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The Make-Up Basics We Need Now & Forever

Feature: Long Read
Words By Olivia De Courcy

When was the last time you took a look at your make-up basics? As summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to assess your current line-up. That said, 2021’s make-up basics are anything but basic, with modern formulas aplenty leaving you thinking “wow, this really works”. Foundation feeling a little heavy? Try switching to an innovative Japanese formula, which is renowned for being lightweight while providing great coverage. Lashes looking lacklustre? Gucci’s mascara has earned its cult status for a reason.

It’s worth remembering too that products have a shelf live – many of them, maximum a year. So while your pre-pandemic products may not smell “off”, they can harbour bacteria that can upset our skin. An eye infection from an eyeliner that’s been left a little too long? No, thank you. Here are the latest wonders of the beauty world for the simple, yet effective, beauty life.

3 foundations lined up on-top of a foundation splodge

New Foundations

Foundation technology is always evolving with new ways to target common woes such as the perfect shade match and ‘flawless’ finish. Some of the most advanced base-tech comes from Japan and Korea, with brands such as Clé de Peau Beauté and Shiseido offering full-coverage foundations with feather-light formulas. Similarly, Givenchy's latest base, the Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation puts skincare at the forefront, with a hydrating formula containing 97 per cent natural ingredients. It’s no replacement for skincare, but for those with skin troubles, it helps knowing your make-up is also doing good for your skin.

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The Base-ics


3 lipsticks and lip glosses lined up on-top of a lipgloss splodge

Lip Service

The feeling of wearing a coloured lip – be it bright red or deep berry – and the power it has to lift our moods or imbue confidence should not be underestimated. In 2021, there are, of course, traditional lipstick bullets, but also shapes and formulas that adapt to modern life. There are balms that impart a wash of colour, lip oils to temporarily stain and double-use lipsticks whose angled edges also work as a liner.

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Blush & Bronze

The modern way to contour? Liquid formulas are your NBF – mousse-like blushers or those that come from a pipette or tube are typically responsible for the most natural-looking flushes as they’re easy to apply with a finger and blend.


And then there are the products that do it all. CHANEL’s Pallette Essentielle contains three colours to conceal, highlight and colour – the latter in an ultra-flattering shade for each palette’s skin tone match to use on both eyes and cheeks – and Kevyn Aucoin’s contour book is just as effective on cheeks as it is eyes.

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Beauty products displayed on a table

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