Beauty: Bring me Sunshine...and seasonal favourites
Keep the summer sizzling for a few weeks more with these five seasonal favourites
Traditionally, there comes a point in the Irish summer when we give up hope of ever seeing some sunshine and accept that autumn is on its way. The glorious summers of this year and last have us spoilt, though, and a little confused. Stocks of school uniforms in the shops may be starting to dwindle already, but that's no reason to write off the summer just yet.
We're not used to needing sun protection and summery make-up for such prolonged periods, but this year and last have seen us require SPF beyond our fortnight in Portugal, and bronzer beyond our long weekend in Ibiza. Those summer products that we bought five years ago - and that never ran out, because we only used them once a year - have been used up and worn out and, perhaps for the first time ever, we've had to shop around for new summer stuff. And it's not over yet, so, with back-to-school still a little way off and the hope of a few Indian-summer weeks to follow, one can easily justify a few more summer purchases.
With that in mind, here's our round-up of the best sunshine-friendly, glow-enhancing, over-cooked-averting products that passed our way this season. Shine on.
Avene Eau Thermale Very High Protection Spray SPF 50+, €23.50, selected pharmacies nationwide
It's one thing to be reckless with sun protection in mid-June, when the weather is hot for only ten minutes, but if you don't protect yourself over a long, hot summer, you will see the consequences quickly. And if fear of skin cancer doesn't work, then try wrinkles and a general leather-suitcase look. This is a high-SPF option that is not sticky or sweat-inducing, and the thermal-spa water makes it suitable for sensitive types. "This lives up to its no-white-look promise," said one panellist, "and the white look is my pet SPF peeve. It feels like a low factor, which is high praise."
Chanel Les Beiges All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid SPF 15, €40, Chanel counters nationwide
Following last year's launch of the Les Beiges lightweight powders, Chanel brought out this liquid for summer 2014. Available in six shades, the oil-free formulation contains hyaluronic acid to attract moisture and prevent a prune-like look. It has both UVA and UVB protection. "I like the Les Beiges powders, but the coverage is a bit too sheer to wear solo," one panellist said. "This offers that bit more make-up, while giving a good glow."
Tom Ford Private Blend Costa Azzurra Eau de Parfum, €178, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
Italy was the inspiration for both of Tom Ford's limited-edition summer scents this year, and this unisex eau de parfum is supposed to evoke Sardinia, with elements of sun-heated herbs, sandy beaches and deep forests. It's a crisp, fresh fragrance that went down well with male panellists, given its underlying cologne-like character. "Summer smells for men are hard to come by, as summer seems to be all about girlie flowers," said one male panellist. "The deep, dark greenness of this is very holiday-ish."
Lancome Soleil Bronzer Sun BB Cream SPF 50, €29, Lancome counters nationwide
The name and the packaging might suggest a self-tan, but this is, in fact, a sun-protection product. Basically, it's high SPF for your face, with the lightweight make-up qualities of a BB cream. Be warned, however, that the one, quite golden shade fits all, so it's not for the very pale. With vitamin E and excellent levels of protection from UVA and UVB rays. "This is great for a city or a beach break, because it gets your face both protected and polished," said a panellist. "A fab multi-tasker."
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eyeshadow Palette in Sultry Nudes, €52, Estee Lauder counters nationwide
This palette will last you well into next summer, and, with its nude-to-brown shades, it's ideal for both home and away. The palette itself is a gorgeous tortoiseshell, containing eight different decent-size shadows, five of which are matt and three are shimmer. "These are suit-anyone shadows, in a great case with a pretty good double-ended applicator," said a panellist. "You could go anywhere with this."