Beauty counter bounty


Maggie Gibbons

What’s your favourite beauty product these days? When it comes to mascara I’ve switched allegiance. Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils Volume Effect Mascara was once my go to, but I’ve changed my tune and now I’m quite addicted to Wet n Wild Lash-O-Matic, which gives pretty impressive results and at €10, wins hands down on value and quality. Max Factor is also a top contender.
Huge expense doesn’t always mean better quality, in fact quite the opposite generally. However, one exception to the rule is Lancôme Cushion Compact Foundation, a liquid foundation in a cushion sponge that delivers a light dewy finish while brightening the skin. You just gently press the sponge to release the exact amount you need for coverage. Try it, you could well become a convert. Naturally, it originated in Korea (what doesn’t?!). A major hit in the foundation market, you can expect to find cushion concealers and blushers before long. I got mine in Golden’s Pharmacy, Westport, for €38.
I also got theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer (€21.50) in Golden’s. This is a buttery smooth pigmented highlighter, a bit like highlighter meets shimmer. The highlighter to beat all others … Place it anywhere you want a little shine. I love the packaging of the balm products, which is very similar to Benefit, with fun names like Matte Trimony eye shadow palettes. All products are paraben free and cruelty free. To check out these and other ranges, click on to
Essence ‘All About’ eye-shadow palettes have to be the best value around, with a fantastic price tag of €5. The range is freely available nationwide. I found the eye shadow stayed on all day without creasing – mind you I always use my Flormar eye perfection primer first: at €6.95 it’s worth it.
Charlotte Tilbury is exclusive to Brown Thomas right now, but when did that stop anyone buying?! This great ambassador for all things beauty created quite a buzz when she launched her range in Ireland. Is it worth all the hype? It’s definitely beautifully packaged and cleverly marketed. When her Magic Foundation (€40) hit the shelves all the ladies were in quite a dither. It comes in 15 shades and promises a flawless complexion with long-lasting coverage. And with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C it has to be good, right?
Well yes, coverage is good but no better than some others I’ve tried, like L’Oreal True Match (€14.99), which offers great coverage and lasting power. I absolutely love it; in fact it has replaced the high-end one I was using.
No doubt you have your own particular favourites, but you know it’s not a bad idea to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Next time you’re in your local chemist, browse the ranges, try a few samples and you might be pleasantly surprised…

> Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at