Louise McSharry’s top beauty product picks for 2023

Well, you did it. You made it to the end of 2022. This year felt long. So long, in fact, that I have been accidentally dating things ‘2023’ for about six weeks now. The calendar may not have quite moved on yet, but my brain is certainly ready to.

t’s not that it was a bad year, it’s just that we’re all in recovery mode from the pandemic, which was still in full force back in January. I can’t help but think that in the future, this will all feel like a blur, and we’ll struggle to distinguish individual events from the general feeling of being a bit unsettled.

With that blur in mind, I thought I’d dedicate today’s column to some products I hope we don’t forget about in said blur — these are the gems from 2022 that I’ll be taking firmly into the next 12 months.

I’ll start with the Irish ones, because they’re my favourite, and it is such a pleasure to continue to spread the great work of Aimee Connolly’s brand. This year, Sculpted continued to develop and release products that just work, without bankrupting you in the process. The Satin Silk Collection includes a longwear foundation and concealer (€30 and €18 respectively via sculptedbyaimee.com), which provide excellent and lasting coverage, without leaving the skin looking cakey or dehydrated.


Satin Silk Collection Longwear Foundation, €30, sculptedbyaimee.com

A little goes a long way with this one, so you’re unlikely to need to replace it quickly. With that in mind, make sure you get the right colour, easily chosen via the brand’s Sample Sachets, which are just €1.50 and available via their website.

Another foundation that millions of makeup wearers fell in love with this year is Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin foundation (€44 via arnotts.ie). This product is beautifully hydrating and provides buildable, medium, skin-like coverage. I find my skin looks healthy and glowing when I use this, which is all I’m ever looking for, to be honest.


Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin foundation, €44, arnotts.ie

Giving Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter a run for its money this year is Elf’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter (€15 via boots.ie), a similar product that provides luminosity under or over makeup and is much easier on the budget.


Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter, €15, boots.ie

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Now, to lips. Where once we were all obsessed with a matte look, these days anything goes. From stains to glosses, brands are racing to launch new, innovative formulas.


Fenty Beauty Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain, €19, boots.ie

Two worth noting from this year are Fenty Beauty’s Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain (€19 via boots.ie) and Hourglass’s Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm (€38 via brownthomas.com). The former delivers highly pigmented colour that will not budge for hours on end, while the latter is an incredibly comfortable formula that delivers high shine without any stickiness whatsoever.


Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm, €38, brownthomas.com

Fluffy, brushed-up brows continue to be in fashion, and there are countless products to keep them in place. Few offer the cement-like lasting power of Schwarzkopf’s got2b Glued 4 Brows & Edges (€5.99 via inishpharmacy.com), though.


Schwarzkopf’s got2b Glued 4 Brows & Edges, €5.99, inishpharmacy.com

If the finish of that is a little too crispy for you (and it is a little crispy, I’ll admit), then Refy’s Brow Sculpt (€20 via brownthomas.com) has become a cult classic for a reason. It offers excellent staying power without extreme stiffness.


Refy Brow Sculpt, €20, brownthomas.com

Buying Irish


True Beauty by Aideen Kate’s Sunset Red Duo, €34.99, truebeautybyak.com

If you are someone who doesn’t like receiving compliments, then look away now, because I’m about to tell you about a product that elicits them every single time I wear it. True Beauty by Aideen Kate’s Sunset Red Duo (€34.99 via truebeautybyak.com) is a lipstick and liner pairing that’s all you need for a flawless red lip. The liner is a true red, while the lipstick is a beautifully bright orangey red with a matte finish. This shade looks great on a wide range of complexions, from pale to olive-toned and deep shades. Comfortable to wear, with excellent staying power — I turn to this duo time and time again.

Something old…


Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, €34, mccauley.ie

I remember the first time I used Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (€34 via mccauley.ie) vividly, despite the fact that it was 30 years ago. (Yes, I’m old.) I couldn’t believe how quickly and effectively it broke down and removed my makeup, even the minimum 12 layers of mascara I was essentially dependent on at the time. These days, there are lots of cleansing balms and oils on the market but, at the time, Take the Day Off was a gamechanger, and it’s still a market leader because it’s so effective. Fragrance-free, this won’t irritate your eyes and, because a little goes a long way, the pot will last you ages (keep in mind it has a shelf life of six months).

​… Something new


IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm, €39, boots.ie

In my experience, IT Cosmetics products generally do exactly what you want them to, so it’s no surprise that the new Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm (€39 via boots.ie) does what it says on the tin. With minimal effort, this balm will loosen up and break down even the most stubborn makeup quickly. If you find your skin feels tight or stressed after cleansing, a balm like this is ideal, as it is gentle and includes vitamin E and rosehip oil, which brighten and hydrate. Simply massage it gently over the face and remove with a warm, wet facecloth.

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