There comes a time in the tail-end of winter, when we begin to come out of hibernation and wonder, “So, what’s new?” We’re ready to live a little again and even spend a little again, too.
And something new in the make-up bag, preferably a product that will banish that sleepy, just-out-of-hibernation look, is exactly what we desire. A bit of brightness, a bit of freshness — a bit of colour, even, if we’re feeling suitably bold.
The new make-up trends are starting to come on to the shelves of department stores, pharmacies and supermarkets in the weeks ahead and there are new twists on nude, colourful takes on smokey eyes, lots of super-bright but wearable sheer lip colours, and a whole new slew of BB creams and their new cousin, CC creams. We’re dipping a tentative toe into what’s new, however, with some suggestions that will add a little bit of spring to your make-up bag without making you look like you’re getting ahead of yourself. Our best overall is a foundation, because, as everyone knows, you’re never done seeking out that perfect base and the cosmetic companies are never done with foundation innovation.
Lancome Teint Visionnaire SPF 20, €45, Lancome counters nationwide
Panellists across the generations and genders swear by this brand’s Visionnaire serum, which has made its way into this “high-tech make-up duo”. Essentially, it’s a bottle of foundation infused with the serum and it also has a cap that conceals a pot of creamy complexion corrector. “The complexion corrector alone made me look sort of airbrushed,” explained one panellist, “but in partnership with the foundation, I was so smoothed out and looked less winter-weary.”
BEST BRILLIANT LIPS
Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant in Sweet Plum, €20, Clarins counters nationwide
Sheer pops of colour are certainly what lips will be all about this spring, so try to put aside the full-impact lipstick some of the time, at least. This new-launch lipstick has the feel of a non-waxy lip balm but it has enough pigment to pass as a more cosmetic product. And it’s slightly sparkly too, so your lips appear to be in great condition. It comes in this pinky-purple colour and in Watermelon, a baby pink. “It’s not a gloss, and not a lipstick, which suited me just fine, as it seemed a less wintry look,” explained one panellist. “I also really like the fruity smell, which suggested that sunnier days lie ahead.” BEST BARELY MAKE-UP Mac Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35, €36.50, Brown Thomas and BT2 This BB cream ticks both skincare and make-up boxes. If you’re after a high-coverage make-up look, it’s a great foundation primer. If you want a sheer look, it’s perfect solo. If you want your skin shielded from the elements, it’s your man. Furthermore, the three available shades are ideally suited to Irish complexions, unlike earlier BB creams that remained true to their Asian origins. “This is lovely,” said a panellist. “It balances creamy and sheer beautifully and while I don’t look made-up, I do look woken up.”
BEST NEW EYES
Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow in Sweet Pea, €12.95, Body Shop nationwide
Staying true to its roots, this brand makes much of the Fair Trade oils and rare pigments used in their new launch of 30 single-colour eyeshadows, and so they should. In addition, however, the colours are very pretty and the pigments are long-lasting, which makes them a good purchase all round. We like this khaki green shade, which has a sheen that stops it from looking muddy. “The texture of this eyeshadow is great,” one panellist said. “It’s a powder, but very soft and it blends beautifully.”
BEST NICE NAILS
Chanel Le Vernis in Emprise, €22, Chanel counters nationwide
This season’s nudes are all about the pinks and peaches that are infinitely more wearable for seasonally wan Irish skin. This is a peachy pink that is satisfyingly opaque, where a lot of polishes in this colour can be transparent and messy-looking. “Just what the doctor ordered,” said a panellist. “It gave good coverage to my nails, which are still messed up from a Christmas long-lasting manicure. It’s a shade that’s girlie but not childish. Two coats gives a full finish.” Sarah Caden Pictured, from left: Lancome Teint Visionnaire SPF 20; Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant in Sweet Plum; Mac Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35; Body Shop Colour Crush Eye Shadow in Sweet Pea; Chanel Le Vernis in Emprise