December 1st 2021
Glossy Picks: best November 2021 beauty launches according to team GTG
November 15th 2021 / 0 comment
November brings with it bundles of Christmas prep and a bumper crop of new beauty and wellness buys – including Harry Styles' Pleasing range and the latest power peptide serum from Sarah Chapman, launched by public demand
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Ever in search of the best value and most promising new beauty and wellness arrivals, we've compiled our monthly edit of the latest launches to have on your radar. From a stylish New York scented candle to Sunday Riley's brand new eye serum, here are the new releases and finds we're most excited about.
The Harry Styles nail polish: Pleasing Perfect Pearl Polish, £16 each
"I had one of those 'I've made it!' moments this week when I received the mailer for Harry Styles' new 'life brand' Pleasing, which has launched with four Perfecting Pearl nail polishes, a Pearlescent Illuminating Serum, £27, and the Pleasing Pen, £23 a double-ended under-eye serum and matte lip oil. It's all gender-neutral, vegan and as sustainable as possible - the nail polish brushes, for example, which are notoriously hard to recycle, are made from castor bean and 100 per cent recycled material. The illuminating serum gives a soft-focus blur to the skin and the under-eye serum is delightfully cooling but it's the nail polish I'm most taken with. You can buy them individually for £16 or £50 for a set of four.
"Harry's been wearing polish for years now and the four colours in the collection are exactly the sort of shades we've seen him in. The polishes are 12-free (no nasties) and hard-wearing. The brush splays out nicely on the nail so you get a full nail of coverage with one stroke, which is ideal if you struggle to get your nails looking professional at home. I was wary Harry was jumping on the celeb beauty bandwagon, but his collection seems curated, considered and ever-so on brand. I'll be wearing the pearly white polish for the rest of the festive season." Melanie Macleod, GTG digital writer
The firming serum: Sarah Chapman Skinesis Platinum Pep Stem Cell Serum, £185
"As I’ve got older I’ve come to rely on peptides for daily 'age-proofing'. This new firming serum from Sarah Chapman combines not just eight types of these powerful ‘make more collagen’ messenger molecules but plant stem cells which help skin regenerate. The ‘platinum’ part of the name refers to the nano platinum particles which apparently help get the goodies where they need to go. Chapman originally devised it for her at-home microneedling kit (Meso-Melt Infusion System, £138) but customers wanted a bigger bottle – and here it is.
"With that in mind, I've been using it as my at-home microneedling skincare of choice (if you haven't tried it, it's a powerful way to get better penetration of your products - especially ones like this with a big price tag). Being fragrance-free, I find it much easier to wear than some other Skinesis products. The dropper doses the exact amount you need for the face and neck.
"I discovered it just last week when I booked in for a Sarah Chapman Signature Bespoke Facial in her clinic off Sloane Square in London. The therapist recommended it and gave me the chance to test it as part of the treatment. I loved the effect. If you haven't tried the Sarah Champan Signature Facial, (£170 - pretty reasonable, I think) the facial massage is out of this world. If you are thinking about investment skincare they can advise. When people ask me for a facial recommendation, I now don't hesitate to send them to the Skinesis Clinic." Victoria Woodhall, Editorial Director
The palette for beginners: Sculpted By Aimee Connolly Cosmetics Sultry Stories Eyeshadow Palette, £35
Sultry Stories sounds so sexy, doesn’t it? Well, trust me, it is. The six matte and six shimmer shades are broken down into ‘buff’, ‘smoke’, ’shimmer’ and ‘dress up’ for a simple step-by-step routine that even eyeshadow novices will be able to follow with ease. It even comes with a downloadable booklet that explains how to create several eyeshadow looks perfectly. The pink vegan leather packaging feels so luxe. The mirror is huge, which is perfect for when I need to do my makeup on the Tube (I'd rather have the extra 15 minutes in bed) rather than squinting in my blurry bronzer mirror." Amy Rostas, beauty assistant
The New York new candle on the block: Nest Fragrances Bamboo 3-Wick Candle, £62
"Nest, a New York fragrance brand, has been on my radar for a few years and I've been hoping they'd make their way to the UK. Fortunately, my manifestation paid off, as they launched at Cult Beauty last month! Their 11 scents include everything from boujie candles to captivating reed diffusers. I'm a big fan of the bamboo candle, which is one of their best-selling scents and for good reason: this baby packs a punch – after all, it has three wicks! It fills your home with the most warming, inviting and joyful scent by combining bamboo, white floral and an abundance of lush green notes and hints of sparkling citrus. Take note, Jo Malone and Diptyque fans, this is the new luxe home fragrance to try." Jemma Thompson, social media and design manager
The luxe hair accessory: Slip The Glam Band Mulberry Silk Headband, £55
"Believe it or not, this is the first headband I’ve had that I've actually used to keep hair away from my face while I do my skincare or top up my makeup. I'm not a fan of the ones made from white towelling, but this super chic black mulberry silk headband by Slip is soft and slinky - almost good enough to wear outside the bathroom!" Catherine Fulwood, commercial projects manager
The brightening eye cream: Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum, £65
"I've never met a Sunday Riley product I didn't like and this glamorously-packaged eye serum has fitted right into my routine. It has a cooling ceramic applicator that instantly soothes my sometimes irritated eye area and the serum itself is somehow thick and bouncy while being lightweight and sinking in quickly. Retinol can be too harsh around the eye area, but I've had no trouble with dryness or sensitivity with this, possible down to all the skin barrier supporting ingredients (ceramides and olive oil). It has red poppy seed extract to take down dark circles and niacinamide to brighten while the retinoid complex is there to support collagen production and minimise the appearance of fine lines. I'm turning 32 next week (wah!) so am looking for big guns to add into my skincare routine and this fits the bill perfectly." MM
