In the midst of all that, I have favourites that I always recommend. They’re portable, free, mistake-proof and handy: fingers.
Fingers are my favourite tools. As a blending or finishing tool, they always do the trick, and they make cosmetics fun and unintimidating for the makeup-challenged. For foundation, the heat from your fingers will help blend the product seamlessly into your skin. Fingers are excellent blending tools for any kind of cream cosmetic.
Your ring finger applies the least amount of pressure, so that's your do-it-all tool. I like to apply cream blush to the apples of the cheeks with the pad of my ring finger and blend outward. Because of the light pressure, use your ring finger to gently apply cream shadows to the eyelids, to smudge liner fully into the lashes and to smooth out concealer in the delicate under-eye area.
Your fingers are also great finishing tools to smooth out any hard lines left behind by brushes. When you use your fingers, you tend to apply less product to your face than you would with the pigment that adheres to brushes, so natural faces are easily created with just a few passes of your hand.
Avoid bacteria transfer from your fingers by simply washing your hands for 20 seconds before and after applying makeup. Learn to trust these makeup tools that you never have to worry about cramming into your handbag.
With nail trends ranging from neon hits of yellow, fuchsia and orange to cool neutrals, the celebrity fad for wearing hotter-than-July shades on toes while stylishly mismatching with nudes on fingers is looking pretty A-list to me. Purists will say the mismatch should come from the same colour family, but that’s still a tad too matchy-matchy for me.
I like purple on toes with white gold on fingers, or latte on fingers and orange on toes -- the bolder the blend, the better! Wear a feature cocktail ring in your toe colour to rack up your fashion credentials too. This current lacquer experimentation is a precursor to autumn trends where we’ll be seeing vivid mismatches on the same nail.
I also like that wearing nudes on fingers is practical; the chips don’t show, and creamy neutrals accentuate finger length, making them look enviably elegant. A near-skin tone polish is an absolute winner for brides, whose hands are on show all day long.
If you are making a feature of your nails, don’t forget hand cream with an SPF. It’s a boring chore that nobody really wants to do, but will keep your whole hand looking smooth and hydrated, and will stave off the mock-croc claw -- something that will never be a trend.
Do you often go from office lights to candlelight? By the end of the day, your make-up will have settled and worn off a little. Revive your skin with a quick spritz of mineral water facial spray. This will “wake up” your skin and help to move make-up around the face easily. Blend in a bit more foundation with your fingers where needed, then reapply blusher on the apples of your cheeks. You can use a bit more blusher than usual for a fresh, well-rested appearance.
Next, move your look up a gear with a soft, smoky eye. The fastest way to get a smoky eye is to apply a soft pencil to the inner rims of your eyes. It’s my favourite trick! Blend the pencil on your upper lids with your fingers to soften the lines and keep the light, smoky eye diffused. A quick re-curling of the upper lashes and more mascara will give eyes depth. Finally, reapply lipstick with a lighter touch and add gloss on top to avoid overpowering the eyes.
You don’t have to reinvent your look to go from day to night. It’s easier to stay with the same tones and colours as earlier. Just use a bit more and blend well so your look is seamless.
My hair is long, dark and straight as could be, and volume is like gold to me since it’s hard to come by. For this reason, I’m constantly picking the brain of every savvy hairstylist who crosses my path. Below, find some of the very best tips I’ve learned so far this year.
1. Get Va-va-volume. A root lifter is one of those often-overlooked yet amazing hair must-haves. It comes in spray or mousse form (I love the spray kinds). Simply spray a bit of the product on wet hair, focusing on the crown and aiming at the roots. Blow-dry with a paddle brush or round brush as usual.
2. Speak up! When it comes to finding a new haircut, use your stylist as a resource and not the decision-maker. Don’t be shy about what you want. For example, voice specifications like, “I don’t want any layers."
3. Be a hot mess. “The most asked about trend now is ‘semi-dressed hair,’” says stylist Carmine Minardi. “Blow-dry your hair using just your fingers, giving your hair a ‘messy,’ tousled look.” To tame frizzies, use a straighteners on a low heat setting and don’t flatten your strands completely.
4. Eat well. A healthy diet isn't just good for your body, it also has an effect on your hair. Eat a balanced diet featuring plenty of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and good fats, and get gorgeous, healthy hair from the inside out!