Comforting and practical products for at-home self-care

Laura Kennedy: These are the products that make me feel better right now

Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask (€21.50 at cultbeauty.co.uk).

Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask (€21.50 at cultbeauty.co.uk).

 

It has become obvious that beauty products have been a tremendous consolation to so many during these last weeks. This applies to all from the front-line workers rubbing a rich cream into their chapped and overworked hands in a rare moment to themselves, to the Irish Times readers who have emailed me to say – sometimes a little guiltily – that grey roots are making them feel untidy, and ask what might be safely done to help. This even applies to someone who finds brief reprieve in the muscle-loosening, airway-opening ritual of their morning shower. It’s all beauty.

There is an emotional friction to this time which can show on the body. I think most of us are rather less groomed than our usual selves, and this is alright. I’ve been enjoying the products that make me feel better right now and have dispensed with the others. Their time will come later.

Revitalash Lash Serum (€54 at revitalash.ie) is miraculous. It doubled the length of my eyelashes within two months. I have been using it for about a year now, and the effects remain in place as long as I use it every night at bedtime. I wouldn’t go without it now. I also wouldn’t go without a decent hand soap, and since we’ve all been rather unkind to our hands of late, I treated myself to a bottle of Dr Bronner’s organic pump soap lavender (€14.50 at healthybuzz.ie). It smells lovely and will not irritate dry skin.

CND Vinylux polish in Cashmere Wrap (€14.95 at lookfantastic.com).
CND Vinylux polish in Cashmere Wrap (€14.95 at lookfantastic.com).

In the shower, I keep Aveda Shampure shampoo and conditioner (€18 and €22 respectively from aveda.co.uk). Far from new, these are classic products that emit that intoxicating and now elusive ‘salon smell’. They’re gentle, efficient, and will get on with any hair type. The fragrance is a gift; it curves from your hair as you go about your business and softens the day’s edges (if momentarily).

I don’t like to feel as though I’m regressing (because I fear I am), and if I leave my nails bare, I will pick them when stressed. To combat this, I keep a coat or two of CND Vinylux polish in Cashmere Wrap (€14.95 at lookfantastic.com) on them when I can’t be bothered to do the whole gel business. It’s a universally flattering, perfect nude and incredibly forgiving if you’re not an expert with the brush.

Finally, to improve my home environment, I have been burning the latest creation of Galway perfumer Cloon Keen. This is the Étaín candle (€40 at cloonkeen.com). Normally I run from white florals and towards the Panadol (they always give me a headache), but this one is glorious. It is the closest thing to a tuberose field in the south of France that you could experience from home. Jasmine, cedar and patchouli wend through it and will fill your home with the scent of summer.

Finally, each night at bedtime I slather on a generous layer of Milk Makeup melatonin overnight lip mask (€21.50 at cultbeauty.co.uk). It is a lusciously thick, supremely comforting lavender-scented balm that instantly settles you for sleep. You’ll wake up to beautifully soft lips, but I’d buy it for the texture and fragrance alone.

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