Ruth Griffin's beauty insider
The beauty trends and products to get egg-cited about this easter
This Easter Saturday I'm sure you're dying to crack open all those chocolate goodies. If you can't wait until tomorrow to treat yourself - or you're looking for a more diet-friendly alternative to an Easter egg - I've packed this week's column with gorgeous products, the hottest beauty trends and a tried-and-tested treatment for you.
In the treat versus cheat section below, I've found two of the best highlighting powders on the market at different price points. Whichever one you might choose, use it by applying with a rounded brush to the top of the cheekbones, the temples, under the brow bones and on the Cupid's bow for a gleaming finish to the skin. On the body, apply the highlighter sparingly on the collarbones, tops of the shoulders, legs and arms. Blend well and add more little by little if necessary, for a glossy night-time look.
Treat vs Cheat
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, €31
The subtle highlighting powder works wonders on the face. A little goes a long way.
Catrice High Glow Mineral Highlighting Powder in No 010, €5.50
Catrice's purse-friendly highlighter is ideal for use on the body.
If the two cult red lipsticks from MAC - Ruby Woo and Russian Red - had a little lipstick baby, this would be it. If, like me, you're a fan of a true matte red lip, get your manicured mitts on this limited edition lipstick from Charlotte Olympia's collaboration with MAC.
Starlett Scarlett lipstick, €21, MAC, Brown Thomas
Charcoal is currently making waves in the beauty world for its powerful purifying and cleansing qualities. I've been using this activated charcoal mask from Dermalogica for a few weeks now and find it brilliant for purifying and re-surfacing the skin, but sensitive enough for use a few times a week.
Charcoal Rescue Mask, €48, Dermalogica, dermalogica.ie
Furry nails might just be the most ridiculous beauty trend ever. Words fail me… These might prove a wee bit tricky when you're changing the baby's nappy!
Limited Edition Pro Brush Kit, €75, Fuschia, pharmacies nationwide and fuschia.ie
This limited edition professional make-up brush set is a serious investment for anyone looking to update, extend or start their brush kit. Every brush you'll ever need is here in this one-stop-shop.
Milky Tan Lotion, €28, Clarins
A gorgeous golden, subtle tan that builds up really well - it was such a lovely colour after two applications. I got so many compliments trying this tan. Perfect for women looking for a natural glow rather than the full-on Brazilian bronzed look.
TIP: If you’ve a fake tan streaky disaster, (especially on your hands) try scrubbing with lemon juice and exfoliating gloves. If that doesn’t do the job apply Jolene facial hair bleach powder and leave on the streaks. I find it can be abrasive on my skin but in an emergency it does the job!
With the longer days and spring having sprung, have we finally reached peak contouring? The heavy handed use of darker powders to reshape your face made famous by Kim Kardashian has this season been replaced by the new beauty buzz words ‘nontour’ (no contouring) and ‘sun stripping’ (placing bronzer where the sun would naturally hit the face). To get the look, use the new MAC Matchmaster liquid compact foundation (€39) all over your face and brush MAC Give Me Sun powder bronzer (€31) on the temples, across the apples of the cheek and down the nose for a fresh outdoorsy healthy glow.
This is an old drag queen make-up trick that has become popular recently in the mainstream. It involves placing concealer, foundation and powder in very thick amounts in certain areas of your face and leaving them on for 15 minutes to let it soak into the skin. This is supposed to reshape the face and looks great on film and in photos, but to be honest it just soaks into lines and wrinkles and is way too heavy-handed for real life. Try instead ‘Beauty Balming’, a lightweight fresh foundation alternative. Use NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (€38) all over the face, a dusting of MAC’s Beauty Powder in Sunny Surprise (€26) over the apples of the cheeks and finish with Lancôme Hypnôse mascara (€28).
Treatment of the week
ZO Stimulator Peel and Facial.
For fine lines, skin dullness, large pores and skin polishing.
Blackrock Aesthetics with Dr Siun Murphy and Bronwyn Conroy. Details (01) 206-4256, drsiunmurphy.com
A light chemical peel followed by a lengthy facial massage.
After an initial skin inspection, skincare specialist Bronwyn Conroy outlined the treatment process. She explained there would be a slight burning and scratching sensation when the peel chemicals were applied, combined with a very intense chemical smell. The chemicals were only applied for two minutes and there was a definite sensation of heat and prickling — but only for a short period. Thereafter it was like a normal facial using ZO professional skincare products.
My skin is definitely brighter, smoother and looks more polished. I loved that there was a long facial and hand massage and mask after the peel. This treatment is the best of both worlds because it is a really relaxing treatment combined with serious results. There is no recovery time necessary. Some clients may get a slight redness to the skin immediately afterwards that should fade after a few hours. I had no redness or tightness after. There was slight peeling of my skin the following few days but then skin was smoother and fresher looking.
Backstage beauty with Karen Fitzpatrick
A successful model for over a decade with agencies both here and abroad, Kilkenny woman Karen Fitzpatrick, above, is also a talented make-up artist.
Contact email@example.com for bookings.
What are your five favourite make-up items?
I use MAC's Prep & Prime Highlighter pen in Light Boost as concealer for under my eyes and around the nose and Cupid's bow. I love it because it's sheer but still conceals and brightens. I also love Chanel Vitalumiere compact powder, Clarins Instant Light lip-gloss in 04, Stila lip and cheek Convertible Colour in Peony and MAC eye pencils in Coffee and Teddy.
Your top make-up tips?
Less is more, especially on your eyes during the day! If your skin is dry, it's so hard to get your foundation to go on or to stay put, so drink lots of water every day and apply a serum and moisturiser before applying foundation.
Your hero skincare product?
Kiehl's Cilantro and Orange Masque is my new favourite product. I've also been using Elemis cleansing balm for years and every time I use it, it still reminds me of a spa facial.
Do you use sunscreen?
Yes, almost all year round as I get pigmentation on my face from the sun - even when it's cloudy! I use Clarins SPF 30 on top of my moisturiser.
Your signature scent?
Gypsy Water by Byredo.
Do you wear false tan?
In winter for work, I've been using Cocoa Brown tan for a few years now and still love it.
What make-up product would you not leave the house without?
Mascara. I use Rimmel's Wonder'full mascara.
Who is your beauty icon?
American model Carolyn Murphy - I just love her hair and make-up. She always looks timeless and effortlessly chic.
What are your top beauty hacks?
Every once in a while pop Elizabeth Arden eight-hour Cream all over your face and leave on over night. It does wonders for dehydrated or irritated skin. Highlighter used correctly is your best friend! Cream blusher is so youthful when placed a little higher up on the apple of your cheeks (make sure to blend properly). It also doubles up as a soft lip colour for during the day, especially if you're pressed for time. Just dab it on using your finger.
What is your daily beauty routine?
I do a quick cleanse in the morning with Bioderma micellar water, spritz on Elemis toner and then moisturise with Trilogy day cream. Night-time is a bit more of a ritual: I cleanse my face with Elemis cleansing balm and a warm face cloth, apply toner, then Trilogy night cream and eye cream. Maybe once a week I'll do a mask.