Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - SPECIAL REPORT -


As the prod­uct many of us rely on to bring about vis­i­ble anti-age­ing ben­e­fits, this is the one I get asked about most often. Serums don’t al­ways come cheap.

‘A high-grade an­tiox­i­dant serum is one of the best in­vest­ments you can make in your skin’s fu­ture and it’s worth pay­ing more for a good qual­ity one,’ says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Ste­fanie Wil­liams (eu­delo.com). ‘Good raw in­gre­di­ents can be pricey, so a cheaper serum may not con­tain a con­cen­tra­tion high enough to re­ally de­liver re­sults. Some brands even in­clude a low-con­cen­tra­tion “dust­ing” of an in­gre­di­ent, just so they can men­tion it on the la­bel. Check on­line re­views to see what other users say about a prod­uct if you’re think­ing of spend­ing more – and never be se­duced by glam­orous pack­ag­ing!’

OUR HERO ‘A favourite of mine is Sk­inCeu­ti­cals C E

Ferulic [€150 for 30ml, skin­shop.ie],’ says Dr Wil­liams. ‘Es­sen­tial for main­tain­ing healthy, beau­ti­ful skin, vi­ta­min C can re­duce col­la­gen-de­grad­ing en­zymes, re­gen­er­ate vi­ta­min E, stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and help pro­tect skin from sun and pol­lu­tion dam­age.’


A 2017 study pub­lished by statis­tics web­site Statista found that 31 per cent of women aged be­tween 30 and 59 spend €28 or less on cleanser. Yet due to an in­creas­ing aware­ness of the dam­ag­ing ef­fects of pol­lu­tion, as well as a trend for ‘dou­ble cleans­ing’ – when two cleansers are used to re­move ‘oily dirt’ and ‘wa­tery dirt’ – this could soon change.

Peo­ple are often dis­ap­pointed when I ad­vise them to stop look­ing for that ‘mir­a­cle’ anti-age­ing prod­uct and sim­ply up­grade their cleanser. I would rather spend less on a ba­sic mois­tur­is­ing cream, then put more to­wards a fan­tas­tic cleanser that’s not only ef­fec­tive but brings a pampering touch to the ev­ery­day busi­ness of re­mov­ing make-up, gen­eral grime and pol­lu­tion. OUR HERO Elemis Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser (€49.95 for 200ml, deben­hams.ie) leaves my skin feel­ing clean and look­ing fresher. It even swipes away my eye make-up in sec­onds. Save money on make-up re­mover wipes by pair­ing it with a wash­able Makeup Revo­lu­tion Pro Makeup Eraser Towel (€10.99, su­per­drug.com).


For years I saved money and cut cor­ners by pick­ing up any old sham­poo and con­di­tioner from my lo­cal phar­macy. Then my stylist in­formed me that many cheaper prod­ucts sim­ply coat the hair in sil­i­cones to give the ap­pear­ance of shine rather than am­pli­fy­ing the true health of the hair in­side and out.

I switched to Kéras­tase, spend­ing around five times more on each prod­uct – adding a pre-sham­poo, mask and leave-in serum to my rou­tine – and have never looked back. By bas­ing its prod­ucts on tech­nol­ogy that is as high per­for­mance as some skin­care ranges, the brand of­fers so­lu­tions for all hair types and the re­sults are trans­for­ma­tive. One wash with­out mine and I no­tice a re­turn to coarse­ness, tan­gles and a gen­eral dull ap­pear­ance. OUR HERO Kéras­tase Aura Botan­ica Bain Mi­cel­laire Riche (€25.50 for 250ml, mil­lies.ie) is a deeply nour­ish­ing sham­poo that mim­ics the tech­nol­ogy found in cleans­ing mi­cel­lar wa­ters for the skin. It’s the per­fect rem­edy for dry win­tered-out hair, pro­tects against pol­lu­tion dam­age and is def­i­nitely a worth­while pur­chase.


I speak from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence when I say that find­ing the right foun­da­tion or BB cream – in terms of shade, dewi­ness ver­sus shine con­trol, stay­ing power ver­sus the ten­dency to ‘cake’ – is a life­time’s work. Yet in re­cent years for­mu­la­tions have be­come in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated, with pig­ments that adapt ‘in­tu­itively’ to a range of skin tones, as well as tex­tures that suit our ev­ery need.

‘In terms of “skin make-up”, I grav­i­tate to­wards more ex­pen­sive brands,’ says make-up artist and founder of Vo­tary skin­care Ara­bella Preston (vo­tary.co.uk). ‘High-street prod­ucts have come on in leaps and bounds – for ex­am­ple, with the use of more yel­low-base tones rather than pink – but I still find the for­mu­las too dry­ing and their scent syn­thetic.’ OUR HERO ‘My num­ber one for both my skin and that of my clients is Nars Pure Ra­di­ant Tinted Mois­tur­izer SPF30/PA+++ [€33, narscos­met­ics.com],’ says Ara­bella. ‘This de­liv­ers UV pro­tec­tion in a base that al­lows your skin to breathe and pro­vides de­cent cov­er­age. A lit­tle goes a long way, so for me it is well worth the price tag.’


The ex­clu­sive fra­grance sec­tor is grow­ing faster than its mass-mar­ket equiv­a­lent, sug­gest­ing that when it comes to find­ing a new scent, we are will­ing to pay more. The ques­tion is whether we’re merely se­duced by a de­signer price tag and ex­trav­a­gant pack­ag­ing or whether the qual­ity of the bot­tle’s con­tents re­flects what we’re fork­ing out for.

‘A truly great fra­grance is a com­bi­na­tion of man­made mol­e­cules and the finest nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents,’ says Michael Dono­van, founder of Roul­lier White per­fumery. ‘While the lat­ter are what give a scent its rich­ness and in­ten­sity – like a paint­ing with vivid colours – they are ex­pen­sive. That said, there are less costly nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, such as cit­rus and laven­der, which can be used to cre­ate a per­fume of great qual­ity for less money.’

OUR HERO Au Delà Nar­cisse by Bruno

Faz­zo­lari (€110 for 30ml EDP, roul­lier­white.com). ‘The rare and ex­quis­ite ex­trac­tion of nar­cis­sus is clear and fresh, sup­ported by heavy doses of high­est qual­ity ab­so­lutes of Egyp­tian jas­mine and French orange flower,’ says Michael. ‘This is a time­less yet modern clas­sic.’

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