The  suddenly ancient looking skin sometimes needs external help to rebalance.

Beauty: Overindulged at Christmas? It’s still written all over your face

I have been increasingly fielding commentary and questions about marriage.  Illustration: iStock

It’s patronising to say an unmarried woman is a victim of her male partner’s indecision

In Limerick, it seems like everyone is talking about the “new Dunnes”. Photograph: iStock

In my late teens, I couldn’t wait to be gone, now, I can see the best aspects of my hometown

Beauty basics are the stalwarts that populate a make-up bag; here’s some for face, hair and eyes

Orchid mantis: The stuff of a child’s dark imaginings. Photograph: istock.

Disgust is a trendy, complex and fascinating area of psychological research

‘Tis the season to self-gift:  Chanel lipstick, L’Oreal  anti-frizz serum, Byredo Slow Dance and   Zara Waterlily Tea Dress are excellent options

Beauty: There is a product out there for every budget to help you spring into 2020

Scented candles from Emma’s, Diptyque, Aveda, Malin+Goetz and Jo Malone

Opt for traditional pine or spiced citrus, or go for an alternative leather-scented candle

Beauty buys of the year: some of my favourites from Gucci, Josh Wood Colour, Charlotte Tilbury, Skingredients, Clinique, Chanel, the Ordinary, Lixir and L'Or�al

Looking for makeup that gives you ‘instagram skin’, foolproof skincare products or a celebrity inspired skincare collection

‘For fu**’s sake Denis will you cram a sock in it you furry little sh*t!?’ Photograph: istock.

Putting up the Christmas tree will always dangle a relationship over the precipice

L’Occitane Truck: the storage tin is unbelievably cute.

This selection of beauty products is sure to please your younger friends

Clockwise from top left: Victoria Beckham Beauty Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser, Sweed Lashes Nikki Cluster, Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer, Glossier Futuredew and Catrice Grown Up Glow Palette

Go big with clusters of lashes, dewy primers and easy-for-the-lazy spot tanning

Beauty gift sets from Nars, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, Lush, Spectrum and ghd

From a €12 L’Occitane festive bauble to a €364 ghd hair-tool set, these suit all budgets

‘Burnout doesn’t have to be dramatic’. Photograph: iStock

Sometimes there’s not much different between burnout and boredom

Living Proof Triple Detox Shampoo, Hairstory New Wash, Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist, Ouai Haircare Hair Oil and L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray.

Beauty: Specialist products for hair care can help keep winter moisture at bay

Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device will pay for itself over years.

These practical tools are must-haves for dedicated beauty fans

Floral tributes left close to London Bridge in the wake of last week’s knife attack. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images.

Acts of terror such as last week’s knife attack can dehumanise us too, if we let them

Clockwise from top centre: Dior Backstage Lip Palette, Laura Mercier Paint with Light Radiant Face Illuminator Trio, Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol 3, Chanel Exclusive Creation les 4 Ombres, Nars Inferno Eyeshadow Palette.

Chanel, Nars and Dior are just a few of the names that will bring smiles to anyone’s face

Diptyque Protective Pine Candle, €60, Space NK.

Whether you like the traditional Christmas aromas or something else entirely, there’s a scent out there for you

Laura Kennedy: “What is there to do, but get on with it?” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Four years, and still I don’t know what to do on my mother’s anniversary

Magazine beauty November 2019. Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Palette, Maybelline Super Stay Ink Crayon, Nars Disco Dust Lipstick, and Dior 5 Couleurs Happy 2020 palette

Beauty: We need colour, we need light, we need some lipstick on our shook-looking winter faces

What sort of self-care is expressed at the expense of others? Photo: iStock

We value commitments and one another’s time less than we used to

Westman Atelier: Le Box (€186) and Eye Love You Mascara (€66)

The artist behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s flawless skin explains the inspiration for her range

Laura Kennedy: Our new area has an old-fashioned community feel

What do you do when you find a stranger passed out in your neighbourhood?

Many consumers just want ethical and sustainable products

It is difficult to separate the brands making real efforts from the ones doing the bare minimum

The Late Late Toy Show: Gay Byrne soaks the audience in 1991

His Late Late Show was way past my bedtime, but I still feel its influence

“I lie awake and listen to the sound of nothingness”

Only after moving did I realise our stress was exacerbated by where we had lived

Disciple Clean Slate Soap on a Rope, Lush Butterbear Soap, Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka Shower Oil, Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Body Oil and Nuxe Melting Body Oil Balm with Honey.

