Product watch: March makeup is all about brightening up

Blend it like Beckham, cover your face in cocoa and coat your lips with acrylic colour. Rachel Marie Walsh reports.

Product watch: March makeup is all about brightening up

Bobbi Brown ‘Havana Brights’ Colour Collection, on counters March 9

Bobbi Brown’s been inspired to create a new line of lip, cheek and eye colours by “the colour palette and energy of Havana”.

Honestly, I do not see anything distinctly Cuban about the makeup or its packaging but it is all very pretty.

The Dual-Ended Cream Shadow Stick, €32, which has a base shade at one end and a contouring colour on the other, is a gem of an eye product.

The cream is very versatile and non-caking but it really stays put after setting.

There are six shade duos, including three nude/brown combinations you could wear every day.

The Illuminating Cheek Palette, €43, looks like a contouring product but don’t be fooled: all three shades give you a glow.

Strobe with the highlighting powder if you wish but the bronzer is no good for shading.

Better to layer all three on the cheeks, especially as the peach blush is so attractive with a touch of shimmer.

The Art Stick Liquid Lip, €27, now comes in limited edition ‘Havana Coral’.

The formula is conditioning and provides a good eight hours of fade-proof colour.

Perfect for those who find the matte Art Stick, €27, drying but love the intense colour-pop.

Victoria Beckham X Estée Lauder, Part 2

Victoria Beckham has a makeup look familiar to millions.

Pale lips, smoky eyes, dewy cheeks and bronzed bones make up a subtle yet photogenic face.

She is not the only fashionista to rock it but only she has an Estée Lauder team that whip up the products to her taste.

This second VB X Estée Lauder collection returns many of the initial run’s bestsellers.

Her name helped, of course, but the Morning Aura Illuminating Cream, €82, was an instant sell-out because it’s an instant complexion perfector, diffusing flaws with shattered pearl as it plumps skin with a lightweight blend of antioxidant plant oils.

The VB X Estée Lauder Highlighter in ‘Modern Mercury’, €80, a sheer gold powder the designer pluck from the EL’s archives, is also back for spring, as is her Eye Kajal Duo in ‘Black Saffron/Vanille’, €27.

The white tip brightens the water-line, while the black can be smudged for dramatic effect before setting.

Ready to oust those from the top of your shopping list is a new lipstick in Nude Spice, €40.

This is a great neutral matte, hydrating but transfer-proof.

Even more tempting is Victoria’s new bronzer in ‘Saffron Sun’, €58, a far more natural shade for fair skin than the terracotta ‘Java Sun’ of 2016.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster 10% Vitamin C, €70 for 4x10ml, on counters March 10

Vitamin C is wonderful but kind of a diva, as ingredients go.

Ongoing use of the extract improves sun spots and other signs of UV damage, including dark under-eye circles.

It is notoriously volatile and tough to stabilise in cosmetic formulas.

As a result, even a product that has ‘Vitamin C’ in its name may contain very little (check where the word ‘ascorbic’ or ‘ascorbyl’ falls on the ingredients label to verify).

This is unfortunate, as more is more when it comes to this free-radical fighter.

I recommend daily dabs of Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Ageing 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment, €60, for the treatment of individual dark spots, as such a high concentration of the vitamin in a sensitive skin-safe formula is rare.

Clinique’s new Fresh Pressed Daily Booster is better for an all-over improvement in texture.

The formula is one tenth Vitamin C and also contains salicylic acid, which exfoliates skin and enhances absorption.

A blend of caffeine, mulberry root and algae extract intensifies the star antioxidant’s impact.

The brand recommends adding two drops to your moisturiser. The positive effects of any antioxidant are maximised by daily use of broad-spectrum UV protection.

Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip Lip Paint, €22 at www.makeupforever.ie

“Acrylic is tacky enough on the nails, why would I want it on my lips?,” I think, squeezing the Make Up For Ever tube.

“Too thick and gunky, surely.”

This is a highlight-pigmented lipstick, thicker than lip lacquer but a bit too colour-intense to be a gloss. It does not feel sticky or gunky.

The formula is composed of 50% vegetal ricin oil which acts as a colour booster. It supplies a high volume of pigments for an intense, high-coverage colour.

The emollient properties of castor oil also help optimise pigments for deeper colour — the more wet-look the pigments the stronger the colour.

You need a brush for neat application, which is a bit of a drag to tote around and keep wiping but the look is worth it.

The finish is dewy and stays consistent all day. There are ten shades, ranging from baby pink to crimson to inky aubergine.

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Cocoa Moisture Mask, €72

Sugar is collagen’s kryptonite and its consumption is — after smoking, stress and sun exposure — the most pro-ageing thing you can do to your skin.

Cocoa, on the other hand, has antioxidant benefits and is reparative when used topically.

I am not suggesting you soak in the yummy stuff (though my friend Lorena Aguirre, founder of the Ecuadorean organic chocolate company Pacari, melts 100% raw cocoa bars for moisturising masks and has great skin), but treatments are no empty indulgence.

Dr Nicholas Perricone’s latest mask is high in cocoa and features more than twenty other antioxidants. There are also several emollients and a fair amount of hyaluronic acid in the mix.

It feels like a waste not to leave it on overnight so go right ahead, there is nothing in the formula that will bother your skin.

This mask is an excellent pre-party treatment, as the plumping and firming results are instantly noticeable.

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