Monday, September 30, 2019

Daily delight: Coco Rocha for ELLE Croatia

Beauty news: MAKETHEMAKE makeup officially lands in New Zealand

When I first met with the and super passionate Catherine Tong from Australasian Scandi beauty hub, The Skin Wardrobe, the first brand she told me about was MAKETHEMAKE.
Makeup-infused skincare, formulated and designed by skin therapists, MAKETHEMAKE is a company that understands and focuses on ways to optimise the skin’s overall health as well as creating a flawless finish. All of the brand’s products contain scientifically proven, highly active ingredients, and founder Annica Forsgren (a friend of Catherine’s) sees MAKETHEMAKE’s offering as a true extension to your skincare routine as it creates a flawless base to build upon. The award-winning range includes products suitable for all skin types and skin tones, as well as multitasking marvels that focus on simplifying your routine and making the most of your natural beauty.
The first element of MAKETHEMAKE’s offering that I was lucky enough to be able to play with was their foundation brush, one of a set of custom designed, high quality makeup brushes designed with natural beauty in mind. The new innovation in brush design and application technique gives your skin a natural, ’soft focus’ look, and they are big on aesthetics as well as performance. The brushes are designed with user friendliness in mind, and definitely won’t disappear into a cluttered bathroom drawer anytime soon.
Fast forward to one morning last week and I was at the official launch of the brand into New Zealand, where I was given the chance to finally have a play with their makeup options. They have three foundation options plus a tinted moisturiser, as well as primers, concealers and various highlighting and bronzing options.  I loved the look of the Bisabolol Oil Primer for skin on the drier side like mine, and the Hylauronic Highlighter was like a breath of fresh air in a tube – seriously great stuff. 
The foundation option I found the most intriguing of the three is known as the Squalane Melting Foundation SPF 30 (see the top image, above). One of MAKETHEMAKE’s star products, it is a versatile, buildable foundation that comes in a powder form, but then melts into a silky cream once it has been applied on the skin for a natural, luminous finish. Suitable for all skin types and incredibly handbag and travel friendly, it not only gives you 12-hour long medium coverage, but also provides a whole range of protective skin-loving benefits. Squalane is a well-known natural moisturiser that balances oil production, and Turmeric and Resveratrol are included to give antioxidant protection against free radicals. An SPF 30 sunscreen provides effective protection from UV rays, whilst Mica and pigments in the formula leave you with a natural and radiant finish for a clear and luminous complexion.
I love that with this foundation formula you can decide on your own coverage depending on which brush you use to apply it. You get higher coverage with the Foundation Brush I was gifted, less coverage with the Loose Powder Brush and medium coverage with the Foundation Brush II. You lightly dip your chosen brush into the product and then tap off the excess, before working it into the skin.  I found that watching a few of the brand’s instruction videos definitely helps you achieve a more flawless result with their products, holding the brush at a right angle to the face and using light pressure and short sweeps in half-moon shapes, upwards and outwards. Press – blend – press – blend. And always start by using a small amount of product on the brush. The level of coverage can easily be adjusted from light – to full coverage by adding multiple thin layers, until the desired result is reached.
So there you have it! The Squalane Melting Foundation SPF 30 is available now with an RRP of $46, and to find out more about the brand and what else Catherine has curated for exclusive distribution in New Zealand, head here.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Daily delight: Kendall Jenner for W Korea

