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This week we’ve been trying and testing the new launches that are making a visible difference to our skin and hair. From the blusher with an extraordinary texture and an impressively natural finish, to the primers that transform tricky skin and a serum that provides all the aftercare that coloured hair needs, here’s what the team have been won over by…
Why we love it: “An imaginative and unique selection of shadows that allows room for a little imagination.”
Review: “I have a bit of a thing for purple eyeshadow. Whether it’s a full-on purple toned smokey eye for a night out or a pop of purple along the lower lashline for a bit of fun, it’s my go-to when I want to add a bit of colour into my makeup. Therefore the new Anastasia Norvina Eyeshadow Palette is my dream come true. Containing 14 colours, many of which are on the purple spectrum, mixed with a few neutral bronze shades and a whole row of intense shimmers, this palette was calling my name! Anastasia shadows are my favourite formula by far - a little goes a long way and the colour pay-off puts other brands to shame. The palette is named after Anastasia Beverly Hills’ President (and daughter of the brand Founder) Claudia Norvina Soare who wanted to create an edit of her favourite shades all in one place. This is definitely one that I will be whipping out day and night to create a variety of looks - it allows room for imagination with the pops of colour which is something that I adore. Anastasia never lets me down!”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Why we love it: “A silky textured hair serum that smoothes, seals and delivers - oh, and protects your colour too.”
Review: “When it comes to caring for coloured hair, Pureology has developed the magic formula. Their sulphate-free shampoos and hardworking masks are hair care staples of mine, so when I heard that they were launching their first-ever styling range, I couldn’t wait to try it out. And it didn’t disappoint, with this addictively scented serum proving to be a particular favourite of mine. Refreshingly non-sticky and lightweight, it can be used on both damp and dry hair to act as a one stop shop for addressing a range of aftercare afterthoughts - humidity-induced frizz, UVA/UVB protection and dry ends. Its oil-rich formula is also completely vegan too (if that’s what you’re looking for) and the ritual of emulsifying it between your hands and watching it transform from cream to silky serum is certain to add an extra element of indulgence to your routine too.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “A stylish straightener that adds shine and minimises heat damage.”
Review: “I’m usually more likely to be curling my fine, thin hair with a tong than going at it with the straighteners but for a daytime look they do come in handy - especially as I’m often guilty of tying hair up when wet before bed, waking up with more kinks and flicks than I know how to handle. This new rose gold straightener from Panasonic not only looks pretty (will rose gold ever go out of fashion? I doubt it) but works well too; the ceramic plates have five temperature settings (from 150-230C) and uses Nanoe particles to hydrate the hair as you style and reduce static. Now, I can’t verify that that’s specifically what makes them so good, but I can confirm that compared to my usual straighteners, these left my hair looking shinier than usual even when I used them after fluffing up day-old hair with dry shampoo, and I didn’t have to repeatedly go over the same sections of hair. To use, they’re lightweight, fast to heat up and never snag thanks to the super smooth plates, and they have an auto-switch off after 60 minutes which is always reassuring. Top marks for a healthier way to get straighter, sleeker hair.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: "A hydrating powerhouse to nourish and revitalise tired skin."
Review: "Anything in the beauty world with the word 'gel' in the name instantly appeals to me and my dry skin, especially when London has basically been the Sahara for the past couple of months! Mix the heat with office air conditioning and the high levels of city pollution, and my skin is in need of some TLC. Designed to be used after cleansing, the new Liz Earle Balancing Gel Mask aims to hydrate, soothe and rebalance the skin. It's incredibly lightweight as it sinks into the skin, which feels both cooling and calming after a hot day. With a trio of elderflower, meadowsweet and lime flower, it works to even skin tone and calm stressed out skin. Instantly my appearance was visibly fresher and my skin felt able to breathe. If you're looking for a gentle mask to pack in some moisture and much needed nourishment then I would highly recommend."
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “Smoothes and primes while helping to keep oil at bay.”
Review: “If you know me then you know that my one big beauty gripe is my oily skin. No matter what I try, I can never seem to beat my shiny face. So for me, primers are an essential to help keep the oil under control until I have time to powder come lunch. My most recent primer of choice has been the new Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifier which I have been enjoying using daily due to its multi-tasking powers. Designed to help balance the moisture in the skin and leave it looking ‘matte but never flat’, this primer is a good all rounder if you’re prone to a touch of midday shine. The formula is incredibly lightweight and smoothes out the skin, ensuring the perfect base before foundation. Pores are blurred and the skin is left with a natural matte finish to help foundation look immaculate once applied. This isn’t a miracle worker and I do still have to reach for my blotting sheets mid-afternoon, but this definitely delays the process and keeps the skin looking matte for longer.”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Why we love it: “A blusher gel with a skin-like finish."
Review: “When I first stuck my finger in a pot of Illamasqua’s cult Hydra Veil Primer the jelly feel was strangely addictive; I could wobble it and bounce my fingers off it, but on skin it dissipated almost to nothing, creating the most lightweight, dewy base. This new blusher is Hydra Veil meets powder blush, but with a more solid jelly texture for easier control. It’s more blendable and less sticky than a cream (the feel is surprisingly dry) and I found it looked much more integral to my skin than a powder. Once I had patted it in with my fingers, the gel seemed to vanish leaving a fine but ‘poppy’ veil of colour, that managed to look like me but with naturally fabulous cheeks.
“My shade is Tonic, which has warm peach tones and gives you just the right amount cheer on a tired day - I apply it high on the cheekbones for a lifting effect. There are five other shades ranging from the cool pale pink Frisson to the burnished Consume which works well on dark skin tones. All of them have a bit of attitude. You can apply with fingertips, blender or brush to make it as subtle or as standout as you like. The staying power is excellent."
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Why we love it: “It protects skin from the elements while making it look better from the off.”
Review: “I’m firmly in the throes of wedding season, and find myself doing a full face to last all day circa 7:30am before getting on a train/ bus/ plane/ coach/ all of the above. As such, I need a primer that acts as a sturdy anchor, but also need to figure in sunscreen and moisturiser. This new addition to the Double Wear family literally covers most of the above- it’s light textured yet provides a high level of UV protection, keeps makeup in place and brightens and smooths skin texture so that you don’t need as much foundation in the first place. The brand of course recommend pairing this with Double Wear foundation, but unless you need very high coverage, it evens out skin tone enough that a light base is all that’s required in the follow-up. A special occasion staple for summer and beyond.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer