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Beauty

Glossy picks: the latest beauty drops loved by team GTG

June 21st 2021 / 0 comment

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This week we've been impressed by an easy-to-wear SPF, an ultra-comfortable lip gloss and an acne-clearing wonder serum

The products on this page have been chosen by our editorial team. If you buy something we write about we may earn an affiliate commission.

Every week we bring you the best of the best, the new products and discoveries that have made it home with us to our bathrooms and makeup bags. From a lighter take on a much-loved SPF to handwash and shower gel that make everyday rituals feel luxurious, here's what's won us over this week.

Dermalogica Smart Response Serum, £130

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Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, Editorial Driector

"I don't think I've ever experienced anything like this next-gen serum before, which I don't even claim to understand, but knowing the research that goes into anything that Dermalogica does, I'm sold. It tackles four common concerns - redness, pigmentation, hydration and wrinkles and claims to be able to detect micro changes in the skin before they are visible to the naked eye. The upshot is that it knows before you do what your skin needs. Dermalogica has created a fun skin analysis widget that reads your selfie and tells you what's most prevalent for you - it really works. It's scent-free with a creamy but not oily texture and I found it extremely soothing and hydrating after a recent Morpheus 8 radiofrequency microneedling session. If you ever don't know what to do with your skin, this will take the guesswork away."

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The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Light Essence SPF 50 PA +++, £22

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"Last year I used The Body Shop's Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion, £18, every day (it was my bargain with the sun gods in lockdown; be a hot summer and I promise to wear SPF every day). This year The Body Shop has launched this weightless, almost watery version of it, with a fluid texture that is totally undetectable on the skin, for people who find the lotion a little heavy (not me, but happy to try a light version always). It's got hyaluronic acid in it, makes my skin look glowy and it's my new staple (no offence to my faithful friend the lotion)."

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Monika Blunder Blunder Cover, £45

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, social media and graphic design manager

"There have only been a handful of times when I've found the perfect foundation and this is one of them. It's an all-in-one foundation and concealer hybrid created by LA makeup artist Monika Blunder, who has worked with Emilia Clarke, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and more. It has a very natural, second-skin-like finish and can be used as a sheer foundation or as a concealer in areas that need a little more coverage. It stays in place all day and never looks cakey. If it covers my dark under eyes without creasing, I know I'm onto a winner. It's available in 14 different shades ranging from dark to light and it contains key ingredients such as arnica and chamomile, which help to keep skin soft and supple while reducing redness. For the rest of 2021, I don't think I'll be reaching for another base."

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MZ Skin Hydra-Boost Ampoules, £155

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Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, editorial director

"Ampoules are gaining popularity as a way to give your skin an intensive treatment over the course of a few days for near-salon results. Dr Maryam Zamani, top aesthetic doctor, was one of the first to do these glass vials of skin-boosting concentrates. Now she has added to her two existing collections (Glow Ampoules and Hydrating Eye Ampoules) with these brilliant Hydra-Boost Ampoules for stressed, lined and dehydrated skin - ie me!. You use one in the morning and one for the evening on clean skin over five days. Each has different ingredients to calm, hydrate and boost collagen, to push in hydration and keep it there. I spent a good few minutes working in the two millilitres of liquid each time - there's a lot! - but my skin lapped up layer upon layer and the results were impressive. My lines were softer (the treatments have been measured to reduce wrinkle depth by 13.8 per cent over five days and increase moisture by 38.5 per cent immediately) and my skin was instantly bouncier to the touch. You will get results for your admittedly high spend on this one."

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Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Booster, £18.75

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"This cult buy from Vichy is forever in favour with people looking to instantly rehydrate parched skin and improve the skin barrier long term. The lightweight and fragrance-free gel absorbs quickly into my skin, drenching it in moisture with zero fuss or stickiness, making it the dream first step in my routine. At the moment, if you buy a 50ml or 75ml bottle on Look Fantastic you can get a free Hello Fresh meal box, worth £42.99 plus £10 off your next two boxes! The offer appears when you click on site, which is s fun reward for buying new skincare."

