Some beauty shopping scenarios for you, tick all that apply:
– you’re in need of a skincare restock but don’t know where to begin
– you’ve saved up for a beauty treat but want something that truly delivers on results
– you’re sad that summer is coming to an end and desperate to prolong your sunkissed glow
– you love my Space NK recommendations but would fancy 20% off them, thanks very much
If one or more of the above statements apply to you then fret no more, for I have you covered with my seriously good edit of Ten Seriously Good Space NK Beauty Products. And when I say seriously good, I mean it. These are the products I’ve tested over and over again and that are as near to beauty perfection as you can feasibly get. They’re failsafe, foolproof options that really, truly work and all of them are have become key items in my routine.
So there’s that, the seriously good product edit, and then there’s the fact that Space NK are giving you 20% off anything in it with the code RUTH20. So whether you’re after a makeup bag freshen-up or something new to add into your skincare routine I can almost guarantee you’ll find inspiration here. From the budget cleanser that blows away the rest to a bronzing duo that creates instant, easy glamour, it’s likely you’ll already have a favourite on this list.
It’s British Beauty Week and the theme is The Power of Beauty; all of the products I’ve picked here have that near-magical ability to make you feel suddenly more pulled-together and with it. And God knows that’s what I need, post-summer holidays!
Let’s start with some skincare staples that won’t break the bank, for those who’d like to add something useful and hardworking to their line-up: a great budget cleanser that suits all skin types and a swipe-and-leave exfoliant that’s brilliant for spot-prone skin:
The Ordinary: Squalane Cleanser
If ever there was a “budget” beauty product to buy again and again then this would be it. The texture of the Squalane Cleanser from The Ordinary is beautiful; it’s light and slippery to apply, transforms to an oil for massaging in and breaking down makeup and then rinses off clean. It’s suitable for all skin types – won’t strip away oils, won’t leave a greasy residue – and it’s packaged in a lightweight, travel-friendly tube.
The Squalane in the formula helps to prevent drying, you can use it around and over the eyes and for all of this, it’s five pounds fifty. I’d say ask any questions below but you’d be wasting valuable time because this stuff sells out again and again. Catch it while you can!
Squalane Cleanser is usually £5.50 but is £4.40 with my discount code here
Paula’s Choice: Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve recommended this spot-busting exfoliant over the years. Dozens. It’s an all-time favourite product because it works so well and works in an area of skin concern that typically causes people a lot of misery and bother. Spots, breakouts, pimples, acne. This liquid uses salicylic acid to help clear out pores and is incredible on congested, bumpy skin. It’s easy to use – just wipe over and leave – and simple to incorporate into a skincare routine. Cleanse (use a non-stripping cleanser, like the Squalane one above), Liquid Exfoliant and then a lightweight moisturiser.
The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA has been a staple in my skincare routine for almost ten years: I use it during my PMT week when I often get little hormonal flare-ups or bumps beneath the skin. I love the Skin Perfecting Exfoliant because it’s as gentle as it is effective; it decongests but at the same time it feels soothing and calming. Just what you need on temperamental skin.
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA costs from £8.80 with my RUTH20 discount here (usually starts at £11)
I’ll follow the “skincare staples that don’t break the bank” with a couple of very indulgent treats; an all-in-one moisturiser that sees quick results and a spray-on spa that’s very addictive. Let’s start with the spa:
Emma Hardie: Plump and Glow Hydrating Mist
I’m not a big user of mists, as a rule. It’s a step I cannot fathom. I hate the feeling of being spritzed in the face – it still surprises me even though I’m the one pulling the trigger – and I worry that it’ll get in my hairline.
If there’s one mist I can get on board with and on a very regular basis (think multiple times a day, it’s addictive) then it’s Emma Hardie’s Plump and Glow. Dear Lord this smells incredible. What an absolute treat. Every little misting makes you feel as though you’re entering a parallel universe, one of ultimate luxury and decadence. Spritz on a hot, sweaty day, when you’ve been staring at your laptop for hours and your entire face hurts, and instantly you’re in a swanky spa.
