Saturday 10 December 2016

Beauty panel: School's In

The season is switching, says our beauty expert, who has five favourites from the panellists to ease the transition

Sarah Caden

Published 31/08/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield SPF 50; Lancome Grandiose Mascara in Saphir Mirifique; Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence; Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum; Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda
Pictured, from left, Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield SPF 50; Lancome Grandiose Mascara in Saphir Mirifique; Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence; Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum; Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda

Back to school. How does that make you feel? It's a time of year that brings a wave of emotion, whether you have school-going kids or not. The increased traffic in the mornings, and the sight of kids in pristine, spanking-new uniforms, it touches something in all of us. We feel a pang for the dwindling summer, particularly if it never seemed to arrive at all, and, mentally, at least, we start to pack away summer things. A part of us holds out hope for a few weeks of Indian summer, of course, but, really, we start gearing up for a change. Or gearing down, as the case may be.

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The important thing is to approach the transition with a good attitude. It could be that your skin looks a bit neglected after you were too lazy and distracted to use all those lotions and potions that you brought on holiday. It could be that you feel a little blue at the season's end and need a foolish treat. It could be that it's your first time to face the school gates and you need a little cosmetic courage. Whatever it is, we have something to smooth you through the seasons. And our Best Overall is some sun protection - because school has begun, but that needn't mean that the fun or the sun are over.

Best Overall

Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield SPF 50, €46, Guinot salons nationwide, Lo-Call (0818) 719-303

Keep the faith; you just might need sun protection in September. Even if it's only for the running regime that you must resume, now that the kids are otherwise occupied again. This is a terrific product, with a high SPF, impressive protection against ageing UVA rays, and a bit of a tint that evens out the complexion. "A great morning product if you're dashing and want multi-tasking coverage," said one panellist. "It comes out white, but then magically matches your skintone, which is handy, as my tan will fade fast through September."

Best Flash of Fun

Lancome Grandiose Mascara in Saphir Mirifique, €30, available from Tuesday exclusively at Lancome counters in Arnotts; Brown Thomas; Debenhams

Grandiose is the mascara with the s-shaped 'swan-neck' wand that makes application from root to tip a complete doddle. You get very curved lashes, lots of density and full coverage. The blue is the flash of fun. Or there is also a new brown and a purple, as well as the original black. "I'm only brave enough to pop this on the tips of my lashes," said a panellist. "Where it catches the light just enough to keep people guessing."

Best Luxury Lotion

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, €40, Kiehl's, Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16

Lotions, as you know, are the new toners. But instead of offering the astringency of ye olde toner, they promise to gently prime your skin for serum and moisturiser. And this "essence" is one such lotion. It contains lipo hydroxy acid, which gently removes dead cells; and iris florentina root extract, which claims to boost hydration for up to 24 hours. Smoother, softer skin, basically, before you've even moisturised. "It has a lovely fresh feel as you pat it on with your hands, as recommended," said one panellist. "And I imagine my skin is a little less rough."

Best Serum Sensation

Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, €30.50, available nationwide

Eight years ago, there were stampedes for the original Protect and Perfect Serum, after a BBC programme stated that its anti-ageing claims were well founded. Last year, No7 boosted the collagen-boosting peptides, and won more fans. "If you've been lax all summer, or you overdid the sun exposure, this is your man," a panellist said. "And I love the no-waste tube."

Best Double-Jobber

Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda, €175, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

Because we know you've looked at the price: this is foundation plus skincare. Oh, and a speck will do your whole face. You apply it and massage it in like a face cream, but it also bestows a perfected complexion like a foundation. Magic. There are four shades, and they don't correspond to other Giorgio Armani foundation shades, so make sure to make your match at the counter. The price, remember? "I love a multi-tasker," one panellist said, "and it's tricky to find a hybrid that is this successful as both moisturiser and base."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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