Beauty Call: Products of Yore


Do the words Glint, Body Shop Dewberry, Vitapointe, Collection 2000, Constance Carroll rollerball lip gloss, green concealer and Heather Shimmer bring memories flooding back? In days of yore, Ireland was cast adrift from the cosmetic wonders the rest of the word enjoyed. We could only read about exotic brands such as Maybelline and pray that someone would bring us back a pink and green tube of Super Lash on a trip to New York.

Irish women made the best of what was available, and used it liberally and often incorrectly. We used full-coverage foundation thickly all over our faces: Max Factor Pan Stik (in Toasty Beige) and Creme Puff were favourites, along with Rimmel Pale Biscuit. No blusher was used – we were afraid of it.

To remove the slap we turned to Anne French, Aapri scrub (which, with its gritty apricot bits, is the skincare equivalent of scrubbing your face with a Brillo pad), or St Ives scrub, which was just as bad.

Most of these old products can still be found on our supermarket and pharmacy shelves, and most of them have just updated their packaging and left the original formulas intact.

Do you remember that blue bottle of Clearasil deep-cleansing toner that we all used to blast spotty skin, or the more upmarket Clinique blue toner? They were loaded with alcohol and dried out the skin something rotten. Clearasil spot cream could have been relabelled a weapon of mass destruction – it could blast a hole in your skin that would take weeks to heal.

Most of the old guard have moved with the times, expanding their ranges and offering better products with improved formulas that sit side by side on the shelves with the originals. So feel no shame if you have a hankering for the past – you will easily be able to find a “betterised” version of your old favourite.


Sudocrem Skin Care Cream (€2.49, 30g)
So many people use the original nappy-rash cream – an Irish invention – as an effective spot fighter that it has become a cult product. This version is great for dry patches, and as a moisturiser for irritated, spot-prone skin.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish in 107 (€6.99)
Rimmel now makes some of the best budget make-up on the market, and you won’t go far wrong with one of their new lippies. For a softer take on Black Cherry, try this shade.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (€4.79)
Forget the horrors of Collection 2000 – it has been rebranded, and the quality hugely improved. This soft, creamy concealer blends perfectly and provides great coverage.

Clearasil Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Wash (€6.99, 150ml)
A gentler cleanser than any of the “blue” Clearasil products, which are still loaded with harsh alcohol. Superfruit Wash uses a low dose of salicylic acid to clear pores and prevent blemishes.

Follow Aisling on Twitter @aismcdermott

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