Beauty: John Lewis experts answer your SOS
Q: Can you recommend a high factor suntan cream that I can wear everyday? I'm an events planner and sometimes spend all day outside or driving long distances with the windows down. I've got burned a few times this year and know I need to be more careful. If I know it'll be hot I wear normal suntan cream, but find it's too heavy and clogging to wear everyday. Are there effective creams that would compliment my daily moisturiser, but not leave me shiny and smelling of coconut? - Valina Bowman-Burns
A: Hi Valine! A really fantastic and versatile sun cream I’ve been using with my clients lately is Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution SPF 50 Day Cream. It has a consistency more like a milk lotion than a cream, so it’s super lightweight, and it places well over a moisturiser and under a foundation. The finish is what I like to call ‘second skin’ in that it mimics a skin finish; not too shiny, not too matte. It’s perfect when you don’t want to feel like you are wearing anything.
Q: Because of illness I now have no eyebrows or lashes and need very soft makeup as my skin is tender. What is the best way to look as natural as possible? - Gill Rapley
A: There is always a learning curve when it comes to learning new techniques, so the trick is to find products that are user friendly. For your complexion, try a tinted moisturiser. This will even skin tone and brighten the face. A cream blush is a nice gentle approach to adding colour. A favourite of mine is Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge.
For a simple, refined look on the eye, buff a little cream eyeshadow into the lash line, such as Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick. Then wash a pearlescent brown eyeshadow, a shade or two darker than your skin tone, over the eyelid. The brown lid will help to gently frame the eye, while the cream eyeshadow along the lash line will mimic the look of lashes.
As for the brow, I’d recommend Chanel Defining Longwear Eyebrow Pencil. The product is waterproof and perfectly tapered to define a brow. It also has an oil blend within the pigment, so it’s very gentle and easy to glide along skin.
Q: What is the best product to use to help keep your foundation stay matte in this hot and sticky weather and avoid it dripping off? - Megan Hobbs
A: I have this problem every year too, Megan! My best advice is to bookend your foundation with longwear oil-controlling products. Prep the skin with a mattifying moisturiser such as Origins Original Skin Matte Moisturiser with Willowherb. Then follow with an oil-control primer - I love Benefit The POREfessional. This will bear the brunt of oil production and/or perspiration.
Next, set the look with some translucent powder. You can reapply this in small doses throughout the day, to soak up excess oil before it can cause damage to your makeup.
Finally, setting spray. I love Urban Decay De-Slick. Like a top coat for your makeup, this spray is specifically created for oil control, temperature control, and shine deflection. It really is a summer saviour and even comes in a handy travel size, perfect for a handbag or desk drawer.
Q: How can I work a bright, bold lipstick look? I'm always too afraid and therefore stick to natural tones. Any tips for getting it right? - Chloe Richardson
A: This is something I really enjoy helping clients find - the perfect bold lip! I’d suggest going for a bright colour, but with a forgiving finish. By that I mean glossy and balmy. You get all the pigment and vibrancy, but it’s just a hint more sheer and subtle when you’re feeling a little hesitant.
Lipstick is so personal, so don’t be afraid of going to a counter with the intention of trying, not buying. Find a colour that sparks some interest, ask to try it, then go for a wander. By the time you have wandered around the shops, you’ll love it or hate it. Either way it will help you know in the future what to aim for - or to avoid.
I’d also suggest keeping the rest of your face quite natural. Skip the blush but opt for some bronzer, to not have to worry about clashing colour tones on the face.
Q: I want to define my eyebrows more. As a complete novice to 'brow embracing', what's the best product to use for a non-over the top look? I am 45 and so of an age where I am wanting subtle definition rather than brash and bold! I don't know where to start: I'm seriously bamboozled by all the products on the market. - Shelley Goddard
A: My favourite company for brows will always be Benefit. They have invested time, money, and all the knowledge they have into their brow products.
If you’re just looking to define the shape and tame the hair, I’d recommend Benefit BROWVO! Conditioning Brow Primer. It’s brow TLC in a tube. The primer coats the hairs and solidifies like a gel. I recommend this product to ladies and gents who find their brows are starting to thin or become coarse and unruly, because of its conditioning formula.
If you’re looking to enhance your brows a little more, but want to start simple, I’d aim for the perfect pair of Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil, used with Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumising Brow Gel. Precisely Brow has a super-fine retractable pencil tip and is great for filling in sparse areas, whereas Gimme Brow+ works to texturise by coating the individual hairs with a microfibre gel, giving the appearance of fuller, thicker brows.
The John Lewis & Partners Beauty Studio offers one-to-one skincare and cosmetics advice. To find out more, email TheBeautyStudio.Cambridge@JohnLewis.co.uk or call (01223) 22853.