Triona McCarthy: Take your eyes from blotchy to beautiful
Take your eyes and face from blotchy to beautiful, try a handy hair hack, and rediscover an old flame, says our tip-top resident beauty expert.
I remember, just after my sister Tricia died, before we shut down her phone account, I must have called her voicemail a thousand times, just to hear her voice and say "I'm sorry" for everything that happened to her.
They say that time is supposed to heal, but hearing Adele's song Hello has me dreaming about who we used to be, when we were younger and free.
The line "Hello from the other side" really gets me, and makes me bawl my eyes out - but that's not a bad thing, because sometimes it's good to have a cry and get it all out. It's like I'm washing out my eyes with my tears, and once the waterworks are over, I can see much more clearly and remember to be grateful for everything I have.
Then I have to deal with the puffy, bloodshot eyes and red nose, but I actually think the swelling on my eyelids from sobbing works really well when applying eyeliner! I'm serious. Try it yourself and see.
The other thing that's invaluable after a good old cry is Clinique's All About Eyes Serum De-puffing Eye Massage, €30, as the rollerball instantly cools, refreshes and hydrates puffy eyes on contact. I even use it on Maxi and Mini to calm them down after they've had their own crying sesh!
For bloodshot eyes, I use a few drops of Hylo-Tear Eye Drops, €12.38; then, to cover up my red nose, I use Max Factor Colour Corrector CC Stick The Reducer, €10.90 - it's a green-coloured stick that neutralises redness perfectly.
A clip-in fringe or a hair-extension plait are the lazy gal's BFFs, but they can look just a little mismatched with your own real hair because of the unrealistic sheen you get from the synthetic hair. Simply spraying the fake hair with some dry shampoo first mattifies it and helps it match your own hair - so nobody will know you are faking it!
Girl crush alert
OK, I admit it, I have a bit of a girl crush on Claudia Winkleman, having met her recently when she was over for the launch of her new beauty range with Marks & Spencer. Having never watched Strictly Come Dancing, Claudia wasn't really on my radar; all I knew was that she had a quirky kind of Chrissie Hynde look. When she showed me her beauty set, which includes a packet of Percy Pigs, I knew I was going to like her and her collection.
Claudia has a signature 'black eyeliner, pale lip, fake tan and heavy fringe' look that she rarely strays from, and when she told me she has never knowingly removed her eyeliner at night, I just thought, "This is a breath of fresh air in the often phoney beauty world. Well done, M&S!"
I love the whole collection, especially the Claudia My Favourites Gifting Selection, €54; it's the one that has the Percy Pigs, alongside some of her signature-look essentials.
Pink Ribbon Pilates, see pinkribbonpilates.ie, offers a safe exercise option to women recovering from breast cancer surgery and treatment. It's something Angelina Jolie knows all about - she had a double mastectomy in 2013 to prevent breast cancer, a disease she had an 87pc risk of contracting because of her genetic history.
There can be numerous side effects from surgery, including consistent pain, swelling and a reduced range of movement. Many women struggle with the basics after surgery; using a hairdryer, reaching up to cupboards, putting on a coat.
In the class, women will be shown how to progressively stretch and strengthen their shoulders, chest and back to regain a full range of movement and reduce the risk of lymphoedema - enabling them to get back to their day-to-day activities with more ease.
Triona's most wanted
This is the bargain of all bargains for beauty junkies like me! The Boots Hidden Gems Set, €36, is a hand-picked selection of beauty gems brought to you by the experts at Boots, worth an incredible €114, and only available online at boots.ie.
There's a bottle of Lipcote, the original lipstick sealer and the secret of lasting, transfer-resistant lipstick - especially great at this time of year for all the mistletoe action! Then there's No 7 Midnight Lash, the 'blackest ever' mascara. Use it with the L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim in Intense Black, and if you haven't tried Stila Deluxe Lip Glaze in Starfruit, now's your chance, as it's a colour that suits just about everyone I know; it's a big hit with brides.
Then you have a Nails Inc 45-Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar, their best-selling top coat for a wet-look professional finish; it's touch dry in only 45 seconds. Use it with the iconic Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen, and try out Ciate's Knight In Shining Armour: Overnight Nail Mask to reveal restored, revitalised nails.
There's even a Tangle Teezer and a Versace Bright Crystal Luxury Miniature bottle of scent - just perfect for popping in your handbag for nights out over Kissmas.
Grab it before it's gone!
I have fallen head-over-heels back in love with Clarins Eau Dynamisante, €41.50. Created by Christian Courtin-Clarins in 1987, this was the world's very first treatment fragrance, and one sells every 25 seconds, apparently. I adore this fresh-smelling fragrance, which has skincare benefits - it tones, firms and moisturises.
Top tip: I also use it as a hair spritzer, hand refresher and a room spray.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine