Product watch: New-season make up

Rachel Marie Walsh selects the best new-season make up arriving on counters this week.    

Clarins ‘Instant Glow’ Makeup Collection

Spring is awash in iridescence at Clarins this year, with light-reflecting pigments sprinkled through products for lips, skin, eyes, and cheeks.

Most brilliant among them are the Ombre Iridescente pots, €22.50, available in six new shades. Oxymoronic, as the name suggests, this intense shimmer is best applied with a light hand.

The smooth cream is flattering touched to the top of the eye socket or inner corners alone, so lasts for months.

The latest Multi Blush, €21.50, is a warm rose that also makes a strong impact with very little product. This powder and plant-wax blend bests suits normal to dry skin.

Clarins BB Skin Detox Fluid SPF25, €34.50, will not detox your skin in any literal sense. Your skin does not hold onto toxins that require removal with topical products. Toxins are not the same as the substances that produce spots, blackheads, etc. Buzzy name aside, this a great tinted moisturiser with a subtly radiant finish.

The lightweight formula provides both broad-spectrum sun protection and reparative extracts like kiwi. Consistent protection and reparation will improve skin’s tone and brightness over time. This product best suits normal to oily types.

The brilliantly hydrating Instant Light Lip Perfector, €19, comes in new shades of ’Toffee Pink’ and ‘Plum Shimmer’ this season. You can also outfit your pout for Valentine’s Day in one of four new shades of Rouge Éclat, €23, all vibrant pinks packed with pampering plant extracts. There’s even a crystal clear version of Gloss Prodige, €19.50, in the mix for those who prefer natural lips.

Rounding out the collection is Clarins’ seasonal Eye Shadow Palette, €41, which houses a quintet of pink, grey, and bronze-satin shades.

MAC Velvetease Lip Pencil, €22

Achieving the perfect matte lip is a breeze with MAC’s Velvetease Lip Pencil. The nib deposits the same intense colour as a MAC Retro Matte Lipstick while the precision tip cuts application time. All 12 shades are very wearable, with ‘Promise Me’ nude and ‘Ready To Go’ red among the most flattering. The lip look in the ad campaign is exactly what you get (natural contour permitting), which is rarely the case with any make up promotion. While the formula is not dehydrating, the texture is dry. Lip lines will be highlighted if you do not use a primer first, especially by the lighter shades. This product is extremely similar to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, €26. Though longer and less expensive, Velvetease lacks the competition’s plumping plant extracts.

Make Up For Ever Pro-Sculpting 4-in-1 Face Contouring Palette, €40

I know, I know, facial contouring palettes abound and there are few discernible differences between them. What’s noteworthy about this newbie? In my experience there are three important tests to determine whether a contouring product is worth trying: colour, finish, and formula.

Colour deposits need to be light and buildable, especially in a bronzer. Muddy brown streaks are hard to buff into submission, even with a cream or gel formula. Make Up For Ever’s is a super-fine gel powder.

The Pro-Sculpting 4-in1 palette comes in four shades, so a natural- looking shadow for your complexion should be available. Highlighters should have a flattering undertone, nothing too orange or pink. Finish-wise, fine satin particles like MUFE’s are essential to a subtle, flattering highlight and any bronzer used for shading should be this matte.

Finally, the irritant-free, long-wearing formula does not cake and suits all skin types. Bonus features include a shimmer shade that gives the highlighter extra oomph for evening, and the brand’s Sculpting Blush in a pink that best complements the palette.

Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation, €37

Smashbox’s latest is easily among the best powder foundations on the market. I give the brand major credit for including a range of proven antioxidant, reparative, and anti- inflammatory ingredients that is rare in this kind of makeup.

The fragrance-free formula provides medium coverage and looks extremely natural on skin, even if you like to layer it on a bit. The radiant-matte texture best suits those with normal to oily skin, including acne-prone.

Dry types may find it restrictively matte, and it will highlight flaking and parched patches. The powder is opaque enough to hide small spots, redness, and large pores. Strong pigmentation issues and blemishes will still need concealer.

Ditch the enclosed sponge in favour of a fluffy tapered brush to optimise buffing and create a softer finish. Smashbox offers 10 attractive shades but my one fault with this product is the lack of options for porcelain skin. Even the very lightest shade is quite warm.

Stila Aqua Glow Watercolour Blush, €23.50

Water-based gel blushes are little treasures. Their melt-on texture prevents them clinging to dry patches, and the absence of waxes make them ideal for oily types. Stila’s Aqua Glow is also alcohol and perfume free, which is good news for skin generally.

The formula effects a natural, consistent flush thanks to a mesh-fitted pot that evenly distributes product when pressed.

The colour is easy to intensify and all five flattering shades go from dewy to vibrant with a couple of dabs. It stays in place for at least six hours and the iridescence is subtle enough for day. A top buy for pretty cheeks.


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