If you’d have asked me six months ago whether I’d like to see a Makeup Doctor, I’d have replied with a bemused, yet polite “no thank you”. I was happy with my makeup routine. Other than wanting to be a little more adventurous with my eye makeup, there was nothing more I wanted to know. That was until I met Makeup Doctor, Rita Palmer.

What Lizzy Loves makeup routine blusher

The Makeup Doctor

Rita is a makeup coach who I met through my work at Aspire Magazine. I had the pleasure of editing a guest column she’d written and I was impressed with her refreshingly honest, no nonsense approach to makeup and the cosmetics industry. Rita offers coaching and advice and invited me to go for a course of two sessions. The first was about face makeup, the second about eyes and lips. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I learned in the first session. The post about eyes and lips will follow in around two-weeks’ time.

Session One: Makeup Routine For The Face

For the first session, Rita asked me to wear my usual everyday makeup and to take my products along. My daily face makeup routine is very simple: moisturiser, foundation, powder, blush. I apply moisturiser and foundation with my fingers, compact powder with a large brush and blush with a smaller brush.

Like all good practitioners, the Makeup Doctor asked questions which enabled her to suggest a few simple changes that would add very little time to my makeup routine, but that would make a noticeable difference

1. Use an Oil-Free Moisturiser

I don’t have a habitual daily moisturiser because I get sent a lot to try and I use them in turn. Many moisturisers formulated for the over 40 woman are waxy or oily to counteract the dryness associated with ageing skin. This can make it difficult for makeup to stay put, so Makeup Doctor advised using an oil-free formulation and reserving the others for night time. She recommended the Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion. This has the added benefits of SPF 15 and a lot of shelf appeal. It has a pump action dispenser which reduces the chances of getting too much out, which surely most make it more hygienic too.

what lizzy loves makeup routine over 40 oil free moisturiser

I expected an oil-free formulation would make my skin feel dry and tight, especially because my skin errs on the side of dryness. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as Rita applied it, my skin felt comfortable and just as moisturised as it would be with a more oily formulation. I bought it straight after our session in mid-July and have used it daily since then and can confirm it has made a noticeable difference to the longevity of my makeup and there is noticeably less shine later in the day.

2. Use a Primer

Now I know we’re meant to use primer and I’d tried several in the past, but I found that they made my skin feel tight and uncomfortable. To me, it felt like it was just another over-hyped product for the sake of it. I was very dubious when Rita suggested using one and almost reluctant to try. Well, what a revelation! Rita used the Nyx Pore Filler and I liked it so much, I bought one for myself immediately after the session (£11 from Boots).

Use a pea-sized amount. Start down the nose and work out towards the cheeks, jaw, lip, chin and forehead. A primer acts like a base coat and provides a smoother base on which to then put the concealer and foundation. It gives a beautiful subtle blur too. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made. I’m a convert.

I was sent the Miracle base Primer from Proto-col recently which I have tried as well. It’s different to the NYX, more like a thick gel than the Nyx one which is drier. It’s currently on special offer for £10, usually £14. Both are excellent.


3. Use A Lighter Than Expected Shade Of Concealer

Although I had a concealer, I rarely used it because it didn’t seem to make much difference. Not only that, it settled into the lines around my eyes. The Makeup Doctor advises choosing a concealer one shade lighter than the foundation, (which ideally, should match the skin exactly).


Mine is the Clarins instant concealer. She said that it’s a little too dark (it’s almost identical in colour to my foundation), but it’s good enough to use. What I love about Rita is her honesty. She doesn’t suggest replacing anything that isn’t ideal. Instead, she advises what to get once the existing product has been used up.  She used Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in shade NW15 on me which disguised my under-eye shadows and which I’ll buy next time.

To apply concealer, place three small dots under the bottom lashline with a concealer brush or with the middle finger. Pat gently out towards the temple and then use the reminder on any red areas. Again, she was honest and said that it is inevitable that concealer will settle into lines and wrinkles. When it does, just pat it gently.

4. Use a Stipple Brush To Apply Foundation

I have always applied my foundation with my fingers because it seemed to be the quickest method. Not only that, it allowed me to control how much I applied. Makeup Doctor Rita showed me how to apply the base with a stipple brush and again, I honestly can’t believe what a difference it makes. It’s quicker than using my fingers and gives a much more even finish.

Start by putting foundation on the back of the hand. Distribute it evenly on the stipple brush. Start down the centre of the nose and move with long, even strokes down the cheeks to the ear, lip and chin. Stipple under the eyes. To do the forehead, start at the bridge of the nose and sweep up and out in short strokes across the forehead (like you’re drawing a palm tree!)

The foundation I currently use is the Lancome Teint Miracle in shade 010, the correct shade for my very fair skin. I have just been sent the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear to try so I shall report back on that if I prefer it. It provides greater coverage and is longer-wearing than my current one, so we shall see. Both have SPF 15, something I always look for. I’ve used Lancome foundation for as long as I can remember.


5. Don’t Use Powder


Yes, really. There is no need for powder if you follow rules number one and number two. Since using the oil-free moisturiser and a primer, I haven’t needed to use powder to “set” my makeup.

6. Contour

I’m no stranger to contouring because Poppy, my sixteen year old is a whizz at it on herself. I’d never tried it on myself though and I couldn’t wait to find out how to do it because it seems to make such a big difference. To contour, use a bronzer and apply with a fantail brush. Make three “tickly” strokes from the tragus bone of the ear, half way towards the corner of the mouth. Blend into the hairline and jaw. The Boomerang video below shows how.

I use Master Sculpt by Maybelline in light medium. It has a highlighter with it too, which we’ll look at in step 8.


7. Use An Angled Blusher Brush

This is another instance where using a brush, or on this case, the correct brush has made an enormous difference. I used to use quite a full, fluffy brush to apply blush to the apples of my cheeks while I smiled. The Makeup Doctor showed me how to use an angled brush for a more accurate application.

To apply correctly, smile and place the pointed part of the brush on to the low apple of the cheek, then sweep up into the hollow. This alone had the effect of lifting my entire face and making me look younger. Hurray!

What Lizzy Loves makeup routine blusher

Proto-col sent a selection of mineral shimmers for me to try and they’re all gorgeous. So pretty. I’m currently using the single-coloured one which is Baked Mineral Shimmer in Apricot Swirl. It blends beautifully and gives a natural but noticeable flush of colour.

what lizzy loves make up techniques over 40 blusher

what lizzy loves makeup over 40

what lizzy loves mineral shimmers blushers

Mineral Shimmers, available from Proto-col

8. Highlight

The final touch is to highlight. Ideally, the colour of the highlighter should tone in with the natural skintone. In my case, Rita advised me to use a warm champagne shade rather than a cool cream or white and recommended Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle for when the one above has run out.

Use a highlighting brush and start on top of the cheekbone, beneath the outer corner of the eye. Sweep upwards and outwards along the cheekbone into the temple. Next, go from the browbone and sweep down to the same point of the temple. It’s like making a v shape, the point of which is at the temple and which goes up towards the brow and down towards the top of the cheek.

Brilliant Brushes

Below are the makeup products I’ve mentioned alongside the appropriate brushes. Rita has drawn upon her years of experience as a makeup coach and makeup artist and has designed a set of brushes. She is currently building a brand new website which will sell Makeup Must Haves including these brushes, so although they aren’t yet available online, they are available directly from Rita. (Please email her at mail@makeupdr.co.uk and say I sent you. The set costs £65, a very special rate). I was so impressed with them at my session, that I bought a set for myself. This isn’t a sponsored post, although my sessions with the Makeup Doctor were complimentary, I just really believe in the brushes and can vouch for their quality and for the difference they have made to my own makeup routine. The set includes brushes for eyes, lips and brows too so I’ll cover those in the second part of this series.

what lizzy loves makeup routine over 40 brushes

what lizzy loves makeup routine over 40 brushes

from top to bottom: concealer, foundation, contour, blush, highlight.

Before And After My New Makeup Routine


As I said at the beginning, I was asked to go to my appointment with the Makeup Doctor wearing my usual makeup. This is the photograph on the left. On the right is the result after doing my face makeup under Rita’s supervision and guidance. You can see that my face looks narrower. My cheeks look higher and tauter. In general, I look fresher and less tired and a more enhanced version of myself.

Just what the doctor ordered!

Visit Makeup Doctor online for details of Rita’s coaching packages and services. And stay tuned for the second installment featuring brows, eyes and lips.

The transition from summer to autumn is one I look forward to. I always have done. Much of this is because my birthday is in early October, so from then until the new year, it’s party season. Another reason is because it feels like a fresh start. A grown-up version of going back to school with a pristine uniform and a pencil case full of coloured pens. (I loved school).

This autumn feels even more like a new start. Since making the decision to leave my day job, I’ll need to devote every working, (rather than every waking), hour to my blog, my freelance writing and my online jewellery business, (which has beenwoefully neglected of late), to maintain my income.

Along with this new focus comes a desire to devote a little more time to my wellbeing.  Here are a few products, a cornucopia of loveliness. that are already making a difference.

Autumn Beauty

The golden tan I returned with after my summer holiday has all but faded. In an effort to smooth and condition my skin, I’ve been using *Instant Body Bliss, Instant Manicure and Instant Pedicure, (£19.95 each from Proto-Col). Each is a blend of Dead Sea salt and essential oils. Not only do they work brilliantly at exfoliating and moisturising, they have awesome shelf-appeal too. I’ll be honest, it’s slightly messy when getting the product out of the jar, but all three are excellent. They leave my hands, feet and body beautifully scented and noticeably smoother. I highly recommend them.


Collagen is hugely important in the function and appearance of the skin and I believe in feeding the skin from the inside. I’ve been taking a collagen supplement for a month now, (*hydrolised collagen high strength 1000mg £7.99 for 60 tablets, Evolution Slimming). It’s difficult to measure the difference and I think it will be more noticeable after a longer period, but I’m certain it must have had a positive effect.

