I don't get a lot of time in the morning for make-up, but saying that, I do make it a priority. I can wake up feeling pretty crappy and frankly, looking it too! So the whole ritual of looking after my skin and applying make-up, for me, is a necessity and if I don't do it, I feel rubbish all day, not to mention look tired, and well, lets face it, ill!!

I like to start by cleansing my skin well and I am using Paula's choice Hydrating cleanser and I really am quite firm with the cleansing! I then like to splash it off with lots of really cold water. I then pat dry, allowing my skin to still be damp. I then use my faithful and trusty Bobbi Brown Extra repair moisturising balm, SPF 25. I love this product as I have really dry skin and using this makes it look fresher and a tad younger if anything else! a lovely glow is given, (which I badly need!) I then use the Bobbi Brown Extra repair eye cream, tapping it in lightly, under the eye area. I have really noticed a difference as I am getting older, (I am now 47). Fine lines and dark shadows are a bug-bear for me! grrrrr.....

Once this is done, (which takes about 5 minutes), I start my make-up.

Depending on how my skin looks and feels, (and how knackered I look!), I chose my foundation according to this.

On the photo, that particular morning I was looking my usual ill unmade up self, so I needed a bit more warmth in my skin, so I go one shade darker with my foundation/tinted moisturiser. Todays ammunition was the Charlotte Tilbury Healthy glow, I use this on top of the Bobbi Brown moisturiser. Its a strange product as when you squeeze the tube, it comes out light grey and then when you blend it into your skin, it morphs into your skin and transforms your skin into a warmer shade, but natural. This is suitable for men and women. (A great product, but no SPF.)

So, once I have a bit of a good base to work with, I then go to work with concealing any blemishes and uneven areas. I use Bobbi Brown Instant full cover concealer in the shade Sand. These concealers are the business! They stay on all day, do not budge and look very natural. I work this in with my fingers, just tapping lightly.

Next I go to work underneath my eye are, (not my favourite part of my face, as I have mentioned!!) I look tired and very dark under here...but I have my secret weapons! (thank goodness!)

I use the same Bobbi Brown Instant concealer but one shade lighter under here, (if I am particularly dark I will use a corrector too, my favourite is by BECCA in Peach.) I keep layering the concealer until as much darkness is gone...so it may take a few layers, but they need to be light. I use my ring finger to blend. Don't forget, this is the deepest part of your face, so naturally, it is going to look darker, (even though I don't remind myself of this!)

OK so next, I work on my brows. When I was in my early twenties, it was fashionable to have a very thin, almost Biba-type brow, (a trend worn by Kate Moss, and of course, I thought at the time, I could carry this look off. Looking back, I looked more like Barbara Cartland.) So to "plump" up my almost non-existent brows, I use Maybelline Brow precise fiber filler, (which is really a brow mascara, which helps to bulk up what hairs you do have there. A clever little product.) Go easy here, you don't want to end up looking Denis Healy. If there are any sparse areas I then use Anastasia Beverley Hills Dip brow pomade in Ash brown with a MyKitco My tiny liner 11 Pro brush. I use the tiniest amount of product and mimic little brow hairs, finishing with some Maybelline Brow drama gel through the brows to set and to add further texture.

Eyes are next - I use a cream product usually as a base, (its called a Primer nowadays.) I apply this with my finger and blend. This ensures longevity if I use a powder eyeshadow and makes sure it doesn't crease. I use Bobbi Brown Long wear cream eyeshadow in Sand dollar or Cream eyeshadow stick in Truffle, I take this right up to the brow.

Next I use my Charlotte Tilbury Instant look in a palette, (Beauty glow.) I use a mixture of the 2 darker eyeshadows and apply to the outer areas of the lid, above the crease and slightly under the eye area. I use a MAC 217 for this. I have seen as I have got older, I "need" more definition and colour. I never really used to wear eyeshadow.

Definition is next, so I use my Maybelline Lasting drama gel eyeliner in Black and I apply with my Maggie Hunt No7 angled brush, (amazing brushes by the way by the wonderful Maggie, who I aim to go and visit early next year.) I start in the middle of the eye first, (top lid), and push it right into the roots of the lashes and underneath, in the top waterline too. At the ends of my lids, I extend the line slightly, to elongate my eyes and to mimic slightly longer lashes at the ends. The line goes right into the inner corners too.

I use about 3 layers of Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara in Black, (curling first with a Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler.) I always encourage more curl as the mascara is drying, by pushing up the lashes slightly with my sides of my finger!

A little bit of the Charlotte Tilbury highlight is dotted in the inner corners of the eyes and under my brow arches, (which is in the palette.)

To add a bit more warmth, if needed, I use Bobbi Brown Bronzing gel, (Joe Brown.) I am not sure if they are selling this anymore, as I have just checked on their website. But, its a great product. You just pat it on and blend well. I use it on my forehead and on the tops of cheekbones.

Blush is next. I like a dewy look, (more youthful!) so I use a cream product - I love either Bobbi Brown cream blush, (Fresh Melon is so natural!) or Make-up Forever HD cream blush in Flamingo Pink - 215. I only use a tiny amount on the apples of my cheeks and blend towards the outer part of my face.

I use a little bit of the highlighter from the Charlotte Tilbury palette, along the top of my cheekbones sometimes for more glow.

Lips - I always revert to a nude lip. If I go darker or brighter, I just don't feel like me! First I use a pencil all over the lips, (Charlotte Tilbury Lip cheat in Pillow talk or Bobbi Brown Beige.) I then use a lipstick over the top, my current favourite is by Charlotte Tilbury Hot lips, Kim K.W. However, I can't seem to get over Tom Ford Nude blush lipstick, its my absolute favourite. I then lightly define around the lips, in Charlotte Tilbury Lip cheat - Iconic nude.

...and that's me for the day! I can't say bright eyed and bushy tailed but I can say, ready for the day! Feeling, (and without a doubt, looking!!) a better version of myself.

The whole routine takes me about half an hour. Now I now a lot of ladies say, "half an hour?!!" like that's some sort of crime! but I always say; that is the only time you have to yourself the whole day, the only time you do something for yourself, so why not half an hour?! Get up a little bit earlier?! Maybe invest in yourself? Don't feel guilty about it!! We could all stay in bed a bit longer, and I always want to! But the if its a toss between extra minutes in bed and looking and feeling rubbish the whole day, or getting up earlier and looking and feeling ok all day, then you know which I choose! I certainly feel the rewards, and for me, that is what make-up and skincare are about, not just visual, but actually a little bit of therapy and self-love!

Thanks for reading my blog x x x