Perimenopause and Menopause; something that most of us women will go through in our lives, yet I know very little about it and...nobody talks about it. When I was asked to contribute some makeup ideas for Prima to help in the process of going through it, I found myself researching what the symptoms were, quite a list! I then asked my sister, who didn't seem to know much, neither did my friends, who I've never spoken to about it, ever. I then rang my mother, who of course has been through the whole ordeal. HRT, that's what you need she said. Her experiences started when she was 42...my age now. Hormone Replacement Therapy; one of the few solutions that has relieved so many women, is not available for free via the NHS in England (it is in Scotland and Wales). Something's gotta give, surely...?
All in all, it's not a very trendy or fun topic to most, but one I've become interested in, simply because I was asked about it and shocked myself as to how limited my knowledge was on the subject. Then, rather coincendentally, in the same week, I see the #menopauserevolution on social media, namely on Alexia Inge's instagram (co-founder & co-CEO of Cult Beauty) and how they're highlighting the issue. I've subsequently signed the government aimed petition to get HRT made available, for free. I'd kindly urge you to do the same:
In the meantime, here's some light relief, for those experiencing any menopausal woes and wanting to show that they're not. Thank goodness for makeup!
Sunscreen is your strongest weapon against sun damage, pigmentation, premature ageing and of course, cancer. Defend yourself every day, come rain or shine. Make the ritual a bit more pleasurable by using a product that will enhance and add some radiance to your complexion. Enter A-list facialist Sarah Chapman and her Skinesis ‘Skin Insurance’ which has a subtle tint giving you a sun-kissed glow whilst offering full spectrum protection (UVA & UVB rays be gone). It also works wonders with its skin blurring properties and ingredients like multivitamins and bioactive complexes. Available in SPF30 or 50…go for the 50.
Recently released with a bit of a makeover, Kevyn Aucoin’s iconic ‘Sensual Skin Enhancer’ is a little pot of joy. Small in size but this guy packs a punch; its highly pigmented formula will cover all manner of discolouration, redness (goodbye hot flashes), breakouts and uneven skintone in a flash. It’s so versatile too, you can sheer it out by mixing it with a moisturiser or facial oil…or go in neat for maximum coverage. It could double up as your concealer too. Multi-tasking magic.
On days when there’s no time for you do ‘proper’ makeup, concealer is a way to cover what you need to and be on your way. My favourite new discovery is Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Magic Touch’ concealer. It’s so creamy and hydrating (thanks to plant-based glycerine) yet covers all manner of unwanted darkness and redness. Under the eyes and/or around the face, this will conceal whilst calming your skin thanks to liquorice root so any inflammation you’re suffering…no-one will ever know.
So you might be experiencing some high colouring, irritation and of course the dreaded hot flashes, be careful not to add more pink or ‘rouge’ to your cheeks when it’s already there. We want to counteract that. So go against it and opt for either a coral/peachy tone, or go more muted with a rosebud/bronze shade. Quick and easy are the cream options from Jillian Dempsey, just dab on with your fingertip and blend. A powder option, try Jouer’s ‘Blush Bouquet’ which houses two shades of tonal perfection so you can swish both or opt for one. No talc and contains vitamin E too.
You’re often going to feel uncomfortable with the various symptoms that come with menopausal skin. Have this handy stick with you for an anytime hit of cooling and hydrating loveliness. Milk Makeup’s ‘Cooling Water’ is a roll-up blue stick that you can apply anywhere on the face, or body (it’s colourless on the skin, fret not!). Refreshing with a generous hit of caffeine, this now cult beauty product will perk you up at any time of the day. Your cells will be energised, circulation boosted and your complexion fresh. Who needs an iced-latte?!
Often overlooked with powders taking its place but consider replacing your dusty talcs with a nifty spray instead. It’s faster, more refreshing and you can take it with you to perk up your face during the day or into the evening. Always in my kit are the setting sprays from Urban Decay, I swear by them. For a pre-skin hydration boost the ‘Quickfix Hydracharge’ prep spray is the one; pre makeup I mist this on my clients and there’s always an “ooooh that’s nice” comment, thanks to the coconut and vitamin infused water. Then when your makeup just won’t last (day or night, ignore the name) spritz on their ‘All Nighter’ setting spray. This makes your makeup bullet-proof. I use it on all my clients as it makes their perfect makeup look more lived-in and part of them but also binds everything together with its magical formula that resists smudging, melting and fading. It even has temperature control technology, goodbye hot flashes.
Read the full Perimenopausal Beauty piece in Prima here
A massive thank you to the incredible journalist Margarita who brought this to my attention...always learning!