The beauty panel: Some Like it Hot
With any luck, the heat is on, says Sarah Caden, who has five summer-optimistic favourites the panellists loved
Right about now, we are hitting peak holiday. We know, somewhere in the back of our minds, that it's only a matter of weeks before the kids go back to school, but this is prime time for getting away to guaranteed sun. Hell, if we're lucky, it's also prime time for some sun at home. We live in hope. On a day-to-day basis, we live in hope. And so, the summer beauty hits just keep coming. To keep us protected, to keep us cool, to keep us looking tip-top as we sun and swelter and sweat - or live in hope for all three.
Worth noting this summer is just how many new high-factor sun-protection products arrived on the shelves. We have received and trialled light creams and oils and invisible sprays, all boasting SPF 50 or more. There was a time, not so long ago, that high protection also meant deep discomfort, as the products were thick, and sticky and left a spooky white residue on the skin.
Science has advanced to make these products far more pleasant to use, while most also protect against the UVB rays that cause skin ageing. There really is no excuse to get burned any more. Chance would be a fine thing, I might hear you mutter, depending on just what the so-called summer is doing as you read this.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist SPF 50, €14, available nationwide
The yuck factor is a major reason why a lot of people don't wear sunscreen. Yes, there's also the fact that Irish people can't get their head around creating a barrier to the sunbeams, but aside from that, often we don't like the feel of the stuff. On that score, this new spray is amazing. You barely feel it go on, you don't have to rub it in and you get top-notch, broad-spectrum protection at a great price. "A good shaking of the can and regular reapplication are key," said a panellist, "but it can go over make-up, it doesn't make you sweaty and you can't see it. Magic."
Best More Than Make-Up
Skinceuticals Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF 30, €41, for stockists, see skinceuticals.co.uk
We have long been fans of this brand's original Mineral UV Defense product, which has SPF 50, and is a thin liquid. It is a superior sun-protection product, but it also works brilliantly as make-up, which is rare. This is its sister product, a matte cream that is also oil-absorbing, and therefore more suitable for oily or summer-shine-prone complexions. "This slips nicely over my combination skin, but it might be a bit trickier on dry skin," said a panellist. "That said, it looks just like make-up and nothing like suncream on my skin."
Best Brush of Bronze
Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra, €62, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
This is part of a summer range that has proved a runaway success, and it comes in small and large sizes, as well as three different colours. The darkest is only for the olive-skinned, while the lightest is very much on the gold side, but this is a fine blend of the two and extremely easy to wear. "The gorgeous compact is a joy in itself," said one panellist, "and the bronzer is so finely milled that it gives a veil of golden tan that looks lightly summery and far from fake."
Kiehl's Cactus Flower and Tibetan Gingseng Hydrating Mist, €22.50, Arnotts; Kiehl's, 35 Wicklow St, D2; and Dundrum Town Centre, D16
We're really not very good with the heat in this country. We wish for it and crave it, but when it comes, we're very easily sweltering and melting all over the place. A little spritz of something refreshing can be amazingly sanity restoring, and this is a lovely one. With ingredients that promise to help your skin to retain moisture, it even works well over make-up to give skin a little drink. "Cool and sort of cucumber-y," a panellist said. "Like a G&T for my face."
Best Knacky Applicator
Nivea Sun Kids Caring Roll-On, €9.99, available nationwide
We are suckers for handy ways to apply suncream. This range of suncreams is packaged just like your good old roll-on deodorant. There is a large rollerball under the lid, which you roll over the skin, spreading the lotion where it's needed. There are two versions, one for kids and one for adults, both of which come in SPF 30 and 50. The kids' one is effective immediately, and has greater water resistance. "This is brilliant for faces, where you can get in around the nose and ears and all the bumps and grooves," said one panellist.