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Celebrity beauty secrets revealed

We quizzed five leading figures abut all elements of their beauty regimes – from their everyday essentials to the latest tweakments they swear by

Cathy O Connor is a self-confessed controlled beauty junkie. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Cathy O Connor is a self-confessed controlled beauty junkie. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

 

Fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal stylist Cathy O’Connor has been working behind the camera for two decades and takes a cautionary approach to beauty trends.

What are your core skincare products?

I’m a controlled beauty junkie (is there such a thing?). I don’t have a mania for buying unnecessary beauty products but am passionately interested in what works. My Clarins cleansing milk is an old reliable, SkinCeuticals Eye Gel AOX has won a place of honour on my bathroom shelf as has No 7 Line Correcting Booster Serum, which does as it says on the tin.

Any beauty gadgets you swear by?

The Clarisonic brush is brilliant for exfoliating skin and leaves your skin squeaky clean.

Do you go for beauty treatments often?

Not as often as I’d like but my stand-out favourites are any facial by the Skin Coach, aka the brilliant Ciara Darcy – she does a combination of AlumierMD Luxury Facial and AlumierMD Peels as well as Rejuvapen micro-needling and a vitamin A infusion. I do whatever she suggests, on a given visit, as she knows instinctively what your face needs. Also, if I’m ever down in Kellys Resort Hotel in Rosslare, I always try to book in for a body massage.

Do you go to a skin clinic?

I’ve been attending Patricia Molloy at The Derma Clinic in Monkstown, Dublin, for years. I trust Patricia completely so if she suggests a treatment, I know it will be good.

Have you done anything to your teeth over the years?

Shamefully, a dental visit is nearly always way down on my ‘to do’ list. As a result, my teeth were badly neglected and when I eventually went to the dentist, I needed a huge amount of work. I opted to go to Kreativ Dental in Budapest and received such high-calibre treatment at a price I could afford.

Best beauty advice you ever received?

In my eyes, beauty comes from within, so being with people who make you feel good, thinking thoughts that bring you contentment and doing things that give you joy are all worthy game-changers.

What are your thoughts on Botox/fillers/tweakments?

We’re so lucky to have such a range of enhancing treatments available to us. Go for it! I’ve just had ‘Silhouette Soft’, a new non-invasive treatment which enhances the contours of the face. It’s ideal for anyone whose skin has lost elasticity and, as a result, is developing jowls at the jawline. It’s an ingenious idea where threads [made from polylactic acid (PLA) the same material used in surgical stitches] are inserted just under the dermis and then tightened so that they provide a better structure for the skin. It takes less than an hour, it’s not painful and the results are fantastic. The PLA also stimulates collagen and elastin production over time so you get a short- and long-term gain from the treatment. Already, my jawline is elevated and has more definition and the contours of my face are more visible but in a very natural way. Would certainly recommend it.

What kind of body beauty regime do you follow?

I don’t have time for much of a regime but when I do I am completely addicted to Neom’s Magnesium Body Butter – it’s so luxurious and fragrant. Love Vichy’s Body for prepping skin before tanning. My two tan faves are Bellamianta and Sally Hansen Leg Spray.

Worst beauty trend of the moment, in your opinion?

Pantomime eyebrows and duck lips.


Belfast native Katrina Doran has spent the last two decades writing about skincare and beauty and working as a make-up artist on the biggest blockbuster TV shows, including Game of Thrones. She’s picked up lots of beauty intel along the way.

What are your core skincare products?

A cleansing balm is a must for removing grime and make-up – I rotate between Elemis, Emma Hardie, or Sarah Chapman’s balms. I love them all.

SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector and Phloretin CF Serum are the holy grail for my for even-toned skin. Both have helped me balance out any redness and fade pigmentation – my skin has never looked better. A daily layer of SPF30 is non-negotiable – I use Image SPF32 Matte, although it’s not matte, it’s quite glowy but it does help control oil during the day.

Any weekly maintenance regimes?

I do a skin check-in every Sunday – it’s where my #skincaresunday feature came from on Instagram – followers ask questions as I talk through what masks and products I use each Sunday. I look at my skin and check for hydration and elasticity and take a good look at my pores and I use different masks for different areas.

