20 hours ago
Is anyone else cold? With winter now here, we’re finding solace in a number of warming treats to make the chilly nights more bearable. And they’re working. From Wake and Sleep herbal teas to face masks to electric toothbrushes and highlight boosting hair treatments, here are the new products and services that we’re rating and recommending.
Why we love it: “A unique and luxurious winter warmer, bottled up to perfection.”
Review: “You know the festive season is fast approaching when Jo Malone reveals its Christmas collection - guaranteed to bring a hell of a lot of divine smelling happiness and joy to everyone. As a fragrance hoarder (I'm not joking), it takes a lot to capture my heart - and Jo Malone has instantly stolen it with their enchanting and festive Orange Bitters Cologne. If I was heading down the fruity route, then I’m usually a Pomegranate Noir type of girl (pssst: I’ve spied that they have a deliciously divine special edition bottle of this too!) - but if you’re going to stray away from your usual trusted scent, you want it to be worth it, and this definitely is. Delicate and enticing with its captivating triple concoction of citrus, sweet orange and ripe mandarin, it's fresh and bold and is carefully balanced with the rich and sensual base notes of amber and sandalwood. Truly warming, truly festive and truly luxurious, it just has to be on everyone's self-gifting list this year."
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “A high-tech solution to brighter, healthier teeth with a sensitive side.”
Review: “Much like my skin, my teeth are sensitive, and so I’ve struggled in the past to find an electric toothbrush that didn’t feel too harsh or aggressive - but having gone back to a manual brush recently, I conceded that a regular one just doesn’t cut it and electric is the only way to go. This pretty purple edition from Oral B is a bit of a game changer for me; I actually look forward to (rather than dread) brushing thanks to its gentle but high-tech approach to teeth cleaning. The manual is a little overwhelming - it comes with a smartphone holder so that, on downloading the app, you can track your technique and ensure you’re getting a thorough clean - but in reality it’s simple. The box includes 4 different brush heads as well as a brilliant travel case (which has a port so you can charge your phone at the same time - truly Genius), and the brush has six modes, from a professional clean to whitening to tongue cleaning. I used the sensitive brush head to start, which was gentle on painful gums yet ideal for reaching those awkward areas, and though it’s certainly powerful I didn’t find it too harsh; plus without sounding like those corny TV adverts, my mouth feels significantly fresher compared to with my manual brush. The little vibration alerts to instruct you on when to move to the next area are really helpful, and it even automatically slows down if you brush too hard; it does the thinking for you, so all you have to do is move the brush around. Powerful, practical, and far prettier than the manual brush I’ve since binned.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: “A sleek and stylish palette, perfect for mixing up your makeup look as the festive season approaches.:
Review: “Inspired by British ceremonial traditions, this limited edition palette from Zoeva was right up my street as a lover of all things quintessentially British. Firstly, I love the name, of course! Secondly, I love the shades. Although the palette is inspired by tradition, the shades are far from what you would usually find in a typical eyeshadow palette. A great mix of warm and cool tones, with shades made to resemble a Beefeater's uniform. This theme certainly shines through, featuring a rich ruby red shade to add a pop of colour as well as deeper purple and burgundy tones to smoke out your look. The pigment of Zoeva eyeshadows always blows me away, the shadows glide on effortlessly and blend like a dream with practically no work involved. I think this will be a staple in my festive season makeup bag!”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Administration Assistant
Why we love it: “A hydrating and revitalising treatment for both blonde and highlighted hair.”
Review: “When the seasons change, I instantly up my skincare regime, but never even think about giving my highlighted hair some TLC. However, I’m glad I did with the new Love Your Highlights treatment from Daniel Galvin - a deeply nourishing and hydrating two-step treatment that gives blonde hair a revitalised and glossy lift. It’s like a facelift for hair. Starting with the Love Your Highlights shampoo, which is formulated with wheat protein to help strengthen the hair and reduce breakage, hair is washed, working the product in deep to boost shine and improve texture. The whole range is free from chemicals such as SLS and parabens which every head of hair will be thankful for.
