It has been a long winter, but the sun is finally peeking its head out from beneath the cloud. It is April, so out of principle, it is time we got our act together and give our skin and beauty regime some much needed TLC. Luckily for you, our sister publication Social & Personal published their 2018 Best Beauty Buys this month, and I'm here to give you a sneak peek. Judged by our in-house panel of beauty experts -- Jodie Wood, Kellie Billings and myself -- we've tried and tested hundreds of products across makeup, skin, body, fragrance and hair to find the products we just can't live without! So sit back while I walk you through my top ten picks for brides that will transform winter skin into a dewier, perkier, happy state. Getting that bridal glow has never been easier.


Good skin starts with good skincare, and my first three picks come from the face category. Follow a proper cleansing, and moisturising routine and your skin will see the benefits. Not only will you have fewer blemishes well cared for skin will ensure a flawless makeup application.

1. Cleansers & Toners - Best Toner
Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid, €37.50

A cult-favourite skin resurfacing treatment it works overnight to stimulate healthy cells and radically improve complexion. Containing a potent blend of AHA's, including Glycolic Acid, it removes the outermost layer of dead cells from the skin, revealing brighter, fresher skin with fewer blemishes.

A lot of people skip a toner, shying away from the added alcohol and seemingly worthless nature of this skincare step. I, myself, always tone as I believe it preps the skin for moisturisation and will ensure full delivery of all those expensive ingredients found in our serums and creams. Also, I have always included some form of AHA in my skincare regime for some years now, so for me, this was a no-brainer. In addition, it works. Wonderfully.

If you haven't tried either a toner or an AHA, then I would recommend giving this product a try. If you suffer from skin congestion*, even more so. A word of warning, AHAs can cause a 'tingling' sensation with some immediate sensitivity, but this will pass with continued use and if you do introduce an AHA make sure to use a sunscreen as they make skin more prone to burning.

* If you suffer from severe skin I would always recommend seeing a dermatologist.


2. Moisturiser - Best Antioxidant
Avene A-Oxitive Water Cream, €29

A French pharmacy staple, Avene is my go-to brand for a reasonably priced workhorse of face cream that will deliver results and is gentle to the skin. Some accolade, eh?

Avene's A-Oxitive Water Cream is a daily defensive moisturiser that restores moisture to irritated skin and fights off free radicals. No doubt you are wondering where these free radicals come from? Exposure to UV, pollution and other stresses such as smoke and chemicals causes the production of free radicals and in turn, the death of cells which will show as dull, dry skin that is lacklustre and prone to breakouts. Sad Face. Our bodies do produce its antioxidant but once we hit 30 this process slows and this is when we start to see fine lines and collagen depletion. The introduction of an antioxidant will halt this process and reverse signs of ageing, banish dull skin and give your complexion a boost. So really, what are you waiting for?


3. Serums & Treatments - Best Moisturising
SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier, €90.65

The cornerstone of great skincare, hyaluronic acid (HA) is found naturally in the body and is best known for its incredible water retention properties. Treating the skin with HA helps replenish moisture while plumping out fine lines and wrinkles. I always tread carefully when advising people to add an expensive product to their routine. One size does not fit all and price must be considered. However, I and the team have no hesitation in recommending SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier for all. A stand out product, it is not your average H.A. serum, and not only comes packed full of HA goodness it also contains pro-xylane which encourages the skin to increase the natural production of hyaluronic acid.

Put your best face forward with my next two picks from foundation and lip. Giving flawless coverage and a kissable, fuller pout, these two products will up your beauty game.


4. Face Base - Best Radiant Foundation
Armani Luminous Silk, €49
An oldie but a goldie, Armani's Luminous Silk has been my go-to foundation for as long as I can remember. Giving a flawless, glowy finish, it isn't cakey and sits beautifully on the skin. If you haven't tried this foundation, it is time you hit up an Armani counter.


5. Cheeks & Lips Makeup - Best Lipstick
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, €30
Inspired by Charlotte's iconic Lip Cheat Liner of the same name, Pillow Talk is a wonderfully versatile pink/nude that suits all skin types. A non-drying formula containing 3D pigments that make lips appear fuller and wider, what is there not to love about this?

With all the focus placed on your face, the skin covering the rest of your body can be overlooked. Banish dry bits and give life back to ashy winter skin with my number 6 and 7.



6. Body Care - Best Body Scrub
Nuxe Deliciously Nourishing, €26.50
Banish your dry bits with this indulgent body scrub. With a delicious honey scent, this body scrub uses sugar crystals to exfoliate while a mixture of precious oils covers the skin in a light moisturising veil. Ideal for knees and elbows but as it is very gentle it can be used all over the body without irritating.


7. Tanning & Suncare - Best Deep Tan
Garnier Summer Body, €9.99
This everyday moisturiser contains a gradual tanner that builds with daily use for a deep and natural looking glow. With a non-sticky lotion, it gives good colour without any hint of orange. Reasonably priced, it is a must-buy.



8. Fragrances - Editor's Choice
By Kilian, Woman in Gold, €260
An indulgence, this fragrance is a luxury purchase with a hefty price tag but with a lasting scent that in my opinion is unparalleled. Lasting from dawn to dusk, apply the morning of your wedding and still smell this fragrance on your skin as you dance into the night. Without a doubt, my absolute favourite scent, purchase and you will not be disappointed. Treat yo-self!



9. Hair Conditioners & Treatments - Best Luxury
Sisley Hair Riteul Mask, €75
Good hair is nourished hair and adding a weekly hair mask to your beauty regime will guarantee luscious locks. On a daily basis, we put our hair through the wars as style and heat treat with reckless abandonment. A good hair mask will reinforce the hair follicle and nourish the very structure of the hair. Sisley's Hair Riteul takes skincare to a cellular level and works to repair and energise the follicle from its root. A fortifying complex it has arginine to promote hair vitality—along with rice proteins and a vitamin peptide (made up of amino acids and vitamin H, known for its role in treating hair loss) to densify the hair fibre as well as alpha-bisabolol (an active component of chamomile) to soothe the scalp. Et voila! Wedding ready hair that shines!

For more of our Best Buys see the April issue of Social & Personal. On Sale Now!


-- Danielle Farrell