I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been struggling in the past few weeks. Lack of control is something that has always been uncomfortable for me, and never in my life have I felt so out of control of my choices and my future. I may be acutely aware of the bigger picture, the valid reasons for my sudden claustrophobia and my relative privilege (I’m safe, I’m well, I have outside space, I’m financially stable in the short-term…) but that doesn’t invalidate my current metal state – nor yours.
We’re all dealing with the situation that presents itself in the best way we can, and to be honest it’s those little moments of joy and the little things that I know can lift my mood that are really making the difference; superficial yes, but if applying a body lotion that reminds me of holidays provides me a moment of relief then I’m running with it. My beauty regime has become even more important to me, even if it’s changed a lot over the last few months, and these are the eight products I’ve thoroughly been enjoying using – and those that are helping to put a smile on my face, even on the hardest of days.
Jo Malone London Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne* (From £48.00)
With top notes of fruity cassis and greenery, a heart of honey and a base of peach and plum, this is sunshine and smiles in a bottle. It reminds me of picnics in the sun, rolling about in the fields as a child and fruity iced tea on a balcony; one spritz instantly transports me to somewhere calmer, happier and altogether more positive. This isn’t a new scent (it was launched 15 years ago!) but it is one that feels incredibly fresh and current, delivering much needed moments of joy. I’ve been reaching for this almost daily over the past couple of months, and will continue to enjoy its fresh and warming scent in the months to come.
Lanolips Lemonaid Treatment Lip Balm* (£8.00)
This little tube has been lingering in my lip balm collection for ages, but it’s only recently been re-discovered and is now bringing me a little moment of happiness. Featuring Ultra Medical Grade lanolin (a non-sticky ointment from sheep’s wool that mimics skin oils) to restore moisture and soothe tired lips, as well as organic lemon oil to gently and naturally exfoliate lips, this leaves my pout looking and feeling fab. It smells like a lemonade float, leaves a subtle sheen and has helped to hydrate my parched lips with a comfortable and long-lasting finish.
IT Cosmetics Confidence in your Beauty Sleep Night Cream* (£43.00)
Hands up if your sleep has been suffering during lockdown? Even though we’ve got more time on our hands than ever, rolling news and constant scrolling of social media can overload our brain and cause our sleep to be broken and interrupted. My nightly skincare regime is something that definitely helps get me in the mood for bed, and this has been a firm favourite since it landed on my desk a couple of months ago. The main ingredients are hyaluronic acid (to attract and retain moisture,) ceramides (that strengthen the skin and improve hydration) and adenosine – an ingredient I hadn’t heard of before, but is naturally present in the body and helps to ‘energize’ the skin’s surface for a smoother and more supple result. Its lightweight, bouncy, gel-like texture is a dream to apply, but it’s the subtle lavender scent that makes this a joy to apply and helps get me in the right headspace for a good night’s sleep.
Sanctuary Spa De-Stress Warming Body Balm* (£10.00)
The first time I used this I didn’t read the instructions properly and found myself having to wash it off my limbs amidst a panic; this stuff is like Deep Heat! Rather than a relaxing warm body balm, this is a self-heating cream that can be used to soothe away aches and stiffness at the end of the day; it looks and feels initially just like a regular body lotion, but after about sixty seconds it gradually starts to warm up and leave tight areas instantly soothed. When used sparingly and in the right places this is a dream, especially if you suffer with a sore neck / back / arms like I do. Its scent is so much more pleasant and texture so much more maleable than Deep Heat, but it offers the same relaxing muscular benefit if you’re feeling a lot of tension right now; a firm favourite on my bedside table, despite a rocky start.
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream* (From £18.00)
You may have heard of this before, but you may be confused into thinking this is for bottoms alone. A rich body cream that’s enhanced with the native Amazonian guarana plant, one of the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet, this helps to stimulate circulation while hydrating skin for a super smooth and supple result. The scent is IN-CREDIBLE and reminiscent of tropical holidays, pina coladas and afternoons on the beach – which is why this has become such a cult beauty product across the globe. It’s lightweight enough to apply both morning and night, non-greasy and not at all sticky, leaving limbs gently infused with nourishing ingredients and your nose full of the scent of summer.
Tigi Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil-Infused Conditioner* (£13.95)
I’ve gone through so many shampoos and conditioners over the last six months, but this has consistently given me a moment of morning happiness – and even my husband comments on the scent. It’s infused with hydrating ingredients including sweet almond oil and shea butter, but it’s the sweet caramel scent that I love. Massaging an amount of this through my hair and breathing in the fragrance leaves me feeling awake, ready to face the day and totally uplifted; the conditioner itself is decent, although non-revolutionary, but it’s the lingering scent that keeps me going back for more. There’s something powerful about a fragrance that transports you somewhere more youthful, and if you can wash your hair in caramel then right now is the time to embrace it.
Lumene Nordic Hydra Oxygen Recovery 72hr Hydra Gel Mask* (£20.90)
If you follow me on Instagram (@HayleyHall_UK) you’ll have noticed this making a regular appearance on my stories; it’s become a default face mask to use during my weekly ‘bath night’ because of its refreshing texture, hydrating qualities and soothing nature. The gel mask is enriched with Nordic ‘superwaters’, as well as a powerful blend of organic Birch sap, Lingonberry, Bilberry and Cloudberry suspended in a base of pure Arctic spring water. Rich in minerals required for skin health, the cooling and refreshing gel helps to leave my skin feeling plump and healthy; I love the fact I can leave it on for as long as I’m soaking in the tub without worrying it’s going to dry my skin out, as almost the entirety of the mask is absorbed – there’s just a little gloopy residue on the surface which you can wipe away with a flannel. A little of this really goes a long way (I’ve used it around ten times and am only a third of the way through the tub,) and it’s super affordable too.
UpCircle Green Mint & Lemongrass Hand Wash* (£9.99)
We’re all washing our hands more than we ever have done right now, so it’s become a priority to find products that can do more than just cleanse. 100% natural, organic, sustainable vegan and cruelty-free, this glass-housed hand wash is infused with peppermint and lemongrass oils to gently wash away dirt and germs while invigorating the senses. It smells amazing, looks fabulous on my sink and leaves my hands feeling clean without being stripped of moisture. I’ve been able to turn those functional twenty seconds into a joyful experience just with one switch; who needs a bottle of Carex when you can have this?
What’s giving you joy right now?
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