Travelling and want something that will continuously lift your spirits and distract you from the distant odour of the Easyjet warmed foods trolley? Plump and Glow is where it’s at. I’m not even joking. You could be crossing a sulphurous wasteland on the back of a flatulent donkey and this stuff would still make you feel as though you’re being pampered in a Harley Street treatment room by a whisper-voiced, soft-handed aesthetician.
And that’s not even the good part: this is a mist that actually does something. It properly works! You know the slight glossing that you get from some very expensive and very bouncily-hydrating moisturisers? The feeling that your skin has been sort of laminated and the hydration sealed in? This does that. It’s epic. And everyone I’ve recommended it to has commented to the same effect.
Yes it’s very much a luxury item, but if you’re in need of a treat and a pick-me-up then this is one that’ll satisfy multiple times a day. Multiple times an hour, even. It’s amazing I get any work done at all…
Emma Hardie Pump and Glow Hydrating Mist is £33.60 with my discount here (usually £42)
Kate Somerville: Retinol Vitamin C Moisturiser
I’m sometimes asked to recommend an “investment” night cream by friends and followers, something a bit pricier that will feel like a luxury and tick all of the boxes when it comes to results. They want to up their game when it comes to their skincare routine and they want to spend a little more on a “do it all” moisturiser that’s effective, potent and easy to use.
Some people don’t want to have to remember to use a separate serum, and if you start talking to them about antioxidants and retinoids and routines that change from night to night, they completely shut down. (Or, if they’re my friends – you know who you are! – then they laugh.) Because they have no interest in the science or the ingredients, they just want something that works and that works well. So that they can splodge it on at night and then forget all about it.
Well this is one of those creams: Kate Somerville’s Retinol Vitamin C Moisturiser. It’s really powerful stuff (I started off by using this once every three nights and eventually got it to every other night…go easy!) and it satisfies just about every skincare concern. Vitamin C for brightness and for its antioxidant action (helping to protect the skin) and retinol for just about everything else. Lines. Wrinkles. Pigmentation. Loss of firmness. Adult acne. It’s a one-stop solution if you want to look less rumpled and tired – it’s expensive, but the results are really excellent.
Quite often with a powerful retinoid I have to use a separate moisturiser a little while afterwards: not so with this. And I wouldn’t bother with a serum beforehand either, it really is the entire package if you want it to be.
If you’re prepared to pay more for a cream that needs no thought or effort but that still steamrollers your face for you night after night then this is it. I saw a marked difference in brightness and firmness within weeks of using this and the longer-term results are very impressive.
Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C is £67.20 (usually £84) here
Perfume is such a personal thing, it would be nigh on impossible to find one that absolutely everyone loves. You’d have to be mad to tell people that a certain scent is universally amazing, but I’m here to tell you just that. About not one, but two different fragrances. Both of them teetering on that sexy unisex ledge, both at once fresh yet musky, clean yet exotic. Feel free to berate me if you disagree…
Jo Loves: Pink Vetiver Fragrance
How to describe Pink Vetiver? Cleanly sexual. I present to you the mental image of a very handsome man in a smart shirt but with the sleeves rolled up and the collar undone. Someone very capable looking (for some reason I always think of a secret agent or a hit man, terrible as I’m sure that is, blame it on the movies) and he is very well-groomed, expensively so, but then slightly relaxed and undone.
Pink Vetiver is crisp, clean cotton and it’s powdery amber with some spice and some warmth, and for me it’s just the softer side of a sexy masculine scent. When I wear it I feel sexy because it has hints of the undone sexy man. But I don’t feel as though I smell like a sexy man. If that makes sense.
The official line is that it has “top notes of pink crushed peppercorn, cardamom and juniper berries and base notes of amber and vetiver. Cumin, ginger and nutmeg inject spicy heat into the enticing aroma.”
You can find Pink Vetiver here – it’s usually £75 for 50ml but £60 with my RUTH20 discount.
Space NK: Rewild Body Wash
Let us continue our brief delve into my treasure chest of glorious scents with one that won’t break the bank: Space NK’s own brand body wash in Rewild. Where did they find the person who put together this fragrance? Because they should hang on tight. I’d wear this as a perfume any day of the week. It again comes under the sexy-man-undone umbrella in that it’s relatively clean and pleasing but with a quite exotic, carnal undertone. Put it this way: I compiled a list of the top five things I’ve ever smelled on Mr AMR (to be published soon) and this was in the top three.
Apparently the notes are mandarin, coconut and sandalwood but I’d say that the notes were:
Top: Beach skin
Middle: James Bond’s still-damp towel
Base: Wooden deck of discrete billionaire’s speedboat
The perfect unisex body wash, this one. And it’s non-drying. And you can refill the 100% recyclable bottles in selected Space NK stores, one of which is the Bath store which pleases me greatly. There’s very little not to love about Rewild.
Find it here – it’s £11.20 with my discount, usually £14
This category is my largest so you can tell where my brain is at. I’m already grieving the summer, one that was so hot and dry, one that was almost entirely swallowed up by continuing home renovations but that nevertheless brought me great joy.
I’m all about prolonging the sunkissed summer glow and here are my failsafe favourites for making that happen. The gradual tan that makes your face look as though it’s on permanent holiday, the supermodel bronzer that adds instant glitz and the world’s most perfectly-formed blush.
Charlotte Tilbury: Filmstar Bronze & Glow
I knew I wanted at least one Tilbury bronzer in this edit and I’ve gone for the option that gives the most dramatic results. Though I am borderline fanatical about the latest cream bronzer launch, it’s the Filmstar Bronze & Glow that is the most transformative, creating supermodel cheekbones and an expensive glow. The bronzer part of this duo is flat and matte and brilliant for easy contouring and the golden highlighter gives just the right amount of glitz. It’s an investment, but few makeup products can pull instant glamour out of the bag like this one.
Filmstar Bronze & Glow is £39.20 after my discount (usually £49), find it here.
Tan-Luxe: The Creme
True story: I was the very first person to buy this at the Space NK store in Bath. I tried it at a friend’s house (not naming any names, but suffice to say she has every product in the world in her bathroom) on a Sunday evening and went to Space NK first thing on the Monday to buy it.
If you’re familiar with the Tan-Luxe drops then you know that they are an effortless way to build up a daily, natural-looking tan. The only thing with drops is that quite often they don’t fit in with my routine – I get in a muddle when I know that I want to apply my retinoid that night, or if I want to use an antioxidant serum. It messes with my mojo.
A cream containing my gradual tan, however? That makes life easy. If I want to use my retinoid then I do, and I wait twenty minutes and then bung The Creme on top. If I want to apply my antioxidant serum then I do just that, then The Creme straight over it.
This is good stuff. It gives you a glow within hours (I always apply at night so that I can wake up looking less like a waxy boiled potato) and the texture of the cream is very rich and very moisturising. If you have dry skin then you will adore this. Oilier skin not so much, but Tan-Luxe have plenty of options for all skin types – my second favourite product is the serum, suitable for just about anyone with a face.
Tan-Luxe The Creme is £31.20 with my RUTH20 discount, here. It’s usually £39.
Ultra Violette: Daydream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil
If I had to pick a product of the year then it’s likely this would be it. It’s a tinted SPF50 that you can actually apply in enough quantity to get the stated SPF, which is rare. The coverage is sheer but there definitely is coverage and it’s relatively buildable too. Which is great news for those who will want to reapply throughout the day.
