Three uplifting beauty items to help you get through January, from a luxury facial to new Irish make-up …
1 Book in for Ireland’s newest luxury facial
The elegant Spa at The Shelbourne is the first destination in Ireland to partner with Swiss Line skincare, a 34-year-old brand that’s all about ageing well, with a focus on reducing inflammation in the skin – the cause of so many issues – and rebalancing. Though it could easily be confused with a similar-looking Swiss-made brand, Swiss Line is actually more convincing, in my opinion: less about flashy packaging and more about ingredients that actually do something useful for your skin. Some of the product names are rather dramatic (Cell Shock), but at its core are unflashy and sensible priorities: hydration, wearing SPF and keeping inflammation at bay; anything else is the icing on the cake. Swiss Line’s focus is “well-ageing” (rather than “anti”), with a particular expertise in collagen.
These are two facial treatments on offer at The Spa, designed to be intensely restoring and rebalancing at this time of year: a 90-minute restorative facial, Le Grand Soin Au Collagéne Pur (€265), and a 50-minute stress-relief facial (€175). I tried out the first, which incorporates Pure Collagen films, or masks, for the face and neck; these feature an unprecedented 92 per cent pure collagen. This treatment gives you a lift in both senses: it’s definitely for those who prefer firm and active facial massage – every movement is about uplifting, as if the therapist’s hands seek to defy gravity. I was lucky to have my treatment with Swiss Line national trainer Sarah, who has trained The Shelbourne’s three therapists, so you can be assured of an expert experience. NB For a take-home, check out the Resurfacing Water, a mighty glycolic acid toner that, used correctly, will help deliver a genuine glow to your skin.
Key to note: arrive ahead of your treatment time in order to swim in the Spa’s lovely quiet pool first – it’s a hidden treasure in the centre of the city, as is the relaxation room, where you lie in state in your robe, overlooking the Green. The place is old-school luxurious, without being remotely snooty. Even better, go for broke with an overnight stay, taking in cocktails in the cosy 1824 bar, and a hearty dinner in the Saddle Room. To stay in this historic spot is to be cossetted from the outside world for a few hours. I now drink my morning tea from a Shelbourne china mug, to be transported to the finer side of life.
Swiss Line is stocked in the swankiest of hotel spas, such as the Bulgari in Beijing. And their flagship location, Bürgenstock in Lucerne, is James Bond-esque as well as historic – Sophia Loren hung out here, and Audrey Hepburn got married in the nearby chapel. One for a lottery win or bucket list, for sure.
Book on 01 663 4500 and www.TheShelbourne.com.
2 Rosy cheeks
Waterford entrepreneur Luke Nolan has come up with a collection of cream blushers that are worth checking out. Prone to blushing, Nolan turned this to his advantage, celebrating rosy cheeks with flattering shades from berry to fuchsia (€29). Lukey Lukey cosmetics are made in Italy, come in cute baby blue compacts, and are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. A welcome fresh new option when it comes to Irish make-up. We can’t wait to see what he does next … www.lukeylukey.com.
3 A new lip colour
A new lipstick is instant dopamine. And Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet are luxurious click-up high-pigment colours with a resounding impact that’s matte yet creamy and non-drying. There are 20 key shades to choose from this month, from soft creamy nude to fiery orange-red, Rouge Feu, €45. In Gabrielle Chanel’s words, “If you’re sad or heartbroken, make yourself up, dress up, add more lipstick and attack.”