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Defining mascara

When I was growing up the beauty pages of magazines were all obsessed with something called "the natural look".

I had no idea what it meant. My natural look as a teenager (oily skin, spots, redness – all the flattering dermal attributes) was not the kind of thing I wanted to put on display.

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Who wants make-up to celebrate their flaws? I don't, which is why throughout my years of wearing cosmetics I've eschewed that particular perspective.

The magazines would still try and tempt me though. Their front covers would read: "Kate Moss looks natural – get her look." Inside, they teased: "Another famous face without any make-up on who looks great - here's how you too can appear fabulously air-brushed without wearing a scrap of slap."

I didn't buy it. Instead, I trowelled the make-up on in my teens and, although my application process has since been refined (I use brushes rather than gardening equipment), I adhere to the same cosmetics policy. It is this: when you're wearing make-up, it is not a "natural look".

Yes, you can get tinted moisturisers. Sure, there are sheer cheek tints, lip balms and translucent powders that all attempt to create the illusion of no make-up, but they still exist to accentuate your features and hide flaws.

In terms of cosmetics which improve your look, mascara comes top of my list. It is my desert island make-up choice – the cosmetic product I have discovered I cannot live without.

Mascara, which creates the opposite of the natural look for your eyes, does exactly what make-up is designed to do: it makes you look better.

Here are some of my favourite lash-defining mascaras: Illamasqua Masquara (£15); Clarins Instant Definition Mascara (£20); and Mac Studio Fix Lash (£14).

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