There's a distinct feeling of coming out of winter hibernation with our picks this week. The unseasonal temperatures have clearly put us in a spring/summer frame of mind as our choices include a heady floral perfume, a new self-tan texture, an uplifting candle that smells of 'spa' and face masks that make you look wide awake. CBD and cannabis oil are the hottest skincare trend around – cannabis moisturiser even made it the Oscars goodie bags this year – and we've tried the first high street incarnation to launch in the UK. Read on for how we rated them
From Elemis' vitamin-packed veggie face mask to the first ever high street CBD skincare range and the lipstick that will rock International Women's Day, this is what we've been testing this week
Loved by: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
"Those who love the original Flowerbomb fragrance as much as I do will be delighted to know there’s now a slightly deeper, headier version, which takes the light, sweet floral scent and turns it into more of an evening fragrance. Flowerbomb Midnight’s key ingredient is the night-blooming jasmine, which blooms only occasionally during summer nights, spreading its petals and releasing a scent which intensifies with the heat. This together with patchouli and musk give more depth to the fragrance than the original, while the contrasting floral-fruity notes remain thanks to bergamot, pink pepper, blackcurrant, pomegranate and vanilla. The black diamond-esque bottle adds to the drama. Another icon in the making."
Buy it now exclusively from Debenhams (nationwide from 31 March 2019)
Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, Editorial Director
Holland and Barrett are the first high street retailer to launch their own CBD skincare range, comprising a serum, day and night cream and two muscle relief balms. It’s all in glass packaging with appealing Victorian-style labelling, underlying the natural and ethical credentials (it’s vegan). The two products I like are the day and night creams, for their moisturising skills.
"They are called CBD but that specific ingredient (an antioxidant and a soother for inflamed skins) comes very near the bottom of the list, so it's unclear how much CBD you're getting. Cannabis sativa seed oil (aka hemp) which is full of rich essential fatty acids, comes near the top, which likely accounts for the hydration properties.
"They are a brilliant everyday staple if you are looking for natural skincare. They are soothing (both contain aloe vera ) and the night cream is rich in shea butter. They have no artificial fragrance and they don’t cause pilling or appear to contain silicone (tick). Yet they still manage to maintain a silky texture while sinking in like a dream. As a new natural high street moisturiser, they’re a contender."
Loved by: Alexandra Harrison, Account Executive
"The buzz around this St Tropez launch was pretty big and as a fake tan addict, I knew I had to see if it really lived up to the hype. The product sold out within 24 hours of launching, so as you can imagine, my expectations were high.
"I am already a huge fan of the St Tropez Purity range, the mousse has changed my perception of fake tan and was previously my go-to due to the smell alone; its tropical scent meant I could still achieve a lovely, glowing tan without repelling my boyfriend with the awful smell of burned biscuits that comes with most other fake tans. The new Purity Bronzing Water Gel is a step up. The colour is deeper than the mousse, which means you can achieve a darker tan in fewer applications – a huge plus for saving on time. On top of this, the formula is super hydrating due to the gel texture and the fact that it's infused with hyaluronic acid, meaning no dry, flaky patches. This product leads the way in modern self-tanning, giving a beautiful, deep, even colour while maintaining hydration and smelling amazing."
Loved by: Sarah McGuiness, Art Editor
"I've been loving this smoothie-inspired veggie mask from Elemis for bringing some much-needed brightness to my skin. It's quick and so easy to use – perfect if you are short on time and need something to work its magic fast. Vitamin C and passionfruit acids work to gently exfoliate dead skin cells so that skin isn't left feeling stripped or tight. With ingredients such as wheatgrass and kale which are rich in chlorophyll and amino acids, it deeply hydrates and feeds the skin for a fresher and more brighter glow."
Loved by: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
"Energy – can’t say that I have much of that at the moment, and it’s starting to show on my face. The effects of a run of sleepless nights have been hard to disguise, but a couple of uses of this hydrating mask every week has helped it look more awake. Counting ginseng, squalane and sodium hyaluronate in its formula, it’s done wonders for helping my skin look and feel less rough in the mornings. Simply apply a generous layer before you go to bed and let it absorb in overnight. Don’t worry, you won’t wake up to a greasy pillowcase. Just juicy, plumped up skin that gives the illusion that you’ve had more beauty sleep than you’ve actually had."
Loved by: Emma North, Features Assistant
"As the winter months fade away, so does my collection of heavy, festive candles. There is no better feeling than a change of season; spring is here and the perfect excuse for a change of scent. I hadn't come across Pure Natural Therapy before. It's a small, independent company based in Yorkshire offering unique hand-poured, gorgeously scented candles. They are made over owner Gabby Palmer's Aga and use only soy wax and pure essential oils for the most gorgeous uplifting blends. I love the 'Restore' blend in particular, a mix of geranium, orange, lavender and palmarosa oils which fill the room with a calming, soothing and healing scent reminiscent of that just-stepped-in-to-a-luxury-spa feeling. It burns evenly and slowly... a sure sign of a quality candle."
Loved by: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
“A bright, punchy shade is fitting given the aim and action of this lipstick - to mark International Women’s Day, 100 per cent of the proceeds go to UN Women. Elizabeth Arden has pledged $1 million to support the UN Member States’ drive for global gender equality in politics, civil society, the legal system and beyond, and the purchase of each March On lipstick will both contribute to this fund and also constitute a nod to Elizabeth Arden’s founding principles. Not only was the brand female founded in an era when being a woman in business was a rare occurrence in itself, but Elizabeth Arden set the company’s agenda when she provided suffragettes marching down New York’s Fifth Avenue with bold red lipsticks as a mark of support and sisterhood. Sure, this year’s take may be a zingy Stabilo highlighter-esque pink rather than the trad red, but the sentiment is the same.”