Let’s start with one of my absolute favourites in skincare, MZ Skin, don’t be fooled by the pretty pink and gold packaging, MZ Skin packs a punch in the kindest, most targeted way possible. I have yet to use an MZ Skin product I don’t like (I even bought their LED mask which I use most nights as part of a night-time meditation – besides all the skincare benefits, it is SO relaxing). The new product to grace my skin is the Micro-Peeling Glow Essence, which is somewhere between an exfoliating tonic and a brightening toner; the intelligent acids used to nibble away at the dead skin cells, also improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and open pores, whilst hydrating and plumping the skin for the ultimate healthy, dewy glow. There are seemingly similar products on the market, but for me, this one is the elite – based on the ingredients and the clinical results. This gentle-looking liquid in its frosted glass bottle is much more powerful than it looks – I recommend you use it every 3rd day to begin with (or every other day if you already use an exfoliating tonic), I also prefer to apply it Macaulay Culkin style, hands to face, for maximum impact and no waste, but MZ recommend sweeping over the skin using a cotton pad (you can get more use out of this by wiping the used pad over knees and elbows though! It’s too good to waste!). I think the Micro-Peeling Glow Essence could quite comfortably come with a ‘Glow Guarantee’.
A new brand on my radar is Oiyari, which I am certain I pronounce wrongly when I have been recommending 2 of their masks to people, but recommend I do. The first mask I tried is the Acne Away Face Mask; me, as a former beauty therapist and skincare specialist, was elated to hear of an acne fighting mask which concentrates on soothing, calming and repairing the skin, alongside fighting and preventing blemishes, it’s a step that had been overlooked by acne fighting products for years – it is a huge misconception that skin prone to breakouts is ultra-tough and needs the strongest products to heal it; acne skins need care and calm in order to heal. The Oiyari mask is really lovely, gentle enough for teens (I keep finding the mask in my 15 year olds room) and works really well as an individual spot treatment. I’m not a massive fan of the bottle though – the pipet idea is ideal for an acne product, but I struggle to get much out that way (1st World Problems, I know). The other mask I tried, the Radiance Treatment Mask is incredible and not what I was expecting at all (the name really does not do it justice). It comes in powder form which you mix with a small amount of water, so sorry if you don’t like the faff, but this is 100% worthwhile faffing in my opinion. With 15% pure vitamin C and Oiyari’s complex Marine Algae Powder (i.e mega antioxidant) after just 10 mins, my skin looked brighter, smoother, and more even – over time, the results get better (I can’t help leaving the mask on for longer than the 10 mins too – I seriously love it).
Now for hydration! A brand I have been impressed with for a few years now – not just for their product efficacy but also their dedication to not cutting corners in favour of ease or profit, i.e., you won’t find regular aqua in any Albiva products (there are no skin benefits to aqua alone) no, Albiva choose to use antioxidant organic raspberry water in all their formulations instead! It is widely known that there are many alternatives to using regular aqua in skincare products, but you will be hard pushed to find many (if any) brands that religiously do within all formulations. In fact, Albiva products aren’t overloaded with ingredients, but everything they do include are organic and purposeful. Their new Hydration Booster is a cold processed dream for the skin; it contains protein rich Red Algae to withhold moisture in the skin, healing Immortelle to repair, reduce redness and increase collagen production, as well as the ever-loved Hyaluronic Acid to help smooth and hydrate, all resulting in a moisture healing, anti-age wonder product! I started using the Hydration Booster after a laser treatment with an average down time (healing time) of 5 days – by day 3, my skin was almost healed and its normal state again! I was astounded. Anyone suffering with any kind of dry skin issue (eczema, dermatitis etc) I would urge you to try this, at the very least, it will strengthen the skin (cold processed oils are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants) to aid healing but at the most, you may have just found the answer you have been looking for.
Now that you have beautiful glowing skin, let’s enhance it with the new Matte Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes from Huda Beauty! These are very different from Huda’s signature glitters and metallics, but the creamy, highly pigmented shadows more than pass the Huda quality check. At first glance I wasn’t overly excited about these 2 new palettes; The warm palette has 9 brick-coloured shades, and the cool palette has 9 taupes and mauves, they look pretty basic, until you apply them. Each shade is much bolder than it appears and blends perfectly with one another – these seemingly simple palettes can be used to create a multitude of looks, they blend like a dream, and somehow seem to match and adapt to every skin tone (I’m a makeup artist, trust me when I say this is rare!). Also, for the first time ever, Huda have launched an eye pencil; The Creamy Kohl Longwear Eye Pencil glides on to the eye just as you would expect from Huda. With 2 shades, black and brown, this pencil will surely become a makeup artist favourite – they are waterproof, sweatproof and transfer proof, but they are soft as silk to apply. I should never have been in doubt, big thumbs up from me.
Of course, not everyone wants to wear make-up – especially on their newfound radiant skin, but if you are feeling a bit pasty at the end of this dreary winter, look no further than Tan-Luxe. Tan-Luxe are famed for their beautiful, buildable, glowy self-tans but now they are packing in some serious skincare to their new self-tan facial cream, The Crème. I am a BIG advocate of using a face specific self-tan product on the face, rather than using the body product, as you tend to get a better, more natural colour with less dryness. Well Tan-Luxe go one better (of course), understanding the importance of protecting the skin’s barrier function (it is usually an impaired Barrier Function, due to product overload on the skin, which causes so many of our modern day skin issues and breakouts) The Créme is packed full of lipids, amino acids (these aren’t exfoliating acids btw) and antioxidants to support the skin’s Barrier Function and protect the skin from external aggressors – as well as providing the most perfect tan glow. The Crème is, and feels like, luxurious skincare. If you are skiing this year or you live in a polluted city, this is the only tan for you. I’ve been applying it at night, and there has been no yellow-hue on my pillow in the morning, the scent is also (miraculously) boyfriend approved!
With your glowing skin, and chic make up or tanned face, we must finish off with lovely, swishy hair. There are so many cool new hair ranges popping up (and I’ve been impressed with a lot of them) but one that caught my interest a little more than most was the Kristen Ess range; vegan and cruelty-free, the Kristen Ess range (created by its hairstylist and colourist namesake) was designed to make affordable, luxury hair products for home use. But, the bit that really caught me, was that they are all lightweight for easy layering. I’m on a product rotation every time I wash my hair – I have to be really strict with myself not to overload or try to apply too many products for all my different hair needs – I know it’s wrong to overload the hair but I just can’t help it sometimes – it’s so soul-destroying to go to all the effort of blow-drying my hair, only to get to the end and realise I’ve put too much product in and my freshly washed hair already looks greasy, I can’t be the only one?? Well, Kristen Ess are designed for layering; I can’t believe I’m using this word, but, every product in the range feels so ‘clean’ (I apologise to all my beauty peers but I don’t know how else to describe it! The Scalp Purifying Micellar Shampoo is crystal clear for goodness’ sake!). I particularly like The One Signature Conditioner and the Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème (a frizz-calming and smoothing cream) but I wasn’t overly keen on the Scalp Scrub – with the amount of scalp oils and tonics I use, I would really benefit from a scalp scrub, but I’ve yet to find one I really love – the Kristen Ess one has a really good scrub to it, but I found it difficult to distribute through my hair (if you are lucky enough to have someone apply it for you though, it’s worth a purchase! I applied it to my 11-year-olds scalp in sections, and she loved it!).
The One Signature Conditioner, £8 . Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème, £12 . Scalp Scrub, £12.