Our Top Beauty Picks Of 2017!

That’s all folks! Well, very nearly. With just a few hours left of 2017, we’re wrapping things up with a final blog before we welcome in 2018. We can’t wait to find out what next year has in store for us (and yes, by that, we also mean ‘beauty store’! We have a feeling there’ll be many more makeup purchases for M & V in 2018!).

For us, 2017 was a very exciting year, as Verymakeupmad was born. So what better way to end the year than by bringing you our top beauty picks from the last 12 months – the products we tried, tested and fell for in 2017? It wasn’t easy to whittle it down, but after much deliberation, here are our Verymakeupmad favourites – 5 products each that we’ve splashed out on this year and now couldn’t live without!

M’s Top 5 for 2017

Let’s start things off with perfect, glowing skin. We both fell hard for Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm , ¬£44.50, with its slight pearly sheen, delicious scent and rich but not-too-heavy texture. M likes to wear alone, over moisturiser for a gorgeous, luminous glow, while V wears under foundation as the ultimate illuminating primer. M is so taken with it, that she recently indulged in the whopping, super-sized, limited edition tub of it (now sold out…everywhere!) and every time V sees it, she wants to dive right in. Or just pinch it, whilst M’s back is turned. If you’re looking to buy this nourishing balm, take note – it’s been repackaged and now boasts 2 new shades – Pink Glow (which V has her eye on) and Golden Glow (which M might try once she’s finished her tub…in 2020!!). The original is now known as Bare Glow.

M’s supersized pot of Illuminating Moisture Cream. She’s not going to run out of it any time soon!

Still on skin, and M has been loving Erborian CC Cr√®me, ¬£17, ever since she stumbled across it at the beginning of the year. It’s all she needs to even out and perfect her skin, blur imperfections and give instant radiance. Plus it ingeniously adapts to the colour of your skin on application, starting out white and transforming to a warm, peachy tone. That’s her favourite bit, if she’s honest!

This was the year of the liquid highlighter, and with so many great ones to choose from, we almost came to blows! But here is our winner – Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, ¬£32. Yes, it smells of coconut and it gives skin the most amazing golden sheen. What’s not to love? A little goes a long way, but try dabbing on cheekbones, browbones, down the nose and on the cupid’s bow for an enviable glow. Or mix with your foundation for an allover radiance.

Dew Drops- the holy grail of highlighters

Onto cheeks and this is where V struggled. She’s a confirmed blusher addict and has added at least 6 new ones to her collection this year. So instead of choosing just one, she’s chosen her top powder blush and top cream blush. And that wasn’t easy either!

Our new crush – Glossier

For cream blush, it’s no contest though – it has to be Glossier Cloud Paint, ¬£15 which gives a gorgeous, dewy flush to the cheeks. Her shade is Puff, but she’s tempted to try Dusk at the first available opportunity. Glossier has only been available to purchase in the UK(online) since October, so we’re hoping to stock up on many more products in the coming months. And in case you missed it the first time round, here’s us using Cloud Paint, to show you just how foolproof it is!

As for powder, V’s always been a fan of Nars blushes, so when the brand launched this Unfiltered II Cheek Palette, ¬£45, earlier in the year, she just had to have it. And she’s not looked back. Each shade is totally wearable (even the top right!) and can be mixed together or used alone. Plus there’s a fab highlighting shade (bottom left!) that V is loving.


Pink to make the boys wink!

Now let’s talk eyes! And on this we both agree that Marc Jacobs has come up trumps this year. The Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, ¬£22, gives lashes instant length and volume and once applied doesn’t budge or smudge. But the real winner is the Twinkle Pop Eye Shadow Stick, ¬£23, which we both wear on a daily basis and which couldn’t be easier to use. The shimmering shadow glides on and feels cool and tingly (we like that bit!) and once it’s dried it stays in place all day. Blue-eyed V is a fan of ‘On The Verge’ a flattering lilac, and also the gorgeous, turquoisey ‘Shoshanna’, while M can’t get enough of ‘Leila’, a burnt orange shade with a hint of pink that looks amazing on her hazel/brown eyes.

Twinkle Pops – they’re top of the pops!

Lastly, lips! And there were plenty of choices for 2017. But we finally settled on these three. Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil, ¬£18 in Ballet Blush was our most recent find, and one that we’re both loving. A nourishing, tinted cream in a clever, ‘clicky’ pen applicator, it makes lips feel and look amazing, and the effects last for hours. It’s a perfect winter treat, if you’re struggling with chapped lips.

We can definitely see the wisdom of having soft, smooth, kissable lips!

Tom Ford Lip Lacquer, £29, also topped our lip product charts, thanks to its pearly, reflective finish. It has a lovely cream texture and can be worn alone or over your favourite lippie for a subtly shimmering pout.

And we couldn’t possibly put out a New Year’s Eve blog without adding a bit of sparkle! Lip Toppers – not as thick or sticky as gloss – were all the rage in 2017, adding amazing, glittery sparkle to bare or lipsticked lips. Our favourite has to be Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper, ¬£13.50, in the shade Rose Gold, which makes lips look amazing and honestly lasts for hours. And V is currently on the waitlist at cultbeauty.com for the Brand’s latest shade – Funfetti. Go check it out!


V’s Top 5 for 2017


So that’s it for 2017. Please leave a comment and let us know what your star products were this year. Thank you for all of your support over the last few months and here’s to making 2018 as beauty-full as we possibly can. Happy New Year Beauty Lovers!

Love & New Year Cheer,

V & M xx


It’s goodbye from her. And goodbye from her. We hope you enjoy your festivities!




Winter Beauty Wonders!

It’s that time of year again. Our woolly jumpers, bobble hats and gloves have all come out of hiding. Along with oodles of hydrating, nourishing skincare. The winter months really do play havoc with our skin, and we’re on a Verymakeupmad quest for the ultimate in moisturising, cocooning products. Between us we have our favourites and we’ve put together an arsenal (sorry again, M’s husband, J! We don’t mean the football team) of beauty weapons to protect and care for our skin over the next few months. Winter…it’s game on!!


Our winter skincare stash!


First up, Hyaluronic acid. Yes, we’re almost boring ourselves now with talk of this beauty buzzword, and know we’ve harped on about it before, but trust us, if you want ultimate hydration and for your skin to look plump, bouncy and glowing, then go for a product that contains this ingredient. A single molecule of Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water and the greatest benefit of plumped up, hydrated skin is that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is reduced. Yes, it can be injected directly into the skin (ouch!), but mostly it’s applied topically and lots of products contain this wonder ingredient now (look out for these key words in the ingredient list: sodium hyaluronate, hydrolysed hyaluronic acid and sodium acetyl hyaluronate. They are all variations on the hyaluronic acid theme). One of our favourite ways to use it, is in serum form, prepping our skin with it before applying moisturiser. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5, ¬£5.90, is a current favourite, but other great products to try are Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum, ¬£18.75, which honestly works a treat and continually receives 5 star reviews, and also Super Facialist Hyaluronic Acid Intense Facial Serum, ¬£9.99.

We’re also rather partial to having¬†H A¬†(you know what we mean by now!) in our moisturiser. If you like a light, cream gel texture that really packs a moisturising punch, then go for Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench, ¬£42. You won’t be disappointed. And finally, for a great, reasonably priced cream that works beautifully as a makeup base, we’d steer you in the direction of La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV Intense UV Light, ¬£17, which also contains that all-important SPF 20.


We love this cream – a real hit of moisture for our skin.


Moving on from hyaluronic acid (hooray, we hear you cry!) to a couple of creams that are totally decadent but worth every penny and are a real treat for winter skin. V swears by Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, ¬£73.80, to keep her skin looking young (hopefully) and supple. It has a beautiful scent and glides on like a dream. Plus a little goes a long way. As for M, in the recent Black Friday sales, she treated herself to none other than Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, ¬£120, with its potent “Miracle Broth” ingredient which is full of nutrients from the sea. It’s very rich and thick in texture, so she only needs to use a tiny amount at a time and has decided to save it for bedtime. She goes to sleep peacefully knowing that she’ll wake up to plump, glowing skin.


Crème de la Mer really is the Crème de la Crème of moisturisers.

And once you’ve applied your moisturiser, we defy anyone not to love smoothing Bobbi Brown’s Illuminating Moisture Balm, ¬£42.50, over the¬†top. Admittedly, you can use it alone, but if, like us, your skin is on the dry side, then this glowing, pearlescent balm works a treat over your regular moisturiser and¬†under your makeup. It works beautifully as a primer.¬†As far as we’re concerned, it’s a winter-must have. We often spend time discussing it. True story!


We think M was the last person in the UK to get her hands on this  limited edition, super-sized version of Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Cream. If you manage to track down another, please let us know! 


Enough about our faces –¬†the rest of our bodies suffer in winter too. M has taken to slathering Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, ¬£18, all over her¬†body (but not her bum bum. Yet!). The name, of course, refers to Brazil’s most prized national asset, and this cream which smells heavenly, (you could buy it for that alone) absorbs super quickly and tightens skin as well as softening it. V, meanwhile, is a little lax in the body skin department , saving all of her energy, time and money¬†on her face. Shame on her! However, she recently splashed out on a Neom Intensive Skin Treatment Candle, ¬£32.40, and can’t wait to start using it. She can picture herself lighting the candle, letting the wax melt to¬†create a pool of¬†nourishing, warm oil, and then pouring decadently over her limbs. The reality will not be quite as she imagines and presumably it’ll spill all over the bathroom, making a terrible mess, not to mention causing dangerously slippy tiles. The kids¬†will be happy though as they’ll effectively¬†have a ready-made, indoor ice-rink…

Hands can quickly become sore and chapped in the cold weather, so we’ve tried out pretty much every hand cream on the market. Here are our favourites: Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, ¬£13.50, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Hand Treatment, ¬£27,¬†Elemis Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream, ¬£20.80 and Laura Mercier Little Indulgences Hand & Body Cr√®me Collection, ¬£21.25 for 4.¬†¬†And a special mention must go to¬†O’Keeffe’s Working Hands,¬†a snip at ¬£6.35 and which transformed V’s dad’s hands from dry and calloused to baby-soft in days.


We’re going to make handy work of these!


Final stop, lips. Truth be known, we both love Carmex, with its satisfying cool tingle and currently a mere ¬£1.79 (and with a funky animal print design instead of the usual canary yellow). So¬†we’ve both stocked up on it for the whole family. But Carmex¬†hardly feels like a treat. As it happens, we’re both recent converts to Butter London’s Sheer Wisdom Lush Lip Oil, ¬£15.30, which comes in 4 super soft shades and is a nourishing cream formulation that keeps lips soft for hours. And we mean hours! We both love Ballet Blush, which as the name suggest, is a perfectly pale pink. Our other top lip picks include Eve Lom Kiss Mix, ¬£16, which is frankly brilliant; Glossier Balm Dotcom, ¬£10, which has a huge cult following; and Sisley Nutritive Lip Balm, ¬£47, which let’s face it, is not a cheap option, but a little goes a long way and M has taken to using it on her cuticles and any dry patches of skin too. Now she feels like she’s getting her money’s worth.


We’ve been treating our lips to Lush Lip Oil – and they’re thanking us for it!


So that’s our winter beauty edit. We realise it’s a rather long list, but with winter lasting¬†for what seems like forever¬†here in the U.K, we need as much help as we can get! So now we can ‘bed in’ for the winter, snuggled smugly on our respective sofas, with smooth, nourished skin¬†and with a glass of mulled wine in hand. But not V. She’s tee total. Hers is a mocha!

Love, winter wonders & cosy nights in,

Vikki & Mala xx


Brrrr, it’s cold!





Easy Everyday Eyes!

