I usually approach makeovers at make-up counters with wariness.
Take advice from overly orange sales assistants who seem to think the best way of advertising their products is to wear as much on their face as possible? No thanks! And, when I have succumbed, it’s been a case of too too much – plastered on like a mask (and feeling almost as heavy as one!) in whacked-out colours and with an emphasis on whatever products they’re currently trying to promote, regardless of whether they suit your skin tone.
However, I bring you one notable exception to the rule – Becca.
Too too much is a notion that isn’t really in this Aussie cosmetics brand’s arsenal. They’re all about natural, effortless beauty – admittedly not much use if you’re seeking crazy colours and glitzy glitters, but great for your go-to day-to-day make-up. Becca wasn’t around where I used to live in the UK but as soon as I came over, I made my way over to one of their counters quick-start – and the fact I’m now onto my third bottle of their Tinted Moisturiser should tell you all you need to know!
The guy in charge of my Skin Perfecting Make-Up System Makeover was the very lovely Jan. Ladies, ask for him and you need never fear of the makeover foundation force-field again! He asked about my general make-up look, what colours I preferred and paid close attention to my skin (verdict: good but after a really poor facial, currently extremely sensitive) and skin-tone. I’m vampire levels of fair but Jan picked and applied all my products expertly to create a light, natural make-up look that I was really happy with!
I think you’ve seen enough pictures of me on here to know my general look by now so you’ll have to make do with the after shots only – and the pout is more through effort of trying to take a decent photo of myself, rather than through model aspirations, trust me!
As I knew I was getting made over, I only applied a quick base with SPF and a slick of eyeliner (I rarely leave my neighbourhood without it!) so the first stage was a quick make-up removal. ‘Wow, this eyeliner is good!’ Jan commented, as he moved onto his third cotton wool square for just my left eye… of course, it was a good old Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencil, one of my bona fide make-up miracles. Jan had heard of Urban Decay’s magical mystical properties but, UD not being sold in HK, had never tried them, so I told him to recruit someone to go haul for him in Sinagpore’s Sephora… and the rest of the makeover breezed by in make-up gossip and easy chatting!
First, there was a primer, then onto their Luminous Colour Tinted Moisturiser, one of my favourite Becca products. It has a really gorgeous consistency and applies silkily smooth, whilst also offering pretty good coverage for a tinted moisturiser (which often tend to be on the sheer side). The best thing about Becca’s Tinted Moisturiser is that it comes in 13 different shades – so you’re bound to find one that matches and blends in seamlessly with your skin-tone, rather than making do with one of the regulation ‘light, medium or dark’ that most brands (and BB Creams) manage. Factor in an SPF of 25, a light and dreamy texture and that a little goes a long way (one bottle generally lasts me around 18 months), and it’s no surprise this is a total stalwart in my make-up bag!
I also loved what Jan did with my eyes, a slightly smoky look but still subtle enough for day-to-day wear. He used a matte taupe shadow from the Lost Weekend Palette and then added extra depth with an eye pencil, but without going heavy on the waterline – and I am absolutely loving those flicks (no Benefit Get Bent Brush required!)!
What’s more – Jan didn’t use mascara. Is he my guardian make-up angel or what?! My eyes are pretty sensitive as the best of times, but following crap facial, have been bugging out more than ever. He took one look and, rather than ploughing on regardless, said there was no way he was using mascara (and even then, went light and gentle with the rest of my eye make-up). You’ll know it’s a super-special occasion if you see me in my mascara, that’s how much I hate wearing it (it always makes my eyes feel heavy, they invariably start watering at some stage and the hassle of taking it off is enough to kill the ‘oooo fluttery’ joy of initial application) so this really cemented it as a perfect make-up look for me.
After finding out I preferred corals to pinks, he went that way for the rest of my look. He used one of Becca’s best-selling Lip & Cheek Crèmes as a blush (Tuberose I think) and I was really surprised with the results. Cream blushes often come off rather intense and feel heavy on my skin-tone yet with Jan’s dab hands, he managed to create a pretty, delicate and effortless coral flush! I only wish I had enough confidence in myself to know I could work it just as well at home!
After trying a few lip looks, we eventually settled on one I really loved using another cult Becca product, Beach Tint in Grapefruit, a pretty pinky-coral. I’d heard lots of good things about their Beach Tints, which can be used on both lips and cheeks, and because of that, had been expecting them to have the same kind of watery liquid stain consistency as Benefit’s Benetint/Posietint/Cha Cha Tint/whatever new Tint retread they’ve brought out. Actually, the Becca Beach Tint is more like a light cream (intensely bright out the tube but easily blended in) and in my books, work far better as a lip tint than Benetint’s moisture-sapping stain ever did!
I absolutely loved the light coral colour, plus the deliciously unexpected fresh fruity scent, but what I loved even more was the finish. It’s pretty much the most natural lip finish I’ve seen, but which still made an obvious colour difference to my smackers. It’s definitely not a gloss, glaze or satin finish but definitely far away from being a matte or balm look either; basically, it’s a totally gorgeous, natural lip look, the ultimate ‘my lips but better’ and has immediately gone down on my wish-list!
Finally, a few judicious dabs of concealer for any red patches, a finishing powder (another Becca best-seller with a feather-light texture and radiant finish) and a highlighter and I was good to go!
I absolutely loved my makeover – and Jan! It’s a really natural but pretty make-up look that totally suits my lifestyle, which for me, is exactly what a good makeover should be – one that took into account my style and my needs, rather than those of the make-up assistant! This is a look that I would wear without hesitation in my day-to-day life; I loved how light and non caked-on it felt and it stayed picture-perfect for a good eight hours, with the eye make-up holding up especially well. Plus, with Jan talking me through it the entire way, it’s one I feel I could manage to do myself too.
Proof positive that this makeover was a good ‘un through and through? I, control freak and beauty addict, would happily entrust Becca and Jan with my make-up again… and again… and again…!
Becca counters are available at Times Square, Pacific Place and IFC Lane Crawford.