By Fiona McKim published
In the second instalment of our Beauty Editor's Top 3 series, let's sink into the warm and bubbly embrace of a rare 2020 success story - the best bath and body products.
This area of the beauty industry absolutely flew this year because - for all the obvious reasons - more of us had time to spend soaking away in our baths and doing all the things we normally can't be bothered with like exfoliating and slapping a bit of self tan on our pasty holiday-starved limbs.
I'll begin with the caveat I'll put on all of my end of year top threes, which is the admission that the headline is a lie. Not a great whopping porker, just a white lie to make things a bit a more exciting - like the whole Father Christmas thing (apologies to any eight-year-olds reading this)
Of course, of the thousands of bath and body products launched this year these aren't unequivocally the three very best, forsaking all others. What they are is my subjective personal picks, the ones that I feel most deserve a shout out amongst many, many brilliant new beauty innovations that also could have made the list. And - let's be honest here - they are also the ones that made enough of an impact at some stage in the year that I am able to call them to the front of my foggy end of December brain.
Formalities over, you are now ready to discover my three best bath and body launches of 2020. These are the products I think you need to know...
Read more Beauty Editor's top 3: The best skincare of 2020
Soapsmith Camden Town Bath Soak, £25
It’s no exaggeration to say that until this spring I hadn’t used my bath since moving house five years ago (don’t worry, I definitely showered) With more time at home I started enjoying long Sunday soaks and a new world of bathing products opened up to me, including this absolute gem.
I wouldn’t expect a Camden-inspired fragrance to be so pleasant, to be frank, but the coconut, bergamot and musk blend is uplifting, sophisticated and heady in the best possible way. A couple of scoops is enough to fill the whole bathroom with scent, so the giant 500ml tub will keep you going for months on end.
Sisley Velvet Nourishing Body Cream with Saffron flowers, £102
Yep, it's a body lotion and it's over £100. Clearly this 'aint going to be for everyone, no apologies for including it though, because this is, even by Sisley's standards, an almost ludicrously luxurious body cream it would be impossible not to love.
The formula packs in lots of excellent skin-improving botanicals like nourishing macadamia and babassu oil and calming saffron flower, so would be particularly effective on parched, ashy winter skin. But honestly for me it's the experience of using it that stands out - the texture, the smell, the way my skin feels plumped up all day after using it... In the words of Strictly's Notorious C.R.H - GAW-jus.
Tan-Luxe Super Glow Body, £28
I didn't get a beach holiday this year (unless you count the East Neuk of Fife - shout out Elie beach) And while I'm not really a tanner, I caught sight of my deep-set pastiness around mid June and realised it wasn't helping lift me out of the pit of 'meh' summer 2020 was shaping up to be.
Then this arrived in my post pile, a great example of right place, right time. It's a slippery serum, verging on a gel, that you apply with your hands, wait a few minutes then pop your leggings on and get on with your day. The next morning, a slight warmth appears just to take the edge off. Apply again and you'll be nudging glow, one more go and you're bronzed. Its so quick, user-friendly and unobtrusive, offers just enough colour to be worthwhile but not so much you could ever really make a mistake, and it hydrates too. So clever.
As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more beauty products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a features writer at publications including Junior and Prima Baby, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine, adores fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or peering at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
Come to think of it, the hot dinners and beauty products are probably about even.
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