Product watch: March’s beauty launches

From unicorn trends to the latest lip looks, Rachel Marie Walsh rates March’s beauty launches.

Suki Waterhouse wears ‘La Bohème Chic,’ Laura Mercier’s latest colour collection.

The unicorn trend began in the US last summer and got very creative, generating curiosities like Unicorn Snot body gel, a toxic-looking Frappuccino (there’s a tautology) and grown women wearing plastic forehead-horns.

The trend’s not been major in fashion but Dame Vivienne Westwood picked up on it and a New York designer, Thom Browne, walked a ‘unicorn’ (two men in a tulle costume) down his catwalk last October. Browne is the partner of Andrew Bolton, the curator behind all the Met Costume Institute’s most successful exhibitions.

The latest, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, began previewing at the Vatican this week in advance of its New York opening.

Unicorns are mentioned in some translations of the Bible and also a sporadic feature of Christian art.

Little girls are just consistently fond of pretty stuff, e.g. white horse-like creatures and holographic makeup that shines blue, purple and pink.

It’s all as disposable as Starbucks.

TooFaced is banking on that, actually, the brand’s limited-edition ‘Festival’ collection has two unicorn-them products. The Rainbow Strobe highlighter palette is a pastel face powder in a fantasy-print compact.

Its candy-hued stripes are infused with rose quartz “for extra love” (or to play on the concurrent crystals craze) and shimmer pink-pearl on the skin.

Bobbi Brown Capri Eye Shadow Palette, €55

Gold and navy are a great colour combination, one both close to nature and glamorous.

Bobbi Brown is a luxury brand, ultimately, so the collections are named for pricey holiday destinations despite the founder’s inclusive aesthetic.

But there is no annexing every island, mountain range, etc., for fish-in-barrel hotel compounds, and the brand’s palettes have broad familiar appeal.

Navy and gold are key to this new one for spring.

All nine shadows are cream that does not crease or cake. As with all Brown glitters, the gold particles don’t shed onto cheeks.

The navy also holds-up as a long-wear liner.

The other colours-slate, cream, nude, maple sugar-are useful day makeup.

Blue eyes don’t pop so much with this shade range – orange, peach, terracotta better favours them as those shades are blue’s opposite on the colour wheel – but getting things popping is not always what make up’s about.

Sometimes being a comfy neutral is appropriate.

Even attractive, I suppose, though not to those of us who rage against the beige.

Bobbi Brown All Over Glow, €29, is a companion to this launch.

This is a pink-gold shimmer that looks fabulous on fair skin.

Clearly most of us highlight our face in the evening but I think this looks especially good on the body, the shimmer pigment is so much more refined and natural-looking than products expressly intended to enhance your clavicle, shoulders, etc.

It is also limited-edition.

This is unfortunate as I’m going to need it every Friday and Saturday night foreseeable.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Blush , €31, on counters March 9

Bitten-look lips are a thing, have been for quite some time, but how does the matte lip-trend meld with them?

Are we fed up with it yet? Was it ever really hot?

Dehydrated in appearance, yes, but never hot.

Chanel is as done with clay-pouts as I am, apparently as they are about to launch Rouge Coco Lip Blush for lip and cheeks.

This is not a gloss but pigmented gel, water-based and non-drying.

Colour consistency can be an issue with this type of product, Lip Blush’s is perfectly distributed out of the box but best I still think it’s best kept out of warmth’s way.

It is not kiss-proof or straw-proof or likely to stay hours on your mouth without a liner but you will make it to the end of the day with lips in tip-top shape.

‘Rouge Captivant,’ the apple-red, is great, especially if you can never find the perfect cheek colour to go with a red lip but bare skin is too strong a contrast.

Captivating indeed.

Laura Mercier ‘La Bohème Chic’ Collection

Laura Mercier is one of those trend-less brands easy to file as “wedding makeup” or “no fixed demo”.

If all teenagers could afford it none would ever be told “get back upstairs and wash your face”.

As inobtrusive, pleasant and trustworthy as a good friend, that Ms Mercier.

This collection is inspired by her Paris atelier, which surely explains why the Bohème Chic Eye Clay Palette, €45, looks like six suede-upholstery swatches.

This is no bad thing: if you don’t like mattes to look flat or for shimmers to glitter, hazing them up with suede-ish clay powders an easy in.

The cheek crayon is lazily like sheer pink lipstick, of which the brand already offers many (cheaper), but I can’t fault the silky texture and easy blending. Bohème Chic Lacquer Up Acrylick Lip Varnish, €28, is wet-look lip lacquer that won’t catch wind-blown hairs, as gloss can.

Suki, pictured left, wears ‘Wanderlust’ peach.


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