Marian's Beauty Columns



Life, for me, is a party. One to which I’ve turned up in fancy dress when the invite said, “Casual Elegance.”

Life, for me, is a mystery. Where the Rule Book was handed out at the exact moment I’d popped to the loo.

Yes, life, for me, is a challenge, where I feel everyone else gets things right and and I am wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

I am speaking, specifically, of my ‘look.’ I feel like I spend my entire time lumbering around dressed as a Little Tree Air Freshener when everyone else is wearing a Tory Burch frock.

Sometimes, before I leave the house, I look in the mirror and think, “Not bad.” Then I get to wherever I’m going and I realise how wrong I was. No matter how hard I try, my look is always ‘off.’ Sometimes slightly, sometimes disastrously - my heels are the wrong height or my lipstick is too dark or I show up decked out in gaudy Spring pastels when everyone else is still rocking their elegant Winter knitwear. Often they snigger up their (3/4 length) sleeves at me. I know this. It’s okay. It’s my job to provide comic relief.

Now, let me tell you about my beautiful sister, the one who lives in New York. She is the total opposite of me, she is STREEMLY fabulous and very pulled together, the way New York-y women are. She has gorgeous long blondey hair, which she blow-dries herself, but which never has the audacity to go frizzy on her. She has an LV Neverfull, out of which she whips her i-Pad at a moment’s notice and taps at with pretty-but-elegant nails. She wears gorgeous cashmere tops in chic toning neutrals which highlight her stunning eyes but which would make me look like I died about 6 weeks ago. She has fabulous collar-bones and tiny wrists and picture-perfect threaded eyebrows. She can run in high heels and can fit in 3 separate social engagements of an evening and would never wear neon pink. She’s charming, bright and hilarious, I love her a phenomenal amount and feel extremely lucky to have her in my life. People have often openly expressed disbelief that we come from the same gene-pool.

Nevertheless! I’m after finding something which I’m convinced will help me in my quest to attain a perfect, pared-down, New York-y life. It’s a make-up brand called Aerin.  

Before I go any further, I will admit that it’s far from cheap and after me raving recently about my spensive Tom Ford foundation, you might think that I live a foncy, high-falutin’ life and the thing is, one of the most joy-giving things on earth, in my humble, is a nail varnish from Rimmel, which costs approximately 3 euro, so I’m not all about the dear stuff. (In the interests of full disclosure to you, I get free cosmetics sent to me the odd time, which is of course, utterly FENTESTISH but nearly every single item in my make-up bag has been paid for with hard cash and I would never rave or recommend something to you if I didn’t entirely totally love it myself. For example, for a long while there I wasn’t able to open my mouth without going on about Chubby Sticks but I’d just bought them myself in the chemist in Blackrock.)

And so, to Aerin.

There’s some saying by – I think – William Morris about (forgive the paraphrasing) not having anything in your life which you, “know not to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” This, to me, encapsulates Aerin.

Do you know about it? In fact, do you know about her? Because she’s a real person, she’s Aerin Lauder, the grand-daughter of Estee Lauder and she’s had a fabulous New York-y life, being beautiful and rich and palling around in the Summer in the Hamptons with Victoria Grayson and the rest of Revenge (the lines between reality and my fantasy world may be blurring a little here) and never putting a foot wrong ‘look’-wise and all that glamour and essential ‘right-ness’ has been distilled down into her make-up range.

It was only launched last September and in a world jammers with different cosmetic companies, struggling for an identity, it came fully formed. It’s a capsule range, is the best way to describe it. It’s high-end – extremely lovely quality – I had a go of some of the Autumn products and I can vouch for the radiance-giving-ness of the Illuminating powder, the creamy low-maintenance-ness of the lipstick and the non-gloopiness of the lip-gloss (although I am NOT a lipgloss person, that’s a discussion for another day.)

There’s an Essentials part of the range which is a constant – that has the foundation (a creamy block with excellent glidiness), Illuminating powders, make-up brushes and a rose-scented handcream that simply reeks of elegance.

Then, every time the seasons change, the eye, cheek and lip colours change to whatever is now and fashionable and hot and exciting. But! You only get a choice of 2 compacts! Yes! only the 2! Each compact contains the eye and cheek colours that are ‘right’ for now and will take all the guesswork out of things for someone such as me who gets it wrong so effortlessly.

The Spring colours are coming sometime in February – only another 23 days of January to go (already we’ve had 79 days in the month, it’s been a long one) – and they look so pretty and chic and elegant and they make me feel hopeful and in touch with myinner daffodil.

Can you see the picture? I’m looking at it right now and I’m thinking, “If only this was my life. If only everything could be as manageable and beautiful and ‘right’ as this.” Can you see the blusher yoke, the thing that looks like a flower? I’m particularly interested in that. But it’s so beautiful I think I’d have to frame it for a couple of weeks before using it. (I know this sounds like a naked plea for free stuff, but it really isn’t, I’m only saying, I’m simply admirin’ and savourin’ the beauty of it all, like you would with a great work of art.) 

I know it’s ‘only’ make-up but Aerin feels like my entrée to another world. Aerin make me feel like I’ve been let in on one of the secrets of the universe.

I feel that if Aerin ran my life, I could slick on the lipstick and pick up my compact in its delightful little floral case and run down the stairs in my high heels and out in the New York night and just generally be fabulous!

“Wear me,” Aerin promises, “And you’ll never feel like you’ve got your shoes on the wrong feet again.”