May 14th 2021
January empties: all the beauty buys our editors finished this month
January 31st 2021 / 0 comment
When we unscrew the top, cut open the tube or dismantle the packaging to get the last drops out, you just know it's good
It's our job to bring you the latest and greatest finds in the world of beauty which means we're using an ever-evolving lineup of products (check out our latest favourites in our weekly Glossy Picks edit of newness), but every so often we try something so good, we use it down to the very last drop. Here we reveal all of the beauty products our editors finished this week.
Victoria Woodhall, editorial director
Bobbi Brown Makeup Melter Cleanser, £27 for 150ml
"It’s the pump rather than any harsh surfactants that make this a skin kind foaming cleanser. It’s gentle, long-lasting and effective on eye makeup and is one of those cleansers that begins the process of renourishing the skin rather than leaving it parched. You give the bottle a shake and spread the soft bubbles onto dry skin. My 17-year-old daughter and I share this, which is why it’s a staple on my empties list."
Verso Nourishing Cream with Niacinamide, £80 for 50ml and Verso Super Facial Serum, £110 for 30ml
"Most of my skincare routine these days is made of Swedish clean beauty brand clean Verso, but I love these two products in particular. Verso are one of the few brands to work with the notoriously hard-to-stabilise form of powerful retinol called retinoate, which acts several times faster than retinol and is more effective in lower concentrations. The Serum has a 0.1 per cent concentration, which is quite strong. The products are all designed to be standalone, so there's plenty of moisturiser in this too. I use it about three evenings a week, with the gorgeous barrier repairing Nourishing Cream on hand to calm any dryness."
Jane Scrivner Reed Diffuser in Peace, £39, refills £27
"Being a one-toilet family in lockdown can have its drawbacks. But Jane Scrivner has literally brought Peace to our bathroom with her sophisticated reed diffuser. There are two aromatherapy scents to choose from, with refills available. Peace is surprisingly fresh given that the heart notes are warm frankincense and myrrh. Sweet orange and petitgrain lighten the mood. This bottle lasted at least a couple of months and my next order is in, this time for the Cleanse blend."
"This would be a mighty fine organic moisturiser even without it’s USP, which is 100 per cent protection against damaging HEV or blue light from screens. With my screen use seemingly unrelenting these days, I’ve been diligent in applying this day and night. It’s quite rich, which I like but not greasy and is choc-full of skin-protecting actives."
Alpha H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum, £70 for 50ml
"Alpha H’s cult Liquid Gold toner, £30.25, has such a following especially for those with acne. As an exfoliating glycolic acid, it was so far ahead of its time at launch that they were too scared to call it an acid at the time in case consumers got the fear. However, the alcohol content of the toner meant that it just wasn’t a good fit for my dry skin, even though the AHAs are gold standard for pigmentation, which I have in spades. But now this hydrating night serum has got me in on the glycolic game (it has 14 per cent) with added granactive retinoid, antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, peptides and nourishing vitamin E and jojoba extract. Moisturising and multitasking - this is a definite repeat buy."
Melanie Macleod, digital writer
Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist, £24 for 100ml
"I love dry body oil; not only does it feel way more luxe than laboriously rubbing in a body cream, I like that I can apply it while I'm still wet from the shower so I don't need to hang around waiting to dry. Glossier's body oil smells of neroli, leaves my skin silky, absorbs easily and I especially like that it sprays on so my hands don't get slippy during application. My only complaint? I finished the whole bottle in ten days and I don't think I was spraying excessively. Bigger bottles please, Glossier!"
111 Skin Hydrolat Anti Blemish Tonic, £50 for 100ml
"Never before have I used a toner that feels so supremely nourishing on my skin. It has an ultra-soothing scent (akin to baby powder) and has salicylic acid and rosemary hydrolat in the formula to reduce inflammation and gently renew the skin texture. It made light work of blemishes that popped up and pigmentation from my spots definitely hung around a lot less while I was using this."
