A lot of us will admit we're creatures of habit. When we find something we like, which works for us, why change it? My case in point is MAC's Woodwinked eyeshadow – I wear it (almost) every day without fail because I tried it once, thought, "Phwoar, I like the look of that," and decided to stick with it ever since. But sometimes, occasionally, it all feels a bit bleurgh, a bit too samey. And, at this time of the year, with festive opportunities to ramp up your make-up galore, I'd like to put forward the case for making small tweaks to shake up your make-up and (bear with) add a bit of colour. There's no need to go full Joan Cusack in Working Girl. An easy way to try something new is to take one key element at a time (your eyeliner, for instance) and switch your normal neutral for a more unusual – but still stylish – shade.
A new way to do Liner
Dark colours are great for framing eyes, but deep shades like navy, chocolate, charcoal and violet do the job just as well as black, while adding something fresh. Your best bet for this is Bobbi Brown whose arsenal of richly pigmented gel liners is extensive. Their Cobalt Ink, a midnight blue, winged across upper lashes, is especially sleek.
AN EYEShadow SHAKE-UP
Amethyst, emerald, topaz and sapphire are a bit more ballsy than your average but, with a bit of blending, can look downright foxy. The trick is to focus the colour in the centre of your lid, then diffuse it outwards, so you'll need a shadow that blends well. Kiko's Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks glide on in a creamy texture that can be buffed out with your fingertips. Their Emerald Green looks fabulous and, at £6.90, it doesn't matter if you don't wear it every day. Just use it on the occasions you want to feel extra razzy.
A TWIST ON BLACK LASHES
Swap your usual black mascara for something a little more interesting. You could go bold with bright blues or purples, but for something more subtle and sophisticated, stick with a darker palette, such as forest green or aubergine. NYX and 3ina have some brilliant offerings, but YSL's Vinyl Couture mascara is excellent. The fact that it does a sterling job of lenthening, thickening and separating is beside the point. The star of the show is the colour – a chic-as-you-like burgundy.
BOLD Lips FOR Bold Lip-Phobes
If you like the idea of a red, but give it a miss on account of the upkeep, try a balm texture, which is much more forgiving than matt, since the edge can be a little less crisp and the softer formula means you don't have to worry about dry, craggy lips. Clinique's Chubby Sticks are great for this and come in a range of bolds (bright pinks, berries and reds), plus their new Intense version will give you an even better colour.
STRONG CheekS Made subtle
Blusher is a godsend for giving cheeks a bit of life and, if the 2018 catwalks (Valentino, Antonio Marras and Chanel) are anything to go by, the bolder they are, the better. In real life, though, the aim is to skip anything too Widow Twankey and keep things sophisticated. The answer is a slightly stronger colour like berry or merlot, blended carefully to keep things looking soft. Zoeva has a great offering of beautiful colours in strong pigments (just remember to use a brush that will dispense a subtle amount of colour and a light hand).