New beauty products: from brightening serum to herb-scented candles, here's what our beauty team loved in May

Posted by for Beauty

Whether you’re looking to refresh your complexion with a face gloss or a nourishing, lightweight moisturiser, these are the best skincare, make-up, haircare and health products from this month.

The past few months in lockdown have been a chance to spend a little more time on our beauty routines. Safe to say, beauty obsessives and novices alike have called upon some form of beauty to make their new normal slightly more enjoyable. Whether it’s investing in a new pillow spray to deal with the insomnia you’re experiencing or indulging in double face masking, our routines are growing and changing as the days go on.

Helping to ease the load of scouring for a new product that fits with you requirements, the Stylist beauty team have selected their favourite launches from this month…

Shannon Peter, Stylist’s beauty director, picks:

  • The foolproof fake tan

    Amanda Harrington Face Mist in Natural Honey, £28

    What is it? A surprisingly easy-to-use self tan for the face with added skincare benefits.

    Why do you need it? So many of us have long avoided facial fake tan for fear of ending up streaky or orange, but this face mist mitigates all that risk. You simply spritz it on and either use the accompanying kabuki brush, or your own foundation brush to blend it in up into the hairline and around your features. It truly is seamless.

    Why is it brilliant? As well as lending skin a honeyed glow, it also contains skincare ingredients like collagen to plump skin and CQ10 for a dose of antioxidant protection. I’ve been using it once a week and my grey tinted complexion is no more.

  • The grown up face gloss

    Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face in Pixie Dream, £26

    What is it? An opalescent, non-sticky face gloss.

    Why do you need it? If you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes into the face gloss waters but were worried about stickiness, gloopiness and just all round unpleasantness, this is the formula for you. Blend it in, and the stickiness completely dissipates, so your fringe won’t get stuck to your forehead. Plus, that pearlescent, light-reflecting finish makes skin look extra glowy.

    Why is it brilliant? Just one thin layer is enough to lift a tired complexion into the realms of a post-holiday glow, and it’s sheen even shows up on Zoom.

  • The energy boosting supplement

    Biocol Labs Something for the Knackered, £17.90

    What is it? A five day supplement system to lift you from a tired haze.

    Why do you need it? Always feel eternally knackered, no matter how much sleep you get? Me too. And I know a large part of it is down to deficiencies in things like B vitamins and magnesium. Taken once a day for five days, these Biocol Labs liquid supplements contain a cocktail of energy-boosting vitamins as well as ginseng to stimulate the mind and body.

    Why is it brilliant? I am so bad at remembering to take vitamins every single day, that usually after a week I give up. Requiring just five days’ commitment, this makes it ridiculously easy. The liquid does have a bitter taste, but I washed mine down with glass of orange juice and even after just two days I noticed I was able to stay awake for another episode of Little Fires Everywhere than usual. A week after finishing the course, and I still feel more alert.

  • The supercharge serum

    Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, £53

    What is it? A fast-working brightening face serum, charged with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

    Why do you need it? Vitamin C is known to be one of the greatest skin brighteners out there, plus it also offers antioxidant protection, which is vital for skin health. This serum contains 15% vitamin C, as well as moisture-attracting hyaluronic acid and 5% PHAs, a mildly-exfoliating acid.

    Why is it brilliant? As well as that blend of ingredients, which boost brightness overtime, the serum also contains what the brand calls “banana-powder inspired pigments”, which are super subtle yellow-tinted pigments that instantly lift grey or red tones in the skin.

Hanna Ibraheem, Stylist’s Senior Beauty Writer, picks:

  • The jelly moisturiser

    Skin Proud Skin Sorbet, £13.99

    What is it? A moisturiser and hyaluronic acid serum combined.

    Why do you need it? If you struggle with dry or dehydrated skin, or you find that your complexion has been looking a bit dull during lockdown, this lightweight jelly moisturiser is for you. It contains hyaluronic acid for intense hydration, while rose flower water works to soothe and restore skin.

