While my lovely postman has been struggling under the weight of the beauty packages he’s delivered recently, I’ve spent weeks testing and trialling the latest arrivals. From innovative takes on beauty staples to ultra-effective new formulas, these have made it into my covetable cosmetics cache…
Although the watery fluid looks a scary shade of chocolate, this self-tan is formulated to develop quickly so that you can tailor the tone to exactly the depth you want. Thirty minutes will give you a light golden glow whereas two hours says ‘I’ve been in Bali for a fortnight’. It’s also surprisingly moisturising, so forget having dry patches the next day, plus the colour-creating DHA has been given the natural stamp of approval by Ecocert too.
While there are myriad oils that help hydrate and condition the nails, this is the first one I’ve tried that makes them noticeably smoother overnight. It’s packed with apricot, camellia and argan oils to nourish and protect the nails as well as keeping cuticles soft and is dispensed via a nifty brush applicator so you can sweep the oil on and massage it in with mess-free precision.
Bourjois’ original One Minute remover for nail polish is nothing short of genius: simply dip your finger into the foam-lined pot, wiggle it about for 60 seconds and snap – clean nails. Being down to the incredibly effective formula too, I have been known to try and jam a toe in too when other removers have proved less worthy, which is no mean feat. So I’ve been suitably excited to see that this updated version houses a sponge in the lid to work its magic on polished toenails without the foot contorting. Plus it will preserve manicured fingers at the same time. Very clever.
Make-up artists unanimously agree that using a brush is the best way to give a flawless finish to your foundation. And while this might seem like too much hard work for anyone who (like me) usually slaps it on from the palms of their hands, this clever applicator might just change your mind. The secret is that it twists up to alter the length and density of the fibres, meaning that you can use it to get three different finishes as well as for both liquid and powder. At its shortest, the hairs are tightly packed and perfect for buffing on mineral formulas for full coverage; at their longest, the fibres spread wide and give a sheer, air-brushed finish. It’s multi-tasking taken to another level.
Talking of multi-tasking treats, this lip colour from By Terry combines a hard-wearing tint, a shimmer and a treatment in one. Apply it straight from the tube for a fresh-looking hint of tangerine or rose, or shake it first and distribute the silvery shimmer through the colour to create fuller looking lips and a more intense tone. The sheer fluid is also packed with protective antioxidant cherry water and plumping, hydrating Acreola water so your lips get some serious skincare benefits while looking luscious.
As a long time fan of ESPA skincare, I’ve been wowed (but not surprised) by this serum, which takes all the benefits you’d expect for your face and applies them below the neckline. The spritz-on formula has a beautifully light texture but delivers some serious softening and anti-ageing properties thanks to firming Winged Kelp, toning tumeric root and nourishing Inca Inchi oil. Then there’s the divine frangipani and jasmine scent that whisks you away to tropical shores while boosting the antioxidant benefits. And for an even more intensive moisture boost – post-flight or beach break for example – it’s ideal for layering under ESPA’s delicious body cream too.
Liquid blushers are notoriously tricky to apply – either they dry too quickly which renders them unblendable or are so sheer that the colour is invisible if you’re standing more than 30cm away. Armani, however, have changed all that. Following the unstoppable success of their near-weightless Maestro foundation comes the blusher version, boasting the same winning colour-rich pigment and feels-like-it’s-not-there formula. Just two dots blended over the apples of the cheeks and along the cheekbones is enough to get skin glowing.
The trend for instant, wash-out root cover continues its ascent, with some formulas more successful than others. There are brush-on powders, paint-on liquids and now spray-on mists. Having given them all a whirl when I’ve been too disorganised to have my roots tackled professionally and desperate to disguise the progressive grey, it’s this hairspray-inspired version from Charles Worthington that’s now my go-to. Once your hair is styled, simply make partings and mist onto the roots, layering to build up colour and coverage. The fine nozzle ensures it’s precision-applied while the formula dries fast too. Job done (with apologies to my colourist!).
For summer skin survival, I’m electing this treatment as my saviour. Swiped over the face morning and night using a cotton pad, it offers a multitude of benefits from exfoliating and pore-refining to mattifying and anti-redness. A blend of botanical ingredients including arnica flowers and cypress ensure the complexion looks fresher, smoother and plumper while a French sea-grass extract fills out fine lines. Combined with a light daily sunscreen, I’m finding it a surefire way to keep skin looking bright and satin rather than grimy and glossy.
Despite being a beauty journalist for nearly 20 years, achieving a perfect cat’s eye line along my lashes has always eluded me – until now. The bendy nib on BeneFit’s new gel-formula liner makes application (after a few trial runs) idiot-proof whether you want a fine or fat line and allows you to get super-close to the lashline. It’s got serious staying power and an ultra-black colour finish too. Purr-fect!