Four new favourites in my personal stash
I’ve been trialling a lot of new products recently, and these four have quickly become favourites. It's a bit of a diverse mix of skin, hair and make-up products.
I've been on the hunt for a new, easy everyday lip moisturising product that had a bit of 'natural lip but better' colour (but not too much), felt comfortable and was quick to apply on-the-go - and this ticks all the boxes. Its often difficult to find 'exactly' the right colour of this type of product but this flattering shade works well on my lips - neither too pink or too brown and it contains a decent amount of low-key pigment (enough to look visible, despite the ‘No Lipstick’ name). It has a healthy, shiny (but not glossy) finish and smells like caramel chocolate.
I also love the texture - it contains emollient moisturisers like jojoba seed oil and mango butter, so feels like melting butter on the lips. It also has SPF 15 (using the mineral sunscreen active zinc oxide), so it's good for keeping pouts protected in the sunshine. And another good thing - the lid screws on, so it doesnt fall off in your handbag!
These little patches are made from hydrocolloid, a light, thin material that’s been used as a surgical dressing for years - it can help to treat open wounds by encouraging the skin to heal while simultaneously protecting from additional trauma, blocking out bacteria, pollution and any other potential irritants. There's been a trend in Asia over the past couple of years to use hydrocolloid patches, like these ones by Korean brand CORSX, to treat spots and blemishes. While they don’t use 'traditional' spot healing ingredients like salicylic acid, the idea is that by keeping spots covered they're protected against infection (and any spot squeezers out there). At the same time, the patches can help to reduce redness and inflammation and draw out bacteria and excess oil (which in turn brings down swelling to leave spots flatter). Plus, as they keep skin moist, they encourage skin to heal quickly, with less scarring, dryness or flaking. Many also contain antioxidants (these ones have Songnox 1010), which helps to speed up the healing process.
I first tried these right before my personal appearance in New York. I felt a big PMT bump coming up on my chin so wore a patch on the plane on the way over and for two consequetive nights when and they really helped to stop the spot from coming up. They’re very easy to use, just peel off a sticker (they come in three different sizes) and apply to clean, dry skin (don't use any skincare beforehand). One of the best things is that they’re transparent which makes them really discreet (although you might notice them turn white as they draw out exudate) - I kept one on while I nipped to the shops and it was almost invisible. I've now got some in my makeup bag and my kit for emergency spot-zapping! They're a fairly new trend in the west, I'd love to know if you've tried them and what you thought.
I've had a lot of compliments about my lashes recently - which I can only put down to this mascara. It's my new, everyday favourite because I love the way it separates every single lash. Its a good one if, like me, you like your lashes to look volumised but, at the same time, really individual and not overloaded with product. It pays off quickly so I like using it when I'm in a rush in the morning. I did the make-up for the ad campaign - combining it with a black and white liner and it turned out to be one of my all-time favourite Lancôme campaigns (I've filmed a tutorial of the look that you can watch here).
Although it’s not waterproof, it’s very resistant, and I actually find it a little tricky to remove with micellar water - you definitely need to use a bio-phase oil remover. The only bad news is that it's only launching in certain countries in Europe as well as Australia, South Africa and Russia - as far as I know it won’t be making its way to the USA, South America or Asia.
I’ve been using this mask since it was recommended to me by my hairdresser - it makes my hair feel much stronger, softer and really shiny. It contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that's often found in skincare to improve skin texture, smoothness and elasticity (it’s also thought to be able to reduce UV damage and sun-induced inflammation and pigmentation). It's been used in this mask to help hair strength, making it great for anyone who uses a lot of heated tools or who colours their hair. It's also rich in moisture-boosting oils like coconut, flaxseed and olive, as well as ceramides and vegetable proteins which can help damaged, split ends look smoother (though nothing will actually glue them back together - sadly!).
I’ve been using the shampoo and conditioner from the range (they use the same strengthening ingredients) but love to slather this mask on when I have time to leave it on my hair for a good half an hour or so - coupled with one of my favourite face masks, of course ; )
Let me know if you've tried any of these, and what your current beauty must-haves are in the comments - I'd love to know what you're enjoying using right now.