There’s always a time for bright, bold and intense colour, but soft neutrals and a nude colour palette will always have a place in my heart, my makeup kit, and my own makeup bag. To me a classic nude palette is timeless and eternally chic. Yes nudes are the backbone of any great makeup, but I think they also deserve to be celebrated in their own right too. There’s luxury in simplicity, and this transcends to beauty also in my option. I love nothing more than playing up the skins’ natural tones and amplifying them, which is exactly what I did in this recent shoot. I thought I’d share a few key products I’m loving in my pro kit at the moment, some new and some old loves rediscovered.
Foundations I rely on still include Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, but there’s a few new additions i’ve also really been enjoying. Last year I really fell in love with Koh Gen Do Foundations, in particular the Aqua Foundation for a real skin finish that’s breathable and perfecting. The other foundation getting a lot of attention in the beauty world right now and rightly so is Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation. If you’re looking for buildable coverage that doesn’t look cakey or heavy, this is the one for you, a great shade range and a beautiful formula that glides over the skin.
For blush I’m obsessed with Ellis Faas Blush in Fresh Coral and if you’re swayed by packaging, this one will do it, it’s beyond beautiful! But fear not, this isn’t a case of style over substance. I’d describe the texture as ‘if Glossier’s Cloud Paint and Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour blush had a baby, this would be the outcome. You have to work with it quickly as it dries down fast, but it leaves a beautiful looking flush to the cheeks.
The other base colour product i’ve really got back into is a golden oldie, I’m talking about MAC’s Cream Colour Bases. Man I’d forgotten how much I love these! After a recent MAC event I found myself swatching like a crazy person, and remembered how versatile the cream colour base truly is. My favourite shades for perfecting a nude base include Vintage Rose, Midtown Sepia, Bronze and Tint which has a little shimmer but still equally beautiful, swipe over eyes, lips and or cheeks.
One more favourite I’ve been using a lot on light to medium skin tones is Hourglass Illume Sheer Colour Trio. I’m surprised this doesn’t get more love, it’s such a beautiful cream trio (bronzer, blush and highlighter), I just wish there were more colour options. For darker skin tones I’m really enjoying my Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Cheeks.
In addition to Jillian Dempseys Lid Tints and Make’s Dew Pot’s on the eyes (which I use pretty much everywhere, and i’m still in love with too), theres been a fair few new discoveries, and I promise I haven’t been looking, but that’s always the way isn’t it. You find things you love when you’re not looking for them. If it’s warm tones you’re looking for, then Morphe has possibly the best value eyeshadow palette out there. Morphe’s Second Nature 3502 Palette is packed full of matte and shimmer shades from the most subtle tan colours, to rusty reds and deep rich chocolate browns. This palette costs $23!!!!!! Crazy! What’s more crazy, it’s actually amazing! Easy to blend, buttery, and full of MAC eyeshadow dupes galore!
On the slightly pricier front, I’ve rediscovered Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Luminous Eyeshadows. I’ve always loved them, and while you do have to be careful not to leave the lid off too long (as they do have a tendency to dry out quickly) they are still one of those products I always reach for when I’m working in a nude toned palette. The two shades I always come back to are Mirage (a beautiful warm gold that literally suits everyone) and New Moon which has a pinky peach tone too it. They’re so easy to use, fuss free and work well with fingers too. These are also great if you want a nude tone but want a little light reflection thanks to the sophisticated looking shimmer in them.
So the other thing I’ve been really into, which comes as an extension of my love for gels and creams on the yes, is using lip gloss on the eyes. In no way is this ground breaking I know, but it’s something I’ve done a lot recently and I’m enjoying lip gloss that’s rich in pigment as opposed to just a clear gloss. My go to’s have been Burberry Kisses Gloss, especially the shades Nude Beige, Pale Nude and Cameo Nude.
Most of my lipsticks end up squished into Vueset Palettes, and while there are certain shades I always restock (Tom Ford Sable Smoke and Nubile), there’s a few that have made a big resurgence. I’ve always loved Gucci Makeup and really would love to see it get more love, one of my favourite matte lipsticks is Gucci Lip Sensuous Deep Matte Lipstick in Intriguing Nude. I also think Hourglass Girl Stylo is such a great formula with a really nice mix of pink, peach and mauve nudes. I use them so much in editorials for a satin lip look and blot them in with my finger for a more lived in feel. I’ve also given quite a few away to red carpet clients as the twist up crayon always goes down well. The shades I keep reaching for are Influencer, Peacemaker and Futurist.
I’m sure there’ll be more additions and i’ll keep you updated on any new loves that come my way. For now though, these are the products I keep using, some are old, some new, all equally incredible. Let me know if you find yourself going for more warm or cool nude tones, I’m always interested to see what everyone else gravitates towards.
Photography: Heidi Tappis, Styling Anna Shilling, Makeup By Me, Hair By Ashley Lynn Hall. Models Marlena Libucha and Richie Hines.