If you have even a passing interest in skincare and beauty products, it's likely you'll have heard of No7 Protect & Perfect.
This serum caused a sell-out stampede back in 2007 when a BBC Horizon documentary showed it to be more effective than extortionate rival products, and the queues haven’t died down since.
In the decade that has followed the (justly hyped) P&P has continued stealing the limelight, but No7 have been quietly cranking out a catalogue of proven skincare and excellent make up that deserves your attention too.
Read on to discover my top picks and unsung heroes from across the collection…
Match Made Custom Blend Foundation Drops
A newbie on the No7 scene, these space-saving foundation drops are an absolute godsend for those who are limited on make-up bag space. Mix this with your fave moisturiser, for natural and dewy skin in moments. And what makes these clever little drops even better is that there’s such a range of shades, enabling you to get the closest possible to your natural skin tone. Add one drop for light, two for medium and three for a full coverage look – and expect flawless results…
Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi-Action Serum
Restore & Renew is like a grown-up version of Protect & Perfect – a little stronger, a little richer and with an even more impressive skill set. This new serum not only contains the much-loved Matrixyl 3000 complex that made P&P so effective, but combines it with a selection of skin-strengthening ceramides and amino acids, which fortify thinning skin on the face and much-neglected neck. As you’d expect, Boots have run plenty of studies and trials to back up the science bit, and of 1000 woman who tested the product, 84% said it was the best serum they had ever used. Very impressive stuff.
Stay Perfect Trio Eye Shadow
No7 has reformulated their entire eye shadow offering, and my pick of the shiny new bunch is the handy little trios. Why am I such a fan? Firstly, they’re dinky. Each compact crams three shades into a space not much bigger than a chocolate coin, making them eminently portable and perfect for travel. The shades are good and you can pick from 11 complimentary combinations – I particularly like this Warm Nudes variety while Golden Sands would be ace for a holiday. The finish is mildly sheeny (not glittery) the texture’s soft and blendable, and they stick around pretty darn well, especially if you use a primer first. Overall, a tenner well spent.
Beautiful Skin Eye Makeup Remover
Not the sexiest product, but an extremely useful one that will make your life easier every day. This is one of the quickest eye makeup removers I’ve tried, completely dissolving every speck of hardcore waterproof mascara and liner without stinging my sensitive eyes and with no wrinkle-causing scrubbing required.
Match Made Lipstick
Not so much a product as a shout-out for a service, next time you’re in Boots pop to the counter and get your Match Made lipstick recommendations. It takes about a minute for the little device to whirr up a list of shades perfect for your skin tone to pick and choose from as you wish. My recommended red, Soft Paprika, is the kind of bang-on shade that makes my skin look clearer, eyes brighter and teeth whiter, it never leaves my handbag.
Lash Impact Lash Serum
Top marks for bringing this kind of innovation to the affordable end of market – the benefit of this brand’s focus on research and development, rather than chasing trends. It’s got the usual blend of peptides and conditioning agents that, if you have the stamina to stick with it for a couple of months can boost your natural lashes’ length and thickness in a most satisfying way.
Protect & perfect intense overnight handcream
Not all hand creams are created equal, in fact many are created greasy, sticky, overly perfumed and underserved by genuine skincare ingredients. This is none of the above. It’s intense and instantly makes dry papery hands feel comfortable, but also sinks in nicely – no clammy feeling – and contains tone-evening retinol and brightening alpha-hydroxy acids. Serious stuff to tackle ‘giveaway’ hands.
Time to make a dash to Boots, non?