The first month in my new flat has meant many things - including multiple trips to Ikea, late nights spent flat-packing, a lengthy wait for Internet installation, and numerous flat parties - but notably also, the time and space with which to rediscover [and refine] my beauty stash. Throw in a few new launches [of which there are always many at this time of year] and it's been a busy month of swatching and sniffing, culminating in a lengthy list of favourites, narrowed down to the below five for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
I've really stripped back my skincare routine this month - more so in terms of the types of products I'm using than the amounts - it's all about keeping things simple for me at the moment. I love brands that are really focussed on doing one thing and doing it well, so I'm completely hooked on The Ordinary, a range of serums devoid of marketing frills and unnecessary scents, ingredients, and packaging. These back-to-basics serums leave only the active ingredients proven to actually work, meaning you can target your exact skincare concerns and avoid unnecessary irritation and reactions. My personal favourites are the Lactic Acid 10% [which is working wonders on my pigmentation issues] and HA 2% and Advanced Retinoid, which preps my skin beautifully in the morning.
When it comes to mascara, my mantra is 'go large, or go home', and I've tested enough mascaras over the years to be able to gauge upon first glance whether or not one will live up to the high standards set by my two go-to, forever repurchased favourites [CHANEL and L'OREAL]. It used to be that a mascara's formula was a mark of its effectiveness - these days it's all about the perfect brush. This one is perfectly curved, meaning you can fit it to the shape of your lashes and wiggle it from base to tips for instant volume, length, curl, and lift. Likewise, the shape makes it a cinch for dressing lower lashes too.
The Holy Grail for the beauty industry's research and development teams is to replace a complex procedure with a one-stop DIY product. Fillerina is just that, a cosmetic filling treatment which can be used to fill lines and wrinkles and increase volume as an at-home alternative to injectable fillers. Utilising a patented blend of hyaluronic acids [proven to hold 1000 times their weight in water] which move through skin with the same efficacy as injected ingredients, the process is completely pain- and fuss-free. I've been using it exclusively on my lips, daubing a little over them on a twice daily basis for the past three weeks and the results are nothing short of remarkable. With both immediate and long-term effects immediately noticeable [a fuller pout, without looking too bee-stung], I'm only wishing I'd taken before and after photos.
N.B. For the rest of the month you can use the code GRACE20 for 20% off Fillerina's 14-day treatments on www.beautyisskindeep.co.uk
& OTHER STORIES Caliper Body Oil
We're fast approaching the time of year where, before I cosset my limbs in layers of clothing, I like to indulge in products that leave my skin feeling nourished and comforted. & Other Stories body care offerings are universally great, but i single this one out because such high-quality, beautifully fragranced oils are usually much pricier. Holding its own against more expensive offerings, this skin-restoring concentrate works throughout the day and whilst I sleep with immediate results - namely that my skin feels noticeably softer and more supple, and smells good to boot.
N.B. Launches November 17th
Popularised by the Instagram-famous, metallic lipsticks have been doing the rounds for some time, but have been given a luxe seal of approval with the launches of Tom Ford's latest seasonal collection. The formula utilises 3D pigments for a mirror shine finish and a texture that glides onto lips imparting an immediately vibrant pigment. My most-worn shade is Seadragon, a dark sparkling plum which proves that metallic lips are here to stay [for this season at least].