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Herlum Sandalwood and Grapefruit Hand Wash, £29

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

"This is a liquid soap with a blend of Brazilian botanicals, fine fragrance and naturally antibacterial plant extracts. What I LOVE about this soap is that it uses few and only sustainably sourced ingredients, plus the fragrance is made with floral waste repurposed from the perfume-making process, bringing together notes of freshly sliced grapefruit, woody patchouli and a creamy dash of chopped sandalwood. It doesn’t look too shabby on my shelf either!"

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Votary Tinted Lip Gloss, £40

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Loved by: Ophelia Froud, associate editor

"There are lip glosses and there is the Votary Tinted Lip Gloss which quite frankly is in a class of its own. If like me you’ve spent years searching for the ultimate lip gloss then your search is over. First off the vegan formula glides over the lips thanks to the oil-like texture made with 12 natural plant oils which felt immediately nourishing and hydrating. I’m happy to report there was no stickiness even after constant reapplying. Natural squalane smoothes fine lines whilst also working hard to moisturise. My new lip cult find also gave my lips an oh so subtle and super chic no-makeup, makeup look thanks to the subtle raspberry glow which I also became rather obsessed by. And did I mention the luxurious bottle green packaging? J’adore!"

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Urtekram Soft Wild Rose Body Wash, £6.05

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"Seeing as we tend to shower every day (sometimes twice in my case, gym dependant), I think it’s worth elevating the experience with a lovely body wash. Urtekram is a nordic, vegan, organic beauty brand with plant-based packaging and formulas that are made of 99 to 100 per cent natural ingredients. This body wash has a summery, sun-warmed rose scent, not powdery like rose scents can sometimes be and it's a lovely treat to start the day with."

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Lululemon Take Form Yoga Mat, £108

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Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, editorial director

"Every day I'm on my yoga mat - either to practice or teach - and have tried pretty much every type of mat over 20 years. This super sticky rippled mat is one I'm really impressed with. I've never warmed to Lululemon mats in the past, due to the strong smell from the natural rubber but they've totally eliminated that here as well as adding a truly innovative texture. The polyurethane top has subtle raised circles that look like the ripples you get from a stone in water. They have been engineered to help beginners see and feel where to place their hands and feet. It really motivates you to practice, engaging all your senses with some funky colourways too. The base is natural rubber.

"At £108, it is pretty much top whack for a yoga mat, up there with the sticky Liforme £75-£119, with alignment markings and teacher's favourite the Manduka Pro, £103, which never wears out (my everyday mat). Both are great in their own way, but they are heavy and so better suited to home practice. Where the Take Form also scores is not just on stickiness (it actually squeaks) but on weight. At 2.2kg and 180cm long, it's much lighter than anything else in the cushiony five-millimetre-plus thickness category. I like how they have rounded the corners at one end to prevent those annoying bent corners that can happen when you stand the rolled mat on its end. They've thought of everything - although I would love to see their recycling information."

Buy now

Aquis Hair x Alice + Olivia Double Layer Hair Wrap, £50

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, social media and graphic design manager

"When I told my friends that I don't wrap my hair before bed, I was met with a lot of disappointed looks. Fair enough though, because they’re totally right. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to bed with silky smooth straight hair only to wake up looking like Hagrid's cousin, not to mention the hair breakage. That is why I adore this; it is a double layer hair turban; one side allows for quick hair-drying by utilising a high-tech performance fabric that absorbs water faster than traditional cotton and the outer layer works to reduce bed head and frizz. It's great for protecting hair and keeping styles in place and I've already noticed that my hair is much easier to manage after just a few weeks of using it. Plus, I can’t help but feel incredibly chic while wearing the turban designed in collaboration with New York fashion house Alice + Olivia."

Buy now

MORE GLOSS: Hair towel wraps for fuss-free drying

Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Eye Brightener, £18

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

"After devastatingly losing my usual concealer on post lockdown cocktail night I was overjoyed to see these Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Eye Brightener on my desk. This sheer and lightweight undereye brightener hydrates, brightens and blurs and offers a buildable formula when you need that extra little bit of coverage on a Monday morning. The tip also gives an extremely easy targeted application so you get just the right amount of product exactly where you need it."

Buy now

Sanctuary Spa Wellness De-Stress Bath Salts, £7.99

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"These reasonably priced salts perform just as well as their expensive counterparts; I slept noticeably better the nights I used them. They have magnesium in, which not only relieves stress for a peaceful slumber but soothes away aches and pains – I know I'm not the only one hit hard in the muscles by the return to gym classes! They don't smell as lavender-y as some sleepy time salts, in fact, they have a distinctive whiff of Tom Ford Black Orchid about them which feels very luxe."

