Lipstick Queen Medieval Intense, £18, SpaceNK.com
Fangirls of Lipstick Queen will be familiar with Medieval, a sheer, universally flattering red. This new version has a bolder finish but is still highly wearable, moisturising and can be hastily applied for instant glamour.
Augustinus Bader, The Body Cream, £130, augustinusbader.com
Like the rest of the FT style desk, I’m obsessed with Augustinus Bader face cream, and the body lotion is impressive too. It uses stem cell technology to repair and renew skin, making it significantly firmer and smoother. It’s so rich I only apply every few days.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, Ghost, £75, netaporter.com
Forget the trend for mannequin-like contouring, this palette bathes the face in a soft, radiant glow, and you can ramp up the tan or the blush as you see fit.
Champo Pitta shampoo, £18, and conditioner, £20, champohaircare.com
Many volumising products feel a bit medical, or create fullness at the expense of shine. However this Pitta shampoo and conditioner, based on Ayurvedic principles, leaves hair soft, full and lustrous, with a delicious unisex scent of Neroli and Petitgrain.
Su-Man Chi Flow Contouring Facial, £220, Away Spa, su-man.com
There’s a lot of hype around the super facialist Su-Man, and after trying her latest treatment I can see why; it’s the best facial I’ve had. After deep cleansing, massage using Jade stones, an antioxidant mask and a shoulder massage to balance Chi flow according to Chinese medicine, my face looked brighter and more defined. The spa at the W hotel in Leicester Square isn’t particularly luxurious, though, so go for results rather than a treat.
Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser, £92, victoriabeckhambeauty.com
A high-tech partnership with Augustinus Bader designed to hydrate and add luminosity to the skin, Victoria Beckham’s skincare debut works as well on razor-burns for him as it does as a primer for her.
La Prairie Caviar Eye Lift, £365, laprairie.co.uk
An eyelift in a bottle, this new caviar-enriched serum promotes immediate and visible reductions of crow’s feet, smoothing of lower lids and general lifting and firming effects.
Celine Reptile Eau de Parfum, £175, celine.com
Hedi Slimane has designed his Celine fragrances with the same androgynous appeal as he tailors the brand’s suits. The most overtly masculine is Reptile, with top notes of cedar alongside leather accord, pepper and musk, ostensibly inspired by the clothes h
Flora Macdonald Johnston
Instant Glow by Dr Barbara Sturm at Apogii Clinic, £150, apogiiclinic.co.uk
The Apogii Clinic is still a bit of an undiscovered gem in London’s Notting Hill despite opening its doors earlier this year. You can have a range of treatments from cryotherapy to massage but my favourite is the Instant Glow facial designed by Dr Barbara Sturm. Suitable for all skin types, the indulgent facial starts with a deep cleanse, followed by a light extraction and finally finished with a soothing face mask mixed with a bespoke serum. The result? Skin is incredibly smooth, rejuvenated and plumped.
Apothem CBD Defence Drops, £170, harveynichols.com
Newly launched Apothem are one of the few companies in Europe who not only grow their own cannabis plants, but test, design and create all their beauty products on site — so you can be assured of the purest quality. I’ve become addicted to their Defence Drops, which aim to boost the immune system with a blend of pure CBD oil and botanicals including shiitake mushrooms and ginger. It’s hard to prove that it does exactly what it says, but I always feel a little more zen after taking it.
Sunspel Oakwood fragrance, for men and women, £90, sunspel.com
Want to smell like the English countryside? Us too. Here on the fashion desk we all have fallen in love with Sunspel’s newly released unisex fragrance, Oakwood, created in collaboration with British perfumer Lyn Harris. Evoking the fresh scents of woodland thanks to hints of bergamot it’s also got a delicious smoky undertone due to a blend of cedarwood, sandalwood and frankincense.
Fudge Clean Blonde shampoo, £13.95, lookfantastic.com
This shampoo is one of my favourite beauty discoveries of 2019. Anyone who dyes their hair blonde knows of the constant struggle to keep it from going brassy, and this shampoo is by far the most effective I have come across. Ultraviolet pigments remove brassiness and yellow tones plus the formula leaves hair hydrated, soft and bright.