Neither of us wears eyeshadow every day. Well, maybe a quick sweep of a muted, sheer powder, but nothing that screams ‘hello, I’m wearing eyeshadow’! But this is an everyday eyeshadow tutorial! Of course, by ‘everyday’¬†we mean¬†that when you want a quick, easy daytime look to just open up and brighten your eyes, we’ve got it covered. Using just your fingers to apply (like V) or a brush (like M – who always reaches for her favourite Morphe tools) this should only add a couple of minutes to your regular make-up routine. So here goes…


M is a Fashion Fanatic, oh yes she is!

We’ve chosen two palettes that we’re loving right now. M is using MAC Fashion Fanatic, ¬£32, (temporarily out of stock – yikes! – but should be back soon) with its hot pink, berry and lilac tones,¬†and V has opted for YSL Couture Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£38.70, in Parisienne, which contains soft pinks, grey and mauve. Both palettes¬†boast powders that are beautifully creamy, pigmented and easy to work with. Palettes like these¬†are designed to work and blend well together, so there’s no need to worry about the shades not matching. You can’t really go wrong.


V wishes she really was a Parisienne! Alas,¬†she’s a Mancunian.


Ta-da! Here we are. Just a pop of sheer colour has ‘lifted’ our look. And it’s so quick, easy and foolproof. This is about a natural, fresh face that works perfectly on the school run, in the office or just ‘on the go’.

Pretty, daytime eyes – agree??

Muted, pretty tones tend to soften the eye area and enhance what you’ve got. The more powder and colour you pile on your eyes, the more it tends to sit in any lines and creases and can be very ageing. Remember girls, less is more!


Love and easy-peasy eyeshadow,

Vikki & Mala xx

PS. Please let us know what you think of this look and comment in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below! And press this link to subscribe to our YouTube channel and win a free gift (UK only, whilst stocks last!) http://bit.ly/2BdiJju

No, we’re not snoozing, just trying to show off the ‘finished article’!

ÔĽŅGlossy Girls!

They say the best things come to those who wait…and we’ve been waiting patiently to get our hands on some Glossier products ever since this ultra-cool, New York brand launched in 2014. And now they’re finally shipping to the UK (glossier.com). Cue much excitement here at Verymakeupmad HQ! Woop woop!!

If you’ve not already heard of the brand, you soon will. All you need to know is that it boasts just a handful of great skincare and makeup products for girls who like a natural, dewy, ‘lit from within’ look. ¬†‘Skin first, makeup second’ – that’s Glossier’s philosophy. And one that we’re on board with!

So, what to buy? Our favourite item has to be ‘Cloud Paint‘, ¬£15,¬†¬†– a light as air, liquidy cream blush in 4 shades, that gives the most natural “I’ve just been to the gym/walking the dog/doing yoga/doing nothing except watching Netflix, but still want to look fabulous” flush. A little goes a long way, so just dab lightly onto the apples of the cheeks and build up as necessary. We love a cream blush for the winter –¬†our skin is drier than normal¬†and powders tend to accentuate¬†any lines¬†or dry patches. Cloud paint (V chose the bubblegum¬†pink shade, Puff)¬†makes us look healthy and young – just the way we like it!

And here’s how to use it:

We’re also very impressed with the Balm¬†Dotcom, ¬£10, a multi-purpose balm great for lips, dry skin, cuticles, split ends…you name it, Balm Dotcom can fix it! It’s not sticky or greasy, so if you want to use as more of a cosmetic product – on eyelids and cheekbones – for an enviable glow, we reckon you can. We love ‘Birthday’ which has the faintest whiff of shimmer (NOT glitter or sparkle) and smells of birthday cake. Yes, really!

Next on our shopping list from Glossier, are Wowder, £18, which is getting rave reviews as a miracle powder that gets rid of excess oil and shine whilst blurring the appearance of pores and giving skin a lovely, natural finish, and Perfecting Skin Tint, £20, an ultra-light tinted moisturiser that leaves skin looking healthy and dewy.

That’s all for now folks!

Love & Birthday Cake flavoured lip balm,

Vikki & Mala xx




The Magic of The Mask!

It’s that time of year again – changeable weather, central heating being cranked back on, blustery, windy days. Oh, and the impending Bake Off final. All of these play havoc with our skin (yes, even the latter – the stress of watching a ‘showstopper’ collapse is sometimes too much to bear!), resulting in dryness, blotchiness, uneven skin tone and a dull complexion. Being Verymakeupmad, we try to treat our faces to a weekly – OK, wishful thinking, make that monthly – nourishing face mask. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to find the time to apply a mask, but it’s so worth it. And it’s a great way to ‘scare’ our kids back into bed in the evening, should they wander out of their rooms! Mwah ha ha…



V’s already sung the praises of Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, from ¬£15.¬†We hope you were paying attention! These pads provide the perfect antidote to sluggish, dry, blotchy skin. The acids remove all dead cells leaving bright, glowing, ‘baby’s bottom’ skin underneath. She doesn’t use daily as suggested (admittedly, she can’t afford to), but weekly or even fortnightly. And after using the pads, her skin is ready for the Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask, ¬£43,¬†by the same brand. Hyaluronic acid is something of a buzzword in the beauty industry at the moment, and if you suffer from dry, dehydrated skin – as V does – then this is definitely an ingredient for you to look out for in any creams or serums (a great example is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, 2%, ¬£5.90).¬†Occurring naturally in the body, it draws water into the skin and keeps it there, which means plumped up, smooth, bouncy skin, with less fine lines¬†or signs of dehydration. Yes please! Part of the beauty of the Dr Dennis Gross mask is that you get to play apothecary. You mix the two components of the mask together – a powder and a gel – to create a gloopy, ocean blue mask that should be applied quickly, thickly and evenly. V’s modelling it above and she¬†will get her own back on M for ‘conveniently’ forgetting to take a photo of herself with a mask!¬†Leave on for as long as you wish – V usually leaves for 15 minutes –¬†and then peel off in one satisfying motion (although prepare to¬†find stray bits of blue gunk in your nostrils and eyebrows for a while after!) Et voila, hydrated, dewy, glowing skin is revealed! V often uses in the morning and her skin honestly feels like silk when she applies her skincare and makeup.



We’re both big fans of Peter Thomas Roth’s cult face masks. V loves the bubblegum pink Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask, ¬£50,¬†and has been known to sleep wearing a thin layer of it, to wake to a more radiant and soothed complexion. M, meanwhile was recently treated to the totally indulgent 24K Gold Mask, ¬£77,¬†and thinks it’s pretty special. It promises to make you look years younger with its key ingredients (yes, including pure gold) that lift and firm, plump and hydrate and give an amazing radiance. On the occasions she’s used it, M has been very impressed and reckons it’s a good one to try before a special event. Her skin definitely looks tighter and brighter after use and the effects are cumulative. Plus she thinks (hopes!) it gives her the Midas Touch! M also believes that part of the ‘glow’ you get from using a mask, is down to the sheer pleasure derived from¬†pampering and spending a few moments on you –¬†you can’t help but feel and look good afterwards. V’s inclined to agree.

Still on glowing, youthful looking skin (and let’s face it, we all want that), Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, from ¬£16,¬†has been¬†causing a stir among beauty mavens since its launch several years ago, being touted as a ‘facial in a jar’. It gently exfoliates (and tingles as it does so, hence the funny¬†name) to reveal smoother, brighter, even-toned skin. Try it, it really does make a difference!


So those are our top picks for nourishing, restorative masks, perfect¬†for this time of year. But, as ever, we bring you the Verymakeupmad lowdown of the best of the rest – the masks that help all manner of skin issues…

If it’s spots and breakouts that you’re worried about, then there are plenty of masks on the market to choose from. La Roche-Posay Effacler Clay Mask, ¬£9.75, is our winner. We love this French drugstore brand anyway, and trust that we’re in good hands when we buy its products. Plus they’re very reasonable. This creamy mask is easy to apply and hardens as it dries, and it doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Skin feels soft, clean and less oily after use. Another good bet for skin that gets congested and for anyone with enlarged pores, is The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, ¬£17. It draws out all manner of ‘nasties’ and leaves skin looking clear and bright. M has recommended this to lots of friends with teenage kids – it’s perfect for calming ‘angry’ teen skin. And what kid doesn’t love covering themselves in mud?


To combat telltale signs of ageing around the delicate eye area, Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks, ¬£48.50 for 6, are just the ticket. Packed with ingredients to hydrate (yep, you guessed it, hyaluronic acid) and to tighten, simply wear under the eyes for twenty minutes or so, and then throw away. You’ll notice that your lines and wrinkles are less obvious. Or for a cheaper option, go for Eyeslices, ¬£16.99 for 20 uses, which are brilliant for tired, puffy eyes and feel cooling and soothing. We’re loving them…as you can see below!

IMG-20171031-WA0011.jpg  IMG-20171031-WA0012.jpg


Sheet masks are a hot new¬†import from South Korea. Everyone’s doing them. They’re a little ‘Hannibal Lecter’ to look at, but they’re packed full of great ingredients and there’s a sheet mask out there to suit everyone. The Tony Moly ‘I’m Real’ masks are our favourites – cheap (¬£5), cheerful and they do exactly what they say on the tin.


Meanwhile, Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask, ¬£43 for 4, instantly hydrates and plumps (hello hyaluronic acid!), while Suqqu’s Face Stretch Masks, ¬£72, for¬†6, contain a serum that claims to tighten the skin and sharpen the jawline. Estee Lauder Doublewear Priming Moisture Mask, ¬£8, is a primer in mask form. Wear for around 3 minutes before applying makeup and your skin will be perfectly prepped, primed and moisurised.¬†And if it’s a tan you’re after, then try St Tropez Self Tan Express Face Sheet Mask, ¬£6. Leave on for 5, 10 or 15 minutes depending on¬†the¬†depth of¬†shade you wish to create. Kiko’s Bubble Maker Mask, ¬£3.90, purifies and¬†mattifies the skin, and is good fun as it starts bubbling on contact with the air. Even more¬†fun – or bonkers? – perhaps, are the Kiko Zoomania Hydrating Panda and Tiger masks, ¬£3.90.¬†Yes, you too could look like your favourite zoo animal, knowing that your skin is also being nourished and hydrated!


And finally, if you want to put all this mask talk “behind you” (get it?), then you should invest in Nannette de Gaspe’s Plumping & Lifting Techstile Infuser Derriere, ¬£130 for 3 pairs, which promise to give you the buttocks of your dreams!

Love, Masks & ‘Me Time’,

Vikki & Mala xx


Ps. Head to bobbibrown.co.uk for a limited edition offer of 3 mini masks РInstant Detox, Skin Nourish & Radiance Boost Рfor £12.50!




We Adore Dior!

Another week, another spot of beauty research! And after our recent, successful Selfridges haul, we were invited to a Dior ‘Backstage’ masterclass at Fenwick, showcasing the best of the Dior brand, plus some exciting new products. We’re already big fans of Dior, so didn’t need much convincing. And the glass of bubbly on offer also helped…

Dior Masterclass with a glass of¬†champagne? Don’t mind if we do!

After being introduced to the totally decadent Capture Total DreamSkin Advanced – an eye watering ¬£105, but this lightweight, priming cream does promise amazing, instant (and long term) results and flawless skin – ¬†we were shown¬†the Hydra Life Micellar Water, ¬£27, which claims to quickly and efficiently remove all traces of makeup. It certainly smells delicious and feels fresh, but although it’s a¬†no rinse formulation, we both felt that it left some residue on the skin¬†that would bother us.

Next up,¬†the Diorshow Maximiser 3D Plumping Lash Primer, ¬£25.50. This clear mascara treats and conditions lashes and can be worn alone (for a very subtle, everyday result) or under your favourite mascara for amazing volume and length. You can apply it at bedtime to really give you the lashes of your dreams, but M reckons she’s going to give it to her 13- year old daughter as her ‘first mascara’.

