You won't be surprised to learn that the products we used to the very last drop this month major on sun protection and hydration, sleeping in the heat and with a dash of Covid recovery. If you're looking for inspiration for summer beauty and wellness buys, these are the products that we buy on repeat.
Victoria Woodhall, GTG Editorial Director
“I love the uplifting smell of rosemary. Whenever I see a rosemary bush I always pick off a few of the spiny leaves for a quick pick-me-up sniff. This rosemary-infused body serum by Cosmydor (a sustainable organic brand from France) is my idea of heaven. It comes in an aluminium bottle and its main ingredient is rosemary floral water, which keeps the herby scent just the right side of subtle, rather than rack-of-lamb. With easily absorbed oils and butters such as jojoba and shea, this ticks the boxes for skin feel, sensory heaven and eco-credentials. A lovely way to reset my mind and skin, morning or night.”
Inessa Immunity Complex, £24.99
“I caught Covid for the first time last month and immediately riffled through the many supplements I’d been sent to find for the best immune support. This stood head and shoulders above the others with high and clinically-effective doses of key nutrients such as vegan vitamin D3 at 1000% of the EU NRV, vitamin C (500mg), zinc (20mg), selenium medicinal mushrooms (chaga, reishi) and black elderberry all in bioavailable form and without fillers. The brand was founded by Liza Marogy, a nutritionist with an autoimmune condition, who wanted to make high-strength high-quality formulas available to people, without having to go via a nutrition professional. I’ve carried on taking them and am surprised, given the formulation, that they remain good value – a Covid-era keeper.”
Tatcha The Silk Cream, £115
"If you’ve wondered whether the buzz about Japanese inspired-skincare brand Tatcha, which landed in the UK in May, was justified, then my near-empty jar of its hero moisturiser should tell you all you need to know. Incidentally, GTG’s Jemma Thompson also emptied her pot this month too and loved it as much for her oily 20-something skin as I did for my dry and lined 50+ face. It’s rare to find a cream that’s truly universal (price being the notable exception here, of course). If you’re an ‘investment moisturiser’ person, I highly recommend it. If you’re not, then Beauty Pie’s Japanfusion Power Elixir Moisturiser, £16 is similarly lightweight and mighty."
Unique CBD Night Drops, £135 for 10ml
"You can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep, and if you struggle with it regularly (or in the current heatwave) as I do these drops are very much worth the investment. Yes, you can get cheaper CBD sleep drops, but this 0% THC third-party-lab-tested, CO2 extracted, organic blend is streets ahead of any others I’ve tried. Not only do these mildly minty drops tick every purity and efficacy box, but they are super strong – one-third of a pipette delivers the maximum daily allowance of 70mg - you really only need two to five drops per night. For comparison, they are four times as strong as the Unique day drops, so do read the instruction carefully. Not for nothing did this duo win best self-care product in The Get Gloss Beauty and Wellness Awards, 2021 impressing not just us but judge Dr Galyna Selezneva"
SJ Corfield-Smith, Freelance Beauty Director
"If you’re unsure about using a body oil because you think it’s going to be too….well, oily, then may I steer you in the direction of this product. It is a mousse that when massaged in becomes a very silky, but dry, oil that sinks in immediately without any residue left behind on the skin. It is really hydrating and has made my post-holiday parched skin feel soft and looking smooth. As with all Rituals products, the scent is divine and lingers on the skin all day."
Bliss Block Star SPF30, £19.95
"This mineral sun cream came on holiday with me a month ago and I’ve been wearing it every day since then (PSA: daily SPF is a must). It has a tint to it that blends in perfectly into my skin tone (apparently it does work for all skin tones) and an almost primer-like texture which seems to blur my pores too. It creates enough of a difference in my complexion that on days when I don’t fancy wearing any makeup, this is enough to boost my confidence going out bare-faced."
"I still don’t think I’ve found my perfect eyebrow pencil - I have exceptionally fair brows and I struggle to find one that doesn’t make them look too dark whilst still adding some oomph to them. However, this one is one of the best I’ve tried. As with all Fenty Beauty products, appealing to all skin tones and hair colours has been well thought out - there are three different blonde shades to choose from. The pencil is creamy, goes on easily and is easily wound up so no need for a sharpener (thank goodness). And the brow brush at the other end is almost like a hairbrush, rather than a traditional spoolie, which I really liked."
