Fifty shades of blue set tone for colours of spring and summer

With Mary O'Donnell

MY January blues vanished when I got a sneak preview of the 2013 spring/ summer cosmetic colour collection. It banished images of lunchbox-filling chaos and mad school runs, replacing them instead with thoughts of the lazy, hazy fun-filled days of summer.

The key to spring/ summer is that almost any shade of blue will do, provided you use a bright shade and preferably one that can be considered a show stopper and that will make everyone give you a second glance. As a result the most popular shade is electric blue in eye shadows and eye pencils. If you are not a fan of bright colours, feel free to use a darker shade of blue. Eyes are definitely the stronger feature, sorry bold lips.

Lancôme's new collection is called 'in love' and Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame is the muse. Colours include bright corals, pretty pinks and tantalising turquoise. I love their new lipsticks. Baume in Rose is a favourite of mine. Their new blusher will really highlight and define cheekbones and the pretty, pale pink nail varnish will be popular among brides.

Este lauder's new collection is called, Pretty Naughty and draws inspiration from English gardens. Eyes are lined to create emphasis, with the pastel tones that create a feminine look. Cheeks are flushed with a tint of colour. Lips are touched by fanciful shades in satin textures. My favourite is an illuminating powder gelee blush - this is a liquid and powder and gel thus making it a "gelee". Ths pigmentation from this blusher is amazing. The nails are called ' Insatiable' in a muted murky purple that definitely needs two coats. The new lipsticks come in cool, skinny twist up tubes. They are matte so they will last longer.

Check out Clarins new summer lip shades. Sweet rose and petal pink are delicious. They also have a limited edition palette éclat blusher that works similar to Bobby Brown's blusher brick.

I recently came across a new Irish company called Blank Canvas. The owner is Una Tyne, originally from Donegal but now living in Dublin. Una was an art teacher and drew on her experience in the art world to come up with a range of cosmetic makeup brushes. Made from real goat hair these brushes are top of the range but reasonably priced. Many of the brushes are double ended - like foundation on one end and concealer on the other. My advice is to try out her air brush blender sponge, which is used for applying foundation and concealer. Apply it damp in a stippling motion. The tip of the sponge is great for getting into eyes and nose. As you are using a damp sponge you will use less product and the stippling motion will give you a flawless finish. I for one am all for a little air brushing.

Next week, I will be checking out the latest in DIY hair care.