Beautyfull News: Clarins Paris, L’Occitane, Aldi, Rimmel London, Nuxe Paris

CLARINS PARIS Joli Rouge Moisturizing, Long-Wearing LipstickCLARINS joli rouge
€22 Paired with their range of new, neutral Lipliner Pencils {€17.50}, this collection of 25 revamped hues is bound to be an autumnal go-to. Because I’m a divil for deleting photos on my phone and can’t be arsed to connect to the cloud or whatever, here’s a screenshot of the Insta I took on the day I wore Delicious Pink, which lives up to its name. The lipliners come in Nude Fair/Beige/Rose/Mocha, to suit the range of skin tones from fair to dark. I went for the lightest to go with the pink; it was fine, and frankly, it was nicer on its own. I imagine they’ll come in handy the further you head towards the dark end of the spectrum. I found the lipstick to be lovely: light, long-wearing, and in the case of this particular colour, as shiny as it looks in the photo. Perfect for people who’d prefer to wear their lippy, rather than have it wearing them.

L'OCCITANE hermeL’OCCITANE Pierre Hermé Limited Edition Fragrance Collections
€10-56 Speaking of delicious! Monsieur Hermé is a pastry chef, and has collaborated with the Provençal brand to create two new ‘flavourfull’ fragrances. There’s Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli, a flowery bend for those who wouldn’t normally go for something sweet. I find you can never go wrong with Neroli, it’s really gives one’s spirits a lift. For those who like something zestier, there’s the Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe which I also like: it’s as crisp as can be, and with its cedar and vetiver notes, can shared with your fella. The range ranges from lipgloss at a tenner to €56 for the EDTs. The packaging is delightful, and the gift sets at €72 are perfect for holiday gift giving sans an in-your-face-this-is-a-Christmas-gift vibe.

ALDI Lacura Expert RangeALDI expert eye gel
€5.99 That’s the price for all the products in the line — pretty good! There’s an Expert Wrinkle Smoother, an Expert Beautifying Serum, and an Expert Double Effect Eye Gel, and all are infused with Mimox®X, an active complex that helps encourage the skin to regenerate its own collagen and elastin fibres. NGL, I don’t know how that actually happens, but hyaluronic acid is implicated, which is still all the buzz as far as anti-ageing is concerned. I have given them all a go, and am pleased with the eye gel especially: it’s cooling and soothing, and it’s also a bit of a pick-me-up of a sleepy morning. I am also impressed by the serum, which gives great coverage and absorbs like a shot.

RIMMEL LONDON Match Perfection FoundationRIMMEL match perfection
€10.29 I prefer the coverage of the 24hr version of Rimmel’s foundation range. This promises invisible coverage to create invisible pores; my skin is in excellent nick, and I feel like this didn’t really do it justice. If you have skin like a newborn baby and want to look even more perfect, then this might suit. So basically: younger skins may get loads of joy out of this; less young, maybe not so much. I also found that I feel somewhere between the two lightest hues, with neither of them being… a perfect match.

NUXE PARIS Splendieuse Radiance-Activating, Anti-Dark Spot Range
€30-38 I suspect that the word ‘splendieuse’ is along the lines ‘fabilicious’ in English; it is, in fact, a combination of ‘splendid’ and ‘radiant’. I say go for it, Nuxe: make up all the words you like, as long as you keep expanding your lines of skincare. This targets dark spots, and boosts the radiance of the complexion, all the while smelling gorgeous and feeling luxurious — far more luxurious than you might think you’d get at that price. There’s a fluid for normal skin, a cream for dry skin, a serum, and the pièce de résistance, which is the Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask, an actual mask that you lay one your face and gently press against the skin. One got passed around at the launch and it felt rich with product — in fact, it’s infused with what amounts to almost the entire bottle of 30mls of serum; even holding the box, you can feel how heavy they are. As ever, all of these take their effectiveness from natural ingredients and there are no animal-origins ingredients involved. Check back here for an in-depth review of that mask! {Look at the drawing at the bottom left — I die!} CLARINS perfecting mask


YSL Le Teint Encre de Peau Is Very OMG

TBH, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt like demanding ink-like coverage from a foundation. Yves Saint Laurent seems to think I have, insisting that their new innovation is the result of such a demand. Ink, like tats? I don’t know… I put off trying this just because I couldn’t imagine. Ink.

