We Irish love a bit of getting dressed up, don't we? Whether that's an upshot of having no cash for so long as our economy languished in the financial doldrums, or then suddenly having pots of it (ooops, not any more), but over the last 15 years, we really seemed to enjoy - and embrace - statement dressing.
Needless to say, the fact that we might get it completely arseways a lot of the time is a topic for another post, but there's really nothing like a sequinned frippery or an embellished whatsit to set me off on a lust-have credit card rampage - and we won't even mention shoes. Walking cliche that I am, I just can't resist.
What I can resist, and resist very well, it seems, is buying boring work clothes. God, there's nothing more depressing than laying down cash for some feckin' boring auld top you'll only wear to meetings, and equally, there's nothing like buying sedate slap for work to depress a body. The fact is, I enjoy buying screamingly bright eyeshadows, ludicrous pairs of false eyelashes and oh-I-need-sunglasses bright lipstick. The stuff for day just pales into insignificance.
But as you get older and advance in your career, the need to present a professional face - literally - asserts itself. This totally depends on your line of work and as I've always had, um, 'creative' jobs, I've never really worried about this. What has become an issue for me is that some of the stuff I used to lash on isn't really age appropriate anymore, so I've pretty much said bye bye to glitter, spangles and OTT sparkles.
But putting their best face forward is a reality for lots of women who work in areas like corporate consultancy, finance and banking, and they simply can't lash on whatever shade comes to hand. They need to have subtle, flattering makeup to match their sober business suit.
The ubiquitous Bobbi Brown is a life-saver for gals like these. Her newest Nautical collection pastel palette is perfect for work, as are so many of her colours and textures. Laura Mercier's beautiful products are also a Godsend, but there's plenty more where that came from too.
This week, I'll be taking a look at some new - and not so new - products that are ideal for any of you working in a business environment, starting this afternoon with a look at Clinique's Bamboo Pink collection - so stay tuned!