Beauty: At this time of year, legs will flake, midriffs will itch and elbows will crust over in protest

“I was raised in a tense household. Always, there was something simmering. My father was an alcoholic, so there was all of the unbidden chaos that came with that.”

I grew up frightened of conflict but also slightly desirous of it. I felt trodden on, and that generated anger

From left, Niod Copper Amino Isolate Lipid, Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate, Niod Copper Amino Isolate Liquid out of the tube, Dr Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich and Decree Peptide Emollient Veil

Beauty: Five products that could help revitalise drab, autumn skin

‘He is tall, boisterous and great at making friends – a golden retriever in human form. I am closer to the noble stoat.’ Photograph: iStock

A male friend makes sexualised comments towards my partner when I am present

Cerave SA Smoothing Cleanser and SA Smoothing Cream, The Inkey List Zinc, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus, and Plenaire Droplet Lightweight Moisture Gel

Breakouts can be seen as a teenage rite of passage but they shouldn’t be

‘To be a good Stoic, you have to get comfortable with accepting that you regularly don’t live your own beliefs through action.’

Get comfortable with accepting you don’t always live your own beliefs through action

Serums from Beauty Pie, Inkey, Elixseri, SkinCeuticals and Skingredients

Autumn is an ideal time to tackle skin issues and switch up your treatment products

‘The people seated in the carriage, simmering with discomfort, shame, disgust, and whatever else, assume a frightening stillness.’ Photo: istock

The homeless man was so invisible his invisibility became a power in itself

Scalp treatments from Sisley, Christophe Robin, Mother Dirt, Ducray and Lush

Laura Kennedy: Whether you’re prone to oiliness or dryness, these should help

Illustration: iStock

Oh, Brother: More than two and you form alliances to wait out the most traumatic years of sibling rivalry

Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream, Chanel Le Lift La Creme Main, Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm, Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules and The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane.

Soothing creams, balms and oils to keep skin plump and pearly as the weather changes

‘Since beginning to speak about this with people around me, it’s become clear that almost everyone feels overwhelmed by life admin’

Why to-do lists can easily get out of hand

From top: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’n’ Kohl in Bedroom Black; Nars High-Pigment Longwear Liner; Huda Beauty Life Liner; Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner; and Signature de Chanel liner

It is the liner that sets the tone of the eyes, and consequently the whole face

Illustration: iStock

Being a guest in someone's house is a social minefield

The sofa. A good place to think. But now it’s gone.

Now we find ourselves without a place to live . . . the best-laid plans and all that

Byredo Slow Dance, Timothy Han/Edition She Came to Stay, Chanel Gabrielle and Jo Malone Poppy & Barley Cologne

Winning fragrances from Byredo, Timothy Han/Edition, Chanel and Jo Malone

These products will help fight increased oiliness and dehydration.

Tightness and dehydration appear as the heating comes back on


With advances in safe, non-surgical beauty procedures, treatments such as injectable fillers are becoming as much as part of routi(...)

‘Why don’t you have friends?’ is kind of a sticky one to have chucked at you on the spot

Laura Kennedy: I am trying to remain open, and keep the taint of ‘be my friend’ off me

The Philips Lumea Prestige isn’t perfect, but it removes up to 92 per cent of hair

The Philips Lumea Prestige is pricey, but works so well I went bare-legged all summer

This week, because I was distracted at work, and prioritising the wrong things, I missed a message from a family member reaching out with serious mental health struggles.Photograph: iStock

Distracted at work, I missed a message from a family member with mental health issues

From left, Milk Makeup Flex Foundation; Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser; Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation; Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation; Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation; and Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation

Tilbury's new foundation and other new bases reviewed by Laura Kennedy

 I had undergone a couple of years of cognitive behavioural therapy   before taking a serious look at   Marcus Aurelius and other Stoic philosophers. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In many cases, they pushed through fear when I didn’t and took chances when I wouldn’t

 Skingredients Skin Good Fats, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser, Origins Clear Improvement Oil-Free Moisturizer with Bamboo Charcoal, Dermalogica Clear Start Clearing Defense SPF 30, and Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

