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Louise McSharry: ‘For years, I dismissed body makeup as something that would be more hassle than it was worth — then I tried it, and everything changed’

With careful application, body makeup can give you flawless skin complete with a J-Lo glow 

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‘Thin layers are the secret to lasting makeup, whether it’s on your face or body’

‘Thin layers are the secret to lasting makeup, whether it’s on your face or body’

‘Thin layers are the secret to lasting makeup, whether it’s on your face or body’

I don’t know about you, but I have been absolutely obsessed with following the recent gossip around Don’t Worry Darling. The film, directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival, amid much rumour and speculation about tension on the set.

As with all these matters, we have no idea what’s really gone on, but the internet is having great fun analysing every social media post, facial expression and utterance of the cast of this film. For example, Pugh arriving 10 minutes into the press conference, looking absolutely banging in a purple co-ord and carrying an Aperol spritz. There’s lots to think about there in gossip terms, but I was completely taken by her beautifully even skin.

I’m constantly amazed by famous people’s immaculate bodies. Not so much the size and shape, but the fact that they never seem to have evidence of an insect bite they couldn’t leave alone, a mark from where their brother tripped them when they were five, or even a chicken pox scar. Is it that they don’t have the marks of life’s trials and tribulations? No, it’s that they’re wearing body makeup.

For years, I dismissed body makeup as something that would be more hassle than it was worth. I worried about patchy application and transfer onto my clothes — then I tried it, and everything changed. Yes, it is a bit of faff, but with the right product and careful application, you can have the flawless celebrity skin of your dreams.

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Vichy’s Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder

Vichy’s Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder

Vichy’s Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder

The secret to wearing body makeup is to apply as little as possible. Start with a thin layer — I like to use my fingers or a large, flat stippling brush. Allow that to dry down completely, and if you’re not happy with the coverage, apply another layer where necessary. Thin layers are the secret to lasting makeup, whether it’s on your face or body. Once you’re happy with the coverage, apply a thin layer of translucent powder. I like Vichy’s Dermablend Translucent Setting Powder for this purpose (€21.50 via boots.ie).

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Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation

Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation

Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation

In terms of product, Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation is hard to beat. The formula is thin, which makes it perfect to apply layer by layer. It sets relatively quickly, so you need to move fast, but the way it sets is what makes it so good for the body. It lasts ages and wears well, so you don’t need to worry about it through the day or night. Despite it’s setting power, its finish is skinlike, leaving you fresh and luminous rather than unnaturally matte. Unlike some body products, this offering comes in 40 shades, so there should be one for everyone.

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MAC Studio Radiance Face & Body

MAC Studio Radiance Face & Body

MAC Studio Radiance Face & Body

MAC Studio Radiance Face & Body (€34 via boots.ie) is another solid option, offering similar coverage and a satin finish as well as a strong shade range. I have had a slight issue with it transferring onto clothes, but if you’re not going to be wearing a light colour or doing strenuous dancing, it’ll work just fine.

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Scott Barnes’s Body Bling

Scott Barnes’s Body Bling

Scott Barnes’s Body Bling

If you’re less concerned about covering marks and instead would like to up your skin’s gleam factor, there are lots of great products around. I came to know makeup artist Scott Barnes’s Body Bling (€42 via millies.ie) when I was doing one of my routine investigations into how J-Lo looks the way that she does (incredible). Before she had her own line of beauty products, this was one of her staples. It is a gorgeous product which evens out the skin tone and adds shimmer. Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava Body Luminizer (€50 via boots.ie) is another solid option which leaves the body dewy and glistening.

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Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava Body Luminizer

Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava Body Luminizer

Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava Body Luminizer

Lost in translation

Pores are small openings in the skin which come in two types — oil pores and sweat pores. These are where oil and sweat can come to the surface of the skin to lubricate it and keep the body cool. Despite what some beauty brands indicate, there is no way to ‘get rid of’ pores. They are an essential part of your skin’s healthy function. You can minimise their appearance using exfoliating treatments and products like AHAs or BHAs.

Something old…

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Pat McGrath Labs’ Mothership III: Subversive Eyeshadow Palette

Pat McGrath Labs’ Mothership III: Subversive Eyeshadow Palette

Pat McGrath Labs’ Mothership III: Subversive Eyeshadow Palette

Pat McGrath launched her makeup line in 2015 after decades in the fashion industry as a makeup artist. Her products are excellent, as you might expect from an artist who’s worked on countless iconic fashion shows and Vogue beauty spreads. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but Pat McGrath Labs’ Mothership eyeshadow palettes deliver in both formula and drama. While some stick to more traditional shades of rose or bronze, there are many options which deliver in the avant-garde stakes. Subversive (€160 via patmcgrath.com), for example, contains a collection of shades which range from a metallic gun metal to a rich aubergine. These are highly pigmented, and contain some of the best shimmers I’ve ever used. There is no doubt that they are an expensive purchase, but makeup lovers will adore them.

... Something new

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Isamaya Beauty's Industrial Colour Pigments

Isamaya Beauty's Industrial Colour Pigments

Isamaya Beauty's Industrial Colour Pigments

Isamaya Ffrench is a British makeup artist who, at just 33, has become much lauded for her editorial beauty looks and wearable art creations. This summer, she launched her first range of industrial-themed products (think Berghain) under the name Isamaya Beauty. The line includes a mascara, brow gel and lip lacquer, but the standout for me is the Industrial Colour Pigments (€97 via selfridges.com). So often these days, palettes are filled with relatively dull shades, so I was thrilled to see that this one was all about in-your-face theatrics. The 14 shades range from dark and moody to lighter, glistening highlights, with an emphasis on glitter and shine.


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