Tried and tested

Radiance-Boosting bases, lip primers and eye makeup removers are in the dock this month. Rachel Marie Walsh reports. 

Radiance-boosting primer

TheBalm TimeBalm Honey Face and Body Primer, €24.33 @ www.feelunique.com 

TheBalm’s primer is a great balance of soothing plant extracts, antioxidants and silicones. Suitable for even the most sensitive skin, the formula creates a flawless, lightweight base for makeup.

There is enough mica (light-reflecting pigment) in the mix to give skin a radiant, non-glittery look. All in all, Honey is a stellar product by an underrated US brand.

Best Buy 5 stars

Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base, €30.50

Tried and tested

Clarins has made this tinted liquid-cream available in several natural-look shades, which is an advantage whether you plan to use it to prime or highlight.

The shimmer is subtle and I like the added emollients and antioxidants. The formula is minimally fragranced and benefits all skin types.

5 Stars

Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer, €41.50

Tried and tested

The name of this product made me hope it would impart a lit-from-within glow. Unfortunately, it has a noticeably gold sheen that alters the colour of your makeup.

Those with oily skin won’t be keen on the shiny finish and the strong scent may bother sensitive types. Glow Maximizer works best as a highlighter for normal-to-dry skin of a warm complexion.

2 Stars

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, €24

Tried and tested

This spray-bottle should appeal to those who find primer fussy or like to set makeup with a spritz of water. The formula lacks silicones, which Smashbox implies is a good thing. Silicones are usually fundamental to primers because of their smoothing effect.

They also act as a neat distributor of ingredients like shimmer and antioxidants. This feels more like a toner and doesn’t have quite enough shimmer to create real radiance.

3 Stars

Lip primer

Mary Kay TimeWise Age-Fighting Lip Primer, €21

Tried and tested

This primer fights ageing with the proven antioxidants in its fragrance-free formula, provided you use it frequently.

Broad-spectrum sun protection would make it an even stronger weapon in the fight against time. Still, it is a good skin conditioner and provides a smooth, non-drying base for all kinds of lip colour.

5 Stars

Too Faced Lip Primer Lip Insurance, €17.40

Tried and tested

Lip Insurance is light and silky, designed to fill crevasses in the lips and make lippy linger after it dries to a slightly sticky finish.

This product’s performance changes with my choice of surface product. It works well with sheer lipstick, gloss and lacquer but upsets the consistency of creams and mattes.

4 Stars

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer, €20.50

Tried and tested

This newbie from Clinique is really a lipstick with benefits. Pop provides non-drying, long-wearing colour in twelve shades. Each is blended with generous dollops of conditioning shea and murumuru butter.

A single coat creates a plumped-up, velvety finish. The colour of anything you layer on top changes considerably but your lips are certainly primed.

5 Stars

MAC Prep + Prime Lip, €16.50

Tried and tested

This primer is a makeup artist’s dream. Prep+Prime Lip prevents bleeding or feathering and improves the appearance of any lip product you swipe on after application.

It feels comfortably similar to lip balm. The formula is hydrating, fragrance-free and too clear to interfere with your favourite shade.

Best Buy 5 Stars

Eye make-up remover

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, €17

Tried and tested

Mary Kay’s simply-packaged remover clears all kinds of eye makeup quickly and beautifully. The silicone-enhanced formula suits all skin types and requires minimal fussing with the delicate eye area to get lids and lashes really clean.

Best Buy 5 Stars

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Makeup Remover, €3.79

Tried and tested

This is a great budget cleanser. The detergent-based formula is gentle and competently removes all but waterproof or long-wearing eye makeup. The label says otherwise so I must dock Simple a star. Silicone-based removers are best for sloughing through extra-durable makeup.

4 Stars

Chanel Démaquillant Yeux Intense, €27

Tried and tested

Chanel’s is an excellent eye cleanser that thoroughly removes all kinds of makeup. The formula is gently, fragrance-free and leaves the area feeling hydrated. Démaquillant Yeux Intense costs more than you really need to spend on this small (though vital) part of your evening regime but if luxury skincare is your bag...

5 Stars

Amway Essentials Eye&Lip Makeup Remover, €13.90

Tried and tested

Amway’s offering works fast and well on even the most reliably waterproof makeup. The formula suits all skin types and doesn’t dry the area as it dissolves. Unfortunately, I found this remover bothered my eyes while removing my mascara. Comfort is a pretty basic quality to overlook in the development of this kind of cleanser.

4 Stars


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