Porcelain vamps

by Katie on March 29, 2010

It may come as a shock to some people out there but there are some vintage types of the pale and interesting variety, at best screen goddesses and at worst, throwback goths, who do not greet the first rays of an expected scorcher of a Summer with delight. It throws us into blind panic. How do you keep a sexy 40’s or ’50’s screen siren style with ensuing beads of sweat, over powdered face and creeping lipstick caused by over hated public transport in the midst of a heatwave?


We are induced by beauty editors and TV programmes to prepare for Summer, go bronze, go beach and, horror of horrors, the ultimate PR prod to go ‘au naturelle’ which entails beige lipstick and dusky bronzing powder, usually worn with a beach wrap and cowboy hat. Hmm. Never fear girls…I have been trawling the best brands for lightweight bases that don’t clog and even have SPF benefits that ensure a perfect Porcelain finish. Worn with a good quality solid colour lipstick and slick eyeliner, these are the perfect tools to keep your look and your composure in tact with minimum effort.

I’ve long been a fan of MAC and used their matte lipsticks in Lady Danger and Russian Red and, though I love the shades, find they tend to dry out and crack the lips. In the hunt to solve this problem, I’ve concentrated on three fantastic brands that I’ve trial tested and can qualify they deliver great results.

Since Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics launched, I have been obsessed with their classic, screen star range of make-up fronted by pale skinned goddess, Scarlett Johansson. The packaging is sleek, sexy and stylish to the nth degree. Mirror polished gold cases with faint Dolce & Gabbana lettering is rounded with soft edges, tactile to touch. But the contents offer the difference in an over-crowded designer cosmetics market. Perfect finish powder foundation (£33)can be used wet or dry to give the most flawless finish that vintage sirens would kill for. The colouration of the classic, ivory or natural pale shades, smack of old school glamour. World renowned make-up artist, Pat McGrath says, “When applied dry, the foundation imparts a soft, sheer effect. When applied wet, the complexion receives richer coverage resulting in a flawless velvet finish.” Pair with a slick of Dolce Gabbana classic cream lipstick (£20), one of the best on the market for solid colour, moisture laden and long lasting. 

It’s the brilliance of the shades that wins through though with dazzling reds such as ‘iconic’, ‘fire’ or ‘chromed’. The D&G brilliant orange is the best out there. I’ve searched high and low and different price ranges for a matt but moisture lippy that doesn’t dry out. Try ‘delicious’ and prove it to yourself. Finish off with a carefully applied line of crayon intense eyeliner in black or ‘stromboli’ (£16) for a real Scarlett Johansson film star look.



At YSL, renowned masters of the pale foundation, the Teint Resist foundation (£28) gives flawless finish and a sheeny brilliance to your skin. It’s promise to keep the skin perfect, through day to night, didn’t let down and and it feels luxurious.


Another fabulously indulgent beauty brand with unsurpassed moisture laden products with skin benefits is Sisley. Try out their Phyto-Teint Eclat in Nude (£60) for a lightweight texture with a smooth luminous finish. Oil free and silky soft, it’s perfect for Summer wear.

Sisley hydrating, long lasting lipsticks glide over the lips with their satiny texture (£29). These not only provide coverage but have skin care benefits to hydrate and protect your lips. Try the deeply deluxe red shade L29. Sisley’s phyto khol perfect eyeliner in black (£28) has a unique moulded texture that can hold maximum pearl particle content, thus enhancing its shiny metallic highlights. Apply as close to the eye line as possible for an authentic look or smudge with the sponge tip for a more dusky, evening look.


One of the original and best is Estee Lauder with a rich brand history since 1946 and the experience of catering to millions of women throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The popular double wear light, stay in place foundation (£24.50) has sheer to medium coverage with a natural finish and has SPF 10 and can give up to 15 hours of wear. Specifically created for Summer, this light foundation gives coverage that won’t smudge or melt off through heat or humidity. Intensity shades 1 or 2 are the palest. Or, try their Daywear Plus Multi Protection tinted moisturiser (£23) in light with its active response system that helps neutralise skin ageing free radicals. Combine with Estee Lauder’s Double Wear lipstick (£16.50) and lip pencil (£15). This satin-smooth, long-wearing lipstick gently glides on lips with the comfort of a traditional moisturising lipstick and wears comfortably for up to 12 hours, so that the just-applied look you love in the morning is the look you keep all day.

Finish off with the sumptuous newly release Nouveau Lashes’ Noir Mascara (£15.99) for big lashes and big staying power, for sensuously curved, all out seductive lashes and a classic vintage glamour look.


Set for Summer vintage style. And, if all else fails, there’s always Addison Lee cabs with air conditioning.

Dolce & Gabbana make-up is available at Selfridges and Harrods. Estee Lauder, YSL and Sisley products are available from good department stores throughout the UK. For Nouveau Lashes visit www.nouveaulashes.co.uk
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