Make Up Top Up

In Beauty, Make up, Shopping on July 4, 2014 at 9:59 am


On Monday morning I have a very delicious appointment. I’m going to meet myself in Selfridges beauty hall – one of my favourite places on the planet – and do a make-up bag re-stock. All at once I’ve run out of several of my key items and I can’t function without them.

Here’s my shopping list – and why, plus number of times I’ve bought each product.




Clinique Chubby Stick in Bountiful Blush
Chubby Sticks are the greatest thing to happen to lips since kissing. They give your smooch just enough colour to look dressed, but it slicks on like a lip balm, leaving no hard lines, so you don’t need to use a mirror to reapply. I have three shades, but this is my everyday Chubby, which I never leave the house without.

Purchase number: 4







contcntc613043198-nocolourChantecaille cream blush in Shy
I love cream blush. It gives a much more attractive glow than powdery old powder. This colour is a perfect natural bloom and goes on very lightly for easy blending without skin dragging. I also like the way you buy the outer compact – called ‘The Pebble’ – the first time and then just replace the disc of colour.

Purchase number: 3

(Actually I’ve just remembered they don’t stock this brand in Selfridges, so I’ll have to go to my very favourite store, Fenwick, a very dangerous place for me to enter, particularly if I go near the costume jewellery area…)





21vIbS38HcLFrancois Nars Larger than Life Long-Wear eyeliner in Madison Avenue
Isn’t it funny to think that a few years ago none of us ever wore eyeliner? I’ve always had a liquid liner in my make up drawer for special effects, but it was Amy Winehouse who brought it back for every day wear.

As I said in an earlier post about Mary Berry’s brilliant eye make up, I think it does particular favours for the older, more hooded eye and I never leave the house without it now, in various degrees, from the subtle definition to the full Elvis-era Priscilla Presley. For special occasions I have a Guerlain gold eyeliner which gives a fabulous effect.

I have liquids, gels and various kinds of pencil, but this soft push up crayon in slate grey is my go-to favourite. You can control the thickness and intensity of the line with no dragging of the delicate-eye-area and the grey gives a much more subtle effect than black.

I don’t do brown make up in any context.

Purchase number: 2




Bare Minerals, mineral make up in Medium Beige in the big 18g pot with a nice gold lid
This powder foundation actually changed my life. I still don’t quite understand how, but it completely covers my raised and blotchy rosacea skin without making me look and feel like I’m wearing some kind of suffocating mask.

It also acts as a non-chemical sunscreen, which is great as nothing makes my skin flare up more badly than the chemical kind (in fact, I think wearing that on my face every day for years was what caused it, but that’s just my theory).

I have lost track of how many of these I’ve bought, but this will be my second of the lovely big pots which look so glam on the dressing table.

Purchase number: 10? 12?


bare-mascara_300Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Black
I’m so bewildered by the constant barrage of claims made by beauty companies about mascara, I made a mascara launch part of the plot in my last novel Everything Changes But You (the heroine is a beauty editor…)

In my experience every volumising, length-doubling, thickening, luxuriating wonder mascara does the same thing: makes my eyelashes go into big ugly clumps like tarantula legs. Then it fills my eyes with lots of gritty little filaments.

I do have a Francois Nars Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara which I use for big special-occasion make-up looks, but for every day I just want one which will coat my lashes with black and make them look more distinct. Clinique’s Naturally Glossy is that mascara.

Purchase number: 20? Lost count years ago.







There’s one other thing I’m going to treat myself to on my beauty spree, which is a new product: Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Kate’ lipstick. A make up artist used this on me recently and I really loved the effect. I have quite a small mouth and this colour made it look much more voluptuous and I felt quite the (ageing disgracefully…) rock chick babe.

Here’s a link how to get this look.


Now tell me, what are your beauty repeat buys?

PS If you love the make up bag at the top – you can buy one here. Although after planning to buy them (she does other great slogans too, such as ‘New York is my boyfriend’) for all my girlfriends, I decided the postage cost is a bit steep.


