BROWS are massive right now. Literally. And this is a very good thing. Put down the tweezers, fix an image of Brooke Shields in your mind, and pick up one of the following products.
I’ve tried nigh on every brow pencil, powder and gel on the market and these are the ones that deliver.
My top pick is Tom Ford’s Brow Sculptor (£32 tomford.com) for being the perfect shade of blonde (very tricky to come by, as most blonde brow pencils have a very uncalled-for orange tint to them), having a brush on the end (why you wouldn’t include one is beyond me), and being the perfect wide, flat shape for a natural finish and easy manipulation.
Clinique Instant Lift for Brows (£14 clinique.co.uk) is highly commended due to the great taupe-blonde colour, easy-to-control chunky pen-shape and waxy stay-put texture, plus it comes with a brow bone highlighter on the other end.
Le Sourcil de Chanel (£42 chanel.com) is a compact containing three shades of powder, an applicator, a brush, and a tiny pair of tweezers (remember, resist these). The powders are soft and beautifully blendable, the applicator the perfect tool, and the whole thing is easily the most elegantly-packaged way to go about this. It is therefore with great sadness that I wouldn’t recommend it for blondes, as even the lightest of the three shades was way too dark for me. But those with anything other than the very lightest of brows should sally forth.
For girls who prefer a traditional pencil formula, Shiseido’s Natural Eyebrow Pencil (£18.50 shiseido.co.uk) is a good choice. The colours are spot on and the pencil tip is very fine, providing good control for detail strokes, although be sure to warm it between your fingers as it’s quite hard.
With all of these, use light strokes to apply, going backwards against the direction of hair growth, brush out excess product, go round the edges with a cotton bud, and voilà. And to set it all off, MAC’s Brow Set Clear gel (£11.50 maccosmetics.co.uk) keeps brows in shape for hours – brush upwards for the most modern look.
And if you’re in need of more raw material to work with, try Rapid Brow (£37 boots.com), a serum applied with a mascara wand-type applicator. The sort of wonder product - it claims to produce visible growth within six weeks if applied daily - that usually induces scepticism rather than hope, this does actually work. My brows (although already quite sizeable due to a lifetime of non-plucking) were noticeably bushier within a couple of weeks.
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People tend to be rather silly about self tanning; either going completely Geordie Shore about the whole business and ending up looking radioactive, or (just as ridiculously) being decidedly snobby in their refusal to participate, in the mistaken belief that the former option is the only one. This is not the case: it is perfectly possible to achieve a subtle, natural (and completely safe) tan out of a tube. Particularly if you choose celebrity tan-expert (he did Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s tan for the Burberry Body ads, and if you’ve seen those, well...) James Read’s new range. The range is innovative (even the packaging is a fresh take); including a tanning BB cream with an applicator brush (no need for hand washing); gradual tan formulations for face and body and a wash-off option that really does dry instantly and won’t budge till you shower off. All formulations impart a golden glow without a hint of orange, and come in light, medium and dark options. From £18.50 at harveynichols.com
If you’re after a celestial glow, look no further than MAC’s new limited edition Heavenly Creature collection. I realise this page is in danger of becoming MAC Digest Monthly, but there’s a good reason for that. Well, another one now. The standouts are the Mineralize eye shadows and Skinfinishes (which can be used as highlighter or blusher). Swirl these cosmic confections together for ready-blended, multi-faceted subtly shimmering colour. My favourite, Star Wonder (£21.50), is a beautifully flattering dusky rose with gold accents that brings the face to life. The Volcanic Ash exfoliator (£21) is also the best I have tried; a thick paste with almost imperceptible texture, it leaves skin instantly smooth and glowing. Best used in the shower, unless you enjoy a black sink.
Heavenly Creature is available from maccosmetics.co.uk from £13.50.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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