I love summer – feel-good tunes blare out from the radio, days are longer and the official countdown to our summer holidays begin.
As we finally begin to bring out our summer dresses, we can now bear to bare a little flesh as, thanks to some much-needed sunshine, our skin is starting to lose its pale winter complexion in favour of a new golden glow (personally I’m faking it ‘til I make it with the help of some fake tan!)

I am spending July in London training at Conde Nast (yes, at 43 I am ticking off one of the first things on my bucket list, channelling the mantra - “if you want something go out and grab it” - and so that’s exactly what I did, although admittedly I am a teeny bit nervous…) and as the weather there tends to be a little warmer, combined with the humidity and non-stop hustle and bustle of London life, I began looking for long-lasting, melt-proof makeup which simultaneously endures the heat, protecting against sweat and shine.

So when my fairy godmother (Debenhams) heard my cries and dropped a delectable beauty package at BFW HQ, I decided it was time to turn up the heat and try the range out against the wear and tear of summer…

The package was loaded with Nude by Nature goodies - Australia’s No. 1 mineral makeup brand which has finally arrived on UK shelves thanks to Debenhams.

I am a big advocate of caring for your skin, believing prevention is better than a cure and I am meticulous about removing my make up before sleeping (a valuable lesson ignored my 20-something self, of course) as well as cleansing, toning and moisturising. Although this means I usually have a pretty good canvas to work off, my skin can become dehydrated and lacklustre at times so I like a makeup with buildable coverage and optimum staying power!

I have also become more aware of the things that I put on my skin as I get older, so when I read that the ingredients in the Nude by Nature products are vegan-friendly and 100% natural, including Kakadu Plum, an Australian fruit that is very high in Vitamin C, I was definitely interested.

As I first unwrapped the package I was greeted with products encased in beautiful rose gold packaging – guaranteed to add a little touch of pretty glamour to your makeup bag!

My job often sees me attending events where dinner and drinks are served in abundance and I find these can take a toll on your skin. Therefore, I always try and give my skin time to breathe and recover – going make-up free when I can.
As well as this, like many women out there, my morning routine is definitely not time-friendly between work, my 5 year old daughter, working out and all the other commitments that we have.  
Therefore, because of this, BB cream is one of my absolute beauty must-haves! Personally, I usually find that they can be a bit of a hit or miss, but the Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB Cream £22 evened out my skin tone and give me a light, natural finish. After using this for a couple of weeks I noticed my skin felt softer and definitely looked more hydrated (apparently this is because of the moisturising Aloe Vera.) It also has an SPF8 giving you a little added protection everyday – yay.

At work, I am usually rushing from one thing to another and this means I rarely have time to touch up my makeup, so I tend to choose a long lasting makeup and I always prime to even out my skin and keep my makeup lasting longer.

The Nude by Nature Perfecting Primer £22 made my makeup stay put all day without any major touch-ups needed. I do suffer from excess oil on my t-zone and this can often cause my makeup to melt away over the course of the day but I must admit, I definitely noticed I didn’t need to touch it up nearly as often when wearing this primer - leaving my inner self rejoicing each time she looked in the mirror and seen the makeup still in place!

Next up was the Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick £18. During the day I would often apply highlighter under my foundation to give my skin a nice dewy look and this highlighter definitely left my skin glowing. It has a cream to powder texture so it was really easy to blend in and it also comes in 3 different shades so there is a look for everyone. My top tip – apply a little highlighter to your lips to give your lipstick an extra touch of glam!

I am a big fan of loose eyeshadows so I was quite excited to try the Nude by Nature Shimmering Sands Loose Eyeshadow £15 and it definitely did not disappoint! The product has an integrated brush applicator which means it is really easy to use and not as messy as other loose shadows I have used in the past. For dinner with the girls I used the eye shadow to create a bright and luminous look which all the girls complimented me on and it lasted all evening which I loved.

Naturally I have long eye lashes, but I always wear mascara to give them some extra definition. The Allure Defining Mascara £16 was really buildable making it perfect for both day and night, without getting that clumpy look that you can get with mascaras when attempting to build coverage.

It separated and lengthened my lashes beautifully and really opened up my eyes, giving them a gorgeous natural finish. The mascara is also enriched with Pro Vitamin B5 which is great for conditioning your lashes over time – perfect if like me, you wear mascara most days.

On the days that I go makeup free or only apply BB cream, I use concealer to cover any small blemishes that I may have that day. The Nude by Nature Perfecting Concealer £20 was great as it covered everything that I wanted it to whilst also fiving my skin a gorgeous glow – you could even wear this without foundation it is that good and I do not say that lightly!

Next up was the Natural Illusion Pressed Eyeshadow £14 which comes in a range of finishes; matte, satin and sheen, I love the matte shades for everyday looks whilst the satin and sheen shades effortlessly take your look into the evening.

To finish my makeup I would usually add a bit of loose powder to really set my look and keep it lasting longer. The Loose Finishing Powder£22 has a translucent finish so I was able to apply it effortlessly and I noticed that I hardly had to touch up all day, perfect when you’re always on the go.

During summer when I am lucky enough to have a bit of a tan I would often add a bit of bronzer to my face to give my skin a nice ‘summer glow’. The Natural Glow Loose Bronzer £18 definitely left my skin looking naturally radiant, it also naturally adapts to your own skin tone which I loved.

As well as Nude by Nature there were also products from Too Faced, including the Brow Quickie Brush-On Brow Fibre Gel £17. I don’t usually do much to my eye brows as part of my daily routine, but this is an area I would like to start working on and so this was my perfect opportunity! This gel mimics real hair, allowing you to place the product exactly where you need it. The product is also buildable making it easy to use. I noticed a big difference in my eyebrows and they definitely looked full and naturally defined – this has definitely become a makeup bag essential for me!

I also tried the Too Faced Born This Way Concealer £20. After a particularly busy night spent working until after 2am and up again at 7am,  I used this creamy little saviour to cover the dark circles under my eyes – attempting to give me the “I’ve just slept 8 hours look”. It has a complete coverage so it is great for hiding any imperfections and it felt luxuriously soft on the skin, making my sleepless night a lot less obvious!

Also in my little bag of goodies was the Too Faced Natural Love Eyeshadow Palette £52.  Eyeliner and eyeshadow are definitely part of my signature look but I have had a bit of a realisation lately with the fact that so many people find eye makeup absolutely terrifying, if you are one of them then this palette is perfect for you.  It is packed with 30 nude and neutral shadows which range from matte to gorgeous shimmery shades that will take your look from day to night. It is a bit on the pricey side but it is definitely worth it (and so are you!). The eyeshadows are amazingly pigmented and are so easy to blend (perfect if you find blending difficult – the trick is to use a soft brush when blending, aiming to blur the lines of each eye shadow colour). It also comes with a small guide which gives you loads of ideas on different looks.

The last product I tried was the Laura Geller Beach Matte Baked Hydrating Bronzer £33, I am a big fan of the Laura Geller products so I did have high expectations of this product and it definitely did not disappoint! I actually wore this on its own when out running some errands and it give my skin a gorgeous subtle glow that looked completely natural. I plan on using this throughout summer to complement my natural tan.

If you’re looking for some summer inspiration then why not give Debenhams a visit – they are killing it with their beauty selection. With my own search finally over and armed with the latest beauty must-haves, I am now definitely ready - London, here I come.

Until next time,

Cathy x