17-71 - Scarlett Curtis is 17, Scarlett Edwards-Jones is 71. We asked them to swap make-up bags for a week. This is what happened...
As I apply my make-up in the morning there are a number of things I’m hoping people will say about my work (yes, that’s right, putting on make-up does qualify as work now.) Primarily I’m going for an ‘Ooh Scarlett, isn’t your make-up lovely today!’ or even a ‘Wow your eyes really do look like Jennifer Lawrence’s.’
Despite the fact I have so far received neither of these comments, that’s the kind of thing I have in mind when getting ready in the morning. One thing that I’m really hoping people will never say is ‘Wow Scarlett, you look like you’re wearing the make-up of a 71-year-old woman.’ So when Get the Gloss set me the challenge of swapping make-up bags with the 71-year-old Scarlett Edwards-Jones, I was actually quite scared.
Despite my fear, when I received the list of products I was to be using, my first thought was that I had definitely got the best end of the bargain. I had sent Scarlett a tatty, free, No7 make-up bag full of Maybelline, Rimmel and Barry M. In exchange for these Boots bargain buys I had received products from none other than Chanel, Armani and most excitingly of all, a Joe Malone perfume! Even so, I must admit that what I was most excited about was the Nivea pearly shine lip balm. As I’ve mentioned before, my ‘Breaking Bad’ style addiction to lip balm is alarming and I was very impressed by Scarlett’s choice.
Once I knew I was safe on the lip front I decided to brave the other products. I’ve always been a big preacher of the ‘fancy labels don’t make a difference when it comes to make-up’ argument, determined to Barry M my eyeliner on no matter the occasion. But even I can see that there is a colossal difference between Maybelline 24 Hour Stay and Scarlett’s Armani Luminous Silk foundation. It literally felt like smoothing liquid silk over my face, and my skin had never looked better. It was a joy to apply every morning and I have a slight suspicion I may never go back. The only other face product Scarlett gave me was a Max Factor Pan Stik foundation, a concealer-style stick of foundation. I didn’t love this as I felt it was too thick for me, and since I was having quite a good skin week I didn’t use it much.
Then it came to the eyes. Normally when doing my make-up, my eyes are my statement piece, and I felt totally naked the first day without my trusty liquid eyeliner. My eyes are blue so if I ever use colour on them (which is rare) it will always be blue or purple. Scarlett had swapped me a khaki Chanel eyeshadow palette, a green L’Oreal eye pencil and a grey Armani eye pencil. I was very wary of the green eyeshadow but was pleasantly surprised when putting it on that it barely looked green at all. The base colour was a shimmery white, and the khaki looked almost golden when applied.
The eye pencils gave me a lovely smoky eye, which I wasn’t expecting. What made it all OK in the end though was the Chanel mascara, which was like all my mascara dreams rolled into one. If Scarlett wants to swap back, I am definitely hiding this one down my bra. Despite my fears about entering the big world without my usual black eyes, I got a lot of compliments all week on my ‘sophisticated’ look.
In the end, wearing the face of a 71-year-old for a week didn’t turn out quite as disastrous as I was expecting. The perfume did remind me of my mum every time I sprayed it and I can’t say I will be jumping at the chance to wear green eyeshadow any time soon. But one thing this week has done is to finally make me admit that sometimes products are expensive for a reason - they are just a whole lot better.
Well, here I am wearing the make-up of a very modern 17-year-old! When I opened the jiffy bag for our make-up swap I was absolutely delighted with all the new and exciting products. I haven't checked out the make-up scene at Space NK or Harvey Nichols for ages, so I know I am rather out of date with what’s new and trendy. I’m not even quite sure where to go and look.
The first thing that caught my eye was an American concealer that goes under the rather strange name of Boi-ing by Benefit. An industrial-strength concealer no less, I felt that this was worth a try and I was right. Put it on anything you’re not too keen on and it disappears! It’s really excellent, plus it blended in beautifully. Next came a Bourjois Healthy Balance Ten Hour Unifying Powder compact. On the front it said ‘Asian fruit therapy’ - can't say I’ve heard of that before - but ‘hydrating and anti-shine’ sounded great. I liked the pink compact and it was useful for putting in my handbag, but I found it a bit drying for my skin.
I then moved on to two little boxes of Smashbox face powder. I couldn't believe it, I hadn’t seen anything like it since my mother used to shake her Elizabeth Arden all over her dressing table. On closer inspection, it was a very different bag of cats altogether. Still American, but they were smart little black boxes with a clever inner mesh, through which the powder could be used without flying across the room. I applied it with the stubby little brush that it came with and I thoroughly enjoyed using it. The information on the box tells me it’s a ‘revolutionary perfecting powder that dramatically minimises the signs of ageing’. How could I go wrong with that?
The second box, a rather alarming yellow powder called Smashbox Halo Yellow Colour Correcting Hydrating Powder, minimises the signs of ageing and gets rid of redness. Jaundice came to mind, but I pressed on. I don't tend to suffer with facial redness, but it might be useful prior to too many drinks at a party.
I was delighted with several new eye make-up goodies that I hadn’t seen before. Firstly I tried L'Oreal Perfect Slim Super Liner. You need a steady hand when applying this! It’s like a very skinny felt tip pen, and makes a flawless fine line exactly where you want it. I found Benefit’s Bad Gal liner much easier to use: a soft black pencil with a blending sponge at the other end. It’s waterproof too, which is a bonus particularly in the summer. Finally in the eye department was L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara with little fibres to give more eyelash length, which I found to be lovely and black and very easy to use.
I had less success with the Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Colour Balm - while it looked and felt lovely, mine was called Chunky Cherry and was rather bright. I already have a large mouth, so I don’t feel it needs too much emphasis - and my long suffering husband thought it looked ghastly and requested not to see me wearing it again!
Several friends have noticed the difference and, I hope, the improvement. It’s been fun trying all the new products, several of which I’ll certainly keep up with. I just hope Scarlett C wasn't too bored with my stash...