Love it: Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Concealer

I am loving what the Shiseido brand is doing lately – it is taking a super fresh and modern approach to beauty that is so unlike many of its big brand peers, and it is seriously paying off for them. 
After disrupting the cosmetic category in 2018 with the relaunch of SHISEIDO Makeup, the brand has turned its attention to complexion, and unsurprisingly – they have done that very well. Renowned for its pioneering innovations and distinctly Japanese vision that seamlessly fuses art with science, the higher ups at the brand turned to the company’s extensive skincare heritage in order to break new ground in the foundation category. “Formulating products that help create a flawless face is at the heart of everything we do at Shiseido,” said Yoshiaki Okabe, Chief Brand Officer. “Our latest launches effectively bridge the gap between skincare and makeup.”
Consisting of seven products, two brushes, and 73 shades, the Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing collection features weightless formulas that automatically adapt, react, and self-refresh so that users can achieve that elusive fresh finish from morning to night. The absolutely heavenly tools made to accompany the new range were also influenced by ancient Japanese beauty rituals refined over centuries for a truly effortless application, and have to be used to be believed.
The core products in the lineup - Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation and Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Concealer – both work brilliantly thanks to what Shiseido calls ActiveForce Technology. Developed in their own laboratories, ActiveForce Technology allows these second-skin formulas to resist humidity, respond to heat, rebound from facial movement, absorb oil, and diffuse light for a just-applied look that lasts all day. There is seriously no creasing, no flaking and no pilling with either formula, and they last and last. “Always a pioneer in the beauty space, the latest launches are a true expression of the brand’s cutting-edge Japanese science,” said Gail Boye, Senior Vice President of Global Product Development for Shiseido Makeup, and they look heavenly too.
Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Concealer is the beauty that I’ve been playing with first after receiving some samples, and despite the one I have not being a perfect colour match for my skin tone, I adore it. The ultimate multitasker, this very clever concealer camouflages dark circles, blemishes, and other imperfections without adding weight, as well as so much more. The curved doe-foot applicator holds the perfect amount of product and hugs the contours of the face for an ultra-smooth application, and it seriously hangs around all day. Smudge-proof, humidity-resistant, sweat-resistant, and crease-resistant, it doesn’t settle into fine lines and is so lightweight that it feels like wearing nothing at all. In addition to creating a protective veil that prevents pollution from adhering to skin, it also contains wild thyme extract to combat free radicals and what Shiseido calls ‘Smart Correcting Powder’ to enhance the skin’s texture and tone. With my delivery I got a few great J-Beauty tips for using the products, and with the concealer came this: “To colour correct and counteract dark circles on fairer complexions, reach for a peachier shade. Use a red-toned shade on deeper skin tones for a similar effect”. They also said that you can use the new concealer formula to highlight or contour, by using a shade a step or two lighter or darker than your complexion. And thanks to its crease-proof properties, this concealer also doubles as an eye shadow base. Magic!
I’ve been using the Shiseido TSUTSU FUDE Concealer Brush with the concealer to target small areas of the face and hide blemishes, and it is just a joy to wield. It comes with Hidden Core Technology that allows the cylinder-shaped brush to build flawless coverage using only a small amount of product. The small, tapered tip fits perfectly into tight areas around the eyes and nose for precise application, and it can also be used to blend eye shadow or apply highlighter to the Cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose, and inner corners of eyes for a lit-from-within glow.
Both of these beauties are on counter now and come highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Dior magazine

