I won’t speak ill of January in its absence; we had our challenges, and February is a much-welcomed replacement, but let’s leave it at that. Skiing and a renewed passion for yoga aside, here’s a glimpse at what brought joy during the year’s worst month (d’oh – I’d almost made it to the end of the intro without making a single disdainful remark. Must channel more zen. *Hops onto the yoga mat*) //
NUDE DETOX GENTLE BRIGHTENING FIZZY WASH / This new gentle version of Nude’s fizzy powder is fast becoming one of my favourite things: just pour a little of the powder into your hand, mix with water and you get yourself a little effervescent wash full of enzymes that’ll invigorate sluggish, dull skin. I use mine in the morning and after my balmy cleanse in the evening and my sensitive skin hasn’t protested in the slightest.
GOLDFADEN FLEURESSENCE NATIVE BOTANICAL CELL OIL / Combining 5 excellent plant oils to fortify and replenish, this oil served my skin well when in Switzerland where the cold challenged it somewhat. Back in London, I’m still using it daily as it ameliorates dryness and makes my skin supple without overloading it.
EMMA HARDIE AMAZING FACE PRIME & PROTECT / Emma Hardie doesn’t release products often, mostly because she only wants to bring things out that she’s really, really thought through. This SPF/primer hybrid is testament to the process being an overwhelming success: if wearing foundation, it provides a touch of slip and smoothness; if not, it blurs and makes skin look more uniform. Either way you go, you’ll get a shedload of skincare ingredients and a nice SPF 30 in the mix too.
SKINCEUTICALS METACELL RENEWAL B3 / I first got wise to niacinamide when Eve Lom included it in their make-up range for brightening pigmentation. It’s a great ingredient that rarely irritates but really does lift discolouration. This gel-textured serum is all about the niacinamide, using it at a pretty high concentration to help even out the skin. As the sun is in hibernation, this is the time to crack it out – using a brightening treatment during summer months isn’t a great idea as the fresh skin that’s ushered to the surface shouldn’t be exposed to a lot of sunlight. N.B. There’s some stuff on t’internet decrying the fragranced oils in this – a patch test is always a good idea, though my skin hasn’t reacted.
RMK CIRCUS FACE COLOUR / Putting aside the fact that this is possibly the prettiest palette I’ve seen that delighted the little girl in me, it’s a really solid buy. Rather than take down shine to a flat matt finish, this removes the look of grease but adds luminosity. Swirl your brush across the whole palette and you get a pretty neutral colour that’ll just light up most skin tones, concentrate on the lower half and you’ve got a subtle bronzer right there.
BECCA BACKLIGHT PRIMER / Becca do healthy sheen like nobody else. Their highlighters are in every make-up artist’s kit and I firmly suspect this health-mimicking primer will follow suit. With just enough crushed pearl to shine through any base you care to wear, you can dial it up or down with a little powder/highlighter as you will.
BOURJOIS ROUGE EDITION VELVET IN HONEY MOOD / This peachy colour is just enough to make my lips look ‘done’, but still not over power my beloved smokey eye. Also, nice texture: buttery, smooth, conceals minor cracks and dips.
CHLOE LOVE STORY EDT / Due out on Wednesday, this is another pretty thing that’s also well worth your pounds. What’s inside isn’t flamboyant or overpowering. It is instead a fruity floral that’s underpinned with jasmine that I have kept on my desk to act as an instant pick-me-up when the going gets tough.
ELEMIS EXOTIC FRANGIPANI MONOI BODY OIL / My husband won’t thank me for telling you this, but this oil has caused rifts in our marriage. I got it out because it’s a proper treat oil that I like to warm on the heating before bed and smooth on before I slip between the sheets, and hubs decided he wanted some of the action for his post-skiing dry skin too. Before I knew it, he’d hidden it. It’s now his. For now.
GHD ADVANCED SPLIT END THERAPY / I laid off using hair straighteners years ago when the ends of my hair started to fray. Now I’ve started to heat style on occasion once more with impunity: this nutrient-rich serum binds broken ends when run over when a straightener.
JUST FOR TUMMIES PERFECT BALANCE KIT BY LINDA BOOTH / Christmas isn’t kind to the gut, which I’m reliably informed is the font of good health. I’ve been taking the contents of this supplement kit as prescribed pretty regularly and have found my stomach’s a bit flatter and my periods of indigestion to be diminishing (I know – I am like a character from an Austen novel. Soon I’ll be calling myself dyspeptic in my twitter profile).