The Beauty Glossary by Sarah Halliwell

Beauty editor Sarah Halliwell on what’s NEW THIS MONTH …

Tod’s SS19. Photographed by Jason Lloyd Evans

This year, customised beauty is the way forward. It’s natural that we want something that’s made specially for us, something unique. But what does customised really mean in beauty? It’s amazing how stamping our initials on a bottle makes it seem more tailored to our skin. US brand The Buff presents specially selected plant oils in a monogrammed bottle – simple but clever. Really, though, it’s a more precise art, and we want to sit down with someone who tells us exactly how to achieve our best possible skin. The sign of a good facial is leaving with proper information and advice, not just a catch-all mention of “sensitive skin”. I’m amazed people pay for online skin consultations; this is one area you need to see someone face to face (you’d be better talking to your pharmacist). In haircare, Rituals have the custom-made idea sorted: in their Grafton Street boutique you’ll find a haircare station where you can choose the elements that your hair really needs. Back in the 1980s, Prescriptives offered a unique tailor-made foundation service; though counters like Fenty now offer a very broad range of shades, this personal approach was extra-special. The closest thing now is at Harrods, where Lancôme’s foundation machine can produce thousands of shade variants. I also love the idea of Bite Beauty’s Lip Labs in the US, where you dream up your own colour and texture of lip colour. Finally, perfume: gift of the year has to be a voucher for a day making your own perfume in West Cork (€215, www.watersandwild.com); or a workshop at the Experimental Perfume Club in east London (£105stg). Your own unique fragrance. Can’t think of a nicer start to spring. Time to take things personally … 

Four things to try this month:

FRESH & FEARLESS: Skin is the main focus in beauty again this year. But are we getting lazier when it comes to that crucial step, cleansing? Micellar water is fine, and convenient, for late nights; the little micelles, or oil droplets, attract dirt like a magnet, removing make-up without rinsing. But on a daily basis, it’s not enough; a gel or balm removed with a warm cloth is more thorough. I’m using De Mamiel cleansing balm (£45stg, www.demamiel.com), a blend of gentle natural ingredients. Time, perhaps, to stop faffing around with face masks and clean our faces properly.

 

 

CONVERT TO CORAL: While mentions of “colour of the year” may make you roll your eyes, this year’s love for coral is no bad thing when it comes to make-up. Often dismissed as rather old-fashioned, in fact coral can be a clever way of warming up a pallid winter complexion. Make-up artist Amy Conway converted me to the shade last year by using Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral (above) to flush cheeks and lips, while a colleague with very fair skin swears by Fresh Melon for every day. €28. Try also Lancôme’s Corail in Love lipstick (€29) for a soft hint of colour.

 

 

SKINCARE: My Clarins brings French skincare expertise to a younger audience this month, with a neat collection of simplified essentials. Prices start from €19.50, so it is more accessible than the main Clarins line, and it’s all about healthy skin. Standouts include the Re-Fresh rosewater face mist, and moisturisers for different skin types. I find the Re-Move Purifying Cleansing Gel the best bet (the Micellar Milk is intriguing, but removing cleanser with cotton wool tends to leave a film on the skin, in my experience). The vegan, free-from and recyclable credentials are appealing, as is the unisex, Glossier-esque packaging. A fuss-free option for older teens and twenties, with more additions to follow … At counters and pharmacies nationwide.

 

 

HEALING HANDS: When you find a great beauty therapist, the instinct is to keep quiet about your secret power source. But in the ruinous week before Christmas, I had a customised massage at Nuala Woulfe in Glasthule that was so exceptionally good, I booked straight back in. Therapist Andras instinctively finds areas of stress or anxiety, whether it’s the scalp, neck or shoulders. He’s a rare intuitive expert who can make a proper difference to your mind as well as body. This is an hour that’s deeply therapeutic, making it money well spent. Also try Woulfe’s excellent SkinCeuticals facials. www.nualawoulfe.ie.

@SarahHalliwellBeauty

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