I initially decided to do this ‘make-up that doesn’t melt in the heat’ review in anticipation of our forthcoming holiday but with the sun continuing to blaze down on us in the UK, I’ve had perfect testing conditions at home. You see last year when we went away, it was all a bit of a frantic rush to pack. I was annoyed with myself for forgetting a few important things and subtle make-up that would withstand the heat was one of them. So this year I’ve been noting down everything that beauty editors have been recommending in magazines and newspapers and when House of Fraser asked me if there was anything I’d like to trial for a post, I knew what I wanted to do.

So this isn’t a sponsored post but House of Fraser did give me the opportunity to order lots of samples to test so that I could see what really works. I now have a really good, edited make-up bag to take away with me and these are the items that are seeing me through at home at the moment too. And I realised today that House of Fraser have 10% off beauty until Sunday (29th July).

Make-up that doesn’t melt in the heat


When you’re lathered in SPF and the temperatures ramp up, it’s easy to look more shiny than glowy so I’ve been starting with a mattifying base which seems to combat it well. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is primarily designed to target open pores, I don’t have those either, it just works well as a base particularly on the t-zone to help stop shine breaking through. I’ve been using the mini travel size because with my dry skin, shine isn’t a problem that I usually have, it just comes with the hot weather and the extra SPF.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Matte rescue mini


My usual favourite foundation is Diorskin Star and I wear it all year round but in the heat, it doesn’t stay well on my skin. I saw five different beauty editors recommend this Chanel Sheer Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturiser in their magazine pages for summer so I really wanted to see what the fuss was about. It delivers the healthy glow that it promises and it certainly is sheer, just adding a wash of colour to your face that evens out the skintone. It makes you look as though you’ve had a healthy weekend away with lots of exercise and good sleep. Plus it comes in a small plastic bottle that is great for travelling. However if you use foundation to cover age spots or scarring, this won’t be enough for you. I ordered the medium and it was fine, I think most of the colours will blend easily into your complexion because it’s so sheer.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Tinted Moisturiser


I don’t usually wear make-up during the day on holiday but now that I tend to post on Instagram while I’m away, I need to make more of an effort. Plus I’m realising that I’m not quite as ‘fresh faced’ without make-up as I used to be. So, I wanted a light eyeshadow that wouldn’t look overdone on the beach.

I tried two and there wasn’t much difference between them. They are both an absolute pleasure to use, just slick them across your eyelids and you’re done. They both stayed well all day, just giving a subtle glow of colour and they survived gym workouts too.

Bobbi Brown Long-wear cream eyeshadow stick

This one is my favourite but probably because I really love the colour. At first I wasn’t sure about ‘golden pink’ but Stella magazine raved about it in their beach beauty post. Last weekend I noticed that it’s the colour the make-up artist has used in Mamma Mia 2 too (great film – never mind the reviews just go and see it). It just gives your eyelids a natural looking sunkissed shimmer.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

 Bobbi Brown Long-wear cream eyeshadow stick

Dior Cooling Stick

This is the other eye shadow that I liked. If your eyes are suffering in the heat, this really is cooling to apply, it feels incredibly soothing. I have the bronze shade and I’ll use it for evenings when we’re away but there is a gold and a pink too. It’s in the sale at the moment so it’s a brilliant buy – you’ll use it all year round because it feels so lovely to apply.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Dior Cooling Stick


I wanted to be able to line the top of my lashes for a little more definition so I found this waterproof eyeliner from Chanel. I opted for espresso rather than the black I usually use. I’m a bit lukewarm about. It doesn’t apply as a clean line so it requires a certain amount of blending but it is waterproof so it stays well in the heat.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof

Waterproof Mascara

I try so many mascaras but always come back to Clinique’s High Impact mascara. I find that it adds just enough length and depth to my lashes to give me an ‘I woke up like this’ unmade-up sort of look. This time I’ve gone for the waterproof version and I’ve switched from black to a softer brown black for even more natural appeal.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara


It may seem counterintuitive to go for blusher when the weather’s hot and during the day I’m finding I often don’t need to apply it. Now that I have a bit of a natural tan though, my face looks fresher if it has a little definition so I’m rolling this on to the apples of my cheeks. These aren’t new but they were recommended by both Red and Good Housekeeping as summer essentials. Although they’re called beach sticks they aren’t designed specifically for the beach so they’re not waterproof however they do accentuate a summer glow and continue to do so all year round. The thing I really love about them is their texture. They contain ceramidone which Charlotte Tilbury rather unpoetically describes as being like polyfilla and they certainly do help to fill in the crinkly smile lines cheeks and give your cheeks a plump, youthful glow. The colour that I chose is Las Salinas – a rosy glow in a stick!

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Beach sticks

Barely There Lipstick

India Knight has dedicated a column to this Lip Tattoo not once but twice in The Times. This is how she describes them:

“Dior Addict Lip Tattoos are my favourite lipsticks for when I don’t want to march around going: ‘Hey, everybody, look at my lips.’ They’re for when I want to feel like I’m not wearing lipstick, but look like I have magically charming lips. You know how sometimes if you sleep in eyeliner you get that perfect smoky, sexy slept-in eye that it would take you half an hour to approximate from scratch? These are the lip equivalent of that look.”

And this is why I had to try one. I’m not as mad as India is about them – I found that the colour does come off after drinking a cup of coffee but it stays on much better than anything else I’ve tried and it doesn’t dry your lips out.

They’re great for when you want to look as though you’re not wearing lipstick – I slick mine on before Pilates and I will certainly be wearing it when we’re away. The good thing is that it won’t melt in a beach bag making it great to apply when we stop for a cocktail before going home. I ordered natural coral which is more of a pink than a coral but lovely all the same.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Dior Addict Lip Tattoo

Stay Matte Blotting Powder

Last of all I have this which I carry around with me for when I start to shine. It’s a clear powder so it works regardless of whether you’re wearing foundation or not and it simply eliminates a shiny nose without leaving an old fashioned, dusty coating of translucent powder. There isn’t much more I can say about it other than the case is lovely. It’s the perfect thing to have in your clutch on a summer evening, especially if you’re taking photos and you don’t want to have an oily looking face.

Make-up that doesn't melt in the heat

Clinique Stay Matte Universal Blotting Powder

I popped all of these items into a bag to take away with me when I had to go to London last week and the best thing about them was how little space they take up – there’s no need for lots of make-up brushes because everything is applied straight to your skin. So, I hope that’s been helpful and don’t forget that there’s 10% off if you order before the end of the weekend.

Midlife Lately

I’m still spending more time at my desk than I’d like but the work just keeps on coming in. As fast as I tick items off my ‘before the holiday’ list, more add themselves to the bottom. However, here are a few recent outfits you may not have seen.

This was when I was heading off down to London last week for my last batch of meetings there. I’m finding that I’m a bit tired of wearing dresses so when I saw this jumpsuit arrive, I ordered one. It’s my new favourite, it’s absolutely brilliant for travelling because it doesn’t crease regardless of how long you’ve spent sitting on stuffy trains. Wow they’re particularly unbearable at the moment – my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling with a daily London commute.


Jumpsuit; SunglassesLe Pliage; Necklace (gSS15); White Company sandals (g SS17)

Some of you may have seen this on Instagram – it went down so well that just in case you missed it, I thought I’d repeat it here. Last Sunday I weighed myself to see how close I was to my holiday target. I wasn’t close. You see I like to be a few pounds below my usual weight at this time of year because I always seem to put half a stone on when we go away. So on Sunday morning I was feeling gloomy until Mr MC pulled me out of it. He’s one of life’s naturally upbeat people (as am I usually) and he has a technique of ‘upsiding.’ He used it with me all of the time after my dad died and it means that whenever you have a sad thought, you balance it with an upside. So when I was thinking “I miss my dad” I would balance it with “but what a wonderful dad he was to have had.”

On Sunday when I was feeling far from beach ready I upsided it with “but at least my body is healthy and at 51 that’s a big positive. Plus I have a holiday to look forward to – how lucky is that?”

Nikki Garnett

I then remembered that ages ago Mr MC made me a t-shirt for days like these so I wore it for the first time. I’m not going to waste time crash dieting, instead I’m making a point of being ‘bien dans ma peau’ and just enjoying the summer. I can lose weight after the holiday if I need to but I can’t repeat the opportunity to have a wonderful few weeks with my family. And for everyone who has asked, we will produce these t-shirts next year, I just want to play with the font first… and yes, other necklines are being investigated.


This was last night. You may remember that Mr MC and I went to the first night of the play in the park that we always enjoy but both boys were busy and couldn’t join us – so yesterday we went again. The middle one was particularly keen because it’s performed by the theatre group that he’s a part of. We started with a picnic (it was eaten too quickly to photograph, there are just the remnants left – the rest appears to be inside the youngest!). You can see the first scene set up behind us.


This was the other part of my ‘no more dresses order.’ I’m so pleased that wide trousers are back again although these do crease when you’ve been sitting on the grass for a while.


Satin daisy print trousers; Boden linen tee (past season); White Company sandals (gSS17)

Should you happen to be up in the Lakes before the end of August, it really is worth driving down to Lancaster to see this play. This year it’s the Three Musketeers, it’s very funny and a spectacular way to spend a summer’s evening. You may want to take a chair with you though, there’s a lot of sitting on the floor as you go from scene to scene.

Duke's Theatre, Play in the Park

I hope you have a lovely weekend planned. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking through the autumn/winter collections this week so it’s made me even more determined to enjoy the summer while it’s here. Carpe diem everyone (dare I say that I suspect we have a hard weather winter ahead).

Stop press: we’ve just heard that the bags that have been made to order have just left Turkey. I’m praying that they arrive here before we go out there so that we can get them all dispatched to you. I’ll keep you posted by email if you’ve ordered one.

Disclosure: “Make-up that doesn’t melt in the heat” is not a sponsored post but thank you to House of Fraser for enabling me to order samples to test.

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