We are heading to the dark side this autumn and the key to instant drama is a modern smoky eye. All the newly launched autumnal eyeshadow palettes are eye-catching, but can be outrageously expensive (YSL Couture Collector is well over €100) – and shadow can be harder to wear if you’re over 30, when the eye area is less smooth. In this case, a long-lasting liner can serve you better and look more modern. For example, Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof (€26) glides on and stays put – choose from several striking shades (handle with care as fine retractable liners are prone to snapping). YSL Crushliner (€27) is expensive for the amount of product, but the darkly glittering gunmetal grey is stunning and has staying power. For sultry smokiness, I like the softer Sculpted by Aimee Dual-Ended Eyeliner (€18, at Boots) for a blendable finish of the darkest charcoal. It’s a look that’s even better the morning after, a little worn-in. For more of a punk sharpness, you need a liquid liner: our tester (rarely spotted without winged accents of inky black) is ruthless in rejecting any that smudge or fade. Chanel Le Liner (€37) is the best: “Expensive but excellent, with amazing pigment and a very fine brush.” Catrice It’s Easy Tattoo Liner (€3.50) is waterproof: “The pen makes it easy to apply and it stays on really well.” I’d add Zara Beauty’s refillable liner for value and design (€7.95). Just pair with a pale rose lip colour, as seen at Chanel. This is elegance with an edge.
Main featured image: Chanel AW21
1. EYE FOCUS Since we’re drawing attention to eyes with edgy liner, we’re also bolstering the delicate eye area with a good cream. New-season support comes from stalwarts including Clarins, who have created a smoothing, de-puffing Double-Serum specially for eyes, packed with plant extracts (€59, at counters nationwide). It seems to be that rarest of things: an eye product that works. As does Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix (€64), which is properly fortifying – the applicator works like a cool iron on creases.
2. SENSUAL SCENTS We’re wrapping ourselves in darkly seductive perfumes for autumn. We’re drawn to complex blends of warm, rich leather and hypnotic patchouli. New from master perfumer Anne Flipo for Frederic Malle, Synthetic Jungle (€140) is a high-tech heightened patchouli, leather and chypre blend that’s green and earthy. Tom Ford Ombré Leather (€118), originally launched as a limited edition in 2017, is making a comeback as a parfum concentration. And it’s a beauty, rich and smooth, with jasmine sambac, leather and orris. Patchouli and rose feels like a particularly autumnal combination, dark and soft. There area few around now, but there’s no doubt that Cloon Keen’s Róisín Dubh is the ultimate – an intoxicating rose deepened with patchouli and a suede and ink accord. €130.
3. PETAL-SOFT SKINCARE Our skin is parched from the summer but here’s sweet relief in a tube: Sisley’s Black Rose Beautifying Emulsion (€132). Clearly there are more affordable body moisturisers around, but this one is petal-pink and softly scents your skin, so it doubles as a perfume.
4. DARK ROSES Talking of rose, it’s everywhere this season – perhaps as it works so beautifully alongside black. And it’s always a flattering tone, whether added to self-tan (see Amanda Harrington’s Jet Set Duo in Natural Rose, to prolong your summer glow) or as a lip colour (Charlotte Tilbury Runway Royalty). Try flushed cheeks and eye crayons along with your inky eyeliner. Laura Mercier’s Rose Glow Collection includes this petal-pink Highlighting Powder (€32 at SpaceNK).
5. HAIR SALVATION Aveeno’s new hair range is dedicated to scalp care, with colloidal oats to soothe a dry or flaky scalp. I like the Oat Milk Blend conditioner for dry and damaged hair. Under €10, at Boots nationwide. Also, fancy French haircare range Christophe Robin arrives at Brown Thomas this month; don’t miss the Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt – a superlative hair detox for the scalp and beyond.
6. HEAVEN SCENT Irish brand Ground has some lovely new essential oil blends: add a few drops of Grounding (€22) into a diffuser to fill your room with rosewood, geranium flower and cypress leaf. La Bougie’s Blackcurrant Leaf candle (€25) is appealing too.
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