Aerin Lauder shares her grandmother’s passion for beauty but she’s definitely not the type to keep a bulging make-up kit under her desk. The low-key Manhattan princess has pared a brush selection down to five high-quality essentials that help you achieve a polished look fast, all packed into a denim bag bearing her brand’s signature rose-print. The set includes foundation, bronzer, highlighter and concealer brushes, as well as a retractable lip brush that won’t stain the bag’s lining with product. Smart.
Kiehl’s Love Tin, about €22 (depending on Lip Balm #1 selection)
A classroom-friendly lip balm is probably the first beauty product you owned and a liberal application can bring back memories of first kisses and crushes. Kiehl’s have packed three of their best-selling lipbalms into this tattoo-printed tin, a cute way to share the love on Valentine’s Day.
Just Cavalli, €50.80 for 50ml
True to his fashion, Roberto Cavalli’s new perfume is sexy and feminine. The designer describes it as “love at first bite”. Indeed, the lizard-print box has a soft, scaly surface-texture meant to feel like human skin (urgh!). More pleasingly, the flacon is pink glass and yellow-gold and the scent inside is a perfect Valentine’s fragrance: a warm composition of neroli and Tahitian tiare flower.
The Pink & Red Collection by Bobbi Brown €14-€26
Bobbi Brown reckons you should clash pink and red with abandon on February 14th and her new Pink&Red collection makes the look easy to pull off. This two-tone line includes cheek tints and lip glosses, matte lipsticks and nail polishes. Bobbi does cream blushes especially well and the Sheer Cheek Tint in Cherry, €26, is perfect for creating a natural, healthy flush. Apply to the apples of the cheeks with your fingertips, blend downwards and then back towards the hairline. The Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Heart, €25, contains an extra-high concentration of pigments, ensuring classic red lips last all night.
Archie’s Girls by MAC, €13.50-€52.50
Love triangles may seem curious comic-book fodder but 2D “frenemies” Betty and Veronica have battled for US cartoon-hero Archie Andrews since 1942. The pair has inspired an adorably-presented, 32-piece MAC make-up collection. Betty is an all-American blonde whose face appears on lighter, more girly products like the golden-peach Flatter Me Pearlmatte Face Powder, €25.50. Veronica, a vampy brunette, prefers duskier make-up like Spoilt Rich, a purple and navy eye-shadow palette, €52.50. If you’re as torn as the girls’ ginger love object, I recommend Veronica’s Strawberry Malt Lipglass, €19. But that could be my brunette-bias writing.
Aveda Be Curly Curl Controller, €24.50, and Curl-Enhancing Hairspray, €22.50
Perfect pre-Raphaelite curls for Valentine’s evening with these new additions to Aveda’s Be Curly range. The liquid Curl Controller contains Brazilian babassu oil, which elongates and lengthens tight curls, while the spray is an aloe and wheat-protein blend that expands when wet and contracts when dry, so your curls stay frizz-free and defined. The citrus and bergamot scent of both products makes you want to toss your mane about a lot.
Darphin Vitalskin Re-plumping Energic Emulsion, €49
Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. If your complexion is less than perky mid-week, try Darphin’s Re-plumping Energic Emulsion. This is designed to make skin more resilient to signs of fatigue and give it a fresher, more radiant appearance. The emulsion contains mitostime (an algae concentrate), which helps maintain healthy mitochondrial DNA in the skin, keeping it energised. The Darphin Paris Institute tested it on 59 working mums, aged 25-45. After a week’s use, two-thirds described their skin as “full of vitality”, with 96% saying the same after a month. The mandarin, rose and jasmine scent alone gives you a boost.
Diorshow Mono Palettes, €30 each
Raf Simons first catwalk collection for Dior is simple and romantic and the Diorshow Mono shadows his models wore enhanced the look. These silky powders come in 18 neutral, smoky and “colour-pop” shades. Dior’s make-up director, known simply as Tyen, developed the Monos to let you create a day or night-time look from a single block of colour. He recommends you dampen the applicator to turn a natural finish sexy. Play with a few of these at the counter. The “pop” shades may look off-puttingly high-fashion but they’re so pretty and dewy when blended.