For the last week, I have been somewhere other than landlocked in the nightmare icescape that is Chicago: kicking back and sunning my buns in beautiful Miami.
And my hostess for this most necessary of vacations has been someone fantastic that you guys might recognise...
Allegra and I have been bringing glamour realness to South Beach. It’s been an absolute delight hanging out with her for 10 days of sun, sand and surf.
Miami is a totally fantastic city, and she is a fantastic hostess. There’s always something to do and somewhere amazing to go. This has meant a lot of getting out of the pool and heading off to meet people for lunch or drinks, with very little primping time in between.
I’ve made it really easy, though, because after much trial and error, I have successfully waterproofed my signature look: flawless skin, bright lips, cat-eye liner sharp enough to kill a man, long lashes, pink cheeks and perfect brows.
This is all I’m wearing on my skin, apart from sunscreen--no primer, no BB, no foundation, nothing. I am all about keeping it simple in the lovely weather!
Fortunately, I’ve fallen truly madly deeply in love with a concealer that makes my entire LIFE better. It is the One Ring of the Middle Earth that is my face, and I would totally go to war with the entire world to keep it in my possession.
I speak, of course, of Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer.
I’ve had this concealer for about a month now, and I will admit to some trepidation when I took it to Florida with me. It says it’s waterproof--but is it really? I’ve never suffered through a hot, humid season with it before, and I’ve been burned by products that don’t deliver under extreme circumstances.
It turned out that I shouldn’t have worried. Because this concealer is amazing.
Not only does it give me beautiful, natural coverage, but it also LASTS. It doesn’t matter if you’re sweating your face off your face in the humidity or swimming laps--once this concealer is on, it stays put.
It doesn’t cake into fine lines, even under my eyes. It doesn’t need powder to feel “set,” which is great because I’ve skipping that altogether. It works on dark circles, redness and post-zit scarring.
If you live in a place where it gets really hot, or you’ve never been able to find a concealer that covers beautifully AND stays where you need it to, this is the product for you.
My eyelashes are light to the point of almost being invisible, which looks super-weird with my new darker hair colour. So what’s a girl to do when she’s in and out of the water every day for a week?
Obviously she is to buy the greatest waterproof mascara known to man: MAC Splashproof Lash Mascara.
I have been let down by almost every single mascara that touted itself as waterproof in the past--either they left dark marks oozing down my face, or they weren’t black enough, or they flaked off the tips of my lashes and left gross black residue on my cheeks. This is the only mascara that has STAYED PUT during my oceanic frolics.
This mascara won’t build insane volume, give extra length or add curl. All it does is give you the dark, glamourous lashes we all wish we’d been born with--and it won’t come off, even in the pool, until you take it off.
I discovered Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow Gel on my last Sephora run, and my entire life changed. I know I employ a lot of comedic hyperbole in my articles, but I am being very serious here. This stuff is the greatest.
Like my lashes, my eyebrows are naturally an ash-blonde colour. This looks stark contrasted with my dark hair, and I strongly prefer to fill them in and darken them a little. This is now my chosen product with which to do that.
All I do is squeeze out a teeny amount onto the back of my hand, and then with my angled brush, I fill my brows in.
This product is perfect in all ways--the droid I didn’t even realise I was looking for. The gel gives light hold and shape, and the colour is pigmented yet natural looking so that you never have harsh lines. And not only is it waterproof, it stays on forever--even if you accidentally rub at it.
I am in love with this stuff. Nothing makes me look and feel more put together than having perfect brows, and this is definitely THE product to achieve that.
Sing, O muse, of the glories of LORAC Front of the Line PRO liquid eyeliner! Is there anything that it CAN’T do?
This is my favourite liquid liner. I do not think that the formula can be improved upon for colour, opacity, evenness of wear, and the design of the applicator itself, which allows for the most delicate of lines.
You may know all that. But did you also know that it’s waterproof? BECAUSE IT IS.
This eyeliner has lasted through photshoots, surprise thunderstorms and dancing on a boat for four hours. It stands to reason that it would also stand up to a pool.
And indeed it did. Being semi-aquatic is no excuse to skimp on the glamour of a perfect cat eye.
And you don’t have to kill your skin to get it off! A little eye-makeup remover followed by some gentle moisturiser is really all it takes.
BLUSH AND LIP COLOUR
I used the same product for both of these: Stila Lip and Cheek Stain in Raspberry.
I am on record as not being a serious fan of cream blushes or stains, so you’ll understand how astonished I am at this amazing unicorn of a product--something that works equally well on cheeks as it does on lips, and most importantly, is something that I like.
I don’t use it directly from the pen on my cheeks, as I find that leaves a bit of a wacky residual outline. Instead, I paint a little bit onto two of my fingers and then tap it onto my cheeks. I start in the middle of the apples, patting outwards so that I get a rosy flush that doesn’t look fake or smeared on.
And the same colour is amazing on my lips. Like other intense cool pink lip colours, it looks a little intimidating at first glance. But once applied, it’s a beautiful, deep, rich fuchsia that works with the natural colouring of the person who wears it, rather than covering it up.
It also has a tiny bit of shimmery-sheen that isn’t obvious on cheeks, but gives the colour some depth on my lips.
Being in Miami means eating ALL THE THINGS, and touching up my lip colour is the last thing I want to be doing. I don’t have to worry about that with this stain!
It’s also not drying, and wears rather than flakes off. I really love the small brush applicator, because it means I can exactly follow the shape of my lips without needing to deploy a lipliner. One less thing to carry!
If I were a Hans Christian Andersen style mermaid, I’d definitely sell my soul to come ashore and hit up a Sephora to stock up on this. It’s so good.
How do you adapt your signature look to vacation conditions? Where’s your favourite place to relax and recuperate? Any awesome beauty-on-holiday stories you’d like to share?
Photos by Maral Adams.