The Panel: Heavy metal
Make-up mimics the trend in clothes this spring, with metallics aimed at eyes, lips and cheeks making an appearance across the brands. This best of the make-up metallics this season are impressive in how they can create either a subtle richness of silver, bronze, gold, or even gleaming pastel shades, or a full-on heavy-metal look.
The metallic make-up we chose as our favourites were those that went on without grittiness, distinguishing themselves from mere sparkling make-up by seeming almost like a poured-on layer of molten metal. When it comes to metallics -- in cosmetics as much as clothes -- how you wear them is almost as important as the quality of the product itself.
For eyes, a smooth, unsticky base is crucial, and application with one's fingers works best; the warmth and oils of the skin help the product to spread and the finish will be more intense and less patchy than a brush can achieve. In order to take metallics without making them look chapped, lips must be well conditioned, and when it comes to cheeks, take note that a little goes a long way. And remember, sport just one product at a time or else risk looking like a disco ball.
Lancome Ombre Magnetique in Disco Gold, €30, Lancome counters nationwide
Between a loose powder and a cream, this eyeshadow goes on like a dream, it creates a finish that resembles tin foil or gold leaf, depending on the shade you choose, and there is no settling into creases. It's near to perfect. "I hate glittery shadows that fall on to your cheeks and feel dry and gritty," said a panellist. "This is soft-feeling, but strong on impact. Eye-catching and light-catching; it's love."
Best Gilded Lips
Clarins Joli Rouge in Cherry, €20, Clarins counters nationwide
Lips must be buffed and balmed before this lipstick can really do itself justice. Between a pink and a red, it's packed with metallic sheen, without being gritty. The cherry fragrance was off-putting to some, but others were reminded of the roller-ball glosses of their youth. "Nicely different to my usual glosses or semi-sheeny lipsticks," one panellist said. "Good for those who do lips rather than eyes, because it's a look all by itself."
Best Minor Minerals
Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Bronze, €4.99, available nationwide
This range of 15 colours from Max Factor is great in terms of quality and price, but we especially like the tiny bottles, which work to eliminate the guilt that goes with moving on to a new trend-colour when you've barely made a dent in the last. "A nice polish that lasts well. This colour gives good metal, on its own or over a solid nude," one panellist said. "I'll be back for more for the summer-holiday suitcase."
Best Gleaming Cheeks
Benefit Bella Bamba, €33.50, Brown Thomas and Debenhams nationwide; Clerys; Arnotts; larger Boots; selected pharmacies
In a shade between pink and peach that Benefit call "watermelon", this "3D" gleamer gives more than just glow, but don't worry about sparkle, this is a smooth, even effect. Go easy, though, or it can all get a bit Eighties. "This perked up my whole face, and it proved fantastically light-catching on a night out," said one panellist. "Not for the supermarket, but it was a great way to easily get metallics into my make-up."
Best Alloyed Eyes
Chanel Ombres Perles de Chanel, €50, Chanel counters nationwide
If you're sure that you want to make metallics all your own this season, then this compact is worth the few quid, with no dud colour out of the five. The powder formula blends like a liquid and builds beautifully. "The five shades work perfectly together and I tried them in maybe every permutation," said a panellist. "And I appreciated that you can achieve a very impressive finish without great brush skills; they definitely go on best with fingers."
Pictured, from left: Chanel Ombres Perles de Chanel; Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Bronze; Clarins Joli Rouge in Cherry; Lancome Ombre Magnetique in Disco Gold; Benefit Bella Bamba
Sunday Indo Life Magazine