Any beauty gadgets you swear by?

I do like a little whizz over with a Clarisonic Mia to get products in really deep and to exfoliate the surface but, I have to be honest, I tend to forget about it most days. I prefer to use my hands as I can feel the pressure and massage the skin.

Can you remember the first treatment you ever had in a beauty salon?

The first facial I had was in my early 20s in a little salon on Botanic Avenue in Belfast – it was a gift voucher for my birthday and I tortured the therapist the whole time asking her questions.

Do you go for beauty treatments often?

I’ve been attending The Skin Clinic at Galgorm Spa and they bring out the SkinCeuticals Skin Scope at the start of the treatment, which appeals to my inner scientist – it measures and probes hydration, sebum, UV damage and more to ensure that the products selected are highly targeted for my skin concerns. I have skipped the peel element of the facial so far as I work outside on set a lot but even still, the results for reduction of my pigmentation, in particular, has been fantastic!

What’s the craziest beauty craze you’ve tried over the years?

A derma roller treatment – never again. It’s in the realms of controlled injury and, in theory, collagen rushes to heal all the little tiny dots left by the roller. My skin looked fab, then it continued to look fab for a while after, then started to deteriorate badly. It was the first time I started to think that these kinds of treatments have to be continuous to keep pushing that peak collagen surge, but at what cost?

What are your thoughts on tweakments?

I have a bovine allergy and Botox and some fillers are of bovine origin so I can’t use them. However, I do think Botox is excellent for those 11 lines between the brows or for correcting symmetry in the face. Each to their own I say!

What kind of body beauty regime do you follow?

I’m quite lazy with my body – I use Sanex shower gel for dry skin (although my body skin is very normal) so it doesn’t dehydrate. I always use an oil on my legs as I wax and the skin needs some extra hydration, such as No 7 Silky Leg Oil.

Worst beauty trend of the moment in your opinion?

The heavily contoured face, ‘carved’ brows and nude lips. Looks fab on the Kardashians but the majority of young girls in Ireland are not of that skin colour Make it stop!

Your beauty idol?

I love Lisa Eldridge – she’s the only make-up artist I watch on YouTube as she has a similar ethos of caring for the skin and make-up that makes skin looks like skin.

Do you take any supplements for your skin?

I take Rejuvenated Collagen Shots most nights. I find they work well when I’m up very early for filming and I’d drink it down in one go before I got in the car to drive to the location. It contains niacinamide, which helps balance my oil production in my zone and it really improved my skin all over my body – and I rarely get dry elbows, knees or feet now.


Lorraine Keane swears by the 12-week blow-dry. Photograph: Alan Betson

Journalist, broadcaster and founder of Fashion Relief, Lorraine Keane has been a household name in Irish media for more than two decades and has tuned her beauty regime down to a fine art.

What are your core skincare products?

I’m religious with my Jan Marini five-step regime morning and night. It’s a clinical range of Bioglycolic Face Cleanser, C-ESTA Face Serum, Face Lotion, Face Cream and Antioxidant SPF 30 – I skip the SPF at night. Peggy Stringer from Monkstown Laser Skin Clinic introduced me to this range and it has been life-changing for me. Throughout my 20s and 30s, I had hormonal breakouts every month. I was told it was adult acne which was very upsetting, especially doing the job that I do and being in the public eye. Since using Jan Marini skincare (which contains glycolic acid) I’ve only had three spots in about the same number of years. Honestly, it’s been a revelation for me. Even though I’m older, because I have clear skin, I am more confident than ever to go make-up free.

Any beauty gadgets you swear by?

I was recently introduced to Prai The New Neck Lift Kit, which gives an instant neck lift without needles. It a combination of an anti-ageing, tightening serum, day cream and night cream for neck and décolletage area, which you apply using a massaging applicator wand. It’s an ionic device that uses a positive charge to push key ingredients deeper into the skin for optimal lifting and toning benefits. I have noticed my neck and décolletage area looking much younger since I started using it.

Can you remember the first treatment you ever had in a beauty salon?

Yes, it was a lip tint I received in a salon in Paris. My friend T’antie Lizzie organised it for me. I was 20. It hurt like hell, gave me cold sores on my lips for four days but the results were amazing. It lasted for about three years.

Do you invest in beauty treatments often?

I now get my eyebrows (Powder Brow) and lips (Lipmentation) tinted once a year at Up To My Eyes in Greystones. Unlike the time in Paris over 20 years ago, I’m glad to say it doesn’t hurt at all. I love that when I want to have a makeup-free day I still have a subtle colour on my lips and eyebrows so my features are framed. I tint my eyelashes and use a lengthening serum at night – these serums work. I’ve used M2 Beauté, Revitalash and Rapid Lash and saw a massive improvement in the length of my lashes.

What’s the craziest beauty skincare/treatment/procedure you’ve tried over the years?

Anything that says ‘gets rid of cellulite’. I have been rubbed, pummelled, suctioned and electrified and nothing works. If anyone knows a treatment that works, I’d like to know!

Do you go to skin doctors or nurses?

I go to Peggy, Ann or Caroline at Monkstown Laser Skin Clinic at least five or six times a year. I get IPL and a mild glycolic peel with a hydra facial. I recently tried PRP ( aka the vampire facial) for the first time and found it fantastic. People were commenting on how great my skin looked for months.

I’ve also had ultherapy twice in the last six years, most recently with Dr Orla Grimes at The Beacon Face & Dermatology Clinic. And the results were fantastic. It’s a non-invasive laser that uses ultrasound light waves to penetrate the lower epidermis of the skin and boosts your collagen considerably.

What are your thoughts on Botox/fillers/tweakments?

Botox doesn’t work for me as I use my expressions too much. I tried filler in an acne scar a few years ago but it didn’t last.

Worst beauty trend of the moment in your opinion?

Young women making themselves look older by doing Botox and fillers way too soon.

Do you take any supplements for your skin?

Yes, I take Cleanmarine MenoMin because the ingredients not only balance my hormones, they give me more energy and improve the quality of my skin, hair and nails too.

Anything else we need to know about your beauty regime?

The 12-week blow-dry at Dylan Bradshaw Salon is a mini-miracle. I tried it before my holidays for the first time this year and it was a game-changer. I have lots of hair but it’s fine so it reacts to humidity and damp weather. The 12-week blow dry means I can just wash my hair and let it dry naturally without looking like a mad yoke! No more frizz! I’m also on a teeth-straightening journey which I’m very excited about as my bottom teeth overlap badly and one of my front teeth sticks out. I’m convinced they get worse with age, as I was never that aware of it before. My 12-year-old, Romy, needed braces too and was nervous and self-conscious about it so I said I’d do it with her. For both of us, Invisalign was the better option as you can’t see the braces. The team at My Dental couldn’t be nicer. We are two months in and so far so good.


Leonard Daly, beauty blogger, columnist and celebrity make-up artist, works with Ireland’s most beautiful faces but takes just as good care of his own too.

What are your core four skincare products that your skin can’t live without?

I love the Sally Cleanse from Skingredients – it contains 2 per cent salicylic acid, the highest amount of salicylic permitted in a skincare product in the EU, which helps to clear pores and reduce congestion such as lumps, bumps, whiteheads and blackheads while encouraging the skin to exfoliate itself. I swear by Liquid Gold from Alpha H – which resurfaces and brightens skin tone with alpha hydroxy acids. Every model I’ve ever recommended it too always calls to thanks me. And Skin Superfood from the Bia collection by Codex Beauty is a great all-round nourishing moisturiser.

Any beauty gadgets you swear by?

Clarisonic is the best skin-cleansing tool – I use the soft brush head for sensitive skin, as I tend it use it every day and the regular bristles are too harsh for such frequent use on my face.

Can you remember the first treatment you ever had in a beauty salon?

It was the early ’90s and very thin brows were in, let’s just say it was shockingly bad.

What’s the craziest beauty skincare/treatment/procedure you’ve tried over the years?

I’ve had the vampire facial done, it hurt, was messy as hell and I was not hugely impressed with the results.

What are your thoughts on Botox/fillers/tweakments?

