This week, we get serious about serums for all ages, fabulising feet, being able to breathe in the bathroom, and staying beautiful on the cheap. Our expert, Triona McCarthy, has all the latest tips and trends
It's all very well having matching lips and tips, like I have in my photo, above, but glowing skin goes with everything! So, we need to get something straight here.
From talking to lots of you ladies, I know that some of you think serums are merely a marketing ploy by skincare companies to get customers to spend more money.
Readers, trust me; I'm not prennent le piss when I say you need to use a serum if you want to seriously improve your complexion.
OK, they are a bit more spendy than moisturisers, but that's because you're getting more concentrated ingredients and deeper-penetrating results.
Serums contain more active ingredients to combat wrinkles/age/pigmentation issues. So, basically, if you have a problem with your skin that you'd like to improve, then using a serum definitely helps.
Now which one to go for? I'm a big fan of Trilogy's Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Serum, €36.29, from health stores nationwide, as it's great for a new mum, like me. I like to buy Irish, so Kinvara's Skincare Rosehip Face Serum, €28, see www.kinvaraskincare.com, is a great alternative. Ali Mac's Face Serum, €41.95, www.alimacskincare.com, is full of super-restorative ingredients, such as rosehip, jojoba and avocado.
Vichy's Idealia Life Serum, left, €34.50, is a unique combination of LR2412+LHA molecules, which help to transform the appearance of skin quality affected by fatigue, stress, pollution, cigarette smoke or an unbalanced diet.
If I was rich, I'd use SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel, €180, every day. SkinCeuticals took their award-winning CF Serum – which clinical studies proved interrupted several chain reactions that can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer – and put it in gel form, so now it suits all skin types. For stockists, see www.skinceuticals.co.uk
For women aged 60-plus, No7 Restore & Renew Day and Night Serums, both right, €33 each, target the five key signs of ageing. A little goes a long way. Once it has been absorbed, apply your moisturiser with an SPF.
My friends, Melanie and Trevor, are DILDOs.
You read that right – it's not a typo – they are double-income little-dog owners.
They have the most adorable pooch called Flumpy, who has a better wardrobe, diet, social life and even better hair than I do!
I don't know why talk of Flumpy has made me think of cleaning your cosmetic brushes, but it has, and the best product to do it with, I find, is Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner, right, from €15, available from Brown Thomas.
One of my New Year beauty resolutions is to clean my brushes more often, especially any brushes I use with creamy products, such as concealer, lipstick or foundation.
The Shu Uemura cleaner is my fave as it works so quickly.
Many times, I've thought, 'I really need to clean my brushes, but they'll never be dry by tomorrow when I need them.'
Not with this beauty.
Simply pour the brush cleanser into a glass, swirl the brush in it, and then press the brush against a towel to reshape it. Then, to dry your brushes, lay them flat on a towel to dry. Top tip: always lay your brushes flat to avoid water getting into the handles, as it can rot them.
At this time of year, I'm always a bit broke, but I still need to beautify.
So, thank the beauty gods for Lidl's new Osiris Avise range – which lands in stores tomorrow – because everything in the range is only €2. That's right – €2!
The range includes a BB cream, a Vitamin E Day Cream and a hydrating Anti-Wrinkle Night Creme.
But it's the outstanding CC Colour Corrector Cream, right, that I really rate.
It feels really light on the skin, but has the kind of coverage you want on a day that you're pottering about or just walking to the shops and, with SPF 15 protection, it's a real beauty bargain.
Don't Poo-poo It
My mum, Margaret, is mortified since she learnt that the loo is sometimes called the bog, because, for many years, Mum would tell my dad's customers that "Paddy is in the bog."
But Dad wasn't relieving himself – he really was in the bog field up the road.
In our house, Will, my terribly well-brought-up boyf, says he's off to "read a book" when he needs to "spend a penny".
Anyhoo, when it comes to unwanted smells, I have discovered the best thing ever – APC Post-Poo Drops, left, £20, from www.aespo.com
Fab fashion label, APC, and super skincare brand, Aesop, collaborated to come up with this combo of citrus oils for after you've visited the toilet.
Pop a drop in the toilet bowl, post-flush.
Top tip: striking a match after using the bathroom will also help to extinguish a fiendish fragrance.
I never want what everyone else has. So, while everyone was dip-dying the ends of their hair, I went back to a mono colour.
At Kissmas, I was rocking a retro red on my nails when everyone had glittery talons.
Although I did dip the end of my ponytail in glitter eyeshadow after I loaded it with serum and finished it off with hairspray. New trend alert!
Triona's Most Wanted
"Weak people revenge.
Strong people forgive.
Intelligent people ignore."
Cara Delevingne had that posted on her Instagram account recently and it really resonated with me.
You see, I'm all about being happy, from the tip of my nose to the tips of my toes.
So, to get happy feet, I pop into Eve at The Grooming Rooms, where they have a new, purpose-built pedicure room that is the dog's dangly bits.
There are none of those awful, traditional thrones and pump systems that look so out of date.
It's all about pared-back pampering.
White leather chairs and wide, covered bowls filled with fresh water ensure good hygiene, as well as being visually beautiful.
There is no unhygienic foaming with footbaths, and the bowls get sanitized after each use in this self-contained bubble of beautifying.
Anyhoo, I tried out the Cuccio Milk and Honey Paradiso Pedicure, which is €50 for the 60-minute treatment.
Cuccio is the first natural nail, hand and foot-care treatment product line in the world.
My feet were fabulised with a scented milk-and-honey soothing soak, exfoliated with organic sea salts, refreshed with exotic elixirs, then a regenerating, vitamin-enriched wrap was applied before they got an extended massage and some hydrating body butter to create the happiest feet in town.
- Eve at The Grooming Rooms, 16 South William St, D2, tel: (01) 636-9421, or see www.evebeauty.ie