Laura Davidson, travel editor, columnist and journalist, is mum to three-year-old Hannah and 18-month-old Lucy.
Juggling work with a turbo-charged toddler and an energetic pre-schooler isn’t always easy but she’s still determined to look more yummy mummy than slummy mummy. Here’s how she’s been getting on this month…
What the old proverb fails to mention is that your peepers can also be a blooming great give-away to your advancing years.
The delicate skin around the eye area is the first part of your face to start showing fine lines. And who the hell decided to call these little buggers ‘crow’s feet’? I mean, could the very idea of it be any less flattering? I’ve decided to re-name them. Angel’s footsteps I think I’ll call them from now on. Better ring to it, no?
Anyway, basically it all boils down to one thing. As you get older, you have to alter your make-up accordingly or you could end up looking more blind old bat than bright-eyed beauty.
I’ve got a milestone birthday looming (had you guessed that yet?). The big four-oh will be upon me in July, so this month I’ve been making an extra effort to make sure the eyes have it. Well, my eyes at least.
Firstly, I’ve started concentrating on an area that, to be honest, I’ve thought very little about for the past 39 years. I started plucking my brows in my teens after a chum tactfully suggested that the Dennis Healy look really wasn’t doing me any favours. And since then, that’s been about it really. I get rid of the stray hairs, try not to overdo it, and pretty much leave them to their own devices. Now, I realise, that doesn’t really cut it. With brow bars popping up on every high street I decided to see if any DIY could improve my look.
Clinique’s Superfine Liner for Brows (£13, www.clinique.co.uk) is an absolute must for absolute beginners like me. It is, as it says, a super-fine self-sharpening pencil that blends into your own browline almost invisibly. It fills gaps, sharpens the brow outline and blends seamlessly with a few strokes of Clinique’s Eye Definer brush (£12) for a defined, yet natural look. Available in four shades (mine is black-brown), it’s a must for every make-up bag. Oh, and for sweeping the whole lot off at night, I love Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk (£19 for 200mls), a great all-rounder in a handy pump dispenser that I find is gentle enough for even the eye area. I can rarely be bothered with a separate eye make-up remover after a full-on day with the Mini-Mes to be honest.
Under those brows, and to really make your shaping work stand out, try a smudge of Illamasqua’s gorgeous Gleam highlighter (£18, www.illamasqua.com). There are two shades and my fave is Aurora, an iridescent champagne that flatters any complexion as it catches the light.
In a solid cream compact, it’s a handbag staple and one of the most versatile products you’ll ever buy. This baby’s not just for the browbone, oh no. Use it on cheekbones, on your collarbone or – if you’re feeling brave – to highlight your cleavage. It’s a light-reflecting star and gives a finish that’s dewy, not overdone.
So with the brows looking pretty damn good if I do say so myself, the next product I could now never be without is a good under-eye concealer.
Up until mid-30s, I never bothered with concealer at all. Honestly. Now, I’d rather leave the house wearing no knickers than wearing no concealer. It’s that bad.
Clarins’ Instant Concealer (£21, www.clarins.co.uk) has a light fluid texture – it never leaves a powdery finish, which can be so ageing. As well as hiding dark circles it blends in seamlessly with your foundation so there’s never any tell-tale pale ring under the eye area. I like to apply gently with my fingers and it stays put all day.
And with the worst of the flaws hidden (I hope), it’s time for a little fun.
Enter, Smashbox, my go-to brand for gorgeous eye-popping colours. Opening one of their pigment-rich palettes has me feeling like a kid in a sweetie shop.
Their Full Exposure Palette (£36, www.smashbox.co.uk and from www.boots.com) is one of my all-time favourites. It’s billed as 14 must-have neutral shades, but it’s so much more than that. This is the collection that really will take you from daytime to evening with everything from shimmery champagnes to matt taupe and sultry sparkly black. I love it. The set even includes a small-size Full Exposure Mascara – one of Smashbox’s best-sellers – to finish your look.
Best of all, Smashbox palettes come with some great ‘how to’ guides – your own step-by-step picture guide to achieving the look you want, showing you how to apply and what colours to use. It’s genius. And if you’re still stuck, drop into see one of the make-up artists at your nearest Smashbox counter and they’ll be only too happy to let you in on their tricks of the trade.
So, how are the results? If I catch you saying I don’t look a day over 40, you’ve had it.