The wrong moisturiser can cause problems – something too rich can cause congestion while anything too light can be inadequate

I long for a time when a written request for a spreadsheet at 11pm would be met with its only proportional response – the challenge of a duel-by-sword combat. Photograph: iStock

Buff the edges off your correspondence before flinging it into the digital wasteland

Philip B Travel Kit, Living Proof In-Shower Styler, Davines Renaissance Circle Extreme Repair Mask, Batiste Dry Shampoo and Philip Kingsley Swim Cap Water Resistant Mask

This summer try these minimum-effort, maximum-results haircare products

Meghan Markle’s Vogue cover is a confused political statement. Photograph: Sussex Royal/AFP/Getty

You cannot sign up to the monarchy and preach progressive politics with credibility

For smoky eyes: Les 4 Ombres in Modern Glamour is an eyeshadow quad of greys, black and white

Chanel’s new Noir & Blanc collection for autumn winter is too pretty to resist

Laura Kennedy and her mother, Emma

I am nagged by the feeling that, if she were here, she might be saddened by my progress

La Roche Posay Effaclar Clay Mask (€11.24 at Boots)

Masks won’t cure acne but they can help when your skin is congested and breaking out

“Close friendships of any sort are intensely fragile” Photograph: istock

Laura Kennedy: When one person tires and grows heavy the other leans down to carry them

 From left to right: Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 High Potency Night Treatment, Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane and Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift +Retinol

Picking the right one, and applying it correctly, can make a world of difference

'Most people don’t have live-in servants but we briefly hire servants through apps all the time.' Photograph: iStock

Laura Kennedy: Our servants today may not be deferential but they cater to our every whim

The availability outside the US of cult beauty brand Milk was one of the most anticipated launches of the year

If you are lazy with skincare, your excuse is hereby abolished

“Being working class is not about any one thing – money, or values, or origin, or habits.” Image: iStock

Laura Kennedy: I carry with me talismans of where I have come from – imperfect teeth, colloquial phrases, a powerful fear of not h(...)

From left, Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Multicleanser, Kate Somerville Soothe and Restore Ceramides + Omegas Serum, Urban Decay Perversion waterproof mascara, Lancôme Hypnôse eyeshadow palette in Fraîcheur Rosée and Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Extrême Eau de Parfum

A multitasking cleanser, practical palette and glorious perfume among the season’s picks

‘We tend to ignore death until it kicks us hard in the face.’ Photograph: iStock

Laura Kennedy: Death changes your mind about things like nothing else will

Get your make-up bag ready for the season.

Light, fresh with extra shimmer - let your summer make-up work for you

Each one of your prim, lovely blue and white teacups that I have broken has condescended to the ground almost in slow motion as my guts clench and flip. Photograph: iStock

Memories I keep, though they crack and change with time, keep a part of you here, with me

Skingredients: Jennifer Rock’s new range of skincare products, which cost €25-€42

The Skin Nerd: This Irish capsule system of skin products deserves to fly off the shelves

 Keanu Reeves poses for a photograph with a fan at the premiere of Toy Story 4 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Recent photograph of actor with a fan has prompted mixed opinions

Isaac Reid (age 6), Peter Reid (age 9), Catherine Cleary, and Shane Reid (age 12) have a picnic in Iveagh Gardens. Photograph: Sara Freund/The Irish Times

Here’s how to avoid the chafe, the burn, and how to reconnect with your inner child

‘Not feeling at home in your own body is not a straightforward scenario.’ Photograph: iStock

I experienced the nightmare of most novice gym goers but it’s not going to put me off

Get a summer glow with these glowing products.

Glow on, glow on, glow on

Wading through life can be hard. Photograph: iStock

Accepting a situation does not mean embracing it, or that you have to stay there forever

Are your feet ready for the summer?

Put your best foot forward with a little attention

No7 Dark Circle Corrector comes in two tones

Under eye pigmentation is such a common issue that this will likely fly off shelves

The swings at The Dean Hotel, outside Sophie’s – the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar

Laura Kennedy: TD’s case against hotel which she has now dropped raises issue of personal responsibility

Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate, Murad Night Fix Enzyme Treatment, Lixir Night Switch Retinol 1%, Lixir Universal Emulsion, Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask and Votary Natural Lip Oil.

