From the castor oil infused tummy wrap that improves sleep and constitutions to the best budget mascara, not to mention the bespoke shampoo and conditioner brand that's now available at Boots. Here are all the products we used up to the very last drop this month.
Spring is almost here, we promise it almost is, but until then these are the products that have been getting us through the final straight of winter. From the moisturisers that have been keeping our skin hydrated in moisture-sapping weather to the bath salts that have brought moments of joy when the lurgy has struck. As well as the highlighter that brings glow and radiance to skin, almost like the sun is shining on it and the spot treatment that calms unhappy menstrual skin. These are the product that we’ve loved so much that some have even been pinched by our mums! Read on to find out the products the Get The Gloss team have used up to the very last drop, because you might just love them too.
Victoria Woodhall, GTG Editorial Director
The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond refillable Exfoliating Cleanser, £50
"The Organic Pharmacy often features in my empties (last time it was the Carrot Butter Cleanser) so it’s just as well they do refills of their best-sellers. This is my ‘treat’ cleanser and it’s currently 25 per cent off at Lookfantastic too (£35, normally £50). It’s aimed at mature, dry skin (mine!) and I like to leave it on as a mask for a few minutes and allow the enzymes to lift off any dullness. It’s expensive for a cleanser (it has diamond powder in to blur fine lines) and although you can use it every day, I save it for a couple of times a week as a treatment mask, for the face, neck and chest. I can feel the delicate oils penetrating my skin and leaving it bright and bouncy.”
Bamford Rose Nurture Balm, £20
"Oh, how I love this organic rose-scented balm. It’s so delicate, weirdly watery in texture rather than greasy and it sits by my bed as the last thing that I put on my lips, nails and my face at night (this is upmarket slugging). It’s now part of my sleep hygiene routine – I associate the smell (blackcurrant bud, ylang yang, chamomile and rose) with feeling tucked up in bed. It wafts over me as I read and when I turn off the light, it doesn’t transfer to my pillow or eye mask. As a Nurture Balm, it couldn’t be more aptly named. Struggling for a Mother’s Day gift idea? Look no further.”
Calecim Professional Advanced Hair System, £315
"This is the stem cell serum that doctors rave about and use in their clinics with the most impressive before and afters. As someone who is coming back from hair loss with the help of clinical microneedling, I have added this six-week course to my at-home regime and it’s working, with tufts of new growth. The vials of serum come with a 5mm derma stamp (much easier than trying to microneedle your own scalp) which you press on to parted wet hair in the places where you are thinning. It creates channels for the serum to access the deeper layers of the scalp. One course can be enough to kick start growth – a friend of mine said her mother, who suffers from Long Covid, had had great results too.”
Castor Vida Castor Oil Pack, £42
"Sometimes a product comes along and you think, ‘what on earth is it?’ but soon find you can’t live (or sleep without it) but when I heard Trinny Woodall and Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle discussing the benefits of this castor oil overnight compress for liver support, bloating, IBS and sleep, I had to try it. It’s essentially a giant cloth belt that ties around your waist with one side soaked in castor oil that gradually absorbs into your abdomen. Castor oil is really thick and sticky so it’s very hard to get it to absorb like a normal body oil. It’s rich in ricinoleic acid which apparently ‘binds to receptors on the smooth muscle cells of the intestinal wall and causes them to contract, resulting in a bowel movement, less gut inflammation and less bloating’. I definitely get a better night’s sleep when I wear my belt and often a better poo. Or is that TMI?”
SJ Corfield-Smith, GTG Beauty Director
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm, £32
“It is absolutely no secret what a huge fan of this brand I am. I’ll tell anyone who will listen to me about my It Cosmetics CC Nude Glow review but the skincare is also great. Case in point: this cleansing balm, the perfect partner for removing the Nude Glow in my opinion. It has that quite pleasing waxy texture to it when you first scoop some out of the pot and then melts into an oily butter on your face, dissolving makeup as it goes. It isn’t stingy on the eyes at all so I rub it right into my lashes and leave it there for a few minutes to really get to work on lifting everything off before removing with a warm flannel. It contains rosehip which acts as a hydrator and skin feels silky soft after, no tightness here at all. It also a fairly strong rose scent so that may be the only downside to this product. I have scraped every last bit away and have already ordered my next tub.”
