Six essential beauty tricks
07:16 GMT, 5 July 2012
What makes some products stand out from the crowd of cosmetics on the shop shelves Here, Jean and Jane Ford (from left above), the now sixtysomething twins who founded cult brand Benefit, share their tips for making every woman look her best.
To get fuller lashes
THE TRICK: ‘Apply your mascara before any other eye make-up,’ advise Jean and Jane. ‘To really fill out thinning lashes, lift your eyelid right up as you brush your mascara on. First, holding the brush horizontally, comb through your eyelashes. Then use the tip of the brush to work the product from the base of your lashes and extend right to the ends.
WHAT TO USE: Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (18.50, benefitcosmetics.co.uk) is the world’s best-selling premium mascara, with one tube sold every six seconds. The appeal is in the brush, which has a tiny ball at the end and can be used vertically and horizontally. When this mascara on, it looks like false lashes — only better.
The best advice of all Stop picking on yourself! And when someone pays you a compliment, accept it and say thank you.
Other great lash-building mascaras to try are Rimmel London ScandalEyes Show Off Mascara (6.99, Boots) which also features a ball brush at the end to lift and curl lashes. I also like Dior’s Diorshow Multi-dimensional Volume & Treatment Mascara New Look Black (23, Boots) which gives real volume to lashes.
To hide crow's feet
THE TRICK: After applying foundation, draw a big dot with a brightening pencil at the outer corner of your eye. Use your fingers to gently blend it up towards the end of your brow, as this eliminates the downward drag of crow’s feet.
To make your eyes look even younger, draw three small dots in the inner corner of the eye and dab with your finger to blend.
WHAT TO USE: A pencil is better than a liquid concealer. Jean and Jane recommend Benefit Eye Bright Pencil (14) which is a flattering pink tone. Or try Pixi Eye Bright Liner (10, Boots) which has a twist-up point and a nude shade to brighten the whites of your eyes.
Benefit Brow Zings, 22.50
An instant brow lift
THE TRICK: You need a steady hand for this. Take your thumb and forefinger and ‘open up’ the eye area so you can use your other hand to draw a very fine line — using brow wax — under the arch of the brow, following its natural curve. Use a long-handled brush for best results.
Next, fill in any gaps with brow powder. Start with a darker shade in the corner of the brow, going to a lighter one on the outside of the brow. Stub the product in using a brush, as this gives a more natural effect than painting it on.
WHAT TO USE: As we age, we lose colour and definition in our brows, so a product that both shapes and shades them is a good idea. Naturally, Jean and Jane recommend Benefit Brow Zings (22.50), a dual palette with wax to shape and powder to fill in brows.
A good budget alternative is the GOSH Eye brow kit (8.49, Superdrug) which contains three brow powder shades and a wax cream to shape.
Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer, 17
To brighten eyes
THE TRICK: Get rid of dark circles for an instant glow. ‘Use the pad of your middle finger to apply a heavy-duty concealer,’ say Jean and Jane. ‘Pat it on gently underneath your eyes and it will stay put for longer.’
WHAT TO USE: A yellow-based concealer is best for camouflaging dark shadows. Try Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer, (17, bobbibrown.co.uk) or Benefit Lemon Aid (16.50), a pale yellow, colour-correcting eyelid primer which helps to hide redness on your eyelids, but is also excellent for covering dark circles. It can be worn under or over make-up.
To ease smile lines
THE TRICK: Known as ‘marionette lines’, many women moan about the wrinkles that run from the nose to the mouth when smiling. Jean and Jane recommend applying your normal foundation, then using an illuminating pencil to draw three lines, like cat’s whiskers, either side of your nose in the opposite direction of your lines. Blend well. Mad as it sounds, this trick really works.
WHAT TO USE: These pencils were created to highlight brow bones, but they disguise smile lines brilliantly. Try the Arch Enhancer by Shavata (9.95, victoriahealth.com) which has a light-reflecting pigment, or Benefit’s High Brow Pencil (14) which is super-creamy and so especially effective on dry complexions.
To find your perfect lip colour
THE TRICK: This sounds crazy, but you need to compare your lipstick to the colour of the flesh on the inside of your cheek. Use a hand mirror to check the colour — your lipstick should be two shades darker.
Jean and Jane say this is the same colour of your lips when you were 16 years old. I was sceptical, but it works — the colour match is really flattering. Avoid using a lip liner; you get a more natural look without it.
WHAT TO USE: A handbag-sized mirror, such as a mini silver effect travel mirror (6, John Lewis) is a must-have when shopping for lipstick.
Celebrity make-up ranges can be a bit hit or miss. But the new cruelty-free line by model Lily Cole for The Body Shop is spot on. The limited-edition collection contains no animal products, has not been tested on animals and has a great price range.
Puff-On Radiance (16) is a pale pink highlighter for cheeks, dcolletage or even arms and legs. Pearl Radiance Primer (12) can be worn alone or under foundation for a subtle glow. And put Lip And Cheek Dome (10) in your bag to perk up lips and cheeks on the go.
Look out for Marks & Spencer’s new Limited Collection make-up. The extensive range contains some wonderful shades and is subtly and tastefully packaged. The face products are well-priced and good quality. Loose Powder (5) comes in translucent, and Moisture Tint (5) has two shades which are great for paler skins or to enhance a slightly darker complexion. There are also 18 shades of creamy lipsticks (5) and nine shades of lipgloss (5) to choose from.
Nice for the price
We can never resist a bargain, and budget make-up range 2true does seem too good to be its namesake. Each product costs 1.99, or you can buy three items for 4.99 from Superdrug. We tried Voluptulash Waterproof Mascara and Effortless Waterproof Eyeliner (both black).
Our tester, usually a fan of designer mascaras, found the 2true mascara gave surprisingly good coverage. The eyeliner has a tip which made creating perfect sleek lines easy. Throw in Quick Nail Polish in Shade 11, a fashionable nude, to treat yourself for just 4.99.