As a student, Laura would save for months to buy a great foundation or serum, and put a lot of research into ensuring she wasn't wasting her hard-earned money.

While pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy - a notoriously male-dominated discipline - Laura studied professional makeup artistry as a way to relax and learn more about the colours, textures and techniques that have always fascinated her. Originally intending to study makeup artistry just for her own pleasure, it led to a job with for two years. Later, the dream job of a beauty column with The Irish Times Weekend Magazine came up. Laura loves beauty just as much as ever, only these days she's concerned about ensuring that readers don't waste their hard-earned money.

You can find all of Laura's Irish Times Weekend Magazine Beauty Report columns here.