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Davina McCall’s No-Fuss Five-Minute Make-up Routine

‘When I was in my forties, I started putting on a little bit of make-up every day. Even if it’s just doing my lashes in a rush before setting out, it makes me happy and feel good,’ explains Davina. She’s learned a lot of her tips and tricks from make-up artist Cheryl Phelps Gardiner who she first met on a shoot and who has worked with all the great photographers, like David Bailey, as well as countless supermodels. ‘Cheryl was the first person to tell me that unless you are going for a full-on dramatic smoky eye, don’t put eyeliner or anything on the lower lids: it is very ageing as it pulls your eyes down.' Here Cheryl shares her other top insider secrets. You'll wonder how you lived without them.

Essential Make-Up Tips from Cheryl Phelps-Gardiner

This is for all women who want their  make-up to be super-fast and super easy. As we get older, our skin loses the  bloom of youth, and that’s where I can  help you recreate that. So there’s no  Kim Kardashian tips to be found here.  I have made recommendations for  specific brands, but there are plenty  of other options available out there.


There are many choices of foundation:  liquid, cream, powder-based, water-based.

What I find the best and easiest to use  is Chanel Vitalumiere liquid foundation,  which has a nice light to medium coverage. It has a nice light-reflecting sheen and also comes in a good range of colours. It is a bit pricey, but you really only need a small amount, so it will last a long time.

If you have good skin you can skip  foundation – for instance, Davina has  great skin, and if she is doing her own  make-up for work she will often use  tinted moisturiser instead (Laura Mercier have some great shades).

No matter what type of skin you have,  less is more. Ignore dark spots or  blemishes at this stage, to keep the skin  looking fresh. You are aiming for a thin  veil over the face and down the neck.


It’s a good idea to choose a palette that  has two or more shades so you can mix  the exact colour of the skin surrounding  the blemish. Bobbi Brown, Laura  Mercier and Il Makiage do them – in fact,  most make-up brands have palettes.  I like the yellow tones over the pink  tones, and using a brush like a lipstick  brush gives you more control to mix and  apply rather than using your fingertips.

Under the eyes I use YSL Touche Éclat  and Secret Brightening powder by  Laura Mercier…this is a MUST in my kit,  it’s a very fine light-reflecting powder,  and I think it’s magic! Laura Mercier also do a brush called the Pony Tail, which  is perfect for applying a delicate, light  touch of powder to blemishes and  under the eyes.


So once you have the flawless foundation,  now we need to put back that bloom.

You want to emulate the colour of your  cheeks if you had just enjoyed a brisk  walk on a fresh winter morning, which  is pink with plum undertones.

I go straight to Boomstick Colour, as it’s  the perfect shade. It looks terrifyingly  dark burgundy in the packaging, but it’s  not, it gives a veil of colour akin to blushing  and magically fits every skin tone. It’s  also great on lips, with a wonderful  sheen. But whatever blusher you use,  make it a cream one.

Then you need to add an extra bit of  sheen to the top of the cheek bones, the  tip of the nose and a little to the centre  of the chin. I like Total Euphoria by NARS,  but again there are many brands that  do gloss sticks. You want a glow, but no  sparkle – you are looking for fresh, dewy  skin with a flush of colour… Oh, and don’t  forget lashings of mascara.

Extracted from Davina’s latest book Menopausing, published by HQ, priced £22.

Photo: Mark Hayman

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