The best beauty picks for Valentine's Day

Boost your hair, mood and lip-size for Valentine’s Day. Rachel Marie Walsh presents her beauty picks

Beauty does not have a holiday but Valentine’s Day, with its great date-expectations, comes close. Red lipstick, a French manicure and lashings of mascara are practically prescriptive, but how about something that really pops?

YSL ‘Pop Illusion’ Spring 2018 Collection

Touches of rainbow-bright colour on clear skin (contouring is both over and out) are a major Spring trend. YSL’s gone all in, producing its “most audacious colour collection yet”. The YSL Couture ‘Pop Illusion’ Collector’s Palette, €55, contains five of brand’s silky powder-shadows in intense shades of pink, yellow and blue. The pink and yellow double as blush and highlight, respectively. The whole quintet clashes in Staz Lindes’s kaleidoscopic look for the campaign (pictured above) but each makes an impact alone, even with light application.

She also wears a blend from the ‘Colour Hallucination’ Lip Palette, €55, which features five radiant cream-colours, all opaque Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks. Two reds, two pinks and a nude shade housed in a crimson compact make this an ideal Valentine’s gift.

Stroke on La Laque Couture polish, €16.80, in ‘Kinetic Blue’, a pretty cerulean, or the orange-pastel ‘Op-Art Coral’ to get the look without the face-time.

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, €23 at marksandspencer.ie

Living Proof was first noteworthy for prompting Jennifer Aniston to put her money where her mane is, investing in high-innovation, low-spin haircare that really trades on “the science part.” The star bowed out when Unilever acquired the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-linked brand last year but it is still very much a beauty-nerd’s delight. This volumising spray, for example, gives a serious boost to both freshly dried and unwashed roots without scuzzy build-up. There is a lot of alcohol in the can, so I don’t recommend applying it directly to the scalp, but it’s no more flammable than the average hairspray. It doubles as style-refresher but do not call it dry shampoo, because results come from Expandable Textured Aero Spheres (patent-pending) that increase space between hair’s fibers. Scanning the ingredients list, these ETAs appear to be suspended vinyl-polymers, not unlike those found in volumizing mascara. In any event, Dry Volume Blast feels nice on, weighs nothing and won’t clash with perfume. Your hair will be Shania Twain-huge, even if the day leaves you feeling flat.

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Love Limited-Edition Lipstick, €56

A heart-shaped lipstick with a kiss-print in the bullet is too theme-friendly to omit. Kiss Kiss is part of Guerlain’s permanent line but there are just five of these heart-cut shades out for the season. The formula is also well-suited to both spring and kissing, being hydrating, radiant and semi-sheer. Hyaluronic acid and a couple of plant oils give it a melting texture and some capacity to plump up lips. The colour range is classic: pink, red, coral, nude and orange. You can build them up to look quite opaque but they will smear everywhere with heavy application.

These lipsticks are part of a small collection called ‘Meteorites Glow with Love,’ which includes a Meteorites Compact, €56, a pink pressed-powder version of the brand’s Meteorites highlighting pearls. The heart-print mirrored compact makes an equally lovely Valentine’s gift.

Moogoo Cow Lick Edible Lip Balm, €3.95 at moogooskincare.ie

Edible body products are generally unappetising but the idea of avoiding a smackeral of petrolatum is surely attractive to both kisser and kissee. Aussie natural skin-carers Moogoo are on it, mixing sticks of a beeswax and cocoa butter-based balm that is completely chemical-free. There are eight antioxidant plant-oils in the formula (pure Vitamin E give it a light caramel tint), plus allantoin root for conditioning and a little mandarin for flavour. Not exactly dinner but nor will it leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Lip Mask, €7.50 per sachet

Lip masks, the latest iteration of skincare’s sheet-treatment trend, take off just in time for Valentine’s Day. These kiss-print shaped cotton slips are infused with similar blends of water-binding and antioxidant ingredients to the face and eye versions, but with extra emphasis on plumping emollients. Rodial’s already got a line of products rich in Dragon’s Blood that just sound vampirically fulsome. The antioxidant resin is sapped not from Khaleesi’s friends but a South American shrub (Croton Lechleri) sometimes employed as a liquid bandage in traditional medicine. This mask also include hyaluronic acid, glycerin and olive and Vitamin E oils to temporarily boost lip-size.

Kenzo World Eau de Toilette, from €51/ 30ml

Kenzo’s new EdeT, with its pink winking eye-shaped bottle, beckons from both shelf and skin. This is a fruit-floral scent, inobtrusive but uplifting. The nose behind it is Francois Coty Lifetime Achievement Award-recipient Francis Kurkdjian, whose own-label fragrances are famously intense and complex. He has really embraced the French brand’s playful spirit, layering juicy pear top notes with almond blossom, peach, peony and orris root. The formula has uncommonly good longevity for its levity, you really do not expect an all-day presence from something so candied. It is all about sustained sweetness in Kenzo’s world.


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