3 Best Beauty Buys: February 2024

My three best beauty buys this month – picked out from the quagmire of new launches for their excellent performance, high quality and price-tags that won’t cause immediate heart palpitations.

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The first little gem: e.l.f. Cosmetic’s brilliant Camo Blush, a liquid blush that requires just the tiniest speck of product and gives intense, long-lasting colour. Quite honestly I think that most people could just buy one of these to last a life time – it almost needs to come with a pin head to apply it with, you need so little.

I’ve used Pinky Promise here – it’s a lovely fresh, cool-toned pink. The Camo Blush is £7 at elf online*.

Then I’ve taken a real shine to the new launch from Inkey List – the Bio-Active Ceramide Moisturizer – £19 here*. This is a gorgeously buttery, intensely hydrating face cream packed with ceramides (keeps the skin barrier nice and healthy and strong which in turn helps to keep it hydrated and protected) and it feels really rich and expensive. But it isn’t, because Inkey List keep everything else to the bare minimum, including the distinctly non-luxurious packaging. This cream would see you through to spring, if your face is dry and disgruntled and thoroughly sick of the wintery weather. It’s not over yet people…

There’s something else you could do for your face: start sliding those peptides into your routine. I feel as though for many of us the sudden marketing rush for peptides was just one rush too many. We’ve only just got on board with retinoids! We wailed. Where the hell do peptides come in? What do they even do?

To be fair, peptides aren’t new. They make up certain proteins, like collagen and elastin, and we all know how important they are. So important that lots of people are chugging down collagen drinks and chewing collagen gummies and shooting collagen into themselves and all sorts of things that seem frankly quite mad to me, but never say never and all that.

Anyway, peptides aren’t new and the right ones, in a good product, can really help to tackle fine lines and wrinkles and to generally support the skin and make it the most plumptious it can be. Luckily they are easy to slide into a skincare routine – no thinking required, no downtime, no side effects. They’re not like retinoids, where you might want to be careful with the other products you use at the same time, or like strong acids where you sometimes have to be wary of sun exposure. You can just swap in a peptide serum for your usual hydrating one, or find a peptide-enriched cream to use last thing at night, or before your sunscreen in the morning.

Read: Most-Used Skincare Products of 2023

I tend to pack on a hydrating serum and moisturiser in between my retinoid nights (I use one every other night, pretty much like clockwork) to get as much moisture into my skin as I can. I’ve recently been using the Olay Peptide Max Serum instead of my usual one and it is silky and sophisticated and easily as hydrating as the serum I’ve swapped out. And I’m calling it a bargain, currently, because if you have a Boots Advantage card you can get it for £25 instead of £44. It’s here*. I’m not sure how long the offer is on for but it’s a good one – an easy-to-use serum that gets your peptides into your skincare routine with minimal fuss.

I’ll be back next month with three more best beauty buys – brilliant bargains and solid, budget-friendly alternatives to some of the pricier stuff you might have on your wishlists…

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