Best Beauty Products 2016

Round-Up , 18 June 2016

The Saturday Smorgasbord #3

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Usually by this time of year my beauty stash is all about cooling mists, rehydrating gels and SPFs. Not so much this year – thanks June. Here’s what’s been cheering me up in the absence of a bit of sunshine //

Neal's Yard Foot Pumice Scrub - no microbeads

Neal’s Yard Remedies Pumice Foot Scrub / If you’ve not heard about the uproar over microbeads, here’s the problem with them in a nutshell: these little plastic beads that are found in cosmetic products ultimately end up being ingested by fish, poisoning them and contributing to the huge amount of plastic waste in the sea. As we’re at the top of that food chain, there are also concerns that plastic poisoning is a very real danger for humans. This manual exfoliant contains none (Neal’s Yard are vocally anti-microbeads) and leaves feet soft and supple. Use on dry skin and really massage the paste in before hopping in the shower to wash away.

Prismologie and Margaret Dabbs for M & S

Prismologie Foot Cream with Oud & Sapphire / I’ve got a real thing about this foot cream and a lot of love can be chalked down to the scent. Oudy, woody, manly – it’s a bit like a more sophisticated Lynx. Also, it’s nice to rub on – creamy, though quickly-absorbed.

Bare Feet By Margaret Dabbs Conditioning Nail & Cuticle Serum for Happy Feet / Long title, MD, but it gives you all the info about the key product in Margaret’s collaboration with M & S, doesn’t it? I can only add this: neglect your cuticles at your peril – once dry, your nail health is compromised. This little tube lives in my handbag with my lip balm, so that each time I moisturise my lips, my cuticles get a bit of love, too (provided I’m wearing sandals – I’m not diligent enough to de-sock in the name of healthy nails).

Paul Mitchell Limited Edition Yacht Club Brushes

Paul Mitchell Limited Edition Yacht Club 427 Paddle Brush & 413 Sculpting Brush / When’s the last time you changed your hair brush? Thought so. If yours are looking anywhere near as grotty as mine were, snap up these affordable Paul Mitchell brushes pronto. Now, to borrow a yacht…

Cover FX Custom Blot Drops Review UK

Anne Semonin Oligoanne Serum / Apologies for leaving this out of my recent skincare blast – I have been grappling with featuring such an absurdly expensive serum and wanted to be sure it justified the spend. My verdict is this: very worth it provided you live in a city, have skin that feels a bit wobbly (oily one day, bumpy the next etc.), and are at that age where your skin is starting to need some extra oomph. Two drops will more than cover your face. Note: the bottle is see-through glass so resist the urge to display this one and store it away from light and heat.

Cover FX Custom Blot Drops (due here soon) / Bloomin’ brilliant idea: this clear serum makes anything more matte. Use by itself if you don’t like base but have a bit of a shiny t-zone, dab a bit over foundation in lieu of a powder, pat down shine with it throughout the day (the finish is a bit less chalky and ‘done’ than it would be if using a powder), or just mix it in with your base to make it less shiny on warmer days.

Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm and RMS Contour Review

Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer / Most primers that add luminosity also add a helping of greasiness. Not so this one – it adds the promised glow but without the sensation of having anything on your skin. This one’s the lightest shade (I’ve got to redouble my tanning efforts), but the other two would work on most skin tones.

RMS Contour Bronze / This straddles the bronzer/contour thing – basically, play with it on your skin and see where it looks good. I couldn’t care less about that use for it, though -to me, it’s a brilliant, creamy eyeshadow that never irritates eyes thanks to the organic coconut base.

MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm in Pretty Me Up / MAC’s nod at the ‘customised colour’ thing is perfectly executed – this balm not only nourishes and develops to a muted peach, but it also comes in a happy-making hologram tube.

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Lip Enhancer Review

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Lip Enhancer / Dryer than dry lips? Loss of volume? Sarah Chapman’s latest will be right up your alley. This two-parter starts with ‘power base’ (feels like a moisturiser for lips and is designed to go around the contour too), and finishes with a subtly-sheeny balm that – again – develops to a colour based on your body temperature.

Jo Malone Black Cedarwood and Juniper Perfume and Kate Popbands review

Jo Malone Black Cedarwood & Juniper Cologne / A little birdie at Jo Malone told me that this spicy, woody scent is set to overtake all the other ‘masculine’ offerings by Malone. I’d stake money on them being right – this is a very seductive scent that’s truly unisex.

Kate Popbands / My sparkly mac has awoken the child in me – suddenly I want to get my hands on everything that glitters. I got these for the glittery band, which I fully intend on wearing to cheer up my ponytails. Do the same if you need an extra pick-me-up – it really is extraordinary what a little sparkle can do.

Aromaworks SerenityBody Oil and Venus Swirl Razor

Aromaworks Serenity Body Oil / Aromaworks are steadily stealing customers from other aromatherapy brands and, from where I’m sitting, it’s hardly the most surprising development. This is my new favourite – a blend of lemongrass, neroli and evening primrose, it’s bliss in a bottle.

The Organic Pharmacy Superantioxidant / While the weather is balls here, I fully intend on hopping over to Europe for some sun this summer. To fortify my skin, I’ve started to introduce these antioxidant pills, taking one daily with breakfast. When going out in the sun, I try to take one with lunch, too.

Gillette Venus Swirl Razor / Much like my hairbrush, my razor handle had seen better days. The addition of this into this edit is therefore more a reminder to replace your handles than a recommendation of this swirl model (it glides over my legs nicely but I don’t think it’s markedly more effective thanks to being able to pivot on the ball).

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