Natalie Hughes, founder of digital agency The Fashion Digital talks me through her beauty bag.
“I look forward to sitting down at my dressing table each morning; it’s almost meditative for me. I pop on a podcast (probably My Favorite Murder) or some music (it’s usually something by Best Coast or Belle & Sebastian – it’s gotta be cheery; after all it is early in the morning), and start painting my face”.
“I start with Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer – I bought it for my wedding last year – it smells gorgeous and creates a lovely matte base. Then, I apply Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation in number 30 (with a beauty blender if I’m feeling fancy, and with my hands most days); I’m on my umpteenth bottle at this point, as I’ve been using it since my early twenties. Nothing compares in terms of lightness and coverage in one. Everything else feels too dewy. As someone with Anglo-Indian heritage, I have perennially dark circles beneath my eyes so I conceal them with Le Correcteur by Chanel – I’m a creature of habit and lazy with beauty so I haven’t tried much else”.
I was hopeless at contouring until Francesca Kearns taught me – now, I’m marginally less hopeless. So sometimes I do a little of that with Fenty Beauty Match Stix in mocha, which I work in with the Fenty highlighter brush. I recently bought the Nars Exposed palette and I’m totally obsessed, so these days, I just grab that and sweep the bronzer and blush colours around my face with a vague sense of intention. It makes me look more alive, I think. There’s a pretty subtle highlight in the palette, but if I want to really gleam, I’ll tap on Laura Mercier Hollywood Beauty Light Wand”.
“I have hooded lids, so I find a single shade swept over the lid is the most flattering. My favourite is a light bronze shade from the Nars Isolde duo so I pop that on day to day, unless I’m feeling in more of a ‘60s mood, in which case I opt for Lavender or Blueberry Scone from the Lorac Pro Beauties Who Brunch palette (layered atop Nyx HD Eye Shadow Case for better colour pay-off), and a cat eye with Maybelline Hyper Precise All Day eyeliner. For night-time, I’m a glitter fan; Stila Magnificent Metals are unparalleled but on a budget, Revolution Pro glitter shadows are pretty wonderful. My favourite mascara, hands down, is Glossier Lash Slick. It subtly lengthens and defines and there is no fall-out whatsoever”.
“I don’t do anything to my brows. Maybe I ought to, but I can’t be bothered. I do however use the clear MAC Brow Set gel to slick my baby hair – or as my husband likes to call it, my tuft – back”.
“My lipstick collection is abundant but there are three that I tend to rotate between regularly. Nothing compares to Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk for a ‘90s nude lip; beneath I’ll layer Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat lipliner in Pink Venus for a pinker tone or MAC Whirl lip pencil for a browner finish. My favourite red of all time is MAC Ruby Woo – I love all of MAC’s iconic reds, to be honest. And lately, I’ve been experimenting with a Korean-inspired blurred lip, using MAC Powder Kiss lipstick in Lasting Passion. I rather like it”.
“For staying power, a mist of Barry M’s Mist & Fix Matte Finish make-up setting spray is my secret. I’ve tried premium setting sprays and they don’t compare. I’ll carry MAC’s Mineralise Powder in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day”.
“My make-up ritual isn’t complete without a spritz of one or two of my favourite fragrances. I favour warm, gourmand fragrances – cleaner for day, spicier for night. Among the usual suspects, there is Molecule One, Glossier You and Byredo Gypsy Water. I have long been a fan of Le Labo Patchouli 24 (to be spritzed with care, as it is super smokey), and Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, which is Jane Birkin’s fragrance and also reminds me of my mum. Recent discoveries are MAC Velvet Teddy perfume (very similar to Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille) and Maison Louis Marie perfume oil in No. 4 – reminiscent of Le Labo Santal but not as homogenous (and more purse-friendly)”.