The turn of a new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, big plans and personal reinvention. Making new habits stick, ridding ourselves of any negativity… We all know that small changes can be some of the easiest to stick to, but grand plans are always more eye-catching.
As you read this, some of your resolutions may have already slipped, stalled or faltered, but don’t be hard on yourself. Multiple lockdowns are a tough position for most to start a new year from. This is a judgement-free forum. For example, there is no ill will here if your January has been a little less than ‘dry’.
In more recent times, Veganuary has been a buzz for the new year and, alongside diet, there are other small swaps you can make if you want to ‘veganise’ your lifestyle, starting with your self-care routine. This is more than a Veganuary run down. It’s easy little swaps, exciting new brands and inspiration to take you from January to February, March and beyond.
Want to bring back the summer glow in lieu of the beach? If you can’t get to Dubai, Sienna X will help you fake it until you make it. Their Gradual Glow Set is genuinely foolproof (unofficially validated by me: the worst applier of fake tan in known history). All my worries and fears were soothed the morning after application; it is exceptionally natural-looking in tone and completely streak-free, even despite my slightly translucent disposition. Soft and slightly sweet, with no overpowering biscuity aroma, the Gradual Untinted Self Tan Lotion sinks in quickly, leaving no trace of stickiness and without catching darker on any dryer areas. Bolstered with confidence, I’ve now got the rest of the winter, before future dinners and drinks to refine layering of applications for a deeper colour. Perfect.
For even more radiance, try Bali Body Highlighter Stick. The cream-to-matte formula is easy to apply with just a sweep from the precise wand applicator, then finger-blend and let it set. Highlight cheekbones, use it as an eyeshadow or define collarbones and enjoy the glow without lifting foundation or leaving any stickiness.
If blush is more you style, Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint will be your new go-to. Highly pigmented, the easy to blend, rich cream texture delivers a bloom of colour with a natural glow, enriched with skin-loving shea butter and bamboo stem extract. Don’t limit it to cheeks, though: the flexible formula works for a wash of colour and a balmy lid and flushed lip too.
Feeling a little tired, deflated and in dire need of a massage? Is your home workout routine flagging a little? Me too. For a hit of invigoration worthy of a HIIT class (without the fatigue), Legology EXFO-LITE Stimulating Salts for Legs is a pick me up for when you’ve been sat all day but just can’t quite make it out for that run. You can see why it’s hailed as the perfect antidote to travel weariness. Sea and pink Himalayan salts buff away dry skin, awakening circulation with upwards massage whilst discouraging cellulite, and its zingy citrus scent is a pick-me-up for the senses. For a deeper detox, follow with CELLU-LITE Salon Secret for Legs, a beguiling blend of Brazilian orange, Siberian pine needle, Tunisian rosemary and Chinese geranium oils, developed to flush trapped fluid and tone skin. Hand-massage pin-pointed areas of trouble, or sweep all over with a few drops on your body brush. Breathe deep and take a moment to centre by picking out each scent, one by one.
The newest beauty conundrum: how to look fresh behind your face mask. It’s not going away yet, is it? I plan to talk much more in the coming months about Bioeffect, an Icelandic brand that’s new on my radar and drastically changing the way we look at skincare. But for today, let’s focus on the windows to the soul, with their EGF Eye Mask Treatment. Unlike your standard eye mask, it boasts a twofold action. The EDF Eye Concentrate serum is available only with the mask and applied separately, before the patch itself. The combination intensely hydrates, de-puffs, plumps fine lines and brightens too, actively improving the condition of the eye area with regular use. Including Bioeffect’s fundamental ingredient, Epidermal Growth Factor, the mask uses a skin-comparable protein created from barley, which is effectively a 360-degree support system for our skin’s natural renewal processes. More than a moment of relaxation and a short-term fix, this mask is an active skin treatment to add to your weekly routine.
Whilst travel may be limited, I still find my vanity bag is oversubscribed. The perpetual ‘what-ifs’ of time, inclination or need during a hotel stay always get me. This makes now the perfect time to freshen up and streamline your go-bag. Head to Wô and let their intuitive online diagnostic tool work out your full skincare needs. All products are served in individually portioned shots (with recyclable packaging, of course, this is 2021 after all). Not only do the shots deliver potent ingredients with research-backed formulations, using a hygienic system in an age when sanitation is key, but they also recognise the fact that the needs of our skincare change. Why settle for just one when you can have three serums, in smaller, economical measures, specific to your different daily requirements? Always wanting to save space but never wanting to compromise on options, their Daily Base 3 in 1 is revolutionary. Upgrade in place of your makeup remover, cleanser and moisturiser – with four textures to suit your preference, it’s one product that does everything and really does it well. Comfort Cream, with the softest lemon flower scent, is for sure my favourite, and I’m certain there’s a formula for everyone.
