It’s 6 years today since we opened our online doors and began talking about the best of health and beauty, but what have been the real highlights? Here are team GTG’s top discoveries since the site was born…
Get The Gloss is six years old: we’re more inquisitive than ever, continually asking questions and are forever doing our homework on the latest advances in health and beauty .
To celebrate this special birthday, each of the team has looked back over the site’s lifespan and picked out their favourite launch or discovery so far. From the gadget that changed our editor's poor work habits to the treatment that fixed one writer's over-gelled nails, here’s what they came up with…
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation, £29
Loved by Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant: “The only foundation that holds up all day against my oily skin.”
Review: “When Fenty burst onto the beauty scene in September 2017 I was instantly captivated. The biggest buzz for me was around beautiful, radiant looking skin created with the Kilowatt highlighters, which in both packaging and pigment payoff are every Insta-obsessed makeup addict’s dream. However, when I heard that Fenty were also launching a matte foundation, I didn’t bat an eyelid. Instead I dismissed it as just another foundation that would claim to control shine and stay matte but would soon be proven wrong by my uncontrollably oily skin.
“Well, how wrong I was. I tested out the Pro Filt’r Foundation on a whim and since then, nothing has matched up. This is a seriously hardcore base. Nothing will keep my skin as matte and flawless for as long as this does. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a miracle worker - I do still need to blot and powder come lunchtime, however the biggest difference when I wear this foundation is that touch-ups are a dream. The foundation withholds oil production , does not break up and does not cake. It’s my holy grail.
“Pro Filt’r Foundation cemented my love for Fenty, and the brand as a whole still continues to captivate me at every launch. Rihanna created the makeup line ‘so that women everywhere would be included’ and she has managed to achieve just that. The foundation, for example, launched with a whopping 40 shades focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones. Suddenly we were all asking the question of why this hadn’t been done before, and now many other beauty brands are pulling their socks up and following suit. Not only does she deliver stunning products, Rihanna has created a brand with a strong, powerful ethos too that sets a great example for the beauty industry of the future. Long live Fenty Beauty!”
Varidesk Sit-Stand Height Adjustable Pro Plus 36 Desk, £365
Loved by Victoria Woodhall, Editor: “Ditching my chair has made tech headaches and neck stress a thing of the past and helps me stay alert and focused.”
Review: “I’ve lost count of the number of people who I’ve implored to get one of these sit-or-stand desks. I have two – the laptop version ( Varidesk Soho , White, £150) for home which I’ve had for three years (it collapses neatly to be stored under my sofa) and more recently this desktop one in white for my computer at work.
“I’d begun to see a marked difference in the way I was feeling when I worked at home (standing) to my (seated) office days. Spending eight hours in a chair would cause my shoulder and neck pain to build and build in a way that just didn’t happen when I was standing. I’d then end up having to go to the Chinese massage place down the road in my lunch hour to pay them to unknot it. When I found myself considering handing over £360 for a course of ten treatments, it dawned on me that I should just get a standing desk instead for the same price.
“The Pro Plus 360 sits on top of your existing desk and although you can easily lower it flat for a sitting option, I don’t bother. I no longer have a chair, so no eating al desko. I take a screen break for lunch. I don’t zone out as I might if I was sitting, so I’m more focused. My back isn’t taking my body weight anymore and my leg muscles, glutes and core are low-level activated all day. My food also has more space to digest as I’m not hunched over my keyboard.
“Standing desks help improve heart health, burns 50 calories per hour and also increases concentration by 46 per cent according to Varidesk and I believe them. It makes every day better – how many wellness buys can you say that for?”
Ultrasun SPF30 Body Tan Activator, £28
Loved by Judy Johnson, Digital Editor: “Simple, effective sun protection for sensitive skin.”
Review: “Before Get The Gloss, my holidays were plagued with reactions and prickly heat because I hadn’t twigged that the fragrance-laden, chemical-filled sun creams I was picking up at the airport were the culprit and assumed I just didn’t suit the sunshine. Writing about sensitive skin , I soon discovered Ultrasun, and their range of high-tolerance, once-a-day sun creams changed everything. This tan activator version of my initial favourite formula (Family 30) has broad spectrum SPF that works in just one application, which in itself is pretty life-changing if you’re more of a city breaker than a beach-goer like I am (who has the time to reapply?), but it also has a tan enhancing complex to make sure you still get a hint of a healthy glow while you stay protected. I’ve always been more than happy to land back at Gatwick looking as pale as when I went - anything but heat rash is fine with me and it proves my sun cream works - but this gives me the best of both worlds. A truly healthy tan and a stress-free holiday in one.”
