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The Makeup Maniac

The Makeup Maniac: The great makeup bag refresh

September 9th 2016 / Anna Hunter


It’s ‘back to school’ season, only now you’re stashing your bag with beauty products, not pencils. Here are 11 new launches to look out for…

September is a bit like Freshers week in beauty land, without the lairiness or ill-advised couplings. Everyone returns from sunning themselves, gets their head into the game (Fashion Month is upon us) and a class of new products arrive to kickstart a new term. We attend launches, shiny shoed and refreshed after a break, hankering to discover ‘what’s next’. This is the time to bring out the big guns, whether it’s new products being debuted backstage at SS17 shows or innovations that have been simmering all summer and are only now just coming to the fore. Here’s just an assortment of the new loot that’s coming with me to class…

Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, £28

For me the MJ mascaras were true game changers (I’ve never had so many compliments/ comments on how convincing my false lashes look…), but being a blusher enthusiast, I was curious to see how they’d take on the one product I put on a pedestal. Thankfully, Marc Jacobs and team have aced it with this silky two tone palette. With a very natural spectrum of shades, strong but easily blended pigment (nothing worse than blocky clown cheeks) and a striped design that allows you to isolate colour or swoosh it all together, it’s creates a subtle but instantly beautifying warmth that’s designed to stick around as you go about your business. Soft, yes, but ultimately powerful. It’s a keeper.

Suqqu Extra Glow Lipstick, £23

To carry on the ‘glow theme’, this plumping, oil based lipstick is likely one of the most flattering things you’ll slip on for the new season. It feels light and moisturising, which is nothing new in the lipstick category, but the colour payoff was more than I expected for such a balm-like bullet. If you still can’t get your lips around gloss, but want your mouth to look full and youthful, it’s the perfect modern compromise. I’m on the hunt for my perfect nude at the moment (akin to jeans shopping- those that fit are few and far between), but Extra Glow is brilliant vehicle by which to dabble in stronger colour too, as it will look juicy and alive rather than flat and stark.

Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix™ Highlighting Stick, £9.99

\Not glowing enough yet? Three’s a trend, so here’s another glow giver that creates instant light in a swipe. Smooth, easy to spot-apply and long lasting, they’ll come in handy for day to day face ‘refreshment’ and more structured highlighting, or even to create a bit of a gleam across the eyelid. There’s the tiniest hint of glitter, but it’s not obvious, plus the ‘strobe effect’ doesn’t travel. No one want a disco ball chin.

Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand, £26.50

Part of Bobbi’s new ‘Retouching’ franchise, which also includes a face pencil and powder, this sponge tipped on-the-go perfector can make all the difference between caked and exposed, makeup wise. The rounded sponge blends the patented pigment liquid formula seamlessly, and I found that I used less product than when I apply concealer with my fingers or a more sturdy brush, yet still managed to neutralise lurking redness around my nose. Somewhere between a mini foundation and smoothing concealer, this has become an overnight bag staple, and it’s very useful if you’re caught short and need to revive a flagging base. The nine shades and seriously clued up counter staff also make it easy to find the ‘one’.

Sisley Anti-Aging Foundation, £98, coming soon

Before you head for the hills on account of the wad of cash you’ll have to hand over to get your hands on it, this fresh, techy foundation does ‘skinimitation’ exceedingly well, and cushions skin with a potent anti-ageing complex as it perfects. The colour ‘melts’ into skin thanks to coated lipids that adapt to the skin, rather than sitting on top of it, and a fusion of two different micas adds a healthy radiance. In short, it’s super powered skincare, with the benefit of medium coverage, buildable colour. The only detractor, apart from the steep price point, is the limited shade range. Olive is at about as far as it goes, so let’s hope the techies are working on that…

Jay Manuel Beauty, available now at QVC from £15

Speaking of wider shade ranges, makeup artist and former America’s Next Top Model creative director Jay Manuel has made sure that his beauty range caters for as many women as possible, and is determined that the industry opens its eyes to the vital importance of diversity:

“I’ve worked with women of every skin tones in my career, and it would seem so disingenuous if I only offered a narrow spectrum of shades. In the US especially the very fair, and the very deep, gets lost. I want rich colour, that’s never ashy. Some brands’ darkest shades only just suit me (barely), and I’m mixed race, yet they’re being sold to black women. Brands are getting a lot better, but things are still not great.”