Love it: Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask

Lately on here I’ve been having a bit of a rave about the Glow Recipe brand, with good reason. Founded by two former L'Oréal execs in 2014, Glow Recipe set out to make K-beauty more accessible to consumers and in a case of right time, right place, they seriously went global. Glow Recipe's mission, Lee has said, is "to break down what K-beauty [is] all about, educate consumers on the unique trends coming out of Korea, bring them best-in-class skincare offerings, and make them accessible to consumers through repositioning and education." The fact that their products are also insanely cute and well priced helps hugely, and thankfully, their products are exclusively available here at MECCA and via
The latest I’ve been lucky enough to try is the Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, which is an indulgent, creamy yet breathable sleeping mask that nourishes and softens dry, tired skin overnight. Also a quick fix when it comes to eliminating flaking and dull skin, it feels as good on the face as eating a ripe avo does to your insides. This is for a number of reasons, many of which can be found in the ingredient deck:
Avocado: 74 per cent of the super yum, creamy formula is made from four forms of avocado: avocado fruit, avocado extract, avocado oil, and avocado butter. Rich in oleic and linoleic acid, avocado is deeply nourishing and your skin will love you for it.
Manuka Honey: this baby contains the enzyme Methylglyoxal (MGO), which has higher levels of antibacterial properties than other types of honey. MGO helps defend your skin against environmental stressors that can cause premature ageing and visibly firms and moisturise skin. 
PHA: sometimes referred to as the ‘gentle giant’ of chemical exfoliators, PHA – also known as polyhydroxy - helps buff away dead skin cells to reveal your natural born glow. Because of its large molecular structure, it’s safe for even the most sensitive of skin types too. PHA is a popular K-beauty ingredient that's popping up in more and more moisturisers and masks in Seoul, and
Unlike the better-known AHA, PHA is a humectant. This is an ingredient that pulls in hydration to the outer skin, so it binds to water and helps hydrate. It also stimulates collagen.
Like all Glow Recipe, it is free of parabens, Mineral Oil, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, alcohol, synthetic dyes and synthetic fragrance, and is Cruelty-free. Why big name beauty brand can’t create without those ingredients I don’t know, as this is proof that effectiveness needn’t come with nasties!
You can also use Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask in one of two ways. For a rejuvenating sleeping mask, use the spatula to scoop a dollar coin-sized amount onto skin as the final step of the evening routine. Gently pat into the skin for optimal absorption. Wash thoroughly in the morning. Or, to use as a wash off mask, use the spatula to scoop the mask and gently spread a thick layer across a cleansed face from forehead to chin (avoiding direct contact with eye and lip areas). Rinse with lukewarm water after 10 minutes. Use two to three times a week. For sensitive skin types start by using 2-3 times a week and use more frequently if your skin loves the formula.
Lastly, how does it compare to the brand’s famous Watermelon Sleeping Mask? Well I think the oil-free Watermelon option is great for when days are more humid, and your skin might have an oiler feel.  The Avocado Sleeping Mask - is good for all skin types, but a real hero for  dry skin. The creamy texture is perfect for trans seasonal times like now, and in the depths of winter.
I’ve heard that Glow Recipe’s newest avocado mask - infused with retinol – also promises to be a winner for those less sensitive types, so definitely worth checking out as well.
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask is available right now at Mecca stores and online here, with an RRP of $77.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Daily delight: Bella Hadid for Calvin Klein Performance

Beauty news: the FOREO LUNA 3 arrives at Smith & Caughey

I was lucky enough to be invited last week to Level 6 of department store Smith & Caughey’s Queen Street, Auckland store to view the iconic brand’s Summer Preview. It included dresses, lingerie and homewares to die for (if someone wants to buy me the copper Vitamix blender I am ALL here for it!), as well as fresh new offerings from their always-inspiring beauty department. They included drops by Parisian skincare masters Codage and new Guerlain, as well as the incredible new release by Swedish beauty and wellbeing brand FOREO.
Called the LUNA 3, it takes the form of an ultra-soft, hygienic silicone facial cleanser that leaves you with younger looking skin in a flash. Like, seriously a flash. The LUNA 3 is the first ever skincare device on the market that combines an ultra soft, hygienic cleanse with a variety of targeted firming massage routines all controlled via a very easy-to-use app. Demand for this latest beauty upgrade has been high, with more than 20 million customers globally currently using a FOREO LUNA as the foundation to their cleansing routine. One sells every three seconds around the world and it’s no wonder why – they deliver a cleansing routine like no other, without compromising even the most delicate skin.
With 16 customisable intensities and a number of different firming massages to target different facial zones, the new LUNA 3 is quite the wonder. It unclogs pores, gently removing dirt, oil and impurities, and with no need to replace brush heads, this device is one beauty-centric investment that truly stands the test of time. The LUNA 3 for normal skin features a combination of different bristles to suit normal, combination and sensitive skin types, and even my rosacea-prone skin has remained calm, cool and collected after a week of using the LUNA 3 I was lucky enough to receive in my goodie bag.
The LUNA 3 has USB charging for up to 650 uses at a time, and the new flagship device also boasts:
30% longer touchpoints; for those harder to reach places and for an even deeper cleansing of the pores.
30% bigger brush head; larger cleansing surface offers a more effective cleanse
25% softer touchpoints; glides effortlessly across the skin, with no pulling or stretching to preserve the skin’s natural elasticity
APP connected; offers personalized settings and variety of firming massage routines
Universal power button; conveniently located on the back of the device for easy use.
It is recommended to first use the LUNA 3 with FOREO’s micro-foam cleanser or other reputable brands, then use a moisturiser, applied through the anti-aging massage surface of LUNA 3 to amplify the results with T-Sonic pulsations.
To unlock and register your device, activate Bluetooth on your mobile device or tablet and then press the universal button to sync to the FOREO app and set up your cleansing preferences. Pretty impressive stuff – and I can’t get enough. At $300 plus the LUNA 3 isn’t cheap, but by god she’s effective and IMHO, worth every cent.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Daily delight: Cara Delevingne for Dior Makeup