I’ve also been using some new skincare products for a few weeks: *Evocrème, Pro-Collagen Anti-Wrinkle Cream, £29.99 and *Vitamin C Serum, £31.99, (both from Evolution Slimming). The serum is a clear light gel in a dropper bottle so it’s easy to dispense. It contains renowned anti-ageing ingredients hyaluronic acid, retinol plus vitamins A and C. The Evocrème cream feels gentle on the skin and has a smooth cream consistency.  Both products are lovely to use and they sink in quickly, so are suitable for both day and night. It’s difficult to measure results after only a few weeks, but without doubt, my skin feels very soft and plump with none of the tightness or discomfort that some serums impart.


Autumn wellbeing

I have written previously about my desire and tips for a better night’s sleep. The lovely people at Tisserand sent a gorgeous selection of aromatherapy goodies which I’ve incorporated into my daily routine. Every product smells divine and does what it should do. The Energy Mist, (lime and orange leaf), is brilliant. I quite often give a quick spritz mid-afternoon if I’m having an energy slump. It works wonders! My favourite though is the Sweet Dreams body oil, (lavender, sandalwood and jasmine). It’s perfect to use as a massage oil, and even more so when there’s a willing volunteer to rub it in 😉


I’ve always loved scented candles and usually choose a fragrance to relax and soothe. However, I have been burning this *Lime and Ginger Scented Candle, (£11.99 Daisy Blue) throughout the day while I work and it’s fabulous. It has a delicate, uplifting, energising scent and it makes my desk a very pleasant place to be.

The “back to school” excitement I mentioned earlier has never left me. This *embossed Leuchtturm pink leather notebook and amazing Caran D’Ache *pink pen (It’s a ballpoint pen that doesn’t blot and is so smooth to use), makes planning my days feel rather more special.


Ian’s coming this evening, so we’re going out for dinner. I’ve got a new outfit which I can’t wait to wear so I’ll get it photographed and post it here next week (I’ll try to put something on Instagram stories before then though). Most of Saturday and some of Sunday will be taken up with football. On Monday evening I’m staying with Lisa, The Sequinist at her London home, because on Tuesday, I’m travelling on to Axminster. I’ve been invited to River Cottage by the team at Muck Boots for a cookery day and a hotel stay.

To say I’m excited about the next few days is the understatement of the season!

Later this week I’ll be linking this post to I Will Wear What I Like,  Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share. Thank you for reading and for supporting the brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

Have a lovely weekend

As an optometrist, I get asked for clinical and non-clinical advice about eyes and all things ocular. One of the most common non-clinical requests is for makeup tips for spectacle wearers. I am by no means an expert on makeup techniques, but these five simple tips are a good start.

The trend for statement eyewear is set to stay and the days of hiding behind spectacles are long gone. Bold glasses draw attention to the wearer’s face, so makeup must be flawless. Good lighting and a magnifying mirror are essential for those who find it difficult to see their eyes without their specs.

Banish Shadows

Frames and lenses can cast shadows underneath the eyes, so apply concealer to the inner corners of the eyes and any place else the glasses cast a shadow. A lightweight liquid concealer is less likely to crease or look cakey. As with all make-up, apply with a light hand because it’s easier to add more than to remove it and start again. Choose a shade a little lighter than the foundation and if necessary, use a peachy pink corrector to counter the greenish/purplish tone of under eye shadows.


Lengthen Lashes

Curl the top lashes with an eyelash curler to widen the eyes and to keep the eyelashes from touching the lenses. Avoid thickening mascaras because they contain fibres that can deposit on the back surface of the spectacle lenses. Consider a waterproof or long-lasting formula with a smaller
brush to reduce clumping.


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Draw A Line

Adjust your eyeliner thickness to suit the frames. A thicker frame needs a thicker line to the upper lashline to make the eyes stand out and a finer frame needs a finer line. Light-coloured eye shadow with a luminescent finish will make the eyes look larger, while a darker matte finish will have the opposite effect. This should be considered alongside the magnifying or minifying effect of a significant prescription. (The lenses in glasses to correct long-sightedness will magnify the eyes. The lenses in glasses to correct short-sightedness will minify the eyes and consequently makes them look smaller).


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Define The Eyebrows

Thanks to model of the decade, Cara Delevingne, dark, thick eyebrows have been de rigeur for some years. This look works well with a dark, thick frame but can overpower a delicate style. Neat, well-defined and in proportion with the frame is the aim of the eyebrow game. I think this is perhaps the most useful of all of the makeup tips.


Make A Face

Once you have applied your eye makeup, put your spectacles on and look at the face as a whole. Ensure the rest of the maquillage balances the eyes. Define the cheekbones with blusher or bronzer and choose lip colour carefully. The notion of having only a strong eye or a strong lip is outdated. Go as bold as you dare.


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I will write a post containing makeup tips for contact lens wearers, in due course. In the meantime, take a look at my blog post featuring the latest trnd in spectacle lenses, the Style Colours coloured photochromic lenses by Transitions.  I will link to Brilliant Blog Posts and The Saturday Share.