I’m all for them. I go to Renew Skin clinic or the Dr Mulrooney Clinic for Botox. I don’t have any Botox at the moment – I have had it in the past but I’m trying out other methods to keep my skin younger-looking; I may be fighting a losing battle. I have fillers under my eyes to reduce the bags, which I love, it’s not super noticeable but made a huge difference to me. I also recently had micro-needling done with miso therapy and the results were amazing. But just be sure you are attending a highly qualified and long-established nurse/doctor/dermatologist. The fact that anyone can do a week-long course and then be able to inject fillers is terrifying.

Worst beauty trend of the moment in your opinion?

Giant lips – I wish people would understand that once their lips are inflated so much that the skin will stretch and they will have to have fillers that size forever. It’s not good.

Your beauty idol?

I have a few: Pat McGrath for make-up – she has done more for the make-up industry than anyone else. Dick Page is another make-up hero – I adore his light touch with make-up. Tracey from Codex Beauty is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met – her knowledge of what plants do what for your skin is almost witch-like!

Do you take any supplements for your skin?

I take Hush & Hush TimeCapsule Nutraceuticals, which are a blend of antioxidants and amino acids and lots of other good stuff to balance the body and shield against external aggressors. They have pretty much all your needs in two tablets, so no need to take any others.


Cork make-up artist, social media sensation and the founder of Luna Beauty and Luna Haircare range, Lisa Jordan lives and breathes the beauty world.

Do you pick up much beauty advice from the other influencers you work with?

The influencer community is great. I think we all pick up lots of opinions and tips from each other. We all try different brands and give each other feedback on the products we liked or disliked, so it’s great.

What are your core skincare products?

I am using the entire range from Australian cosmeceutical ASAP range since before Christmas and have noticed a huge difference in my skin. My favourite product is their DNA Serum and I have pigmentation from the sun and post pregnancies so when I don’t have time for make-up, their CC cream gives me an even complexion and my skin a bit of life while being part of the skincare pyramid as it contains antioxidants,

Any beauty gadgets you swear by?

I love the Jade Facial Roller. It is stimulating on the skin and it helps to boost circulation and push products deeper into the skin.

Can you remember the first treatment you ever had in a beauty salon/spa?

I always got my eyebrows done as a teenager. At the time, it made me feel so grown up, but looking back I probably shouldn’t have overdone it as now I have hardly any! Brow products are my saviour now.

Do you go for beauty treatments often?

I think it is so important to give yourself a bit of TLC, especially now that I am a mother of two. I love to get a spray tan if I have a special event and always get my nails done. I think when your nails are done, you feel like a million dollars.

What’s the craziest beauty craze you’ve tried?

I think we all tried the black peel-off masks over the years, and although I did like them, I was convinced they would pull the downy hairs on my face out and they would grow back darker.

Best beauty advice you ever received?

Wear SPF. I have worn it religiously for the past eight years, and I know it has prevented a lot of damage and lines. I have become so aware of this over the years, I won’t even sit out in the sun on holidays. I also make sure to put it on my daughters – you can never start prevention too young.

What are your thoughts on Botox/fillers/tweakments?

I think lip fillers can look great on some people, but terrible on others, when very overdone. I think Botox is great for people in their mid-30a or older as it helps to reduce lines that may appear as we age. I don’t think anybody younger should be getting these treatments unless they have very deep-set wrinkles or for medical reasons. I would also encourage anybody thinking about getting a treatment done to research the clinic or practice beforehand. Make sure they are reputable – one botch job on your face and you could be left with these results for life.

What kind of body beauty regime do you follow?

I wear tan four or five days of the week, so I am always in either prep or removal mode. I recently started wearing the Bare by Vogue Williams Self Tan Foam in Ultra Dark and I am so impressed. I love ASAP Revitalising Bodyscrub to help to smooth and exfoliate the skin – perfect for tan prep. After removal, I use my old reliable Nivea body moisturiser.

Worst beauty trend of the moment in your opinion?

For me, it has to be heavily coloured eyeshadow. I love a more natural eye, using a few soft tones. I wouldn’t be a fan of using multiple bright colours – I don’t think it enhances the eye, if anything it makes them look smaller.

Anything else we need to know about your beauty regime?

I always make sure to drink as much water as I can each day. You can buy all the expensive creams in the world but if your skin isn’t hydrated on the inside, they are not going to work.