From face-mask scenting to the latest skincare and perfume launches, and the must-visit new spa destinations, here’s what you need to know for the beautiful month ahead
In the first iteration of this new monthly feature, I’m about to break one of the very few shiny new rules I had set myself: one product per brand. That’s because the house of Dior has not one but two new releases this month that have me dreaming of hopefully balmier days ahead. Firstly, Eden-Roc: a perfume from the house’s prestige line, Maison Christian Dior. Dior’s in-house perfumer François Demachy composed the scent while imagining arriving at the famed French Riviera hotel of the (nearly) same name – Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. A haunt of the likes of Orson Welles, JFK, Marc Chagall, Elizabeth Taylor and F Scott Fitzgerald in its 150 year tenure, the hotel is as impeccably Chichester as this new eau de parfum. A luminous, solar scent, it beams with the sunny warmth of white flowers, while a mineral saltiness keeps it rounded and grounded and gentle vegetal pine notes waft through on a mild breeze. It’s beach-blushed salty skin in a bottle and it’s absolutely dreamy.
The perfect accompaniment is Dior’s new Stick Glow Blush. A balm in a stick, it offers dewiness, bronzing and a highlight all in one – it's worthy of a chef's kiss.
I’ve been waiting a long time to write a piece on natural deodorants, simply because I’ve never found one that works. And I’ve tried many over the last few years. Disillusioned, I recently returned to a supermarket staple: Sure’s Cotton Dry roll-on. Available for a glamorous £1, it worked. And after months scraping my armpits with a jagged shard of rock salt (that delightful shape since it had smashed in my sink and I kept forgetting to replace it – only to remember with horror every morning), I ended my search for non-toxic, paraben-free deodorant. Since parabens have been found in cancerous tissue they’ve become a bit of a pariah in the beauty world but there’s no proven link between the two. However many people are still understandably cautious and I too would prefer not to offer these preservatives a direct route to my lymph nodes. But even with this knowledge I decided last year that I couldn’t face having a tiny baby during a pandemic and stinky pits. Finally, new firestarter brand Fussy has put paid to all that disappointment. While this smooth pastel-hued pebble-shaped dispenser is rather pleasing, the deodorant comes in five delicious fragrances, and its compostable refillables can be delivered right to your door (for an impressively low price), it’s also all-natural, aluminium and paraben-free, moisturising and pumped full of odour-eating probiotics. Dear reader: it really bloody works. It provides almost excellent protection against dampness (you may have some after a workout) but there’s absolutely no smell for 24 hours and it doesn’t give you that strange squeaky dryness when you try to wash it off later. It’s going to be a game-changer in the industry. Honestly, pre-order your starter kit now – it launches on the 8 May – and thank me later.
Byredo’s newest perfume launches today: Open Sky. Describing the scent as “a metaphysical homage to the experience of travel,” it would seem Ben Gorham is in a similar headspace to many of us. With lip-smacking top notes by way of black pepper and juicy pomelo, a smoky cannabis-laden heart of hemp leaves and a very heady Palo Santo and vetiver base, it’s an elusive, compelling scent that seems to encapsulate an in-between space: bitter, sweet and smoky with a touch of static, it’s a bit juicy and a bit dirty. Loewe meanwhile, has repackaged its fragrance back-catalogue in-line with Jonathan Anderson’s exquisite creative direction. Now every Loewe perfume boasts the tactile beauty of the hit 001 fragrance family: the slender glass flacons and smooth sycamore caps, not to mention Karl Blossfeldt’s beautiful black and white botanical photographs that front the box.
For the home, Le Labo’s new Encens candle is a no-brainer gift: its grounding and calming concoction of incense, patchouli, clove, amber, sandalwood and musk can soften any room or even mood.
Hermès has added another string to its beauty métier and boy is it welcome. Joining the exquisite lipstick range is Rose Hermès, a collection of silky powder blushes in a range of perfect pinks from a coral-inflected apricot, to a ‘celestial’ peony and a smoky hibiscus. In their white and satin-finish permabrass compacts designed by Pierre Hardy, they are objects of pure beauty. While the perfect pink lip-balm glows in an almost otherworldly way. As one might expect, they are the epitome of luxe cosmetics.
After transforming our at-home facials during the pandemic with its series of live self-massage workouts on IGTV, Face Gym has launched a high performance skincare range. Highlights include: Hydro-Bound, a lightweight hydrating hyaluronic serum containing polyglutamic acid (that holds four times as much moisture as hyaluronic acid); Youth Reformer an oil-in-serum with skin-calming palo santo and firming vitamin c; Supreme Restructure, a super plumping moisturiser loaded with collagen-boosting Epidermal Growth Factors. And now that salons are open, a visit to one of their workout studios comes very highly recommended. Elsewhere in skincare land, Brazilian-born natural beauty innovator Tata Harper introduces Superkind, complete with Softening Cleanser and a delicious Radiance Mask, all for sensitised skin.
Wild Nutrition also has me dreaming of holidays – I’m ready and waiting for a spot of sun with its Natural Glow supplements. While supporting your skin barrier it also enhances your melanin levels using all-natural ingredients (incluing Melanine, which is found in the fleeces of free-grazing sheep in sun-drenched southern France), thus safely boosting your tan (though you must always team with SPF). It's available on pre-order from 27th May. Though this is wishful thinking perhaps – after a so far dismal spring it’s perhaps more likely I’ll be basking in the strip-lighting of my local supermarket in my mask. But this is where Officine Universelle Buly’s pleasing little scented mask patches will come in handy, perfuming my personal microcosm with eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon. Yum.
A new must-visit is Dr Barbara Sturm’s new boutique spa on London’s Mount Street. Pristine and futuristic in its decor, it offers all of Queen Sturm’s supreme treatments (including a heavenly new and improved massage technique) as well as a veritable sweet shop of all her mini products. It’s a dream new beauty destination for the capital. Then there’s salon stalwart Skinwork, which has opened its new flagship headquarters in Soho. While it’s the same excellent service there's a host of new treatments including the 55-minute City Cleanse Facial that packs microdermabrasion and a lactic peel into a short but glow-giving treatment with zero downtime.