May 5th 2018
It takes a special something for a beauty product to appear in our fortnightly round-up of the best new launches, and in this edition we've got plenty of innovative products in the mix; from a gel cushion fragrance to a de-puffing concealer and custom-volume mascara, our favourite brands have excelled themselves. Read on for our reviews of the very latest in beauty and find yourself a 'something new' this Royal Wedding weekend...
Why we love it: "A handbag staple for city stressed skin."
Review: "On Royal Wedding weekend, I can’t help but think that Meghan Markle is spraying on buckets of this stuff from her favourite facialist Sarah Chapman. It’s a cosmeceutical mist to calm stressed skin and ward off external aggressors (whether that extends to paparazzi isn’t stated).
"It claims to fight pollution from UV radiation (although it’s not an SPF) as well as environmental chemicals and their effects in three ways. Firstly, by creating a barrier, secondly by soothing the effects of inflammation such as redness and lastly by improving hydration (and therefore skin barrier) with a ‘cosmetic drone’ named X50 Hyalufiller which contains encapsulated peptides to plump up skin. I made a beeline for it because of the name and the fact that as a commuter cyclist who lives on a main road, I need all the help I can get. After one week my skin feels hydrated and tends to dry out less. It is quite fragrant (essential oils rather than ‘parfum’) which may or may not be for you. If there’s whiff of Jasmine around Windsor this weekend you know Meghan’s been sneaking a quick spritz.
"P.S. The other new Skinesis launch I’ve started using is the Platinum Stem Cell Elixir, £136 for 30ml which Chapman has created in response to the question she’s regularly asked by clients – how to lift skin without resorting to surgery. It’s a cross between an essence/elixir and a serum and slots in nicely under moisturiser."
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Why we love it: “High coverage with a natural looking finish and brilliantly innovative applicator.”
Review: “I’m a sucker for a concealer - anything that will help perfect my base, I am all for. I’ve been testing out this newbie from Illamasqua recently, which is an extension to their Skin Base line. The thing that caught my attention about this one is the unique metal tip. It promises a cooling effect when applying under the eyes and is meant to minimise the effect of puffiness. High coverage and de-puffing is the perfect combo for an under eye concealer and this certainly did not disappoint. The applicator is really satisfying to use - especially early in the morning when tiredness is taking over! The coverage is great too and even though the concealer is listed as having a matte finish it still manages to feel comfortable on the skin and doesn’t dry down too flat. It’s a welcome addition to my makeup bag.”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Why we love it: "The lightweight and luxurious scent you need for a post-beach spritz this summer."
Review: "When you nail fragrance as elegantly and spot on like Jo Malone, why not launch an all over body mist to add to your list of talents? Described as 'a delectable beach side cocktail', it screams summer, from its exotic hot pink bottle and green lid to the beautiful scent within. Containing a blend of cattelya and orchid petals with a tantalising top splash of citrus fruits that are balanced with the woody intensity of vetiver, it's a sophisticated take on a summer fragrance, while the mist format makes it incredibly lightweight - a refreshing spritz that's not too overpowering in the heat."
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “A suits-all mascara that puts you in control of the finished look.”
Review: “I’m not often convinced by the technical jargon that comes with mascara launches - they’re either good or they’re not, and I have a strong suspicion that most of it is down to the shape of the wand and your own lashes. However, Kiko’s latest has caught my eye; the wand has ‘3D technology’ (there goes the jargon, surely all wands are 3D?) which essentially means it has a spherical shape to the bristles, but they twist so that you have to turn the wand to get the result you want - effortlessly natural or high drama. Tricky to explain but easy to do, it means on first swipe you can achieve a beautifully inky but feathery-light coating, but with a little turn and further application you can build the formula up until your lashes have serious wow-factor. I like lashings of mascara for bold length and volume so I kept on going and after my third coat I was really impressed with the thick, glossy result. It doesn’t clump or look as if you’ve caked it on, and in fact the jojoba extracts may be the reason lashes feel soft even under all that formula. The intense, buildable volume is apparently down to a spherical hollow powder in the formula that plumps what Mother Nature gave you; whatever it is, it works, so perhaps there’s more science to great lashes than I thought…”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: “Rio sunshine in a bottle.”
Review: “Part body highlighter, part body oil, this new hybrid skin finisher from Sol de Janeiro provides the best of both (no wonder it sold out in a matter of hours when it initially went on sale on the brand’s site). Containing a conditioning cocktail of cupaçu butter, antioxidant rich acaí oil and coconut oil and subtle champage fleckles of shimmer, it’s given my dry legs a much-needed lift and the kind of dewy sheen that makes it look like I’ve just stepped into the sun (whether it’s out or not). Much like the brand’s other products, it smells pretty delicious too, featuring a new Cheirosa ‘77 fragrance comprising of notes of citrusy pomelo, sweet fig and Brazilian gardenia. If you’re a diehard fan of the original scent, don’t fret, it’s not completely dissimilar to that of the beloved Bum Bum - a little fresher, but just as addictive.”
Reviewer: Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “A simple yet effective mitt that takes the worry away from fake tanning.”
Review: “If you’re a tan-a-holic like me then you’ll understand the struggle of finding the right tanning mitt. Many fake tan mishaps I have had in the past haven’t been down to the fake tan itself, but the way I've applied it. Choosing a lower quality tanning mitt can end in tell-tale streaks all over hands and fingers, so investing in the right one is key to getting a natural looking tan. This one from Velvotan makes the process a dream, as the mitt has been designed with a special formulation-resistant barrier to protect hands from staining - something which so far I can vouch for. I applied my new favourite tan, the Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self Tan Liquid, £26 with the mitt and woke up the next day with an even, deep tan and no streaks in sight - the perfect result!”
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Why we love it: “A seriously handy travel fragrance with a refreshing, long lasting scent.”
Review: “From perfume paintbrushes to fluffy fragranced kabukis, scent innovation has accelerated over the past few years, and this compact gel cushion EDP joins the league of light, non-clunky fragrances that make sticking to the sub 100ml limit a breeze. Kenzo’s original Flower by Kenzo rose, pepper and white musk spiked scent is encapsulated here in a clear jelly - simply tap the flat dispenser with the enclosed sponge and dab wherever you wear your fragrance. The mirror within is big enough to facilitate a full face makeover, and the packaging means it won’t leak all over your luggage. All in all, le cushion is just so cool, and not too extortionate price wise either."
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: “Beautifully edited box packed full of clean beauty and skincare favourites worth a total of £200… for £25.’’
Review: "I’m generally not the biggest fan of beauty selection boxes as there’s always at least one or two products I won’t ever use. I can honestly say though that Whole Foods have delivered the impossible with the launch of their first ever, limited edition, beauty box full of 18 (yes 18!) natural and 'clean' skincare products. It includes some of the leading brands, Dr Hauschka, Neals Yard, Burt’s Bees, REN to name but a few. Some lesser known brands but stand-out products for me include MooGoo’s Oil Cleansing Method (worth £16.90) and Puressentiel’s Elixir Face Care Oil (worth over £29). In addition, there are enough sample sizes included perfect for anyone who wants to dip their toe into beauty that's free from parabens, artificial fragrance and preservatives. Not only have you saved yourself a ton of money, but you also receive a rather gorgeous Caroline Gardener Makeup Bag (worth £16) in which to store all these goodies."
Reviewer: Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development
November 22nd 2017