I’m one of those people who has a special vintage jar for her cotton wool and who loves to experiment with different brands. Whenever I am travelling I will pick up a new brand just because of the packaging (Muji!) or shape. I especially love square cotton wool and have been loving this brand I bought in Asia, Suzuran Lily Bell. Did you know even Chanel do cotton wool? Need it right?! Another great brand is Shiseido. Their cotton wool is square and of very high quality. I actually bought tons of cotton wool when I was a beauty buyer and interestingly enough a fair amount of it is made in Israel. The price moves with the cotton market and beauty brands negotiate long period contracts to fix the price. To bump up the volume they usually promote cotton wool on promotions (Boots!). If you want a cheaper version just go the baby isle as this is the exact same product, just in different packaging.
The eye are is really delicate and the rougher you are with it the more this will come to light later in life. So be delicate, gentle and use lovey cotton wool and really good cleansers (best one on the market is Bioderma Micellair Water – this is what all the make up artists use, now finally for sale in the UK at and for the rest of the world you can get it at Sephora).
This week the Edit – net-a-porter’s weekly online magazine – recaps the 10 most important active ingredients in skincare. Obviously there are so many other really good ingredients, but I think it is a good starting point. When you go to the beauty department all the choices can seem really daunting, this at least gives a rough guide what to look out for. Read it here or see below.
Top 10 skin ingredients:
Best for: sensitive skin
Traditionally used in medicine for its antibacterial properties, these nano-particles of silver simultaneously calm inflammation, fight free radicals and boost tissue regeneration. The silver acts as a balancer to irritated cells – think of it as a probiotic yogurt for skin. An anti-aging godsend to anyone with sensitive skin that is prone to occasional breakouts.
TRY: Argentum Apothecary La Potion Infinie; argentumapothecary.co.uk
Best for: firming and
toning enlarged pores
These plant-derived natural acids are second to none when it comes to unclogging pores and encouraging younger-looking skin. Serums and peels packed with AHAs will firm, as the acids eat away dead skin cells and tighten pores. Great for anyone with enlarged pores or dull, unrefined skin.
TRY: Elizabeth Arden Intervene Peel & Reveal Revitalizing Treatment; elizabetharden.co.uk
Best for: fighting wrinkles and dull skin
Most world-renowned dermatologists swear these vitamin-A derivatives are the most effective skincare ingredients – a fact that speaks volumes. Free radicals, sun damage and lifestyle factors prompt your cells to inflame, which leads to lines and pigmentation. An extra benefit? Retinoids also tackle the production of melanin, prompting the skin to resume healthy, youthful turnover, resulting in brighter skin. TRY: REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate; renskincare.com
Best for: puffy eyes and fine lines
An old favorite and with good reason, these proteins stimulate the cells, promoting collagen growth and boosting circulation. This is good news for anyone suffering from puffy, sluggish skin around the under-eye area, as it is bad circulation that stops the blood from moving around and keeping your eyes line free.
TRY: Perricone MD Neuropeptide Eye Contour; perriconemd.com
Best for: brightening dull skin
If it is radiance you’re after, vitamin C is integral to your skincare. Known as ascorbic acid in the ingredients list, it acts as the engine to collagen production, boosts cell growth and increases circulation. When it comes to fighting dull, sun-damaged skin, this ingredient has the power you need. It is best applied in a serum at night to tackle skin at its most receptive.
TRY: Dr Sebagh Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream; drsebagh.com
Best for: sensitive skin with sun damage
Years of sun-worshipping in your teens can really catch up with you – thankfully there are some power ingredients out there that will do an impressive job of reversing the signs of sun damage. Niacinamide is actually a form of vitamin B that acts as a catalyst to the enzymes within your skin, prompting them to work faster at repairing cell deterioration.
TRY: La Roche-Posay Skin Perfecting Anti-Redness Moisturizer;
Best for: pigmentation
A powerful antioxidant derived from apples, phloretin is unrivaled when it comes to fighting the formation of melanin and inhibiting further dark pigmentation from appearing on your skin. It encourages cellular renewal, prompting healthier cells to come through.
TRY: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF;skinceuticals.com
Best for: dry skin with fine lines
This is the “moisture holder” – a sugar protein that sinks into the skin and stimulates cells to build a matrix that acts as a webbing, clinging onto any anti-agers and moisturizers you apply, increasing their benefit. Pro-Xylane is also a channel for other
cell-repairing ingredients, helping them to reach the lower levels of the dermis faster. An all-round winner.
TRY: Astalift Jelly Aquarysta;astalift.co.uk
Best for: instantly
improving fine lines
A moisturizer with plenty of active anti-aging properties, this really can offer instant results. Silicone sits on the top of your skin rather than sinking in, which gives it the ability to smooth and improve its appearance instantly.
TRY: Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur;indeedlabs.com
Best for: sluggish, dull-textured skin
These are not as scary as they sound. In fact, they are proteins that boost not only collagen production but also blood-vessel formation – a godsend for those with skin that needs plumping. The slowing down of circulation in the dermis is one of the contributors to dull, aging skin.
TRY: BioEffect EGF Serum;bioeffect.co.uk
Watching the excellent Diana Vreeland documentary the other day I noticed her passion for blusher. Diana used it across her cheekbones onto her ears. This was inspired by Japanese Geisha ladies. In Tokyo last year I saw lots of girls do blush in innovative ways. They put is right under their yes to get an even more ‘doll like’ appearance. My favourite blush is the Topshop Head over heels cream blush – but I am biased towards this as I used to work there. I have converted many of my friends, as the formula is a perfect cream to powder. I once found these amazing vintage blushes from a shop in Ashbury Heights in San Francisco which looked a bit like the Besame blushes, so beautiful in their old round gold compacts with mirrors and a flower design. The bit of blush left in was vivid red. I wondered if this had discoloured over time but more likely than not the they loved a bit of red blush aka ‘Rouge’ just like Diana Vreeland did in the old days!
A modern take on blush is two tone blush, using an soft pink and peach or a highlight colour and coral. Good products for this look are the Topshop Sculpting Palette or the Benefit Fine on one Blush Stick or Nars multiple sticks.
Are you a fond BB cream addict? I know I am! The famous formula from Korea is an all-in-one: lightweight to medium coverage tinted moisturiser, primer, evens out blemishes and lastly – but for me actually the most important factor – has a high SPF – what’s not to love right? Thats what Detox Kusmi tea must have been thinking as they have brought out a first beauty inspired tea: BB Detox. Inspired by BB creams , the BB Detox is an ally of beauty “all-in-one.” Composed of green tea, yerba mate, rooibos and dandelion, BB Detox combines three effects beautiful skin since detoxifies, protects and moisturizes. It has a fresh grapefruit taste. For a spring inspired clear and bright complexion which is what we all want right?
LOVING the packaging for the new make up line by & other stories – so freshhhhh!
now available at Collette online and at their store in Paris