  1. Went in for a manicure today, came out with sparkly new nails & an entire bare minerals kit & all because I was watching some lady having a make up lesson & it just drew me in.

    • Is it the GEAR, Soph. I’ve tried their various gadgets, but it’s just the simple powder foundation thingo I use every day now. I did get conned into buying an Estee Lauder foundation last year but after using the mineral stuff for year it made me feel like I had a gimp mask on. Horrid. xxx

  2. Great timing Maggie! I’m off to Mecca on Monday as need to restock my chantecaille anti smog tinted moisturiser before a week in Bali (first holiday without the kids, little bit excited!). Have realised I’m in a “special occasion” makeup rut so I’m getting a lesson mainly because I’m not entirely sure about how to do my eyes- never really updated my dodgy 90s training in makeup application. Will check out your foundation as i still use the same one I’ve been using since the 90s and sun, wine and rosacea mean there’s no way it’s the same skin it’s dealing with!

    • All sounds like a good plan. I think it;’s really really important to keep changing your make up look. I had a sudden realisation that all the careful blending I used to do with eye shadow is completely pointless now I have old eyes – it just disappears into the crease! Eyeliner has been my revelation x

      • Dear Maggie, yes its important to look at oneself with fresh eyes on a regular basis. So right about the eyeliner. Also you posted a while back about Mary Berry and her v flattering false eye lashes – so pretty. But I am hopeless at getting them right on my eyes! I can slide them onto anyone else perfectly in a blink but not getting the hang of it for myself. Any tips? I must admit I haven’t bought the special big “tweezers” yet – maybe that’s the missing link for me? Another suggested warming the lashes with a hair dryer a little before application – more flexibility? Any suggestions/tips welcome. BX

  3. I love Chanel’s imitible mascara. I have tried tons but this is the one that works best for me. It slightly curls my lashes & doesn’t clump. Love it!

    I’ve also recently come across Jouer and am slightly obsessed with their products. Most of them are designed to click, slide or snap together so you can make up your own custom palettes.

  4. Hi maggie, I am an australian who follows your blog sporadically….and am sorry to hear your rosacea still is a bit of an issue….I too suffer from this problem ( fair, little sun exposure and in my 50s….seems to be the profile!) tried everything with little success but came across this cream for psoriasis about 5 years ago and for me it has been agame changer….smells like rotting fruit but has worked like magic ( husband now also uses it on his face also….and now looks younger…goddammit!) it is from Graeme’s … An australian company, called calendulis plus cream….hideous yellow and blue packaging…looks terrible on dressing table, but if I had to have one product this would be it. I buy online, so I am guessing they would ship to uk….have been tempted to contact you before…but feel a bit silly recommending something when I am a bit of a makeup and fashion novice….but it just might help?
    Thanks for blogging
    Cheers Louise

    • Thanks, Louise – will check it out. Do you have the raised spotty type of rosacea, or the flushing one?

      • Hi maggie….the raised spotty one mainly across front of cheeks…..from side of nose outwards…checked the tube of cream and I have spelt the name wrong (whoops!…sorry) …it is by Grahams….apparently the smell I describe is manuka honey. For me, it has gotten completely on top of it….my doctor can’t quite believe it after having tried all sorts of prescription ( and pretty useless ) creams and over the counter stuff. The irony is the people at Grahams only advertise it for excema or psoriasis. If you want to try it and they won’t send overseas I am happy to send you some….cheers Louise

      • Magpie, I have the flushing type, and recently had laser treatment. Magic!

    • Dear Louise, the Manuka honey! Some believe it to be the miracle cure all – flu and everything else. It does feel amazing on the skin and well-know for its strong healing properties. There is a line of products labelled “Manuka Honey” as well. Maggie hope this helps your delicate skin (I do know some people with Ros. cannot tolerate any forms of SPF etc). Suppose you have already tried Rosehip Oil? A real fave. BX

  5. My repeat buys lately are all from the Australian company Moo Goo. It’s all natural and they have a focus on products for people with skin problems (I have rosacea too). No chemicals or nasty stuff. They now have a make up range, which is called Dusty Girls. It’s all lovely.

