There was a time when flashy packaging ruled, but all that changed when The Ordinary and Glossier were unleashed on the world (albeit a few years apart) and created a new trend in pared-back, minimalist packaging and messaging and with pared-back prices to match. Since then we've seen the rise of no-frills brands such as The Inkey List and even Boots' own budget Boots Ingredients range.
Now there's a new contender. Where Ingredients was very much going after Inkey and Ordinary territory, Glow appears to be Boots' budget answer to Glossier, aimed at a young market. The eight vegan products are all £4 and major on enhancing radiance and owning the skin you're in. It's the approach that Glossier pioneered and new brands Plenaire and Skin Proud have adopted too.
Glow-getting ingredient niacinamide front and centre here. It's one of beauty's hottest and most effective ingredients for strengthening the skin barrier. It also has an anti-acne action as well as a brightening capability, reducing hyperpigmentation.
Here's the lowdown:
Promise: Radiance and hydration
This microfine mist is designed to be spritzed on in the morning for a refreshing wake up call. Brightening niacinamide is high up (third) on the ingredients list, which is a good sign that it's not just a nod. Hydrating hyaluronic acid, castor oil feature too.
Promise: Makeup melting and moisturising
We love a cleansing stick, especially Frances Prescott's Tri-Balm, and this is a much more purse-friendly version. It's designed to be used as the first step in your cleanse before the cleansing oil (see below) to remove makeup and nourish and hydrate the skin. It contains mineral oil (liquid paraffin) which lovers of natural ingredients may refer to avoid.
Promise: Glowing and brightening
Oliver and sunflower seed oil come together in this cleanser to remove makeup, cleansing away pore-clogging dirt. The main ingredient is again liquid paraffin.
MORE GLOSS: The best cleansing oils for dry skin
Promise: Soothing and hydrating
This lightweight cream also has niacinamide in the formula, promising a glowing, brightening complexion. It's the only moisturiser in the range and is suitable to use both morning and night, with niacinamide the second ingredient after water. As you'd expect from a budget offering the ingredients reflect the price. We'd probably recommend this more for younger skin that mature skin that wants more from a cream.
Promise: Radiance and hydrating
Gel is our current favourite mask texture - so light, so refreshing - and this mask has it. It claims to intensely moisturise for brighter and more radiant-looking skin thanks to glycerin and castor oil. And it contains niacinamide too.
Promise: Clarifying and brightening
Like Pixi's Glow Tonic before it, this is designed to clarify the complexion and smooth the skin for a healthy glow, although it's not clear whether this is an acid toner. Certainly, the alcohol content will dry out oil and glycerin and hyaluronic acid add moisture back in.
Promise: Energising and refreshing
The job of an essence is to pre-hydrate your cleansed skin so that whatever comes on top of it - your serum or moisturiser - sinks in better (a bit like wetting a sponge before you add soap). Softening glycerin features highly as well as niacinamide.
Promise: Brightening and hydrating
This refreshing eye cream hydrates the delicate eye area with glycerine and smoothing silicone which acts as a primer for your concealer.
MORE GLOSS: What to buy from Plenaire: the skincare brand Glossier fans will love