Tried & tested: On counter February

The BD team recently road-tested all the new and noteworthy products that hit stores this February.

Here's what they had to say.

La Prairie White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire - Lorna
What it is: A brightening eye cream that is formulated with lumidose and golden caviar extract to address all chromatic disturbances while firming the skin and bringing luminosity to the eye. 
My experience: This product is as opulent as an eye cream can get so I had very high hopes. The application process is game-changing thanks to the mini roller that helps the cream softly absorb deep into my skin. You don’t need to use much product at all as the roller evenly applies the cream to the desired eye areas. The cream does a great job of hydrating my normally tired-looking under-eyes and my skin feels a bit brighter. I use it in the morning to cheat looking like I’ve had a good night’s sleep. Nourishing, brightening and decadent – a dream combo.

Medik8 Mutiny™ - Erin
What it is: Medik8's first lip balm, which is squalane-based to deeply nourish.
My experience: Consistently having dry lips means that I’m always on the hunt for a long lasting, soothing lip balm. Thankfully, this one ticks all the boxes! When applied, it instantly melts into an oil, making my lips feel instantly hydrated and nourished. It spreads super easily across the lips and a little goes a really long way. You only need a tiny bit (which is a bonus because it means the product will last longer!) This lip balm has definitely been put to the test, as I’ve worn it during workouts, at work and even to bed as a sleep mask. I am however happy to report that it lasts for hours, and even when it eventually does wear off, my lips still feel great (which is a nice change from some lip balms that make your lips feel even dryer when they wear off and like you constantly need to keep re-applying). I also love the taste – very unusual but delicious! It's a solid yes from me.

ECOYA Black Violet Limited Edition Large Reed Diffuser - Tiarne
What it is: A limited-edition reed diffuser that embraces the autumn season.
My experience: I’ve recently been looking for a new room fragrance to help complement the upcoming seasonal change, which is why I’m so pleased this reed diffuser landed on my desk. At the moment it’s sitting in my bedroom, and I have to admit I often do a double take when walking in because I can smell something amazing and it takes me a few seconds to process that it’s the new diffuser! I feel like it has definitely embraced the flora and fauna of autumn, with a subtle but delicious scent that combines bergamot, violet, ylang ylang and rosewood with vanilla and musk. I’ve never actually smelled anything like it – the fragrance is so unique and has really made itself at home in my bedroom. Another great addition from ECOYA!

Clarins Autumn Colour Collection - Tamara
What it is: A long wearing blush that is ultra pigmented and used to highlight cheeks.
My experience: I love the high quality of Clarins' products and the Clarins Joli Blush is definitely high quality. I used shade #06 Cheeky Coral and found that the blush had great pigment and lasted throughout the day. It is smooth and applied softly to the cheeks giving me a refreshed glow. The packaging is gorgeous as it comes in a little compact that has a coral coloured lid which makes it easy to find in my makeup bag. It has an added anti pollution complex and seems to do a good job matching my skin colour. I also got to test out the Natural Lip Perfector in #19 Intense Smoky Rose that is also from the Autumn Colour Collection and this one glides on smooth and creamy – the best part is that it isn’t sticky or too bold for everyday wear.

Rimmel London Lasting Matte Concealer - Deborah
What it is: An ultra-light concealer that allows the skin to breathe, delivering a gorgeous, natural finish while not settling into creases or clogging pores.
My experience: I’m always excited to try anything that claims to stay matte throughout the day, and this concealer did not disappoint. I put it on to cover up a blemish in the morning, lightly powdered it just to be sure, and when I got home in the evening the blemish was still nowhere to be seen. The product had a smooth texture and light consistency which surprisingly provided full coverage, and the sponge tip applicator is perfect for controlling the product.

Alpha-H Absolute Lip Perfector Nude Blush - Aja
What it is: A nourishing and plumping lightly tinted lip balm.
My experience: As a longtime fan of Alpha-H skincare, I was very excited to try the brand’s new lip launch. The balm is lightly tinted, which leaves lips with a gorgeous subtle pink hue, but most importantly, leaves lips feeling super hydrated and nourished. Unlike some lip balms that need to be reapplied every few minutes, this new offering keeps lips feeling moisturised for longer, with the added bonus that you’re not going to run out of product any time soon. It also contains a powerful moisturising ingredient, Hirulip™, that blends hydrating hyaluronic acid with collagen-boosting tripeptide-1, working together to plump the lips and minimise fine vertical lines and other signs of ageing. This baby isn’t leaving my handbag any time soon!

