Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

From serums to face masks, the latest products are put to the test by Rachel Marie Walsh.

Darphin Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum, €65

Darphin makes beautiful looking products. Frosted-glass bottles, brightly-coloured lotions...the kind of stuff I imagine lines Mariah Carey’s jacuzzi bath.

This pink pump-bottle contains some soothing plant extracts and some not-so soothing fragrant extracts.

Temperamental as rosacea can be, I really can’t recommend anything that is not entirely comforting, especially at this price.

Star Rating: 4/5

BEST BUY:  Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum, €36.45 at lookfantastic.com

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

My only real fault with this serum is that there is just 30ml in the bottle.

Apart from the many soothing ingredients you would hope for in a rosacea serum Paula’s Choice puts in lots of things to help skin get UV damage-fighting fit. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, amino acids and ubiquinone can all help to replenish a weakened moisture barrier and even lighten brown spots.

The serum’s texture is watery and non-greasy, so even oily types can benefit from a daily application under broad-spectrum sun protection.

Star Rating: 5/5

 

Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil, €35.95

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

Antioxidant fruit extracts (black cumin oil is particularly effective in calming inflammatory skin conditions) and nut oils combine to pacify and hydrate normal-to-dry skin. Best of all, the formula contains a high concentration of coenzyme Q10, which is both soothing and supportive of healthy collagen development. It is also something of a radiance booster, which is always a plus in wintertime.

Star Rating: 5/5

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Serum

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This one is a sorely lacking in soothing ingredients. Tambourissa trichophylla leaf is indeed anti-inflammatory but, in a product designed to combat redness and sensitivity, one extract needs more backup than glycerine, silicones and penetration enhancers.

Rosacea sufferers who have normal/dry combination skin and a fondness for La Roche-Posay can find more comforting products in the brand’s Toleriane range.

Star Rating: 3/5

 

Marks and Spencer Pure Daily Skincare Moisture Plus Treatment Mask, €8.25

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This mask is a great price and its glycerin, oat kernel oil and wheatgerm do dry skin much good. Vitamin E and aloe both moisturise and aid skin cell-repair.

If there were more chamomile and algin - two very minor ingredients - the formula would also help to reduce redness. Worst of all: the line is called ‘Pure,’ suggesting its products comfort sensitive types, which heavily fragranced-skincare definitely does not.

Star Rating: 3/5

 

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Mask, €41

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

Enzymes such as Vital C’s bromelain and superoxide dismutase, can help protect your skin against free-radical damage.

Image also touts this mask for its exfoliating benefits but I think this depends on what you want from your exfoliant.

This is more of a gentle brightener than an exfoliant, and as such is safe for use on sensitive skin. As a moisturiser it performs well, plumping skin with grapeseed oil and hyaluronic acid.

Star Rating: 4/5

 

Clinique Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask, €48

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

It would be better if Clinique didn’t sell it in jar packaging, which can’t keep antioxidant ingredients stable and effective for long.

This formula is packed with skin-plumping, radiance-boosting antioxidants. The texture is too rich for oily types but normal to dry skin will feel tremendously comforted by the mask’s many plant oils.

Star Rating: 3/5

BEST BUY:  Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask, €24.45 at lookfantastic.com

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This is an overnight treatment for normal-to-dry skin. It leaves you looking especially well-rested.

The formula is comprised of a long list of antioxidant extracts and fruit and nut oils. It also contains replenishing Vitamins A and C. Skin feels soft and comfortable in the morning.

Star Rating: 4/5

 

NARS Minorque Kohliner, €25

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

Cream liners are the best at framing a smokey eye, and NARS kohl is a star in this regard.

The formula is a rich matte cream. It deposits strong consistent colour. It sets after a minute or so, leaving plenty of time to smudge and blend as you please, but once dry it is smear-proof.

Star Rating: 5/5

 

Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes, €19

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This is a waterproof liner but feels extremely comfortable. It applies very smoothly, though I do wish the brand provided a sharpener to help maintain a precise tip. Also, all five shades are shimmery, which in a liner can look a bit tacky.

Star Rating: 4/5

BEST BUY:  MAC Technakohl Liner, €18.50

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This mechanical pencil-style liner is pretty much foolproof. The formula is creamy but sets to a soft powder finish.

The 34-shade range is broader than for any kohl on the market. Some are weird- Smoothblue and Jade Way are Crayola-bold - but the classic shades are lovely.

Star Rating: 5/5

 

Laura Mercier Crème Eyeliner, €27

Tried and tested: Serums and face masks

This cream is expensive for a liner and the brand provides no angled brush to aid application.

Still, I can’t fault the formula, a light gel cream that feels comfortable, blends beautifully and lasts all day. It suits all skin types. All five shades contain iridescent pigment but the shimmer is very subtle.

Star Rating: 5/5


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