Product watch: Top 5 beauty launches


From colour-popping to the latest serum, Rachel Marie Walsh rates the top launches coming to a beauty counter near you.

Yves Saint Laurent ‘Solar Pop’ Collection

Colour-popping, the addition of one loudly-contrasting piece to a neutral look, may be fashionably adroit but trialling the trend on your face sounds gauche even if you can get on board with a flash of fuchsia or neon green elsewhere. 

I am convinced to the contrary by much of Solar Pop, Yves Saint Laurent’s Summer collection.

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils, €32.50, in ‘Fascinating Violet’ is discernibly Dairy Milk purple but not prettily so, particularly paired with the fluttery lengthening effect of Faux Cils.

A vibrant manicure is an even easier way to get the look. Try La Laque Couture, €24, nail enamel in ‘Jungle Orange’ or ‘Jungle Green.’ Babydoll Kiss&Blush, €29.50, now comes in ‘Orange Intrapide’ and ‘Mauve Aventureux’. 

The latter, a dusky pink is very wearable, especially as Kiss&Blush’s formula is so easy to buff into cheeks. The lightweight cream gives lips a delicate colour and leaves cheeks subtly luminous.

Full Metal Shadow, €29, is more challenging. Those familiar with this makeup will know that some shades emerge as solid liquid metallics, other as sheer with coloured glitter. 

‘Gold Source’ is the latter, sparkly and build-able with yellow-gold particles. ‘Violet Wave’ has a stronger colour payoff. Wet-look violet shadow looks stunning with green eyes and a flick of black liquid liner.

‘The Sahariennes’ Bronzing Stones Collector Palette, €47, limits lime green to the compact’s crocodile-print lid. Bronzing Stones, which launched last year, is a satin-matte bronzing powder that melts onto skin. 

Available in the medium ‘Fire Opal’ shade only, this limited edition has a mild lemony fragrance and luminous particles too fine to look glittery. The effect is pretty and the product itself prettier still, with sand dune-effect rippled powder and a fiery logo detail.

Chanel Chance Thee Moods Gel Trio, €69, on counters June 2

Product watch: Top 5 beauty launches

Chance has long seemed Chanel’s cutest parfum but these shimmery gel-pots of its sisters are stealing its charm this season. 

Chance Eau Tendre, Chance Eau Fraîche and Chance Eau Vive also come in an 150ml Eau de Toilette Spray, €125, for summer but this set of coloured gels is the collection’s real gem. Eau Tendre shimmers pink is a sweet mix of jasmine and white musk with a zingy grapefruit-quince accord. 

Eau Fraîche is stronger — a floral chypry with a teak and patchouli base and lemon top-note. A dab of Eau Vive never fails to uplift — the jasmine heart is layered between blood orange, grapefruit and a cedar-iris base.

Paula’s Choice Resist Omega+ Complex Serum, €38

Product watch: Top 5 beauty launches

You’ve probably heard that eating wild salmon and avocado or adding fish oil capsules to your diet improves skin tone, but what about applying omegas directly to your face? 

Ingredients shown to have some impact when ingested are sometimes marketed as beneficial topically, even when there little or no published evidence of the latter. 

Arnica ointment, for example, has repeatedly been shown to have no significant effect on the appearance of bruises (though taking it may reduce inflammation) and peppermint oil has a soothing effect on digestion but can sensitise or irritate skin (despite the initial cooling sensation).

Omega 3, 6 and 9 are rich but extremely effective emollients, delightfully, and this is an excellent dry-skin serum.

Dry skin is not down to your water consumption level but damage to skin’s hydrolipidic barrier, a surface mix of sebum, sweat and water. Damage makes it more difficult to retain moisture, resulting in rough patches and dullness. 

It can be caused by sun damage, harsh scrubs, extreme temperatures, sensitising ingredients and, counter-intuitively, long soaks in water (skin is hydrophilic and not actually designed to be immersed in water for long periods of time).

I am really impressed by the number of barrier-supporting ingredients in Omega+. Paula’s Choice does not waste any room in the pump-bottle! It is all healthy fats, Hyaluronic Acid and skin-identical ceramides. 

Several emollients also provide antioxidant benefits. My favourite thing about this product is that the ingredients mentioned in the product title really are the most prevalent in the mix. 

This is depressingly rare unless you count pure plant oils and these are benefit-limited to a single ingredient’s properties. Omega+ is quite luxurious, texture-wise, and I recommend saving it for nighttime use. The formula is fragrance-free and best suits normal to dry and sensitive skin. It produces brighter, softer results than many moisturising masks I’ve tried.

Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator Activated Water-Gel Concentrate, €45

Gifting skincare for Father’s Day? This moisturiser is my favourite men’s launch of 2017 thus far. Maximum Hydrator is a gentle gel-cream packed with lightweight emollients and reparative antioxidants.

The oil and fragrance-free formula absorbs quickly to a non-sticky finish. Clinique pitches it as a universal but the ingredients best suits normal to oily/combination skin. The brand also claim it relieves “environmental stress” but a layer of sun protection is needed to fully achieve this.

Bronze Goddess Limited Edition Summer Look Palette, €55

Product watch: Top 5 beauty launches

This geometric compact is a whole summer look in one product. Unlike most of Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess makeup, these colours wear well with or without fake tan. Three neutral shades (matte bronze, peach and golden bronze) let you subtly contour, warm and highlight the face and eyes. 

Turn the aqua powder into a colour-pop liner or dramatise eyes by washing it over the lids. The deep bronze blends well without looking muddy and I especially like the pore-blurring luminous colours in the blush.


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