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The Make-Up Basics We Need Now & Forever

Feature: Long Read
Words By Olivia De Courcy

With time spent in isolation, just like comfy clothing and nourishing food, beauty trends are transgressing back to basics – and that goes for make-up, too. Haven’t we all enjoyed stripping things back, spring cleaning our make-up bags and channelling Gwyneth in nothing but concealer and a scrunchie for our bathroom selfies? 


That said, 2020's make-up basics are anything but basic. Choose the right products and something as simple as a little concealer stick could be packed with years of research and advanced technologies cultivated in world-leading laboratories for a formula that makes you think, “wow, this really works.” That’s right, the modern basics may look simple but by gum are they mighty in their results. Look no further for the simple (yet effective) beauty life.


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 Shiseido and Suqqu offering full-coverage foundations with feather-light formulas. No heavy cakiness here. Similarly, La Prairie has combined skincare with coverage in its Essence-in-Foundation cushion compact, using its signature cellular complex. 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



Lip Service

During WW2, Winston Churchill understood the power of lipstick to boost morale – all cosmetics except lipstick were rationed and women were actively encouraged to wear it through propaganda. It’s the same today; 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 2020, 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 blushes 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 Kevin Aucoin’s contour book is just as effective on cheeks as it is eyes.

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