I have an aversion to hype. I didn’t go to see Titanic in the cinema for an entire six months because everyone else was talking about it. Exciting new restaurants filled with the achingly trendy make me shudder. I simply can’t get my head around why anyone would queue outside a new nightclub/branch of Apple for a slightly updated iPhone/shop launching a limited edition designer collaboration.
If you share my views on hype, you may on occasion feel the beauty world is a bit of a pain in the backside, what with all the newness constantly flooding in with promises of being ever better, ever more advanced, ever more necessary than whatever came before it.
My view is that, much like a wardrobe, the best approach is to know what you like and to have your staples ready to go, and then to add in the odd update or punch of colour where needed and with good advice. I apply this rule to skincare, make-up, perfumes, and body products – I know what I like and what works for me, and then test other things to see if they should have a place in my life.
If you’re after something new, here are some of my tried-and-tested contenders for a spot on your shelf //
Pat McGrath Labs / The hugely versatile Northampton-born make-up artist has launched her products into the UK in Selfridges, and the range of colours and textures is immense. If you don’t know where to start, lipstick first: they come in myriad finishes and a hell of a lot of colours. That said, the product that had all the beauty editors in a frenzy at the launch was the Mothership V palette, a blend of highly-pigmented mattes, sheens, and glitters that offer incredible colour pay off. I am wearing the browns in the top picture and really am hugely impressed by the entire range.
Weleda Skin Food Additions / The original and cult Weleda Skin Food is much-loved, but is extremely thick and therefore sometimes a bit annoying to apply unless you need the thickest layer on very dry skin, so Weleda have added three new products to the range to address that. There’s Skin Food Light, which is still softens skin and feels moisturising, though is more fluid than the original. There’s Skin Food Lip Balm, which competes with balms 5 times the price. And then there’s the Skin Food Body Butter, which feels like the original, but is easier to spread across the body.
Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Day Cream SPF 25 and Chanel UV Essentiel Gel Creme SPF 50 / If you want healthy skin, SPF is non-negotiable. Every day – summer or winter (don’t worry about Vit D – you don’t need to expose a huge area to get it and, besides, I always reason that you’ll always miss a spot or inadvertently get some sun anyway, so just apply it every day). That said, you’ll only put it on daily if you like the finish and texture, so get that bit right. These two are both part of the new generation SPFs that offer skin benefits, aren’t greasy, and make skin look lovely and healthy – though they are both fragranced so avoid if your skin responds negatively to that or do a patch test.
Kierin NYC Santal Sky / Each perfume in the Kierin NYC range is inspired by the city and storytelling, so it’s little wonder that as a staunch Londoner who loves nothing more than a captivating tale, I was drawn to them. Santal Sky is peppery and a little metallic and keeps mutating on the skin, garnering lots of questions about where it’s available every time I put it on. It is my firm favourite right now.
Zitsticka / These are brilliant – I find that sticking something on an emerging spot is a good idea even if doesn’t contain any spot-busting product as it stops me from fiddling, but the addition of the salicylic-loaded micro darts on these patches help to stop the spot from developing into a monster. Very handy if you suffer from the odd spot, but they’re expensive £27 for 8 patches so I wouldn’t buy them if you deal with habitual acne (unless cost is no issue, in which case, crack on. Alternatively, try Alex Steinherr x Primark patches, which don’t have the micro darts but are cheaper and will seal off the spot and slightly reduce it, or the Skyn Iceland ones).
YourGoodSkin Cica Repair Sleep Paste / When your skin feels parched and puny, slip this on and kick back to let it hydrate and heal, or pop it on overnight for the full effect. It’s designed to disrupt oxidative stress (which comes from everything from being exhausted to going out in lots of pollution) and help prop up barrier function – the overall result being stronger, healthier-looking skin. Use this nightly if your skin is exceedingly dry and if you find it agrees with it, otherwise use weekly for a boost.
Daniel Sandler new Watercolour Liquid Cheek Colours / Daniel’s legendary liquid blush collection has swelled by six – three new liquid blush shades, three new liquid illuminators. I’ve been using Divine – it looks scarily bright in the bottle, but truly looks amazing on, and the tiniest dab blended on the apples of cheeks properly really breathes life into my face.
Burt’s Bees Make-Up / Burt’s Bees have always made excellent lipsticks and lip balms, but they’ve now branched into the rest of the face. I love the Goodness Glows foundation, but am disappointed at the shade range. The eyeliners, however, I love without any caveats and I’ve been using the Nourishing Eyeliner in Midnight Grey every day since getting my hands on it.
Surratt Inner Eye Baton / Another product I love without reservation. This widens eyes superbly – just dust the triangular baton on the inner corner, and swipe a little of the flesh-coloured pencil on the lower lash line, apply a few coats of mascara, and I promise your eyes will look bigger and brighter and generally better for the effort.
Armani Lip Magnet in shade 100 / Armani have launched a whole new host of their lip colours with white pigments in the mix to make the papers hues really pop, but this colour is by far my favourite – it’s the perfect pinky nude with a smokey eye. I’m wearing it in the above photo.
Shiseido ControlledChaos MascaraInk / If you like to load up your lashes but hate clumps, you’ll like this mascara. It builds up well and quickly, and I find if you wiggly it slightly in the base of your lashes and then speed it through the lengths, it defines and opens eyes up speedily. Again, I have it on in the shot above.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat High Cover / Many have mistakenly used Touche Eclat as an under-eye concealer for it’s fluid, light-reflective properties for years, so YSL have now taken the bits everyone liked about TE and added coverage, making it ideal to cover dark circles. It comes in lots of different shades. I’m 2, in case you use my colours for reference. Again, wearing above.