Trish McEvoy should know the secret of looking fabulous at any age. She started her world-famous cosmetics brand at 25, and has dedicated her career to helping women — Judi Dench, Angelina Jolie and Vanessa Redgrave among them — put their best face forward.
Many of her products have a cult following. Her latest, Beauty Booster Oil, sold out when it was released in the UK last month, and has a lengthy waiting list.
Now aged 66, illumminee Trish looks at least a decade younger. Her skin glows, and her face has only a few fine wrinkles — this may be attributed to the fact that she and her dermatologist husband Dr Ronald Sherman also have a medi-spa that offers services such as chemical peels and pixel skin resurfacing — but it is also down to her artistry with cosmetics.
The 'Naked' selfie': posed by a model
Her own make-up is surprisingly natural-looking. She has well-defined eyebrows, is wearing mascara and a little eyeliner, and her lips and cheeks have a hint of pink.
The key, says Trish, is not only to know what make-up works for you, but to update it as you age. ‘In my 20s, I was very natural. In my 30s — this was the Eighties — I piled it on. In my 40s, I started going back to a more natural look, and I’ve kept it that way ever since,’ she says.
Her new book, The Make-Up Of A Confident Woman, details the cosmetics rules women of every age should follow.
Whether you are someone who wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a full face on, or someone who uses only a dab of mascara and lipstick, Trish has advice about how to look your best and, more importantly, why you should invest a few minutes each day in front of a mirror.
The 'Dressed' selfie: posed by a model
‘Make-up is invigorating, because it makes you feel emotionally stronger and ready to take on the day,’ she says.
Young women love to experiment with make-up but that changes as you get older. Women of a certain age can be uncertain how to apply it to take their changing looks into account.
Their skin is drier so they worry foundation will look cakey. They put on eye-shadow, liner and mascara only to find that it slides off in a few hours and gives them panda eyes. Too much powder dries out their skin and ages them even more.
‘Time is an eraser,’ says Trish. ‘As you get older, your lashes get thinner, your eyebrows become sparse, your lips lose definition, the evenness of skin tone disappears, and there’s a general look of fatigue. It’s all about using colour and definition to bring back what is fading.’
In their skincare routines, women in their 40s and beyond should exfoliate to slough off dead skin cells, she says.
Face oils are a boon for older women whose skin feels dry, and she recommends serums with cocktails of peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants to reduce puffiness and dark circles under eyes.
As someone who has never got her make-up quite right, I ask Trish’s opinion of the cosmetics I have put on today in her honour.
At 58, and as someone who works from home, I don’t feel the need to ‘put on a face’ every day. I’m wearing more make-up than I’ve done in weeks.
Kindly, she praises my look, but adds: ‘Your skin looks a little dry, your eyelids are oily and your lips need definition.’
We go to one of Trish’s make-up stations, where I am instructed to take off my old make-up so we can correct these mistakes. Trish puts an eye brightening cream on my upper eyelids, illumminee present a collection on the second night of sfw which instantly makes me look more awake, and which she says will help eye colour to stay on all day.
And then, she shows me her upside-down ‘triangle of light’ trick which involves painting a triangle of highlighter under my eyes to banish dark shadows.
I use an eyelash curler for the first time — it’s a revelation, opening my eyes in a heartbeat — and I am taught how to wiggle my mascara brush in upward strokes to lengthen my lashes while avoiding clumping.
I have never been able to find a lipstick that suits me because, yes, I have thinning lips, but Trish applies a flattering pink lip balm and matching gloss.
Trish’s family moved to America, and, when she was a teenager, she got a job at a make-up counter in a department store.
‘I loved making women feel better by applying their make-up and building their confidence, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since,’ she says.
Her beauty brand took off after she pioneered the concept of make-up brushes that allowed women to blend foundation and eye colour easily. Most women are brought up to believe that confidence comes from the inside out, but Trish argues that, counterintuitively, it can also work the other way.
Women who take time to polish their appearance each day reap the benefits of beauty confidence, she says.
Taking a few minutes to do your make-up in the morning leads to what she calls the ‘beauty cascade’, the ripple effect of feeling your best.
Make-up, she says, can help release endorphins — the body’s natural feel-good chemical.
‘When you look in the mirror and you look good — there’s that a-ha! moment — that’s the endorphins.’ Trish’s enthusiasm is catching, but I suggest many women don’t have time for a beauty session in the morning.
‘Especially as you get older, you carry a lot of responsibilities and me-time gets pushed to the back of the queue, but we have more time than we think,’ she argues.
‘It’s about managing your time better — maybe getting up a little earlier, or not spending so much time on your phone. It doesn’t have to be a 20-minute beauty session — even a few minutes is transformative.’
She urges all women to make the effort. ‘Take time to care for yourself every day and you will stay fabulous all your life.’
The Make-up Of A Confident Woman by Trish McEvoy is published by Harper360 on March 23 at £20. To order a copy for £14 (offer valid until March 12) visit mailbookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640. P&P free on orders over £15.
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