February 19th 2016
The super beauty spring clean: what to buy, do and ditch this season
April 12th 2016 / 2 comments
Whether your skincare is way over its expiry date or your makeup needs a shake up, here’s your beauty to-do list
Beauty sales are on the up. According to soaring figures from giants such as Estée Lauder and stats from NPD Group that report a global 7% increase in prestige beauty purchases last year (13% in the makeup sector), the beauty forecast looks sunny indeed. Curious, then, that according to research conducted by Groupon as told to The Telegraph, 26% of UK women have been following the same beauty regime since the age of 18, with a fifth of of women in the 65-74 age group disclosing that they’ve not changed their beauty habits since their teenage years. 52% of us also repeat buy our beauty products, resisting the urge to dip our toes into what the modern day market has to offer. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with sticking with what serves us, but a little editing and experimentation around the edges is likely to not only add new energy, life and efficiency to our beauty routine, but it can also make us realise that what we thought was absolutely essential, perhaps isn’t. We’re encouraging you to see your daily staples in a new light this season, and here’s how…
DITCH foundation that doesn’t suit you
If you’ve been using your base for donkeys years, something may be awry. Firstly, slick modern textures and formulations offer the kind of flattering yet non-cakey finish that outdated models simply can’t pull off, and secondly, the colour range on offer has never been better. Don’t put up with sad old beige because it’s the closest option; as my fellow GTG scribe Ayesha knows, it’s possible to cover all bases. Estée Lauder recently expanded their Double Wear shade range to 44; the highest offered by any UK brand. If you’re concerned about finding your own unique needle in the haystack in terms of colour matching, I can personally vouch for the fact that the accompanying colour matching tool available on counter is the business; it pinpoints your closest shade to a tee. Given that Double Wear is the UK’s bestselling high-end foundation, offering no nonsense, long wearing coverage, the breadth of colour options is likely to revolutionise many a Brit’s makeup regime from now onwards.
DO ‘switch on’ your skin
From getting a glow to fighting wrinkles, skincare priorities have shifted according to culture and the seasons, but this spring the emphasis is firmly on ‘energizing’. A host of new at-home and professional treatments aim to put the life back into your skin, stimulating skin cells to up their game despite stress triggered by environmental pollution, less than virtuous lifestyles, hormonal fluctuation, UV exposure and um...stress itself.
Aiming to act as Lucozade for the skin, but far healthier and with long-term benefits, the new ELEMIS Biotec Skin Energising Skincare System has been three years in the making and is the brand’s most important and innovative launch since the eponymous Pro-Collagen collection. The patented BIO-ENERGY™ Complex fuses proven moisturising ingredients with a replenishing electrolyte solution and trio of acids to increase skin cell energy (read, function) by up to 27%. Turnover, protective action and reparative potential are all given a boost, and the brand’s ever popular facial treatments have been redeveloped to incorporate the new advances in skin research and technology. I’ve been using the Biotec Skin Energising Day Cream, £75, for almost a month and am impressed by the light texture, supple feel and refined effect on my skin. I’ve not spoken with skin cells directly and I’m still suffering the odd breakout, but any additional energy is most welcome given my erratic sleep schedule.
Another more targeted energy shot for the skin comes cutely packaged in the form of Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream, £22. It’s got less to offer on the tech side of things, but what it lacks in breakthroughs it makes up for in a well considered formula. Whether or not you apply it with the bright orange ball applicator (as fun as an eye regime gets), the silky, non-sticky cream plumps and hydrates thanks to a peptide and mineral pigment rich formula. Wear it under makeup to deflect fatigue during the day and for nighttime it restores much needed moisture. The future’s bright, the future’s orange.
Other new skincare wares promising enhanced dermatological vitality enrich the skin with a superior vitamin hit. Indeed Labs Vitamin C24, £24.99, boasts an impressive 22% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and is packaged in a stable manner so as to preserve maximum antioxidant, free-radical fighting goodness. The potent vitamin C content encourages skin to synthesise collagen efficiently and better guard itself from both internal and external aggressors. Over time, the skin will steel itself more effectively against ageing inflammation, discolouration and general cell damage that results in lacklustre skin, dryness and a loss of elasticity. Tread carefully initially; it tingles. Mix with your usual moisturiser to allow skin to adapt, or seek expert advice if you’re super sensitive.
With 40% more vitamin power than the original Total Effects range, Olay Total Effects Featherweight Moisturiser, £9.99, maxes out on energising pro vitamin B5 (5% to be exact) and strengthening antioxidant vitamin E to up skin smoothing clout without a heavy, greasy texture. SPF 15 offers a degree of UV protection, although you may wish to supplement this, but the illuminating, firming effects of this well-packaged beauty are felt immediately.
