It’s been a long winter, there’s been lockdowns and I’ve got two tots in the house, so make-up hasn’t been high on my agenda and I know I’m not alone. Though I am one of those who gets a real instant lift by applying just a couple of products first thing. It definitely lifts my mood and off-sets the days when it’s nothing but loungewear and sheepskin slippers back-to-back.
When there is the odd five minutes to squeeze something in, a serum, oil or rich moisturiser will always pull rank over foundation and mascara, but with spring around the corner I’m finding myself starting to reach for new season staples. A few I discovered last year and a handful of new hit items I read great things of and recently went on to purchase and love.
Everything here is quick and easy to use and can be applied in the car mirror. (Usually on the school nursery run, if it’s me!) They suit my life as a busy mum of two and often I’ll just pair a couple of them at a time to feel like I can tackle the day head on. That’s been so important for keeping me motivated during the lockdowns.
Sometimes it’s just Glossier Boy Brow and a Nars Afterglow Lip then out the door. Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV and an eyelash curler before popping out to run errands. Here’s a few of the products banishing any winter blues and making me dream of those long, warm, sunny days. You’ll find a run-down of why I rate it and most importantly, why it’s made the cut into my routine with all the time-pressures and crazy happenings that come daily as a mama of two tinies.
16 Spring-Ready Beauty Staples
For fuller, neater brows everyday, Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows in Supermodel is my go-to for a natural look. Apply with a light hand and build up for a darker brow. The wand is by far my favourite of all the brow gels.
I love a highlighter or glow-giver that’s going to brighten on the cheekbones, cupids bow and inner eye corners and this face gloss by Kevyn Aucoin is subtle and luxurious to use. When it comes out of the tube it’s really translucent making it easy to apply – a few taps and it’s blended – perfect on-the-go or in a no-mirror situation. A good one if you like a glassy complexion and the pinky gold hue is pretty special.
I put this velvety primer on after my moisturiser focussing on areas where I get redness during the day – cheeks, nose, chin – and it instantly blurs out red tones, fine lines and imperfections. It’s got a pearly element to it too, meaning you can actually wear it alone some days but I often then go in with a tinted moisturiser on top (I’m not big on full-coverage foundations and would rather build lighter layers).
Not only super pretty, it blends and buffs my tinted moisturiser/BB/CC with ease leaving a flawless finish each time. I use this Zoeva Buffer when at home and have time to buff a base into the skin, otherwise I tend to just use fingers.
A really good brow when I want a fuller, more boyish look for everyday. I find with Boy Brow I can (almost) apply it without too much concentration – it doesn’t leave any obvious clumps or stroke lines – and it’s probably the most natural-yet-impactful bushy brow I’ve found so far. Apply upwards and outwards.
Picked up during lockdown 1 when I ran out of perfume, I’ve always liked the smell of Ouai’s hair range so I knew the blend of bergamot, lemon, rose and amber would be a pretty safe bet when buying without actually being able to smell it! It didn’t disappoint. The packaging looks pretty splendid on my dressing table too.
Like I said, I’m not big on foundations and find the less base/product going on my skin, the better my overall complexion. If I load up on heavy foundations and primers, my skin just freaks out and it’s, hello, clogged pores and an over-production of oil. So it’s light formulas all the way and you just can’t beat Nars Pure Radiant, which is sheer enough to let my moles show through yet able to blur out redness and imperfections with ease. The finish is naturally glowy.
In lieu of my beloved Shu Uemura eyelash curlers – I honestly miss them so much and will never understand why Shu was pulled from the UK market – I’ve found these by Kevyn Aucoin measure up just nicely.
One fluffy brush to sweep a brown/nude/blush eye shadow over the entire socket. Be gone, tired, puffy, mama eyes!
Another multi-tasking glow-giver. I tap this peachy bronze highlighter across cheekbones, eye lids, inner eye corner and cupids brow to look instantly dewy and awake. It’s made with hydrating organic coconut oil and the sort of natural balm you can just pop in your pocket and reapply throughout the day.
The entire range of Afterglow balms is amazing but it’s Torrid I keep reaching for. A nude/peach that gives a my-lips-but-better look but it’s the fact it is a very nourishing balm-like formula that keeps me going back. Dry, winter lips really love this and it’s something I put on before going out on walks, particularly if it’s a very sunny or windy day. It also comes out of face masks with ease when I machine wash them.
One of those fragrances that makes you feel like you’re on holiday all year round. It may be a little too summery for year-long use for some but I love the reminder or sandy shores in the height of winter – that’d be the mix of Tiare flower, coconut, amber and sandalwood. A classic.
Apart from being a delicious, shimmer-free bronzer, I mainly use this as an all-over shadow on the eyes, a tip I stole from beauty journalist Alex Steinherr. It’s got such a lovely warmth that make blue/green eyes pop and it feels beachy in the summer and rich in the winter – all while being very natural.
For the days I know I’ll have prolonged exposure to UV light, so outdoorsy days in the garden, park and beach in the winter. Then, it’s pretty much everyday when it starts to warm up. This is a lovely light sunscreen with a pearly tint that makes my skin look healthy and radiant while doing its SPF 50 shielding.
As a brunette, Huda’s Medium palette is all the earthy, nudes and browns I need in one compact. With the flat shades I pick one and go all over the socket and slightly up onto the brow bone. The shimmery shades are great for just dabbing on inner-corners or below the lower lash line when you fancy a change. I hardly ever build them up seeing as it’s lockdown and my going out entails the school run or supermarket!
(Make up bag by Sezane and scrunchie by Rixo)