"Proving that haircare doesn’t need to cost the earth to be brilliant, this fantastic shampoo is the brainchild of celebrity hairstylist, Adam Reed. The entire range is great and all the products smell phenomenal, but this shampoo has impressed me. I am a frequent runner so my hair tends to absorb lots of sweat and get quite greasy. This has cleansed it without stripping it and made it look shiny and healthy. I have been using it with the matching conditioner, but as always and mainly because I tend to do two shampoos, I haven’t managed to finish that yet."
Amy Rostas, GTG Beauty and Social Media Assistant
"This is the first eye cream I have actually stuck with and love. I often find eye creams cause my sensitive eyes to stream or itch but this cream does neither. It’s much more lightweight than the average eye cream and sinks in immediately while the vitamin C gets to work on brightening and green coffee beans take away puffiness. It has illuminating particles which leave a gorgeous hydrated glow - and all for under a tenner. Win-win!"
"Summer is a time when those of us with curly hair are more likely to air dry and this beach wave spray is excellent at enhancing a wavy curl pattern and minimising frizz. Unlike most sprays, this one is salt-free to avoid drying out the hair. Instead and uses sugar (sucrose). I spray this throughout my hair, avoiding the roots and scrunch to my heart's content! This creates hydrated tousled waves with a 'no-effort' just walked off the beach look."
"This Australian SPF brand is adored by many including skin experts Dr Ayah Siddiqi and Caroline Hirons. I have been using this hydrating cream with chemical SPF filters in extreme heat and it has proved brilliantly sweat-proof and unusually has not made me break out. It leaves a gorgeous satiny glow to your skin without being too shiny. It's mildly scented of vanilla, works perfectly under makeup and does not pill or melt away throughout the day."
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray Ultra Glow, was £27 now £21.60
"My makeup does not feel complete until I douse myself in setting spray. This glowy version of the iconic UD All Nighter Setting Spray has been my go-to for big nights out and long, sunny days! I use about five sprays across my face which sets the makeup into my skin and locks it in all day or night. The glow comes from added hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin, leaving it plump and dewy."
Ingeborg van Lotringen,
DPHue ACV Hair Rinse, £32
"A mildly acidic product is good for your mildly acidic skin and scalp – it sounds aggressive but it actually brings balance. This apple cider vinegar ‘rinse’ is a liquid but it’s not just some vinegar mixed with water – it has mild cleansers and conditioners so it functions as a very gentle, non-foaming shampoo that leaves your hair soft. The vinegar purifies and seals the hair’s cuticle to leave it glossy and protect it from colour fade. It smells sort of neutral (not like a vinaigrette) and I use it all the time instead of regular shampoo – so I‘ve run out."
"Don’t be put off by the chlorine smell (yes I know it’s hard not to but hear me out), this mist is your skin’s best friend. Used by every doctor worth her/his salt before and after procedures, hypochlorous acid solution (it’s a distant cousin of bleach, indeed, but at the opposite end of the chemical spectrum), is antibacterial and anti-viral like alcohol. But unlike alcohol, it’s completely non-drying and non-stripping – in fact, it is pH-neutral which means it rebalances the skin barrier to soothe, hydrate and calm redness while neutralising bugs. The Light Salon has put it in a handy spray bottle which I use as a toner and face mist, to disinfect hands and surfaces, and to clean minor wounds. It’s good for everything, so it’s a perennial Empty for me."
"Biphase eye makeup removers are a non-negotiable for me – they dissolve heavy-duty mascara and liner without rubbing, but leave no oil film in and around your eyes. But if you think they’re all much of a muchness, you’re mistaken: getting the balance between oil and water (the water ‘phase’ is actually a sort of micellar water) right is difficult, judging from all the bad biphases I’ve tried. This one, however, is perfect, so I go through bottles like tubs of Håagen-Dazs. Fragrance-free as it should be, you shake it to wake it, dispense some in a cotton pad and slide your slap off without any effort, leaving eye skin feeling fresh but supple."