Product watch: A big month for beauty products launching in Ireland

From Estée Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness range to makeup giant e.l.f.making its debut in Ireland, it’s a busy month for beauty launches, writes Rachel Marie Walsh

Little giant

E.l.f. (Eyes, Lips, Face) Cosmetics, new to Penneys and pharmacies this month, is definitely worth a look.

Hugely popular in the US, the products are an attractive fusion of high quality and low prices, frequently cropping up on celebrity artists’ Instagrams.

The range is aimed at makeup fans of all ages. E.l.f. was founded in 2004 by NYU student Joseph Shah and Scott Borbora, a veteran of Nineties teen beauty hit Hard Candy.

The brand spends nothing on traditional media, having passionately embraced social media and influencers.

It is also highly reactionary, observing product buzz and bringing (ahem) interpretations to market in as little as five months (so if you want something, tweet something).

Needless to say, its top brass were inspired by fast fashion ‘mass-tige’ brands like Zara from the beginning, with products as cheap as €4.95 – and they appear quickly.

Following a successful IPO this time last year, e.l.f. entered the European market via Superdrug UK in May. Ireland is its latest bricks-and-mortar outpost this side of the pond.

The range is a mix of the bad, the meh and marvellous but with 150-plus products all three categories are too vast to list.

Limiting myself to a 5-minute face, I recommend the Volume Plumping Mascara, €6.45, Studio Cream Eye Liner, €6.45, Flawless Finish Foundation SPF15, €10.75, and Moisturising Lipstick, €5.40.

Product Watcher’s Tip: E.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow in Enchanted, €5.30 (online only), creates a similar look to Becca’s Shimmering Pressed Skin Perfector in ‘Champagne Pop,’ a cult (but splurge-tactic) illuminating powder.

Quick changes

True-matte liquid lipstick is one of those trends that won’t go away but unlike contouring or big brows, it sometimes promotes skin problems through regular use.

Long-wearing liquid lippies are great for impromptu selfies, not so good for your lips.

The waterproofing, film-forming ingredients involved take their toll on the delicate, oil gland-free skin in the area and cause dryness and irritation.

This slows skin’s natural repair and renewal processes and makes it more vulnerable to UV damage.

Matte pigments are themselves mildly absorbent and formulas like YSL Beauty’s new Tatouage Couture, €35.50, enhance their dehydrating effect by employing more alcohol than almost any other ingredient.

This launch has a striking shade range and a cool ad campaign in which Zoe Kravitz wears it as temporary tattoos but I cannot get on board with any of the (many) luxury liquids that are so irritant-heavy.

Alcohol makes any kind of liquid makeup feel lighter but, again, this superficial benefit causes skin unnecessary bother.

Unnecessary because there are several liquid lipsticks that look great without dehydrating. Their matte versions are not moisturising but they won’t parch lips either.

NYX Cosmetics Lip Lingerie, €9, Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick, €18.50, and Bare Escentuals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lip Colour, €20 are all great options.

Product Watcher’s Tip: Tattoos can be beautiful but I cannot commit to one image so SkinSins, the temporary body art of Norwegian designer Tille Del Negro, is fun to wear for a fortnight.

Andrea Corr wore her ‘Empress’ gold shoulder tattoo for a London performance last summer and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Del Negro is inspired by natural, celestial and tribal warrior imagery and her prints come in gold foil, bold colour or inky black.

Prices at €49.90 for one large or seven small tattoos.

Beautifully aware

Estée Lauder’s stable of brands will once again be supporting Breast Cancer Awareness this month.

There are special pink-detailed editions of bestsellers like Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum Synchronised Recovery Complex II, €90, so this is the month to stock up if you love them.

Every little helps, certainly, but if a substantial chunk of the purchase price isn’t going the charity’s way philanthropy can seem cosmetic. La Mer is donating a quarter of the limited-edition Crème de la Mer pot’s €80 price.

To protect and soothe

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Stick AP+ , €12

La Roche-Posay has made a stick-bar of the AP+ body lotion from its ultra-hydrating Lipikar range.

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Those with chronic dry skin will appreciate the brand’s thinking here.

Reapplication of creams, while comforting, is time-consuming. Carrying bottles and tubes around risks ruining your bag and makes you feel like a pack-horse.

The film-forming ingredients required to keep a cream in this deodorant-bar shape may leave skin feeling a little tacky but instant delivery of such soothing ingredients quite makes up for this.

A decent concentration of the antioxidant madecassoside, for example, both calms skin and promotes repair, which gives the formula an edge over typical barrier creams.

Product Watcher’s Tip: Barrier creams support skin’s hydro-lipidic barrier.

This barrier allows skin to retain natural moisturiser, supporting natural functions, and is severely weakened by breakouts of eczema, psoriasis and other atopic conditions. The barrier support, like UV protection, is temporary and frequent reapplication of these creams is both soothing and protective for sufferers.

The ingredients in these creams are inexpensive (often plant butters or byproducts of the petroleum industry, such as mineral oil and white paraffin) and non-prescription, so you really shouldn’t have to spend much on them.

A pump-bottle of Cetraben Cream, €6.99, performs just as well as luxury alternatives.


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