Makeup has taken a refreshing turn to start the year - new UK launches such as the heavily stick based Milk Makeup are changing the focus from ‘paint by numbers’ contouring to simple but effective ‘wear it your way’ looks, while new brands such as Code 8 are placing the focus firmly on saving you time, “enabling you to apply makeup quickly and efficiently”. Makeup is evolving to become more compact, concentrated and long-lasting, with multi-step prep and complicated tutorials taking a back seat, at least for now. Just call it your makeup ‘diet’ for January, but with joyful connotations - less faff, a fresh start and more time for fun.
Whether you’re Marie Kondo-ing your makeup bag or simply craving practical, simple to use yet modern makeup, here are the latest streamlined launches to bookmark
Launching today, Hourglass has transformed it’s much loved Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick into a Liquid Foundation , £51, and while it’s far from a bargain, it’s the cosmetic equivalent of very concentrated fruit squash. Half a pump of the weightless, full coverage formula will likely do the job for your whole face and you don’t need a primer underneath or a setting powder on top - it claims to stick around for a full 24 hours. Seeing as it landed on my desk yesterday and I did a nice double cleanse last night I can’t verify that full-day boast, but so far so loyal as far as makeup goes. For relatively heavy coverage it’s also surprisingly real ‘skinny’ - it’s formulated with light refracting microspheres to create an even, alive finish (i.e, not matte and flat). Seamless indeed.
The multi-use glow stick
Not a glow stick in a rave sense - Chanel’s new Baume Essentiel , £33, is the understated cosmetic equivalent. Inspired by Chanel Global Makeup Artist Lucia Pica’s visits to Japan and Korea, the dewy, moisturising makeup stick was created to deliver “a wet glow on the skin that brings life to the complexion. It leaves strokes of pearly luminescence that add definition without a hint of heaviness.” Pica used the transparent balm on models’ eyelids at the recent Chanel SS19 Haute Couture show in Paris as “a final touch to create a glossy, alive and modern finish”, but it works just as well IRL on cheekbones and lips. For a more golden highlighter effect, pick the Sculpting version - it got’s a little bit more pearl going on. For an even more subtle effect, you can buff it into skin with the new Retractable Highlighter Brush , £28, but straight from the tube or dabbed on with finger works just as well. The fact that highlighter’s going in this more low key direction hopefully marks an end to the ‘tin man’ stripes we’ve seen in the recent past...
The am/pm lip balm
Code 8 am/pm , £21, is a lightly tinted lip balm/ gloss hybrid that’s not only got a Christina Milian hit going on repeat in my head (tune) but is also about the most adaptable lip product you can chuck in your handbag. With three “nude” shades to suit different skintones (there’s not much pigment, but the pH adaptive shade ensures you won’t look washed out wearing a so-called “nude” if you have dark skin) it’s rich in ceramides and emollients to combat flakiness and contains vitamins E, K and A for antioxidant clout. The all-dayer balm hails from a new brand designed around the concept of making makeup application less time consuming and more effortless - essentially cutting out the need for tools, brushes, primers and headspace were colour combinations are concerned.
The light gel lipstick that lasts for a really long time
Because that’s essentially what you’d like from your lip colour - you want to barely feel it but be able to see it. Not too much to ask right? Until your longwear lipstick starts flaking all over the place while your lightweight colour disappears as soon as you even see a coffee cup. New Bareminerals Barepro Longwear Lipstick , £20, pledges to do neither - it’s gel based and feels refreshing but stays the distance, with versatile mineral pigments to suit everyone and a vegan, cruelty-free formula. It’s slim and doesn’t look particularly special, but there’s more than meets the eye here.
The cosy, comfortable eyeshadow
So new they’re not here yet (hold out for Feb), but Laura Mercier Caviar Matte Eye Stick in Ginger and Cashmere, £24 were inspired by the slick ‘get down to business’ ambiance of Paris and New York, and they’ll make commute makeovers a doddle whether you happen to be in either city or not. They’re creamy, crease-proof, last for 12-ish hours and like the makeup incarnation of a cosy jumper on a cold morning - easy to slip on, full-coverage and hard working. It’s makeup you don’t have to think about, which granted isn’t always what you want (a Saturday evening masterpiece will always have its place), but when time and headspace is of the essence, reach for stuff like this.