By Jess Beech
So much more than a one-stop-shop for Instagram-trending fashion and fancy food, the M&S beauty department is actually seriously impressive.
From lesser-known cult brands to classics likely to have been lining your shelves for years, the M&S beauty section has got all the bases covered. And with news of this year's luxe M&S Beauty Box joining the ranks of the best beauty advent calendars 2020, we can't wait to get our hands on this amazing selection of beauty goodies.
Read on for our acting beauty editor’s top picks from the M&S beauty shelves…
Our M&S Beauty edit
Prai Ageless Throat & Decolletage Crème, £25
Often forgotten or neglected when it comes to moisturising, your neck can be one of the first places to show signs of ageing. Whilst no cream will perform miracles, the reviews for this are rave. Best applied in upward strokes from cleavage to chin both morning and night, it uses Sepilift DPHP technology to lift and tighten as well as hyaluronic acid to plump. It won’t magic away crepey, sagging skin overnight, but does make a real difference with continued use.
Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer, £25
My hair is naturally coarse and curly, meaning frizz very much comes with the territory. Very little will encourage shine in-between washes other than 10 minutes running the straighteners through my hair – that was until this entered my beauty arsenal. Sprayed onto dry hair before brushing through or smoothing with your fingers, it’s a sure-fire way to pin down baby hairs along the hairline and smooth general fluff along the lengths and ends.
SHOP NOW:Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer, £25
Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer Therapies in Rose & Lychee, £35
Whilst my usual response to reformulations of my much-loved products is ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’, I’m willing to make an exception for this. For those of you not already acquainted with Phillip Kingsley’s Elasticizer, it’s a pre-shampoo conditioner that works to restore elasticity and moisture to the hair, making it less likely to snap and snag. This leaves my hair just as silky as the original does, just with the welcome addition of a deliciously floral and fruity scent.
Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, £24
Working a little like a more much cheaper and far less time-consuming version of the frizz-banishing Brazilian blow-dry, this spray doesn’t add keratin to the hair but instead cloaks each strand with a waterproof formula. The result is smooth, glossy hair that’s less likely to frizz and fluff at the first sign of humidity. It needs heat to activate it, so won’t work if you’re a wash-and-go type, but if like me, you’re constantly battling naturally curly hair, it means less straightening in-between washes. Use every third shampoo for best results – any more will cause build-up.
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, £4
I’ve tried plenty of lip balms over the years, but it’s trusty Burt’s Bees I always come running back to. Relying on beeswax and coconut oil to rehydrate lips, instead of petroleum found in most best-selling balms, I don’t need to use it every day to see results. Profits support the British Beekeepers Association Adopt a Beehive scheme, brilliant for anyone trying to make more ethical beauty choices.
SHOP NOW:Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, £4
Look Good Feel Better Powder Brush, £13
Not only do the densely packed bristles make this perfect for applying powder without wasting any product, the cause behind these brushes is nothing short of amazing. Look Good Feel Better are currently the only charity in the UK dealing specifically with the visible side effects of cancer. Working in hospitals and communities around the country, they hold free make-up workshops to help people feel comfortable and confident with their changing appearance – with 10% of all profits from brushes sold go directly to the charity. Beauty that does good, what could be better?
Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, £18.50
Brilliant for holidays or any time you need to pack light, this multi-tasker is the answer to all your beauty woes. Slather the luxe oil all over skin to lock in moisture, add a couple of drops to your normal facial moisturiser to ramp up the hydration or smooth onto split ends to seal. For an extra treat, spritz onto hair, wrap your head in a warm towel and leave for up to 20 minutes before shampooing off.
SHOP NOW:Nuxe Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, £18.50
Pixi Endless Shade Stick in Pearllustre, £12
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve got to get ready for a night out, I’m always running late – meaning a complicated eye look is never high on my agenda. These sweep, smudge and go sticks are brilliant, requiring minimal blending for a simple slick of shimmer across your lids. This champagne shade is subtle enough for everyday wear, but it’s a smoky eye you favour, give their glitter-packed Bronzebabe shade a try. Fuss-free make-up at its best.
Skyn Iceland Arctic Hydration Rubberizing Mask Set, £30
If you thought all face masks were created equal, think again. Rich in vitamin C, this mask is ultra-cooling on the skin – leaving your complexion looking plump and fresh as soon as you peel it away. It’s a bit of a faff to apply as you need to mix two sachets together, but the results really are worth the two minutes it takes. It does have a tendency to drip until it’s set into place too, giving you a welcome excuse for a quick lie-down whilst it works it’s magic. Instead of using every week, I save mine to perk-up tired skin before a big event.
Pestle & Mortar Erase Makeup Removing Balm, £40
One of the newest brands to hit the M&S shelves, Pestle & Mortar is all about stripped-back skincare, keeping it simple with a few must-have products. Don’t let the price tag put you off this tub of goodness, you only need the tiniest amount to melt away make-up and daily grime. The light scent is just enough to make this feel like a treat, but not enough to over-power, making a welcome ritual in my evening routine. Rinse away with a damp muslin cloth or flannel to benefit from light exfoliation - your skin will thank you for it.
There are 10 great M&S beauty products in our edit. Probably 9 too many to pick up on your next visit, but hopefully we've given you some inspiration for your Christmas list...
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