Sisley Paris Phyto Hydra Teint - Caitlin
What it is: An all-in-one formula that moisturises, corrects, smooths, illuminates and protects the skin (with SPF 15).
My experience: I tend to gravitate towards a tinted moisturiser to wear most of the week and being a big fan of sisley I am very happy with this new launch! A very smooth creamy texture that blended into my skin seamlessly and gave me a flawless natural finish. What's great is the staying power, as I only need to apply this in the morning for it to last throughout the day. It felt light on my skin but gave me enough coverage that evened out my skin tone with a beautiful glow. I love that the product's formula has seven essential actions that moisturise, smooth, prevent environmental damage and correct my skin. This product is a perfect edition to Sisley and one that I will be wearing all year round. 

Manicare NOVA FIT™ - Karen
What it is: A rechargeable facial massager designed with electronic muscle stimulation technology, in a chic compact device to transform any in-home, age defying skincare routine.
My experience: Well this is a game changer. I have never used an electronic face device like this before (closest I have come to is a jade roller) so was quite excited to try this out. The product is super cute and compact with two face massaging settings. The first is the relaxation setting with the blue light that I could set to either low, medium and high. After applying my serum I decided to give this a try on all three settings that gently kneaded, which was very relaxing and I noticed it depuffed my face. The next setting uses Electronic Muscle Stimulation Technology (EMS) that stimulates facial muscles through gentle contractions that essentially created a mini workout for my face. I loved using this setting in the morning and noticed a difference in how it helped firm and tone my skin. This was definitely fun to use and I will be incorporating it into my daily skincare routine.

Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser - Nicole
What it is: A face cleanser that delivers powerful prebiotics that nourish the skin’s beneficial bacteria to bring its microbiome back into balance, keeping oil in check while protecting the skin’s moisture.
My experience: I was excited to use this cleanser as lately I have been waking up with such an oily face and have found that this has helped to counteract it. I double cleanse and often used this as a final step, before applying my serums and moisturisers. Since using this cleanser, I have noticed my skin to be less shiny, more supple and even in texture, but not at all dry. I used it multiple times in a week, whenever I felt like I was super greasy and needed a good and thorough clean without the time of doing a thicker clay mask. After using this my skin felt smooth and revitalised. This cleanser was different to any other one I have used before due to the mineral-rich clay and charcoal formula. This has other goodies such as citrus, aloe and brocoli extract to help smooth the skin, though be sure to rinse this off thoroughly as it is grey in colour.

Weleda Blemished Skin Purifying Gel Cleanser - Dragana
What it is: A gentle but highly effective gel cleanser for deep pore cleansing.
My experience: Finding products that are all natural can be difficult at times as many brands tend to pride themselves on being natural when in fact they aren't all they are cracked up to be. When it comes to my family, Weleda is a brand I know and trust because being natural is exactly what they are. My teen daughter had been breaking out on her face with pimples which was making her feel uncomfortable so my priority was finding a product that was not only good and safe for her to use but also one that worked. The cleanser has been beautiful for her and has been part of her morning and night skin routine for a couple of weeks now, along with the S.O.S Spot Treatment and Refining Lotion. Her pimples have been improving significantly since she has been using the products, leaving her skin feeling and looking better everyday.

Ella Baché Neobright Correcting Night Cream - Sam
What it is: A brightening, regenerating and nourishing night cream that is enriched with Ella Baché’s newest ingredient discovery.
My experience: This beautifully rich and decadent night cream is formulated with resurfacing AHA, green tea extract, rice bran oil, vitamin E, shea butter and papaya extract. The scent is fragrant but not overpowering and the product is thick and creamy which is definitely my preference as I lather on as much as possible before bed. My main use for this product is as a correcting cream to reduce redness from old acne scars as well as reduce early signs of pigmentation and I have to say after one month my skin is looking brighter and more even.

Clinique iD - Rachel
What it is: A custom-blend hydration system available in 15 unique combinations, made specifically for your skin type and skin concern.
My experience: I was so excited to try this new, innovative product by Clinique! I love how uniquely customisable the Clinique iD is; the combination I trialled was the Dramatically Different Moisturizing BB-Gel Hydration Base with the Lines & Wrinkles Active Cartridge Concentrate. First and foremost, this concoction is truly hydrating and exactly what I’ve needed! The formula is lightweight and glides beautifully over the skin; sinking right in and leaving it feeling completely hydrated. The lotion itself also feels really calming and cooling at the same time, which I love especially in this warmer season. I’ve been using this product every morning and night and have noticed the fine lines around my eyes have slightly smoothed and plumped out. I can’t wait to see what continued and long term use will do – I’m already blown away!

