Friday 30 September 2016

The beauty panel... Back to Basics

Ease up on the contouring, says our beauty expert, and leave your mucky mug behind for a fresh-faced autumn

Sarah Caden

Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Estee Lauder Double Wear Make-up To Go; Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation SPF 20; Mac Lightful C Tinted Cream With Radiance Booster SPF 30; Flormar Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation; Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, Estee Lauder Double Wear Make-up To Go; Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation SPF 20; Mac Lightful C Tinted Cream With Radiance Booster SPF 30; Flormar Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation; Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation. Photo: Kip Carroll

Whisper it: we seem to be copping on a bit on the contouring front. Those of you who never got to grips with it can either breathe a sigh of relief, or mutter "I told you so". Those of you who really went to town on it - well, you probably looked good in photographs. But, close up, contouring wasn't great.

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Most people couldn't do it very well and looked mucky-faced; while those who mastered it, tended to go too far. It was similar to how having one bit of plastic surgery shows up the flaws in the rest of the face. Once everyone saw how great a bit of contouring was for cheekbones and jawlines and whatever, we wanted more. We went a bit overboard with brushing the brown where we wanted to create shadow, and highlighter where we wanted a lift, and we ended up with a waxwork effect.

In the same way that there are year-round fake-tan devotees, those who love contouring won't want to ease up on it. But those who are bored of blending their entire face before leaving the house will be happy. Good foundation and judicious highlighting is what it's now about. And we have five foundations for a flawless base.

Best Overall

Estee Lauder Double Wear Make-Up To Go, €42, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

Double Wear is one of Estee Lauder's best-sellers, and fans tend to lay it on like camouflage rather than as a complexion-enhancer, though the brand has always encouraged easing off on it. This latest incarnation is excellent on two counts. One, is that it's more hydrating and smooth - with hyaluronic acid and glycerine. The other is that the press-up, compact-style dispenser is a knacky, spill-proof way to carry around liquid foundation. "I didn't need converting to Double Wear," a panellist said, "So I'd call this an improvement on excellence."

Best Shade Selection

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation SPF 20, €9.99, available nationwide

Sixteen shades and less than a tenner; you can't say fairer than that. A foundation that perfectly matches your skintone is big across the brands this year. Yes, we know that this should always be the case, but several new bases are majoring on the matching, and it's no harm. Jawline tidemarks have never really gone away in Ireland.

"This promises 'traceless coverage', which is a contradiction in terms," said one panellist, "but it's an attractively semi-sheer foundation with light-reflecting properties that give a glow."

Best Light Look

Mac Lightful C Tinted Cream With Radiance Booster SPF 30, €36.50, Brown Thomas and BT2

If you want something that finesses your flaws but lets your skin shine through, then this might be for you. Despite the name, there is no shimmer to this. The radiance is achieved by plumping up your skin with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and redness-busting licorice. It gives glow, though. "It's not much heavier than what I'd wear in summer, but I felt that winter ruddiness and dark circles were covered," one panellist said.

Best Matt Mate

Flormar Mat Velvet Matifying Foundation, €7.95, selected pharmacies nationwide

This is an oil-free foundation that goes on smoothly, without caking or gathering in pores (or wrinkles), which is good news to anyone for whom a shiny face is not exclusively for summer. This brand has a great price point, and will give the likes of essence and Catrice a run for their money, as the quality matches theirs, no bother. "I'd consider this a winter step-up from, say, a summer BB cream," one panellist said. "I got a nice, clear complexion-canvas."

Best Mature Match

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation, €16.99, available nationwide

"Blur and nourish" is the promise of this foundation, which comes in 10 shade variations. It's a nicely dewy foundation, not at all heavy, but it works really well to cover imperfections, too, and the light-reflecting particles aren't at all shimmery. We found it worked as well on younger skin as it did on older, which can look cakey with more inexpensive foundations. "My skin was smooth and very even in terms of colour, without looking mask-like," said one panellist.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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