A selection of Dior goodies

On the subject of Dior mascaras, V was once again left broken-hearted when a favourite product of hers was discontinued recently. Diorshow Extase was her failsafe mascara Рthe one she came back to time and time again. So in desperate need of a new one, she opted for Diorshow Black Out, £25.50, which promises to deliver maximum volume and intense, back colour. And it does. In spades. Only one, quick slick is needed for mega  lashes. The only downside is that despite her best efforts to remove it at night, there are always traces of it under her eyes in the morning. Panda eyes Рnot such a good look!

Clockwise from top left: Metalizer Eyes & Lips Creme Shadow in Platine Fusion; Diorblush in Rose Cherie; Diorshow Black Out Mascara

Anyway, back to the masterclass, and other notable products that have since made their way into our ever bulging makeup bags are the new, slightly sparkly and totally flattering Diorblush in Rose Cherie 756, ¬£32.50 and the Metalizer Eyes & Lips Creme Shadow, ¬£17. This creamy, metallic eyeshadow (we’re not convinced we’d wear it on our lips) melts into the skin and can also be used as a highlighter. Especially the shade Platine Fusion 528 – a gorgeous, honey beige colour. Finally, we both went mad over the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer, ¬£25. Not a brand new product, but new to us. A light, pinky gloss formulation that’s infused with collagen to give you full, plumped up lips and shine. It tingles as it works its magic (although as M has discovered, after continuous use, you stop feeling it) and smells minty and fresh. It’s a winner.

Liquid Lipsticks from left-right: 999 Matte; Rock ‘n’ Metal; Scandalous Metal; Vibrant Metal

Before we left, we were given a sneak peek of the gorgeous, new Rouge Dior Liquid Lipsticks, ¬£27.50, which come in matte, metal and satin finishes and which are super long-lasting. In fact, we’re still trying to get them off our lips now, several hours later! We should have treated ourselves to the Micellar Water after all…that would have done the trick! Oh well!

Love, kisses and Diormania,

Vikki & Mala xx

Out & about!




Falling For ‘Fall’ Beauty!

Ah September! As months go, we rather like you. Our kids are back at school after a blissful (ahem!) couple of months of being with us 24/7. The weather here in the UK is delightfully warm and the promise of crisp, sunny days and cosy evenings in, is on the horizon. And then there’s makeup. New season’s offerings of rich plum, brown, gold and neutral shades, get us overexcited here at VeryMakeupMad Towers. So much so, that no sooner were the kids out of our sight that we planned a shopping spree to the vast (often overwhelming) beauty hall at Selfridges. But we weren’t going to be intimidated by the mountains of eyeshadow, lipgloss, blusher and highlighter on offer there. No, we were going to fight our way through it all, on a mission to bring you the very best of Autumn/Winter beauty 2017. And here it is…

Here Come The Girls: A selection of Tom Ford Lip Colour Girls & Boys Collection, Ultra-Rich, ¬£29 each, including M’s choice, ‘Dakota’, (far right)

First stop, the Tom Ford counter, where we were promptly introduced to his ‘Boys and Girls’. And very good-looking they are too. These just-launched Ultra-Rich lipsticks have managed to turn even V from a die-hard lipgloss aficionado, into a lipstick lover. The pacakaging alone is enough to make you swoon. And although at ¬£29, they’re an expensive option (it’s a very small lipstick for that price), owning something by Tom Ford, just makes you smile. Plus the rich, creamy formulation glides onto lips and the colour stays put for hours. The ‘Girls’ are presented in white and gold packaging and M treated herself to ‘Dakota’ – a cool, pastel pink with a very subtle pearlised finish. V, meanwhile chose one of the Boys in their elegant black and gold packaging. ‘Douglas’ is a metallic, muted pink, that gives lips the sheen¬†that V craves. Our other top picks for Autumn lips are ‘Naomi’, a gorgeous mulberry;¬†‘Bianca’, a shimmering berry shade and ‘Katherine’, the perfect nude. M also fell for the Cream and Powder Eye Colour in Golden Peach, ¬£46, a two-tiered treat encompassing a metallic, rose gold whipped cream and a super-sparkly, powder shadow designed to be worn over the top. Or alone. It’s up to you.

The Eyes Have It: Cream & Powder Eye Colour in Golden Peach, £46

Still on eyes, we hot-footed it to the Suqqu counter Рa lesser known, luxury Japanese brand with some fab products. V spied the Designing Color Eyes palettes, £46, in no. 06 (browns and greys with a hit of raspberry pink) and the limited edition no. 107 (think red wine and plum shades) and after deliberating over them for a while, M had to drag her away, reminding her that she has plenty of other eyeshadow quads. But little does M know, V has ordered one of the Suqqu ones anyway. The one on the left!

Shimmering Palettes: Suqqu Designing Color Eyes, £46 in 6  (left) and 107 (right)

Over at MAC, we checked out the new nude lipstick and lipgloss offerings from a collaboration with Nicki Minaj (we’re not 100% sure who she is either). They seem to be selling out fast, with the world having gone mad for nude lips recently. Personally we’d rather stick with our Tom Ford beauties, but we wouldn’t say no to one of Nicki’s lipglosses. The Lipglass in Beaux, ¬£15.50 is a stunning, shimmering rose gold, perfect for Autumn.

Collaboration Clever: Clockwise from top left: Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm, £42.50; VB Morning Aura Iluminating Crème, £72; MAC Lipglass in Beaux, £15.50

Talking of collaborations, we stopped to have a look at Victoria Beckham’s range for Estee Lauder, but nothing really floated our boat. If pushed, we’d say that the Morning Aura Illuminating Creme is a gorgeous primer that gives skin a radiance and is versatile in that it can be used alone or under make up to really ‘wake up the skin’. But at ¬£72, it’s a real indulgence. We’d rather go for Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm, which does exactly the same job and is a steal by comparison, at ¬£42.50. Admittedly, V felt more of an affinity with the range than M, but this was probably due to the fact that everything is embossed with VB… V’s initials before marriage! She was rather taken with the shimmering Eye Foil in Blonde Gold, ¬£28, a little pot of ultra sparkly, gel eyeshadow that gives an amazing effect when dabbed onto the centre of the eyelid. Perfect for ‘disco nights’ (admittedly for us, these are few and far between, but a girl can dream!) As for the rest of the range, we found it hard to get past some of the very unusual colour choices. A prime example being the Eye Matte Duo in Saphir/Orange, ¬£48. Google it…you’ll see what we mean!

Brand it like Beckham: Left РEye Foil in Blonde Gold, £28; Right Eye Matte Duo in Saphir/Orange, £48
Extra-Ordinary: Left – “Buffet”, ¬£12.70; Right – High Spreadability Fluid Primer, ¬£5.50

Leaving Selfridges, our route to the tube station found us passing Fenwick of Bond Street. A quick dash inside, to check out their wares, found us gravitating to the The Ordinary counter. We’re already fans of this no-frills, pharmaceutical-esque brand, with great products at seriously low prices (“Buffet“, ¬£12.70 is a winning anti-ageing serum and the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer , ¬£5.50, is fab too). The two new liquid foundations they offer – Serum Foundation, ¬£5.70 and Coverage Foundation, ¬£5.90 – are available in an impressive number of shades and blend really easily into the skin. And you can’t argue with the price.

There’s nothing ordinary about these foundations: The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, ¬£5.90


So that’s Autumn beauty in a nutshell. Although in fairness, it’s just a snippet. There are many more finds on the beauty counters waiting to be discovered, so we’re off again to another make-up Mecca soon. Watch this space…

And because we’re women of our word, here are our summer holiday purchases from our¬†trips to¬†America. We told you we’d let you know if we found any must-haves…and here they are:

Lucky M was quick enough to treat herself to the seriously cute Sephora/Moschino teddy bear lipgloss necklace and highlighter palette, which sold out in record time. Have a look out for some of the collection on eBay! She also picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer which has the best spoolie brush.


V¬†grabbed¬†Tarte Radiance Drops which she’s been using daily¬†as a radiance primer & Tarte Maracuja Oil, which has helped her parched, post-summer skin. For lips it’s MAC Lipglass in Sugarrimmed and Dr Dennis Gross Universal Daily Peel pads are keeping her looking young…she hopes!














And because we’re so ‘in tune’ with each other, we coincidentally both bagged a MAC Personality Palette ,¬£32- cute, illustrated¬†palettes brimming with eyeshadows and highlighters. And here they are. Can you guess who’s a ‘Prissy Princess’ (top) and who’s a ‘Fashion Fanatic'(bottom)?

MAC Prissy Princess & Fashion Fanatic Palettes. Which one are you?

Love & girly shopping sprees,

Vikki & Mala xx

PS. M’s got her finger on the music pulse and is pretty sure she knows who Nicki Minaj is. Didn’t she recently¬†do a track with DJ David Guetta?! Top marks for M if she’s right…

Checking out our Tom Ford Boys & Girls.  Mwah!!

The 5-minute Makeover

We’re back from our summer hols and desperate to talk beauty! Today we’re bringing you our everyday make-up routines from start to finish – the unedited, unfiltered¬†version. Or as we like to call it – the Naked Truth!

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re both mums. Busy mums with 3 children each (well, 4 for M, if you count her puppy, Bertie). So time is of the essence and in the mornings, we want to wake up, make-up and leave the house as quickly as possible – hopefully with no stray cornflakes in our hair! Over the years, in our respective jobs (V as a¬†Vogue Beauty Editor, and M as a model and YSL make-up artist), we’ve had access to some of the best tips and tricks in the beauty business. So we’ve both managed to hone¬†the application of our¬†‘everyday’ face to just¬†5 minutes. And here we’re going to show you how to go from ‘naked’ to’ naturally basic’, in 4 easy steps…

IMG-20170913-WA0005              IMG-20170913-WA0004

But first, please bare with us (get it?!) Revealing ourselves naked-faced is a rather scary prospect. Yes, the make-up we wear day to day is very natural, and the last thing we want to look is ‘caked’ (so ageing!), but equally, leaving the house without a scrap of it on our faces is rather alien to us. So for us to get together to shoot this video, we both had to bypass our usual 7am make-up routines and drop the kids at school¬†bare faced (with dark glasses and baseball caps for disguise, of course!). Once we were safely in the comfort of M’s bathroom,¬†we couldn’t wait to start applying our products. For us, wearing make up is not about changing how we look (or who we are) but about covering imperfections, enhancing our features and of course, making us feel good about ourselves. We walk a bit taller, and smile a bit¬†wider when we feel confident and self-assured. Fact!

So please click on the link below and watch our vlog for inspiration for your own daily routines.

And here’s a¬†detailed¬†menu of the make-up we both used. If you want to buy any of it, just¬†click on the blue product name to be taken straight to an online store (hoping this is helpful).

We’ve got all bases covered!! Clockwise from left: Guerlain L’Or Make-up Primer, ¬£47; Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Serum Makeup, ¬£40;¬†Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Illuminating, ¬£34; ¬†Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick, ¬£24


Bronzing  Basics: Clarins Bronzing & Blush Compact, £30; Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna, £29


Blush & Glow! Clockwise from top left: Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, £32; Estee Lauder The Essential Face Palette, £45; Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, £59; Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta, £32



Eye Love: Clarins Perfect Eyes & Brows Palette, £35; Eyeko Limited Edition Mascara, £22; Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, £22; Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eyeshadow Stick in Au Revoir, £23


And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel (press the red ‘subscribe’ logo and enter your email address) to receive our short ‘n sweet tutorials and beauty chats.¬†You can also follow us on Instagram for daily beauty favourites, new product launches and gorgeous pics.

At VeryMakeupMad we offer a fun, bespoke consulting package for all your beauty needs, so if you’re interested in finding out more, please be in touch and we can send you the details….

Love, kisses & make-up,

Vikki & Mala xx


Bertie was so pleased to finally get a mention in the blog . Although he’s been with us all along and was under our feet at the time of filming!¬†






We’re leaving on a Jet Plane!