Taking a moment to yourself is paramount, but what do you need that downtime to look like? Soak Sunday is here to give you that perfect moment across their three signature blends. Take a step back from your day and slip into the tub after pouring a generous helping of Rose Utopia Botanical Bath Soak into the water. Rose and jasmine instantly calm the mind, whilst sage and pink Himalayan salts soothe aching muscles. To refurbish your inner self, Midnight Storm Botanical Body Scrub will be your go-to. Morning or night, the spicy aroma of ginger and sweet basil is the perfect reset button. For a moment of pure calm, let the soft powdery perfume of Cleo’s Paradise Honey & Oat Scented Candle steal you away. Notes of roasted oats and honeycomb, vanilla and spring flower honey create a comforting nostalgic scent perfect for the winter months.
Those pesky habits we spoke of earlier, that judgement-free forum –I’ll admit, I decided this January isn’t the best time to quit smoking (again). However, with every moment stolen away by a cigarette, the guilt is insurmountable when I think about my teeth. I’ve tried so many kinds of whitening toothpaste, and now, having been introduced to L.A. Pacific, 4 in 1 Enzyme toothpaste, I can say it is something different. Firstly, you dry brush. Their unique formula doesn’t want to be watered down. Enzymes convert any sugars present in the mouth to natural hydrogen peroxide, creating a gentle whitening action with over 80% effectiveness.
It’s not often you walk away from the mirror seeing a difference straight away, but this product really does cut it. Superfine Pacific sea salt buffs your teeth for that fresh-from-the-dentist feel and California crystals in the formula leave your smile bright and shiny.
Winter skin is synonymous with dryness and redness, stress and reactivity. Combine that with the general woes in the world right now, plus the physical abrasion of wearing a mask, and you have mind, body and soul in need of some care and attention. Scientia soothes all three with a stripped-back, clean ingredient list and a focus on mindfulness. The Scientia Self Care Collection is no exception. The Dawn Elixir and Dusk Elixir duo each contain 23 oils for a tailor-made experience, selected for their hydrating, brightening or antioxidant qualities, as well as aromatherapeutic benefits. For the morning, peppy ginger and pink pepper; for the night, balmy ylang-ylang and frankincense.
Advances in technology are paving the way for vegan brands to shine, and Biossance is one of those who lead on research and development. Instead of squalene, traditionally harvested from shark liver, they created their own squalane from sugar cane. Their clean formulations are maintained by their ban of over 2,000 different potential ingredients known to be harmful to you and the environment, whilst the ingredients they do use are ethically sourced. If maskne is getting you down, Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Mask could really help out, and in just ten minutes. A blend of four gentle acids (glycolic, tartaric, malic and lactic) restore clarity to your complexion, breaking the bonds of dead skin cells and renewing the skin’s surface. Squalane and hyaluronic acid reverse dehydration, whilst liquorice root calms and drain-safe mineral powder works to gently exfoliate.
New habits, new experiences; I have become inclined to mark a new period with a change in scent. Freshly launched, the IKON Full Collection features six inimitable, diverse and gender-neutral scents. 511 lures you with subtle floral tones, the warmth of amber and musk, and surprises you with the freshness of carrot. Believe me when I say it’s as intoxicating as it is unusual. 906 is full-bodied, heartening and addictive. Pepper and nutmeg are fiery, expertly balanced with jasmine and tuberose to ground the scent whilst vanilla and tobacco carry heady undertones. IKON embodies what this year will see in the best of the beauty world: social responsibility throughout manufacture, using key ingredients sourced with environmental and ethical sensitivity.
Step away from the face wipes. I repeat. Step. Away. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but no face wipe I’ve ever used has compared to properly cleansing, toning and moisturising with a bespoke routine. The Smuge Essential Skincare Set is here to make sure it’s a breeze and an eco-conscious burst of fresh air at that. Their face pads replace your go-to cotton pads for toners and makeup remover, whilst their super-soft yet gently-exfoliating muslin cloths are perfect for any kind of cleanser. 100% bamboo, reusable again and again, these pads allow you to care for your skin and the environment at the same time. Little changes, big results.