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Smart beauty


Scientists have created make-up that transforms to suit your skin. Four Stylist readers put it to the test...

There are few things in life that can top the girlish pleasure of playing with new make-up. It’s the adult equivalent of dashing around a sweet shop, stuffing pear drops into your fiveyear- old mouth. For a few moments, the fuzz of modern life slips away and we are curious creatures once more.

And it’s universal: the act of self-adornment is a human trait which spans generations, cultures, continents and genders. A businesswoman in Edinburgh is just as likely to spend an hour painting her face as a tribeswoman in east Africa.

Despite our love of self-decoration, there is a very real fear of stepping outside the comfort of our bedrooms into the real world with ill-suited make-up and this risk is enough to make anyone retreat back into the protective embrace of neutrals and taupes. It’s also the reason that eyeshadow, with its never-ending cornucopia of colours, is the product that lies stagnant in our make-up kits the longest, with a recent study positing the extent our hoarding as being up to 15 years.

That fear hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Over the past decade, the world’s global beauty brands have been quietly formulating new colour cosmetics which intuitively adapt to the chemical properties of your skin, thereby complementing your own specific, one-in-a-million, colouring. Think blusher which instinctively reacts to your skintone and the perfect pink lipstick that genuinely looks good on everyone; banishing shade fear forever. The other cosmetic breakthrough in this new generation of bespoke beauty is the make-up palette specifically designed for your own eye colour, an instant passport to the specific shades that work perfectly swept over your eyes. But, as ever, the real question is does it actually work? Who better to put it to the test than four devoted Stylist readers, women who enjoy wearing make-up and know when they look good. Read on to see what they thought.

Blusher and lipstick for all

The shade of blusher you opt for is one of the most crucial choices you can make in building up your beauty arsenal as it sits, plainly for all to see, on the largest part of your face. Stila has the answer with Custom Color Blush in Pink, £13, which is made up of a ‘chemical silicone elastomertreated powder’ to react with your skin’s individual pH level (both your acidity and basicity levels) thereby creating the ideal shade for you every time. But how does it look on four Stylist readers with totally different skintones?

“I was convinced the blusher would be too sugary pink for me,” says media paralegal Lettije Lee-Samuel. “My skintone becomes a lot lighter in the winter, so it’s important for me to use a blusher that works with my reddish base colour. This shade was a departure from the warmer spice tones I’m used to, but it brought a natural glow to my face and wasn’t pink at all,” she adds. Emma Weiss, a stay-at-home mother with a pale complexion, agreed. “I was a bit apprehensive as pink can look too dolly-like on fair skin but I loved the way it gave my face a touch of colour. It looked slightly stronger on some of the girls but, when I looked around, it suited us all.”

Extending the self-adjusting make-up trend further, is L’Oréal’s Paris Studio Secrets Universal Lip Glow, £8.49, a fusion of pomegranate sterol, oils and polymers which cleverly adapts to the heat and moisture of your skin for a bespoke sheer, pink tone which mimics the natural colour of your lips and therefore will complement skintone universally. “The colour instantly bloomed on my lips, I loved it,” says Natasha Footman, an intern at a social media agency. “My lips are naturally quite pink so it’s nice to bring that out without it being garish. The blusher and lipstick are great: everyone can get something different out of the same shade.”

Genius eyeshadow

Making painted masterpieces of your eyes is the Holy Grail of make-up, yet it’s infamously tricky to get right. If you want to make your eyes truly come alive then use shades based on your eye colour.

The new generation of palettes do just that. Jemma Kidd’s Tailored Colour Iris Enhancers, £22, contain three specially selected tones for blue, green and brown eyes which complement and contrast to create serious impact, while each of Smashbox’s Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette, £30, contains six shades of varying textures – so theoretically, you never need buy an another eyeshadow again.

“I find buying eyeshadow quite difficult,” explains Katy Sumption, an art director. “With blonde hair, blue eyes and light eyebrows, strong colours can be overpowering. I would never have tried something as bold as the rose gold shade but I love it. The hairstylist even asked if I was wearing blue contact lenses.”

So if amber and gold add intensity to blue eyes, what works for green? According to the palettes, it is, among others, purple. “I do get people saying I’ve got lovely green eyes, so eye make-up is my thing,” explains Emma. “I loved the purple smokey eye and the dimension of colour. It’s ready-made for you, which is brilliant. Someone actually commented on it on the Tube on the way home,” concludes Emma.

For those with brown eyes, like Natasha, green tones of khaki and moss work. “I’m shocked it looked so fresh. I think it worked as it was blended in with brown, which gave the look a more natural feel.”

And that’s why this new time-saving, instinctive breed of make-up is possibly the most important launch of the year, it’s not about fleeting trends, it’s made to fit you.

Our reader beauty testers

L-R: Emma Weiss, stay-at-home mother, Natasha Footman, social media intern, Katy Sumption, art director, Lettije Lee-Samuel, media paralegal

Words: Joanna McGarry. Make -up: Helen Asher at Era Management using Givenchy Hydrasparkling on skin. Hair : Ayo Leguda at Emma Davies Shot at Change Studios. With thanks to our four readers.


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