Well. Maybe paint is more like it. I wouldn’t mind the richness of Windsor Newton on my gob, minus the oil. I think maybe it’s the airbrush effect they’re talking about? Anyway, I finally cracked open my sample of Le Teint Encre de Peau — or Fusion Ink Foundation — and was stupid with happiness from the first touch of it on my face.

There are 21 shades in the complete palette, but only (only!) 16 to choose from in Ireland*; there’s a doe-foot applicator attached to the cap, which will get you going, but I went back over my face lightly a second time with a foundation brush. The eyes aren’t as sleepy as they ought to be, at the time of the morning these no-filter selfies were taken — I was so delighted with the result, it was better for my awake-ness than two cups coffee.



The thing that this does: when it dries, it doesn’t get that cakey look that some foundations unfortunately do. It looks coherent and smooth, yet nuanced — meaning that your face looks all one tone, without looking flat.

I’ve never use the words ‘coherent’ and ‘nuanced’ in a beauty review, ever. I am inspired to flights of fancy and creativity by this stuff. YSL The ENCRE ITSELF

Most importantly: later in the day, it pretty much looked the way it looked when I’d first put it on. Now, my world is not hermetically sealed. I don’t go from taxi to wherever to taxi to home, shuttled around like a hothouse flower. I walk, I take public transport, I move around, exposed to the elements. This was as close to element-proof as I’ve come across.

In fact, the other day for old times sake, I used what once was my go-to foundation, and I think it’s been replaced. The difference between the state of my complexion at the end of the day was stunning. Old Fave had gone all greasy and shiny; New Fave had a tiny bit of shine, but was predominately as matte as the moment it was applied.

I’m not saying that you won’t need to take some shine off at some stage during the day, if your day is a long one — you probs will. The thing is, you won’t be doing excessive damage control: I found the usual T-bar area (forehead and nose) needed an auld blot, but otherwise? It stayed true to its first impression — and that is truly impressive.




* That’s the impression I get from t’internet: there are 21 in Amurrica, probs due to a greater range in skin tones than we have here.

Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Smartest Make Up of the Year

LANCÔME’s Teint Visionnaire is so, so smart.
Perfectly matched concealer in the cap! I ask you.

See here for a stupid dewy lookin’ selfie, and you may note its appearance here, bottom right.

When I was packing for The Christmas, I realised that I couldn’t do without this; I swathed it in bubble wrap and wrapped it a T shirt and tucked it in a boot. It’s that good.


Tried & Tested @ The Herald: Foundation

This week, I worked with several different brand’s foundations. How’d they do? Here’s the link!


HELLO! WOW!Speaking of which, I recently revisited BeneFit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Foundation. I hadn’t liked it a’atall when I first tried it, but now? I love it loads! Will get back to ye with a proper review, but I mention it as a case, which happens occasionally, in which I revisited a product and liked it better. Pro Tip™: using a foundation brush really, truly does make a dif. A true life case of ‘do what I say, not what I do,’ unfortch — I even remember the brand’s lead make up artist, LIsa Eldridge, showing us at the launch that using a brush is best. Tcha! Have I finally learned my lesson?!? Stay tuned…


Lancôme Teint Visionnaire Skin Perfecting Makeup Duo: Beauty-full *and* Clever

So smart:

Lancôme‘s newest offering in the makeup line incorporates their terrific innovation in the skincare line, and the hint is in the name: Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector is in the mix here, and if you click on the link, you can read all about that crazayzay LR 2412 molecule that does all the amazing sciencey stuff to make your skin look equally amazing.

Well, I love it, and I’ve found that I return to it time after time. This is saying something, as I have goldfish memory when it comes to product. I try so much stuff on a weekly basis, that a thing has to be a really, really impressive thing for me to even remember its name — much less its molecule!

