2018 has been an impressive year for fashion and beauty. We’ve seen new products by Givenchy and Armani fly off the shelves, while growing trends in skin rejuvenation and therapeutic lotions have shown that the desire to look after our minds as well as our bodies is stronger than ever.
If you feel like the year has been a bit of a blur (and who can blame you?), then allow us to run through some of our favourite trends and the best beauty products of 2018, along with our best-selling new scents that aren’t too late to be added to your Christmas list.
1. Making room for me time
It’s safe to say our working days are getting longer and our chilled-out evenings are becoming rarer, which probably explains the growing trend in relaxation products.
As more people become comfortable with the idea of at-home massaging, massage balms, such as the Kaeso Velvet Touch Aloe Vera Cuticle Massage Cream, are showing that you can get salon-quality products at a reasonable price. Interest in aromatherapy products has continued to grow too, with bath salts, aura sprays, and body lotions amongst our best-selling.
Meanwhile, our candles and home products have seen a massive 235% increase in popularity. From room sprays to reed diffusers, such as the Orla Kiely Fig Tree Scented Diffuser, it’s just as important to look after your home as it is your body.
2. Get your glitter on
Want to take things up a notch without the risk of looking excessive? A little glitter is the key.
Glitter has always been there to add a touch of glam to our lives. It’s really taken off this year and can be found in many different products, whether you want to let your eyes sparkle with the W7 Pressed to Impress Glitter Palette and L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Top Coat Mascara, or steal the limelight with glistening nails courtesy of Manhattan Last & Shine Nail Polish
There’s even the chance to soak in all of the glitter with the luxurious Style & Grace Bubble Boutique Bath Sprinkles Glitter Set. The choices are endless!
Face masks continue to interest us as we seek a natural remedy for softer and smoother skin. It seems that the more unusual the ingredients, the more desperately we all want to try them.
The CB&CO Hemp Face Mask uses hemp seed oil to nourish and refresh, while the Cougar Beauty Caviar & Gold Face Mask features both luxurious ingredients for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Skin refreshed
Skin products have seen a big growth this past twelve months, as revitalisation products no longer come with a hefty price tag. From eyecare, such as the Elemis Absolute Eye Serum, to DIY kits, there’s plenty to feel refreshed about.
The Dermalogica Normal/Oily Skin Kit is not only a top-grade product, but it’s a real lifesaver when it comes to having great skin. Meanwhile, the DECLÉOR Hydrating Discovery Kit is another must-have for when your skin calls out for a bit of rejuvenation.
5. Bright lights, brighter impressions
When done right, bright neon colours can make a real impact. Neon variants of our favourite products continue to sell well, and that’s why they’ve remained a beauty trend of the past year.
Collection Work The Colour Nail Polish really adds the colour to proceedings with its vast stand-out collection, while Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick is an elegant and sleek must-have.
6. Fifty shades of yellow
Speaking of brightness, yellow has seen an incredible resurgence recently. With so many different shades to choose from, it’s a versatile choice. Fashion trends indicate that the nicknamed ‘Gen-Z yellow’ will continue to be popular amongst trendsetters next year, so it’s only fair that your beauty products match up too.
The yellow MAC Eye Shadow Matte provides an even blend that will stun without ever looking too much while the Naj Oleari Colour Emotion Classic Effect Nail Polish in Giallo will have you glowing even in the coldest of months.
Our best-sellers of the year
As we’re nearing the end of the year, we thought it would only be fair to let you in on a few little secrets regarding our best-sellers.
1. Our best-selling new product of the year was, by far, the Givency L’Interdit Eau de Parfum Spray. The scent is an invitation to defy convention and embrace femininity, so it’s no surprise that it’s 2018’s biggest sell.
2. The warm, glowing tones of Marc Jacobs Daisy Love have been popular with those wanting something a little vibrant.
3. Paco Rabanne Pure XS For Her Eau de Parfum Spray offers a provocative floral oriental scent that’s proven hard to resist.
4. Caroline Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum Spray is a sophisticated blend of amber notes, praline, jasmine sambac, and sandalwood.
5. Rounding out our top five new scents to fly off the shelves, Armani Si Passione is a daringly bold scent exuding with confidence.
Looking for some more beauty inspiration? Why not read our tips for professional DIY facials at home or learn about the perfect skincare routine for oily skin.
The festive period is a time where everyone is guilty for over indulging. Healthy diets and gym sessions slip down our list of priorities as we eat and drink till our hearts content and use our staple knitwear pieces to cover the damage. This is what we know and love for the festive period, but we need to make sure our body isn’t suffering, and there’s no lasting damage. So here we are going to show you why your liver is such a key player, some tips to compensate for all the treats and what foods are especially good for protecting your liver.
Sitting under your ribcage, the liver’s function is to clean your blood, getting rid of all the harmful chemicals. It does this by producing bile which breaks down fats from food and stores sugar called glucose giving you an energy boost when you need it.
Here are some tips to help compensate for this month of madness and over indulgence. Firstly, we know no one will be holding back on the beverages this December but if you can try and give yourself at least three booze-free days and limit yourself to 10 units a week then this will make a difference. Alcohol makes life harder for your liver, killing off some important cells. Something to consider is Dry January, tests have shown that a month of no drinking can reduce your liver fat by 15% as well as making improvements to your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Just a thought for the New Year.
While we are filling up on mulled wine and egg nog remember to be drinking plenty of water especially when you are nursing a hangover. It is crucial for flushing out toxins and if you are dehydrated it can mean your blood thickens making it hard to filter. Everyone should aim to be drinking 1.2 litres of water a day just to keep the liver healthy and functioning properly.
Another tip that I am sure for many of us will not find hard is drinking coffee and tea. They give people lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes. So, like everything, drink it in moderation to help maintain a happy liver.
Like every organ in our body, our liver needs exercise. Whether is it a little walk or a Saturday morning run our body is always grateful for some exercise. Get the family out on a nice winter walk and it will do everyone a little good.
One thing which we all know does our health no good is smoking. Nicotine raises the levels of fat in the blood making it hard work for the liver to filter all the toxins. While it is cold outside, and cigarettes are increasingly more expensive why not cut down throughout the week?
Cutting down on Carbs can also compensate for the alcohol consumption this Christmas. Sugary and starchy foods such as potatoes and bread are particularly bad for your liver because they turn into glucose initially being stored in the liver. So, to improve liver functions just compensate by doing a little exercise or reducing your intake.
Some foods will give you a helping hand. Grapefruits, blueberries, cranberries and grapes help because they are high in antioxidants by reducing inflammation and increasing protective mechanisms. If you’re wanting a snack at the pub or in the office have some nuts or seeds. Increasing your vitamin E can help reduce symptoms of liver disease by preventing cell damage.
Foods we already know that are super foods, such as fish and greens will maintain a healthy liver. Fatty fishes are especially good due to the omega 3 acids. Leafy greens, broccoli and sprouts will also help act as protection towards damages and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
So, when you go to Christmas markets and see all the delicious hotdogs and steamy mulled cider, don’t worry as long as you don’t over do it and remember a few tips you will have a happy and healthy liver this Christmas.
2018 has been a year to remember! We witnessed Meghan Markle marrying into the royal family, and later announcing that her and prince Harry are expecting their first baby. Whether you’re a football fan or not, no one missed our world cup journey this summer… Gareth Southgate becoming a national hero while the whole country got to enjoy some sunshine. Never the less this year has flown by and you can often forget all the good bits, so we have put together a timeline of the bestselling aftershaves and perfume launches of the year for you to look back over. Just in case you’re in need of a little inspiration for the new year or a reminder to pop it on your Christmas list here is a little recap.
January – Gucci launched Gucci Guilty Absolute the fragrance which is a product of the revolution #GuiltyNotGuilty the ultimate partner for Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme. Beginning from a mysterious note of blackberry this scent is a non-traditional women’s fragrance created for a contemporary woman.
Jimmy choo Blossom was also launched this January inspired by sweet scents. The citrus notes compliment the red berries, taking notes of bright colours and delicious scents which was perfect for the summer months ahead.
February – Issey Miyake launched Issey Miyake L’eau Pure Nectar, a scent that is sweet with fruity and floral tones. With top notes of pear nectar and heart notes of rose, honey and marine all in a lovely copper bottle, it made the perfect Valentines gift for this year.
Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl is an audacious and sexy yet elegant and enigmatic scent, aimed at girls who like to live on the edge and aren’t afraid to be their selves. With its iconic shoe shape bottle it soon became a firm favourite.
Armani Si Passione was the third fragrance launch of this month, adding a new dimension to Giorgio Armani’s feminine fragrance personality, he describes this scent as ‘an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independence spirit.’ The perfect perfume for the modern-day independent woman.
April – This month we saw the launch of the Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Lucky and Lady Million Lucky. The iconic bottle had been reinvented and the scents were fresh, crisp and vibrant with this idea ‘life is a game’ and that you should live in the moment. A moto at Fragrance Direct we love.
Prada launched Prada Luna Rossa Black, a powerful yet fresh scent in the sophisticated all black bottle. The dry, musky and amber combination gave the perfect seductive masculine cologne for this year.
