Every year we hear about how the third Monday in January is statistically the most depressing of the year, but in a year that has been quite bleak overall, does that mean it's extra bad? Who knows? But we're not going to fester! There is a wealth wellness and beauty new launches (and some trusted favourites) that are stepping in to lift the mood among our team. Here's what's been cheering us up in 2021 so far.
This week our staffers select their favourite new pick-me-ups for brighter days and restful sleep. Good vibes guaranteed
"Just spotting this punchy pink tube in my shower brightens up my mornings and that's before the oatmeal and oat milk get to work softening my skin and gently cleansing it. Of an evening it removes makeup easily, wiping away errant mascara and the debris of the day too. The sustainable credentials are positivity inducing as well; the packaging is made from sugarcane, a carbon-neutral material that is 100 per cent recyclable, and the formula itself is made from sustainably sourced vegan coconut yoghurt which is extracted from fermented coconut milk for a probiotic effect, while the oat kernel extract is an upcycled ingredient from the oat milling industry. All good here!"
"Edge of Ember's Charmer's Collection of rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces was designed to radiate good vibes and banish negativity. The blue topaz and sapphire stones combined with the ancient evil eye symbol in this collection serve as reminders to put on a brave face in the darkest of times. Very timely, if you ask me. I could have bought countless pieces from the collection, which launched on 12 January, but the trio ring spoke to me the most, bringing a touch of happiness every time it glints on my finger. And if it wards off bad vibes then that's a positive too." Buy now ESPA Positivity Atmosphere Mist, £25
"I was sold on this 'positivity' spray before I even smelt it – anything that promotes positive vibes in a week when I've hit the pandemic wall is most welcome. It's scented with bergamot, gardenia and jasmine and like all Espa products, it creates a spa feel at home. This can be sprayed on linen, around the room, in your car and my favourite, around your WFH desk when you're starting to miss office chatting."
Victoria Woodhall, editorial director
"My lockdown pick-me-ups are all about fragrance and beautiful packaging - things that spark joy in the senses. I always have a Diptyque candle on the go and never throw away their work-of-art jars, which I variously repurpose as makeup storage, plant holders and herb driers. To mark the brand’s 60th birthday, four of its most popular candles (the others being Roses, Tubereuse and Figuier) have been given a graphic art makeover, reflecting the roles of one of its founders in graphics, specifically wallpaper design. It’s gloriously mid-century modern and the fragrance is a classic sweet-ish herbal thanks to notes of blackberry leaves. They come a set of three minis too for £94 . I’m sorely tempted."
"This new organic body serum smells so good - think oranges meet fresh herbs - I could eat it. It has all sorts of goodies in to tighten and tone: peptides , green coffee, juniper, orange, and uses cosmetic drone technology. It’s a term we’re seeing a lot more of but essentially means a way of encapsulating ingredients to protect them till they reach their destination and where they can then release their payload. In this case, the bounty is a sea grape peptide which locks on to specific fat cell receptors where it sends messages to them to quit storing fat. Clever eh?
I’m missing my daily walks at the moment so using this, along with the Organic Pharmacy Detox Body Oil , £36 and a dry body brush , feels like I'm keeping everything moving. These products go hand-in-hand with The Organic Pharmacy’s 10 Day Detox Kit, £99.95 , a supplement regime designed by founder Margot Marrone as a reboot for busy people. This year, it comes with a set of gentle but powerful exercises by celebrity trainer Reuben Tabares. If you’re needing some self-care with oomph, this is it."
"I do think a discovery set is the way to buy fragrance in lockdown - and at any other time. Having a collection of minis to experiment with allows you to really spend time learning how a scent smells on you. Not only do you get to try a whole bach of scents but avoid expensive mistakes on the big bottle that somehow doesn’t smell the same when you get it home. Ormonde Jayne is a premium British perfumer and they excel in the art of fragrance discovery. There are seven collections to choose from, the newest being this one based on stops along the Silk Road, with spiced notes blended with exotic delights such as Armenian Plum and Persian Rose. This has been a great sparker-of-joy for me since I received it at Christmas time. While we can’t travel in real life, this collection takes you travelling in the mind."
"Who’s tired of looking at their ugly Zoom mug? I am for one. Thank heavens, then, for this multi-tasking serum from one of my favourite Korean/American brands Glow Recipe, whose Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask , £20.50, is a cult favourite. As with all of their products, the bottle makes you smile just to look at it (have you checked out their wibbly Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturiser , £19.50?). These silky Dew Drops are both skincare and makeup - a hydrating serum with niacinamide and watermelon for vitamins A and C and glow-giving 'highlighter'. You can mix them with your foundation, use as an eye cream or pat over your makeup for a glowy refresh which lasts about an hour, perfect for when that Zoom alert pings. And of course, it has that lovely hint of watermelon scent which never overwhelms."