And now, here we have it all in one cunningly designed package. Teint Visionnaire comes with a concealer — shown here, lip flipped — that matches the foundation. I’ve been enjoying 01 Beige, and like its progenitor, it is quickly becoming my go-to for flawless.

I find the texture of the concealer to be a bit sticky, and I’ve tried to pick it up with a brush, but I am finding that my fingertips are my best bet for application.

The foundation applies fluidly, no matter if I use a brush, or my fingers. I know, why am I still using my fingers… but sometimes it feels like they do a better job. Although, I won’t get better with a brush if I don’t use it. But, but! Ah, sure, whatever. I tend to take a Machievellian approach to my macquillage. Look:


I have found, as well, that this doesn’t fade, or sink into creases, and the concealer has enough oomph to act as a highlighter as well. What is not to love?


On counter now: €45/£36/no joy finding an American stockist {??}


Fall Face: Time for Foundation Again

I’ve gotten into the Irish habit of saying ‘autumn’ but it’s just not alliterative.

I have many foundations in the bath, waiting for testing, but I had to give this one a go: Korres Pomegranate Foundation {€23}, mainly because I had never experienced the brand before.

^That’s code for, never heard of ’em! and it was with some trepidation that I picked it up. Which is ridic, because A} how am I ever going to make new favourites if I don’t try stuff, and B} trying stuff is my job.

Korres are a Greek brand, which immediately sends me into a daydream of sunshine and blindingly white buildings and views of the sea from mountaintops and delicious food. They cover your whole bod, basically, outside and in, with a herbal pharmacy department offering up syrups and pastilles. Also: man stuff! This is a brand I’d like to get to know better.

Anyway, the first foray back into foundation in the fall is fraught with … some thing beginning with F — fear! Having become accustomed to my bronze-y face, the return to pale-and-interesting always feels like it errs on the side of Buster Keaton.

This also has to do with two things that must be put down to operator error:
1} I always dispense far too much product
2} I am still using my fingers even though I have written about how a brush is the best way to apply.

1 was an issue with Korres, because the texture of the foundation is so like face cream — in a good way, but due to the amount I squeezed out, I really had a terrible wastage situation on my hands, literally. Once I got used to the excellent coverage, the second time round went much better.

The pomegranate is there to tighten the pores; I didn’t really notice, but will pay it mind the next time. I didn’t feel like the foundation was wearing me, either, which was great, and it felt moisturising, which is greater.

Downside: I felt like it sank in a little too much over time. I’ve experienced foundations that seem to float over the top of your skin for the length of the day, and this isn’t one of them. {I like the Chanel Perfection Lumiére for that quality, but give lower points for coverage; Clarins Everlasting Foundation wins in both categories, just so you know}

There will be a next time, after I test all the other foundations I’ve got waiting in the bath. A fall face’s work is never done.


Korres is available at Harvey Nichols, and online from

What I Put on My Face Yesterday

Just make up-wise; skin care is a whole ‘nother post.

>POREfessional by Benefit. It is the biz. I think it is made of feathers and velvet, it’s so soft.

>That Perfection Lumiere foundation from Chanel {more on that later}

>Umm… I knew I should have done this as I was doing it, if you know what I mean, because I forget what — oh, of course! My last year’s LE of MAC Beauty Powder, in Passionflower.

>More MAC: a few swipes of Penultimate on the brows because the dye is dying, oh nooooo. The pen is dying as well! Ach!

>The Blush Horizon de Chanel, and more on that anon as well.

>That Karaja black eyeliner that I adore. It is harder to use now it’s getting shorter, just because my eye thinks I am trying to poke it out.

>I’ve been very pleased with the new technology that has made liquid eyeliner easier to apply. Ir maybe practice does make perfect. Anyway, I love L’Oréal’s Super Liner Luminizer for Blue Eyes. It lasted through my very long yesterday, and that applicator is top class.

>Benefit High Brow Glow, which I always look at and go, ‘Eh?’ and then I just stroke some in the arch of my brow and go ‘Oh!’ the pearlescent sparkle really does make a difference.

