Are you suffering from skincare fatigue? In other words, do you feel almost daunted by too many products in your daily routine? If so, you’re clearly not alone. According to the latest research from Mintel, almost three in ten British women have reduced the number of their facial skincare products. ‘A growing number of UK women are turning away from multi-step routines hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in,’ explains Alex Fisher, beauty analyst at Mintel. ‘This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients.’
Then, as if by magic, along comes the A.D.C. 01 Beauty High-Performance Moisturiser (from £55, adcbeauty.com and Harvey Nichols from 9 September). The range is founded by make-up artist Adam De Cruz, who’d had enough of the multi-potion approach himself after his own skin ‘just erupted’ in protest against the twice daily, multi-layered practice he had been following. ‘Plus,’ he says, ‘who has the time to do all those steps? It’s OK when you want to pamper yourself, but every day, twice a day?’
His skin, and he believes it’s the same for many of us, just can’t cope, so he decided to simplify. ‘I wanted to create something that shortened all the steps – so get rid of serums, put them in a moisturiser and add a primer in there, too.’ But the moisturiser had to allow good play time with make-up – in other words, it should give you a minute after applying to pop your foundation on and have it sink in rather than look plonked on top. It also needed to be loved by the camera – and the flash. And he wanted it to be natural.
The result is great – a fluid cream that feels rich, but not heavy or sticky, and leaves skin looking and feeling cared for. Active ingredients include mangosteen (a fruit extract that helps with redness and blemishes), super herb gotu kola (which has anti-inflammatory properties, protects against daily aggressors such as pollution and which Adam predicts is set to become a big beauty ingredient) and perilla oil (to give bounce and that pre-make-up play time to the formula).
I’m a big fan. Have I discarded all my other skincare? No. But then this is not a night cream. And since trialling this, I have used far fewer of my other lotions and add them in only when I feel they’re needed, rather than daily. And it is, indeed, a great base for make-up.
A note on packaging: the box is made from recycled coffee cups and the jar is glass – Adam hopes in time to be able to offer a refill service.
Also seeking to simplify things is Dr Anita Sturnham with her new Decree skincare line (from £44, harveynichols.com from tomorrow). A GP who specialises in dermatology with her own Wellness Clinic in London, she says that skin ‘needs to be treated with respect. It rejects harsh products and gimmicky regimes.’ Her ethos revolves around seven key elements: hydration, exfoliation, peptides (to protect and enhance skin; they can also boost efficacy of ingredients), antioxidants, botanicals (she’ll use rose water rather than plain to maximise effects), SPF and retinol. This is no-nonsense, high-powered skincare. The range includes a Peptide Emollient Veil and Treat Tincture Serum, but my favourite is the Decree Weekly Airbrushing Acid (£120 with a Replenishing Paste face mask) – a standout that deserves a place among anyone’s skincare heroes.
My six new make-up musts
Attention, beauty followers: this is a new-season alert. I say that but, to be honest, there are so many new product launches throughout the year that seasons become almost irrelevant. Almost – but not quite. And as the weather changes, I like to switch textures and hues. Anyway, of all the latest newness I’ve seen in the make-up world, these are my top six new loves.
Revlon So Fierce! Vinyl Eyeliner (£6.99, boots.com). This is one of those pencils that really does glide on your eyelids as easily as when you try it out on the back of your hand. And it lasts all day long without a smudge. I love the Force of Steel graphite grey which gives great definition to eyes but isn’t as harsh as black.
Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face (£26, spacenk.com). I tend to think of ‘glass skin’ – smooth, clean and shiny – as just a Korean trend. And I’d say this gives more of a dewy, fresh finish and youthful plumpness. It’s an unusual product and may take some getting used to, but essentially it’s a gel-oil illuminator, packed with hydration boosters, to be used on top of make-up or mixed with foundation or moisturiser.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Colour Corrector (£24, charlottetilbury.com). While so many have been raving about Charlotte’s new Airbrush Flawless Foundation (it’s great), this little product is a revelation. I use it as a concealer but it’s nothing like one: super-fine powders mix with carnauba wax so it glides on like butter, feels weightless and balances out pigmentation issues.
By Terry Hyaluronic Tinted Hydra-Powder (£42, byterry.com). This finely milled slightly counterintuitive powder is actually a really hydrating form of hyaluronic acid. It keeps skin looking fresh but also helps to blur lines. The original was a fine whitish powder and Ihave always been a fan, but now it’s available in nine shades and is a game-changer. I’ve been using Medium – the third darkest shade – as a bronzer and it gives a perfect healthy glow that looks fresh all day long.
NYX Lip Lingerie Push-Up Long-Lasting Lipstick (£9, boots.com). Amatt lipstick pencil that comes in 12 shades of nude. It gives a really luxe finish and has slight plumping qualities, which means it tingles for a while after you put it on. Feels light and Ihaven’t found it drying which is minor-miracle territory for me.
L’Oreal Paris False Lash Bambi Eye Mascara (£10.99, boots.com). They had me at Bambi, but it’s the perfect name as it describes those long, curled and defined lashes that spring to mind when you think of the cartoon deer. Builds easily and lasts well.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson