The time has come to get on your fes­tive face, says Sarah Caden, who bears the gifts of some sparkle and shine

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - THE PANEL -

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

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