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Our picks this week are all a little left of centre, but there’s much joy and reward in switching up your usual creams for an oil, dabbling in a more niche scent or picking up a non-fiction book that you might normally not consider. Read on for an edit of what’s made an impact in our office this week.
Why we love it: “Fast absorbing and highly hydrating, this grease-free body oil is a delicious daily indulgence for dry skin.”
Review: “I’m a little obsessed by oils - face, hair, cuticle...and with the sun starting to make an appearance, I’ve been looking for a body variation to complete my collection. Trilogy’s cult Rosehip Oil is favourite of mine in the facial department, so imagine my delight upon discovering that its latest launch offered an option for my lizard-like limbs too. Enriched with sweet almond oil, apricot oil and of course, rosehip, it soothes and hydrates supremely well and, rather than leaving skin slick and greasy (like some heavy moisturisers do), it absorbs incredibly quickly for much appreciated practicality. Fragrance-free and impressively wide-ranging in its appeal, its simple yet effective formula has proven the perfect pairing for my parched pins - I’m hooked.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “Pretty much the full alphabet of what your skin needs at any given moment.”
Review: “Having just returned from a long-haul holiday that took in deserts, glaciers and more than a little wine and other local delicacies, I’m now feeling the need to get back on the vitamin, vegetable and hydration wagon, especially seeing as a piece of my forehead pretty much fell off this morning it was so dry (air con+desert will do this to you). I’ve been tinkering with the Alpha H Vitamin Profiling Collection for a month or so, and while the vitamin E offering is currently soothing my velcro like complexion, the vitamin A, B and C that accompany it are genius for targeting particular skin concerns- from a shot of vitamin C in the morning for additional antioxidant protection to a drop or two of vitamin A for nocturnal repair and revved up collagen synthesis. Whether skin needs to be wrapped in cotton wool (figuratively speaking), clarified, plumped or given a smoothing out, each vitamin serum addresses a particular skin issue with ingredients at a concentration that actually makes a difference. At £49 for four key vitamins blended with non-irritating plant oils, the ‘skin prescription’ set is also good value- each bottle comes in at 25ml, and you only need a very small amount per application. Thing of it as an all you can eat skin buffet if you will.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: "A soothing and nourishing cleanser that removes skin impurities leaving it feeling calm, hydrated and healthy."
Review: "When Kiehl's decided to extend their Midnight Recovery range I made space on my bathroom shelf - if the concentrate is anything to go by, then it's going to be purchased in bulk by me. This cleansing oil has a light lavender scent, which is so soothing at the end of the day and to de-stress before bed. Although at first it feels a bit greasy to the touch, the texture transforms when massaged into the skin. It's incredibly lightweight and the oil effortlessly melts away impurities, from dirt to oil right through to the stubborn black eye makeup. The oil rinses off easily and the degriming power means that just the one cleanse is sufficient. Enriched with squalane, evening primrose oil and lavender essential oil, it deeply nourishes the skin leaving it feeling soft, clean and hydrated. It's on the shelf and it's there to stay- my skin is super thankful!"
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: "A fun but grown-up fragrance that’s destined to be cult."
Review: "I love a niche perfume, especially one that doesn’t make me smell like a Marseille soap stall and was drawn to this fragrance by Berlin perfumier Geza Schoen because he was the nose behind the cult fragrance Molecule 01, which I have always wanted to own and which, by multiple accounts, has people running down the street after you asking what scent you are wearing."
"The packaging is in-your-face Wild West, the box sleeve riddled with arty bullet holes and the box itself a gloriously overstated kaleidoscope of pinks and blues. The bottle itself comes with a detachable metal cowboy head fridge magnet (a first, surely?). Before you have even spritzed, the visual and tactile sensory overload tells you that this will be a big fragrance, which is not normally my style. But I thought if anyone could pull off subtlety within all of this it would be Schoen (apparently you can’t smell Molecule 01 on yourself but to others it’s catnip)."
"Project Renegades Geza Schoen has a sweetness and a woodiness that are deep but not cloying, with notes of bark, berries and pink pepper. However, there’s enough citrus and bergamot to lighten the experience. It beds down to become a sweet, warm and feminine scent that’s just a bit off the wall, but smells considered and expensive. It won’t replace my daytime Chanel Crystalle Eau Verte but is now my go-to for evening. Project Renegades features two other scents by cult noses Mark Buxton and Bertrand Duchaufour and is exclusive to Harvey Nichols."
Reviewer: Victorial Woodhall, Editor
Buy online from 6th April 2017 by Bluebird
Why we love it: “A first-hand account of what it’s like to experience the world differently.”
Review: “My 5-year-old nephew was diagnosed with autism over a year ago, and although I’m learning what I can from what my sister is advised by the experts, it’s hard to really understand what goes on in his mind that makes him behave the way he does. This week is World Autism Awareness Week, and ‘awareness’ really is lacking on the subject - which is why this book from journalist Laura James, which is released next week, grabbed my attention. A moving and incredibly descriptive memoir, the book charts a year in Laura’s life as, after years of feeling that she experiences life differently, she is diagnosed in her mid-forties as autistic. From the very first page as a reader you are inside Laura’s head; the book is an invaluable insight that allows you to see the world through autistic eyes, peppered with fascinating, practical and helpful comment from some of the experts Laura has leaned upon for advice through her diagnosis. The book explores the differences between male and female autism (women are far less likely to be diagnosed as their behaviour often hides the signs), and with the kind of clear honesty that only comes with being on the spectrum Laura observes the communication issues between her and her family, as well as how autism affects her approach to her career. Best of all, the book gives hope; to those who feel different and wonder why, to those with an autistic child who need to know that they can live a successful life, and to those living with autism who feel misunderstood. In reading Laura’s story I hope I’ll be far better at recognising autism in others, as well as helping my nephew to find his place in the world; I’d make everyone read it if I could.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
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