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Anna Gardner, Blogger, Vivianna Does Makeup

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'My name is Anna Gardner [@viviannamakeup] and though I currently live in London, I was born and bred in the seaside town of Brighton and am therefore a lover of the sea, pebbly beaches, and a round of fish & chips. I’m the blogger behind Vivianna Does Makeup—my little corner of the internet that I’ve been typing and sharing away on now for almost five years.

In the beginning, the blog was my procrastination tool during the latter stages of my Psychology degree, but after graduating, it became a way to demonstrate my love for the beauty industry as I managed jobs in PR and editorial. After three years, I was able to go it alone and now spend my days blogging, filming, immersed in makeup, and pinching myself. Oh, and running. I recently got peer-pressured into signing up for a half marathon, so now spend a lot of time searching ‘Post Run Stretches’ on YouTube, online shopping for new workout gear, and rubbing Neal’s Yard Arnica Cream into my calves.

When it comes to my beauty approach I’m a fan of the 'less is more, but with a bold lip' aesthetic, though that doesn’t mean I keep an edited selection of products to achieve it. Oh no! When it comes to dewy-finish foundations I’m practically a collector.

But you’ve got to begin with skincare. If I’m ever too lazy to take my makeup off in the evening I am always, always punished the next day with a big juicy sucker of a spot in some hard-to-disguise area. I cleanse with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel…I think I’m now on my fourth bottle. Then I spritz a hydrating toner all-over and pop some of the Ren Clarifying Toner on any blemishes, which dries them up by the evening. When it comes to eye creams, I’m a floozy and could roll you off a list of at least 10 that I’ve used and loved, but right now I’m on the final dregs of the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye. I use their Advanced Night Repair Serum, too—morning and night. I ignore the name on that one and slap it on twice a day because my skin just drinks it up. Then I’m a big fan of oils, so for the morning I do a pump of the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial all over. In the evening, I do two or three drops of the MV Skincare Rose Plus Booster, which is the most ridiculously expensive step in my routine, but I’ll happily eat toast for the rest of the month when I buy it because it’s that good. When I visited New York over the New Year, I went a bit wild in Sephora and picked up the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and I’m in love. It’s an AHA-based gel that smells good enough to eat and leaves your complexion feeling brand new once its removed.

Bodycare isn’t a category that gets me particularly excited. I tend to secretly use whatever my boyfriend, Mark, is using in the shower and his washbag. Though there is one exception—the Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts. They take the relaxing level of your bath up a notch and I always have a good night’s sleep after using them, they’re magic. Mark likes them too and always badgers me to repurchase. The only other thing I keep in the shower is my Bumble & bumble Sunday Shampoo which I again ignore the label of and use every other day. Since I lopped a load off the length of my hair I no longer use conditioner and just use a bit of the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray in it after blowdrying. It helps give a bit of second-day grit to freshly washed hair.

‘My Favorite Makeup Items’ should have been my dissertation title...day to day, I reach for the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation in B20, which evens things out without looking like you’ve got anything on your face. If I’m filming and I need something with a bit more coverage, I like the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4. For concealer, I like one that’s going to do the job but a texture you can blend in with your fingers to keep it easy. Right now, the Maybelline The Eraser Concealer in Light is fitting that bill. I don’t tend to powder unless I’m on camera as sheen just translates to sweat under lighting, so I move straight onto bronzer and use the Soap & Glory Solarpowder. I’ve had a lifelong battle with my natural, werewolf-like monobrow that I inherited from my dad, but after years of tweezer battles and regrowth I’ve got them to a manageable size thanks to threading. I keep them in check with the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown.

On my lids I like to keep it minimal so stick to a wash of something taupe-y like Burberry’s Sheer Eyeshadow in Pale Barley. I’m horrendous at applying eyeshadow. Like really bad. When I first attempted a smoky eye, I did so just using the sponge applicators that were nestled inside the compact and failed horribly. I’ve since discovered the MAC 217 Blending Brush, which is an eyeshadow noob’s dream. It applies a light wash of color to the lid in one stroke and the shape cuddles into the crease nicely making that windscreen wiper motion you see makeup artists do, easy.

I only ever use waterproof mascaras. I think it has something to do with the low water content and high wax content but they just hold a curl far superior to their non-smudgeproof sisters. If it ain’t waterproof, I’m not interested. My favorite is Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara [ed note: unavailable in the US] because it curls my naturally downwards-pointed lashes.

Lip color is where I like to mix things up a little as I’m a big fan of red. There’s just something about a good rouge that can look so dramatic, yet so simple. But only if it’s matte—mattes, though often drying, can hold up through most activities and require minimal touch-ups, which I can never be bothered to do, win, win. The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are my most used and if I had to pick a top three then Cruella, Dragon Girl, and Red Square would make the cut. MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo is up there, too. Recently, I purchased the Kat Von D Everlasting Lipstick in A-Go-Go, which may just be the most orange red I own but one of the most beautiful. A spritz of Stella McCartney’s Stella Eau De Parfum, toast in hand and I’m ready for the day.”

—as told to ITG

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