The party season mascara: Trish McEvoy Dramatic Lash Mascara, £19.12
"Trish McEvoy's mascaras have been a favourite of mine for a while, in fact, her eye game in general. Her Intense Gel Eyeliners, £18.70 are second to none - Deep Aubergine is a real eye-popper - and her sponge-tipped concealer, Correct and Even Full Face Perfector, £34 not only smoothes out wrinkles but illuminates your face with a 'triangle of light' while banishing all trace of dark circles. Her latest mascara is all you want: length, inky blackness and definition that opens up the eye. When you have hooded eyes and creases, as I do, you want your mascara to be clean and defined and not clumpy or to leave blotches on your upper lids. This one has it all." VW
The grown-up scrunchie: Silke London Scrunchies in Bouquet, £40 for 8
"I am scrunchie obsessed, honestly I’d be embarrassed to share a picture of my collection. The obsession started in school when everyone had those ridiculously large and bright American Apparel ones. With age however, I have tried to upgrade my scrunchie wear a bit and these vibrant Silke thin scrunchies are my new go-to. I need a hairband with me wherever I go, whatever I’m doing. These do not tug, pull or break my hair which is ideal. I am never taking these off my wrist, except for when I obviously change the colour to go with my outfit!" AR
The down-there moisturiser: Nessa Vagina Victory Oil, £24
"My vagina is in its sixth decade and has survived natural childbirth twice and has never been any trouble, so I've always neglected it on the skincare front. But I decided to make up for lost time with this oil. It’s fragrance-free and been designed to relieve any discomfort or dryness caused by pregnancy, childbirth or menopause and is rich in antioxidants, soothing butters and oils. After a bath, in addition to massaging my body with oils and cream, my V area gets a little TLC too now." Marie-Louise Pumfrey, GTG contributor
The dream Christmas gift: Bramley Wellness Tent, £52
"Every year I look forward to seeing what guise Bramley's gift set comes in. I loved the little cottage box they released each year, but I think this quaint tent has trumped it. The inside is just as charming as the outside, filled with a selection of Bramley's most soothing products including the Bath Body and Shower Oil, the Sleep Spray, Calm Balm and even a miniature travel candle. They've also launched a greenhouse and circus tent filled with Little B kids products." MM
The luxury moisturiser: Hourglass Equilibrium Restorative Hydrating Cream, £125
"I hesitate. to recommend a moisturiser this pricey but I know there are many Hourglass fans out there who will be keen to know how the Equilibrium range, which came out earlier this year (starting with a cleanser, an essence, a serum and an eye balm) performs. The collection, to which this moisturiser has newly been added, is all about protecting the skin barrier; arguably the ability to keep things out is one of the most important functions of the skin, and the very thing that modern life conspires against. The range majors on a cocktail of lipids that lock moisture in combining them with niacinamide to even out skin tone. My skin is dry and this rich but not heavy vegan and unscented cream is perfect as the weather gets colder. If you have a few lines and wrinkles, a really good moisturiser goes a long way to making your face look smoother.
"My other favourite from the range is the Equilibrium Restoring Essence £64, a pre-serum that acts like a sponge for whatever ingredients you put on top, as well as giving a base layer of hydration and environmental protection. It has just a slight touch of jelly texture to it - gorgeous!" VW
The easy-peasy SPF: Decree Day Shield SPF30, £75
"Topping up an SPF during the day can be complicated. Do you take off the old SPF you dutifully applied first thing and reapply? What if you are wearing makeup? Or do you hope for the best and not top it up? It's easy to forget that in winter, when sunshine levels are sadly low, we do still need protection especially against ageing UVA rays which are damaging even on cloudy days. Step forward the Decree Day Shield SPF30 which you simply spray lightly over your face and neck and 'ta-da!' you are fully protected for the rest of the day. If you want to keep your face free from sun damage year-round then keep one of these in your car and your handbag. It’s a beauty kit game-changer." Ophelia Froud, GTG contributor
The hair-softening duo: Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner Set, £32.22
"Paul Mitchell has long been loved by beauty editors and the brand just got even better with this 100 per cent recyclable packaging made from sugarcane bioplastic, with a more natural ingredient focus. The cold weather has dried my hair out but the olive and oat peptides in this blend is getting it back to its soft and silky best. I use this every few washes when my strands are crying out for extra hydration." AR
The cult body buy: Weleda Skin Food Body Lotion, £14.95
"The original Weleda Skin Food, a rich face cream for dry skin is a budget cult product that’s often are name-checked by celebrities (Victoria Beckham) and MUAs (Wendy Rowe). I bet they’re as pleased as me to see that it now comes in a Body Lotion. Its richer cousin, Skin Food Body Butter, came out a couple of years ago but when you’re in a hurry or want something lighter this natural and organic cream is perfect. It’s super silky with that distinctive Skin Food smell of sweet orange, lavender and vanilla - a fragrance in itself. The bottle is 97 per cent recycled plastic too. Bravo." VW
The travel-brush: Manta Mirror Hairbrush, £28.50
