This is the moment in the beauty calendar when many, many women’s skins change – taking a turn for the worst and going from nice and dewy (in summer) to tight as a drum, due to that double-whammy of central heating and biting north winds.
The rule is: more moisture, more often. More is more! But this is one of the pleasantest ways to quench your skin’s thirst that we know of.
It’s super-soft, as the name suggests. And super-raspberry-y (is that an adjective…? Well it is now!) And that’s raspberry-y in a smells-like-a-lovely-just-picked-bowl-of-raspberries way than a synthetic fruit way. (Makes us quite nostalgic for summer, actually.)
Leave on for 10 minutes (it won’t do any harm to lie back and enjoy it for longer than that), and remove with a flannel, we recommend. Skin’s pleasantly plumped, thanks to a combination of plant extracts that include raspberry, pear, fig, passion fruit, hyaluronic acid and honey.
Fine for all skintypes. But as winter approaches, just brrrrrr-illiant for dry complexions like ours.
UK readers find Dr. Renaud Raspberry Soft Mask at www.marksandspencer.com/£19.50 for 50 ml – buy here
What’s the question most commonly posed to www.beautybible.com? How to tackle tired and puffy eyes. So this is our new favourite fast fix.
Patch technology swings in and out of beauty fashion – but these are a total ‘hit’, becoming instant bestsellers at the new M&S Your Beauty concept (currently being rolled out across the UK).
Maybe they’re not like anything you’ve ever used before: apply the sticky side to the under-eye zone, wait 10 minutes (hoping the postman doesn’t call meanwhile), peel off – and well, were we surprised… Skin looks somehow de-puffed while lines are ‘plumped-up’, all at once.
At Beauty Bible we’re always more interested in whether something works than why – but if you like ‘the science bit’, Skyn Iceland tell us it’s down to hydrolysed elastin, a ‘Biospheric complex’ (of pure Icelandic glacial waters, arctic berries and pure oxygen), together with hexapeptide to reduce lines and wrinkles, ginkgo to tackle puffiness and dark circles, and CoQ-10, a powerful antioxidant.
The gels come in sachets that are ideal for travelling. We tried them after a late night and were bushy-tailed and – yes, definitely brighter-eyed, next morning…
UK readers find Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels at www.marksandspencer.com/£25 for eight pairs – buy here
US readers find them at www.skinstore.com/$30 – buy here
Oh, Darcey, Darcey, Darcey Bussell: how do we love thee…? Let us count the ways.
First of all, for your elegance. And bravery: not for all the tea in Stratford would we have careered down a wire into the Olympics closing ceremony. Thirdly, we love you for having enough of a sense of humour to become a judge on Strictly this autumn. (Forget about counting the ways: we’re counting the days.)
So with Darcey’s star once again in the ascendant, The Sanctuary certainly lucked out with the timing of their announcement that she was the new face of their anti-ageing skincare. That was a few months ago, and we’ve now had time to try the products – declaring this two-step mask our firm favourite.
It’s fun-to-use, too: slather on the Peptide Transformation Serum, then a layer of the Thermal Rose Clay Mask. We adore how this heats up on the skin, encouraging penetration of the skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. Used regularly, it’s said to reverse crêpiness – but what we’d also say is that it’s great whenever skin’s looking drab or dehydrated, in need of an urgent boost.
In fact, this duo will be doing a pas de deux on our bathroom shelves for some time to come.
UK readers find The Sanctuary 30 Day Thermal Transformation at www.debenhams.com/£27.50 for 75 ml (mask) and 50 ml (serum) – buy here
There are, in our experience, very few products that can live up to the ‘miracle’ promise. But hallelujah: here is one that does. And then some.
It’s not like any other mask you’ve ever tried. Pour 60 ml of water into the shaker. Add the contents of a sachet. Shake well till it goes ‘silent’, and then get slathering FAST with the spatula. The pink powder is transformed into a rubbery paste and you’ve got a minute or so to apply it all over your face and the back of your hands. (We find it easiest to do this in front of a mirror, to see where it’s going and ensure even distribution.)