There are fifteen shades, the finish is radiant but not in any way greasy and the packaging is easy to use and lightweight to carry. I cannot fault this SPF. It gives the highest broad spectrum protection and, for those who are fine with a lightweight makeup base, no foundation needed on top. I honestly feel as though a big problem has been solved with this product – finally a tinted moisturiser that can be applied in copious quantities without making you look like you’re a melting waxwork.
Daydream Screen is usually £38 but you can buy it here for £30.40 with my discount.
Rare Beauty: Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush
My love for cream blushers knows no bounds but this one is an absolute gem: the Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush from Rare Beauty. The joy starts from the moment you hold the rounded compact in your hand, there’s something incredibly pleasing about the ergonomics. It feels like a precious jewel is going to be inside and, to be honest, we’re not far off that: a nugget of the most gloriously smooth and creamy blush that slides on effortlessly and blends in to create a seamless, natural flush.
You can apply with fingertips but I get the most professional result by using a powder brush, just the same sort you’d apply a powder blusher with. I like the airbrushed finish. But it’s so much more believable and soft when it’s a cream product; it sort of melds with the base and the bronzer to become part of the skin. It’s also highly flattering and, once it’s set (takes mere seconds) it doesn’t slide about as you might fear.
God I love this. Everything about it. The whole user experience is just lovely. I use the shades Nearly Neutral and Nearly Apricot the most, but all are beautiful and entirely buildable for a more intense look if you want it.
Melting Blush is usually £18, but is £14.40 with my RUTH20 discount, find it here
I hope you’ve spotted some bits that you fancy. I’ve tried to strike a balance between things you might want and things you might need. Many of the products straddle both lanes, for want of a more sophisticated phrase.
The exclusive 20% Space NK discount code is valid until midnight on Friday 9th September on all of the products in my edit. Website T&Cs apply.
The post Ten Seriously Good Space NK Beauty Products (and 20% off!) appeared first on Ruth Crilly.
My five favourite beauty, fashion and lifestyle products this month include some boots for stomping in, a dress for vamping in and a face cream that moisturises so deeply it’s slightly unnerving. Watch the video below if you fancy listening to me chatting through my favourites or carry on reading for the quiet, work-skive-friendly version.
I kickstart my favourites this month with a really exciting one for me, because I loved this product and brand so much that I’ve actually invested in the company. (Hence the AD disclaimer.) The product is a very high-quality supplement called Heights and it has been specifically formulated to support the brain – braincare, if you will. Now I know that the issue of supplements divides people and so if you’re not a taker then please feel free to scroll on down to just below where there’s a picture of me wearing a dress and looking sultry/dead behind the eyes.
I’m pretty selective about the vitamins/supplements I take and well aware of the noise around the fact that so many of them are – quite frankly – shite, but I’ve also had some noticeable health successes (for want of a better phrase) when I’ve consistently taken certain vitamins and supplements that have been recommended to me.
You could argue that it’s coincidental and obviously it’s anecdotal, because I haven’t been part of any trials or studies, but off the top of my head: my recurring cystitis is massively alleviated when I’m consistently taking D-Mannose, I don’t get my awful mouth ulcers so much when I take Vitamin B12 and making sure I keep up my Vitamin D intake is a priority for me since 2014 when I was tested and shown to be drastically deficient. (All of these were recommended to me by doctors or consultants both privately and through the NHS.)
I think that I’m healthily cynical about the vitamins industry as a whole but feel as though I’ve had enough positive experiences with good quality ones to be open to trying something new. And I loved that the Heights Smart Supplement targeted the brain and the health of the actual organ itself, which wasn’t something I’d thought of before. The capsules (you take two a day, anytime, and they’re fine on an empty stomach) contain all of the Vitamin D I need to take, the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B12 and then a careful selection of highest quality vitamins and minerals that help to support the brain.
If you’d like to give them a try then I have a 25% discount code for the monthly plan – use code RUTH25. It works out cheaper the longer the plan you subscribe for, but I did a few months first to see how I got on. Please do let me know what you think if you try them, I find the whole concept so interesting – you can read more about Braincare here.
