Dare to Bare: Bare-faced beauty is having a moment
Unless you’re a) 12 or b) recently returned from a beach break, you’re probably horrified at the thought of going bare-faced. But, as demonstrated on spring/summer’s catwalks, ‘bare’ doesn’t mean ‘splash with water and go’: with their bright eyes and moisture-soaked skin, Val Garland’s Balmain models looked like they’d had a backstage facial. In short: prep is vital. And a few tricks of the trade are permissible, too.
Sanctuary Spa One-Minute Daily Glow Mask, £14, Boots and Superdrug stores
If you’re daring to bare, you need to exfoliate - that’s a given. But scrubs are a bit of a no-no; nobody wants a face full of blotches. This glow mask is just the job. With five-star reviews racking up online, the hype is justified: containing super-fine silica and kakadu plum (the latest ‘it’ ingredient, loved for its sky-high vitamin C levels), it buffs and brightens instantly, no scrubbing required. Apply to dry skin, activate with a few drops of water, then simply swish off in the shower.
Don’t be deterred by the medicine-cabinet packaging: yes, it’s dermatologist-developed, but the new Toleraine Sensitive range falls firmly into the ‘affordable luxury’ category. A whopping 73.9 per cent of this moisturiser is thermal spring water, chock-full of prebiotics said to stimulate good - and inhibit bad - bacteria. What we know for sure is that skin laps it up like a cat does cream, feeling instantly softer and smoother.
Evolve Hyaluronic Eye Complex, £16, John Lewis & Partners, Grand Arcade, Cambridge
Targeting bags, fine lines and puffiness - all the under-eye evils, basically - this wee roll-on is brilliant. Containing tuberose, known to firm and brighten, cucumber to cool and soothe, and water-retaining hyaluronic acid to plump, it’s lovely to apply - the rollerball applicator gently massages as you go - and leaves eyebags visibly smoother. Plus, like all Evolve products, it’s plant-based, planet-friendly and cruelty-free.
Nakin Lip Treatment Balm, £10, nakinskincare.com
Combining the highest eco and ethical credentials - the products are both all-natural and Leaping Bunny approved - with powerful, science-backed anti-aging formulas, British brand Nakin is making real strides in green beauty. Even this little lip balm means business. Containing mint to stimulate circulation, baobab oil to hydrate and shea butter to salve, it leaves lips plumped as well as protected.
Filorga Time-flash, £35, Debenhams, arc, Bury St Edmunds, and The Grafton, Cambridge
Developed by the French aesthetic medicine lab to serve as both skincare and make-up base, I’m mildly obsessed with this product. Thanks to Lift & Blur technology - 3D polysaccharides form a surface film, restoring tissue tension, while silicone elastomers give a ‘filling’ effect, reducing lines and vanishing pores - it promises to smooth skin instantly. The first day I applied, I twice caught sight of my reflection and thought ‘Not so bad’ (which, having just marked a milestone birthday, is, trust me, a ringing endorsement). A thin layer of Time-flash, a smudge of blush and you’re good to go.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer, £24, John Lewis & Partners, Grand Arcade, Cambridge
It took Charlotte Tilbury a full five years to perfect this concealer, fully deserving of its ‘Magic Away’ name. Dot it on any blemish - pimple, age spot, dark circle - pat gently with your finger and poof! Gone. Coming in 16 shades, so you can readily match it with your skin, it’s not only the full-coverage colour that makes this concealer best in class: it contains wrinkle-fighting molecules and eye-tricking plant extracts, too.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer, £38.50, John Lewis & Partners, Grand Arcade, Cambridge
If you’re nervous about dropping your usual BB/CC/foundation, Wonderglow is the way to go. Smooth a pea-sized blob over face and neck for a healthy, just-got-back-from-holiday glow. Light reflecting particles and blurring ceramic microspheres do the surface stuff, while a peptide complex works behind the scenes, promoting elasticity and collagen production. Clever.
Nudestix Tinted Blur, £38, cultbeauty.com
A lightweight cream-to-powder formula, this mineral make-up stick is a great troubleshooter, ideal for evening skin tone, blurring blemishes and mattifying. It even works as a highlighter: dab it along cheekbones to draw the eye and bounce the light. Remarkably non-drying, thanks to cocoa and green tea emollients, and available in 10 tones, it’s the make-up equivalent of a soft-focus Snapchat filter.
If you’re daring to bare, Phoebe Ann Brooks, of John Lewis & Partners Beauty Studio in Cambridge, has some words of wisdom.
“Start with chemical exfoliants and gentle acids to eat away dry skin, leaving newer, brighter, less-textured skin. Zelens PHA+ Bio Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads are gentle but effective.
“Incorporate serums with tried and tested ingredients to troubleshoot your skin concerns; try Vitamin C: it hydrates and can help reduce pigmentation and fine lines. Try Omorovica Daily Vitamin C Serum.
“Look towards products that contain hyaluronic acid, too, such as Evolve’s Hyaluronic Serum 200. The acid is naturally found in the skin, holds around 1,000 times its weight in water, and helps the cells retain hydration.”
The Beauty Studio offers one-to-one skincare and cosmetics advice. To find out more, email TheBeautyStudio.Cambridge@JohnLewis.co.uk or call (01223) 22853.