Never sure which lippy or foundation to choose? Then follow our guide to picking the right cosmetics for you.
We’re all having a bit of trouble finding The One, it seems – it’s estimated 94 per cent of us are wearing the wrong foundation shade.* Talk about a beauty boo-boo! But it doesn’t have to be that way, oh no. Read on for all the know-how you need to pinpoint your foolproof foundation, pout-perfect lippy, eye-ssential liner and best-buy blusher – and then apply them expertly for a perfectly pretty look. It’s time for a summer beauty bag makeover…
The test Take a foundation that’s worked for you before to the beauty counter to give you and the shop assistant a starting point. Avoid putting testers all over your face – unless the bottle’s been opened in front of you, presume it’s full of bacteria, which can cause blemishes. Instead, test under your chin as this is the best match to your skin tone. Leave the shop to check the shade in a compact as artificial light can alter colours – it shouldn’t look darker than your skin.
The kit If you have fair skin that burns easily, you probably have pink undertones, so look for the words “beige” or “ecru” in shades. Avoid foundations that are too pink, though, as they can be ageing. For super-pale skin, try Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation, £21.50, as this starts at Pure White. Medium, olive and dark skins have more golden or yellow tones, so suit buff or tan shades – Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H, £27, has a great selection for dark skin. For oily skin, mineral-based products are best – try Bare Minerals Matte SPF15 Foundation, £25 (1). Get normal-to-dry skin glowing with a luminous-finish foundation – new YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation, £28 (2), uses the stellar concealer’s technology.
The tip “Never use foundation to warm up the skin – it will end up looking like a mask,” says Avon make-up artist Liz Pugh. “Instead, add warmth with blusher afterwards.”
The test For a true-to-lip colour, the pads of your fingertips are the most similar to your pout
in terms of colour and texture. Apply colour and then raise your finger to your mouth to see how it will look on your lips.
The kit If you have pink undertones to your skin, choose blue-based reds like cherry or pinky shades. L’Oréal Color Riche Made For Me Intense Lip Shade in Punchy Pink, £8.19 (3), is the perfect pout mate for a fair-skin statement lip. Wear orange or a true red if you have olive or yellow undertones – we heart Barry M Lip Paint in Pillar Box Red, £4.49.
The tip “It’s not just a case of picking your favourite colour when it comes to lippy,” says Rimmel London make-up artist Kirstin Piggott. “It’s really important to select a colour to suit your skin tone, or you risk washing the colour out of your face. Stop testing lippies on the back of your hand. The skin here will have had a lot of sun exposure and has a different undertone to the skin on the lips.”
The test Try a new blusher on the inside of your arm. This is where your palest skin is so you’ll get the best indication of your natural tone. If the colour is clown-like here it will be even worse on your face. To make sure it doesn’t look fake, test it over a freckle or mole – if it covers the mark it’s too dark. Pink-toned ladies should pick rose colours, while olive and yellow tones suit brown-based hues.
The kit Powder blush works best on oily skin – though beware as it can emphasise wrinkles. For a pretty, pink powder that complements most tones, try Nars Blush in Orgasm, £21. Cream formulas look best on older or dry skin but oily-skin types beware, as it may slip off. Topshop Blush in Prime Time, £6, is a creamy product that gives a gym-fresh look. Mac is a great one-stop shop for all skin types – there are more than 50 shades in their Powder Blush range, £17.50 each – we especially like Dollymix (4).
The tip “For a natural look, use a blusher that mimics the colour your cheeks flush after exercise,” says X Factor make-up artist Adam Burrell. “Then build up the blusher gradually from the apples of the cheeks.”
The test First, decide what look you want. Kohl can be worn on the inside rim of your eyes and smudges easily for a softer finish. Gel or liquid liners allow you to draw a precise, fashion-forward line. To test whether it will last, draw on the back of your hand, leave for five seconds then rub. If it smudges, it won’t wear well.
The kit Open small eyes with Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner, £16.50. Hold your upper lashes down and, with a small brush, apply along the lash line. Benefit’s Bad Gal waterproof Eye Pencil in Espresso, £14 (5), is softer than black but will boost brown eyes. Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Golden Fawn, £6, will add sparkle to blue eyes.
The tip “Black liner can look severe,” says Cheryl Cole’s make-up artist Lisa Laudat. “Use a brown liner, and sweep bronzer over the lid to make your eyes look bigger. A thinner line will help eyes to appear larger – use L’Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim, £6.99, (6).”