I can be drowning in skincare at any one time, so it takes a lot for me to genuinely fall in love with a product and stick with it to the very end. It’s incredibly easy to flitter from one to the next, continually searching for the holy grail that will leave my skin feeling radiant and healthy; there has to be something really rather special to keep me going back for more – let alone a second bottle! Many of the formulations we see on a daily basis are incredibly similar, the only differentiating factor the pack it comes in and the marketing noise that accompanies it. But sometimes I just can’t get enough of something and bi-pass all others in favour of a daily hit; here are three great skincare products that I’ve used all the way to the very last drop, and have already got a back-up bottle on stand-by… That’s how much I rate them. If you need to invest in some new products for a new year, these are definitely a great place to start.

1. Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster (£45.00) 
Elizabeth Arden can take credit for one of my favourite products of the whole year: they’ve brought a Korean trend to the Western market via a simplistic and easy-to-use formula. (Sometimes the Western incarnations are too complex for us to really get onboard with.) Essentially this ‘boosting serum’ is used as the first step in your skincare routine after cleansing, helping to not only inject goodness (the formula is enriched with sea fennel, glasswort and flaxseed extracts to
maintain the skin’s barrier, lock in moisture
and reduce water loss on the surface of skin,) but to increase the effectiveness of other skincare products. The science behind this little futuristic bottle is insane, but in a nutshell it preps skin and ensures it’s in the best possible condition to recieve your usual eye cream, serum and moisturiser. The formula is super lightweight and quickly absorbed, meaning this isn’t an additional step you’ll worry about or cut out a week or two in; even if you don’t have time for a full-on morning routine, a touch of this will help you look and feel hydrated all day long. Unlike many other ‘boosting’ products, this is totally faff-free, effective and a pleasure to use – rather than a chore.
2. Clinique Smart Custom Eye Treatment (£34.20) 
Ever wished you could target your skin concerns as needed, where needed? Clinique’s Smart Eye Treatment does the usual smoothing of wrinkles, evening of skin tone, lifting and brightening, but the uniqueness is that it’s clever enough to give your skin the attention it requires – without overloading areas which don’t need so much love. I’m a big fan of the original Smart Serum, so I was ecstatic when this eye version landed on my desk some months ago. The texture is beautiful, instantly cooling and refreshing even the most tired of eyes, while it takes only a few seconds for it to be fully absorbed into skin. Speed is a big thing for me, and Clinique have totally conquered this problem – I can just dab it on with my finger and carry on with the rest of my routine. Although it doesn’t totally transform my under-eye area, it does delicately smooth and tighten while helping to fight the signs of ageing over a longer period of time. It’s a joy to use – simple.

3. MeruMaya Iconic Youth Serum (£35.50) 
This best selling serum integrates ten ‘evidence based’ (there are clinical trials to back absolutely everything up!) active ingredients, with a formulation carefully designed to help prevent further skin ageing, perfect existing signs of ageing and help the skin to perform better. It improves radiance, moisture, elasticity and luminosity, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, plus it rejuvinates the skin’s structure and texture – but this is so much more than just another serum. I adore the luxurious rich balm texture that’s a pleasure to massage into skin, leaving the surface feeling pampered rather than overloaded. MeruMaya is a brand I really trust and a brand that always delivers; they’re focused on effectiveness rather than spending all their time on marketing slogans and fancy packaging, which is somewhat refreshing in a world overloaded with what can only be described as ‘gumph’. If you’re a bit scared of serums or don’t know where to start, this is universally brilliant and an incredible price point for what’s inside.

Have you tried any of these three skincare favourites?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Pam Scalfi
    December 21, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    must try the eye treatment! ive got such bad circles and im getting married next year, must start trying to diminish them to look good in photos :pPam xo/ Pam Scalfiā™„

    • Hayley Carr
      December 31, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      Eye massage is really effective at draining away dark circles – plus drinking lots is the age old solution! Products will only help so much.

  2. eleanor
    December 21, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    I had a really decent trial size of the Clinique smart serum which I used up in a few weeks but I wasn't that sold on it. It was OK but I didn't repurchase. Maybe I'll try the eye cream when my current one runs out.Interested in the MeruMaya. I really like that they go direct to their consumers for product testing too. I guess this is easier for smaller brands to achieve but it really helps with the trust thing – makes it feel a bit more 2 way and

    • Hayley Carr
      December 31, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      They're a great brand for that – it's all about customer satisfaction and ensuring the best results they can get. Well worth checking out their other products; they're not the prettiest, but they work.

  3. lyn
    December 22, 2015 / 8:27 am

    Love the sound of the Elizabeth Arden Skin Renewal Booster. Not cheap but would pay that if it's worth it.Must add that to my wishlist so I can look out for offers after crimbo

    • Hayley Carr
      December 31, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      The beauty editor of Stylist has admitted she's basically replaced all her skincare with this one item too – which reaffirms my love!

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