"Having been a big fan of the Manta hairbrushes since they were a finalist in the Innovator category of the Get The Gloss 2020 Beauty and Wellness Awards and I was pleased to see they'd innovated just that bit more with this latest release! I’m forever leaving the house without a mirror and having to use my phone on selfie mode instead (I know you all do it too!) so this is a godsend. Just flip the brush around and there’s a barely noticeable but supremely useful mirror in the hangle to check that your hair and the face are looking tip-top." CF
The festive soap: Soapsmith x Crosstown Dirty Sugar Soap, £12
"I'm an absolute fiend for anything sweet-scented so I was excited to learn that London soap brand Soapsmith had teamed up with donut-makers Crosstown to create this limited edition bar. The fragrance is inspired by Crosstown's famous Vanilla Bean Doughnut and is subtle and creamy, with cocoa and shea butter for hand softening. I actually like to use this all over my body, because why should my hands have all the fun?" MM
The super-quick moisturiser: Ameliorate Transforming Body Spray, £12.35
"I’m a speed freak when it comes to body care. I want a quick and instant win. Fortunately, the new Ameliorate Transforming Body Spray has entered my boudoir. It’s been specifically designed to target those hard-to-reach areas with a nifty all-angle spray and it sinks in immediately making my limbs soft straight away. It smells divine too, infused with zesty orange blossom, mandarin, jasmine and velvet musk. It contains lactic acid and AHAs to exfoliate the skin - if you have bumpy 'chicken' skin or keratosis pilaris, Ameliorate will sort it - and it gets a big tick from me." MLP
The soothing face oil: Skin W1 Renew Facial Oil, £75
"When I visited Dr Rabia Malik at her skin clinic in Harrods, London, she gave me a brilliant collagen-stimulating combination treatment of a peel (and I thought they were just for exfoliating!) and some microneedling. As expected, I was a little red-faced and so she sent me away with the tiniest vial of pure emu oil, telling me that this extremely omega-rich salve would be the most anti-inflammatory and nourishing thing I could use while my skin calmed down (emu oil is a by-product of meat farming, like leather).
"I’m delighted to see that she’s bottled in in the form of this Renew Facial Oil, for dry and post-treatment skin, to complement her excellent Skin W1 collagen stimulating serum and moisturiser, which I use regularly (if you are concerned about wrinkles or want a retinol alternative check them out). The Renew is actually a blend of oils including jojoba and raspberry seed, with are some essential oils (lemon, lavender, bergamot) so patch test if you have sensitive skin. You only need the tiniest amount and it's a lovely way to lock in moisture and relieve dryness." Victoria Woodhall, GTG Editorial Director.
For a winter glow: Guerlain Terracotta Gold Bronze Limited Edition, £31.20
A mainstay in my makeup bag, Guerlain's terracotta bronzing powder has been reinterpreted in a golden bronze limited edition this Christmas. Best of all it uses 96 per cent natural ingredients. I buff it all over my face and decolletage for a super healthy glow. Also, they've got 20 per cent off at the moment, so maybe snap up two (or three...)" CF
The face refresher: Monat Hydrate and Refresh Mist, from £32
"I love a face mist but so many seem to have alcohol listed as one of the main ingredients, which can be drying. So this new alcohol-free, ultra-fine face mist from Monat hits the spot. It has a whole host of hydrating goodies such as coconut water, hyaluronic acid, marine algae, vitamin B5, aloe vera juice and watermelon extract (where it gets its refreshing scent). Best of all it doesn't disrupt my makeup; I apply it directly from the fridge for a cooling blast and pre and post makeup to set that glow firmly in place." CF.
The cosy candle: Evermore Smoke Candle, £35
"If I'm working from home in the winter, a candle flickering next to me is essential. It makes me feel like a writer of yesteryear, working by candlelight. This is the latest one I've tried and it creates the perfect atmosphere for typing away. On the black glass jar, in gold writing it says 'Flickering Gently in Darkened Shadows' and I just find that so emotive. It's made from vegan rapeseed wax and I've had it on for two days solidly and it's barely even burned down half an inch. It smells of orange blossom, pine needle, geranium, nutmeg, cardamom and patchouli, for a rich, sensual scent, that fills the room and lasts long after you've snuffed out the candle. It's a sultry smell, with no hint of sweetness and no spa vibes either. Think mysterious and decadent and you've got the idea." Melanie Macleod, GTG digital writer
The hydrating cleanser: Biossance Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser, £22
"I'm forever on the hunt for the perfect cleanser – something that whisks away every scrap of makeup without leaving my skin stripped or greasy; not a big ask, really, but a surprisingly elusive combo. Cerave Cream to Foam Cleanser is the closest I've found so far but I think this might just have trumped it. The thick jelly transforms into oil which swiftly melts everything away – no vigorous rubbing required. My skin instantly looks more radiant and feels calmer – thanks to the clever moisture-retaining squalane, I suspect. With party season around the corner, I can see it quickly becoming a mainstay in my routine." Amber Voller, GTG contributor
The complexion illuminator: Guerlain Meteorite Gold Pearls, £46
"I've fallen head over heels for these Parma violet-scented balls of illumination. They're a staple in Guerlain's makeup range, but these are a limited edition version in a new pot, especially for Christmas. I swirl my blusher brush into the ever-so decadent pot, then dust it onto my face for a subtle shimmer that makes me feel heaven-sent. I love these so much they make me want to wear makeup every single day, even when I'm not leaving the house, just so I can use them." MM
The warming fragrance: Sana Jardin Vanilla Nomad, £95
"Sana Jardin's latest launch, Vanilla Nomad won't disappoint fans of the socially conscious vegan natural brand. Vanilla, jasmine absolute, sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli have been blended into a single potion that is a sheer pleasure to wear.
