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Not a day goes by without a new health or beauty launch landing on our desk, and on a bi-monthly basis we like to bring you our edit of what’s really shone and gone above and beyond in terms of performance and delivering on promises. Here’s what’s made the grade this time around...
Why we love it: “Delivers sleek, chic hair along with a charitable donation to support pediatric care in the UK.”
Review: “Not only does this damage limitation styling tool (the plates start at 165ºC, with a max heat of 195ºC) share part of its name in common with our site, which had us at hello, but £10 of each purchase is donated to Great Ormond Street hospital, the UK’s largest centre of child health research and pediatric care. If you’re the market for a fresh pair of straighteners anyway and are prepared to shell out a bit, not only will you be supporting medical care for children that need it, but you’ll also be acquiring an elegant and techy piece of kit. As the name indicates, there’s ‘touch’ technology at play here, as the mineral coated ceramic plates heat up on contact with each other, with three taps taking the plate temperature to the upper limit, which achieves polished lengths without totally frying your ends. In short, it’s kind on many levels, and the white outer casing looks clean and uncluttered on your dressing table. As glossy picks go, it’s a no-brainer.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Available from harrods.com from the 8th of May
Why we love it: “It’s like your favourite LBD in a bottle.”
Review: “I don’t do sexy. At all. But at least this new fragrance gives me the air of someone who could be. Akin to the go-to LBD in your wardrobe, it makes for a deeper, darker number to turn to when delicate florals or summery fruits just don’t fit the occasion. Part of the perfumer-jeweller’s new Splendida Bvlgari range, the trio of scents pay homage to three of the most iconic flowers in perfumery history (the iris, the rose and the jasmine) and the result makes for a range that’s as lovely to use as it is to look at. Intense yet multi-faceted, Jasmine Noir is my particular favourite thanks to its core of sambac jamsin absolute and satin almond being beautifully balanced by the brightness of green sap and the creaminess of woodier undertones (patchouli, cashmeran, tonka bean absolute…yes please). If you’re looking for a new perfume that packs some serious post-watershed punch, this might well be it.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: "A rich and deeply nourishing body serum to restore lustre to dry skin."
Review: "If the brand's dry body oil is anything to go by, then I had no question at all that the new body serum from Aurelia would be moving straight into the top spot of my bathroom shelf. Beautifully packaged in an easy to use pump bottle, this intensive hydrating body serum instantly soaks into my super dry skin. Velvety rich to replenish and smooth out any rough patches, but still incredibly lightweight in its texture, it immediately absorbs so that you can shove your jeans straight on if you're short on time - always a winner. The mix of essential oils, shea and cocoa butters plus vitamin E all work together to nourish and firm the skin, while protecting it throughout the day. It's the first time my skin has stayed properly hydrated all day, which is such a refreshing change from flakiness come the evening. With a delicate blend of mandarin, angelic, bergamot and cedar wood the scent is deliciously fresh for spring. In terms of budget, its high-end but once again I can't fault Auerlia in delivering a truly high class and pretty damn exquisite product."
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “SPF for sensitive skin that looks good too.”
Review: “As a fair-haired, fair-skinned sensitive beauty writer, sunscreen is a daily essential - it really is our best anti-ageing tool and a must for skin health, but so many people ignore it until they’re on their annual holiday. But with pollution concerns rising too, a daily shield is exactly what’s needed and Epionce have nailed it with their latest launch. Using mineral filters only (better for sensitive skin), it’s a broad spectrum SPF that protects against UV rays as well as pollution, infrared radiation and high energy visible light (HEVL). It has a glowing, sheer, suits-all tint to it; it looks deep on pale skins initially but once it sinks in, the effect is that of a sunkissed complexion. It’s products like this that show just how far sunscreens, especially physical (rather than chemical) formulas, have come. An enjoyable addition to your beauty routine that works hard to earn its keep.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: “A peachy pick me up for dull skin days”
Review: "It turns out that Edward Bess and I have something in common (who knew?). We’re both insanely pale! I only realized this when I watched his Youtube channel recently and saw one of the extras from the Twilight Saga staring back at me. So, it’s no wonder really that he’s invented this fabulous Meta Powder – a silky, featherweight compact powder that can literally be used all over the face and neck. Use it as a highlighter, a finisher, a starter, on the cheekbones, T-Zone – even as a base for eye makeup. I used it after applying foundation and it certainly lifted my complexion out of it’s vampiric state, leaving a peachy rose glow. It’s a lil’ on the pricey side at £48.00 but my justification is that it is multi-use- the type of product you want to have on standby as a post-flight skin brightener, a mid-party pick me up or even a companion for days when you just don’t feel like wearing much."
Reviewer: Alecka Micklewright, Commercial Director
Why we love it: "It's relaxation in a jar and great for affordable (self) gifting."
Review: "Caroline Westoll, one half of the duo behind Salt & Pamper and a nutritional therapist, had been recommending therapeutic bath salts (handy for dosing up on nerve calming magnesium, which many of us are deficient in) to her clients for years. She decided to make her own and she has done so with a twist."
"When I opened my reusable glass jar of Epsom salts (enough for three baths) I also found three muslin pouches (a bit like pyramid tea bags) filled with organic oats and scented with essential oils - in this case bergamot, but you can choose from nine oils and if your favourite isn’t on the list you can ask them to source it for you."
"I added one pouch to the bath along with a couple of handfuls of salts and the room was soon filled with an uplifting, but not overpowering smell and the bath water had become milky and soothing thanks to the oats. It’s recommended that you soak for 20 minutes to receive the full benefits of the magnesium."
"With prices starting at £5.49 going up to a £17.50 per month subscription, this is an innovative way of buying, customising and gifting health and relaxation."
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
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