Well, it’s pouring with rain and the skies are thick with¬†grey cloud here in London. Yes, it must be the¬†‘summer’ holidays! Thankfully, we’re both jetting off to sunnier climes in a few days –¬†V with her family and M with hers. We don’t do everything together…although unbeknown to our husbands, we’re plotting a Verymakeupmad get together in the beauty¬†mecca that is Sephora, given that we’re both going to be in¬†Florida. Ssshhhh!

So we’ve been busy packing all day and wanted to share with you our individual¬†summer holiday, beauty must haves. The products that we’d never risk¬†leaving the country without. So here goes…




V’s¬†must-haves (clockwise from above): Philip Kingsley Swimcap, ¬£15, V will be slathering this cult cream¬†onto her hair daily, to protect against damage from chlorine, saltwater and UV rays; Vichy Ideal Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50, ¬£14,¬†this hydrating, tinted sunscreen melts into the skin and creates a flawless complexion; Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner, ¬£23.50,¬†& Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil, ¬£31, V’s popping these handy mini versions of her favourite cleanser & toner into her washbag; Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, ¬£17, another mini, this sublime dry oil is one of V’s holiday nighttime favourites – it¬†gives¬†limbs a gorgeous sheen & is also great for nourishing hair; The Ordinary “Buffet“, ¬£12.70, V can’t be without this anti-ageing serum which she’s been using¬†daily, under her moisturiser, for several weeks. She’s¬†noticed a big difference in¬†her skin; Elemis Liquid Layer, ¬£32 this¬†ultra light sunscreen, with SPF30, is great worn under make-up as it’s not sticky or tacky; Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, ¬£32, a beautiful golden highlighter that looks amazing on summer skin. V dabs¬†onto her¬†cheekbones, browbones, down¬†her nose & along her collarbone. Plus the coconut scent is totally tropical; Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, ¬£19, with its water-resistant, non-smudge¬†formula, V will be sure to wear this on the days her kids – and hubbie! – drag her to a water park; Estee Lauder Essential Face Palette, ¬£45, this has all you need for a summer look – beautiful eye and cheek shades and a great bronzer. No need to pack anything else!; Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder, ¬£29, OK, V wasn’t lying when she said the Estee Lauder Palette has all she needs, but she can’t resist packing this best-selling shimmering bronzer either!; Jouer Cosmetics Long-Wear Lip Topper in St Tropez, ¬£13.50, this pale, beigey pink lip topper can be worn alone or over lipstick for a dazzling, high-shine finish.




M’s must-haves (above): Clinique Chubby In The Nude, ¬£24, perfect for touch-ups, this handy foundation stick is oil-free, so great to use in the heat; Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, ¬£18, M loves this raspberry shade of lip balm¬†which delivers¬†maximum moisture and a fabulous, summery¬†colour; Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, ¬£33, this powder gives the most gorgeous glow and M uses it¬†as blusher, eyeshadow & highlighter; PS Bronze Liquid Bronzer, ¬£3, M spied this product recently in Primark, and at less than the cost of her daily latte, she just had to snap it up. She’ll report back after her hols!; Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette, in the Vintage Vamp, ¬£39, this eyeshadow quad looks great on sunkissed skin; Shiseido UV Protective Compact Foundation, ¬£32, this is a staple in M’s holiday make-up bag – a compact foundation with SPF30, that she swears by; YSL Couture Eyeshadow Palette in Lumieres Majorelle, ¬£43, when better to wear these vibrant turquoise, green and yellow eyeshadows than in the summer heat?¬†They look incredible on and suit all eye colours; NYX Doll Eye Mascara Waterproof, ¬£8, another waterproof formula, M loves this mascara which really curls and lengthens lashes; Tom Ford Lip Lacquer, ¬£29, gives the most¬†luxurious, pearly sheen and smells yummy too; Laura Mercier Cr√®me Smooth Lip Colour in Lychee Parfait,¬†¬£22, this gorgeous nude shade conditions the lips with vitamin E & olive oil and M reckons it looks great with a tan; Nars The Multiple in Malibu, ¬£29, M always packs this iconic, multi-purpose stick to use on her cheeks, eyelids & lips for a flattering hint of colour; Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm, ¬£18, this is the first time that M has¬†bought this¬†balm, but she has high hopes as it’s had 5 star¬†reviews; Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion, ¬£20, we all know a fake tan is safer than a real one, and this lotion is foolproof; Nars Orgasm Illuminator, ¬£23, M loves¬†dabbing this on¬†as a highlighter or sometimes goes crazy and applies all over the face!; Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, ¬£15, this is the perfect balm to soothe irritated, dry, cracked skin. M never travels without it; Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo, ¬£58, because you can never pack too many highlighters, and Tom Ford’s is the Rolls Royce of them!

So that’s it. Our holiday make-up bag edits! And if we bag some beauty bargains¬†in the States, you’ll be the first to know! We’ll be back with a vengeance in early September…

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @ Verymakeupmad.

Love & safe travels,

Vikki & Mala xx


We’re hoping to look as bronzed as this on our return! And we promise to tan safely…





Practice Safe Sun!

We know summer’s already in full swing, but it’s never too late to talk suncream. Although, let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy or exciting about it. In fact, applying it is somewhat of a chore. Especially when, like us, you have kids in tow, which means you have to slather it on them, before you can even consider protecting yourself. We know you’ll have all read a million times before about the importance of using SPF to prevent the signs of ageing…and worse. So we’re not here to preach to you (although frankly, if you’re not sun aware and protecting yourself adequately, we think you’re bonkers!). We’re just rounding up our favourite sunscreens and make-up products with SPF, to ensure you have a safe, non-sticky and flawless-looking summer – whether at home or abroad! Happy reading…

The wonderful world of Lancaster

VERYMAKEUPMAD’S STAR BRAND: We love Lancaster. The brand that we grew up with – it boasts over 40 years experience in UV protection – and which we continue to use today. Recent innovation sees Lancaster now protecting us not only from UVA & UVB rays (responsible for burning and ageing), but also from infra-red light, which damages skin’s elasticity and firmness. We love the SPF30 Velvet Touch Cream, ¬£21, although the new Sun Sport range seems to be making waves in the beauty world and is perfect if you’re having a more active holiday. Or try the SPF 30 Invisible Face Mist, ¬£14.95, which is fast-drying, alcohol-free, and can be spritzed over make-up.¬†Top Tip:¬†Download the brilliant Lancaster Sun Timer app which calculates when to apply more sunscreen or to get out of the sun.

PHARMACY FAVOURITES: If you suffer from sensitive skin that misbehaves in the sun, be sure to get your hands on ¬†La Roche Posay suncare. The Anthelios range is unbeatable and we love the new Anti-Shine Dry Touch Gel Cream SPF50, ¬£16.50, which is perfect if your skin is oily and/or spot-prone. Vichy is another firm favourite of ours, and V recently used the BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50, ¬£16.50, on her face on a girly weekend in Marbella (woop woop!). It evened out her skin and gave a gorgeous glow, meaning she didn’t feel pale and self-conscious on the beach. Not that she went to the beach. She’s not a fan of sand. More a swimming pool kind of girl…


BEST FOR UNDER MAKE-UP When it comes to looking good in the heat, we’ve got it covered. Gone are the days when sun products were thick, greasy and left you streaked white. If you want to apply a great, quick-drying sun cream under your makeup, we suggest you go for Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum, SPF50, ¬£32. It’s super-light and dries beautifully to leave your skin perfectly primed for cosmetics. And whilst we’re on the subject of Clarins, be sure to pack the Sun Care Milk For Children SPF50, ¬£21,(although grown-ups can use too!! We do) if you’re jetting off en famille.


BEST SUN MAKEUP: Several months ago, V discovered CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream, ¬£25, and has already written about it here. In case you missed it (shame on you!), all you need to know is that it’s a magical, light cream that transforms on application to match your skin tone, and contains SPF45. It leaves skin looking flawless and with a flattering, dewy finish. Meanwhile, M loves Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation, SPF30, ¬£23.95 (pictured below) which she’s been using for years and which works like a dream. It’s perfect to dab on during the day for touch ups.

BEST FOR FEELING SHIMMERY & FABULOUS:¬†Ultrasun¬†is another brilliant brand that ¬†has something for everyone – if you’re not familiar with it, go check it out. We love the gorgeous body¬†lotions with¬†subtle shimmer, that melt into the skin and make limbs look gorgeous.¬†Glimmer Shimmering Sun Protection, from ¬£18.

IMG-20170730-WA0014       IMG-20170730-WA0012

BEST HIGHSTREET BRAND: It’s got to be Boots’ Soltan. Perfect for all the family and boasting the best in suncare expertise. Try the Protect & Moisturise Face range, from ¬£4.50. The creams absorb really easily into the skin.

That’s our sunscreen scoop!

Despite all our best efforts and fastidious suncream application, there are always times when we overdo it in the sun and find random red streaks on our skin where we’re sure we were protected. So we always¬†pack some Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel, ¬£5.59 which immediately soothes skin and gives relief from pain. And unlike¬†certain other aloe products it’s not at all¬†sticky and sinks into the skin. It’s our summer secret weapon!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @Verymakeupmad for daily beauty tips and inspiration!

Love & Happy Holidays,

Vikki & Mala xx








Eye Eye (Palette)!

We’re back and we’re still talking palettes (we told you we love them!).¬†This time,¬†eyeshadow palettes. There are so many on the market right now – it’s hard for a girl to know where to start. And when to stop! (between us, we own 24 palettes). Hopefully you read our last blog, Palette Perfection,¬†and¬†know that the face palette choices mentioned,¬†all contain multi-purpose¬†powders that¬†can be used as¬†eyeshadow too¬†–¬†they’re golden, shimmering neutrals that look beautiful under the browbone and applied to the very centre of the lid close to the lashline. Perfect for a summery, sun-kissed look.¬†But if you’re looking for more colour options, darker shades and eyeshadows in the true sense of the word, then we defy you not to fall for one of the beauties below. Welcome to the eyeshadow palette edit.

BEST PALETTES FOR NEUTRALS: Urban Decay Naked Collection, from ¬£24, now boasts 6 different palettes. M loves the original Naked palette, ¬£39.50, with its 12 neutral, but varied shades, including matte, satin, shimmer and sparkle finishes. It’s based around gold and coffee-coloured tones, and also includes 2 gunmetal shades.¬†V, on the other hand,¬†likes Naked 3, with its rose gold theme, with hints of pink and some chocolate brown. Admittedly, there are a couple of shades which she doubts she’d ever use. But such is life! If the price tag is worrying you, fear not – at a fraction of the cost, you could opt instead for the LA Girl Nudes Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£8, which M recently discovered, and which is a ‘dead ringer’ for the Urban Decay. She’s been very impressed with the quality of powder, intensity of pigment and staying power. And at that price, you really¬†can’t go wrong. M’s 13 year-old daughter has also jumped on the palette bandwagon (with limited funds!) and treated herself to IDC Color Make up Nudes 12 Color Eyeshadow, ¬£5.78. Truth be known, we can’t really tell a huge difference between this and the Urban Decay. Plus they feel super-soft and silky. We can hardly believe it. Give it a whirl!

Top row, left: Urban Decay Naked Palette, right: Urban Decay Naked 3. Bottom row, left: IDC Colour Make Up Nudes, right: LA Girl Nudes Eyeshadow Collection

Stila offers a great¬†neutrals palette. Its Matte ‘N Metal Eye Shadow Palette, ¬£39, is a delicious assortment of pinks, mauves, bronze and coppers, which suit all skin tones.¬†Use them¬†dry for a flawless finish,¬†or if you’re looking for a more intense look, try using wet. Finally,¬†Zoeva has some great, affordable options. Try the En Taupe Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£18, with its delicate shades of beige, mauve, peach & ivory. We think a couple of the shadows are a bit too pale and ‘blah’, but we can forgive it that because the rest are beautiful and it’s such a great price.