  6. Dear Maggie, the bare minerals powder foundation is the bomb isn’t it? Such a great product. Benefit cheek stain, Lucas Pau Pau Ointment (Aussie, like 8 hour creme but totally natural ie pau pau), Napoleon Chocoholic Eye brow pencil and my all time fav Clinique lipstick which double as cheek colour (can’t read the name any more – worn off so will have to take it with me to replace very soon. Best ever recent find in a fabulous Japanese $2 shop – an under eye concealer in a wind up stick – so perfect colour and texture – sometimes the cheapies can be gold, right? Happy shopping. BX

  7. I’m in a pre splurge phase regarding new makeup. After following you as you “ate the pantry” and having just read Lucy Siegle’s book “To Die For” ( I think recommended in this blog) I have decided to “lather the ensuite” and use up the various unguents, potions, hair products and make up odds and ends that have mysteriously accumulated. Once I can see the bottom of the vanity drawer I’ll be off to get some luscious new items.
    I’m quite a fan of Paula’s Choice skin care. Her Skin Recovery Toner and and the Resist products do seem to work very well on my sensitive, fair skin. Clinique Even Better tone correcting moisturiser has certainly, over time, rid me of brown spots on my cheeks. I like a sister product to Clinique’s chubby stick which may or may not still be available. Almost Lipstick is a non sticky lip gloss. i like the colour called Black Honey. Laura Mercier has a good eyebrow pencil in Ash Blonde for when I haven’t been able to tint my brows. For the sake of the condition of my hair I’ve stopped colouring it and this eye brow shade blends in OK with the silver vixen (if only) look. The beautician swears by a nail product called Healthy Hoof which is primarily an equestrian product. I’m not sure it will save my nails but it’s worth mentioning. Blackmores Hair and Nail vitamins really do work.

    • ha ha that’s really funny – because I’m running down the bathroom products as well! I’m planning to do a post about it soon, so would love to hear your thoughts. This is just about make up, where I probably need a bit of a chuck out, because you can’t use the old stuff up. I keep my make up far too long.

      • I’ve got too much stuff and struggle to find things when I’m in a hurry. Then, as you say, the products get old. A lot of the unguents and also lipsticks were gifts with purchase from Clinique. I’ve even asked Clinique sales persons in store if I can have reward points instead because I have enough toiletries bags to open a market stall. I can’t use them all as phone charger or camera cable storage when I’m travelling. I have a surfeit of shampoos and conditioners and styling agents in a bid to find products that enhance my pathetic barnet. Since my maiden name was Barnett I should have a generous mane but I don’t. I have small pottles of laser repair, anti puff eye serums, left over hotel body lotion. I’m using it all up on which ever body part feels a bit flaky. Elbows, heels, toe cuticles. The Crabtree and Evelyn body scub will have to be chucked as it constitutes a safety hazard on the shower recess floor. The weird thing is no matter how much gets tossed it still seems to multiply. Perhaps it is because it seems a shame to bin really nice lippy colours that I got for “free”.

        Back to make. I adored Clinique’s Black Amethyst eyeliner but it’s discontinued. And I couldn’t be without my Rectocil brow tint. I like the Bobbi Brown foundations too. When the hair products have run down I think Goldwell will be the product of choice.

      • Cosmetics are hard to pass on once they’ve been used and like you, I can’t bear just binning them… I’m going to make this the subject of the next post, with full credit to you, of course!

  8. I disagree about the eyeliner coming back into fashion because of Amy Winehouse. I have worn it every day since I was 15. Unless Mum realized before I left for school. Am now 40+ and I still reach for it every morning. Currently using a Estée Lauder one in black.

  9. Thanks for sharing all those lovely essentials! If I can find the ‘Kate’ lipstick out here, I will try it: I’ve been looking for a shade like that, but every one I’ve tried makes me look too clownish: I just want a subtle light shade (yeah…I am going for the (ageing) rock chick look, too).

