Product watch: The best long-wear beauty products for the party season

Look and feel gorgeous throughout the party season with long-wearing beauty that cares for hair and skin. Rachel Marie Walsh reports    

It is the most wonderful time of the year, so why be distracted by beauty disasters? Makeup and hair looks for a fortnight take effort enough without flare-ups and slide-downs. Small changes to your normal regime help maintain your glam without keeping you from the party.

Secret agents

Fend off Rudolph-nose with a reliable camouflage like Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, €24. Mercier is more famous for Secret Camouflage, the two-tone cake cover-up, but this 2017 mono cream is also so much better for tired skin.

The antioxidant-rich formula skips over dehydration and reduces the look of fine lines. It suits sensitive skin, sets beautifully and has a soft-matte finish that is very ‘no-makeup makeup’ when worn alone. It is also safe to use directly on the lids, where the oil-control ingredients in cream concealers can sometimes cause inflammation.

Cosmetics queen Charlotte Tilbury recommends using an under-eye illuminator one shade lighter than your concealer to cover darkness, reflect light and make you look well-rested.

I am inclined to believe a woman who’s built an international luxury brand in three years without looking like she runs a country.

Her ‘The Retoucher,’ €33 , a liquid luminizer-pen, does exactly the real-life photo-shopping you would imagine and comes in ten natural-look shades. The formula contains reparative ingredients to promote natural brightness (dark pigmentation is sometimes the result of UV damage).

L’Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighting Pen, €10.19 at, is an excellent alternative. It does not have the shade range but ‘Light’ gives that same wide-awake look to fair skin without highlighting under-eye issues.

Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation, €36 , is perhaps the year’s most buzzed about long-wear base.

Ms Kattan concocted an excellent shade range and even a sheer application is complexion perfection, but you don’t have to spend so much for full-cover makeup with a little radiance. I am also not keen on how much alcohol the super-influencers sloshed into the formula, if you can smell it there is enough to sensitise skin through regular wear.

Wet N’ Wild Photofocus Foundation, €6.95, also a newbie, is a selfie-friendly base that corrects flaws without looking cake-y.

The formula is irritant-free and won’t slip as the night progresses.

Doing a flash-photo check for sloppy blending or weird casts before you head out is always wise, though none should be an issue with the above makeup.

Protect and save

Christmas lighting is not ideal for inspecting powder but a good setting spray can be trusted to keep your face in check. Parched skin is often par for the course with setting aerosols, thanks to the ubiquitous use of alcohol and other cheap quick-mattifying agents in this product category.

I recommend Too Faced Hangover 3-in- 1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray, €32, which both keeps makeup in place and refreshes the complexion. It is better used to set than prime as the formula contains little flaw-filling silicone and initially feels quite wet, though its effects are enduring.

It is also, as the name suggests, a quick solution to ‘hangover face’ thanks to nearly a dozen hydrating ingredients and a smattering of soothing extracts that help curb redness. Starch and a couple of film-forming agents work to give skin a temporarily firmer look.

Bobbi Brown’s Instant Confidence Stick, €34, which sounds like what Hermione Granger uses in times of crisis, smoothes pores and lines in a flash.

This twist-up primer pen is free from fragrance and other potential irritants. The brand adds anti-ageing peptides and plant fats to support natural repair. You will likely wind up swiping this on where you need it, as it transfers to warm skin better than brushes.

Blotting papers are a handbag essential for the shine-prone. These are not an item worth luxury prices, there are lots of comforting, effective budget options. My favourites are NYX Professional Makeup Green Tea Blotting Papers, €7 at, which come 100 to a pack and infused with polyphenols. They absorb shine quickly leaving skin looking fresh and matte.

Style revivers

Flat hair is as festive as beige. Carry a mini teasing-brush like Tangle Teezer Rose Gold Luxe Compact Styler, €17.50 at, to keep up a glamorous evening look without encouraging breakage.

After a smooth blow-dry, section and raise at the crown and repeatedly push down from the middle of the strand to build a Brigitte Bardot-esqu bump.

MoroccanOil’s new Curl Re-energizing Spray, €21.42 at, is a gift to both natural and styled curls.

This sweet-smelling refresher is infused with a lightweight blend of argan oil, green tea and aloe leaf juice that puts bounce and body back into your style, whether you apply it post-sleep or pre-party.

No-fuss eyes

Eyes are the trickiest features to keep calm and well made-up at Christmas, with weather, long-wear ingredients and emotion conspiring against you. Stay bright-eyed at party after party with makeup that lasts but goes gently on delicate areas.

For Laura Mercier’s ‘Holiday Glam’ look, left, Suki Waterhouse’s sockets are contoured with the brand’s Caviar Stick Eye Colour and Liner in ‘Au Natural’ and ‘Caramel,’ €30, both of which suit sensitive skin and double as creamy bronzer elsewhere.

Smoky eyes are a classic any time of year but a touch of gold takes them up a notch for the party season. No7 Skin Illuminator in Nude, €17, is a multi-purpose metallic sheer that can be built from subtle glow to full-on champagne.

The formula is no-frills but non-irritating Use a smudging brush to smooth it over a smoky lid’s centre in crescent shape for angelic eyes.


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