How will our approach to beauty change once the pause button is released? Will we continue our enforced liberation, and swerve a full face of make-up and relentless regime of hair dyeing, having realised that no one really cares either way? We’re getting used to seeing less make-up: the girls on TikTok are (according to my teenager) championing a natural beauty look and even famous faces are wearing less – it can feel a little OTT to be wearing a full face of contour and false lashes within your own four walls (see Jennifer Lopez, lit by 1,000 candles, for reference). I am absolutely loving seeing the wonderful Mary Greenwell, legendary make-up artist, put on her own face via Insta Live, and discuss the pros of wearing less foundation (just to even your skintone, not cover your face).
On the other hand, sales of perfume are up, as people seek small moments of joy – little treats that give you a lift but are not baked goods. In these strange days, even just showering and washing your hair makes you feel more yourself, as my teenagers admit. I’m not alone in finding a favourite lipstick or perfume a tonic on grey days. A 90-year-old lady I know was given a home hair rinse by her hairdresser granddaughter, to see her through the lockdown period. Though she is seeing no one, she was telling me she had put on the hair rinse the other day, and some face cream too. “It just gives you a lift, doesn’t it?” she said. And that’s simply what it’s about. Whatever gives you a lift, whether that’s a few key favourites, or a rush back into full-tilt glitter and peacock colours. I think we could be looking at an autumn of the brightest and most decadent beauty, to celebrate the sheer joy of being able to go out, let alone OUT out.
Here are some bright beauty moments on the near horizon – launches coming our way this summer that could be a way to brighten up, even on a small level.
1 Chanel Les Beiges Summer of Glow collection was due to launch end of May but will now arrive in June or July (to be confirmed). Yes, we would like our summer designed by Chanel … although at this stage we will take any summer at all. Designed to create a sunkissed healthy look, the collection seeks to capture a Riviera summer with fluids, creams and powders. Our picks? The Les Beiges Illuminating Fluid is a glamorous way of highlighting skin and making it gleam: though I’m not big on highlighter normally, I love the way the Pearly Glow (there’s a warmer shade of it too, Sunkissed) makes your skin gleam with health without looking at all “strobed” or harshly metallic. Meanwhile, the healthy Glow Bronzing Cream is a buff-on cream-powder that makes you look like you spent the weekend in Cannes; wear it on Zoom and people will think you’ve caught the sun. There’s a tinted lip balm too (pictured above) plus bright shots of colour for nails – a zingy orange and a pinky red; for eyes, there are warm dusty coral and sand shades.
I have always loved the Les Beiges powders as they’re the most subtle skin-warmers. They’re lighter and more natural-looking than so many muddy dark ones; if you’re going to wear bronzer, avoid ones that are too dark for your skintone – they just make your skin look weirdly grubby. I’ve used the Les Beiges Healthy Glow powder since it first launched in 2013 and have never found a more natural-looking bronzing powder (it comes without SPF now, although the SPF version was brilliant, a real one-stop product – just sweep skin with it and go). And this summer’s version has a bit of a golden glimmer, which our too-long-indoors skin could certainly do with. I’m just a little sad that they haven’t brought back the fabulous Eau de Teint Water-Fresh Tint which launched this time last year – an incredibly light veil of colour in a really liquid formula. It sold out instantly, showing that maybe we do want to lighten up on our foundation after all.
2 Clarins has some bright sparks on the way for summer: the Sunkissed Summer collection is awash with juicy colours, from bright mandarin Twist to Glow powders for eyes and cheeks, to a bright cherry Lip Twist Duo – a lip stain, that looks like a felt-tip pen, with balm on the other end. I haven’t tried them out yet, but they have an appealing child’s play look, like the brightest stationary for a new school term. They’ve been designed to be easy to use and neat for travelling with – which may not be something we require right now but still, they look very cheering. From €18, due to launch at the end of May, www.clarins.ie
3 The Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Collection 2020 features this Elizabeth Scarlett-designed make-up bag containing Pot Rouge, Vitamin-Enriched Face Base and Smokey Eye Mascara. It’s €74, and the full RRP (less VAT) will be donated to Dress for Success Dublin. So it’s uplifting for lots of reasons. This kit is all you need for a quick and easy natural look – the versatile Pot Rouge in Powder Pink can work for lips, cheeks and even eyes (though to be honest, I can’t get on with this idea of pink colours on the eyes, much as I’d like to – every time I try it I look like I have an eye infection. It may be fashionable, but proceed with caution). At Brown Thomas and counters nationwide.
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