"Fragrance is a mood booster and all the more so knowing that this luxury fragrance house empowers female harvesters through fair commerce. I’m a superfan of Sana Jardin and Vanilla Nomad has just joined the rest of my perfumes from this stand out brand including Berber Blonde, Tiger at Her Side and Celestial Patchouli. If you are looking for a new sustainable fragrance to mood boost your winter, look no further than Vanilla Nomad." OF
The sleep supplement: Free Soul Natural Sleep Complex, £14.99 for 180 capsules
"From weighted blankets to sleeping naked, I'll try anything that promises a deep, peaceful sleep and these are the latest addition to my nighttime routine. They've got a combination of sleep-supporting ingredients inside, including 5-HTP, which supports serotonin production which in turn helps the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, alongside calming chamomile, plus lemon balm which sets off a reaction that sends you to sleep. I've been taking these half an hour before bedtime for about a week now, and for the price, I must say I'm impressed. I feel more settled as I lie down and find myself drifting off quicker than before." MM
The high impact liquid shadow: Iconic London Glaze Crayon in Volcanic, £24
"This is a double-ended crayon and liquid glitter eyeshadow - the latter reminds me of the cult Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows. Who doesn’t love a two in one? It makes it easy to take a look from day to night. This shade is an almost chocolatey silver with hints of gold flecks. I wore it to a party with black kohl liner in my waterline and it gave a sultry yet grunge effect. I’ll definitely be investing in the other shades." AR
The cooling spritz: Skin in Motion Cool It Mist, £17
"Like my colleague Catherine, I love face mists. They're a desk essential for me and this is the one I've been using most recently. Skin In Motion was created to be used post-workout when you don't feel like putting a heavy moisturiser on, but your skin needs a drink. I haven't used this after the gym yet, but it makes for the perfect pick me up when I'm tired. It has a soft, baby powder smell which I adore, plus it contains castor oil and hyaluronic acid for moisture and hydration. It contains mint for cooling and liquorice which tones down post-workout redness. It gets ticks all round from me." MM
A hydration hit for dry and sensitive skin: By Sarah London Saviour Moisture Mask, £44
“I love this sustainable British brand for sensitive skin, which was founded by two sisters, one of whom was receiving cancer treatment and couldn’t find anything natural to soothe her dry and sensitised skin. The latest launch is this moisture bursting serum mask made of aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. I’ve never tried anything like it; it seems almost Tardis-like, one small pump feels like a full-on bath. Although it’s a small bottle you get plenty of uses and there's no need to rinse. I definitely saw my lines being plumped out. Dryness is one of the signs of ageing and so I'd class this as a powerful age-proofer too. I'm not surprised this clever brand has a cult following across so many skin types
"For everyday use, I’m using half a pump now as my first layer of hydration - it sinks in immediately. I love how they are transparent with their ingredients too, explaining everything in plain English so you know exactly what you are putting on your skin. The range is completely essential oil-free so even the most sensitive types can enjoy." VW
The bedtime body oil: Dreem Distillery Among the Stars CBD Sublime Body Oil, £75
"My evening routine isn't complete without using body oil and this one from Dreem Distillery (makers of my favourite CBD night drops, which I finished last week) is my current oil of choice. It feels thick and nourishing (ie. it's not super runny like baby oil, seeping through your fingers ) but it sinks in easily with no stickiness, meaning you can hop into bed immediately. My skin feels smoothed and my body feels soothed and the subtle floral meets aromatherapy scent relaxes my mind too." MM
The bespoke haircare: Shampora Customised Shampoo, £12.60
"I’ve seen customised haircare all over the 'Gram for a while and I finally took the plunge with this. You have to fill in a questionnaire prior to ordering and it was super extensive (in a good way!). It takes into account your lifestyle and diet, which is so important to hair health but not something I think about in-depth. When you're picking your range you also set hair ‘goals’ to help decide on the range you get. I lent towards shine, dandruff control and colour protection and being able to set the level of fragrance (always the most important for me!) was the cherry on top." CF
The does-it-all serum: U Beauty Resurfacing Compound, £85
"If like me, you are unsure when and how to layer up your serums and actives then you’ll love this one-stop-shop super serum packed with antioxidants, vitamins C, E, peptides and retinol.
