Beauty

From skin oils to high­lighters to concealers, Rachel Marie Walsh has got you cov­ered

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

OILS The Ab­nor­mal Beauty Com­pany

The Or­di­nary 100% Cold-Pressed Vir­gin Marula Oil, €8.90 at cloud10beauty.com, ★★★★★

The Ab­nor­mal Beauty Com­pany is so straight­for­ward about its oils and serums, all com­prised of few in­gre­di­ents and priced rea­son­ably, that it re­ally does de­part from the norm. Es­tée Lauder in­vested in its Cana­dian par­ent in June, tempted by the brand’s young and dig­i­tally-vo­cal fan­base. A bot­tle of their marula oil (which has a sim­i­lar fatty acid com­po­si­tion to olive oil) con­tains noth­ing but that plant ex­tract, and the la­bel ex­plains how it func­tions as sup­port for your skin’s mois­ture bar­rier. That is the whole pitch: this is it, what it is and what it does. You could tweet the lot with hash­tag space. Ideally you would use more than one an­tiox­i­dant on your face (brand sis­teroils in­clude Ar­gan and Rose­hip) but the price and tex­ture makes for easy lay­er­ing. Marula is a pleas­ant ad­di­tion to your favourite SPF mois­turiser or makeup prep for dry skin.

BareMin­er­als Ex­ter­nalix Skin-Vo­lu­miz­ing Oil Serum, €48, ★★★✩✩

Eter­nalix is an an­tiox­i­dant oil-blend with added serum-like in­gre­di­ents. Pep­tides and hyaluronic acid are the most in­ter­est­ing of the lat­ter, giv­ing the for­mula a dis­tinct anti-age­ing edge over fa­cial oils. This would be a fan­tas­tic mois­turiser for nor­mal-to-dry skin if the brand had not in­cluded fra­grance. Fra­grance is some­times gen­er­ated by nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents but that does not mean it ben­e­fits skin. Reg­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions of scented stuff makes skin more sen­si­tive over time. I also dis­like the ‘skin­vo­lu­miz­ing’ claim. Mas­sag­ing on an oil can cer­tainly leave skin look tem­po­rar­ily plumped but vol­ume comes from in­jectable fillers.

Pes­tle and Mor­tar Su­per­star Retinol Night Oil, €78, ★★★★✩, avail­able at cloud10beauty.com, pestle­and­mor­tar.com

Lots of in­gre­di­ents are de­scribed in su­perla­tives but retinol (Vi­ta­min A) re­ally is a su­per­star, with a four­decade re­search record show­ing it ben­e­fits mul­ti­ple skin con­di­tions, in­clud­ing acne and eczema. It has also been shown to re­fine pores, boost col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and im­prove elas­tic­ity and pig­men­ta­tion is­sues. The tricky part of us­ing it daily is avoid­ing ir­ri­ta­tion, as you can use an ir­ri­tant-free for­mula (like this one) and still see some red­ness if it is a higher level than your skin can tol­er­ate. One way for brands to make their retinol prod­ucts more catch-all is to use retinol palmi­tate, or some other mild cos­metic form of the molecule, and keep their serum su­per-com­mer­cial while im­ply­ing all the ben­e­fits of the real thing for their any skin-type serum, etc. This is not an un­truth but putting ‘retinol’ in a prod­uct name when the in­gre­di­ents list sug­gests moder­ate amounts of two cos­metic forms of Vi­ta­min A is a bit like hyp­ing a Kar­dashian club-night and then tot­ter­ing Kylie out half-way through: Kar­dashi-lite. That said, as a straight night treat­ment this is lovely skin­care, blend­ing or­ganic jo­joba, av­o­cado, grape­seed, black­cur­rant and pome­gran­ate seed oils in an an­tiox­i­dant cock­tail sure to make skin feel mar­vel­lous. It also con­tains smaller amounts of black cumin and car­rot seed oils, both noted for re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion.

HIGHTLIGHTERS BEST BUY Moo­Goo Skin­care Evening Prim­rose and Starflower Oil, €12.70 at moo­goo.ie, ★★★★★

You may recog­nise this oil blend as more com­mon in fe­male-tar­geted sup­ple­ments, and punc­tur­ing one of those cap­sules for your skin would get you a tiny amount of this prod­uct. The lib­er­ated oil’s tex­ture is gen­er­ally pretty stick and this one, stored in a sta­bil­ity-pro­tec­tive pump-bot­tle, goes on su­per-smooth. Both starflower and evening prim­rose re­duce red­ness, and sup­port skin’s nat­u­ral mois­ture bar­rier. This for­mula feels very com­fort­ing. It is best added to a regime for nor­mal-to-dry skin but the acne-prone can re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and pro­mote re­pair us­ing Moo­Goo’s Cold-Pressed Ta­manu Oil, €12.70. You still want to go for a cock­tail of great in­gre­di­ents in your over­all skin­care but, as with The Ab­nor­mal Skin­care Com­pany’s dou­bles and sin­gles, adding pure an­tiox­i­dant oils to your favourite mois­turiser is a boost.

