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Every week we unbox new launches and sift through them to find what really stands out - and in today’s round-up we have a combination of clever, innovative products that wowed us with their application, including the first acetone-free cream nail polish remover and a shower gel that foams in the shape of a flower. We’ve also highlighted the no-brainers such as the £4 mascara that adds instant length, and the beauty box that serves women of colour in a way that the rest of the industry needs to catch up with. Read on for this week’s top picks…
Why we love it: “A beauty box for women of colour that has an important message behind it.”
Review: “When it comes to inclusivity, it’s great to see so many brands stepping up and delivering - something that I hope continues. The Estée Lauder Companies group of brands have always been ahead of the pack in this regard, as demonstrated by their new beauty box created with British Vogue Contributing Beauty Editor, Funmi Fetto.
“Drawing from her 15 years’ experience as a fashion and beauty journalist, the box features an expertly curated capsule collection of skin, hair and makeup essentials (worth £73) tailored to the autumn/winter needs of women of colour. Personal favourites include Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment, Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Broadest Berry and Smashbox Photo Edit Eye Shadow Trio in Punked. However, its relevance goes way beyond its contents. ‘I’ve always said that this box was never really about beauty products,’ Funmi wrote in a recent Instagram post. ‘This box is about us having a seat at the table. EVERY woman deserves to be represented, valued, respected and considered important enough to be part of the beauty conversation.’ It’s about encouraging brands to speak to every woman out there and including them in the beauty dialogue. I’m looking forward to the SS19 edition already.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer.
Why we love it: “A cheap but effective formula for short and sparse lashes.”
Review: “Having had lash extensions over the summer which have since dropped away, my own lashes look rather disappointing even with a triple coat of mascara - it’s tricky once you’ve had them to accept what Mother Nature gave you, especially if she was stingy. My usual go-tos are upwards of £12 a pop and yet this bargain £4 mascara from Collection has wowed me; it’s a rubberised wand (I much prefer these to bristles) which coats lashes beautifully in a way that leaves them looking feather-light and wispy (but not straggly). It’s not a volumiser but then neither does it claim to be - this is all about length. My short and sparse lashes not only look longer but healthier too, as it’s quite a gentle formula and doesn’t harden too much even when dry. Available in waterproof too, it’s a no-brainer.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: “A warming unisex fragrance that's both fresh and spicy to celebrate Diptyque's 50th anniversary.”
Review: “Fragrance is one of my favourite beauty products and something I always look forward to when it comes to trying new launches. I often pick my morning scent based on how I'm feeling; floral if I'm in a good mood, deep and spicy if I need a confidence boost, or something nostalgic if I'm feeling a little low! For me it's an experience and it can improve my mood in an instant. Celebrating Diptyque's 50th Anniversary, 34 Boulevard Saint Germain is a delicious unisex fragrance; rich and complex in its unique blend, it captures the unique scent of the original shop at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain.
“Unusual but sensual, it says goodbye to long summer days, and tantalises the nose with hints of autumn; spices such as clove and cinnamon keep it fresh and warm together with a mix of citrus from blackcurrent and berries. At first spritz it's extremely rich and masculine, but with these top notes coupled with iris, geranium and tuberose, it settles into a much more feminine and more floral scent. It very much reminds me of a crisp, autumnal walk in the countryside at dusk, fresh, fruity and crisp, but with a warming fire waiting for you thanks to the comforting addition of sandalwood and vanilla grounding it at its base.
“Sandalwood and cinnamon I feel work together as the star here; comforting and warming it starts out very deep and woody, but eventually sinks into the skin in a beautiful way, leaving a delicate spicy and slightly floral aroma in its wake. Long-lasting throughout the day, it receives more compliments after it's settled, and will suit both men and women. The perfect little update to your fragrance wardrobe this season.”
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “A unique shower foam that injects some fun into showering!”
Review: “I am a huge fan of foaming shower gels, purely because a little goes a long way which means they last longer than your average bottle. This new one from Rituals is a shower foam with a twist - when you push the trigger down the foam is released in the shape of a blooming flower! I was amazed on the first go - the design is absolutely beautiful and it’s such a clever idea - something very unique and different. The foam has a delicious white lily and peach scent and is beautifully rich and creamy; it left my skin feeling full of moisture. It feels very luxurious to use and is definitely not a necessity but would make a wonderful gift for someone who is into their bath and body products. The idea behind the new ‘Ritual of Holi’ collection is to embrace the fun side of life and not to take yourself too seriously, and this product is the perfect embodiment of that.”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Why we love it: “One of my highlights from a 22-strong new makeup collection that nails supremely wearable, practical makeup.”
Review: “Shiseido has just debuted the ultimate ‘back to work’ beauty collection. The new range majors on the kind of makeup that just makes life easier - tilted liner pens that essentially apply themselves, eyeshadows that create depth and definition without creasing and mascaras that lengthen lashes and generate low-key volume without multiple coats or bells and whistles. As blusher is on my desert island beauty roster, I’m starting there, but it’s all sleek, lightweight and ready to slip on into your kit seamlessly. I’m using the blusher in Alpen Glow, and it’s the perfect lifegiving shade of peach to brighten up your face after summer’s over and the daily grind has resumed. The texture is so fine it’s almost a cream, but the longevity is on a par with the most stay-put powders I’ve tried. It may not be a flashy launch, but it’s staple stuff that makes all the difference.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “A sit-up-and-take-note innovation in nail care.”
Review: "This product had me at unboxing even before I knew the quite brilliant thing it did. A cool oil-paint tube, a heavy nod to Netflix and funky little street art-style messages on the packaging: ‘I don't care’, ‘make polish great again’.
"It is, I believe, the first acetone-free cream nail polish remover. You apply it with your fingers, rub it in, wait one minute and – ta-dah! – off comes your colour with a tissue or cotton pad. This cream doesn’t smell as though it’s about to strip paint – in fact, it hardly smells at all with only a faint whiff of berries. It feels nourishing on cuticles thanks to the oil blend of macadamia, almond, argan and vitamin E, although you do have to wash it off as it contains a solvent (propylene carbonate).
"The best thing is, it can fit in your handbag for those times when you realise your polish has chipped and scragged and you’re about to meet someone who’ll notice - and you can use it on public transport without inconveniencing your fellow commute slaves. I tried it with my Essie and Barry M polishes – the latter can be tricky to budge but it came off on first wipe. It won’t work on gels or Shellac, of course. Quite brilliant - buy one!"
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
September 18th 2018