From micro-needling spot patches to winter SPF, mega mascaras and supplements for sleep, we'll be buying these on repeat
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It's our job to bring you the latest and greatest finds in the world of beauty which means we're using an ever-evolving lineup of products (check out our latest favourites in our weekly Glossy Picks edit of newness ), but every so often we try something so good, we use it down to the very last drop. Here we reveal all of the beauty and wellness products our staffers finished this month.
Victoria Woodhall, GTG Editorial Director
"I'm with Trinny Woodall on Hairstory New Wash, neither of us uses anything else on our hair now. It has changed the condition of my hair making it less dry and smoother to style as well as taking away any feelings of itchy scalp . It's not a shampoo or a conditioner (or even a co-wash ) but replaces both of them. It works by grabbing onto the dirt but leaving your natural scalp oils behind, so you don't strip the skin dry. This can lead to overproduction of oil to compensate and an endless cycle of greasy hair and washing. I really do have to wash my hair a little less now, and I don't miss conditioner because my hair is left soft.
"You need a scalp brush to work it in as it's non-foaming, but this comes in Starter Kit . It's good for the planet too, biodegradable and recyclable packaging. I like the 'Rich' version for dry hair and I alternate this with the Original, which works for all hair types. There's also a Deep if you're on the oilier side or need to remove build-up. My whole family uses it on subscription – my son's dandruff is now gone. Definitely a game-changer."
"I went for a facial not so long ago and the therapist remarked more than once how soft my skin was. This has never happened. I'm a long-term dry skin sufferer; what had changed? I can only put it down to this hydrating gel serum, which I really miss when I don't apply it first thing in the morning under my antioxidant serum as it saves me for 4 pm 'dry face. It uses liposomes (fat encapsulation) to deliver hydrating and age-proofing ingredients deep into the skin as well as acting as a conductor too for whatever I put on top. The original Moisture Liposome Serum has been Japan's best selling serum for more than a decade and the new 'Advanced' version has been turbocharged for more mature skin and strangely works out cheaper than the original. For the admittedly still-not-budget price, you get around three months worth of touchably-soft skin."
"CBD is one of the more confusing ingredients and for a long time, I avoided taking it internally because I simply didn't know how much I to use and sometimes struggled with the taste. Oto takes the confusion out dosing with a measured pipette and pleasant mint/lavender aroma that delivers 50mg of CBD under your tongue (the maximum recommended daily dose is 70mg). I hold it under my tongue for as long as I can - ideally two minutes - so that it's absorbed into the bloodstream and can get to work in 20 minutes; if you take a capsule it can take hours to work. (For more on best CBD sleep drops read our reviews and doctors' advice. ) I struggle with sleep and this really does take the edge off a whirring mind."
"A nutritionist once told me that when you are stressed you burn through magnesium, which is vital for 300 bodily processes supporting everything from muscles to bones, gut motility and anxiety. What's more, modern diets are less magnesium-rich than those of our ancestors and so it's increasingly difficult to get as much as we need through food. On the advice of a nutritional therapist, who recommended the 'glycinate' form of magnesium for stress relief and also getting the gut moving, I take two of these at bedtime every night. It relaxes my muscles, eases my teeth grinding and helps calm my mind for sleep. And bonus - it helps me go to the loo in the morning."
Melanie Macleod, GTG Digital Writer
"This bumper-sized mask gets 10/10 for me when it comes to value. I used it around three times a week and it lasted about three months – all for less than the price of a coffee! The fresh watermelon smell was one of the things that kept me reaching for this, but also the fact that it genuinely made my hair feel fuller and look shinier. They call it a three-in-one because you can use it as a hair mask if you leave it on for three minutes, a traditional conditioner (just apply and rinse out) or you can leave in a small amount to make it a leave-in conditioning treatment. I mainly used this in place of my normal conditioner. It's ultra-lightweight, yet nourished my hair more than the thick conditioners I normally use. The formula is silicone-free and vegan and if you see this on the supermarket shelf, I highly recommend adding it to your trolley."
Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, £12.23
"Another super-sized beauty buy that lasted me months, I've been using this in the morning in the shower since the summer and was disappointed to reach the bottom of it in January. It's an ultra-mild, oil-controlling cleanser that makes for the perfect morning cleanse for when you just want to wake your skin up and make it feel fresh for the day ahead. Designed for blemish-clone skin, this always made my face feel extra clean, without being harsh. I sometimes used it in the evening too, if I'd had a makeup-free day. "
"Annee De Mamiel, the founder of this brand, is known as a stress expert and creates products to soothe the soul. This ultra-luxe bath soak certainly did that, making my evening baths blissful and helping me to sleep well even when I was riddled with worries. It combines Himalayan, Epsom and Dead Sea salts with magnesium flakes for an anxiety-easing medley of potent ingredients. I know this is pricey, but if you're struggling to sleep, I highly recommend investing in a pot of this miracle-working soak."
"When I had my hair dyed by the queen of balayage Samantha Cusick last September, she sent me home from her Fitrzrovia salon clutching this hair mask, which I religiously used once a week until it was empty (and then repurchased). Just ten minutes with this mask helps repair broken bonds in damaged hair, for healthier, shinier locks. Normally during the first wash after I dye my hair it tangles up like a birds nest, but this mask allowed me to run a comb through it easily that first wash and every time after. It has avocado and hemp oil in the ingredients to nourish the hair and if I'm ever blow drying my hair, I make sure to use this before and it always straightens out so much easier."
YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum, from £44.80
"This intoxicating scent is my party season perfume. I reserve it for wearing in December when I want to go full glam and my perfume needs to fit the vibe. With December a bit lacklustre last year, I decided to continue wearing this into January and it certainly brightened up this bleak month. If you're not familiar with Black Opium, it's a heady, sweet, opulent perfume that whispers 'debauchery' to me. See you again next December, Black Opium!"
"I've tried many liquid eyeliners, but none can compare to this budget buy from L'Oreal. I've been using one iteration or another of the brand's Superliner liquid liners for years and I'm yet to find one that creates the same defined, ultra-black, sweat-resistant flicks as this one. It has a flexible, felt tip nip that makes drawing lines easy and if you make a mistake it wipes off cleanly so you can start again. When this finished I moved onto Pat McGrath's Perma Precision Liquid Liner , £25, and while it creates razor-sharp lines, it transfers onto my upper eyelids at the first sign of oil, so I quickly switched back to my ever-trusty L'Oreal."
"I only had a tiny 30ml sample size of this cleanser, so it's no surprise it's in my empties this month, but I liked it so much I'm planning to add a full-size one to my next beauty order. A favourite of singer Lizzo , who uses this in her morning routine, this feels refreshing and cooling to use, with French clay to pull out impurities and rice oil esters to soothe and nourish. I'm hoping a full-size version will help my skin to look like a flawless ceramic doll!"
"I love lighting a wind-down candle of an evening and this one from Neom is my current favourite. I have the matching sleep spray too and teamed up they make for the perfect pre-bed ritual. This candle has 19 soothing essential oils inside including jasmine and sweet basil but the most recognisable is lavender, which is what sends me into a dreamy, sleep-inducing state. This candle burns cleanly all the way to the bottom, so there's no waste which is another plus in my book."
Jemma Thompson, GTG Graphic Design and Social Media Manager
"I always have a good start to my day when I use this in my morning shower. It's energising, upbeat and just what I need to get my day started. It won silver in our 2021 Beauty and Wellness Awards , so I'm not the only one who rates this! It contains 100 per cent natural essential oils and has a zingy revitalising scent of spearmint, rosemary and eucalyptus, plus it leaves my skin feeling hydrated, fresh, and a little tingly too,"
"As much as I wanted to refrain from falling in love with a celeb beauty brand, Keys Soulcare whisked me off my feet last year. So much so that I had to stop myself from including multiple empties from the brand this month. However, this face moisturiser is by far my favourite find from the range. It’s incredibly nourishing and just as the name suggests, truly transformative. Suitable for all skin types, fragrance-free and packed with bakuchiol (the plant-based retinol ) I apply day and night and my combination skin always feels super soft, plump and replenished afterwards."
"When I finish a perfume, especially one I've been savouring, I always feel a little proud of myself. This was a gift a couple of years ago for Christmas and it's become one of my most complimented scents in my fragrance wardrobe. If you like long-lasting warm and feminine scents with vanilla and woody notes, I would certainly recommend trying this. Plus, the luxe alchemist style bottle looked great on my dresser too."
"This mascara from Charlotte Tilbury is just phenomenal. Take it from someone with incredibly short stubbly lashes, this does wonders. It ticks all the boxes: volume, length and lift. It’s quite a glossy wet mascara too, which I absolutely love. If you’re after lashes that look false (in a good way) and eyes that pop, this is it. Plus, it retains a curl too so I don’t find myself pushing them up throughout the day – bonus!
"One-part cleanser, one part exfoliator and one part mask, this is a product that does it all. It’s simple, gentle and oh so effective. I like to use daily as my evening cleanser as it effortlessly washes away any makeup, dirt and oil, plus it gets right in and decongests my pores. It contains hyaluronic acid, argan oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E, all of which work together to hydrate, soothe, relax and balance my skin, especially when I have breakouts."