Left: Too Faced Natural Love Eyeshadow Collection (see below). Right: Stila Matte ‘N Metal Eyeshadow Palette

BEST PALETTES FOR GOING COLOUR CRAZY: If it’s fun, eye-popping colours that you’re after, then look no further than Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Palette, ¬£40. We’re not suggesting that either of us rock this look on a daily basis, and we must admit, we think the price tag is a bit hefty. But M reckons a palette like this will last a lifetime and that every girl should own one for nights out on the town and for when you’re feeling playful with makeup.¬†The Jeffree Star¬†brand¬†seems to be¬†very much ‘on trend’,¬†offering killer, cool colours and with a huge cult following. Frankly, we’d rather get our hands on Morphe Brushes stunning 35 Colour Bright Matte & Shimmer Palette, ¬£23.50, and have joined the waitlist at cultbeauty.co.uk to do so. We’re assured the wait won’t be too long!


Left-right: Clinique Jonathan Adler Collection Chic Colour Kit; Jeffree Star Cosmetics Beauty Killer Palette; Zoeva En Taupe Eyeshadow Palette

BEST QUADS: A palette isn’t only a palette if it offers a gazillion (yes, we’re sure¬†that’s a word) shades. We love a ‘quad’ – a handy, mini palette, usually containing 4 shades¬†that you can pop in your handbag on a night out, and that doesn’t overwhelm you with colour options. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette, ¬£39, is a ¬†fabulous option. The powders feel soft and creamy and the pigment is spot-on. They last all day…and night! M loves the copper and bronze tones of The Dolce Vita (beautiful for summer nights), while V is a fan of the smokey grey and soft pink shades in The Uptown Girl.

Left: The Dolce Vita; Right: The Uptown Girl

Chanel also knows how to do a quad – they’ve been doing it for years.¬†Les 4 Ombres, ¬£40 is a stunning option (who doesn’t love Chanel?!). There are around 14 variations of this best-selling palette, so you’re spoilt for choice. V has owned hers for around 10 years (shock, horror – it’s not gone ‘off’!) and it’s still going strong! It’s her ‘nighttime’ shadow and it never fails to impress.

Top tip: If you’ve owned a powder shadow for a long time, you may find that the oil from your fingertips has created an invisible film over the top, meaning you can no longer pick up the powder. If this is the case, simply scrape the top layer off with a razor.

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow, ¬£45, as the name suggests, offers 5 shades! There are 11 stunning options and we’re hard pressed to pick a favourite. If we had to, we’d probably go for Adore (no.567) or Magnify (no.167). YSl also boast 5 shades in their Couture Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£43. M is the proud owner of no.10 (Lumieres Majorelle) – with its vivid blue, turquoise and yellow tones, it screams summer. V, meanwhile is coveting the more subdued no.7 (Parisienne) with its soft pinks and mauves.

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow. Left – Right: Magnify (157), Adore (567) & Electrify (357)

BEST ‘MEGA’ PALETTES: So from the 4 and 5 shadow palette, we now¬†bring you the 42 shadow palette! Enter Violet Voss Ride Or Die Eyeshadow Palette, ¬£70, which really does¬†have something for everyone (unless you’re a fan of blues and greens – there’s none of them!) Then there’s Too Faced Natural Love Eyeshadow Collection,¬†¬£52, which offers a mere 30 shadows, all delicate neutrals, with plenty of shimmer options. The powders blend really well and don’t feel chalky. (We also love the Too Faced options pictured at the bottom…how could we resist? And we never need to be convinced to go on a jaunt to the Selfridges beauty hall, where we spied these).

Left: Violet Voss Ride Or Die Eyeshadow Palette. Right: Morphe Brushes 35 Colour Bright Matte & Shimmer Palette

BEST MAKE-YOUR-OWN PALETTE: If you want to go DIY and customise your own handy palette, ensuring you love and use every single colour, then head to MAC to make your own. Choose one of their refillable¬†Custom Palettes, from ¬£25, with either 2, 4, 15 or 30 holes to fill with the shadows of your dreams! For this, we advise you head straight to the counter, rather than buy online, as it’s a bit of an eyeshadow minefield.

BEST BUDGET PALETTES: Head to KIKO for the best palettes at the best prices. Even better, they have up to 70% off at the moment. We love the Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette, £6.95 in 100 and the Smart Eyeshadow Palette, £9 in Smart 01.

KIKO palettes, clockwise from left: Smart Eyeshadow Palette 01; Eyeshadow Palette 02; Color Fever Eyeshadow Palette 100. 


COULDN’T RESIST PALETTE: Clinique has collaborated with American interior designer, Jonathan Adler, to launch a gorgeous summer capsule collection. The Clinique + Jonathan Adler Chic Colour Eyeshadow Kit 01, ¬£39, contains 13 best-selling Clinique eyeshadows in stunning, geometric turquoise packaging. We’ll have one each please!

Too Faced Palettes, all £39, L-R: SemiSweet Chocolate Bar; Chocolate Bar; Chocolate Bon Bons.

So there you have our palette edit. We’re sure there’s something here for everyone. When it comes to application and techniques, that’s a whole other blog. But rest assured, it’s coming soon…

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, twitter & Facebook @verymakeupmad.

Love & perfect palettes,

Vikki & Mala xx

Woo hoo, we’re in palette heaven!!




Palette Perfection

We love a palette. Eyeshadow palette. Bronzing palette. Blusher palette. Lip palette…you name it, we’ve tried it. And probably own it too! You see, the thing about palettes, is that they’re utterly versatile, portable and quite frankly, covetable. We both own a few that we swoon over, photograph lots and haven’t wanted to dip into yet, for fear of ruining them! We still get excited every time we open them and see row upon row of shimmering eye shadow, or the softest, most wearable blush/highlighter combo. We clearly need to get a grip…

That’s not to say that all palettes are perfect. They’re not. Far from it. And it’s hard work finding the right one. We’ve all been seduced into buying a palette, just because we fall for 1 or 2 of the shades it contains.¬†We talk ourselves into the fact that yes, we will use that dodgy, mustard yellow eyeshadow at the end! And palettes are an expensive option, so think hard before you buy. Will you use every shade it contains? If you’re being swayed by just a couple of shades, could you get a good alternative to these elsewhere? (By the way, the answer to this is yes!)



(Above: NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette, ¬£45. We’ve already sung the praises of this¬†palette in our Blush blog, ‘Oi Cheeky’. It’s a winner. And we’ve surrounded it with V’s favourite pink lipglosses, of course!)


So, selfless as ever, we’ve been testing a few of the newest palettes on the market, and revisiting some unbeatable old gems, to bring you the VeryMakeupMad palette edit that you need this summer! Our aim is to help you pack light and pop one of these beauties into your suitcase, for the ultimate¬†holiday glow. And who knows? We might even get round to using one of our own palettes…once we’ve taken a few more arty photos of them!

The two hottest face palettes on the market right now¬†are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, ¬£45, and the NARS Bord De Plage Highlighting Palette, ¬£45 (pictured below). Both are limited edition…eeek, be quick! V has the Becca and M has the NARS (you see, we don’t always agree on everything!). There are pros and cons to both palettes. The Becca palette has 4 delectable discs of shimmering colour – one bronzer, one blusher and 2 highlighters. Admittedly it’s probably best on medium to dark-skinned girls (although V definitely doesn’t fall into either camp) but the bronzer, applied with a light touch, gives the most beautiful summer glow. The fact that the bronzer and blusher are so much smaller than the highlighters, seems odd to V. She’s not sure why Becca did this and finds it rather frustrating, especially when trying to swirl her brush in them. Plus, all 4 shades are shimmery – which is fine by V as she’s a shimmer fan, but clearly not everyone is. On the plus side, the textures are beautifully creamy and blendable, there’s a whopping great mirror, and she loves – and will use – all 4 shades, on eyes, cheeks and cheekbones. She reckons it’s the perfect summer holiday palette.


As for the NARS palette, M can’t take her eyes off it! And she wins in the ‘value for money’ stakes, because at the same price as the Becca palette, you get no less than 4 highlighters and 2 bronzers. The bronzers are the brand’s new Sun Wash Diffusing type, which deliver a very natural, light colour to the skin. Even the darker one works on fairer skins. And the highlighters are all beautifully shimmery and sheer and work amazingly as eyeshadows too. There’s no blusher in this palette, making it less of an allover face palette…but M can forgive it this. It really is a gorgeous palette for all skin-tones. And it’s selling out fast!

A final contender for the title ‘best holiday face palette’, is the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette in Natural Beauty, ¬£49. Neither V nor M own this, but that could change at any time! It’s a very handy little palette, with 3 eye shades, 2 blushers, 1 bronzer and 1 highlighter. So you really do achieve an entire made-up face with this. We love it for the fact that each powder is labelled with what it does and where to put it (check out http://www.charlottetilbury.com for a tutorial on exactly how to use it).¬†The colours are easy-to-wear and buildable – albeit quite teeny – and give a very natural glow. Again it’s limited edition, so don’t hang around…


So which other face palettes are worth checking out this summer? Here are some of our  favourites:

BEST VALUE FOR MONEY, ALL-OVER PALETTE: Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, £28. We think this is a great price, considering it contains 7 products. Plus, the neutral-toned powders are well pigmented, the eyeshadows can be used wet or dry, and they promise to last all day. Big thumbs up from us!

BEST HIGHLIGTING PALETTE: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, ¬£40¬†. This is the brand of the moment, developed by mega beauty blogger, Huda Kattan (she has 20+ million Instagram followers…we’re hot on her heels!). With four buttery soft,¬†shimmering highlighters that literally melt onto the skin, this palette promises to make you a Golden Goddess this summer. Or, for half the price, go for the Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette¬†¬£20. These 4 pearlescent powders give skin¬†a beautiful sheen, and while the formulas are not creamy soft, like in the Huda palette, they absolutely do the trick. Plus, you’ve got golden and bronzey tones for the perfect sunkissed finish. Finally, Anastastia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, ¬£39,¬†gives an amazing glow to all skin tones, and the powders can be layered together. Try applying with a damp brush or sponge for more intense colour. Use any of these products on cheekbones, browbones, down the nose and on the cupid’s bow.


Left-Right: Huda Beauty 3D Highlight Palette, Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette, Zoeva Summer Strobe Spectrum Palette


BEST¬†CHEEK¬†PALETTE: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher and Bronzer Palette, ¬£49.50. Whilst this may seem expensive at first glance,¬†it’s well worth it. It contains 5 full-sized powders – each one sells individually for ¬£24.50 – including the gorgeous Galifornia pinky gold blush and the new ‘lite’ version of the¬†UK’s best-selling bronzer,¬†Hoola. We’re also taken with Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette, ¬£34. Too Faced¬†definitely know how to do a good palette and this is no exception. Yes, it’s cute & kitsch and probably more suited to M’s 13 year old daughter, with its quirky packaging and peachy scent (yes, really), but the 3 powders work brilliantly. They give the skin an amazing radiance and are very light, making it easy to build-up the colour.



Left: BeneFit Cheek Parade Blusher & Bronzer Palette; right: Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Face Palette



BEST SPLURGE/TREAT BUY: Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette, ¬£98,¬†with its quad of 4 beautifully soft, shimmering, neutral eyeshadows,¬†a highlighter and¬†a blusher, is a stunning palette. We’re not suggesting that it’s an everyday buy, but rather a treat or a gift for a special birthday. Or go for the glow with¬†Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo, ¬£58, with its ballet slipper pink highlighter, and rosy blush. M received both for her birthday. And V is not in the least bit jealous. Honest…!


Top: Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette. Bottom: Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo


BEST BUDGET BUY: Kiko Face Palette, ¬£6.45. Everything you need for your¬†face – bronzer, blush and highlighter –¬†all in one¬†sleek case. We’re really impressed with the soft texture of the powders and how easily they blend.

