Makeup + depression: 5 products that never fail to give me a lift

It’s rare we talk about makeup within the context of depression but here goes…

I’ve suffered from mood swings for a very long time and even though depression and other mental illnesses such as bi-polar have far less stigma these days, it doesn’t make writing about them any less difficult *deep breath*.

I’m lucky enough to have the most unbelievable support around me but ultimately it’s my battle. Anything – no matter how trivial – that can edge me even an inch out of a mood, is a massive bonus.

Now, I need to insert a massive caveat here because there will be people reading this who will balk at the idea of even being able to get out of bed during depressive episodes let alone put any slap on (and having personally come very close to this I can empathise). I’m talking more about the days when we’re up and doing stuff but when life feels like a bit of an uphill struggle, like we’re wading through mud. It’s on these days that I really notice the effect makeup has on me.

Today I want to share five products with you that consistently boost my mood, even if it’s just 10%. And the great news is you can wear them on their own.


Instant glow

I’ve blogged loads about Estée Lauder’s Sheer Tint Release but I will bang on about it some more! Hurrah! I. Love. It. If you’re reasonably pale and/or freckly like me, seriously, go try it.
I’ve always believed wearing a foundation or tinted moisturiser that’s slightly warmer than my natural skin tone is CATEGORICALLY WRONG and that the best way to ‘warm up’ the skin is to contour it, however, this is the one exception to the rule. When I apply this moisturising, SPF and tinted product in one it is warmer than my natural skin tone but because of its sheer texture, it never looks like a mask.

If I’m having a chilled day I’ll wear a thin layer of it all over (blending a little down my neck), a sweep of mascara and a tinted balm. If I’ve got meetings I’ll wear a thin layer but will overlay my medium coverage foundation on top, blending lightly down the t-zone and outwards. This provides a natural yet considered base for the rest of my makeup.

Get it here.

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Feeling human again

Another one that never fails to lift my mood is the extraordinary Chanel Les Beiges.

I’ve hesitated buying Chanel products for years (I once heard the rumour they were made in the same factory as Bourjois and then suddenly found it harder to justify the expense!) but now that I’ve experienced Les Beiges I can tell you, it’s on a whole other level.

It smells divine (softly feminine with a hint of, is that apricot?) and comes with a super luxe brush applicator that makes contouring a cinch. The shade range is such that one can opt for a ‘my-skin-but-ever-so-slightly-warmer’, a far cry from the numerous taupe-grey matte bronzers on the market.

Not to mention the fact that owning a piece of Chanel makeup is, in itself, simply a joy. The packaging, the logo…I love seeing it peek out of my makeup bag.

Get it here.



Bright eyes

There’s something about curling my lashes that makes me feel instantly better, even if I can’t face wearing mascara that day. It’s the way they lift and open my eyes. I feel instantly more awake, I look healthier and the process takes just 10 seconds.

Eyelash Curlers by Shu Uemura are the best. Get them here.






Colour therapy

It’s not just seeing colour on my nails that has the ability to lift my mood but invariably the very act of painting them.

Whether I’m doing my nails myself at home or treating myself to a manicure, it’s taking time out to pamper myself (e.g. rubbing oil into the cuticles, the having to just sit and ‘be’) that can noticeably have a calming effect. Depending on the day I can actually find the process quite meditative too, sometimes enabling me to tap into the creative part of my brain (which can get foggy if my mood is low).

I’m not brand loyal when it comes to nail varnish, it’s more about the shade (and if I’m honest the name) that inspires me to try something new, but when it comes to a salon-quality finish I can’t fault OPI or Color Club (the latter is excellent quality for the price).

As always, if painting your nails at home don’t even think about starting without this!


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Light touch

When you’re feeling low, wearing anything bright on your lips can feel like a real challenge. For example, I know that when I’m really down the thought of wearing a bright red lip can make me feel nauseous, I guess because I feel it draws attention to me, attention I’d rather not have when I’m feeling under par.

Chantecaille’s clever range of hydrating lipsticks called ‘Lip Chic’ effortlessly strike the right balance between feeling as if we’ve added a hush of colour but not too much that we feel self conscious. They’re described as a ‘glossy lipstick’ but the feel of them, for me, is much more akin to tinted balm.

One of my favourite shades to wear when I’m down is Zinnia, a pinky-peach that reminds me a little of the old Fruit Salad sweets 🙂 I’ll happily wear it on its own or with a little tinted moisturiser (if my skin’s feeling a bit blotchy).

I’ll leave you with some wise words from my dear friend Claire who I never fail to hear in my head whenever I’m having a bad day:

“Get in that shower, put some lippie on and get out there’.

Thanks for reading xx

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