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Image / Beauty

A beauty editor’s guide to the products getting her through lockdown


by Holly O'Neill
05th May 2020
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Mood-boosting beauty is as important now than ever


“Nothing feels emptier at the moment than writing about beauty products,” I wrote on March 18. It was my third day working from home and a few days after Leo Varadkar’s announcement that schools would be closing, back when unscheduled government announcements and a daily news notification of the number of people that had died from or contracted coronavirus felt more like living in a zombie apocalypse movie and less like a gut-wrenching part of the daily routine.

Well, I’ll have to retract that now. I’ve written a lot about beauty in the time since, from the glamorous, like Tom Ford’s guide to looking good on Zoom, to the nosy, like inside the self-care routines of others. If I’ve felt a bit stressed, or overwhelmed, or had those moments in the day where, in between scrolling on Instagram and looking up recipes you won’t cook, you remember why you’re home on a Tuesday and everything stands still, it would seem I turn to a beauty product.

Chanel No 5, 35ml, €68

When I was asked to be on a podcast to talk about becoming a beauty editor, a little bit of Chanel No.5 perfume made me feel like a person who had things to say that maybe were worth hearing.

When I anxiously picked the last of my beloved shade of firetruck red Gelish off my nails, carefully painting on a couple of layers of a bright lavender nail polish served not only as a calming moment to myself but a moment of joy every time I looked down at my hands.

When I cried looking at a series of photographs in a newspaper one morning of tired and frightened doctors and nurses working frantically, Dr Hauschka’s soothing lemon and lemongrass Shower Cream helped me wash away the worry.

Dr Hauschka Shower Cream, €15.95

Let me tell you, my tan has never been better. Usually, I get three great days of glowing loveliness, then four days of wrists and feet that look like Tiger Bread. Well, I’ve found the secret — you need a tan primer — and now, no make-up days are no trouble with my week-round perfectly even tan. I mix a bit of St Tropez’s Purity Vitamins Self Tan for your face with moisturiser when I feel grey-faced on the inside and outside, and it not only tans my face but gives a hit of glow with vitamin C and D, which is really all I need now that we’ve all become apathetic to making an effort for the daily Zoom call.

When I need to rely on something more heavy-duty, Chanel has given their Soleil Tan de Chanel a revamp and the new Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream now gives even more dewy sheen to the skin.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, €45, coming soon

My skincare routine’s been great too: nothing has guilt-tripped me into following a steady routine like enforced time at home, but even if I feel too drained to really commit to it, a few drops of Charlotte Tilbury’s new Magic Serum Crystal Elixir is multi-powered enough to look after what I’ve neglected.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, €72

One product that hasn’t left my sight is a Kiehl’s lip oil — it’s called Love Oil for Lips, the red one — that I entirely ignored until my lips became suddenly very parched, weirdly, like I’ve heard from many others at the moment. It’s beside me right now, and I’ve been bringing it from room to room with me as I go around the house.

It’s so comforting — it has a silky feel, relieves all feeling of dryness but, best of all, leaves a subtle, blotted stain on the lips like you’ve just finished an orange ice-pop.

Kiehl’s Love Oil For Lips, €20

On sleepless nights, I spritz Jo Malone’s Lavenderland Pillow Mist on my pillow to help drift back off again. The next morning, I let a bold red lipstick conceal the sleepiness from myself. Though in a bullet, red lipstick gives life back to the face, and I’ll remember that power next time I diminish the potential of something as small as beauty products to bring a joyful, peaceful moment.

Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.

Read more: Self-care Diaries: Erika Fox, the influencer using all her good facemasks in lockdown

Read more: Self-care Diaries: Zoë Taylor, the Chanel ambassador and make-up artist baking tarts with glowy skin

Read more: I had a Zoom call with Charlotte Tilbury to talk about her new serum