Donna White is a national newspaper and magazine journalist, blogger, and mum to Brodie, aged eight, and six-year-old Blake.

Her beauty regime used to consist of soap and water, followed by a quick swipe of lip gloss. Since entering her 40s she admits Mother Nature needs just a bit more of a helping hand. You can find her general ramblings over at

Remember the days when make-up was all about enhancing your best features?
A swish of mascara, the merest swipe of lip gloss, the odd dab of concealer when required….
I often think back to those days, when the bare minimum got me through.
Twenty years and two kids later, and my cosmetic bag is all that keeps me from terrifying the kids at the school gates with my convincing impression of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Dark circles, crows feet, blotchy skin…. and don’t get me started on my mood after my boys have decided that a 5am pillow fight is a good idea!
Painting over the cracks doesn’t necessarily hide them. Because ladies, as we get older as far as make-up is concerned, it’s all about the base. That is, if you’re looking at bringing BEAUTY back.
Apply products which are too heavy, and they just slip into those fine lines like little rivers of colour, showing them off so your mug resembles a road map of the British Isles.
Which is why I’ve been trying out foundations and primers lately, to see what will make my 40-something skin look fresh and natural, now that the sunshine is on it’s way.
And with our Summer holiday booked for Jersey in the Channel Islands this year, a bit of sun protection would be handy too.
imgresA primer is always a good idea to prepare the skin for make up, and the Smashbox Blemish Control Primer (£28, 30ml) promised to control breakouts. (Yes, I may be 42 but I’m sad to say the odd zit is about all that’s youthful about my skin these days!) This product was a little drying, and I found my foundation flaked off when I tried to put it on top. I tried applying more sparingly, and a greater time before I did my make-up, which helped a little. But this product was disappointing overall.
In contrast, my now-thirsty skin was pleasantly moisturised and smooth after using Bourjois Paris Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer (£10.99, 15ml) which has a pink tone that gives a rosy glow.light This product almost requires no foundation at all, since I liked the finish so much it seemed a shame to cover it. Great value for money and something I intend to add to my Summer beauty regime.
While it’s a bit on the pricey side, I found Chanel Perfection Lumiere (£36, 30ml) smooths in easily and gives a matte finish. My combination skin means I can often be left with a shiny face – imgresbut not with this product. A little goes a long way too. It did need a reapplication halfway through the day, which means I’d probably save this product for special occasions rather than everyday use. The SPF 10 is also a little on the low side.
BB creams have been popular over the years, but the new colour correcting (CC) creams are meant to reduce redness and blotchiness, and can be used as a primer under foundation, or on their own. With this in mind, I took the plunge with Clinique Moisture imgresSurge CC Cream SPF30 (£25.20 40ml). The Light colour is a middle tone which suits my skin without looking overly pale or orange. It was neither dry nor greasy and I actually got quite a few compliments from friends when I wore it on a rare girls’ night out.
A sun-kissed appearance was delivered by Lancome’s City Miracle CC Cream (£28, 30ml) which at SPF50 gives the highest protection against rays you can get. I did find I needed a lot of it to get a finished look, and with such a small tube it could run out quite quickly. The Apricot colour complimented my pale skin, but I would move up to Golden for my holidays.
With the longer days and lighter nights advancing on us, it’s a blessed relief that my make-up can be as light as my mood as we move towards the Summer.