Hannah Betts's Better...not younger: Winter bronzer trick for a gloriously fresh face

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Hannah Betts reveals how bronzer can be used to create a dewy makeup lookUK-based beauty columnist also shares a selection of overnight face masksEve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules are this week's cosmetic craving  

Recently, I had the joy of creating my friend’s wedding make-up look ahead of the big day, so she could practise doing it herself.

It got me thinking: we spend so much time focusing on the latest hot products, yet midlife make-up is as much about how, as what.

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A woman can spend a fortune on state-of-the-art slap. However, if she piles it on any which way, the results may be staggering in the negative sense.

My opening tip is take your time. I know this qualifies as trolling when said to a middle-aged woman. And I’m definitely not talking about hours each morning — not even one’s wedding morning.

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But, once in a while, take a bit of time out and have a play. It took me and my friend Clem, 46, five hours to come up with the perfect 30-minute face.

Hannah Betts reveals how bronzer can be used to create a dewy makeup look that is 'gloriously fresh' during the winter months (file photo)

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Hannah Betts reveals how bronzer can be used to create a dewy makeup look that is ‘gloriously fresh’ during the winter months (file photo)

Next, look — really look — in as punishingly bright daylight as possible. I have the world’s most gigantic mirror, with normal and ultra-magnifying options, positioned in direct light. Clem hadn’t gazed at herself properly since her teenage years.

Seismic realisation number one: her make-up collection not only looked bomb-damaged, it was also too rosy for her warm complexion, which sings in orangey hues.

Our second discovery was that, although she may be a shade two in base come summer, in winter she’s a one, which immediately makes things look more natural.

Build upon the right foundations to help your look last. I like to apply an oil, then sunscreen, with gaps for absorption. At the very least, you’ll need moisturiser.

I also use an eyelid primer — Kiko’s Pearly Eye Base (now £5.99, kikocosmetics.com) — to prevent eye make-up slippage.

Think about texture. The traditional ‘heavy foundation plus bronzer plus powder’ face can look a tad matte and one-dimensional — ‘done’, rather than alive.

To keep things dewy, Clem and I experimented with the latest ultra-glowy, second-skin bases — Sisley’s Phyto-Teint Nude (£68, johnlewis.com) and Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Tint (£35, shiseido.co.uk) padded on with fingers — then added as much gleam as possible.

Think: three sweeps of bronzer each side of the face in the shape of a 3, going from brow to cheekbone and jawline; a flush of rouge to the cheeks; and little C-shapes of highlighter running from the outer eyebrow to the top of the cheekbone.

Given that we are talking about tiny touches here, brushes are essential. But you don’t have to spend a fortune. I adore Charlotte Tilbury’s Eye Smudger (£25, charlottetilbury.com), and Eye Liner Brushes (£18). Otherwise, most of mine are cheap as chips, from Boots, H&M, TK Maxx and Amazon. I chop about with the bristles to suit my purposes.

UK-based beauty columnist Hannah (pictured) shares her selection of overnight face masks

UK-based beauty columnist Hannah (pictured) shares her selection of overnight face masks

My mid-life musts are a flat brush for under-eye concealer; a slim eye brush for lid-lining and a fatter one for blending shadow; a double-ended blusher brush; a slanted highlighter brush; a big powder number; a brow comb (or old mascara wand); a lash comb (£2.69, amazon.co.uk); and a lip brush. Try Ruby Hammer’s multi-tasking Magnetic Brush Sets (£28, rubyhammer.com).

My friend was terrified of eye make-up, rejecting the heavy liner of her youth but not knowing what to do instead. I suggested Chantecaille’s Le Chrome Luxe Eye Duos (£48, spacenk.com), cleverly coordinating combos that make the shading thing a cinch: paler colour across the lid, darker one to lend shape.

Then silver or gold kohl on the lid’s inner corner, and a touch of dark liner on the waterline at the opposite end for lift.

Separate mascara-ed lashes with your comb, and lightly fill brows before swooshing them youthfully upward. I also swiped concealer around Clem’s brows to give them sculptural elegance.

Lips were subtly lined, then overlined with cream kohl. They were filled with Sisley’s ridiculously pretty Phyto Rouge Shine (£31, sisley-paris.com, launching next month), which combines the pigment of lipstick with the lustre of a gloss. To finish, I added the lightest trace of powder.

The reaction was that our heroine looked ‘gloriously fresh’. Reader, my job here is done.

Book now for weddings and bat mitzvahs.


 Mutha Body Butter

Just landed here, Mutha is an award-winning LA brand, loved by actress Kate Hudson and assorted Kardashians. Its thing is caring for you as your mother would, meaning skin-feeding formulas. Its bestselling Mutha Body Butter (£80, cultbeauty. co.uk) is brimming with fatty acids to see off dryness and stretch marks.


£80 Shop



Reese Witherspoon is Hannah Betts' icon of the week, a 45-year-old actress and producer

Reese Witherspoon is Hannah Betts’ icon of the week, a 45-year-old actress and producer

The 45-year-old actress and producer has sensitive skin, and fell in love with Biossance’s science-backed, plant-based formulas.

‘In the mornings, I wash my face and put on eye cream, the Squalane And Omega Repair Cream (£45, cultbeauty.co.uk) and sunscreen.

At night, I clean my skin with the Squalane And Elderberry Jelly Cleanser (£22), and put on the Squalane And Vitamin C Rose Oil (£55).’ 


Skin Proud Sleep Defence Overnight Mask 

Infused with kombucha and soothing niacinamide to combat irritation and redness.


£14.95 Shop

Bamford Nourishing Sleep Mask 

This rich, plumping mask features soy cells to boost lipid content and therefore hydration.


£60 Shop

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask 

A shot of superfood nourishment plus hyaluronic acid for a dewy complexion. 


£42 Shop

Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask with Saffron flowers 

Expensive, yes, but nothing restores dry skin as well. 


£97 Shop

Votary Intense Overnight Mask 

This creamy, decadent formula smooths fine lines, eases signs of fatigue and makes skin glow.


£85 Shop


Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules

Eve Lom has had cleansing at its core for three decades, championing the idea that this is where beautiful skin begins. I stumbled across the brand’s Cleansing Oil Capsules (£20 for 14 capsules, evelom.co.uk), and, boy, I’m glad I did.

Scented with clove, eucalyptus, chamomile and hops, these oil capsules remove the day’s ills in one fragrant sweep, waterproof mascara included.

Completely biodegradable, they are perfect for travel. However, they are buoying me through the dark days of January, longing for the moment when I can pop a pod and hit the sack. Catch the brand at M&S from February 10.


£20 for 14 Shop

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