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Skin Deep

Skin Deep: How to use makeup to make yourself feel strong

It’s badly needed this week.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

It’s been a very rough couple of months for Irish women. Each new day seemed to bring an awful news story, and even the most disconnected will surely have been effected by the referendum campaign.

While it is almost over, there is no doubt that the next few days are going to be emotional, so it is important to consider what you can do to take care of yourself. I’m no expert on self-care, but what I do know, is that makeup always gives me a lift when I’m feeling a little fragile.


In fact, this is often the first thing I think of when I hear people disparaging an interest in makeup, or suggesting that it’s pure vanity or a waste of time. Aside from the fact that it is an avenue for creativity, the simple application of makeup can often act as an exercise in mindfulness for me.

Focusing on one thing, and one thing alone helps me to empty my mind of all the things that are usually buzzing around it, and I am almost always more at peace after some time with my products. Then, of course, there’s the fact that catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and liking what you never does your demeanour any harm. For many of us, a little  lipstick helps on that front.

With that in mind, this week I’d like to help you decide what you can do with your makeup over the next few days to help you feel your best, starting with absolutely forgoing it if that is your inclination.

You don’t owe anyone anything via your appearance, so if makeup is the last thing on your mind then bin it. If, however, you’re going to be applying it anyway, here are my recommendations.


First, think of your heroes. Who are the badass women you admire, and how do they wear their makeup? For me, it’s the women of rock and roll, like Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde. They take no prisoners and make no apologies.

When I want to feel strong I channel them via heavy black rock and roll eye makeup which will only improve as it becomes more grungy and lives-in. My go to product for this purpose is Wet n’ Wild’s Liquid Catsuit Eyeshadow in Black is the New Black or the brand’s Colour Icon Metallic Liquid Eyeshadow in Mysterious Nights (stockists here). It is a dream product which gives you a matte finish which maintains a glossy look due to metallic particles in the formula. Blend the edges quickly to ensure you get the look you want before it sets.

Perhaps that’s not your scene at all, and your icon is someone like Michelle Obama, in which case you’ll focus on a clean and professional look. A clean complexion, neutral eye and natural lip will help you achieve this. I recommend Makeup Revolution’s new Conceal and Define Concealer to help you even your complexion. It’s been heralded as a dupe for internet favourite Tarte Shape Tape, and offers a good, full coverage concealer for less than a fiver. I often use only in the places I need it instead of foundation. Just make sure your skin is well hydrated first. You’ll find it in Superdrug and selected pharmacies nationwide.


Maybe you’d like to channel Beyonce at Coachella, in which case, get some glitter out. Penneys’ new festival collection includes some amazing glitters including a pot of body glitter for six euro which is a super dupe for the Lemonhead LA Houdini Highlight Space Paste Bey wore to perform. Glitter isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you love it, it’ll give you a great lift in times of trouble.

If that sounds like too much faff, focus on your lipstick. These days, most of us have a fine collection of colours at our disposal, but what is your number one favourite? Which one makes you feel powerful?

Maybe it’s a red, or your favourite your-lips-but-better nude. Perhaps it s a bright pink which stains every glass or coffee cup you encounter. Whatever it is, identify it, and put it in your handbag. Lashing some on every time you go to the toilet will give you a boost.

It also might be worth planning for some tears this weekend. Perhaps this column on how to do your makeup when you know you’re going to cry might help. Finally, whatever your feeling and whatever the outcome, take care of yourself. By Sunday, you may need a lovely night in of face masks and hair treatments. If so, go for it. As I always say, do you, babes. This too shall pass.

New Product


I’m a huge fan of Trilogy’s Rosehip Oil Antioxidant +, which I swear brightens my skin when I

use it. So, I was thrilled to learn of the ranges new Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil. Cleansing oils are hard to beat when it comes to makeup removal, and contrary to popular belief, they do not make oily skin oilier. This formula emulsifies into a milk when mixed with water, and contains a blend of oils which promise to repair, hydrate and strengthen skin. It’ll set you back €23.95 and can be found at selected pharmacies and health stores nationwide, as well as at Cloud 10 Beauty.

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