What Jo's loving right now
Jo loves... a super-comfy lipstick, a body treat that wafts her to heaven, a shiny-hair mask specially for her blonde hair - and she's eating her words about a toner...
AERIN Rose Balm Lipstick
This is a veritable slanket of a lipstick, comfort-wise. Packed with rose waxes, it glides onto lips and feels like the most delectable lip treatment – but adds an excellent level of coverage, at the same time. From the can’t-put-a-foot-wrong range by Estée Lauder’s daughter Aerin – a woman whose laid-back elegance has me gnashing my teeth somewhat unattractively every time I meet her – this is a new favourite. (Although NB: I’m onto the third pot of her fab cream blusher, reviewed here.) Her Rose Balm itself is also sitting on my desk: created from flower waxes, it smells wonderful (apparently 350 rose petals go into every jar, and it sure smells like it) – great stuff, but with this lipstick I simply don’t need it: it’s truly ‘treatment colour’. The shade I’m sold on? Several (there are 10 altogether), but 06 Liebling (it means 'darling') is the one that I’m fast working to a stub.
Ushvani Coconut & Kaffir Lime Butter
Ushvani is a seriously cool yoga centre and day spa that’s currently on my treatment ‘bucketlist’, not least because I’d like nothing more to be slathered in their gloriously-scented products for an hour or so. (Ushvani won Best UK Day Spa in the Tatler Spa Awards 2012, NB.) While I’m waiting for a timeslot in my life to open up (the mind/body/soul are willing, the diary is weak), I’m enjoying the spa-in-a-jar-ness of this, though. It’s rich, it’s lush: the blend of coconut oil and shea butter is seriously skin-softening. It’s the scent that gets me, though (as ever): lemon tea tree, lime, plus the straight-from-Thailand fragrance of kaffir lime extracts. Expensive, yes – but the jar’s lasted a couple of months so far and has plenty of mileage in it yet.
Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Instant Infusion Treatment TonerI never bother with toners. Never. Always advise they’re completely unnecessary and a waste of time. So why have I (hypocritically) found myself coming back to this? Well, it’s more than a toner: it’s a treatment, with radiance-boosting ingredients including Japanese mandarin extract, vitamins E and C, blackberry leaf and lychee extracts and loads of antioxidant-rich black tea. It’s also got lots of hyaluronic acid, and I swear as a result it has a ‘plumping’ action. (I still apply moisturiser over the top, but am actually rather enjoying adding this extra skin-swiping step to my regime.) It also features kombucha, a fermented black tea which we used to make at home. (Weird, vinegary-tasting stuff – but it made us feel great!) ‘Treatment toners’ are becoming quite a big thing, actually – not as the final step in cleansing, but as a first step in moisturisation (they’ve been huge in the Far East for years.) This joins my other favourite-ever Fresh product – Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask (which is one of my top masks ever, ever ever) – as top picks from this long-term ‘crush’ of a beauty brand. Word is that Fresh is soon going to be more widely available again in the UK – and about time, too.
• Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner/£38 for 120 ml at the Fresh Store, 92 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RD
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Deep Conditioner
Once upon a time, John Frieda didn't have a mask for blonde hair in his range. Then I pleaded. So did my colourist - and the first Sheer Blonde mask was produced. This is a new perfect-for-blondes incarnation, though - and I'd say it's the best yet, fantastic for preserving my bleached-to-high-heaven colour and adding nourishment and shine. I'll let you into a secret: through great good fortune, I can get away with a blow-dry once a week - and do nothing but run a brush through my hair, in between. I always, always apply a mask, though - and from now on, I needn't lug a jar of my own to the John Frieda Aldford Street salon, because this shining star's already waiting for me.
• John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Deep Conditioner/£6.29 for 150 ml at www.boots.com - buy here