Can you look every bit the fashionista at London Fashion Week without blowing the budget? Hannah Rochell investigates...
If there's one word to describe what I consider before getting started on my beauty regime for Fashion Week, it's this: longevity. When I'm working twelve hour days, running between shows, filing copy from cafes and interviewing top designers at ten o'clock at night, the last thing I have time to worry about is my make-up.
That said, it's not like I can turn up bare faced with my hair scraped back into a greasy ponytail; there's a certain obligation to look at least a little bit glamorous. So anything I do put on my face or in my hair needs to look as good when I finish my last show as it did when I arrived fresh-faced for my first at nine in the morning.
Here are my can't-live-without beauty products for Fashion Week (which are probably just as useful for busy mums as for fashion journalists).
Babyliss Curling Wand
My hair is one thing I can prepare the night before, and if I'm clever I won't need to wash it again for another three days. I used to get a blow-dry to achieve the 'wavy gravy' look before Fashion Week but frankly, I don't have the time and can create the same look myself at home for free.
I find the Babyliss Curling Wand Pro , £25, the easiest tool to use for this, and it's better than using straighteners which can damage the hair because they are too hot to use for tonging. Simply tong small sections of the hair for that cool, beachy tousled look. If you're not sure how to do it, check out the video tutorials on the Hershesons Blow Dry Bar website ( www.hershesons.com ) - it's how I taught myself. By day three, I might add a little dry shampoo to the roots which not only soaks up any greasiness, it also adds to that sexy texture.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
I don't wear a lot of make-up for Fashion Week but any I do wear needs to stay put, so I always start with a base of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm , £29. You can't beat it for staying power. Then I'll just pop on a long-lasting but light foundation that doesn't need touching up throughout the day (my favourite is actually rather expensive, so in the interests of frugality I won't mention the brand!) and some cream blusher. Job done.
17 Tattoo Me Semi Permanent Liner
I tested this 17 Tattoo Me Semi Permanent liquid liner , £4.99, for a previous column and have to admit I haven't used it since, because it is such a pain to remove. But I will be applying my cat flicks with it for Fashion Week so I don't have to worry about smudging or fading. I reckon I might even be able to get away with wearing it two days in a row if I remove the rest of my make-up carefully; not something I'd usually advise but when I'm getting home at midnight and then heading back out to the shows at 7.30am I need all the help I can get!
No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Geranium
There's always one day at Fashion Week when I fancy doing a bright lip, and this Moisture Drench one from No7 , £9.50, is by far the best one I have tried for staying power. Not only that, the orange pigment is so eye-catching, I receive many a compliment from fashion editors on the front row (a great way of networking!). Never comes off on your teeth, survives the hurried scoffing of cheese toasties and rarely requires a retouch. Brilliant.
Compeed Blister Plasters
Even your most trusted comfy shoes can become your enemy when you spend all day on your feet. I don't ever wear heels (check out my flat shoes blog - www.enbrogue.com - for a diary of the non-heeled footwear I choose to wear for fashion week) but I've experienced terrible blisters at this time in the fashion calendar. I always carry Compeed Blister Plasters , from £4.25, for emergencies; not only are they the best for combatting the pain, but their discreet design means no one will notice them even if they are protruding out of your shoe.
Illamasqua Speckle Nail Polish and Seche Vite
Along with a blow-dry, a manicure is something I have neither the money nor the inclination to do before Fashion Week, so a decent home polish will have to do. I've recently discovered Illamasqua's Speckle range , £14.50. It has different sized pieces of hexagonal glitter in it, which leaves an effect that’s a little like an egg shell. It's pretty cool but can chip quite easily because of the texture, so I like to finish it off with a coat of Seche Vite , £9, which will make it last longer and leaves a lovely glossy shine.
Lucozade Energy Tablets
It's a myth that fashion folk don't like to eat. Last season I made friends with Lauren Laverne when I produced an emergency packet of crisps at the Giles show and she was a bit peckish. I always try to make time to grab one of the nicest toasted cheese sandwiches I have ever eaten from Fernandez and Wells, the cafe at Somerset House, but often I'll become suddenly, and very urgently hungry. It's not exactly on trend to carry a tupperware box of sandwiches in one hand and your Marni clutch in the other, so instead I'll be packing some Lucozade Energy Tablets , 89p, in my very small bag. They might just see me through to my next show at the Topshop venue; it always has the best catering on offer. Mini beef casserole, anyone?