Then lie back and let the extraordinary mixture of Moroccan lava clay, vitamin C, brown algae and rose oil (yes, it’s got a lovely scent) work its magic. The real clincher is a mega-dose of hyaluronic acid which is ‘trapped’ by the mask, plumping up skin to the point where when Jo tried this the first time, she looked in the mirror and saw the complexion of a 12-year-old staring back. Every line gone. That particular effect only lasts a few hours, but the skin-brightening radiance is enduring, and makes this truly worth £9-a-pop. (Console yourself that it’s a fraction of the cost of a superfacial with Ms. Chapman herself.)
What’s really fun is peeling it off afterwards. Sooooooo satisfying. (Just do follow the caveat and avoid the hairline, though, or you’ll be at it for hours.)
The other miracle? After an initial sell-out, Instant Miracle Mask is now back in stock.
UK readers find it at www.victoriahealth.com/£38 for four sachets – click here
(Do go via the Victoria Health page on our site – just click here – to enjoy an automatic 5% discount added at checkout)
US readers find it at www.us.spacenk.com/$75 – click here
This nature-meets-science brand definitely doesn’t offer steals, but it does offer extreme quality.
Founder Francesco Clark, formerly a Manhattan-based magazine stylist, developed the line after he ended up in a wheelchair after a horrendous accident. It started as a kitchen table range, based on naturals suggested by his doctor-cum-homeopath father, which he distributed to friends like Glenda Bailey, the UK-born editor of US Harpers (who we all knew when she led Marie Claire to fame in the 90s). At their urging, he created the skincare line proper.
And the Deep Moisture Mask? (Which is enriched with soothing comfrey and antioxidant green tea, FYI.) Well, Sarah, being a wee bit stress-y organising a wedding, tends to wake up at unseemly hours… Seeing a pot of this on the kitchen table at 2.30 this morning she applied it before doing an hour’s emails then flopping back to bed (with that old standby, hot milk and honey).
You can either use it as a rinse-off mask, or leave it to sink in; she did the latter, and it proved a stunning success. Instead of that rather pinched dehydrated look, she looked positively glowing and plumptious. And even if you’re not about to trot down the aisle, a deep moisture surge is something many complexions need at this time of year.
Hear that face slurp it up.
UK readers click here to find Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask/£58 for 50 ml ata www.spacenk.co.uk
US readers click here to find it at www.clarksbotanicals.com/$72 for 1.7 oz
Just the other day we were discussing why women love, love, love face masks so much, and concluded: generally, when we apply a face mask it’s almost the only time many of us get to sit back, soak beneath scented waters and do nada for – oooh, up to 20 minutes… And the bonus is that many, many masks deliver rapid results to even the blah-iest complexion.
Sometimes, though, we just want a seriously fast fix. So: who couldn’t find five mins in the day, for Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask? It’s from the range created by beauty journalist Alice Hart-Davis (tapping into her years of experience in the beauty biz). Ostensibly it’s for younger (and even problem) skins, so we were a l-i-t-t-l-e bit nervous about what it might do to the superannuated complexions of Beauty Bible‘s more ‘mature’ team members – but despite being packed with green clay and kaolin (as well as skin-brightening, antioxidant-rich goji berry) it doesn’t set hard, really does perk up skin in the promised five minutes – and is even a little bit moisturising, we found. (That’ll be the avocado.)
The mask has a pleasantly light, fruity fragrance: we run a mile from over-fruitiness but there is, bizarrely, almost a ‘whiff-of-Guerlain’ about this! (We’re thinking: peaches, Mitsouko…) Definitely more sophisticated than your average fruit-based mask, anyway.
Good Things is packed with naturals and ‘free from’ most nasties, and is an ideal ‘starter range’ for younger skins. Unusually, though, this is one product that mothers may find themselves nicking from daughters, rather than the other way round.
UK: click here to find Good Things Five-Minute Facial Mask/£5.99 for 100 ml at www.boots.co.uk