Skin Rocks Retinoids
Rarely has there been a more anticipated foray into skincare that revered expert Caroline Hirons announcing the first products from her Skin Rocks line. Having spent years advising brands and sharing her no-nonsense expertise on her much-loved website, Hirons revealed that she first started thinking about doing her own line nine years ago and that the initial two products have been three years in the making.
They have decided to launch the ‘Treatment’ category first (there will, in due course, be five comprising: Cleanse, Tone, Treatment, Moisturise and Protect), the first products are retinoids. “They are called Retinoid 1 and Retinoid 2. Retinoid 1 is tested on people who have never previously been able to use a retinoid and is the one for you if you’re new to retinoids and don’t know where to start. Retinoid 2 is if you’re already using a retinoid and want to maintain your results,” Hirons told an excited audience of 7000+ who had tuned into her Instagram live launch. Retinoid 1 (£65) contains 0.2% of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate and Retinoid 2 (£75) contains 0.5% Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate and 0.05% Retinal.
This being Hirons, there were key elements she was set on. First, that “everything is clinically tested on all skin tones and all skin types.” Something she has long been advocating every brand to do. Second, that products will be developed using a “formula first” approach. What does this mean? “It means that I don’t go to my chemists with a budget, I go to them and say, ‘Can you make the best product in this category?’ And they say, ‘What is the budget?’ and I say, ‘There isn’t one.'” The products and packaging are refillable and recyclable, made in the UK and cruelty free.
The last element is perhaps where we see Hirons truly stamp her trusted mark: “Over the last 10 years I wrote down every single question I get asked repeatedly – usually how much do I use and when do I use it? So we’ve put clear instructions on the box and a circle to show how much you need to use on the lid. It also tells you on the box whether it’s suitable for you and we will literally tell you not to buy it if it isn’t.”
Interestingly, she’s opted not to put her name anywhere on the packaging because, “it ain’t about me”. A humble move but having had the power to crash websites and sell-out products with her personal recommendations, her legions of fans – 713k and rising on instagram alone – might beg to differ.
Virtue Labs Flourish Mask For Thinning Hair
Nearly half of all women will experience hair loss at some point in their lifetime, so the team at Virtue have developed their Flourish Mask (£55.44) to sit within their hair loss range that nourishes thinning hair, which is so often also dry, fragile and prone to breakage. Containing their patented Alpha Keratin 60ku CLINICAL®, they advise using it to both prevent hair loss and help replenish hair that’s already thinning (excitingly their clinical studies show that it’s as effective as Minoxidil, the hair loss ingredient found in products like Rogaine). It has a light, whipped texture, so won’t weigh fragile hair down and you can use it in place of conditioner 2-3 times a week.
Ostens Illumination Cashmeran Velvet
Ostens is a fragrance brand that we’ve recently fallen head-over-heels in love with. The brainchild of Christopher Yu and Laurent Delafon, the men behind United Perfumes, the renowned fragrance distribution and development company responsible for bringing Cire Trudon, Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Fornasetti to the UK market, Ostens six scents are all delectable.
And having spent so long working with such esteemed candle brands, Chris admits he was hesitant to foray Ostens into home scents – “I only wanted to do it when I felt we could deliver something brilliant.” The result has been a gradual step – starting with their Rose and Jasmine scents earlier this year and culminating in the launch this month of their best-selling Cashmeran Velvet fragrance as a beautiful candle (£65). Housed in a hand-blown, pale green, scalloped glass vessel, it encapsulates the elements of Cashmeran Velvet that have made it so popular as a scent. It’s woody, warm, smokey, seductive and intriguing and makes your house smell like a mix between the most handsome man at a bar and a chic country house hotel. In other words: perfect – particularly for this time of year.
Victoria Beckham Lid Lustre in Velvet
Sometimes a product comes along that makes you fall back in love with an entire category. And this one has got us swooning over shimmery shadows yet again.
Velvet (£30) is the latest shade in VB’s best-selling Lid Lustre eyeshadow range. It’s a sexy, golden, olive-green infused with antiqued gold pearl and malachite that we just can’t enough of. Use alone for an instant eye look and a more subtle, shimmery finish, or apply over dark black shadow for the ultimate glamourous smokey-eye. We predict that this will become a new classic!
de Mamiel Soothe Bath Soak
One thing we DO love about Winter is that darker evenings are the perfect time to indulge in a warm, soothing bath. This new bath soak from de Mamiel is divine and it has been designed specifically to ease tension and stress. Containing a power trio of Himalayan, Magnesium and Dead Sea salts mixed with essential oils known for their therapeutic benefits like Lavender, Ginger and Neroli, we defy you to find a more heavenly and effective mix to add to your bathing routine.