"It launched in 2020 (so not technically a new-in) but it’s something I’ve just discovered and is still something of a hidden gem. I’ve been using two pumps of it for four weeks now and my skin is glowing; smoother, brighter and less tired looking. I’m hooked. Clinical trials showed 77 per cent less visible wrinkles and imperfections after 30 days of use and I can believe it. Founder Tina Craig knows her science and her beauty so if you are looking for a one-stop serum solution that does what it claims on the tin then this is your new favourite serum." OF
The one-coat vegan nail polish: Revlon Ultra HD Snap! Nail Polish So Shady, £5.99
"I’m quite self-conscious about turning up to industry events as the only editor who never has their nails done. I just can’t justify the time in the chair or the expense. Invariably, I’m too cack-handed to do it myself and mess up the drying by not sitting still long enough. I idly picked up this little bottle in the office from a range of 12 new vegan one-coat polishes and managed a not-bad desk-side mani. It dries very quickly and has an idiot-proof texture that's not so runny as to drip everywhere. It’s not terribly long-lasting, without a top coat it didn’t survive the washing up, but for a quick emergency coat and a budget buy, it’s excellent." VW
The calming eye cream for sensitive skin: Kloris CBD The Eye Cream, £42
"Kloris is one of my favourite brands for a self-care Sunday (try Kloris CBD Bath Melts, £20, you won't regret it) and they've just released two new skincare products. I was immediately drawn to the eye cream. With their signature one per cent premium CBD as well as hyaluronic acid and chaga mushroom, it’s unscented, extremely calming and rehydrating for super sensitive skin." CF
The floral scent: Medeau Evening Blush Eau de Parfum, £95
"I know it’s November and most people are opting for a more mysterious and heavy perfume, but I am not. These dark dreary days are really starting to get to me, but luckily this clean and pregnancy-friendly (not me right now!) perfume is the perfect scent to make me excited for the day ahead.
"It has fruity and floral notes with Japanese cherry blossoms being the focal point, with hints of vanilla and musk, which must be why I love it. It lasts the whole day and I smell amazing if I do say so myself! I usually wear the same two perfumes every day (one for day, one for night) but Medeau has inspired me to keep trying new scents. The packaging and bottles are entirely recyclable and made in the UK, for another plus point." AR
The at-home microneedler: Facegym Face Shot, £195
"Regular readers probably know I’m the first to jump on a new Facegym launch and this week saw two new releases! I’m particularly taken with Faceshot. It's an innovative microneedling pen (as opposed to a roller) complete with a glycolic vitamin treatment and it delivers effective but gentle exfoliation. Best of all allows you to bring studio results into your home. Before getting my hands on it, I went to try it out at Facegym's studio in London's St John’s Wood.
"While some might be put off at the word needle I found the whole experience relaxing. It felt ticklish at most and took no longer than ten minutes. My skin was a little pink after but it died down after about half an hour, the next morning I woke up with super smooth, glowy skin and a spot that had been brewing pre-treatment was nowhere to be seen! The needle heads come as sterile single-use cartridges - you get three of them when you buy the tool and replacement heads will be available online shortly (price tbc). The serum goes into the tool itself and delivers as you go - at-home microneedling is a great penetration enhancer and here the needles go to a medium depth of 0.255mm. One of my favourite new releases yet, I recommend you invest." CF
The MUA foundation: Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin The Foundation, £44, 40 shades
"Have you been to makeup artist Lisa Eldridge's popup store in Covent Garden, London yet (see below)? It's a makeup museum with vintage beauty products as well as a try-before-you-buy of Lisa Elridge's ever-expanding makeup range. Makeup artists are on hand to help you select and test shades of everything from lip pencils to yet-to-be-launched eyeshadows. It's on until mid-December and it's a great place to try her first foundation Seamless Skin. I was shade matched by Rafa and was persuaded to buy one after he mentioned that for my money I'd get 375 pumps, which would last six to 12 months.
"The finish is neither matte nor dewy and gives a clean canvas. One pump is just about enough for light coverage. I didn't look like I was wearing foundation, the effect lasted all day and it didn't flake in the slightest. It is self-setting and as I never use powder (too drying) that's a big plus for me. The bottle is something of a Marmite choice. Yes, it's a work of art, but you can't stand it up which makes it more space-hogging and less grabbable. But being a thing of beauty, you just might want to give it a plinth." VW
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The innovative dry shampoo: Boucleme Foaming Dry Shampoo, £18
"Spray-on dry shampoo is always more trouble than it's worth when you have thick, dark hair. I always look like a distant cousin of the Addam's family, no matter how hard I try to brush the powder out or sleep with it on overnight. Seriously, why is it so difficult to get rid of the white residue? This new foaming dry shampoo comes out white but dries clear – problem solved. It uses aloe vera leaf juice to cleanse and reduce any odour, tapioca and corn starch to absorb excess oil on your scalp, and menthol to give you that refreshing aaah feeling. Despite being a wet formula, it never leaves my afro hair frizzy or my roots limp because it simply soaks in. It's suitable for all hair types, but it's especially beneficial for those with curly hair because there's no need to brush the formula in. Whenever I'm in between washes, this has been a lifesaver for reviving my hair and restoring volume." JT
For your Christmas list: The Body Shop Nutty & Nourishing Shea Ultimate Gift, £50
"As a child, the 'Holidays are Coming' Coca Cola advert signified the start of festive fun. Now as an adult, it's the arrival of The Body Shop's Christmas offerings, festive gift sets and limited edition fragrances. This year, the seasonal scents include fruity 'Kindness and Pears' and 'Love and Plums', plus the warming 'Joy and Jasmine'. The festive gift packs are what I really look forward to. Always housed inside sustainable packaging, receiving one of these sets me up with bath and shower goodies for the months ahead. This set includes body scrub, shower cream, shampoo and conditioner, body butter, hand wash and hand cream, housed in a lovely Christmas design bag that I'll use again and again." MM
For a full face: Ciaté Curated by Hannah Martin set, £40
"A-list makeup artist Hannah Martin has put together her favourite Ciaté picks in one big discounted collection, worth £134 but selling for just £40. She says this selection can create six looks, but if you ask me there are endless options and I can’t wait to let my creativity flourish. This collection includes a palette, eyeliner, mascara, highlighter, illuminating blush and a lip balm and mask.
