Sharon Forrester On The Power Of Make Up (But Not Wearing It's Cool Too)

The subject of this week's Beauty Snoop is Sharon Forrester, a freelance writer and former Vogue.co.uk Beauty Editor who has amassed an impressive stash of products and a considerable amount of beauty knowledge...

Feb 5, 2013 at 12:30pm | Leave a comment

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"My daily beauty regime is really simple, yet for some reason everything seems to take ages - my flatmate wakes up later than me but she’s always out of the door before I am! Anyway, I brush my teeth and then jump in the shower (I’m a morning and evening shower person. It’s getting to be a bit OCD but I just find it so relaxing). I use Dove Pro-Age shower gel and then wash my face with Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed.

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I follow with Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris, and breaking away from the Clarins routine, I moisturise with Dr Hauschka Melissa Day Cream. I used to use the Rose Day Cream, the scent was so lovely and comforting, but I was advised the Melissa one was better for balancing combination skin which I have, and it is very good, I just wish it smelled as good!

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I wear make-up basically every day and it takes about 10-15 minutes. MAC foundation and concealer, curling my eyelashes and mascara – I’m using Soap&Glory’s Thick and Fast at the moment, but I’m not really loyal to any one brand – are the basics.

The rest I switch up depending on my mood. At the moment I’m enjoying wearing really smudged-in, dark blue eyeliner (from Dr Hauschka) and tons of mascara, or I line the lower rim of my eyes with black kohl (Rimmel’s is the best) and then just mascara the top lashes.

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Last summer I did go for the whole bold red lip thing (MAC’s Ruby Woo is a fantastic vintage-style matte red that I’m convinced would suit any skin tone), but it doesn’t seem to work with my winter pallor so I usually use Sleek’s tinted lip balm which is a new discovery for me, but I really like it.

I usually finish with a spritz of Chloé Love or Chloé Neroli perfume – I use Love if I’m feeling in a romantic mood or wearing something quite girly, and Neroli if I want something a bit more masculine or edgy.

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My look has been through quite a few stages over the years. I guess I’ve experimented most with my hair – I had my hair natural (i.e. not chemically relaxed) until I was 19 and I used to plait it myself. Once I relaxed it I’ve had a Mohican briefly, a super-short pixie cut (one of my absolute favourite hairstyles), a 16inch weave and everything in between!

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Sharon with longer hair

As soon as I cut it off or grow it long and think, "right, that’s it, I’m happy with this hairstyle" I start to get bored and want to change it again. Luckily I’ve found a hairdresser who is as changeable as me! I have a really nice relationship with my hairdresser. I see Aisling at Hype in Brixton. We're not BFFs or anything, but she’s younger than me (she just turned 25) and so I think that helps her to be a bit more fearless and creative.

And, most importantly, I trust her. She recently restyled my grown-out pixie cut and gave me a fringe, and, at first, when she was explaining what she wanted to do I couldn’t visualise it, but I let her do it anyway. And it turned out great!

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With my make-up, I was a bit of a late starter (and my mum never really wore that much make-up so I didn’t get my cues from her) and never wore any. Also, when I was younger, I had high ideals that I wanted to be judged for my brains and personality only so I didn’t even really want to wear make-up (or shave my legs – yes true!)

But actually I think it was just that I didn’t feel confident with it, and also the colours available didn’t work for my skintone – yes, I’ve been that black girl wearing awful, chalky Barbie pink lipstick! However, when I got to my teens and started going out clubbing, I would go for bright eye make-up – purples, blues, pinks – but I didn’t use foundation or mascara.

My beauty stuff is fairly organised. My brushes and foundation are stored in a small plant pot and I’ve used glass tumblers and crockery to house the rest.

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Everything is within easy reach but dusting is a bit of a nightmare. I’ve also got a box in the bathroom which is less organised with a load of skincare stuff in, mostly from my time as Vogue.co.uk’s beauty editor. I’d love to get a set of vintage designer vanity cases to store things in, I think it would be so chic, but at the end of the day, this stuff works for me so that’s all that counts.

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I’d actually really love to do a make-up course. I love the difference make-up makes to your mood and confidence. I know some people don’t like it, and I wouldn’t really do anything beyond a touch-up myself, but I’m always really fascinated watching women apply make-up on the Tube - that process of transformation from a bare face to beauty within a few stops is just brilliant!

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At Christmas I did my mum’s make-up (she never really wears any apart from for evenings out), nothing too major, but her smile afterwards admiring her face in the mirror made me feel really good. Although, I do also think that it’s cool if you decide that you don’t want to wear make-up too. I’d love to be one of those girls with naturally glowing skin – but I think living in a major city probably puts the kibosh on that!

I spend most of my money on my hair - going to the hairdresser's on a regular basis for treatments – and I guess most of my make-up is from MAC, which isn’t the most expensive, but isn’t exactly cheap either but it does last. Cheap buys – again, I do think Rimmel’s black kohl eyeliner is one of the best and it cost like £3, and I’d happily use a simple flannel or washcloth over a fancy body scrub. Plus, it’s a lot less messy!

I always, always looked younger than my years (I’d get ID’d all the time and hated it!), but the day after I turned 30 I noticed my face had lost its youthful glow! My mum still looks good for her age, so I’m taking that as a good sign, and I don’t have many lines (and to be honest I wouldn’t really care if I did), but I get more breakouts now than I did when I was a teenager and more scarring as a result.

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So I’m trying to take more care of my skin by doing regular face masks and cleansing properly. I always take my make-up off at night no matter how late it is; I use Clarisonic’s Mia every other day to work my cleanser in and for a deeper clean, and Elemis’ Papaya Enzyme Scrub or Liz Earle’s Deep Cleansing Clay Mask once or twice a week. I also like Aromatherapy Associates’ Overnight Repair Mask if my skin needs a bit of extra moisture.

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I guess I've inherited my mum’s youthful genes. I just wish I’d inherited her ability to grow long fingernails too, mine always break!"