As a beauty editor on first name terms with her postmen – the frequent deliverers of parcels stuffed with the latest cosmetic launches – I’m lucky enough to have a constant supply of products to road test. But only what makes it into my bathroom or make-up bag is, for me, deemed a real winner. A quick survey of my latest beauty cache reveals that it’s some standard basics that have become my new essentials. They’re not necessarily the most glamorous products, but each is so clever that it prompts the question ‘why did no-one do this before?’.
While a decent shower gel shouldn’t leave your skin feeling dried out, you’ll be hard pushed to find one that actually leaves your limbs feeling softer afterwards. Enter Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser – a cream that you apply over your body while you’re still under the spray, then rinse off afterwards. Think of it as a hair conditioner for your body that leaves behind a light layer of nourishing ingredients like almond oil, meaning that you don’t have a hassle of moisturising afterwards. In the interests of research, I sceptically tested it just on one leg and it truly does work. Showering just got a lot more savvy.
I’m a big fan of slapping on a self-tan overnight and the formulas by expert tanning god James Read are exceptional. So I was intrigued to see just how it was possible to make them any better. Genius that he is, James has succeeded by creating a facial gel that not only adds colour but is a superb skincare treatment too. By combining soothing aloe vera and cucumber, nourishing vitamin E and naturally plumping hyaluronic acid with the DHL tanning agent, you’ll wake up with a complexion that’s silky soft, even and glowing.
Hair removal is never going to be a sexy subject, but as a necessary task, isn’t it only fair that it should be as hassle-free as possible? Proctor & Gamble obviously share my feelings as they’ve brought together two of their superbrands to create a simple revolution in a razor. Added onto the sharp shaving blades provided by Gillette Venus is a gel strip created by skincare whizzes Olay, which replaces a shaving gel – so there’s no need for separate foam and zero skin irritation. Hello streamlined holiday beauty kit!
I’m a big fan of cleansing oils and also, as I’ve mentioned on RIH previously, and even bigger fan of industrial strength mascara. So my excitement at finding one that superbly removes the other has been uncontainable. Just one pump of the oil, massaged well over dry skin and then emulsified with one splash of water before rinsing off, is enough to remove every scrap of make-up and daily dirt without leaving behind any residue. Your skin will feel fabulously soft afterwards too.
According to resident Illamasqua make-up artist David Horne, most women don’t apply their blusher correctly. The result is usually 80’s stripes rather than that soft contouring we should be aiming for. With that in mind, the beauty brand has created the Blush Up Brush, cut with a specific curve to make sculpting the cheeks a no-brainer. The trick, says David, is to press the brush into the hollow just below the cheekbone and flick up, then blend. My tip is to start with a little colour and add as required until you’re looking perfectly chiselled.