Eye candy, a scent with literary aspirations and a low-cost exfoliator you won’t be able to do without
A nod to the 60s, yes, but being Prada, there’s a subversive twist: bleached eyebrows and trompe l’oeil eyeshadow. But let’s just talk lashes. Prep them with a primer – it helps avoids a clumpy finish. Layer mascara on lower and upper lashes – apply while looking down at a mirror. Finish with super matt skin and nude lips. You could, of course, just cheat and get a pair of falsies professionally applied, but be warned: you won’t be able to wash your face properly for weeks.
I can’t do without…
Exfoliating bath net (99p, pakcosmetics.com)
Whenever I hear a ‘beauty expert’ self-righteously touting the importance of body-exfoliation products, I am bemused by it. I grew up in a culture (Nigerian) and family where exfoliating your body was something everybody did automatically. It wasn’t a big deal, it didn’t warrant discussion. The only time it came up in conversation was when you discovered someone who didn’t exfoliate and then you would all recoil in horror.
The point is, for me, exfoliating was as normal as breathing. But we eschewed body scrubs and simply headed to a black hair and beauty supply store and bought a ‘sponge’. Except the texture is nothing like a sponge. Instead it is a slightly rough mesh that looks like a strip from a fisherman’s net. It comes in numerous colours and, even as an adult, I still take great pleasure in choosing a new hue every couple of months.
I use it daily – in the bath or shower – simply by lathering my soap into it, scrubbing my entire body and rinsing off. Minutes later I have soft, super-smooth, clean skin. No mess, no oily residue, no annoying bits that desperately cling to your skin and, most significantly, it costs far less than my daily cappuccino habit. So, I’m sorry ‘beauty expert’, you will be very hard-pressed to convince me that your body scrub is worth paying for.
On my radar: skincare, new scents and time-saving products
Second skin Retinol is the gold standard ingredient experts say we should all be using. It improves skin tone but it can irritate. It needn’t. Drunk Elephant, Garden of Wisdom and Sunday Riley have launched products that are more forgiving.
Scent that rocks Inspired by Ida Arnold, the sexual protagonist in Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, Miller Harris’s latest scent, Violet Ida, blends bergamot, vanilla, amber and heliotrope. The result is Ida’s offbeat glamour sans the intensity of the old-fashioned sweets. (£75, millerharris.com)
Two-in-one Sometimes I do the 10-step skincare regime, other times I can’t be bothered, which is when I ‘skip care’ – a Korean beauty trend where you use multitasking products, such as Erborian Magic Transformask, a brilliant cleanser-mask hybrid. (£34, uk.erborian.com)