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The beauty spy: all about eyeshadow

You won't see her, but she's there, in the salons, spas and shops, and she's happy to share her secrets on how to apply eyeshadow.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is in full swing and I am going to share my secrets with you for film star eyes.

I avoided eyeshadow for years. First I thought I was too young for it, then my lids started creasing and I just couldn't face the depressing experience of putting something on my eyelids that accentuated their looseness. Yuk. But then I was told by an even creasier girlfriend that most people's eyelids crease unless they use a base or a primer underneath the eyeshadow. This was a eureka moment for me and I have never looked back (pardon the pun).

The first thing to do is to invest in a good primer. Basically, as far as eyeshadow goes the actual stuff itself does not need to be expensive. What you do need to spend your money on is a decent primer and brushes as top-of-the-range as you can possibly afford.

First, you apply your primer by putting a small spot on your ring finger and dabbing it all over the lid up to the brow. Not only will it stop creasing, but it will make the colours more vivid and ensure they last longer.

The next step is to apply your base shadow. This can be any colour really (well, maybe not black, but pink or blue or green). The Neal's Yard Barley Eye Shadow is my fave. Don't swipe or spread this but pat it on with a flat brush, all over the eyelid, up to where you will add the next colour, the highlighter. If you get a set of this season's eyeshadows, such as the BobbiBrown Bronze Tortoiseshell Eye Palette, then you will have a highlighter among those. The highlighter goes on just below the brow and brightens the eye, also drawing attention to it. This should be close to your skin tone in colour.

Once this stage is complete you need to add your darker colour. This season I like the Bourjois Paris Intense Extrait numbers 06 and 08 (grey and bronze) and the Yves Saint Laurent Ombres Duolumières number 35. You put the dark colour in the crease, swiping the brush back and forth like a windscreen wiper. If you have time and you're after a more sophisticated look, then take some more of the dark colour and start at the outer corner of your eye (the outer V as it is known) and, using a dome brush, wiggle the colour up and in with small, circular motions until it is well blended.

You can also use your eyeshadow instead of eyeliner; the grey Bourjois one mentioned above is ideal for this. Again using a small dome brush, dip it in the eyeshadow, flick off the excess, start at the edge of the eye and work in about two-thirds of the way or to the end of your lashes. Under and over the eye to create the ultimate Bette Davis eyes.


M Loves


We are great fans of Liz Earle and hope that by mentioning her often we will hasten the arrival of her first shop in the Middle East. This little gem is a moisture-rich foundation that leaves your skin hydrated and glowing. It is, as it promises, sheer, so you don't feel too made up, and it has the added bonus of an SPF, essential when you live in this climate.

Dh120, available in Bare, Beige and Beach, www.lizearle.com



Three of the best

CLARINS UV PLUS DAY SCREEN HIGH PROTECTION SPF40, DH200 This matte, lightweight texture fights all skin nasties such as free radicals and sun spots. A perfectly moisturising make-up base.

NUXE BRIGHTENING PROGRAM DAILY UV PROTECTOR SPF30, DH110 If you have sensitive skin, are concerned about the ageing effects of UV exposure and want to use only natural ingredients, this ticks all the boxes.

KIEHL'S SUPER FLUID UV DEFENSE SPF50, DH160 If you hate the feel of sunscreen on your face, this is the answer. An oilfree, feather-light texture.

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