Why I love it: We’re currently living through a boom age for a specific type of skincare, you’ve probably seen it on social media or in the window of Space NK: Fabulously chic packaging, clean, kind to skin botanical formulas, solid brand ethics, prohibitively high prices. This collection, created by a psychotherapist to tackle the negative effects of stress and inflammation on the skin, has all the above pros without then major con . I’m so pleased to see such a well-thought through skincare line, six products only for now, packed with proven actives at such fair prices, from £14.
Hero product: Dreamy Skin Retinyl Oil, £35, a high potency low irritation blend with everyone’s favourite wrinkle buster, Retinol, plus rosehip seed oil and frankincense. Smells pretty dreamy too.
For hair: Virtue
Why I love it: Is it just me who finds it hard to get excited about haircare most of the time? True innovation in this area is rare, so when something genuinely new and interesting comes along I am all ears. The USP of this American brand is keratin, of the human variety. Don’t worry, It’s ethically sourced and unlike most products out there, which are generally made with animal keratin, this particular variety of the protein is accepted by damaged hair as it’s own, so will bind to the hair shaft and repair damage without the the usual glueing agents or polymers. Science aside (and there’s plenty more of that if you’re interested) the products are gorgeous to look at and to use, which helps at this price.
Hero product: Start with haircare to see the difference, all three varieties, Smooth, Full and Recovery have the unique Alpha Keratin 60k molecule so choose the one that suits your hair type best. I’m a Full Shampoo, £34 and Conditioner, £36 girl.
Why I love it: Empowerment seems to be the word du jour in the beauty industry with brands left and right claiming to be saving the world one lipstick at a time, but these guys put their money where their mouth is. An offshoot of social enterprise The Soap Co, these bubbly hand washes and bar soaps are made by a workforce of whom 80% are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. As well as creating meaningful employment, the products are 100% eco friendly, vegan, cruelty free and save water (every hand wash saves 88 litres of water on average) while the bar soap is housed in recyclable card, eliminating plastic waste.
Hero Product: Everything is worth a try (and at £4 and under you don’t have much reason not to) but I particularly like the fresh, pretty Spring Meadow fragrance.
Makeup: Surratt makeup
Why I love it: Well-travelled beauty afficionados will have spotted the deliberate mistake, this isn’t strictly a new brand. It is, however, an amazing cult makeup line that’s yet to explode in the UK and is very much worth your attention. This is the eponymous collection of American Makeup Artist Troy Surratt, who started his career assisting legendary Kevyn Aucoin and is now an industry Don in his own right. The line was inspired by his beauty “hauls” from Japan, and that Eastern influence is obvious in everything from the precision packaging to water-light textures. This isn’t a bargain brand by any stretch, but once you hold these products in your hand and use them on your skin you’ll feel where your investment has gone.
Hero product: Auto-Graphique Eyeliner, £40, might be the most user-friendly liquid liner ever to cross my lids. The tiny brush-like nib is beyond precise and draws a perfectly opaque, seemingly wobble-proof fine line over my hooded and smudge-prone lids every time. The refillable ink cartridges are a very 2019 sustainable touch, which makes it even more impressive that Surratt has been doing this for years.