Thursday 27 July 2017

The beauty panel: Prime of your life... the best autumn products

Autumn arrives and the proper make-up comes out, says our beauty expert, and a primer ensures you wear it properly

Pictured, from left, Giorgio Armani Prima Refreshing Make-Up Fix; Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base; Wet n Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer; Catrice Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer; Flormar Double Radiance Primer Highlighter SPF 10
Pictured, from left, Giorgio Armani Prima Refreshing Make-Up Fix; Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base; Wet n Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer; Catrice Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer; Flormar Double Radiance Primer Highlighter SPF 10

Sarah Caden

You may have a teeny-tiny bit of tan left somewhere on your body, but you'll have noticed your face returning to its whiter-than-white state in recent weeks. It's then that we put away items such as tinted moisturiser and barely there skin tints and turn our attention once again to proper make-up. There are some extra steps in skincare and cosmetics that offer no results, but with make-up primers, you can see what you get. They make your foundation or eyeshadow last longer - that's the basic demand; but the new models will do more.

Once upon a time, there were only a few primers on the market, which basically offered staying power; but now there are primers to suit all skin types and needs. There are primers to suit dry or oily skin, and, even better, to work with combination skin, on which foundation can look both cakey and greasy on a single face. So, when you're shopping for primer, seek out one that suits your skin. Also, have a look for bonuses such as skincare ingredients, glow-boosters, or a soft-focus effect. Fundamentally, though, this single product will allow you to use less foundation to better effect. So, it's a money-saving product too, right?

Best Overall

Giorgio Armani Prima Refreshing Make-Up Fix, €45, Brown Thomas Dublin, Cork and Limerick

Giorgio Armani have several primer-type products arriving on counters this autumn. There's one specifically for the eye and lip area, another that's a gorgeous under-foundation lotion, and there's this, which is a spray for over your make-up. Basically, it's a fixative that you mist over your make-up, which promises to hold everything in place, while also creating a velvety finish. It can also be used as a make-up refresher later in the day. "I liked this most as a refresher," said one panellist. "When, mid-afternoon, I looked a bit wilted, it got rid of any ashy or dull look."

Best Eyes Bright

Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base, €25, Clarins counters nationwide

This product operates as a primer for eyeshadow and, as Clarins put it, a foundation for your lids. Why not use ordinary foundation? Because it will slide off. This is moisturising to the point that it won't make the eye area look crepey, aka lined, but it has a matte, tinted finish. The skintone is made even-looking and, if you apply shadow, it will stay put. "Solo, it covers all dark rings and dark spots," said a panellist, "but it is magic with eye make-up."

Best Lid Lover

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer, €5.95, Penneys; Dunnes Stores and selected pharmacies nationwide

Unlike the Clarins product above, this primer is clear and is designed to do one thing, which is to make your eyeshadow go on smoothly and stay in place. Also, while some shadows oxidise and change colour on bare skin, a primer like this will keep the colour true. We admit that some more expensive primers have greater resistance to oily eyelids, if that's your complaint, but this product gives at least six hours of no-budge colour. "Amazing value, and a tiny bit goes a long way," said a panellist. " I hate the brand name, but it's good stuff."

Best Matt Magic

Catrice Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer, €4.95, Penneys; Dunnes Stores and selected pharmacies nationwide

Most often, we recommend Catrice products for younger make-up wearers. In terms of price, quality and bold colour, it's a brand that appeals to the cash-poor and cosmetic-brave. And those blessed with young, trouble-free skin. This primer will work for any age, though, as its skintone-enhancing ingredients bestow that soft-focus, even appearance we crave at any age. "A silky product over which my foundation glided and stuck," a panellist said. "And my make-up looked more polished, too."

Best Glow Girl

Flormar Double Radiance Primer Highlighter SPF 10, €12.95, selected pharmacies nationwide

This is one to go for if glow is what you're after. This could be the case if you're older and worried about dull dryness, but maybe more so if you are young and after a dewy, night-time look. With its highlighting, light-catching particles, this will make even the most matt make-up shimmer. "This is glimmery, so I made it my night-out primer," a panellist said, "My skin had a lovely gleam, but it's not at all slippery and my make-up lasted very well."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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