"I wouldn't normally associate seaweed with self-care, but this nourishing seaweed and sugar scrub has won a place in my weekly routine. This floral gritty exfoliator, scented with lavender and rosemary, uses seaweed, almond, and sunflower seed oil to switch my dull, dry skin from drab to fab. I adore how silky smooth and soft my skin feels afterwards and I never have to use body lotion or oil when I've used this, I’ll definitely be repurchasing before I get my legs out in the summer."
Amy Rostas, GTG Beauty and Social Media Assistant
Bali Body Face Tan Water, £25.95
"This has been my winter skin saviour throughout these cold months, which is probably why it's now among my empties. It includes jojoba oil and rose water, so leaves my skin feeling hydrated, plus it doesn’t have that dreaded fake tan smell. A real positive point is that it dries really quickly, so I can apply my skincare pretty much straight after, morning or night. The colour is gradual too, so it's perfect for anyone who wants a little healthy glow while the sun is still hiding."
"I’m so sad I’ve come to the end of this can. The smell is something I’m convinced I know from a young age but I can't quite place it, all I know is it’s associated with good things and I’m here for it! This really does perk my hair up without leaving a white cast and U always use this to get me through to wash day. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling itchy so gold stars all around."
"When I was younger I was anti-SPF as I was convinced it gave me spots and made me feel so oily and gross, but over the last few years, I've forced myself to use it daily and found it's actually helped to strengthen my skin barrier. This particular choice feels very lightweight and non-oily (although it is a bit greasy when you apply it, but that feeling disappears after a few mins). I’ve been using the two-finger method of application, so I have gone through this quickly - but that’s okay, all in the name of skin protection!"
Glossier Futuredew, £23
"I only got this when I visited the Glossier store in Covent Garden at the start of December and I’ve already finished it, which shows how much I love it. I’ve never looked so radiant before – it's the first oil serum hybrid I have ever tried and I’m hooked. It’s slightly thicker than a serum, so it keeps my skin hydrated for longer leaving me very glossy and glowy."
Catherine Fulwood, GTG Commercial Manager
Acropass Trouble Cure Patches, £17.99 for 6
"Having thought I’d left my breakout days behind me, donning a mask and trotting around London to meetings has definitely taken its toll on my skin, with a couple of teeny tiny pimples popping through. I thought I’d give some spot stickers a try in the quest to banish them.
"These Acropass ones have a microneedling sensation which feels like it’s really penetrating the offending pimple and surrounding area. Having not ever used spot patches before (I know, where have I been?) I was surprised by how I couldn't feel them on my skin at all. I left one on overnight and woke up with a glowy and pretty ‘flawless’ face the next day. I am a bit of a wriggler when I sleep and vaguely remember removing them at about six in the morning, but they still had eight hours working their magic and I’d say that’s more than enough."
"It normally takes me an age to get through my Wild natural deodorant refills, but more gym trips in January and social events in December means I finished mine much quicker this time! The thing I love about Wild is they constantly have new scents to try so it means when I run out I get the fun of choosing my next flavour."
" Bath oil is an essential in my house and I am not one for a delicate pour. In fact, if I could bathe in a whole tub of bath oil I’d be over the moon. What draws me to the Rituals 2 Phase Oil is the fun of shaking it prior to pouring it in a hot bath, plus it’s a big old bottle and lasts a little longer than my usual week! The sweet orange and cedarwood scent lingers in the bathroom and doesn’t leave my body feeling oily or sticky after, making this a definite repurchase!"
"I’ve taken to washing my hair just once a week and doing the sleek, slicked-back vibe the other six days (with a leave-in mask, obviously, rather than full-on grease!). So when the time comes for my weekly wash, I definitely need a good old scrub to get rid of build-up and leave my head and hair feeling squeaky clean. Ouai can always be trusted to deliver. The best thing about this is that you can use it all over your body too, for a full exfoliated, smooth bod - don’t worry I do wash the rest of me more than once a week."
Verity Clark, GTG writer
"This is without a doubt my most used hair product, I use this stuff every other day without fail. It not only mops up grease on dirty hair but actually makes it feel clean rather than as if I’m covering something up. I have dark brown hair and not even Poirot would be able to find any white residue in my hair after using this. A friend borrowed this recently and asked, ‘what is this stuff? It’s magic.”
