Make-Up Q&A with Lisa Hancox

This week I’ve asked Lisa some questions that I’ve been thinking about for a while…

I’m looking for a really nourishing eye cream but one that’s not too heavy. What’s your recommendation? 

Dermalogica’s Total Eye Care is a good all round, multi-tasker for both morning and night.

The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum or Gel is my favourite daily treatment night cream for eyes for all skin types.  They have a beautiful texture, sink into the skin well and it really makes a noticeable difference to hydration quickly. The choice of formulation is purely personal.

For sensitive and dry skins, look at Avene, Kiehls Creamy Eye treatment with Avocado and Dermalogica Ultra-smoothing serum for eyes.

Zelens Triple Action Advanced eye cream is a premium but excellent choice.

If you have specific concerns like darkness, wrinkles or puffiness, I’d use a multi-purpose eye gel or light cream in the morning and a night cream targeted to your needs.  In the morning, make sure you leave a good 10 mins after applying your eye cream before using under-eye concealer – this will stop it creasing.

I’ve recently started using a black liquid eye liner. I love the effect but feel the black is too harsh, what else would you recommend, that’s not brown?

Black can sometimes be too harsh you’re right – and slightly ageing too – especially for daytime.  Graphite grey, navy, black-plum or a brown-black (a deep espresso) will all be softer and more interesting depending on your eye colour.

As for the type of eyeliner you choose, I’m a huge fan of gels, used with a fine brush (I couldn’t be without my Bobbi Brown superfine eyeliner and the Laura Mercier fine angled eyeliner brushes).  Gel is totally flexible – it can be used to create a statement line to the eyes which is still crisp but slightly softer than liquid, or you can smudge it before it dries for a sultry look, either blended into your mid or dark eyeshadow for a smoky eye or on its own for a rock chick effect.

If you’re a beginner at applying eyeliner, trace a thin line with a pencil first, then go over it with the gel.  Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier make the longest-lasting gel liners in beautiful colours, or try one of the L’Oreal Superliner Gel Intenza colours for the best budget version.

For the festive season I’d love a deep red lipstick with a matte effect. Which is the best one to go for?

I’m a firm believer that there’s a red out there to suit everyone, no matter their skin colour and tone, eye and hair colour.  Today’s lipstick textures are so much better than those on the market even three years ago and the best matte formulations are super long-lasting, contain nourishing oils and vitamins and are kind to your lips and wear off evenly.

I particularly love:

  • NARS Velvet Matte pencil in Cruella or Mysterious Red or NARS Pure Matte in Amsterdam
  • Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau in Muse
  • Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon
  • For a sheer burst of deep red without making a statement, try Lipstick Queen’s Medieval.
  • Although it’s not matte, I adore Bobbi Brown’s Hollywood Red.

To prepare your lips, pat on a thin layer of concealer all over the lips before applying your lipstick. Just make sure your lips are smooth and you apply some balm 10 minutes or so before. Remember you can make any of your favourite lipsticks become matte by dusting a thin layer of translucent powder through one layer of tissue on top of two coats of lipstick.

I’m really noticing a change in my skin with the change in season. How do you recommend keeping it looking fresh?

Really invest time in your skincare routine in the cooler months, layering your products.  Cleanse, tone, serum, (oil if needed), cream in that order and weekly exfoliation and a hydrating mask all over the face if you have normal, red-sensitive or dry skin and on the cheeks if you have oily or combination skin.  If you have dry or sensitive skin, switch to a milk or calming cleanser in the winter.

Consider introducing a wholly natural facial oil to suit your skin type if it feels dehydrated but make sure it has no mineral oil.  Any skin type can be dehydrated due to a lack of water and / or too much salt and alcohol – it’s different to a dry skin type.

Avoid super-hot water when cleansing as it will dry the skin out.  Make sure you remove your make-up and apply your skincare at least an hour before bed, if not two – or your expensive products will end up being absorbed by your pillowcase instead of skin!

Nurture from the inside by drinking lots of water and eating excellent foods for the skin like salmon, mackerel, almonds, walnuts & pistachios, olive oil, avocado, artichokes, broccoli and seeds.  Consider taking a fish oil supplement too.

TIP: if your face feels tight and wind-whipped during the day in a cold snap, take two pea-sized amounts of your normal face moisturiser, rub between your hands until they are coated in a super-thin layer and pat onto your face over your make-up for instant relief.

This is a big one but I am in desperate need for a new foundation. It seems like a minefield out there and I don’t want to waste my money. Where do I start? 

There are five things to consider:

  • Colour-matching

Test the foundation, whilst not wearing any, around the jawline for the best match.  Lighting in shops is poor so take a small mirror and check the colour by the door.  The one that ‘disappears’ into your skin is the right one.  Always wear s foundation for a day to see how it lasts or ask for a sample or two, do not buy on the spot!

  • Coverage and finish level

Are you looking for light coverage (water-based foundation or tinted moisturizer), medium or full coverage? Would you like a dewy or light-reflecting, semi-matte or matte finish?

  • Your skin type

Even if the colour is spot on, if the formula of foundation isn’t suited to your skintype, you won’t look your best.  Avoid oil-free formulas if you have dry skin and go for an oil or gel base with anti-ageing moisture properties. If you have oily skin go for oil-free, water-based foundations with medium coverage. If you have sensitive skin, look for fragrance free products and if your skin is also oily or combination, consider a mineral powder formula as it will usually have less preservatives.  Normal skins can take their pick and if you want to create an airbrushed flawless finish, HD liquid foundations are your bet – I love the new Liquid Halo by Smashbox.

  • Texture

Finally, consider what you like to use: powder, mousse, liquid, cream, cream to powder or tinted moisturiser?  If you use a lot of cream products (cream highlighter, blusher, bronzer), I wouldn’t pick a powder or mousse foundation as you’ll find it very difficult to use these on top of your foundation.

Thanks Lisa! Here is a link to Lisa’s website for more tips and tricks Lisa Hancox Make-Up.

If you have a make-up or skincare question for Lisa, please leave a comment below.
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