From the hair supplements that really work to the blowout vs budget autumn-appropriate face creams, these are the beauty products the team used to the very last drop this month
It's a testament to how brilliant a product is when you use up every last scraping and immediately repurchase so you're not without it for too long. That's how the Get The Gloss team felt about the following array of skincare, hair, makeup and body care products this month that have perked up complexions, va va voomed hair and brought moments of calm and tranquillity to busy hectic lives. If you're looking for a brilliant new beauty purchase then these come highly recommended and here's why.
Victoria Woodhall, GTG Editorial Director
"Twice a year I do a foot peel and look forward to it with extreme relish - there’s nothing more satisfying than peeling off dead skin. I’ve tried many peel socks and these consistently give the best result - and by that, I mean sloughing off chunks of skin you can help along a bit, as opposed to creating little flakes, which just make a mess. Leave on for an hour and about a week later the peel begins and lasts a good few days. Just be careful not to moisturise your feet during the process even though they look like they need it, so you don’t interfere with the process. These make a surprisingly great gift too."
"I’m very protective over my thinning hair (thank you, hormones) and will only wash it with the most gentle colour-protecting products. This apple cider vinegar hair rinse is a great option for every other wash (I alternate it with HairStory New Wash, another favourite ‘empty’) to keep my scalp healthy without stripping it. It’s a watery formula that you apply with a nozzle directly on the scalp. You need two goes to get a gentle lather, but what I end up with is insane root volume for my fine hair. My daughter who has long thick hair (jealous!) loves this but says she has to use such a lot to get a good wash. But for shorter, fine hair like mine, it’s a dream."
"Jurlique are the OGs when it comes to high-performing natural and organic skincare and their age-proofing Nutri Defence range packs all the potency of plants into jars of (admittedly payday-worthy) loveliness. If you thought age-well creams were heavy this light texture, that’s nevertheless packed with hydrating and moisturising ingredients, will surprise you. While using it I was pleasantly surprised that my normally dry skin still felt bouncy all day. It’s a ninja at preventing trans-epidermal water loss which can make your skin ‘age’ in front of your eyes as it loses hydration in the atmosphere throughout the day. If you favour organic skincare this is your one-and-done cream in a recyclable glass jar too."
Strong Nutrients Chill Pill, £37.95
"Every time I do the ‘empties edit’ I include something from my ginormous stash of things to help me sleep. I’ve previously featured the knockout Unique CBD Sleep Drops and Hifas Da Terra Mico Rei Reishi medicinal mushroom capsules - a powerful cortisol dampener. Chill Pill is a high-strength Vitamin B5 supplement created by nutritionist and fitness expert Zana Morris (creator of the High Fat Diet - which is surprisingly green I tried it!) and is the only B vit I take at night (the other Bs can be energising). As Zana explains it supports the adrenals, which need extra love during menopause, helping me feel less wired and have better sleep.’"
"Now I’m in my 50s, my youthful sun damage has come home to roost and as Dr Maryam Zamani (oculoplastic surgeon, skincare founder and pigmentation slayer extraordinaire) created these high-performance ampoules told me recently, once you have pigmentation, you can fade it using the right ingredients (which she has expertly packed into this week-long day and night treatment that goes under your moisturiser) but it’s always lurking beneath the surface ready to pounce if you trigger it, notably with sun exposure. Read our best skincare for pigmentation explainer to learn more. Alongside the foot peel, this is another twice-a-year treatment for me, and it effectively keeps my sun spots in check. The ampoules are generous enough for face, neck, chest and hands."
SJ Corfield-Smith, GTG Beauty Director
"Thanks to small children and a hectic schedule I don’t get to take long, luxurious baths as frequently as I would like so when I do get the chance I go all out. I’m talking candles, calm music, bubbles and bath salts. And these ones in particular have added an extra bouji level to my baths of late. They have a gorgeous sexy vetiver-meets-amber smell to them and I really like how the salt is all different sizes and shapes, for some reason it makes me feel like I'm pouring in a handful of salt crystals that have come straight from the ground and that adds another level of specialness to my bathing experience. I’m a huge fan of salts as I always find they make me sleep better and soothe my muscles and these did all of that and made me feel great at the same time, what more can you ask for."
"I’m a huge fan of Milk Makeup, it’s a range that only creates products that are necessary and who doesn’t need a concealer that makes you look like you’ve had a great night's sleep and that your skin is perkier?! The pen applicator means I can easily apply it when I’m commuting and the glass rollerball adds an extra hit of refreshing relief to my usually tired eyes. It brightens so well that I sometimes use it as a highlighter on my cheeks too. There are skincare ingredients mixed in with the makeup pigment so it’s doing your skin some good whilst it brightens making it an excessively hard-working product."
