7 beauty essentials for a perfect Valentine’s Day
…. And for all other days too – the look of love (think naturally flushed) is wonderfully universal – just befriend blusher and keep your brows shipshape.
For a dewy, more natural-looking flush, cream blusher is the way to go, mainly because it literally melts into your skin and is easier to control. Apply a thin layer right after foundation using your fingers (the heat nicely disperses the colour) or a brush, if you prefer. Make sure to buff out any edges and build, if necessary. If you’ve applied too much blusher, just go over the area with the brush you used for foundation or bounce a sponge off it.
QUICK TIP: For those with oily skin or who want a few more hours wear, set your cream blush with a corresponding powder blush.
You’ve worked so hard perfecting that base and blush so you’ll obviously want to lock it all in with setting powder. A translucent shade doesn’t mess with the colour underneath, instead it keeps unwanted shine at bay. Using a brush, lightly press the powder into the skin (not just feathered on), concentrating on the areas where oil breaks through first (normally the T-zone).
QUICK TIP: If you look too powdery, mist your face with water or, if you prefer, an actual facial mist to take down some of the excess powderiness.
With blusher the focus, all you really need as accompaniment is a set of well-groomed brows. While we’re all getting better at shaping our brows, for those extra-fine hairs, hard-to-get short hairs or – gasp! – ingrown ones, only a pair of pointed tweezers will do. Just be careful not to pluck the skin instead of the hair!
QUICK TIP: For those into nail art, pointed tweezers are also perfect for picking up small rhinestones or decals.
For yours-but-better brows, a precision eyebrow pencil with a fine-tipped nib and smudge-proof formula will create the most natural illusion of brow hairs. You’ll be able to shape, fill and plump out even the sparsest of brows with just a few strokes (no sharpener needed, either!), blended to perfection with the brush on the other end.
QUICK TIP: Use short, upwards strokes in the direction of hair growth. Fill in any gaps and extend where necessary. And try to do all this in good lighting!
Needless to say, the look of love should include soft, kissable lips. A jumbo moisturising lipstick pencil in a neutral shade not only means you’ll be safe from dried out lips, but also that you can skip the separate lip liner for an overall softer and more approachable appearance. Luscious pinks or peaches are very alluring, too.
QUICK TIP: A rounded tip offers the prettiest definition so don’t go too crazy with the sharpener.
When you want a goes-with-everything nail colour but with a little extra oomph, a subtle holographic pearl is the answer. While practise ultimately makes perfect, the trick to painting nails with your non-dominant hand is to keep the brush in one place and move your dominant hand back and forth when applying the three strokes of varnish (centre and either side) to each nail.
QUICK TIP: You can also play around with the pearl and layer it over really vivid colours to make a totally unique shade.
You look the part, but don’t underestimate the power of smell, too. With a warm, spicy mix of cinnamon, violet and amber, this one is sure to entice. And in solid perfume form, it’s more concentrated and longer-lasting than the spray counterpart. Plus, you have greater control over the exact placement and how much to apply.
QUICK TIP: The handy tin is marvellously portable – throw it in your handbag or makeup bag and top up when necessary or when you just a scented pick-me-up.