January joys: Self-gifting for some new year cheer
Beauty: There is a product out there for every budget to help you spring into 2020
‘Tis the season to self-gift: Chanel lipstick, L’Oreal anti-frizz serum, Byredo Slow Dance and Zara Waterlily Tea Dress are excellent options
If you possibly can, it’s advisable to buy yourself a present once in a while. It need not be beauty-related (I bought myself an elaborate houseplant online in the post-Christmas sales and took great joy in doing so). However, this is a beauty column, so until I write a houseplant column (you never know), we’ll stick to cosmetics.
It’s hard to beat a beauty product for sensory pleasure anyway; the best of them look and smell beautiful, feel reassuringly sleek and weighty in the hand, and instil a flush of joy. Maybe you got some nice vouchers for Christmas. Maybe you need a little lift heading into the new year. This time of year is difficult enough without taking away small joys – there is something out there for every budget.
I am perhaps revealing a bias here, but I challenge anyone to find an object more chic than a Chanel lipstick. Chanel Exclusive Creation Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Rouge Spectaculaire (€41 at Arnotts) lives up to its name. I’m more than tired of the flat, dusty matte lip finishes that have dominated these last few years. This isn’t at all glossy, but it has that soft, buttery finish that is so comfortable to wear. This red is ideal for the season, and every application makes you secretly feel a bit like Veronica Lake.
A treat doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, and it need not be sexy either. L’Oréal Paris Dream Sleeker Anti-Frizz Serum (€11.50) is the sort of product you buy yourself because it is a brilliant problem solver. At this time of year, five minutes after I leave the house in the morning, my hair has already bristled like a threatened cat. This serum keeps things smooth, doesn’t make hair feel slick or heavy, and ensures you don’t get the shock of your life when you glance in the mirror in the bathroom at work. What greater gift could you give yourself than that?
Fragrance is perhaps the ultimate self-gift. We generally wait for others to buy us the fragrance we desire, but they don’t always get it right. If you found a bottle of Charlie under the tree, consider buying your own fragrance. Byredo Slow Dance (from €120 for 50ml at the Marvel Room at Brown Thomas Dublin) is my favourite of 2019; one of those scents so expertly formulated that it is more of a feeling than a scent – you cannot discern the notes working under the surface. The heart is ambery labdanum, while patchouli, vanilla, violet and geranium dance around it like children around a Maypole. It is effortlessly beautiful, and absolutely grown up.
If you are looking to spend a bit less, Jo Malone herself has collaborated with Zara to create a fragrance collection called Emotions. I’ll admit to having been sceptical, but Malone is a fragrance genius and these affordable scents are beautiful. Try Waterlily Tea Dress (from €15.95 for 40ml at Zara) – a fresh blend of bergamot, spearmint and musk that brings a summer brightness into the depths of winter.