Moroccanoil brand ambassador Sara Sampaio.

The cult oil product that changed how we treat and care for our hair at home

Some expensive mascaras can be excellent, but their lifespan is really only around three months.

In my experience, cheap mascaras are almost universally terrible, creating a dilemma

'The beginning stages, though they feel deep and revelatory, are just grazing the surface.' Photograph: iStock

We wrongly think that the initial easy stages of a relationship are how it is ‘supposed’ to be

Beauty: There are ways to build up a gradual tan, even for the ham-fisted pale Irish

'It is never 30 degrees in Limerick. Or at least, never insofar as I can remember.'

Laura Kennedy: I have been lifted out of the present and dropped into the past

Photograph: iStock

Minimise heat styling, watch your diet and get help from a few of these clever products

Binx Walton for Nars, shot by François Nars

François Nars founded his brand on the concept of revealing rather than concealing

'Sleeping in the heat is by far the most uncomfortable aspect of good weather, but there are things you can do to help.'

Leaving your partner is a bit extreme so try these handy tips instead

Social media influencer? Whining narcissist more like.

Laura Kennedy: I just find dealing with other people’s auras so draining, she said

Tata Harper

Beauty: Arrival of cult brand to Arnotts a coup for the beauty hall

Set Powder in Invisible is a universal setting powder without any whitish residue, and works for everyone

Beauty: ‘A new generation of people are designing and customising their own makeup’

Kanye West: “Some people who live with bipolar disorder, such as West, possess creative gifts and achieve commercial success. Many others do not.” Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Laura Kennedy: Mental illness should be neither stigmatised nor romanticised

Whether you are active, passive or anything in between this summer, SPF is a necessity.

Staining of white clothing and ‘ghost face’are no longer foregone conclusions

“Reader, he knocked her up. To the tune of about eight chicks.” Photograph: Peter Austin via Getty Images

Blue tits may be darling but it looks as if the torture of life is slowly bringing them down

Photograph: iStock

Scared of using oil on your skin? Ease yourself in to the benefits of oils with a cleanser

This skincare line of just five products, chicly packaged in black has no obvious claims to a particular gender

For those who take their skincare seriously this outlier brand focuses on care and utility

‘There is a strong case for the next logical step being divestment: the removal of Catholic influence and power from what are in actuality our state schools.’

Laura Kennedy: It is time that the values we actually live by inform our education system

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex ride in the Ascot Landau carriage during the procession after getting married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Photograph:   Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Sheer textures and fresh finishes are popular again which means a focus on skincare rather than makeup

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with Prince Harry: Markle’s choice to marry is, with luck, a source of great personal joy. But it is not progressive. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/Pool/Getty

Laura Kennedy: Prince Harry’s new wife has sacrificed her freedom and her career

Urban Decay Backtalk Palette (€43)

Don’t be alarmed but pink lipstick and pink eyeshadow work on everyone

The time of those with no children can only be considered ripe for the claiming by entitled people with children if they perceive that time as empty. Photograph: iStock

Laura Kennedy: Why should the time of this man be less valuable than that of his colleague, who had chosen to have children?

Beauty: The right products make your skin comfortable, and restore a barrier function

“Irish women like my friend learned that they had been complicit in a great silence, it was as invisible as the air they breathed”

Laura Kennedy: When Irish women began to talk about their own experiences, the ugly reality of Ireland’s relationship with abortio(...)

Beauty: Fragrances for both men and women are not a new thing

People tearing down posters presumably hold that they are justified in tearing down the ‘other side’s’ posters because ‘the other side’ lacks integrity. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Laura Kennedy: Wherever you stand on the referendum, there’s a sense that May 26th can’t come soon enough

Lip balm soothes the most sensitive part of the face during the freeze and fluctuation of winter and through the aggression of summer sun. Photograph: iStock

Beauty: Moisture-starved lips need the best balms around – pamper your pout with these top products

'The Western obsession with travel for travel’s sake is based upon the idea that the real substance of life is to be experienced in a place that is other.'

Laura Kennedy: Some people have the travel bug. Some don't. Can't we all just get along?

Beauty: Going from lily white to a very dark tan won’t look right

In beauty terms, Markle is a breath of fresh air; she is certainly one of the best things to happen to the beauty industry in some time. Photograph: Eddie Mulholland/Getty Images

In beauty terms Meghan Markle is a breath of fresh air

'The delivery man’s justified smugness was also difficult to deal with.'

It was during a time of especially bad stress lasting a few months and reaching a crescendo in recent weeks

There are few products as versatile and convenient as a facial mist, and few which are as useful in both make-up application and skincare use.

Do not get any notions - few products are as versatile and convenient as facial mists

This inexpensive soap brow product is a rare find that feels especially thrilling to a lover of beauty and natural skincare

“George Hook responded in emotional tones to a column nothing at all like the one I had written.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Disproportionate outrage was exhibited by two cantankerous malcontents


Beauty: Skincare to suit all ages, genders and skin types

Trinny Woodall: “I do my make-up in cars, in loos, on the way to and from work or events. I love make-up.”

Trinny London is brand for people who love make-up but like it to be practical. It launched this week in Brown Thomas, Dublin

'When I witness someone else admiring the very things I like about the person I live with, I remember that he is not just with me because he has to be.'

‘Once you are close enough to another person to know that they will cut you more slack than they might permit others, it can be te(...)

No7’s new serum already has a 16,000-strong waiting list in the UK. File photograph: Getty Images

The new serum promises visible reduction of wrinkles and is likely to sell out quickly

Clockwise from top left: Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit; Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base; Armani Fluid Sheer; Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder. Clockwise from top left: Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit; Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base; Armani Fluid Sheer; Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder.

The paler you are, the more difficult bronzing products are to navigate

Clockwise from top left: Maybelline Master Bronze Colour and Highlighting Kit; Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow; Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Make-up Base; Armani Fluid Sheer; Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder.

The paler you are, the more difficult those bronzing products are to navigate

For the average couple, (the plight of individuals is even bleaker) to have any chance of securing a home of their own, they need not only secure, well-paying jobs, but a substantial sum of money in the bank. Illustration: iStock

We have more ‘stuff’ than our parents’, but owning a home is completely out of reach

Cover your bases for every budget, skin tone and preference

Sometimes, at night, I wonder what the ants are doing, and how thoroughly Mabel is ignoring them downstairs.

Mabel has taken to pretending she cannot see whatever she doesn’t feel like dealing with

If you feel the call of the bleach, protect your hair with a kindness treatment

Thirty is a good age to pause and take stock

We are multiplicities of self – there is not one kind of beauty, or accomplishment or contentment

Homegrown Irish beauty brands are thriving like never before

Florence Adepoju: a rarity in directing both the science and the creative aesthetic of MDMflow

Now MDMflow founder Florence Adepoju is crowdfunding her Flawless Base foundation which comes in 16 shades

Laura Kennedy: I am more reminded of the wisdom of David O’ Doherty than Spinoza. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Laura Kennedy: Finishing a thesis on theories of emotion makes you quite emotional

KiehlÕs Instant Renewal Concentrate Masks (Û49 from Arnotts from March 28th)

Don’t expect the family to get you something you deserve. Go and get something for yourself

Human beings are not specialists, but generalists

Laura Kennedy: no person can be healthy and dispense more energy than they possess forever

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat All in One Glow Foundation

. Here are five fresh skin products for the new season

PS... Brushes (from €1.50 at Penneys)

Self-expression is important, but it isn't necessarily found through horsing on makeup

A ring card girl carries a round-number card in between rounds at a boxing title contest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Laura Kennedy: MMA is the most egalitarian sport we have, but it is just a little hard to see that, past the ring card girls

Lucky for most of us, “undone” technique is à la mode, such as eyeliner that looks a bit squiffy.

Lipstick without a perfectly razor-sharp edge? These trends we can get behind

Penneys are democratising professional beauty services, and anyone who is snobby about beauty and hair should be quaking in their boots. Photograph: Stephanie Zieber

The PS . . . X Glissed pop-up at the Mary Street store is no-frills – and a no-brainer

‘They’re handing out barf bags. The crossing is going to be rough’. ‘Aren’t crossings always rough?’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Laura Kennedy: My brother returns with the accoutrements of adulthood – and a wife

Fetch ships worldwide, but next-day delivery within Ireland costs just €4 for orders under €70

The arrival of Fetch beauty to Ireland is good news for real lovers of quality skincare

This foundation photographs beautifully, boasts excellent wearing time and looks fresh for hours

If you like great coverage and a dewy texture, NARS Natural Radiant Longwear foundation is perfect

One of Freud’s theories was the notion that we fall in love with people who are a mirror image of our ideal version of ourselves

It seems – anecdotally at least – that there is something to Freud’s assertion of compensating traits

Essential products to help you look your best in the early stages of a relationship

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Children Catherine Zappone and Health Minister Simon Harris during the press conference following the cabinet debate on the referendum on the Eight Amendment. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Laura Kennedy: By vilifying ‘the other side’ and deciding that they are less human in some way, less well intended, or more monstr(...)

Beauty: All we can do is manage damage – and serums and eye creams can help

Beauty: The new collection has some people crying ‘notions’ but it’s a handy capsule collection

Beauty: you don't have to spend a fortune to refresh your look

Maybe he is just being a kid and figuring out what he enjoys

Laura Kennedy: I don’t possess what must be the terrifying responsibility for another human life

Beauty: Small enough to wash down drains, microbeads pose a risk to marine life

Writers’ block?: feel the fear but do it anyway

Laura Kennedy:  Resistance is the best word – a force which flourishes counter to our will

Masks, creams and oils for a more moisturised 2018

‘I inherited her dishes when she died. They are Burleigh’s Blue Calico pattern’

Laura Kennedy: My mother used to say that mugs were vulgar, and that the tea didn’t taste the same in them

Simple Water Boost Micellar Facial Gel Wash and Mac Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set.

‘A tampon will stop a nosebleed nicely if you don’t mind the funny looks'

Skin giving you trouble? Picking up small habits will bring results you crave

‘If we are going to choose a time to change, surely this is it’

Laura Kennedy: So much change is involuntary, or unconscious, but through it all, we presume that there is a “me”; an immutable “s(...)

Clearly, age does not improve us or make us wiser by default. Photograph: iStock

When we have a change in perspective, those who remain within can feel judged

If you are in the market for a bargain or seven, don’t move. The best of the sales are online. File photograph: iStock

Plenty on offer online for those who fancy treating themselves without facing the sales madness

In terms of makeup and skincare, 2017 has been one of the best. File photograph: Getty Images

It might not have been the best year, but it was a stellar one for makeup and skincare

To keep the peace, can’t we all just pander to the wishes and desires of those who are often the most unreasonable or demanding people in the room?

Laura Kennedy: Christmas is a time for togetherness, if at all possible, and that should not come at anyone’s expense

Beauty: when it comes to choosing that special gift, we’ve selected this fantastic five

'Christmas has a reflective way of condensing the worst of the year into something like the drastically overdone annual sprouts.'

Laura Kennedy: Pascal’s work is a comfort because at this performative time of year

Kiehl's His Facial Fuel Favourites (€38 from Arnotts)

There are plenty of beauty-related gifts for men who say they don’t need anything

Glowing skin is achievable in winter, but a good dose of artificial embellishment is required.

Layer on the right products to keep yourself radiating through winter

‘We are not perfect the way we are. If we were, we could declare ourselves finished articles’

Laura Kennedy: It can sometimes be difficult to know when criticism is valid

The Nails Inc Sparkle Baby Bauble Gift Set (€13)

Beauty: Little parcels and tubs of goodness can help bring some office cheer

Counterfeit beauty products seized during the week. Photograph:

Fake versions of a beauty product are no substitute for a cheaper alternative

‘Calls by some scientists for a ban on glitter for the sake of the environment were received with panic last week.’ File photograph: Getty Images

A guide to some of the best glitter beauty products for the Christmas party season

Bed as an opt-out clause isn’t a new approach, and neither is struggling to peel ourselves from it when we fully intend to, but just need five more minutes.

Laura Kennedy: Soon, the light of spring will mean the dark embrace of bed will hold less temptation

. . . and the perfumer, Olivier Polge, who creates new scents for the legendary brand

Beauty: It may come as a surprise but dehydrated skin isn’t the same as dry skin

Christmas glimmer: the number of Irish brands producing excellent scented candles suggests we have a national appreciation for them. Photograph: Getty

Expensive? Yes. But scented candles are one of life’s joys, especially in winter

The word ‘Christmas’ no longer conveys the significance of the God who joined the human caravan and walked in our shoes, says  Fr Desmond O’Donnell

Laura Kennedy: Fr O’Donnell suggests Catholics substitute ‘nativity’ for ‘Christmas’, to reflect how we now think of the season

Beauty: Most of us will experience congestion, breakouts and shine from our teen years and beyond, here’s how to deal with them

You glow, girl: Melissa Carter has got her products on to the Instagram feeds of Kylie and Khloe Kardashian, creating global awareness of her tanning brand, Cocoa Brown

Ireland's love affair with fake tan has been a golden opportunity for the Irish tan-entrepreneur Marissa Carter of Cocoa Brown

"Around the two-year mark, I was advised by those with experience, is a good time to seek some counselling for grief" Photograph: Getty

Laura Kennedy: Around the two-year mark is, apparently, a good time to get counselling for grief

Marks and Spencer Advent Calendar (€40 when you spend €40 on clothing, beauty or home products)

Beauty: Laura Kennedy reports on what are basically ‘Kinder Eggs for adults’

Red is a joyous, subversively wintry and a declaration of confidence. Photograph: Getty Images

Laura Kennedy: While it can be a frightening colour it is also a declaration of confidence

Heavier coats and scarves mean you often want a heavier base. Laura Kennedy picks some of the best

The tigers are coming, so  you must make a choice about who you will save

Laura Kennedy: We don’t want to say we don’t care about the other children, or that they are less important than our own child

'Over the years since training as a makeup artist, I have amassed a shamefully large collection of brushes.'

Five brushes, covering all budgets, and not a sponge applicator in sight

Most people have done things they regret when intoxicated.

Laura Kennedy: We put forth, and comfortably accept, a narrative which allows us to excuse inexcusable behaviour committed when dr(...)

The shaved faces of Irish men are once again peeking out. File photograph: Getty Images

Laura Kennedy On Beauty: In the Great Bearding (2014-2017) beard oils did a booming trade

Men can benefit from cosmetics just as women do

An alleged victim of Harvey Weinstein, Mimi Haleyi, at a press conference held by attorney Gloria Allred in New York recently. Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Few of us are immune to the cowardice that enabled Weinstein’s behaviour

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