As soon as a bottle of something nears its end, I’m planning a successor. This condition pre-dates my job as a beauty writer and I therefore cannot attribute it to an excess of choice (though that does liven the process up). Instead, I believe I’m afflicted with the endless quest for betterment – of experience of use, and of results. To reflect this mania, in this post I’m both looking back at October favourites and forward at the things that I am already chomping at the bit to use in November //
October Looked Like //
The Book / Victoria Hislop Cartes Postales From Greece is a series of portraits – of people, and of places in Greece. I tore my way through it in about three weeks and enjoyed every page.
The Lifestyle Thing / I was reluctant to adopt the RiutBag R15, but my enfeebled back forced my hand. It’s a clever old thing that’s not only designed to evenly distribute weight, but also to safeguard possessions from being pilfered thanks to the internal zip system.
The Beauty / The MAC Studio Fix Perfecting Stick (in NC30) came everywhere with me in October to conceal spots and render red patches uniformly flesh-coloured once more. While I’m not the biggest scrubber of skin, I’ve been reaching for Lancer’s The Method: Polish every other day – it is gentle yet satisfying, so the ideal dull skin fix. 3INA The Kajal Eyeliner has really impressed too. Far cheaper than similar products by others, it comes in an array of colours that I’ve had on rotation – I just slide a line under my waterline on lower lashes, smudge away and add mascara.
The Proper Treat / Every skincare expert worth their salt will tell you that an antioxidant serum is of vital importance to mop up scavenging free radicals and to strengthen skin. MZ Skin Lift & Lustre Golden Elixir Antioxidant Serum is one of the best I’ve used – backed up by plenty of science, deliciously lightweight, leaves a slightly illuminated sheen on skin. If you can’t afford this one (it’s pricey), Oskia Get Up and Glow offers similar results.
The Day-To-Day Thing / When I upgraded to an iPhone 6, countless people warned me about the easily-broken screen and advised me to buy a case that’d cover the front of it, but I use it too damn often to constantly be flipping a case open, so took a chance and opted for a pretty rubber Lalla one instead. I’m pleased with my choice – despite dropping it a few times, I’ve had no breaks yet, and it’s mighty pretty to behold.
November Will Look Like //
The Book / It doesn’t take much to sell me a book on Victorians, but the addition of mental illness was enough to have me buy Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England for the full price in a book shop (though it’s cheaper on amazon, here). Based on the first few chapters, I’d highly recommend it; it’s at once engaging and entertaining while remaining enormously well researched – a combination that’s a rarity.
The Lifestyle Thing / It won’t surprise any of you that the smell of skincare holds joy for me, so this luxe Elemental Herbology Earth Candle that smells like moisturiser and spas rolled into one is going to be burning on my dressing table this month. I’ve also got a far more niche find that’s clever: Optrex’s Warming Eye Mask. As I always assumed cool products were the ultimate tired eye reviver, I was a little skeptical about this one but stand corrected; it takes just 10 minutes of sitting with one of the disposable masks on for the warm steam to work its magic and revive exhausted peepers.
The Proper Treat / L’Artisan Parfumeur were one of the first fragrance brands I went a bit nuts for; by some miracle, I managed to wheedle a bottle of their Premier Figuier Extreme Eau de Perfum out from my mum the year it launched, and return to it often. It’s a rich, delicious fig – think warm, brandy-soaked and dripping sweetness onto mascarpone, not the overwhelming saccharine variety of summer.
The Beauty / As I’m not a fan of faffing around with my hair, the team at Colour Wow have come to my rescue with their Speed Dry spray, which promises to ‘dramatically’ reduce the time it takes to blow dry a head of hair. Also on my radar, is the new Lanolips hand cream, which is buttery and cosseting. The lemony scent is an added – though not insignificant – bonus.
The Day-To-Day Thing / Here’s the thing: winter makes me want to hibernate, but to do so I need a good stock of delicious food to enjoy in commodious surroundings. In preparation, I’ll be stocking up on cleaning products to make my house gleam (most notably I’ll replace my dwindling stock of Method’s limited edition washing up liquid with Ecover’s new Ocean Plastic Bottle that’s made from reclaimed ocean plastic in partnership with Plastic Whale). I’ll also be chomping a lot of Instant Super Oats in Cacao and Goji, which are healthy and delicious (though cost the earth and involve a spendy trip to Planet Organic). If you buy some, make sure you heat them – cold, the mix just floats in the milk and doesn’t expand to create the porridge texture.