Notes for the Season

Insider tips from the experts

Clarins beauty flash balm.

Clarins beauty flash balm.

Women often say, half jokingly, that they would rather lose their wallet than their make-up bag. Most of us would admit to being ridiculously, even emotionally, attached to the contents. With this in mind I walked the gorgeous Brown Thomas cosmetic hall recently and asked the experts which products were in their own make-up bags. I got the inside scoop as, truth be known, we try and test drive every single product that comes through the door. Though some of the picks were new, many were iconic and very much synonymous with the brands that make them.

YSL’s touché éclat really is in virtually everyone’s kit, and the same with Elizabeth Arden’s eight hour cream. Allow it to soak in for 15 minutes before applying your make-up. Try leaving the house with just your moisturiser on while driving to work, letting it sink in, then place on your primer. Everyone is raving about Lancôme’s La Base; recently launched, it seals in the moisture while creating a barrier to ‘grip’ your foundation, allowing it to last hours longer. Yes, primer is an extra step, and some would say an extra expense, but you will be using less foundation as there is virtually no need to touch up. Taking this step ensures a flawless finish. If you’ve had a late night and want to pull off dewy radiance instead of matte perfection, lash on Clarins beauty flash balm before your foundation. This product, 30 years old this year, tightens and brightens, and is good for giving the illusion you’ve had eight restful hours of sleep.

Stranded on a desert island, and allowed only one beauty product, Chanel’s inimitable intense mascara is the one most of us would stash. Recently launched, it is a standout because it curls, lengthens, and separates, but mostly because it comes in the most amazing tree bark brown, it truly makes blue eyes pop. For all of you who adore the Chanel Vamp nail varnish, it is that same gorgeous brown. Take your time putting in on, wiggle the wand and start at the root, mascara cannot, should not, be rushed.

Looking for a natural youthful blush? We like Benefit’s original product, Bene tint, and now it comes in a beautiful poppy pink as well. Best multi-tasker? We liked MAC eye shadows; they come in highly pigmented long lasting pods in every imaginable colour under the sun and double really well as eyeliner.

Best surprise find we wish we knew about sooner? Bobbi Brown’s oil-based eye make-up remover with lash conditioners. It is nothing short of miraculous. I tried it late one night (early one morning? ) when removing gel eyeliner and lashings of mascara, and was flooded with relief to see it really was instant removal, literally one swipe and the eye area is immaculate. No tugging and dragging. Cailiosa on the Bobbi Brown counter, you were so right, thank you for insisting I try it. Orla Kiely’s compartmentalised make-up bag ensures organisation for even the most disorganised among us.

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