Over the next few months you’ll start to see a slight change to the way in which I present beauty reviews, news and edits. Although I love the beauty industry with all my heart and adore putting things to the test, I want London Beauty Queen to be about more than that. I want to be able to continue to bring you advice, discussion, news and edits of some of the things I’m using without always being bogged down by the stuff that’s landing on my desk – often it’s all shiny, new and distracting, giving you a taster of fab things that you can buy to meet an immediate need rather than investments that you’ll continue to use and enjoy for months to come. As a result, every week (or fortnightly if there’s not much going on!) I’ll be bringing you an edit of what’s new, noteworthy and lustworthy in a more manageable format with bitesized reviews and first impressions. If anything keeps my attention span for a little longer or is genuinely changing my life, I’ll happily feature it again to let you know. But if you want a quick bitesized chunk of newness, this is the place to be. And boy have I got ten great things to start off with!
1. NYX Lid Lingerie (£6.00)
Definitely one of those soon-to-be-cult brands and a name you’ll be hearing plenty more from in 2017, NYX is proving that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great product. These ‘Lid Lingerie’ eye creams are incredibly pigmented and super creamy to apply, buffing or blending easily to create everything from the most subtle of looks to a full on smokey eye. (There’s a great silver shade, as well as a red and green if you’re feeling more daring.) Thankfully the formula dries really quickly to leave a perfect result without any smudging, creasing or sticking; I’m loving the more nude shades on the spectrum for adding a bit more texture into a natural look.
2. Merci Handi Cleansing Gel (£3.00)
Hand hygiene gel has never been sexy, but it is functional and used by millions of commuters all over the globe. Unlike other hand sanitisers, Merci Handi gels are enriched with emollient beads and Vitamin E to hydrate and nourish skin while simultaneously fighting bacteria; there’s no uncomfortable dryness or an instant need to apply a hand cream, just a delicate scent and a feeling of fresh skin. I hate hygiene gel with a passion for what it usually does to my skin, but these seem to be a great alternative with fun scents that include Black Vanilla, Lollipop and New Wave. Find them in your local Topshop and Urban Outfitters too.
3. DKNY Be Tempted Eau So Blush (£37.00)
Launching on 18th January, this latest incarnation from the classic apple scent we know and love is a little bit more traditionally feminine whilst having warming fruity elements to keep it fresh. Top notes of Pink Grapefruit, Blood Orange and Magnolia, heart notes of Peony, Jasmine and Cedarwood, plus base notes of Creamy Woods, Apricot and Musk make for an interesting combination. Many of the range extensions are too sweet or too on-trend to really make a statement, but this is a perfectly pleasant scent that could seamlessly transition into my daily repertoire.
4. Essie Treat, Love & Colour (£8.99)
Available in three very subtle colours (nude, pink and lilac) this innovative formula combines the best of a treatment with the added benefit of wearable colour. As someone that has great nails when I look after them, but horrendous nails as soon as I stop, this kind of multi-functioning colour is right up my street. Formulated with collagen and camellia extract, Essie claim that you can experience stronger nails in just a week – with 60% less peeling and 35% less breakage. That’s a big claim and I have high expectations! I just wish they’d have created shades that were a bit bolder and more suited to the season.
5. Soap & Glory The Mighty Contourer (£9.00)
Are we not over contouring yet? Apparently not, as Soap & Glory have launched their very own 3-in-1 version that includes a contouring cream with accompanying blush and highlight. The handy compact opens to reveal two layers of product that can be applied with a sponge, brush or digit; all three are suprisingly non-greasy (what I tend to find with the cheaper cream products) and apply well to add a touch of colour without overdoing it. If you want to dabble in the trend, need a compact for your gym bag or fancy treating your little sister, this affordable treat ticks all the boxes.
6. Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint in ‘Melon’ (£25.00)
Apparently the original version of this was one of the most celebrated products for the brand last year, proving you don’t have to wear a bold lip to be exciting. The new shade adds a touch of colour to that winning formula, which makes lips super comfortable and subtly juicy; although it’s pricey for a lip balm, if you love your cosmetics and want to treat yourself come payday there are worse things to splash out on!
7. L’Oreal Elvive Low Shampoo (£6.99)
What’s a ‘low shampoo’ I hear you ask? Basically it’s a L’Oreal term for cleansing conditioner, when they basically realise they’re about two years late to the party. The same issues are still apparent that caused our obsession with cleansing conditioners to go into overdrive: overworked, over nourished and over stripped strands. A cleansing conditioner (or low shampoo) can help alleviate dullness, dryness, limp hair and general lethargy with your style; you apply this formula to your entire head and leave to get to work for around three minutes, washing it out to reveal a refreshed look beneath. If you’ve got super dry, thin, overly styled or coloured hair, then this could be just for you – but be careful to give it a proper wash at least once a week or the build-up may cause whole new issues of their own. Both of these formulas contain nourishing and caring ingredients to help infuse hair with goodness and are well worth a go for the price point, I just don’t know if I’m ready to revert back to leaving the shampoo on the shelf!
8. Benefit They’re Real Double The Lip Lipstick (£16.50)
One of the big trends I identified for 2017 was the two-tone lip; big news in Korea, the ombre effect is set to make its way over here too – and Benefit are the first brand to jump on that trend. With six shades in total (some more statement than others) each includes two complementary tones that should act as a lip liner and colour in one; the result should be a subtle graduated look, but you have to concentrate when you’re applying in order to achieve that. Although many of the shades are almost too subtle to really notice, a couple are more statement and need a brave day to rock them! Colour aside, I actually really like the lipstick formula and bullet; it’s creamy and rich without overloading the lips, providing a great colour result with a precise finish.
9. Benefit They’re Real Duo Eyeshadow Blender (£19.50)
Benefit have been busy! These duo-eyeshadows build on the concept of the two-tone lip and translate that trend into eyes – realistically though, most people will use the shades separately. If you want to go all Korean then you can use the buffing sponge to apply the eyeshadow (although to me it feels like one of those cheap applicators you usually throw away in giant form!) or just use your favourite brushes. Again, the idea is to add contour and depth to your look… But for me, it’s just nice to see Benefit launch some eyeshadows for the first time in forever.
10. Lottie London’s Colour Costmetics (From £6.00)
One of the cutest brands for teens to launch in the last couple of years, Lottie London makes makeup fun and affordable. Until now they’ve been mainly about nails and accessories, but this January they’re starting to roll out a huge new colour cosmetics range to build on the name they’ve already created. Including eyeshadow palettes, foundation, concealer, lip colour and contouring tools, there’s everything you may need at budget prices – with a sprinkling of fab packaging thrown in for good measure. Although they’re not incredible quality, there are a few gems (including the creamy eyeshadows and bold liquid lipsticks) worth picking up when you pop into Superdrug for some cotton wool.
Have any of these newbies got you clicking ‘add to basket’ already?