Ruth Griffin: Beauty bouquet
Inspired by the Rose of Tralee, add some petal power to your make-up bag
The Rose of Tralee Festival has kicked off for another year and sees dozens of accomplished, smart and beautiful women from across the country and the globe gather in Kerry. The festival will be televised on RTÉ this Monday and Tuesday, August 20 and 21, with the winner being crowned on the second evening.
To get some insight into a beauty regimen worthy of a Rose, I picked the brains of last year's Rose of Tralee - the gorgeously groomed Jennifer Byrne from Offaly, who is a very busy doctor working in the paediatric department of UCH Galway - for this week's Backstage Beauty (below).
For the rest of us who will be watching at home, I've compiled rose-tinted beauty pages filled with lots of flower-powered beauty goodies to help you get your rosy glow on.
Treat vs Cheat
Pixi Skintreats Rose Tonic
Rosewater is a gentle, effective toner. This is a luxe version with added elderflower. From Arnotts and Marks & Spencer
UltraPure Rose Water
This is a brilliant, more budget-friendly option. From pharmacies nationwide
8 of the best rose products
For rose enthusiasts with a generous beauty budget, this luxe product is a gel, rather than a cream-based moisturiser. Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Rose Lotion, €100, is infused with a blend of three rose extracts, rose water and petal extracts. After cleansing the face and neck, apply this and leave to sink in for few minutes before adding serum and moisturiser. From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
The Korean beauty technique of 'misting' the face throughout the day is quickly becoming a staple part of beauty buffs' skin routines here. Misting adds moisture, vitamins and minerals to our skin. The MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Rose Mist, €22, can be used to smooth out your foundation, refresh your make-up to last longer, and to moisturise and soothe tired faces. From Brown Thomas, BT2, Arnotts, and The Loop at Dublin Airport.
This cute little rose-topped cupcake may look good enough to eat, but it's actually a rose-scented bath melt. Pop this in under running water and soak away, and you'll literally come out smelling of roses. Miss Patisserie Red Rose Bath Melt, €6, from Boots nationwide.
A gorgeous-smelling hair texturiser that's 100pc natural, Warrior Botanicals Himalayan Rose Salt Spray, €18, has aloe vera, Himalayan pink salt and organic essential oils in a base of Bulgarian rosewater. Spray along the length of your hair as a hair perfume, to hydrate, or add texture and create that beach-babe hair look. Gorgeous! From healthfood stores nationwide and warriorbotanicals.com
As we age, we lose luminescence and that pinky glow to our skin, and our faces can instead appear grey and pallid. A great way to combat this is to opt for a rose-tinted moisturiser. Try L'Oréal Age Perfect Rose Re-Fortifying Cream, €21.50, or Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinum Moisturiser, €32, from pharmacies nationwide.
Facial oils are an amazing way to amp up skin hydration, especially for parched and more mature skins. A lovely option that can be worn on its own, or over your normal moisturiser, is Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil, €60. Cheat your way to dewy skin by adding a tiny drop of this oil to your foundation. Available from department stores nationwide.
This body wash and cream set is gorgeous, with a subtle-smelling blend of raspberry, rosebuds and vanilla. Rathbornes Body Care Gift Set Dublin Tea Rose, €45, from Brown Thomas and brownthomas.com
This bright rosy-pink tinted mask is brilliant for resurfacing and polishing the skin. Apply Shiseido's Waso Purifying Peel Off Mask, €38, all over the face and neck, leave to dry for 20 minutes, and then gain a lot of satisfaction from stripping and peeling it off the skin! From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
The 2017 Rose of Tralee, Jennifer Byrne, hands over her crown this week after a year travelling the country and beyond to carry out her Rose duties. A doctor working in UCH Galway, Jennifer is from Clonderrig, Co Offaly. Here, the Rose and Tipperary Crystal ambassador shares the top-beauty tips and tricks she picked up over the last very busy year...
Top five make-up heroes?
Make Up For Ever HD foundation; Benefit bronzer and their BADgal mascara; Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk lipstick, and Pigments from Inglot.
Your skincare routine?
I've used Dermalogica since I was a teenager; I find it really suits my skin. To be honest, I never get up early enough to cleanse, tone and moisturise in the mornings, but I make sure to do it every night. I like to treat myself to a facial every few months.
Favourite beauty tool?
Investing in a good set of make-up brushes is key. If you have good brushes, it's so much easier to apply your make-up well. I use a combination of MAC and BareMinerals brushes.
What's Your haircare routine?
I have really long, thick hair so it can be quite difficult to style myself at times. I love Pantene Smooth and Sleek shampoo and conditioner, and I invested in a really good hair dryer, which I'd really recommend doing. I also love using a Steampod, as it doesn't dry out my hair, and I got an InStyler for Christmas, which is great. I was sponsored by Studio One in Tullamore and Sean Taaffe's in Tralee this year, so they can take most of the credit for my hair over the past 12 months!
What products do you spend on, and which do you save on?
I love the Bellamianta Gradual Moisturiser and the Dove one, which is a bit cheaper. I think it's nice to have a bit of a glow and still look natural. The key is to make sure I exfoliate and moisturise properly beforehand; the Cocoa Brown exfoliator is really good for removing old tan. I also love the Garnier almond moisturiser - it's cheap but really works. I love the Inglot contouring palette. I think it's also worth investing in a few Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks (right): they're amazing.
Best beauty trick you've learned as Rose of Tralee?
Keeping your eyebrows in good shape really helps. I love getting HD eyebrows because it means I can wear simple make-up and still feel I've good definition. They can be expensive, but for me I feel it's really worth it.
What beauty advice would you give to this year's contestants?
I remember before I went to Tralee last year, I was practising different hairstyles and make-up techniques. When we got to Tralee, the schedule was so busy that we didn't really have enough time to try anything time-consuming! My advice would be to keep it simple, stick with what you know and what you're comfortable doing.
What has been your loveliest memory of your experience with the Rose of Tralee?
I'll always cherish being invited to Gracie Mansion in New York on St Patrick's Day and marching down Fifth Avenue. It was a really special day. I had to get up at 5am that morning so I kept the make-up simple that day!