With the arrival of autumn comes a dazzling array of new beauty treats to tempt you into opening your purse. And while the eye-catching lipstick colours and evocative perfume aromas are the most enticing, this is really the perfect time to update your basic beauty cache with fresh, innovative formulas and clever textures that make the mundane more pleasurable and more effective. From anti-ageing serums to dry shampoo, here’s our edit of the new season’s best staples…
The latest liquid foundation from mineral make-up trailblazers BareMinerals is a colour and treatment combo designed to make the complexion look even and luminous. The treatment part is a blend of brightening vitamin C and healing lilac stem cells which work to counteract dullness and pigmentation, while the colour comes from jojoba-coated mineral pigments which glide over the skin and work with its natural tone (there are an impressive 20 shades) to look flawless and feel weightless. The real revelation however is the Perfecting Face Brush, which has a well cut into it to hold one, two or three drops of foundation, depending on the level of coverage you want. It smoothes colour over the face and allows you to buff to perfection with minimum product and maximum results.
You know those annoying little bumps on the back of your arm that no amount of exfoliating seems to shift? Around 40% of us suffer from the condition – technically known at keratosis pilaris – which happens when the keratin protein in skin mixes with dead cells and hardens, blocking the follicles around fine body hair. And while it can’t be cured (it’s hereditary), this cream is packed with high levels of lactic acid, allantoin and urea that naturally slough away the blockages, smoothing skin out again and vastly improving the bumpy appearance. It doesn’t smell fantastic (in a French pharmacy brand kind of way), but as I could see any blotchiness and feel roughness dissipating after just a few weeks of daily use, I’m happy to eschew fragrance in favour of effect.
Faced with the skin unfriendly trio of air con, central heating and cold winds, autumn is always a good time to turn up the moisture and protection levels in your skincare. Even those with more combination complexions will benefit from Hydra-Boost Day Cream from British beauty leaders Elemis because, despite being incredibly rich, it sinks in rapidly and only leaves behind a satin finish and supple feel. The key ingredients are hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin and starflower oil that strengthens the moisture barrier to stop it dissipating, as well as protective myrtle and vitamin E to fight free radical damage.
As dry shampoo continues to make the transition from festival friend to styling essential, it’s no longer just enough for a spritz to simply tackle greasy roots with an oil-absorbing powder spray. The new generation have upped the ante with added benefits and whizzy technology from shine-enhancing ingredients to a clear formula. Pantene have launched a trio aimed at boosting colour, volumizing and reviving, each in a spray that leaves no white residue on the scalp. My favourite is Volume Booster, which gives an instant, natural-looking lift without any stickiness or stiffness while still being a brilliant hair blotter.
I’m a long-term convert to cream blusher but as the trend this season sees a move towards powder – and from the apples to the cheekbones – it’s time to shift up a gear to a more grown-up texture. Majorette, from the ever clever BeneFit is the perfect conduit. The cream-to-powder formula is easy to blend before transforming into a more matte finish while the peach-pink shade is perfect for perking up fading tans and a winter pallor in most skin tones. Add to that, the flip-up lid has a mirror for mobile touch-ups and I’ve found you can apply it with fingers, a brush or dab it straight on, then blend it in so it couldn’t be easier. I’ve even used it as a wash of pale, 60’s-esque colour for pre-balmed lips. Perfection in a pot.
Building on his beauty range for the luxury loving, jet set lady, Mr Kors has introduced a line up of nail polishes created to complement his three make-up ‘moods’ – Sporty, Sexy and Glam. There’s a trio of shades for each, with fresh neutrals matching the Sporty element, pops of lilac, tangerine and rose for Sexy and deep, dark navy, granite and black for Glam appeal. The polish itself glides on, dries evenly and gives a sophisticated, lustrous finish worthy of being applied on a private jet.
The new baby sister brand of L’Occitaine, Le Couvent des Minimes is a similarly natural French beauty range, boasting everything from haircare to colognes at more purse-friendly prices. Based around the heritage of a convent founded in 1613 in the Haute-Provence to house monks who specialised in botany, the formulas draw on their recipes that used herbs and flowers from the gardens for wellbeing. With ingredients including purifying lemon verbena, nourishing shea butter and strengthening rosemary, every blend is divinely scented and packaged apothecary style. The Beneficial Care Oil, from the orange blossom-based Botanical Cologne of Love range, is an excellent choice for softening and soothing skin, either via a few drops in the bath or massaging it on directly, while a tiny amount can be used on wet hair pre-styling to boost shine or on dry hair to fight frizz.
Given that we beauty shoppers seem to have a penchant for pencils these days, this latest Chubby Stick from Clinique has success written (excuse the pun) all over it. Not only does it add colour with one of four pink-based hues, but each adapts to your natural lip shade, making it customized colour that’s perfectly suited to your own skin tone. The glossy texture glides over lips leaving them feeling supple without being sticky while the stick winds up too – no sharpener required.
Or to give it its full name One Essential Intense Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum, is the latest addition to Dior’s stellar line-up of skincare serums and is an update of the original anti-ageing formula. The target is to rid skin of the toxins created by UV rays, pollution, stress and poor lifestyle that prevent it from functioning properly so that the complexion looks dull, doesn’t regenerate properly and is generally off kilter. A combination of patented and natural ingredients including red hibiscus work deep within the cells to recharge them ensuring they kick out these skin-ageing nasties and redress the balance for a healthier complexion, while as an added bonus, it means that any other treatment products you apply will work better too.
OK, it’s not new, but Bobbi’s best selling Extra Rinse Balm has hitherto only been available in a big glass jar: super stylish, yes; portable, no. So welcome to the travel-friendly tube version – ideal for anything from overnight to a fortnight away from home. Aimed at dry or dehydrated skin, the rich balm texture is massaged over skin to loosen the day’s make-up, dirt and debris, then emulsified with water and washed away leaving the skin clean and comfortable. Softening sunflower and olive oils, plus refreshing orange oil ensure your face will feel supple and smooth until next morning – particularly if you leave on a fresh, thin layer for an intensive overnight treatment.