Product Watch: Skin-protecting tints and uplifting mascara

August’s best beauty buys include skin-protecting tints and 2015’s most uplifting mascara, in what has become ‘the year of the brow’, according to Rachel Marie Walsh.

Eight months in, I think it’s safe to declare 2015 the “Year of the Brow”.

Great bundles of products for grooming those little arches have crossed my desk since last January.

I’ve trialled enough pens, pencils, gels, waxes, and powders to shade Donald Trump’s hair into credibility.

Developments in the field continue. The Smashbox Brow Tech Collection, €21 each (on counters from August 19) creates a glamorous LA look with three different products.

“The right brows can really change your face shape, making you look younger and in need of less make-up,” says brand founder Davis Factor.

The ultra-fine tip of the Matte Pencil helps you fill sparse areas, add volume, and extend the brows with taupe, blonde, brunette, or dark brown pigment.

The colours are all very natural and the pencil leaves you plenty of time to blend before setting.

Tinted Gloss Sticks slick brow hairs into place and impart a healthy-looking sheen.

Highlight Sticks give arches a flattering gold or bronze shimmer.

Each Brow Tech product has a handy spoolie tip for touch-ups. Their formulas are water and perspiration-proof.

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint, €54

Product Watch: Skin-protecting tints and uplifting mascara

I’ve been waiting to write about this excellent product all summer!

Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint is really a medium-coverage cream foundation, not at all the sheer base the name suggests.

Brand founder Carisa Janes devised the formula to counteract dullness in normal to dry skin. The high moisture content makes the finish very dewy but does not disrupt the colour pigments, which can happen with emollient makeup.

Illusion provides gentle yet effective UV protection with a combination of mineral and non- mineral actives.

There’s also plenty of protective, collagen-supporting antioxidants in the mix. Goji berry and cotton seed are just two. The ingredients list is free from fragrance and other potential irritants.

Hyaluronic acid is one of the best substances you can find in any leave-on skincare. Its power lies in its capacity to hold moisture, which is greater than that of any other natural or synthetic polymer.

According to the International Journal of Toxicology, a single gramme of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water. I thought there would be more of it in this makeup, especially given the name. Still, the rest of the formula is so good and the overall look so flattering that one can live with what’s there.

Lancôme Hypnose Volume-Á-Porter Mascara, €27.50

Product Watch: Skin-protecting tints and uplifting mascara

Lancôme’s development team does mascara better than any other make-up product, and it’s great at most. There isn’t a flop among the brand’s large family of lash-boosters.

Hypnose Volume-Á-Porter is the best yet.

Inspired by the the “unique importance of eyes in French culture, where they are seen as the ultimate seduction weapon,” the formula hoists even very long lashes high without a trace of weight or stickiness. The innovative blend is 20% latex, ensuring each one stays curved and glossy. It’s also fade-proof and highly- pigmented, so retains its initial va-va voom for hours. Lancôme’s signature rose extracts leave lashes feeling softer from the first wear.

The brush is equally important to the product’s success. It has a flexible head for precision application right into the corners. 306 bristles distribute an even and generous application without overloading lashes. The shorter bristles coat them neatly with mascara all the way from the root, while the longer bristles stretch the formula out to the tips. Application is foolproof!

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick, €22

Product Watch: Skin-protecting tints and uplifting mascara

Clarins’ delightful Joli Rouge lipstick has had a makeover. Already exceptionally moisturising, smooth, and pigment-rich, the formula now contains even more antioxidants.

Organic marsh samphire extract and mango oil ensure lips look smooth and plumped for hours. A choice of 25 creamy, satin-finish shades means there’s something to suit all tastes.

The berries and classic reds are particularly stunning. In a nod to Clarins’ commitment to “responsible beauty,” the gold tube now weighs 15% less. Each colour glides on easily and leave a beautiful cream-satin finish that never looks overly glossy or slick.

The texture is emollient enough to bleed into lines around the mouth. If this is an issue for you, try layering it over primer or defining your lips with a coordinating Clarins Crayon Levres, €17.50.

La Manucure de Chanel (on counters from August 14)

Lovers of Chanel’s Le Vernis nail colours will be thrilled with the brand’s new four-piece manicure kit.

A DIY Chanel nail treatment begins with a sweep of Dissolvant Doux Nail Colour Remover, €17.50. Its lightly-perfumed formula contains argan oil and Vitamin E to counteract the drying effect of the acetone base.

The price is steep for this kind of product but a small drop on some damp cotton wool makes short work of all 10 nails.

The same conditioning emollients enrich La Base Smoothing Base Coat, €23.50.

Silica fills ridges to create a completely even surface.

La Base keeps even brittle nails feeling as tough as falsies, and camouflages spots. Polish looks great on top, though this coat can also be worn alone for a neutral look.

A thin layer of Le Top Coat, €23.50, ensures long-lasting perfection and contains even more Vitamin E. Nails look even smoother and slightly curved.

The final polish in the kit is a limited edition. Le Top Coat Velvet, €23.50, lets you follow autumn’s trend for velvety-matte manicures, no matter what your nail colour.


When Tom McDonald, my father in law, discovered that his daughter was marrying a musician, I suspect it was music to his ears. It was if he’d been waiting for me.Tom Dunne: Ennio Morricone, my father-in-law, and me

More From The Irish Examiner