That’s it for face palettes, but don’t miss our next blog all about eyeshadow palettes – from subtle neutrals, all the way to shocking, neon colours.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram/twitter/Facebook/YouTube, @verymakeupmad.

Love & Holiday Make-up,

Vikki & Mala xx


Hard at work, researching products. And we’re not afraid of ‘double denim’!







Battle Of The Bronzers

V is forever being told she’s an English rose. Which is all very well and good, but in reality she has dreams of being golden-limbed and sun kissed. Her complexion is very ¬†pale, yet pinky toned (she’s spent years avoiding the intensity of the sun) and she likes nothing more than giving her skin a warmth and a radiant glow with her trusty bronzer. V wears it daily, year round, over her foundation, to add a radiant flush.¬†¬†For her, it’s less about looking ‘suntanned’, and more about looking healthy. It’s fair to say we all feel better and less pasty with a hint of bronze¬†on our¬†skin. We all want to be told “you look well”, and bronzer – applied correctly and often sparingly! – is the way forward.

From a young age, V was seduced by the high-end beauty counters, thanks to her mum who knew a thing or two (and still does) about great cosmetics. She introduced her to Guerlain – the first cosmetics company to launch bronzers back in the 80’s – whose ¬†fabulous Terracotta range just goes from strength to strength. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. V vividly remembers the liquid bronzer she bought that first time – a pump dispenser filled with clear gel, and suspended in it: golden brown spheres. With just a press of the pump, the spheres were crushed and mixed with the gel, and the most perfect, light bronzing liquid was released. She wore this for years until Guerlain discontinued it. Why Guerlain, why? Does anyone else remember this? And bonus marks if you can remember what it was called as we’re struggling! V’s moved on and is¬†now a big fan of their powder bronzers, which all have that unmistakable, indulgent Guerlain scent – similar to parma violets. She wears¬†Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder, in Blondes 02, ¬£37. It’s the perfect shade for her fair skin, and with its pinky tones,¬†she always feels natural with it on.¬†And no, she’s not a blonde.



Palette Power. We love a multi-functional palette and¬†these are two¬†of our favourites. Splash out on ByTerry Sun Designer Palette, ¬£65, (left) which promises to last for ages. Or try Becca’s brand new Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, ¬£45 which is causing a storm in the beauty world.

As for M, she has more of a weathered look thanks to her childhood years spent in the Indian sun in Goa. That’s what you get for having hippie parents. That, and the middle name, Moonbeam! She is also fair-skinned, but her face is now spattered in freckles(euphemism for ‘skin damage’. Sorry M’s mum – don’t feel guilty, she likes them! Joking aside, if only we’d have known then what we know now and had access to SPF30+).¬†Thanks to the freckles,¬†her skin looks different whether it’s summer or winter, as they fade somewhat when there’s less sun. So when it comes to bronzing, she also wears it year-round like V, but has to build up colour accordingly, or switch products. So for the summer, she opts for¬†Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, ¬£59, which promises a sheer, shimmering finish and complements the freckles. And in the winter, she uses Clarins Bronzing and Blush Compact, ¬£30, which builds up colour beautifully and gives skin a warmth, as opposed to a tanned effect.


Back in the day, her 15-year old self began bronzing with¬†The Body Shop Brush On Bronze bronzing beads, ¬£14. This pot of shimmering brown balls delivered a perfectly natural finish and was iconic in the 90s. Fickle as ever, it wasn’t long before M was lured away by other brands such as Clinique and YSL.



So now for the technical part. The rule of thumb for bronzer has always been to sweep it ‘where the sun naturally hits the face’. So down the nose, along the forehead, up the cheekbones and along the jawline. And remember to build up the colour gradually – when it comes to bronzer, less is definitely more! Your brush is also crucial. Go for a large, fluffy one, to ensure a soft, natural and even finish and avoid a ‘stripy’ look.¬†We love Clinique Bronzer Brush, ¬£25. Or go for The Body Shop Slanted Kabuki Brush, ¬£16. And don’t forget to blend past the jawline, bringing it down a little onto the neck.


Top Tip: For the most natural effect, choose a bronzer that’s not too red or orange and go for a product that’s 1 or 2 shades darker than your own complexion. No more.¬†Always remember to apply in natural lighting.


Grrrrr: We’re wild about this Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer, ¬£25. Although it’s more of a highlighter than a conventional bronzer and gives a subtle glow.

You can also use bronzer to contour (definitely a buzzword for the noughties. V & M are not fans of this trend, preferring a fresh,¬†natural look, with a¬†flush of colour on the face. But it’s a trend that looks set to stay with us for a bit longer!). For contouring only use a matte product, not one with shimmer. The point of contouring is to¬†build up¬†shadows that enhance certain features and/or slim the face. The idea is to create a number “3” on both sides of your face. So begin at the top of the forehead, bring it under the cheekbones ¬†and then apply along the jawline, taking it all the way to your chin.


Get Your Glow on¬†with our pick of the best bronzers on the market…

Best for pale skins: Choose a bronzer with pink, peach or golden undertones. We love Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, £30. An ultra-lightweight, matte formula that gives a totally natural finish. Try shades Golden Light or Natural.

Best for medium skins: Urban Decay Beached Bronzer, £22. This finely milled powder has an almost creamy feel to it, making it a joy to use. It gives a very natural glow.

Best for deep/dark skins: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, £49, in Medium to Dark. A bronzer and highlighter in one gorgeous palette.

Best Suits-All Bronzer: Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna, ¬£29. The bronzer that beauty editors and makeup artists alike, come back to time and time again. The perfect shade, infused with subtle, golden shimmer. It’s now available in a liquid version – Laguna Liquid Bronzer, ¬£27. Or try the brand’s latest bronzer offering, Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer, ¬£29, a translucent matte powder in a variety of shades (including Laguna) that subtly enhances your natural complexion.

Best For Contouring: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, £25. The perfect matte bronzer to use for contouring Рit evens out skin tone and neutralises any redness. Plus it smells of chocolate. Does it get any better than that?


Cult Product: BeneFit Hoola Bronzing Powder, ¬£24.50, is the UK’s best-selling bronzer. For a reason. It’s the perfect matte powder and it’s great for travel, as it’s packaged in a cute, compact box. So popular is Hoola, that BeneFit has now introduced it in liquid form –¬†Dew The Hoola, ¬£24.50, (try adding to your ¬†foundation) – and also launched a lighter version, Hoola Lite, ¬£24.50¬†for paler skins.

Best for a dewy finish: Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, ¬£36 If you’re not a fan of powder bronzer, try this decadent, whipped up cream-gel bronzer. It leaves skin glowing and flawless. Or try Clinique Sun-Kissed Face Gelee, ¬£23.50, a sheer gel that blends in easily and can be mixed in with your foundation.

Best Highstreet Buy:¬†Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette, ¬£6.99. M bought this cute palette for her 13-year old daughter and they’ve been fighting over it ever since! A highlighter, bronzer and blusher in one slimline palette, not only are the powders wearable and blendable, but the price is attractive too.

Best Luxury Splurge: For M’s recent ‘big’ birthday, V treated her to¬†Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, ¬£52. She wears Terra, which is a matte shade (one of the things she loves most about it), perfect for fair to medium skin tones. It’s a very indulgent bronzing option, but M is totally hooked.

Best Shimmering Bronzer: If you’re a fan of shimmering bronzer, you can’t go wrong with YSL’s new Sahariennes Bronzing Stones Collector, ¬£35. It’s sheer, light and gives a natural radiance.

Best for On-The-Go Application: Bobbi Brown Glow Stick, £26. A highlighter-come-bronzer that gives a gorgeous, sunkissed glow.

Don’t forget to click on the link below for our Youtube Video tutorial on how to bronze your face. Hope you enjoy!!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @verymakeupmad. And email us with your beauty queries at verymakeupmad@gmail.com. Our Bronzing tutorial vlog will be on our You Tube channel very soon. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted!

Love & bronzed beauty,

Vikki & Mala xx


Bronzed up: V, left, wearing Guerlain Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes 02, and M, right, wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.





Lashing Out!

Once upon a time (OK, it was the early 90’s), there was a girl – let’s call her V – who would sneak into her mum’s bedroom, delve into her make-up bag and fish out a mascara. And not just any mascara. It was the iconic and frankly brilliant Lanc√īme Definicils, (still available today, ¬£24.50). With just a swish of the brush, V swore her face was transformed – her lashes thicker and fuller, her eyes instantly wider and her whole face more alive, sparkly and less tired. From the first swish, she was hooked. And she’s never looked back. Apart from a handful of hideous, sleep-deprived days (courtesy of her newborn babies) when she forgot to apply it, and the odd bout of conjunctivitis, when she couldn’t (definitely grounds for locking yourself indoors until it’s cleared up), she’s never been without her trusty mascara wand.

Fast forward a few years, and that mascara devotee, V, met M – another make-up lover, with enviably long lashes. V isn’t a jealous person, but when she clocked M’s spidery lashes, she wasn’t sure a friendship could last. “Oh, they’re quite long in the first place”, M casually commented when V probed as to which mascara she was wearing. V slinked off, seething…


Lash envy aside, it turns out M & V got on very well. And since launching VeryMakeupMad, they’ve been happily researching mascaras together (V’s discovered that the odd dig in M’s ribs makes her feel a whole lot better!), to bring you the best choices on the market. V has moved on from her Lanc√īme days (as has her mum, P, who now swears by Guerlain’s much-lauded Cils d’Enfer, ¬£25.50, and won’t wear anything else) and is now a Dior girl. Diorshow Extase, ¬£25, ticks every box for her. It instantly gives lashes a boost, and only one, quick coat is needed to separate them and make them appear fuller and longer.


M, on the other hand, has long been a fan of BeneFit They’re Real, ¬£20.50, (one is sold every 15 seconds in the UK!) but the love affair may be coming to an end. And it’s not because she doesn’t like how it makes her lashes look – she does! – but because she struggles to take it off at the end of the day. And there’s nothing worse – for your delicate eye-area or frustration levels! – than rubbing away at your eye make up. Benefit sells a specific remover for it – BeneFit They’re Real Remover, ¬£15.50 – but M’s never got along with it. So she’s been trying a couple of other mascara options and her two favourites are: Clarins Be Long Mascara, ¬£21.50, which for anyone requiring extra length – no, not M, but she’s very impressed with the brush – really does the trick; and Eyeko Black Magic Mascara, ¬£19, which gives long, dramatic lashes and a curl that holds for hours. Eyeko mascaras use clever ‘tubing technology’ to coat the individual lashes in miniscule tubes and bind to them. This causes minimal irritation, as they don’t flake or rub away. 

On a recent trip to one of their favourite haunts, Space NK, M & V discovered that the beauty store’s best-selling mascara (it’s topped their charts for many years running) is Chantecaille Faux Cils, ¬£36. V thought she’d try it out. To be honest, she’s a little underwhelmed. On the plus side, it smells lovely (it contains rosewater) and it treats and conditions the lashes, so her phobia of touching mascara’d lashes (yes, really!) is not an issue. However, it takes a good few coats to make a difference and the effects are a little too subtle for her.


A final mascara we’ve road-tested is Too Faced Better Than Sex, ¬£19. We can’t promise it lives up to its name (we’ll leave that to you to decide), but it’s gained something of a cult following, thanks to its hourglass shaped brush and the fact that it volumises and thickens the lashes. It gives a very intense black colour and dramatic finish. Definitely one to try for a night out.

Top Tip: When applying mascara, start with the brush at the very roots of the lashes, and gently wiggle it from side to side as you pull it along the lashes. Start in the middle, then move onto the corners. Once you’ve done the ‘wiggle’, use the brush to push lashes back and up.

