Waterproof mascaras that reign in the rain, facial SPFs that shine in fighting the effects of the sun and serums that soak the skin in the antioxidant co-enzyme Q10. Rachel Marie Walsh puts the latest launches to the test.
Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara, €23.50 at arnotts.ie and debenhams.ie
After a fortnight of testing ‘clean’ organic mascaras in an unseasonably showery June, I can confirm that they cannot stand the rain. I appreciate a mascara I don’t have to keep an eye on and this migration-proof version of Urban Decay’s Perversion could not have launched at a better time. The formula is just as richly pigmented and thickening as the original and it truly stays put. It has amino acids and honey extract, to keep lashes fortified and soft. I like the look, but I did notice irritation after a day working at my computer in this stuff and my eyes are not typically sensitive.
BEST BUY: L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Mascara Waterproof, €14.99
I am also a fan of the original version of this mascara, it is one of L’Oréal’s best. It has cool pyramid-shaped bristles and a bendable wand that really fans the outer lashes. L’Oréal says the waxes in their waterproof formula provide for 48-hour hold. It is volumising, flake-proof and very, very black. No one should be wearing the same coat of mascara two days running, but we get it, this stuff can handle rain, tears, hayfever… just make sure your eye makeup remover is up to stripping it off.
Rimmel Wonder’Fully Real Mascara Waterproof, €10.49
Rimmel promises this won’t create a rigid, spidery lash-look and this is a promise kept, but I’m not sure the other extreme is any more desirable. Clumpy and sticky is an odd look for a waterproof formula. The formula conditions with argan oil. It does stay on and dry quickly, though when you’re trying to move a lash-comb through it those aren’t pros, just time-sucks.
Wet ’n’ Wild Lash Renegade Waterproof Mascara, €5.95
Lash Renegade is very affordable, long-wearing mascara and is certainly waterproof. It has a volumising formula that creates a stiff, slightly clumpy look. The prismatic wand isn’t great for even distribution but there is time for combing before each coat sets. Wet ’n’ Wild supports, Wands for Wildlife, a recycling programme that uses wands to help remove fly eggs and tiny insects from wildlife, so you can be confident your purchase is not only cruelty-free but improving animals’ lives.
Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++, €45.60
This water-based SPF is as light as the name suggests and absorbs very quickly. It contains soothing Vitamin E and shea butter and protects skin with natural UV filters. The extremely high concentration of denatured alcohol in the formula keeps me from recommending it. There’s just too much of the dehydrating, sensitising stuff in the mix for the good ingredients to compensate, which they really shouldn’t have to. It is entirely possible to create a refined, antioxidant-rich, alcohol-free SPF cream.
BEST BUY: The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants, €10.68 at deciem.com
The Ordinary’s sun protection is fab, especially for those with sensitive skin. It veils the skin in micronised titanium and zinc oxides for lightweight but long-wearing sun protection. You get more for your money, as it supports skin’s natural moisture barrier with plant oils and a natural sugar complex. There’s also some reparative antioxidants in the mix, including interesting newbies like astaxanthin and Tasmanian pepperberry.
Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturiser SPF15, €48 at feelunique.com and SpaceNK
I wish the sun protection here was stronger, certainly anyone with a medium-to-fair complexion should be wearing broad-spectrum SPF25 or higher, though if you have an SPF foundation on, too, another layer won’t hurt. This is especially true if you have oily to combination skin, as the mineral clay in the formula combined with soothing prebiotic makes for a balanced, calm base.
Clarins Face Fluid for Sensitive Areas SPF30, €23
This lightweight fluid protects skin with gentle mineral filters. Reapplication is quick and unfussy. There is a pleasant scent, mainly because there’s more perfume in the bottle than antioxidants (with the exception of aloe, which does rank higher among the ingredients). For this reason I can’t recommend it to sensitive types and I don’t think Clarins should either.
BEST BUY: The Inkey List Q10 Serum, €5.99
Increased UV-exposure does make you think about fighting free radicals and healing previous damage. Vitamin C and retinol are still queens among antioxidants in this regard, but I also have a lot of love for co-enzyme Q10, also listed as ubiquinone in skincare, which skin produces and uses for natural repair and has both antioxidant and skin-soothing effects when you apply it cosmetically. Calm skin is more likely to function well anyway, but is also less prone to redness and breakouts. With its accessible prices, The Inkey List is often a nice way to try an ingredient for the first time.
Indeed Laboratories Hydration Q10 Booster, €17.20 at allbeauty.com
This serum is higher in basic moisturising and silicone ingredients than the added Vitamin C, E or the titular CoQ10. It feels great and is instantly plumping. It is fragrance and alcohol-free and makes a wonderful primer for normal-to-dry skin. I’m just not certain you can judge how well skin reacts to co-enzyme Q10 from this serum.
Nivea Anti-Wrinkle Face Serum Pearls, €17.99 at Boots
Nivea loves co-enzyme Q10 so much it’s named a line for it, though concentrations vary by product. This one has quite a high concentration. The formula is very light and absorbs quickly. Added silicones make skin look smoother. Certainly the SPFs above are more ‘anti-wrinkle’ and I would like this more if it were fragrance-free, but Nivea’s done well to bring co-enzyme Q10 to mass skincare this way.
Trilogy Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil, €38.50
This is a lovely, antioxidant-rich blend of co-enzyme Q10, tamanu, acai, blueberry and macadamia oil. However, the price of the teeny-tiny bottle makes me more inclined to use The Inkey List for my ‘boost.’