Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to
Q. Since the clocks go back, I’m putting my make-up on in the dark – well, not literally, but by electric light. When I look at my face in the mirror at work, I don’t like what I see! What can I do?
A. The answer is to switch the bulb in one of your lamps to a daylight bulb. As Kathryn Middleton (from Lighting Direct) tells us: ‘Daylight bulbs will show up all of your imperfection; in terms of applying makeup, this is exactly what you need. Get your foundation right in this light and it is guaranteed to look flawless everywhere else.’
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Kathryn continues: ‘Very warm white lighting can be a bit like looking through a soft-focus camera lens and won’t help you with the finer details of your makeup application – for example, determining whether you’ve blended your foundation successfully or whether your summer lipstick now looks equally good without that suntan.’
It’s not uncomplicated to get the right daylight bulb, but here goes. When shopping for these, you need to look for a three digit reference number on the packaging beginning either 85, 86, 95 or 96 – this will ensure that it falls into the category of ‘daylight bulb’ and will emit a fairly neutral, blue-ish light that will give you the best indication of true colour.
Alternatively, when shopping online, make sure the ‘colour rendering’ (CRI) is 80 or above, and the colour is 5000k or higher.
‘The other factor to consider,’ continues Kathryn, ‘is the lumens – ideally, a bulb of around 1200lm will give you the brightness you need in order to see the detail when applying your makeup. Much less than that and you’ll be back behind that soft-focus camera lens again.’ Also think about the DIRECTION of the light. As Kathryn notes: ‘It’s also worth paying some attention to the direction of your light source: side to side (or cross illumination) lighting is much more effective than up or down lighting, which can create more of a Halloween effect! Ideally, you should position your light sources each side of a mirror at eye height to ensure that the light diffuses evenly across your face.’
So in short, look for:
• A three-digit reference number on the packaging beginning either 85, 86, 95 or 96
• Colour rendering (CRI) is 80 or above
• Colour is 5000k or higher
• Brightness is 1200lm+
We say: let there be light…
Beauty Bible loves… Guerlain ‘The Christmas Collection’, £20.50-£59
Guerlain’s seasonal collections get us as excited about the approach of Christmas as the switching on of Regent Street’s lights or the window displays at Fortnum & Mason. And 2017’s most certainly gets our hearts beating that bit faster – inspired, so we’re told, by Ernest Hemingway’s book A Moveable Feast, which is just bursting with a love for Paris that we share.
There are some real gems, here. Generally, we’re not big on ‘party make-up’ – but there’s something so flattering and universally wearable about this collection that we feel it’s like adding an embellished Little Black Dress to your wardrobe.
We probably won’t be going as far as swooping a gold mascara onto to our lashes – but on the other hand, Gold Light Topcoat (£20.50) doubles as a hair mascara and a touch of gilding could be v-e-r-y pretty on a highlight.
Guerlain’s seasonal collections get us as excited about the approach of Christmas as the switching on of Regent Street’s lights or the window displays at Fortnum & Mason
We adore the Art Deco-style Palette Gold (£59) – in the main picture, above). Pure Gatsby, this, and with clever textures that can be used dry or wet, for extra intensity. Two blushers, six eye shades (some of which double as highlighters).
For those who love the glimmering effect delivered by Guerlain Météorites, here’s a sort of on-the-go option. (The famous ‘pearls’ are potentially way too messy to carry in your handbag – a spill equates to the eruption at Pompeii, but with shimmer). A dusting of Terracotta Gold Light (£44) on décolletage, a touch on brow-bones, even a cheek (if you’re too young to have deep lines) – all very becoming, and feminine-feeling.
Last but not least: if you only swing for one Christmas make-up update, this year, you might want to make it one of two gorgeous limited edition Rouge G Lipsticks in the collection (£37 each) – both striking, incandescent reds, with 822 Glamorous Cherry designed for brunettes, while 832 Flaming Red is intended for blondes. (Jo’s blonde and loves Glamorous Cherry, though, so try them on your skin before making up your mind.) The Rouge G compact is as hefty and luxurious as a lipstick case gets. (Very El Morocco.)
It may only be the start of November. But we are now, officially, mistletoe-ready.