5 Beauty Favourites: March 2020

It seems a weird time to be filming a beauty favourites video, but what I thought would be even weirder would be for me to have made a big song and a dance last month about my favourites being back in town and then never doing another one! I even made that whole Brokeback Mountain joke about not being able to quit my favourites, etc etc, and so to simply up sticks and leave again wasn’t an option.

Just five favourites, though – it’s not exactly an orgy. Just five things that have really tickled my whistle and that would make a cheery addition to any routine, once things settle down a bit. The handwash favourite is probably the most relevant – very inexpensive, non-drying, good brand that gives back to charity and so on – but I like to think that any of this month’s picks would do a particular service.

A warm and comforting fragrance (it’s like the olfactory equivalent of being hugged in big, safe arms), a cleanser with aromatherapy benefits, an eye cream for tired, staring-at-an-iPhone-screen-twelve-hours-a-day eyes…

I’ll leave you to watch the video in peace. But if you don’t want the video, then – hurrah – a slightly new format for you! Rather than just listing the products below the screen, there’s a mini review. Which makes this more of a blog post than simply a place to announce that there’s a new video in town. Better for those of you who are resolutely video-free? I hope so.

OK, so onto my mini reviews. Some old favourites, here and some new. It’s like a wedding. Except there’s nothing borrowed. Or blue.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Cleanser, £21 here*. If you have combination or oily skin and have always been put off by the idea of cream or oil cleansers, then this could be the one to try. It is rich and creamy, but it actually leaves the skin feeling very refined and ever – ever! – so slightly tightened. So if you hate a residue and want that ultra-clean feeling then this is a gorgeous luxury buy.

Neal’s Yard are experts at sourcing and working with frankincense and it really shows in their frankincense ranges. The cleanser is very scented (with frankincense, obviously!) and I find it to be more of a grounding, de-stressing treatment than anything resembling a mundane cleanse. Top marks, I’ve loved this cleanser for many years.

Soaper Duper Handwashes, online here. Soaper Duper do some of the best handwashes around. Wasn’t ever a beauty category that I imagined raving about, but it’s definitely topical and we’re all (hopefully) washing our hands about a billion times a day. So it’s nice to pick out some good ones. (If you’d like me to test a few and report back then I’m totally up for that – plenty of opportunity to compare and contrast!)

Soaper Duper do their washes in lots of scents – this Tuberose one is fresh and green rather than anything too floral – and they are hooked up with some great charities, including Water Aid. Big bottles, non-drying formula, definitely up there with the best of them.

Kiehl’s Line Reducing Eye Serum*, £41 here. Remember eons ago when I reviewed the Vitamin C face serum from Kiehl’s? Well now there’s one specifically for eyes and it’s just as good as the original. If you want a powerful eye cream that feels gutsy and strong, rather than a “light and fresh gel” or a “cooling cream” then this is the business – it has the same thick and dry texture as the serum, which won’t be for everyone, but really will be for those who want a rich cream that’s grease-free.

You can read my original review on the face serum here – I’ve just seen that it was a favourite back in 2015! How time flies. I think the serum – or concentrate as it was called – has actually been reformulated since then. More potent, if I remember correctly.

Charlotte Tilbury Copper Charge Eye Palette, £40 here*. I have an IGTV waiting to be published on this – very informal, just showing how I apply it and how it looks in different lights. I think that the CT eye quads are all fantastic – good pigment but easy to handle, really blendable and cleverly chosen shades that always look flattering and sexy.

The new Copper Charge palette is part of the new range that promises to make your actual eye colour more intense – so there’s a copper one to make blue eyes bluer, and blue one to make (I think) brown eyes browner, and so on. The coppery one could be dicey, if you are prone to looking a little pink-eyed, but used carefully it really enhances blue eyes. Keep a lookout for the IGTV video – I’ll update here with a link for you once it’s up!

Molton Brown Milk Musk, from £65 here*. Not convinced by the name of this new Molton Brown range, but I think that the scent is outrageously good. It’s warm, it’s cocooning, it’s like throwing yourself into (I imagine) a bed that’s been set-dressed for a Hygge interiors shoot. All natural-hued faux furs and giant knits and cashmere throws and those little flickering tealights scattered around the (wooden) floor.

The scent is warm, faintly exotic and with a musky, tonka bean base. Heady top notes that are really quite sexy and rich and then that warm, comforting base. The eau de toilette is fresher, (not surprisingly) and the parfum is deeper with a lovely little sharp, greenish twist right at the bottom. It’s gorgeous. Another winner from Molton Brown, for me – they seem to be ticking all of my boxes recently because my top fragrance love before this one was their Geranium Nefertum!

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  1. April 30, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Its great you have included hand washes in your new post, i am a regular reader.Ironically handwashes are the most which are in dire need rather than lipsticks or mascaras at this time.

    Love your post, if possible could you do a review on bioderma products for sensitive skin in the future?or may be products suited for dry skin

  2. Sarah
    April 5, 2020 / 6:56 pm

    I know I this isn’t in the video but I just bought the body spray of Tom Ford’s Soleil to cheer myself up and can’t wait for it to arrive!

    I originally tested it after you recommended it at a John Lewis and didn’t realise it was a stopper- not a spray. In my enthusiasm I pulled the lid off and then proceeded to tip most of the £300 contents on the floor and ran off. They never saw me do it but I swore I was going to get arrested or something ha!

    I’ve only just got over that enough to buy the product ha! I blame you obviously!!

    Frivolity is the only way to do this
    Love S

  3. Claire Jennings
    April 4, 2020 / 8:29 am

    A brilliant handwash if everyone else’s hands feel like they are falling off and red raw like mine is Nursem. For every purchase they supply a month’s worth of Nursem products to midwives and nurses so is a win-win. The handsoap and hand cream have transformed my hands in just a week and the *really* dry patches have almost cleared. Just sharing this wonder product for anyone who needs it.

  4. Lesley
    April 4, 2020 / 7:37 am

    Thank you for doing the print review as well as the video. My internet connection is so slow that video is painful.

  5. Dominique
    April 3, 2020 / 4:07 pm

    It’s a real treat to watch any new video you do. We are all in the same boat, so it is lovely to see a familiar face and stay strong together.

  6. Laura
    April 3, 2020 / 3:13 pm

    After Twitter and/or the news has sent my brain into meltdown, IG is where I come for some escapism and ‘normality’. So thanks for this Ruth, this isolation/social distancing has given me a new appreciation for people like yourself who always work from home, I find it so hard to concentrate and focus. Who thought I would ever miss an office!

  7. April 3, 2020 / 2:47 pm

    You always introduce me to products, and brands, that I have never heard of before here in the US. The eyeshadow looks lovely! I will need to look into that hand soap.

    xoxo Amanda | theaestheticedge.com

  8. April 2, 2020 / 1:16 pm

    Hello, I had never heard of the Soaper Duper brand but this is something that is a priority in everyone’s mind and it would be so cool to watch more blogs about handwashes. Especially now that my hands hurt from all the hand washing, I need to find one that is also gentle on my hands.

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