Desert island musts

If ever I was marooned on a desert island, there are two cosmetic products I would grab before the boat sank – Clarins Instant Concealer and Jane Iredale Lash Extender and Conditioner.  I’ve used the lash product for several years but the concealer is a recent discovery (thank you Emma on the Clarins counter at Fenwick, Newcastle) and the first concealer which does not make me look like a reverse panda.

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In various shades to match your complexion, this is easy to apply (fingertip or brush) but has great staying power.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have dark shadows under my eyes and I’ve tried lots of concealers, including the much lauded Touche Eclat (the one which made me look like a panda…), before giving up and hoping I didn’t look too much of a ghoul.

If I’m in a rush I use it alone, over moisturiser, to cover the dark bits under my eyes and any random blemishes.  If I’m doing a full make up, I add tinted moisturiser to the rest of my face and finish with a brush of illuminating powder.

The 15ml tube lasts months as you need only a tiny smear for coverage.  It’s not billed as waterproof but it does withstand the teary eyes you encounter with chill or wind.  Costs around £20 and worth every penny.

Application tip: apply in a ‘V’ under eyes, not a curve, so that the product touches the cheekbones and reflects away from dark circles.

Jane Iredale Lash Extender and Conditioner

Let me say straight away that I think the notion of conditioning eyelashes is a load of tosh.  This, however, is a secret support for mascara or for anyone who wants a curl but cannot wear make up at work.  It comes out of the tube white but dries transparent.  When partly dry (60 seconds), top it with one or two coats of mascara.  While not itself waterproof, it does not affect the properties of a waterproof mascara used on top.  At about £12, it can reduce the overall cost of eye make up if you use an expensive mascara as you use less of the coloured product to get the same effect.

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Secret support

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Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

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I’m always on the lookout for effective waterproof mascara (WPM) which does what it says on the tube without smudging onto make-up, flaking or clogging my lashes.  Good ones are few and far between.  My all-time favourite is Lancome Definicils Waterproof (sadly not available in the UK) and the runner up a cheapy from Maybelline in a lurid yellow tube (Colossal Volum’ Express WPM).

Now I’ve added a third to the list – Diorshow Waterproof.    It’s an 11.5ml offering in a big tube with the most enormous mascara brush I have ever seen!  It goes on finely, so you may need extra coats, but even first time out the brush wasn’t overloaded with product.

I found it easy to apply, it curled my lashes and stayed put all evening.  For reasons of research (honest), I removed the rest of my make-up but left it on overnight.  Next morning there was a bit of smudge under each eye but no hard bits or flaking on my pillow.  It came off easily with my ‘patent’ WPM remover – Johnson’s baby oil on a cotton wool pad.  I know make-up gurus frown upon this but I have had painful experiences with dedicated removers,  which have stung my eyes and skin.  So it’s baby oil always.

Only drawback of Diorshow is that it comes at a premium price – up to £25 in the UK.  I tried it because it was on offer at £17 from Secret Sales (subscriber company which offers designer gear at greatly reduced prices).

  • The nails are Alessandro Striplac ‘Blue Lagoon’