Beauty news: L’Oréal Professionnel announces New Zealand Ambassador

The very clever decision makers at L’Oréal Professionnel New Zealand have just announced that actress and social media personality Grace Palmer, is the new local ambassador for the brand. She’s a woman with seriously amazing hair AND talent to burn, and the former Shortland Street star is the first local celebrity hair muse for the Parisian house of professional colour in New Zealand. 
Grace will feature in L’Oreal Professionnel brand advertising such as point of sale, digital advertising and social media across salons nationwide. Across the year-long ambassadorship, she will undergo three different colour transformations, which will all incorporate one of L’Oreal Professionnel’s latest colour trends. Evidence of the first can be seen above, a look that is seriously gorgeous. When asked about her appointment, Grace said: “I’m so privileged! I’ve always had copious amounts of hair... far too much for one head, and L’Oréal Professionnel have taught me what to do with it. I’m so excited to work with their incredibly talented team”. 
As part of colour transformation one (as above), L’Oreal Professionnel artist Zoe Clark (owner of INCO Studio in Ponsonby) used the No-Damage Colour by INOA service. INOA is a revolutionary colour service that is ammonia-free, and contains a 60 per cent oil formulation to leave hair feeling conditioned and hair quality visibly improved.  I had an INOA colour many years ago and can attest to how great it left my hair feeling – even the highlighted elements which are usually akin to straw!
The key to INOA is in its revolutionary technology; the aforementioned Oil Delivery System. It transports colour pigment to the hair fibre without the damaging effect of ammonia, providing absolute respect for the hair and scalp, and an exceptional natural-looking colour result. Ammonia-free, odourless INOA allows you to lighten your hair up to three levels, darken hair and perfectly cover greys, while respecting the scalp and hair fibre. 
L’Oréal Professionnel’s new bronzing colour story is what you can see on brand muse Grace, with her luminous bronze-inspired look created with INOA.. Hair bronzing can bring warmth and interest to all shades of hair, enhancing your colour, instantly softening the skin tone and illuminating both the hair and face. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered, huh? 
Grace was a natural choice for the ambassadorship given her strong love for the brand. “I first began using L’Oreal Professionnel products when I was transitioning from blonde to brunette,” she says, “and from there stemmed my appreciation for the brand. Every product does exactly as it says, and my hair has never been healthier. I rarely need to style it (thankfully, because I’m a bit useless) as it naturally falls with enough bounce and body.” 
Grace will feature in L’Oreal Professionnel advertising collateral from now onwards, so keep an eye out.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Daily delight: Hailey Bieber for Vogue Australia

Hair how to: Veronica Beard at NYFW by Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes

Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard presented their Veronica Beard label SS 2020 collection at the recent New York Fashion Week, with a beauty look that was carefully crafted to match. Called “The Dolls,” the collection had a distinctly Sixties vibe — a mix of second-wave feminist girl boss attire and super feminine dressing that was so easy to love.
The hair look to match was the work of Moroccanoil Artistic Director, Kevin Hughes and was as instantly wearable as the collection. “We stayed in tune with the collection's Sixties vibe for the hair,” he said of the look, “with tons of volume at the crown that falls into a perfectly undone and textured body. A deep side part and full swept bang really homed in on the theme.” The hair was meant to embrace each woman’s natural texture – straight, wavy or curly – and I think it’s the perfect way to work a second day blow wave into a brand new style and more.
For your own updated Sixties vibe using Moroccanoil, follow these surprisingly easy steps…
1. On damp hair, use a dollar coin-sized amount of Moroccanoil Treatment –or Moroccanoil Treatment Light for finer tones—to provide the perfect foundation for styling.
2. Spray Moroccanoil Root Boost at the root of the hair and then apply Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse from mid lengths to ends.
3. Spray Moroccanoil Perfect Defense throughout the hair to protect before heat styling, then blow dry hair using the Moroccanoil 45mm Ceramic Round Brush and Moroccanoil Professional Ceramic Hair Dryer.
4. Create a deep side part and sweeping bangs in front of the face, adding volume throughout the hair.
5. Then create broken S waves throughout hair, except the bangs, using the Moroccanoil Professional Flat Iron.
6. At the back use a crimping iron to create lift and volume at the crown.
7. Next, apply Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray throughout the hair and backcomb the crown, using the Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Teasing Comb.
8. Smooth hair over the bouffant for a seamless finish and then add Moroccanoil Mending Infusion to mid lengths and ends.
9. Finish the look with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong to hold the style and sweep the bangs to the front.
DESIGNER TIP: For a more defined and fun look, add bobby pins or barrettes to each side of the hair. 
Photo Credit: Caroline Fiss

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daily delight: Adriana Lima for Numéro Russia

Beauty news: Morphe is coming to MECCA

Founded in 2008 among the artists and influencers of the Los Angeles beauty scene, the now-iconic Morphe earned its reputation for a bold approach to makeup that honours individuality and self-expression. Known for its quality collabs with beauty influencers like James Charles, Jaclyn Hill and Jeffree Star, Morphe has built up an impressive reputation over the years and now boasts a whopping 9.8 million followers on Instagram, all gagging to get their hands on pretty much anything the brand creates.
So without further ado, I’d like to reveal that for the first time, the United States cult beauty will FINALLY be stocked in actual brick-and-mortar stores here in New Zealand because yes! Morphe is coming to MECCA. 
Their press release about the major announcement began by saying: “There’s never a dull moment in the YouTube beauty community. With a new controversy cropping up every other day, from ‘Flashback Mary’ to people being cancelled left right and centre, there’s one opinion that seems to be far from controversial: in a sea of shadows and setting sprays, Morphe reigns supreme”. And every word is true. It’s a brand that creates iconic products at a great price point, and beauty freaks cannot get enough.
Morphe will launch exclusively into select MECCA and Mecca Maxima stores and online later this September, with an offering that is set to include the cult James Charles Artistry Palette (above) and the iconic Continuous Setting Mist.
The Morphe product range includes everything from their iconic mega-sized eyeshadow palettes to an enormous range of brushes and tools, plus, basically every other type of makeup product you could dream of. Best of all, it the retail prices won’t break the bank.
Keep an eye on a MECCA near you, Morphe’s Down Under moment is most definitely here.

