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Colour me happy

By April 12, 2020April 28th, 2020No Comments

Now more than ever, finding a pocket of zen at home is crucial. Louise McSharry is turning to colour to make herself feel like a human again, even if it’s only for half an hour every few days. Makeup is art too, you know…

You don’t need me to be the seven hundredth person to tell you this, but I’m going to do it anyway. These are truly strange times. There are so many things to worry about collectively, and then, of course, each of us has our own set of challenges. Loneliness. Lonely parents. Lonely children. Job loss. Empty bank accounts. Unpaid rent. A sudden cough. An uncomfortable swab. Test results. It’s all relative, of course.


One thing’s for sure, escapism is essential if we’re going to get through this. And we are going to get through this.As the mother of a three-year-old and a ten-month-old, I am keenly aware of the fact that some of us have more time to dedicate to escapism than others. Most nights, by the time my children are in bed and I’ve loaded the dishwasher and done the bare minimum required to keep the house running, I collapse onto the couch and fall asleep before I’ve made it through the first twenty minutes of whatever we’ve decided to watch (‘Something light please’).

The odd time, though, I’ve had the energy to dedicate an hour or two for makeup, and those nights are glorious.

I’ve loved makeup for as long as I can remember, ever since I was a little girl pulling lipstick out of my granny’s drawers. However, it was really when I was a teenager that my passion for applying it took shape. I wasn’t exactly excelling when it came to my social life, so on Friday and Saturday nights, when it felt like all my classmates were out on the town, I was sitting in front of my mirror applying face after face of makeup.

I took my inspiration from everywhere. An all-pink look a la Cher from Clueless might follow a glossy red lip taken from the cover of a soft-porn magazine stolen by a friend from her stepfather’s wardrobe. I didn’t discriminate. I just wanted to create. And through creating, I found peace. It’s no surprise then, that I’ve returned to this habit during this tumultuous time, and it probably isn’t shocking that I’m going to recommend it to you.

If it appeals to you at all, go to your mirror, and create. It is just as valid as an artistic outlet as putting oil on canvas, and you probably have the tools already. The beauty of this makeup is that it’s just for you, so there’s no pressure. Maybe it’s as simple as putting on the red lipstick you bought on a whim one time but always convinced yourself you couldn’t pull off (you can, by the way), or maybe you want to smear silver across your face. You can do whatever you want, just for the fun of it.

Should you decide to take this advice, I highly recommend experimenting with colour, even if you never have before. The artist and designer Helen Steele has been posting Instagram stories along a colour theme since this whole thing started, and it has been a real delight. Having studied colour therapy, she knows its power and the impact it can have on our mood and ability to feel positive. White is cleansing. Pink is calming and nurturing. Blue represents peace and stability. Why not take a page out of her book and put some colour on your face?

You probably have some colour in your makeup collection as it is, even those most committed to neutrals have a palette with a random blue in it, but if you’d like to make a purchase there are some amazing options on the market right now. Irish company BPerfect Cosmetics’ Carnival XL Pro palette (€46.95) includes vivid brights alongside classic browns, and I’ve often said I could happily live the rest of my life with that palette alone. I mean, I’d rather not, but if I had to I could do it. NYX Cosmetics have a lovely palette of brights for €22.50 and I’m currently lusting after Huda Beauty’s Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Lilac (€30 – below).

If you’d like some colour that isn’t quite so in your face, Glossier’s new Skywash lid tint (€18) is sheer and matte, and of course the lips are a relatively safe place to be bold too.

Don’t forget that you can intensify eyeshadow colours by using a wet eyeshadow brush, just keep to one corner of the shadow to avoid changing the texture of it permanently. The most important thing to remember, though, is that the outcome really isn’t important when it comes to this kind of makeup.

Sure, it’s nice to have a finished look you love, and that might give you a boost through your next Zoom call, but it’s also okay just to play. Who cares if you’re going to take it all off as soon as you’re finished if you’ve given your mind a half an hour off from worrying about whatever your unique set of stressors are? Enjoy it. That’s all that matters. Now, more than ever.

I’m loving… Libre (€90) is the new perfume from YSL, and I’ve been putting it on every morning recently just to feel alive. First of all, the bottle itself is gorgeous, and I take genuine pleasure from holding it in my hand each day. Second, its scent is feminine but not saccharine, and adult without be mature, if you know what I mean. It includes notes of lavender, mandarin orange, cedar and Madagascan vanilla, and I can’t get enough of it.

I know I recommended a lip balm last week, but I’m back again with another one. My lips have been in shreds lately, perhaps because I’m failing entirely to keep myself hydrated, and Image Skincare’s Ormedic Sheer Pink Lip Enhancement Complex brought them back from the brink. It’s effective, but also a real pleasure to use with a signature Image Skincare scent and a lovely pink tint. It’s not sticky but offers shine, and I love it.

One of my favourite things about Charlotte Tilbury’s range of product, is that it’s all designed with accessibility and ease of use in mind. Everything she releases has an accompanying video demonstrating how to use the products, which means almost anyone can get to grips with the product. You can’t really demonstrate an instinct for colour in a video, but you can design a range of product especially to bring out people’s eye colour and label it clearly as such! The Colour Magic Range does just that, via Charlotte’s classic eyeshadow quads (€50) and new double-ended eye pencils (€28). The above is recommended for blue eyes. They are fabulous, especially for people who feel like they don’t have a clue where to begin with colour.


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