Edwina Ings-Chambers: These are flipping fabulous!

From sunscreen to foundation, clever little compacts are having a moment.

Compact and bijou – or compacts and bijou: that’s the curatorial beauty mood I’m in this week. Suddenly I’m all about ye olde approach to styling make-up, one where it all comes in flip-top squat discs for on-the-go reflection perfecting. So much these days comes in squeezable tubes or innovative pens and whatnot that it almost feels revolutionary to handle a chunky circle. 

Not that the contents of these feel very traditional. In fact, that may well be why I’m grooving to them so much. Take StyleDry’s Original Dry Shampoo Compact Powder (£14.95, harveynichols.com), for instance. It’s all about dry shampoo with a difference: no aerosol, no nozzle, no overloading. Instead it is pressed powder that you apply with a brush (much like root touch-up brushes to cover greys) in a targeted way, even when on the move – and you can pack this in hand luggage on a plane with no drama. Plus, it works.

compacts
Natasha Pszenicki

Then there’s Clarins’ new Mineral Sun Care Compact for Face SPF30 (£27, clarins.com). I really love this stuff. Easy to chuck into a handbag, it’s a liquid formula that dispenses via perforations on the inside of the compact – simply press it down and some slivers of tinted sunscreen wriggle out (in only one shade though). It’s a great texture, feels lightweight on the skin and its results are like a cross between a CC cream and a foundation – with SPF, of course. It’s all still plant-based with organic filters including senna and baobab. The compact isn’t refillable but is made from recycled plastic. 

Lastly, there’s Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation (£13.99, boots.com), which has been reformulated to include hydrating hyaluronic acid and SPF30, so is new-ish. This is a screw-top lid (no flipping or mirror) and the revamped contents are the bee’s knees. I usually only use liquid foundations as I find they feel lighter and look more natural but this one glides on and doesn’t settle in lines. I’d probably use it on days when I wanted just that little bit of extra coverage but that doesn’t mean it looks or feels heavy. 

And worth noting…

Forget K, J and A-beauty – Korean, Japanese and Australian-inspired – which have been leading product and ingredient trends of late. Or at least set them to one side and allow space for a newcomer. For NI-beauty is having a moment: Northern Ireland. Yes, Ulster is suddenly in the frame as a place where some interesting brands are starting up.

There’s Vita Liberata self-tanning for starters. Then along came natural-haircare label We Are Paradoxx, which I was raving about just a few weeks ago (see Beauty Therapy: My New Hair Heroes). And now there’s Belfast-based fragrance brand Stories by Eliza Grace. I’m currently obsessing over the No 01 Eau de Parfum (from £80, elizagrace.com). It’s an elegant fragrance delivering old-fashioned glamour, yet it’s modern and steeped with an air of possibility. The notes include bergamot, amber, jasmine and sandalwood. 

Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers. Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson