Product watch: Makeup releases

Gisele Bundchen is the face of Chanel's Les Beiges.

Another year, another deluge of makeup releases. Rachel Marie Walsh rounds up the best new cosmetics of 2013.

Clinique Jumbo Vitamin C Antioxidant Smoothie Lip Colour, €20.50 

This lipstick-gloss hybrid pen has a lot to offer. The splay-proof bristles impart a creamy, non-sticky colour with medium coverage. Better still, the formula contains proven antioxidants and emollients worthy of a nourishing balm. These ingredients are kept stable by the twist-click tube, which was launched this year in a generous jumbo size. This gloss is a broad-spectrum SPF shy of perfection.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara, €11.99 

The Rocket is a fab addition to Maybelline’s phalanx of affordable mascaras. The quick-dry formula creates longer, fuller lashes with just one coat. It helps curled lashes hold their shape and won’t flake or smudge. The short, even bristles impart colour without clumping. This easily replaces the classic Great Lash as Maybelline’s best mascara.

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35, €31 

This is the moisturising BB cream I wore all summer. It provides great sheer, semi-matte coverage and a decent amount of broad-spectrum SPF (be sure to apply liberally when using no other sun protection). The formula contains proven antioxidants, including cucumber and apple extracts. Additional emollients means it best suits normal-to-dry or slightly oily skin. This balm is lightweight and fragrance-free. 2013’s best no-makeup makeup.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer SPF20 in Clear, €42 (including ROI delivery) at 

This product’s name is excessive but this is the best makeup base I tried this year. Miracle Skin is a fragrance-free, silicone-enriched cream that goes on super-smooth and doesn’t make foundation pill. It gives you a subtle, complexion-enhancing glow when worn alone, thanks to the mineral pigment mica. There are several tinted shades available but I’m featuring the clear option because it functions so well as a primer. The brand packs in some great, proven antioxidants and packages them in an opaque tube to keep them stable. The broad-spectrum SPF is another plus-point.

Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Glow Powder, €48 

Les Beiges is a sheer bronzer that imparts more of a healthy, sun-kissed glow than a flamboyant tan. The fine-milled, silky powder is glitter-free and pleasingly subtle. The half-moon shaped brush is designed to apply the product perfectly, even in poor light. If you use bronzer to contour, Shades 30 and 40 should be deep enough. I suggest testing the whole range at the counter before you buy. This is pricey but will last past next Christmas if stored properly.

Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation SPF15, €35.50 

Liquid Halo is a silky, oil-free formula that is easily blended. It quickly sets to a smooth, light-diffusing finish that makes your complexion look uniform and bright. Even with so many luminous foundations on the market, this one is special. The formula is fragrance-free and (unlike the competition) contains very little alcohol and no irritating plant extracts. SPF15 is disappointingly low and shouldn’t be your sole protection. Overall, this foundation makes skin look instantly better with minimal effort and irritation.

Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy CC Lipstick, €28 

Rouge Ecstasy is a luxurious cream lipstick with a pretty, radiant-matte finish. It glides on easily and the moisturising ingredients make lips appear more voluptuous. It doesn’t take much product to achieve a strong colour, so if you find a shade you love (there are 30 choices) the cost over time seems a bit more reasonable.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight, €32.00 

Liquid highlighters are rarely subtle, so I wear this glitter-free powder during the day. A quick sweep  gives the face a soft glow where light hits (cheekbones, cupid’s box and the centre of the nose). The finish is more pearlescent than metallic and really makes a matte blush pop.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF35, €28 

This fragrance-free, cream-to-powder concealer does what is says in the name. The lightweight formula camouflages like a polar-bear coat in the Arctic. Each application lasts at least 12 hours. It is water and perspiration-proof and doesn’t streak or cake. Your shade choice is important. If you’re prone to dark shadows, choose a shade lighter than your skin. Go a shade darker to tone down puffiness. Match your foundation for an even tone. I don’t recommend this for dry skin, as the oil-free, long-wear formula may worsen dehydration.


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