I think the most attractive I ever feel is before a night out. When you’ve had a long shower, used all your favourite products, done your nails and your hair and maybe the base layers of your make up, and you’re in front of the TV in your dressing gown. Not on the night out itself…the elements mess it up, somehow. Also, I always screw up my make up somehow. I either put too much on, or smudge my eyes, or something. I have olive toned skin and I think strong make up can make me look a bit dirty faced! So, I like how I look with just base make up on – foundation and blusher, and my hair all done. But I wouldn’t go out like that.
I actually think I look quite good hungover. My hair always looks better and I like that dark-eyed, messy look. I think deep down I have always wanted to be a rock star and that’s probably the closest I ever get! I’ll put big glasses on and go out for breakfast. Or day drinking – my favourite thing to do. I love how at festivals you suddenly realise you can do that for days. Festival make up is my forte.
I don’t think I’m particularly high maintenance, but other people might disagree. When I was younger I was fascinated by make up – in particular, lipstick. My mother wore these glamorous, deep burgundy reds and when she wasn’t looking I would sneak into her make up bag and put them on. I knew I wasn’t allowed to wear them around the house, so then I’d wipe them off on her white towels, which would make her even angrier! I remember she let me wear lipstick to my Year 6 disco and I felt like the coolest girl in the school, but then one boy came up to me and said ‘You’re wearing lipstick!’ It made me feel weird, so I went home and told my Mum and she gave me one of my most valuable make up lessons; ‘When you put make up on, you want people to go oh, she looks nice! Not oh, she’s wearing make up!’ It’s something I’ve tried really hard to live by ever since.
I started wearing make up every day quite young because I had really bad skin as a teenager – really hormonal, out of control, cystic acne. I started with concealer – I’d pile it on, I wouldn’t care if it looked orange so long as you couldn’t see the spots underneath – but by the age of maybe 14, I wore foundation every day. I used to get a Neutrogena one which was supposed to clear your skin up or let it breathe or whatever. It had a really distinctive smell – I can recall it now. It was a bit orange, but it did go some way to covering the mess that was my face. All my friends had perfect skin – I didn’t know how to deal with it so I would basically burn my skin with stuff like Clearasil, making it even more red. Finally I went on the pill at 15 – Dianette, the one they give to girls with bad skin. It cleared it up almost overnight – it was like a miracle. I only took it for about a year, but my spots never came back when I stopped. Apparently they don’t prescribe it anymore because it can cause depression – all I can say is, I’d probably have collapsed with depression if I hadn’t had something to clear up my spots!
Around the same time they discontinued the Neutrogena foundation and I started trying new ones. There was a Max Factor one I remember where you mixed a moisturiser on one side with a foundation on the other. I quite liked that. At university I finally found my holy grail foundation – the Clarins Ever Matte. They’ve changed the formula a few times since then, but I’ll still always have one to hand. It’s quite light but gives good coverage and it lasts all day. Until maybe last year, when I started blogging, it was all I ever used. I do mix it up now – I like the Maybelline 24 hour one. I either apply it with a sponge or the Real Techniques buffing brush. I will use my fingers at a push, but I think it never applies as well.
Apart from foundation I really never wore make up at all, except 17 bronzer and a bit of lip gloss, till I went to university. There I went through an ‘experimental’ phase – wearing nothing but powder and mascara, gold eyeshadow, red lipstick. That sort of thing. You learn a lot about yourself when you do that and I recommend it! But in the day I’d still just slap on some foundation and a bit of lip gloss. My favourite was and still is the Natural Collection lip gloss in Vanilla. It tastes amazing, it makes your lips look gorgeous, and it’s about two quid!
I found blusher when I was 21 and it changed my life (drama queen). I think it’s the most underrated product – apart from foundation, it’s the only thing I use basically every day. It warms up your face and just gives you that lit from within look. My skin still isn’t great and so I will wear foundation and blusher every day. I never use powder. I think it makes your make up look thick and cakey and a bit old fashioned. Well, I might dab a bit under my eyes if I’m wearing concealer under them. Mostly I just use bronzer instead. I don’t contour with it, I do that thing you’re not supposed to do where you put it all over your face. Because I’m quite dark, I think provided I use a matte one it looks okay. I like Benefit Hula. On a night out I like highlighter, or a concealer that has a brightening effect like the Rimmel Wake Me Up one. If I do get a spot (which I still do, all the time), I’ll use a concealer but I’m really not fussy about which one.
I rarely wear mascara. I have really dark eyelashes already, and nothing on earth seems to make them look longer, or make them curl. On a special occasion I would wear Benefit ‘They’re Real’ – that’s very good. It’s one of the only ones that makes me look like I’ve got mascara on. But mostly I don’t bother – I’m too lazy, plus I rub my eyes and get it all over the place. On my eyes I like a neutral brown sweep of colour and a bit of pencil eyeliner. I’ll choose brown in the day or if it’s summer. Black if I’m going out and if I want a bit of a smokey eye, I might smudge it with my fingers. I do think black can look harsh on my skin though. My boyfriend likes it when I do a lot of black eyeshadow and eyeliner. Make up sort of sinks into my skin – I’m like a sponge!
I think the most important thing with make up is to work out what suits you, then play with it a bit, break the rules – but never follow fashion. So many times I’ve thought ‘wow, pink lipstick looks amazing on Lauren Conrad,’ and it does, but on me it looks like I’ve been playing in my Mum’s make up bag again! Lip wise, I like to either stain them with a berry colour for a special occasion or mostly just rub them so they colour up a bit and put on a gloss. Creamy lipsticks seem like a waste of money to me – they never sit properly on my lips and then they disappear. I have really dry, flakey lips and so I live on Paw Paw ointment and Blistex cream. Blistex is the least glamorous product in the world, but it’s a lifesaver when it comes to having dry lips. But basically, I would say, don’t follow the trends – go with what suits you and it’ll work.