Grace Notes: April 2018

Working as a beauty writer practically requires me to turn up at work wearing as little product as possible – a blank canvas if you will – to be smothered and swatched in potions and pigments from 8 ‘till 5. As it's my job to swatch and sniff my way through the latest and greatest beauty launches, each month I debrief on the ones worth writing home about.

SACHAJUAN Leave-In Conditioner

This has literally changed my life - which sounds like an overreaction, but if you’d spent the last year struggling to learn how to look after coloured hair for the first time in your life, you’d understand. I love the concept of leave-in conditioners, but I hate when (no matter how much I use) they don’t seem to have any noticeable effect on my hair. I love being (partly) blonde, but I hate how I can feel the difference between the strands of my hair that have and haven't been colour-treated. This contains all of the conditioning ingredients that my hair needs and actually makes a difference - without any need to go overboard. It leaves my hair super soft, smooth, and silky, whilst adding an impressive amount of texture, shine, and volume- and the best part is that these effects last right through until my next hair wash, so even the blondest bits of my hair actually feel normal and healthy again.

ISLE OF PARADISE Self Tanning Water

I’m a former anti-fake tanner (too time consuming and faffy), and I still maintain that fake tanning is a massive faff. But that just means I need a tan that makes the process quicker and easier, right? Until last year, the industry wasn’t serving up much by way of innovation (beauty editors everywhere were eye rolling every time yet another mousse landed on our desks), and then suddenly the calendar hit 2017 and tans were available in foams, sprays, shower creams, hell, even roll-ons. You name it. I tested this one for work (it was one of the most-hyped launches of the year) and it is a lazy tanners dream product. All it takes is a two minute (if that) spritz over your limbs (the spray itself is wide-angled and fine so it’s hard to miss anywhere) and then a quick wipe/blend with a tanning mitt (you could probably skip this step but I like it as a just in case). What’s more, the resultant tan is one of the best I’ve seen - the colour is deep but the tone is super natural-looking (not at all orange) and it lasts well and fades so slowly and evenly that you barely notice it. After six years of fake tan testing, I’d say I’m finally fully converted.

YSL Souffle D’Eclat Face Powder

If you have oily skin but like a glowy finish, you know your powder options are rather bleak. You need it to take away the shine, but you still want your skin to look fresh and radiant and well, like real skin. This is a loose powder that takes away and prevents any unwanted gleam whilst giving skin a soft focus and subtly radiant finish - I love that it makes my skin look brighter and healthier - like I just switched on the glow filter on Instagram Stories. And, aside from the powder, the packaging is one of the most glamorous things I’ve ever had on my shelf - I literally want to take a picture of it every time I see it.

COLOURPOP Blotted Lip in Drip

I consider myself a connoisseur of nude lipsticks - I’ve worn hundreds over the years and I’m super duper picky. It can’t be too pink or too brown, too matte or too shiny, too liquidy, or too shimmery. I took a risk with this one, ordering it online, but as soon as I swiped it on I knew I’d hit gold. It’s the perfect balance of pink and brown, and it’s sheer in a ‘stained on’ way so it gives lips that coveted ‘my lips but better’ effect. The texture is light and creamy so you can’t really feel it on, but I’m always surprised when I glance in the mirror three hours, two coffees, and a croissant later, and it’s still there. 

GLOSSIER Lidstar in Slip

It’s been a while since I’ve worn eyeshadow on a regular basis. You’d think that it would be an everyday requirement for a beauty editor, but it really is far more practical and useful to go to work wearing as little makeup on as possible - all the more space to test and swatch. However now that Glossier’s Lidstars are in my life, it’s hard not to want to wear them when I spy them on my dresser every morning. I have multiple shades but my favourite by far is Slip, which is a sheer, brightening baby pink. The formula is incredibly wet upon application, but dries down quickly and isn’t at all sticky. Nor does it crease or fade throughout the day, and the fast dry-down makes it perfect for layering to build a more opaque colour.