Autumn hair updates for a stylish new season ‘do; waft fringes, subtle layers and halo-style highlights are back
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December 31st 2016 / 0 comment
Which products topped the GTG charts this year? Right this way for our picks...
2016 was something, wasn't it? Disappointing in many ways, but when it came to the launches in the beauty industry, well - that was another story. This year the team had a particularly tough time picking their favourite new products. But we did it and here's what we've loved and think deserves special mention.
There have been so many launches this year but one I’m going to write about the ones I seem to have used a lot. Firstly there’s Rosie for Autograph makeup, which I think is a brilliant and beautiful range at a great price point (just like her amazing underwear). I know there is a huge similarity between this and the Charlotte Tilbury range (which I think is even more fabulous by the way, my makeup bag is filled with the stuff), but this M&S collection is just great value. Plus, as a big fan of the 'no makeup' look, I can imagine Rosie wearing every single one of the products. The products I love the most in the range are the Cream Eyeshadow sticks, £18 which I literally swipe on in the mornings and smudge and go. I also adore the Lip Glossy lipsticks, £12 which are a twist up glossy balm in a beautiful array of colours from nudes to corals, and the Miracle Concealer, £14 which covers all manner of sins from spots to under eye bags on the go.
Secondly, I have loved using Clarins new Self Tanning Milky Lotion, £20 which I wore all summer long. I didn’t have a spray tan before I went on holiday this year (didn’t want to look too TOWIE) but just applied this. It has a really natural colour (it’s a real tan colour, yet not too full on) and it doesn’t streak, plus it has a lovely smell of figs and not the usual ‘eau de biscuit’ that normally accompanies self-tans. It’s a milk too so dries super fast and doesn’t leave skin tacky. I’m an absolute convert - and when people ask which self-tan I use I always now recommend this.
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, £299.99
Thirdly, I have loved using the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, £299.99. It is a thing of beauty and I think it has probably transformed the hairdryer market forever. I have very difficult hair which takes an age to dry and this makes light work of it. It is super light to hold and isn’t too loud (it’s not silent as people seem to think, but the noise is vastly reduced) and the motor is in the handle not the body of the hairdryer, which in turn makes the body of the dryer small so you don’t have to hold it about 20cm away from your head! A game changer indeed.
Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil, £18.50
As someone not naturally blessed with a set of power brows, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect brow-enhancing brush, powder, pencil or gel. I’m pleased to say that 2016 has marked the end of my decade-long search, with the launch of Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil. This beauty discovery has single-handedly revolutionised my brows and with it, the framing of my face. At one end of this wand is a perfectly angled brow pencil - soft in texture but with real staying power. The wedged-shape of this pencil means I can use the thicker end for adding coverage and volume to my brows, before creating finer, hair-like definition with the point for a really natural look. At the other end is a brow brush, which I use both to prep and polish off my brows - my absolute number one beauty buy of the year.
Having taken up cycling this year, I have been on the lookout for ways to protect my skin from pollutants on my commute to work. Omorovicza heard my calls and created Omoressence, the most luxurious, hydrating liquid moisturiser which both helps the skin retain moisture but keeps out the nasties (in London, you’re never far from environmental aggressors). The consistency is very lightweight and doesn’t sit on the skin – rather it’s quickly absorbed, leaving you to apply your moisturiser knowing that you’ve armed your skin with a protective layer rich in amino acids, vitamins and essential oils. I use it with their serum for an added boost and the overall effect is smooth, fresh (dare I say, ever-so lifted), luminous skin. At £75, it's definitely an investment product, but what I found is that a little goes a long way, and your skin will thank you for it.
When one of your heroes teams up with one of your favourite brands, it’s guaranteed to be love at first sight - and that’s how I felt when I saw the David Downton for Eyeko collection when it launched earlier this year. The iconic illustrator collaborated with the ’for your eyes only’ brand to create a beautiful cosmetic bag, eyeliner, mascara and brow gel, the ultimate kit for graphic eyes that are as captivating as the models in Downton’s infamous drawings. The eyeliner in particular is excellent; a silky brush tip, it leaves a highly pigmented, fluid line which you can draw with precision and ease, and after daily use (even atop my favourite cream shadow) it keeps its intensity and inkiness. Meanwhile, the mascara aids with curl and definition and the brow gel subtly brings a stronger frame to sparse brows. All this in easily one of my favourite ever makeup bags; stylish, just as you’d expect anything with Downton’s name to be, and essential for those of us who like to be a little artistic with our eye makeup.
Micellar water has got to be the invention of the decade with its little ‘micelles’ – cleansing oil molecules – suspended in water acting as dirt magnets and providing the speediest most effective removal of make-up and general debris. Not all micellars are rinse free - a fact that many tend to bury in very small print, while the skin around your eyes is busy stinging or drying out. I’ve fallen foul of that one a few times in the past.
Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water is a little more expensive than your average micellar, but you don’t just get excellent cleaning power but collagen-boosting peptides and soothing chamomile too. Bonus points for the hygienic press-down dispenser. I’m convinced you waste less than with a splashy bottle - my pot has lasted a good couple of months with twice-a-day use, making it better value for money that it might first appear. Balance Me is a trusted natural brand that seems to deliver with every product. Their first foray into the micellar market this year has been every bit as good as you’d expect.
I really had to up my skincare this year. I had a rather crazy spot breakout early on and my skin was all over the place so I was on the hunt for something to calm and repair. Enter hero product and life changer number 1 - Votary's Super Seed Facial Oil, £70. Created by renowned makeup artist Arabella Preston, this intensely nourishing and hydrating face oil contains more than 21 different seed oils, including chia, pumpkin and pomegranate, which work to eliminate redness, irritation, inflammation and dullness. It's fragrance-free, but has a wonderfully natural and earthy scent from the natural seed oils. I use this morning and night after cleansing as it's quick to absorb, sinking deep into the skin leaving it feeling hydrated, nourished and quite frankly, rather brilliant. There is a Super Seed Cleansing Oil that can be used alongside this oil too for a double dose of delights.
In equal amount of love sits the Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant, £18. I have always been a Dove 'spray and go' kinda girl, so a cream deodorant in a pot was hard to get my head around. But trust me - it's a life changer. The cream-to-powder consistency allows for fingertip application It's created using very fine, plant-based powdered botanicals such as arrowroot and pure kaolin, which sit invisibly on the skin to absorb natural perspiration throughout the day. With the fresh scent of peppermint and eucalyptus, its smells lovely all day - and their antibacterial properties will mean you survive the sweatiest of HIIT classes. This is one beauty staple that’s sticking with me right into 2017.
For me, this foundation is the makeup equivalent of relighting a fire with a compatible ex who has upped his game and pulled out all the stops to convince you he’s keeper. And he means it. Complex metaphor over, this reformulated base has swept me off my feet, as the first one did when I was only 14, but it’s come back better. With a more radiant finish than the first Superbalanced original, the Silk upgrade is altogether more ‘glidey’ on application and ‘glowy’ in terms of wear, while the texture feels lighter and creamier. Long-wearing without being cakey and in a more wearable spectrum of shades, it’s matte where you need it to be without masking areas such as cheeks and forehead where a bit of a gleam is no bad thing. Altogether, nailed it. 2016 hasn’t been all bad.
Benefit Brow collection, from £17.50
When it comes to launches of the year, Benefit’s 13-piece brow collection really left a lasting impression on me. With its shade range extended, its variety of brow enhancers well and truly boosted, there’s now a pick for any concern, whether that be sparseness, shape or colour. As the brand to beat in the current brow boom, it really offers something for everyone. My favourite pick? Precisely, My Brow Pencil, £18.50 - a dual-ended nib and brush power duo that expertly fills in gaps and adds definition subtly yet oh so effectively.
KIKO Skin Tone Foundation SPF 15, £15.90
Available in a whopping 39 shades (and six different undertones), this new foundation from one of my favourite brands has fast-become my current base of choice. Promising both inclusivity and wearability in equal measure, its silky texture and even finish have proven to be just the trick for helping me feign healthy looking skin when a series of late nights and early mornings have started to take their toll. With a texture that slips on like a dream, it offers the type of lightweight medium buildable coverage I look for in a cover-up, providing the most solid of foundations on which to base the rest of my makeup.
Having launched in Germany in 2008, Zoeva is a brand which I only discovered this year. I immediately fell head over heels in love with its design, colour range and product choices. The collection boasts all the hallmarks of a premium beauty brand, but at budget beauty prices. Aside from its cream eyeliner, which is sadly no longer in stock in the UK, my favourite launch of this year is Zoeva’s dazzling strobe gel In Corona - a generously sized pot of glistening, radiant pinky bronze gel that makes accents of your skin appear dewy and lustrous. At £11 if you buy direct, it’s an absolute steal that will last you a long time.
I am quite the liquid lipstick junkie, and finding something that matches up to my love of the Sephora Lip Cream Stain in 01 is a pretty tough feat. Sadly, that lipstick is incredibly difficult to buy in the UK so I've turned to this glossy lippy that’s far easier to get your hands on. This lipstick applies easily with a pigmented and glossy finish. It lasts incredibly well and leaves a beautiful tint on the lips that can survive both eating and drinking (and dancing through the night). It feels incredibly luxurious and my favourite shade, 409 has been my absolute go-to colour since its launch.
As someone who doesn’t generally wear foundation, picking a foundation for one of my favourite launches is a pretty big deal. I like a light base with only a slight amount of coverage. This foundation is just that. It’s easy to apply and with its cushion compact, it’s incredibly travel friendly too. For someone with extremely fair skin like me, the colour match is on point which can sometimes be hard to come by. This foundation adds a beautiful radiance to my skin and I can’t get enough of it.
October 16th 2020