Tinted lip balm is just what every woman needs for those minimal make-up days. You know the ones. It could be a lazy Saturday or the feeling might overwhelm you on a too-busy Tuesday. It's when you just can't face full-on lipstick, powder and paint, but you know that a touch of colour will make all the difference. The ideal candidate will moisturise lips with a healthy glow and a barely there hue. Here are some favourites.
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Curvy Candy, €20
This provides a subtle, but pretty colour that's perfect for the natural look. Applying it feels like colouring your lips in with super-moisturising crayon! Very cute packaging. And while there's a good range of colours, the pink-tinged Curvy Candy is definitely my favourite.
Bobbi Brown Tinted Lip Balm, €19
Minimalist girls will love this. Part of the new 'Raw Sugar' collection, stylish packaging reveals an incredibly wearable sheer shade with a smooth texture that's dead easy to apply thanks to its stick balm applicator. It's available in four shades, and I particularly like Raspberry Pink. Limited edition.
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, €7.95
I like the shimmer effect of this waxy balm, but, although the 100pc natural formulation contains moisturising pearl and silk extracts, it wasn't long before my lips felt a little parched, leading me into a vicious circle of reapplying. Probably best for youngsters who want a hint of colour rather than a full-on lipstick. Available in six shades, and Red Dahlia has been known to double-job as a cheek tint.
Korres Rose Lip Butter Stick SPF15, €8.50, available from House of Fraser
Don't be fooled by the name: this is nicely moisturising and soothes chapped lips but it's not a butter! It does off a good colour payoff though, similar to a sheer lipstick. Bonus points for the SPF.
I'm giving my lashes a serious lick with MAC's new 3D Black Lash mascara (€22). This is terrific for a strong yet wearable day-time look, but, be warned, it can be a bit gloopy so make sure to gently wipe the wand before applying. I'm also trying out the latest skin preparation essential, Max Factor's Facefinity All-Day Primer (€13.99), which gives a lovely matte base and boasts an SPF 20. Finally, the last few sun-filled days have got me thinking about summer, so I'm trying to remember to exfoliate regularly with Garnier Oil Beauty's Nourishing Scrub (€10.99), which lives up to its name thanks to four key oils and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.
Treat of the week
My appointment was for 10am on Saturday, so imagine my surprise to find myself in an oasis of calm as I settled myself in to newly refurbished Peter Mark's salon on Dublin's Grafton Street. It probably helped that I was sitting downstairs, which is definitely more peaceful.
Grafton Street was the location for the original Peter Mark salon set up by Peter and Mark Keaveney in 1961, and the current incarnation includes a colour lounge and a styling suite.
After a thorough consultation with my stylist, Cathy, I opted for a cut and half head of Inoa highlights (€124). And I was really happy with the results, which included a drastic change of look (i.e. I swapped my hair parting to the other side) and a brave new foray into colour (Cathy used a blend of light and dark blonde mixed up with copper). Almost a week on, the colour is vibrant and the style manageable – result!
Peter Mark currently has several special offers available. To make an appointment at the Grafton St salon, call 01 671 4399.