Rachel Marie Walsh reviews the best pre-autumn makeup launches.
Like a ballerina cardigan or a great wrap dress, August’s beauty arrives to perk things up just as you start to feel lukewarm about your summer look.
Clarins ‘Volume, Volume, Volume!’ Collection
Clarins kicks off Autumn 2016’s makeup launches with eye products that accentuate your natural beauty.
A trio of 4-colour eye palettes, €43, in nude, rosewood, and brown, furnish subtle daytime looks year-round.
A damp brush intensifies each shade (as shown in the glamorous model shot), but the nicest thing about Clarins soft-mineral shadows is that the shimmer pigments never flake when you wear them dry.
The silky formula lets them lie flat and fixed against the skin without that tightening sensation created by some long-wear shadows.
Neither do the smooth-sitting pigments highlight crepiness or irritate the corners of your eyes during the day, making this one of the few radiant shadows that suits mature lids, no matter which palette you choose.
Clarins’ new Supra Volume Mascara, €23, is their best yet. Modern mascaras are all basically a combination of carbon black or iron oxide (for colour), polymers, and silicones (for coating and flexibility), and the real point of differentiation: A brand’s choice of conditioners and thickening and/or lengthening extracts.
For Supra Volume, Clarins uses cassia flower and carnauba waxes to bulk up and soften lashes.
The carbon black colour is blended with ultramarine pigments to give it a glossy blue-black look when light hits.
The short-bristled brush has a conical tip that lets you capture corner lashes and, because the formula does not dry immediately, there is time to straighten things out with a cotton bud if you mess up.
Supra Volume really does make lashes look thicker and more plentiful from first application.
Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Hi-Lustre Light Sculpting Lipstick, €32, and Vinyl Lip Colour, €24
The latest additions to Estée Lauder’s Pure Colour Envy range are lipcare-colour hybrids. Hyaluronic acid is a skincare ingredient that lives up to the hype.
A component of skin tissue, even its cosmetic form has a greater capacity to hold moisture than any other natural or synthetic polymer.
One of the hallmarks of youthful lips are their moisture content and because the hyaluronic acid, Pure Color Envy Hi-Lustre Light Sculpting Lipstick helps skin retain moisture, and, from uppermost layers to dermis, it temporarily plumps fine lines.
The ‘sculpting’ of the title refers to the satin finish, which can make lips look fuller when light hits reflective pigment.
Most shimmery lipsticks go on sheer at first, but each of these new shades has the colour intensity of an opaque matte.
Pure Color Envy Vinyl Lip Color also contains hyaluronic acid, as well as a cocktail of antioxidant plant oils.
This liquid lipstick is more emollient than its sister release and also far glossier, thanks to pearlescent pigments that give the three shades available a glamorous wet-look.
It is a high-maintenance lip colour, but well worth the time spent on touch-ups.
Chanel ‘Le Rouge No.1’ Collection
Chanel’s fashion and beauty changes as often as any other luxury brand’s, but there are a few symbols, or ‘codes’, that distinguish them even before you spot those linked Cs.
Quilted leather, tweed, pearls and silver chains are all Chanel tells in clothing.
Beauty-wise, it is the smell of No.5 and a slick of true-red lipstick that gives a Coco fan away.
The colour red has inspired an entire autumn makeup collection by creative makeup director Lucia Pica, right down to shadows and eye pencils.
This sounds odd, especially as those of us fighting red lids are keeping Clarityn going quite nicely, but the eye colours are closer to brick and copper than hay-fever scarlet.
The two new shades of Stylo Yeux Waterproof, €23, for example, are brown with red undertones (‘Agapé’) and burgundy (‘Eros’).
The Dimensions de Chanel Mascara, €32, comes in aubergine (‘Subversif’), while the 4 Ombre’s Quadra Eyeshadow Palette, €51, is a medley of bricky browns (Candeur et Expérience’).
For cheeks, the Joues Contrast, €40, in ‘Rouge Profond’ is a deep red that might be hard to pull off if the powder weren’t so sheer and easy to buff into a flush that looks natural on fair skin.
Pica’s extrapolations from the classic are cool, but red lipstick is still the best part of this collection.
Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous-Matte Lip Colour, €34, comes in a smashing scarlet (‘Rouge Charnel’), red-orange (‘Rouge Feu’), rose-red (‘Rouge Vie’) and chocolate-burgundy (‘Rouge Audace’).
Rouge Allure Luminous Lip Colour, €34, which has a creamier, more hydrating formula, now comes in a pink-beige (Rouge Ingénue) and true blue-red (Rouge Tentation).
Red lipstick has sexual connotations, sure, but the ubiquity of this product in this autumn’s collections is also about beauty as female armoury.
As Chanel used to say “mettez du rouge et attaquez”.
NARS ‘Powerfall’ Collection
NARS also considered the makeup of a woman in charge when developing ‘Powerfall’, a selection of wearable but striking colours.
Blush-contouring your thing? Try sculpting cheeks to new heights with the Contour Blush Palette, €32, which offers complexion-enhancing hues in light caramel and nutmeg (‘Talia’) or café au lait and espresso (‘Melina’). Lids shimmer with of Dual Intensity Eye Shadow, €27, including iridescent white, rose gold, and deep indigo.
Lips are the most distinctive part of NARS autumn look, traced and stained with Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, €26, in ‘Infatuated’ garnet or ‘Consuming’ Bordeaux.
Velvet Eyeliner, €25, adds rich dimension to the lash-line with soft pigments in black, hazelnut, or grey.
They glide on and blend evenly, creating the perfect base for smoky lids or a fine line for a bold definition.
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