June – One of the biggest launches this year was Marc Jacobs Daisy Love. This scent is described as addictive and irresistible with its vibrant first notes in a burst of sweet cloudberries. The oversized Daisy inspired by the iconic Marc Jacobs icon reflects the warm glow of the fragrance. This perfume is full of personality and perfect for someone who enjoys life.
Celebrating the new facet of the Jimmy Choo woman, Jimmy Choo Fever is an innate extrovert with a playful energy and sense of fun. Effortlessly glamourous and instinctively seductive this became the one to wear for summer nights.
August – Jean Paul Gaultier’s Scandal by Night was the scent of freedom this summer. Like life, full off surprises. This unique bottle and packaging paired with an addictive blend of honey, sandalwood and Tonka bean made this a delicious sexy scent for all women.
We also saw the new Calvin Klein Women launch, a sensual, luminous perfume that has its own distinct voice. A woody fragrance combined with floral tones empowers modern women and celebrates every aspect of feminine spirit.
September – Dolce and Gabbana launched The Only One which captured the essence of sophistication. It felt as if you were being hypnotized within its femininity. The signature smell was a combination of violet and coffee giving a floral scent and the packaging of this product was one of our favourites for the year.
This September we were also introduced to Pure XS for her by Paco Rabanne. This wild provocative floral oriental, with the electrifying Emily Ratajkowski as the face of the campaign was an instant hit. The disarming allure of hot vanilla and popcorn note bursts captivates and escalates the sex-appeal.
Ralph Lauren Women is one, if you haven’t already, need to try. It is a contrast between bold florals and rich woods, alluring creaminess and depth of character to the juicy blackcurrant notes. The classic styled bottle is completely in keeping with the brand and perfect for anyone who loves Ralph Lauren.
The final women’s launch for September was L’Interdit by Givenchy which was a true tribute to bold, free femininity. A white floral cut through with dark notes unleashes a bold luminosity that flirts with obscurity. This fragrance is unforgettable, intense, addictive and fearlessly elegant.
For Men Boss Bottled the Anniversary edition was a personal favourite. It is a confident and contemporary version of the iconic classic combining elegance and style. This scent balances a fresh and fruity top note with a warm spiced heart seasoned with just a dab of clove.
Boss The Scent Private Accord was launched by Hugo Boss this September revealing another exclusive seduction. This scent first made an appearance in 2015 and since has been a great statement with base notes of cocoa absolute and top notes of ginger. The masculine bottle is completely unique and aesthetically pleasing to look at.
YSL Y Eau De Parfum Men by Yves Saint Laurent is an authentic fragrance that also perfectly complements a capable confident established man. It features fresh citrus and aromatic notes followed by a deeper intensity of sensual woods. These aftershaves all capture the essence of modern men.
October – Lacoste L’Homme Intense is a more intense twist of the original. It is a spicy and woody fragrance with a reinforced timeless sensual base. It is for those audacious men who lead the game with style and elegance with a masculine bottle to match.
This year’s launches have been so unique that it has been hard not to love each one, but everyone has their own individual style and scent, so we encourage you to try these best sellers from this year as they are such a treat whether you are buying for yourself or someone else.
We all know how relaxing a good spa day can be – the calming music, luxurious treatments and fluffy robes can soothe even the most stressed among us. But the best spa days come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Well, good news! Pampering at home can be just as relaxing as in the spa for a fraction of the price. Pamper days are great for your wellbeing and mental health, and what’s more, they’re a great treat for your skin and can help to boost confidence.
Follow our step-by-step process for a perfect home pamper session.
1. Set the mood, and relax
The main point of a home pamper is to relax and unwind, so it’s important to set the mood and get yourself into the proper headspace.
Find a relaxing playlist, put on your comfiest pyjamas and dim the lights. We also recommend lighting some scented candles, which are designed to help you unwind. Enjoy the soothing crackle, and the dreamy scent of WoodWick Hearthwick Candle Warm Wool, which is sure to melt your worries away, or light the Abahna Narcissus & Wild Iris Scented Candle Tin to encourage peace and positivity.
If you prefer using room diffusers to set the mood, Cristalinas Fresh Ocean Breeze Reed Diffuser will cast the scent of wildflowers around your bedroom and transport you to the ocean’s edge on a warm summer’s night.
2. Treat yourself to a facial
Stress can be lead to breakouts, blemishes, or skin that looks dull and tired. A facial is a perfect remedy to this, and DIY is not only cheaper but just as effective as a professional spa treatment.
Look at our guide to how to do a professional facial at home for some great home facial tips to help you de-stress and get your skin looking bright, and feeling soft and healthy.
