There's a saying in therapy, that when you're feeling down you need to make a conscious effort to act the opposite. Thank goodness for beauty, that in these dreary weather, high news alert days, that seemingly don't have much to offer, we can cheer ourselves up with what I call a 'cosmetic cuddle'.
I've worked as a beauty journalist for 30 years now and never have I been more thankful for the way that applying makeup or doing my hair can bring that missing sunshine. Right now, my beauty routine is an important part of finding the little joys in life that keep us going, simple pleasures such as sunshine-infused dog walks, splashing Le Labo Mandarin Shower Gel, £20 on liberally in the shower, or giving yoga a full 50 minutes of undivided attention, a lengthy Olverum Bath Oil £36.50 soak with a good book (currently Richard Osman’s T he Thursday Murder Club, £7.49 ). These are the failsafes that always put me in a good mood and make all the difference to lockdown days. They are the daily predictor, in fact, between getting out of those jim-jams or, not.
While it may sound flippant to include beauty in this rollcall, makeup (or lack of it) plays a vital part in how this 54-year-old instinctively feels when she catches her reflection in the mirror/back of a spoon/Zoom meeting. I know I am not alone in wearing a lot less make up than usual – not much point in full slap these days. My nylon Prada bag stares up at me forlornly on the regular. But it’s important to feel pulled together, should your husband/mother/ postman give a hoot, and not go feral by skipping facial hair removal (something reserved for later life) quite yet.
In this ‘better days ahead’ spirit, I have simple daily makeup to-dos that elevate my mood and femininity pleasingly - a slather of It Cosmetics Hello Results Daily Retinol Serum-in-Cream £20 (which smells dreamy), a healthy dollop of I t Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50, £32.50 foundation or a tinted moisturiser (new product alert, see below) all help to readjust my appearance and, therefore, my mindset, before slicking on Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick (£30, £12!) Peep Show lippie on the hour. Perfect. Matte. Pink-nude. Makes pale eyes pop. God I love thee!.
And now this! A new skin veil which is perfect for this in-between weather season. Becca Light Shifter Dewing Tint Tinted Moisturiser £26 , a two-in-one lightweight dewy tint with just a hint of coverage and a lot of moisture benefits has entered the fray and it gives that glowy, ‘lit-from-within’ luminosity I always desire. At 54, I haven't had tweakments, and I know which products give me that youthful glow. Light Shifter is pleasingly like my real skin – but better, obvs. Even my husband thought I was makeup-free when I wore it sans any colour cosmetics. He swore I looked so much younger like that without makeup (little did he know!). What is it with men?