Sunday, 11 August 2013

Is bright make-up just for teens?

When I was in my teens, bright eyeshadow was a trend my friends and I followed. I remember wearing a rainbow of shades all at once, or creating my own 'fruit salad' colour combos. Recently, I've been able to relive my youth and wear brighter-than-bright eye colours at hen parties, where dressing up is part of the fun. At a recent 80s-themed hen party I wore apple green eyeshadow from Models Own and at my little sister's tropical-themed bash I went for blue, green and orange eyes.

But day-to-day, I feel like the days of bright eye make-up are well and truly behind me. I'm still all for bright lips - I've currently got tangerine, hot pink, corals and reds and I love them all - but I do tend to keep things toned down when it comes to eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. A recent advert brought all this to mind. It was Max Factor's Wild Collection ads. You know, the one with a blue-eyed model wearing lurid lime-coloured eyeshadow and suggesting we 'unleash a fierce new look'. Fierce is one word for it.

Max Factor bright make-up collection

Brights on trial

There is no way I would have been inspired by the advert to go an explore the range, but I'm probably not the target market. I'm nearly 30 and don't have many opportunities to wear such wild make-up. By strange coincidence though, a package turned up a week or so ago, and in it was a selection of products from the very collection I'd been turning my nose up at.

The press material challenged me to 'be fearless and go wild with extreme new eye looks using Max Factor's boldest and most vibrant boutique yet'. So... I gave it a go. And do you know what? It's not as scary as I first thought.
Purple and green eyeshadow

For the above, I used the Wild Shadow Pots (£6.99) in Turquoise Fury and Vicious Purple. Luckily, there wasn't really anything particularly furious or vicious about the shades. They both blended in nicely and the overall effect was colourful, but not OTT; definitely something I would wear again for a night out. I finished the eyes with lashings of the Wild Mega Volume Mascara (£6.99), which is really, really good. The texture is thick and the soft bristles of the wand make it easy to apply a generous amount.

Green and gold eyeshadow
I also tried the Wild Shadow Pencils (£5.99) in Brazen Gold and Vicious Moss on the other eye (then forgot and answered the door to the postman who must have thought I had very unique taste in make-up). The texture of the pencils is meant to be part gel, part eyeshadow and it means they can be used as a liner or shadow. I've not been the biggest fan of these styles of pencils in the past but there does appear to have been a move-in with these. They work well, especially when smudging them around the corners of the eye or lashline. The come in a range of colours and the wones I tried were probably some of the more subtle ones.

All in all, the mascara is definitely the best value and something I would buy. If you ignore the slightly silly names of the eyeshadows and just pick the ones you like the look of then those are pretty good too.

Shop Max Factor Wild Collection at Boots

My usual neutrals

I'm not sure whether I'll be ditching my neutrals just yet though. I think I've turned into the more classic customer, more interested in taupes, browns and beige, like below...

Max Factor neutral make-up

But when there's a girly night out in the diary I'll consider using this collection to have some fun with my make-up. Below are a couple more looks from Max actor that can be tried with their Wild Collection.

bright make-up lookbright make-up look

So, do brights have an age limit when it comes to make-up? I think experimentation with colour is something that you do more when you are young. As we grow older, we work out which colours look best on us, but that can make some people scared to try new things. That's why it is unusual to see older women with really bold make-up. My rule as I've got older, is to go for either bold eyes OR bold lips, not both together. It's the same principle as showing cleavage or legs when getting dressed.There are a few things to keep in mind with older skin e.g. older skin tends to work better with matte rather than shimmery shades. I reckon bight nail varnish can work on anyone though, so long as the shade suits your personality.

Not everyone can pull off the Zandra Rhodes look, but if you love a colourful look and it makes you happy then forget about age and work it! Make-up is about expression so it's up to you what you want your look to say.
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