‘Beauty sleep’ isn’t a myth - skin undergoes a complex reparative process at night

Commemorative plaque for Friedrich Nietzsche at the house where he lived in Turin.  Photograph: istock

We learn our own resilience by taking a bashing. To fail is to surrender

The best beauty essentials for travellers,  from eyeliners to facial mists

Plan which products you will bring (and no, you don’t need four red lipsticks)

Viva Glam: Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga  promoted Mac’s campaign in 2010

Mac’s Viva Glam campaign has donated almost €4m to Irish organisations since 2007

Greene exposes the reader to most people’s worst fear – the death of a child – in a manner that is sufficiently analytical to be intellectually beneficial, but honest enough to flay you raw

After death of his infant daughter, Jason Greene’s memoir on grief is brutally honest

Barely there: Chanel Les Beiges Eau de Teint Water-Fresh Tint

Think of Les Beiges Eau de Teint as a moisturiser so subtle it seems barely there

You can build a jungle of plants in a rented property without asking anyone’s permission. Photograph: iStock

Laura Kennedy: Succulents are the new gin for the misunderstood millennials

Five of the best moisturisers from Beauty Pie, Chanel, Alpha H, Kate Somerville and Rituals

Skincare is now more than a cold cream and a moisturiser walloped on to the face

Looking for safety: the baby plonked down and extended its arms towards its mother. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Laura Kennedy: Sometimes you have to opt for change when you’d really rather not

Magazine May 4 2019. Beauty montage. Moroccanoil Colour Complete Shampoo (nb matching conditioner not pictured), L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Purple Shampoo and Conditioner, Dr Paw Paw 7 in 1 Hair Treatment, Living Proof Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate, Davine?s OI Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion and Garnier Banana & Shea Hair Food

Decent at-home care is important to keep you out of the salon as long as possible

History is full of Irish writers waxing sentimental about Ireland while refusing to live there. Joyce was guilty of a good deal of that. Photograph: Lipnitzki/ Roger Viollet/ Getty Images

The classic emigrant dilemma of missing Ireland even as I was there

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser, Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream, EradiKate Blemish Treatment, ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, and Dermal Quench Wrinkle Warrior Advanced Hydrating & Plumping Treatment

This is an expensive range, but it’s well worth trying if you have sensitive skin

Bystanders look on as flames and smoke are seen  at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/ AFP/Getty Images

We are right to value the beauty of Notre Dame that people laboured to create

Double cleanse: Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser, Lixir Electrogel Cleanser, The White Company facecloth, Alpha H Balancing Cleanser, Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel and The White Company Super Balm Gentle Daily Deep Cleanser

Without it, you might as well be rubbing your expensive serums into your couch rather than your face

Sunscreen: the argument for wearing SPF daily is far more than cosmetic. Photograph: iStock

A glowy finish shouldn’t look flat after a spritz of Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF

This diminishing of all women’s pain during birth, as well as the complications that do often arise, is a legacy that lives on. Photograph: iStock

The supposed nobility of bearing pain is a common feature of womanhood

Facial suncreens: Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF30, Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF50 Hydrating Shield,Kiehls Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 and Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF50 Mineral Sunscreen

A change in skin colour after sun exposure is skin damage – If you want a tan, get it from a bottle

Instagram aesthetic: Alicja Puk injects a client at her clinic, in Blanchardstown in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

The filtered, full-lipped look has exploded in popularity – but it’s not without risks

Worth checking out: No7 Laboratories’ Dark Spot Correcting Booster Serum and Firming Booster Serum, both €49

It’s partly down to marketing, but every No7 Laboratories product so far has been good

The gut punches still come. The memories still hurt, but sometimes, and just for a while, I can see my mother again as she really was.

‘I have reached that part in the grieving process when I can see colour again’

Light touch: foundations by Trish McEvoy, Huda, Lancôme, Clinique and Bobbi Brown

It's time to swap your winter foundation for one better suited to brighter weather

Christine Nagel of Hermès: ‘You can tell so much about a person from how they smell’

Hermès perfumer Christine Nagel on breaking into her industry to pursue her passion

Laura Kennedy: “The word - fragile – was a weapon I wielded against myself.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Laura Kennedy: I thought the least charitable description of myself must be the truest

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