>Yesterday it was… yet another Benefit product! Mascara: They’re Real! The result is amazeballs, but one must get as much on in the first coat, because it dries hard, and it’s difficult to get another coat on. You know what I mean? It kind of sets in stone? Which is grand — if you get the first coat correct.

>The Clarins Gloss Prodige in Papaya. I think this has magic in it? because it feels light like a gloss but looks like a shiny, shiny lipstick. Me likey.

That took me longer to write than it did to actually do. Ten minutes, tops? Maybe fifteen? That’s just regular-day-face, as shown. I’m going to be playing with false eyelashes over the long bank holiday/Paddy’s day weekend… something tells me that’s going to screw up the curve…

Yes, You Do Need to Use a Foundation Brush

Yesterday, at a launch for Benefit’s new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation {more about this anon}, their Head Make Up and Trend Artist, the vivacious Lisa Potter-Dixon, demonstrated the need for the foundation brush.

I have only once or twice bothered with such, and I’m all like, what, are my fingers broken? All assembled were given a compelling demonstration as to why a brush is a good idea.

Fingers are dodgy, covered in germs, and also: absorbent. Using a mirror, Lisa swept some on its surface with her fingers, and hmmm, streaky.

Cosmetics sponges are not much better, as we were shown. Most of the foundation was sucked up by the sponge, and in fact, seemed to be taking it off the mirror as soon as it was spread on it. Okaaay…

The brush, however, created an opaque and, well, flawless finish. As Lisa smoothed the make up on the mirror, there was collective ‘Ahhh!’ and several other expostulations. For a roomful of well-educated, seen-it-all beauty journos, that’s saying something. But then, a direct, no-fuss, straightforward Demo of Truth is always gonna work.

So there she is, the latest addition to my grooming routine. I sigh. Why? Another thing to forget to clean? Another thing to fret about packing? Sure, we’ll see how we got on, but I suppose once I get used to it, I won’t even know the difference…


Haiku Review: Eau Thermale Avéne Tinted Compact 50 SPF

When reviewing things
It helps to read directions.
Call me crazy, right?

I love French stuff: the food, the wine, the lifestyle, the whole santé thing that they do. I’d never heard of the Avène line before, but have had the chance to try several of their products. I particularly got a kick out of the Thermal Spring Water, but haven’t really made it a big part of my regime. I was spritzing myself with the pressurised spray because I was bored last year during the snowpocalypse. It helped break up the day, and I suspect my skin, housebound as I was, enjoyed the refreshing sensation.

We don’t suffer from a lack of moist air in Ireland, so it doesn’t seem necessary to carry around a container of hydrotherapy in my handbag. Neither is the sun much of an issue, but SPF enthusiasts will insist that any sun is sun that is going to age us and give us skin cancer, so when the Eau Thermale Avéne Tinted Compact 50 SPF came through the letterbox, I thought, ‘Better safe than sorry.’

Of course, I didn’t bother reading exactly what it was so when I tried to use it as pressed powder, uh yeah, it didn’t work. Because it is foundation. Unaware, I swiped it over a face that was already sporting foundation. Crazy! I put it aside and forgot about it, scarred momentarily by my misuse of it.

Then one day I was running late, and I wanted to cut out the middle woman, meaning the time-consuming dispensing of foundation and then application of it onto my face > yeah, wha’? This makes sense to me, okay? Remind me to tell you about the time I used to take a cab four blocks to work — And so! So I picked this up, and using the pad that cunningly rests in the hinge between the top of the compact and the flip-up mirror, had a flawless face in three-ish swipes of product. I’ve never actually counted. I’m trying to reconstruct in my mind’s eye… okay… more like four-ish.

I brought this with my on my hols because it’s compact and effective and easy. It looks amazing, and it lasts and lasts. It’s also got a laundry list of excellent qualities — protection against UV radiation, free radicals, and sweat, as well as offering irritation reduction — but frankly the most important thing to me, at the end of the day, is that I don’t want to have to be touching up excessively throughout said day. This is a matte finish that combines the best effects of foundation and powder, and I am quite sad that I am near to using it up.