In my next slightly self-indulgent instalment to satiate my Strictly Come Dancing infatuation, I'm focusing on long-lasting make-up that'll stand the test of time on your wedding day; through ceremony tears, a thousand guest kisses, all-day smile cramps, a sweaty dancefloor and elimination panic. Okay maybe not that last one.
This weekend, I watched the girls like a hawk. Unphased by Jade's killer legs, Ola's gorgeousness and Natalie's hideous hip thrusts, my eyes were glued to their maquillaged faces. Never once did I see a smudged lash, a speck of sparkle out of place nor a foundation smear from a glistening forehead. Even during the loser's finale dance all the girls looked polished and perky, and that's after 90 minutes' cardio under seriously hot spotlights. How do they do it? Here are the secret weapons to keep your face from sliding off the dancefloor:
- The right moisturiser: you can't have a greasy canvas before painting, so pick something lightweight, such as Eucerin Hydro-Balance Refreshing Hydrating Cream (£12.09 at www.boots.com) or Darphin Hydraskin Light Moisturising Cream Gel (from £25 at www.lookfantastic.com).
- A face primer: this acts like a fine film between your skin and make-up, preventing the make-up from melting straight into your skin and dissolving too soon. Great ones include Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer (£26.43 at www.spacenk.co.uk) and Daniel Sandler Retexturising Face Primer (£20 at www.beautique.com)
- A lightweight foundation: you don't have to wear a thick pan-stick mask to ensure even-coloured skin all day. Long-lasting, superfine formulas like Clinique Superfit Makeup (£19.50 at www.clinique.co.uk) and Estée Lauder DoubleWear Light (£24 at www.esteelauder.co.uk) are sweat-proof and sheer, so they won't crease or smear after hours of smiling and dancing. If you prefer using a powder compact, Crème de La Mer's new The Powder Foundation SPF15 (£65 at www.cremedelamer.co.uk) - as featured in the current issue of Brides - is pure genius.
- An eye primer: this is the most innovative, must-have product to hit shelves in recent years. The fine silicone cream creates an invisible layer over the eyelid and anchors eyeshadow for literally hours on end. I used Laura Mercier Eye Basics (£18 at www.liberty.co.uk) on my wedding day, and since then I've found Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£11 at www.hqhair.com) to be equally brilliant.
- A no-budge mascara: I've tried them all, honestly, and the ones that truly stand the heat/tears/wipes are Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara (£17 at www.bobbibrown.co.uk) and Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara (£14.50 at www.clinique.co.uk). Something I noticed this morning; if your mascara goes a bit stiff and clumpy, blast it with a hairdryer for 30 seconds to soften it up and it'll glide on silky smooth.
- Lip pencil: forget drawing a line around your mouth. Instead, fill the lips with a pencil in the same shade as your lipstick. The porous texture absorbs the lipstick so the colour stays true and bright for longer. Even if you don't wear lipstick and only want a little tinted gloss, pick a flesh-toned pencil and use it as a base.
- Translucent powder: this works to 'set' the make-up, not cover it with a new colour, but do pick one with a slight yellow tone to mute down any redness and blur our blemishes. Try Bobbi Brown Face Powder (£22 at www.bobbibrown.co.uk) and Ruby & Millie Loose Powder (£13 at www.boots.com).
- Oil blotters: those with grease-prone skin know that make-up begins to slide and crease very quickly and obviously, especially round the nose and forehead. Before this starts to happen, give yourself a gentle blot once every with Paul & Joe Blotting Paper (£10 at www.hqhair.com) or Palladio Rice Papers (£4.99 at www.screenglam.com).
Try your look as many times as possible - ideally on a night out to see how much of each product you need and how long it lasts. My challenge to you this week? Go dancing to really put your make-up to the test!