"Most of these items are classic Ciaté products, but the star of the show is without a doubt the I Am Woman palette, which celebrates powerful women who have made a difference. My favourite shades are Rosa Parks, Marsha P Johnson, Amelia Earhart, and the one called 'You', a copper-cranberry. Clearly, I'm a sucker for sparkle as these four are the most pigmented, metallic shades in the palette. The eyeshadows apply like butter and have good colour pay off. The whole palette of this collection is very warm and autumnal with plum tones." AR
The dark circle banisher: Balance Me Vitamin C Brightening Eye Serum, £28
"Balance Me always delivers when it comes to gentle actives, silky textures, natural ingredients and ethical sourcing. This new vitamin C eye cream, which complements the brand’s award-winning Vitamin C Repair Serum, £32, has everything you need to depuff and hydrate with gentle brightening vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. There’s mica too, a mineral that blurs dark circles, which gives a subtle Touche Eclat style light reflection. Unlike some eye serums, it’s not at all ‘soggy’ and my concealer sat very nicely on top and my mascara didn’t blur. Another winner!" VW
The spa-at-home candle: Eym Naturals Home Candle, £39
"I like my candles like I like my coffee, super strong! Eym is a new brand to me, but once I opened the gorgeous cream packaging I was instantly transported to a spa-like state. The candles are made in the UK and use 100 per cent natural fragrance only. After feeling a little like I’ve been trying to play catch up with my social life over the last few months I opted for ‘The Grounding One’ which claims to be comforting and reassuring, with notes of chamomile, geranium and rose. I’ve been lighting it on these chillier evenings and cosying up under a blanket for a hint of bliss." CF
The non-sticky gloss: Morphe X Ashley Strong Lip Kit, £12
"I really like the scent and textures of these lip liner and gloss combos; they're not sticky in the slightest and the pencil glides on so easily. I've always been a fan of Morphe's products and their collabs with different influencers/makeup artists over the years have been highlights; I have the Jaclyn Hill and James Charles palettes and often buy different ones as birthday presents for my friends. I've only recently come across makeup influencer Ashley Strong and I have to say I love her and all the looks she creates, I’m keen to try the rest of her collection/collaboration, especially if it's as good as this lip kit." AR
The luxe micellar water: Bramley Micellar Cleansing Water, from £4
"I'm a sucker for anything from Bramley as it instantly transports me to all those fancy country hotels that have it in their bathrooms. The latest product I've fallen for from the brand is this Micellar Cleansing Water. I don't normally give much thought to my micellar, but that all changed with this. It feels soft and ever-so gentle on the skin and is infused with chamomile and rosewater for a subtle floral freshness that makes removing my makeup feel like a self-care treat." MM
The brightening cleanser: Dermalogica Daily Glycolic, £55
"Dermalogica put gentle exfoliators on the map – the granular Daily Microfoliant, a rice-based enzyme powder practically invented the genre in 2001, weaning us off our scratchy apricot scrubs. Now the brand has brought out a gentler face wash with glycolic acid for daily use. It’s a hydrating gel that lifts off the surface layer of dead skin cells for a gentle glow. I gave this to a friend, who is addicted to grainy scrubs. She’s now addicted to this: ‘So much better than normal liquid cleansers that either don’t do anything or leave you dry,’ she told me. ‘My face felt very smooth.’" VW
The overnight skin hero: Ole Henriksen Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment, £46
"We are huge fans of Ole at Get the Gloss, so much so we have an amazing live online masterclass (with an £85 goodie bag) coming up to help you get that glow. The newest release, Dewtopia (which comes in your goodie bag) is a potent retexturising night serum that smoothes skin texture, firms, improves elasticity and targets the look of dark spots, pores, fine lines and wrinkles! It’s packed with a powerful 20 per cent (!) acid blend of 10 per cent AHAs and 10 per cent PHAs. I've been using this nightly and it's overhauled my skin making it noticeably smoother and brighter. I love the calming and hydrating aloe juice and birch sap too, which left behind a soft texture.” CF
For beauty bargains: Caroline Hirons Hall of Fame Limited Edition Skincare Kits from £140
"When beauty expert Caroline Hirons lends her seal of approval to products, websites can crash under the stampede. So I’m giving you the heads-up that her three new limited edition skincare kits are available to buy following their IRL debut at Caroline’s recent three-day pop-up in London’s Covent Garden.
