Make-up make sense

When choosing make-up products, it’s worth considering the company you are buying from as much as the product. Most brands are owned by a multinational company with many famous names under their wing. Lancôme is owned by the same company that produces Loreal Paris make-up; Chanel is owned by the same company that produces Bourjois; Dior, Guerlian and Benefit are under the same mother company. The research and technology that goes into anyone the products filters through to each brand eventually: it’s probable that six months after a Lancôme launch, Loreal will release a similar version – therefore if budgets are tight, its worth waiting for the formulations to filter through.

Trust taking tips from beauty editor and industry expert best buy lists, after all reputations are at stake and no one wants to recommend a dud product. It is for good reason that you will find Lancome mascara, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge blush and Chanel foundation scoring big on must-haves from beauty know how’s.

However, a word of caution: beauty writers are held to ransom by the big beauty advertisers in the magazines they write for; advertising in magazines pays the editorial wages and employees are obliged to hail the latest releases by key clients as part of an unspoken arrangement; never bite the hand that feeds you, as they say. I remember having to put together a five page special on Chanel No.5 to keep the equilibrium, (and my then editor in a coveted Chanel suit).

There are dozens of fabulous products out there that rarely get airtime all because they aren’t big advertisers. Often produced by industry professionals and experts – they are high performance and superb quality. I recommend Becca, Chantecialle, Stila, Dr Hauschka, MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Laura Mercier as fabulous purchases and have products from all these nestled, well used, in my makeup cabinet.

Consider this: it’s not the product but now you apply it and the complementary tones and colours you choose that matters. The most fabulous, luxurious product in the world can look gaudy and wrong if the shade doesn’t suit – so take your time selecting and remember money can’t buy taste and subtle technique; that’s for you to master.

I have become used to studying the details – after years of accessing backstage at fashion shows and numerous shoots with makeup artists conducting their magic in the corner of the studio – I notice what they use: study the pictures in magazines of backstage or in the studio – what’s on the shelf, poking out of a cosmetic bag – that’s what you want to know cause these will be the real deal?

Something else to ponder: after a certain point, when makeup becomes more about replicating youthfulness and concealing signs of ageing, it is a wise move to consider choosing makeup products produced by skincare companies renowned for quality care, rather than solely make up brands: Clarins, Chantecialle, Dr Hauschka, Dermalogica all feature products with skincare benefits as well as great colour and coverage.


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