The best of summer beauty products tried and tested

Laura Kennedy: These products will last you into the season to come and beyond

The talk of autumn is going to start creeping in soon. People will suddenly espouse the thermoregulatory benefits of eighty denier tights. Summer dresses will go on sale as brands make space for darker tones and heavier fabrics.

Across the nation of Ireland, people will place ice cream back in the freezer and be powerfully overtaken by the feeling that “a nice apple crumble feels about right” for some reason.

Crucially, though, we’re not there yet. I, for one, refuse to engage in this kind of autumnal quitter-talk until summer has gasped its final breath and fallen flat on its lifeless face.

In many ways, August is the best month. Everyone is tired and everything feels slower. Most of us are more engaged in the pretence of productivity than the actuality of it – it’s the ideal time to do nothing particularly important.


As a result, I’m casting my eye back over this summer to consider some of the best and most useful beauty launches to cross my desk since May. They’ll last you into the season to come (and beyond), of course, but that’s not the point. The point is to embody the spirit of August and linger in appreciation of lovely things.

First, we have the just-launched Jones Road Beauty Oil-Free Moisturiser (€42 at Jones Road is the creation of legendary make-up artist Bobbi Brown, who is deeply involved in every element of the brand. Anyone can use the products but they’re especially good for women over 50.

Brown, now in her 60s, astutely understood that women her age are often excluded from youth-obsessed beauty marketing. An oil-free moisturiser usually screams, “young, oily skin,” but it doesn’t have to. This one is a rich gelatinous delight, ideal for warmer weather, (yes) oily skin and skin prone to dehydration but, also, sensitivity to fluctuating temperatures. It plays beautifully under make-up.

Lip balms have exhibited arguably the most satisfying technological advancement in formulation over the last decade. They used to feel like an inert layer of cling film glued to hot, pinched, angry lips. Now, both dryness prevention and relief are easily accessible. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (€24 at Space NK) is a cult product for a reason. It’s hefty in proportion and cocooning in texture. If you dislike a lip oil and prefer something with a slightly waxier texture, you will love this. Sleep in it to prevent dryness ever becoming an issue.

Kosas is a brand new to Ireland through Space NK this year. While their concealer went viral on TikTok, it’s their Revealer Skin-improving Foundation (€40 at Space NK) that has booted all competitors out of my make-up bag since I started using it. I’ve raved about its clever undertones, buildable medium coverage, flattering radiant finish and 36-strong shade range here before – it’s been my go-to all summer.

For contour-meets-bronzer, the new Vieve Modern Radiance Cream Bronzer (€37 at is a winner. The light shade works (with a light hand) for fairer complexions, though it is buildable to a heavier finish if you prefer. While it has a glowy, flattering finish that blends wonderfully, it doesn’t contain sparkle, which is the death of subtlety in a bronzer.

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy is a contributor to The Irish Times