When I first met my husband, Guy, 13 years ago, I was happy in all my dewy-eyed glory to let him see me make-up free.Now, on the threshold of 40, I’ve had to revise my views. Time has taken its toll and my skin no longer has a smooth, even tone and my lips have lost volume and colour.
Even my eyes seem to have shrunk. I still don’t wear lashings of make-up but am loath to face my beloved without a good smearing of foundation and bronzer.
I pondered this as I was reading a survey recently which revealed that a third of women actually get out of bed early so they can apply make-up before their other halves wake up. Others admitted to keeping their make-up on at bedtime.And who can blame them? Because, while most men might insist they prefer a bare-faced beauty, every woman knows most have their heads turned by a pair of full lips, smothered in red lip gloss.So I decided to conduct an experiment: I would get a professional make-up artist to give me six different make-up looks — from bare-faced to midnight vamp — to see which one Guy liked the best, and would his favourite be my favourite?
Guinea pig: Annabel Venning tried six make-up looks to get the truth on what men like from husband, Guy
AU NATURELAnnabel’s verdict: This is the face my husband gazes at across the pillow every morning. No wonder he leaps out of bed so quickly!
Only he and our two children — William, ten, and Alice, eight — get to see me like this.
With no warpaint around my eyes or mouth there is nothing to detract attention from my crows’ feet, frown lines, shiny nose and pale skin.at 39, it’s hardly surprising I look a little lived in, but it seems unfair that despite enjoying a wholesome existence of home-baking and dog-walking, I have racked up more wrinkles than Kate Moss, who’s spent the last two decades partying.
This look makes me feel naked and vulnerable. I would never go to work like this and if I were in a new relationship, I would wake at dawn to stop my new beau bolting for the door. With Guy, I can only hope that love is blind, or at least a little short-sighted.Guy’s verdict: This is the face I know and love. Annabel always moans about her ‘bad’ skin but I can’t see anything wrong with it, and as for wrinkles, well, I don’t notice them, except when she’s really tired. Frankly, I don’t think Annabel really needs much make-up, as she’s a natural beauty.
Sex appeal rating: 3/5
AU NATUREL: Sex appeal rating - 3/5
'NO MAKE-UP' MAKE-UP: Sex appeal rating: 3/5
'NO MAKE-UP' MAKE-UPAnnabel’s verdict: That’s better! I do love myself with a bit of colour. Here, thanks to a dab of tinted moisturiser, some cream blush on my cheeks, one coat of mascara and some Vaseline on my lips, I look brighter and altogether less like an exhumed corpse.
This is the look I aim for on the school run in the morning — presentable but not trying too hard.
It would work well for the office or lunch with the girls.
My mouth is quite small, so a bit of shine makes it appear fuller, while the blusher gives my face some definition, accentuating my cheekbones.
Mascara opens up my eyes, making them look bigger. All this and it only took five minutes. I feel infinitely more confident and there’s a definite spring in my step that wasn’t there with the 'naked' look. The only time I can manage without make-up altogether is when I have a tan.Guy’s verdict: This is very clever, because to an untrained male eye, it really does look as though Annabel’s wearing no make-up at all. But when you compare it to the bare face, you can see a marked difference.
She looks a little more polished and brighter than when she’s just woken up. As everyday looks go, this is pretty good. Nice but natural.
Sex appeal rating: 3/5
UNDERSTATED GLAMAnnabel’s verdict: This look takes much longer to create. Bronzing powder is added on top of the tinted moisturiser, with extra shading on the cheekbones. Then a thick, dark line of eyeliner goes on, ending in a ‘cat-flick’ drawn out at the edges.The eyeliner requires a steady hand, but it’s not half as tricky as glueing on false eyelashes. It all takes a good 20 minutes. I’m not sure I’ve got the patience or skill to do this myself.
We were aiming for the Brigitte Bardot look, but the cat-flick gets lost in my crows’ feet, and actually makes my eyes look more deep-set than they are. It’s definitely more glamorous than the barely-there look, but I don’t feel particularly confident because I don’t think it suits me.
It would look sultry on Angelina Jolie, but on me it’s less sex kitten, more knackered housewife.Guy’s verdict: I really like this. The false eyelashes don’t seem contrived or tarty, and I like the subtle colour of the lipstick.
I’d love it if Annabel dolled up like this for an evening out. She normally goes for a more low-key look, often putting on her make-up in the car. I guess it might be tricky to achieve this look in the rear-view mirror.
Sex appeal rating: 4/5
UNDERSTATED GLAM: Sex appeal rating - 4/5
GETTING SULTRY: Sex appeal rating - 5/5
GETTING SULTRYAnnabel’s verdict: The make-up artist has stepped up the eye make-up by several gears here, following celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole.
She has added dark eyeliner to the bottom and the top of my eyes, and not one but two sets of false eyelashes.Adding light bronzing powder under the eyes and the bridge of the nose illuminates the centre of my face, and bronze highlights on my cheekbones give my face more definition.I’d always thought heavy eye make-up was too harsh and ageing, fearing that the result would be more Alice Cooper and less Liz Hurley. But the opposite is true.
This is a look I would re-create for a very cool party. It makes me feel fun and glamorous, like I could dance on tables.It’s taken half an hour and about ten products to achieve this look. Suddenly I have newfound respect for the likes of the Kardashians who manage this on a daily basis. Clearly I need to get my act together. It would be worth the effort.Guy's verdict: This is good. Very good. I think Annabel looks great in a dolly-bird Sixties way. The bronzer adds a sun-kissed glamour, while those dark eyes with the thick, heavy lashes are incredibly sultry.
Frankly, I feel weak at the knees. I think it brings out her fun, party-girl side. It’s definitely my favourite.
Sex appeal rating: 5/5
RED CARPET DAZZLEAnnabel’s verdict: As every Hollywood star knows, the red-carpet look is not complete without scarlet lips.This time, we have toned down the eye-make-up, with just mascara, eyeliner and a shimmer of gold and bronze eye shadow. My complexion is kept simple with just tinted moisturiser, not much blusher, and a slash of scarlet on my lips.Again, it’s not an easy look to achieve: the eye shadow is carefully applied and blended, the mascara and eyeliner require surgical skill. The lipstick needs several coats. It all takes about 25 minutes.Red lips are supposed to make you look more youthful — but they don’t. The pillar-box red lipstick is too startling. The overall effect is scary headmistress, not Hollywood glamourpuss.
It’s a take-no-prisoners type of face, bold and a little bit intimidating. As it is, I’m worried I might frighten the dog.Guy’s verdict: I do like this, although not as much as the celebrity look. It’s so far removed from the normal Annabel that it would take a bit of getting used to.
I’ve always been a fan of red lipstick, but now I can see it does make her mouth seem thinner. She looks rather bossy.
Sex appeal rating 4/5
RED CARPET DAZZLE: Sex appeal rating - 4/5
FULL ON VAMP: Sex appeal rating - 1/5
FULL ON VAMPAnnabel’s verdict: This time we have gone for a darker shade of red lipstick. The look is old-school femme fatale. The eye make-up is subtle with smoky grey eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara, the foundation neutral.Again it takes time and patience — about 15 minutes. If you’re going for a bold shade of lipstick you’ve got to do it well — if you go over the natural lip line, the look becomes less sultry siren, more crazy old lady.
The dark lipstick seems to match my hair better and somehow makes my mouth seem fuller. It’s the kind of lipstick that demands to be kissed off.It’s amazing how make-up can transform not just your face but your whole sense of self. I feel as if I belong in fancy restaurants and swanky shops.If I was feeling bold and romantic, I might wear this out to dinner with my husband. However, it is so far removed from my normal appearance that I’m not sure I could pull it off.
I prefer the looks that accentuate my eyes rather than my mouth. The vivid lipsticks make my jaw appear heavier.Guy’s verdict: I’m not sure this suits Annabel. I like the eyes, but the mouth is a bit dramatic. While the more understated looks suit her personality — natural but fun — this is over-the-top and she just looks slightly uncomfortable.
- 2013/03/28(木) 15:02:50|