Embrace the dark days of winter with rich, luxuriant beauty and skincare. As the nights grow longer, lift your spirits with the season’s latest indulgent launches to nurture, heal and add a splash of colour.
By Claire Brayford
1 THE LIP COLOUR Glazé lip lacquer, £28, Code8
For those days when you awake before it’s even light, a dash of colour can be a real beacon in the gloom. And one new lip lacquer that you could almost apply in the dark is Code8’s Glazé collection. Featuring eight flattering tones, including nude pink, dark plum, chocolate mauve and classic rosewood, it has a precision applicator that allows you to sweep on the non-sticky gloss in seconds. We love that the highly pigmented colour leaves lips beautifully hydrated. It melts on for an irresistible pout.
2 THE BLUSH Cream Blush, £28 for a refill, Kjaer Weis
There is nothing like a hint of blush to wake wan winter skin, and the pride and joy of sustainable, organic beauty brand Kjaer Weis is its cream blush. In 13 shades, it melts into the skin with a dewy touch of colour. New to the list are ‘Inner Glow’, a light and rosy taupe, and ‘Blushing’, a deep coral with an iridescent sheen. Featuring a certified organic formula, with sweet almond seed oil and rosehip seed oil for moisture and antioxidants, plus gardenia florida extract to ward off free radicals, it is nourishing as well as lightweight and long-wearing. More blendable and hydrating than powder, it can also be used on eyes, lips and cheeks.
3 THE SERUM Alter-Care Serum, £110, STELLA by Stella McCartney
When it comes to conscious beauty, the most anticipated launch this year was STELLA by Stella McCartney’s new rich, responsible skincare. The hero is the multi-tasking, vegan Alter-Care serum, featuring 99 per cent natural-origin ingredients. It took two years to perfect and it is easy to see why – the result is so effective. Perfect for winter-proofing your skin, the formula boasts olive squalane to actively support and reinforce its barrier, lingonberry extract to visibly improve tone and texture and organic rock samphire extract, rich in fatty acids, to deeply nourish and renew. It’s so potent it can even be used as an eye cream – just dreamy.
4 THE CANDLE Perfect Peace candle, £48, Neom
What more do you need on a dark December night than Neom’s new Winter Wellbeing Wonders range? It’s filled with limited-edition fragrances, in candles or essential oils, that are focused on making you feel good, de-stressed and happy. The options include the festive ‘Christmas Wish’, boasting fruity mandarin, spicy cinnamon and comforting tonka bean; enveloping ‘Cosy Nights’, crafted with calming sandalwood, frankincense and nutmeg; and ‘Perfect Peace’, with its uplifting, head-clearing scents of pine, myrrh and zesty lime peel for a fresher, more Nordic take. It’s time to breathe deep and drift away.
5 THE SHOWER CREAM Shea Green Chestnut Shower Cream, £17, L’Occitane
The simple shower is such a valuable moment devoted to yourself, whether it’s time away from the children or a soothing space for calm before bed. L’Occitane has created a limited-edition winter collection to transform your favourite at-home routine into a spa-like experience. Our favourite is the new musky Shea Green Chestnut collection. Envelop yourself in the scent of warming chestnuts with sweet vanilla to soothe and keep your skin intensely nourished. The brand compares it to wrapping up in a blanket by the fire after a crisp winter walk – we’ll take it.
6 THE FRAGRANCE L’Iris Eau de Parfum, £140, Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
The citrus-based scents of summer are wonderful to wear but, as the days draw in, it’s good to switch to warmer, more atmospheric notes. Winter perfume is a wonderful way to add a dash of drama, even if your outfit is low key. The most exciting, statement-making new fragrance is Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella’s first eau de parfum. Celebrating the iris, the floral symbol of Florence, it blends neroli, pepper, geranium, jasmine and magnolia – just one spritz tells a tale.
7 THE CREAM The Ultimate Soothing Cream, £205, Augustinus Bader
The latest from the breakthrough skincare brand, the Ultimate Soothing Cream from Augustinus Bader promises to instantly breathe life into dull, stressed, dehydrated skin. Lightweight and nourishing, it brightens, firms and evens the complexion while boosting collagen production and combating the signs of ageing for immediate and long-term renewal. Use it as a quick complexion reset or as an indulgent overnight mask.
8 THE EXFOLIANT Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, £90, Sisley
As it gets colder and the wind starts to bite, so our skin begins to flake. Central heating and hot showers don’t help but, thankfully, Sisley’s new Exfoliating Enzyme Mask restores the skin’s purity and freshness without any harsh abrasion. The transforming hybrid powder exfoliates using natural enzymes that act on the bonds between dead cells rather through friction of micro-particles. It removes dry skin, make-up, excess sebum, urban pollution and impurities that suffocate. The result is an instant radiance boost and more even skin tone. It really is a winter essential.
9 THE MASCARA Lash Lengthener 38°C, £31, Sensai
We fell in love with Sensai mascara that could be washed off at 38°C when it first launched 25 years ago. Now the brand has just released a groundbreaking new glossy formula that provides even more high-impact length and separation but is just as easy to remove. Stretching lashes so they are shaped and dressed in a glossy intense black, the customised brush catches even the shortest hairs and coats and separates them out for a glamorous, fanned-out look.
10 THE TEA Chaga Mushroom Powder, £29 .99, Dirtea
When it comes to the transformative power of superfoods, mushrooms are currently at the forefront. Proven to improve cognitive health, relieve stress and prevent brain ageing, they deliver countless benefits, especially at this sluggish time of year. Dirtea’s range of mushroom extract powders, coffees and cacao superblends are one of the most potent ways to harness their power. One teaspoon of the Chaga Mushroom Powder contains the same number of antioxidants as 600 blueberries. It is jam-packed with skin-nourishing goodness, rich in beta-glucans and can also fortify your immune system, providing a natural energy boost and giving your skin a healthy glow.
11 THE HAND CREAM Moonlight Mesa Hand Cream, £35, Twentynine Palms
Giving your hands the same attention as your face in the cold months is a great self-care ritual to get into the habit of – and an exciting new launch with an incredible hand cream is Twentynine Palms. Created by Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto, the new 11-product, gender-neutral beauty range is inspired by the name of a city in the Mojave desert. Certainly, its nourishing hand cream is a lot like a quenching oasis. Teeming with fatty acids and botanical extracts, with a subtle, earthy scent of vetiver and bergamot oils, it allows you to take care of your hands in the most natural way.
12 THE BATH SOAK Sleep Salt Soak, £15, Aroma Active
The natural healing power of a ritual bath has been harnessed for centuries. We can all practise better self-care with a simple nightly bathing routine to wind down, relax and soothe the muscles but also clear the way for more soulful transformations. Aroma Active’s Sleep Salt Soak boasts deeply soothing scents of calming lavandin and ylang ylang essential oils, along with gently sedative hops to relieve anxiety and valerian to induce sleep, as well as Epsom salts and magnesium to relieve tension and promote muscle relaxation. Simply take it slow and soak for at least 20 minutes to maximise the healing benefits.