The luminous Liz Taylor Photo: Getty Images
The iconic Elizabeth Taylor (may God rest her luminous soul) was once asked which beauty essentials she'd need on a desert island. She famously nominated tweezers and Vaseline. Being a person of dark, unruly brows, I understand it. Being a person of freckled skin, I have to wonder what she'd do about the sun exposure. But who am I to blaspheme? Her freckles made her the legend she was. Or maybe that was the husbands.
Well, if someone asked me what I'd take, I'd have to nominate an illuminiser because it doesn't matter if your skin is uneven or blotchy or sunburnt or dry from the ferocious island winds, an illuminiser is like a moisturiser on steroids. While it soothes your skin, the small particles of shimmer that it contains reflect light, brighten up your complexion and thus provide the illusion that you've returned from a desert island on which a resort spa was conveniently located just five minutes from your hotel room.
Quick aside: I'm using the term "illuminiser" freely but cosmetic companies have their own pet names for them, depending on what level of glamour they wish to convey. Nars calls them iIlluminators and Becca (my personal favourite) calls them skin perfectors, and I wish them well because that is as close to the truth as anything I've ever heard.
Be mindful not to overdose or you can look as if you have an oily-skin problem. And if you go too hard on one area - your cheeks or décolletage, for example - you can look as if you've just star-jumped offstage at a dance eisteddford. (The kind where a remix of Lady Marmalade forms part of the third act and you need glitter hairspray to complement your shimmer in order to have any sort of chance of walking away with the trophy.)
The trick with any illuminiser is to apply it sparingly. Once you've dusted on your blush, dab a little on your cheekbones. Of course, you can go au naturale and wear a tinted one all over your face as you would foundation. People will wonder how you look so good without make-up and you can tell them, "Oh, don't you know? This is a new dawn! All the fashion designers are doing it! You simply have to stop enslaving yourself to the beauty industry!" And then you can smile benignly and turn on your $2000 Prada heels.
Myself, I like to dab it on the apples of my cheeks and on my brow bones and tap just a whisker on my forehead. I know, it's a dangerous game, as that's where oil and sweat show up first, but if I keep my wits about me I can manufacture a totally organic glow. The kind that Jennifer Lopez strives for but Elizabeth Taylor seemed to have naturally. But then again, that might've just been excess Vaseline.
The scent du jour
Gucci Guilty for Men
The advertisement for this scent stars actors Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans as lovers in some sort of futuristic noir film where almost everything is black and white save for Ms Wood's hair, which is the colour of fire. Which leaves me to guess that they're feeling guilty about something sexily adulterous. I mean, when the press release mentions the "thrill of the forbidden", I don't think it's referring to scoffing the last slice of pizza from the fridge, or leaving wet towels on the floor. But now I feel guilty because this scent, with its powerful mix of pink pepper, patchouli and amber, arrived in stores last Saturday and I'm writing about it a week late. Sorry, everyone. From $89 for 30ml.