We’re leaving January blues behind and immersing ourselves in February! With countless new beauty launches, it’s been easy to move on. We have tried and tested all the latest products to find the best of the best for you. Skincare and fragrance lovers get excited; you’re going to love this month’s launches!
#1 The Fan-Favourite Foundation
5 out of 5 is what I’d score Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation; and after having a quick google around, the internet agrees with me. Everything about Synchro Skin sets this foundation up to strongly rival some of the UK’s best-selling bases. From its natural, but full coverage to how well it wears without creasing, Shiseido have answered all makeup fans’ major concerns. A big plus? The inclusive and extensive shade range makes finding your shade simple – I can’t wait to see this explode this year!
Fun Fact: 100% of the beauty team also wear this foundation and love it.
#2 The New Niche
Until I started working at Escentual, I hadn’t crossed paths with Van Cleef & Arpels fragrances before. I knew the brand for their super-luxury jewellery – and the scents are no different. Every iteration I’ve had the pleasure of testing so far has had something unique to offer, and you can instantly tell that they’re pure luxury. This new addition to the Collection Extraordinaire, the Bois D’Amande, immediately became my favourite! I knew the second I first spritzed it on my skin. There are so many gorgeous notes, so it’s hard to put my finger on my favourite part. But, it’s likely because, as it settles on my skin, it reveals a creamy-warmth thanks to vanilla and (as the name suggests) almond, mixed with musky and woody essences. Basically, it’s a dream for me. Also, I wasn’t aware that Van Cleef fragrances are unisex until recently, which was very welcome news – definitely investing in this one! It might initially seem a little extravagant, but as it’s such an extraordinarily unique scent. I think it’s worth every penny!
#3 The Must-Have Molecule
If you gave me a retinol serum six months ago, I would have run for the hills. I was scared of them. The potential side effects of peeling, redness, and sensitivity meant that I’d passed up the chance to try every retinol-infused formula that came my way. My already eczema-prone skin didn’t need any more redness, thank you! But, this month, in the name of research, I tested my first-ever formula, and it didn’t make my skin peel, sore, or sensitive – hallelujah!
Retinol B3 Serum from La Roche-Posay is the unlikely hero. And it works so well for me because it’s made for sensitive skin – it contains 0.3% retinol with calming 2% vitamin B3, and hydrating 10% glycerin – the formula feels super fresh when applying! After a month, I’ve noticed my skin tone/texture is much more even and smooth. I wish I’d found this sooner!
Read more about how to use retinol effectively.
#4 The Modest Masculine
The original Narciso For Him is a staple scent of mine; I wear it regularly and enjoy its fresh yet slightly spicy aroma for every day. By night, however, I enjoy a little more intensity, which is why For Him hasn’t had much of a look in, until this month. For Him Bleu Noir Extreme is what I’d call the evening Bleu Noir. It shares similar notes to the original; however, Extreme is more earthy, aromatic, and spicy. As a fan of intense scents like Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb and Valentino Uomo, Bleu Noir Extreme ticks all the boxes for me – and it offers something a bit different from what I already own.
#5 The Beautifying Balm
If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ll know how I preach to anyone and everyone about wearing a facial SPF daily. I’m sure my friends and family are sick of hearing me harp on about it! So you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered this latest foundation release from GIVENCHY. Combining the protective properties of SPF25 with a foundation it protects my complexion from pollution, UV rays and blue light as well as making my skin look fresh, flawless but still natural. I love that it gives my dry a skin a moisture-boost and doesn’t settle into my fine lines and the wear-time is excellent, too. It’s been a while since I’ve been seriously impressed with a skincare/makeup combo like this one!
#6 The Contemporary Classic
I’m a massive fan of La Vie Est Belle, so I was super excited to find out about this new edition. I generally opt for zesty/floral perfumes, so when I sprayed Intensement for the first time, it instantly struck a chord with me. The mixture of fruity facets such as bergamot and raspberry, with the delicate floral notes in the form of jasmine and iris, blend beautifully to make this the perfect spring-time fragrance! I love the La Vie Est Belle bottles too, and can’t wait to add this one to my collection.
#7 The Fresh Fragrance
Don’t be fooled by the name or bottle. Alien Mirage smells utterly different to the original Eau de Parfum. And, I’ll be honest; I don’t like that one. But Mirage’s lighter, more fruity aroma is a far cry from the headiness of Alien; its cool floral scent is definitely a crowd-pleaser. It isn’t dull or ‘samey’. I think I’ve finally found a Mugler fragrance I’m happy to wear every day! As you can probably guess, I didn’t expect to like Alien Mirage. But, it’s taken me by surprise, and it’s safe to say I love it!
#8 The Expensive Essential
The Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale The Sleeping Serum is an excellent addition to the ultra-premium high-end Orchidee Imperiale skincare collection. I had the opportunity to try it out this month, and it was terrific. I woke up to find my skin super hydrated, something I have been struggling with these past few weeks. I looked fresher too, even if I might not have felt it (my 8-month-old is currently teething, and crawling around). The Sleeping Serum hid away all those sleep disturbed nights, so I woke looking fresh and ready to take on the world.
The application was easy too, and the texture means that you don’t have to use too much per use. I started working the serum outwards from the middle of my face and upwards before giving my face a light massage, which also helps to smooth and decongest my skin. If you are looking for a premium addition for your night time regime, I highly recommend it!
#9 The Multi-purpose Mask
Face masks are one of my favourite skincare products – a luxurious pamper treat which helps me to relax and rewind. As an oily-skin sufferer, I find it challenging to get the perfect mask. The beauty market is saturated with face masks targeting dry skin in need of a moisture boost – something my skin doesn’t need! So, when I saw that Clarins had launched Clear-Out Blackhead, a face mask that targets oily, blackhead-prone skin, I was very excited! This product is two-fold; first, I exfoliate my t-zone using the solid scrub stick to unblock pores, then apply the mask. The mask itself is very cooling on the skin (a great follow-up to the scrub), and the scent echoes that as it’s fresh and minty. It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft and balanced.
#10 The Spicy Signature
Luckily, Giorgio Armani have added a new fragrance to this range that fills the gap perfectly – Freeze! The woody base keeps it familiar to its predecessors, but the opening note of lime gives Freeze a freshness and subtlety that makes it an ideal everyday fragrance for me, and lets me keep the Intensely for when I want to make an impression!
#11 The Sensual Scent
Dolce & Gabbana The One is a best-selling fragrance, and one that I own myself, so the Intense version had big shoes to fill. And I think it’s filled them, but not in a ‘one is better than the other’ way, because they’re both very different. The One is very masculine and amber from the opening, while The One Intense starts very citrus and dries down to an almost leathery sweetness. The new intense feels more complex than the original, and it’s a lot more seductive – there’s no question about that. I’m looking forward to having both in my collection!
#12 The Scientific Serum
Although ageing isn’t a big concern for me just yet, the new Lancome Absolue Oleo Radiance Revitalising Serum has left me impressed. It’s made me question whether I can start using anti-ageing products before the signs begin to show.
On a more serious note, it’s the science behind this serum that makes it so unique. Lancome uses exclusive biotechnological approaches – so you really can’t get a serum quite like it – to create a luxe, indulgent facial treatment that makes skin look supple, firm and glowing.
It has a beautifully delicate rose aroma and a glamorous, chic golden bottle, so everything about it feels like a treat. This nourishing formula is the creme de la creme of skincare – and it could be your go-to treatment, whether you’re actively trying to reduce the signs of ageing, or hoping to prevent them for as long as possible.