"I’ve been using this alongside the Romilly Wilde Advanced Supercell Serum , £66, which I loved. I know a lot of people have an issue with oils but I like them for the sensory aspect and this one is made with plant and flower oils and has a lovely calming scent, so I really take the time to massage it in. Although it says you can use it morning and night, I’ve only used it at night because I do find that it’s fairly greasy and takes a while to sink in. Having said that, when I wake up there’s zero oil on my face or pillow."
Benefit Hoola Mini, £12.15
"An oldie but a goodie. Even though I’m a beauty editor and am lucky enough to try lots of different products, I keep going back to this classic bronzer. I’m not one for glitz and glam so I’m a fan of the matte finish here. And in keeping with my desire to look like me but better, the colour payoff is more weekend-in-Wales than week-in-the-West-Indies. My only gripe is the brush; the square shape means the application is very heavy so I always swap it out for a fluffier brush."
Maybelline Sky High Mascara, £9.99
"This mascara went viral on Tiktok when it launched, with the internet going crazy for its supposed lash lengthening ability. I have pretty long lashes so that’s not really what I’m after but what I love about this mascara is that the flexible, conical brush gets to every single lash so it really separates out my lashes which helps to open up my (tiny) eyes. We all know that layering mascara usually means clumping, but not here. Lovely, fanned out lashes are the name of the game, even after a few wand wiggles."
Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG Contributor
"January is the cruellest when it comes to dry skin, so I've been tearing through products that soothe my irritated skin. First up is the Weleda Lavender Body Oil which is the perfect post-bath pick-me-up. It’s easy to apply, takes no effort to massage in and always leaves my body satiated and soft. The calming effects of lavender help with a good night’s kip too. Plus it’s organic."
"This serum packs a powerful hydration punch. I apply it to my face before moisturising in the morning and have really noticed the difference in how plump my skin looks. It has a high-tech formulation that is deeply nourishing, with four types of hyaluronic acid, plus aloe vera and tea tree. It’s an investment buy which I’m saving up to replenish."
"I’m almost at the end of this 30-day treatment and my skin is definitely feeling the love! The one-a-day vials are designed to smooth wrinkles and dryness and I've been massaging them into my face after cleansing. It contains a unique barley growth factor which leaves the face feeling super smooth and I'll be sad to send the end of this skincare ritual."
Caudalie Crème Tisane de Nuit, £33.60
"I’m a long-time fan of this night cream, which I ran out of back in December and saved for my empties so I could sing its praises. It’s one of my go-to face creams because it does the best overnight job of deep hydration and skin regeneration, so I wake up with juicy, fresh skin."
"My final empty is a special one. It's a multi-tasking body treatment for fragile skin areas that are prone to damage and bruising (think elbows, knees and ankles). During lockdown, my elbows became dry and cracked making any forearm exercises ( planks , for example) uncomfortable. I tried all sorts of lotions and potions and this is the only one that worked. My husband has been using it on his shins too, so we’ve run out faster than I would have liked!"
Hattie Sloggett, GTG Contributor
"I admit I can be lazy when it comes to courses of treatments because I forget, am too busy, or just want to get into bed smothered in Pond's Cold Cream rather than fuss about learning how to use something new. However, when the wonderful Dr Maryam Zamani sent me MZ Skin's five-day hydration boost regime I stuck it out and boy was I impressed. It's super easy to understand due to the labelled ampules and super effective, given that my skin is visibly more hydrated with less visible fine lines, this is some powerful stuff which is just what my dry winter skin needed."
"I am obsessed with this cleansing oil and although it is now in my empties, I was amazed by how long it lasts. A little really does go a long way. This rosehip oil melts away dirt, makeup and grime and leaves your skin softer, plumper and more nourished in the process. I cannot sing the praises of this unassuming bottle of magical potion enough. A combination of rosehip, avocado, argan, sweet almond and hempseed come together in pure perfection."
"I'm almost positive this product could last longer however I have become addicted to using it and now it's empty. I use this spray all day, every day. In between every step of my morning skin routine, at least once an hour while at my desk and to freshen up when I change from day jammies to night jammies, to hold in place my makeup, between every step of PM skin routine and then, just for good measure, a little light spritz when I get into bed. It tones, rehydrates, blurs lines, protects from pollution and creates a luminous glow that makes me feel so damn happy."
Florena Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream, £18.70
"The epitome of small but mighty, Florena's Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream is the perfect balance between feeling like it's doing something and not looking so dewy you look like you've been at a spin class for the last 45 hours. The consistency is creamy and thick but soaks straight in, giving you results in seconds without sliding all over your face and providing what I call 'sweaty shine'. This contains fermented hyaluronic acid, honeysuckle and olive oil for all-around softer, smoother, plumper looking skin. So..... if someone can get it to me by the bucket-load, that'd be great! Thank you!"