    I am pathetic in terms of colour changes with my lipstick – I know this, because I have mainly worn only three particular shades in the last 30 years. Consecutively – the first two went out of production. Both times I was distraught.

    Years ago I used Clinique religiously, now it’s whatever I grab on my travels. My all time favourite make up was Lancaster, but they didn’t last for long in Australia.

    I think I need to sit down with a knowledgeable and patient makeup person and start again.

  10. Love Those Nars eyeluners and have quite a few in purple, bronze, white and gold. Also some Stila pencils in other colours as I rarely wear black, I prefer a touch of colour.
    I have some Australis lip stick crayons that are similar idea to the Clinique and brilliant for the price.
    I have given up on foundation and now it’s either a BB, CC or tinted moisturiser for me.

  11. Any tips for those of us oldies who love eyeliner but have such dreadful eyesight now that a bad smudge is all I get! Would love to know how others cope when they don’t have their glasses on

    • There are various versions of these, Joanna – with very mixed reviews – but I reckon these are the best ones. Some of them have frames over the top and look useless to me. Then there are the magnifying mirrors with lights incorporated. Let me know if you have any luck with them, so I can write it up. x

  12. Snap! Chantecaille cream blush in Shy is my new go to blush. Chantecaille products are lovely, lip chic lipstick is moisturising and smells beautiful, my everyday colour is tearose.
    Will be checking out all your recommendations because you know stuff!!
    Sorry to read that you feel unhappy about that stupid newspaper that dumped you. No wonder Fairfax is on the skids, just look at all those comments that people said they stopped buying the SMH and now the Sun Herald because no MAGGIE!!
    Love reading your blog, know it does not make you any money but if any consolation I buy your books (love them too).

  13. Love reading all of these comments, especially the “lather the ensuite” !! – I too love BB cream and have been using Garnier BB since it came out (about 2 years ago?) and it has made a huge difference to my 60+ y.o. skin, nice and light and not cakey. Repeat purchases of Maybelline Colour sensational lippie in Tinted Taupe and Revlon eyeshadow in Shimmering Sienna, discontinued and can only be bought on e-bay, which I now do in clutches. Both colours are great on my skin tone and easy to apply, I look awful with a nude lip and the taupe colour is a lovely neutral and can be subtly changed depending on which lip liner I use. Agree with you Maggie about cream blush – I use Natio cream blush stick – a soft natural colour.

  14. Hi Maggie, so inspired by the “Kate” lippie! It’s looks very similar to a Stila Lipstick and Nars pencil combo I use in Banana and Bettina. Favourite re-buys are Nars blush in Orgasm. Lost count I how many I’ve purchased. Also Stila lipgloss in Berry and Banana, again, lost count of how many I’ve purchased. Have fun!

  15. I’m a fan of the Garnier BB cream too, also because the light one is a perfect match for my skin colour. But can’t live without Estee Lauder Double Wear eye pencil – I use a magnifying mirror on the wall, but finding it a bit harder to see lately in the dim Melbourne winter……

  16. Hi Maggie. I read your blog this morning and thought giddy up, here’s the answer to my red skin- I’ll stop at Mecca on the way home. So I did. And the lady wouldn’t sell it to me. Didn’t even get to try it. She just kept saying she thought Chantecaille was better. Am now sadly at home and still red. Will try another branch tomorrow! Andrea

    • Do you have the flushing kind or the spotty kind??? I have the spots. The other thing that has made a big difference to me recently is Clinique Redness Relief moisturiser – I’m going to do a post about it soon. I can’t believe someone wouldn’t sell you what you wanted!!!!

      • I know. Crazy. However I told a friend at work my troubles and she has given me the end of a pot of Bare Minerals to try so great result. I saw the Redness Relief in Duty Free, but didn’t have time to buy. I shall investigate.

