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THE INSIDER: Madeleine Spencer

Last month, I went to Greece where I spent ten days slipping in and out of the Ionian Sea, wolfing down halloumi and sipping ouzo as the sun went down. It was glorious. Not quite so agreeable was the condition of my skin on returning: yes, it was a lovely honeyed hue, but it was also dry and a touch uneven so needed both moisture and a good whack of foundation, stat.

Enter product cocktailing aka the art of mixing products to suit individual needs. In this instance, a dollop of Becca Bronzing Skin Perfector went into my usual alabaster base, while my moisturiser was given extra oomph by adding of a few drops of Korres Black Pine Active Oil. After the success of that foray (my skin is now perfectly moist and uniformly tanned once I’ve layered the two on), I embraced cocktailing wholeheartedly and have had skincare, make-up and haircare eureka moments thanks to the technique.

Some winning combinations I’ve discovered along the way: a drop of MAC Strobe Cream mixed into foundation for J-Lo glow; a touch of oil poured into a face mist to give it that extra whack of moisture; hair texturing spray alternated with dry shampoo for swishy hair even Bridgette Bardot would’ve been envious of, and a matte smoky eye livened up courtesy of a few taps of shimmer on the eyelids.

SHOW session stylist Priya Patel is a fan of the technique: ‘To get the best results you may need to mix and match your products. Different cocktails of products will work for different hair types and styles - I’d suggest you experiment to find what combination works best for you. Sheer Thermal Protect, Pure Treatment Oil and Lux Volume Mousse is my favourite combination for magnificent shine and hold, not to mention an amazing scent."

Before you get carried away with mixing products, there are a few rules to be heeded, especially when it comes to skincare. Notting Hill-based facialist supreme Teresa Tarmey cautions against pooling skin products together in your hand before applying: ‘the properties would get mixed up - I’d leave a minute or so in-between each layer. Start with a serum as that needs to penetrate the most deeply, follow with a correction product for, say, spots or pigmentation, and finish with a night cream or SPF.’ Equally, you might want to steer clear of layering hair oil under a texturing spray once hair is dry to avoid looking chalky of hair. On the make-up front, go to town on mixing colours, but beware of playing with textures on your skin - particularly in the case of anything cream-based applied over a powder product.

Avoid those, and you’re good to start whizzing up your own skincare concoctions. Happy playing.


Madeleine Spencer

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