True story: An acquaintance of mine, let’s call her Mary, gave her friend a lift to the high street a couple of miles away. On the way back home, her car broke down. Without her phone or purse, Mary walked to her local branch of Barclays and asked to use their phone to call the RAC. She then had to wait by the side of the road for the breakdown truck to arrive.
Why am I telling you this?
Because she was wearing her threadbare dressing gown and shabby slippers. She hadn’t planned to get out of the car – she intended to be out for only a couple of minutes.
Makeup is my armour
I feel a little like that without makeup. What if my car breaks down? What if I bump into someone I haven’t seen for years? What if there’s a camera crew doing vox pops in town? I’ve always wanted to be on telly, but not without my makeup on!
Makeup is my armour. It gives me an instant confidence boost. When I’m feeling low, or a little under the weather, I slap on a bit of makeup and instantly feel better.
It seems I am not alone. Researchers from Harvard Medical School studied 186 undergraduate students and observed that makeup increases subjects’ feelings of self-esteem, giving them a more positive attitude and making them happier.
I am, however, too lazy to put much effort into my morning makeup routine. I’ve made a series of five minute makeup videos for Instagram (to the Benny Hill theme tune), just to prove how quickly this pick-me-up can be achieved.
Stuck in a makeup rut
I’ve been stuck in a makeup rut for years. Liquid foundation, a bit of blush, neutral lips, and barely-there mascara are all I can muster day to day. The overall look is matte and flat, but gives me enough confidence to take on the day.
Date nights and weekends might see me adding a fine line above my top lashes and a sweep of eyeshadow.
Summer is an opportunity for a refresh, to upgrade my makeup palette. The matte look is fine for winter, but summer demands something fresher and lighter.
Summer makeup trends
The festival look – one of the key trends for this season – is all well and good if you’re either:
A: under twenty-five years old
B: actually going to a festival
This is what I mean:
It’s all bold colours, neon and glitter. Now if this is your sort of thing, knock yourself out. Boots has, quite literally, got you covered. And if you’re festival-bound, please don’t forget the perfume.
If you’re a midlifer like me, you might be better off with the other trends this season has to offer: namely dewey skin to show off your freckles, neutral eye shadows and bold lipsticks.
Neutral skin, bold lips
I chose five makeup products which I’d never used before, from well known brands all sold by Boots. The look I’ve created uses a barely there tinted moisturiser – Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturiser in Sand, to give me a hint of colour and a glowy finish. The idea is to look fresh faced rather than flawless.
The eyes have it
Too Faced’s Natural Eye Shadow Palette offers tones of nude and beige, with a shimmer. Using my finger rather than a brush, I start with the lightest colour close to the lashes, and apply it most heavily in the centre. Honey Pot is the colour on the inner corner, which has a bit of sparkle. Push Up is the darker colour on the outside of the lid to make my eyes look larger.
Along my bottom lashes I’ve brushed a thin line of Chocolate Martini. I’ve replaced my usual black mascara with No 7 Extreme Length Waterproof Mascara in Brown, for a softer effect.
Bold lips add a bit of va-va-voom. I’ve layered No 7 Match Made Moisture Drench Lipstick in Ginger Rose – a lovely rich coral colour – with Smashbox’s Gloss Angeles in Hustle & Glow, which on its own has a shimmery bronze hue.
The sun was going in and out as I was taking these photos, hence the slightly different skin tones in each shot. Plus it’s seriously difficult taking my own photos close up when I usually wear glasses. I had no idea if any of them were in focus!
Here’s the overall look:
This is a different look for me. It’s much bolder than usual. A bit over the top for the RAC man, but just right for a spontaneous appearance on telly.
Do you change up your makeup routine for summer? What are your top summer products and which of these would you like to try? Perhaps you’re brave enough to go for the neon glitter look? Let me know in the comments below.
Much love, Vx.
[Disclosure: this post is an advertised collaboration with Boots, but all thoughts are my own.]