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Wakey, wakey! It’s time to get back out in the world — and Annabel Rivkin has all the lotional support you need to put your best face forward…

I noticed, during the first few months of last spring’s lockdown, that people were making an effort for their Zoom calls. Dangly earrings. Fancy blouse. Proper make-up. Fast forward to November and it was pyjamas, hair in a top knot and bare faces straining for connection with other humans through the screen. Make-up bags were languishing. We were languishing: a psychological term for the place between robust mental health and depression. Not mental illness (yet) but indifference to our own indifference.

And now we are edging towards freedom. Towards people. Towards togetherness. But, just as many of us have opened our wardrobes over the past few months and encountered what appeared to be a selection of medieval robes — they made so little sense — others have peered into the depths of our make-up bags/drawers/boxes and wondered… What now?

Tubes of mysterious unguents that have separated and gone oily. Mascaras that smell faintly mouldy. Foundations that have caked or merely look alien because our skin has changed. Our faces have changed. We have changed. We may not be able to track the changes but we know that there is no such thing as a free lockdown.

And so, maybe we tried a practice run with our make-up. And it was like ancient man attempting cave painting. The old tricks didn’t work. Maybe we didn’t work. What now? Back to basics is what now. Just as our old emotional get-out-of-jail cards aren’t working so well after this shocking time, so our make-up fall-backs can feel stale and wrong: making us look more tired, older, more ‘other’. So I’m going to suggest some therapy make-up; just to get you off the starting blocks if you feel stuck.

Sunscreen. Sorry but you have to. Try Skinceuticals Ultra Facial UV Defence Factor 50 if you want the best of the best for day-to-day city scurrying with no chalkiness, but I also love a vast bottle of Ultrasun Sports Gel, which you can shove on your whole body (and your whole family) and it sinks in immediately with a rather cooling effect.

Now is the time to try primer — just to be reassured that you are providing a really welcoming canvas for whatever comes next, and to prevent it sliding off. Laura Mercier is the original queen of primers and her recently updated Pure Canvas formulas will blur/hydrate/illuminate/whatever you need, plus it feels amazing. If a flawless finish is what you are after — however natural and dewy — then primer is your first step.

Keep your base light or you may shock yourself and others. You don’t want a vaudeville effect as summer unfolds and you start to let your hair down. Try something like Morphe’s Hint Hint Skin Tint, which offers a light but sure-footed evenness, or Givenchy’s Prisme Libre Skin Caring Glow, for long-lasting, hydrating, natural-looking coverage. Back these up with a good concealer: a current favourite is Flower Beauty Light Illusion, to tackle inflammation and spots, or Hourglass’s Veil Retouching Fluid, which conceals dark circles without creasing or exaggerating fine lines — which, I find, so many do.

You need roses in your cheeks, my beauties. Nars Air Matte Blush is slightly moussey and delicately buildable. For contour, try a finely pigmented bronzer (with zero sparkle) like Victoria Beckham’s excellent new Bronzing Brick, which is refillable and comes in two warming tones as you go from day to evening, or from May to August.

Eyes. Let’s put stars in them. Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brows are a one-stop brow situation — texture, feather and fullness in one — while Pat McGrath Labs’ Dark Star Mascara is pure glamour that doesn’t clog. That’s for best. I have two excellent Maybelline Sky High Lash Sensationals — one for the car and one for the bathroom. Always good and always to hand.

Let’s finish with some kissy lips — nothing scary. Gucci Westman’s Squeaky Clean Liquid Lip balm to feel irreproachably rich and gorgeous; L’Oreal’s Plumping gloss (so many excellent shades) for a playful shine; and one of Chanel’s new Rouge Coco Bloom lipsticks for a bit of a summer statement. I’m wearing Blossom, which manages to be bravely bright yet utterly wearable. Optimistic. Because right now, my favourite conspiracy theory is that everything is going to be okay.

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Laura Mercier Pure Canvas primer, from £17

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Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows, £19

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Morphe Hint Hint Skin Tint, £16

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Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid, £33

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Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin Caring Glow, £40

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CLICK TO BUY

Victoria Beckham Beauty Bronzing Brick, £52

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CLICK TO BUY

Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara, £27

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CLICK TO BUY

Maybelline Sky High Lash Sensational, £9.99

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CLICK TO BUY