“The main event comes courtesy of the Intensive Conditioning Treatment, which is deeply massaged into the scalp (I mean leave me here for hours please because there is no half-hearted head massage at Daniel Galvin!). Carefully formulated with keratin, shea butter and argan oil, this treatment is designed to work deeply into hair to help rescue dry and damaged highlights. You’re then whisked away to sit under the steamer for 15 minutes to open up the hair cuticles to allow the treatment to penetrate deeper for longer lasting nourishment. With a gorgeous blowdry to finish, hair is left brighter, glossier and a whole lot healthier. I’ll be booking in again and again.”
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “A 30-shade full coverage foundation range that suits both the very fair and very dark.”
Review: “As GTG’s Not Fair columnist, inclusivity is a topic I often cover in my features. While some brands still need to play catch up in this regard, there are others that are setting the bar and Huda Kattan’s Huda Beauty is one of them. Her highly anticipated foundation has just launched and within the first few hours of it being on sale, 80 per cent of the shades had sold out on Cult Beauty. Which considering that there are THIRTY of them (I’m ‘Cinnamon’ btw), makes it an even more impressive feat. Rich, quite thick and full coverage, its butter-like texture melts onto skin, covering up uneven skin tone and blemishes very well. Drying to a matte powder finish that doesn’t look dry or cakey and covering fair, beige, olive, tan and rich skin tones (and undertones) pretty comprehensively, it’s the foundation I’ll be reaching for when I need my base to stick around a little longer and occasions when I need to turn a bad skin day good. It also smells lovely too.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “A face mask and cleanser all in one that reduces clogged pores after just one use.”
Review: “I’m the biggest fan of face masks and I think I may just have found the one to take the mask crown! The first thing you notice is the pretty pink colour (makes a change from the dark clay masks I normally use) as well as the gorgeous smell. It’s not overpowering, just a heavenly light sweet smell not dissimilar to that of an actual pomegranate. Quite a treat from a mask. The consistency is great. It’s nice and light and very easy to apply, and doesn’t leave any tightness on the face as it dries. The best thing however about this mask is its dual role. While the clay helps to extract all the impurities out of your pores, you get a further skin boost of lactic acid from the exfoliating beads when you come to wash the mask off. You can feel the beads as you exfoliate but they are really light and gentle on the skin, not at all abrasive in any way including over a few spots so this is perfect if you have sensitive skin.
“My skin is generally both oily and prone to breakouts so I saw pretty much instant results. This really does a super job in extracting out all the oil so I was left with skin that felt fresh, clean and baby soft and my pores definitely looked smaller. It even dried out a spot near my chin which I think if I give it another go may disappear altogether. I am definitely a convert and highly recommend.”
Reviewer: Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development
Why we love it: “Brightening, moisture-boosting hydration for blah days.”
Review: “I apparently live next to one of the most polluted roads in London. I’m also currently experiencing weekly bouts of insomnia (the two hours sleep a night kind), the clock has gone back and the nip in the air has brought on an eczema flare-up. I’m doing GREAT over here. Neggy moan over, this cream is nice. It’s actually really helping me to look like a smooth faced, well-rested human, and the high levels of antioxidants go some way to shielding skin against pollution and environmental damage, although really I need a helmet to save me from the daily smog of the Uxbridge Road. It wears well under makeup and plumps up a tired grey face, which at the moment is most welcome.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “A refined cuppa with health benefits.”
Review: “I’m glad I took up tea drinking rather than smoking. As a ‘chain-tea drinker,’ I’ve always tried to pick the healthiest option and ever since a nutritional therapist told me that oolong tea - a slightly nutty-tasting leaf half way between a green and a black tea - was going to be the next big thing (sucker - moi?) I’ve been on the lookout for it - fyi it’s not that easy to find. But here it is in Free Soul’s Wake Tea, made of Chinese tie guan yin oolong, which is high in amino acids, polyphenols and antioxidants, which aid digestion, improve skin, boost immunity and increase energy levels. The oolong leaf is infused with bergamot, citrus and ginger and tastes refreshing hot or chilled.
“The Sleep version is pleasantly mild for a bedtime infusion and contains a type of liquorice root called Glycyrrhiza glare (no us either) which, they say works ‘by modulating GABA and serotonin systems in the brain. This is consistent with its traditional use as a calmative and anti-anxiety herbal. Even my fussy teenage daughter liked it and we both found it soothing without being overwhelmingly ‘herbal.’
“Free Soul is a new brand of science-backed nutritionist formulated powders and teas for women with a cut-the-crap ethos. One to watch out for.”
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
20 hours ago