Monday 27 January 2020

Many marvels


Dudu-Osun African Black Soap
Dudu-Osun African Black Soap
Clarins Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation
Suu balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Shapeshifter in Light Medium Shift

Sarah Caden

It's an eclectic line-up, says our expert, but there's actually something for everyone here.

Without doubt, we have a random line-up this week. But that's where we're at. It's the last Sunday in August. The summer is tapering off, even if we get the much-hyped hit of September sun that tends to accompany back-to-school time. So this week is a seasonal wrap-up, a selection of our best summer finds that will also fare well into, dare I say it, autumn.

A proper beauty find is a wonderful thing. That certain product or tool that pushes all others on your shelf aside. That thing that makes you wonder how you got by without it. Today's offerings make up a motley crew, but if they are good for what ails you - oily skin; reactive skin; a clumsiness at contouring; a bad hand for blending - then they're just what you're looking for. Now, spring into September.

Best Base

Clarins Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation, €34, Clarins counters nationwide

Clarins Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation

Most of the time, in these lighter months, we want a lighter base, but there are times when we seek a full foundation. Finding one that doesn't slide off in warmer weather is tricky, though, and matte bases are often chalky or heavy-looking. This foundation strikes a balance between eliminating shine and appearing sheer. "My skin is normal-to-combination, so it can have a shiny T-zone in summer," said a panellist. "This gave nice matte coverage, without looking heavy."

Best Beauty Blend

Inglot Pro Blending Sponge Mini, €12, Inglot stores nationwide, or see

Blending sponges have taken off as a successful way to blend one's base to a flattering, streak-free finish. These tiny sponges are the next step, and are a blessing for anyone who gets bamboozled by eyeshadow. The teardrop-shaped sponges are easy to manipulate; they are small enough at their tip to smudge the crease of the eyelid, and really great for a smoky-eye effect. Through summer, they also eliminate the need to travel with eye-make-up brushes. "A fast way to finesse eyeshadow," said a panellist.

Best Summer Salve

Suu Balm, €14.95, pharmacies nationwide

Suu balm

This has been a brilliant find for the summer, but it remains useful all year for anyone who has irritated or irritable skin. Developed by an Irish dermatologist at the National Skin Centre in Singapore, it's a product that is concerned with relieving itchy skin, while also moisturising to prevent ongoing itch. It's brilliant on sunburn; it's a salve for insect bites; and great for post-holiday patches of dehydration. "I put this on everything and everyone in the family all summer," said one panellist. "It's my new emergency essential."

Best Soap Surprise

Dudu-Osun African Black Soap, €6.50, health stores nationwide, or see

Dudu-Osun African Black Soap

This soap is a long-term bestseller, but relatively new to Ireland. Based on an age-old African cleansing-bar recipe, it contains aloe vera, shea butter, honey and citrus juice, and can be used on skin and hair. It foams satisfyingly, but without that tight, itchy feeling that many suffer from soap. It's a great travel product, as it doesn't disintegrate like ordinary soap. "I normally run a mile from using soap on my face, but this is a revelation," one panellist said. "I have sensitive skin, and it doesn't irritate or overly dry it. I'm a convert."

Best Contour Queen

Urban Decay Naked Skin Shapeshifter in Light Medium Shift, €47.50, Urban Decay, 50 Grafton St, D2; Debenhams; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

Urban Decay Naked Skin Shapeshifter in Light Medium Shift

This is the queen of contour kits. This is no surprise from Urban Decay, of course, which has its finger firmly on the cosmetic pulse. This palette has a tier of five creams for colour-correcting, and a second tier of four powders, for contouring and highlighting. "So easy to blend; the selection of colours work seamlessly to make a near-perfect face," said a panellist.


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