There are always a few beauty looks that you think are hard to master, so never bother trying...
The thing is, they can make a difference to your look not to mention give you the ultimate pick-me-up. So here’s what they are and how to try them.
Words: Sarah Brooks-Wilson Image: Lily Aldridge and Behati Prinsloo sporting hair buns
An iconic feline flick never goes out of style. Start by lining your eyes normally with a black pencil, going from in inner corner toward the outer. Stop when you get three-quarters of the way across your lid. Then, using the same pencil, make a tiny dot wherever you’d like your flicks to end. Now take a liquid eyeliner pen or a separate brush dipped in liner gel. Using the tip, join the dot with the tail of your pencil liner. Sweep it across the pencil line. Allow to dry with closed eyes or looking down. Finish with mascara. If your hand wobbles, lean your elbow on the table while you’re doing it. Try Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner.
If North West can works the ballerina bun, so can you
A ballerina bun
There is nothing chicer than a loose ballerina bun. Not only is it a handy ‘mum’ style, but it instantly makes you hair looked pulled together. There’s no need to buy one of those nylon, clip in things just make your own. Get an old sock and cut off the foot so you have a long tube. Put your hair in a ponytail, its base wherever you want the bun, and secure with a hair elastic. Pull the ponytail through the sock tube so it’s length is encased. Now, starting with the end of the sock at the tip of the ponytail, roll the sock back, outwards (as though you are removing a stocking), smoothing your hair over the top of the sock to conceal it as you go. Tuck any loose hairs under the bun. When you no longer see any sock, secure with a few bobby pins across the bun’s foundations. Finish with a spritz of hairspray to finish.
I was a bit late to the party with this one, but when I did try it, I was hooked. It really does give your face some definition and a glow about it, which lets face it we all need as mothers. Here are the basics. Contouring is made up of highlighting and lowlighting. Lowlighting uses a darker colour than your natural skin to recede anything you’d like to slim or make less prominent. For this you will need a cream or powder in a colour three shades darker than your skin. By contrast, highlighting uses a lighter shade than your natural skin tone to accentuate areas. First start with the dark shade suck in your cheeks and with a round brush draw a diagonal line in the hollow then, using downward buffing strokes, blend it down the sides of the face beneath the hollow, being careful to stay at the sides and not go into chin territory. Use the same technique on your temples, and blend well so there are no streak marks. Finish with your paler colour and apply onto your cheekbones, above the dark shade in your hollows. This will thin the cheeks but emphasise their bones. Try Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit.
Applying false eyelashes
Once just reserved for special occasions, falsies are now being worn to the shops! Again, they make a difference and instantly open the eyes making you look awake, even if you’re not feeling it. There are two golden rules: you must always cut strip lashes to size first, trimming them from the outside end in. The second is to never attempt to apply lashes when the glue is wet. This makes them slip, wobble and peel. What you need is an almost dry, tacky finish. If the lashes fit and the glue is tacky, the lashes will go on and stay there. For day choose a natural lash like MAC 31 Lash and for night amp it up with something a bit more feathery and dramatic. For a seamless finish, go over the line where the lashes touch the skin with a black eyeliner pencil and you’re done.
Covering a spot
Even as a beauty editor I struggle with this one but it’s highly satisfying when you know how. Firstly, cleanse your face thoroughly and wipe over a glycolic based liquid exfoliant like Alpha H Liquid Gold. Moisturise with an oil-free moisturiser and then apply brightening eye drops directly to the clean spot area and wait a few minutes. Apply your usual primer and foundation, patting lightly over the spot. Next tap a little mat concealer cream over the spot and feather outwards. I love Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. Dust with loose powder and keep repeating until the spot is completely covered. Always finish with a powder layer.