"Niacinamide (we have 'niacinamide a dermatologist's guide' if you fancy finding out more about this brilliant ingredient) is one of those skincare ingredients that everyone should have in their bathroom cabinet because it works on all skin types and can improve nearly all skin issues. And this one is a great, not too pricey, option. On my oily and combination skin, it kept my oil levels stabilised and also prevented my pores from getting enlarged. I really liked the smell - I’m not entirely sure if it’s just the scent of the ingredients or an added fragrance but it’s light and refreshing. The texture is quite thick which I feel locks in my lighter vitamin C serum that I apply underneath and gave my skin an extra dose of hydration. It has a very slight pearlescent effect to it which gave my skin a very good glowy base for makeup to go on top off. All-in-all a great skin-targeting serum for everyone and everything."
"I discovered this pillow spray in my hotel room on a recent stay-cation (which got me thinking why more hotels don’t include sleep sprays in the amenities) and I can honestly say I had the best night’s sleep using it. It’s all the usual smells you would expect from a pillow spray: lavender and vetiver, but unlike many I’ve tried it’s not overly 'essential oily'. It's less hippy-dippy and more sophisticated and sultry. Almost like a really great perfume, that just happens to make you feel really relaxed and sleepy. I’ve already bought the full-size to replace my hotel-sized mini and couldn’t be happier about my purchase."
Jemma Thompson, GTG Design and Social Media Manager
Hair Gain Hair Gummies, £29.99
"I’ve been taking these hair gummies for a couple of months now (this is probably my third empty!) and my hair hasn’t felt this strong since my early teens. If you’re battling thinning, damaged hair or just want to grow you locks like myself then invest in this journey. It’s formulated with pea shoots — quite the buzzy ingredient in the haircare world right now thanks to its ability to stimulate hair follicles to kick-start growth. I take two of the chewable, naturally sweet gummies a day; to be honest it’s hard to restrict myself to just two as they taste so delicious (luckily, they’re only 15 calories per serving)."
"When it comes to my skincare routine, I’m pretty lazy. I’m all about finding products that can streamline my routine and bathroom shelves. So, when I discovered this all-in-one mask and exfoliator I was on board. It’s a powder formula that you add a drop of water to activate as a paste and uses natural enzymes to do the hard work. Enzymes differ from physical exfoliators (aka gritty scrubs) and chemical exfoliants (aka liquid acids) as they bond to dead cells and lift them off the skin as opposed to dissolving or working through them. The result is 'sayonara' dull skin and 'bonjour' radiant glowing skin. All in under 60 seconds! It only came out mid-September but I had an early preview and have been using it over the past few months, and it’s secured a firm place in my (minimal) skincare routine"
"I love a sensory shower moment and this hardworking scrub delivers just that. It’s enriched with a blend of bergamot, cedarwood and jasmine which leaves you feeling oh-so relaxed yet invigorated. The formula is enriched with moisturising monoi oil, shea butter and salicylic acid that helps to retexturize and which transforms drab winter skin to fab. I prefer to use it in the morning as not only does the uplifting scent wake you up, the exfoliating scrub leaves your skin with a lit-from-within, silky soft finish."
"I must admit, when I first found out tanning brand Bondi Sands forayed into the skincare world, I was rather sceptical. However, I’ve been using the range for a while now and can only say good things. Not only is the range simple yet effective, it’s also very affordable. The night facial cream is enriched with skin-loving ingredients providing up to 72 hours of hydration, including hyaluronic acid and squalene and leaves your skin plump and perky come morning."
Amy Rostas, GTG Beauty and Social Media Assistant
"If you haven’t found your perfect hyaluronic acid serum yet then let me share mine with you. This High Potency Intensive one from Perricone is different to any other hyaluronic serum I’ve tried, it has a silky creamy texture and it's not sticky which others often are. Hyaluronic acid increases your skins water and moisture retention, keeping your skin hydrated and plump. One can get away with not wearing a moisturiser on top of this but I do because I love that extra hydrating feel a moisturiser gives. This has helped strengthen my skin barrier for the last 6 months and I will be needing another one to keep its strength up throughout the colder months."
"Tatcha is a Japanese skincare brand that I’ve longed to try and I was so excited when it launched in the UK earlier this year. The water cream is a lightweight moisturiser that sinks into your skin quickly leaving your skin smooth and hydrated, it has a cooling feeling so it is perfect for plumping and refreshing your skin in the morning. Its lightweight texture means it's best suited for combination or oily skin, however I found it worked a treat on my dry sensitive skin and layered up with my other skincare products kept my skin perfectly hydrated. Ingredients include; Japanese wild rose, fermented rice and green tea, which work together to hydrate, tighten pores and smooth the texture of the skin. It also includes a ‘touch of 23-karat gold’ which leaves your skin looking glowy not shiny. A similar and more budget-friendly option is The Inkey List Omega Water Cream which Rosie finished this month (see below for her review), but if you can afford it then this one definitely feels more luxe and special to use."
