Tried and tested: SPF moisturisers, eye liners and brow definers




This month’s best buys will open your eyes, perfect your brows and protect your skin.

SPF MOISTURISERS

Olay Regeneriste Regenerating Lotion with SPF50, €28.19

Yet another impressive member of the Olay Regeneriste family. Apart from the great UV protection (broad spectrum, high factor), the formula packs in proven antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and collagen-boosting agents. It doesn’t feel heavy or greasy and never pills under makeup. A real winner.

Clarins Sunscreen for Face Wrinkle Control Cream SPF30, €24.40

The thickening ingredients in this oil-free cream will likely cause breakouts on oily skin. The formula provides a good level of broad-spectrum sun protection and includes some nice emollients. Overall, this is a comforting, luxurious choice for dry skin.

Peter Thomas Roth Sheer Liquid SPF50 Anti-Ageing Sunscreen, €41.10 at beautybay.com

This fragrance-free SPF moisturiser is typically simple yet effective. The formula suits all but very dry skin and is wonderfully sheer and matte. Most importantly, it provides a range of antioxidants proven to benefit skin cells and optimal UV protection for them to do so.

Clinique Sun SPF40 Face Cream, €23

This fragrance-free cream provides excellent broad-spectrum protection but has some sensitising ingredients, such as the stabilizer octocrylene. I wouldn’t use it on sensitive skin, even though the label suggests it is OK to do so. This wears better under powder makeup than cream or liquid.

EYE-BRIGHTENING LINERS

Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Liner in Bare, €19

Best for fair-to-medium skin, this waterproof pen is ideal for use in the inner corners and along the waterline. The nib is self-sharpening (a parer inside the lid goes to work when the pen is capped) so you always get a neat, precise line. The formula is long-lasting and non-irritating. Smashbox has thought of everything.

Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz, €15 at feelunique.com

Kajal pencils have very soft nibs, so there’s minimal tugging on the skin. The creamy texture means it works well as an eye shadow, too. Topaz is a slightly metallic nude-peach that works best on medium skintones. It is very easy to apply and blend but not especially long-wearing. Constant touch-ups mean constant sharpening, which can be a bit of a pain.

Pixi Eye Bright Liner in No.1 Nude,€14.15 at asos.com

This pink-lavender liner is the brightest, least natural shade. The formula is non-irritating and waterproof. Try dabbing along the waterline with a cottonbud before application for extra staying-power. Pixi’s brand mission is to give you the “just had a good night’s sleep look” and while this liner brightens considerably, it looks as obvious as white pencil on all but the very fair.

NARS Larger than Life Liner in Rue Bonaparte, €25

This liner is great but super-expensive for a pencil. I can’t fault the rich, smudge-proof colour. It didn’t require any touching up during the day. The twist-up nib is silky soft and easy to blend. It comes with a sharpener. The colour makes eyes look fresh and open without an unnatural glitter-finish. One to think about if you don’t buy much for your eyes beyond mascara.

BROW DEFINERS

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil, €21

Benefit’s classic pencil is pretty pricey for its capabilities. The spoolie tip helps to tidy brows before application. The nib comes in three shades with a matte-powder finish. The tip blunted quite quickly and requires the subsequent purchase of a Benefit Dual Pencil Sharpener, €6. This tool will revive most Benefit pencils so is a good buy if you’re a fan.

Shavata Double Ended Brow Pencil, €10.63 at feelunique.com

This dual-colour pencil from brow specialists Shavata has a “dawn” tip for blondes and a “dusk” tip for brunettes. A couple of well-placed, feathery strokes create naturally plusher-looking brows. The nib is precise and stays sharp for several uses. A professional finish for a great price.

L’Oreal Super Liner Brow Artiste, €8.95

This 3-in-1 pencil provides colour, a clear wax tip and brush. Available in four shades, the nib is quite soft and easily blunted, yet not so malleable that it can’t sketch in natural-looking “hairs.” Again, there’s no sharpener included but a standard cosmetic one will do the trick.

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor, €42

An extravagant purchase but extremely precise. The spoolie tip tidies things up. The angled “calligraphy” tip lets you sketch in natural-looking hairs and define arches to perfection in no time. Twist the cap for an in-built file that keeps the tip sharp. This comes in four shades, so you’re almost certain to find a good match. Like most Tom Ford makeup, it’s terribly expensive but does live up to the hype.


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