Style: Leader of the pack(ing)
Pack light but pack right with a clever summer capsule and minimal make-up edit
Icurrently have an obsession with packing. I success- fully managed with only a cabin-size case for my holidays, which worked largely because the weather stayed hot, so I simply rotated a capsule of light cotton pieces.
My packing fixation is partly driven by one woman: Trish McEvoy. The professional make-up queen recently travelled here from her US home and survived with just a few pieces in her very gorge Birkin handbag - working her outfits around jeans and alternating tops. She wore her heels on the plane.
Where most of us fall down is the make-up and beauty products we travel with, but Trish whipped us into shape years ago with her patented Makeup Planner System: a quilted zip case (far right) which costs from €52 (empty). You then fill it with Makeup Wardrobing Pages - magnetic pages custom-filled with any combination of Trish's eye and face colours. There are also pockets for your brushes, of which her dense angled shadow brush, €43.50, is my favourite, because it creates a precise, deep contour for smoky eyes.
Trish was born in Dublin but moved to Germany when she was one. During her recent visit, she was all about what she calls the "confidence cure".
"It is all about making the time for you and taking those morning minutes to get ready. I can do everything in 10 - and that includes my shower. I am very fast."
At her masterclass on make-up for the confident woman, Trish's top tips were to use a magnifying mirror, especially when applying your eye make-up. She says make-up that looks good magnified looks even better from a distance and recommends starting with eyes first, and not foundation and concealer. That way, if anything falls down, you can clean it up quickly.
Trish's Skin Water Foundation, €82, feels super light on the hand, but my favourite product discovery was her Intense Gel Eyeliner, €33, which you apply between the lashes, not on the waterline; the effect is very impressive. I'm dogged by mascaras that smudge so I will try out her tubular mascara and report back.
Trish is known for her clever concealing technique called the 'Triangle of Light': you apply eye brightener in the shape of a large upside-down triangle under each eye to even out your skin tone, and it enables you to wear less foundation. For a lesson on how to do it, Harvey Nichols in Dundrum Town Centre will be doing on-counter make-up lessons from July 27-29; information from (01) 291 0488.
I've found lots of useful tips for women of all ages in the beauty book The Makeup of a Confident Woman by Trish McEvoy with Kristin Loberg, which is all about the power of putting your best face forward; available at €23 from Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin.
Your case-ready capsule
Question: when is a summer sales bargain a real bargain? Answer: when it works in your wardrobe for at least three seasons out of four. Building on my recent holiday experience of packing just two colours - blue and white - with the addition of denim and pops of colour in accessories, I was delighted to arrive home and find that Irish designer Helen McAlinden (helenmcalinden.com) had gone into sale, with around 30pc off some very handy tailored pieces that pack well.
The Eliza jersey top, €45 (above), earns its keep in the case, twinned with white jeans, shorts or the Cari navy jersey skirt, €66.50 (above).
Above: A modern twist on the white blouse, the Lyn tie blouse, €85, is worn with crop pants, €155, with flattering vertical lines.
Above: Build up the look with a matching Hilary coat, €255 (above right), worn with the Katherine trouser, €155. Helen McAlinden, 20 South William Street, Dublin 2, (01) 672 9633, also at Arnotts and House of Fraser; see helenmcalinden.com