June 29th 2018
As summer comes to an end, there’s a distinct ‘new term’ vibe in the air. And just like throngs of students are likely to be adding to their pencil cases in the coming days, the same can be said of our makeup bags and bathroom shelves. Which new products have caught our attention? From an overnight mask to a new serum, a blemish buster to an impressive foundation, these are our top picks.
Why we love it: “A fast-acting, no-nonsense spot treatment.”
Review: “I’m lucky to have my sensitive skin mostly under control, but I still occasionally find myself with one or two angry red blemishes that take a few days to calm down. Usually concealer and a bit of Balance Me Radiance Face Oil are my only defences, but when a stubborn spot appeared just days before my summer holiday I tried this new treatment from Murad with great success. A clear gel formula (so you can use it with or without makeup), it contains 2 per cent salicylic acid to target the spot while horse chestnut and oat extracts promise to soothe the surrounding redness. They claim it reduces size and redness within four hours, and I can confirm it worked for me; I applied it first thing before my usual makeup routine and by late afternoon the blighter looked significantly less angry, thus making me far happier. I’ve packed it in my suitcase for emergencies.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor.
Why we love it: “It delivers proper full coverage that looks healthy and real, and it WILL NOT BUDGE.”
Review: “I can see the appeal of a dewy, light-coverage base, I really can, but being pale and prone to redness, T-zone zits and and random blotchiness, sometimes I just want to put on the foundation equivalent of a pair of big, comfy pants. Don’t want that VPL though you know. In the same vein, this new liquid foundation is seamless (get colour matched first), feels skincare-ish rather than mask-like and offers comforting coverage without looking obvious. It slips on nicely and goes nowhere - if you’ve got a wedding, important work day or even a marathon on the horizon, it will hold up beautifully without settling into fine lines, and it does a fantastic job of minimising the appearance of pores and keeping skin ‘matte but not flat’ too. It’s available in an impressive thirty shades from the off, and I’m convinced that the exfoliating papaya extract within the formula has made a difference to the clarity of my skin, which can occasionally be compromised by heavy coverage foundations. I honestly can’t think of a bad word to say about Bare Pro, and it really is rare for a product to be 'perfect.'”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer.
Why we love it: “A highly anticipated follow-up that features some handy upgrades to distinguish it from its award-winning predecessor.”
Review: “In terms of serums that have made a lasting impression on the industry, few have piqued the public’s interest as much as Clarins’ Double Serum - and this new incarnation looks set to follow in its highly successful footsteps thanks to a range of interesting updates. Created to help support the same 5 skin functions - hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration - its tweaked ingredients list still focuses on plant extracts (containing a whopping 20 in total), but includes a few newbies such as the ‘Leaf of Life’ (derived from a Madagascan plant that demonstrates huge moisture-holding ability) and turmeric extract, chosen due to its high concentration of tumerone, a component that the brand’s found helps skin cells better communicate with one another in carrying out their protective and regenerative functions.
“Furthermore, the previous double vialed bottle with separate chambers for the serum's oil and water-based phases has also received a bit of a makeover too, capped off with a useful rotating double pump system to dispense a perfectly proportioned amount of product - ⅔ water to ⅓ oil - a particularly handy feature. After a week’s use, I’ve already noticed improvements to my skin's moisture and radiance levels and my makeup sits a lot better too - a month’s recommended though to see optimum results, (I’ll ensure to update this review accordingly with mine and an older tester’s feedback). In terms of targeting fine lines and wrinkles, as well as elasticity and firmness, it looks promising. Its predecessor was recommended for those who are 40+ and I would say the same of this. No doubt it’ll be just as popular.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer.
Why we love it: “A cornucopia of beautifully balanced notes.”
Review: “Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele’s first fragrance certainly does not disappoint. It’s a rich white floral scent with jasmine and tuberose, which when it touches the skin develops a real depth. Heady florals mix with woody notes to create something altogether a bit different. Not only is it Michele’s fragrance debut, but it’s said to use rangoon creeper which, discovered in India, has never been used in perfume before. The bottle is very cool too. I’m usually one to steer well clear of sweet looking pink things but this lacquered pastel porcelain is beautiful. It’s contrasted with the thick black lines and pinstripe texture of the label. It seems grown up. Having spritzed it around the office a few times it’s so far been met with nothing but ‘ohhhs’ and ‘ahhhs’. An excellent sign indeed, it’s all I can do not to bathe in the stuff. Bloom is said to celebrate the authenticity, vitality and diversity of the women of Gucci. I’m never taking it off.”