Vieve Skin Dew, £19
"Various members of the team have mentioned this product before for its skin glowing capabilities. A creamy, liquid highlighter that comes in one universal golden tone, it’s main point of difference, in my mind, compared to other highlighters is that it’s packed with skincare ingredients such as hydrating squalane, shea butter and argan oil so when you tap it on it really sinks into the skin creating a more natural looking glow than an obvious stripe of shine sitting on the top of your skin. Recently, I’ve been adding a dollop to my body lotion to bring some life back into my exceptionally pale and neglected legs as I start to ditch the tights in preparation for spring and bare-leg season."
Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Mascara, £9.99
"Which is the best budget mascara is always going to be a slightly contentious subject as I think mascara is one of the most personal beauty purchases you can make. However, if you haven’t found your ‘the one’ yet then may I lead you towards this one the next time you’re in the market. The reason I love it is because it has a nice substantial bristle brush wand - me and plastic comb wands don’t get on that well for some reason - that slightly undulates in the middle which seems to result in all my lashes getting coated and lifted up in just a few swipes. The mascara formula is also quite creamy, but not so wet that you end up with smudges, and jet black, which is how I like it."
Avène Cleanance Comedomed Anti-blemishes Concentrate, £22
"Over the years I have managed to get a slight grip on my spot-prone combination skin - mainly in part to the benefits of niacinamide - but every month when my period is due spots will crop up around my chin. They are so predictable that while I can’t prevent them entirely, such is the power of hormones, if I remember to use this spot-zapping gel a few days beforehand and during, they are certainly reduced in size and not so aggravating. This is because this clever gel not only purifies the skin but it also keeps it hydrated - so many spot treatment sap the skin from hydration that it ends up looking dry, flaky and spots look even more obvious. This takes away the angriness as treating the skin around it too. The sort of product I will always have as part of my arsenal for as and when I need it."
De Mamiel Altitude Bath Soak, £55
"I have written before about how I don’t have as much time as I would like for baths and have to begrudgingly opt for time-efficient showers. However when lurgy strikes and laying in bed is the only thing on your to-do list a bath is an essential task and this is what happened to me this month. I have to keep these bath salts hidden from the rest of my family because they don’t understand their healing capabilities and will just throw them in to a bath willy nilly, and when they cost what they cost that is not what should be happening. The reason they are so special is because they have been beautifully formulated to slowly release oil that calm your mind, soothe aching muscles and restore energy levels as well as nourishing the skin at the same time. The salt is a combination of a few different types that also are ideal for illness fatigue or post-workout muscle soreness. While I never look forward to being ill, I do slightly rejoice that I can use these as a genuine moment of self-care and healing.”
Amy Rostas, GTG Beauty and Social Media Assistant
Lucy Bee Naturally Glowing Self-Tan Mousse, £22.50
"I hate to brag, but I am a fake tan connoisseur. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried most tans out there so when I say this one is worth your money, it really is. It's formulated for those with sensitive skin in mind but it does still contain fragrance (a lovely fruity one at that) so if you're ultra sensitive this may still not be the one for you. However, it didn't flare up my eczema-prone skin, as some of them can and I tend to find mousse tans can feel the most drying on the skin, but this contains coconut water and my skin felt soft after. I always use a mitt to apply fake tans, especially a mousse as it helps it glide on far more easily. This one dries really quickly without leaving a sticky residue on the skin and is comfortable to sleep in. You can wash it off after two-hours for a very natural look, however, if you like a deeper tan like me I’d definitely recommend applying two coats and sleeping in it. Friends were convinced I’d been on a secret holiday when they saw me! It only fades really nicely without going patchy, which is a huge plus."
