One of my favourite books is 'The Shops' by India Knight (actually, I love pretty much everything by India Knight!) and one of my favourite parts of this book is the chapter on make up. She points out that make up is universal...you can feel too Rubenesque to enjoy shopping for clothes, but the very same curvy you can happily slick on a lipstick without worrying does it fit, is it too tight... Also, unless you are shopping at the very high end cosmetic counters, a shopping trip to refresh your makeup bag is going to cost far less than a trip to perk up your wardrobe.
Now I think about it, I am sure I have read an article somewhere about in times of economic hardship, sales of luxury lipsticks in bright colours go up, because they are an affordable luxury and they make us feel better.
I have some friends who never wear makeup, mainly, they say, becuase they never learnt how...some of them feel too shy for red lipstick, and others just don't know what would suit them. Now, a lack of makeup really isn't my problem, as my poor husband will tell you. I have always been a girly girl, and although my 'look' has definitely evolved over the years, I have always been happy to play.
So, if you don't know where to start or don't have much experience, the first thing to do is start a scrapbook. When you are reading a magazine or a newspaper and see someone looking fab, snip out the picture and clip it in. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to have the makeup used listed, but even if you don't, it is a really good way of getting to know what looks you like. Don't feel you have to stick with one look either! At the minimum you will need a 'look' for day time and another for evening. Why not go further and think about work day looks, day looks for when you are not at work, and looks for when you just want to have fun!
Now start experimenting. There are lots of good but cheap makeup companies out there...Collection 2000 springs to mind. This way you can try out colours and techniques and products without being out of pocket if you don't like something or don't get on with it. Then when you know what you do like, you can go to one of the slightly more expensive counters. The counters which have staff can be intimidating, but are a great way to try out products and pick up techniques. Also, they are great because someone else can look at you and suggest colours that you would never normally go for.
Talking of colour....you don't want to look like an 80s throwback (unless that is your thing!!) and my Grandad did always tell my Gran that her green eyeshadow looked like 'two sprouts over her eyes'...but don't be afraid! I firmly believe that there is a shade of red lipstick out there for everybody. I don't wear it every day, but I happily wear it to work, to the shops, for an evening out, and sometimes just to do the washing up in. Red lips are probably my signature look, but anyone can carry it off. If you are new or a bit shy, Tesco do a shade called 'Gypsy' which is kind of sheer, and good for easing your way in gently. But remember...it is only makeup! You can wipe it off, nothing is permanent. So, have fun and look fab! And once you have got home from the shops with your new liquid eyeliner, look on youtube for lots of great tutorials on how to apply it!
The holy trinity of cosmetics for me is foundation, mascara and lipstick. I want skin that looks flawless...my dream is that 'lit from within' glow. The best way I have found is to use a primer, namely Avon's Magic X. It makes your skin velvety smooth, and your foundation sits better and lasts longer (I have used Estee Lauder's Idealist, which is the same kind of thing, and for my money, Avon is cheaper and better!). I have not found 'the one' when it comes to foundation...there are plenty that I have been happy with, but not one that is my foundation for life...yet. Being so pale, it can be a bit of a challenge!
Mascara...for me, it is all about va va va voom and lots of lashes! If I could wear false eyelashes everyday, I would. I even had individual ones glued on when I got married! I love a luxurious mascara that opens up my eyes and gives me plenty to flutter with. Perhaps it is because I wear glasses, and everything needs to stand out a bit more behind the layer of glass. I have not found 'the one' that I will be loyal to for life, but two of the best are Maybelline Colossal Volum (comes in a bright yellow tube) and L'Oreal Double Extension Renewal Serum....and always in black, black, black! I have been disappointed in Diorshow Blackout and Maybelline Great Lash, but have on my list 'Falsies' by Maybelline to try out.
Lipstick...as I have said, I am all about the red, although a nude lipstick or two is always good for when you want the more understated polished look. I usually wear Bare by Boots No 7, but have always wanted to try the lipstick that Nigella is usually pictured wearing. An email or two has procured the information that it is Golden Rose by No 7, so I treated myself to a tube yesterday, and was very pleased indeed. She also wears By Terry Lacque De Rose but that is a lot of pennies, so I will save up for that one! But on to reds....you can't do better than to go to a Mac counter for red lipstick. They will try them on you so you get the right one, and there are so many shades. My favourite is Ruby Woo, although I also flirt with Russian Red. I must have six or seven red lipsticks by other brands too, and although to the untrained eye they may look similar, to me, each one is very different.
While I was on my shopping trip to Boots yesterday to procure the Golden Rose lipstick, I noticed a rather fabulous display. To celebrate their 75th birthday, No 7 have released a 'Decades' collection, each one capturing the look of a decade.
Now how could I resist the 40s look? I went away with the lipstick and gloss to recreate the look (and was given a little box of trial size gifts too) and plan to have a go with it today. I think it will go just perfectly with the black and white domino dress that I won on ebay a week or so ago, a pair of red heels, and perhaps my little top-hat-and-veil fascinator. Now I just need somewhere to wear it to!
What a long post this has been...and I didn't even get on to painting your toenails red! I will leave you with one last thought...whenever I sign a wedding book or a special birthday card now, I always kiss next to my name, and leave my lip print!
Wherever you are, I hope that you are not too chilly this morning, and are off to slick on some lipstick! Have a wonderful day everybody!