At the time of writing, Britain is in a heatwave. While welcome for many, it’s wholly inconvenient for me, because I am now officially in autumn for work, and meant to be writing about heavy foundations, warming scents and thick, unctuous creams to soothe wind-chapped faces. Instead, I’m thinking only of products that will dry down the stickiness or stay put beyond noon.
Enter Smashbox’s superlative new Studio Skin 24-Hour Concealer (£20), a full-coverage liquid cover-up for all skin tones except very pale (“light”, while a perfect match for me, won’t be light enough for some Brits). I don’t recall ever using a mainstream concealer that delivered so well on longevity; I even slept in it during testing, and it was pristine upon waking some 22 hours after application (as was my pillowcase). My only word of caution is that your “playtime” (ie, the period you have in which to blend the product before it sets) is limited – faff too long, and it streaks and blotches, but a swift application, area by area, is flawless.
It’s a good job Studio Skin remains so entrenched when, in summer, I’m prone to using a cooling facial spritz liberally. My perennial favourites are Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic and Caudalie Grape Water (both £6), because both smell so lovely as to be instantly cheering and reviving, and come in small, fridge door- and handbag-friendly containers, delivering fine mist that doesn’t mess with underlying makeup.
Not that there’s any danger of my mascara running, because I’m wedded to tubing formulations such as Clinique’s (especially Full Lash to Flutter, £20 – see 13 August column) and NYX Doll Eye Long Lash (£7.34). For base, I essentially surrender to the elements and forego foundation (life’s too short to feel that gross), and instead reach for Giorgio Armani Luminessence SPF35 (£35), a glorious CC cream with good staying powder and visible glow. One can whack it on in a minute flat. Finally, I’ve fallen for Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Body Wash (£3.33), a refreshing, cruelty-free blend of cucumber, green tea and no nasty sulphates. In this weather, it makes me feel spotlessly clean where others have failed, but without that squeaky dryness. The similarly kind Daily Gel Cleanser for Sensitive Skin (£6.99) is also ideal if the thought of thick balm cleanser is enough to ruin your morning.