Pencils, crayons and paint pots aren't just for kids, they're the fastest way to a fierce beauty look.
Shelve those brushes and rediscover your inner anarchist by dabbing and drawing on your makeup.
Winter is the perfect time to be a bit bolder with colour, given there is usually less of it in your clothes and surrounds. If you're wearing dark shades you'll fade to drabness without a little intensity in your face, just don't overload in too many places at once. The good news for those who worry about getting it right is that airbrushed perfection has had its day. Makeup with a slightly "worn in" look is more modern.
It's always a good time to rediscover that do-it-yourself experimental aesthetic. Try forgoing the precision of a lipliner in favour of simply pressing vivid shades on to your lips. Around the eyes, be brave with kohl pencil, but aim for a "furred" rather than a stiletto-sharp line. Fear not, you won't look like you made yourself up in the dark and then slept in your slap because modern formulas are much more user-friendly – and longer lasting – than those dry, hard or greasy ones of old.
They blend better and don't shift about as much.
Start with a neutral long-wear cream eye shadow as a base and build colour as you feel comfortable. Liner is a must for drama. If using the quick and easy pencil or crayon, seek out something that isn't scratchy and glides on easily, but ensure it has stickability. The same goes for lipstick: semi-mattes are more forgiving and hydrating than true matte formulas and more forgiving if your lips are a bit chapped. Even with matte finishes, the best long-wear lipsticks needn't be drying.
A "pop" of colour on the mouth can be both edgy and a timeless statement of feminine allure, so can be worn by all ages. The colour choice should be from a palette that suits your personality and colouring - but over time the balance should shift from the more "out there" statement shades to those that both flatter and enliven your face.
M.A.C Pro Longwear Paint Pot - $44
A new creamy formula has made M.A.C's Paint Pots even more fun to play with. They retain their colour intensity well while imparting a pearly glow. Use as an easy slick of colour or treat as a primer shade with powder eyeshadow brushed on top. We show the frosted copper shade called Let Me Pop.
Recommended: Estee Lauder Pure Color Stay On Shadow Paint, Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color and Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Cream Shadow are other pots of colour which wear well. For a budget version try Maybelline, but blend quickly, it is less malleable.
Estee Lauder Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick - $57
This delivers a sheer-satin look without undue shine for a grown-up take on crayon lipstick. Fruit extracts keep lips hydrated and as well as brights there is this good nude shade called Naked. Recommended: Clinique Chubby Sticks are the original lip crayons and still going strong, with many budget brands paying homage.
Revlon does a convincing range with wide colour choice and, for a sophisticated matte look, try Nars Matte Velvet Lip Pencil.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner - $50
You pay more for wind-ups, but the convenience means you're saved from blunt ends and digging about for suitable sharpeners. This Chanel one is super-fine, with its soft tip being a gentle way to apply eyeliner.
Recommended: Becca Automatic Eye Pencil is a similar slightly fatter pencil, with the bonus of a smudger at the other end to spread your handiwork.
Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil - $51
Nars does pencils and crayons particularly well. Creamy crayons such as this can be used to shade, line and highlight or as a primer. This long-lasting purple shade is called Trash, but a standout is a gold called Corcovado, which works well on the lower lid when amped up by using a finer tipped pencil to draw in a deeper shade as an eyeliner.
Recommended: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, which has the advantage of being a wind-up; Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick, which gives a double-ended dose of colour. Budget brands also do crayons well, but colours can lack lasting intensity.
Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick - $17
Max Factor offers the chance to have a play with crayons. The company's fashion-aware focus means its colours are on trend, whereas many in this sector of the market are more generic. Here we show a classic called Passionate Red.
Recommended: Covergirl also offer cheapies, with the new Blast Flip Lipstick being a double-ended crayon.
Stockists: Selected department stores, pharmacies and, for Max Factor, variety stores. Nars exclusive to Mecca Cosmetica. M.A.C from Smith & Caughey's and M.A.C stores in Britomart, St Lukes and Botany.