Cut through the beauty counter noise and get to THE VERY BEST …
Here are five skin and hair items we’ve tried out and really rate, from €5 – they are all beautiful, useful or both, and absolutely do what they say on the tin.
1 TO UPLIFT
The Nature of Things Lemongrass Oil, €7
We’re raving about these oils to absolutely everyone – they are carefully sourced from the finest producers, Irish designed by expert Benoit Nicol and smell just incredible. The Guatemalan lemongrass is my favourite – I use it in a diffuser, but also a few drops on wrists and every time I’ve worn it people have asked what the wonderful smell was. And it gives you an instant mood boost. I’m working my way through the entire collection, and reckon this is the best €7 you’ll spend on beauty all year. We’re partial to face sprays here in the office for refreshing skin and waking us up a bit during the afternoon slump. Emma Hardie Plump & Glow Hydrating Facial Mist is on our desk at the moment and it’s perfect – really light, with gorgeous-sounding “wild watermint” and aloe vera, plus properly hydrating hyaluronic acid. It’s under 100ml so you can take it on a plane, too. £42stg, at www.emmahardie.com. The Nature of Things oils are available at www.thenatureofthings.ie and select stores including McAuliffes pharmacy Sandymount.
2 TO SAVE YOUR HANDS
CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream, €5.50
Hands bear the brunt of winter, being out in the cold or plunged into washing up water. This affordable blend of ceramids and emollients helps restore the skin barrier and keeps hands moisturised but not at all greasy. Keep one in every bag. The daily moisturisers are decent, too. www.cerave.co.uk
3 TO SAVE YOUR SKIN
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, €150
Whether or not it’s actually possible to “winter-proof” your skin, this certainly helps, in my opinion, used in conjunction with a decent daily moisturiser with SPF. This enduring classic is expensive but it works. It’s a serum for daytime with antioxidants – pure vitamin C, E and ferulic acid (found in plants) help protect your skin against damage and give it a boost. It’s safe to use, and you’ll notice a difference when you start using it regularly each morning – skin is brighter. Boost the results with the SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier, €90. An added luxury, granted, but excellent for restoring plupness and elasticity to the skin. At South William Spa, Dublin www.southwilliamspa.com and www.skinceuticals.co.uk.
4 TO SAVE TIME
Aveda Speed of Light Blow Dry Accelerator, €25.50
Anything that can speed up the morning is welcome. This silicone-free spray uses (naturally derived) lactic acid to lower the pH of the hair, which flattens the cuticle, helping to separate strands and increase airflow around them. In this way it makes your blowdry quicker, with no adverse effects on hair. In fact, it also offers heat protection and detangling. I tried it with a blowdry at Brown Thomas Beauty Lounge, and was in and out in 20 minutes. So it’s perfect when you are time-short and need a quick hair overhaul. Check out the all-vegan Aveda gift sets and advent calendar while you’re at the Beauty Lounge. At salons nationwide and www.brownthomas.com
5 TO CLEANSE
De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm, from £45stg
It’s easy to be lazy about cleansing, but at this time of year when you might be wearing more make-up than usual, or just dealing with colder weather and constant heating drying out your skin, a luxurious and effective cleanser is really important. Generally I don’t madly buy into “rituals” (apart from coffee making), but massaging this into your face at the end of each day really does become a pleasure that you put time aside for. This is a really great balm cleanser full of natural plant butters and oils, from mango and camellia to nut oils. It feels rich on the skin and beautifully fragrant (essential oils include rose geranium, honey myrtle and eycalyptus). Love the violet glass pot, and the natural, mainly certified organic, ingredients. If you’re flying this season, get some of her Altitude Oil, too, for calming nerves, and making the whole experience more fragrant … Buy online at www.demamiel.com.
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