It's a good sign when we have to put a 'hands off' sticker on our products to keep family members away, or when we've already repurchased something because being without it is unthinkable. These are the products that impressed us so much, we've used them to destruction
We are very lucky to try out the latest products so that we can tell you which ones are worth your time, attention and money. Sometimes we use them a few times to get a good sense of what they're about and then pass them on to willing friends or family to finish, but then there are the products that really wow us and become an essential fixture of our bathroom cabinets and makeup storage. Every month, we bring you our empties edit, and this month they include a brilliant body wash from Naturium, suitable for the whole family and with an unbeatable price tag, a new mascara from Jones Road that does everything a great mascara should, as well as a surprising scented candle and a makeup classic that everyone should try. Enjoy!
SJ Corfield-Smith, GTG Beauty Director
“While £18 sounds pricey for a body wash, this bottle is so huge (500ml) that it is actually very good value. It’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser; my husband loves it and my daughter uses it on her sensitive eczema-ridden skin as it's non-drying and fragrance-free. But what it lacks in scent, it makes up for in texture. It begins life as a silky oil and transforms into creamy milk. It is continually sold out thanks to everything I’ve just mentioned so if you see it anywhere, grab a bottle (or two) immediately.”
“This tells you on the packaging that it's a ‘cult classic’ and deservedly so. America's top-selling cleanser lives up to its hype. Why? Because it does exactly what a great cleanser should: cleans away dirt and makeup while leaving my slightly oily skin feeling hydrated and bouncy afterwards and not tight or dry. It has pre- and probiotics to keep the skin barrier strong as well as turmeric, which is known to be healing and a great anti-inflammatory. It’s unscented and suitable for all skin types plus you get a lot of product for your buck with the 200ml tube."
“I've tried pretty much every one of the best vitamin C serums and this is the one I buy again and again. It contains a stabilized form of ascorbic acid, the most potent form of vitamin C in a fairly high seven per cent dose, which really works at reducing signs of pigmentation, as a protective antioxidant and for getting skin glowing. It's been paired with jojoba seed oil which gives the product a lovely slip that makes it very easy to massage in without feeling oily or greasy. It’s also a great price point proving you don't have to cripple yourself financially for effective skincare. I’ve already opened my next bottle.”
“I’m annoyed at the timing of finishing this, as summer is when it really comes into its own. It’s a perfect base for when your skin may have (safely) caught a bit of sun and you don’t feel the need for any or as much foundation. This adds a slight golden sheen to your complexion, reduces the appearance of pores and has the blurring veil that's the sign of a good primer. It's hydrating, not too 'siliconey' and simply makes you look a little bit better – which is what I’m always after.”
Amy Rostas, GTG Beauty and Social Media Assistant
“This is the first natural deodorant I have actually enjoyed using, most others don't stop me from smelling, unlike this. The texture is that of a dry, creamy balm, which glides on easily and dries quickly. The packaging is so chic - not that you'd expect anything less from Glossier - and I'll be purchasing a refill for it immediately. I just can't decide whether to stick with this woody fresh scent or to go for the brand's cult scent Glossier You or the orange blossom and neroli option. Decisions, decisions."
“As our beauty director, SJ says 'the best serum is the one that does everything'. And this new serum from Fresh has done that for me. It contains lots of hard-working ingredients: antioxidants for protection, niacinamide for evening out skin tone, and hyaluronic acid for hydration. I've been using it for three months morning and night and my sensitive skin has been less reactive and in much better condition. It's pricey but because it contains such big-hitter ingredients you don't need to use anything else and is a great product to help you streamline your skincare routine. ”
“I was recommended this body scrub by a friend and it's been a brilliant addition to my life, and my involves a regular fake-tan routine. It has just the right amount of grit to gently exfoliate dead skin, makes light work of removing any remaining fake tan but leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated thanks to the oils it contains. It has a gorgeous sweet fruity scent creating a holiday feel in your bathroom. Next up, I'm buying the new Cherry Dub Triple Action AHA Body Scrub, £29 with AHAs for an even smoother exfoliation.”
“A mascara by a makeup artist icon is always going to be good - thank you Bobbi Brown, this doesn't disappoint. Its extra dark pigmented formula delivers impactful, fluttery lashes, via a large curved brush wand that lifts and curls. It also contains vitamins E and B that help strengthen and condition your lashes. A definite re-buy.”
Jemma Thompson, GTG Design and Social Media Manager
"A brow brand isn't the obvious place to buy a candle, but it's officially one of the best if this, my new candle obsession, is anything to go by. In fact, this is the second one I’ve finished this year. The scent is a bit musky and makes me feel really calm. It's hand-poured in the UK using and has a long clean burn for up to 35 hours plus it's a good price for a luxury candle. The Indian Rose candle is a favourite among the team too."
