As I've been banging on about today on Instagram Stories (here) this is a rather lengthy post. When john Lewis got in touch and asked me to review their Beauty Edit I instantly said yes. I love any excuse to try something new, and autumn is a time I need to ramp up my skincare as it goes dry and wrinkly so, so much more easily.
When the products arrived it was like all my Christmases had come at once! However, I didn't really consider how much effort it would take. Granted it was very fun but I've learnt a lot along the way, aside from the obvious new found knowledge about the very best skincare of 2016. For example I discovered shooting beauty products isn't easy, and trying them takes time. I have a new found incredible respect for full time beauty bloggers... It ain't all selfies and peonies let me tell you.
I've split this into two posts, so without further ado here is my breakdown of the best scrubs, anti-ageing, cleansers, moisturisers, masks, creams and more...
Lets start with one everyone is into: anti ageing. Even if you aren't hunting down the "elixir of youth" you still want to know whats going to help you grow old gracefully, right? I have been using these kind of products for the last two years as ever since I turned thirty (nearly two years ago, eek) my skin has needed extra help. Funnily enough one of my favourites the Estee Lauder Resilience Lift was in the edit - it is fantastic for tightening up your skin, jaw line and chin and the results are pretty instant. Similarly I use Benefit's Dr Feel Good a lot instead of make up for lazy days. It's a balm and hides dark circles, fine lines and pores effortlessly. I can't stay in the house without it.
featured products: Estee Lauder Resilience Lift / Bare Minerals Skin Longevity / Sisley L’Integral Anti Age
Origins product's feel very natural, as opposed to the rest of these which feel heavily researched and a little more medicinal. So, if you're that way inclined I'd recommend Plantscription as, a) it's all very organic and wonderful, b) it worked, my skin looked very fresh and c) because it has SPT 25 in it so brilliant for all year wear... Lastly but by no means least: Sisley's Integral Age Cream. At over £200 it makes for a rather special treat but oh my god what it does to your skin. I've never tried anything like it. I looked like a teenager when I woke up the next morning, even my boyfriend noticed!
Moisturising Focus Creams
In autumn I really start to notice my skin being dry, even though I'm ordinarily quite oily. For that reason I struggle to find the balance with a good moisturiser that doesn't make me break out due to an oil-surge (gross term, but hopefully you know what I mean). Surprisingly all of the ones in the John Lewis edit were made by brands I'd associated with make up except one, Caudalie Vinosource Serum which is a serum but I included here as the moisturising qualities of it are exceptional for the price. I was nervous about using an oil on my skin but it worked brilliantly (I've noticed some has disappeared from the bathroom too, so guessing men like it).
featured products: Caudalie Vinosource Serum / YSL Instant Moisture Glow /Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion / Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream / NARS luminous moisture cream / Bobbi Brown Hydrating Rich Cream Cleanser
NB - NARS' Luminous Moisture Cream cannot be missed. It works not only as a moisturiser but as a highlighter and a primer. Perfect for autumn weather.
"All Rounder" Creams
These are the ones that arguably no woman should be without. They're certainly, if I was doing a Supermarket Sweep (anyone else remember that programme?) are products I'd run like the clappers to shove in my trolley. The product above all others I was dying to try was Creme De La Mer Soft Cream. Any one close to my age will agree that this brand was the first "expensive" product we can remember launching into the UK. I can remember reading an article about Victoria Beckham ordering a ship load to her house in Spain. I'd wanted to review this since starting blogging!
featured products Cream de la Mer Cream / Rituals Ritual of Dao Cream / Origins GinZing / Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream / Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser
The next one is the Eight Hour Cream from Elizabeth Arden - a strong contender in the beauty hall of fame. Equally brilliant; covered up a number of blemishes and bumps on my skin - even a pesky cafe au lait mark on my forehead that I haven't been able to get rid of since I was ill... I mean, when a product hasn't been altered (much) for eighty years you've got to be pretty confident in it. Elizabeth Arden quite rightly are; a combination of this and the Creme de La Mer would be perfect.
If you're anything like me November mornings are a killer. Not literally (otherwise writing this post would be a challenge, as would reading it) but I am tired, slow and grouchy. Every morning until I get used to it, which is usually not until December 1st when I can have chocolate from my Advent Calendar as soon as I get up. Luckily Origins GinZing was included in this edit because oh my goodness my body is awoken when I use it. Spray a little on your face and body and it somehow (I think it has Red Bull infused into it) you feel instantly energised. Not even a little bit, like a lot.
Also included was the Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser. My best friend (who wouldn't mind me saying had very tired skin) uses it and last time I saw her I couldn't help but notice she looked, well, just a bit better. She looked like she'd been away, or slept for a really long time. She hadn't, in fact she'd been on a roll of 15 hour working days - but she had been using this. So if you work ridiculous hours and don't like fads, buy it.
Lastly, if you're after a brilliant body moisturiser the Rituals Dao Nourishing Cream is the one for you I promise you. For £14 it's an absolute steal, similar quality to all the above in my humble opinion. I use it when I'm straight out of the shower and so far I haven't had any of the peeling or dryness I usually have by November. Smells a treat too...
Despite all the moisturising and masking we do in the colder months our skin does need a buff now and then. In fact it needs it more than ever as fresh, new skin do the job of keeping us glowing better than any other kind. I used to shy away from them as I had a terrible experience with the peach one you get in supermarkets (can't remember the name but a small part of their scrub got stuck in a poor and inflamed on my face). However, since discovering products like Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains I will never again stop using scrubs to help my skin. This one in particular is very easy, take a pinch of the granules and either add them to your face wash or add water and rub over your face. And it looks super pretty on your bathroom shelf...
featured products: Benefit Refined Finish / Bobbi Brown Radiance Boost Mask / Kiehls Facial Fuel / NARS Refining Exfoliator / Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains / YSL Natural Action Exfoliator
Next up, having been so impressed with the Illuminating Moisturiser (above) I was very excited to try NARS Refining Exfoliator which successfully doubles up as a pro minimiser (in turn stopping blackheads and spots which I get more of in winter as I wear more base layer make up). Really impressed, my skin was lovely and soft afterwards and didn't feel like it had been "scrubbed" at all, more polished. Speaking of polish, Benefit's Refined Finish does the same but with seaweed and natural extracts. I very much liked how my skin felt after this but I'd recommend for people although it took quite a bit to get it off!
Stay tuned later this week for the best Masks and Treatments, Serums and Oils, Cleansers, Shampoos, Scents and Bath products!