Buy now

Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturiser, £36

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Loved by: Hattie Sloggett, GTG contributor

"Although it states that this moisturiser is made specifically for oily and combination skin, I can put my hand on my heart and say that my dry, sun and surf ravished skin absolutely loves it. This refreshing, subtle mint cream is based on the 'cold plunge' step of the Scandinavian sauna cycle and it works a charm, leaving you feeling invigorated and hydrated. Filled with BHA to help detoxify your skin and minimise pores, this cream is my go-to in my morning routine because it really sets me up for the day, I leave the house (finally) fully bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and sporting a full Ole Glow."

Buy now

Peace Out Acne Serum, £31

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Loved by: Jemma Thompson, social media and graphic design manager

"There’s nothing worse than that moment when your face breaks out prior to a big event. I’ve tried it all from drying lotions, to spot dots, even ice! But nothing seems to minimise them. However, this acne serum from cult US skincare brand Peace Out Skincare is everything. At first, I applied as a whim, as a last-ditch effort to save my skin and I was shocked with the results – it’s the only product I’ve tried to effectively dimmish a blemish without leaving a scar or mark afterward. It’s a daily treatment, initially as recommended I applied once a day until my skin had the tolerance for 3 times. It contains 2% salicylic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C that all work in harmony to exfoliate your pores, brighten dark spots, and helps absorbs excess oil without stripping your skin."

Buy now

Summer Fridays Pooltime Glowing Body Oil, £34

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

"Oh to be by a pool! This gorgeous body oil bestows you with a subtle golden glow as if you’ve been basking in the sun all day. As a bonus, the blend of macadamia, jojoba, apricot kernel and sunflower oils works to nourish and soften your skin, so not only do you look good you know it’s doing your skin some good too. Kim Kardashian is apparently a fan!"

Buy now

Wype Eco-Friendly Toilet Wipe Gel, £9.99

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Loved by: Hattie Sloggett, GTG columnist

"To say I am obsessed is an understatement. Having travelled the world and experienced the wonders of other countries butt cleaning options, (in Thailand they use water buckets, India has douches, Europe has bidets and Japan and China, well they have magically robot toilets that do everything for you), I always feel that in England we are little behind the times with plain old toilet paper. That is, until, I got my hands on Wype - the first eco-friendly, vegan, baby-safe, 100 per cent safe-to-flush wet wipe alternative. One pump of Wype's refreshing aloe vera and vitamin E infused cleansing gel on regular toilet paper and the job's a good'un. The biodegradable formula is good for the planet and for our personal hygiene - what's not to love?"

Buy now

LF Markey x KanKan starter set, £29

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"If you’re not already on board with KanKan, the refill brand that sells soap in cans designed to be poured into glass dispensers, now is the time. KanKan has collaborated with British designer LF Markey, known for bright, bold creations, on this sunshiney print refill bottle that makes the prospect of refillable soaps even more appealing than before. With plastic-free beauty month just around the corner, invest now and feel good about yourself every time you wash your hands."

Buy now

Wild Soap Trio Pack in Orange Zest, £9

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Loved by: Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager

"Sometimes when I’m jumping in the shower I don’t want all the frills and this Orange Zest Soap absolutely hits the spot, giving your skin that can’t beat it squeaky clean feeling. The soaps which also come in Jasmine and Mandarin Blossom and Lavender are made using 100 per cent natural ingredients and are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free."

Buy now

SVR Sun Secure Mist SPF 50, £18.50

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Loved by: Melanie Macleod, digital writer

"This is one of the lightest sun protectors I’ve ever used. It sprays on in an ultra-fine, almost undetectable mist and absorbs instantly. I historically find applying SPF a chore, but this spray makes it a doddle. It’s a physical SPF that protects against UVA and UVB rays and it has niacinamide in too, to repair cellular damage. On the sustainability side, SVR has removed all leaflets from its boxes, instead printing the info inside the box and removed shiny finishes from packaging too so it’s easier to recycle."

Buy now

MORE GLOSS: The best-tinted SPFs to wear this summer

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