Daily delight: Lily-Rose Depp for W magazine

Hair how to: The Blonds at NYFW, by Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes

It wasn’t exactly ready-to-wear, but The Blonds SS20 Runway Show at New York Fashion Week was most definitely one of my favourites for the week for SO many reasons. Called The Blonds x Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the collaboration unveiled co-founder Phillipe Blond and creative director David Blond’s Spring 2020 designs as well as a superstar line up to wear them.
The show coincided with the release of the original Broadway cast’s recording of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, based on the hit by Baz Luhrmann, and the beauty look was showgirl glamour and then some. “We are so inspired by every facet of Moulin Rouge! Both the film and the stage adaptation,” The Blonds said in a press release about the collaboration. “The costumes, music and storytelling is something that resonates with us and we are so excited that for one night only The Blonds will take over the Moulin Rouge!”
The super glam hair look was created by Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes, who said the inspiration was essentially: individual style. “We were so taken by each model’s individual style that we wanted to create looks that would highlight their unique beauty,” said Hughes. “In true Moulin Rouge fashion, we were going for a look that would speak to the glamourous, modern showgirl.”
I am ALL about this look, which is actually super wearable depending on how much ‘voom’ you want in your va-va voom. I have the details on the standout style from the show, as follows…

Get the look: voluminous waves
1. On damp hair, use a dollar coin-sized amount of Moroccanoil Treatment –or Moroccanoil Treatment Light for finer tones—to provide the perfect foundation for styling.
2. Apply the Moroccanoil Perfect Defense to nourish and protect hair before heat styling.
3. Next, use Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse throughout the hair to create instant volume then blow dry hair using the Moroccanoil Professional Ceramic Hair Dryer.
4. Gather the top section of hair into a high ponytail and slick back using the Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Teasing Brush.
5. Section off the remaining hair into 1” sections and use the Moroccanoil Professional Series Titanium Curling Iron to create tight waves and pin to head to set and spray Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong to secure.
6. Continue curling hair and applying the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong until all sections have been pinned.
7. Once complete, release curls and apply Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray throughout and brush out the curls using the Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Teasing Brush to create glamorous waves. 
8. Finish the look using Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong. 

Photo Credit: Caroline Fiss

Monday, September 16, 2019

Daily delight: Julianne Moore for Madame magazine

Love it: COOLA Full Spectrum 360° Mineral Sun Silk Crème Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

If you check in here regularly, then you’ll know I’m a huge fan of COOLA suncare. COOLA is the first name that I recommend to anyone who asks me advice on sun protection for their whole family, and that fact that their products are a seemingly effortless mix of high performance and beautiful to use formulas makes them loved by everyone who tries them. A beautifully packaged collection of organic sun essentials produced out of Southern California, the COOLA range includes a plethora of yummy products that are high performance yet delicate and kind on the environment. It is produced in limited quantity batches in California (where the company is based), meaning that the range can be reformulated often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science and labelling regulations almost as they happen.
The COOLA range has two distinct organic sunscreen collections to choose from: Mineral, and Classic, each based on different active ingredients. The Classic Sunscreens use organic active ingredients (commonly referred to as “chemicals”), while the Mineral Sunscreens use mineral (“physical”) active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. The mineral sunscreens are effective right after application, making them perfect for the whole family.
Recently, the brand released some new additions to their mineral family, one of which I immediately fell in love with. Called Full Spectrum 360° Mineral Sun Silk Crème Organic Sunscreen SPF30 (a mouthful, I know), it is a multi-tasking modern masterpiece that does it all. An oil-free, airy-light formula, it gently glides on to form a transparent veil with a delightfully dewy finish, and is ideal for everyday use. 
Created using 70%+ certified organic ingredients, it has at its heart the brand’s Full Spectrum 360° Complex, which is a proprietary blend of supercharged antioxidants and plant-derived actives – all at active levels – that are clinically shown to help mitigate the skin damage from exposure to blue light, infrared, and pollution. 15.0% Non-Nano Zinc Oxide is also in there to rovide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, whilst Niacinamide helps soothe and soften skin while supporting moisture retention.
Ultra hydrating, its silky smooth finish sits nicely under makeup, and the fact that it can be used by all skin types and never leaves a white cast get much thumbs up from me. It is also Gluten Free, Certified Organic, Certified Cruelty Free, Fragrance Free, Non-Comedogenic, Phthalate Free and most definitely sits in the ‘clean’ beauty category, which makes adding this to your skincare arsenal a total no-brainer.
To use, give the bottle a good shake then dispense into your palms and apply directly to your face using upward strokes fifteen minutes’ before going out into the sun. I also put it on my neck and décolleté as well as the backs of my hands, and it really does sink in nice and fast.
COOLA also has a new fragrance free Mineral Body Sunscreen Lotion formula in both SPF50 and SPF30 that I can’t wait to play with once the days heat up, and will report back on the results!
Coola Full Spectrum 360° Mineral Sun Silk Crème Organic Sunscreen SPF30 is available right now, RRP $65 for 44ml.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily delight: Gigi Hadid for Vogue Brazil