Move Over False Lashes! Here are some more great mascara options:

Best For Watering Eyes: Lots of you have been in touch to say that you suffer from watering eyes, and no matter what you do, you end up with grey circles underneath them after wearing mascara for a while. Try one of these mascaras to avoid ‘Panda Eyes’: L’Oreal Paris Double Extension Mascara Waterproof, ¬£11.99, a double-ended wand with a conditioning base coat and a lengthening mascara that also separates lashes; Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara, ¬£22 which does exactly what it says on the tin and won’t move all day long; YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof Mascara, ¬£25.50, gives incredible volume and hold.

Best Newcomers: We’re very excited by these two finds: NYX Doll Eye Mascara Volumising, ¬£8. This gives an amazing, long-lashed finish and stays put for hours on end. And you can’t argue with the price!; Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Quattro Mascara, ¬£18.50, created by a Japanese celebrity, this mascara won’t smudge, budge, flake or smear and gives lashes a great curl. We love the hot pink packaging and the funky brush.

Best Curling Mascara: For anyone with poker-straight lashes who’s keen for some curl, try Sisley So Curl Mascara, ¬£32.50. And if you’re a fan of eyelash curlers, there are plenty on the market, but being girly girls, we’re loving this rose gold version, Life Changing Lashes, ¬£18, by Charlotte Tilbury.


Best Base Coat: A mascara base coat (or primer) dramatically improves the performance of your mascara Рallowing it to go on more easily Рand also helps to create thicker, longer looking lashes. Clinique Lash Building Primer, £14.50, is hard to beat.

Best For Bottom Lashes: If you like to apply mascara to the bottom lashes, you need Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, ¬£14.50, which boasts the cutest little brush we’ve ever seen!

Best Coloured Mascara: Go bold with a pop of flattering colour on your lashes. Here are some great ones to try: For green eyes choose violet. We love Chanel Inimitable Intense in purple, ¬£26; For hazel eyes go for green, such as NYX Professional Makeup Color Mascara in Mint Julep, ¬£6. Blue eyes look great with a deep burgundy, such as YSL Mascara The Shock in Rough Burgundy, ¬£19.55. If you’ve got brown eyes, try a bright blue, like ByTerry Mascara Terrybly in Terryfic Blue, ¬£33.50. Or play it safe with navy blue, which tends to suit all eye colours. We love YSL Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect in Deep Night, ¬£21.68.


Best Eye Makeup Removers: Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Eye Make-up Remover, ¬£3.39 is a really great budget option. Or if you prefer a bi-phase remover (the double-layer liquid type that needs to be shaken and works well on waterproof formulations) try Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, ¬£20, or The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-up Remover, ¬£10.  We also like facial cleansing wipes for mascara removal and think L’Or√©al Fine Flowers Cleansing Wipes – a snip at ¬£1.99 – are great. They’re a speedy way to remove the day’s make-up and let you get on with your beauty sleep. Another one-stop make-up remover that we’ve been testing is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, just ¬£1 at the moment (yes, you read that right!), although we’ve found it to be a little hit & miss – it removed some mascaras better than others.

M’s lifelong miracle potion (inspired by her hippie mum, A, who travelled to India in 1969 and has been drowning herself in the stuff ever since!) is Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil, ¬£5. She rubs it into her lashes every night to condition them and prevent any hair loss. It’s an amazing multi-tasker…try it on dry skin, cuticles, split ends. You name it, it treats it! And if you’re concerned about sparse lashes (and brows) or the loss of them, consider applying Foxbrim 100% Pure Castor Oil, ¬£13.56, which is proven to promote hair growth. 


If you’re wondering when’s the right time to throw out your mascara, we’d say after approximately 3-4 months, by which time it will likely be drying up anyway, if you’re using it daily. We’re not big advocates of sticking to make-up shelf lives (we each currently use products that we’ve owned for years…ssshhhh!), but when it comes to mascara (and eyeliner), don’t keep using them for too long as they can harbour bacteria and cause infection.

Remember you can email us – verymakeupmad@gmail.com – with details of your favourite mascaras and also if you have any beauty queries. And follow us on Instagram, twitter and Facebook https://youtu.be/M9Ux1GRb4yU

Love & fluttering lashes,

Vikki & Mala xx


Mala (left) wearing NYX Doll Eye and Vikki (right) wearing Fairy Drops Scandal Queen.



Party on people!

V has finally caught up with M and turned the big 4-0h! M is thrilled because she didn’t like V still being in her 30s, and V is equally thrilled as she has an excuse – her party –¬†to wear the new Sandro top that she’s been “saving” (why do we women do that? Surely we should just wear the clothes we splash out on and enjoy them on multiple occasions. But that conversation is for another blog…).

Anyway, V loves a party, but if she’s honest, she prefers the beauty prepping to the big event. As former Beauty Editor of Brides magazine, she knows a thing or two about party prepping. And M’s industry know-how, as a YSL make-up artist, means she has a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to perfecting a flawless face. So ta-da…we bring you our party beauty plan of action – how to glow and sparkle on your big day.


So, first things first – getting skin looking radiant. We’re both big fans of face masks and believe they make a huge difference to your complexion. Always exfoliate first (Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face, ¬£32 and¬†Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, ¬£26, both get our vote), as this will slough away dead skin cells, allowing the mask to penetrate deeper to work its magic. Our current favourite masks are: Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Gel Mask, ¬£34.50, a cooling ‘jelly’ which hydrates, regenerates and makes you look years younger (or splash out on the brand’s¬†24K Gold Mask, ¬£55, for plumped up, hydrated, glowing skin); Dr Brandt Oxygen Facial, ¬£48.50, which feels satisfyingly “fizzy” and tingly as it delivers a burst of oxygen for immediate, unbeatable¬†radiance; and Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Mask, ¬£49.50, which¬†firms and tones the skin, for a younger, fresher you. And check out Charlotte Tilbury’s high-tech, no-mess Instant Magic Sheet Mask, ¬£18, which can be used up to 3 times and promises to smooth, lift and brighten. Using a mask weekly in the run-up to your party and definitely the night before your event, will give you the the best results.


When it comes to makeup, primers pave the way. They’re a great¬†addition to your make-up arsenal – sorry J (M’s hubby), the die-hard Spurs fan, we just liked the word! – to ensure foundation glides on smoothly and evenly¬†and¬†helps it last the course. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, ¬£26, is an industry bestseller and hard to beat. For the most luminous canvas, try YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer, ¬£29.50, a lightweight gel, using the magic of the best-selling concealing & highlighting wand,¬†Touche Eclat, ¬£25.50, (1 sold every 10 seconds in the world – what are you waiting for?). Then there’s¬†Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, ¬£31, an old favourite, but it¬†still works a treat. Truth be known, we’d both forgotten about this little beauty, but M just remembered it and has gone AWOL, in the quest to buy some. V hopes she’ll return in time for the next blog. Or more importantly, to pick up her kids from school!


When it comes to the rest of your make-up, it’s obviously down to personal choice. A long-lasting foundation is a good idea (it’s hard to¬†beat Estee Lauder Double Wear, ¬£31), as is a great concealer¬†(we love Clinique Airbrush Concealer, ¬£17.10). For the best highlighters,¬†don’t forget our Shimmer & Shine blog and also check out our Blusher choices on Oi Cheeky. And we’ve been travelling through the beauty halls (yes, we selflessly trudged around, to bring you the very best products!) and through cyber space, checking out the best of online beauty. We’ve discovered some gems that we urge you to try for party perfection. You won’t be disappointed…

QUICK FIX – WunderLift 60 Second Wrinkle Reducer, ¬£19.95.¬†This serum instantly lifts and firms the¬†eye area and visibly reduces wrinkles, with effects lasting for 8 hours. Unlike other products that promise to do the same, Wunderlift doesn’t leave a white residue or make your skin feel dry. ¬†It’s your pre-party secret weapon. We defy you not to get hooked. Check out their website http://www.wunder2.co.uk for more fab products and info.

EYE EYE – EyeSlices, from ¬£14.99, have a dual effect – calming and soothing the eye area and dramatically reducing puffiness and dark circles (sleepless nights are no longer a worry!) Choose from full-eye slices, or ‘just for under the eye’ and each pair can be used up to 10 times. They’re also a great excuse for 5 minutes of relaxing ‘me time’.¬†For the full story, go to http://www.eyeslices.com


SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – If a spot threatens before your ‘do’, don’t panic, just¬†zap it with Malin & Goetz potent 10% Sulfur Paste, ¬£18.

LIP SERVICE РArt Deco Invisible Lip Contour, £6, is a transparent, waxy lip liner that works as a barrier against lipstick smudging and bleeding and also reduces fine lines. M loves this product!

LINE UP РLA Girl Endless Semi Permanent Auto Lipliner Pencil, £3. For less than the price of your daily latte, it would be rude not to try this! M has used this since her teens and raves about it. It gives a perfectly defined, long-lasting pout. Try it with Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Liptick in Celebrity Skin, £16, for the ultimate nude finish.

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND- For a night on the tiles, add a sparkly ‘lip topper’ to your favourite lipstick (or use alone). M has fallen for Stila’s amazing, limited edition, quick-drying¬†Glitterati Lip Top Coat ¬£18, and also¬†Lime Crime Diamond Crushers, ¬£15, which come in 6 sensational shades. V is taken with Jouer Lip Topper in Rose Gold, ¬£13.50. It’s metallic and sparkly and lasts for hours. Plus it smells of vanilla ice cream. What’s not to love??


LASH OUT – For the most fabulous, false-looking lashes, try Fairydrops Scandal Queen Quattro Mascara, ¬£18.50, which won’t budge, smudge or flake; or NYX Professional Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara, ¬£8, which stays put for hours and gives extreme, unbeatable length.

So¬†there you have it. Our favourite party beauty essentials – guaranteed to make you look & feel your best. And with V arriving at such a milestone birthday, we feel justified in¬†blogging about this. We’ve also collaborated with “The Source“,¬†and you’ll find a version of this blog on their website. “The Source” is an exciting directory of resources and collection of brands for your special event. We love their innovative ideas and how they can help you to¬†find and create the perfect bespoke party. Check out their website for further information and be inspired for your big day http://www.thesourceinspires.com¬†or find them on Facebook or instagram below: https://www.facebook.com/thesourcedirectory/ ¬†www.instagram.com/thesourecinpsires

Don’t forget to tune into our YouTube channel for tutorials on make-up application. And look out for our new, exciting¬†birthday vlog, coming very soon…

Love,¬†Happy Birthdays¬†& being ‘Naughty at Forty’,

Vikki & Mala xx

wp-1493294852438. wp-1493294953970.

Left: V in her Sandro top, and M rocking a Zadig & Voltaire blazer! Right: Yum yum…need we say more?

PS. Check out one of M’s birthday pressies to V – YSL’s latest launch, Glow Shot in Sunrise, ¬£22.50, a boudoir, ballet-slipper pink highlighter. V can’t wait to start using it. She’ll report straight back.







Sunny Side Up…

Oh the joys of the school holidays! They’re the reason why we haven’t posted anything in the last few days. And why we’ve both noticed a few¬†new grey hairs (‘Speak for yourself’, says M)! We’ve been¬†desperate to write¬†our latest¬†blog and to try out products for you to read about, but the kids – 6 of them, between us –¬†have other ideas. So parks, playgrounds and trips to the cinema it’s been…and continues to be. Don’t get us wrong, we love spending time with our offspring. We’d just rather do it in our favourite places, not theirs. Admittedly, we did drag our youngest two to Space NK last week, all in the name of research. And in a bid to (beauty) indoctrinate them. Although they just wanted to pose for pictures…

Anyway, we managed to quickly sneak away from them today to bring you this blog. But we’ve not got long! So, back to business & the aforementioned¬†Space NK trip.¬†In between attempts to keep two 6 year-old’s fingers out of blusher compacts, we checked out Emma Hardie’s¬†brilliant skincare range (M is already a fan of the Brilliance Facial Oil, ¬£35).¬†M left with a sample of Protect & Prime, ¬£46, and has been using it ever since. She thinks it’s fab. It’s basically a primer with SPF30.¬†Super light and non-greasy, it glides onto skin and blurs imperfections and evens skin tone. And it sinks in very quickly, which is great for M, because she’s a speed-freak (V calls her ‘The Hurricane’). Yes, it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way & M is going to wear it for the entire summer – alone or with make-up over it. She insists her skin has never looked better. Her husband has also tried it and is threatening to purchase it for himself. V is leaving them to fight it out.

