Make-up, mental health, menopause (and more!)

Spring is my favourite time of the year and I don't know about you, but when the sun is out it always makes me feel better!'s such a tonic, and I feel that way about make-up and skincare too...

This got me thinking about things that can lift our mood, and for me, make-up hits that mark every single time. Even on my worst days, I always, at the very least, do my skincare, as it makes me feel so much better, even with a bit of moisturiser on or lip balm. It is no surprise to me that makeup works as an anti-depressant and a recent study proves this...

The article written by Beauty Journalist Inge van Lotringen resonated with me, its about how makeup has the power to lift your mood and the study has found that wearing makeup can have a marked effect on improving women's mood and even helps with maintaining good mental health -

The study from the research team from Sao Paulo in Brazil and Queensland and Curtin University in Australia found that regular use of makeup was associated with lower incidence of mild depression and lower intensity of depressive symptoms. Professor Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry and King's college London, said: 'Make-up is a type of self-care and, as shown in this study, helps with depression. The benefit is clinically significant, as by using the Zung scale, (which measures 20 different feelings and emotions - before and after the experiment).

I spend so much time teaching other people about their skincare and their makeup, that I thought you may find it interesting if I shared my skincare and makeup routine. I would love to hear your thoughts too, including what you like using.

Being 54, the basics like going to bed early and getting enough sleep, not drinking alcohol, (i've yet to be tee total but heading that way!), exercising, eating good (non processed) food, having a good HRT regime, drinking plenty of water and taking a supplement is key for me. I try and exercise at least 3 times a week and this includes weight training.

(I check in with Dr Newson once a year, regarding my HRT regime and hormone levels too). If you haven't already done so, you can read my blog about my menopause journey -

Skincare wise - my skins needs, (like yours) will change throughout the year and it will look different from day to day, therefore, I always adapt my regime to how it looks and feels.

For my morning routine I am using my own Organic, cruelty free Cleansing oil, (which I make myself) it includes Coconut oil, castor oil, rosehip oil and blend in a Blue chamomile essential oil. I like to mix up my acids, (these are very gentle so don't be afraid! and you use these as you would a toner, after cleansing), so I either use a PHA or an AHA, as my skin is generally dry. The PHA is from Medik8 and the AHA is from Pixi, (glow tonic). These are very gentle on my skin, and you can always tell when I haven't used one, as my skin can look a bit dull and flat.

Serums next, and I use mainly Beauty Pie ones, and I layer these, some days I will use one or two. My favourite ones are the Vitamin C Superdose, Triple Hyaluronic acid, Superdrops, (Niacinamide), Japan Fusion and Genius lift elixir and Daily Vitamin defence serum. I then sometimes spritz on their Hyalurionic mist before moisturiser and then finally SPF! (no lower than a 30, all year round). I am always amazed at how many women do not apply SPF, (and also feel guilty for spending time on themselves, it makes me sad).

Generally I like to use a more hydrating moisturiser, such as Bobbi Brown Extra repair moisture cream Intense or a lighter option is Embryolisse Lait creme concentre. I always use a dedicated SPF, I have just finished my first bottle of Ultra Violette Super supreme skin screen SPF50, and I will definitely be re-purchasing!

For evening I will use Retinol and sometimes Tretinoin, which I have sent to me from my lovely friend in Spain and I use this 2-3 a week.

From a very young age I witnessed my Mum's daily ritual of applying her makeup. She always had a big pot of Nivea face cream too, (I loved that smell and glorious white cream in the tin. I also loved the way my cheek stuck to her cheek momentarily when I kissed her). She'd describe it as, "...putting my face on"! Admittedly, I was always a little embarrassed by her glamour when I went to school, (I am ashamed to say it now). She always stood out, (nice one Mum!) Her hair was beehived to perfection, set hard with hairspray - not a hair out of place and lipstick always on point, (her trademark bright orange, which I applied for her when she was in the hospice, 3 days before she passed away. Ever the glamourpuss).

I remember people at my school used to poke fun at me about her, but to me, it was normal and I loved her dearly. I absolutely idolised her. She was a strong, hard working Mum, (she kept an immaculate home, worked as a school cleaner and brought up 3 children almost single handedly, as my Dad always had to work away from home, abroad mostly). Even if she was doing housework she always had her "face on", she would be cleaning windows outside with her lipstick on...I was in awe of her from a young age and she rocked her hair and her makeup. Even on the wettest, most depressing days she always had her bright lippie on. I can totally understand now why she did that. It was such a beautiful and powerful lesson that she instilled into me - to give myself love and time everyday and to make the best of myself, for myself.

As I learned about skin and makeup over the years, (I was also inspired by my beloved Girls world toy), its become even more important to me to make that time for myself each morning. It really is self-care. Just like brushing your teeth or drinking water. For me, it is an essential part of my day and one I thoroughly enjoy doing. It's the only thing I have any kind of control of after all! It can really put me out of sorts if I don't get the time to do this, even if I am going to the gym! "The marvel of make-up is that it allows us to put on the face we want to present to the world. Feeling right in your skin means confidence - and confidence is the root of much of our achievements in life, as well as our joy".

