Thankfully, we are in a golden age of minimalist make-up. Brands such as the US-based Merit, which now ships to the UK but has yet to extend its reach to Ireland, are changing the market and gaining immense hype. Minimal make-up used to carry an association of being less elegant and less varied in exchange for being less “obvious”. Those days are long gone. It can look like you’re not wearing any make-up if that’s your preference, but I prefer a minimalism that takes about 10 minutes in the morning and enhances your features without looking like “much”. I’m not looking to pretend that I’m not wearing make-up. Make-up is a joy and not a secret.
The central feature of great summer make-up should always be skin, and this year’s Chanel summer collection is worth fawning over for its focus on soft textures, natural skin finishes and general subtle enhancement. For the first time, the whole collection has been resized to be summer travel-friendly and they’ve got the balance right. There are no paltry minis here – dinky, profligate little fellows that look cute but contain little product and will be quickly discarded. These are just a bit smaller than standard, making them more travel-friendly but generous enough to last quite a while.
My favourite resized offering is the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream (€37 for 15g from Chanel counters). The standard 30g version is very generously sized – I’ve never managed to use one entirely within a couple of years. This smaller version is far more portable, but also quite sufficient for months of use as the formula is pigmented and you don’t need much. It’s a slightly more affordable and waste-conscious way to try an exceptional bronzer. It’s creamy but not shiny, contains no glitter or elements that look obvious or unnatural, and comes in three shades.
For a single lip shade that will carry you through summer days and nights from the everyday to special occasions, try Chanel Rouge Coco Baume in Pink Delight (€40 at Brown Thomas). Sofia Richie recently became the poster girl for bridal elegance with her elaborate wedding at Antibes in the south of France. This peachy nude-pink was the lipstick that make-up artist Pati Dubroff used on Richie for her wedding day make-up, and it works just as well with fresh day make-up as it does with a smoky eye for evening.
Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint (€45 for 15ml) might just be the ideal holiday foundation. It’s a lightweight, forgiving water-based formula – making it ideal for hotter weather or oilier skin. It evens skin tone subtly, leaving a radiant finish that allows a good summer skin day (and freckles) to peep through.
To extend the dewy radiant look to the body, Chanel Les Beiges Illuminating Oil (€56 for 50ml) is glorious. Best kept for olive or deep skin tones – or over false tan if you favour more golden limbs in summer – it gives an almost wet-look sparkle that is incredibly flattering in evening light. This has always come in a large glass bottle, making it non-ideal for travel, but the smaller version is much more portable and every bit as eye-grabbing.