Rachel Marie Walsh has the best options on the market


Get the look: Finding that one palette that works for you

Looking to invest in a new all-in-one palette? Rachel Marie Walsh has the best options on the market

Get the look: Finding that one palette that works for you

Looking to invest in a new all-in-one palette? Rachel Marie Walsh has the best options on the market

Jennifer Lopez X Inglot

Polly Pockets were some of my favourite toys. Choking hazards for younger siblings, certainly, but the thing about reducing the world to a stack of fake plastic trésors was that it could be what you wanted all the time. But Pollys had their problems, usually travel-related. It was no good, for example, bringing their salon out when what they really wanted of a Saturday was good hair, a Palomino Pony Parade and possibly dancing. Which little girl has the pockets to accommodate that? Jennifer Lopez, despite being In Living Colour instead of roller-skates in Polly’s heyday, has evolved to solve such dilemmas in makeup terms. A customisable Freedom System Palette is the centrepiece of her makeup collaboration with Inglot, launching Thursday.

Fans of the famous J-Lo glow know it is usually credited to Charlotte Tilbury, whose products retail for far more than Inglot’s, so the singer’s 70-item line is major news for mass beauty. The Polish brand’s Freedom System Palettes, priced between €9-30 at inglot.ie, accommodate any selection of 1-40 product pans. They’ve created a vast selection of eye, lip and cheek colours with Lopez, as well as glowing highlighters and of course bronzers (she’s already teased her ‘Boogie Down Bronze’ on Instagram). The shade choice is true to her style but caters to multiple complexions with its nudes, metallic and smoky hues. Between the products and the Freedom System sizes, Jennifer Lopez X Inglot lets you build bespoke product-palettes with over 300,000 combination possibilities.

Benefit Blush Bar Cheek Palette, €59

A makeup artist once told me she gets more use out of Benefit’s Dandelion than any other blush. It works as a sheer baby-pink cheek colour and has gold undertones that serve as subtle highlighter when layered with a deeper flush. It’s also a seamless eye-base for fair skin. This is just one of five full-size products packed into Blush Bar, a selection of Benefit’s cult-hits for the face. Lips and lashes aside, you can get a long-weekend of looks through layering them. Hoola, the universal matte-bronze, is perhaps the best-known, thanks to its healthy Gwyneth-as-Marge Sherwood look. It is completely without the kind of radiance that makes bronzer seem so fake in daylight. In the pan it contrasts sharply with Gold Rush, the bold nugget-y highlighter, but the latter’s pearl pigment is fine enough to sheer out into wearable champagne.

GALifornia is a summer-y fun blush, a peach-pink embossed with gold shimmer. This overspray is quite subtle and disappears after a couple of uses, revealing a satiny smooth, well-pigmented powder blush. Both this shade and the rosy Rockateur have gold pearl, but it’s subdued enough to make the skin look lit-from-within, rather than gilded. All five powders are fade-proof and the little brush is more useful than it looks.

NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette, €55

Nars is as excited about their new powder formula as they are about this palette. The shadow pans, while petite, won’t empty so quickly thanks to the substantial pigment increase — all you need is touch of colour and a lot of blending. I’m more interested in the shade range. The previous NARSissist palette was a more tan-friendly mix of coffees and biscuits but this one favours fair complexions. There are matte sand and medium bronze shades that allow for subtly eye and facial contouring, as well as a deep chocolate that dampens into eyeliner and does not shed. ‘Biarritz’ white-beige works as eye base. The pink-satin shades are very pretty and even the paprika red is flattering, especially contrasted with blue eyes. The new stronger pigment is most evident in the six metallics, which flash with three or four facets at once. ‘Shooting Star,’ for example, turns gold, white, crystal and copper with the blink of an eye. If NARS plans to undercut shimmer-queen Huda Kattan’s hit Desert Dusk Palette, €65, with this one they may well manage it.

TooFaced Natural Matte Neutral Eye Shadow Palette, €38

TooFaced’s neutral eye-shadow palette’s had a makeover. This brand’s cutesy packaging frequently obscures very grownup formulas and their award-winning selection of matte nudes was a prime example. So why change what we already love? Well it’s not called ‘Enough-and-HappyFaced,’ I suppose, and there’s lots to like about the update. The formula’s been enriched with cocoa butter, so applies even more smoothly and allows three new shades — ‘Hookup,’ ‘Sexpert’ and ‘Au Natural’ — to double as shading and contouring tools. It also safeguards against caking and creasing, even on dry skin. ‘Lace Teddy’ remains from the original palette and is still the same brightening nude that colour-corrects tired eyes.

MAC Risk Taker Palette, €39

MAC’s ‘Girls’ palettes, which have character-names like ‘Queen Supreme’ and ‘Prissy Princess,’ recently added ‘Risk Taker’ to their clique. This one is Nineties-inspired and quite fun. Its nine powders come in a pencil box-style case printed with what looks like torn fashion magazines. The shade selection isn’t terribly risky by MAC’s standards (I’ve left their counter with green lips before), the boldest is ‘Fashion Fanatic,’ a radiant fuchsia eye colour. Even the ‘Totally Fierce’ peach is semi-sheer and pretty. The opalescent highlighter ‘Let it Rock’ is pretty close to Becca’s ‘Moonstone’ skin-perfector, which is a compact that takes up quite a bit of a clutch for a single product, and there’s lots of it. The best thing about this product is the formula’s melting texture. Application takes such little time and effort that even risking 5-minute makeup will reap beautiful rewards.

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