Before you get down to the business of applying your party make-up for the party season, it’s time for a few words about the wisdom of taking off what you put on.
And taking it off before you go to bed, we should clarify. Sleeping in a full face of make-up — particularly if you do this repeatedly in a short space of time — will render you grey-faced before mid-December, so spare a few minutes to cleanse before you collapse and you might even require less slap to render you seasonally sparkling.
Actress Salma Hayek recently shared her cleansing secrets. The trick, according to this 46-year-old, is to cleanse thoroughly before bed and then to resist washing your face again in the morning. The logic is plain. If your skin is cleansed of all cosmetics and grime at bedtime, then it gets to relax overnight, and it also releases oils that, particularly as you age, you’d be mad to strive to strip away. Many facialists recommend a similar approach and many encourage a double cleanse at night — a dedicated make-up remover followed by a face wash is good — in order to clean the complexion completely. Clean face, clean conscience.
NeoStrata Exfoliating Wash, €27.54, selected pharmacies nationwide
Fans of this brand, which makes big use of skin-refining glycolic acid, say that their complexion misses it if they take a break. The polyhydroxy acids have the advertised exfoliating function and repeated use of this mousse cleanser results in noticeably clearer, smoother, fresher skin. “If it’s a holier-than-thou clean you’re after, this will do it,” said a panellist. “It’s not suitable for removing eye make-up, but it’s perfect for that second, ‘insurance’ cleanse that gets rid of every last trace of make-up.”
BEST WATERY WIPE
Sisley Eau Efficace, €80, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
Cleansing waters are a nice alternative to cream cleansers, but come without the stripping effect of washing with tap water. This new launch from Sisley has floral extracts to soothe the skin and is surprisingly good at removing make-up. “I love the pump dispenser, in that you don’t even have to touch the bottle, you just place your cotton pad on top of it,” one panellist said. “Knackiness aside, though, it also did the job very well.”
Decoderm Delicate Bi-Phase Face Make-Up Remover, €16.50, selected pharmacies nationwide
Bi-phasic, in case you’re wondering, means that there are two parts to this make-up remover, each of which plays its part in the cleansing process. It’s oil and water, fundamentally, that you shake and blend to an emulsion that works on everything from waterproof mascara to long-lasting foundation. But it doesn’t sting or strip the skin, thanks to the soothing pomegranate extract and moisturising aloe vera. “Great on eye make-up,” said a panellist. “There is no sting, but no oil slick, either.”
BEST GENTLE FOAM
Guinot BiOxygene Cleansing Foam, €27, salons and spas nationwide, for stockist info, Lo-call (0818) 719-303 Another pump-up mousse cleanser, albeit better suited to sensitive skins. Soap-free and with cottonseed, which claims to restore the complexion’s oil balance, this cleanses effectively and will even take off light eye make-up, but it doesn’t leave a tight or uncomfortable, crawling feeling. “This is very nice stuff and I expected it to be dearer,” said one panellist. “If I’ve used a wipe on my make-up at night, I feel this cancels out the damage done if I use it the next morning.”
BEST MAKE-UP MILK
Roc Multi-Correxion Radiance Enhancer Make-Up Remover, €10.11, selected pharmacies nationwide Part of a new range of cleansers and moisturisers from this brand, all of which focus on improving the skin’s radiance while keeping it clean and lubricated. This is a thin lotion, which worked to cushion the complexion without clogging it, and its claims of radiance-boosting were backed up by panellists. “Gentle enough to use on eye make-up, even for a contact-lens wearer,” said one panellist. “Though it contains an exfoliating ingredient, it has a creamy texture, but it did perk up the texture of my skin."