Hannah Betts Better…not younger

Hannah Betts Better…not younger: Want to put the zing in spring? Brave the new brights

  •  Hannah Betts shares her tips on how to stand out in Spring 
  • The UK beauty expert recommends products from Mac and The Body shop
  • READ MORE: Skint? Blitz wrinkles and get great skin… for free! 

After a long, drab winter, today is the vernal equinox – when day and night are of equal length. Light, warmth and blooms lie ahead.

On Sunday, the clocks will change – the loss of an hour’s sleep made up for by the new-broom freshness of the start of the season.

Here in the northern hemisphere, March spells rebirth, renewal, zest. Even for vampires such as myself, who find summer challenging, spring yields zing.

Naturally, this means I have a task for you. Now, as the light changes and we too feel open to change, I want you to challenge yourself slap-wise: test your limits, transgress.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a new purchase. You might simply dig out a cosmetic that you found alluring yet somehow ‘not me’ and resolve to prove otherwise.

In my own case, my spring fling presented an opportunity to think pink, care of the Milanese stalwart Diego Dalla Palma and its My Dreams Eyeshadow Palette (£34, lookfantastic.com).

This six-pan array offers two mattes (one shocking pink, one pale peach); two pearlised shades (a metallic golden silver and rose-gold foil); plus two satin textures (a plush old rose and brownish burgundy). However, it’s the hot pink that dominates.

Now, as the light changes and we too feel open to change, I want you to challenge yourself slap-wise: test your limits, transgress

Being cool-toned, I invariably go for some sort of pink on lips and cheeks, and often do an iridescent, pale pink lid using Mac’s Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Ready to Party (£18.50, maccosmetics.co.uk).

But hot pink? Surely this puts the pink-eye (that is, conjunctivitis) into pink eyes? Either that or I’ll look as if I’m stuck in the 1980s when nobody batted an eyelid at Schiaparelli pinks and royal blue peepers.

Diego Dalla Palma offers advice on how to play down its pink: ‘Smudge the darker shade along the upper and lower lash line. Apply the fuchsia along the crease and blend upwards. Apply a neutral all over the lid. Apply one of the pearl shades on top.’

Nice. However, the point here is to push oneself. So I took the bull by the horns and covered my entire lid in bright pink. And whadda ya know? It looked fantastic, making my green eyes pop and my complexion gleam, when gleaming is far from its current state. With this hot shot of colour in situ, no further emphasis was required by way of shading or liner, so I kept it modern by adding only mascara.

Mii Amplifying Lash Lover Mascara (£18, miicosmetics.com) is terrific: a no-nonsense, ultra-black, eye-widening, fanning formula for a naturally enhanced looking lift and curl.

To offset my brilliant eye, I required a brilliant cheek: step forward The Body Shop Freestyle Multi-Tasking Colour in Parade (£12, thebodyshop.com).

I confess, I find this a complete pain to use, erupting out of its tube, with a tendency to stipple.

However, once wrestled with, the pigment payoff is fantastic. Apply sparingly with a brush, tissue at hand, deploying excess on lips or lids.

If all this is sounding more than you have the bandwidth for, then dip a toe with Trinny London’s new Eye2Eye cream shadows: Serenity, a pinky tan; Joy, a shimmering blossom; and Passion, a gold-flecked plum (£18 each, trinnylondon.com). These veer towards warm, but even work on ultra-cool me and are an easy-to-wear, long-lasting cinch.

But, basically, I say shock yourself: break boundaries, embrace change. It’s a youthful mindset that will keep you youthful-looking.

Get yourself to a Byredo, Mac, Nars or (cheaper) Kiko counter and ask what ostensibly out-there shade its artists would recommend for you.

Or invest in an NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eye-shadow Palette in Brights (£16, superdrug.com) and play. It has 16 eyeshadows in rainbow shades and boasts bolds for all skin tones. By the time summer comes around, you’ll be a spectacular pro.

Race you to it! 

Charlotte’s Magic Cream is where her zillion-dollar brand started. It was the instant facial fixer the make-up artist blended herself to get models catwalk-ready.

Now Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Body Cream (from £20, charlottetilbury.com) promises head-to-toe glow, hydration and skin that feels firmer in eight weeks.

My icon of the week – Jamie Lee-Curtis  

My icon of the week: Jamie Lee Curtis. For the 64-year-old’s winning Oscars face, Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics were applied by Grace Ahn

For the 64-year-old’s winning Oscars face, Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics were applied by Grace Ahn after using FaceGym’s Multi-Sculpt Contouring Tool (£50, facegym.com), Hydro-Bound Daily Serum (£68) and Active Blast Instant Release Vegan Collagen Booster (£55 for 7 days) – giving the Hollywood star that ultra glow.

Cosmetic craving 

The latest launch from Provoke, Britain’s best-selling purple shampoo, has received an exceptional review from my tester.

Provoke Blonde Rehab Bond Repair System (currently from £3.33, boots.com) comprises a pre-wash treatment, strengthening shampoo and conditioner, smoothing serum and protective oil, enriched with a bond restorer including keratin and hyaluronic acid.

‘The results are extraordinary,’ says my 80-year-old blonde bombshell. ‘More lift — and not just on the day you wash — more bounce, even a little shine. Everyone is remarking on the change. It really does add sheen and volume.’

Sold — and at an extremely winning price.

Rollerball brilliance

B’Kate Brow Oil (£6.95, everlasting atelier.com)

This vegan brow wonder is known as ‘the miracle oil’ for its capacity to promote growth. Apply as a brow mask before bed.

Margaret Dabbs Pure Cuticle Oil (£18,margaret dabbs.co.uk)

Fast-absorbing and nail-strengthening, with chamomile to soothe sensitive or irritated skin.

Votary Intense Eye Oil – Tuberose & Retinoid (£115, votary.co.uk)

A joyous salve to target fine lines and loss of firmness, boosted by a gentle retinoid and botanical actives.

Twelve Beauty Hyaluroil Lip Treatment (£23.14, twelve beauty.com)

Award-winning oils infused with hyaluronic acid, rendering lips plumped and nourished.

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Rollerball (£25, aromatherapy associates.com)

With petitgrain for clarity, chamomile to calm and frankincense to aid concentration.

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