Tried and tested

Max Factor Liquid Effect Pencil, €8.99

In six shades, this newish offering from Max Factor comes with a smudger on one end which is soft and pliable. While this semi-sets on the lid it’s not quite as intense as the others tested.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil, €23

An investment purchase, plump for the coloured shades which come in Black Plum, Black Navy, Hunter, Smoke, Mahogany and Jet. A lovely consistency, ease of use and 12 hour wear is promised.

Gosh Velvet Touch Eye Pencil, €7.99

The big bonus here is the massive shade selection. Some are more pigmented than others but you’ll find brights, jewel tones and metallics. A creamy, waterproof formula that’s easy to use means these are a brilliant buy.

Avon Supershock Gel Liner, €7.50

Quite frankly, this is the best pencil liner I’ve ever tried. A gel in stick form, it slicks on for a graphic line of intense colour and then sets for a budge-proof finish. Absolutely stellar.

Body Shop Moringa Shower Gel, €8.95

So thick and unctuous you need a very little of this shower potion to do your whole body so it really lasts. The soft scent is enveloping and leaves skin feeling soft and cared for.

Lush Grass Shower Gel, from €6.50

Green and clean, this fresh-smelling wash is only available to those with a Lush store in their environs, which will frustrate some.

Clarins Eau de Jardins Uplifting Shower Gel, €21.35

The poshest wash trialled, this is more than most will spend on something that swirls down the plughole, but one sniff of the scent — grapefruit, lemon, rose, mint and vetiver — convinces you it’s well worth it.

Nivea Powerfruit Shower Gels, €2.59

Cheap as chips, these come in antioxidant-tastic Cranberry and Gojj and Blueberry and Acai flavours and are a great way to get going in the morning.

Origins Vitazing SPF15, €35

Before there were BB creams there was Vitazing. This good-for-skin potion adapts to a lighter skintone, has skincare benefits and is a great product for days when you want a bit of cover but have no time for a full face of makeup.

Stila Stay all Day Beauty Balm, €38

Technically billed as a BB cream, I’d dismiss that based on texture alone as this is silicone heavy and delivers a very sheer veil of pigment along with line and pore-blurring properties. Good for the clear of skin, those with redness or blotches to cover won’t find it enough.

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation, €70

A beautiful, luxurious product, this lightly-scented base really does live up to its name. The lightest shade, alabaster, is a good pick for Celtic tones and coverage is less than medium but imperfection-blurring. A real ‘me but better’ pick.

Mac Face and Body Foundation SPF15, €36

A makeup artist classic for a reason, this comes in a whopper of a bottle. Limited shade choices are a minus but if you get one to suit you’re onto a winner. It sets, can be built from sheer to medium, looks natural and glowy and can be used on legs too.


Avon; Bobbi Brown at Arnotts, Brown Thomas and House of Fraser, Dundrum; Body Shop branches nationwide; Clarins at department stores and pharmacies; Gosh at pharmacies; Lush 96 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, and Dublin; Mac at Brown Thomas and BT2; Max Factor at pharmacies; Nivea at supermarkets; Origins at larger Boots, House of Fraser, Dundrum, Arnotts; Stila at Boots Liffey Valley,; Tom Ford at Brown Thomas Dublin.


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