Beauty panel: Less is More
It's autumn, and time to shed some warpaint, says our beauty expert, who has five of the panellists' seasonal saviours
If, for some time, it has seemed to you that getting your make-up right was beyond your ability and available free time, then the good news is that a pared-back look is big this winter. Hurrah, you think, no need for brushes, instruction leaflets and the mantra of blend, blend, blend. Well, not quite. There's still plenty of make-up and deftness involved in a great 'nearly naked' look, which will be music to the ears of those who, in recent times, have loved applying their contouring, five eyeshadow shades, lip liner and lipstick. Now, it's about appearing less carefully constructed, and more natural, and we have five autumnal beauties to help you along.
Key to this autumn's look is a glowing, youthfully dewy complexion. So lay off the contouring a bit, ditch the bronzer until next summer - or Christmas, if you must - and see the value in simplicity. Hang on to your highlighter, keep your cheeks and lips clean-looking, and think autumnal when choosing your eyeshadow shades. And if you're someone who believes that no selfie is right without a full face of make-up, then think again. This pared-back trend is about accentuating the positive, not exposing your flaws. Have courage, and cut out some of your cosmetics.
YSL Nail Lacquer Matte Finish in Le Nu, €24, YSL counters nationwide
This seasonal stunner is like the anti-nail-polish nail polish. Not only is it a pretty brutal shade, but it's also determinedly dull. And by brutal and dull, we mean tough and matt. Matt won't work for everyone. If you don't think nails look done unless they're shiny, it might take some getting used to. It looks especially good on shorter nails, which you might say, is more of the trend against obvious preening. "The matt finish is disconcerting at first," said one panellist, "but it has a sort of touchability that's really pleasing, and the colour is very striking and bold."
Best Autumn Eyes
Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Tisse D'Automne, €50, Chanel counters nationwide
Peach, copper, olive and a blackened-olive shade make up this quad palette, which is nicely seasonally apt. There is a gentle warmth to the colours, making them suitable for almost any eye colour, and they go well with pale or dark skin. The finish is velvety to shimmery, and you can work them in multiple ways, to be minimally made-up or for full night-out impact. "I'd get loads of use out of a palette of these colours," one panellist said. "They are nicely warm and not too full-on for the dull days ahead."
Best Light Lips
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in No 45, €6.99, available nationwide
Rimmel's Kate Moss range boasts two new defiantly nude shades this season. This is the more easily worn colour, a nude with a hint of rose pink; while the other shade, No43, is totally tan. If your teeth aren't Simon Cowell white, you should think twice about the tan one. And if you're over 40, you really need to consider lip pencil with any nude lipstick, or your lips might just meld into the rest of your face. "Colour aside, I judge a lipstick on its smell, and this smells more expensive than it is," said a panellist. "The nude but flattering colour is a little bit of luxury, too."
Best Cheek Lift
Giorgio Armani Eclipse Highlighting Palette, €85, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
The trend for contouring remains this season, but in a more muted manner than of late. There's less emphasis now on the dark, sometimes muddy colours you have been called on to create cheek-hollows, and more emphasis on highlighters. This is a gentle illuminator that will flatter any skintone, and it's an extremely finely milled powder, which makes it pretty foolproof. "This is like a velvety veil of highlight," a panellist said. "It's suitable for daytime, and it's a proper grown-up glimmer that made my skin glow."
Best Full Face
YSL Kiss & Love Edition Complete Make-Up Palette, €85, Brown Thomas
YSL have some pretty lovely make-up releases this season, which accounts for the presence of two on this page. This is a full-face palette, in that it covers eyes, cheeks and lips, and it's packaged in a lovely gold-leather, notebook-like case. Four eye colours tend towards gold, peach and warm brown, while there's a highlighting blush, and lip options for day and night. "The case is a beauty, and the contents provide a full refreshing of my make-up," said one panellist.