Nancy Buckland Kirk rounds up her beauty essentials for autumn…
It’s that time of year when, on paper, everything gets more cosy. Insta feeds are filled with leaves, and hot chocolate, new season coats and beautiful boots. The reality is slightly different. As soon as the seasons change, and the heating finally goes on, I never know whether to pull on a sweater or put any headgear on in sheer desperation. Frizzy hair, dry skin and unknown reactions to my new central heating beckon. And my summer make-up looks like a long, lost, lonely weekend in the sun: overheated, ready for a break and done.
Beauty brands used to launch collections for very specific seasons. Now, year-round drops are commonplace but autumn is a special time in the industry: not only do we crave new pieces, we are also about to be hit with pre-festive launches, too. It can get a little overwhelming. The His & Hers teams have been getting busy with lots of new, and established, beauty names and it seems like a week never goes by without a launch.
So, in order to make my own life easier and also to hopefully give you a few ideas, I’ve whittled down my list of new luxury, premium creations to my favourite five.
Victoria Beckham last put her name to a launch with her own personal edit for Estee Lauder, back in 2016, and now she’s back, and Victoria Beckham Beauty is now simply all about her. She’s already earned her fashion props, and her own line of beautiful designs for grown-up, self assured and accomplished women was screaming out for cosmetics to match. Skincare is on its way, but in the meantime, she has curated a line which is sumptuous, enthralling and quite simply, easy to apply and wear. I went for the Smoky Eye Brick, in Tuxedo (£48) as I wanted something for evening that would go with my new Zara tux. She’s a clever creator, Victoria, as the neutral shade takes up more space than the others, as that’s what we reach for first. The grey tones and darker shades create a sophisticated look, without a hint of being overdone. It’s not a bargain buy, but it’s a super treat and if you are thinking about early gift buying, the whole range is a delight for someone you really want to splash out on.
Beauty Pie aren’t about luxury prices, but everything else about the brand screams upmarket, which is why it is included here. A members-only club, where you pay a monthly subscription, enables you to access a whole range created by Marcia Kilgore and her team. My summer tinted moisturiser is too dark and needs retiring for now, and so I opted for Beauty Pie Micro-Mineral Serum Foundation (£6.60 for members/£32 for non-members) for a transitional change. Its serum formulation is perfect for my combination skin and the fact that it is oil free is a huge help if you have shinier patches. This is the range I return to over and over again, and my membership is much prized.
Anastasia Beverly Hills is the Queen of Brows: it’s the first name you think of when it comes to face-framing. This part of the market is absolutely packed with products, but there is a reason why Anastasia is a mainstay. His & Hers have really enjoyed getting to know more about this brand, and Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown (£19) is superb if, like me, your brows are still your own work. (I haven’t taken the plunge to try anything semi-permanent – yet!) The formula is waterproof and is hugely natural for a long-lasting product finish. It also comes in a wide range of shades: it’s great to see beauty brands really getting to grips with what customers want. A sure-fire winner.
Nars is a range which is so much more than it’s super-chic packaging. The minute you try Nars, it’s like being sprinkled with the founder’s glamour and fashion experience. This is a range I love if I want to experiment with colour or new formulas. The last time I got my make-up done by a top professional he told me off for using too much bronzer: guilty as charged! Orgasm Liquid Blush (£25.00) is part of the brand’s racily named range, and it’s brilliant at brightening up complexions that need a bit of walk-in-the-park illumination. A little goes a long way.
Rihanna definitely has the midas touch. Apart from her illustrious career as a recording artist, her forays into fashion and underwear have already won her awards and plaudits. Fenty Beauty deserves equal praise as it is inclusive and also at the affordable end of the luxury market. Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Sinamon (£21.00) is just gorgeous: after giving up heavily pigmented powder bronzers, this still creates a glowing finish, and is long-lasting without being heavy. There are two finishes and as you would expect from Fenty Beauty, an extensive range of shades to choose from. This shade is multi-purpose and is just as easy to use on lips and eyes, too.
One thing I am becoming more aware of is that make-up needs to work harder and be less throwaway. I don’t just buy products on a whim and leave them languishing these days. Now I want to use them, repeatedly, and get right to the bottom of a casing each time. Having pieces you adore, that you can experiment with and that you get real value from is the way forward for me.
All I need now is a new Maxmara coat to waft around in whilst the leaves fall. I can but dream on that score. Until then, I’ve definitely got my eye on something equally as gorgeous from Massimo Dutti. Welcome November: we’ve been expecting you….
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands. Have you read her previous feature for World Mental Health Day? On World Mental Health Day, Nancy Buckland Kirk talks about grief