Shiseido InnerGlow Cheek Powder in Floating Rose, £32, shiseido.co.uk
I often find that blushes can be too vivid or don’t blend well, but Shiseido’s cream powder solves this conundrum. Their blush feels featherweight on the cheeks, has a lovely glow and you can build colour easily. I also like to use it as eyeshadow.
Nars Duo eye palette in Isolde, £25, feelunique.com
Finding the perfect bronze eyeshadow is a never-ending quest. But this year it was Nars who took the top spot. Their Isolde palette comes with a pale gold and darker bronze, with a formula that doesn’t smudge or fade easily. For day to day I use the pale gold shimmer and add bronze in the evening for a smokey eye effect.
Bespoke Chinese facial acupuncture with Ada Ooi, £250, 001skincare.com
This facial isn’t only about improving your skin; acupuncture supposedly helps to release blocked inner energy and improves mental wellbeing too. Each facial is entirely bespoke and according to your needs, Ooi will mix acupuncture with deep tissue Chinese massage or lymphatic drainage.
Amly Meadow Dew Facial Essence, £60, amlybotanicals.co.uk
All of the key ingredients in Amly’s products are sourced from a farm in Sussex, then handmade in a small lab in Somerset. Its new facial essence uses apple cider vinegar made from the farm’s orchard; it’s packed full of antioxidants and hydrates, softens and brightens the skin. Chicly packaged natural skincare with a limited carbon footprint; what’s not to love?
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, £31, selfridges.com
It was fate that brought me to Giorgio Armani’s liquid lipstick; or rather, a last-minute dig in the FT beauty cupboard for some emergency lip colour before the Fashion Awards earlier this month. That it stayed on all night without fading or smudging swiftly earned it a place in my permanent make-up bag. Less drying than a lipstick, it’s applied like a gloss but with a matte finish — I’ve worn the nude 522 shade every day since.
Codex Cold Processed Soaps, $18, codexbeauty.com
Bar soap has had a renaissance in this anti-plastic world. Made with organic coconut oil and French pink clay, Codex’s vegan soaps are cold-processed (which doesn’t damage the ingredients) and contain moisturising glycerin. Blended with notes of rose or cedarwood, they smell delicious and leave skin soft and squeaky clean.
Haeckels Rosehip + Seaweed Suspension 3.5%, £26, haeckels.co.uk
One of only two companies with a licence to forage seaweed from the UK’s coastlines, all of Haeckels’ seaweed is sourced from beaches in Margate and its products are made in its lab, situated a stroll from the shores. In its new lightweight serum, the Bladderwrack seaweed is suspended in rosehip oil to restore skin, calm inflammation and combat dehydration — it leaves skin looking facial fresh.
Chanel hand cream, £55, chanel.com
I challenge you to find me a more stylishly packaged hand cream than Chanel’s new Le Lift La Creme Main. The cutesy egg shape is ideal for on-the-go hand care, and the cream contains botanical alfalfa concentrate, which is said to be as effective as retinol. But best of all, the cream dries quickly without leaving hands sticky.
Evermore ‘North’ candle, £48, evermorelondon.com
Candles are my Achilles heel — an evening spent at home is never without a flickering flame. I discovered Evermore earlier this year when the London-based candlemaker underwent a rebrand and reconfigured its soy-based scents. A personal favourite is the North candle, which is said to mimic “black skies on a winter’s night” — think notes of black pepper and cinnamon married with oud, maple and tobacco. And with its chic navy packaging, it looks relatively unisex.
Aesop The Orator gift set, £130, aesop.com
Sticking to a skincare routine has never been easier with Aesop’s new The Orator gift set, which contains its three best-selling Parsley Seed products in one sleek reusable case. Ideal for urban dwellers, the lactic acid and liquorice-infused range targets impurities caused by pollution to leave skin fresh and clear. A great gift for men and women.
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