"Fellow oily or combination skin types gather because this 20% niacinamide treatment is a game-changer. I wish I had known about it sooner – it has really helped get my oiliness under control has reduced the appearance of my pores. Niacinamide is also great for calming inflammation and blemishes. It's backed by clinical studies too. I use a few drops after double-cleansing at night and come morning my skin looks A-OK!"
“I’m a bit of a diva during heatwaves, so when we do receive a sudden dose of sunshine, I need a refreshing face mist to get me through. This four-in-one spray works as a toner, primer, setting spray and hydration hero for all skin types. It has coconut water, aloe vera and kefir extract to soothe flustered skin instantly. I keep mine in the fridge for an even more refreshing and cooling spritz.”
"This might just be my favourite Sol de Janeiro cream yet! The fast-absorbing, non-greasy, rich vegan body cream makes your skin more springy and firm. Although on the pricier side, it lasts forever as the consistency is so thick that you only need a little. Plus, it's scented with the long-lasting fruity floral Cheirosa '68 fragrance, a dupe for the iconic Baccarat Rouge 540 fragrance!"
Ingeborg van Lotringen, Contributing Beauty Editor
Wild Nutrition Magnesium for All, £17.50 for a month’s supply
"A lot of people are probably not getting enough magnesium, I certainly am not, as blood tests have shown. Lacking the mineral can result in sleep issues, restless legs and low energy. Supplementing it is less straightforward than it might seem; there are a number of different types of magnesium and some are far more bioavailable than others. Magnesium glycinate and citrate are supposed to be the more effective options, but even they seem to go right through me. It wasn’t until I tried this one, which is food-grown and therefore buffered by all the nutrients you would naturally find accompanying it in food sources such as cherries, that I found a magnesium supplement that didn’t act like an overpriced laxative, but instead had noticeable effects, particularly on my sleep patterns."
"I like most products in this quirky-seeming, but highly scientifically researched range of microbiome-boosting skincare. It was the first British/French brand that was based totally on probiotic technology and has remained true to form, never making overblown ‘anti-ageing’ promises but instead focusing on skin health and the real ways we can improve it, with products you won’t find elsewhere, like a Vinegar Gelee, £35 for spot-prone skin and a chewable Mouth Microbiome tablet, £17.
"This moisturiser was one of its first products and it offers real support for sensitive skin with its blend of pro- pre- and postbiotics, all ace at balancing skin’s acid mantle and rebuilding its lipid barrier. I’ve used it day and night for a month and my skin is noticeably calmer. I just wish the tube was a bit bigger (30ml is not much for a moisturiser), but the size is likely due to the preservative being exceptionally mild (so as to be kind on skin), which means you shouldn’t wait months to finish the product."
"It would be great if we could treat our body skin like we do our facial skin, and we’d probably reap the benefits, but most of us would choose face over body, no contest. So I can’t really justify a price like this for a body cream, except to say it really is very delicious and I’ve loved using it to the very last drop. It has a wonderfully indulgent texture that pampers without being greasy or sticky, and a very mild scent to make it feel lush, but without risk of irritation. It has barrier-boosting peptides, pro, pre and postbiotics, antioxidants, amino acids, plant oils and hyaluronic acid so yes, it’s like a face cream for your body – and if your facial skin is on the dry side, I’d say you could definitely use this on your face as well."
"Biphase eye makeup removers are an essential, as far as I’m concerned; nothing else gets stubborn liner and mascara (also: long-lasting lip inks) off more effectively, and without rubbing. This one avoids any eye irritants such as fragrance and hydrates as it cleanses and even conditions lashes with pro-vitamin B5. It’s ever so slightly too watery (meaning I would want a smidgeon more oil), but this is a very difficult balance to strike and overall, it comes pretty close to my favourite, the La Roche Posay Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, £12.50. Don’t forget to shake before you use."
Kerry Potter, GTG Contributing Editor
"I once prided myself on being the kind of person who would never fritter away fifty quid on shampoo and conditioner…. and then I tried this duo. The difference that Olaplex’s bond-fixing formula made to my parched, bleached hair was so immediate and so extraordinary that I’ve been eking out these bottles for six months. (The 'do not use' labels were necessary to warn off my children.) The condition of my hair has so drastically improved that I’ve been able to go for longer stretches between cuts and colour, so, in a way, I’m saving money, right?"
"The fact there are now so many high street dupes of this Bobbi Brown classic is testament to how excellent it is – and, as you can see, my much-loved compact is now more brickdust than actual brick. The finely milled formula, the just-right glimmer levels and the fact it’ll last you several summers mean it’s well worth investing in the real deal. Swirl a brush across those iconic stripes and onto your cheekbones and temples before an evening out, and you’ll look pretty as a picture (one that definitely doesn’t need a filter)."
"I find many micellar waters don’t have the oomph to remove my mascara. Not this one. Like all of dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting’s superlative skincare products, it packs a mighty – yet gentle – punch. No more rubbing until my eyelashes fall out. I use it nightly with the brand’s reusable cleansing pads that come in a handy laundry bag (before retiring to polish my halo)."