March. I call it spring, most think of it as the end of winter. Over in the beauty world, the main thing it means is the reemergence of skin as a focus. Bronzing, sculpting, softening: you name it, there’s a bigger and better formula launching this month to eviscerate the staleness of winter and usher out the need for blankets of make-up. And, of course, it also means a touch of colour (this month represented so well by the new Bourjous launch) and the scent of flowers (hello, new Penhaligon’s scent). Here’s everything that’s about to hit the shelves worth knowing about //
The Primers / So much of what makes skin look good happens before foundation is applied so primers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Going forward, expect yours to do more than just act as a filter – primers should double up as skincare, too.
Two peaches are coming out this month – Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops (green to correct redness, peach to nix discolouration, pink to lift dullness – all contain alguronic acid and microalgae oil to soothe and moisturise and can be used together, applied onto patches of concern or mixd with foundation), and RMK Basic Colour Control (creamier and available in purple to brighten, green to control redness, coral to enliven and silver – which I use and is pictured – to impart glow).
The Hair Stuff / There was stiff competition in this category, but I finally nailed it down to two must-haves: a dry shampoo and a stellar brush. The first – Living Proof Healthy Hair Dry Shampoo – is a bit of a trailblazer. It starts by coating the hair in a polymer, under which the oil, odour and sweat absorbing powders go to work. That all takes a few minutes, after which you brush through, which will pull the tubes holding the ‘dirt’ off your hair. The result? Hair that’s actually clean.
The brush is by heritage brand Kent and is called Oooh That’s Nice, which is a bit of a silly name, though on running it through my hair I got where they were coming from – it pulls knots and snags out pretty easily and gives the head a mini massage thanks to the zigzag head coated in moulted nylon quills interspersed with natural bristles to clean and nurture. And you know what happens when the scalp is happy…
The Lip Colours / Bourjois have hit the nail on the head again: ideal for girls who like just a hint of lip colour and find lipstick intimidating, their new Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet are a little matte, a lot sheer, and come in lip-flattering shades. They also feel lovely on – like a lightweight lip balm that smells a touch like blueberries. They’re available in 8 shades, though my favourites are the above three (l to r: 05 Fuchsiamallow for a flash of colour for the day, 03 VIPeach when I want my lips to look subtly enhanced, and 07 Plum Plum Pidou for a bit more drama in the evenings).
The Scent / Inspired by the first flowers to bloom during spring (think violet leaves, orange blossom, frangipani and jasmine), Equinox Bloom by Penhaligon’s is a straight up sweet and floral scent that contains notes of sugar and honey. A spray will last a whole lot longer than most florals which are notorious escape artists and ordinarily break away from skin ever so quickly.
The Skincare / I said skincare was big over spring – here’s the proof. Culled from a list of new launches as long as my arm, these outstanding products by three of my top brands all focus on strengthening and infusing moisture.
First, DHC’s Beauty Lift range. Don’t be put off by the ‘lifting’ thing – the whole range is geared towards fortifying and, in so doing, lifting areas of sag where skin has loosened as it has weakened. The order in which they’d go on your skin were you to use them all are: Beauty Lift Lotion (a toner really, this is very lightweight and contains oat kernel to soothe and ceramides to strengthen), Beauty Lift Essence (a serum suspended in olive oil to hydrate), Beauty Lift Milk (a moisturiser that helps to bolster the barrier function), and – finally – the Beauty Lift Cream (thicker and makes for a great overnight blanket to hold the others in). If investing in one, I’d put my money into the essence or milk, though all four work nicely together.
Next, Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence has really impressed me. It’s designed to go on after cleansing and pre-seruming (yep – this trend shows no sign of disappearing), and contains agave leaf to attract water, glycolic acid to gently exfoliate (and therefore allow the ingredients to penetrate more deeply), and watermelon, apple and lentil extracts to soften and plump.
The final hero for your face is Nude’s new Progenius Firming Youth Oil. Available now to pre-order here, this oil is Nude’s follow up to their cult Progenius Omega Oil. This one is similarly brilliant and packed with omegas to reduce dryness and protect the skin. Also in the mix is algae to soothe, prickly pear and passion fruit to act as antioxidants and nourishment.
… And For Hands / On the body front, Elemis have released a hand and nail version of their British Botanical Body Butter: British Botanical Hand & Nail Butter. Similarly fragrant (I smell a floral, sherbet-y fizz when I sniff this), this hand cream isn’t the thickest, though it does moisturise amply thanks to the shea base the botanical extracts are suspended in.
l to r: Dew the Hoola and Hoola Zero Tanlines
The Tan / Deep tans may be out the window, but a wash of warmth suits everyone. I never got on particularly well with Benefit’s Hoola bronzer (FAR too dark for my skin and I found it tricky to blend), but the extended range is delightful. Dew the Hoola is a liquid bronzer that can either be used to prime the skin or buffed in as a bronzer over base. Hoola Zero Tanlines is a non-sticky gel for the body that lends a sort of filter to pale skin. It can be built up, but I like a single wash of it just to take the edge off my paleness. The sponge hidden in the lid is a clever addition and makes getting it on foolproof. Finally, there’s the Hoola Brush, which is bloody gorgeous and is as good at subtly adding shadow under cheekbones as it is at dusting bronzer all over.