Fast Fixes For Your Work/Life Beauty Balance

SARAH HALLIWELL shares the new BEAUTY PRODUCTS that will make your life easier ...

Stella McCartney AW17, Jason Lloyd Evans

We aspire to the concept of a smooth transition. In an ideal world, we’d glide from a cool daytime look to a glamorous evening one, with minimal effort. In reality, it’s more often a quick hit of lipstick and cloud of perfume in the car while changing shoes. Having some nifty beauty items in your bag can help, from a foundation stick to wing-mirror-friendly lipgloss.

We asked beauty expert Dearbhla Keenan from Brown Sugar for advice: “Your morning application is key when you have an after-work event,” she notes. “The trick is to keep daytime make-up to a minimum and don’t overload with powder. After work, use a buffer brush to blend your existing base; avoid reapplying fluid foundation. Use powder to set your base and add a bit of coverage: I use Mud Cosmetics mineral powder, as it’s finely milled and reduces shine. If your eyes look overworked, add a touch of highlight or sparkle to the tear duct to open the eye.” With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a hardworking kit for delivering fast finesse:

Make time for a mask

First, glowing skin: if you have ten minutes at home before you leave, few things make more difference to how well you look. Instead of layering on yet more make-up, try instead a quick cleanse with a micellar water, and a few minutes with a mask. Masks don’t have to be pricey, or entail lying down for an hour, to get the best effects. The ones we rate include Seoulista’s cheap and cheerful masks, especially the hydrating coconut one (€8.99, at Dunnes Stores and pharmacies). A layer of something really hydrating, such as L’Occitane’s Divine Serum (€92), a fragrant elixir that gives skin instant radiance, is as effective as a mask and, unlike the fabric ones, won’t freak out the kids/dog while you’re wearing it. Or go for broke with a green face: The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask (€25) gives skin a speedy ten-minute detox.

With nails

If you have time for a quick shape and paint at lunchtime (we recommend Tiffany Nails Blackrock, and the ever-busy 5th Avenue in town), a quick coat of metallic makes it look like you made more effort than you actually did. Our pick is YSL La Laque Couture in Gold Fire, €24.

Face It

The new legion of stick and cushion foundations make it easy to touch up your base. Forget painting on an entire layer and contouring up to your eyeballs – just cover bits that need it, wearing as little as you can get away with. Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra and Nars’ Velvet Matte Foundation Sticks both double as concealer – no brushes are needed, and they’re fast and mess-free to use. Similarly, cushion compacts, such as YSL’s, fit neatly into the smallest clutch bag.

High Glam Lip

Make-up supremo Lisa Eldridge is the creative force behind Lancôme’s L’Absolu Roses collection, which features sheer, matte and cream lip colours in a glam black click-up case and some glorious glosses, which really add a splash of glamour to your make-up bag. For evening, start with a base of Rosy Plump, and finish with L’Absolu Gloss in low-key Atelier Parisien, or traffic-stopping Caprice (above). Eldridge suggests trying a different complementary lip shade on top and bottom lip for a change. From 25.

Blush Up

“Bronzer and blush are essential for bringing life back to your skin,” says Keenan. “If you’re feeling dehydrated at the end of the day, use a creme formula, such as Kohl Creme Blush (€22, at Brown Sugar), instead of a powder, to avoid dryness. Apply to the apple and slightly onto the bone with a dome sponge or a densely packed rounded brush. Dust bronzer with a large soft brush all over the skin to warm you up for the evening and help combat tired skin.”

In Scents

Jo Malone has always been an innovator, and her latest JO LOVES creation is the Fragrance Paintbrush, a gel cologne that you brush on rather than spray: so travel-friendly, with no danger of breaking or leaking. And it comes in one of our all-time favourite daytime scents, Pomelo, plus other Jo hits. You’ll want to wear it every day and all night too. £40stg from

Fast Fixes

If you have time to stop in at a blowdry bar, happy days. We wish we lived in West Cork to avail of Eva Crowley’s excellent at-home service; from €23, If not, were partial to a bit of Aveda Pure-Fume Mist to freshen up hair, and a quick once-over with the GHDs if there’s time. They are giving money to Irish Cancer so it is a good month to invest, or to update your irons or drier. From €129, at Peter Mark.

Sarah Halliwell

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