Reviewer: Ariana Murray Wells, Graphic Designer.
Why we love it: “Buttery bullets of sheer, glossy colour.”
Review: “On hot, humid summer days, I tend to prefer gentle washes of balmy colour over a matte statement lip. As much as I love the latter, my lips unfortunately don’t, and low maintenance often wins over anything requiring more than a mirror-free twist and swipe. In search for my ideal seasonal match, I came across these new lipsticks from Elizabeth Arden - a range of ‘gelato-like’ textured lip colours that provide the look of a gloss, without the stickiness. Light and moisturising on dry lips, their colour payoff is subtle, but not so subtle that it looks like you’ve got nothing on. They also carry the extra bonus of providing an ever-so-slight plumping effect - more pleasantly zingy than a sting - that makes lips feel noticeably more ‘pouty’. Available in 20 shades, Red Velvet’s my personal favourite - a juicy deep crimson number that’s just as inviting as it sounds.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer.
Why we love it: “A high performing, cult mid-range priced night cream.”
Review: “It claims to make you look like you have had eight hours sleep and amassed a waitlist of more than 7,000 after its post launch sell-out last year. Now M&S has brought Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream back with a new gold lid to the delight of its many loyal customers who’ve been clamouring for its return.
“As a poor sleeper extraordinaire, it definitely had my name on it. When you’ve had a bad or dehydrated night everything can feel a little dry and crusty and this is something that this formula with its anti-wrinkle peptides, moisturising hyaluronic acid and skin-brightening actives sorts out from the off. How? According to an M&S technologist, it has ‘a new hydrating PatcH2O complex, which forms an invisible micro-matrix on the skin, releasing active ingredients slowly’ and so hydrates all night long. The texture is quite thick but it sinks in immediately and skin still feels soft the next day. If you know you might be in for a hangover, Formula Absolute is a good bet to stop you looking as careworn as you might feel in the morning.
“According to clinical trials, transformative results can be seen after four weeks. I’ve only tried it for one so far but the results are good - my skin feels ‘comfortable’ in the morning and more hydrated, although I won’t be ditching the concealer just yet. The scent is mild (although feels a little artificial) and it claims to be suited to all skin types. For the price, the results are impressive so far.”
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor.
Why we love it: “Hand poured, brightly coloured and divinely scented.”
Review: “A candle range that looks and smells like it’s made for millennials, its fluorescent lids stand out from the crowd while the super-chic matte black casing contrasts with an unassuming handwritten logo. The scents are similarly bold yet delicate, a bestseller and personal favourite is Asian Amber made with a heady mix of essential oils such as geranium, rose and lily of the valley. You can also have your candle personalised, very handy indeed for the inevitable abundance of birthdays in September. Erskine Rose started pouring their soy blend candles a year ago to great acclaim and are now stocked by Fenwicks, Designer’s Guild and new talent spotter extraordinaire; Wolf & Badger. Launching in Selfridges this month, we might have to form an orderly queue.”
Reviewer: Ariana Murray Wells, Graphic Designer.
Why we love it: “A luxuriously light, non-messy, hydrating mask that works while you sleep.”
Review: “I’m a big fan of face masks but never seem to have the time to do them regularly. Not any more though thanks to this new Radiance Mask from Omorovicza that works overnight so you don’t have to wait around to remove it. Swapping my normal night cream for it, the mask had a really lovely light gel-like texture that glided onto my skin and was absorbed within seconds. It felt really refreshing and comforting, and not in the least bit heavy as I had initially thought it might.
“I was a little worried at first (as with all new skin products) as I have combination skin that is fairly oily in places and I’m prone to breakouts. However if anything, this mask has helped calm my skin down. I tried it over two consecutive nights and have definitely seen a visible difference already. My skin looks noticeably brighter and more even toned, and feels wonderfully smooth and soft. At £90 for a 50ml pot, my initial thought was it is expensive for a mask however, due to its gel-like texture, a little goes a very long way so even if I did use the mask the recommended three times a week, I think it should easily last a good couple of months. Great news as I’m excited to see if it works on removing a few visible age spots that I’d be delighted to see disappear.”
Reviewer: Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development.
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