Style Beauty

Thursday 28 August 2014

Beauty: The Panel - In your face complexion enhancers

Going barefaced isn't an option for everyone, says Sarah Caden, so the panellists have rated some complexion-enhancers

Sarah Caden

Published 09/06/2014 | 02:30

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Pictured, from left: YSL Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Lavender; Max Factor Colour Corrector Under Eye Circles; Lancome Miracle Air de Teint Perfecting Fluid; Dermablend Stick Corrector 14hr; Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

Contrary to what your mother always told you, there is a time when a bit of barefaced cheek is a good thing. And now, as the brighter, if not necessarily warmer, weather has arrived, is the time to ditch the heavy coverage of full-on foundation as one would put to one side a thermal vest for the season. However, there are degrees of barefaced, as is apparent in those celeb no-make-up selfies, in which you just know they're not entirely nude.

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We'll come to light bases later in the summer, but today is about complexion enhancers that give a bare-but-better helping hand to your skin. Unless you're very young or blessed with a flawless complexion, then areas of darkness, dullness, redness, blemishes and uneven texture would be bars to going barefaced.

This week's top-five products address these impediments to near-nudity. Some of them can be worn solo, and some can be worn as a little helper under a light foundation, tinted moisturiser or BB cream. The key is to go lightly with the product, focusing on areas that need it, otherwise you're only swapping one mask of make-up for another.

BEST OVERALL

YSL Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Lavender, €34, YSL counters nationwide

A cream-gel product that can be worn alone or under make-up, this is our best overall for its versatility, its sheer colour-correcting abilities and its summer-friendly SPF35. It comes in three shades – apricot for radiance, rose for countering blue tones or dark spots, and lavender, our favourite, for reducing redness. "As I applied this, I was scared of looking vaguely purple all day, but it sinks in to near-invisibility, while seeming to calm my cheeks and leave a nicely dewy finish," said one panellist.

BEST QUICK-FIX

Max Factor Colour Corrector Under Eye Circles, €10.99, available nationwide

There are five shades available in this new range of colour-correcting pencils, including purple for counteracting yellowness, pink for dark spots and green for redness. We like this yellow one, which does a good job on dark under-eye circles. Ideal if signs of exhaustion are evident through your tinted moisturiser. "The new mother's friend," one panellist said. "Go lightly, though, to avoid Angelina Jolie-style make-up malfunction."

BEST BARELY BASE

Lancome Miracle Air de Teint Perfecting Fluid, €37.50, Lancome counters nationwide

In texture, this is not unlike Giorgio Armani Maestro – an oil-and-water light foundation that launched last summer. It's super-light and sinks into the skin to near-invisibility, but one difference we noticed is that this sets to a more powdery and less dewy finish. "I discovered that the best way to wear this is by applying a light layer all over and then dabbing a teeny bit more where I'd normally put concealer," a panellist said. "A true me-but-better product."

BEST DEEP COVER

Dermablend Stick Corrector 14hr, €16.95, selected pharmacies nationwide

Anyone with a tendency to acne or blemishes, with hyper-pigmentation or scarring of any kind can have a horror of barely there make-up. The key is to treat problem areas in a focused way, and this new-launch Dermablend stick can do that. "The pigment is intense, but the texture is not cakey or drying," said one panellist, "so it's more like a super-concealer than deep camouflage."

BEST SOFT FOCUS

Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, €28, Kiehl's, Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts, D1

The effects of this lightweight cream are two-fold. First, it has an immediate "blurring" effect on enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone and texture. Second, ingredients such as Lipo Hydroxy Acid, and lentil and bark extracts gently exfoliate and improve texture long term. Due to the fruit-acid content, be careful to wear a decent SPF underneath. "The advertised soft-focus effect is a little bit magic – even spooky," said one panellist.

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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