True new romantics
Fashion and beauty are coloured with a palette of soft pastels and natural prettiness this season
It gets a bad rap as the most 'Hallmark' of holidays, but it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that Valentine's Day is almost upon us.
What can I say; I love love. I'm not alone: the florals and ruffles and pleats and ballet-chic soft palettes of some spring/summer collections point to the fashion and beauty world's current love affair with romance.
Regardless of whether you'll be celebrating or studiously ignoring February 14, romance is a great look for the season ahead.
It's all about subtly enhancing what you've got rather than looking overtly made-up, meaning that it's very natural and as appropriate for daytime and the office as it is for date night. It’s a look that star Natalie Portman carries off so well. The cornerstone of the look is glowing skin.
Make sure that yours is in tip-top shape by incorporation regular exfoliation (once or twice a week is plenty) into your routine to sweep away dulling dead skin cells.
Give perfection a helping hand if required with as sheer a foundation as you can bear to wear, so that skin is not masked completely, and opt for one that gives a slightly dewy rather than flat matte finish.
Apply with a foundation brush for the most flawless finish, and work from the centre of the face outwards. The T-zone and surround areas are most prone to blemishes and discolouration while the peripheries of the face tend to be more eventoned, so concentrate coverage on that middle region and blend out.
For a flush of colour on lips and cheeks, kill two beauty birds with one stone (sorry birdies) by using a does-it-all tint.
Benefit Posie tint, €33.50, is a cult and personal favourite, but be warned: it's densely pigmented so a little really does go a long way.
Dab on to lips with fingertips and apply along the apples of your cheeks, blending outwards and upwards, using a blusher brush for the very softest effect.
When it comes to eyes, don't bother fiddling with false lashes or trying to do graphic eyeliner.
Instead, pair a wash of a light, slightly shimmery nude — grey, taupe, brown, pink, whatever works for you — across the whole lid with with a more intense or metallic partner shade in the crease.
Apply with a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and blend like mad to smoke things up and ensure there are no harsh edges.
To achieve the most fluttery lashes, curl them before applying mascara.
Voila — done!