Minimalise your makeup bag with the best multi-tasking products
Oh, the joy of leaving the house again!
One thing I have not missed is carrying a bag around all the time. Al fresco socialising means I’m now carting around a gazillion extra layers so I really don’t want a ginormous makeup bag weighing me down too.
If you feel similarly, we’re in luck, because one of the biggest trends in makeup currently is multitasking products.
This isn’t just the old pot of pink stuff you can use on your cheeks and lips but pencils and tubes of pigment designed to be used on eyes, cheeks and lips, as well as concealers and highlighters.
You’ve probably heard about ‘skinimalism’, the new trend for paring back your skincare regime and using fewer products, which is better for your skin, your wallet and the planet. This is essentially the makeup version of that.
Nudestix was early to the game, launching its range of make-up crayons in 2014, and while the brand has expanded, the lip and cheek pencils, concealer pencils and double-ended sculpting pencils (£20 each, cultbeauty.co.uk) embody the ideal of being able to do your whole face with a fistful of pencils.
Live Tinted’s Huesticks (£18 each, livetinted.com) in a range of demi-matte and shimmer shades offer similar flexibility, while the cult Milk Makeup has Colour Chalk, which can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks, wet or dry.
In addition, Canadian brand 19/99 (so called because it’s for anyone aged 19 to 99) has just launched a range of seven pencils (£19 each, cultbeauty.co.uk) it says can be used as lipstick, lipliner, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blusher or highlighter.
‘We believe excess is no longer acceptable in the beauty industry,’ says 19/99 co-founder Stephanie Spence, ‘so we have streamlined our product assortment to focus on creating high-quality, multipurpose makeup essentials that can be woven into our customers’ daily routines and used for both bold and subtle looks, day or night.’
Crayons not for you? Check out Depixym for artist paint-style tubes of ‘multi-use, ultra-long-wear, waterproof and high-pigment matte creams’ — 20 shades designed to be used alone or mixed anywhere you like, as everything from foundation to eyeshadow and lipstick.
Makeup artist Caroline Barnes is a huge fan of the less produce, less packaging, fewer rules approach.
‘Professional makeup artists have been doing this sort of thing for years — need a purple lip but don’t have purple lipstick? Use a purple eyeshadow with some lip balm,’ she says. ‘But it’s really nice that this sort of creativity is being encouraged by brands.’
And, interestingly, while in the past consumers might have welcomed brands dictating — or demonstrating — how to use their products, Caroline believes the explosion in online tutorials means we’re better prepared than ever to go our own way when it comes to makeup.
‘People are so much better at putting makeup on,’ she says. ‘If you want to know how to do something, there’s bound to be a YouTube video showing you, so I think people have more confidence and feel more free to experiment than in the past.’
And while their multifunctional nature means less waste, the fact you can choose the colours you actually want also means you don’t get landed with product you don’t use.
‘In traditional palettes, there’s always that one shade you just don’t use,’ says Caroline. ‘Here you don’t get that — it’s less packaging, less fuss and more of what you actually want and use.’
The only downside is that you won’t get a gorgeous luxury finish like you might from a matte velvet lipstick. Aside from that, however, there’s nothing not to love.
And while much of the appeal of these products is that you don’t need to carry a load of brushes with you as you can simply apply with your fingers, should you still want brushes to blend and smooth, make-up artist Ruby Hammer’s magnetic brush sets (£28 for a set of three, or £12 for each additional brush, rubyhammer.com) are entirely in keeping with the vibe.
Three stackable brushes make a portable pen and are designed to be used as you wish. I’ve used the smudge brush to help turn a line of eyeliner into something smokier, the tapered brush for blending a scrawl of highlighter at the top of the cheekbones and the spoolie for brushing through brows after I’ve used a brown pencil to help define them.
Now all you need is a new pencil case and that back-to-school — alright, back-to-real-world-socialising — vibe is complete.
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