Vieve Skin Nova, £27
"Jamie Genevieve, makeup artist, founder and CCO of Vieve makeup brand, was hugely inspired by Japanese and Korean beauty when developing her line and this lightweight primer is indicative of that. Firstly, whilst this is a makeup-prepping product it feels like skincare thanks to the high-quality ingredients such as niacinamide to brighten, rose water for hydration and glow and orchid extract which minimises the appearance of fine lines. It also includes golden light-reflecting pigments that instantly add radiance and glow to the skin in preparation for makeup to go on top. On days when I felt like I needed extra coverage, I used it under my foundation. But on good skin days, I have worn this with just a little concealer but it also works as a highlighter on the cheekbones or even under the eyes to add instant brightness. My next tube is already on order."
"I am so fussy when it comes to body SPF so to find one and use it all up is a rare moment for me. This SPF from tanning moguls Bondi Sands saved me this summer, it leaves no white cast, doesn’t go milky when wet, rubs in easily and leaves your skin smooth and hydrated. Makeup artist and Get the Gloss Beauty Awards Judge, Mira Parmar - who has a darker skin tone than me also told me how much she loved it for all the same reasons. Plus what a bargainous price. I've already stocked up for my next trip abroad."
Rosie Fitzmaurice, Health and Wellness Editor
"PSA: you can now shop Sculpted by Aimee makeup IRL at Boots. Run don’t walk - the Irish makeup artist’s range is a relative newcomer to the UK, and a firm beauty editor fave for good reason. Her thoughtful formulas, known for their dewy finishes, offer serious value for money that rival top brands - and lately she has been drawing comparisons to the one and only Charlotte Tilbury. I have used every last scrap of this under-eye liquid concealer which is one of the best I’ve tried and I’ll be snapping another one up pronto. The lightweight texture hides any dark circles, instantly making me look more awake, and despite being creamy, ultra lightweight and non-cakey, the coverage has some impressive staying power."
The Inkey List Omega Water Cream Moisturizer, was £9.99 now. £7.95
"If you’re in the market for a budget moisturiser, I can’t recommend this enough. My skin gets dry and dehydrated easily meaning it drinks up product, so often I find that gel formulas don’t quench it enough, but this does thanks to the combination of omega fatty acids, glycerin and niacinamide that work together to nourish the skin barrier, even tone and lock in hydration that lasts all day. The silky, oil-free formula is non-clogging and lightweight, making it ideal for acne-prone skin types, too, making this an all-round purse-friendly crowd pleaser."
"I love Japanese beauty brands that focus on being gentle and delicate on the skin, rather than stripping it, with the likes of Curél and DHC up there among my favourites. Hada Labo Tokyo, aka Japan’s best-selling skincare line, which launched in the UK via Superdrug earlier this year, is a more recent discovery of mine thanks to Dr Ewoma, who is also a huge fan too. They call Super Hydrator an “anti-ageing lotion”, but I treat it as a hyaluronic acid serum, of which it contains four different types to deeply hydrate. A couple of pumps patted over my face leaves it supple and bouncy. Layer it under your moisturiser (you can always use a targeted serum like vitamin C too). Like many other J-Beauty brands it's fragrance free, and you get comparatively much more in this 150ml bottle than almost all other HA serums on the market, too."
"When my friends ask me for the one skincare product I would recommend above everything else - it’s this. Yes it’s expensive, but hear me out. I have had this tube for over a year and use it before most social events - weddings, birthdays, parties, dinners, drinks, you name it - and always get comments on my glow. And I say this as someone who has a naturally fairly dull complexion, and not one who regularly receives compliments about my skin. Pop it on the night before and a cocktail of AHAs, BHAs and enzymes get to work brightening, buffing away dead skin cells and basically delivering results that rival a medical-grade peel while you snooze. Seriously. It’s like magic for my skin, though I should point out, given its potency, you mustn't overuse it (and this wouldn’t suit anyone with sensitive skin). When used sensibly (I’d recommend once a week max depending on your skin type and needs on the day) this is a seriously hardworking powerhouse to have in your skincare arsenal that gives you bang for your buck, making it worth the investment."
Ingeborg van Lotringen, Beauty Editor
Beauty Pie Youth Bomb 360 Radiance Concentrate, £44 (£185 for non-members)
"Confusingly, my empty bottle says this is called ‘360* Face Lift Serum’ but it appears to have undergone a change of identity, with the formula remaining the same. It goes to show, I guess, how many skincare ingredients tackle multiple issues, working to brighten skin as much as plump it. I was attracted to this one for its long list of calming and quenching marine and plant extracts, supercharged with peptides and effective hydrators that are not hyaluronic acid. I’ve got nothing against the latter, but it is very prone to leave a layer on my skin that causes subsequent products to pill. This super-lightweight, fragrance-free serum doesn’t do that, delivering instantly-penetrating moisture from exopolysaccharides and polyglutamic acid and taking its brightening, plumping actives into the skin with it. It layers seamlessly under anything for an extra hit of moisture, health and brightness. I’ve gone through the quite large bottle in a matter of weeks, unfortunately."