    Why is it brilliant? The unique jelly formula feels like, well… sorbet. It melts onto skin without feeling heavy. Also, the formula contains different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, meaning it targets different cellular responses in your skin for longer-lasting and more effective results.

  • The retinol serum

    Paula’s Choice 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol, £53

    What is it? A retinol, bakuchiol and peptide serum packed into one bottle.

    Why do you need it? It’s a triple threat. Retinol is one of the few scientifically-proven ingredients that work to tackle skin ageing. Bakuchiol has been heralded as an effective but natural and gentler alternative to retinol. While peptides support collagen production.

    Why is it brilliant? Paula’s Choice developed this formula after research showed bakuchiol and retinol is even more effective when paired together. The former works to stablise retinol and allows it to work more for longer while tackles uneven tone, rough texture and skin ageing.

  • The herbacious candle

    Crabtree & Evelyn The Gardeners Herb Candle, £44.50

    What is it? An earthy scented candle.

    Why do you need it? Ever since I got this candle, I’ve been lighting it every day. Created to resemble a herb garden, the gorgeous earthy scent reminds me of the great outdoors, a place I haven’t been able to enjoy as much during lockdown. It contains notes of fresh basil, uplifting neroli orange blossom and warm amber that blend together and fill your room with a calming aroma.

    Why is it brilliant? As well as its fresh scent; the candle is poured into an uber-chic brown glass container. Plus, it’s packaged in a plantable eco-paper box that has been embedded with sweet basil seeds, so you can grow your own herb garden too.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette of Mattes in Desert Haze, £40

    What is it? A flattering matte eyeshadow quad.

    Why do you need it? When I say I gasped upon opening this, I gasped. This eyeshadow quad is filled with four eyeshadows – all of which come together to create my dream colour palette.

    Why is it brilliant? There’s a muted nude to prime the lids, a warm peach for the crease, a rusty terracotta-brown to smoke out the edges and a reddish-brown for eyeliner. Or, you could do what I do and mix and match the shades however you see fit. Some days, I’ve worn the delicious peach shade for a one-colour smokey eye. On others, I’ve run the smokey shade along my lash line to make them appear thicker. You can pick and choose how you want to apply it but the brilliant thing is that there isn’t a single dud shade.

Kiran Meeda, Stylist’s beauty assistant, picks:

  • The fuss-free deodorant balm

    Orange blossom deodorant balm

    AKT Deodorant Balm, £18

    What is it? A creamy deodorant balm that’ll keep you sweat-free.

    Why do you need it? We’re all too aware of the environmental impact aerosol sprays have in damaging the ozone layer. This creamy paste provides a sensible alternative, though it doesn’t compromise on its effectiveness, which is a huge plus.

    Why is brilliant? There’s so much scepticism around deodorant balms and if they work or not. Well, this balm does the job, and pretty well I might add. It may be a paste texture, but it absorbs into skin really easily and doesn’t leave white residue or marks. I used their own applicator, a gua sha inspired tool, and the application was easy, pain-free and smelt amazing. The formula combines essential oils with a unique barrier complex to prevent sweating. I’m officially a balm convert.

  • The blemish controller

    Typology Salicylic Acid, £11.80

    What is it? A lightweight serum that helps deal with blemishes.

    Why do you need it? Not only does it look pretty chic, it’s formulas use 94% natural ingredients.

    Why is it brilliant? For those who deal with blemishes on a daily basis, you’ll know the need for a remedy that doesn’t clog up your pores. This salicylic acid serum is so lightweight and absorbs really easily into the skin. Applying this in my evening routine means that I’ll wake up to spots that have drastically reduced in size.

  • The silky conditioner

    Monpure Strengthening Essence Conditoner, £36

    What is it? A silky, coconut-based lightweight conditioner.

    Why do you need it? If, like me, you find traditionally thick conditioners take their time to absorb into your hair, this is for you. 

    Why is it brilliant? It’s extremely lightweight (hence, the essence component), but it doesn’t compromise of efficacy. It contains a nourishing combination of argan oil, coconut oil, silk peptides and vitamin B to really nourish the scalp and strands. 

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