Which products carry our personal seals of approval? Here are the beauty products we’ve tried, tested and now, can’t live without
A party season product shouldn’t just be for Christmas; it should be for life. Going from desk to dancefloor and back again, our beauty line ups last month were all about giving our artilleries the best of pre and post-Christmas boosts to help us go from beauty cupboard to bar and finally, to bed with ease.
From party makeup prep to skincare essentials, these were the Glossy Posse picks we banked on for seeing us through festive frolics in 2015, to fresh beginnings in 2016.
Susannah Taylor, Editor-in-Chief
CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish and Weekly Top Coat
“I may be late to the party with longer lasting nail polish (I'm always a bit of an Essie/Chanel fan for their great colours); however, just before Christmas I had my nails done with CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish in Wildfire , which was a dazzling crimson. You don't need an undercoat, but you do need the specific CND top coat (I immediately bought the polish and the top coat), so it's a two-step application with no special removal involved, (just a normal, acetone based remover is needed).
“The theory is that it lasts 7 days, and blow me down it really did. Whereas normally my polish would be chipping off after a few days, this didn't start to wear until about day 5/6. Available in 99 shades, I'm a convert. I've since bought 2 other colours for spring in Field Fox (a dusty rose) and Powder My Nose (the perfect beige).”
CND Vinylux Weekly Long Lasting Top Coat , £9.95, CND Weekly Nail Polish , £7.95.
Judy Johnson, Online Editor
Sisley So Intense Eyeliner
“I’ve always loved that doe-eyed, sixties-style makeup look and I’m forever on the hunt for a liquid liner that can help me reach my Adele-worthy eyeliner goals. A fan of a felt tip for ease of application, I’ve often been left disappointed by weak pigments, flaky formulas and dry tips which lead to rather broken-looking wings. However, this Sisley number is a game changer. Aptly named ‘So Intense’, it is the most inky of pen eyeliners I’ve ever come across and almost a month later there’s still no sign of it running out or developing that hideous fluffy, hairiness that happens to some felt-tipped products after a little use. With such high pigment it makes the art of drawing a winged line a doddle (so long as your hand is steady), and it does not budge once it’s in place. Best of all, I use it on top of a creamy primer eyeshadow and it still applies flawlessly, without dragging or losing its intensity. I think Adele would approve.”
£39. Buy online .
MORE GLOSS: The art of layering your skincare - a dermatologist’s prescription
Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Estée Lauder Nightwear Plus Anti-Oxidant Night Detox Creme
“Last month, ‘beauty sleep’ for me was as elusive as a TV channel not showing Love Actually (not that I’m complaining, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without me crying alongside Emma Thompson in THAT scene - damn you Emma and your wordless ability to evoke such emotion!!). Sorry, got side-tracked there, but my point is, my skin was at serious risk of showing the evidence of party season misgivings, whether they be out of my control (read: heating, air con and winter element woe-dom) or within it (that extra glass of mulled wine, that extra hour out, that extra Lindt reindeer...). I needed a night cream to help me get my glow back - a Christmas light if you will to help illuminate my otherwise dull and wintry complexion. This is where Nightwear Plus from Estée Lauder came in: a one-stop shop of antioxidants and anti-ageing skin goodies to help perk up my otherwise grumpy-looking complexion. With a hybrid texture somewhere between a cream and gel, it nourishes, moisturises and plumps up in one fell swoop, working a treat for pretty much any skin type in my opinion (apart from the very sensitive) looking for a pick-me-up.
“I’ve been using it for over a month now (popped on top of my daily night time serum) and my skin is visibly smoother, softer and better hydrated. The reviews are in and they, (much like my skin and those of my favourite Christmas movie) are glowing. It might just be love. Actually.”
£46. Buy online .
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Givenchy Teint Couture Balm
“I've always struggled to find a base I love, searching for a simple makeup routine that doesn't involve lots of different base creams, balms and powders - just one that makes my skin glow and covers up the unevenness. Givenchy's new Couture Balm however is quite simply, the dream. Super lightweight but with a decent amount of coverage, it acts a bit like a moisturising BB cream, a primer and a foundation all in one. It effortlessly blends into the skin without leaving a cakey residue behind and it really evens out tone, blurring out any fine lines and uneven patches. Suffice to say, it went straight into my makeup bag for party season.”
£29. Buy online .
Gemma Bellman, Managing Director
Bobbi Brown Sterling Nights Eye Palette
“With winter’s darkest nights having set in, I turned to Bobbi Brown’s Sterling Nights Eye Palette for some starlight-inspired sparkle! This luxurious collection from the brand’s Holiday 2015 range offers up a generous selection of dusky hues infused with highly wearable metallics and just a hint of glitter.
“The high gloss embossed black compact leaves everything to the imagination, for inside its conservative shell is a festive feast for the eyes. My first, and favourite, colour combination was the Dove Grey chalky shadow on the inners of my eyes, layered over with a generous helping of Midnight Sparkle in the creases and outer lids. Other colours of note include the rich Smoke Shimmer and frosty Moon Glow - perfect together or apart.
“All in all, a ‘Sterling’ winter palette!”
£59. Buy online .
MORE GLOSS: The year in beauty and health - 2015
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
“This may not count as a product, but it’s a top notch service I’ve been using for a good year now so it definitely counts, and it especially comes into its own during party season/pre-holidays/when you’re feeling frazzled and can’t face the world. That last point is possibly overdramatic, but the City Swish crew really do bring the peace and make things so blissfully easy that I’m close to inviting my most regular therapist, Joanna, to move in.
“Founded by a Russian princess and an accomplished city worker, the City Swish team work around the most frantic of schedules (and most messy of houses *cough*) to bring salon standard services to wherever may be convenient in London zones 1-3, from desk to front door to your mate’s house when you’re getting ready (or more formally, wedding venue if so required). For the price of hauling yourself to your nearest beauty bar, a multitalented professional will come to you bearing high quality products from brands such as Essie, Exuviance, OPI and Sienna X, settle in and ensure you get what you’re after. In my experience manicures are immaculate, pedicures thorough, massages Zen-like and spray tans even. If you have a free house for a spa day, are having a panic or need essential grooming taken care of in a very convenient setting (the City Swish packages make tailoring a treatment plan or block booking a breeze), reserve a slot online or give the Swish fairies a call to discuss your needs and desires.”
Juliet Rees-Jones, Digital Marketing Manager
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
“It's safe to say I felt neither merry nor bright when Instagram kindly alerted me to my appearance following a busy evening of dining, dancing and general Christmas merriment. I looked more wise man than heavenly angel, and my carefully applied eye makeup had certainly travelled quite a distance from its original home. Not one to miss a mulled wine because I'm off reapplying makeup, I decided to try out Urban Decay's Setting Spray and Hallelujah, it really worked…
“A couple of spritzes add instant refreshment, and unlike others I have tested in the past, this doesn't leave you feeling like you've just aerosoled your skin - it has a lovely light scent and caused no irritation at all.
“I headed off to a wedding involving a car journey (too hot), a church service (too cold), a dancefloor (boiling) and midnight farewells (freeeeezing) and remarkably by the time I got home, my makeup was still in place. The 'Temperature Control Technology' which it boasts about having (and that I thought sounded like nonsense) must be a thing after all. I would particularly recommend this product if you have a more oily complexion, and for even better hold, just apply a dusting of setting powder after the spray.”
£21. Buy online .
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