It might be chilly outside but beauty is warming up for spring: coral, running the gamut from pretty peach and sun-kissed beige right up to shocking satsuma, is very definitely the hot shade for 2010.
What is so nice about the coral spectrum is that there is a shade for every skintone and level of beauty bravery, but you do need to know which variations will suit your complexion to get the most from your cosmetic buys.
"Pale skins and creamy complexions will really suit peaches and apricots," advises freelance make-up artist and body painter Shima Mistry. So that's the classic Irish rose taken care of, but what about the rest of the beauty-loving populace? "Darker skins with olive and sallow tones can pull off more intense colours," she advises. There you go ladies: now let's get to it with 10 corals you need to know about for the new season.
1 Palette Perfection
Bobbi Brown likes the shade so much she's built an entire collection around it. Cabana Corals arrives on counter at Brown Thomas and House of Fraser in February and features products for eyes, lips and face. My pick of the bunch is the Cabana Corals lip and eye palette, €60. You get six shadow shades in mattes and shimmer, four lip colours and two good-quality brushes, all dickied up in a double-decker palette that features a generous mirror in the lid. This is a great buy.
2 Sugar and Spice
If last year's Coralista blusher from Benefit was a bit too OTT for you, then you might like Sugarbomb, €33.50. This cute tub of goodness contains a quad of shimmery shades. Swirl them together on a brush and apply to the cheeks for a pretty, softly highlighted finish. For even more impact, the brand suggest you then pick one shade and apply it over your swirl, just on the apples of the cheeks, for a pop of colour. At department stores.
3 Flush Blush
It's fancy, super-posh and has an A-list price, but just one look at Dior's new limited edition Poudrier Dentelle in Peach Lace, €57.50 was enough to convince me I had to have it. A pretty lace pattern is imprinted on this gorgeous subtle blush that's ideal for pale gals. At department stores.
4 Big Bang Theory
Nars' stable of Orgasm products is growing again with the launch of Orgasm Illuminator, £21 (€24.22). A UK Space NK exclusive, you'll have to go online to buy it once it is launched in February -- the only Nars counter on our fair isle is at Brown Thomas, and they won't be carrying it. That said, something tells me the hassle won't put fans off: promising to deliver sophisticated shimmer and shine to skin, the product is versatile and can be used solo over make-up or mixed with foundation or body lotion for some glam night-time appeal.
5 Nail Art
Setting standards -- not to mention trends -- Chanel's lacquer launches are always hotly anticipated. New for spring is Le Vernis in Tendresse, €21, which will hit department stores on Friday and won't stay on counters for long if recent seasons are anything to go by. A delicate pinky-peach, it's the new nude that actually flatters hands. Oh, and you can expect this baby to be aped across the beauty-sphere very shortly too.
6 Retro Glam
America's Next Top Model judge, Michael Kors, is best known for his high-octane gowns and equally high-octane fragrances, but he has now put his name to a limited edition set of products for Estée Lauder. Chunky beige and gold packaging lends a glam 70s vibe to the line but the shades are totally now: pinks, peaches and beiges make the products super-wearable for spring 2010. I'm particularly taken with the Very Hollywood Sunset Coral blush, €33, which will be on-counter at Brown Thomas on February 1.
7 Budget Buy
You don't have to spend a fortune to work the trend because budget brand Essence has some great corals on offer. Their Mosaic Powder, €3.49, won't break the bank but its performance belies the tiny price, providing a perfect hit of colour for a sun-kissed glow. Swirl the shades together on a big powder blush and dust across cheek and brow bones and down the nose. You'll find the brand at Penneys and Dunnes branches.
8 Lipstick Index
Shiseido are incredibly good at lip products, and since the arrival of make-up supremo Dick Page at the brand a couple of years ago, things have got even better. New to the line-up is Perfect Rouge Glowing Matte in Coral Glow, €24. All you need to channel the season's hottest shade on your pucker, the formulation is designed to be semi-transparent, giving a subtle sheer look. That's good news for those who like the colour, but don't fancy the thick appearance of an opaque lipstick.
9 Lip Smackers
Revlon have pulled out all the stops over the past couple of years with products that over-perform for the price. Their new line of lip glosses, €9.50, won't land until March, but I'm already liking the look of the coral shade. You'll find it at Debenhams and Boots branches.
10 Eye Like It
Eye gloss is one of those beauty bits that looks incredible in editorial shoots but which is utterly unworkable in real life, unless you're going for that oh-so-flattering Alice Cooper look. Lancôme is aiming to change that with Le Crayon Khôl Gloss in Swinging Copper, €23. Thick enough to stay put, it's a coppery coral with lots of shine and can also be used to anchor pigment or shadow into place. At pharmacies and department stores.