Ruth's Beauty hot 100
In week three of Ruth Griffin's definitive list of the best make-up and skincare products that are a cut above the rest, Weekend's beauty guru singles out the best products for arresting eyes
Welcome to week three of the Beauty Hot 100 - my edit of the make-up and beauty products that stand out from the rest. Over the course of five weeks, I'll be bringing you my pick of specific products for different areas that together build a definitive list of the 100 best products on the market.
What's the most popular make-up item of all time? The beauty product used daily by over 90pc of women? Of all the thousands of make-up products available to us - from foundations to lippies - it may surprise you to find out that the cosmetic most of us don't leave home without is mascara! This week in the Hot 100 I'm focussing on all things peeper related. From the hundreds of products that I've roadtested, I've compiled a list - in no particular order - of the 20 best eye, brow and lash helpers that have served me well and I think you'll love too.
Our eyes are the focal point on our faces and, after the condition of our skin, are the first area to show tiredness. As such, it pays dividends to give them a little attention. Something as quick and easy as popping on a coat of mascara can give your face a lift.
Some top tips I've picked up on applying eye make-up are: always wait until your mascara coat has dried before applying a second coat; use a spoolie brush or old toothbrush to comb through clumps; and always tap off excess eyeshadow from your brush before applying - this stops the powder falling down your face.
Return to the MAC
MAC remain top of the list for powder eyeshadows that give high pigment payoff in textures that don't flake and fall halfway down your face. The colour you see in the pot is the colour you get on your face, meaning you don't have to apply a ton of it. Finishes come in matte, sheen and satin frost. If palettes aren't your thing, you can opt for individuals at €16.50, but I think these Eyeshadow x 9 Palettes, €33.50, are amazing value, and you can refill the empties for €7 each in your chosen colour. My go-to eyeshadow. From Brown Thomas, BT2, Arnotts, The Loop and MAC stores nationwide.
Eye colour crayons
For eye make-up in a jiffy, crayons are brilliant options. Simply swipe the colour crayon over the eyelids and blend with your finger for gorgeous eyes in seconds! The key is to opt for a creamy, lightweight product with a high colour payoff (otherwise your eyelids can look cakey and crepey). A great long-wearing, creamy shadow option kind to older eyes is Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour, €30. The creamy stick glides on to lids and blends easily with a rich colour that is long wearing and transfer- and crease-resistant. It comes in subtle neutral tones - perfect for when you've only seconds to get groomed! From department stores nationwide.
Urban Decay are the absolute masters at eyeshadow palettes. Their Naked range (i.e. nude toned, very wearable colours) is a beauty and make-up insiders' top pick. Their shadows are rich in colour and their textures are always super blendable and non-flaky. Their palettes also last an unbelievably long time. Urban Decay Naked Cherry eyeshadow palette, €49. From Debenhams, Arnotts, The Loop and Urban Decay stores.
If you've had your make-up on all day and it's settled into the fine lines around your eyes, give your eyes a treat with a slick of nourishing oil from the all-natural Kinvara Eye Wow Eye Serum, €29.95. The metal roller ball helps de-puff tired eyes and give a glowing boost to tired peepers, and actually looks gorgeous over make-up or just used on its own. From health stores nationwide.
Clever lighting trick
Are you totally bamboozled by eye make-up? Are you really curious about experimenting with eyeshadow, but haven't a notion about technique to apply or colours to choose? If so, get your mitts on the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon, €25. This is another eyeshadow stick or crayon that is specifically made for your eye colour. Each colour-coded eye pencil has been formulated to use clever lighting tricks to bring out your eyes' natural sparkle. This pencil dries very quickly (less than a minute) so if you want to blend it, move quickly! From Arnotts, Brown Thomas, BT2, and charlottetilbury.com.
Wow! This mascara is the standout mascara for me this year. I was even asked if I was wearing falsies when I had this gem on my peepers! YSL The Curler Faux Cils Mascara, €32.50, has a black rounded fibre wand that curls and lengthens lashes like a dream. The formula is enriched with coconut and jojoba oil, so doesn't feel spikey and stiff on your lashes. Is it pricey? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely! From department stores nationwide.
Lash growth serum
If your lashes are looking sparse and in need of some TLC, try a lash growth serum, the US award-winning GrandeLASH-MD Eyelash Extension Serum. €65. Apply every night for thicker lashes in four-to-six weeks (with full results in three months). Jam-packed with vitamins, peptides and amino acids, this dermatologically tested formula nourishes and conditions lashes (and I used it on my brows, too) to help give them a boost. From skinboosters.ie.
Budge-proof budget mascara For a hardworking waterproof mascara that won't break the bank, try CYO All Cried Out Waterproof Mascara, €8. (Top Tip: To apply, start at the base of lashes and wiggle brush up to the tip of lashes. To prevent clumping, let mascara dry between coats.) From Boots stores nationwide and boots.ie.
