When Peaches Geldof stepped out wearing bright purple lipstick the critics swiftly pounced, branding her a slave to fashion. True, she was sporting a niche runway look, but the 20-year-old was also of-the-moment in another way - she was following the ‘lipstick effect’ theory. Coined during the Great Depression in the early 30s when cosmetic sales went through the roof, the lipstick effect is the idea that, during a recession, women substitute pricey splurges like designer handbags for feel-good inexpensive buys that instantly update their look. While no doubt for Peaches, the want-for-nothing daughter of UK rock royalty, this move had more to do with copying the catwalk than saving some cents, other women around the world are currently brightening up their beauty repertoires to defy the credit crunch gloom.
“When things are tight, people feel they need some glamour to take their mind off real life,” says Sex and the City stylist, Patricia Field. And unlike splashing out on a Hermes handbag or Gucci dress, low-cost cosmetics can give you a cheap and cheerful transformation - as well as change from a $20 note. So turn to beauty if you’re looking to lift that credit crunch black cloud - no guilt trips or in-the-red bank statements necessary. Here’s how to do it:
There's only one decision to make when you're embracing a make-up colour overhaul - eyes or lips? Your look can be dramatically transformed with one wonder product but it has to be either a bright slick of lipstick or dramatic sweep of eye shadow.
“By adding a splash of colour on either your eyes or lips, you can quickly transform a tired looking face into a fresh new look,” advises Danielle Novak, make-up artist for Barry M. “If you're focusing on eyes, opt for brighter tones instead of darker matte ones and choose just one colour, sweeping it all over the lid. For a more subtle look switch to a bold eyeliner in an on-trend shade like sky blue or metallic purple.”
Changing your lip hue can also revamp your look in less than a minute, without having to fall victim to wacky catwalk colours. “When wearing neutral tones to the eyes, glamorise your pout with a bold shade like fuchsia or pillar box red so that your make-up is instantly transformed from a natural Gwyneth Paltrow to sex siren Dita Von Teese,” says Danielle.
• Try: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in the Glow, $21.95; M.A.C Cremesheen Lipstick, $35.00 - worn by itself or added to a red or pink lippie for deeper colour; or Bobbi Brown Metallic Lip Color, $44.00, in Vintage Rose.
When it comes to boosting your skin, techniques require a little more subtlety - coloured glitter may pass at a fancy dress, but will leave you looking a bit out of place on the beach! During the summer months it's all about giving your body a radiant, healthy glow. Chase Aston, international make-up artist for The Body Shop, suggests using a light shimmer lotion or illuminating cream to add sheer luminosity to your décolletage, or to revive a tired and dull complexion. “Mix it in with your regular moisturiser to add an everyday hint of radiant tint,” he suggests.
• Try: The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer, $25.95.
Get your hands and feet in on the action with a splash of bright summer polish. Neon pinks, canary yellows, lime greens or tropical corals will look fun and flirty and bring out your faux glow.
• Try: OPI Brighter By The Dozen Nail Polish in Hey! Get in Lime!, $19.95.
Peaches Geldof isn't the first celebrity to play around with colour. Singer Lady Gaga put purple on the beauty map earlier this year by brightening her platinum locks with playful lilac hair extensions – and you can do it too. They’re an instant way to cheer up your strands without having to commit to a new colour or get your hands dirty doing it.
“You can achieve a punky look without dyeing your own hair and they can be put in and out effortlessly for a night on the town," says Greig Hodnett, hair extension technician at Richmond Hair Co. “Blonde looks amazing with violet, brunettes with pink or red, and black hair with flashes of electric blue.”
For an instant tress pick-me-up minus any colour change, spritz on some shine spray for a glimmering post-blow-dry gloss.
• Try: ghd reflection spray, $35.00; or Goldwell Dualsenses Colour Leave-In Gloss Spray, $19.95.