GET YOUR PARTY ON
The time has come to get on your festive face, says Sarah Caden, who bears the gifts of some sparkle and shine
Part of the joy of the everpopular little black dress is that it’s a wonderful backdrop to other bits of glitz, tinsel and gloss that you wish to place about your person. In particular, it allows you to push the boat out in the cosmetic department, as any colour you fancy will work with your LBD. For some of us, the extra make-up mile is merely a slick of lip gloss, or a slash of scarlet lipstick. For others, it means shelving the matt products for the whole month, and getting the shimmer on. And then there are the amateur make-up artists who take the first of December as the starting point for 31 days of contouring, applying five shades of eyeshadow at a time, and borderline all-out face-painting.
There is a sense that all make-up bets are off at Christmas, and the rules governing the emphasis of one feature at a time are thrown out. Come December, there comes the urge to go strong on both eyes and lips, with perhaps a contoured cheek for good measure. And it might make you feel like you’re quite simply making the Christmas effort, but there is such a thing as over-decorated. Have fun, but think radiant rather than Rudolph, and that will be party enough, with the help of these five beauties to pep up your party face.
BEST OVERALL Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Warm, €114, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
Clearly, this would have to count as your Christmas present to yourself. This palette is an utterly gorgeous limitededition release, available in this Warm option, or a Cool alternative. Comprising highlighting and contouring cheek colours, and four eyeshadows, you have an abundance of permutations available, from low-key to full-on. “The case alone is a beauty, sort of like a little clutch,” said a panellist. “The mirror is big, and the make-up is fabulously velvety and blends beautifully. A stunner.”
BEST PRECIOUS METAL Chanel Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette, €57, Chanel counters nationwide
The cool colours of this eyeshadow fivesome are a nod to city skyscrapers, as the name of the palette suggests. The silvers, greys and blues would traditionally suit paler skintones, but they can look dramatic with dark skin, too. Matt and shimmer finishes are represented, as well as a metallic with a foil-like finish. “This is a good December day-to-night option,” one panellist said, “as two colours would work for the office, with an evening look easily created by adding one or two of the darker, more dramatic shades.”
BEST LIGHT UP Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Trio, €35, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Debenhams
You may be well acquainted with the Naked palettes, and you may have used their superfine-milled Illuminated face and body powders before, but this is new. Three new colours, in fact, in a limited-edition release. Champagne, taupe and rose shades — maybe not all worn at once — add up to all you’d want to gleam through the season. “Great for Christmas, but this will last and last,” said a panellist. “Sheer and very sexy.”
BEST VALUE VANITY Lov Loviconyx Eyeshadow & Contouring Palette in A Glass of Wine With Liz, €15.95, Shaws; selected pharmacies nationwide
This is part of a cosmetic line newly arrived in Ireland from the people who brought essence and Catrice to the younger cosmetic-lover. Lov is aimed at 30-somethings, and this eyeshadow palette is pleasing on the eye and the pocket, with five metallic-finish shades in peach, plum and burgundy. The “Liz” of the palette’s title is Taylor, and the other palettes in the line refer to Marlene (greys and blues) and Marilyn (tans and browns). “The shadows are lovely and blendable, with nice punch,” a panellist said.
BEST CHEEKY NUMBER Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Rose Givree, €38.50, Lancome counters nationwide
If you are a fan of Lancome’s Miracle Cushion foundation, you will love this. There’s a little cushion through which the liquid blush underneath soaks up and onto the provided sponge. The colour of the blush-soaked cushion is alarming, but the product is so sheer that the finished effect is not clownish, but subtle and dewy. “This makes you see the point of blusher,” said a panellist. “It made my skin texture look finer and the colour was so delicately flushing.”
Pictured, from left, Tom Ford Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Warm; Chanel Architectonic Eyeshadow Palette; Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Trio; Lov Loviconyx Eyeshadow & Contouring Palette in A Glass of Wine With Liz; Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Rose Givree