Do any of you watch Antiques Roadshow on BBC One on a Sunday evening? There’s a fiendishly difficult challenge during the programme in which an expert shows us three similar objects and then asks the presenter Fiona Bruce to order them according to ‘Basic, Better and Best’.
The Best being the one which is likely to command the highest price in a sale room. Sometimes the ‘Best’ object is more valuable because of age, sometimes because of rarity, sometimes because of a named creator or designer or maybe because of its provenance.
I have been thinking that the same criteria of ‘Basic, Better, Best’ can apply to skincare and makeup, not for the same reasons that we might use to value rare objects, but for the quality and impact of the end result.
I expect several of you will remember your own grandmother’s Basic, no nonsense approach to skin care. Maybe it consisted of soap, water and a dab of Pond’s Cold Cream. But science and medical knowhow has moved on apace in the past hundred years and we now know that it’s much Better to protect and nourish facial skin so that it looks healthy and glowing. I’m sure that the reason we all look so much younger than our little old grannies is because most of us now understand the importance of the thorough cleansing, moisturisation and nourishment of our skin. Soap is very harsh on the delicate skin of the face, so it’s much Better to use a creamy cleanser washed off with water. I also dislike micellar water and facial wipes except for emergencies. And Better to moisturise using a serum high in hyaluronic acid with a vitamin rich day cream as both will ensure prolonged hydration and skin food. And Best of all? A through and regular skincare regime which provides round the clock protection and repair. My suggestion would be to use a gentle exfoliator a couple of times a week followed by a deeply moisturising face mask. Daily, before bed, remove every scrap of eye makeup and face makeup with cleansers and then apply an emollient but non-greasy night time moisturiser and a special eye cream to the delicate skin around the eyes. In the morning the routine once again is to apply a serum and moisturiser to a clean face. Treat your skin as if it is the very Best most valuable and cherished object in the sale room and I can promise you that you will be rewarded with beautiful, glowing, smooth and healthy looking skin.
What is it about eyebrows as we age? Too bushy, hairy or wiry, too sparse, too fair. So a Basic approach would be to tidy them up with some tweezers and leave well alone for fear of looking ridiculous. If you wear glasses which hide them, then this may be a very good solution. A Better approach would be to add in some definition after you have sorted out the shape. I devised Bring Back Brow Shape to allow you to add subtle colour to the brows and to fill in any gaps to improve the overall shape and length. And Best might be to get some professional help with shaping your eyebrows, a bit like having your hair cut by a professional. Once your brows are neat and tidy then you can add colour and definition every day at home using a spoolie brush to groom them followed by the appropriate amount of Bring Back Brow Shape.
I probably experiment with and change my eye makeup more than any other part of my makeup routine. Some days I take a fairly Basic approach to add just enough definition so that you can at least see that I have eyes in my head! For me that would be some eye primer on the lids (essential to ‘hold’ the eyeshadows in place and to help them look smoother), followed by a ‘wash’ of mid tone shadow (Bluebell, Pewter, Cocoa, Rose Gold) all over my eyelids with a darker line of shadow at the lash line, topped with mascara. Much Better is when I make the effort to use different eye shadows to shape my eyes so that they look bigger and brighter. So, after applying the Smooth Out Eye Prime, I’d probably use the three different eye shadows in one of our Trios Palettes to lighten and darken different areas according to the effect I want to create. Remember that lighter colours make the area more prominent, whilst mid tone colours can be used to create shadows and deepen the socket line. Darkest shadows are better left to the lashline to create definition. And Best of all? Is when I have the time and motivation to go to town on my eyes and think about the occasion and what I’ll be wearing. Eye makeup is all about small, precise application, so the Best way to approach it is with care and attention to detail with a final check in a magnifying mirror to see that your eye makeup looks perfect.
Well, I suppose the most Basic thing you can do to make the skin tone more unified and to brighten up your face, is to apply a tinted moisturiser with a touch of blusher on the cheeks. So many women came into the shop in Wimbledon to ask about our foundation and would admit that they rarely wore one. ‘How much better you’d look if you did!’ I’d often think to myself. Better too to use a combination of foundation and concealer to sort out all those blotchy, patchy, blemish-prone and discoloured areas once you have applied either our Beauty Balm or Continuous Cover Foundation. And Best of all is to think of your face as a rather bland looking and faded canvas that needs to be brought to glowing life. First apply Smooth Like Silk Face Prime so that the paint will ‘stick’ and look smoother, then correct the skin tone with foundation and concealer. If you’re a bit pale then a light touch of Enduring Summer Bronze will add a nice subtle warmth. Now add some lovely luminescence at the top of the cheeks and brow bones with Instant Bright Highlighter and finish with some Radiance Blush which will bring your whole face to life. In an art gallery the canvas of your face would now stand comparison with a rare and valuable Rembrandt, Rubens or Vermeer!
Pretty Basic would be a dab of light pink lipstick! What is it about lipstick and older women? Is it the fear of looking like a trollope? Is it because as teenagers our strict dads would tell us to ‘wipe that muck off your face’ before we went out, but we might be able to sneak out wearing a bit of very pale lippie? Yet, how much Better do older faces look with a great lip colour on them? For me the whole point of makeup as we age is restoration - of features, of colour and of definition. Young faces need so little because they still have oodles of all three. So the final and Best way to bring an older face to life is to balance the definition and colour you have created with your eye makeup and cheek colour, by applying a beautiful lip colour! It’s also Best to stop the colour ‘bleeding’ with Never Feather Lip Prime with a lip primer and maybe add a touch of Gorgeous Gloss Lip Shine for extra fabulousness!
I am currently loving the ‘Beauty Blogger’ Challenge we are running on Tricia’s Super Troopers until the end of this month. You are showing in your short videos just how much Better you all look and feel by using one or two of your favourite LFF products. With lockdowns happening or looming it’s all too easy to take a very Basic approach to self care and make next to no effort. How much Better to keep your spirits and morale up by making a daily effort to look your very Best so that you feel able to face whatever craziness is happening around us!
And this week to lift your spirits we have two unmissable events:
Join us on Tuesday 27th at 4pm in a live Zoom session when I will be talking with Robin Eliis (the original Poldark) about his life as an actor and as a cookery writer specialising in healthy food for diabetics. Teatime with Tricia, Robin Ellis: Day: Tuesday 27th October Time: 4pm Link:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88579867747?pwd=WGM3aU5ZM0ViU0NmNDhhZ1hLOCt6Zz09 Meeting ID (if needed): 885 7986 7747 Password (if needed): LOOKFAB