We have made it halfway through January, with luck mostly intact, but it is a difficult month. It can be roughfinancially, days are still long and dark, and it can take some time to bounce back from the Christmas season, which is not particularly kind to skin or wellbeing. If make-up, hair and skincare give you a little joy, and you can scrape together a modest amount of money, some affordable but clever products can help brighten your early-new-year days.
My hair is normally infuriatingly oily, but central heating and festive excesses leave me feeling as if I’m wearing a woolly hat. Detoxes are mostly nonsense (that’s what your liver is for), but a good scalp cleanse is the sort of detox I can get behind. Vichy Dercos Nutrients Detox Range (no 1 in the photograph; from €11 at pharmacies nationwide) leaves hair and scalp feeling fresh and comfortable.
At glum times when I don’t feel at my best, I find that minimal-effort details make an enormous difference. A bright wash of blush – I recommend Rimmel Maxi Blush in Third Base (no 2; €7.25 at Boots) – whooshes life back into tired faces and accentuates eye colour.
Two or three individual false-lash clusters, placed at the outer corner of each eye, enhance the eyes and give a more groomed finish. I like Kiss Lash Couture Faux Lash Extensions (no 3; €8.50 from selected pharmacies and Dunnes Stores). Applying them takes less than a minute, and you won’t need eyeliner or much else around the eyes.
A good concealer will be your kindest companion this month. The new Elf HD Lifting Concealer (no 4; €4.99 at Penneys), which is modelled after a luxury bestseller, has a nice texture and provides good coverage. My only gripe is that it comes in just three shades, making it a no-go for most people, but if one of them works for you, it is a good way to spend a fiver.
Finally, there are Isle of Paradise Light Self Tanning Drops (no 5; €22.49 at Boots), the best tan release of last year. The body-positive celebrity tanner Jules Von Hep has made a tan that is perfect for the Celtic complexion. It leaves skin not orange but golden, just taking the edge off pink-toned winter skin – which is immensely cheering.