The beauty director’s edit: February 2020
Floris bespoke fragrance review, results from the at-home skin roller, the new super serums for 2020 and how I’m faking the glow in February
There's a dizzying array of sprays out there. Over 100 new scents launch each year to add to the existing scents that have been gracing our wrists for decades.
Sometimes it can be mind-boggling to find the perfect fit.
From special occasions like weddings to identifying what works for the time of year or, most importantly, on your skin, a bespoke fragrance consultation takes the indecision out of the entire process.
Thus also avoiding those department store scent ninjas that spritz you from 50 paces.
Plus, you'll end up with something that will never gather dust on your shelf or something you might, at a push, use as a toilet freshener.
Here's where bespoke perfumery Floris comes in. With a Royal Warrant, they've been conjuring up spritzes for kings and queens for almost three centuries.
The Bespoke Fragrance Customisation service is where you get to spend time with one of their talented perfumers, in the inner sanctum of the Floris store on Jermyn Street.
Think apothecary cabinets, ledgers that contain scent secrets of celebrities past and present, along with a plethora of glass jars filled with all manner of liquids.
My consultation is with Penny Ellis. She's been training her olfactory organ for years and what she's doesn't know about fragrance isn't worth knowing. She pops some fizz and the two-hour session begins:
There's a lot of sniffing to be done with the fragrance bases placed on testing strips to be evaluated and then put into order of preference. This helps you to refine your blend.
For any olfactory incertitude, Penny offered some great suggestions and steered my nose in the right direction. We tweak the mix, sniff, test, and then tweak again.
The resulting spritz? ‘My’ unique blend of warm, sunshine notes, with creamy tuberose, jasmine, woods and plenty of mimosa; I decided to name it 'Sol Rutilo' – which translates as 'bask in the sun,' and it's logged in the ledger among the blends for the royals. I’m feeling (and smelling) rather grand to say the least.
This immersive experience would also make the perfect gift for St Valentine's Day, from £550. Or, even better, try an immersive Fragrance Consultation for two: the 'Together Fragrance Customisation' £950.Read more ...
I’m applying this new Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer over my entire face and it smoothes the way for foundation and adds the kind of luminosity you usually only get from a facial. It's something to do with the micronised pearls reflecting light, doesn't settle into fine lines, plus it helps your foundation last that little bit longer. It's my must-do step between skincare and make-up.Read more ...
We all know the benefits of using a serum and I've been road-testing two that have landed on my desk. The Elixseri range uses biotechnology in the range of serums and ensures the molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin. Rescue Diver Serum, £85 has hyaluronic acid in different molecular weights, meaning it hydrates superficially and at a deeper level too and does feel ultra-nurturing when massaged over your face.
Boots has just launched Boots Ingredients, a rival to The Ordinary, and it offers plenty of skincare solutions in the range, including a decent plant-based alternative to retinol: the Bakuchiol Serum for a mere £7. It refines skin texture and tackles photo damage without the irksome retinol side effects and it’s also the hero ingredient in many of my favourite high-end skincare products.Read more ...
Plenty of aestheticians have been raving about micro-needling and there is evidence on the efficacy – so it comes as no surprise that there are a whole host of at-home gadgets popping up on our feeds.
Not all are created equal and even though they don't go nearly as deep as the dermatologist's chair, you should proceed with caution when choosing the right product.
My preference is the Swiss Clinic Skin Roller, £79, that has just launched into Harvey Nichols. It has been designed by dermatologists and employs hundreds of micro-needles in silver-plated Japanese surgical-grade steel with optimum spacing between each needle.
It works by penetrating the skin's upper layers, creating microscopic 'wounds' in the surface that trigger a fresh supply of collagen.
Studies have shown that products penetrate up to three times more efficiently when used in conjunction with the roller, so I am incorporating this into my skincare regime. I'm using it at night only (it turns your face a little red post-session – but is not painful at all) and in a rotation of five days and then a break.
My skin is looking more refined, and even in these colder temperatures dry patches are gone, plus it only takes a few minutes to do. It's a skin win.Read more ...
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