Rachel Marie Walsh tries out hydrating lip colour products, a range of hand creams and also puts a number of niacinamide serums under the spotlight.
HYDRATING LIP COLOUR
Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Luminous Modern-Matte Lipstick, €30
Tilbury’s ‘Hot Lips’ collection was released to much fanfare in July, with attention focused on the 12 A-list stars for which the shades are named. Both its aesthetic and lipcare performance deserve praise. ‘Modern Matte’ apparently means a lipstick with the colour opacity of a matte and the radiant finish of satin.
Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick, €26.39
Shiseido’s signature lip formula is also its best. True to its name, Perfect Rouge delivers consistent colour with a subtle sheen in 25 flattering shades. Shiseido Artistic Director Dick Page recommends ‘Venetian Rose,’ a suit-everyone nude-pink, and ‘Dragon,’ a red that doubles as cheek tint.
NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick, €7.75
Butter is not as emollient and comforting as the name implies and certainly not oil-rich enough to plump the delicate skin on your lips. The shades are classic and intense from the first coat. The formula applies very smoothly from the bullet but is quite strongly fragranced.
Burberry Beauty Full Kisses Lipstick, €28
The shape of this lipstick’s bullet is unique and a real time-saver. A combination of curves and a narrow tip, it hugs contours and makes a neat application easy, negating the need for liner. Burberry further wins me over with a shade range comprised solely of my favourite colours. There is nothing experimental or faddy here, only gorgeous pinks and nudes.
Skinfix Hand Repair Cream, €20.99
Skinfix, a Canadian brand that arrived at Boots in the spring, makes an excellent Gentle Lotion, €18.99, and Gentle Eczema Balm, €19.99, for the protection and repair of sensitive, eczema-prone skin. Their formulas may be new to us but they claim to have used the same ingredients for a century.
No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Day Hand Cream SPF15, €14.50
Non-greasy and mildly fragranced, it leaves hands comfortable and suits all skin types. The formula provides 5-star UVA coverage but at SPF15, you would need to reapply frequently and liberally to ensure adequate UVB protection.
Shiseido Benefiance Protective Hand Revitalizer SPF8, €53
I don’t see the point in making a skincare product with SPF8. Anyone who cares about sun protection will recognise that it’s effectively useless, while those who don’t won’t appreciate the effort. Anyway, Shiseido puts some comforting emollients and anti-irritants in this, as well as small quantities of Vitamins C and E.
Yes to Coconut Protecting Hand and Cuticle Cream, €9.99
Coconut is not everyone’s favourite scent but if you don’t mind mind the piña colada-punch this packs, it is a great choice for dry hands. The formula is rich with shea butter and coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils. It also contains several reparative extracts, including banana, calendula and guava.
Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, €38.45 at www.lookfantastic.com
Niacinamide is a skincare star, a potent reparative antioxidant to seek out whether you are fighting acne or wrinkles. Sometimes listed as nicotinamide or Vitamin B3, it can increase skin’s protective ceramide and fatty-acid content and help to lighten dark spots.
Olay Regeneriste Regenerating Serum Fragrance Free, €29.19
If you have no interest in reading about skincare research or following a customised regime, I suggest making this product, a gentle cleanser and a day cream with broad-spectrum SPF25 the three bare necessities you use to keep your skin healthy (a night serum/cream with Vitamin C and retinol palmitate would be a close fourth).
Bioderma Hydrabio Serum Moisturising Concentrate, €22
Bioderma, too, makes niacinamide a hero of one of its lines. Hydrabio products are targeted at dehydrated, sensitive skin. This serum’s generous amount of Vitamin B3 and other antioxidants are blended with glycerin and hyaluronic acid, to support skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Strivectin TL 360 Tightening Eye Serum, €52.95 at www.lookfantastic.com
This eye serum is extremely high in niacinamide, which is great for an area of the face so prone to lines and dark pigmentation. The formula contain several other reparative antioxidants in useful amounts. It is ‘tightening’ in the sense that it employs film-forming agents and starches that make skin feel temporarily firmer.
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