I’m looking to replace my tinted moisturiser – I have been using the Khiel’s Ultra Facial one for years but it’s now been discontinued – so any recommendations you have would be very much appreciated! The Laura Mercier option seems to crop up everywhere – unless you think a BB cream is better? – Olga
The difference between tinted moisturisers and BB creams is pretty minimal. BB creams are supposed to have more benefits, and you won’t find any without SPF, but for all intents and purposes it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to find the texture and coverage level that works for you – whether that be a BB cream or a tinted moisturiser. Don’t let these names fool you – a tinted moisturiser is just a very light, sheer foundation. The formula has to be able to suspend pigment, so it will necessarily be different to a traditional moisturiser.
The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser SPF 20 probably keeps popping up because it really is rather good. As a basic, everyday sort of formula, it wears the crown. The coverage level is rather sheer, like your Kiehl’s one, it is very buildable and works well under concealer, and hydrates the skin nicely. There are three versions – regular, oil-free, or luminizing, all with a good shade range, so you will undoubtedly find a great shade in the right texture for you.
If you have particularly dry skin, I personally love the Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm. It is really does impact the skin, to make it look and feel more hydrated. You don’t need to use very much, and you have to blend it in well, but it looks natural, lived-in, and even-toned when you are done. It’s certainly one of the closest examples I’ve found of a true moisturiser that also happens to be tinted (The Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream SPF 20 is absolutely exceptional, but costs an arm and a leg, unfortunately).
As the Kiehl’s discontinued formula was quite sheer and felt barely there, I might also suggest one of the BB creams from the Korean brand Dr. Jart ++. The formulas use interesting Japanese silicone resins (don’t worry – they won’t block any pores) to both provide innovative textures and release water droplets onto the skin as you apply the makeup, so your skin is very hydrated and natural-looking. Either the Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++ or the Water Fuse Smart Gel BB would be good (the Gel one has a slightly lower coverage level, but has a super cool reconstituting jelly texture).
I would like to know how to best apply under-eye makeup, because I suck at it. – Mabyn
First of all, make sure that the area is very well hydrated. The skin around your eyes is extremely thin, and susceptible to dryness. If you can, apply eye cream, then wait a few minutes for it to sink in before applying makeup. If you are not worried about dryness, but would still like to prevent it, use a lighter eye serum instead. I usually apply moisturiser and eye cream as soon as I am out of the shower, so that the moisture in the skin has no chance to escape, then only apply makeup a bit later, once everything is absorbed.
The next important thing to remember is shade. Contrary to what we are all constantly told, your under-eye concealer should not be lighter than your natural skin tone. While it is true that the eye area is lighter than other areas of your face, so you will need to use a different concealer than the one that you use around your nose, the shade you apply should totally match the skin under your eyes. Try plenty of them out in the shop, and don’t be nervous about sales assistants hovering. Make sure that it completely disappears, colour-wise. If you can’t find an exact shade, try a mix-it-yourself solution of two shades in one compact, such as Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Concealing Duo, or RMK Super Basic Concealing Pact.
Next up, coverage. Depending on how much you need, just remember this (very broad) guide: pots have the most coverage, then sticks, then liquids. Obviously there are exceptions but for the most part this holds true.
Lastly, technique. Again contrary to what we are all taught to do, you don’t want to dot concealer in a ring underneath and then smear it on. Much better if you use a fine concealer brush (Lancome’s Brush #8 is terrific) to gently brush the concealer onto the skin, from corner to corner of your eye, leading down to a triangle with its point slightly towards the side of your nose. Next, take your ring finger, which is least powerful of all of them, and just gently dab and pat the concealer into the skin until it looks natural. Never smear – not good for those wrinkles. It might take a bit longer, but will look much more natural and last longer this way. Finally, then take a completely translucent or slightly aluminising powder with a fluffy brush, and lightly dust it over the concealer to hold it into place. Make sure the powder is invisible or light enough – I once made the mistake of using my regular face setting powder under my eyes, and was shocked how dark it looked – I looked like a bloodhound who had just been punched. The RMK concealer I mentioned above has a very good powder contained within, but there are lots of options for this out there.
Much requested mascara section:
Best high street mascara? – Molly
I’m partial to the Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara – huge brush, doesn’t clump, not too wet or too dry, and lengthens as well as volumizes.
All time favourite luxury mascara? – Molly
I can’t. I just can’t. I will have to give you three. It would be ten but I am learning restraint. It’s not that I prefer luxury mascaras to high street ones, it’s just that they are often more technically exciting, and as a product nerd I can’t help myself. So, those three are:
- Burberry Beauty Effortless Mascara. Super. Amazing. Can’t get enough. I actually repeat buy this mascara, in the Midnight Blonde shade, which is rather remarkable since I am not very loyal with mascaras. I raved and raved here.
- Dior Diorshow Mascara. The classic.
- Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara. A somewhat under-the-radar gem, this mascara has a truly devoted following – it manages to be soft and pretty while making you look like you have a hundred million squillion lashes. I would wear it every day, if only I could find it in Hong Kong.
Best waterproof mascara for those vain days on group holidays…? – Emily
Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara. This tiny little bottle with a tiny little brush works amazingly as a waterproof solution for all your lashes, perhaps because the tiny brush prevents the clumps and spideriness usual from waterproof mascaras. Regardless, it looks wonderful and stays and stays until you use an oil-based makeup remover.
I have a rookie make-up question. I like the idea of lipsticks and would very much like to be a person who wears lipstick, even if only occasionally…but I feel like every time I try them out I end up looking clownish. What do you think? Is it important to wear lipstick or can I just stick to lip gloss and be done with it? And either way, should I focus on colour or type or what should I look for to find a lipstick/gloss that suits me? Please help, I am useless. – MRTD
It most definitely isn’t important to wear lipstick! Wear whatever you like – if you like lipgloss (or nothing)! But I agree, the idea of lipsticks is very appealing. If you want to see if you like it, you don’t need to jump straight in to the deep end of the pool. Lipstick formulas have progressed so much in the last few years, and there are countless options out there now which feel as soft as gloss, even without the stickiness. Start off with a less intimidating, or clownish, option, and see if you use it more than lipgloss. Choose a sheer, gloss-like stick, in a soft flattering shade, and try it for a while!
I would suggest trying the Almost Lipstick from Clinique in Black Honey, as a way to try noticeable colour in a shade that is universally flattering. Alternatively, the options of Volupté Sheer Candy (which smells heavenly) from YSL, Color Whisper from Maybelline, or Rouge Coco Shine from Chanel, in a flattering, not too bright shade. See if you like it! Then you can start moving towards the deep end of high intensity lipsticks.
Sorry for the walls of text! I take it all very seriously. More most answerous posts, all about skincare, blush and more on their way…