Jay’s complexion range especially has gone down a storm in the US, with foundation making up roughly 50% of sales, as according to Jay ‘it’s our strongest point of difference, and it has been since we got out of the gate.I’m proud of that, because the hardest thing to convert any woman on is complexion.”

Jay’s success in the base stakes is also likely due to his thinking outside of the box regarding ingredients and formulas. From the upcoming powder to cream foundation (microencapsulated liquid molecules that burst onto skin when buffed in) to self-setting concealer that doesn’t crease and ‘filter finish’ foundation infused with micronized silk, rather than heavy silicones, Manuel has not only listened to women all throughout his career to find out, in minute detail, what they want, but made it happen via extensive research time spent in Korea and weeks beavering away in labs. The QVC platform is also proof that his range looks flawless on HDTV, which is no mean feat.

David Downton for Eyeko, £80 for the set

Fashion illustrator David Downton has lent his flair and elegant style to Eyeko’s oh so inky and precise eyeliner, mascara and growth promoting brow gel, along with a leather cosmetics pouch featuring a very lashtastic watercolour print. Eyeko’s liner in particular has become a cult office favourite, but my newly exposed eyebrows (see ya later fringe) are benefitting from definition that’s a doddle to create with a wave of the brow gel wand. Add in a lash strengthening, curling mascara are your eye wardrobe is both complete, and chic thanks to a flourish from the revered Downton.

Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara, £6.99

Shaped satisfyingly like a Toblerone, this nifty new mascara grabs and combs through lashes with finesse, coating them in jet black colour with no hint of a clump. The bristle brush is fairly firm rather overly fluffy or, on the flipside, weedy, allowing you to wiggle the wand right into the root, hence the volume specialism. The magnifying mirror on the side of the tube is also actually useful, which is rarely the case with built in tools and effects. If ever a mascara were built for the commute, it’s this.

Chanel Fall 2016 Le Rouge Collection No1, from £17.50

Sales of lip colour are expected to rise by 12% this year according to Mintel, so it wouldn’t be a shocker if many of us plumped for a new red lipstick, but how about a red eye? Rather than a jet lag inducing night flat, the new red eye is showcased to perfection in Lucia Pica’s autumn collection for Chanel. If scarlet lids freak you out, it’s worth noting that the shade palette for eyes is more rust and russet rather than traffic light bright. Nevertheless, red on the eye is bold, liberating and challenging in the way that a red lip originally was, and still is to an extend. Coco would approve, and if you need a nudge, Kristen Stewart smoulders in the ad campaign for the range, and red tones look especially striking on blue and green eyes. I dare you.

3ina The Color Eyeliner in 505, £7.95, launches 12th September

I may be pushing this red eye business a bit far, but this liner caught my eye, and one of my colleagues has been rocking a red liner for months, with much success and funkiness. It’s a beautiful metallic burgundy and zips along the lashline neatly for a flash of jewel-like colour. It’s water-resistant so there’s no risk of red tears (creepy) and if you’re still not convinced, you won’t break the bank by giving it a road test. I’m all for it though; new term vibes lend themselves to experimentation.

Urban Decay Pro Brushes, from £11

Developed with pro artists and informed by the ultimate tricks of the trade, Urban Decay’s brush range will blow your mind. Soft, oh so ‘buffy’ (not a word but...love that buffing feeling), the slick in-house team have thought of everything, from densely packed blurring brushes to ‘finger’ like brushes to really smudge product into lash lines. They’re also as environmentally and ethically friendly as possible, using silky synthetic ‘hair’ and handles recycled from plastic bottles. Good, nay, great, in every sense. I wish they’d been around when I wrote My Ultimate Guide to Makeup Brushes and Tools

Missing summer makeup already? Get your glow back here…

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