Product watch: Top beauty launches for May

Bold new mascaras and a top-notch sheer bronze make May one of the year’s best months for beauty launches so far. Rachel Marie Walsh has the lowdown.

Urban Decay Goes Through The Looking Glass

Urban Decay’s Disney-fied trip down the rabbit hole was such a hit in 2010, they’d have been mad as hatters not to do this sequel. 

The brand launches an “Alice Through the Looking Glass” collection of an eye and lip colours on Thursday, preempting the Tim Burton film’s premiere on May 27. 

The original “Alice in Wonderland” palette became a day-one sellout and still commands ridiculous sums on Ebay.

The “Alice Through The Looking Glass” Eye Palette, €49, comes in jewellery box-style packaging and offers a very wearable mix of delicate and vibrant shades. 

Five characters from the film — Alice, Time, Mad Hatter, Red Queen and White Queen — inspired four shades each. 

Product watch: Top beauty launches for May

Alice’s colours include peach, pink, brown and the periwinkle blue of her trademark dress, while the Mad Hatter’s sparkly green, pink-flecked purple and gold-infused orange, look close to shades in UD’s permanent line. 

Time’s shades — a grey taupe, black navy, silvery purple and deep bronze — are ideal for updating a classic smoky eye.

The palette’s surface is covered in dazzling colours and a blue butterfly springs from the interior. 

The pretty bug references scenes from the film but is also symbolic of the transformative power of makeup, says Urban Decay. Five limited-edition shades of lipstick, €19.50, are also part of the collection. 

“Alice,” a pink-tinted nude, and ‘Imacebeth’ matte-red are the most universally flattering. Each tube features the palette’s kaleidoscope print.

Available from May 5 at Debenhams and House of Fraser

Clinique’s Sunscreen With Benefits

If SPF creams leave your face stinging and eyes streaming, Clinique has two new solutions. 

Titanium and zinc oxides are stellar natural ingredients and the sunscreens least likely to irritate sensitive skin. 

They protect against both UVA and UVB rays and are also safe for use around the eyes. 

There is even evidence that suggest zinc oxide has antioxidant properties. 

Unfortunately, these oxides frequently leave a white residue on skin that alters the colour of makeup applied on top. 

Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face, €28, available in SPF30 and SPF50, combats blanching with neutralising colour pigments. 

The formula is rich in titanium and zinc oxides, and also employs a range of lightweight moisturisers. The texture is non-greasy and smooth to blens.

Clinique’s existent SUN range of SPF creams is also great but includes avobenzone, a UVA sunscreen that may irritate sensitive types. 

They face creams in this range are also more emollient than this new fluid and do not wear as well under cream or liquid makeup.

BareMinerals’ Sheer Glow

Before contouring became a beauty cult, bronzer was about looking healthy and outdoorsy, like you’d just returned from a really good holiday. 

BareSkin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer, €30, lives up to that ideal, imparting a sheer tan that really does look skin-like. 

The lightweight formula goes on impressively smooth whether applied directly to skin or over foundation. 

Product watch: Top beauty launches for May

The flattering bronze colour suits a wide range of skin tones and, unlike powder bronze, requires minimal buffing. 

Application is effortless, whether using your fingertips or brush, and the satin-matte finish is super-flattering. 

You can also trust BareSkin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer to give you a sun-kissed glow when added to foundation, as it is not in the least orange.

This formula is serum-like only in texture, sadly, so there are no anti-ageing extracts on the ingredients list. 

However, it is alcohol and fragrance-free and suits any skin type.

MAC’s Longest Lasting Lip Gloss

Just one slick of high-colour lipgloss serves up that irresistible one two-punch of plumped lips and glossy pigment that gets your smile really noticed. 

Endurance, however, is never going to be its strong point. 

The prospect of the uneven mess that is midday gloss would send anyone shopping for something waxier, possibly with a satin finish. 

MAC Versicolour Lip Stain, €25, is a pretty attractive compromise. 

Product watch: Top beauty launches for May

This gloss-stain hybrid begins the day with a high-shine plastic look to each of the collection’s sixteen shades. 

The gloss remains intact until mid-afternoon and, if you choose not to top up, will fade into an even, radiant coat of lip stain. 

The formula is rich in emollient oils, which makes it feel very comfortable but may cause bleeding if you have lines around your mouth and go liner-free.

YSL’s Rainbow-Bright Liners and Lashes Four years of development and some 400 trials went into Mascara Vinyl Couture, €35.

Yves Saint Laurent’s latest lash dressing

The formula is shellac-shiny and very lengthening, which is lovely, but it is the wild and intense shade range that makes this an early contender for the makeup hit of the summer. 

Buttercup yellow, Dairy Milk-purple, flamenco pink… any one of the nine colours available would make a statement anywhere on the face. 

Lashes, which are so frequently in motion, become a spectacle in Vinyl Couture.

The brand’s signature Dessin Du Regard Stylo, €20, is available in seven similarly vibrant new shades, including sapphire and a fetching verdant green. 

The pencil’s tip need frequent sharpening, but apply very smoothly and consistently. 

The colour sets quickly to a powder-like finish that resists smearing, and there is very little fading by day’s end. 

The angled sponge tip on the opposite end of the pencil is handy for artfully smudging the line. 

Whether you match your liner to your Vinyl Couture Mascara or clash them, their combined colour-pop is dramatic.

Available now at Debenhams. On counters nationwide from May 22.


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