Jemma Thompson, GTG social media and design
"What is it about lockdown that tampers with your sleeping pattern? I’ve always been a sleeper who could drop off at any given moment, train, plane - you name it! But when it comes to quarantine, I just can’t switch off and I know I’m not alone! These gummies helped my slumber in the first lockdown and I did notice when I ran out that I reverted back to my restless self. So now in lockdown three or four (I’ve lost count), it was essential I stocked up on these. They contain a blend of ingredients that promotes relaxation and helps to regulate the body’s internal clock such as 5-HTP (it’s all about that serotonin baby), alongside natural ingredients lavender, chamomile and lemon balm leaf. It also has a delicious black cherry flavour so it’s hard not to take more than one a night."
"Way back when in 2020, makeup mavericks Morphe launched their first Gen Z sub-brand Morphe 2 - think laid-back, fresh-faced makeup à la TikTok, and now they’ve branched out into the world of skincare. This extremely satisfying holographic peel-off mask is guaranteed to fulfil all your ASMR needs whilst still looking good for the ’Gram. Easy-to-use and mess-free, the vegan mask is packed with activated charcoal, French pink clay and willow bark extract that works to deep clean skin whilst detoxifying and reducing the appearance of pores. Thankfully it doesn’t feel harsh or drying like a lot of peel-off products as it contains aloe vera and lavender to help soothe the skin and keep it soft."
"I don’t know what it is, but even on my lowest of days, there’s something about putting on a bold red lip that always puts a spring in my step. It’s such a tiny thing, but for me, it’s so powerful. It’s like my armour, a beauty power suit that helps to boost my self-confidence. I’m particularly in love with this quad from Beauty Bay; with four berry hues from a true red, to bright pink alongside a stunning orange-red and a sultry deep purple, it pretty much has a shade for every mood. Incredibly pigmented (as always from Beauty Bay) this creamy vegan matte lipstick with a subtle vanilla scent stays put for hours, without the dreaded chapped winter lips look."
For me, a winter bath is an ultimate pick-me-up albeit in the morning or evening (I’m even considering having one on my lunch break now – hey, it’s lockdown, right?). There’s nothing I love more than switching off to my favourite playlist or podcast. Yes, being out-out is great, but getting into the tub at *optimal temperature* phew, that’s even better. This is my new go-to bath buddy, mainly because it’s essentially a Pret ginger shot for the body. If I need a wake-up call whether that’s to switch on in the morning or have a productive evening, this is it. Whenever I get out, I feel balanced and restored (with the softest skin ever) thanks to the invigorating blend of ginger, sweet basil and jojoba oil. It’s my self-care MVP.
Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager
"With the whole world in disarray at the moment, soothing is absolutely what we need and there’s something about lighting a candle that almost immediately provokes feelings of calm. This Elemental Herbology candle promises to unwind and relax me for a peaceful nights sleep and I’m totally sold. I’ll be lighting for my daily bathtime ritual whilst listening to my favourite podcast for escapism and pretending I’m at the spa."
"Thank the skincare gods that this cult product is now available in the UK! On past visits to the states, I’ve always popped into Sephora and stocked up on this epic chickpea mask to get my fix of baby-soft skin. With a whopping 25 per cent AHA, it is one of the only products I trust to get my face looking bright and fresh again, without any of the nasty redness and irritation that come along with exfoliating acids. Once a week is enough for it to do its magic (and make it last forever ever!), honestly buy it now while you can."
Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager
"You might not traditionally think of deodorant as a pick me up, but once you smell this one, all that will change. I’ll admit deodorant has not been one of my staples for the best part of the last year and it's usually something that's at the bottom of my list when restocking my bathroom essentials. But this year I made a pact with myself to be more considered about what I’m using on my underarms. Historically I’ve not got along too well with natural deodorants, either they’ve not done the job and I’m still as sweaty as ever or have broken me out in a rash, but this uber cool Corpus No. Green deo from the LA based vegan brand is a whole different story. Not only does it smell delicious and keep me dry, it could almost pass as my fragrance with notes of bergamot, pink lemon, orange blossom and cardamom, a good thing too as with a price tag of £26 its definitely a treat, but one I highly encourage you invest in."
Hattie Sloggett, GTG contributor
Morphée sleeping aid, £79.95
"Deep sleep for me was like a long-forgotten friend, who I missed with every ounce of being, but was delightfully re-introduced to by Morphée, a non-digital, screen free device that helps you sleep. It's basically a user-friendly soundbox with the equivalent of the Calm app built in, which plays an array of nature sounds, meditations, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, but with no screen - you select your choice with the wind up dials.