Looking after my skin is just as important, after all, "Skin is the foundation", as skin guru, Caroline Hirons says, which is absolutely bang on! If you invest in your skin and yourself, then ultimately, you will "need" less makeup to correct those "issues" you may find on your skin/face.

I am a firm believer in the less is more approach, as you may know. When I graduated from The London college of Fashion in '95 I went on to work for Bobbi Brown essentials, at the first store in Nottingham. I had the best training and loved going to London at the Estee Lauder head office. Working on the counter was second to none. I learned such a lot. I love Bobbi's philosophy that, "makeup is not rocket science" and "makeup that looks like you, only better". It has stuck with me to this day and I pass this knowledge and message on to my clients and I get huge satisfaction from helping countless women look and feel the best version of themselves, using the right tools, knowledge and products. Bobbi does not own Bobbi Brown anymore and has her own different brand, Jones Road beauty, which I love and use in my studio too. You can shop her products here -

Makeup is such a powerful tool and to me it really is self care - feeling and looking good, for myself and nobody else! (so thanks Mum x x x )

Here is what make-up I am loving using at the moment -

After my SPF I like to use something that keeps my makeup looking fresh and is the best base for it too, so something like the Bobbi Brown Radiance primer, Beauty Pie Brightening primeror IT cosmetics CC cream, (the CC cream I use very minimally, where needed as it is quite heavy coverage, and I don't like that look).

For years I have used the Bobbi Brown foundation stick as it is so quick to use and is very natural, you can also apply in light layers and build up the intensity. It is also good as it covers any redness on your skin, so good around the nose and chin for me. I also rate their concealer, which is very hydrating and I like to layer this and blend with a soft, fluffy brush. If I am particularly dark under my eyes I find that Beauty Pie Under eye genius is excellent as a corrector, so I use this first, (before concealer). I might also use a bit of my old faithful YSL Touche eclait, (I only use the Radiant touch shade though, which is the only shade that looks slightly pink so to counteract any grey/brown tones under my eyes). I hardly ever use powder on my skin.

For my brows, which I stupidly tweezed away in my 20's, (damn you Kate Moss!!), I use a mixture of Maybelline Brow drama and an Anastasia dip brow pomade in Ash brown, applied in hair like strokes to mimic my brow hairs, (bane of my life!!) Thank goodness my daughter has listened to me about this and has kept her beautiful, thick, natural eyebrows).

For eyes, I find NARS Pro smudge eye primer very good as a base for eyeshadow. Beauty Pie do some lovely eyeshadow palettes, and this one is a James Malloy one. The eye pencil is excellent, again from Beauty Pie in Turkish coffee, and does not budge, as is the same story for their Wrap star tubing mascara. Its amazing.

I like a pop of colour on my cheeks, so this powder and highlighter duo works well, its a pinky tone with a highlighter with it, but to get that glow I mix the 2, I also use the Beauty Pie Luminizing wand on the top of my cheekbones for added glow! (I need all the glow I can get at my age!!...)

For lips, I like a natural shade with a pinky tone, not brown. I usually mix 2 lipsticks as I still haven't found my perfect nude lipstick. The ones in the photo are from Revlon in 008 That girl, (a rose pink) and then I mix on top a Charlotte Tilbury Kim K.W lipstick which is lovely light pink tone. I define my lip line with an NYX liner in Nude beige.

Above is another example of my day makeup items. I bought the Jones Road beauty Miracle balm, but didn't get the hype and wanted desperately to love it, so keep using it. It is yet to convince me, as it is quite heavy, maybe nice for cold days. I have mixed the shade Au Naturel with a Jones Road shimmer oil in Cool rose for a bit of colour and more luminosity and to loosen it up a bit. Seems to work so far.

I am a huge fan of Lisa Eldridges work and as I got to meet her last year, I have bought more of her makeup products to try. The latest one being her Enhancing skin tint. It is sadly in a very small bottle, but you only need a small amount as it is very watery. It is gorgeous on the skin and gives a light coverage and a lovely even, dewy finish. I chose shade T7 as I like a bit of warmth. The blush here is Bobbi Brown in Modern shimmer and the gloss by Lisa Eldridge in Song bird, a beautiful fresh, brightening pink gloss.

Pic above - me playing around with my makeup - here I used some Swarovski crystals and MAC Holographic loose eyeshadow pigment, plus some Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow crayons.

Below pic - Here I used mostly Lisa Eldridge makeup including her Liquid lurex eyeshadow in Maya. Lipstick is Sunday Matinee with Petal lip pencil.

I really love Beauty Pie makeup at the moment!

The bright lip colour above is from Lisa Eldridge in Rainbow spill with her lip pencil in Carnival. You can shop her products here -

Here I am when I met Lisa at Liberty in London last year...(pic below), I look a bit deranged and star struck haha.

Tina Brocklebank and Lisa Eldridge.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break. I have lots of makeup lessons booked in at my studio, (1-1, Joint and Group), and look forward to meeting you hopefully soon!

Follow me on Instagram @tinabrocklebankmakeup or my Facebook page Tina Brocklebank Make-up artist for behind the scenes updates and more tips and products info!

Tina x

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