Saturday 10 December 2016

Beauty panel: On the Mend

If all you need is a miracle, the panellists have five quick fixes to restore your former glory, fast

Sarah Caden

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Ren Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial; Chanel Le Weekend de Chanel Edition Douce; Estee Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape; Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl; YSL Forever Youth Liberator Water-in-Oil. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, Ren Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial; Chanel Le Weekend de Chanel Edition Douce; Estee Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape; Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl; YSL Forever Youth Liberator Water-in-Oil. Photo: Kip Carroll

It's never a bad time for a quick fix, but this time of year is when we feel particularly sluggish and in need of a jump-start. Suddenly, it's that bit harder to motivate yourself to do anything other than slob out in the evenings, and the C-word - or what we'll call 'the party season' for now - seems a long way away. It's the time of year when it's all too easy to let things slide. And then, when an occasion arises, you look in the mirror and scream for a miracle. And a fast one, at that.

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Today's top five are tried-and-tested quick-fixes for your face. Your neglected hair and body will have to wait for another day. Today, it's just about what's looking back at you, accusingly, from the mirror. These are the products to reach for when you despair of ever undoing damage done by lack of sleep, lack of sunshine, lack of the will to exfoliate.

And while we have five on the page, we know that finances are tight. So don't sink into despair that you'll never look right unless you own all five. Dare to take a good look in the mirror and establish what needs most attention, and then pick your fix. One fix can do wonders, though the can't-stop fans of cosmetic surgery might disagree.

Best Overall

Ren Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial, €40, Arnotts; Marks & Spencer Beauty Halls; selected pharmacies nationwide

This is not for use every night. We tell you this now, because you will be tempted. This overnight mask has fruit acids to eat away dead skin cells, omega oils to replenish fats, and a fermented yeast extract, which apparently helps the skin to draw in moisture. Oh, whatever, it all works. Massage it in before bed and wake up restored. We swear. "I love this brand's Flash Rinse, because you can see an effect straight away, and this gives the same instant-gratification magic," said one panellist.

Best Gentle Glycolic

Chanel Le Weekend de Chanel Edition Douce, €90.50, Chanel counters nationwide

We have featured the regular-issue version of this serum, but this new release is designed for sensitive skin, and delivers a more gentle hit of gycolic acid, which works to resurface the skin and improve its ability to hold moisture. For some sensitive types, though, two nights of such treatment was too much, so, voila, a remix with high-tolerance gycolic acid and soothing rose water. "I found this texturally lighter than the creamy original," a panellist said. "Just as effective, though. Nice, soft skin."

Best Instant Lift

Estee Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape, €58, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

We know, you're now thinking 'tit tape'. And you're not far off. The red-carpet adhesive is insurance against slippage, and so is this. It looks like an eye cream, but you squeeze it on to your eye area, cheeks or jawline - wherever gravity is doing its worst - and as it dries, you feel everything get tighter. Even better, you can see it in the mirror, too. "It's a weird feeling - the gel dries and makes the skin taut, but the effect is a very pleasant surprise," said one panellist.

Best Eye Alert

Lancome Advanced Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl, €55, Lancome counters nationwide

What's new about this is the applicator. Part-metal, part-polymer, it's a bendy, teardrop-shaped ball that is coolly metallic on the skin, which feels very nice around the eyes. The product is the eye-friendly version of the best-selling serum, and it does a good job of hydrating and soothing this area. "This is one of those products where you should read the instruction leaflet," one panellist said. "Otherwise you could end up wasting product and missing out on some nice eye massage."

Best Magic Marriage

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Water-in-Oil, €80, YSL counters nationwide

If you don't normally like the feel of oil on your skin, but fancy all the oily benefits, then try this. There's science behind the suspension of "watery capsules" in a blend of three skin-friendly oils, but what you need to know is that the end result is as light in texture as they promise and not at all greasy. "I can't believe it, but this works brilliantly under make-up, under night cream, or instead of day cream," a panellist said. "It's a wonder."

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