Jo Loves... November
Jo Loves... new make-up for a new season, a sublime new serum - and is making sure she gets her vitamin D...ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum
Don't tell ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth, but I'd probably classify this as a facial oil, myself. I guess the 'serum' idea comes from the fact that it glides on under moisturiser (I am using it lightly in the morning, as well as at bedtime), but it is probably up to the nourishing task on its own. Some of our Beauty Bible readers got their hands on early samples of this, and loved it as much as I do: it smells absolutely wonderful, and is just what my super-dry skin needs: packed with nurturing omega oils, turmeric and white lupin (and yes, I think they are working to help even out my skintone, after some summer sun exposure. And yes, before you ask: I did wear an SPF!) I've also been mixing in a few drops with Cleanse & Polish, to create a richer texture: frankly, now that the central heating's on, my skin needs every drop of oil and water it can get.
• ESPA Optimal Skin Proserum/£48 for 30 ml at www.espaskincare.com - buy here
It happens as winter draws in: I look in the mirror and realise my face is just too darned shiny. (In summer, I like a dewy effect; less so at this time of year.) This happened to be sitting on my desk - and wow! Was I impressed. (I'm now carrying the compact round with me.) It's a fantastic, slightly yellow-toned mattifying powder (in line with our friend Bobbi Brown's philosophy that yellow undertones are always preferable to pink). It's not dusty, or cake-y: used with a slim powder brush, it simply mattifies the T-zone of my face, and helps my foundation stay put for longer. I wish I understood how the different light in summer and winter has such an impact on make-up - it just does. But it was a delight to find such a 'steal' that does the job perfectly. (Do check out the Soap & Glory make-up: as with Benefit, the slightly jokey names belie the fact that the products themselves are super-high-performance.)
• Soap & Glory Kick-Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder/£12 - find it in Boots stores that stock the range (annoyingly the powder doesn't seem to be on-line right now, but check later - click here for the link to Soap & Glory's own page)
As someone who's broken a couple of bones in the past few years, I'm very, very conscious about the need to ensure I get enough vitamin D. With shorter days (and way to much rain for my liking), it's time to be religious about a morning spritz on the tongue of this mega-vitamin D, which - because it's a liquid - is super-easily absorbed, and is a fantastic 'insurance policy', because none of us really gets enough sunlight at this time of year to maintain vitamin D levels. The spray actually takes very pleasant - and makes a change from the supplements I take. (It's definitely worth rattling, for my health's sake - but that is sometimes what it feels like...!) I also used to suffer from SAD in years gone by (Seasonal Affective Disorder) - and I'm pretty sure this helps maintain winter perkiness, too.
• BetterYou D Lux 3000 Spray/£7.95 for 15 ml (enough for 100 doses) at www.victoriahealth.com - buy here
A dawn raid on my make-up bag will reveal quite a few By Terry products (I'm slavishly devoted to her foundations), but I'm really looking forward to this taking me through the party season. In a shade called Black Pearl, it's a smoochy pencil which just glides silkily on - and has a touch of glimmer about it. I then add eyeliner and mascara for a smouldering eye, in literally a flash. (If you click on the link below, there's a great tutorial using this product for a really, really dramatic look - but personally, as a blonde, I go for a lighter touch.) It's creamy, but 'sets' once you've blended - and stays till long after you've booted the last drunken party guest out of the door. The swivel-up pencil comes in a wide range of super-smooth shades, now - Blond Opal is brilliant for the brow-bone. Terry de Gunzburg can do no wrong, in my book - and this is another godsend.
• By Terry Ombre Blackstar/£27.50 at www.ukspacenk.com - buy here