Augustinus Bader The Cream, £205 for 50ml
"Every beauty editor in the land seems to love this luxury cream and now I'm one of the converts. It sinks in easily and left my face dewier than I've ever seen it, every night I was disappointed there was nobody around to marvel at how hydrated my skin looked after using. With 30 years of science behind it, the formula works to regenerate and rejuvenate the skin for renewed radiance and a bouncy quality which I definitely noticed. If you can afford the splurge, I definitely recommend investing. When the last pump of cream was finished I was doubly down; not only was the bottle finished, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford another for quite some time."
Living Proof Restore Repair Mask, £33 for 200ml
"After a serious bleaching in December, this is the only mask that could tame my very tangly hair. As soon as I shampooed it, the back of my hair turned into a birds nest and only this silicone-free hair mask could work through the knots. It replenishes the hair's natural protective layer and restores damaged cuticles to allow my fingers to comb through the worst of the tangles. I won't wash my hair without this now."
Bamford Geranium Hand and Body Wash, £24 for 250ml
"At first I liked this handwash because it made me look fancy when my friends came round. And then my friends weren't allowed to come round anymore and I continued buying it because once you've used this spa-smelling hand soap, Carex just doesn't compare any more. This has an uplifting, relaxing scent of peppermint, lavender and geranium as well as caring ingredients including aloe vera and honey to soften hands while being anti-bacterial. It's a winner all round."
Jemma Thompson, GTG designer and social media
Ren Perfect Canvas Jelly Cleanser, £25 for 100ml
"This hassle-free cleanser has become my daily staple, great in the morning for fresh glowing skin, or in the evening for when I need to wash my whole face away – literally, eyeliner, foundation it gets through it all. Incredibly gentle and balancing, it doesn’t strip your skin or leave it feeling oily. It is very scented; however, I love it! It’s a nice sweet pick-me-up and once I finish scraping the barrel, it’s top of my list to grab another one. Plus, it’s housed in packaging made from 50% PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) plastic, with a 100% PCR cap so even better!"
Olverum Bath Salts, £30 for 200g
"I absolutely adore these bath salts; they are just like a warm therapeutic hug after a long week. This mineral soak eases any stress or tension in the mind and body with Olverum’s signature blend of essential oils, mineral-rich dead sea salt and Kalahari Desert salt. The natural and vegan formula is jam-packed with magnesium, potassium, and calcium: all essential for the repair of skin, nails and hair, plus avocado oil to help nourish and soothe skin. I pop a small handful in the bath a few hours before going to bed and my mind instantly switches off. Honestly, Olverum need to release a candle of this scent, I will be all over it!"
WeDo Professional Rich and Repair Mask, £21.95 for 150ml
"When lockdown boredom and the festive spirit hit last December, I found myself excessively over straightening my hair. It may have looked good at the time, but fast forward to Jan 2021 and the health of my hair paid the price. I’ve been using this Repair mask from eco-ethical, professional haircare brand weDo weekly to deeply nourish and protect my locks from further breakage. Formulated with a rich blend of capuacu butter and naturally-activated cassava root this mask transformed my course brittle hair to smooth, soft and *almost* frizz-free."
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, £54 for 15ml
"Now, this is by far the best eye cream I’ve ever tried, yes, a bold claim however it truly is. I’ve always found my dark circles to be my one true nemesis and no eye cream-serum-patch you name it could ever stand a chance. That was until I met this. Incredibly hydrating and a little firm this eye cream contains a megamix of eight peptides, five forms of vitamin C and cucumber extract that work together to help enhance the skin and give you the brightest under eyes known. It is on the pricier side however I’ve been using this day and night for well over a year (a little goes a long way) and I’ve only just run out and I’ll 1000% be re-purchasing."
Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil, £48 for 250ml
"A daily bath is practically an essential and I come back this Jo Malone bath oil time and time again. The scent lingers in your bathroom and on your bedsheets for days, I can’t get enough of the scrummy smell."
Irene Forte Pistachio Face Mask, £109 for 50ml
"This extremely rich mask lasted me for months and leaves my skin feeling ever so moisturised and plump, I alternate this with exfoliating masks to show my skin a bit of love. The pot feels so luxe though I’m going to have to find another use for it now it's empty!"
"A body scrub is a shower essential and I seem to go through them like hotcakes. This Yardley one is super gentle and great value, so much so I used it everyday, no wonder I got through it so quickly..."
