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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Wills

All Things (Very) Bright & Beautiful

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

If there's one trend I'm glad to see come back with a bang it's '80s make-up, and nobody does retro better than Barry M

I turned 48 this week. I can’t quite believe it and probably never will, even when I’m 60 I’ll still be saying, ‘I can’t believe I turned 48, never mind the fact that I’m 60’. It BLOWS, getting old, and anyone who says it doesn’t is a liar. So, in a bid to retain the last flush of youth (who am I kidding?) I decided to try out Barry M’s ‘High Vis’ range of make-up. I’ve got pretty droopy eyelids and am dreaming of the day I can afford to have blepharoplasty (sounds like a dinosaur) but I have to buy things like car and house insurance and food instead of new eyelids, which is most annoying.

I applied the blue High Vis Liquid Eyeliner just above the flick of my jet black liquid eyeliner, and underneath my lower lashes. I did the same the next day with the violet one (which really made my green/hazel eyes pop) and while I didn’t think you could see it very well I had a FaceTime chat with a friend who looked quizzically at me for five minutes and then said, ‘Hold on, are you wearing lilac NEON eyeliner?’ and I said, ‘YES!’ Here's how the blue looks right now on my ancient eyelids:

If my eyes were young and my skin olive or black, the colour would jump out like crazy and I’d wear it all day, every day, even if I worked on a farm shovelling hay and poop or in a factory making Spam. I have a friend who used to work in the Mr Kipling Factory. How mad is that? For my birthday many years ago she got the guys on the factory floor to make me a giant pink Fondant Fancy. Well, now they're called 'French Fancies' which is what I call my (French) husband when he puts a nice shirt on. Best birthday cake ever, it was insane. Anyway, I digress. Back to the eyeliner, and I love it. On me, at my grand old age, it still looks pretty good and if someone dared say: ‘You’re a bit old for that, aren’t you?’ I’d poke them with a two-metre long stick dipped in hot tar (if I had one to hand). Here's how brilliant it looks if you have those aforementioned attributes - pretty neat, huh?

You’ll also find the BRIGHTEST of ‘80s throwback colours in their High Vis Bold Waterproof Eyeliner range which I'm going to let loose on this weekend. There’s electric blue, neon pink (my two favourite colours of all time), a near-fluorescent green and purple and again, on darker or very pale skin they look THE BOMB

Once you’ve nailed your ‘80s throwback eyes, focus on your nails because guess what, Barry M also has a range of High

Vis Neon nail polishes. The process requires some patience as you need to use the Super Mani 7 in 1 Treatment as a base coat (which also doubles up as a top coat), two coats of Gelly High Shine Nail Paint in Cotton White and then two or even three (if you haven’t fallen asleep by then) of your chosen colour - my favourites are

Pink Venom and Yellow Flash - there’s blue, orange, coral and green, too - but man alive, it’s worth the effort because your nails will just scream ‘LOOK AT MY EIGHTIES MADONNA NAILS, YOU LOSERS!’ and you will never want to take it off, and perhaps you won't. I applied pink, green, blue, yellow and orange on each finger. It looked amazing until I stupidly did some gardening without putting gloves on and ruined it. Here's 'Pink Venom' on my ratty nails. It almost matched my hair:

I love Barry M make-up. It ticks all the boxes: it’s fun with a gigantic, inflatable, sequinned ‘f’, it’s also vegan and cruelty-free, plus it’s ridiculously affordable at under a fiver for almost everything. If you’ve got a teenage daughter, buy her a few things then borrow them for maximum ‘embarrassing mum’ points. If, like me, you don’t have a daughter (or a son for that matter) to lavish make-up on, buy it for yourself - unless, of course, you’ve aged really badly and have zero sense of style. If you still wear pashminas and have a wardrobe full of floral chiffon, forget it - it's just not happening. You want to be Madonna belting out Lucky Star, not Barbara Cartland asking for a yogurt. If you're under 40 you'll have no idea what or whom I'm on about, so just ignore me and go on Instagram instead.

This is what I'm talking about

If you look like this when you've finished, it's a firm 'no'

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