GTG Beauty Director SJ goes through the products, treatments and gadgets that are super efficient and effective saving time, money and effort

Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

In my last column, I wrote about products and treatments that were big both on speed and results. Should I go there again, I wondered?  I feel like a broken record saying: “I have so little time. I need everything to work as hard as I do and be doubly effective”.  But then I realised something: this is the reality of my life – and chances are it’s your life too.

I don’t have time for self-care and treatments that involve blocking out four hours in my day. I wish I did and maybe that life will come when my children are older. But right now I want to look and feel good but with minimal time and effort. So my 'editor's' picks' edit, below, features true multitaskers or are going to make a tangible difference to my life and, most importantly, deliver on what they claim. I only book in for treatments that involve zero downtime but make me look different the minute I (speedily) dash home. If that resonates with you then read on and enjoy. If that’s not you, then I’m not sure you and I can be friends right now, but I wish you well!

Here's everything I loved this week



The sweaty sleeper must-have

I know this is the time of year for weighted blankets but I get so hot and sweaty at night they are not an option. I haven’t always been a sweaty sleeper, it began during pregnancy, got really bad when I was breastfeeding (my duvet would be drenched) and has stayed with me ever since. I’m predicting perimenopause will be interesting. If you also get warm in bed let me tell you about Shades of Cool Sleep Dohar, £150. Dohar’s were traditionally used by Indian royalty to keep them cool during hot summers. They are handmade using three layers of fine Indian cotton that specifically regulate body temperature and keep you cool at night. Depending how hot you get you can use it alone or pair it with a light tog duvet or bedsheet. While they don’t have the cocooning effect of a weighted blanket they keep your temperature constant which then helps you stay asleep. Dreamy is the word.

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I can’t be a gatekeeper about this base

I have written about Yensa Skin On Skin BC Foundation SPF40, £35 before but I feel like it needs a second shout-out because it is just so good. I have used it on my skin every day since it landed on my desk. The reason I love it is because it’s such an easy product to use. It blends easily whether you use your fingers, a brush or a sponge. It does everything I need it to in one go - colour correcting my skin, concealing, providing SPF protection and it delivers just the right amount of glow. It also has brilliant staying-power. If you’re in the market for a new easy-breezy base product please go try it..

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How to get brows when you don’t have brows

Being naturally very fair, my eyebrows are not the defined bushy brows that I dream of. I have to pencil them in every day and I’m constantly brushing them up to make them look a bit more dramatic, even though they drop back down a few hours later. So this week I tried my first ever brow lamination treatment. It’s like a Brazilian blow-dry for brows, chemically altering the structure of the hairs making them very straight so that when you do brush them up they stay up which makes brows look fuller. I went to brow experts, Blink Brow Bar in London’s Mayfair for mine. The three step treatment takes around 20 mins, costs £60 and I think instantly opens up and lifts the eye area, knocking years off.

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Handy hairdryer

When it comes to hairdryers, very few compete with my professional Parlux I’ve had for over 20 years. However, this new Shark SpeedStyle 3-in-1 Hair Dryer, £199.99 is impressive. Not only is it super light and very speedy but I like that you can buy it in different configurations depending which type of styling attachment you need and actually use. The straight and wavy set contains a smoothing attachment, a styling brush and a shine booster. The curly and coily set comes with a diffuser, the shine booster and the styling brush. You can of course buy the hairdryer with all of the attachments should you be a complete hair styling chameleon but I like I’ve got the attachments I use and none are sitting collecting dust as they often are.

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Calling everyone who looks tired

As a mum of two small people I am constantly tired. May I introduce you to my new secret weapon in faking a restful and restorative night’s sleep. Meet Nars Light Reflecting Eye Brightener, £26. This clever hybrid under eye concealer meets colour corrector meets highlighter makes tired and dull looking skin look instantly alive, refreshed and glowing. It comes in six shades and you simply tap it on under the eyes and watch the transformation take place.

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Gel manicures reinvented

Bio Sculpture Gel was the first long lasting manicure systems to come to market back in the late 80s. It got slightly overlooked with subsequent launches of Shellac and other gel manicure systems that were quicker to apply and less bulky on the nail. It has had a complete revamp in the last few years and I believe it's the best gel manicure you can get. It has all the colours you can imagine and it's kind to the nail (unlike so many) and helps nails to grow. Plus, the removal (which is when the most damage is done) is the simplest when done by a Bio Sculpture Pro - I have watched it be lightly lifted off the nail after a quick soaking, no electric drills required. These are my latest set, my take on an autumn nail design - a classic milky nail base with just the tiniest of red dots masterfully applied by Anvita Patel. Here's a handy link to find a BioSculpture technician near you.

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Serum made easy

Now I know applying serum is hardly laborious but Tatcha have made it even easier with their new The Serum Stick, £49. This handy balm-like stick contains hydrating squalane alongside fermented Japanese ingredients that get to work on fine lines and dryness. You can apply it under or over makeup. Personally I enjoy standing in my bathroom, half asleep (as always) and massaging it in all over clean skin first thing in the morning. And I go for it; cheeks, forehead, neck, under the eyes, over my lips. It’s also super handy for travelling or throwing in a gym bag.

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Body sprays 2.0

If the words ‘body spray’ conjures up memories of cheap, alcohol-heavy scents masking all kinds of odours in school locker rooms, it’s time to meet a new breed of them. And it's thanks to chic fragrance brand Phlur - creator of cult scent, Missing Person, £96. They have created three hair and body mists all in new scents. There's Amber Haze, £20 - quite musky and heavy on the amber and vanilla, Mango Mood, £20 - fruity but with a depth to it of brown sugar and sandalwood (my favourite) and Vanilla Skin, £20 - creamy and cozy with a hint of pink pepper to stop it being too sweet. Ideal for days where wearing perfume seems a bit much or for keeping in your bag for a light refresh mid-afternoon.

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