April was V’s birthday month. Woop woop! Which makes her star sign – Taurus. M, who knows far more about astrology than V, informs her that one Taurean trait is “loving being surrounded by beautiful objects”. Guilty as charged, says V, who is now convinced that her birth sign had something to do with her career choice and her penchant for ogling sparkly lipglosses! And what better way to celebrate a birthday than to head to Selfridges to check out the newly landed Pat McGrath Labs makeup collection?! PatMcGrath is one of the world’s most successful and influential makeup artists and her makeup line (exclusively available in the UK at Selfridges) is truly beautiful… V felt at home and very much a Taurean in the stunning golden installation!

She headed straight for the Lust:Gloss lipglosses (no surprise there!), £25, which are creamy, not at all sticky and just glide onto lips. There are 32 shades in a variety of finishes – V treated herself to Peach Perversion, an irridescent peachy pink, shimmery delight! If you’re torn between the shades, why not go for the limited edition 3 mini gloss set for £33? It makes perfect financial sense!
There are tons of lipsticks to try and some dazzling eyeshadow palettes (not for the fainthearted or the makeup shy – these palettes require expert handling and can create some bold looks. Watch out for the fallout from the glittery shades, unless you want very sparkly cheek bones!). What got V most excited was the Skin Fetish: Highlighter & Balm Duo, £37. This is the grown-up way to highlight, and without a hint of glitter in sight. On one end is a clear balm which gives a beautiful, dewy sheen and can be swiped onto cheekbones, brow bones (anywhere you want, really). The other end is a creamy, pearlescent highlighter that blends effortlessly into the skin and gives the ultimate glow. This is definitely joining V on her summer holidays this year. If you like the sound of the clear balm, but don’t need another highlighting stick, then try out Kora Noni Glow Face Balm, £21.00 (Miranda Kerr’s new skincare range) It promises hydration and glow on the go!

While V was mooching around Oxford Street, M was holidaying with her family, enjoying an Easter break in the sun. But every so often she checked in with V to show off her gradual tan – thanks to Clinique SPF 40 Body Cream, £20 – and to let her know which products were proving a success in her holiday makeup kit. Her Lancome Ombre Hypnose Stylo 24H Cream Eye Shadow Stick pen, £22, got a big thumbs up! At Verymakeupmad we’re huge fans of eyeshadow sticks and this one is super easy to use (either as a liner or a shadow to smudge), doesn’t budge once applied, and is available in a range of pretty colours. Plus it comes complete with a built-in sharpener…genius! M used the gorgeous Turquoise Infini, a petrol blue which works brilliantly with a tan, lashings of mascara and a nude lip.  And for added drama on those heady holiday nights, she applied a foil powder shadow over the liner to really wow her family! Although she fears it was  lost on them…so she sent photos to V instead!!

As for cheeks (after all, M is the blush queen of VeryMakeupMad ) she packed her new Lime Crime Soft Matte Softwear Blush, £22. We’re not huge fans of this brand (probably because we’re a good 20 years older than the target market) and find lots of the products either gimmicky, or frankly scary (green blush and lipgloss. Yes, really!) But this cream blush is so pretty and easy to use (remember to dab/tap, not smear onto the apples of the cheeks and build up colour as necessary) with lovely wearable shades… you really can’t go wrong. We tend to swap powder blushes for creams in the hot weather anyway, and these give a perfectly natural, glowing but not shiny finish.

To remove her makeup at night, M used Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser, £22. Miracle by name, miracle by nature, according to M, who filled V’s inbox with plenty of praise for this product. It’s not often we go ga-ga over a new cleanser… but this gentle, delicious-smelling cream, with its accompanying muslin, feels rich and luxurious, but cleans away makeup and grime brilliantly and doesn’t leave a film on the skin. Plus it gives skin a gorgeous radiance, nourishes and maintains the skin’s health. So, if you thought that probiotics were just for gut health, think again. Probiotic skincare is packed with friendly bacteria to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and give you the healthiest, glowiest skin possible.

Back in Blighty, V was trying some new skincare for herself. Ark skincare is a great British brand that promotes beautiful skin at every age – there are 3 ranges: Age Protect for teens and 20s; Age Defend for 30s and 40s; and Age Defy for 50s and onwards. That’s what we love about it – it’s clear and concise and if you’re someone who likes to follow the rules, this is the perfect brand for you and your skin’s age requirements. However, if you’re a rule breaker, and want to indulge in a product outside of your age range…go for it! Only you know what your skin needs.

Ark uses only natural ingredients (not a ‘nasty’ in sight), is cruelty free/vegan and the products speak for themselves. With V reaching the ripe old age of 42, she’s using the Age Defend products and is loving the Replenishing Moisturiser, £35. Not only does it smell heavenly, but it contains a whole host of clever ingredients to ensure your skin looks amazing. There’s Co-Enzyme Q10 which increases energy production in skin cells and promotes antioxidant production, shea butter and olive oil to smooth and hydrate and peptides to plump out wrinkles. V loves the clever, hygienic dispenser (and besides, she doesn’t like pots of cream where you get it under your nails when trying to take out a dollop) and the way the rich, nourishing cream immediately hydrates and tones skin without leaving it feeling greasy.
Mention should also be made of the Essential Skin Protector SPF30 Primer, £36 – a brilliant, daily SPF that doesn’t leave skin sticky or tacky and which makeup just glides over.

Our final April favourite is MoroccanOil Dry Body Oil, £35. If you love the signature scent of Moroccanoil hair products, then you need to get your hands on this! It’s a beautiful dry oil body spray (packed with argan, olive and avocado oils), best spritzed on after showering to really lock in moisture and leave skin feeling baby soft, but not greasy. We’ve been spraying onto our arms and legs with wild abandon in preparation for the summer and even our husbands have commented on our soft, delicately fragranced limbs! It’s a winner!

Beauty, birthdays and beaches…April didn’t disappoint!

We urge you to check out the products above and also contact us for a FREE 15 minute FaceTime consultation (hello@verymakeupmad.co.uk) with us in May, for your bespoke beauty suggestions. Ask us any burning beauty question you have…

Love & Brilliant Beauty,

Vikki & Mala xx

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