"While my skin is prone to sensitivity I didn’t find the gentle tingle with this Algenist peel too much, I love the blue colour due to the added spirulina and it really calmed any redness, perfect to use once a week."
Hattie Sloggett, GTG contributor
Olivanna Intense Repair Night Cream, £96 for 50ml
"Night creams are funny ones and I find them kind of hit or miss. Some are so thick they don’t soak in, some are too light and are better as a day cream, and some are just right. Olivanna is one of those. This delicious, omega-rich, hyaluronic filled intensive night cream is just the ticket for nights in this current climate. Our skin takes a battering during the day, with the snow, rain and hail and at night is dried out by central heating. This cream is so light in texture you would be forgiven for underestimating its power, which is exactly what I did. However, I am now hooked, and for the last few months I have been slathering it on at night and waking every morning more impressed than the day before. Hydrating, plumping, and silky smooth, I will never let this little pot of joy ever run out again."
Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy, £35 for 50ml
"With a mane like mine you never know what you are going to get. I have days where I look like I got caught in my chicken shed and struggled to get out and days where my locks look like they are crafted from gold and gifted by the gods. However, no matter the condition, my scalp and tresses always need nourishment and love and my new favourite treat is to cover my head in the glorious grapefruit hair remedy from Alchemy Oils. This incredible elixir is a combination of five super charged oils and pure grapefruit which is a necessity for getting rid of any dandruff. Small amounts in the day to give a super shine and palmfulls at night for a deep conditioning hair mask. Is it any surprise, I’m already ordering my next bottle?"
Dr Barbara Sturm Ski Cream, £90 for 30ml
"I'm obsessed with sealing in the goodness of my skin products and using a protective layer against the elements. So Barbara Sturm’s Ski Cream is the perfect answer. It not only calms, hydrates and soothes the skin, but it guards from the most extreme of weather conditions, which is a good thing considering the month we've had. A little goes a long way with this precious ointment and it is recommended to allow it to sink in before heading out into the day. However, once it’s on it is not going anywhere, I can feel the silky soft effect on my face all day, no matter how strong the wind, hard the rain or length of time I have to keep my face mask on. Say goodbye to dry, chapped and red skin and hello to a flawless complexion all year round."
Wishful Thirst Trap Juice Serum, £41 for 30ml
"Pipettes full of hydration are an essential part of my daily skin routine, and Wishful’s new Thirst Trap Juice serum is at the top of my current list. This stuff is a miracle worker. Perfect under however many layers of product you are so inclined to use (I use eight on top of this), it seeps into the skin seamlessly and hydrates almost immediately. The ongoing effects I have seen are something to write home about too. With three types of hyaluronic acid, holy hock rose and aloe vera, it really is a thirst trap. My face is so grateful for the plumping, firming and reduction of the appearance of fine lines, that it is imperative I keep a spare on my shelf, just in case, god forbid, I ever run out. Long term collagen stimulation and instant glow, what more can we ask for?"
Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40, £34 for 30ml
"Without a doubt, this Bobbi Brown foundation has been a game-changer for me. I discovered it about five years ago and has remained my go-to product. It's the perfect lightweight formulation for most skin types. It gives a great all-round coverage delivering a dewy, luminous hue to my skin. As well as the all-important UVA/UVB protection, it contains active ingredients cordyceps and artemia which recharge the skin’s appearance."
Elemis Super Food Kefir Tea Mist, £25.95 for 100ml
"I've been using this mist as a skincare primer in the morning and night, letting it soak in before applying my serums and cream. As a sufferer of headaches which have been linked to my gut health, I am always looking for ways to inject more probiotics into my body and this mist is my favourite. It’s rich in superfood rooibos tea extract as well, plus organic aloe vera and coconut water, a natural pre-biotic which helps to balance and hydrate the skin."
Revive Bronze Superieur Self-Tan Booster, £80 for 30ml
"My two top tips on how to look good on Zoom calls are a great self-tan product for the face, plus a quick red lippy application. I’ve been mixing a few drops of this self-tan booster in with my foundation every morning which has much revived my dull January pallor. I love that this one doesn't have that biscuity self-tan smell and a few drops deliver a very light, natural glow."