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  • Make-Up

    This year, our make-up kits have become mood-boosting shrines. On days when we’re not feeling it, swiping on just the right luminous eye cream and perfect shade of red lipstick is like casting a magic spell. Read on for the make-up destined to lift your spirits. 

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    Best Primer

     

    The theory is simple: primers are formulated to smooth and perfect skin, so that your make-up glides on, looks better and lasts longer. If you’re on the fence, this is the formula that will persuade you that a primer is worth it. Most of the time, we love how dewy it makes our skin look that we forgo foundation all together.

     

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    Laura Mercier

    Pure Canvas Primer Illuminating£34

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    Best Foundation

     

    Our search for fuss-free make-up led us to this formula, which has a cult following for a reason. It’s a foundation and a concealer in one that has been formulated to adjust to your body’s temperature, meaning it covers naturally and blends really well. Ultimately, this equates to gorgeous-looking skin in moments.  

     

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    Hourglass

    Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick£42

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    Best Tinted Moisturiser

     

    We love multitasking make-up almost as much as we do wardrobe basics. This lightweight, oil-based liquid foundation glides on and sinks right into the skin, and manages to make it dewy while covering flaws. It’s thanks to all the super-hydrating ingredients: avocado, rosehip seed and jojoba oil, to mention a few.

     

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    Kosas

    Tinted Face Oil£40

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    Best Concealer 

     

    Perhaps best-known for their category-disrupting CC cream, this is another winning formula from Korean-French skincare brand, Erborian. The ultimate fix for tired-looking eyes, it nourishes with calming antioxidants and tackles dark circles with yeast extract, all while concealing, too.   

     

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    Erborian

    BB Eye Touche Parfaite£34 £23.50

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    Best Liquid Foundation

     

    With her being one of the world’s best make-up artists, we would expect Pat McGrath to know good foundation. So it comes as no surprise that hers is lightweight and silky-soft, with a buildable formula that offers sheer-to-medium coverage. It lasts for hours and blurs imperfections, creating a healthy, youthful appearance.

     

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    Pat McGrath Labs

    Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation£60

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    Best Bronzer

     

    Few brands are better at giving skin a just-back-from-holidays glow than NARS. And this is our favourite shade for dusting on effortless colour that never fails to improve our complexion – or our mood, for that matter. Formulated with botanical oils and extracts, it hydrates as well as flatters.

     

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    Nars

    Matte Bronzing Powder – Vallarta£31

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    Best Brushes

     

    For brush lovers, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without these three ruby-red, miniature brushes in one ergonomic magnetic tool. There’s a pointed crease brush for eyeshadow or concealer, an angled brush for liner or brows and a smudge brush for lips. 

     

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    Ruby Hammer

    Magnetic Brush Set£28

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    Best For Brows

     

    This tinted pomade is beloved by beauty editors for enhancing brows without making them look stiff. The formula contains beeswax and carnauba wax, which is what makes it flexible and natural-looking. And the teeny wand makes placement precise, which is why it fills so well.  

     

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    Glossier

    Boy Brow£14

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    Best Highlighter

     

    Former ICONS cover star Gucci Westman is the pro we trust for gorgeous make-up with a subtle finish. This highlighting cream makes skin look warm and luminous in seconds – simply swipe on eyes and cheeks to start, then build from there. 

     

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    Westman Atelier

    Super Loaded Tinted Highlight£69

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    Best Compact

     

    The ultimate edit of our favourite organic essentials, this compact has the vitamin-enriched Buriti bronzer, the dreamiest shimmery highlighter, two perfectly rosy cheek-and-lip shades and a vanilla-scented skin balm that can go anywhere, from lips to elbows.  

     

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    RMS Beauty

    Signature Set – Pop Collection£42

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    Best Blush

     

    The fastest way to make skin glow: this super-flattering blush with a matte-to-shimmer finish that lets you customise and build colour, depending on your mood. It’s richly pigmented, lightweight and gives your skin an oh-so-pretty pop of colour. 

     

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    Kevyn Aucoin

    The Neo-Blush£28

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    Best For Eyes 

     

    If you like a streamlined morning routine, this smooth, no-crease creamy stick illuminates lids with a gorgeous glow in moments. Swipe on alone or etch lashes in black liner for a little added definition. And unlike some pinky nudes, this one actually has staying power. 

     

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    Bobbi Brown

    Longwear Cream Shadow Stick – Nude Beach£23.50

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    Best Eyeliner

     

    The cat-eye is to beauty, what the LBD is to fashion. The trick is finding a liner that is opaque, long-lasting and easy to apply. Chantecaille’s ticks all the boxes, with a nib designed to mimic a calligraphy pen so that you can taper strokes. 

     

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    Chantecaille

    Le Stylo Ultra Slim Liquid Eyeliner£30

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    Best Mascara

     

    There’s a reason that every make-up artist’s kit we’ve ever nosed through has a few tubes of this cult mascara. The waterproof formula builds volume and coats lashes in inky colour that does not budge – ever. We’ve road-tested it with crying jags and workouts, so can attest to its staying power.  

     

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    Maybelline

    Colossal Big Shot Waterproof Mascara£7.99

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    Best Lip Balm

     

    This buttery balm is our go-to in winter when our lips feel dry and dehydrated. It’s packed with avocado oil to moisturise, and mongongo oil to keep skin feeling super-smooth. 

     

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    Drunk Elephant

    Lippe Balm£15

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    Best Red Lipstick

     

    Nothing makes us feel more pulled-together than swiping on a classic red lip, and this is one of the best. The finish is an intense matte that isn’t too drying and feels feather-light, and the colour is a true siren red that can be worn as a stain or a statement.  

     

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    Kjaer Weis

    Lipstick – KW Red£29

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