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Triona McCarthy: Base notes


Triona's trends: Check me out! I’m one of the Brown Thomas Masters of Fashion and Beauty again this year. Look out for me popping up in a BTs near you.

I have great fun doing the fashion and lingerie masterclasses, but it’s the beauty ones that get women going - everyone wants to know about my ex-fiance and foundation.

If I had only €50 to spend on make-up, I’d blow the lot on foundation. Not because I like to cake myself in the stuff, but because if you don’t get that right, everything else will look wrong too. For professional help, visit a department store with a clean face, and ask the various consultants to apply three or four different shades of foundation on your cheek or jawline. The right shade will merge with your jawline without too much blending.

Stop trying foundation on your hand - you won’t be wearing it there. If you can, take home a few testers. An exfoliated, cleansed and moisturised face is a must. Prep your skin with a primer such as Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Anti-Fatigue Cream, €85. It’s spendy, but ideal for drier days. It is also available with an SPF 15.

Now you are ready to apply your chosen foundation, and right now I’m still McLovin’ the now legendary Armani Luminous Silk, €38; Lancome’s Teint Miracle Fresh Foundation Veil SPF15, €35.50; and newbie Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua, €38, for which all the beauty eds are going bonkers.

Triona's tricks

I’m a big fan of tinfoil. Not for baking, though, I use it to create Triona’s Tinfoil Tousled Tresses. Twist 12 sheets of tinfoil into three-inch-long sticks and wind sections of hair around them. Twist the ends of the foil together to secure them, and blast with a hairdryer for a few minutes. The foil insulates heat, so allow to the hair to cool, then unravel.

Hello, sexy!

Staying young

She got stretch marks, labour pains, and sacrificed precious beauty sleep. So, for once, give your mother something she actually wants. I’m taking my Mother’s Day gift more literally this year and buying my mum a book. But not any old book. Mum, if you’re reading, look away now! Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey have just put the finishing touches to the latest book in their bestselling Beauty Bible series,

The Anti-ageing Beauty Bible, €19.99, published by Kyle Cathie. My mum is already a big fan, after I interviewed the authors and said how great they were.

This book includes guidance on skin, hair, make-up, hands, feet, nails, sleep, exercise and much, much more. Available from the end of March, there are also lots of inspirational quotes, such as this one from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art!”

A friend in need

I recently gave up alcohol for a while, as I found I just couldn’t handle the hangovers anymore. I get what I call 3na’s three-day hangover, where I’m just a state physically and mentally.

The first Christmas without my late sister Tricia, her first anniversary and the end of my engagement meant that drinking was not an option for when I’m feeling low, as it’s just not my friend.

But I like to give my body a different kind of drink every day and keep my skin soft for a whole week, so I’ve been using Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days, from €4.49. It absorbs quickly, which is ideal for women on the go like Nicole Richie, whom I spotted in Dublin recently.

There are five varieties to cater for all skin types: Shea Butter - for dry to extra-dry skin; Honey - for sensitive skin; Mango Oil - for dry skin; Aloe Vera - for normal skin; Cocoa Butter - for dry, rough skin.

Cult product

Calling all Jo Malone maniacs: Jo Malone has a new limited-edition collection inspired by the tradition of tea-making; it’s out next week.

My late Granny Aggie was a world-champion tea drinker, so I’ll be wearing these scents in her honour. The collection consists of five fragrances: Assam and Grapefruit, Earl Grey and Cucumber, Fresh Mint Leaf; Sweet Lemon; and Sweet Milk, at €42 per 30ml fragrance. Hmm, no Barry’s Tea blend then?

Anyhoo, each fragrance lends itself to being personalised with Jo Malone’s signature philosophy of fragrance combining. So it’s possible to use a Assam and Graspefruit, say, with a dash of Sweet Milk. Me to a T!

Triona's most wanted

All the single ladies, put your hands up for Polish Hand & Foot Spa. Owner Caroline McNamara opened Polish as she saw a demand in the Dublin 2 area for a nail salon that offered top-quality treatments at competitive prices. “With mini manicures starting at €20, we are very competitively priced, which is obviously crucial in the current economic climate” says Caroline.

Top quality OPI and essie lacquers are the products of choice at Polish. Hand treatments include: Simple Polish Change, €15; Mini Manicure, €20; Deluxe OPI Manicure, €45; and Skin Renewal Manicure, €55. Foot treatments include Mini Pedicure, €30; Medi Pedi, €90. Polish also offers an array of other services, such as Xen-Tan airbrush tanning.

Best of all is their attention to detail: water in glasses, tea and coffee in chinaware, fresh flowers. They will even feed your meter and polish your rings. Handy!

Polish Hand & Foot Spa, 6 Lower Fitzwilliam St, D2, tel: (01) 661-9888