We invite entries from a wide range of product types for this Award: mists, serums, ‘beauty flash’-type products... (Everything except masks, which have their own category here.) The key is: Instant Face Savers really do have to work fast, delivering immediate improvements – for those mornings when we wake up (and our face hasn’t, really), or to treat lacklustre skin in a hurry before a special event or an interview. You’ll find quite an arsenal of instant face savers on our own shelves – because, frankly, there are lots of good ones around. These? Our testers think they’re definitely the best of the best.


GOLD AWARD de Mamiel Dewy Facial Mist

The very high-scoring winner here is a serum from a holistic facialist and acupuncturist that works like a facial mist, spritzing onto the face to deliver a blend of hydrating, nourishing ingredients that shield the skin against environmental damage – and don't half offer a balm to the senses, too, thanks to the wonderful calming aroma. In a rosewater base, your skin will drink in herbal extracts from yarrow, comfrey, Siberian ginseng and horsetail, lupine peptides, radiance-boosting peony extract, prebiotics and lashings of uber-hydrating hyaluronic acid, to which rose quartz particles have been added for their vibrational powers. It's designed, the lovely Annee tells us, 'to reawaken dehydrated skin' and as the perfect antidote to fatigued, stressed skin and a tired mind. (Which often go hand in hand, in our experience.)


‘When I first unwrapped this I just thought it was a fancy facial toner, but I was wrong. It is much more than that, to use it just as a facial toner would be missing the main benefit. It is a pick me up in a bottle, like a breath of fresh air for the skin and senses’ • ‘The pleasure factor is big for this product. Firstly how it is presented, it ‘s like unwrapping a present. The glass bottle feels cool and very smooth in my hand, and fits the hand perfectly. The instruction booklet is on quality glossy paper and features drawings and diagrams throughout. The actual mist smells so divine that it is a feel good factor in itself. I have been keeping this product on my bedside table and have a spritz upon waking, it has been lovely wake to wake my skin up and the fragrance uplifts me at the start of the day’ • ‘Simply spritz this liquid mist over the skin, inhale the uplifting scent, and watch your skin becoming, soft, smooth, dewy and refreshed, also uplifted in a rejuvenated way. I really like it over make up to refresh and revitalise. It’s also great as a toner after cleansing’ • ‘This is a joy to use. I always use a facial spray before my serum and set my makeup with Evian spray. I used the de Mamiel spray for both purposes and also later in the afternoon to perk up my skin – it feels moisturised and plump after - and my mood. The scent and the fine mist make this a product that I found myself looking forward to using. It is very expensive but it is so lovely that I will continue to buy it as a special indulgence’ • ‘The mist has a lovely fragrance, which makes it a pleasure to use. It feels lovely on the skin, calming and at the same time stimulating. My skin felt soft and smooth unlike other spray hydrators I have used before, which can leave the face feeling a little tacky. The ingredients in the mist also give you an aromatherapy experience.’

£52 for 100ml - click to buy


SILVER AWARD This Works Light Time Cleanse & Glow 

We love this product ourselves – though we wouldn't use it for removing make-up, but for waking up tired skin in the morning. Like the Clinique product, it's powered by vitamin C, ever-so-slightly grainy in texture and designed to be massaged into skin, then splashed with water. That activates the brightening vitamin C and soothing vitamin E, helping to eliminate signs of fatigue. No reason not to use it daily, they say. (And we completely agree.)


‘I will gladly be adding this product to my must haves, and I will also be trying others in the range. I am surprised at how much difference a little tube can make to my routine. My face felt and looked amazing – fabulous - after using this, with a lovely glow. My pores are hardly noticeable now and my overall skin texture is greatly improved. I just love it and it surpassed the claims’ • ‘This made my skin feel very clean and soft and glowing. It definitely does what it says on the box!’ • ‘I have never used a product like this before but will from now on -  this one! My skin felt lots softer, the tone was improved and it looked instantly uplifted without feeling taut. My make up went on fine after’ • ‘I use this in the mornings and definitely notice a more awake, brighter and smoother face. Also the scent makes me more alert and ready for the day ahead. It also preps my face nicely for moisturiser, primer and foundation’ • ‘I would definitely buy this. It is a reasonable price and I would continue to use it daily in the mornings. It’s very easy to use, just apply to dry skin, add water to active, massage and leave for a few moments before washing off. It makes my skin feel soft and smooth and the benefits last all day.’

£30 for 75ml - click to buy


BRONZE AWARD ESPA Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial

Each of the three winning products here has a different format – in this case, ESPA entered a three-in-one serum, essence and treatment oil that's suitable for all skintypes, with a texture that really is like an ultra-rich serum. It instantly hydrates, smooths and brightens via a blend that includes 'an antioxidant macroalgae cell extract', white truffle extract and coconut and avocado oils, plus shea butter. There's a wonderful scent to this, too, from an essential oil blend that includes bitter orange and orange flower oils, jasmine and bergamot). A treat for the face and the senses, testers agreed.


‘I really love this product. It is such a luxury and feels like a treat to use it. It sank in to my skin easily and made my skin feel amazingly soft and smooth. I could get away without wearing make up after using it’ • ‘My face looked instantly uplifted, the skin tone was improved and my face felt nice and comfortable, not tight at all’ • ‘This mattified my complexion but still gave a glow. It’s like liquid velvet to use. The benefits lasted all day’ • ‘The smell is gorgeously citrusy. I love it. It’s a real luxury to use’ • ‘Wonderful for a no make up day when it made my skin feel revived, glowy and the tone improved but I found my make up didn't stay on so well after using’

£60 for 30ml - click to buy