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Make-up bag M.O.T.

Got a stash of beauty booty you’ve never even used? Us, too! Time for a lesson in how to shop smart…


You probably don’t have a spare £180,000 sitting around, but according to a recent study, that’s how much dosh some of us waste during a lifetime by buying beauty products we don’t use. We need to get savvy and choose the things that work for us! So we sent a serial culprit (100 lippies and counting), Features Director Danielle Hine, in store for a make-up bag makeover from Boots beauty consultant Nicole Ktisti…



D: ‘I “collect” these, as I really don’t have a clue which to use under my foundation – and I know that I’m not alone.’

THE ADVICE N: ‘A lot of people confuse primers with BB and CC creams. BB creams offer light coverage, similar to tinted moisturisers, whereas CCs are a bit heavier – good for those who suffer from redness, for example, but don’t want to use foundation. A primer isn’t necessary under a BB or CC, but because you wear foundation and like fuller coverage, I’d opt for an oil-free primer beforehand. Foundation will go on smoother, last longer and be shine free, giving you a flawless look.’

BEST BUY D: ‘Primer it is then – Nicole recommends I try Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting [30ml]; it makes my skin look and feel like velvet.’




D: ‘I’m after The One – that dream concealer to cover my dark circles without caking and ageing me by 10 years. Or giving me white eye-rings. I’ve tried (and discarded) them all. Almost…’

THE ADVICE Nicole takes me to the N°7 Match Made Service counter (they match your skin tone exactly, for everything from foundation and lipstick to blusher), where business manager Havva Akmanlar looks at my skin through a hi-tech gadget (turns out my skin tone is ‘Deeply Ivory’). She suggests a N°7 Instant Radiance concealer, which is great for non-cakiness. But I’m worried it’s not concealing enough. ‘Use our dark circle corrector first – it’s been proven to reduce darkness in around four weeks,’ Havva explains. ‘Then gradually build up the concealer coverage by layering – leave each layer for about a minute to “set” before adding more.’ Any other tips? ‘Finish with
a touch of powder to stop it showing
in photos.’

Best buys N°7 Beautiful Skin Dark Circle Corrector £13.50/1,350 points (15ml); N°7 Instant Radiance Concealer £13.50/1,350 points (available in 8 shades).




D: ‘I know it’s a common mistake, but all my foundations are so pale (and chalky) that I’m terrified Siouxsie Sioux is going to call and want her look back.’

THE ADVICE N: ‘You need to go in store to try on foundation, rather than just buying the palest shades because you’re fair. Test it just in the centre of your jawline to get a more realistic match to your skin colour. Then check it in a compact mirror, in natural light. If it disappears when you blend, that’s your perfect match.’

BEST BUY D: ‘If you want your skin to feel nourished and look youthful, with good coverage, then YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation [£38/3,800 points, 30ml] is a gem. NB: I was two shades darker than I thought I was!’




D: ‘I’m a newbie to brow enhancement and (like a lot of us) wanted to “Cara” my ultra-fine eyebrows. After going to town with a very dark pencil (now binned), I could have passed as Groucho Marx’s eyebrow twin – sob.’

THE ADVICE N: ‘No one should go more than one shade darker than their natural brows. And opt for a product with a brush, for a subtle effect that you can gradually build up.’

BEST BUY D: ‘Wunderbrow 1-Step Brow Gel in Blonde [£19.95/1,995 points; in three other shades] is easy to apply and lasts for days (until you take it off).’




D: ‘I want a blush that makes me look really healthy, doesn’t look “stripy” and gives good glow. All mine are way too pink – I look like an ageing doll.’

THE ADVICE N: ‘One of the most universally flattering blusher shades is peach. If you’re debating between a powder or a cream, I’d always recommend powder. Cream is applied with fingers, so it can end up looking stripy – with powder you have more control over the amount on your brush. To combat the possibility of dullness or flatness, I suggest adding a smidge of highlighter on top, or choosing a product that has a subtle shimmer.’

BEST BUY D: ‘I went for this gorgeous metallic coral blush, which also contains an illuminator and bronzer for added shimmery loveliness: NYX Baked Blush in Ignite [£6.50/650 points].’



Whether your make-up bag needs a total overhaul or just a few tweaks, discover a new beauty experience at one of our Emporiums, launching in selected stores from late September. Specially trained advisors are on hand to help you experiment with the latest trends and techniques. Happy make-up makeover!


    1. Image icon

      Any cosmetic product with a lifespan of less than 30 months must show a ‘Best before the end of’ date. Look out for an egg-timer logo and date, or the words BBE or Exp, followed by the date.

    2. Image icon

      Cosmetics that last longer than 30 months must show a ‘period after opening’ time. Look for a symbol of an open pot of cream (the time in months is shown on, or near, the symbol).

Photography Pixeleyes


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