PRODUCT WATCH: Foundation fit for a duchess and romantic nudes

Foundation fit for a duchess and a romantic take on nudes mark the month in beauty, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.

Beyoncé recently gave a great green butterfly-ring to London’s Victoria and Albert museum. Papillon’s perched by the jewels of Catherine the Great and Queen Elizabeth I. 

It should be a bee, maybe, but it is not a custom piece. Jeweller Glenn Spiro makes quite a lot of them, these giant tsavorite-in-titanium bugs. 

In press reports he calls the Knowles-Carters his friends and well he might, as there can be few advertising spots hotter than where American celebrity meets royalty in a public space. 

Dior makeup’s Image Director Peter Philip’s can take delight, then, in the wedding photos of Meghan Markle, who wore his soon-to-be-released Face and Body Foundation in Windsor last month. 

It is part of Dior’s new ‘Backstage’ collection, all of which has a simple, clean look that favours a summer bride. 

Backstage is Philips’ baby, born of tricks and tastes he developed over three decades in fashion. He calls the formula “runway-proof” as it resists water, heat and humidity. 

The foundation comes in forty shades with six different undertones, so you can find one that will both match and colour-correct your complexion. 

It provides medium coverage but is light enough to build without losing its second-skin finish. 

Daniel Martin, Meghan’s long-time makeup artist, let her freckles show through.

Dior Backstage Foundation for Face and Body, €45, is at Brown Thomas from June 15.

NARS’ summer ‘Orgasm’ collection includes three new ways to wear the familiar bloom. 

At 19, Orgasm is America’s best-selling blush (according to market researchers NPD), and probably the world’s most famous, which at the current launch-rate is pretty amazing. 

How are NARS sustaining this? It is not a mass product, like star-staples Maybelline ‘Great Lash’ or Revlon ‘Cherries in the Snow.’ 

Like many luxury classics (e.g. Shu Uemura lash curlers, YSL Touche Éclat), it has been bested on price and even quality. 

There is that name, risqué for a makeup shade in 1999 and still memorable in these more jaded times. The colour is surprisingly universal. 

Orgasm is hyper-real (no-one flushes peach-pink with gold shimmer), but any ‘natural’ shade is limited to a certain complexion while a dual-tone with subtle light flatters a multitude. 

This is born out by a diverse celebrity fandom that includes Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Emma Stone. 

The texture has an ageless appeal, with NARS’ melty powder-pigment refusing to cake and those champagne particles fine enough to avoid detection. 

Finally, ‘Aunt Sally’ cheeks, the greatest sin in blushing, are avoided by a second-skin finish. This remains even if you go a bit crazy with the new oversized palette, €39. 

The Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm, €27, blends the blush’s colour with antioxidant oils, including monoi and vitamin E, for a sheer glow. 

The Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder, €27, looks orange-pink in the pot but it isn’t bad. Applied with a kabuki brush, it evens tone and gives skin brightness.


Urban Decay’s been doing its own spins on a classic, extracting an entire eye and face palette from their popular Vice ‘Backtalk’ Lipstick, €18.50. 

Multi-purpose compacts are hot this season but this is the most versatile I’ve seen. The look is very romantic and office-friendly. 

There are eight highly-pigmented shadows in nudes, rose-pinks and mauves. All of these work as blush. 

A second tier of four face-powders includes two highlighters and two radiant blushers that can be layered for fresher, more youthful shaping than your classic contour. 

The powders blend well and stay put for six hours or so without a primer. The centrefold is a large magnetised mirror that stands vertically when the palette’s opened, resisting dust and smears. 

Urban Decay is most famous for its ‘Naked’ neutral shadows but, while just as universal, ’Backtalk’s colours are prettier.

Urban Decay Backtalk Eye and Face Palette, €47.50, at from June 14.

In July 2015, Karl Lagerfeld made couture history when he detailed a new-season Chanel suit with 3D printing. 

Its sharp shoulders and trim were made via Selective Laser Sintering, the designer told the AFP. 

“The idea is to take the most iconic jacket of the 20th century and make a 21st century version… The jacket is one piece, there is no sewing, it is moulded.” 

Chanel takes a similar forward-stride in beauty. Le Volume Révolution mascara boasts the first-ever mass-produced 3D-printed wand. 

3D-printing is often used for beauty prototypes but attempts at mass production have traditionally been of inconsistent quality. 

The brand understood the method’s potential early, first filing patents in 2007, and did 100 rounds of trials and quality control-tests before this brush was finalised. 

Several patent applications now protect their process (a collaboration with the Paris-based Erpro Group), in which layers of polyamide powder are polymerised using a laser beam to 3D print the brush. 

The powder 3D printing method allows Chanel to produce the ultra-precise shape of the brush. 

This is fascinating stuff technically but what can Révolution do for lashes? 

Well, comparing it to the original Le Volume one notes the 3D-printed brush’s slightly rough, granular surface texture, which improves the mascara’s adherence. 

Microcavities at the core and end of the brush are able to store enough product to save you double-dipping to get the right amount. 

Finally, a bristle-grid, separated only by a few millimetres of space, neatly shapes lashes and prevents clumping. 

The volumising formula is onyx-black. It wears well, no flaking, and holds a careful curl for hours.

Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Révolution Mascara, €34, on counters from June 8.

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