Bobbi Brown Cream Glow High­lighter, €32, ★★★★✩

Bobbi Brown’s sig­na­ture look is so sub­tle, so close to bare-face that her counter is no nat­u­ral start­ing point for a high­lighter hunt. Your search may end there now this new­bie’s ar­rived but I am in two minds. One says: “Look how silky, sheer and skin-like this is, I can­not get enough,” the other: “How much more do I have to ap­ply to see shim­mer?” This glow is for mild day­time il­lu­mi­na­tion, less so if you like a glam­orous look in a flash.

RMS Beauty Liv­ing Lu­minizer High­lighter, €35.45 at look­fan­tas­tic.com, ★★★★★

RMS Beauty, soon to launch at SpaceNK, is an or­ganic makeup brand from South Carolina. Liv­ing Lu­minizer, a strong­lyp­ig­mented cham­pagne tint with ben­e­fits, is its most fa­mous prod­uct. Brand founder Rose Marie Swift de­scribes her cos­met­ics as skin­care with min­eral colour, so it is no sur­prise the for­mula is higher in beeswax and co­conut and cas­tor oils than lu­mi­nous min­er­als. The jar is small and us­ing it as an­tiox­i­dant primer feels in­dul­gent, but it does make a nice eye-area treat­ment/bright­ener.

CoverFX En­hance Click, €15 at Beau­tyBay.com, ★★★★★

Arnotts.ie re­cently launched CoverFX, though if you are in­ter­ested in the brand’s foun­da­tions I strongly rec­om­mend colour-match­ing your skin at a bricks-and-mor­tar stock­ist. Their shade range is so vast, their cov­er­age so sub­stan­tial, that on­line guess­ing is more likely to go very wrong than the ob­verse. This is a brand be­gun to com­pletely con­ceal scars and se­vere pig­men­ta­tion prob­lems and in­ex­act matches waste its per­fect­ing pow­ers. The colour cos­met­ics are eas­ier to tablet-shop, and I like this twist-and-click il­lu­mi­na­tor very much. It has a light tex­ture and blends seam­lessly. This nude-gold shade ‘Ce­les­tial’ lifts most com­plex­ions and there are strong pinks, peaches and berries you can layer over blushes in the same colour-fam­ily. It is all about en­hance­ment.

CONCEALERS BEST BUY L.O.V. LOV­glow High­light­ing Drops, €10.99, ★★★★★

Th­ese drops are some­what sim­i­lar to MAC Lus­tre Drops, €28, but have an oilier tex­ture that the acne-prone should avoid. Oilier skin­types tend to gen­er­ate the ef­fects of liq­uid high­lighter nat­u­rally, though this one comes in gold or sil­ver-pink tint pores don’t pro­duce. The wand al­lows for quick and pre­cise ap­pli­ca­tion and the for­mula blends well.

Dior Diorskin For­ever Un­der­cover Con­cealer, €32, ★★★★✩

‘For­ever Un­der­cover’ is right! This con­cealer launched with Dior’s lat­est long-wear foun­da­tion, a high-cov­er­age makeup, and con­tain 25% more colour pig­ment. Shade­match per­mit­ting, the for­mula cam­ou­flages blem­ishes and stays put. It will blanche un­der-eye shad­ows but I do not rec­om­mend leav­ing it on del­i­cate skin all day. Colour pig­ments are them­selves some­what dry­ing but fac­tor in long-wear in­gre­di­ents and a true­matte fin­ish and Un­der­cover re­ally seems ideal for spots or rosacea.

BEST BUY Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Con­cealer, €28, ★★★★★

This con­cealer looks sim­i­lar to the above but it is un­der-eye spe­cific. It is ra­di­ant and comes in fif­teen nat­u­ral-look­ing shades. The cov­er­age is con­sid­er­able but the for­mula is emol­lient enough not to dry the skin. It lasts with­out cak­ing, though you may need an evening touch-up, which still seems a health­ier thing to me than stress­ing your eyes out with oil-con­trol and film-form­ing sub­stances all day.

Rim­mel Hide The Blem­ish Con­cealer, €5.79, ★★★✩✩

This is a clas­sic matte-cream con­cealer stick and — like most of its kind — prone to un­der-eye cak­ing. I ad­vise swatch­ing on your skin first as some medium shades are a lit­tle orange. This is re­li­able cam­ou­flage for mi­nor blem­ishes. It blend eas­ily and wears well un­til early evening.

L.O.V. Cam­ou­flage Con­cealer Pal­ette, €12.99, ★★★✩✩

L.O.V of­fers a blend-to-taste un­der­eye cam­ou­flage in a four-prod­uct pal­ette. Blend-to-taste stuff can be fun with cream eye, lip or cheek colours but in an ev­ery­day prod­uct like con­cealer it seems un­nec­es­sar­ily la­bo­ri­ous. The light­est shade is a bright­ener, the next two are for colour-mixing and the third is translu­cent pow­der. Laura Mercier’s Se­cret Cam­ou­flage, €38, is a twenty one-year-old cover-up, still pop­u­lar and also mix-to-taste. Per­haps I’m just not hear­ing an­other woman’s gospel here but give me a shade-matched mono-con­cealer any day.

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