By Fiona McKim
What did you pick up the last time you nipped into Primark?
Personally I make a biannual pilgrimage to the Irish fashion behemoth to bulk buy those little trainer socks they keep by the till (seriously – they’re the best on the high street) but until recently hadn’t given much consideration to the store’s beauty offering. Then, a certain Beauty Editor and expert announced she’d picked Primark to partner with for her first skincare line and I started paying attention. In fact, the whole industry did.
As the former Beauty Director of Glamour,it’s no surprise that Alessandra Steinherr is a skincare obsessive. But, as someone with longstanding access to the best – and priciest – products on the market, the decision to funnel years of expertise into a collection of ingredient-led skincare that is accessible and affordable in the extreme (with prices from £3) felt refreshing, and exciting.
Clearly fans agreed, as when the collection of 20 products dropped in stores last October it flew. Primark reported selling one product every three seconds, with stores across the UK completely selling out. Which isn’t exactly good news if you didn’t manage to get your hands on any (or if this is the first you’re hearing about it) But that was then, this is now and not only has the line been restocked nationwide, if you get in quickly enough you can pick up some excellent new additions to the Alex Steinherr x Primark Beauty stable.
My pick of the class of 2019 is the Pollution Solution Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads, £5, a pot of glow-giving double sided pads that manage to pack in smoothing lactic acid, texture boosting niacinamde and PHA, a gentler acid that targets the top layers of skin without irritating.
In short, an almost absurdly sophisticated formula for the price of a glass of prosecco in the pub, and after swapping it for a beloved but ten-times-as pricy-liquid exfoliator a couple of nights a week I am still reaping the brightness benefits. The new drop also includes a radiance-boosting Pollution Solution City Mask, £3 plus the Sleep Spa One-Step Night Cleanse, £5.
Of course, the original product selection is also crammed with superior formulas – too many to go into here – but at this price you can afford to experiment, so I suggest you hot-foot it to the high street and fill your basket. Don’t forget the cotton pop socks while you’re at it.
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (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 magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves 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 squinting 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.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2021 start?
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 is finally back on our screens after months of anticipation
By Emma Dooney •
When is Help on Channel 4 and what is the Jodie Comer TV drama about?
Help shines a light on unsung heroes during the Covid-19 pandemic and stars Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham
By Emma Shacklock •
Learn how to apply eye cream to get the most from your routine
Wondering how to apply eye cream for best results? Check out this guide
By Ayesha Muttucumaru •
2021 hair color trends—all the inspiration you need for a fresh hue
Looking for ideas on hair color trends to take to your next salon visit? We asked the experts what their favorite looks are right now
By Lucy Abbersteen •
Body Shop Advent Calendar 2021 review: Our take on the Love & Joy Ultimate Advent Calendar
The Body Shop Advent Calendar 2021 is the perfect choice for eco-conscious beauty addicts
By Emma North •
The best eye creams for wrinkles, according to experts
Smooth the skin around your eyes with the best eye creams for wrinkles and lines
By Ayesha Muttucumaru •
The ultimate pampering routine for feel-good, spa-at-home vibes
Follow this mood-boosting pampering routine to look and feel amazing
By Charley Williams-Howitt •
The best facial rollers to smooth and perfect your skin
From high-tech gadgets to soothing rose quartz, these facial rollers will totally transform your skincare regimen
By Miriam Herst-Stein •
Balayage for short hair: why this highlight technique isn’t just for longer ‘dos
Everything you need to know about balayage for short hair, from color options to expert haircare tips
By Lucy Abbersteen •
How to get rid of back acne—pro tips on getting a bump-free body from dermatologists
Learn how to get rid of back acne for good with these expert-approved tips
By Emma Stoddart •