Colab Dry Shampoo original scent, £3.49
"I go through dry shampoo like it's going out of fashion and thankfully as this is only £3.49 it's a habit I can afford to keep. Thanks to its lightweight consistency, this didn’t weigh my hair down as some of the more powdery ones can. This is thanks to using a very fine starch, which means you also don't get that clogged-up scalp feeling. It claims to leave no white residue but I did find it made my brown hair look a little white, but a quick massage (which I do anyway as per the instructions) and it disappeared. This one also smells incredible; a mix of rose and bergamot citrus - in fact very similar to Diptyque Eau Rose, £84, just with more hair degreasing capabilities and a budget price tag."
Strivectin Advanced Hydration Hyaluronic Tripeptide Gel-Cream for Eyes, £30
"This is actually one of my mum’s empties! She stole it from me and couldn't stop raving about it. I managed to nab it back to try it out too and can confirm that mother really does know best. This lightweight yet hydrating eye gel-cream is packed full of moisturising ingredients, mainly the superstar hyaluronic acid. My mum suffers from puffy under eyes and this really helped to minimise the appearance of that along with her fine lines. It has a lovely velvety texture that absorbs easily without being greasy at all. Win-win. And as you only need a small amount per use it has lasted her a whopping eight months - I need to get her a new one ASAP!"
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturiser Sensitive, £23
"As you can see from the photo above I used this to the absolute last drop and loved every squeeze of it. I used the sensitive version as I am prone to irritation but if you have normal skin Inge recommends the regular version as the best multi-purpose cheap moisturiser. Its lightweight creamy consistency makes it really versatile. It can be used as a moisturiser, overnight hydrating mask and even layers incredibly under makeup. My skin is also quite dehydrated and this quenched its thirst and left it feeling hydrated throughout the day. It’s a simple, affordable moisturiser that ticks lots of boxes. If you have oily skin this may be too rich for you, but if you have sensitive, dry or dehydrated skin I think you’ll love this as much as I did."
Jemma Thompson, GTG Design and Social Media Manager
Skingredients Sally Cleanse Oil Control Cleanse, £27
"When a product is hyped up by skincare oracle Caroline Hirons, you know it’s a good’un. For years I’ve seen this cleanser make so many covetable beauty edits and I’ve been recommended it countless times, yet I never got around to trying. Now I have, and it's just what my hormonal oily skin has been searching for. It uses the highest concentration of salicylic acid permitted in a formula in the EU. Salicylic acid is undeniably one of the best ingredients to help manage an oily complexion, but it also helpfully tackles dark spots, blackheads, whiteheads and more. It’s a pretty powerful formula so I use it a couple of times a week alongside a milder cleanser (you can try the pre probiotic cleanse, £23 from Skingredients) to balance it out."
Nest New York Moroccan Amber Reed Diffuser, £56
"My goal in life is to have someone walk into a room in my house and demand to know why it smells so good – and this captivating reed diffuser has delivered that dream. If you are also after the best reed diffuser to scent your home, aren't we all, then take note. Nest is the number one home fragrance range in the US, they also do candles and perfume oils and make the perfect Mother's Day or housewarming gift. There are lots of different scents to choose from but this one has heavy notes of amber, sweet patchouli and bergamot this effortlessly chic bottle creates an enviable warm, welcoming ambiance. I’m begging for a car air freshener editions next because I am ob-sessed."
KMS Therma Shape, £13.92
"Over the past few months, I’ve been raving about this product and it seems I’m not the only one who adores it. Friends and fellow industry beauty lovers all agree too. This heat defence spray from professional haircare brand KMS literally speeds up blow drying time by 50 per cent. You spray the conditioning solution onto towel-dried hair and the lightweight mist helps to dry lock hair while encouraging water evaporation in hair stands. When I'm in a rush to style my extremely thick hair, it's my only hope."
