Louise McSharry: From a penis-shaped lippy to glowtastic face balm, these beauty finds have the ‘wow’ factor

Our beauty writer on the products that deliver results and lots of compliments

The latest beauty products Louise has tried

Louise McSharry

Through the course of research for this column, I try a lot of products, as you know. It’s always interesting to see what people comment on. Obviously anything sparkly and exciting will get a comment, or a bold colour, but when a complexion product attracts attention, it’s usually pretty special. “Your skin looks great!” is always a great compliment, and I’ve gotten it a lot recently, thanks to a series of excellent new products.

The first is Jones Road Miracle Balm (€36 via jonesroadbeauty.com) which I wrote about here a few weeks ago. The compliments keep coming thanks to the healthy glow it bestows, and I fall more and more in love with it each day.

Kosas Revealer Foundation, €40, spacenk.com

The second is Kosas Revealer Foundation (€40 via spacenk.com) which has quickly become my new favourite. Founded in 2015 in Los Angeles, Kosas’s tagline is “makeup for skincare freaks”, which rings true when it comes to this foundation. The formula includes niacinamide, squalane and peptides as well as SPF25, and you can actually feel the skincare ingredients as you apply the formula. It feels nourishing, but also offers beautiful, buildable skin-like coverage. This is a ‘your skin but better’ foundation. It also wears well.

This week I applied it one morning at 7.30am and it still looked good at 7.30pm. Kosas has recently launched into Space NK, and I used the brand’s own shade-matching system to select my colour, and was very happy with the resulting match. It’s available in 36 shades in a variety of undertones.

Maybelline SuperStay Hybrid Powder Foundation, €16.99, boots.ie

If you prefer a more matte finish, I’ve been very impressed by Maybelline SuperStay Hybrid Powder Foundation(€16.99 via boots.ie). I’m not usually a powder foundation gal — I’m always afraid it will look cakey and over-the-top. This formula is impressive though. It feels creamy on the skin and applies smoothly while offering medium satin-finish coverage.

Electric Cherry, €320 for 50ml, brownthomas.com

Other products which have been sparking joy of late include Tom Ford’s latest fragrance offering, Electric Cherry (€320 for 50ml via brownthomas.com). I really like this unexpected combination of tart cherry alongside notes of ginger and jasmine. It’s floral and fruity with a bit of warmth, and its bold red and pink packaging brightens my mood every time my eye catches it. Unfortunately, the price tag is eye-watering. It feels a little bit like the entire fragrance industry has lost the run of itself when it comes to pricing these days, if I’m honest. But if you have the money, this is a lovely choice.

Isamaya Sheer Lipstick Balm, €96, selfridges.com

While I’m on eye-catching packaging, I must mention Isamaya Sheer Lipstick Balm (€96 via selfridges.com), another recent favourite. The formula is gorgeous. It delivers comfort, hydration and glossy shine along with a sheer veil of colour. It’s the packaging, which won’t be for everyone, that makes this product so special though. There’s no delicate way to put this, so I’ll just tell it to you straight. It’s penis-shaped. It’s incredibly camp and over the top, and makes me laugh every time I use it, and it could potentially do the same for you. The price tag is high, but I plan on having it long after the balm runs out just for the lift.

Glossier Deodorant, €21, glossier.com

Finally, I’m a big believer in making mundane tasks feel a little bit special, and Glossier Deodorant (€21 via glossier.com) has managed to do just that. The refillable packaging has the same chic and simple style as the rest of Glossier’s products, and the product itself comes in three scents: Sandstone, Orange Blossom Neroli and the much-loved Glossier You (my favourite). There’s also an unscented version for those who prefer to keep things neutral.

Lost in Translation

Ectoin is the latest skincare ingredient to get people in the industry buzzing, so get ready to see it in plenty of ingredient lists. An amino acid, ectoin works to protect skin cells from chemical and physical damage and reduces redness and inflammation as a result. Experts suggest that it works well alongside products which might irritate, like acids and retinoids, to minimise any potential irritation.

Something old...

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil, €24, clarins.ie

I tried Clarins Lip Comfort Oil(€24 via clarins.ie) for the first time almost 10 years ago, and I’ve had one in my vicinity ever since. The glossy and hydrating formula is, as you might expect based on the name, incredibly comfortable. While you might think of an oil as a thin, slippery product, this is thick enough that it wears well rather than sinking in immediately, but not so thick that you feel like you’ve applied a layer of glue to your face. Available in 10 shades, one of these products is sold every minute worldwide. These days, glossy doesn’t have to mean sticky, thanks to oils like this.

... Something new

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Tinted Lip Oil, €22, spacenk.com

Lip oils are having a moment, and Rare Beauty basically is the moment (they literally can’t keep the products in stock), so it’s no surprise that people are really excited about the brand’sSoft Pinch Tinted Lip Oil (€22 via spacenk.com). The product is formulated with jojoba and sunflower oil to provide hydration, and it’s available in eight shades of pinks and nudes. The finish is a sheer veil of glossy colour on the lips when it’s worn on its own. It also makes the lips look fuller and is beautiful when layered over lipstick.