If volume and density are what you look for in a mascara, then this underrated gem is for you - Clinique High Impact Mascara, €22.50. This was my favourite mascara in my modelling days when I needed a strong eye make-up look, and remains one of my favourites. This is also a practical mascara option for long days, as it doesn't clump, flake or smudge and is kind to sensitive eyes, as it's ophthalmologist tested. Available from pharmacies and department stores nationwide.
Gel eye masks
I urge you all to try these eye masks. My absolute favourite eye skincare product of the year! Shangpree Gold Black Pearl Hydrogel Eye Masks, €60 (60 pairs). These hydrogel masks are placed under the eyes for 20 minutes (minimum). They are soaked with amino acids, proteins and minerals to plump out laughter lines and puffiness around the eye area. There is a visible difference to my under-eye area (much plumper and smoothed out) after using these. It only lasts a few hours, so they're perfect for before a big night out. From fetchbeauty.com.
L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper, €8.50, is like a shadow tint for the brows. It's perfect for anyone with greys appearing in their eyebrows, or for those who want to give them a small amount of definition without filling in too much. The ultra-precise mini-brush is super handy as it makes it hard to over-apply this product. Non-sticky, and not shiny, this is a grown-up brow product that you simply comb through the brow. From pharmacies nationwide.
What to use on our brows has become a bit confusing these days, as there are so many products to choose from, because brows are having a beauty moment the last few years. One of the easiest, well known products to use is the brow pencil. What you want from a good brow pencil is a soft texture, subtle colour and a thin point for precision. This year I loved The Balm Furrowciousbrow Pencil, €16, from littlewoodsireland.com and Debenhams nationwide.
The humble cotton bud is a lifesaver when it comes to clearing up messy mistakes with eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadows. If you've made a make-up mistake don't panic, simply dip a cotton bud in micellar water or make-up remover and dab at the blob until it's gone. Cotton Buds, from €3, available from pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.
Tint for sparse brows
Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminising Eye Brow Gel, €26.50, is a tinted eyebrow gel that contains tiny microfibers that adhere to skin and hairs, creating natural-looking fullness and definition. Simply stroke the brush tip along the brow to define shape, brush through to blend and build if necessary. A brilliant option for sparse and over plucked brows. From pharmacies and department stores nationwide.
No smudge pencil liner
For an eyeliner that is super-defined on the water and lash line in one easy sweep (i.e. no pulling and dragging at the eye and applying multiple layers) this gel-based pencil is far and away the best I've tried. I've found no need to re-apply Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eyeliner, €33, throughout the day. It also comes with a super handy smudge sponge at one end to help blend. Brilliant. From Harvey Nichols.
As we age our eyelids droop and sag, and if we love using eye products, sometimes this can produce creases in our eye make-up. A great way to avoid this is to use high quality, high pigment, creamy-textured eye make-up and also invest in a good eye primer. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, €27, is a lightweight eye primer that creates a seamless canvas and "grip" that keeps cream and powder colour looking fresh and just-applied all day long. A polymer and mineral-powder blend gives our eyes a firm "anchor" for eye make-up that will last all day. From Brown Thomas, Arnotts and brownthomas.com.
If you've overdosed on the late nights and Netflix binges, and your eyes are looking a touch red-toned, a drop of this will give you a wide awake, clear eyed look in an instant. Optrex Eyedew Dazzling Eye Drops, €5.80, from pharmacies nationwide. Note: Not for use if you're pregnant, or on certain medications - check the label and consult your GP.
Are eyelash curlers really worth the extra faffing around in our make-up routines? Yes! They will curl your lashes and define them without having to use a tonne of mascara. If your lashes are super straight or sparse these will make your beauty life a lot easier. The best I've ever used and a staple in many make-up artists' kits are the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers, €18.50. Brilliant curlers and really gentle on the eyes and lashes. Available from strawberrynet.com.
If you fancy ditching all chemical nasties from your eye make-up products and want to use talc and paraben-free, vegan make-up, then the new Dusty Girls Quintessential Romance Eye Shadow Palette, €34.50, is a brilliant option. The range creates its eyeshadows using only natural clays and minerals for an all-natural eyeshadow option. From health stores and dustygirls.ie.
If you're a dab hand at applying a feline flick to your eye, then a liquid liner is your only man! A great option is Rimmel Scandal Eyes Precision Micro Eyeliner, €7.30 - it has an ultra-thin felt tip that lets you draw a super delicate, precise line, that is also waterproof and smudge-proof. From pharmacies nationwide.
Photography: Táine King. Make-up: Tee Elliott. Hair: Norma-Jean O'Reilly at Brown Sugar, brownsugar.ie. Styling: Sophie Donaldson.