As we’ve now hit the third week of lockdown, many of us have become accustomed to the practicalities of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the more pleasant trade-offs is getting to avoid many of the formalities that normal life requires: small talk in the lift with colleagues, cramming into a packed train on the commute, and swapping your office attire for loungewear, which is essentially the sweet spot between staying in your pyjamas and actually getting dressed for the day.
Sadly, there are a few conventions we cannot avoid, and meetings are one of them. Whether you use Zoom, Google Hangout or Skype, video calls with colleagues are inevitable, and as much as we’d all like to stay bare-faced throughout this ordeal, nobody wants lacklustre skin, tired eyes or stress related blemishes to pop up on the screen.
Equally, no-one wants to sacrifice that precious extra hour in bed for a full beauty regime, which is where our handy guide to quick and easy make-up comes in. With a few staple products and clever but effortless application, arriving at work (in your living room, office or kitchen table) looking fresh faced is an easy way to make you feel set for the day.
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Danielle Roberts, global make-up artist for Urban Decay, tells The Independent that her first must-have product for healthy-looking skin is the brand’s B6 vitamin infused prep spray. Describing it as “an instant complexion pick-me-up”, Roberts suggests using it as a primer before applying any other products, as it works to “boost hydration in the skin while combating shine and exfoliating dead skin cells.” We’re craving multi-tasking products that do all the hard work for us right now, which is why a quick spritz of this is a must.
If you suffer from dark circles, here at IndyBest we also love Ole Henriksen’s banana bright eye cream, £32, for an instant under-eye boost. Infused with collagen and banana powder pigments, this immediately brightens and hydrates the under eye area, unlike other eye creams that take longer to show results.
When it comes to face make-up when working from home, Roberts opts for Urban Decay’s stay naked foundation, £31, a lightweight formula that’s perfect for that your-skin-but-better look. “Apply a sheer layer of this all over or buff into the skin over problem areas. Or simply go over them with the stay naked concealer to hide any blemishes for camera ready skin.” Read our roundup of the best lightweight foundations for other sheer formula favourites.
For extra radiance, we’d recommend applying Charlotte Tilbury’s beauty light liquid highlighter to the high points of your cheeks and above the brow bone. We love the new "pillow talk medium" shade, a peachy bronze that blends beautifully and acts as a liquid blush as well as a highlight. This simple step will give your skin a healthy glow that all of your colleagues will envy.
As Roberts rightfully points out, “no matter how minimal your desired look, mascara is a must-have.” The make-up artist’s go-to is Urban Decay’s perversion, £21, as it “brings the drama with just one coat” leaving you good to go in a matter of seconds. Hourglass’ caution extreme lash formula also scored highly in our review of the best mascaras, winning our best buy. Describing it as an “exceptional all rounder” our reviewer loved how this mascara (£29) doesn’t clump, with a buildable formula that leaves your lashes looking soft but defined. You can read our full mascara roundup here.
Another top tip to alleviate tiredness is to apply a white kohl liner in your waterline (the part right above your lower lashes near your eyeball), as this instantly gives the appearance of larger eyes that are more awake. This may sound daunting, but a good liner will glide on effortlessly. We love Mac’s matte white eye kohl pencil in the shade "fascinating", £15, a pigmented but creamy formula that stays put all day.
Complete your eye make-up with a quick coat of Benefit’s gimmie brow, £22.50, a tinted gel that instantly gives you the appearance of fuller, fluffier brows. This is an absolute staple in our make-up bag as brushing your brow hairs through with the applicator takes seconds but makes such a difference, defining your brows while keeping them in place throughout the day. To learn how to keep your brows tame during lockdown, read our guide here.
To “plump and polish your lips ready for a call”, Roberts recommends finishing off your make-up look with Urban Decay’s hi-fi ultra cushion gloss. Its hydrating formula "works to nourish and condition your lips while the vanilla and peppermint scent will keep you feeling fresh”. Costing £16 and available in 27 shades, we think that "naked", a pink nude, is the perfect choice for a healthy flush of colour without looking too intense. It’s a work call, after all.
Here at IndyBest, we love Fenty Beauty’s gloss bomb universal lip luminizer in the shade “Fenty glow”, a bronzy nude that makes your lips look plump and hydrated without any of the dreaded stickiness that other glosses can leave you with. If you’re more of a balm-lover than a gloss fanatic, head over to our roundup of the best lip balms that soothe dry and chapped pouts.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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