One of my poshest ever beauty purchases – insofar as it was wholly incommensurate with my disposable income – was a trio of plummy eyeshadows by none other than Next. The brand was the very height of aspiration in the late 1980s and, as with most things then, did beauty terrifically well.
I’ve maintained a soft spot for good fashion retailer makeup and I’m sure it’s making a comeback (times are tough on the high street – a new revenue stream must surely appeal).
Ted Baker, while having never quite been my style in clothing, charms me with its new makeup collection, With Ted – probably because it has drafted in Andrew Gallimore, makeup artist for Björk, Kylie and Beth Ditto, rightly deferring to someone who’s earned his beauty stripes. There’s lots to like here, but I’m especially keen on Bright Eyed Eyeshadow Duo (£22), an easy double-ended crayon of shimmery shadow that blends with even inept fingertips. The high quality blushers and bronzer (£29 each) hit the right spot, colouring softly and silkily with no harsh lines and exactly the right amount of grownup glimmer.
My sole gripe is that, with the exception of the lipsticks (comfy, durable and luxuriously packaged, £22), With Ted doesn’t quite look as serious or expensive as it is, and I fear that unless it plans to change packaging seasonally, the ambitious designs will quickly seem tired. This, I suppose is the pitfall in extending a fashion mentality to cosmetics.
Related: The perfect face cream | Sali Hughes
If With Ted is too rich for your blood, I wholeheartedly endorse the terrific makeup from & Other Stories. The products here are more minimalist, in keeping with its clothes’ pared back, cool-girl aesthetic, but are way better than a mere impulse purchase at till point.
The Fol Amour eyeshadow palette, all pale, brightening pinks, is exactly the sort of shadow squad I want for spring, and at £23 is half the price of an almost identical luxury version I like rather less. Luminous Glow, £13, in Or Poudré and Roche Sombre, are (respectively) among the best highlighters for brown and black skin around. The Eye Colour Cream, £13, is a flattering creme shadow, boasting nine beautiful shades, when many brands are wrongly scaling back on theirs in favour of powder. There’s a Cheek & Lip Tint, £13, for literally everyone. Creamy, lasting and restrained, it’s a perfectly mindless, on-the-go swish of pretty. Everything above is cruelty free.