With over a decade in the beauty industry I’ve tried thousands of products, from skincare to haircare, make-up to bodycare – and beyond. Here are some of my favourites from May 2023…
The Body Shop Full Orange Blossom, £39
I love a single-note fragrance. Done well, they can be striking, unfussy and absolutely gorgeous. However, it can be hard to get them right. One false move and your single-note perfume smells like a cheap fruit squash.
Full Orange Blossom from The Body Shop is a masterclass in how to get a single-note scent spot on.
While there’s neroli, bergamot and vetiver in there too, adding some florals to proceedings, it’s the orange that really sings.
Grown up, it’s not too bitter, not too sweet. The result is wholeheartedly orange, but has real complexity. It lasts, too – I could still smell it on my skin at the end of the day.
It smells expensive, an awful lot like Diptyque Eau des Sens, but is £50 cheaper.
As ever with The Body Shop, its eco credentials are spot on.
The bottle is made from recycled glass with a sustainable wood and cork cap.
No7 Future Renew Serum, £34.95
The words “patent pending” are enough to excite most beauty journalists. And I wasn’t alone in my haste to try this new serum from No7.
It had a waiting list of more than 94,000 customers, and on launch day there were queues at Boots.
But why? Fifteen years in the making, in partnership with scientists at the University of Manchester, the serum – along with the Future Renew Day Cream, Night Cream and Eye Serum – contains first-to-market peptide technology that harnesses the skin’s natural repair process. Clinical trials show signs of skin damage are reversed with repeated use.
So does it work? Yes. It sinks in beautifully and one use leaves lasting hydration. Two weeks in, I have skin changes you’d expect from retinol – smoother texture, more even tone, and a definite reduction in fine lines. I’m hooked. See you in the queue.
Paula’s Choice Rescue & Repair Intensive Moisturiser, £34
Over 70 per cent of UK adults regularly experience some form of sensitive skin, from flushing to dryness.
I’m one of them – and my skin tends to flare up from time to time, particularly when I’m feeling stressed.
As a result, the new Calm range from Paula’s Choice caught my eye. With a cleanser, exfoliant, serum, toner and two moisturisers, it promises a complete skincare routine.
My pick of the bunch is the Rescue & Repair Intensive Moisturiser, which contains protective antioxidants and hydrating emollients.
It’s meant for night time use, but it’s so soothing I’ve been using it as a day cream too.
Souffle-like in texture, it feels beautiful to apply and sinks into skin with ease. With regular use I’ve seen reduced redness and increased hydration.
Benefit The Porefessional Smooth Sip Moisturiser, £35
Pores regulate skin health by helping gases and liquids pass through. So I tend to be sceptical of products claiming to minimise them. But when they become enlarged and “open”, they can make some of us feel self conscious.
That’s where this cream comes in. It’s part of Benefit’s new Porefessional skincare collection with masks, cleansers, toners and more, all with the aim of perfecting pores and general skin health.
This is my pick of the bunch. A medium-weight moisturiser, it feels luxurious and sits beautifully on the skin. Worn alone or under make-up, it acts as a sort of real life Instagram filter, with a subtle blurring effect.
It doesn’t get rid of pores, of course – nothing can. But it creates a satisfyingly smooth canvas. I’m impressed.
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