Function of Beauty Shampoo and Conditioner, £12 each
"First of all, this shampoo and conditioner range smells unreal. It has the most uplifting fragrance with a blend of peach, lemon and jasmine which just stays put after rinsing out. Secondly (and the best part) is that it's totally customisable! US brand Function of Beauty has finally crossed the pond and landed at Boots and is big on personalisation. This is how it works:: you start by selecting your base shampoo and conditioner (there are four different types for straight, curly, wavy and coily hair) which work perfectly well on their own, however, the magic happens when you add in a Booster Shot, £4 each. There are ten different booster shots that target specific hair issues, ranging from colour protection to strengthening, hair growth and curl definition. You can choose up to three boosters to pour into your shampoo and conditioner, I opted for a coily base alongside deep condition and anti-frizz booster shots as that’s why my hair is dying for during the winter. It helps to nourish, and smooth my hair while leaving it soft for days. You can see in the reel below how it works when I headed over to their London pop-up last week to stock up on some more!"
Christina Callaghan, GTG Commercial Director
One/Size Mini Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder, £17
"When our lovely Amy interviewed Patrick Starr at the Sephora launch event last year I was lucky enough to pick up the setting powder from the coveted range. I swear this is one of the best setting powders I have ever used, and I have tried them all, from drugstore to high-end. It’s the only one that blurs my pores properly and makes my makeup last all day and night. I use a powder puff (yes, the ones you’ve been seeing all over TikTok) and it creates the most flawless finish. What I love is that it is a translucent powder that comes in different shades and the formula is super fine. For all my photo-ready people out there, the product causes no flashback and no white-casting. I can confirm that the mini size of 6.5g will last you for over six months."
FPP (Fermented Papaya Preparation) Food Supplement, £59.95
"I recently came across the food supplement that is FPP (Fermented Papaya Preparation) made from 100 per cent natural, certified non-GMO papayas that have been fermented for ten months (trust the process). The product comes in a sachet and you take one a day, and the only way I can describe it is that it’s like sherbet. You pop it under your tongue, it fizzes into action and dissolves away. Papaya has been used in Asian culture for decades because it's heralded for its health benefits and FPP is rich in antioxidants and helps with your immune system (much needed during this time of the year). It also has anti-inflammatory properties, improves digestion and improves skin hydration, elasticity and tone. The product doesn't come cheap - it's £2 per day, but with all of the added benefits and the fact it tastes so nice, I’ll be stocking up! Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you, FPP has been taken by the last three popes, and it is sold at the Vatican pharmacy!"
Charles Worthington Colourplex Ultra Violet Shampoo, £8.99
"With naturally dark brown hair I have balayage to add some lightness to the ends. The colour looks great for the first few weeks after my appointment, but then the brassy tones start to creep in which is when I reach for this product from Charles Worthington, which I have been using since my first touch of bleach in 2017. I have tried other toning shampoos over the years, but this is the one I always come back to. I only have to use it once a month and it knocks out the brassy tones and brings my colour back to life. I would recommend using the gloves that come with as it can stain your hands (as I learnt from experience). As all my bleached babes know, we want products that work but also help with damage and breakage and this contains PLEX-REPAIR™, technology that helps strengthen the core of the hair and helps reduce breakage by 90 per cent."
Marie Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor
Stila One Step Correct, £28
“At the top of my beauty empties this month is the miraculous skin One Step Correct primer by Stila. I’ve been using it every morning under my foundation and its the best, brightening primer I’ve come across. It contains three colour-correcting pigments to buff out all the imperfections and even the skin tone. There’s green to neutralise any redness and conceal blemishes, lavender to counteract sallowness and peach to brighten and illuminate. It’s been giving my skin a gorgeous glow throughout this harsh winter, and I need more.”
Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, £35
“Unfortunately, my husband also loves the Ren Moroccan Rose bath oil, so we’ve been galloping through it at an alarming pace. Its the intense Rose fragrance which does it for me. It’s deeply relaxing and comforting and a steaming hot bath after an intense yoga class is one of my all-time favourite self-care moments. As well as the richly hydrating otto oil, there’s palmarosa oil to balance the skin and mind, and geranium oil to soothe the skin. Ren has pioneered clean skincare for over twenty years using high-performance bioactive ingredients and I’m a fan of all of their products.”