Next favourites on my list this month: two fashion items. Stompy boots and vixen dress. I have some events coming up for work and wanted a dress that was noticeable (cue bold print) but not too blousy (enter stage left the long sleeves and high neck). There’s something slightly gothic about this Reiss dress* and I really like the autumnal colours in the print. I would never usually go for a high neck but I think that it works so well with the gathering over the chest and across the back – I think it’s really flattering.
Stompy combat boots aren’t perhaps the natural pairing for a printed maxi dress, but I’ve been experimenting with ways of getting more use out of evening/occasion dresses and going down the “Lily Allen circa 2006” route seems to be quite a successful one. Fancy flouncy dresses with trainers. Pretty maxi dresses with hard boots. There’s a proper blog post coming out imminently, but for now, behold the “Stomper” (aptly named) boots from Russel & Bromley:
They’re so beautifully made. Expensive, but worth every penny in terms of build quality and the fact that somehow they still manage to look quite dainty. Initially I was vexed by the laces up the front, because nobody has time for laces, but they’re actually dummy ones and the boots have zips down the sides. Marvellous.
You can find the Stomper boots online here.
Two beauty products now. The Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrush in Pink Vetiver has been in the favourites before, more for the scent itself than the scent delivery system, but after a few little nights away here and there I’ve noted that the paintbrush is actually quite a nice way of applying perfume. It seems more luxurious than a rollerball – slightly cooling, and the brushstroke is sensuous – and there’s something a bit more enticing about softly stroking a fragrance on. It’s great for travelling with as it’s lighter and sturdier than a glass bottle and handy if you’re in a crowded train or plane and don’t want to spritz perfume on everyone within a five metre radius.
The Paintbrush is here* online and is £40 for 7ml for the initial packaging. Yikes! That’s £5.70 per ml. However the refill set is £35 for 21ml which is much more purse-friendly at £1.66 per ml. For comparison’s sake, the 100ml fragrance in a bottle is £1.15 per ml. I don’t think that the extra is too horrendous considering how convenient the brush is, especially for travel!
You can find the Jo Loves Pink Vetiver range here*. Pink Vetiver is absolutely gorgeous, by the way. I can highly recommend it as an autumnal fragrance that still has sparks of a summer evening. It’s spicy and slightly exotic with a sort of musky masculinity – pink peppercorn, ginger, vetiver and cardamom. Really quite addictive.
Last on my favourites list but absolutely not least: the new Triple Hyaluronic Acid Deep Moisture Miracle Cream from Beauty Pie (online here*). This cream promises deep hydration and boy does it deliver. It’s not quite so dramatic as the Supreme Cream (renamed Power Elixir Moisturiser, here*) but the lightweight gel cream packs an amazing punch in terms of hydration and the effects are noticeably long-lasting. If you’re after a heavyweight moisturiser with a lightweight texture and no greasy residue then this is your bag – suitable for all skin types, it’s perfect for plumping out those crepey lines of dehydration.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Beauty Pie membership system then read my post here; you subscribe to a certain plan and then have a spending allowance. The products are one price for the non-member and another, much lower, price for members. For this cream, the £60 equivalent price (they compare the product to similar luxury products on the market) is brought down to £15.57 for members. Add on membership and postage and you still have a very high-end face cream for significantly less than you’d pay elsewhere.
That’s the idea. It makes more sense once you get your head around it and Beauty Pie’s skincare is so consistently good that it is worth getting your head around it!
If you use the code RUTHSENTME* then you can get an extra £50 spending allowance on sign-up, so make sure you get your bonus if you take the plunge. Some of my most-used favourites are in this post but I would absolutely, unreservedly recommend the new Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm, here* online.
That’s my favourites done and dusted for this month – I’m toying with the idea of moving this feature into the middle of the month so that the title still feels relevant and timely. What do you think? I sometimes think that once the month has moved on I don’t want to read anything about the previous one. It’s like going backwards. Let me know your thoughts!