LG Baked Balance & Glow colour crop

Things I Like Right Now (well, in June)

Well, the General Election didn’t turn out as disastrously as I feared it might when it was first announced. And some lovely people read my piece on Domestic Violence and said some very nice things so that was awesome and a huge relief. So clearly it’s time for some more frivolous things that I am currently enjoying!

1.Sanex Advanced AtopiCare Bath & Shower Oil 

Ooooh, just savour that name. Let it roll around in your mouth like the name of a French designer or a beautiful Lebanese dish. SanexSo exotic.

Picture credit: Tomas Knopp at the Noun Project

There is obviously nothing particularly sexy about the name ‘Sanex’  or the word ‘AtopiCare’, and while I find 500ml of almost anything alluring for four quid, this is really not a product that screams luxury. It is made specifically for people with Atopic Dermatitis (or Atopic Eczema) so it’s very gentle, hypoallergenic, full of emollients, and just very non-drying. I’m lucky enough to have escaped the family curse of eczema but I still really enjoy using a product that feels oily and comforting and never gives me the itchy shoulders I get with even quite expensive shower gels. I dare say someone less obsessed with body lotion might find this moisturising enough not to follow up with cream and while I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that, it definitely makes my lotion last longer and my skin feel softer the next day. It’s got no fragrance so as to avoid irritation but even without, it still feels quite luxurious and comforting on the skin.

I’m also overjoyed to confirm that Sanex’s website states that “absolutely no animal testing is carried out” on their products, which is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and will be writing about soon.

I haven’t got an image because the packaging has changed recently and I can’t find a current photo that doesn’t go weird when I try to upload it: and taking a picture of the bottle that has resided in my shower for a month wouldn’t be very cute. But I’d definitely recommend it and you can get buy this fab, oily stuff at Boots or Superdrug or off the shelf in Asda like I did.

2. Laura Geller Baked Balance & Glow

This product has been an utter, utter lifesaver this month. I’d never tried Laura Geller make-up before because I was such a loyal bareMinerals fan and didn’t really see the point in trying a different powder foundation. Me Mam had said many times that she enjoys Laura Geller’s iconic Baked Balance & Brighten but it was only when QVC featured the new Balance & Glow that I decided to give it a whirl. With such hot weather and what seemed like a dive headlong from winter into summer, I thought a nice bronzed, glow-y sort of foundation would be very handy on days where the liquid foundation and all of its attendant layers were running down my face and pooling into my lap.

Thanks for the image, QVC! Laura Geller Baked Balance & Glow, £34.50 for a supersize
Thanks for the image, QVC! Laura Geller Baked Balance & Glow, £34.50 for a supersize

So I purchased and it stayed boxed for a week or so until I was having a lazy make-up day; took a while to build up and you have to be very careful not to be too heavy-handed, but it was a nice result. When this baby came into its own, however, was when I managed to sit outside for four hours in that hot hot hot sun the other weekend and I burned like an absolute bastard. SPF50 did nada. On a weekend, if I didn’t have plans, maybe I’d just brazen it out, but this was not the sort of burn that was going away immediately and I had work, including a v formal Trustee meeting.

So sad, so burnt, so sore.
So sad, so burnt, so sore.
Scabby nose, scabbing head.

Old Laura G came right to the rescue! I had to pack it on because the different areas of my face were so varying in colour- thanks five-year-old Burberry sunglasses, you’re very effective!- so I did look a little overly tanned. But seriously, the job this did evening me out and not caking or catching on my skin, was incredible.

The lighting is really harsh in both of these photos but I think that just shows what I had to work with
The lighting is really harsh in both of these photos but I think that just shows what I had to work with
I enjoy that Jeffree Star is on my monitor...
I enjoy that Jeffree Star is on my monitor…

Make-up like this really puts the emphasis on the glow, and the rest of the look can be quite minimal. I’d never go without blusher with a look like this though; even with a nice marbled foundation like this one, you need that colour to add light and shade back into your face. While I dealt with the agony of burnt shoulders, it was at least a relief to have a low-maintenance make-up regime to fall back on. I didn’t even need concealer! Happy Loz.

Better lighting, miserable face.
Better lighting, miserable face.

I chose the shade ‘Medium’, and while I don’t think I could have gone for the next one down- Fair- if I was made of money I’d probably have them both and use the Fair as an initial layer. Building up the Medium too much could see me into Al Jolson territory… I have tried a very thin layer of bareMinerals underneath and that works quite nicely thank you. Now it’s warming up again I’m really looking forward to shoving some of this on my face with a bit of gold eyeshadow and glowing for days.

Now it’s warming up again I’m really looking forward to shoving some of this on my face with a bit of gold eyeshadow and glowing for days.

3. The Longform podcast

I feel kind of guilty adding this podcast to a list because it deserves more fanfare, but I also think that describing it in too much detail would be very dull. If I over-explain what the podcast is about, it’s likely not to have the desired effect: i.e., to encourage you to listen to it,

Put simply, the Longform podcast is an interview- or perhaps ‘conversation’ is a better descriptor- between one of the three hosts of the pod, and a journalist. Those journalists are those who write longform pieces, that’s to say articles of between 1,000 and 20,000 words. This sort of length allows the exploration of topics, and incredible reporting, without the commitment of an entire book. The Longform podcast has introduced me to, or helped me get to know better, the most incredible writers - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ariel Levy, Katie JM Baker, David Remnick, Pamela Colloff- and you really get to hear about the stories they’ve written, their approach, what they take away from their work. If that sounds dull, I promise you it’s not. It’s fascinating, human, challenging, comforting, and just my absolute favourite podcast of all time.