"Caroline is already known for her regular skincare kits curated around a theme, so what’s different about these? Called Hall of Fame, they are a celebration of the 11 years of her skincare blog – think of it as a Hirons greatest hits. Each has up to eight all-time favourite products and total savings of more than 50 per cent of RRP. But don’t hang around, they’re limited edition. In fact, you may not want to wait until the end of this paragra…
"Hirons’ fans will be familiar with most of these inclusions from brands such as Votary, Kate Somerville, Chantecaille, Oskia and Pixie as Caroline has ‘banged on’ (as she might say) about how good they are. Choose from, the Routine Kit £140 (worth £311.50) for a high-performance regime, the Heroes Kit £200 (worth £482) products that were little known until Caroline championed them and the OGs Kit £295 (worth £678.50), classics that are still unrivalled. I like the look of the Routine Kit with Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and Medik8 Crystal Retinal – both classics. See the lineup on carolinehirons.com." VW
The sweet treat: Glossier Cookie Butter Balm Dotcom, £10
"Glossier's iconic Balm Dotcom has just had a very seasonal makeover and I’m totally here for it. The limited-edition Cookie Butter flavour is delicious and definitely had me reaching for some Lotus Spread after applying it – it smells just like it!
"It has a slight brown tint to it which has those 90s/Y2K vibes which are trending at the moment. It's super festive and gives me a cosy feeling, but it’s limited edition so I would get it ASAP to avoid disappointment." AR
The skin-supporting serum: Keys Soulcare Promise Serum with Niacinamide, £25
"My combination skin has gone from oily to flaky as we switch from BST to GMT this weekend (I miss you, summer). Fortunately, this new brightening facial serum from Alicia Keys’ dermatologist-developed self-care meets skincare line is exactly what I’m looking for. This lightweight serum is ideal for normal, dry, oily, and combination skin because it contains niacinamide, zinc and snow mushroom, all of which work to hydrate, calm and balance the skin’s moisture level (snow mushroom can hold up to 500 times its weight in water!).
"It not only provides much-needed hydration (which feels incredibly refreshing), but it also helps to reduce the appearance of pores and regulates oil levels. It’s perked up my drab winter skin is a flash, I just know I’ll be reaching for this for the next few months." JT
The throwback favourite: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick, £6.99
"For me, Rimmel London lipsticks are synonymous with Freshers week and post-club cheesy chips – a clutch bag mainstay at the time, but not something I'd expect to feature on my makeup love list over a decade later. But this new formulation from the high street favourite has totally surprised me. It feels a lot like my much-loved and discontinued Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick. Despite the name, it's not traditionally 'matte' – more of a creamy satin finish that really does linger for several hours. And then there's the shade range. If you're into your pinky-nudes (who isn't?), you'll love the 11-strong line-up. The subtle nuances between each mean there's plenty to suit all skin tones. I'm not too fussed about the teardrop-shaped tip but if you have smaller lips, I can imagine it would be a real game-changer for on-the-go application sans mirror." Amber Voller, GTG contributor
The workout wear refresher: Gymspin laundry detergent, £15 for 12 capsules
"If you're a long term, regular exerciser you're likely familiar with that stale sweat smell that simply will not wash out of your workout gear. Gymspin is here to tackle that. It's a bio laundry detergent that works like magic to banish stale odours at 30C, plus it has a natural, fresh-smelling botanical scent that claims to help you perform better when you work out. It works by removing bacteria that other washing detergent just masks. I put it to the test on my old faithful running jumper, which seemed to smell a little sweaty even after a hot wash. After a tumble with Gymspin, it smelled good as new and I can't wait to wash more of my kit with it." MM
For a bespoke skincare routine: My Inkey Profile, free service
"Last week, The Inkey List has launched a new service ‘My Inkey’, which it calls a personalised 'skin recipe' for all your skin and hair and I was one of the first to try it. You log on to the dedicated page on Inkeylist.com to speak with a skincare expert online via video or chat 24/7 to be matched with a 'coach', who recommends products best suited to your skin and explains how to use them, as well as how to slot them into your existing product lineup. There's no obligation to buy.
"I was recommended The Inkey List PHA Toner, £9.89 to brighten and hydrate my skin alongside the Madecassoside Mask to improve my damaged skin barrier. I am normally hesitant to try new products because I worry about reactions and damaging my skin, but having this regime recommended especially for me put my nerves at ease. They recommend tracking your progress for six weeks with selfies, which you can upload to your My Inkey profile page to see the difference it's making." AR
For festive feels: Molton Brown Jubilant Pine and Patchouli Body Lotion, £21.60
“I’m getting into the Christmas spirit a little early this year with Molton Brown’s 2021 limited edition scent. Normally I like mulled wine sort of Christmas scents, but this is a more grown-up take on festive fragrance, with fresh pine, spicy cinnamon and crisp accents of juniper berry. It has a subtle scent of vanilla too which you can never go wrong with. It comes in shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette. I’ve been using the lotion and it sinks in easily for silky soft skin with a scent that lingers long after you apply it.” MM
The unexpected stress-reliever: Point Zero Ear Seeds, £24.99
"I was drawn into these 24K Gold Plated Ear Seeds as I spied them all over the 'gram on the likes of the Kardashians. Unsure of their benefits, I was keen to give them a go, plus it helps that they look quite chic too.
"The idea is that it’s a needle-free way to test out traditional Chinese medicine in the form of acupressure, as a way to balance the flow of energy (qi) through the body by stimulating pressure points, in this case in your ear.
