Product watch: A whole new world of May makeup

May beauty promises new takes on old favourites and a whole new world through makeup, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.

THE white camellia, Coco Chanel’s favourite flower, is a house icon kept fresh through reinterpretation. 

The flower’s extract happens to be a potent antioxidant and skin-soother, making Coco’s choice as cosmetically useful as it is pretty. I wish they’d put it out in dropper-bottles of 100 per cent organic oil, personally, but this is not fashion’s way. 

A launch like Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream, €54, gets a beautiful ad campaign and a chic two-tone pump-bottle, as well as a little perfume and some shimmer pigment, for instant glamour. It has all of these things but also some genuine skincare goodies.

These include the star ingredient in both flower water and extract form, plus substantial amounts of antioxidants like canola and squalene, which bolster skin’s natural moisture barrier. There is also some ginger root extract and some arginine, an amino acid, both of which boost the formula’s soothing and reparative properties. 

There are Vitamin E, Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid derivatives in the mix but in amounts far too small to impart the benefits I think many women might dispense with the added fragrance to attain. The cream’s texture is light and elegant.

Press materials highlight the fast-acting nature of this product. Its moisturising and plumping effects are certainly noticeable after initial application. Some radiance comes from the brightening pigment mica, however, at least at first instance. Mica is makeup rather than skincare.

On the subject of fusing makeup and care, It Cosmetics, currently available via and, will open a new counter at Brown Thomas Cork later this month. 

This US brand does was born of the founder’s desire to heal and flatter problem skin. It does too many fantastic products to list here but it is worth noting that IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+, €39, is the only CC cream beauty editors still talk about and virtually traceless if one of the dozen shades is your colour-match. 

Jamie Kern Lima, a former broadcast journalist and Big Brother contestant, quit her job to start the brand in 2008 and sold it to L’Oreal for a reported $1.2 billion in 2016. She is also the first woman to maintain her role as CEO in L’Oreal’s 108-year history and to be studied with anthropod eyes if you are keen on being a beauty boss.

Disney has collaborated with MAC to celebrate the new live-action version of Aladdin. Princess Jasmine is not the influence on this makeup that Cinderella was on the 2015 collab for her live-action remake (and bibbity-bobbity-boo to that). These shades and packaging are more inspired by ‘Agrabah,’ her fictional homeland. 

There is a lot to like anyway, especially for lips. The Disney’s Aladdin Collection Crystal Glaze, €22, is a plumping gloss-balm hybrid with a multi-coloured, crystal reflection.The Aladdin Lipglass, €19.50, comes in pink-flecked gold, and two gold-flecked pinks. All three are infused with jojoba and can be use as a subtle tint or for intense colour. ‘Friend Like Me,’ €20, a cool neutral beige with a creamy finish, is the most widely flattering lipstick.

Nars’ ‘Orgasm’ is a special shade. Like the jeans in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, the mix of pink-peach pigment and champagne highlights flatters pretty much every woman that tries it. François Nars isn’t the only makeup mogul to cash-in on rose-gold’s universiality but he created the best-known product.

“Looking back, I think the combination of its audacious name and its universally flattering shade made it so popular. Even grandmothers like Orgasm,” says the founder.

Powder blush, however, really isn’t for everyone so its nice that the brand does these orgasmic summer collections of the shade in different formulas.

The best of Orgasm 2019’s four-piece collection is a fabulous Liquid Highlighter, €32, that can be mixed into foundation or moisturiser for a subtle glow or worn on high points of the face for a targeted, luminous effect.

Despite its silky, lightweight feel the ingredients list is alcohol-free and actually helps skin with antioxidant and hydrating extracts like pomegranate, mushroom and lactobacillus.

The Orgasm 2019 Collection launches at Brown Thomas on May 15 and at on June 15.

Pomade is shaping up to be the brow product of the season, with great new launches from Urban Decay and Catrice cropping up to compete with Anastasia Soare’s popular Dipbrow, a cult hit since 2014 that was recently relaunched as a gel. Like the Teddy Boy hair product, brow pomades have an emollient wax and silicone base, a slight sheen and flexible hold. My favourite newbie is Maybelline Tattoo Studio 24 Hour Brow Pomade, €12.99, The pomade leaves hair glossy and soft and allows lots of correction time before it sets.

It stays put all day and the pot comes with a double ended spoolie/angled brush, for brushing and neat definition.

Perfecting your brows can also be a way to give back. The Benefit ‘Bold is Beautiful’ campaign runs this month and you can support Irish charities just by getting a brow wax. During ‘Bold is Beautiful,’ Benefit Cosmetics will donate profits from each wax to homeless women’s charity Daisyhouse and cancer support service Look Good Feel Better. 

Sales of the exclusive ‘Bold is Beautiful’ Mirror, €12, and limited edition Pink 3D Browtones Brow Enhancer in Magenta, €26.50, also benefit the campaign.

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