When life is busy and time is precious, making changes to any routine can simply seem too much like hard work, and this is often the case when it comes to beauty regimes. With endless revolutionary new products with celebrity endorsements coming onto the market and the sheer volume of choice, it is easy to switch off and stick with our perfect perfume, magic mascara and favourite signature lipstick.
We reckon it can’t all be hype so, in true Belle About Town style, we’ve taken the hard work away from you and gone undercover to see what’s what. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality, presentation and cost of some of the secret products on the market that really do cut the mustard and make you feel special and look great.
So let’s not waste any more time and instead reveal the hidden gems we think you will love too.
Our 1st dream product is a velvety soft, lightweight foundation that purifies, evens out skin tone and reflects light for a flawless, radiant complexion. Japanese Anti-Pollution Natural Foundation has an antioxidant-rich formula of Camellia Oil, Green Tea and Wakame and protects the skin from pollution. Scented with Plum Tree Blossom, it’s dermatologically tested, non-comogenic and £24.95 for 30ml from www.terredoc.co.uk
Don’t believe in magic? You will when you try HealGel. This unassuming pot contains an advanced rescue formula designed by five of the country’s leading plastic surgeons. It soothes, repairs and protects the skin, contains silicone for scar treatment and the powerful peptides help increase collagen production to decrease fine lines, swelling and puffiness. If you want a clear, healthy looking complexion, head to Liberty and get yours for £33.50.
“Genie in a Bottle” is a rinsable, oil based, water-soluble face cleanser that restores and maintains the skin’s natural protective acid mantle which is key to keeping it looking healthy and young. It comes in a sleek silver canister, is free of alcohol and harsh chemicals and smells gorgeous. Effective enough to remove waterproof mascara, it’s also gentle enough to use on false eye lashes and at £16 for 200 ml worth every penny, from Maison d’Anu.
It’s no secret that eyes are a give-away when it comes to age, which is why we love Nuture’s Night Eye Serum. There’s no mess or waste as the combination of anti-ageing retinol (natural vitamin A) and dermachlorella (an extract of sea algae) come in a dinky one-dose capsule. The non-greasy formula is instantly absorbed and after just a week we could see smoother, younger-looking skin. 30 capsules are £9.99 from nurtureskincare.co.uk.
It you want a little colour this summer, but without the sun damage, go for the Natio Exfoliating Body Scrub (RRP £10.40) followed by their Sun-Kissed Glow Gradual Tan Lotion (RRP £10.80). The combo will moisturise your skin and give you a subtle glow, and the subtle scent of Ylang Ylang, Lavender and sweet orange means the biscuit smell is gone forever. Available in Debenhams, selected Tesco stores and at www.lookfantastic.com.
We were a bit sceptical about Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Liquid Soaps but after trying them out, we know why Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman and Drew Barrymore are fans! The magic of Dr. Bronner’s is affordability and versatility, with 18 uses from one bottle priced at £5.49 at Liberty, Amazon and leading health shops including Whole Foods. They come in Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Citrus, Almond, Rose, Baby Mild and Tea Tree and can be used on your body, mouth and teeth, and even your make-up brushes. They leave your skin soft and clean and are perfect for festivals and holidays.
eye CANDY® London Colour Flip nail varnishes have the ‘wow’ factor thanks to a new metallic colour flip particle technology that gives a dual hue finish that changes depending on the light and angle. Green with Envy, Regally Yours, Liquid Gold and Sexy and You Know It, really pop some colour and can be yours for £8 at Sainsbury’s.
Sure Linen Dry is designed for busy women on-the-go as and is made of clever microcapsules that break when you move to release a bust of freshness. So the more you move the more it works, keeping you smelling fresh for up to 48 hours for just £2.19 from Boots.
Dove Spa Strength Within supplements are new and a real alternative to going under the knife. They contain soy isoflavones, Lycopene, Vitamin C and E and Omega 3 fatty acids and have been clinically proven to have a significant impact on the skin’s appearance and taken 3 times there’s promise you will see a visible difference in 14 weeks*. A 28 day supply of Strength Within has an RRP of £35 and is available from www.dovespa.co.uk and Dove Spa salons.
Nelsons’ Calendula Cream is multi-purpose hand cream that fits into your handbag and is a great way to treat rough, dry, flaky or chapped skin on the go. Little known beauty fact with this product is that calendula is also known as marigold – yes really. Priced at £4.65 for 30g tube and £6.35 for a 50g tube the cream is available from Boots, Holland & Barrett, independent pharmacies and health food stores and a great way to treat your hands to a bit of the pampering that they deserve!
Ajala Warming Body Oil is a real treat once the day is over and the make-up is off. The luxurious combination of skin softening soya bean, anti-oxidant rich tamanu and sweet almond oil helps you wind down and chill out before a good night’s sleep. Priced at £12.99, this is a little bit of luxury for everyday that can be found at www.ajalaspa.com.
So, if you’re feeling a little bit brave, give some of these products a go and we guarantee you’ll be pleased you took a chance.
*Clinical trial vs. placebo involving 164 women over a period of 14 weeks.
[picture credit: Ciro Boro – photo]