As I've got older 'glow' seems to be in ever decreasing supply – that natural plumpness deflates, rosiness pales, hair and eyebrows fade and it's all I can do to stop my eyes disappearing into my face. Dark circles, on the other hand, are being handed out freely like wine at book group, and all the unwanted pigmentation from youthful sun damage comes home to roost. (If all the dark spots, join up maybe that will count as 'honey skin' and I'll suddenly be fashionable).
Like many women in their 40s and 50s, I don't want to look like I'm wearing a ton of makeup, I just want to look alert, with my best face on and not as tired as I would visibly be, if you were to chisel it all off. I want products that thumb their nose at darkness, gloss over my lines and dryness but aren't so heavy duty that they make me look like the San Andreas fault. In effect, I want smoke and mirrors and to look like I'm living on one long yoga retreat not bringing up teenagers in polluted London. I want Glow with a capital G.
It all starts with a great base, and so I asked Pixiwwo's Sam and Nic for a back-to-basics lesson in mid-life coverage and how to look glowing without looking 'done'.
I can honestly say that the small changes they suggest have made a huge difference. I'm always in a hurry, so previously had no application technique other than 'fast'. I now always 'work in' foundation and concealer with a brush and am a convert to primer - it all saves time in the long run as makeup stays on better.
Watch the video to see how they did it, check out the step-by-step guide and product listing below.
Step 1: Primer
Sam and Nic's tip: use a radiant primer - and go with more than one primer for different areas of your face.
Start your base off with a great glowing primer to add juiciness. Sam recommends the Sisley Instant Eclat Instant Glow Primer, £60. A primer will help the foundation to stay on your skin all day and not to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. If you struggle with dryness in some areas, stick with the more hydrating primer and if you tend to be combination/greasy, often around the T-zone, apply a mattifying or pore-filling primer to just that area.
Step 2: Foundation
Sam and Nic's tip: Keep your base light and buff it in with a brush
You might want to mask your whole face with heavier coverage foundation if you have a few imperfections, but a lighter coverage actually gives the illusion of clearer skin. Nic recommends using a thin veil of foundation such as ByTerry Nude-Expert Foundation, £40 buffed in with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, £9.99 By buffing the foundation into the skin, the product sinks in to look part of the skin, rather than sitting on top.
Step 3: Mist
Sam and Nic's tip: revive the skin and set your foundation with a great luminising skin mist.
After applying foundation, a great way to add a boost of hydration is by misting the skin. Nic applied Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, £59.95 a great option for mature skins. The added humectants and botanicals moisturise the skin and leave the foundation fresh and dewy.
Step 4: Concealer
Sam and Nic's tip: for dark circles, focus on the inner corner of the eyes where darkness tends to be.
Rather than covering the whole eye area in concealer, Nic recommends using a concealer such as Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Super Natural Concealer, £21 . Dot into the innermost corner of the eye where darkness is prominent, the effect will lift the whole eye without accentuating fine lines.
Step 5: Bronzer
Sam and Nic's tip: apply bronzer lightly and build up as you go to keep it natural.
Using a cream bronzer around the high points of the face is a great way to add warmth and depth back into a blank canvas. Nic uses Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel, £40 and builds up slowly with a soft fluffy brush such as the Real Techniques Blush Brush, £9.99 . Go slowly and build up, you can always add more if needed.
Step 6: Powder
Sam and Nic's tip: use a small fluffy brush for precision powdering.
Only powder if you need to and for 40+skins, apply a hydrating powder. Use a smaller brush such as the Real Techniques Setting Brush, £7.99 . Sam suggests using a powder such as the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, £34 to give a light covering and take any shine away.
Step 7: Highlight
Sam and Nic's tip: choose a cream highlighter so it won't settle into fine lines and stays subtle.
If you are looking for a subtle sheen on the cheekbones, a great way to achieve this is to use a cream highlighter, Nic loves the MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush, £19 Cream highlighters are generally more forgiving across lines and wrinkles and can be blended in with fingers on top of foundation for a more delicate highlight.
Here's the rundown of what they used.