When you’re in the French Alps, it’s alternately very hot and very rainy, and you’re spending your days doing walks around the mountains and rafting on rivers, it’s difficult to find time to do make up, not to mention that most of those activities would take it clean off! But, on a couple of occasions, I managed to grab half an hour do some experimenting.
But before we get to ‘make-up make-up’, I’d like to pause for a moment on ‘no make-up make-up’.
For the most part, as I mentioned, I didn’t wear anything on my face. On the sunny days, I’d put on some of my tinted BB cream, which is SPF 20, and a coat of mascara, but too much else and I’d feel like it was all sitting too heavily.
But one product I did find to be fantastic was Benefit’s Ready, Set, Brow!. I got this for free with this month’s Marie Claire (I now have three minis from Benefit’s new line thanks to magazine freebies!), and I’m now quite concerned about what I’ll do when it runs out, because I love it.
My natural eyebrows are nothing special, but combed into shape they’re just about passable for the daytime, and Ready, Set, Brow! managed to hold them there all day – literally no mountain high enough (sorry).
Anyway, the first day that I had a chance to sit down properly with the make-up I’d brought was the day that we went out to celebrate my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday, and I was excited, because I had new toys to play with too…
I took a leap of faith with this palette, because there were no testers around anywhere – I only had the often-inadequate illustrations of the shades on the back of the box to go on – but I’ve been on the hunt for the elusive Perfect Red for a while now and I suspected that it might be in here (not to mention that my sparkle obsession had hitherto led me away from matte palettes).
I was not disappointed. This palette is excellent, not only for its reds but for everything it boasts – light nude shades, darker nude shades, and lovely smoky violets I didn’t even know I needed.
The names are a little off, especially since some of them pair with the ones next to them to make a phrase, leaving you with single shades called things like “Two” and “Flaw” (the lightest colour up there on the top left, with the one to its immediate right being “Less”), but I’m hardly going to complain about that, particularly since Flaw is one of my most used shades so far.
I wanted to go for something muted and understated, something nice and subtle and softly blended, but predictably, I got carried away and ended up with something a shade bolder than I’d intended.
As I’m sorely lacking in experience of doing make-up on others, and as I’d done J’s sister’s eyeshadow once with moderate success, I agreed to do everyone’s that evening (I offered to do J’s brothers’ too, but they didn’t seem keen); but unfortunately, I didn’t leave nearly enough time and instead conducted a hands-off lesson, calling my suggestions and recommendations out to J’s sister over our glasses of wine.
It wasn’t exactly what I’d intended, but it was a lot of fun. On myself, I meant to go for a neutral look with a little bit of a darker shade used on my outer V, but as you can see, that transformed into something more quite quickly. I do need more practice on other people, because I’m still quite nervous about it, but I think I still managed to teach them something, and we all looked fab that evening.
We’re a match for the beauty of the Alps themselves, in my opinion.