Wednesday 7 December 2016

The beauty panel: Barely Naked

We Irish aren't good at stripping off when it's sunny but concealer can make a bare face better

Sarah Caden

Published 11/05/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF30; Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer; Tom Ford Concealing Pen; Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector; Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfection
Pictured, from left, Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF30; Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer; Tom Ford Concealing Pen; Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector; Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfection

It's a real moment of crisis in this country when the weather gets warmer and, always, we act like we've never seen the sun before. Suddenly, perfectly sane people get scalded. People who were beautifully attired all winter look like they're wearing the contents of a hotel lost-property office, and the usually impeccably made-up are conflicted as to what to do with their cosmetics. The sun makes us want to strip off, but we Irish just aren't sure how to do it properly.

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In summer, in make-up terms, we want to look like we're wearing as little of it as possible. But without looking more red and hot than gorgeous and glowy. This is where concealer comes in.

In terms of complexion, you can finesse a no-make-up look with self-tan, tinted moisturiser, any of the alphabet BB/CC creams, or a lighter foundation. All of which we'll return to in weeks to come. But today, we're focusing on covering up flaws to reveal the rest of the face in its full, summer-loving glory. A dot of concealer here and there, under eyes, around the nose, anywhere you look a bit less than fresh can make a big difference. And it allows you to turn your attention to protecting your winter-white skin and deciding whether summer-white jeans are such a good idea.

Best Overall

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF30, €34, Kiehl's, Wicklow St, D2, and Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts, D1

Dark circles are the pet peeve of many Irish people, as their blue tinge is particularly pronounced against our pale skin. This is a three-in-one product that operates as an eye cream, a pigmentation product and a concealer. "I've used this solo, and it does a good job," said a panellist. "I don't like layers of product on the thin, eye-area skin, so it's good that this is a one-stop shop. The coverage is good, making me look more awake and less weary."

Best Shade Selection

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, €21, Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

You have to love these product names that cover all bases, so to speak. The blurb says that this is "High coverage. Impossibly weightless". And "invisible", to boot. But the name shouldn't distract from the fact that this is a good product. It's a light, moisturising concealer with a sheer, but highly pigmented finish. And it comes in eight shades, which means you're likely to get one that will blend beautifully with your skin tone. "This has a dewy finish, which looks very fresh, but the pigment covers broken veins and pigmented patches surprisingly well," said a panellist. "I got a very fresh, even-toned effect."

Best Smooth Applicator

Tom Ford Concealing Pen, €51, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

If you're a person who doesn't like the paintbrush-like applicators that come with most concealers, but you aren't keen on using your fingers, either, this is ideal. The fat pen has a rounded sponge applicator at the end, so you can smudge on the concealer and then smooth to a very fine finish. The product offers great coverage without caking, and comes in six shades, from very pale to very dark. "A dream to apply and the product covered my imperfections and gave me that perfect-canvas look," one panellist said.

Best Eye Aid

Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector, €30, Brown Thomas; Arnotts, D1, Debenhams; selected pharmacies nationwide

This concealer and its pigments are all about correcting the blues and purples that gather under eyes and can seem to dominate the whole face. It comes in six shades, so the tint is tweaked to correct all variations in the dark-circle spectrum. Brush on and it promises to stay all day. "This was better than a lot of under-eye products I've used and, to be honest," a panellist said, "I used it on broken veins by my nose, too, and it worked a treat."

Best Light Catcher

Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfection, €29, Clarins counters nationwide

The product description says this is good for "shadowy areas" and that's one way of describing the flaws that muddy our complexions. This is for brushing on any bits you need evened out, and has bonus oat sugars, which do a little skin tightening. Every little helps, right? "A great all-round concealer," one panellist said. "Dot it on, brush to blend and everything seems a little less ragged."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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