Products that call themselves 'magic': Tried, tested and revealed

Are 'magic' products all they promise to be? Aisling Keenan, the most skeptical beauty editor this side of the Liffey, weighs in...

I have become terribly cynical over the duration of my life as a beauty editor. I have to stop myself rolling my eyes each time a brand tries to dazzle me with a "never seen before ingredient we uncovered in the depths of the Arctic Ocean that keeps seals looking young FOREVER!". I am over such claims. I want your clinical trials and nothing more, thank you very much. But while cynicism is threatening to take over, I'll always remain open minded - that's my job, after all.

A combination of my open mind and my cynical beauty eye led me to trial a heap of products that call themselves 'magic'. To dub a product magic is quite a statement. The dictionary definition is "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces", and even THAT skeptically contains the word "apparently". I decided to trial three of the most prominently magic products on the market and see if any deserve the title.



Egyptian Magic All Purpose Cream for skin, €39.99

This one contains so many great things. The ingredients list reads like you've walked head first into a beehive, but without any of the inevitable stinging. Honey, beeswax, olive oil, royal jelly, bee pollen and bee propolis all combine and can, according to the brand, "tame your hair frizz, eradicate dry skin, smooth and soothe chapped lips, moisturise your face or use as a make up primer." The list, they say, is endless. I tried each of the things on their list and found the following: My hair is too fine and too thin to handle something so rich attempting to tame frizz. It did smooth and soothe my lips and worked as a makeup primer, but wouldn't be my first choice for either. Overall, I didn't hate it but it certainly didn't wave its magic wand over me...


Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, €90


I really, truly love this product. I am happy to agree with Ms Tilbury when she calls it magic. I use it when my skin needs a treat, sometimes pre-makeup, sometimes pressed into my skin over makeup for a boost of hydration and brightness, sometimes under my eyes in the middle of the day when my powder has settled into my lines. There's a lot it can do. Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, a collagen production stimulator, soothing frangipani and SPF15 all in one beautifully presented product put this firmly onto my must-haves list, and on the shortlist of products I consider to have magical properties.



Isle of Paradise Over It Magic Self Tan Eraser, €23.99

I wasn't expecting much from this tan eraser as I had been so badly burned in the past (not literally, thank god) by products claiming they remove tan that didn't come up with the goods. So this, which combines "naturally derived glycolic acid with micellar water, and containing avocado, chia seed and coconut oils to brighten the skin", promises a hefty amount of magic. Fresh, toned, nourished and tan-free skin? Really? Actually, do you know what... It was a little bit magical. It took my tan off better than any other chemical tan remover I'd tried (as opposed to some super mechanical removers I've tried) and it didn't feel like I was stripping my skin as I did so. Post-shower my skin felt good, even before I slathered on my body moisturiser.



The image newsletter