Scrolling through Tara’s Instagram feed you may be forgiven for thinking she’s a native New Yorker. Born and raised in Ireland she exudes that effortlessly cool style synonymous with the city she lives in. Here at IMAGE, we not only follow her for her fashion looks but we’re also interested in her beauty regime. Her beauty look is always pared back and polish with lots and lots of glow. We caught up with Tara to get the lowdown on her beauty routine as well as discussing how make-up is approached differently in New York versus her home country.
Your look seems more about great skin than wearing lots of make-up, New York seems a lot more laid-back and low maintenance (at least on the surface) would you agree?
You're right. It's a different vibe completely, both styles are beautiful and artistic but very different looks. It's definitely an adjustment un-learning everything I grew up with (I was a total crazy eyeshadow MAC girl when I was 18) and starting from scratch. NYC is all about the youthful glow and rarely has that super matte look. I feel like NYC'ers spend more time on skincare and less time on makeup.
"It's all about 5-minute lips and cheeks in New York, whereas Ireland places more emphasis on foundation brows and mascara."
So what are the main differences are between beauty in New York vs Ireland?
It's just such a huge part of the culture in Ireland, makeup, glam, fake tan etc. We love to spend loads of time on that stuff. New York is more practical and there is zero shame in a bare-faced look. Generally, longer work days mean people would rather that extra bit of time in bed couldn't be bothered trying to make a full face last all day. Also the weather varies so much more in New York that you're just constantly trying to keep your skin balanced! It's all about 5-minute lips and cheeks in New York, whereas Ireland places more emphasis on foundation brows and mascara.
When you come home to Ireland do you feel under pressure to wear more make-up?
I always have a little chuckle when I notice immediately upon landing in Ireland I feel the need to wear more makeup, it's just in the air! When I'm home I'm usually pretty lazy though and I pack minimally so I try to just keep things fresh and simple.
"Perfect skin is very sought after here. Carrie should have added the perfect facialist to her famous quote "in New York you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment..."
In New York the beauty looks always seem so much more low key and laid back, but is that really the case?
Heavy looks seem almost out of place at times, the paired-backed look here in NYC is considered more chic and timeless. To be honest I don't even know how to do full glam on myself anymore! I think New York beauty is more about focusing on one element of the face and pairing back everything else, a strong eye would usually be with minimal everything else for example. People are always trying to get the effortlessly cool look and minimal editorial style 'model' makeup seems to reign supreme.
I love the New York beauty scene because it's a mix of Parisian chic but you can also have fun with artsy and abstract touches like eyeliner that would look a bit mad if you wore them back in Ireland! People are definitely more into facials and all sorts of skin therapy treatments in New York, it's almost a part of peoples routine to get regular facials. Perfect skin is very sought after here. Carrie should have added the perfect facialist to her famous quote "in New York you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment".
Your skin is always glowing- has it always been this way?
After a run in with chemical burn from a well-known pharmacy brand I had no choice but to get into a better skincare routine to repair the damage. I've realized that most of the time we place so much emphasis on makeup - covering up, hiding aspects of our skin and doing the bare minimum when it comes to skincare because makeup seems like a faster, easier fix. It's easy to get into a vicious cycle of not giving your skin a chance to breathe! When you start investing in great products and finding things that really make a difference to your skin you'll naturally feel like wearing less makeup because there's less to cover and feel self-conscious about!
"What I didn't realize before as somebody with dry skin is that my skincare couldn't work to its full effect because it was blocked by all the dead skin sitting on the top..."
My skin has always been clear but it always seemed dry and not very radiant or glowy. I was addicted to face scrubs (which caused some broken capillaries under the surface from being so rough). I switched over to chemical exfoliants like BHA's and AHA's which gently remove dead skin cells and are very popular and easy to get at the moment as they have a range of benefits. Aside from keeping things like blackheads at bay they exfoliate the skin and get it looking beautifully fresh and leave the skin feeling less congested. What I didn't realize before as somebody with dry skin is that my skincare couldn't work to its full effect because it was blocked by all the dead skin sitting on the top. Adding a chemical exfoliant primes the skin so that your skincare can do the absolute most for you!
What are your go-to products for glowing skin?
For dry skin/ colder weather a chemical exfoliant is a must. I've been using a brand called Paula's Choice, their RESIST 5% AHA Smoothing lotion for dry skin is a great start to my routine and can use it daily to keep scaly skin and blackhead congestion at bay (My acne-prone friends love the Glossier Solution as an acid option and they deliver to Ireland now!) If I need something stronger I use their 10% treatment once a week which makes my skin bright. I use a hydrating eye cream and high SPF everyday moisturizer, I'm enjoying the SuperGoop Superscreen at the moment as it also protects from blue-light skin damage caused my computer screens and phones.
"It seems like a lot but since turning 25 I've definitely noticed signs of ageing and everything I do is for preventative measures."
I have seen a huge difference since using serums and eye-creams too. Peter Thomas Roth's Potent C serum is such a stand out product for me - it lasts ages and adds such a radiant glow to my skin everyday. The Vitamin C in that over time has evened out my skin tone so much that I barely need any coverage from my makeup. I'd highly recommend adding a Vitamin C product into your routine as it also repairs the skin from sun damage as well as reducing dark spots. If I don't have time at night for a full pamper I love Caudalie's Vinoperfect overnight cream as it has glycolic acid in it that hydrates but also works like my other chemical exfoliants.
I also LOVE oils in winter - The Votary one is my favourite and gives my skin lasting moisture. It seems like a lot but since turning 25 I've definitely noticed signs of ageing and everything I do is for preventative measures. It's a good age to start paying more attention and investing in your skin. Prior to that just keep your skin hydrated if you have no major issues!
"I love enhancing my natural features and making myself Tara but the 2.0. version."
You often chat away on Instagram stories without make-up on, were you nervous doing this at first? And how do you feel about make-up free days now?
I have always been the type to be 'if you don't like me without my makeup on screw you that's your problem'. Of course somedays I wish I was super polished all the time but that's just not maintainable especially when I only put on a 'full face' maybe once a week. I love letting my skin breath. If I'm heading out but not doing anything special I'll cover my under eyes, neaten my brows and pop some glossier cloud paint (a creamy liquid product from Glossier) on my cheeks and lips. I love enhancing my natural features and making myself Tara but the 2.0. version. I don't want you to notice I have makeup on for my everyday look - I like it to be as seamless and skin like as possible! I'm always on the hunt for the next best thing and I think it makes me much more confident when I still look like myself.
Who is your beauty icon?
@KatieJaneHughes - I wish she could do my makeup everyday. She is a perfect example of making the skin perfect and leaving all the dimension of the face and skin in without having to use contour or highlight all the time. She makes editorial looks so wearable! She's one of the few people that gets me excited about makeup and skin and is total glow goals!