Life

Sunday 25 September 2016

The beauty panel: The cheek of it - five cosmetic favourites

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder in Porcelain; Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette in CorAll I Need; Nyx Wonder Pencil in Medium; Chanel Blush Harmony in Sunkiss Ribbon; Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lavish Mauve. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder in Porcelain; Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette in CorAll I Need; Nyx Wonder Pencil in Medium; Chanel Blush Harmony in Sunkiss Ribbon; Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lavish Mauve. Photo: Kip Carroll

Cheeky cosmetics can put a bit of spring in your step, says Sarah Caden, and the panel have five favourites.

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In the Enid Blyton books of our childhoods, the ultimate compliment was that a girl had roses in her cheeks. This spoke not just of resilient good health and a plucky passion for outdoor pursuits, but also of a fresh beauty that was far from faked. Now, you may not have access to afternoons of lacrosse and endless picnics, but roses in your cheeks can be yours. And they're not just about overdosing on the hot pink.

You want to look more alive, not like you have scarlet fever. Even a hint of a cheek tint can make you look more alive, as can adding a light-catching radiance-enhancer in and around your blush. Not sparkle, just a natural-looking sheen, which creates the impression of radiance and dewiness, without any grease factor. A light-catching product can also breathe new life into that beloved blush shade that you won't give up for anything newfangled or faddish.

So our five products today strive to create a healthy colour in your cheeks. We're not talking about the 'overdoing it, four shades of cream concealer' kind of boost, but there will be a little fakery involved. A flush, a blush, a flash of light, and, for those who can cope with a bit of fakery foolishness: a few freckles. The girls of Malory Towers would have been all over them.

Best overall

Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder in Porcelain, €50, Brown Thomas; Arnotts; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

Where this brand's beloved Shimmer Bricks are about glowy colour, this new palette is about creating a near-naked glow. It's a lift-everything product, that lends a lit-from-within effect. The texture is a velvety powder - due to a manufacturing method known, prettily, as "slurry" - and so it never looks ashy or cakey. We tried the Porcelain palette, but there are five others: Bare; Nude; Buff; Golden; and Rich. "This makes me look more awake and revives my jaded blusher, too," said a panellist. "It's Victoria Beckham subtle strobing, rather than Kim Kardashian mask-making."

Best Tricolour

Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette in CorAll I Need, €5.49, Dunnes Stores and Penneys

When it comes to this brand, there is never any arguing with the price, and this palette is no exception. You get three variations on a coral theme here, which amounts to a matt for contour, a silky mid shade, and a light shimmer for highlighting. All three are in the pink-to-orange coral family that works well from spring through summer for a skin-flattering flush. "Along with the price, I love the instructions on the back of the palette that tell you how to marry the three shades," said a panellist, "but they also work well individually."

Best Going Dotty

Nyx Wonder Pencil in Medium, €5.99, Boots and selected pharmacies nationwide

Yes, it's a thing. Since the beginning of time, Irish boys and girls have lamented their freckles and longed for their disappearance and now, believe it or not, people are drawing on the blasted things. They're cute, apparently. Available in two shades - for the pale-skinned and the truly milk-bottle - you dot them on across your nose and cheeks and then set them with powder. "I have no freckles, so I have no aversion to them, and this is a fun bit of foolishness," a panellist said. "It's not for every day, though!"

Best Tweed Dream

Chanel Blush Harmony in Sunkiss Ribbon, €57, Chanel counters nationwide

It seems a crime to take a brush to the surface of this palette, which resembles the ribbons that adorn so many of Chanel's clothes. And might be as close as any of us get to Chanel clothes. But break the surface you must to apply the shades of coral, pink and fucshia to your cheeks. "Be assured that the bolder shades are more muted on the skin," said a panellist, "and, as a whole, the effect is a pretty pep in your cheeks."

Best healthy flush

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lavish Mauve, €11.49, available nationwide

This blush line's resemblance to Mac's Mineralize products can't be avoided. They share a similar marbled appearance and a pleasing velvety finish. Mac has a wider selection of shades and effects, but Max Factor's product offers affordable competition. This mauve colour is a nice blend of ashy rose, pale pink and subtle gold, which give colour and glow. "I love anything that can subtly combine blush and highlight without me having to do any artistry work," one panellist said of this blush.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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