Votary Jasmine and Calendula Facial Oil, £65
Loved by Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor: “A beautiful lightweight oil that’s helped me to pare back my skincare regime.”
Review: “I used to throw anything and everything on my skin. Every hyped up cream or cleanser full of unnatural ingredients used to be slathered all over my face with abandon, and my skin really started to suffer. I would break out regularly , have a dull and uneven skin tone which would feel quite heavy and laden down with product. I switched to a natural, oil-based skincare routine about two years ago and it’s quite possibly changed my life (and healed my skin!).
“My miracle moment came when I first used the Votary Jasmine and Calendula Facial Oil. I’d been using very heavy foundation that just wasn’t right for my skin - that coupled with polluted London air, as well as stress, meant I had an ongoing acne breakout that left me feeling really self conscious about my skin. I pared back my whole routine and instead of layering cream after cream, I switched to the Votary oil for morning and nighttime hydration and pretty much saw immediate results. Over the space of a couple of weeks the sore acne around my cheeks and chin began to fade; the oil’s lightweight texture didn’t clog my pores but deeply hydrated my skin, leaving it brighter, smoother and overall much healthier. Best of all, it works perfectly as a non-greasy base for makeup. Since then I’ve never looked back, I use the whole range across my face and body, and my skin couldn’t be more thankful. I've finally found something that works, and the calming scents also help to clear my mind for the day ahead - I’m converted.”
Bullet Journaling, £10
Loved by Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer: “A time-saving way to get organised, rather than overwhelmed.”
Review: "I've always thought of myself as a pretty organised person. However, if you were to look inside my handbag up until about six months ago, you probably would have thought the opposite. I was lugging around approximately five different notebooks (a desperate attempt to compartmentalise my professional and personal lives) and rather than helping me make the most of my time, they were actually doing the opposite. A friend told me that this would make me the ideal candidate for a bullet journal, the social media sensation taking Instagram by storm, and since incorporating it into my daily routine, it's not only saved me time, but money I would have spent on unnecessary notebooks.
"Created by digital designer Ryder Carroll as a way to help him “track the past, organise the present and plan for the future,” it's a great way to record everything in one place. It can be personalised to your needs and needn't be as complicated as the artwork on Instagram suggests. While I started with rolls of washi tape and the like at the start, now I keep it as basic as possible to ensure that I don't defeat the purpose of it freeing up my time. With different bullets to signify different things (e.g. deadlines, meetings, events and even memories), it's made prioritising my 'to-dos' a much easier task. I don't know what I'd do without it." ( Find out more about how to do bullet journaling here ).
IBX Nail Strengthening Treatment, around £15 depending on location
Loved by Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer: “A breakthrough treatment for brittle, dry and gel-worn nails.”
Review: “The arrival of the gel manicure on the UK high street prompted a beauty revolution in that nail polish finally lasted for longer than a few days and stayed glossy and hard despite typing, dishwashing and generally living our lives. It also, however, resulted in many of us treating our hands to drying acetone baths every fortnight, not to mention some more dubious methods of removing gels (scraping, sanding, picking...just no), all of which weaken nails over time.
“Cuticle oil and diligent, above-board removal minimises damage, but if you’ve got gel induced peeling, or simply fragile nails, the introduction of in-salon nail repair treatment IBX in 2014 delivered the most effective nail rehab plan I’ve ever come across before or since. If you’re yet to try it, it’s a multi-step (but not time-consuming) treatment that you can have alone or under a regular, gel or acrylic manicure, and it’s the first system of its kind that allows hydrating oils to penetrate the nail bed and strengthen from within rather than sitting on top of the nail bed. Repeated treatments have healed my nails no end ( as you can see here in my IBX review... ) - think reduced ridging, whiter whites and a smoother, shiner natural nail. It’s genius.”