Product watch: Must have beauty buys for May

May beauty is high-brow and low-maintenance, featuring a Basquiat collaboration, a paint-by-numbers makeup book and Chanel’s most effortless colour collection. Rachel Marie Walsh reports.

Chanel “The Summer Essentials” Collection, available May 19

Gabrielle Chanel branded a kind of relaxed elegance in fashion that is hard to emulate in beauty. The natural look, when it’s flawless, can take quite a lot of time and care. 

Lucia Pica saves you precious holiday hours in front of the mirror with her first Cruise Collection for Chanel Beauty (main image). 

Her summer essentials combine bronzed, glowing skin with flashes of flattering colour.

Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour Powder, €50, is infused with beeswax and lightweight plant butters, so melts onto skin with minimal blending. 

The orange-free tint and fine-milled gold pigment flatter skin year-round and, as well-kept powders last at least sixteen months, are worth investing in if you bronze every day.

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Complete Care Lipshine, €35, is a medium coverage lipstick with a radiant finish. 

Available in coral, nude and cocoa shades, the oil-rich formula is comforting but non-greasy. Its effect is naturally plumping and the narrow, angled bullet lets you shape lips almost as well as a fine lip crayon.

Slate or aubergine flicks are easily perfected with a glide of Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof’s, €25, silky, silicone-saturated pigment. 

Inimitable Waterproof Mascara, €33, comes in a limited-edition chocolate, which looks great with blue eyes, and a deep green that beautifully enhances brown.

 Pica’s elegant “face” is not quite as effortless as throwing on pumps, a quilted bag and a boxy jacket, but it comes close.

The Best of Buxom

Buxom is back! The irreverent makeup collection, which disappeared from Irish shelves in 2012 so the Californian brand could focus on US consumers, has relaunched at Debenhams with products for the cheeks, eyes and lips. 

This is makeup is focused on feminine, flattering colours and beautiful finishes. I especially like Wildly Whipped, €18, a lightweight take on the ubiquitous liquid lipstick trend (pictured below). 

The creamy formula is luxurious with plant fats, so not budge-proof, but the absence of the filmy, oil-controlling ingredients most liquid lippies contain is better for your skin in the long run. Your lips produce no sebum, and while drying ingredients may help colour stay they don’t leave skin looking or feeling great. 

The Divine Goddess Luminizer, €35, is another collection highlight. This champagne-tinted gel-cream gives a flattering glow to the face and body. The transfer-proof, non-sticky finish makes it an ideal partner for dry-clean-only dresses this summer. 

Full On Lip Polish, €18, is Buxom’s biggest seller. This is not lip scrub but a plumping gloss that imparts sheer colour with a velvety finish. The formula includes a skin irritant (menthone glycerin acetyl) that mildly swells lips for a temporarily fuller look. 

The resultant tingling may be “comfortable,” as the brand describes it, but this ingredient promotes peeling and sensitivity with regular use, despite the added Vitamins A and E. 

Lips bear your face’s most delicate skin and at-home attempts to keep them voluptuous should be restricted to emollients, antioxidants and sun protection in my view.

Prada Candy Gloss Eau de Toilette, €81.90/80ml, available at Debenhams 1st May and nationwide from May 15

Candy Gloss is a flanker: a seasonal spin on a brand’s best-selling scent. These limited-edition blends rarely outshine originals, but this sugary take on Prada Candy smells even more delicious. 

Dispatched in a Barbie-pink bottle, Gloss follows perfume’s current micro-trend for formulas that emulate the scent of lip gloss (other examples include Lolita Lempicka Sweet, MAC’s Shadescents collection and Cartier Baiser Fou). 

A sour-sweet burst of cherry opens the composition. This dries down to orange blossom heart notes, after which the gourmand base of almond, vanilla and musk endures.

Urban Decay X Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s influence, like that of so many members of “The 27 Club,” extends well beyond his discipline, so the development team at Urban Decay were thrilled when the artist’s estate approached them about a collaboration. 

The collection includes dreamy teal, lime and sienna shades of Vice Lipstick, €20, but the eye and cheek palettes are the real collector’s items. The brand packages all three entirely in art-printed canvas. 

Each has a small cutout on the back for hanging so you can display them on your wall and create your own mini Basquiat gallery.

The Tenant Eyeshadow Palette, €42 (above), is a bold selection of Eighties-look matte and shimmer shades that includes fuchsia and sapphire blue. 

The more accessible Gold Griot Eyeshadow Palette, €42, contains eight classics ranging from a matte nude to metallic gold. Both palettes include a double-ended brush. The buildable, strongly-pigmented shades are long-wearing and easily blended.

The Gallery Blush Palette, €31, completes the trio with a complexion quadrant that holds shades of pink and berry blush, a bronzer and a champagne coloured highlighter. These work best on medium skin tones.

The Make-Up Manual by Lisa Potter-Dixon, €22

Makeup expert Lisa-Potter Dixon always draws a crowd of eager ears backstage at London Fashion Week. 

Creating looks for shows by Matthew Williamson and Sophia Webster, she dispatches simple but specific advice on enhancing natural beauty from primer to set. 

The Make-Up Manual is her second book and while online makeup tutorials abound, poring over a comprehensive guide to the basics is also a great way to perfect your smoky eye look or finely-contoured cheekbones. 

Lisa has been Head Artist at Benefit Cosmetics since 2011 but the book is not brand-focused. She devotes chapters to each facial feature.

Each look is illustrated with step-by-step imagery, none of which has been retouched. 

The author is perhaps best known for her flawless base and the “Go With The Glow” chapter on complexion enhancement is a must-read.


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