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The beauty products my teenage daughter told me to use – which I now can’t live without

Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley
Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley

As a teenager, my makeup routine consisted of a pot of UltraGlow bronzer and a rollerball lip gloss from Miss Selfridge. As far as skincare went, a Christy cucumber facemask ( free with Just 17 magazine) and some moisturiser from my mum’s dressing table was about it.

How things have changed. My fifteen-year-old daughter knows FAR more about skincare and makeup than I ever did. And it started at a young age – I remember her asking for a Foundation Stippling Brush as a present for doing well in her 11 plus. And I’d overhear her and her friends discussing serums and sheet masks on sleepovers like we used to discuss ponies. So well-versed in contouring and highlighting, some of them used to film spoof makeup tutorial videos.

Fast forward a few years, my daughter’s makeup skills really are very well honed. She’ll appear at breakfast looking fresh and dewy in a “Is she wearing makeup or isn’t she?” sort of way – which is exactly how most of us want to look. She has nailed ‘no-makeup makeup’.

Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley
Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley

It’s all down to TikTok, Instagram and Youtube. They’ve created a skincare and makeup savvy generation who know their hyaluronic from their azelaic acid and that primers and highlighters are as important in the makeup bag as they are in the Art Department.

Most of their knowledge is gleaned from celebrities and makeup artists’ tutorials showing step-by-step “dewy skincare” or “date-night makeup” on Vogue’s “Beauty Secrets”, my daughter, Allegra, tells me, where the likes of Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Moss talk you through their makeup bags and their bathroom cabinets.

TikTok tutorials are of course a huge hit too. Singer Madison Beer’s videos boast more than 18.5 million views showing her putting on blusher and highlighter.

Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley
Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley

If someone had told me that I’d be glued to Hailey Bieber’s makeup artist sharing her contouring ‘hack’ on TikTok (at the time of writing the hashtag maryphilipsmakeup has 9.6 million views) I definitely would not have believed them.

Allegra’s Christmas wishlist included concealer, highlighter, eyebrow wax and some hard to track down blusher from Charlotte Tilbury (completely sold out) – proof that quite a bit of makeup was being worn. I was curious to learn exactly how all of this was being used for such a nonchalant finish – and whether as a 51 year old, any of these tips would work for me too.

So during a revision break for her mock GCSEs, I gave my daughter carte blanche to do my makeup using the most useful TikTok tips she thought would suit me. I drew the line at eyebrow bleaching and wearing red lipstick as eyeshadow fearing I’d look like Silas from the Da Vinci Code asking her for more of a J Lo look.

Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley
Lucia Ferrari with her daughter Allegra - Andrew Crowley

Allegra suggested we watched some TikTok videos together so I could see exactly how to recreate it myself. She warned me not to be put off by the overfilled lips and long nail extensions showcased by lots of the makeup artists but just to focus on their makeup skills.

Once acclimatised (also to the finger tattoos), I was gripped and found myself forwarding a contouring tutorial to a girlfriend with the words, “you have to try this”.

I also learnt that “no-makeup makeup” requires a LOT of makeup. A week on, I’ve been practising every morning and I honestly think I’ve never looked better. My teenage son even complimented me the other morning. The downside is I have to get up half an hour earlier to apply it all.


The six makeup tips I learnt from my teen

Applying Contour and Concealer before your Foundation

This is the tip shared by makeup artist Mary Philips (she does Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek). Applying a contouring product  before foundation feels bizarre but makes it look more natural apparently.

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick, (£44, cultbeauty.com) is foolproof as it isn’t too dark and blends brilliantly. You start with a line of contour drawn under the cheekbone to the top of the ear; then you take the contour from the brow bone to the hairline and follow it around the hairline. Finally you draw a line of contour under the jawline  to make the jaw look more defined. Then blend everything with a brush.

Next comes under eye concealer which I never wear because it always looks powdery.  I love makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s tip which is to apply a moisturising eye cream under the eye, before applying the concealer. It works!

By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Serum (£43, spacenk.com) and Jones Road concealer pencils (£24, libertylondon.com) work brilliantly together and don’t look at all cakey. Ilia’s True Skin Serum Concealer (£22, net-a-porter.com) is also good.

Beauty products
Beauty products

Clockwise from top: Jones Road concealer pencil; Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid in Hope; Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick

Do not put foundation all over your face

This is the hardest one for me to do as I’m used to sloshing tinted moisturiser all over but a video of makeup artist Gucci Westman applying foundation just to the areas you need looks beautiful – just around the nose, chin or to cover any pigmentation or redness.

‘Choose a product that has a dewy, not matt finish; it looks fresher and you look younger,’ says Westman. Westman Atelier Vital Skincare Complexion Drops (£62, selfridges.com) are beautiful. My skin has never looked better.

Always use blusher

I never bother with blusher but a video of singer Madison Beer using a dot of blusher high on the cheek looks so pretty I’m keen to try. Use a creamy blusher (never powder)  and apply it higher on the face than you imagine (almost on top of the cheekbone). Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid in Hope, (£22, spacenk.com) is my new go-to.

Choose a highlighter which blends with your skin tone

‘Find a shade that looks like the light is coming from within the skin not like it’s sitting on top of the skin’ says beauty Influencer Megan Lavallie. Her three spot highlighter trick is to apply a dab on cheekbones, one in the inner corner of the eye and a dab the eyebrow arch to look more awake. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, (£30, johnlewis.com) works well.

Beauty products
Beauty products

Clockwise from top: Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal liner; Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand; Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lip colour

Apply eyeliner to the outer corner of the eye only

Kaia Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s daughter’s says ‘only using eyeliner on the outer corner of the eye as this opens up the eye and is more flattering”.

Follow with a natural looking mascara. A lengthening mascara is more flattering than a volume building one which can make the eyes look smaller. Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal liner, (£26, victoriabeckham.com) and Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, (£6.99, lookfantastic.com) work well.

Never wear matt lipstick

Hayley Bieber says, ‘If you want your lips to look fuller, always choose a gloss finish’. Matt lipstick doesn’t suit anyone apparently and will make your lips dryer.

If your favourite lipstick has a satin finish, mix it with some clear lip gloss to make lips look more plump. I love Victoria Beckham Posh Gloss (not at all sticky) (£28, victoriabeckhambeauty) over Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in Intemporelle (£35, johnlewis.com).


What tips have you picked up from younger generations? Any make-up tips you can't live without? Join the conversation in the comments section below


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