"After a somewhat turbulent year the overwhelming thoughts of the day were carrying on far into the night and making my time in bed restless and uncomfortable. Until I met this magical little portable device that reminded me of the wind-up toys I had as a child. Morphée is the ultimate sleep aid; it's not only helping my sleep but benefiting my days too, as we are never more productive than when rested."
"I am completely obsessed with all the supplements that Potion London create and vigilantly incorporate them into my daily routines. The beauty bundle is a particular favourite of mine as all the supps in the bundle (The Collagen Boost, The Hyaluronic Complex and The Beauty Formula) help pick me up from the inside out. Nothing beats great skin, glossy hair and strong nails, right? There has been a noticeable difference in the quality of all of the above since I started taking them. Potion has got me covered from all angles, which is so beneficial in times where I want to feel good and look good without having to perfect my hair or put on makeup for those ever-common zoom calls. I genuinely feel healthier, cleaner and more aligned, both in my body and appearance."
"As a pale-skinned redhead, I am terrified of fake tan, but adore that summer golden glow; a smattering of sunshine, rather than a deep earthy brown. I have never found it in a bottle. Until now! I am as shocked as anyone to say that I have discovered a faux tanner that is not only natural and buildable but actually smells yummy too and it doesn't make me stand out like a sore thumb. If there is one thing that perks me up and brings a smile to my face in these grey days, it is the hint of a warm, healthy-looking tan and that is exactly what Bronzie have created. The gift set is ideal for anyone starting out on their tanning journey, containing a tanning mousse, a gradual tan and a tanning mitt for application."
"Nothing brings a smile to my face more than sitting down at the beginning of the year and mapping out my visions, goals and plans for the upcoming months. Using a planner is a godsend to aid this process and this year I have had the divine pleasure of scribbling away in the new Lethally Her planner. Designed to help you conquer 2021 with bespoke planning tools to enable manageable and actionable steps for achieving your goals, this beautiful pink vegan leather notebook is full of creative exercises, daily gratitude lists, weekly reflections and incredible original artwork by young female artists. It is an imperative source of inspiration and motivation. I have already noticed the benefits and we're not even out of the starting gate of this new year yet."
Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor
"I discovered Katie Brindle and her Chinese medicine based wisdom late last year when she did an IG Live on Get The Gloss and was immediately a convert. I received her book this week; it's an easy to read guide detailing a thorough and simple self-care system to help with sleep, energy levels, mood, digestion and the skin. In the book there are lots of insightful tips on balancing your mind, coping with worry, mindful eating and caring for the spirit. I’ve also been using her Hayo’u Body Restorer, £38, in the morning, which invigorates the skin, stimulating the blood to the surface. As we complete the second week of January, I’m beginning to feel a little more spirited. Thankfully I now have a quick and easy tool kit to ensure self-care is now part of my daily routine."
Aime Sleep & Glow, Euros 39 (approx £37.50)
"Week one of January and I was clobbered by horrible middle-of-the-night, stress-related headaches, which left me sobbing and incredibly anxious. Thankfully I was saved last weekend by GTG's Victoria Woodhall, who came to my rescue with a tiny bottle of Aime Sleep and Glow drops.
"You take 13 drops in water or on their own before bedtime and thanks to lemon extract, they taste delicious. They contain melatonin, the sleep hormone naturally produced by the body (you can't buy melatonin in the UK but these come on mail order from France) plus the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha , which helps manage stress. They work a treat and I’ve been sleeping so much better, much to the relief of not just me but my husband. "
Bioeffect 30 Day Treatment, £191.25
"I’ve been feeling especially 'old-looking' recently; not sure if it’s the January dark cold days, lockdown or the fact that I’m just getting older! Consequently, I am thrilled to be trying out the Bioeffect 30 Day Treatment, which won Silver in the Age Well category of the latest Get The Gloss Beauty and Wellbeing Awards . It's a high-tech potent hyaluronic acid serum to radically reduce wrinkles in 30 days. This Icelandic product which has reams of research behind it and studies to back up its claims contains a plant-based replica of Epidermal Growth Factor, derived from barley. It contains three growth factors to dramatically minimize wrinkles, pore size and redness while maximising hydration, radiance and tone. You use it on dry skin overnight and have to be careful not to use anything on top so as not to interfere with the way it works, but the large amount of HA in this ensures it's intensely hydrating. I’ve been using religiously for the last couple of weeks and am glimpsing a little glow peeping through my ghastly January pallor."