"Each kit includes 40 gold-plated ear seeds and a treatment card, which maps out the specific pressure points, I opted for calming anxiety. All you have to do is apply the ear seeds, with a tweezer, to the points indicated on the treatment card.
"Once on, apply slight pressure to the seeds throughout the day. I’d had quite a boozy weekend at a friend's 40th and found one pressure point particularly tender: surprise, surprise it was my liver. I definitely felt more chilled and found the motion of applying pressure every few hours relaxing, I’ll be using these again in times of stress." CF
The hardworking soap: Homework Poppy Seed Soap, £9.50
"Far from being the thing I spent years avoiding, Homework is an eco-friendly London-based brand, manufactured using solar power. The brand sells skincare and home fragrance all inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine. My pick from the offering is this gently exfoliating soap which uses poppy seeds to exfoliate and has a zesty, uplifting scent of coriander and pink grapefruit. It's made from olive, coconut, sweet almond and castor oil with shea and cocoa butter, so doesn't leave you with that dry, tight feeling that sometimes comes from using soap." MM
The romantic scent: Bvlgari Parfum Allegra Dolce Estasi, £140
"Shortly after meeting my husband in New York in the early 2000s, I returned to the city to meet him after a trip home to London. He arrived at JFK airport in a white stretch limo filled to bursting with long-stemmed red roses. Needless to say, I have had a soft spot for regal roses, and indeed my beloved, since that arrival.
"Today, I have just tried this divine rose fragrance from the Bulgari family and am similarly besotted. It is a dreamy floral and comes with a 'rose magnifier' to up the ante on the rose-filled front. As I say: romantic and dreamy and how much do we need those right now?" Jane Druker, GTG contributor
For natural-looking brows: Blink Brow Bar Ultra Slim Brow Definer 2.0, £19
"This hero brow pencil with its fine hair-like strokes used to be entirely plastic but has been revamped to be more eco-friendly, with a barrel now made from wood. There are three shades (use the BBB shade finder to find your match); I chose the darkest (Clove) for my very dark brows and found it really blended in with my natural colour and didn’t look too blocky. Plus the fact that has a brush on the end is super-useful for looking well-groomed."
"I normally use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, £23 in Granite, but this one is a softer pencil for a more natural look. I wore this with a tinted SPF and no other makeup and immediately felt so much more put together." AR
For hair growth: Hair Gain Nourishing Miracle Treatment Hair Mask, £14.50
"Hair masks and scalps don’t usually go together; conditioner on the scalp can cause build-up and itching. If you love a hair mask, you almost can't help getting it on your scalp in the 10 minutes or so it takes to work. However, this two-in-one from hair growth brand Hair Gain is not only scalp safe, it actively promotes hair growth while leaving hair glossy too. It comes out of its aluminium tube a wonderful bright green thanks to a pea protein complex called Anagain, which acts like a peptide to signal to the dermal cells to stimulate growth. It’s the secret sauce in the brand’s highly-rated Hair Gummies, £29.95 too. My hair felt super soft with no build-up after the required ten minutes in this mask. The tube is small but you don’t actually need to load up on product. They do it in a bigger 180ml size for £32. It’s designed for twice-weekly use – you’ll want to buy the big one, I promise." VW
The revamped classic: Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation, £48
"Choosing the best foundation can be tricky. I like a full coverage that isn’t too heavy and it has to have SPF. One that ticks all of these boxes is the Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Foundation. This cult beauty classic has been reformulated with a powerful new serum in the mix, derived from the fungi cordyceps and ginseng to boost the skin’s natural energy. It instantly hydrates and feeds the skin with hyaluronic acid, lychee seed extract, apple, watermelon, lentil and vitamin E, plus factor 40 UV protection." M-LP
The calming spray: Made By Coopers Zen Pillow and Room Spray, £17.50
"One of my sleep spray bugbears is when you can't smell it after five minutes of spraying. I like a sleep scent with longevity and this has that for sure. It's different to other pillow sprays, sidestepping lavender for a combination of sandalwood, mandarin, bergamot, vetiver and cardamom instead. They all blend tomorrow to relieve stress and naturally ground you for a zen feeling. I like to spray this before I do yoga at home too, the fact that it doesn't have lavender in means it doesn't scream 'bedtime!' so can be used for other calming activities too." MM
The iconic makeup: Illamasqua Frankly Amy Limited Edition Beauty Box, £50
"Amy Winehouse had such an iconic look, so I’m surprised it’s taken this long to pull together a collection, but what better brand to do it than one of my favourites, Illamsqua. This limited edition box features all the key products needed to create her iconic look, including two of the singer's favourites; cream blusher in Pixie and her ultimate coral pink lip. You also get jet black mascara, a Camden Eyebrow Cake, false lashes and liquid eyeliner. Part of the proceeds from this collaboration will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which works to inspire children and young people to build their self-esteem and resilience so that they can flourish." CF
The natural deodorant case: Wild deodorant Pride Limited Edition Case, £10
"The case is definitely a bit of me and brightens up my bathroom no end! Better still, Wild will donate 50p from the sale of every Rainbow case sold to Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, which provides a one-stop listening service for LGBT+ people on the phone, by email or through instant messaging. I’ll be filling it with the newest scent, Toffee Apple for the ultimate autumn vibes." CF