Use code GTGSENTME to get £10 off Beauty Pie annual membership when you sign up.
"With bodycare becoming much like skincare, and haircare flaunting its skincare-like formulas as well, I’m not surprised my husband tries to wash his face with my toothpaste on a regular basis these days. It’s all somewhat confusing and seems a bit gimmicky, but I can’t deny a lot of these products have a lot going for them, especially in terms of textures. I love a rich body cream, but I find that the oils do creep into your clothes and make them go smelly very quickly. A serum like this – and it is definitely a light, humectant-based serum – doesn’t cause such issues and still hydrates admirably. It also packs niacinamide, ceramides and polyhydroxy acid so it will fortify the lipid barrier, whether you put on your body or your face (it’ll work there just as well). I also like that it’s fragrance-free, so I don’t have to walk around with itchy limbs on account of the perfume. I’m sure budget brands like Vaseline Intensive Care could make a very effective dupe of this that doesn’t cost £45 (hint)."
Gallinée Hair Cleansing Cream, was £23 now £17.25
"Well, I’ve emptied another bottle of this; thankfully it’s recyclable. Not a ‘shampoo’ people will take to immediately, but one that you’ll go back to again and again once you’ve tried it. There’s no foam so it feels like washing your hair with conditioner, like a ‘co-wash’. Those I don’t consider a good idea, as they’re simply not effective at lifting oils and impurities off the scalp, and can cause clogging and itching. This, however, does have surfactants (cleansing agents) – only they’re very mild and don’t create much in the way of bubbles. There’s also prebiotics, lactic acids and hydrating agents to leave the scalp calm and hydrating and hair mildly conditioned. In fact, it’s left soft enough that I don’t actually have to use a conditioner afterwards if I’m in a hurry. It can now also boast proven anti-dandruff efficiency, thanks to its scalp microbiome-boosting formula. This wasn’t my first bottle and it won’t be the last."
"Proving that luxury is as much in texture as it can be in scent or over-the-top packaging, this lush cream feels like a treat despite being fragrance-free (which is simply better for your skin). It’s thick enough to work as a massage cream, so it can be allowed some time to effectively melt away makeup, sunscreens and pollution, but rinses off leaving skin feel hydrated yet non-oily. It has pre and probiotics, lipids and polyhydroxy acid to nurture and quench, so it almost feels like a hydrating, cooling mask while it’s on your skin. Like a good cleanser should, it makes you enjoy washing your face and polishes your halo as well: the bottle is refillable."
Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG Contributor
"With winter on the horizon, my beauty empties this month are all about feeding the skin and hydration. First up is the multi-tasking Environ Body Essentia oil which I use after my shower. It’s light, nourishing and after a few squirts and a quick rub, my skin is baby-soft. It’s formulated with Vitamin A, C & E to help reduce stretch marks, and scarring and soften rough skin. It’s a great face oil too, and lovely for the cuticles."
Cellcosmet Precious Mask, £159
"My favourite autumn pastime is to languish in the bath, with a great book and a hydrating face mask. I’m a sufferer of dry, tight skin, made worse by menopause, and need regular intensive moisturising treatments for my face. I recently stumbled across the Precious Mask by Cellocosmet which is a game changer. It’s a rich, earthy, reddish-brown cream containing kombucha extras to soften and boost radiance. The results are immediate. It's super soothing, and deeply hydrating. I’ve been using it a couple of times a week, and my face feels hydrated and smooth. The high price is due to the innovation and science behind the Swiss skincare specialists Cellcosmet. I’m using it sparingly as I’m not sure when I can afford another pot"
Bio Effect EGF Serum, £49
"I’ve been using the Bio Effect EGF serum for a few years. This is the best pick-me-up for knackered looking skin! Its special ingredient is a plant-based Epidermal Growth Factor, derived from Barley. The EGF protein supports collagen production and deeply hydrates to leave the skin glowing. Bio Effect is a techy, science-led skincare brand from Iceland and has won numerous award-winning for its EGF technology. It comes in tiny vials, is great for travel and you only need a few drops a day to experience it’s magic."
"A couple of months ago, I was sent the new Fermitif Neck Renewal Serum, it comes with a soft brush, and I’ve been applying every night, ever since. Its cooling, and soothing, smells of roses and is totally divine. It’s another science-led product, containing a firming peptide and CoQ10 to boost collagen and firm the skin. My neck is less crepey, definitely smoother and just loves its special night time TLC. This is an investment treatment and one I’ll be adding to my Christmas wish list this year."