Love it: Neutral territory – find the nude for you

A swipe of nude lipstick is the perfect companion to a smoky eye, and also one of the quickest and easiest beauty tools to master. Pretty much foolproof to apply, the only challenge that comes with wearing a nude lip is finding the right shade for you.
There is definitely a nude shade out there for everyone, but it’s not quite as simple as just finding the hue closest to your nipples à la Kim Kardashian-West. Even her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic says he always has multiple formulas on hand to get that pout just right, be they glossy or matte, super sheer or slightly pink.
There are plenty of perfectly pigmented products out there, but as a rule nude lips look best when the colour is one shade lighter or darker than your complexion rather than an exact match. For fairer skins, dusky pinks and rose-tinted beiges will add some much-needed warmth, while sheer formulas and glosses will keep things looking natural. Olive complexions are best matched to deep honey and caramel tones, and in summer a shimmering finish will bring out the sun-kissed look of your skin. And if you’ve got darker skin, your complexion is usually best suited to warm toffee and berry-toned hues, or a swipe of beautiful bronze.
Now for some great nudes, the first being from the Liquid lipstick category. It feels like Liquid lipsticks are everywhere at the moment, and the little tubes of pigment have become a rather polarising beauty pick, depending on who you ask. People either love a good matte liquid lipstick regardless of how much it dries out their lips, and then there are those who prefer to not have their lips feel like day old bread. That has always seemed to be the trade off – you either get long-wear super-pigmented matte or you have comfortable lips – but not any longer. All hail the indomitable NARS, and their most perfect Powermatte Lip Pigment. These matte liquid lipsticks have upset all the aforementioned theories and created one hell of a long lasting AND comfortable matte lip. Upon first application I loved the fact that the texture is verrrry light, and very liquid. It is thin but powerful and swipes on very quickly with the narrow doe-foot applicator, which softly pointed to make edging more precise. It feels as though it sinks into your lips in a very natural way, as opposed to just sitting atop the skin — which lends itself quite nicely to a more natural-looking wear. And some great looking natural shades. Each of the 20 PowerMatte Lip Pigments are named after classic rock songs, and a flawless nude can be found in the form of the tan rose ‘Get It On’ shade, named after the iconic T. Rex hit.
From M.A.C stable, Velvet Teddy was always one of the beauty world’s best-kept secrets until Kylie Jenner outed it as her matte nude of choice, and the brand’s Stripped - a light, dirty, peachy beige matte – is another much-loved option. I have worn Velvet Teddy for nigh on 20 years I reckon, and it’s still the nude I reach for when I’m heading out the door with a clean face – it really does warm up the complexion and then some.
For a light-to-medium nude with hints of coral pink and warm undertones, Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect has a creamy, matte texture that makes it super-wearable and well worth the investment, whilst Pillow Talk from Tilbury’s Matte Revolution offering sold out almost as soon as it was released. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita is a great pick if you like your nudes on the pale, pinky side, just prep well beforehand with Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Pencil in So Mod for a clean, polished lip look that doesn’t fade or feather.