BUY into the facial oil trend
Apparently, we already are. Sales of facial oils grew by 30.8% in 2015 according to the NPD Group, and Teresa Fisher, senior account manager at NPD UK, thinks that our investment in a relatively new skincare ‘step’ proves that we’re more open-minded,informed and experimental beauty buyers than ever:
“The recent growth in the face oil market is important in a number of ways. Firstly, it’s boosting the prestige skincare market by increasing sales, and it also demonstrates the enthusiasm with which consumers adopt new rituals into their skincare regime. We are witnessing a new consumer who is increasingly turning to their peers for advice on products and take the lead from social media and bloggers. As a result they are willing to try new products and innovations, incorporating them into their beauty ritual.”
For a season specific, stress melting facial oil, de Mamiel Spring Facial Oil, £70, is as therapeutic as it is radiance enhancing. You’ll be luxuriating in it into summer and beyond.
DO lighten up
Just take it from makeup artist Alex Babsky:
“Traditionally spring makeup has a freshness to it and this was certainly reflected in the skin finishes backstage at the spring shows, so rather than the perfecting foundation you probably relied on to look polished for those Christmas parties back in winter, think about swapping to a more ‘real’ finish that mimics the skin at shows like Alexander Wang, Givenchy and Isabel Marant. If you're ready, try switching to a BB cream, or look for some of the new thinner, more fluid foundations that still manage to impart good coverage, or alternatively try a cushion foundation. For spring makeup, colour is also generally ‘prettier’ than its wintry predecessor, so swap some of those richer, more opaque lip colours for something lighter and more fun. Lancôme Juicy Shakers, £18, fit this bill perfectly, or try a light-textured lip crayon that you can also use on your cheeks - KIKO, Rimmel and Topshop all do great versions of these.”
DITCH suffocating primers
Ever applied a primer and had it roll around your skin or look oddly grey? Chances are it’s silicone heavy, and while a primer such as this can disguise pores admirably, silicone overload can also aggravate acne. Laura Mercier Blemish Less Foundation Primer, £29, takes makeup artist Laura’s cult, bestselling foundation base and remodels it to a lightweight, water-gel that anchors makeup while alleviating angry breakouts thanks to the addition of exfoliating, clarifying salicylic acid. There’s still silicon lurking, but the likes of soothing aloe and vitamin E mean that it doesn’t smother the skin.
BUY a bunch of flowers
By all means for your living room, but for your face as well. The new Fresh Rose Deep Hydration range may initially ring a familiar ‘rose in spring’ bell, but the addition of moisture-boosting marine algae in the Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum, £44, combined with time-release hydration technology in the case of the Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, £34, make these floral face savers anything but hackneyed. In vivo and vitro testing reveals impressive results in terms of moisture retention in particular. Rose may have been done to death, but not quite like this.
Out with the oud, in with the new. For a different bouquet entirely Vilhelm Parfumerie Lilac A Day, £145, aims to capture the fresh, green rush of a freshly cut lilac. A rare things indeed given that lilacs are slow and short bloomers. Delicate yet somehow musky at the same time, this eau de parfum is exclusive to Liberty, and as a new spring scent, it’s distinctive and unusual while still true to the flowery, new season vibes. One for budding (sorry) florists who are serious about their flora.
DO cut corners
Whoever said that you had to take the long road in life clearly hadn’t met Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo, £14.85. If you’re taking spring shortcuts, however, they need to be crafty, undetectable and actually worth your while. After grey haired, dry shampooed student days, I resolved to become a full on adult and wash my hair regularly once in full time work, for professionalism’s sake. The recent launch of this frankly outstanding dry shampoo however had made me reconsider.
Firstly, it delivers a fine mist of volumising and style refreshing rice starch and shine giving argan oil in a steady, veil like manner. No sudden fire extinguisher type evacuations from this can. Even distribution is everything. Secondly, the dark tone is honestly indiscernible in my deep brown roots. Other products promise this kind of undercover grease sapping and root boosting, but this one is the only I’ve identified so far that actually fulfils the criteria in a subtle fashion. It might seem like a lot to pay for a dry shampoo, but the time and styles saved, plus the generous packaging, make it worth it in my (albeit lazy) view.
DITCH nice and nude
Blush has its place, but a few spring greens will jazz up your beauty habits no end. Equally virtuous, Nailberry Green Therapy Collection, £14.50 per polish, draws on the likes of matcha and good-for-you greens (they’re vegan and cruelty free in name and by formulation, while Origins By All Greens Foaming Deep Cleansing Mask, £32, offers skin the kind of antioxidant rich detox that you’d expect from a vat of green juice. It does look rather Ghostbusters however; yourself and your loved ones have been warned.
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