Wunderbar Smooth’n Soft Conditioner, £17.99
"I recently discovered the Wunderbar hair care products and especially love the Smooth and Soft conditioner with its detangling, smoothing and glossy results. This is a great product for either straight and curly hair and contains argan oil to restore moisture. I’ve been leaving it on for five minutes when I’m in the bath, and am super happy with the glossy and non-static results. It’s also vegan and uses recycled packaging, so a win win all around."
Caudalie Firming Night Cream, £46
"Here’s another product my husband has got his hands on and is one of my all-time favourite night creams. In fact, I love all the Caudalie skincare products for their deeply hydrating and soothing properties. The firming night cream is the best replenishing his and her hydrating treatment. You won’t believe how good your skin feels in the morning. It contains hyaluronic acid, a vegan collagen booster and resveratrol, a natural active ingredient derived from vines."
Ingeborg van Lotringen, Contributing Beauty Editor
Avene Antirougeurs Unify SPF30 Unifying Care, £24
"This is designed for those with rosacea and full of ingredients that help quell redness, overheating, irritation and puffiness – and it really does make skin feel calm and protected, without sitting heavily or greasily on the surface. It has a slightly odd texture that doesn’t spread very easily, but once you’ve worked it into skin you feel it will stay put, which is important given its SPF30 broad-spectrum protection. I’d class it as a light moisturiser – if you want something rich for winter conditions you might find it slightly lacking. I love the gentle tint because it really suits my skin, but if you have dark skin or yellow undertones (instead of pink ones), this may be a bad match. Do check before you buy, as I know the right coverage is important if, unlike me, you have serious rosacea (which I don’t have). The only thing that bothers me about this pump-tube is that it’s almost impossible to get all the product out of it – if I cut it open I’m sure I’ll get another two weeks’ use out of it!"
Purifeyes Professional Spray, £11.95
"After writing five articles on dry eye syndrome, I’ve only gone and developed the disease myself. Symptoms are sore, scratchy eyes and constant streaming tears (the tear fluid is lacking in oils and the eyes over-produce water to keep moist), and it’s a MASSIVE pain in the proverbial (and eyes). One of the things I’ve recommended many times, and which indeed goes a long way in settling the condition, is this dedicated antimicrobial and pH-balancing solution, which is basically an eye-compatible version of Clinisoothe hypochlorous acid solution. Yes, it smells chlorine-y and is a relation of this scary chemical, but hypochlorous calms inflammation, speeds up healing and re-sets skin and in this case the eye surface to its optimal pH. It really helps off-set the damage my salty tears do to my skin, calms down the soreness and reduces the constant watering of my eyes. You can spray it straight on closed and even open eyes and this is the third bottle I’ve emptied so far."
Virtue Labs Flourish Mask for Thinning Hair, £55.44
"My hair was bone-dry and wispy anyway, but the recent cold weather has been parching it even more so I’ve taken to replacing my conditioner with a mask which I use as often as possible. Hair pros love Virtue for its proven hair-strengthening keratin complex which they seem to put in every product, but this non-waxy mask with a never-ending ingredients list that appears to feature all skincare ingredients is primarily aimed at locking moisture back into hair. And it does soften an d revive, without, importantly, adding any weight, which would leave my hair as flat as a pancake. It’s lovely to use and really indulgent (it had better at that price), and now my pot is empty."
Cellderma GF5 Bio-Regenerative Growth Factor Serum, £165
"Growth factors and peptides could be as effective as retinoids in normalising skin function and pushing back the signs of ageing, were it not for the facts that they are very hard to get past the surface of the skin, and expensive to formulate with. You want so see a good selection of different peptides very high on your ingredients list (denoting a high concentration), and with a prefix such as sh- this means they have been tied to a lipid to make them bio-available. But many -many- purportedly powerful peptide products feature just one or two peptides at the bottom of their list and are unlikely to make much difference to your skin. Not so this clear, unscented, hydrating gel, which has potentially the highest level of bio-available peptides and growth factors on the market, making it a favourite of skin doctors for helping skin heal post-procedure. It also calms inflammation, softens lines and helps firm and even skin tone. It’s one rare product that warrants the very high price – shame I go through it so quickly!"