Jo Loves... April

Jo loves a good night's sleep, some sexy 'wet wipes', refreshes her hair - and finds a new foundation to replace a long-lost love...

LifeFlo Magnesium Gel


I have had an ongoing insomnia problem with waking at 4 a.m. with a whirring brain for years now.  I know magnesium is tremendously effective and have used flakes in the past (by the bucket-load), but I thought I'd try this bottle of gel - a 'squirt' under running water.  From the very first time I used it, I slept the sleep of the dead and was woken by my alarm at 7 a.m.!  (Which is amazing;  the birds usually wake me.)  I think it's a bit of a magnesium-powered miracle and have been recommending it to sleepless friends.

LifeFlo Magnesium Gelis at£20 for 473 ml - buy here

L'Occitane Verbena Towelettes

Trains, planes, automobiles:  you name them, I've travelled on them in the past few weeks.  So these have been a godsend:  so much sexier and more beautifully-scented than baby wipes or wet wipes, cleansing and perfuming the hands with the lovely light, uplifting scent of citrus verbena, with a touch of mint.  The top of the pack peels off so that the towelettes can be removed one-by-one, to clean or simply disinfect grubby hands.  Without wanting to sound a bit OCD, I even use them post- washing my hands on trains because I don't like to think about people who've touched the loo doors WITHOUT doing just that...  (Sorry for the 'ewww' moment there.)

L'Occitane Verbena Towelettes are at£7 for 15 towelettes - buy here

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresher Dry Shampoo

When this originally launched - and named Volume Refresher (without the 'dry shampoo' suffix) - I raved about it:  an astonishing quick-fix for hair that's lost its oomph.  (And in my case, delivering a good couple of extra days out of a blow-dry.)  I did mention at the time that it was akin to a dry shampoo and now our friends at John Frieda have rolled over and admitted as much, re-naming it 'Dry Shampoo'.  It's certainly good for absorbing oil (apparently there's rice powder in there), but in my experience it does still behave slightly differently to the Batistes of this world:  you tip your head upside-down, zoosh the roots - and it puts back lots of volume and bounce.  You do not then need to brush it all out afterwards (and I promise, hand-on-heart, there are no shoulder-flakes if you don't).  Anyway, by any name it's a miracle-worker.  Instant va-va-volume!

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Volume Refresher Dry Shampoo/£5.89 for 150 ml at - buy here

Clinique Even Better Compact Makeup SPF15

I’ve been searching for a compact foundation to replace my long-lost, late-lamended Lancôme Teint Idôle Hydra-Compact (which I know lots of you were devoted to, too) – and now I’ve found it. This slim Clinique compact features a deliciously creamy foundation, smoothed onto skin with the accompanying sponge, which offers excellent coverage for (in my case) red veins. It’s from the Even Better range, which specifically (and effectively) targets ‘flaws’ – and though the camouflage doesn’t last all day, I can carry it round for touch-up: the creaminess makes it easy to reapply, with no caking. Just a lovely, fresh look – and in 20 shades (mine is 4 Creamwhip). B-I-G thanks, Clinique!

Even Better Compact Makeup SPF15/£27.50 for 10 g at - buy here