The much-hyped Alex Steinherr x Primark skincare collection goes on sale at selected Penneys stores next week, in one of the most exciting beauty launches of the year.
Steinherr, a beauty editor turned social-media influencer, is known for her collaborations with premium brands such as La Mer and Estée Lauder. This collection with Primark, which launches officially on Monday but will not be stocked in Irish stores until the middle of the week, is a real departure.
The range combines good ingredients, accessibility, affordability and high ethical standards, including being certified as completely cruelty free. “Getting certified is a long process, and it costs a lot of money, so I’m very proud that Primark is showing the way on this,” she says. The products are also fragrance-free, “because fragrance is a potential irritant – and also it makes the products gender neutral, which is a good thing”.
Getting certified as cruelty-free is a long process, and it costs a lot of money, so I'm very proud that Primark is showing the way on this
The collection consists of five ranges or capsule collections – Sleep Spa, Pore Balance, Maximum Moisture, Plump & Glow and Pollution Solution – and everything costs between €4 and €6. There are no messy pots, and everything is compact, light, affordable and practical.
This is not a range to be compared with higher-end brands; it isn’t competing with them. But the products feel far more expensive than they are, which means Alex Steinherr x Primark is kicking a door into the affordable-skincare market. It’s likely to fly off shelves – although, as this is a permanent range, it will be back in stock before long.
Which products from it would Steinherr use to create her impossibly glowing skin? She recommends the Plump & Glow Power Mask followed by the Plump & Glow Serum-in-Cream Moisturiser. As you can pick up the two for €10, I’ll certainly be giving the combination a go.
As for what you should try overall, here’s my pick of the most promising products.
Sleep Spa Sleeping Face Mask (€6) has a gel texture that skin delights in. Maximum Moisture Moisture-Locking Everyday Moisturiser (€6) has a richly comforting but not congesting texture and an immediate effect on drier skin, while working beautifully under make-up.
The Plump & Glow Serum-in-Cream Moisturiser (€6) creates the most sumptuous, glowing make-up base; it feels like silk on the skin. The Sleep Spa Every Night Eye Mask (€5), which feels like a premium eye cream, disappears into the skin, instantly plumping fine lines. The Sleep Spa Overnight Lip Mask (€5) also feels decadent; you can use it during the day as a moisture-boosting lip balm. The Plump & Glow Facial in a Stick (€6) works on dry patches or cuticles but also works as a brilliant highlighter under or over make-up, and does the skincare work of a good oil. The Pore Balance Low-pH Sulphate Free Cleanser (€5) is ideal for anyone prone to congestion or breakouts, as it contains just enough salicylic acid to help clear blockages – and as it doesn't foam it doesn't strip or parch the skin.
THE FULL RANGE
Four products to apply at bedtime for plump and hydrated skin by morning: One Step Night Cleanse (€6), Sleeping Face Mask (€6), Every Night Eye Mask (€5) and Overnight Lip Mask (€5).
Four products for congested, reddening and breakout-prone skin: Facial in a Low-pH Sulphate Free Cleanser (€5), Super Detox Clay Mousse Mask (€6), Anti-Blackhead Stick (€6) and Blemish Rescue Stickers (€4).
Plump & Glow
The closest thing to an anti-ageing range in the collection, but can be used by anyone who has dry or dull skin in need of moisture and revitalisation: Facial in a Stick (€6), Plump & Glow Serum-in-Cream Moisturiser (€6), The Power Mask (€4) and Plumping Lip Gloss (€6).
Five products to restore dry and dehydrated skin and create a dewy base for make-up. Micellar Cleansing Gel (€6), Moisture-Locking Everyday Moisturiser (€6), Supreme Sheet Mask (€4), Hydration on the Go (€5).
Two products targeted at people who live in cities and are exposed to pollution: Oil-Free Gel Hydrator (€6) and Daily Skin Start (€6); Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads (€6) and City Mask (€4) will be added to the range soon.