Life Column: Dare to Bare

Our beauty buff TRIONA MCCARTHY is going back to basics with some fun skincare and minimal make-up.



At this time of year, I’m all about a minimal make-up look, such as the one showcased at Joseph’s spring/summer 2018 show.The models had only the barest touch of product to even out the complexion, complimented by a gentle tickle of pink on the cheeks and a natural lip.

My take on this minimalist trend does include a few products – because, well, we’re not baring everything!

Start with moisturised skin – a serum, followed by a day cream, if possible. If you suffer from oiliness, add a touch of primer, before dabbing NARS Liquid Blush, €31, onto the apples of your cheeks – just a touch! It gives a very subtle, rosy hue, that looks beautifully healthy.


I prefer to apply this first, then, with a large face brush, lightly dust NOTE Luminous Silk Compact Powder, €9.95, over the face. Concentrate on where you need it, don’t be heavy-handed. This powder is ideal because it gently disguises imperfections, without masking and it has a luminescent finish – meaning that you get a gentle glow on the skin, but shine is diminished.

If you haven’t already bought Benefit’s Gimme Brow, €26, is a permanent hero in my make-up bag.

Lastly, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Comfort Clear, €10, will give your pout a velvety soft feel and moisturised appearance, without a glossed-up effect.


Feck it! Why not sneak off for a day and have a little pampering at the Oasis Spa at Lyrath Estate. Try out the Weekend Total Tranquility, €140, on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Start out the experience in the tranquil Thermal Suite and Hydrotherapy Pool, and follow it up with an incredible Kerstin Florian Signature Illuminating Rice Facial (85 minutes). It feels amazing during the treatment, but afterwards your skin is singing with happiness. And to round off the treat time, there’s a relaxing back, neck & shoulder massage (25 minutes) waiting for you. You can then sit back and let your mind and body mellow and chill like a queen – or a dame, such as serene Helen Mirren – in the serenity of the relaxation area.

Oasis Spa, Lyrath Estate, Paulstown Road, Kilkenny,  (056) 776-0088;



In a world of exfoliating scrubs, body brushing is often forgotten., but trust me, it really helps to tone the skin’s surface. Just before you hop in the shower, pick up a natural body brush in Boots and, using gentle motions, work your way up the body.



Mini, my toddler, just had her first haircut with our family hairdresser, Sinead O’Driscoll, at her super-chic salon, Reflections, in Lowertown in Schull. I don’t know how Sinead managed to hold her down long enough to trim her little curls, as I used to have to chase her around the house. And it’s hard to pull a brush through that bush! But then we spotted a pink brush in Boots, the Tangle Terminator, €16.99. It’s from hairdressing master Lee Stafford and it works a treat.




Skincare has become so serious. Whatever happened to having a little fun with skin benefits? Step up, Pep-Start by Clinique, which is a group of products to rescue the face and lips. I adore the Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask. It’s a pink gel-to-foam mask that lifts away dirt, impurities and excess oil, creating a perfect canvas for make-up. It feels and looks wonderfully bizarre, and gets lots of giggles from my two little assistants, Maxi and Mini.




As regular readers know by now, fake tan brings out the inner eejit in me. Just when I think I’m tantastic at it and have finally nailed it, the very next time, I’ll end up with the orange claw of shame.  Thankfully Moxi Tan Aid, €4.50 offers a solution. These handy exfoliating tan removal wipes gently scrub away the unwanted colour – they work on old tan or on fresh tan that’s unattractively clinging to your knuckles.

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