Product Watch: December’s hair and beauty launches

All you want for Christmas is here, three weeks early and ready for wrapping. 

Bobbi Brown Scotch on the Rocks

Bobbi Brown’s Christmas collection is more private members’ club glam than her signature natural-look makeup. The artist describes ‘Scotch on the Rocks’ as “a gorgeous combination of sexy, strong and confident.” Her Warm Glow Eye Palette, €69, has a faux-croc leather case and a versatile selection of shimmer and glitter shadows in nudes, brown and champagne. The seasonal Lip Gloss, €24, and Nail Polish, €14, comes in a more traditional range of burgundy, cherry and rose. The rich Scotch on the Rocks Lip Colour, €29, looks best in Beige Gold. My top pick is the Highlighting Powder, €43, which comes in Bronze Glow and Pink Glow and provides elegant, subtle highlighting for the face.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir, €107 at Brown Thomas

Jo Malone’s best-selling Pomegranate Noir cologne gets a Christmas makeover this month. A cherry-red stopper and ribbon decorate the frosted-glass flacon. This scent is the perfect choice for a festive push as it contains lashings of ruby-fruit extracts and is laced with spicy woods and heady, romantic Casablanca lily.

Essie Winter 2015, €9.99 each

Essie’s new colour collection takes more inspiration from the catwalk than Christmas but it’s still a fabulous way to finish a party outfit. Melon-pink manicures abound with “back in the limo.” Let the ultra-glamorous “jiggle hi, jiggle low,” a pure silver, or “tuck it in my tux,” an ivory cream, give you snow-queen tips. Match “bump up the pumps” to a coral pink dress, “jump in my jumpsuit” to scarlet heels, and “double-breasted jacket” to red tourmaline jewellery.

Calvin Klein Liquid Gold Euphoria Eau de Parfum for Men, €55.90

This fragrance’s narcotic-like name is well-chosen; Liquid Gold Euphoria is an intoxicating blend that breaks Calvin Klein’s lengthy outpour of minimalist, wildly popular eau de toilettes. The brand describes as “luxurious, magnetic and powerful,” this woody, oriental mix of creamy sandalwood and saffron with a strong black pepper top-note. The simple onyx and gold flacon is more in keeping with what CK fans know and love.

Redken Cerafill

We don’t just do our hair up real big, beauty-queen style in the summertime, so a new thickening range is always worth a look. Redken makes two key promises about its new Cerafill line: a fuller blow-dry today and thicker hair over time. The long-term claim is based on a new anti-hair loss ingredient. Stemoxydine was developed by L’Oreal, Redken’s parent company, and there is no independent research proving it thickens with regular use. The Cerafill shampoo and conditioner may not be sure bets in this regard. Dense FX, €37, the range’s styling product, really does give hair a powerful, temporary boost. Ceramides plump and protect, as they do in skincare. Filloxane, which you may remember, is the “miracle” ingredient in L’Oréal’s successful Elvive Fibrology volumising range, is also present in an effective concentration.

Sisley Paris Phyto-Ombres Glow Eye Shadow, €36

Makeup that looks fabulous and cares for every skin-type is disappointingly rare, so Sisley Paris deserved much praise for this antioxidant-packed powder shadow. The fragrance-free formula suits even eczema-prone skin and comes in a nicely-pigmented range of metallics that can be worn wet or dry. Silver, Pearl, Gold and Amber are perfect shades for this season. The price is high for a mono-shadow but the palette is relatively large and a little shimmer goes a long way, especially if your eye area has deep wrinkles.

ghd Soft Curl Tong, €156

Certain 90’s babies have Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas ringlets etched in their minds as visual shorthand for party-season prettiness. It’s an easy look to get in clement confines of your bedroom — but how to create large, loose curls that can withstand snow-slides and gratuitous frolicking (or at least stay bouncy until the taxi home)?

The Soft Curl tong by ghd delivers an optimum curling temperature of 185°C constantly and evenly all along the barrel — delivering lasting curls that form fast and stay locked-in.

The thick, 32mm barrel has a spring-activated lever that volumises to the roots and creates tumbling waves throughout. A cool tip provides a safe place to hold the hair while you curl, and the built-in safety stand allows you to set the tong down securely during styling. Other plus points include a professional-length cord to allow for flexible styling and automatic sleep-mode after 30 minutes idling. Universal voltage lets you use your tong anywhere. Each tool comes with a rose gold heat-mat and rollbag.


My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - Watch The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

More From The Irish Examiner