  17. Putting eyemakeup on using a small magnifying mirror is a revelation, if you can bear to see your older skin close up! I hate to think what my eyeliner & lashes actually looked like before, when I just used my badly lit bathroom mirror. Maybe ignorance is bliss?
    I have to use cheap & cheerful, so I like maybelline eyeliners & mascara & NARS Orgasm blush. Garnier BB cream for everyday face & Carmex lip balm keeps my lips in good nick.

  18. I’ve been using Shiseido wet dry foundation for 15/20 years or so – it’s great, very light, just evens out the colour. Top it up with loose powder and you are good to go. Also love Chanel lipsticks, will always buy a shade of red. Always feel glamorous using it (the lacquer finish of the tube – well it’s not really a tube!) that it comes in!

  19. Dear Maggie,
    I’ve become a makeup obsessed in the last 6 months thanks to Mecca opening near my office.
    I too heart the Clinque chubby sticks. Peony is my favourite shade.
    Clinque Cream Shaper for Eyes is also brillant for the ageing eyes and the colors are gorgeous and stay on!!
    Love all the Hourglass ambient powders for different highlighting.
    Have just discovered Nars eye primer to stop the dreaded creeping of eyeliner into crepey old eyelids. Its a game changer.
    Also love the Skindinävia makeup setting spray that stops the dreaded afternoon shine and makes the skin fllawless.
    Obesessed with the makeup tutorials of Lisa Eldridge. Charlotte Tilbury and Wayne Goss. Such a lovely way to see what new and learn new tips and techniques.
    Kate Bx

  20. Maggie, have your tried IPL or laser for your roseacea? Several friends of mine have had great success, no longer need antibiotics, and only need a top up treatment once or twice a year. I know you are in the UK, but (Canberra and Sydney) are the type of business you need – nurse run, with referrals via a GP to a dermatologist if needed. Also, the Rationale medical skincare range is amazing – completely changed my skin for the better. (And no, I don’t work for either companies, just a very happy client.0

    • Do you know which kind of rosacea your friends had? SOme people have the red cheeks and flushing, mine is horrible outbreaks of what look like spots, but they’re not – there’s no blackhead action (small blessings!). It gets so sore. I’ll look into it. Thanks x

  21. I’m bit late to the ball, but… Ere Perez All Day Sunflower Oil mascara is fab if your eyes are too sensitive for more mainstream brands. I’m probably on my fifth, I buy them from my local health food store…

  22. I’m very lazy with makeup and often go out with little or none on. But I had a favourite lipstick which I lost in a public bathroom this week. So I headed off to replace it, not having a clue which brand it was let alone which colour.

    I tried the Clinique chubby stick because I remembered this post, and bought it in chunky cherry. Then as a result of trying and liking several other things, also acquired a Chanel lipgloss and lip pencil, Dior lipstick and MAC lipstick!! Very extravagant and feel a little guilty as this was was not part of the plan at alI. But also happy and now inspired to update my makeup skills, as well as (eventually) the rest of my supply!

    Your description of what happens with mascara has been EXACTLY my experience and is why I completely gave up on it long ago. I’m going to try your recommendation for this as well and see if it works for me. I live in hope.

  23. Make up always fascinates me! Not so particular with brands but often I buy lipstick even if I still have tons of them in different shades. My obsession I guess? With putting make up on, should be fashionable attire. Got latest collection and I intend to go back for more at Satch ( ) for their big sale! At as much as 60% off on wide sophisticated collection. So much to love not just on Satch but on this blog site of yours!

    • Lipsticks are the best mini treat. Nothing like a new one to perk you up. I’ve had some of mine for years! My current favourite is my Charlotte Tilbury, the packaging is soooo gorgeous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Fragrant Cloud

I think in perfume

Style Notes

Style Notes

The Grooming Guru

An Expert's Guide To Male Grooming

Mad About The House

The sourcebook for modern living is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

En Brogue

slow comfortable style

North/South Food

Eating across the North/South divide

Jack Monroe

The #1 budget recipe website

Liberty London Girl

Just another site

The Selvedge Yard

A historical record of artistry, anarchy, alchemy & authenticity.

Cattle & Cane

Country Chronicles

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: