How discovering Faith Howells and Studio 10 Make-Up Helped Me Find My Face

By Nancy B.

I did two things today: I watched the trailer for series three of Keeping Faith, and took delivery of a pair of chinos. In just a couple of minutes, I realised that my life was becoming very much like the trousers staring back at me: predictable, uninspiring and beige.

As I watched Faith Howells light up the screen I felt like screaming at myself in the mirror.

What would Faith do? She would raise her voice to be heard, and then do something about the situation.

I first discovered Keeping Faith as a sleeper hit on BBC iPlayer way back in spring 2018. Recorded in both Welsh, and then English, it starts with the story of a woman who is off work on maternity leave from the family law firm.

One day, her husband Evan goes off to do legal battle, and simply never returns. Faith is left looking after the firm, her children, and the wider family whilst trying to search for her husband.

Female viewers fell in love at first sight. We found on screen a feisty, tough and independent woman who leaves no stone unturned. However, we also get to view someone vulnerable who has to reach below the polished veneer of her marriage to uncover some glossed over, uncomfortable truths. So many women feel like this at times. They are trying to do it all, but when they peel back their professional, familial and personal layers, they find someone often very different to the image they feed to the world.

Keeping Faith was such a hit that viewers petitioned for it to be given prime time viewing on BBC1, which was granted, and as it is about to go into its third and final series, fans of the show are looking forward to more than just a tangled web.

Faith also became an unlikely style icon, and a simple Joules yellow raincoat she wore whilst off duty, sold out. Her bright, working wardrobe and casually dishevelled hair provided inspiration for female fans. This was a look we could aspire to. 

During that same spring, I discovered Studio 10 make-up for the first time. I was lucky enough to attend a masterclass by the brand on a whistle-stop beauty tour of the UK, and got some brilliant advice I still follow today.

Firstly, I was told I was wearing far too much flat, matte bronzer, which was making my face look dull and dry. Only when the team tweaked my look could I see and feel the difference.

Since then the market feels like it has been flooded with every conceivable product aimed at women who are getting older, who have more disposable income, and are part of a very different generation.

We don’t want to give up looking and feeling great, but when we are dipping into our make-up bags and relying on age old favourites, they somehow stop performing.

Coupled with a deluge of social media accounts and advice, often using more technical jargon than a Line of Duty undercover officer, it is easy to look at your face, into your cosmetics case, and then in the mirror, and feel completely overwhelmed.

Faith Howell’s signature beauty look is far more approachable than any polished perfection I have seen float past me on Insta, and is super-easy to achieve.

For any woman who asks themselves if they are still worth the bother, or is it achievable to change their own look as their skin matures, whilst not wanting to hide behind a mask and create something wearable and natural, Faith’s image is genuine and worth a little effort. It is anything but flat, she does experiment with colour from time to time, and her skin glows without looking overloaded. 

I have been revisiting my favourite Studio 10 staples and adding a few new finds from the range. Created by beauty expert Grace Fodor, Studio 10 is a pro-age range specially created to adapt and work with your skin as it matures. If you question whether your face really requires a separate range, think of the times you have felt concealer cake, eyeshadow crease and foundation slide away, and you will know exactly why. 

 To create a glowing base, I rely on Age Repair Perfect Canvas SPF30 Foundation (£34) which is really light in texture and you can choose the level of coverage, depending on how your skin feels. I also then dip into the Age Defy Skin Perfector Cover & Conceal (£32) which helps me deal with my own skin issues. With shades that help me conceal pigmentation, broken veins and a prominent facial scar, the green-based shade within the palette is brilliant if, like me, you suffer with redness and rosacea.

My two desert island products have never left my side since I met the Studio 10 team, and threw away my dated, tawny bronzer. Perfect Bronze Glow-plexion (£24) is a great alternative for me, as it’s creamy and warms my skin, and then I add my all-star Plumping Blush Glow-plexion (£24). A dash on the apples of your cheeks literally brightens up your whole face. I want to add that all of my Studio 10 favourites last a while and I use them every day.

One thing I have strived to do is banish any harsh looking shades or products. Of course, you can still stay up-to-date with trends but age-friendly formulations are the way forward. Brow Lift Perfecting Brow Pencil (£22) enables me to create a natural brow and also highlight and lift the area under my brows. I-Lift Longwear Liner (£22) lets me create a simple shadow and then line my eyes with something that never drags delicate skin and it does not sit heavily on it, either.

After a couple of coats of 6-in-1 Perfect Lash Mascara (£24) which takes away the need for different formulas, I finish off the look with Age Reverse Perfecting Lipliner (£22) which allows me to conceal around my lips before adding a soft, easy-to-smooth line, and then add a slick of Wake Up & Glow Lip & Cheek Tint (£24). The Raspberry shade adds a pop of Faith-like colour, and is great at hydrating my dry lips.

Soon we will be getting more of a chance to stop worrying about what we look like on Zoom, and get out more in the fresh air, to see loved ones face-to-face. In those moments, beauty will take on a different meaning than what I am talking about here.

When you see someone’s face light up when they see you, then that’s a better filter than anything you can download and view yourself through.

As Faith herself says, when you are in the eye of a storm, just keep on going. Well, we have kept going and hopefully we can see an end in sight. I know when we finally get there, I want to put my best face forward, and live a little. You would not catch Faith Howells re-emerging from lockdown in putty coloured garments and flat, matte lips.

It’s time to chuck out the chinos. I stand corrected. I’ll just return them to sender. From now on, unless it is on the end of a concealer brush for me, anything beige has got to go.

Until next time.

Studio10 believe beauty is more than skin deep. PRO AGE warrior, beauty expert and Studio10 founder Grace Fodor is on a mission to help every woman to look and feel their most beautiful and confident version of themselves – at ANY age.

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