Since we’ve apparently decided (or er, the press has decided) that pale is HOT! IN! COOL! I, and lots of pale gals like me, are pretty pleased that our milk bottle pastiness is now recognised as a thing of beauty. But, the thing about a tan is this: it makes you look nice and healthy and glowy. It just does – think about post-holiday compliments when you go back to work after a couple of weeks in the sun.
And the thing about fake tan is it often looks as if a superimposed layer of orange is weirdly hovering over your ‘yes I was brought up in Mullingar and am as white as a ghost, what of it?” skintone. We’re too pale and pink-undertoned to carry off tans meant for sallower skins, and we look FRIGGING BONKERS as a result.
The real thing ain’t much better for the majority of Irish ladies either: if you do take a tan then you should of course do it as safely as you possibly can, and if you don’t, then exposure to the sun’s rays on that bender you took to Faliraki makes you look like Dr Zoidberg for a couple of days before you turn into a peely-skinned leper. Lovely.
So, given all that, I prefer to stay au naturel. And we have another problem. Pale skin can often look lack-lustre and flat when made up, so while you can succumb to bronzer – which I do occasionally – my absolute favourite way to add a bit of life to an alabaster complexion is with highlighter. Used well and sparingly, it illuminates and delivers back a glow to a pale skin that’s so pretty.
A warning: used not-so-well, you end up looking more robot than ride.
I’ve got (more than) a few in my arsenal: liquid ones to mix with foundation, and powders I call into play to set base and to highlight the tops of cheek and brow-bones are ones that’d get a good bit of use too. I’d regularly set my liquid foundation with a whisper of a Mac Mineralize Skinfinish for a small bit of daytime shimmer that lifts my complexion.
But the one I like the most is Kevyn Aucoin’s The Celestial Powder in Candlelight. This is just beautiful. Beautiful. It’s a soft, creamy powder that’s golden and gorgeous. A whisper of this across the entire face looks absolutely great, and you can layer it lightly on the points of the face that the light’d naturally catch as well.
It looks nothing in the pan, true, and in the swatch you can just about make it out – this is a lightly shimmery powder that’s not sparkly or metallic, but which will give you a bang of C3P0 if you layer on too much – so go easy. It does come with a brush that I’ve long since chucked in the bin, preferring to use a large, soft powder brush instead – I think you get a more subtle, diffused finish.
Not cheap, this is a real pro product that delivers. Now here, this is makeup – it won’t change your life. It probably won’t even change your routine. If you think it will do either, let me remind you this is a subtle product that luminizes and possibly no one but yourself will even notice the difference. But here’s the clincher – will I replace mine when it runs out? Absolutely.
£30 at Mise Beauty is the damage; you can also buy in Dublin at Queen Beauty Emporium.