Greetings, fellow beauty junkies of Queen Mary! My name is Mary too – you can call me Queen if you like – and I’m going to talk to you about beauty. I hope you’re sitting comfortably, for I’ll be aiming to tackle the pinnacle of beauty boo-boos: how to do beauty on a budget? And of course, the best way to hide that hangover. Naturally.
Over the next few weeks, I want to look at trans-seasonal beauty on a budget. We’re all guilty of having endless bottles of half-used foundation in the bottom of our make-up bags, so why is it that it’s so hard to find The One? I’m not just talking colour. The myth that skin can be divided into ‘types’ and prescribed permanent solutions accordingly is clearly null and void; summer heat can cause excess oiliness and blemishes in even the driest of skin, and icy winters with their central heating trigger sensitivity. Not to mention the colour change as our tans fade (sob) and winter’s pink noses begin to appear.
So what is a girl to do about skincare and foundations as the seasons shift?
One of my favourite summer beauty gems is Bourjois’ BB Bronzing Cream 8 in 1 (£9.99). I didn’t particularly warm to this product as a BB cream (see what I did there, warm? No? Never mind…), but I found that it offered many other uses, perhaps not the ‘8 in 1’ though. It turned out to be quite the money-saving product, as suddenly all those brilliant but too-pale foundations were renewed, mixing neatly with the BB cream to create exactly the right shade. Even better, the silky smooth texture thinned out some of my too-thick foundations and blended with the lighter water-based ones to create that dewy look you’re always chasing after. MaxFactor’s XPerience Weightless Foundation (£9.99) is particularly good for this. Nothing like reaffirming a love for an old favourite.
Bourjois’ little bronze pot also performs fantastically as a contouring cream – it’s virtually sparkle free and won’t make you resemble a dodgy eighties pop star. Blend it in carefully with a good buffing brush – I swear by my Body Shop Face & Body Brush (£16), it’s a worthwhile investment. Dab a few spots along the underside of your cheekbones and temples, and blend gently.
Feel like splashing out? My sensitive dry skin can be a nightmare this time year of, and I really struggling to find products that don’t irritate my skin. Even the celebrated Simple range is a little too soapy for it. On my last wistful jaunt into Harrods, I was given a sachet of Shu Uemura’s Skin Purifier Cleansing Beauty Oil to try (£30 for 150ml, £59 for 450ml). It comes in two varieties, and I was given the one specially formulated for sensitive skin. It left my skin feeling incredibly supple and soft – like I’d had an expensive facial – as well as removing all my makeup in a flash. Althoguh £59 seems a lot to spend on a cleanser, a bottle this huge would last for months. I am yet to find a product which works for my skin in the same way. If you can’t face spending quite that much, pop into Harrods or Space NK and see if you can wangle a sample or two!