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream - Sarah
What it is: An eye cream that delivers a visibly smoother, lifted look with first application.
My experience: This is the holy grail of eye creams! It looks to have a rich creamy texture when you first open the container, but as soon as you apply it to the eye area it feels lightweight and absorbs well into the skin. I use it daily after cleansing my face in the evening, and when I wake up it looks like I’ve slept so many more hours than I have, which speaks to how hydrating the product really is.

Ardell Extension FX D-Curl - Joanne
What it is: Long flared false lashes that add definiton to a makeup look through subtle volume and definition of the eyes.
My experience: Ardell is taking lashes to new heights with the Extension FX range. I used the D-curl ones, which also had an eye widening effect. The packaging explaining which eye shape and showing the shape of the curl is a gamechanger and is what helped me to select these in the first place. I found these perfect for an overall look I did and loved how well they blended in with my natural lashes that they just looked like my lashes but longer and fluffier. The smallest lashes are so tiny and look so natural as they gradually get longer towards the end. They’re not over the top at all and complemented my overall look, through drawing more attention to my eyes. The clear lash band is another big tick for me, as it makes them look super natural with no obvious or tacky lash band in sight. For the price these are a steal and of great quality as I will be using them often.

Lady Jayne The Premium Brush - Alicia
What it is: A premium brush made from 100% boar bristles and and soft nylon, which help to carry the scalp's natural oils and redistribute through the hair.
My experience: This brush really does ooze quality. Marketed as a premium brush I can really see that Lady Jayne has spared no expense trying to design a brush that is extremely high quality whilst still being affordable. The brush itself is black and solid, the bristles are boar bristle and are reinforced by nylon – the boar bristle really did help to smooth the natural hair oils down the shaft of the hair keeping my ends nourished and my hair quite smooth and shiny. It was easy to use and didn’t pull or catch on the hair so it was a great user experience. At $49.95 I think it is really affordable for anyone wanting a high quality brush.

Skin Physics Foundation No More BB Cream SPF 30+ - Molly
What it is: An anti-ageing, multi-action, full coverage BB Cream with SPF30+ that perfects skin complexion by evening out skin tone, covering blemishes and reducing the look of pores.
My experience: This product delivers everything I want from a foundation and a sunscreen. It gave me the glowy foundation-esque look while feeling as light and protective as a sunscreen. I love that this comes in so many shades, and I used the shade ‘sand’ which was a perfect match for my skin tone. The product had a smooth non-sticky texture and gave enough coverage to even out my skin tone without washing out the dimensions of my face. It was lightweight enough to apply with my fingers, blended well into my skin, and lasted all day. This product is perfect for anyone looking to cut down on makeup time without looking like it.

Wella Professionals NUTRICURLS Cleansing Conditioner for Waves & Curls - Eleni
What it is: A detangling conditioner that delivers lightweight definition.
My experience: I used the Conditioner, along with some of the other NUTRICURL products in the Wella range. I find with my naturally curly hair a lot of conditioners can leave it feeling super heavy and greasy, weighing down my natural curl. Falling asleep with wet hair can often be a guessing game for me. Will I wake up with natural waves/curls that I can work with or will it be a bad hair tie that in a bun hair disaster day? The simple sum of my natural hair + this product=amazing smooth curls with zero frizz and flyaways can sum up my thoughts on this conditioner. It worked well to nourish as well as hydrate my curls without the added weight. The conditioner smelt absolutely divine and left my hair smelling and feeling like I had just left a luxe salon.

Mary Kay® Botanical Effects® Hydrate - Anna
What it is: A lightweight moisturiser with a non-greasy formula that leaves skin feeling hydrated and balanced.
My experience: I received this product in the set along with the cleanser, toner and mask. This product really shines when used in conjunction with the others as an overall routine, however I also found it worked well alone. i.e. as a morning moisturiser under makeup. I am personally quite oily in the t-zone and found this hydrator to help balance this oil issue and in turn I did notice it drastically reduced that look of greasiness I usually encounter by the end of day. Being free from alcohol, fragrance and synthetic dyes, this range is perfect for those with sensitive skin. It’s simple, straightforward, yet effective skincare. I am attempting to take the steps to be less of an environmental burden and learning that the tube sleeve is also made from 50% recycled content made me fall more in love with this product. Loving and protecting your skin and the environment is possible and these products prove it.