte.tilbury.com) for setting purposes.
You’ll know what your own additions should be. For some, waterproof mascara will be non-negotiable; for others, a dark eye pencil. I’ll also throw in a lip pencil, a fat brush for lips and highlighter because, after 40, every nuance helps.
In a hair crisis, one can always use moisturiser as a defrizzing/shaping cream. However, a 30g can of Batiste Original Dry Shampoo (£2.44, boots.com) is irreplaceable when one feels travel-soiled. Ditto my beloved Dr Bronner’s Lavender Hand Hygiene Spray (£5.49, shop.drbronner.co.uk).
Allow yourself at least one fabulous festival flourish, sported with the requisite insouciance. It might be a glitter eyeshadow — a single MAC Dazzleshadow (£18.50, maccosmetics.co.uk), say, or a quad such as Revolution Artist Collection Glitter Balm Palette (£6, asos.com).
Or create a sensationally succulent lip by way of Fenty Beauty Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain (£19, boots.com). In Rihanna’s Berry Banger, I am officially ready to rock — even if that’s only within a rock garden.
RACE YOU TO IT!
The Gen Z skin sensation Glow Hub The Scar Slayer Facial Serum (£14 for 30ml, glowhub.com) has sold out five times since its launch. Now it’s back in stock alongside an entire vitamin C‑based Slayer range, including a gel cleanser (£14), moisturiser (£14) and jelly eye serum (£11). Acne scarring and dark blotches begone!
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Golda Rosheuvel, 53, plays Queen Charlotte in historical fiction-romance series Bridgerton on Netflix
The stylish 53-year-old plays Queen Charlotte in Netflix series Bridgerton.
Her colourful wigs are so heavy she is fitted with a neck brace, and has her lips matched to their sorbet shades using Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick (£36, patmcgrath.com).
Finally, she sports an apricot-pink blush, on top of sheer layers of Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation (£62).
A sensationally uplifting turquoise for cool or warm skins.
A crazed coral with a shine, this looks incredible with a tan.
The hottest of hot pinks — a real Parisian fuchsia.
A fast-drying lemon that smacks of pure summer.
A jaunty, bluebell-purple to lift dull days.
I’ve never got to grips with Penhaligon’s: scents sold via tall tales about characters that merely confuse, while even the 120-year-old Blenheim Bouquet is billed in ‘by Jove!’ terms.
Still, I’ve found myself turning to Penhaligon’s The World According To Arthur Eau de Parfum (£220 for 75ml) more and more of late. Launched in 2021, for all its fearsome dragon cap, it’s a discreetly enveloping, woody amber.
Its top notes comprise incense, vanilla and grapefruit; its middle, musky ambrette and clary sage; its base, more incense, plus the warmth of tonka bean.