I rush to listen to the true crime podcasts I’m subscribed to the minute they’re available, but I always come back to Longform. The people interviewed and the subjects covered are just so varied, and it’s intellectual without feeling inaccessible or snobbish. I always feel cleverer and more informed once I’ve finished an episode but also like I’ve been wrapped in a warm blanket. It’s honestly just a joy. I’ve now listened to about 200 episodes and it’s my absolute desert island podcast. Thanks Max Linsky!

Category: Style

My Perfect Base

Bare faced, not chic...
Bare faced, not chic…

Flat and dirty-looking: this has, at times, been the unfortunate result of attempting to find a decent foundation.  On my face for all to see, and as a woman who thinks she lacks planes and edges on her visage, this is particularly Not Ideal.  I  have struggled for a long time to find a base that really suits me; from the minute my skin became dry in my early twenties, foundations have felt harsh, heavy, and drying, and I have always eschewed a matte look anyway, for the aforementioned flat/grubby effect.  Having a naturally round face and- I think- quite an uneven complexion, I have long enjoyed a lighter coverage foundation (RIP Prescriptives) and a sparkly, non-matte finishing powder, like the also-discontinued Clinique Gentle Light Powder.

I am now the happiest I have ever been with my make-up as I have discovered the joy of bareMinerals.  The best thing about BM is the buildable coverage, achieved with the type of brush you use- I like the Full Flawless Face brush but there is a lighter version (you’ll end up with a few of these if you buy the BM starter sets), and a kabuki brush for fuller coverage.  You really do need a tiny amount and less is more so swirl, tap, and buff away.

The range of colours for BM is very good, except of course there’s a but and that but is (predictably) when it comes to darker skins.  QVC has been a fantastic way to buy BM, selling awesome kits that save you mucho dinero, however go straight to bareMinerals if you have a darker skin, as the available range is far, far wider.  Feelunique do a lot of the shades too, and P&P is free.

Can't be beaten!
Can’t be beaten!

I start with primer, as I have for many, many years.  It just makes everything go on easier.  After that, I’m the average and predictable Medium Beige:  It’s got a nice neutral tone that hides the pinker tone in my skin, and Summer Bisque concealer complements the foundation.  Applied under the eyes in a ‘v’  shape, to the nose, chin, and cheeks, I feel more even straight away.

After foundation and concealer. How tired I look is not the fault of the make-up.
After foundation and concealer. How tired I look is not the fault of the make-up.

The next step is my secret weapon: All-Over Face Colour in Warmth.  Boom.  It’s recommended that this is applied as a bronzer would be but it’s so light and flattering, I bung it on all over.  A tiny amount goes a long way and just makes your complexion a shade, well, warmer.  Bronzer in the 3 formation (a sweep on the forehead, cheekbones, and chin) and a touch on the nose adds a nice glow and stops the Warmth making you look too flat.  Now, the important question: what powder to finish with.  This is so important I’m splitting my infinitives!  The Mineral Veils by BM are awesome, and while I didn’t see the point for the longest time, they do finish your face off, and hide imperfections, and as by this point I have five products on my face, a nice powder to finish it off is in no way a bad idea and we might as well.  Depending on my mood, I use the Ready Mineral Veil in a compact, or the awesome illuminating veil which is harder to get but so worth it, for that lighter, more ethereal look.  Ethereal on a woman of almost six foot is probably a bit of an ask but let’s go with it.

Bronzed! But neither grubby-looking nor flat (I hope)
Bronzed! But neither grubby-looking nor flat (I hope)

I have done this face on my sister for her wedding, friends for a night out, and it is of no matter whether you have a more olive skin or are a paler darling, the old warmth trick makes you look healthy and glowing in an uber-subtle way, and finishing off with a Mineral Veil totally brings everything together.  My gorgeous Aussie friend Zoe said that it barely looked as if I was wearing any make up, which is EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE GOING FOR and also allows for a polished but not over-done look in five minutes on which to then build cats’ eyes and huge lashes.  Cos the eyes are the stars of the show, obvs.

It is best to check your base from a few angles and in natural light, especially when you're layering
It is best to check your base from a few angles and in natural light, especially when you’re layering

One parting shot then, aimed at all those beeyootiful women who have mastered their foundation and feel flawless and awesome: do not forget your blusher.

After blusher; makes a difference, no?
After blusher; makes a difference, no?
Blusher from a different angle (I call this Tragic Heroine)
Blusher from a different angle (I call this Tragic Heroine)

This is well worth another post, but the amount of wimmin I see who have a gorgeous base but have forgotten to add the natural blush back in.. Well, it’s criminal.  A sweep of a super-fine blush will add a dimension back into your face that you may have lost when perfecting your base.  Worth thinking about, is all I’m saying.

Finished face, basic other make-up done. Eyebrows may be a little heavy but you get the idea, hopefully. I'm happy!
Finished face, basic other make-up done. Eyebrows may be a little heavy but you get the idea, hopefully. I’m happy!
Category: Style