Christ­mas is com­ing fast, says Sarah Caden, but don’t panic — it takes min­i­mal ef­fort to look fes­tively ra­di­ant

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

Here it comes. Don’t worry if you don’t feel ready. The only peo­ple who ever feel ready for Christ­mas are chil­dren, or peo­ple who don’t yet have chil­dren. Ev­ery­one else feels like they throw them­selves to­gether for it and hope for the best. A bit of sparkle, a bit of shine, a bit of can­dle­light to hide the rough edges, and you’re sorted. The ex­tra so­cial oc­ca­sions don’t re­quire that you get all fes­tooned with sea­sonal glitz. In­stead, sim­ply let it glow a lit­tle.

The beauty of glow-be­stow­ing prod­ucts is that they’re easy to ap­ply, and are en­tirely com­ple­men­tary to your ex­ist­ing make-up rou­tine — re­gard­less of how elab­o­rate or min­i­mal, ex­pert or in­ept that is. Pow­der prod­ucts are a dod­dle to ap­ply with a brush, and a warm colour that falls be­tween a bronzer and a high­lighter will give your com­plex­ion warmth and catch the light.

Light-catching is key, as it makes skin look younger and smoother — but look for finely milled pow­ders and not pots of gritty glit­ter. It’s not Satur­day Night Fever time. Our top favourite, though, is a cream that is adored by peo­ple who get their pho­tos taken for a liv­ing. And they know all about look­ing your best, no mat­ter what else is go­ing on.


Mac Strobe Cream, €33.50, Brown Thomas and BT2 When mut­ter­ings be­gan in au­tumn that con­tour­ing was be­ing nudged aside in favour of sim­ple high­light­ing, this prod­uct was men­tioned re­peat­edly. It’s a clas­sic prod­uct at this stage, a go-to if you want in­stant added glow with­out any ex­tra bronze or blush. Dab it on where you want the light to catch, and it will sub­tly il­lu­mi­nate. It also has skin­care prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing green tea and var­i­ous an­tiox­i­dants. “An older and duller per­son looks back at me from the mir­ror this time of year,” said one pan­el­list. “This is like a youth hit. It sort of makes you look alive and awake.”


Chanel Pow­der Blush in Alezane, €39, Chanel coun­ters na­tion­wide Thanks to its peachy-pinky-bronze colour, which is shot through with gold shim­mer, we’d call this prod­uct part blush, part high­lighter. As in, you get a pop of sea­sonal colour from it, but you get glow, too. The peach and pink mean that it’s not at all a bronzer, but there is nice warmth to it that speaks of sea­sonal cin­na­mon and spice. “This gave an in­stant lift to my dead, win­ter-white com­plex­ion,” a pan­el­list said. “It’s un­der­stated, but the shim­mer brings the party.”


If you must tan in the mid­dle of win­ter, then this might be your best op­tion, as it washes off. A tan is all very well when you’re out at night and nicely lit, but by day, in the harsh light of the of­fice, it can look a bit silly. “This non-smelly, easy-to-ap­ply gel comes in a matt ef­fect or a shim­mer ef­fect,” said one pan­el­list. “The lat­ter at least con­veys that it’s a fes­tive tan, and you don’t ex­pect any­one to be­lieve that it’s for real.”


Ur­ban De­cay Naked Il­lu­mi­nated in Lit, €29.50, Deben­hams; House of Fraser, Dun­drum Town Cen­tre, D16 Part of what we love about this compact is the brush, which is built into its own com­part­ment, be­low the prod­uct. So it’s not sit­ting di­rectly on the prod­uct, and it’s a de­cent size. This is the new, third shade in the Il­lu­mi­nated range, and it’s a very soft bronze, verg­ing on gold, but with a lot less yel­low. So it has warmth, with­out too much bright­ness. “This claims to suit all skin­tones, but I’d add that it also suits all ages,” a pan­el­list said. “Once you’re over 30, over­stated glim­mer can ac­cen­tu­ate rather than mute the flaws, but this is very flat­ter­ing.”


OK, con­tour if you must. This pow­der is fre­quently name-checked as a stand-out prod­uct from the clas­sic line that just came to Ire­land this year. The price is good, and the prod­uct is too; it’s finely milled, as you would want a pow­der to be, and very vel­vety on the skin. Con­tour­ing fans will love the two shades, which you can ramp up or down to your heart’s de­light, while those who don’t shade and high­light can use the shades separately for day or night. “Great ver­sa­til­ity, great qual­ity, and I’m sur­prised by the price,” one pan­el­list said. Pic­tured, from left, Mac Strobe Cream; Chanel Pow­der Blush in Alezane; Co­coa Brown In­stant Tan Bronz­ing Gel Shim­mer; Ur­ban De­cay Naked Il­lu­mi­nated in Lit; Flor­mar Ter­ra­cotta Pow­der in Dual Gold

Co­coa Brown In­stant Tan Bronz­ing Gel Shim­mer, €6.99, avail­able na­tion­wide, or see cloud10beauty.com Flor­mar Ter­ra­cotta Pow­der in Dual Gold, €12.95, se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide Email thep­[email protected]­de­pen­dent.ie

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