The fact that this post is going live before October has even dawned should really tell you everything you need to know about my esteem for the below. It’s a tight edit, granted, but everything on it is the good stuff. Delve in… //
Kenzoki Amazing Exfoliating Water + Vital Ice-Cream / This new skincare range by Kenzo is centred around ginger, the idea being that ginger is naturally rich in minerals and salts that ‘feed’ the skin. Both of these impressed me – the Exfoliating water is non-sticky and doesn’t sting, so is a great gentle way to remove dead skin nightly after cleansing, while the Vital Ice-Cream is a lightweight moisturiser that feels souffle-like on the skin and makes use of the cryotherapy principles of soothing inflammation and enhancing circulation by cooling the skin down. I wouldn’t recommend it on chronically-dry skin, but for anyone with greasy to normal skin and especially the acne-prone, it’s great.
Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Water-Gel Toner & U.F.O Face Oil (not pictured) / Sunday has finally formulated something to take on acne. Deeeeelightful. As is her trademark, both these products are gentle but effective – this is precisely what acneic skin needs, rather than being nuked with alcohol. My advice would be to get one or the other, feeding it into your existing routine and then seeing where you need more/less moisture etc.
In terms of how you use: Martian goes where your toner would – post-cleanse, pre serum. I only need it in the morning, but twice daily would be fine too. U.F.O. contains spot-clearing salicylic acid and tea tree, soothing chamomile oil and dark spot-correcting liquorice, all in a green oil that I think should go on at night, but if you’re an ‘oil during the day’ person, apply then too.
l to r: Jane Iredale Lipstick in Cindy, Nars Velvet Lip Glide in Danceteria, Jane Iredale Smooth Affair for Eyes in Naked, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer in Tawny 7.0, Marc Jacobs Fineliner Ultra Skinny Gel Eye Crayon in Truffle(d)
Five good eggs are coming out on the make-up front. For skin, there’s Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer, which I tested v thoroughly as I am a bit dubious about the whole ‘foundation/concealer’ thing that’s everywhere at the moment. First plus is the finish: not greasy, not matte. Think ‘soft focus lens’. The waterproof thing is true (doesn’t sweat off or shift throughout the day), but it pleasingly allows time to be buffed in so won’t look like a mask. Finally, it does indeed do the job as a concealer if tapped on – though I’d say save it for emergencies as it’s liquid and therefore a bit more fiddly to apply than a wax like my favourite Mercier Secret Camouflage.
Marc Jacobs Fineliner Ultra Skinny Gel Eye Crayon are delightful. The small nib can hug the lashes for fairly imperceptible definition, but smudge it out a bit with a brush and you have a soft, smoky eye. Once dry, it has decent staying power. Good colour range, too.
I’ve included the new Jane Iredale Smooth Affair for Eyes in Naked in this edit because I think it’s such a good base for shadow or way to just slightly add a little glow to eyelids – just pat onto the whole lid and wait a minute for the tackiness to subside if applying eyeshadow.
On the lip front, Nars Velvet Lip Glides are the big headline. They come in everything from bright fuchsia to muted beige and finish to semi-matte, which to me seems much more sensible and flattering that light-absorbing proper matte. The glide bit of the title: absolutely true – they swipe on beautifully.
Also pleasing is Jane Iredale’s Lipstick in Cindy, which would look good on pretty much every skin tone. I like to tap it on to the centre of my lips and add a little balm for that ‘freshly bitten’ thing that models always seem to sport.
Crabtree & Evelyn Goatmilk Collection ticks a few boxes. Containing goat’s milk sourced from a ‘family-run farm where happy, hearty goats run wild and free’ (awww) in America, the goat’s milk softens skin, while the vitamin E and oat kernel will condition. The smell is non-offensive – think powdery, not curdled milk. It’s also eminently instagrammable (thanks Sophie G for making me feel okay about using that term), which is not to be sniffed at!
While press releases often tout the efficacy of a product without any trials behind them (that’s where testing comes in), Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer came with a whole lot of info plus even more when I spoke to their press team. In short, one chamber delivers brightening ingredients to lift darkness, the other a host of things to soothe inflammation and protect against future damage.
But I didn’t take their word for it working, instead asking my pigmentation-prone sister to give it a whirl on her darkest patches. She came back rapturous, telling me that she’d tried it with her normal routine and found it made a significant difference to the evenness of her skin. It’s RRP is £60, so isn’t a small investment by any means, but I’d suggest using it in place of a serum only where dark patches develop to make it last longer.