Don’t you just love trying out the newest and latest in beauty? Will the most recent launch be the one that will sort out your beauty issues? Will that new eye cream erase your dark circles? Is that expensive gadget worth the money? With what seems to be a bazillion new brands and products launched almost every week, and a whole load of marketing spiel thrown at you convincing you it’s going to be the best thing since sliced banana bread, it’s refreshing to see the customer awards at QVC are completely and utterly voted for by their customers. With their 30-day return policy, customers can be as frank and honest in their reviews and votes, so the winners in the QVC Customer Beauty Awards, to be announced at 9pm tonight, will really be ones to watch.
As I can’t wait to try the latest innovations, I’ve been busy reviewing the nominees in the Best New Brand category; with eight brands nominated, I’ve had my work cut out for me. (My eagle-eyed Instagram followers already are in the know!) So here’s my take on the brands up for the award, some new to me, some already firm faves, with a stab at which one I think should win.
Flora Mare Skincare: This 4-piece Discovery Set is a great way to try brand that I’d never heard of, but heads up, it’s one definitely worth trying. You all know my battles with the skin around my eyes, and with just one use of the Eye Cream I could see a reduction in puffiness – yay! It was hard work getting it out of the pump (perhaps because of the small size?), but definitely worth the effort. The Elixir is a rich serum full of minerals, algeas and trace elements (think Creme de la Mer, but infinitely cheaper) that is super-hydrating and plumping. The Day & Night Cream is great for no-nonsense intelligent skincare and the Hand Cream hasn’t left my handbag.
CULT 51: Hyped to the max and sold as a night cream, this had great deal to live up to, especially with the price tag it comes with. After two weeks of use, I can already see a difference in the radiance in my skin, although I think I’ll need to use it for longer to see the results in reduced pigmentation. What I love about this product is that it replaces eye cream and serum so it’s a one-hit wonder at night after cleansing. It smells divine, fresh and floral, and it’s great for balancing the skin so that I feel I need less makeup (foundation and concealer) in the morning.
Joan Collins Scent: – I Am Woman: Who doesn’t hanker after a bit of the Joan Collins signature glamour? I’m actually amazed that she’s taken this long to launch her own beauty brand; she should have done this years ago! With a title like I Am Woman, you know Joan is giving it her all in this signature scent. Full-on sensual musk and florals envelope you as you wear it – this is not a fragrance for the faint-hearted! With all the ingredients I love (amber, sandalwood, patchouli and jasmine) along with the musk and vanilla, I knew I was going to love this. The duo comprises an Eau de Parfum spray and a little bottle of the Essence which you can use to scent the room, linen, bath water – genius! And the other thing I love about this? It stays on you for ages. I mean ages – you’ll even smell it on you the following day. Ever so cute bottles too!
WEN Cleansing Conditioner: I hate, absolutely hate, washing my hair, so anything I can use to lessen the chore is a godsend. This all-in-one shampoo, conditioner and detangler literally does it in one fell swoop, but it has to be used in the correct way, so it’s worth reading the instructions properly to get the results it promises. My one-stop haircare on my summer holidays.
Radical Skincare: I’m already a huge fan of Radical, (click here for past posts) so I’m a regular user of some of the products in this 5 Piece Discovery Collection, including the Eye Serum, the Hydrating Cleanser (the best for when your skin is feeling delicate and in need of some TLC) and the incredible, skin transforming Age Defying Exfoliating Pads (multi-fruit acid pads used on alternate days to whisk off dead skin cells). It’s not cheap skincare, but worth the extra for the results it gives. The Youth Infusion Serum and Anti-Ageing Restorative Moisture give the skin a radiance that I noticed within a week. It’s effectively a self-contained full skincare system in a cute little silver cosmetic case; it’s what I took with me on holiday and used everyday – the perfect kit to try this fabulous range and a great collection for travel.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Sultry Eyeshadow Palette: What can I say about this gorgeous palette that I haven’t already said here? Perfect for neutral eyes, perfect for when you want to amp,ramp and vamp it up a little, the 8-colour combo is spot on and the amazonian clay in the formula means that the eyeshadows stay on all day – no creasing or disappearing act here! Quick tip – I found this applied better with my fingers for colour pay off, and then used brushes to blend.
Su-Man Skincare: This brand, completely new to me, has been buzzing around the beauty circuit for a while now, and I’ve been meaning to try it, so this 3-piece discovery kit is a great way to test out the hero products from the range without breaking the bank. Formulated by a celebrity facialist turned skincare pioneer, the three products in the collection are designed to cleanse and purify, exfoliate and brighten to give 35+ skin back its radiance and luminosity. The Purifying Gel removes dirt and even waterproof makeup without pulling or dragging on the skin, and is gentle enough to use around the eyes. The Exfoliating Facial Polish was a bit of a surprise – it’s black! The finely milled coffee granules in the formula not only give it its colour but also reduce inflammation in the skin. The most heavenly product in the trio is the Velvet Brightening Serum – a biphase oil and water that needs shaking to mix it up. The formula takes some getting used to, but just one drop is enough for the whole face, drenching it in hyaluronic acid, omegas, ceramides and antioxidants.
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X: Hair removal is such a huge and ongoing problem, especially in the run-up to the summer beach holiday. I’ve tried so many methods (IPL, laser, waxing, tweezing, epilators, creams…) but the best way I’ve found is laser and IPL. I mean, if i’m going to invest the effort, I want it to be long lasting. But it’s so expensive to keep up with salon appointments, so I’ve also tried many home-use gadgets and I can honestly say I think this is the one that’s going to work. Yes, it’s a huge investment but for this one, QVC has extended their usual 30-day money back guarantee to a full 90 days, so you get three whole months to try this out, without any risk to your pocket. Where else are you going to get that kind of service? It takes commitment – you’re not going to see the results after just one use so be realistic and persevere. Bear in mind that the actual “window” is quite small so it’s time consuming – facial areas are much quicker to treat than whole body areas, but it works equally well on both.
So who is my winner? Well, it’s tough one. There are products within some of the kits that I think are outstanding but as I can’t break them down into their individual parts it’s an even tougher one.
So, in reverse order… (drum roll please)
My Second Runner-Up is… Actually, this is a joint winner for me. The Flora Mare Skincare, which was a surprise to me, as I’d never tried this before, but the fabulous results around the eyes along with the very affordable price tag puts this in third place, along with the Su Man Skincare as all three products in the collection performed so well.
The First Runner-Up is…. The Wen Cleansing Conditioner. Anything that makes hair-wash day that bit easier will always get my vote!
And The Winner is… The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X. As much as I’m aware of the price tag (this is the most expensive nominee in this category), the long-term benefits and making life just that little bit easier tipped this one into the winning position. That it can be used on multiple parts of the body (and by multiple people) makes it a worthy investment, both in terms of price and effort.
I’ll be watching QVC tonight at 9pm to see who actually wins, both in this category and in the other 13 categories, so make sure you tune in too! (Sky 640, Virgin 740)
Have you tried any of these brands? Are you excited to try anything new? Let me know!