I look dreadful without make-up.  I’m not one of those women who wears make-up at night or jumps out of bed before her husband wakes so that he never sees her without war paint, but I know I need it during the day and I’m happier, more confident when I have a little ‘slap’ on.


I’ve recently reverted to ‘carving out time’ to put it on, as I did in my youth.  In my thirties, there was no time, or maybe I thought I didn’t need as much time, and my face was done in minutes.  Now, as I get older, I’m building up the drugstore again and I’m starting to think I might end up like Barbara Cartland as my bathroom overflows with colourful goodies.


Hopefully SP will stick around and forewarn me of graffiti-style war paint wearing as I get older, but that’s down the line and my immediate problem lies in the holiday make-up bag, which is a bone of contention between us.  It all started when we couldn’t carry anything over 100ml in our hand luggage and I couldn’t hide ‘all that stuff’ in a tote.  I know it’s for a good reason, but now all my make-up is visible in the shared suitcase (obviously where I’m going wrong) and ‘make-up control’ guidelines dictate very serious restrictions. The trouble is SP considers said make-up kit a luxury, I consider it First Aid.


Without make-up my head looks like a spud and it’s particularly worse when I expose my skin to the sun.  I do not have summer-friendly skin.  I’m naturally pale and really have to stick at the sun worship to gain any colour, always being mindful of how long I’m out in it,  as I can scorch like a tomato on a grill.


I wear high factor protection on my face the whole time I’m away and then add a swish of MAC Bronzer to give my face a sun-kissed look of an evening.  These items are non-negotiable, but with make-up space at a premium I need to limit myself with the rest of the ‘equipment’ and not take the complete drugstore, which is how I found myself fine-tuning my kit to the items below for my last holiday.


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Wearing high factor protection is great for your skin, but try standing next to a bronzed beauty in the Med, it ain’t so hot.  So I always take foundation and powder away with me.   This time I wanted to find a 2-in-1 product that also didn’t break the bank.  Chatting to beauty bloggers on Twitter and doing some digging around I found a 4-in1 product, True Match Genius by L’Oreal.


A primer, concealer, foundation and powder in one compact, it comes with a built-in mirror and application sponge.  It’s creamy to touch, but transforms to a matt texture with a satin finish once on the skin.  It offers medium coverage and because it comes in a small case I could take it with me everywhere and touch up should my skin get ‘flushed’.  I really liked the result, but I think I’m going to go a shade darker this next holiday to give me a little more colour.


I was also advised to try eyeshadow sticks or crayons, which meant I didn’t have to take any brushes with me – hoorah – see saving space comes naturally to me!  I found these by Max Factor.  They aren’t new in the world of beauty, but certainly a fresh idea to me.  These are 2-in-1 Gel Shadow Liners.  They offer a high pigmentation and I bought a light brown/gold colour for day wear and a metallic grey for an evening.  In truth they are quite chunky sticks so I didn’t wear them as a liner and drew over the whole eyelid, but that suited my needs.  I think you’d need a pretty steady hand to just use them as a liner.  I loved the colours and coverage though.


There are some nights of course when you want to add more sparkle to your look and for that I bought Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner that I kept reading about all last year.  I bought Midnight Cowboy which offers a wash of gold glitter that can be delicately worn on the outer rim of your eye, or hell-for-leather over the whole eyelid.  It depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’re going to an Abba tribute gig or not, but I found a tiny amount really makes your eyes pop in a pretty way.  I wore mine with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara (not pictured), which is my currant fave.


Lastly, I had a sample (must have been from a magazine) of Benefit’s Hoola Lip Gloss.  It does say Ultra Plush on the packaging, but I did find it really quite heavy to wear and it took a little getting used to.  It’s pretty much nude on the lip, but does offer some shimmer.  I’m not convinced that it did much for me, I’m too pale and need colour, so I will be reverting back to a pink gloss for the next holiday.  But if you go a gorgeous nut brown (please don’t stand near me) then this could be a gloss for you.


And that was it, my holiday ‘look’ with just a few products.  I literally got a gold star from SP.


Don’t worry, I got my own back. I more than made up for it with shoes!!!


Have a nice weekend.


Gail x


I was out with a friend recently and couldn’t help but notice how pretty her eyes looked.  She always wears lovely make-up, but something was different.  Let’s just say, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.


I was trying to work out what was different when I realised that she must had read an article that had caught my attention a few months back.  It was an article on how to make your eyes look younger and I had started to the follow the tip and loved the result.


Never one to keep a positive thought to myself I told her that she was looking fab and was she wearing her eye make-up differently.  She was and had received quite a few complements about it already.  It turns out that she was following the tip that I had read, which is obviously too good to keep to myself, so I thought I would share it with you.


Before the big reveal, I just wanted to ask if you’ve tried Benefits Roller Lash yet?  If not, it’s a product worth giving a go.  Benefit are forever bringing out unique products to make us look fab and I have a fair few of their products, including the HollywoodGlo highlighter and Thrrob – a ‘turned on’ flush of blusher (!) in my make-up kit.


make your eyes look younger


Never knowingly missing an opportunity to dive into duty free,  I was rushing through to departures on a holiday earlier in the year, when I screeched to a halt at the Benefit counter to pick up a new wand of They’re Real, a gorgeous mascara highly recommended and loved by many.  Who doesn’t want a few pennies off their purchase!


The assistant, taking no notice of my clear signs of anxiety that I make it to the plane on time (red, sweaty, slightly aggressive expression), disarmed me by asking if I had heard of their new mascara.  An upgrade from They’re Real and offering to lift my lashes and give more pop to my eyes.


I am one for reading up and knowing exactly what I’m buying before I purchase.  I can dither a bit to be honest and this wasn’t cheap mascara that I could lose in a drawer if it didn’t match up to the promise, but her pluckiness impressed me (with even less time she would have got short shrift) and I got out my plastic.


Basically, Roller Lash is a roller for lashes!  It has a ‘hook ‘n’ roll’ brush that latches on to your lashes, separates, lifts and curls them, thereby opening the eyes.  In a consumer panel test 94% said that eyes look more wide open.


make your eyes look younger


It comes in Ink Black, thank heaven.  I’ve tried brown mascara before and I don’t know about you, but I can put make-up on in the morning and then mid-afternoon realise it looks as if I’ve taken the whole nude make-up look way too far!  I need definition.


The mascara itself has a luscious texture to it and the brush does curl my lashes.  I’ve never used lash curlers, but Benefit suggests you can ditch these now Roller Lash is here.  Performance-wise, by using the new, patent-pending, hook design brush, your lashes will hold their curl for up to 12 hours and I have to stay my lashes do stay in place.  In fact, I can find it quite tricky to get off at the end of the day (it’s water-resistant), so I use cleansing oil help to dissolve it.


I love it and 10 months later I have just purchased a second one.  So if you’re in the market for mascara, maybe take a look at Roller Lash, especially with party season soon to be upon us.


And, if you want to make even more of a statement, with your make-up here’s the tip to make your eyes appear younger.  Wear liner on your inner lash line!  Yep, it’s that simple. But it works like this.  Science dictates that younger eyes have a greater iris-to-sclera ratio than older eyes (how much coloured iris and white (sclera) can be seen).  By pencilling the waterline we replicate the magic ratio and voila, give our eyes a more youthful (read: sexier) appearance.


And who doesn’t want to be appear hot.  Unless you’re half cantering through departures!


Gail x