V, forever in pursuit of the perfect facial sunscreen, believes she’s also found a winner. Not one to forgo makeup on holiday (or a particularly sweltering London day), she always wears a tinted sunscreen while sunbathing as she hates looking pale and pasty. But more often than not, these tinted products which promise so much,¬†fail her. She hates the greasy look they often¬†create¬†and their thick texture. Plus the shade is never quite right and they don’t ‘perfect’¬†her skin in the way foundations do. She just¬†wants to look like she does at home –¬†for her skin to look its best, safe in the knowledge that it’s properly protected. Enter CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream, ¬£25. This lightweight, white cream, immediately transforms on application to match your own skin tone and gives the most flattering,¬†radiant finish. V is very impressed. It instantly¬†covered some areas of redness on her face and made her skin glow, without looking slathered in suncream. But with its SPF45 this most definitely is a suncream. Just a cutting edge one.¬†This will definitely be her new holiday ‘secret weapon’. And she’s wearing it today too…



And for our last SPF find, we bring you Pixi Sun Mist, ¬£18. An ingenious, light spray for the face and body that can easily be reapplied throughout the day. What we love most about it is that it can be spritzed over a fully made up face and wont ruin it at all. It’s not shiny and it dries very quickly. Very handy if you’ve got a summer wedding or important outdoors¬†date coming up. V bought one last week on cultbeauty.co.uk, but it now seems to be out of stock. So be quick and join the waiting list, or have a look on another site (we love lookfantastic.com). It should be back in stock soon. Top Tip – shake well before use and for the 1st application, spray a few times elsewhere on the body before putting on the face, as initially it comes out white, not transparent. After 5 or¬†6 spritzes, you’re good to go.

Love, sunshine & crazy kids,

Vikki & Mala xx

Our trusted Space NK helpers! Available to accompany any makeup fanatics on a shopping spree. A relaxing, calm experience is guaranteed (mwah ha ha ha ūü§°)


We’ve been shopping!


We’re exhausted but quietly smug. We’ve been busy online shopping this week on one of our favourite beauty sites, Beauty Bay. Sshhhh, don’t tell our husbands! Admittedly, we managed to keep the costs down as each product we chose was less than ¬£20. Plus, it’s all in the name of research. After all, we’ve selflessly got your best interests at heart. And we’ve found some real gems…

M was the most extravagant, splashing out on Stila’s Glitterati Lip Top Coat in Transcend, ¬£18, a unique, clear liquid infused with pink glitter designed to be worn over a matte lipstick, or alone. Unlike a gloss, it dries onto the lips and gives an incredible, metallic finish. So it’s a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the sticky feel or wet look of a gloss, but still wants sparkle. Needless to say, V was jealous, so she grabbed it and tried it too. She’s going to be ordering her own one later. But she’ll have to be quick because it seems to be selling out on lots of sites. If she has no luck on Beauty Bay, she’ll take a look at Cult Beauty.


Palladio is a brand that’s new to us, and we’ve fallen in love with the I’m Blushing 2-in-1 Cheek And Lip Tint, ¬£6.50. Yes, ¬£6.50! V is wearing the Precious, a ballet-slipper pink which imparts a lovely glow. She only has it on her cheeks, as she found it too frosty a finish for her lips. But M tried a little on her eyes – on the lower lid, near the lash line and under her brow as a highlighter – and it looked great and really opened up the eye. And because it’s a cream formulation, it doesn’t feel dewy or sticky.

As for M’s cheeks, she tried Milani Baked Blush in Rosa Romantica, ¬£10. We decided it acts more like a highlighter than a blush in this particular shade, but it does give great definition and a very flattering shimmer to the cheekbone. It comes in 11 shades and V now has her eye on Dolce Pink. It’s a very soft, easy-to-blend powder, and although we don’t rate the brush that comes with it, we can’t complain. For ¬£10 you get a great product in a cute compact, with a handy mirror. What more could a girl ask for?

Love & online shopping buys,

Vikki & Mala xx




Don’t go changing…!


Drama has struck at the very heart of V’s makeup bag and the tremors are being felt all over VeryMakeupMad Towers. V’s all-time favourite lipgloss, the one that she wore at her wedding and finally shared with the world after keeping it a closely guarded secret for 17 years, has been DISCONTINUED!! Yes, that’s right, after writing about Chanel Levres Scintillantes in last week’s blog about ‘our favourite things’, it came to light that Chanel stopped making the gloss 2 days earlier. However, thankfully they have introduced a new version – Rouge Coco Gloss, ¬£26, in 24 gorgeous shades, and V can’t wait to get her hands on one…or 5! She’ll report back when she does. In the meantime, M is being very supportive and offering a whole host of matte lipsticks for her to try! Now V is drowning her sorrows in Haagen Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream…another of her ‘favourite things’.

Love & lipgloss

Vikki & Mala xx




We’ve come over all “Maria von Trapp” this week. We’ve been discussing ‘a few of our favourite things’ and now can’t stop imagining ourselves twirling round on picturesque mountain tops and belting out VeryMakeupMad’s version of “raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens…” that M has penned. If you’re lucky, we might sing it on our next vlog (Truth be known, V wouldn’t be surprised if M was using this as a platform to launch her dream pop career…!).

Anyway, back to business and of course, we’re talking about our favourite beauty things. The makeup we can’t and won’t live without. You already know that we’re ‘VeryMakeupMad’, but which products are we most mad about? Over the years we have both amassed some favourites…M as a trained makeup artist and model, and V as a Beauty Editor at Vogue and other titles. We’ve limited ourselves to our top 5 everyday picks, but as ever, have thrown in a few more at the end for good measure!


First up, mascara. Lots of womens’ ‘desert island product’. With so many to choose from, and new, improved versions being launched all the time, it’s difficult to find the best one. M is a big fan of Benefit They’re Real, ¬£19.50. She’s tried lots of other brands and types of mascara and she always comes back to this one. Admittedly she has long lashes in the first place, but with ‘They’re Real’, she manages to make them look even longer and she gets a fab, winged effect at the corners. V is faithful to Diorshow Extase, ¬£25.50, which she’s been wearing for the last few years. Although not continuously. Obviously. It separates and thickens her lashes and doesn’t rub or flake off. She likes the shape of the brush and it’s her ‘go to’ mascara for a great, natural finish. For nights out and a more dramatic look, she adds an extra lashing.

Still on eyes, V recently splashed out on ByTerry Ombre Blackstar, ¬£29, an amazingly creamy eyeshadow stick that honestly doesn’t move once applied. She has Frozen Quartz, a beautiful, shimmering deep rose shade and uses it over the entire lower lid, or just as a line above and close to the top lashes. People keep asking her what it is and already several friends have rushed to buy it. Nothing in the ByTerry range is a ‘cheap option’, but you never have any regrets when you buy their products. If you’re browsing the range, check out the limited edition palette pictured below, featuring delectable, muted spring shades which will suit all skin tones and see you through to the autumn. Eye Designer Palette in Techno Aura, ¬£44, – we think this is a great price for 6 shadows.



When it comes to a flawless complexion, V swears by Delilah Time Frame Future Resist Foundation, ¬£34, which blends beautifully and gives a luminous, natural finish. But more about that on our ‘Laying The Foundations’ blog – we don’t want to bore you! As you know, M isn’t a big foundation wearer, and instead has fallen for Erborian CC Creme, ¬£17, an ingenious, high-tech perfector that adapts to the colour of your skin, blurring any imperfections and giving immediate radiance. There’s something very satisfying (and slightly magical) about watching it come out of the tube as a white cream, and it transforming to a warm, peachy tone on application. Try it!

Moving on to bronzer. V is very ‘old school’ and has been using Guerlain’s iconic Terracotta bronzer for the best part of 20 years. Guerlain was the first beauty company to launch a bronzer and today they have plenty of options to choose from – shimmery, matte, sheer or mosaic. FYI, even thought V is most definitely a brunette, she wears Sheer Bronzing Powder in Blondes, ¬£37. It’s the perfect shade for her pale skin and doesnt make her look orange.  Meanwhile, M can’t get enough of Kevyn Aucoin’s totally versatile, The Neo Bronzer in Capri, ¬£46 – the neopolitan of face powders! The pale, pearly shade works as a highlighter, the pinky shade is a flattering blush, and the golden brown is the bronzer. You can use them separately or swirl them all together and apply just where the sun would hit the face – the forehead, chin, cheeks and nose. M is complimented every time she wears this, and considering she bought it in July 2016, and has worn it through every season, it seems to be lasting forever and as the photo shows, it looks the same as it did the day she bought it.



As for lips, V is never without lipgloss. Many people have tried (and all have failed) to convince her of the beauty of the matte lip, but she is steadfast in her belief that a glossy lip is ultra-flattering (or, if you asked M, she’d say she’s stuck in her ways and very stubborn. V absolutely disagrees). If she had to pick just one brand of gloss to use, it would be Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer, ¬£22, which is creamy, non-sticky and long-lasting. The biggest compliment that V can pay it, is to tell you that she chose to wear it on her wedding day (when she was Beauty Editor of Brides) and it stayed put from start to finish. Top Tip: choose a gloss with shimmer in it, so that if the gloss starts to wear off lips, the flattering sheen of the shimmering particles will remain on the lips.

M likes a defined lip and is an expert at applying lip liner to achieve a natural, fuller pout. The trick with lip liner is to not appear to be wearing any. She’s been searching for the ultimate nude liner and believes she has found it in Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude, ¬£16. She loves how soft it is, making it so easy to apply, plus it stays on the lips all day, defining the outer edge and cupid’s bow as intended. M is not afraid to use all over the lips for a fab, nude effect. She’ll show you the best way to do this on our vlog coming soon…


M’s final choice – and splurge – is Tom Ford Lip Laquer, ¬£29, a gorgeous, pearlised gloss that feels more like a creamy balm. It smells heavenly and gives a shimmering finish. Depending on the shade of your lips, it may be too pale to wear alone, but it looks incredible dabbed on the centre of your lips, over your favourite lip colour, creating a pillow like pout.

So those are our favourites, but being VeryMakeupMad, we have a few more make-up options that we couldn’t miss out.

OUR FAVOURITE EYELINER- Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, ¬£5.29. The long wand makes it easy to apply and the waterproof formulation doesn’t budge. Use this for a dramatic finish. We also love Clinique Easy Does It Liquid Liner, ¬£19 for a super precise line.

OUR FAVOURITE CONCEALER- Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, £19.95. A miracle when dabbed onto blemishes, but also works wonders on dark circles.

OUR FAVOURITE PRIMER – Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, ¬£26 An industry favourite too, this silky primer perfects skin and helps foundation last longer. If you’re after a glowing, radiant finish, try Cover FX Illuminating Primer, ¬£29, which instantly peps up a dull complexion

FAVOURITE LIPSTICK –No7 Match Made Stay Perfect Lipstick, ¬£9.95 A lovely satin finish and intense colour that lasts for hours.

FAVOURITE MAKEUP BRUSHES –  We love Morphe brushes (they’re super soft, great quality and blend make up beautifully) and this 6 Piece Deluxe Contour Brush Set is a steal at ¬£20.50.


Don’t forget to email us – verymakeupmad@gmail.com – to let us know what your ‘favourite things’ are and keep us updated with how you’re finding any of the recommendations that we’ve already given.You can also follow us on Facebook – Verymakeupmad.

Love, makeup & the sound of music,

Vikki & Mala xx