If you don’t have time for a full facial, treat yourself to a face mask to help banish those blemishes and brighten up your skin. Derma V10 Clay Mask Brightening helps to exfoliate your skin leaving it soft, and the added red algae and vitamin E encourages brightness.
For something a little more intense, try Purederm Deep Purifying O2 Bubble Sheet Mask Charcoal, which removes toxins and dead skin cells to brighten your skin tone and cleanse. This mask also absorbs excess sebum, making it the perfect treatment for those with oily skin.
3. Smooth on a hair mask
Our hair can sometimes need a little TLC aside from the regular washing and conditioning routine. The effects of heat styling and the environment can cause ends to dry out and split – not what we want! It’s essential that you take some time to look after your locks if you’re going to keep up the silky shine.
A pair of courts is always a good option, but if you’re bored of plain nude court heels to go with every outfit, metallic is the way to go.
Giovanni 2chic Ultra Moist Hair Mask is the perfect treat for dry, style-damaged hair. This mask is packed full of essential fatty acids and revitalising vitamins and delivers intense nourishment. For even more of a treat, try Kerastase Chronologiste Creme De Regeneration Balm, which is world renowned for its restorative powers. Your locks will be shining and bouncy no matter what your hair type.
If you’re looking for even more ways to strengthen your hair, check out our guide on the best oils for hair.
4. Relax in the Bath
The pace of the modern world means most of us are choosing quick showers over relaxing baths. But as evening approaches, there’s no better way of hitting reset than from the comfort of a warm bath. A few drops of the Sanctuary Spa Concentrated Bath Relaxer Bath Oil will transform your bath water into a tension releasing, full-body treatment. Alternatively, Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Bath & Shower Oil will help create the perfect setting for a spot of you-time after busy day.
If you don’t have a bathtub, a foot scrub and massage will hit the spot just as well. A little Isla Apothecary Lemongrass & Rosemary Foot Scrub can help to ease sore and tired feet, whilst the cleansing properties of Newtons Anti-bacterial Polishing Foot Scrub will keep the soles of your feet feeling as perfect as the rest of you.
5. Do what you like!
When you’ve finished with your DIY treatments, dedicate some time to indulge in your favourite book, or film or hobby. This is your leisure time – your problems can wait. It’s important to recharge your batteries so you feel rested and mentally prepared to take on whatever tomorrow might bring. Don’t forget; you’re better placed to take care of others if you’ve already taken care of yourself.
Now that you’re relaxed and de-stressed, check out our list of the best scented candles on the market to help you keep up the tranquility. If you’re short on time but want to keep your skin glowing the morning after a pamper session, our 15-minute morning skincare routine is just for you.
December is upon us and work Christmas parties are just around the corner, bringing on the dreaded question- what to wear? Fear not! We have teamed up with our friends over at EGO Shoes to help provide some fabulous shoe-spiration that will get you in the mood to grab a cocktail and dance the night away.
Add a touch of sparkle!
Christmas party season is the perfect excuse to wear glitter, sequins and sparkles. After all – no party outfit is complete without them. If a full glitter-ball outfit isn’t your thing, choosing the right pair of sparkly heels can really take your outfit to the next, festive, level.
Finding the right amount of sparkle to go with your outfit is key – by opting for a pair of with sparkly detail to the heel will provide a nod to Christmas, whilst still going
with everything – whether you’re opting for a sassy sequin dress, or playing it safe with an LBD – these heels will make sure you are the belle of the ball.
Our favourite print is back on trend (I mean, had it ever really left?)
Leopard print has graced its presence once again and what better time to take a walk on the wild side than with a pair of leopard print heels this party season. Whether you team them with a chic jumpsuit, black sequin dress or block colour mini dress – these heels will ensure all eyes are on you.
Not only are leopard print heels the most fabulous accessory for the party season, but they also go perfectly with a pair of jeans and a chunky knit jumper. Slay all day, every day.
Barely There Heels
As much as we love sequins and glitter around party season, no Christmas outfit would be complete without a splash of red. Whether you opt for red accessories, a red lip or a striking red dress – there’s no better time to be crushin’ on crimson than at Christmas.
Red is definitely an eye-catcher, so if you’re going for more of a single rose effect than a full bouquet then a pair of barely-there heels is the perfect shoe for you. Team with a black jumpsuit or a white lace bodycon dress to provide the perfect finishing touch to your outfit.
A pair of courts is always a good option, but if you’re bored of plain nude court heels to go with every outfit, metallic is the way to go.
Metallic heels go with everything – from a flowing dress to a tailored suit. Sequins, glitter, prints and fur – nothing is too much to pair with the golden, silver or rose gold accents. Metallic courts are the ultimate shoes for party season if you want your shoe to make a statement.