Bandbox Fresh Makeup
Pride is apparently the deadliest of all seven of the deadly sins. That’s a shame because I want to tell you this week about how proud I am of the makeup we produce for you at Look Fabulous Forever. Last weekend I had one of those days which tests the limits of what makeup can do to help you to look your best. It was Saturday and my last day on a week’s family holiday in Greece. Temperatures were in the mid 30ºs and, having applied my usual makeup at around 9 am, I decided to spend the morning reading on the beach. After lunch I spent the afternoon preparing to vacate my room at 5pm for a departure later to the airport after dinner at 8.30pm. It all looked very promising at the airport for a getaway on time at 11pm (Greek time is two hours ahead of the UK).
Then the curse of all current air travel struck when our pilot announced that we had to spend an hour and a half waiting in the plane because of staff shortages at air traffic control, Gatwick.
I had a great book and settled down to wile away the long wait to take off and the subsequent flight time. We eventually landed at 1.30 am UK time. Then the taxi firm I’d booked called to say that they couldn’t now meet my delayed plane. Long story short, after giving him a piece of my mind, he said he’d send someone to pick me up at 2.30am. I eventually walked into my flat at 3.30am which was 20 hours after I had applied my makeup. And this is where the pride comes in. I looked in the mirror and my makeup still looked immaculate. I very nearly took a photograph but decided that you’d believe me because you may yourself have experienced the incredible durability of our makeup. Despite the heat, the stress of travel, the extreme weariness of a long and frustrating journey, my makeup looked as fresh as it had when I first applied it. And here’s why that is.
I am 74 years old. My skin is fundamentally different from that of someone thirty or forty years younger than me. The ‘scaffolding’ of the dermis, the layer underneath the outer visible layer (epidermis) has lost much collagen and elastin and oestrogen which would have once plumped and smoothed it. It feels soft and ‘pillowy’ when I touch it, and I can see visible discoloration in the form of blue smudges under my eyes with some patchiness in the skin tone and various blemishes and age spots. Clearly I need makeup which knows how to work with my face as it is now, not makeup which assumes that I have the clear, smooth, even toned skin of a woman who hasn’t yet gone through the menopause.
My LFF makeup still looked fresh after long travel hours to and from Greece (I'm pictured here with my granddaughter India)
Some women panicked by all the changes I have mentioned will resort to dermal fillers to ‘plump’ the dermis artificially and Botox to freeze the nerves so the facial muscles can’t move and show the wrinkles. Advocates tend to say of such interventions ‘they make me look brighter, fresher and less tired’. Well, in my opinion, they also make the face look strangely weird! My solution has been to ask what really helps ageing skin to feel and look its best and create a skincare range with all those very best ingredients. I am sure that my makeup looked so good for so long partly because it has been applied over well-nourished and well-hydrated skin. The hydration came from the high levels of hyaluronic acid in our Hydration Hold Serum and the nourishment came from the vitamins and peptides in our wonderful Smooth the Day Face Cream. Also, after a week of holiday, I was very rested and refreshed by my break and my skin would have benefitted from that too.
Enduring Face Makeup
Having prepared the canvas of the skin in the best possible way and applied our wonderful Smooth Like Silk face primer, I now need something to bring evenness, colour and coherence to the skin of my face. Get this right and your eye makeup and lipstick will ‘read’ better to create a balanced finished effect. I can never understand older women who say ‘I never wear foundation’ which is akin to saying ‘I never wear a bra’! Good foundation, like a good bra, makes everything you put on top look loads better.
Spend time on application and use a magnifying mirror to check that your ‘base’ is smoothed evenly, especially at your hairline and jawline where it should disappear seamlessly. In the summer I use one pump of our Continuous Cover Foundation and two pumps of our Light Look Beauty Balm blended with a brush. This looks light and fresh but it still covers my blotchy, patchy skin to perfection. I then smooth my base using the warmth of my fingers to ‘push’ it into the epidermis. And finally I take our big fat powder brush and ‘polish’ my skin with a light touch of translucent powder. In the summer I follow this with a sweep of Enduring Summer Bronze which gives me a lovely sun-kissed look which matches my tanned neck and decolletage.
With the help of primers my face makeup stayed in place all day - despite the Grecian heat! (I'm pictured here with my daughter Suzy and my 3 granddaughters)
Unmessy Eye Makeup
The challenge of having eye makeup stay put and look good over long hours is considerable, especially in high temperatures. The key product to achieve this is LFF Smooth Out Eye Prime applied evenly over the eyelids. I just took our Cool Blues Palette with me on holiday so I used this on Saturday morning with a sweep of Bluebell over my lids with Midnight Blue along my lashline. Black mascara and my usual Brown Brow Shape brought the right level of colour and definition to frame my eyes. And I am proud to say that all of this was still perfectly in place when I removed it all 20 hours later.
Long Lasting Lipstick
This was really easy! I took my trusty Soft Plum Long Lasting Lippie with me to Greece. Whilst on holiday, I alternated between this and Fuschia which I love with a tan and summer clothes, but knew that the Soft Plum, admittedly refreshed a couple of times, would still be firmly in place at the end of my journey home. As always I applied Never Feather Lip Primer just once when I applied all my makeup at about 9am, and this ensured that my lipstick stayed sharp and clean despite the fact that I had eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner and various snacks and drunk at least 2 litres of water!
Made in the UK
And finally I really love the fact that, unlike most of the big brands, all our makeup is made in the UK. I found our wonderful small cosmetic producer in Suffolk in early 2013 when I had the idea for LFF. Without that incredible serendipity I doubt that my idea would have got off the ground. My biggest bugbear was that the makeup I was buying, including expensive brands like Armani and Chanel, would disappear within hours and rarely lived up to the promise to create ‘dewy, luminous skin’. From day one I was closely involved with testing, refining and ensuring that our makeup actually did what it said on the tin. It’s cruelty free, unlike the vast majority of makeup which is produced in China where animal testing is mandatory. All of our makeup is made with quality ingredients and we have a huge degree of control over everything that has our brand name on it. So, perhaps you will allow me to feel some real pride in how brilliantly my LFF makeup met the challenge of looking fabulous after such a long and arduous journey home. It was truly bandbox fresh!