The Top 5
February’s Hottest Product Launches
February’s Hottest Product Launches
It's been a HUGE month for launches - but having tried and tested our way through them, these are the five standout ones you need to know about.
GHD Duet Style, £379

GHD has always been at the forefront of innovation, so when we heard that they were launching a new product, we couldn’t wait to put it to the test.

What It Promises: The new Duet Style is designed to take your hair from wet to styled, with unprecedented softness and smoothness lasting for 48 hours, and hair that looks twice as shiny. It does all of this thanks to their ground-breaking air-fusion technology, which has seen them combining all of their hair-drying and thermal plate know-how into one machine. Studies show it causes no thermal damage to the hair compared to air drying. Mind-blowing, right?

How To Use It: You ideally smooth two drops of their new heat protecting Sleek Talker Serum through hair, before switching on the Duet Styler. The fan powers up and after a few seconds, a musical jingle tells you it’s ready. You then pass it over sections of wet hair, just like you would with a regular straightener – the only difference being that you hold it at the root for three seconds first and pull it slightly more slowly. It takes 3-4 passes to fully dry each section to a sleek finish. Once your hair is dry, you can then switch on the shine shot button, which turns off the fan and heats the plates up to straightener-level 180 degree heat.

Our Verdict: It’s seriously innovative. If you’re someone who usually has to blow-dry your hair smooth and then go back in with a straightener, it will quite literally change your life. For those with really curly hair the result feels much kinder and lasts a lot longer than blowdrying and then straightening. Even on straight hair it completely nixes any underlying feeling of frizz, so that it falls like a sleek waterfall. While all of the advertising around it focuses on a straight result, we also tested whether you can use the Shine Shot option to curl hair like you can using regular GHDs and the answer is yes, meaning the duet styler is a definite must-have when travelling as it replaces the need for a separate dryer, and doubles as a straightener and curler.

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MZ Skin Micro-Peeling Glow Essence, £100

MZ Skin Founder, Dr Maryam Zamani was excited to share the news of her latest product, “it’s a brightening, hydrating essence, inspired by the essences that have always been so popular in the East and I’m so excited for you to try it. It’s taken two years to get right but it’s the ultimate start to your nightly skincare ritual.”

With seven high-performance active ingredients including pigmentation-busting Tranexamic Acid and Azeloglicina (Azelaic Acid combined with Gylcerin so that it’s gentler on the skin), dullness-banishing Mandelic Acid and hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, it’s designed to be used at night, two-three times a week. Longer-term, it brightens uneven skin tone, balances oil production and helps cells turnover to keep skin looking and feeling super soft and smooth.

The Destino team has been testing it for the last few weeks and it delivers a delectable balance – at once feeling both “cleansing” thanks to its exfoliating properties but also hydrating and nourishing too. Dr. Maryam’s advice? “After cleansing, soak a cotton pad and sweep it over the face, neck and chest. Don’t use it on the same day as retinol and follow with a hydrating serum and moisturiser to wake up with super radiant skin.”

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St.Tropez Self Tan Luxe Body Serum, £35

Another innovative brand at the forefront of its area of expertise is St. Tropez and this month, they’ve launched their Tan Luxe Body Serum.

It’s a silky, golden-hued serum that includes their flawless tanning formulation alongside a host of added skincare ingredients, including hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 that really help your tan last longer; a Collagen-Enhancing Complex to help strengthen and plump skin and Niacinamide to smooth and reduce any redness.

We loved the fact that the tiny bit of tint in it means you can see if you’ve missed any areas, plus the fact that it felt super-moisturising without feeling overtly sticky (often the downside of serum tanners). The end result is not as deep as say a dark mousse formula, so it’s perfect to use a couple of times a week at this time of year, or sling it in your suitcase to build a golden, glossy glow on holiday.

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Grace de Monaco, from £110

Billing itself as the “the world’s first luxury-for-good Maison”, Grace de Monaco has just launched exclusively in Harrods.  The business plan sees a remarkable 100% of profits donated to the Princess Grace Foundation, which was set up to uphold the legacy of Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, (née Grace Kelly) by awarding career-advancing grants to a range of artists across theatre, film and dance.

The initial collection includes two parfums, their corresponding eau de parfums, a beautiful ceramic home fragrance diffuser, candles and silks.

Their premier fragrances are floral and delightful, yet very different. The first is a white floral created by Veronique Gabai-Pinsk called Promenade Sur Le Rocher. With top notes of Bergamot and Rose Centifolia, it’s a fresh, daytime-evoking scent that feels classic and elegant without feeling clawing. Their second is the more seductive Danse Étoiléex, that combines Cassis and Rhubarb with Freesia and Lily of the Valley.

Perhaps our favourite is their diffuser, which is a delicate work of art – crafted in white ceramic to look like a vase of flowers. Their candles follow suit, embossed with floral patterns in the brand’s two signature scents. Elegant and very Princess Grace-worthy silks and twillies round out the range, although there are even more products launching later this year.

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MERIT, from £26

MERIT has been making waves since its launch in the US last year and now it’s available here in the UK. Founded by highflier Katherine Power (the brains behind skincare brand Versed plus the co-founder of fashion platform Who What Wear and Avaline wine with her friend, Cameron Diaz), who wanted to create a foolproof range of products that make getting ready easier and more of a chic delight, the products are all designed to be elegant, quick and easy to use.

We love their Bronze Balm, a bullet of creamy colour that leaves skin with a sculpted, sun-kissed finish; their Flush Balm, a half-moon sheer dose of colour that you swish over cheeks and lips; and their concealer-come-foundation Minimalist Stick. But it is their sets that really get us – opt for the Five Minute Morning and you’ll get every product you need to go from zero to hero. The range is vegan, certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and they have partnered with Hollywood aesthetician Biba de Sousa, famous for her “no-list” to eliminate another 73 clean but potentially acne-triggering ingredients.

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